[identity profile] you-legwarmers.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] wl_fanfiction
Title: Ten Days (Day 5)
Rating: NC-17 for this chapter (for hot & heavy scenarios)
Genre: Friendship; drama
Characters: Colin, Brad, Ryan, Greg, Jeff
Pairings: Ry/Col, Greg/Jeff
Summary: Surviving for ten days in the wilderness is hard for one person, but for six, it's next to impossible.
A/N: Enjoyed that "relief" chapter? So did the guys. (Hey, they're almost halfway through.) This is my first time with (albeit not very detailed) smut, so fair warning.

When Greg awoke for the second time, he was a lot like before: disoriented, unfocused, and in pain. But this time, he asked where Wayne was.
Hesitating for only a minute, Jeff answered. "He, um, left. He went to get help. To look for help, I mean." Jeff winced at his self-correction, but there was no guarantee for rescue, after all.

Greg was pissed. "The fuck is he...I thought I told him to wait." Clearly that particular detail hadn't escaped his memory.

Colin sighed. "Yeah, well, he left anyway. All we can do is be patient now."

"That's what we've been doing," Brad, who was cranky from being the designated campfire attendant, snapped.

"Very helpful observation, Brad," retorted Colin. He addressed Greg again. "Better for somebody to take the chance, though. We won't get any help just sitting here."

"Whatever," sighed Greg. "Ow. Careful."

Jeff was once again trying to clean the wound. He was barely even dabbing the flaming red skin, avoiding the inner areas completely, but he supposed losing a few layers of skin and a pint or so of blood would make anybody sensitive. "Sorry. This is easier when you're not awake, you know."

"Yeah? And what else is?" Greg tried to make a seductive face, succeeding only in grimacing when the half-burning, half-ripping pain flared once more. Somehow it wasn't entirely unattractive.

Jeff raised his eyebrows, avoiding eye contact. "Did you just make a fucking innuendo at me?"

"Prob'ly."

"It was creepy."

"Yep. And you're still touching me, aren't you?"

Jeff blushed, then mentally scolded himself for blushing like a fucking teenage girl just because someone made a sexual reference. "And you must be enjoying it, considering you're still conscious," he shot back.

Greg laughed until his side hurt, which didn't take but two seconds. He tried to glare at Jeff for one-upping him, but it was impossible. Jeff was flashing his cutest face, infamously dubbed the "twinkle smile". Even bruised, dirty, disheveled, and sleep-deprived, Jeff Davis was kind of gorgeous.
Greg was grateful there wasn't a mirror present; superb though his ego was, he had never particularly enjoyed his own appearance. Jeff had undeniably natural good looks, enough to make anyone feel incredibly average. It was annoying. It was infuriating.
It was kind of sexy.

"It fucking hurts." Greg subtly switched to a pity-inducing tone, hoping Jeff would stay next to him.

"No shit," Jeff answered with a half-smile. He left his hand on Greg's side, though, gently brushing his fingers around the intact skin.

"It could've been you, you know." The words shot out without warning. Greg didn't even know he'd been thinking them.

Jeff, surprised, looked up. "Yeah. I guess so."

"You wanted it to be you."

It was true, and Jeff had no idea how Greg could have guessed this with such ease. "Maybe. More like I'd trade places with you right now if I could, but I wish it hadn't happened at all."

"You don't fucking want to trade places, believe me." Greg smirked. "I thought I was dead, you know. Waking up that first time."

"What?" Jeff was shocked. It was an image he had been avoiding for the past two days, but now it hit him as a devastating possibility.

"I still don't know how the fuck I survived. Still don't know if I'm going to." There it was. The words nobody wanted to hear. And Greg knew them to be true more than anyone.

Jeff wouldn't hear it. "Yes. You fucking will. I'm not going to let anything happen to you."

"Jeff, there's a giant piece of me ripped off, I've lost like ten gallons of blood from it, and the infection is spreading. The fact that I'm coherently speaking to you right now is a goddamn miracle and you know it."
It hurt. Saying it out loud hurt. It left him winded and he coughed, noting the specks of bright red with disgust.
Was Jeff angry? No, he was crying again, wiping the sudden river of tears away roughly. There was no hiding anymore.

"It's my fault."

"Bullshit. That's pure bullshit right there, kitten." Greg's matter-of-fact tone was a comfort. Jeff wanted to hold him with everything he had and never let go.

"So is this the part where I tell you I love you?" Neither of them were the least bit surprised at Jeff's words. After the initial spark of ecstasy in Greg's eyes, he regained his stoic composure.

"Nah. That can wait until I'm definitely about to die."

This time Jeff only smiled.

-------------------------------------------------------

"Shit. Shit!"
Brad's panicked shouts roused the men from their reclining positions.

Colin jumped to his feet. "What is it? What happened?"

Brad shakily pointed into the distance, where, deep in some other area of the forest, blurry smoke was rising above the trees.

"Goddammit," Colin swore, moving to shake Greg awake. They had to go. Again. Where the hell could they go now? Two of them couldn't even walk.
How far away was the fire? He squinted at the line of white smoke, trying to calculate the approximate location, trying to decide how long they had before--
White smoke.
Not thick, gray, and rampant like an uncontrolled forest fire, but thin and steady. Like a campfire. Like theirs. And it was just a single trail in the same spot, not spreading.
Colin didn't want to get his hopes too high, but the possibility of what a campfire could mean to them was already shooting hope through the roof.

"Brad, wait. Hold on. It's a campfire."
Ryan, Brad, Greg, and Jeff, who were each in varying states of panic and confusion, froze mid-movement.

"Are...are you sure?" Brad asked, surprise in his voice. Clearly he, too, was trying not to jump to the best case scenario, but none of them could help it.

"I'm sure. See? It isn't moving like the other one was. Somebody's out there."

"It's probably Wayne," Ryan pointed out, shattering the brief illusion of rescue. He was right, of course, but at least they knew where their friend was.

"Why would he make a fire that's, what, just a few miles away? Why wouldn't he come back here?" Greg asked, posing a valid question. "I mean, maybe he got lost, but I doubt it. He had to have known we'd see the fire."

"So one of us should go there and find out what he's doing?" Jeff concluded, catching on.

"Or two," added Brad.

"No. We need somebody here to make sure nobody takes a turn for the worse," Colin told him, indicating the fact that he and Brad were the only ones who were definitely not injured.

"Right. So I assume you'll stay here and I'll go?" said Brad, clearly not thrilled with this arrangement. He didn't want to spark yet another argument, but he got the feeling Colin was trying to get rid of him.

"And people say you aren't the smart one," Colin smirked. But his eyes, Brad noticed, were grateful for Brad taking his hint.

Brad gave his friend a you-owe-me-one look. He picked one of the bottles of water off the ground, along with a handful of the walnuts and berries. "Fine, I'll go. If me and Wayne aren't back here before dark, then we'll wait til tomorrow morning. This better be good." The last few words were grumbled over his shoulder, and with a semi-wave, he walked away.

The four remaining men watched Brad stride off, stumble over a rock, curse audibly even from fifty yards away, and continue walking with unwavering dignity.

"Maybe somebody should've gone with him," Colin joked halfheartedly, earning a grin from Ryan. He sighed. "Shit, now I have to watch the fire."

"It doesn't need much watching," Greg said absently shredding a leaf the size of his face. "We're all sitting within a ten foot radius of it."

"Yeah, but when we're asleep--" Colin pointed out.

"--we won't have moved. And it's not like we're heavy sleepers out here anyway. As long as it's burning really low, everything's cool," Greg finished for him. "Fuck. Speaking of burning, I could really go for some good dope right now."

"It won't kill you to go without weed and vodka for a week," Jeff told him.

Greg smirked. "Interesting choice of words, pumpkin butter. Isn't that just the point, though? If I die out here, I can guarantee you that the final thing on my mind isn't going to be how much money I make or how many brain cells I have left. It'll be something like, 'Shit, if I'm going down, I may as well go down as happy as possible'."

The long-winded speech left Greg coughing for breath, but he looked pleased with himself as he usually did after making a particularly excellent remark.
Jeff looked at him sternly. "First of all, we've established that nobody's dying out here. Secondly--"

"I wonder what my last thoughts will be," Ryan interrupted with a faraway look on his face. A crease between his eyebrows deepened with anxious thought.

"Mine will have nothing to do with my hair. That's all I know," pronounced Colin with confidence. "I've finally made peace with that."

"I think I'll probably be hoping for some amazing afterlife too much to concentrate on the actual dying part," Ryan said, not hearing Colin's joke. "And I guess it depends on who's dead before me."

"So let's pretend I'm dead already," Colin said. "And you're, like, flatlining or whatever. What's going on in your head?"

"Jeez, this is a fun little game," Greg commented. Ryan and Colin ignored him.

"No, I don't like to think about that," Ryan shook his head.

Colin rolled his eyes. "You know it's just hypothetical, right?"

"No, it's like a fifty-fifty chance," Ryan retorted. "It's not something people tend to enjoy thinking about."

"So you're not going to answer?" Colin asked.

"No. I didn't say that. I'm still thinking."

"Don't think," Colin prompted. "Just spit out whatever you think of. You know what? We're playing Narrate. I just decided. Go."

Jeff started doing a fairly accurate humming rendition of the "film noir" music, and Greg shot him a look to shut him up.

Ryan shut his eyes tentatively, trying to remember the familiar feeling of the old game. "I knew it was the end for me," he began. "The last chapter in an epic tale. The tale of one small-time hero, of a great and long line of mysteries solved thanks to one man. That man wasn't me, of course, he was the head of the police department. But I'd stood next to him several times."
Jeff and Greg cracked up. Colin just smiled, raising his eyebrows at Ryan, who resumed his monologue. "Anyway, the last criminal I'd ever take down had pushed me off a forty-nine story building. He had nothing against me personally. In fact, he had no idea who I was. He was just really ticked off about the weird number of floors. I didn't understand why the architect didn't just add one more to even it out. But when you're in this business, you meet some real psychos."

Colin cut in, slipping into character. "I should know. I'd been his detective partner for thirty years." Greg snorted, prompting Colin to continue. "It would have been longer, but a venomous zombie robot shark had taken me out before my time. I'd been waiting for this one to join me on the other side. We had a score to settle."

Ryan met Colin's eyes, intensity rising in the "scene" and beyond. "It hadn't been quite the same without him. Our story was legendary. I can't remember exactly how it began, but there was something involving sexual tension and a very important hamburger."

It didn't take but half a second for Colin to understand the reference to one of the earliest games of Narrate they'd played. "Yes. But that didn't matter now because I was dead. I stood there, wondering exactly how long an internal monologue on one's deathbed could possibly last. But then..."

Ryan took his cue. "I debated whether death was worse than living a life as half a man. Because let's face it, half a man is all I'd be. It wasn't a hard decision to make. I'd made a lot of mistakes in my life, but there was always one person ready to forgive me. Let's just hope he's still waiting."

Three seconds of absolute silence. Greg debated opening his mouth and voicing one of his many snarky thoughts, but decided against it when he felt Jeff lean into him. Reflexively, he stiffened, but almost immediately relaxed when Jeff didn't move away.

Colin was kissing Ryan then, hands around his neck, carefully avoiding his lower leg. Ryan didn't care at all about the leg; he wanted to reciprocate Colin's passion with everything he had. His giant hands reached behind Colin's waist, tracing up and down the length of his spine.

Jeff conspicuously looked away, embarrassed and mildly jealous. He shrugged at Greg with an awkward grin.
Shit. Greg couldn't stand it anymore; that face got sweeter every time he looked at it. High on fear, drunk with pain, and fueled by a sudden desire to live, he pulled a very surprised Jeff Davis down to face level. Their kiss was different; it was revealing underlying pain rather than easing it. Neither one held back on using their tongues to the best of their ability.

After giving each other a respective amount of space, the two pairs continued their explorations.
Two hearts were overflowing with long-repressed affection for one another. They found solace in connecting through ways they had never dared to ponder for long. But now, here, together, it was so right. Ecstasy controlled their hands, moving slowly across warm skin. Aroused by Colin's breath and encouraged by his moans, Ryan allowed himself to fulfill his most forbidden fantasies. One climax directly followed the other, sweat and chills and laughter.

On the other side of the clearing of trees, two strong forces collided, hot and dangerous. Greg felt vulnerable under the perfection of Jeff's tall body, but at the same time, he had never felt more powerful. He used that power to give Jeff all he ever imagined giving him. Time, after all, was precious. Life was short. Certain other things...well, that's not so short. Greg had never imagined giving himself to anyone this way, but here it was. He came first, breaking a wall of quiet across the forest with a cry of pleasure. Jeff held off as long as he could before echoing.

There was no shame between the lovers, only raw emotion. Although Greg and Jeff left the words unspoken, they fell asleep in an embrace that left no doubt of their love.

And Ryan and Colin would never make the error of holding back words of love again.

-------------------------------------------------------

"Oh god. Oh god. Fuck. Help! Fucking help me!"

Jeff was jolted awake. Nightmare? he though sleepily. It was dark. Far past time Wayne and Brad were due. The moon was out, giving what little light it could.

"Colin! Col, wake up."

Ryan's voice. Panicky, strained, and louder than before.

"Wha's wrong?" Jeff asked him, a feeling of dread setting inside.

Ryan jerked around as if he'd forgotten anybody else was there. "Jeff. Come here! I don't know what's wrong, I woke up and I could feel him next to me and his skin is so hot. He's sick, he won't answer me. Fuck!"

Jeff scrambled to his feet and stumbled to where Ryan sat over a sleeping (he hoped) Colin. Even without touching him, Jeff could tell that Colin was ill. Pale, sweating skin; body trembling with shivers and stiff, aching muscles.

This was bad. "Shit. Uh, is there any aspirin in the first aid thing?" Jeff asked.

Ryan shook his head. "I checked. There were, but they're gone." Suddenly, he snapped into realization, dark clouds in his eyes. "He gave them to you."

Stunned, Jeff felt horrible. He barely remembered the first twelve hours or so after the lightning hit the tree, but he assumed it had been Tylenol which had kept the pain at bay. "I-I'm sorry," he whispered. Another friend in pain on his conscience.

"Forget it," Ryan snapped. "Give me some of the water. Not the clean water. The non-drinking water. Uh, and the Swiss Army knife." He removed his shirt quickly, using the knife to saw off one flannel sleeve. He soaked the fabric in the cold water to form a makeshift compress.
"That's really all I know to do," he admitted. "How did this even happen so quick?"

Jeff shook his head. "I don't know. Are you sure you should even--"

"Yes." Ryan cut off the inquiry, glaring. It didn't matter to him whether he caught whatever Colin had. If he hadn't already, chances were he wouldn't, but it was much more than that. Leaving Colin's side for even a second was out of the question. A dark and cold thought materialized in his brain: Maybe you shouldn't have been the one making speeches earlier, it said. Maybe someone's time is coming sooner than you thought. And it looks like you're not going anywhere.
He took Colin's burning hand, massaging it gently. "I'm not going anywhere. I promise," he said.
Could Colin even hear him?
"You're gonna be okay," Ryan repeated over and over, praying that the words would reach beyond himself and touch whatever they needed to in order to get them out alive.
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