Collateral Damage by Wendy K

Word Count 580

Warning:  Death Fic

I shouldn’t have to sit here, helpless, useless, as my big brother drifts further and further away from me. The doc says it’s a coma, sorta like a really deep sleep, the kind that people don’t always come out of.

I shouldn’t have to sit here and hold his hand and pray to God that he pulls through this and wakes up, because this shouldn’t have happened.

Scott and I have always disagreed on how to handle anyone who called me out. I felt that he shouldn’t meddle, that he should stay back and let me handle things. Having someone step in that way, well, it’s just not done.  There’s an etiquette to these types of things, a code to be followed. Murdoch don’t exactly agree with me but he at least understands how things are. But once Scott’s got his mind set on something… forget about it. He can be so damn stubborn.

He says that he’s been deprived of his brother for far too many years and he’s not going to let some stupid “code of the west” deprive him of any more. At first that kinda hurt my pride. Didn’t he think I could take ‘em? Didn’t he trust me to be the one standing at the end? But then I realized it wasn’t me he didn’t trust, it was them, the other gunhawks. He felt the need to protect his little brother even if that little brother didn’t need any protectin’.

The point is, though, that I shouldn’t be here, stroking my brother’s cheek with my thumb, willing him to open his eyes again, hoping against hope that he’ll wake up. I shouldn’t have to blink back tears as I look Teresa in the eye, and smile and lie, and say ‘he’ll be okay’.

No one should have to do that.

I used to think I’d accepted it, death. I’ve been facing it down the barrel of my opponents’ guns for as long as I can remember. I’ve had my fair share of injuries, some serious, some not so serious. But I’m not immortal and there’s always someone faster. I knew my time would come eventually. I thought I’d accepted this early on in life, when I first took up the gun and started down the path I now walk.

But this time it wasn’t me who paid the price and I’ve prayed every single day that I’d never actually have to face this. The day that someone I…love….would be cut down like a dog in the street because of who I was, because of my reputation. The fancy term for it is collateral damage. It’s kind of ironic that it was Scott, with his military background, that taught me that phrase.

I shouldn’t have had to pull him off the street and into an alley, out of the way of all that flying lead.

I shouldn’t have had to half-drag, half-carry him to the doc’s office, him as limp and lifeless as a doll the whole way.

I shouldn’t have to know what my own brother’s blood smells like – tastes like.

I shouldn’t have to watch the Doc pull the sheet up over his head and tell me he did all he could.

I shouldn’t have to listen as Teresa sobs and screams her denial of our loss.

I shouldn’t have to see the heart-broken look in my father’s eyes when I tell him.

This shouldn’t have happened.

Not to him.


Thank you for reading! The authors listed on this site spend many hours writing stories for your enjoyment, and their only reward is the feedback you leave. So please take a moment to leave a comment.  Even the simplest ‘I liked this!” can make all the difference to an author and encourage them to keep writing and posting their stories here.  You can comment in the ‘reply’ box below or Email Wendy K directly.

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