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Suture Up Your Future

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“Say it for me, Tech.” You were met with an agonistic cry instead of the words you needed the trooper to say. Not only to reassure himself, but you as well. “Say it,” you nearly screamed while he lay there bleeding out, “You’re going to be okay, fucking say it. You’re going to be okay.”

“I,” a sharp intake of breath made his chest heave and a new wave of fresh blood come out of his gaping wound, covering your hands in the warm substance, “‘m guh be oh-okay.”

“There we go, come on Tech, come on buddy breathe for me.”

~

Nothing was out of the ordinary when you woke up that day. Hunter asked if you wanted to stay on the Marauder while he, Tech, and Crosshair went on a supply run. Hunter sang his reassurances to you, fully knowing you had a point when you reminded him that this planet was not the most welcoming place for outsiders. Especially the army of the Republic. But Hunter made sure they had civilian clothing to disguise themselves; this was the closest planet you all could get to at the moment, with the little fuel you had, after all. “In and out, just like that,” the sergeant cooed with a snap of his fingers to enunciate the last word of his promise.

Echo, Wrecker, and yourself gave your best wishes to the group, then retreated back to the hull of the beloved ship. Echo toying with a new prosthetic he and Tech had been working on, Wrecker subjecting poor Gonky to yet another workout, and you occupied yourself with some tidying up. Maker knows that five busy soldiers plus one even busier medic, patching up said soldiers on a regular basis, equaled a filthy ship that was in dire need of some elbow grease.

What none of you had expected however, was the very early return of the three bad batchers, one of them being supported by the other two. Barely able to walk and blood leaking out of his abdomen.

Panic set in your gut upon the sight. Wrecker and Echo already in front of you, screaming their concerns and questions while you scrambled back into the ship to clear the table that was littered with empty dishes and Tech’s projects, then sprinting to your medkit to snag the supplies you’d need to treat a wound such as this. Returning to the table just as Wrecker set his vod down on the flat surface that, might you add, was much too small for his six-four frame and much too dirty for the situation at hand, but would have to do. Considering the severity of the scene before you. Tech had an enormous gash — you guessed from some sort of large knife — that ran from the bottom of his left ribs all the way to the front of his abdomen, ending just above his bellybutton.

“Fucking bounty hunters,” Crosshair growled from behind you but you couldn’t afford to pay him any mind, Tech was damn near about to bleed to death if you didn’t act quick. You could curse the people who did this to your friend later. “Echo, he’s going to need more blood. Get Wrecker hooked up to the blood draw.” You ordered while applying pressure to the gash, Tech’s blood slowing at the contact, but still steadily seeping through your fingers. Normally Wrecker would pout about being hooked up to a machine but the sight of his friend dancing with death made him move quicker than any of you had ever seen, ripping his shirt sleeve up so Echo could begin drawing blood.

The scene felt like a dream. Well, more like a nightmare, one that never stopped no matter how badly you wished you could just wake up and it would all be over. Instead, you were sweating through your shirt, a few tears stained your cheeks, and you were fucking covered in blood; Tech’s blood, to make the matter even more chilling. Everything happened so fast, you desperately wished you had gone on the run instead of Tech. Maybe that way you could all be sitting around this table, playing cards and giggling at Echo and Wrecker’s bickering over who’s cheating by now.

“What do you need me to do?” Hunter stepped to your side, prepared to do anything in order to save the youngest of the squad. “Get the gauze and alcohol out of my pack.” You threw your head in the direction of the stocked medpack sitting on the table near Tech’s legs. Hunter opened the bottle of antiseptic and handed it to you, Crosshair on the other side of the table taking the gauze from Hunter’s hand. Ready to stuff the wound in an attempt to slow the bleeding more until you could properly suture him up. Dumping the alcohol inside the gash caused Tech to gasp, eyebrows furrowing and body going taut at the pain you inflicted on him. You pleaded with him to relax and help you in reassuring himself that he would be fine. Both you and Hunter continuing the verbal comfort while Crosshair unraveled the pristine white gauze and began shoving it into Tech’s side, dying it crimson almost immediately. The pressure from both yours and Crosshair’s hands did a good job at stopping the blood loss, just enough so you could begin really cleaning him up and sewing his abdomen back together. Hunter helped with handing you the needle and thread and you began puncturing Tech’s skin and pulling the thread through the tissue.

Cries and mumbles of curses came from Tech’s lips, his face paler than any of you had ever seen before. “Shhh…eh..it,” Tech groaned as you diligently worked at his stomach. You silently thanked whatever celestial power that was out there for slowing down the blood flow to a much more manageable pace. Crosshair’s efforts clearly paid off, you mentally noted, as you watched his steady marksman hands slowly remove the gauze while you advanced with your stitching.

“Blood transfusion is ready,” Echo suddenly appeared, ready to start replenishing the blood Tech had lost. “Just in time,” you managed a half-smile, not entirely sure of where it came from. But looking back, you think it was out of hope.

Tech’s glazed eyes silently caught the way your mouth curled up and he was infinitely grateful for it. To him — and the other members of the squad — you were a beacon of light in the cruel and unforgiving war you all were in the midst of. It was easy to let the darkness and the violence consume them, but the second you joined their squad as their senior medic, there was that sudden sense of hope; you were something that made all of it even more worth it.

The entire procedure of fixing up your friend honestly was a blur for the most part. One second they were dragging Tech’s limp and bloody body up the ramp, the next you all found yourselves slumped into chairs, over crates, hell, you were nearly passed out from exhaustion on the floor next to the table Tech was splayed out on. His wound clean and stitched to near perfection, and Wrecker’s blood slowly being pumped back into his veins, bringing that beautiful, healthy tan back to his features.

Being so tired led you to neglect the dried blood all over your arms and shirt. In your haze, you remember Wrecker gently grasping your biceps and heaving you off the grimy ground, urging you to wash up and change. When you began to protest, the gentle giant rubbed up and down your arms in an effort to persuade you, “He’ll be fine, kid. You stitched him up real good. Plus, you know how queasy he gets with blood. He’d want you to get cleaned up.” Just as the final syllable left his mouth, you felt the soft cotton of your extra shirt being brushed against your forearm, Crosshair’s arm extended to you from his place on a ration crate with a nod in your direction. A silent way of showing you he agreed with his older brother — we got him, don’t worry.

Your squad member’s wisdom proved to be true. Stepping out of the fresher in a new shirt sans sweat stains and blood, and your skin nice and clean, you were greeted with the sight of everybody crowding around their youngest vod still laying on the table. Weaseling your way in between Hunter and Echo, you found Tech awake. Albeit less sharp than he usually is, but still awake. Breathing. Fucking alive. The weight of dread that had been crushing your chest was suddenly gone, letting your lungs fully expand for the first time in hours. A soft hand found Tech’s cheek, the tips of your fingers accidentally bumping the edge of his goggles and another smile gracing your face, this one out of relief.

“Told you you’d be okay.”