Sarah requested : can someone pretty please write a story where Rafe
comforts a hurt Blair? I don't see much of those.
And to make it even better this is Wolfshy's themefic.
Well, as a long time Rafe writer I had to respond. Wait a minute... darn, my first Rafe piece was started the day after I wrote Protests (does this make me a RafeBabe?... I thought I was a JimBabe).
Time setting: Early during Season 3
They were trapped over 50 yards from the burial site entrance. The younger man was badly injured. Blair was bleeding badly from the wound in his side. There were at least two broken ribs at the site of the wound and Rafe thought that Blair's leg was broken from the angle it rested. Unfortunately for both of them, Rafe lay half buried by rock and dirt on a platform several feet above Blair. He could just barely reach Blair. Rafe had held their one remaining light while Blair bandaged his own wounds. Now they were in serious trouble and the detective wasn't quite sure how to get them out of it.
"How bad is it?" The voice was a pained whisper.
"Could be worse, you hang in there. They'll find us soon." Rafe answered softly. The dark was so complete that there weren't even shades of lighter and darker shadows. "I'm going to move you a bit. I don't want you lying on the ground."
"Rafe..." Blair's voice cracked. "Don't waste your time. We both know the score. If the bleeding hasn't stopped, even Jim's senses couldn't get them here in time. You don't have much longer either."
"What aren't you telling me?" Rafe fought of the panic that the younger man's words brought about. He didn't worry about not making it. If he let Blair die, there wouldn't be much reason for him to hold on to life. He was too new to Major Crimes to even expect them to forgive him.
"There's water creeping in, its moving pretty fast." Blair sighed. "I'm sorry I brought you here. I didn't think it would be dangerous."
Rafe grinned in the darkness, focusing on Blair's words. "From what I've heard going anywhere or doing anything with you in the state of Washington is dangerous. Don't worry about it... I volunteered." He pulled himself closer to the other man, ignoring the low ache in his back. For a brief moment, it flared up painfully. Then the pain faded again. He tried to move further off of the platform that had caught him, but froze when the pain threatened to knock him out. He paused and gathered his strength before carefully grabbing Blair and dragging him closer to the platform. With gentle hands, he patted the other man's side, worrying about the cold wetness he encountered. He needed to distract Blair from their predicament. "So how much damage do you think the explosion caused to your burial site?"
"Aw, man. I don't even want to go there. I mean, this place is priceless and for someone to try to destroy it for development!" The worry and anger in Blair's voice cheered Rafe. Though still a soft whisper due to his hurt ribs, the vehemence was refreshing.
"Hold on to your anger, kid." Rafe knew the term would get a quick response. Even as Blair stiffened and began to respond, he grabbed him under the arms and pulled. "You're heavier than you look!"
Blair's hands locked on Rafe's forearms, and the younger man kicked out weakly, trying to help lift his weight from the tunnel floor. Both men struggled painfully for long silent minutes until Blair was finally on the wooden platform. The torch rolled off the platform, splashing softly into the rising water before Rafe could grab it.
"Rafe? Was that the light?" Blair asked, panting from the exertion
"Yeah. You don't have another, do you?" Rafe ignored the pain as he tried to move. He was pinned too tightly to crawl out from the rock fall. An injudicious move shot pain through him again.
"No. Any chance you can dig us out?" Blair leaned against Rafe's shoulder, wondering at the detective's silent shudders. "Rafe? You said you weren't hurt. What's wrong?"
Rafe shook himself aware and answered the younger man, "I'm not hurt. I'm trapped by the rock fall. We're a pair, aren't we?"
"Oh, man..." Blair began to struggle, trying to catch his breath against a panic attack.
"Hey, take it easy." Rafe pinned Blair's arms to his side, fearing the younger man would worsen his already cracked and broken ribs. "Breathe in... and out. Again, slowly... in... and out. Breathe with me, Blair. Don't panic on me. I don't do dark, enclosed places and having you panic will only make it worse."
Instantly, the anthropologist went from panicked to comforting. "S---, Rafe. You should have told me earlier. I have this great meditation for controlling fear. All you have to do is --"
Rafe released a silent sigh of relief as his distraction worked. As long as he kept the anthropologist's thoughts occupied with helping Rafe with his 'problem' the kid would do all right. Although he didn't really have a problem with claustrophobia, his partner did and out of a sense of duty to Brown, Rafe had memorized everything he could get his hands on about the phobia. He had more than enough information to bluff the other man. Hopefully, he could keep him busy until their rescuers arrived.
"I'm going to move you." Rafe announced before forcing himself into a sitting position. "I can't handle lying down."
"Let me help." Blair whispered, trying to keep from aggravating his ribs again. "You can't do it all."
Rafe grimaced and pulled Blair up to lean against his side. The younger man was shivering and felt clammy. Shock, the detective dredged up the information he'd been forced to learn at the academy. Keep the victim calm, check. Keep him conscious, check. Keep prone, nope... not an option with the slowly rising water. Keep victim dry, nope again. Share body warmth, check. He lied glibly to reassure Blair. "My ribs are fine and except for having my legs trapped, I'm not hurt."
"How did you manage that?" Blair coughed and made a small pained sound. "Oh, gods, remind me not to do that!"
"Sure thing." Rafe worried as he settled himself to brace Blair's weight, forcing his friend to sit upright. "As for only being trapped, well, H says I'm part cat."
"Henri says that?" Blair's smile was evident even against the pain in his voice.
"Yeah, he says that because I don't get filthy whenever we go out on a bust." Rafe chuckled as he remembered some of the other things his partner was want to say. Much less kind, more graphic, and absolutely improbable. "He has even gone as far as to say that I have bought the fairy of cleanliness with my looks."
"Sounds like my kind of story."
Rafe began regaling the anthropologist with stories from the days when he and Henri Brown were on a foot patrol together.
Two hours later, Blair's voice was weak. "Rafe?"
"Call me Brian, Blair." Rafe went serious as he felt the first touch of water. Trying to gauge their danger, he was letting his hand run down Blair's side, firmly massaging the younger man's unwounded side trying to stir the blood and keep it circulating freely. After each pass, he let his hand drift off the edge of the plank supporting them. Water met his fingertips this time. They didn't have much longer.
"I'm getting kind of tired, Brian." The whisper softened, until Rafe could just make out the words. They were slurred from cold and from the difficulty Blair was having forcing the words from his lips. "Can you hold on without me talking? I think I'll take a nap."
"Sure. I'll see you on the other side."
Blair nodded against Rafe's shoulder. "Ssseee --."
Rafe felt the tears in his eyes and he let his head drop to rest against Blair's. He closed his eyes as he whispered. "I'm so sorry, Blair. I tried."
"Rafe? Can you hear me? You can let go now."
The voice came from above him, confusing him. He didn't remember dying. In fact, he was too uncomfortable to be dead. He was cold, in pain, and wet. He hated being wet. The cold he could handle. Pain he was used to feeling. Wet was the part of Cascade he hated. He couldn't be dead so he might as well open his eyes.
A faint light filled the little area. Someone was between him and the light. Groggily he focused on the face staring at him. Jim Ellison was speaking softly, almost gently to him.
"Brian?" Ellison's eyes were worried, filled with pain. Rafe understood then. Blair was hurt... or was he dead. He focused on the words Ellison was trying to get him to understand. "You have to let go of Blair so we can get him out of here."
Rafe released the tight grip he had on the anthropologist. He watched bemusedly as Ellison helped someone strap the wounded man to a cage-like thing suspended from a hole in the ceiling. Then it was lifted out of the chamber. Ellison turned back to face the detective.
"I tried to keep him safe, Jim." He found the strength to whisper.
Ellison looked down at him and smiled. He placed a blanket around Rafe and tucked it under him. "You did a good job, Brian. You kept him alive. Now we have to get you out of here before the water rises any farther."
Rafe nodded. "You can do it. Blair swears you can do anything."
The older detective flushed in the faint light before turning help dig at the rock fall. "At least this time H can't complain about you being part cat."
"Huh?" Rafe didn't understand how Jim knew about that.
"Thanks to the acoustics of this place, I've been listening to you for about three hours." Jim shook his head. "Thankfully, the others in Major Crimes couldn't fit through the tunnel. Now I have some nice blackmail material against your partner."
Rafe watched as the Cop of the Year and a pair of Search & Rescue workers dug him out of the rock fall. Even as they placed him in a caged transport gurney, he puzzled over Jim's words. He just couldn't figure out how the other man had heard him for so long.