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Fighting Fear

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This story is No. 5 in the series "Fish Climbing Trees". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: There is no such thing as a leisure walk through the woods.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Trek > Star Trek 2009 > Buffy-Centered(Past Donor)polgaraFR1311,6742123,10320 May 1320 May 13Yes
Title: Fighting Fear
Fandom: BtVS/ST: XI (AOS)
Prompt: #345 Avulsion at Tamingthemuse LJ comm
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, settings, or fandoms. They are the property of their respective creators and companies.
Summary: There is no such thing as a leisurely walk through the woods.

Buffy had to admit, she had been leery of the whole hiking in the woods thing when Jim had first suggested it, because really woods and hiking were not high up in her list of favorite things in the world. But one look at Len’s carefully hopeful face brought the word ‘sure’ to her lips without even checking in with her brain.

However, now that they were here, she was happy. Jim and his woman of the week had purposely veered off the beaten path a while back leaving her and Len alone as they took their time making their way along the trail. The area had received a lot of rain over the past few days leaving the ground heavily saturated. It was spongy beneath their feet and occasionally gave them difficulties on the steeper sections of the trail.

The air was sweet and fresh as it filled Buffy’s lungs and she found herself finally understanding some of the fascination people had with the outdoors. It was peaceful, gorgeous, and so full of life. Sharing the time with Len almost seemed like the bonus rather than the other way around.

Not that she took time spent with him for granted. They were both busy with their coursework and other duties so they didn’t get to spend as much time with each other as they would like. However, the past six months had been beyond great and she found herself wanting more. Not just more out of their relationship, but sharing more with him. About who she really was, where she came from, and just how uncertain she always was about the future.

But now was not the time for revelations. Now was the time to enjoy the peace and quiet. To enjoy this rare time alone together.

She had just turned to Len to comment on how gorgeous the forest was when the ground beneath them began rumbling. His eyes widened and he suddenly shoved her forward so hard that she stumbled and fell. The ground gave way beneath his feet and he fell down the hillside.

“Len!” Buffy screamed as she crawled to the edge where the path had formerly been.

At the bottom of the ravine she could just make out his bright blue shirt and that he wasn’t moving. She tried calling for him again, but still nothing. A quick look down the path where they had come from didn’t show a hint of Jim and his date approaching. She didn’t want to waste time backtracking for help because they had stopped over half an hour ago for their little playtime and there was no guarantee that they were finished.

The blonde had little choice but to make her way down the steep ravine to where Len had landed. Hazel eyes quickly spotted the easiest route and she carefully started on her way. About halfway down she paused when she spotted Len’s red backpack easily standing out against the lush green of the forest. She made a detour to grab it before completing her trek.

Panic clawed at her throat as she took in Len’s still form on the ravine floor. His right arm was raised above his head and was a bloody mess. It didn’t look like there were any other obvious injuries other than his arm and the bleeding from his temple. She dropped both of their backpacks on the ground before kneeling next to him.

Buffy closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath to center herself. She could do this. Len had helped refine her first aid skills during her course last semester and she had years of on the job training from being a slayer. Putting her boyfriend back together should be easy.

“Alright, you can do this. ABC first,” she said softly as she opened her eyes. A quick check showed Len was breathing fine with a clear airway. She gently maneuvered his arm back to his side and was able to find a pulse in all his extremities. First step done and all was good.

“Next, you stabilize the neck,” she continued talking to herself, taking comfort in the sound. She opened Len’s backpack and dug around for the first aid kit she knew he had packed. Never before had she been so grateful for his paranoia that something was bound to go wrong. Her hands removed the kit she pulled the latex gloves out of the kit and put them on; but it didn’t contain anything she could use for stabilizing his neck.

White teeth nibbled on her bottom lip as she devised a way to effectively hold his neck in place while she treated the rest of his injuries. It came to her quickly and she rummaged through their backpacks one last time to remove anything else that might come in handy. Once she had emptied them of some of their contents she placed the heavy bags on either side of his head before using the medical tape from the kit to strap them into place.

Becoming more confident as she progressed, she tried to gently wake him so she wouldn’t have to go through this alone. The panic surged again when he didn’t respond, but she pushed it back. Letting her fear take over wasn’t going to help Len.

She dug through the first aid kit again and pulled out the penlight. With a well practiced click, light emitted from one end and she bent over his still form to lift his eyelids. The pupils readily responded to the stimulus and they looked even. “Good sign,” she said quietly as she put the light away.

Before tackling the wound on his arm, she rechecked his circulation in case anything had changed since the last time. Satisfied that his blood was still getting to where it was needed, she turned her attention to the source of the blood on his arm. Now that she had time to truly look at it, worry gnawed at her stomach.

It wasn’t a simple cut, but a jagged section of his skin had been lifted away and was barely hanging on. Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed thickly to force it back down. Len wasn’t merely a doctor, but a talented surgeon as well. An injury that severe could possibly have nerve damage. What if he was unable to perform surgery after this?

Forcing her worries to the side, she placed her jacket under his arm to keep it off the ground while she worked. Len would have been so proud as she fully concentrated on cleaning the wound. She used the water from their bottles to get the worst of the debris free.

“This is not the type of wound I’m used to working on, you know?” She said conversationally as she worked. The silence was threatening to drive her mad. “I’m much better at fixing battle wounds. You know, stabs and regular scrapes. This is definitely more your area. And I’m totally blaming you for this once you’re awake,” she said with a small snort as she gently irrigated the area as best she could.

The tiny blonde was just wiping the water away from the area when she heard a low groan and felt the muscles in his arm tense up. Immediately she released his arm and raised up on her knees. She leaned forward to place gentle pressure on his shoulders to keep him down and still.

“Wha’ happened?” Len slurred slightly.

“You are a chivalrous idiot,” she proclaimed with a smile, thankful that he was awake. “You’re injured, now lay still and let me finish so I can then figure out how to get us out of here.”

Len frowned as he realized he couldn’t move his head. “What do you have me strapped to?” He asked, his southern accent thick and heavy.

“Had to use our backpacks, sorry. Somehow you didn’t think to pack something to stabilize a neck injury.”

He attempted to move again. “I don’t have a -”

She pushed him back down. “You don’t know that,” she said shortly. “You’re a doctor, you know these steps. Please, let me take care of you.”

His eyes locked on her for a long moment before he relented. The muscles in his shoulders relaxed and Buffy eased up the pressure. “My arm hurts,” he said with a pout.

“Yeah, well it’s pretty torn up,” she said with a watery smile, staying within his line of sight. “I’ve got it cleaned, I just need to bandage it. I’m too afraid to give you any painkillers because of your head.”

“I can manage,” he said roughly. “But better give me a hypospray of -”

“An antibiotic,” she finished for him. “You’ve trained me well. I’ve got this, relax.” She turned back to the kit and pulled the dressing out to wrap his arm.

“Where’s Jim?” He asked while she worked.

“I’m hoping he and what’s her face have finished and are heading this way. It wasn’t our brightest idea to leave our only communicator with him. I can’t get you out of here until he shows up,” she said, her voice tense. Her hands only shook a little as she loaded the hypospray .

Len reached out with his good arm and his large hand settled over her smaller one, stilling her movements. “You’re doin’ great, darlin’. Just keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll be fine.”

Her eyes burned with unshed tears and she tilted her head slightly back to prevent them from falling. “You and I are going to have a long talk once this is over. There are some things you need to know about me.”

“I already know everything I need to,” he assured her, his hand gently squeezing hers.

She shook her head. “No, you don’t, but you will.” Her gaze shifted to the hilltop and the faint sound of voices. “Cavalry is here.”

The End

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