'Every time we say goodbye, I die a little'
By Electron

Pairing: Scarlet (Paul)/Blue (Adam)
Rating: Call it PG-13 on the safe side
Warnings: Pitifully few, but M/M SLASH so if you're a minor or don't like that stuff, stay away
Series: Possible follow up if anyone likes this, please give feedback so I know!
Disclaimer: Gerry Anderson, TV-21 and several other people who are not me own these characters, I am making no money out of them
Feedback: Pretty please, to Green99bottles@aol.com  



 

'Every Time We Say Goodbye, I Die a Little.'

 

by Electron



Standing here, gazing through the plexi-glass wall of the medi-bay, watching you as you struggle back from the abyss and re-enter the land of the living. Your chest rises and falls, but you aren't breathing, it's a machine connected to you. In a while your body will begin to regenerate, and they'll take the machine away, remove the saline drip, detach the monitors, until finally you will wake up as if from sleep and go to the debriefing, even though four hours earlier even an expert doctor would have predicted the imminent arrival of rigor mortis.

And I'll watch all of it, as if somehow my being there will protect you.

I always come here now; the few, early times that I spent waiting in the ready-room lounge with the others were impossible to bear. Their confidence, their ease, their happiness at another job well done, Captain Scarlet almost died again, isn't he useful? I wanted to…what did I want?
They were quite right, for you the near death experience is as usual as suiting up in the morning is to the rest of us. You are, after all, indestructible - why shouldn't they feel pride over their part in the mission and utilise their rare time off well rather than waste it worrying about you?

But I can't do that. I can't sit there remembering how you looked as you stared death in the face this particular time and not want to make sure in my own mind that you survived. I can never relinquish my fear that one day you won't turn up for that debriefing, that some day the trip to the table in the medi-bay will be the last you ever make. And, deep down, I think you fear that too.

Is that irrational? Some would say so, claiming you have no fear as you have nothing to be afraid of. They don't work in the field with you, I'm the only one whose seen the look you wear before you jump, or dive, or run, or shoot or whatever it is that day that must be done to save humanity. And then I take the platitudes of the people you have saved and shock them by my lack of emotion over your 'demise', whilst internally there is always that small thread of panic, winding tighter and tighter around my heart. It only loosens when I see you again, in here, because it seems that if I watch you all the time they can't spirit you away somewhere, that if I am here I can shield you like I never can in the field. Rubbish as the reasoning is, I always give in to it because in the end it is something I need, and in some ways it's the closest I can ever get to you.

Once I was the experienced officer and you the one needing guidance. We weren't initially close, always using the formal: 'Captain Scarlet', 'Captain Blue'. Then various assignments teamed us up and we swapped stories, chatted the way you have to on those long stake-outs, and that evening at Marseilles Energy Plant in '26, you turned from your field glasses and said
'I think friends should call each by their first names, don't you?'
'It's against the rules' I replied with mock horror
'So court martial me, Adam', and that smile, that slightly wicked smile you used to have, showing that you respected the letter of the law, but weren't averse to breaking a few of the more annoying rules we're supposed to live by. You never smile like that now, that sheer love of life has left your face. But back then we had no idea of that, or of the Mysterons, or any of the things the year would bring. Then we were just happy to have found a friend, and, God help me, I felt myself warming to you more and more.

Within four months of that night I was standing on the top level of the world's highest multi-storey car park, trying to shoot you. I just pray that kind of situation never arises again, because I could never do that now, give me threats of demotion, of expulsion from Spectrum, even my own death at your hands, I could never kill you. But then that's the irony isn't it? It would take a lot more than me and a gun to kill you now, as Brown once joked 'They'll need a steamroller or twenty barrels of TNT!' you laughed too, but I saw that flash of anger in your eyes. You've always had a temper, you said, but you learnt to control it, which is probably why you're so good at hiding the truth about your 'deaths'.

Because you bloody feel it every time don't you?
You feel the fire and the bullets and the sensation as your lungs stop working and your heart slows down. How on earth can I understand that? Yet at the same time I want to try, I want to tell you I'm always here, always wanting to help you, but how can I? All I can do is watch and wait and try and gain that tiny piece more of understanding.

You've just turned onto your side slightly, which means your brainwave monitors can be removed and your lungs given a chance on their own. You're not out of the woods yet by any standards, but it's all going as it should, and I see the doctor and nurses are smiling and unruffled as they pull off tabs and efficiently remove tubes from your body. That isn't the way it should be at all. You're coming round from the worst kind of nightmare anyone can have, you should find yourself being held, secure and safe in someone's arms, not laid out as if on a slab with the only touch that of a nurse removing a piece of plastic. It should be me, my arms encircling you and sharing my warmth - letting the first waking sensation of your new life be that someone cares about you, that you are safe, that you are not as alone as I know you feel to be. That would, in fact, probably be acceptable, I'm your friend, everyone knows that, people in this kind of organisation do get….close. So why don't I open that door and go in? Why don't I breach the gap and sit by your bedside with a bunch of grapes? Because it wouldn't stop there is why. Once I was near you, touching you if only to pat your shoulder, the years of restraints I've so diligently built up would crack and I wouldn't be able to resist the urges I feel every bloody moment I'm near you. Even a kiss, one magic, fairytale kiss for the sleeping beauty would be enough to court-martial me out of Spectrum. You probably wouldn't tell if you were the only witness, but you would never trust me again, even what I have now is better than losing you altogether.

Once I actually believed that you might feel as I do. That assignment in Africa, remember? You, me, one room in a hotel practically empty for the Spectrum convention and two days of wandering the Savannah vaguely watching out for any Mysteron agents. We got a lot of pity for landing such a 'boring' assignment, but for me it was like being in… no, scratch that, no one is allowed to feel * that * good in Heaven. We talked and talked, leaning against the rocks and relaxing in the sun. I almost let myself believe that for you every movement was also laced with frissons of sexual tension and that the few times you did brush up against me weren't accidents, flirtatious even.

* Idiot *, idiot, idiot, idiot

You are stirring slightly in your sleep - your lungs are in perfect order as usual and you look almost domestic, only one or monitors creating an invasive, clinical atmosphere. You mumble something that I barely hear and raise your arm slightly, as though to touch something precious, only to drop it back again and sigh almost imperceptibly. In these moments you cannot put the stern expression on your face, and it is smooth and beautiful. You are beautiful, always beautiful, even covered in blood and dirt, with a running nose and a stinking uniform in which you have climbed for three days. Now you are more than that - you are irresistible, and I stand here once more, tortured to be near you and tortured to be away.

You may be indestructible, I am not, I don't regenerate, it just eats away a little more of me each time

You finally wake; it is six hours since you came in, though I can barely believe it:
'Oh, hello Adam. Here I am again I guess'
'Good to have you back'
'Sent you with debriefing times then?'
'Twelve hundred hours. You've time to eat'
'Well I'll get something in my room I think, I'll see you at the briefing'
'Take care, you took six hours today'
'What do you do? Watch? You worry about me too much'
'Oh come on Paul, you know I spend your regeneration time enjoying the lack of competition in the Angels' lounge'
Do his eyes flash a moment of hurt at me? Of disappointment? Or do they merely reflect the shine of the medical instruments, as the nurses around us put them
away, waiting for the next time?


 

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