Wordcount: 466 words
Summary: Please note, this is currently a very rough draft. There will be spelling and grammatical errors afoot as well as flat out bad writing, info dumps, plot holes, flat out contradictions, and uneven characterization and pacing. (Content is also subject to constant change as I take an editing chainsaw to the story.)
They were out digging for survivors when a tree fell on Winter. A sheared off branch punched a hole in his chest and even as they rocked it off they could tell from the soft gurgling sound his breath made that it was too late.
“He’s dying!” Dog keened, frantically digging away the debris so that May could get to him. They were working alone, Jeffery had gone back to get another shovel, his had broken, and Tom and Erwin were still recovering. Claire had yet to forgive the foxhawks for Softpaw’s betrayal, and had nothing to do with them.
“I know, I know.” May tried to stem the blood, but it soaked through her shirt seconds after she pushed it against his side. They were too far from camp to get to the medics, or bring a medic to them.
“Do something!” Dog pushed aside the last of the limbs and hovered over her, blocking the light.
“I can’t.” There was nothing she could do, not without Omen– and Omen was off with the elders, too far away to hear them and too far way even if he could.
“TRY.” Dog, demanded and Winter yelped coughing spasms that sent a rush of blood staining his silver fur mottled red, beak gaping and eyes wide in terror.
So she did.
May reached out to Baron who reached out to Dog who reached out to Winter and the circle they had formed to put up the wall was now a spiral as they fed themselves down into Winter.
She could feel the strength drain out of her and out of the others as they tried to pour enough into Winter to make him whole. She was tired, so tired, and Baron was a heartbeat from breaking them free when there was a flare and Winter reached out to her, bringing the circle back into stability.
He was leaching still, but such a small drain that now they could pool their strength and evened out the flow.
When the four heartbeats had evened out back into familiar rhythms, May let the circle break, pouring everyone back into themselves.
They were tired, all of them and they just sat for a moment, gathering up the will to do more than breath.
“We did it.” She said wonderingly, reaching out to Winter who nudged her hand. It was impossible, incredible, and yet it had happened.
“You did it.” Dog nosed the shirt away and Winter’s side was bright red scar tissue solid and ugly, but keeping him whole. “Ah, brother, don’t scare us like that again.”
“Don’t tell Omen.” That was Winter who had never said anything bad about anyone ever. But there was steel in his whisper as he panted, resting. “Don’t.”
They looked at each other, but nodded.