Summary: How serious is the Major when he says he wishes Eroica were dead?
By: Margaret Price
Written: December 3, 2007
Don’t Let Me Die
by Margaret Price
This was the first thing Dorian was aware of as he slowly returned to consciousness. The second was something cool on his forehead. He shifted slightly and gave a loud moan.
“Eroica, don’t move.”
The sharp order caused Dorian to jump, which only made him hurt more. “Major…?” His mind struggled to focus and he realized the cool thing on his forehead was the Major’s hand. “What…?
“I said don’t move, dammit!”
“I hurt.” Dorian moaned again. “My arm…”
“You fell on it. Don’t move it, let me. It may be broken.”
Dorian had yet to open his eyes. He felt the pressure that must have been the Major’s other hand on his hip vanish. Then he was being carefully moved so the arm that he had fallen on could be laid at his side.
That he had fallen on…
Dorian struggled to remember but it was blank. Finally, he managed to open his eyes, seeing the Major beside him. His vision was too blurred for him to see his expression. “Don’t let me die…” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop himself, stunning the Major.
“I know you hate me.” The words seemed to tumble out of their own volition. Dorian felt like he was listening to someone else. “You wish I were dead because I tell you I love you.”
“Please, Major, don’t let me die.”
Klaus’s mouth dropped open when the Earl tried and failed to fight back tears. “You’re talking nonsense,” he said gruffly. “And stop moving!” He put his hand back on the Earl’s hip and was relieved when the man calmed down.
The Major looked up, taking stock of their position in the hole in the ground. The Earl hadn’t been watching where he was going and had fallen at a bad angle. The Major had fallen when he tried to climb down after him, but had only injured his pride. He had also managed to land on his radio unit, crushing it. His men weren’t that far away. As soon as he and the Earl failed to arrive at the rendezvous, they would begin a search. None of them wanted to risk being exiled to Alaska.
Dorian closed his eyes again and shivered, returning Klaus to reality when he whispered, “Major, promise me you won’t let me die.”
The Major was taken aback by the Earl’s obvious fear for his life. He was a trained killer, true. And had killed before, and probably would again. While it was true that he had wished the Earl dead on numerous occasions, he never planned on doing the deed himself. This should have been glaringly obvious the day he held a gun to the man’s head but could not pull the trigger. He was a soldier, not a murderer. He took no joy in death.
It wasn’t a promise, but it was better than nothing. Then Dorian felt something soft and warm covering his upper body and realized it was the Major’s jacket. He’s giving me his coat so I stay warm! He wanted to enjoy it, but was in too much pain.
“Don’t go to sleep,” came the Major’s voice, although the order was not as sharp as before. “You probably have a concussion.”
“And ssssleeping’s…bad…” Dorian rejoined.
“My men will find us.”
“Don’t go to sleep!”
Dorian struggled to open his eyes. “’M…trying…”
The Major drew a deep breath, thinking hard. Pain would keep the man awake, but moving him was dangerous. The only thing left to do was talk to him.
Or was it?
When the Major’s men finally arrived two hours later, they heard the incongruous sound of a voice raised in song, and followed the melody of “Das Panzerlied” to its source.
-- THE END --