Notes: Thanks to Kate for the stray commas, Al for the idea, and yes these ficlets ARE little breeders indeed.
Falling, falling into an abyss of pain and fear.
God, make them stop. Help me, if you're listening, because nobody else is.
Inside the darkened room, salvation's a million miles away. Jerking at the bonds has only made my wrists raw and burning, but that's nothing beside the rest.
Keel, get me out of here. Let a miracle happen, God, and let him realise where I am.
Malone's not stupid. Neither is Chris, but the cynical unbeliever in me reminds me that they don't even know where to start looking.
Oh, Christ. Please let them stop now.
Richards, hack into their systems and find me. Spence, cross check all the files because this place has to be mentioned somewhere.
Terrifying weakness. Utter despair.
Vowing I'll hold out in what I know is a last burst of defiance, I fight to stay conscious and try a little more praying. Willing a God I don't believe in to help them find me before it's too late.
X-rated, this, I suppose. You can't really call the sight of one of CI5's finest in this battered, bleeding state anything else and I sink into despair again.
Zero hope, Sam, so a confirmed atheist babbling bits of Our Father isn't going to help. Another session and you'll be another statistic on Malone's lists of casualties.
Darkness as they leave and slam the door behind them.
Everything's over, and it looks like mine is a prayer that won't be answered.
Light. My eyes must be deceiving me, or I'm on my way to heaven already.
No, it's slightly less dark, but my hands are still tied so morning's found me still in my own little corner of hell.
Over by the door, I think I see the faint crack of yellow flicker as someone comes to a halt there and seems to wait for something.
Pain and exhaustion won't let me think straight or wonder what's going on, but I vaguely suppose they're just deciding what little game to try next before they come in and start on me again.
Quiet, I tell the roaring in my ears as I try to bring my head up and show a little defiance.
Realising I'm still alive almost makes me want to start praying again for a second or two.
Silly, that. They'll come back, just as they always do, so what's the use?
Usually, I can block out fear, but this time I can't because I know I can't hold out any longer.
Vaguely, I can hear muted sounds now but not the usual coarse laughter that heralds their arrival. Wondering if somebody else has joined the party, I hear the door creak open and footsteps approach.
X marks the spot, so come on over and join in the fun, why don't you?
You're not talking, whoever you are, and I can't see you properly against the brightness of the open door.
Zoning out, I wait for the first blow.
A hand touches my arm, and soft words from a voice I recognise penetrate the fog in my mind.
"Chris is here, Sam. Don't worry, we'll have you out of here before you know it."
Either I'm dreaming, or there is a God after all. Funny, but I'd always heard that people start believing at times like this and maybe it's true.
God, I owe you one, mate, because it really is Backup. Here's the whole gang rolling up now, in fact, so you got the message through.
I'm so light-headed with relief that I even try a grin.
"Jesus," I hear from a familiar American voice.
Keel, they might have half-crucified me, but I'm still just Sam.
X-rated, like I said, and Chris' expletive confirms I must look a mess.
You're all looking a bit shocked, actually, although Spence comes in looking mad because the birds have flown.
"Zilch," he says, then takes a closer look at me and concern rapidly replaces the anger.
Any chance of untying me, I wonder aloud, finding a voice from somewhere.
Backup mutters something and gets that dinky little knife out. Chris has an arm around me now.
Don't cry out as more pain slashes into cramped limbs. Everybody knows Sam Curtis doesn't go in for that sort of thing.
"For God's sake, let's go," I manage to suggest through clenched teeth.
Gently, very gently, Chris asks me if I can move under my own steam. Helps me make the first shaky step.
I can do it.
"Just take it steady," he says, and I snap that I'm hardly capable of jogging out of here.
"Knew you'd come," I add quickly, regretting the sharpness in my voice.
Lying's a sin, but maybe God won't mind too much as it looks like he's on my side right now.
Mind, I knew they'd *try* even if it was too late.
Not easy, this walking business.
One step after the other, and I stumble a bit and curse, which isn't very God-fearing I suppose.
Persuading my legs to co-operate a bit more, though, I keep going.
Quietly as ever, Spence is issuing instructions into the phone.
Radios and more phones are being brandished outside. Sirens are wailing not far away, meaning the rest of the cavalry's on its way.
Tired, now, I lean into my partner's shoulder and grimace. Urine smells and all the rest aren't putting him off and it feels good.
Very good indeed.
"Welcome back, buddy," he says softly.
Summary: Another of those alphabetty thingummies. Being wordy by nature, I couldn't stop at one (and probably a good thing for Sam, really). So there are three. A trilogy, even.