Understanding came slowly, dragged through stiff agony and a headache like a bone-ground landslide. Kakashi blinked once, saw nothing but black, and felt warm water hit his face. Probably not rain.
“Unh?” he said, because that seemed like a good place to start.
There were arms around his chest, holding tight. Hands clenched into his armour. The silver-thin weight of an emergency blanket laid over him. A chestplate digging into his back. A chest behind his back, he realized, because Ginta had him wrapped up in something halfway between a hug and a hold, and the only bits of Kakashi that felt warm were the bits where Ginta was touching.
Ginta shivered hard, jarring an iron spike of pain through Kakashi’s skull, and Kakashi realized that low, raked-raw sound was Ginta crying.
“What?” he rasped, and tried to twist around.
More pain. Like a red-hot shards of ice. He froze.
“Can you move your hands and feet?” said Ginta, sounding choked and raw, slurred.
That question never led to good things.
Carefully, Kakashi twitched his fingers, then his toes. They felt halfway numb, but they moved. He hoped they were just cold. His ankles flexed. Couldn’t be a spine injury. Head injury?
Ginta was still crying. Rough and silent, smelling like salt and copper — blood, a lot of blood — and not letting go of Kakashi at all. His grip hurt.
“Ginta?” Kakashi said, turning his head very carefully sideways; the blanket crinkled. He thought he was resting against Ginta’s collarbone. There wasn’t far to reach when he picked up one cold, bruised-feeling hand and tried to find Ginta’s face. “What’s—”
When Kakashi’s fingers brushed Ginta’s injured cheek, Ginta flinched hard away, gasping and rigid with pain. Kakashi yanked his hand back with a groan. He gripped Ginta’s arm. “What? What?” His voice was tight with alarm.
“Face... hurt,” Ginta managed between sharp, shallow breaths. “You can move?”
Kakashi groaned an agreement. “What happened?”
“I think your fire jutsu set off a trap. The whole bunker came down on us. Your head... You’ve been out for... gods... hours.” Hours in which they’d both grown cold and stiff, and every cut and bruise had had time to tighten and swell.
Baiji whined a worried sound, and Ginta felt Kakashi’s shoulders tense.
“Dogs are okay. Pakkun’s gone to get help,” Ginta told him, but Kakashi didn’t relax.
“I know you hurt. You got hit in the head. I couldn’t give you any painkillers while you were out. Didn’t want... didn’t want...” The words broke in Ginta’s teeth.
Kakashi’s head turned a bare degree, lifting, questioning.
“I tried to translocate us out. Get you out of here. Get you home. Place caved in worse. Anti-translocation seals on the stones. You wouldn’t wake up. Gods, Kakashi.” Ginta’s teeth were chattering with released terror and renewed pain. “I didn’t want to give you morphine and feel you stop breathing.”
Kakashi’s hand tightened hard on Ginta’s arm, and he relaxed enough to rest his head against Ginta’s shoulder again. “Never died yet,” he said, sounding flat and weary when he should have sounded ironic and wry. He took a breath, sniffed, like he was catching a scent he didn’t like, and twitched his head up towards Ginta. “Where’s Pakkun?”
“Gone to get help,” Ginta repeated, feeling the icy grip of dread rising. Some memory loss was common with a head injury, right? Hell, he was a little hazy feeling and losing time himself, definitely queasy the way a mild concussion could leave you. The question was degree, but Kakashi had been unconscious for so long — that was never a good sign.
“What do you remember?” he asked carefully. “Do you remember anything?”
Kakashi groaned and shifted his weight, struggling to sit more upright in the cramped space. "Running. And hunting,” he said. “You said — a bunker? Where the hell are we?" Alarm sharpened his voice. "Was it an attack?"
Kakashi didn’t remember. Ginta wasn’t sure whether it was a curse or a blessing.
“We’re in the bunker Ryouma’s Team Badass used to operate out of, back when he was stationed up here. It looks like they trapped it all to hell when they decommissioned it, and we were idiots and got caught in their trap.” His words came out muffled and indistinct, broken like the bones in his nose and cheek. Before Kakashi could ask, he added, “There was no sign of him. I’m sorry.”
Kakashi’s mouth tightened. There hadn’t been much room for hope, but disappointment was still sharp and painful. He swallowed it down, along with the hot-ice ache in his head and the fear of not remembering, and tried to get back on track.
“How badly are you hurt?”
“Smashed my face up pretty good. It's bloody… Can't tell if I'm woozy from bleeding or just from smacking my head around." Ginta hesitated, and Kakashi felt the nervous-tic squeeze of fingers tightening around his arm and chest. "I can't remember if I took a blood pill. Pakkun told me to, I think…"
Oh, fantastic. Kakashi closed his eyes against the darkness. The only person with a working memory was who-knew-where, and they were trapped in a hole in the ground.
“Are you still bleeding?” he asked.
"Not a lot.” Ginta drew a shaky-sounding breath. “It's… Hurts too much to put pressure on it. It's mostly stopped, I think."
“Take a blood pill. Even if you double-dose, you’re probably too low to stroke out.” At least he could remember that. Kakashi found Ginta’s hands in the dark, one wrapped around his chestplate and tangled in the strap, the other clenched hard around his upper arm. They were both freezing; Kakashi’s hands were just as bad. “Let go, jackass,” he said. “I need to feel where the roof is. Have you got a glo-stick?”
“It’s low. Don’t sit up all the way.” Ginta unclenched his hand from Kakashi’s armour, moving stiff and slow, but didn’t let go of Kakashi’s arm. Kakashi could feel him fumbling at his belt, awkwardly trying to get at the pouches that were half-crushed between them. Ginta’s breath hissed and hitched, catching on his teeth. Kakashi tried to lift up.
There was no room. When he shoved the blanket aside and reached out, his fingers found stone immediately. The wall to the left was mostly smooth, broken by a heavy crack that had shafted through it -- a bunker wall? Above there were tumbled slabs of concrete, barely the full stretch of an arm away. If he sat up, he’d crack his head on them. Behind them...
His fingers touched fur just as Ginta found a glo-stick and snapped it.
“Ha,” Ginta breathed. “And that’s jackass, genius,” he said, with a laugh that fell flat. In the sudden sick glow of green light, Kakashi could see the fracture-pattern of broken rock all around them. Far too close.
“We need a new joke,” he said, twisting carefully. His whole body flared with pummelled agony; when he moved his legs, rocks slithered and shifted. There was nothing to brace himself on except Ginta and a narrow strip of space to Ginta’s right, where the floor was covered in shards of broken tile.
When Kakashi got his first look at Ginta’s face, his breath stopped.
A lancing cut had gouged Ginta’s cheek almost to the bone. Clotted blood and parted flesh glistened darkly, powdered white at the edges with clinging rock dust. His nose was obviously broken, still trickling a thin stream of red over cut lips and a raw-looking mouth. His left eye was black, swollen half-closed. The whole lower half of Ginta’s face looked like a carnival mask, painted in gore, flaking with old blood and grime. There were clean tracks cut by tears.
Behind him, Baiji’s dark eyes glittered in the glo-stick light. The dog’s massive body was curled around Ginta, acting as a back-rest and the only source of warmth. He didn’t react when Kakashi looked at him; his breathing was slow and steady, trance-like.
Kakashi bit his lip and tasted blood -- his mask was soaked in it. His face was covered in it, he realized with mounting horror, and very little of it smelled like his.
He raked his mask down. “Take a blood pill,” he said, voice so sharp it cracked. “I need your med-kit. Do you have it?”
“Are you okay?” Ginta asked just as sharply. He wedged the glo-stick into a crevice in the broken concrete next to him and twisted again to try to get at his hip pouch. It felt like he was half a step away from having dislocated something in his shoulder, but he was pretty sure everything was still where it belonged, just bruised and strained and stiff enough it took all his will to confine himself to a hissed half-curse instead of whimpering like a child.
Kakashi grabbed for the wall and shifted as much away as space allowed, taking his weight off Ginta. With his face bared, every nuance of pain was on full display. "Would you believe a 'yes'?” he asked tightly. “It’s not for me."
“No, but I’ll accept the lie.” Ginta’s fingers closed over a pair of scrolls, a folded map, his compass, a slender packet of senbon, the leather case that held his lock picks, but there was no med-kit, just the empty space where it should be. Where?
“Don’t you have yours?” he asked through a grimace.
"I have a sealed medic's kit, but I'm not sure I trust myself with chakra yet," Kakashi said.
“Yeah don’t,” Ginta agreed. “Too risky.” Where was his? He’d used it to bandage Kakashi. Where? He reached further back, lower, for the floor, and felt his knuckles brush canvas. “Here’s mine.”
For an instant his fingertips found purchase, and then it slipped from his grasp. “Dammit.” He tried again, making his fingers tacky with a weak pulse of chakra and holding his breath. Nothing happened. The walls didn’t collapse, new traps didn’t trigger. Maybe it was safe to use chakra then, just not jutsu.
“Got it,” he grunted. He collapsed back down and handed the kit to Kakashi. “I’m not sure there’s much you can do with it, though. I already straightened my nose as much as I could handle.” A thought occurred, sharp and absurd given their situation, and he groaned a wry laugh. “Grandmother’s going to be so pissed I’ve ruined my good looks.”
“What good looks?” Kakashi said. He couldn’t relax his weight back down onto the other man; there’d be no way to get to Ginta’s face if Kakashi was lying on him. But there was barely any room to move, and his arm was already shaking.
“The ones that always used to work,” Ginta said, with an edge of self-deprecation, “until I met you.”
A blade in the windpipe would have felt better.
He locked his supporting arm, steeled himself, and used it to twist around, taking his weight entirely off Ginta and finding an awkward balance on his hands and knees, legs straddling Ginta’s, his back an inch below the ceiling. Tile chips dug into his knees.
“They worked just fine,” he said shortly, as he looked over Ginta’s face and tried to figure out where to start. “I was just a screw up.” Still a screw up. “And you’re not good at listening.”
“That’s a relief.” Ginta’s mouth twisted with something like self-mockery.
Kakashi stared. “What?”
"That it wasn't all my fault for passing out drunk on our one and only date." The twist was still there, shifting to pained when Ginta pushed himself a little more upright. "Although that was a pretty spectacular failure on my part.”
“Pretty sure you said it wasn’t a date, either,” Kakashi muttered, remembering. It’d been Ginta’s birthday — a week after the catastrophe with Sadao in the showers, the night before Kakashi had run into Sadao’s friends out looking for revenge, and Ryouma, who’d bailed him out, shouted at him, and taken him for coffee.
He’d run into Sadao’s friends because he’d been running away from Ginta.
“Yeah, well,” said Ginta, with a wave of one knuckle-grazed hand. “It wasn’t, until you kissed me.”
“Yeah, well,” Kakashi echoed numbly. “I’m pretty easy.”
He crouched over Ginta, opening the med-kit on Ginta’s blood-caked armoured chest, and searched through it with shaking hands. They needed antiseptic, stitches, bandages — Ginta still hadn’t taken a damn blood pill.
“Yeah, if you pronounce it ‘difficult’,” Ginta said with a raw chuckle. Then he sobered up, eyes searching Kakashi’s unmasked face in the green light. His hand touched Kakashi’s arm. “You okay?”
“We’re never going to find him.” Kakashi ‘s voice sounded distant to his own ears. “Even if— when we get out of here, we’re done. Neither one of us can run.”
Three weeks too late. Ryouma wasn’t coming home.
One-hundred and three.
Kakashi closed his eyes and let out a breath that burned. Then he shoved it all down. Locked it up tight, where it couldn’t hurt and wouldn’t kill them.
He reached for the antiseptic and Ginta’s face. “This is going to sting.”
Kakashi wasn’t okay. He’d looked for a moment as if he might cry, and Ginta almost wished he would. The horrible, heartbreaking thing was that Kakashi was probably right. Almost undoubtedly right. If — and even that word was right — if they got out, they were done searching. It had been a fool’s errand from the start. Konoha’s best trackers had tried three times and failed to find even a trace of Ryouma, and as much as the Buddhists liked to talk about karma and destiny, there was no mystical thread linking Kakashi and Ginta to Ryouma; no advantage they had tracking that the other teams had lacked. Even this husk of a former bunker, Ginta’s ace in the hole, the place he’d held as his last best hope for where to pick up Ryouma’s trail, had been nothing but a death trap.
“I know,” Ginta said softly. He didn’t let go of Kakashi’s arm, even when Kakashi held an antiseptic-soaked square of gauze up in one hand and held Ginta’s jaw with the other. When the gauze touched down Ginta flinched hard against Baiji’s side, but the dog didn’t complain, and Kakashi’s icy fingers gripped tighter. Steadying. Hurting. Not trying to hurt.
Ginta hadn’t been trying to hurt, either, and yet here they were, and the pain was almost unendurable.
“Breathe,” Kakashi said, inches from Ginta’s face, and Ginta realized he hadn’t been. When he let go his held breath, it came out with an anguished throaty grunt. Kakashi dabbed with the gauze again with a shaking hand.
Ginta shook, too. Shook and held his breath until he couldn’t take any more. “Stop. Please,” he hissed. “Just leave it.”
Kakashi stopped with the gauze poised. His mouth pressed into a thin, hard line. "Sure. But when your face rots off, your grandmother is going to be really unhappy."
“It’s that bad?”
"No," Kakashi snapped. "It's puppies and candy-canes. What's wrong with your nerves? Can’t you feel that?" His teeth clacked together and his mouth twisted into something even harder. He closed his eye and took a breath, let it go. "Sorry."
“Yeah. Do what you have to,” Ginta told him. He braced himself, focusing on Kakashi’s unmasked face. He studied the litter of pale, blood-stained stubble on Kakashi’s upper lip and the curved hook of a scar at the corner of his mouth. The long, not-quite-straight slash that bisected Kakashi’s left eyelid. It was a shock when Kakashi’s eyes flicked open again — both eyes, the grey right one, and the red Sharingan that looked black in the in the dim green light of the glo-stick.
And Ginta wasn’t there.
He was home in his garden — no, not home — but in Konoha at the koi pond at the park. It was summer. Warm. Cicadas buzzed in the trees, and a soft breeze stirred trailing willow branches that kissed the water’s edge. Orange and white koi glittered and darted just under the rippling surface, and a hand — his hand? — tossed a rain of pellets to the fish. It didn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt at all.
He knew it was genjutsu. He knew. Sharingan. Kakashi shouldn’t be wasting the chakra, not with a skull still ringing with concussion, and gods knew what they might need to do to save themselves if Pakkun didn’t come back with rescuers. But he was grateful. So grateful. He didn’t even try to break it.
Ginta went under like a dream, no fight at all, and for five blood-pounding seconds Kakashi was blind.
It was just a headache, but it felt like a spike between his eyes, hollowing out his skull. He breathed raggedly until it faded back to merely agonizing, and set about putting Ginta’s face back together. A blood pill under Ginta’s tongue first, left to dissolve where it wouldn’t choke the man. The cut on Ginta’s cheek was next; it was deep and ragged, coated in rock dust and crusted with tacky blood. He cleaned it ruthlessly and tacked the flesh back together with rough field stitches. A taped square of gauze covered the damage.
The nose wasn’t too bad. If it had been displaced Ginta had already re-set it, and he’d managed pretty well. A medic would be able to fix it properly if Pakkun ever came through.
The left eye was more worrying. Blackly swollen and half-closed, it spoke to a cracked eye-socket or smashed cheekbone, and Kakashi had no cure for that.
He left it and moved onto the lower half of Ginta’s face, cleaning away as much of the crusted gore as possible. Ginta’s mouth was smashed and split, but not badly enough to justify stitches; he’d managed to escape losing any teeth. With the blood cleaned off and the tear tracks gone, he looked almost human again. More like himself, albeit after going five rounds with a prize-fighter.
Kakashi checked his arms and legs and neck more out of habit than true belief that Ginta had broken something and failed to mention it. Ginta was bruised all over, just as Kakashi was, but they’d both managed to come through things remarkably unscathed.
Which made two out of three, and Ryouma still dead.
He pushed himself back, bracing his back against the jagged wall and the slope of the roof, and touched his head gingerly. There was a rough bandage stiffened with dried blood, and a raw point of pain squarely above his temple. The same damn blind spot that had killed Obito, seven years ago, when Kakashi had failed to dodge a landslide then too.
He left it alone.
In the quiet, Ginta’s air rasped, backed by the slow meditative sound of Baiji. breathing. When Kakashi stretched a sliver of his chakra out, he could feel the mastiff’s energy wound tightly into the ceiling, holding it together.
The dog stirred slightly at his touch.
Don’t translocate, Baiji rumbled. It makes the seals bite.
A second trap, then, built into the first to make sure that anyone caught really died.
You smell terrible, Baiji added.
“Not my best day,” Kakashi muttered. “Whose chakra does that feel like to you?”
There was no word in canine for human names. The closest nickname the pack had for Ryouma translated roughly to dragon-man; Kakashi didn’t know if that was for the destroyed tattoo, or the first kanji of Ryouma’s name, or both. He’d never asked. It was likely Pakkun’s influence.
They called Ginta noisy-golden.
After he’d answered, Baiji settled back down, sinking once more into his patient trance.
Kakashi pressed one hand against the wall, feeling the broken shreds of a jutsu that was still active enough to kill them all. Ryouma’s chakra. Ryouma’s trap. This was why the search teams had never checked the bunker; they probably hadn’t expected it to be still standing.
“I think this is officially my worst rescue,” Kakashi said quietly, because it was joke or scream, and if he screamed he’d lose his hold on the genjutsu. He looked down at Ginta’s massacred face. “Your Intel skills could use some work, too.”
Ginta said nothing.
Kakashi held the genjutsu as long as he could stand, kneeling until his legs went numb, leaning against the wall that felt like familiar energy and promised nothing like it. When his headache had built itself past agony and into entirely new territory, he released the threads of the jutsu, riding out backlash of returning chakra, and closed the sharingan.
Ginta groaned and shifted.
Kakashi shoved him over and collapsed next to him, shattered tiles digging into the places where there was no armour to guard skin. He didn’t much care.
“Think I’m ready for that morphine, now,” he managed.
The summer sun and koi pond vanished as if they had never existed. The right side of Ginta’s face was an inferno. His left eye saw green-lit darkness, his right a shower of phosphorescence that pulsed in time to his heartbeat, rapid-fire like a lightning strike.
There was a crinkling sound behind him, as Kakashi shifted and pulled on the thin foil emergency blanket tangled around their legs. A groan that resolved itself into words. A word. Morphine.
Ginta rolled towards Kakashi, groping blindly for his medkit. Baiji was still there, back braced against the crushing weight of the destroyed bunker, keeping their air pocket intact. Their tomb. Morphine could kill you if you were already bleeding into your brain.
But pain could kill you if it sent you over the edge into unrecoverable shock.
It’d be better to die without pain.
Kakashi was shaking.
“Getting it,” Ginta said, slurring his words through his smashed mouth. He could feel thick moisture in his throat, rattling with each breath — not a comforting sound — and the rusted iron taste of a blood pill coating his tongue.
Had Ryouma died without pain?
“You shouldn't have done that. I shouldn’t have let you.” He found the kit and dragged it towards himself, finding the little vial and syringe by touch. “How’s your head?”
“It’s been better.” Kakashi had one blood-stained hand pressed over his face as if the dim light from the glo-stick was enough to hurt his eyes. He had the sharingan left completely obscured, but Ginta could see a flicker of iron-grey eyelashes on the right shadowed under Kakashi’s fingertips.
When Ginta got the drug drawn up, his own hands were surprisingly steady. He pressed the needle against Kakashi’s arm, but didn’t push it in. “If you cracked your skull, this could kill you. Are you sure—” He stopped himself. Of course Kakashi was sure.
Kakashi lifted his arm, pressing it against the needle, so Ginta had his answer anyway. He pushed the plunger down.
After a moment, Kakashi sighed. Ginta wasn’t sure it was actual relief, or just the idea of it, but it didn’t much matter. He drew the syringe back, groped for another, and came up empty handed. There were still several doses of morphine in the vial, but if he had another syringe, he didn’t know where.
“You’d better not have any blood diseases,” Ginta said. Then he refilled the syringe and used it again, stabbing the needle into his own thigh.
“If I do, you’re already swimming in them,” Kakashi muttered. He could taste blood on his lips, drying and cracked and not his. His mask was a cold, wet collar around his throat. All he could smell was iron and meat.
He’d only slept with one person in the last two months. There was nothing in his blood but morphine.
“Yeah. Makes you wonder why we bother with clean needles at all, really,” Ginta said, rasping-wry. He paused, spoke again. “Is it working yet? I think it’s working a little.”
“We’re both still alive,” Kakashi said.
Apparently that was not a sufficiently reassuring response, because Ginta immediately tried to fill the green-limned silence with words. “Pakkun went to get help” he said, voice thin and oddly muffled. “Did I tell you that? I told you that, I think. He went to get help, if he can.”
That I think, Kakashi reflected, made it sound as if he wasn’t the only one with holes in his memory.
“You told me,” he said, trying not to slur as the drug-warmth crept through his skull and made everything vague and unimportant. How much had Ginta given him? “Konoha’s two days away -- three with his legs. How much water d’you have left?”
A rustle and scrape of movement ended in the sound of a canteen being sloshed. “S’mostly full. If we can risk a jutsu without bringing this place down on top of us, I could probably get some from the groundwater.”
Kakashi’s free hand closed carefully around shards of tile. “Where are we?” he asked.
“Bathroom,” said Ginta. “Used to be a bathroom. We're almost due east of the entrance.”
“Should be pipes in the walls,” Kakashi said. They might be frozen, but ice was better than nothing -- provided they could get at it.
“Yeah,” Ginta said unclearly, voice distorted by morphine or the wreck of his face. “If they’re not broken.”
Kakashi managed a back-of-his-throat noise that might have been agreement, if you looked at it in a charitable light. Without the direct press of Ginta’s body and the cocoon of the emergency blanket, he was becoming aware that it was hellishly cold, which was a mixed blessing. Cold had helped their injuries to stop bleeding, and was probably doing something useful for whatever swelling was happening inside his head, but hypothermia would kill them faster than dehydration.
Possibly not as fast as the roof would, when Baiji’s chakra ran out.
A full-body shiver made Kakashi draw his knees up in agony, accidentally kicking Ginta. Ginta gave a full-body flinch and made a pained sound, rolling closer. His hand closed around Kakashi’s bare upper arm, alarm clear in his voice. “S’wrong? You okay?”
His hand was icy.
“It’s too cold,” Kakashi got out, forcing himself to pull his hands down from his face. Light drove needles into his eye, but he could see his breath clouding in the air. “We need the blanket. Where--?”
He’d just had it.
Ginta scissored his legs in the small space, pushing stiff, aching muscles to move. One calf pressed against rough broken concrete and the icy sharp edge of broken rebar. The other rustled over the foil blanket and brushed against Kakashi’s longer shin. “Around your legs. Can you reach it?” he asked.
Kakashi shifted awkwardly in the confined space, leaning closer to Ginta as he groped for the blanket. There was a rustle and flutter as he pulled it up over himself, then rolled closer to cover Ginta as well, lying so near Ginta could feel the rise and fall of Kakashi’s chest.
Ginta hesitated a moment, then pressed closer as well, so the whole of his body was in contact with Kakashi’s from shoulder to ankle. He felt a light-headed rush and a thudding in his ears when he lifted his head, so he let it fall again. Blood oozed sluggishly from his nose, dripping down the side of his face. For a long, empty moment, he lay still and listened to his overtaxed heart pound.
Kakashi made a small sighing sound.
“You okay?” Ginta snapped his eyes open, his head up again.
Kakashi muttered an assent.
The green glow dimmed and the rushing sound came back.
For a panic-stricken moment, Ginta realized they were going to die here. And then he realized he wasn’t actually afraid after all. He let his head fall again, temple resting against Kakashi’s shoulder.
Behind them, Baiji’s sides were a gentle bellows, his chakra presence the strongest of the three of them.
Ginta drifted in the silence, listening to Kakashi and Baiji breathe. Listening to the rattle in his own throat going in and out of sync with the others.
Kakashi’s breath caught for a second, then steadied.
This time Kakashi didn’t answer.
His breathing was still regular. Ginta squeezed his arm. “You okay?”
Kakashi’s groaned reply was rough and drug thickened, and the most reassuring thing Ginta’d ever heard.
They shouldn’t sleep. It was cold, they had head injuries, they’d both lost blood...
They shouldn’t sleep. But the morphine was a strong undertow, and Ginta didn’t have the strength to resist it. Kakashi shivered. Ginta shivered. The light from the glow stick dimmed.
If Ryouma was in the other world looking back at what Team Badass’s trap had caught, he was probably weeping.
Kakashi slipped back under the edge of unconsciousness, and this time Ginta let him.
Cold curled around Ginta’s bones, seeping up through the broken ground. The shivering came again, worse this time. It shuddered through his jaw and sent splinters of agony through his face that pushed past morphine’s velvet embrace. He endured it for what seemed an eternity, and eventually the shivers died away.
He felt calm. Drowsy. Strangely warm.
You’re probably dying now, a detached voice observed.
Ginta considered it.
“Prob’ly” he slurred, and closed his eyes. He’d just sleep for a little while. Just a little.