Characters: Harry, Murphy, Kirmani (briefly)
Rating: PG (for blood)
Word count: 980
Summary: All the stuff I’ve seen in my life and there are few things scarier to me than the thought of Murphy’s eyes closing and not opening again...
Author's notes: Done for the 'cold' challenge at dresdenflashfic. Harry/Murphy.
Murphy’s bleeding. It’s staining the ground underneath her scarlet. I’m at a level of panic I didn’t know existed and I’ve never felt before. It has made it nearly impossible to use her cell phone to call 911, which would have been impossible enough when I was calm. In fact, it’s a genuine miracle that I’ve managed to do it and I might even be proud of myself if Murphy wasn’t bleeding.
“You’re cold,” I realize, as I feel her hand shake in mine. I whip off my coat and lay it over her, trying not to look where my other hand is applying pressure to the large hole in her stomach. Her blood is oozing through my fingers and it seems to be the only warm thing around us.
“Stop looking so worried, Harry, I’ll start thinkin’ I’m in trouble or something,” Murphy mutters, giving me a weak smile.
“Hey, let me be the wiseass,” I joke. “You’ll give me an identity crisis.”
“Is it snowing?” she asks. Her eyes move around lazily.
I look around too. Big white flakes are gently falling here and there. “It’s starting to, yeah.” First snow this year.
She smiles again. This time it doesn’t look forced. “I like snow.”
“Yeah?” I prompt, wanting to keep her talking and awake. I smooth her hair from her forehead.
“Mmmhmm. Snow’s good,” she enthuses, sounding a bit delirious now. “I like winter. I like snowmen and sledding...sledding with Anna...”
“We’ll go sledding when you’re out of the hospital,” I say. “You and me and Anna.”
Her dark eyes move to my face. “Promise?”
“I promise, Murph,” I say, solemnly. “You have to be a good girl and not die, though.”
“Okay,” she agrees. The corner of her mouth quirks. “But only ‘cause you asked.”
I smile at her. I can hear the sound of the ambulance sirens in the distance. Snowflakes are starting to collect on Murphy’s eyelashes. They flutter as her eyes close and don’t open.
“Murphy!” I yell at her. “Do not go to sleep! That was not part of the deal.”
She jolts awake again and winces in pain. I breathe a sigh of relief. All the stuff I’ve seen in my life and there are few things scarier to me than the thought of Murphy’s eyes closing and not opening again.
“Keep looking at me,” I tell her. “Or I’ll be very angry. Things could explode.”
“Things always explode,” she murmurs. She pats at my hand as though I’m the one needing comforting. “M’not going anywhere. I want you to take me sledding...”
The ambulance pulls up with all sirens blaring. A police car isn’t far behind. I’m pushed out of the way and lose my grip on her hand.
I can only point at the unconscious guy on the ground. The guy who did this to her. I don’t remember how he got that way. Sometime between him shooting a giant hole in Murphy’s chest and now, I seemed to have caught him, knocked him out and handcuffed him to a bike rack. All I remember about it is being very, very angry.
I’m not the only one. There are few stupider things to do in the world than try to kill a cop. One of them is failing to kill a cop. Another is getting caught trying to kill a cop. I’m forgotten as officers of the 27th district take over, all of them ready to apply a little self-defense if the guy’ll give them a chance.
My adrenaline is catching up with me and I start to shake all over, from the cold as much as my fear. One of the attendants wraps a heated blanket around my shoulders and helps me into the ambulance. I stuff myself in a corner, away from any medical equipment I could screw up and giving the EMTs room to help Murphy. It’s then I realize I’m bleeding too. I don’t remember getting the gash behind my ear, either, but there’s still blood running down my neck.
The next few hours blur together. I get stitches, but I barely feel the needle going in as they numb the area. I wash my hands of Murphy’s blood and splash some cold water on my face, but that doesn’t stop the shaking. Kirmani joins me in the OR waiting room. He curtly tells me the guy is in custody. I think he thinks it’s my fault. For once it’s not. The guy went straight for Murphy.
“Called Murphy’s ex,” he tells me. “Anna knows.”
Kirmani is a pacer. I just sit and finally my hands stop trembling. We both freeze as a doctor comes in looking tragic, but he walks over to a family in the corner. I didn’t even notice they were there. A lady bursts into hysterics and Kirmani and I exchange looks of worry. The family leaves and it’s just us left.
Time seems to move very slowly and when another doctor comes in I realize it’s been nearly 3 hours. He says a lot of stuff. It all sounds like the grown-ups in a Peanuts cartoons in my head. All I catch, and I need to hear, is that Murphy will be fine. Kirmani leaves to call the station and Murphy’s ex and to do paperwork. I stay. It doesn’t occur to me to leave.
It’s two more hours before I can see her. With extreme concentration, I manage not to break anything in her room. She’s groggy with anesthesia, but she smiles at me. “When you taking me sledding, wizard?”
“When you don’t have tubes coming out of you,” I reply.
“Bah,” she grumbles. “M’fine.”
“I know,” I say, with a smile.
“Hell of a first date,” she comments.
“Yeah. Don’t take it as an omen, okay?”
“I’m picking the restaurant next time.”
She’s fighting to stay awake, so I kiss her forehead and leave her to sleep. Outside, the snow is still falling.
“Not an omen,” I warn the sky, rubbing my hands together in the cold. “I’m keeping this one.”