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Well, I made good on my determination to start a fanfic based around the season 4 episode Counterplay. I was writing it for a prompt at 31_days, but I didn't get it all done. I posted what I have, since today is the day that prompt is due, and thought I'd stick it over here too, if anyone is interested.

One big thing I'm wondering: Am I doing okay with Doc? I've never written for any of these characters before, and before I get too far into it, I'd like to be sure I've caught Doc's voice. :) My doubt over that caused me to stall for a while.

Title: Visions of Crimson, Part 1 of ?
Rating: T/PG-13
Warnings: Um ... some violence and blood, but nothing not seen or talked about on the show, I imagine
Summary: Sgt. Rawlings was shot and supposedly killed during the mission in Counterplay, and Sgt. Saunders and the others had to leave him and move on. But Rawlings is not dead, and now he and Doc are going to end up in a strange situation of their own as they try to return to headquarters....


This is Sgt. Rawlings, if anyone needs a refresher:

Sgt. Rawlings

Cutie! I love, love H.M. Wynant.

And yes, the Sgt. Perkins referred to is Richard Anderson's character from A Silent Cry. I thought it would be fun if they knew each other, and quite possible!

By Lucky_Ladybug


“Monsieur? Monsieur?!”

The child was calling to him out of the thick smoke surrounding them. All he could make out was a silhouette; he could not even tell if the child was a boy or a girl.

The old maxim on if there was smoke, there was fire, was true. Somewhere beyond the scene his eyes caught a glimpse of a flickering fire. And off in the distance, surprisingly, bewilderingly, were the odd and ominous chimes, dings, and bongs of bells of every size.

“Monsieur?!”

The child was panicking and he could not respond, no matter how hard he tried. The bells were growing louder and louder, drowning out all other sounds. He fell to the ground, his hands over his ears as the bells rang on.


His eyes flew open as he gasped and choked, water spilling from his mouth. He tried to turn onto his side, coughing on the liquid still in his throat and lungs, but the sharp pain in his chest forced him to clench his teeth and fall back into the grass.

He was soaking wet, lying on the bank of a river. And that wasn’t even the strangest thing; he was bleeding. He could see the crimson staining his shirt.

He closed his eyes, searching his mind, trying to remember what had happened.

He had been brought in as a replacement for a specialized mission with Sergeant Saunders and some of his men. They and their French Underground contact had traveled for some time when they had been shot at out of seemingly nowhere.

That was where his memory ended. He shuddered, opening his eyes halfway. “Of all the rotten luck,” he muttered under his breath.

What must have happened was that he had been shot and thought dead, the others forced to continue their mission without him. And who knew how long he had been lying here. They could have completed the mission and be on their way back by now.

He shut his eyes again, pained. He was not a combat soldier, but a laboratory technician. He had never been wounded before, and now suddenly he was here, at the point of death. And from all appearances, he was alone.

“Pointless,” he hissed. “It was all pointless. I shouldn’t have left the lab. . . .”

Again the water came to his lips and he choked and coughed. “Help,” he struggled to cry, without any real hope of being heard. “Help me, please. I . . . I don’t want to die!”

He had hung on this long. Would his body give out now, after all this? He would have rather never regained consciousness if he was only going to die at this point anyway.

Again he tried to turn over, clenching his teeth in pain as he attempted it. There was no way he could stand, but maybe, possibly he could crawl, favoring his uninjured side. If he could get out of the brush and to where a Jeep might pass by, he might still have a chance. And if he still died, at least he would know he had tried everything to save himself.

Crawling was just about impossible as well. Every slight movement was a new adventure in both dizziness and pain. Now and then he seemed to blank out for an indeterminable amount of time before fading back to awareness. How long would his body be able to tolerate such activity and abuse before forcing him into a much longer unconsciousness or possibly death?

The only thing that kept him going at all was his fear of death and his determination not to succumb.

It was strange, really; he had never even thought he was afraid to die. He had enjoyed adventure and had enlisted in the Army instead of being drafted. All of the spying and counter-spying through his work with the French Underground had intrigued him. He had never actually wanted to fight in combat, but he had not thought he would have to.

There had been so many letters from his mother, worried although she tried to stay hopeful and cheerful for his sake. He had been able to read between the lines on what she was asking—if he was safe, if he was still at the lab, if he planned to stay there—and he had tried to reassure her every time.

What would he say in his next letter, if there was one? Well, he would tell her the truth, of course, that he had been sent on a specialized mission and there had been . . . a problem. And he would reassure her that he was going to be fine.

Before he could ever get to that point, however, he had to reassure himself that he would be fine. And he had to know that he would, indeed, be fine.

If he wasn’t, he could imagine how Sergeant Perkins would react.

Perkins was a friend of his, another radio expert who had once gone on a special mission with Sergeant Saunders and some of his men. Perkins abhorred fighting and had been bitter about the mission at first. And although he had started to learn that there were some things worth fighting for, he preferred by and large to stay with his radios. He had been on several other missions, including one where he had seen two soldiers die around him. He had taken it hard, not even being able to begin recovering from it for weeks. Getting word that Sergeant Rawlings had been killed would be more than enough to break him down again.

Rawlings wobbled, collapsing into the grass. He had struggled and tried with all his might, but his strength was now fully depleted. He could not move any farther.

“Help,” he called weakly, vainly. “Help me, please!”

Still there was no answer. He sank down, not even trying to brush away the blades of grass from around his face. He had no energy even for that.

“God, please help me,” he whispered as the pain swept over him, forcing him into unconsciousness.
****

Doc really couldn’t say what it was that made him stop walking on his chosen path and veer off to the left. He was heading back from a replacement mission of his own, lost in thoughts of what had happened and the people he had treated and two who had not made it. He wondered if the others had returned from their mission and if it had been successful.

He had really had no intention of changing his direction. But here he was, cutting a new trail far to the left of where he had originally been.

The sight of the blood in the grass made him stop short in shock. He only allowed that for the briefest moment; as his medical training took over, he hurried ahead, following the crimson to its source.

He dropped to his knees next to the body. “Hello?” he called in concern, without receiving a reply. He reached for the wrist, checking the pulse. It was weak.

With care he turned the limp form onto his back. Doc’s eyes narrowed as he saw the gruesome wound, aggravated by the desperate crawl over the grass.

He had the other man’s shirt torn and pulled to the side within the next moment and began preparing himself and his instruments for cleansing the wound and digging out the bullet. The poor soul was deeply unconscious, but as Doc began to clean the wound he stirred, groaning and jerking in pain.

“Now, it’s alright,” Doc tried to tell him. “What’s your name?”

“Rawlings,” was the moaned reply. “Sergeant Rawlings.”

“Rawlings . . .” Doc stiffened. “A Sergeant Rawlings was supposed to go on a mission with Sergeant Saunders.”

“I was shot,” Rawlings rasped as Doc continued to work. “Thought dead. They went on.”

“So you don’t know if they’re alright?” Doc could not help asking.

“I don’t know.”

Doc bit his lip, praying for the others’ safety as well as for him to be able to save this man’s life. “This is gonna hurt now,” he said as he moved to probe into the wound for the bullet. “But I can see the lead, so hopefully it’ll just take a minute.”

Rawlings weakly gripped the grass. “Go ahead.”

He tensed as the instrument went into the wound and the bullet was found. Only semi-conscious at best, he was already sinking fully out of awareness again from the pain.

Doc quickly set the bullet aside and cleaned the wound once more before bandaging and wrapping it as best as he could. His patient moaned, turning his head to the side.

Doc looked to the Jeep in concern. He was alone; how was he going to get Sergeant Rawlings inside? He hated to move the wounded man too much or to try to get him to stand. The injury could be aggravated further.

He perked up in surprise as a small boy approached. The child’s eyes were wide with both curiosity and concern. Naturally the boy could not help lift Rawlings into the Jeep, but maybe he had come from someplace nearby where he could get help.

“Excuse me?” Doc called, hoping against hope that the boy would know at least some English.

The child hurried over to him, pointing to Rawlings and asking something worriedly in French.

“He’s hurt,” Doc said, gesturing to the bandaged wound. “I need someone to help get him in the Jeep.” He made a lifting motion and pointed at the vehicle. “Can you bring someone to help?”

“Help,” the boy repeated, with a bright smile. “I bring help!”

He turned and hurried back the way he had come.

Doc sighed in relief but prayed the assistance would not be long in coming. He did not want to delay any longer than absolutely necessary.

Rawlings groaned again, his eyes opening just slightly as he looked up at Doc. His face was filled with confusion.

Doc dropped to his knees next to him. “Do you remember me?” he asked.

“You were helping me,” Rawlings mumbled.

“That’s right. I got the bullet out. Now we’re just waiting for someone to come help me get you into the Jeep. A boy ran off to find someone.”

“Boy?” Something indecipherable flickered through Rawlings’ eyes.

“What is it?” Doc queried in concern.

“I don’t know.” Rawlings stared up the sky. “Something about a dream. . . . There was a boy . . . bells . . . a fire. . . .”

Doc gently laid a hand on his shoulder. “Nevermind about all that now. You just rest until help comes. Okay?”

Rawlings weakly nodded. “Alright.” He laid back in the grass, leaving Doc to ponder over what was happening.

Again to Doc’s mind flashed the images of the two soldiers he had been unable to save. His resolve hardened. Somehow, he was going to save this one.

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