It’s not the way either of them expected it to go. Not really. It wasn’t exactly the sort of thing one gets to plan, but it was unspoken and accepted in both of their minds. When it was Sebastian’s time to go, Jim would be the one to pull the trigger.
In a way, it was the least he could do for the man; and it was exactly the way Sebastian would have wanted things to go.
But it didn’t, not that way, and Sebastian found himself laying on a dirty stretch of concrete when Jim came for him, his hand pressed tightly over the bullet wound in his stomach.
It wasn’t the pain, so much, that got to him. It was knowing that he only had so long, and believing that he was going to die alone, in a small pool of blood that would be long dried by the time anyone found his body.
It’s a sobering thought.
Several things happened in the five minutes directly following the shot.
He slit the throat of the man who had shot him, digging his knife deep enough to almost look like he was going to take the head clean off from his shoulders.
He wadded his shirt up into a ball, and tried to stave off his own bleeding.
He went searching for his phone, to call for the ride to take him back to his boss.
Upon the sudden realisation that his phone had been smashed useless in the scuffle, he went after the man’s, who turned out not to have one on him.
After that came the understanding. That he was left in the middle of nowhere, outside a warehouse that no one has seen in months, slowly bleeding out with the assurance that even if the blood loss doesn’t get him, his failing organs would.
It hurt. As much as anyone might guess that such a thing would, and the obvious more.
Jim wouldn’t know what happened to him, not at first, this he knew; and the first thing his boss would think towards him once he discovered the body would be a disappointment.
He can almost see it on the man’s face, when he shuts his eyes. Jim is just behind his lids, clicking his teeth disparagingly, making plans to have Sebastian replaced as he looks on in utter disappointment of his employee’s failure.
It’s not that he doesn’t deserve that.
It’s one those things where one wishes that the last memory someone might have of them could be a good one.
If he’s honest with himself — which he tries to be, whenever possible — he’d say that he wants Jim to always remember him with a little bit of pride, some fondness, and maybe a touch of regret.
It’s foolish, to say the least, and he never brought it up. Though he knows that the man probably figured it out before he did, as is Jim’s wont; and maybe that’s why he finds himself laughing a little under his breath.
To think that he has so little control now, it’s not easy, that someone’s stolen his ability from him, to make that one last impression on Jim, do that one thing that would have him remembered always. Or until he’s replaced, at the very least.
Which is why he doesn’t know what to think when he hears the slamming of a car door, and the telltale sound of footsteps darting across pavement.
His vision has started to go fuzzy across the edges, and it makes him wonder, a futile thought, whether it’s just something his mind is giving him to bring him peace. Whether it’s just a hallucination, when he lolls his head to the side, and sees Jim make his way around a corner and to his side.
The man drops to his knees without hesitation, his hands moving to cover Sebastian’s on the wound, adding pressure. “You fool,” he seems to whisper, ignoring the way he’s getting dirty. Getting Sebastian’s blood and the other man’s all of his trousers and skin. “You silly fool.”
Despite himself, Sebastian smiles. It’s a good look on Jim, that ridiculous look of scolding, that gently splayed out tone of taking him to task easily.
He finds himself lifting a hand from his stomach, weakly pressing the backs of his fingers along Jim’s cheek to stroke it. His blood gets on Jim’s face, but he refuses to care, because if this is his hallucination, then he can enjoy it with one last touch to Jim’s skin.
But Jim doesn’t taunt him for it, only sighing as he looks at Sebastian, pressing down harder. “You’re going to die on me, aren’t you?” he murmurs, his eyes not so blank as accepting, as if he’s already given up on Sebastian’s life. Knowing that there’s nothing he can do.
It doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense, but it’s enough to keep the smile on Sebastian’s lips. “Yeah, I think so. Sorry, boss. I know…” he trails off, breathing in shallowly, licking his lips. “I know you wanted to be the one to do it.”
The image of Jim above him starts to fade and he grits his teeth, struggling to hold onto it, to not let Jim go until he absolutely can’t keep him any longer.
“Hey, hey,” Jim growls, a hand crawling up to lightly smack his cheek, making his eyes widen further, swallowing. “Shut up.”
“Sorry, Boss.” He can’t help it, the way it makes him laugh, tinged with hysteria. “Shutting up now.”
It brings a mild glare to Jim’s lips, and he knows it’s not real. That’s the way Jim looks at him when he doesn’t want to say that Sebastian makes him laugh.
It makes his heart skip a beat, somehow hurting strangely more than it did before.
So he’s not a disappointment, not in his last few moments, and for some reason that thought is more painful than the opposite was.
A single tear stings at the edges of his eye, and he can’t brush it away, can’t hide that it’s there, so he ignores it, ignores the way he can see Jim’s gaze fixed on it.
“Any last wishes?” the man asks, a ridiculous question, but somehow feeling right; and it brings another pang. His head feels heavy, and it takes him a few seconds to be able to focus again, to see Jim, and to be able to breath without falling.
“Take…take my life instead,” he rasps out, a faint sound almost indecipherable, but he knows Jim will understand what he means.
He does, nodding slowly in acceptance, and there it is. That flicker of regret that Sebastian had hoped to see, flashing across the man’s face just long enough for him to catch it before it’s gone again. Replaced by the barrel of Jim’s gun, pressing against the side of his head.
His lips part, and he tries to say something more, but it doesn’t come out, and Jim shakes his head, shushing him. “My dear ‘Bastian,” he murmurs, eyes fluttering shut as he pulls the trigger.
The sound rings out, echoing across the pavement, the hand dropping from his face, and Jim opens his eyes. He breathes in, almost shuddering, swallowing as he takes in Sebastian’s limp body.
The man’s head is twisted, just right so he can’t see the entrance wound, and it looks like Sebastian is just sleeping.
It makes him smile, softly, and he leans his head down, pressing a belated kiss to Sebastian’s forehead.