No Pets Allowed
Review if you like it, review if you don't. I love to hear what people think of my writings ;)
Peace and Love, Ellie
Author: e-ellens / ellie_bumkin
Characters: Ensemble, Kate, Buffer
Genre: Action, a little Romance, and (personally) Humour
Summary: Disaster strikes on a routine boarding. The build up, the tradgedy, the settling dust. I totally suck at summaries. Action with a touch of romance; BK, cos thats how i roll.
Disclaimer: Definately NOT my sandbox. If it was, I would be playing with Buffer all day... although sand and wet places might get a little uncomfortable :D
Notes: Set around Season 2/Season 3. This was the product of a late night and sleeplessness. I wasn't that happy with it originally, but is has grown on me.
NO PETS ALLOWED
“NO!” came a voice, crying out into the ocean. Seconds later, a single gunshot tore through the air. Everyone on Hammersley felt shivers pass down their spines as they heard the raw emotion pour out of the XO. Instantly, many pairs of binoculars were raised and focused on the FFV that the crew had just boarded. From his position on the bridge Mike had an unobstructed view of the little boat and everything that had occurred so far. Buffer, Swain and Spider had all gone below deck, with Bomber following moments later. She came back up promptly, however, helping Swain to bring an unconscious sailor back on deck. Seconds later, though, everything changed from routine to frantic as Swain and the X had rushed back below as Kate had cried out. Lowering his binoculars, Mike had a worried look on his face as he contemplated what had happened, and how it had gone so wrong so quickly.
. . . . .
Spider was the last of the boarding party to pull himself out of the RHIB and onto the deck of the Foreign Fishing Vessel. They had been tracking the illegal fishermen since the night before and, with first light, closed in on the target. Following the X’s orders, he gathered the crew members on the boat deck, before heading off with Swain and Buffer to search the rest of the boat. He threw one last look over his shoulder at Bomber and the XO, who were left to guard the crew, before focussing on the task ahead. Too many times in his history on the Hammersley had a simple boarding turned deadly in an instant; Spider didn’t want that to happen again anytime soon. Gun raised, Spider pushed into the room that Buffer had pointed him to, before freezing the instant he realised what he was looking at. “Buffer...” He called out anxiously before being knocked over, something solid pressing against his chest as his helmet-less head knocked against the wall, everything going black.
. . . . .
Swain was following Buffer in searching the little boat when Spider’s voice reached his ears. There was a small thump seconds later and, hitting Buffer’s shoulder to get his attention, Swain turned and hurried to Spider’s last position. What faced Swain as he entered the room was definitely not what he expected. Spider was pinned against the wall, a cut above his hairline bleeding slowly, by a savage looking dog. By entering the room, the dog’s attention was taken off the unconscious sailor and was now focused on Swain.
“Buffer, we need help here, now!” Swain called through the radio, unsure if he should back out of the room to save himself or to stay there to keep the beast away from Spider. Thankfully, he was spared the decision as he felt Buffer’s arrival behind him. Almost as if there was no shock or hesitation, Buffer was in the room, trying to get the dog away from Swain and Spider. Seeing his intent, Swain hurried to the unconscious Spider, assessing his injuries. Confident that there was nothing wrong besides the knock to the head, Swain dragged him out of the room, calling to Bomber for her help. Her face flashed with shock and worry as she took in Spider’s body, before getting to work. They had just gotten him on deck when they heard a savage bark and Buffer’s strangled cry. The blood drained from Swain’s face as his mind snapped back to the dog and Buffer’s actions. He felt chills at the XO’s emotional outcry as she heard Buffer’s voice and rushed below on Kate’s heels.
. . . . .
It seemed the boarding was going from bad to worse as Bomber was called away by Swain, only to come back bearing some of the weight of Spider’s unconscious body. First she was left on deck and now they were a sailor down for some unknown reason. Kate’s blood ran cold, however, when she heard the cry from below, following what sounded like an animal’s growl. She noticed Swain’s stricken face and realised Buffer was the only person left below deck. ‘Pete...’ ran through her head, before she vaguely heard a voice crying out. Only when she passed the door and went down the stairs that she realised it was her own voice.
Feeling Swain at her back, she saw him point past her towards an open door on their left. Rushing into the room, Kate first noticed the blood, then Buffer’s struggling form. Finally, piecing the scene in front of her together, Kate realised there was a dog on top of Buffer, mauling the arm he was using to defend his face and neck. Without even thinking, Kate pulled out and raised her gun, aiming at the creature’s side.
. . . . .
Buffer hoisted himself onto the FFV the moment the RHIB came close enough. It had seemed fairly straight forward; all the crew had gathered quickly and without any fuss. If he was looking at their expressions as he made his way below deck to search with Swain and Spider, Buffer would’ve noticed the anxious glances between the crew. As it was, the boarding party had no idea what they were walking in to. He directed Spider to the first room on the left, while he continued on to the next room on the right with Swain at his back. Buffer had taken two steps into the room when Spider’s voice reached them. Swain tapped his shoulder to say he was going to go check it out, so Buffer just continued with his search.
He started to tense up, realising something was wrong, when Swain called him for help. As soon as he stepped into the room where he had sent Spider, Buffer felt his stomach drop. Swain was standing, frozen, looking into the room where Spider was slumped against a wall with an angry looking dog slowly advancing on them. Without thinking, Buffer threw himself at the dog in order to get its attention off of Swain and Spider. Vaguely he noticed Swain assessing and moving Spider, but it took all of Buffer’s attention to keep the dog off him. What felt like hours later the dog got past his defences and its mouth connected with his throat. Letting out a strangled cry, Buffer used all his strength to push the dog away and to protect his face and throat, not caring that the dog was now savaging his arm. Slowly the pain and blood was getting to him, making Buffer’s reactions slower and he drifted further towards unconsciousness himself. In the back of his mind Buffer heard someone shout from the deck, as well as someone moving down the stairs. He heard the door bang against the wall as it was thrown open. He heard a single shot and felt the dog release his arm as it fell to the side. Just as he was losing the fight to stay conscious, Buffer caught a glimpse of blonde hair and green eyes; the last thing he heard was a soft voice telling him it would be ‘OK’.
. . . . .
Swain had wrapped up Buffer’s wounds as best as he could, before Kate helped him take Buffer back onto deck. Kate had done the best she could, but the toll of seeing such a strong man as Buffer being so helpless was starting to get to her.
“X-ray 82, SITREP!” came the ordering voice of Hammersley’s CO, his anxiety and anger obvious in his voice; he had been trying to get an update since they heard Kate’s gunshot.
“Charlie 82, we need assistance over here, now,” Kate replied, tiredly, as she surveyed the boat deck. Two men down, a handful of illegal fishermen and a dead dog was definitely not what she had expected when first boarding this little boat. “Spider’s been knocked out and Buffer is unconscious due to blood loss. We need to bring them both back, but there are still the fishermen and ...” Kate had to take a couple of deep breaths before continuing. “There’s a dead dog on board, sir. It attacked Buffer, pretty severely.”
. . . . .
Eventually they had RO and ET moved to the FFV to guard the crew whilst Kate, Swain and Bomber came back with the two injured sailors. Buffer was immediately taken to the ward room with Swain and Bomber, whilst Spider was taken back to his rack. Swain suggested that someone stays with him since, while there appeared to be no serious injury, there would most likely be a concussion and monitoring would be essential until Spider regained consciousness.
Kate, who had followed Swain to the ward room to help, suddenly found she couldn’t be there as they unwrapped and repaired Buffer’s damaged throat and arm. Feeling sick with worry, as well as something a little too close to her heart to fully acknowledge, Kate muttered to Swain that she’d go keep an eye on Spider until they had an update on Buffer’s condition. As she sat in the small cabin that Spider shared with another of the junior sailors, Kate’s head kept on replaying the scene she was met with on that boat; blood, Buffer, dog, Buffer, dead dog, Buffer’s blood, mind blank.
Kate shook her head, trying to rid herself of the images, as she noticed Spider starting to twitch and groan a little. Jumping up, she rushed over to his rack. “Spider, can you hear me?” Kate asked him, slowly reaching out to touch his arm. After getting no reaction, Kate was just about to call out to Swain or Bomber when Spider’s hand flashed and got a strong grip on her small hand. Jumping with shock, Kate turned back to face him.
“Buffer, there's a dog,” he moaned, slowly struggling to pull himself upright. After the small shock at Spider regaining consciousness, Kate noticed his effort and placed a hand on each shoulder to push him back down.
“Ssshh,” she said, softly, making sure Spider lay back down. “Don’t worry, Spide, you’re back on Hammersley. You got quite a knock to the head, however, so you need to keep it simple.” Kate took a breath and sat back on her hunches. “How are you feeling?”
“Like hell, Ma’am,” Spider replied, trying to piece together what had happened. He had called for Buffer, then the dog charged him and everything went black. “What happened? Last I remember, the stupid dog was coming at me and I fell over,” he asked, a frown settling on Spider’s features. Kate sighed heavily, realising Spider wouldn’t relax until he knew the whole story.
“Swain found you and called for Buffer. Buffer, the idiot,” she hissed softly, frowning at Buffer’s lack of common sense, “ran straight into the room and started fighting with the beast. At least it allowed Swain to get you out of there. By the time we had you on deck, we heard Buffer –” Kate’s voice hitched as she, once again, relived the scene she walked in on. Looking back at Spider, Kate caught his stricken face. “He was in a bad way by the time Swain and I got down there; there was lots of blood, and the dog was still attacking him.” Kate shook her head, using her hands to rub tired eyes. For all that it was barely 10am, she felt so drained. “Shot the dog. It was the only thing I could think of. Now, you stay there,” she said suddenly, standing up and morphing back into ‘XO’ in an instant. “I’m just going to get Swain or Bomber to have a look at you. Don’t Move!” she told him, sternly, seeing Spider’s attempt to sit up. Smiling slightly at the young sailor’s stubbornness, Kate headed towards the ward room.
. . . . .
Hovering at the door, Kate couldn’t bring herself to either enter or leave. Just as she was about to walk away, Swain looked up from his notebook and spotted her figure at the door.
“Oh, X. Is everything OK with Spider?” he asked her, somewhat surprised that she didn’t just enter. Swain saw Kate’s eyes flick go Buffer’s form and back again before she stepped out into the hallway. Putting his notebook down, Swain excused himself from Bomber and followed the XO into the hall. “Everything OK, X?” he asked her again, worry present in his eyes. Kate broke her eyes away from the door to focus on Swain’s face.
“Uh, yeah,” she replied, snapping out of her reverie. “Spider woke up. I just thought I’d come let you guys know. And, as you know Spider, he won’t stay in his rack forever.” Kate gave a small smile as Swain just grinned and shook his head.
“I’ll send Bomber to give him a check up. I need to go speak with the CO about getting a Medivac for Buffer; he’s stable, but he really needs to be in a hospital. That beast came within 5 millimetres of his Carotid Artery. If that had happened, he would’ve been gone in minutes.” Swain shook his head, before leaning into the ward room to get Bomber to go check on Spider. As he faced Kate again, he nodded his head in the direction of the ward room. “Would you mind just staying there with him? I’ll only be a minute, but there needs to be someone with him until we get him to hospital.”
Kate looked stricken for a second before she vaguely nodded and moved towards the ward room, passing Bomber on her way to check on Spider. As Kate was left alone in the room, she finally made herself focus on the unconscious body of Buffer. In the back of her mind Kate heard Swain say he’d be back shortly, but everything was wiped away as she stared at the fragile and broken body of one of the strongest men on board. She slowly moved towards the table, unsure about how to act around his lifeless figure, before sitting down on Buffer’s left side; his whole right arm and hand were covered in bandages. As her eyes scanned his body, picking up and focusing on all his injuries, Kate’s eyes filled with tears.
“Oh, Pete,” she whispered, more to herself than anything. He had always had her back when they were boarding boats and in various combat situations. Yet today, when he had needed help, Kate had been stuck on deck. She had felt helpless as she ran below to find Buffer’s bleeding form, and it was in that moment, when time slowed as she surveyed the scene, that Kate had realised her feelings for the hard-as-steel, soft-as-butter, Buffer had changed from professional admiration to something more. Slowly, Kate reached out and gripped Buffer’s hand, before leaning forward to rest her head on her arms. The tears she had been holding back began to freely fall; the dam that had been holding her emotions in check burst, allowing everything that had happened in the past few hours was over her. “Why did you have to go and fight that god damn dog?” she muttered to herself, using her free hand to wipe away her tears.
A finger twitched slightly, causing Kate’s eyes to flick from Buffer’s hand to his face. It took a moment to process what she was seeing but, once it clicked, Kate had to restrain herself from throwing her arms around Hammersley’s Bosun. Buffer’s eyes, heavy lidded from morphine, slowly blinked as he tried to focus on her face.
“Why did I go for the dog?” he croaked out, struggling to swallow and clear his throat. “Because I'm an idiot that acts before he thinks,” he told her, turning his hand over so he could grip Kate’s properly. “Besides, I lasted longer than Spider would have.” Kate let out a wet laugh, before taking his offered hand and kissing the back of it.
“Whatever you want to call it, Pete, never do it again. Under any circumstances,” Kate replied sternly, trying to keep her feelings in check. “Hammersley can’t afford to lose you,” she told him, brushing her free hand across his brow, adding in a soft voice, “and neither can I.” Buffer just smiled in response, slowly closing his eyes as his body succumbed to sleep.
“At least I know why the navy has a ‘No Pets’ rule, now. They get bloody savage in confined spaces,” he muttered softly, causing a gurgle of laughter to escape Kate’s throat as she leant forward to kiss his forehead. “Don't worry, Kate. I'm not going anywhere,” he whispered, eyes closed, as he drifted to sleep.