Author: Guede Mazaka
"He's still asleep?"
Poking at El's face, Sands froze when the other man snuffled, but relaxed once it was obvious that no more reactions were forthcoming. "Yeah. For once."
Draping herself carefully over the near-comatose mariachi, Carolina muttered nastily in Spanish. And then in perfect English, "You made him take care of all the bodies."
"Because the last time I dug a grave, I fell into the damn thing," Sands retorted, resting his chin on El's shoulder. In automatic response, the other man tightened his arms around the American, nuzzling into a suddenly trembling throat. "Why didn't you help?" Sands added, voice slightly more breathy.
"I…my leg," Carolina mumbled, tone low and shamed. "If something hits it hard, the scar starts to hurt. And cramp." Laying her head on El's back, so her and Sands' noses were almost touching, she brushed featherlight fingertips up Sands' face, halting at the corner of one eyelid. "Do they…are they…"
"You can touch them, if you want," Sands replied, struggling to cover up recalled pain with amusement. "I can barely feel anything. Actually, it didn't feel like much even when Barillo scrambled them up."
"It's afterward," El suddenly said, startling both of his companions. Sliding a hand back, he caressed Carolina's disfigured hip in a soothing fashion. "When you find out what you've lost. Then it hurts."
Sands drew in a sharp breath, unconsciously pressing more closely into El, while on the mariachi's other side, Carolina buried her face in El's nape. "Are we having a contest, then?" she asked softly. "Worst one has to get the water tomorrow morning?"
"No," El laughed drowsily, stroking her leg one last time. "Who cares? I don't."
"Good," Sands murmured, suddenly grinning into El's chest. "So could everyone please shut up? This is the first time we've had an actual bed in days, and I intend to-"
Sucking on the American's lower lip, El swiped his tongue around that wonderfully yielding mouth once before withdrawing. Behind them, Carolina snuggled nearer, snaking a hand around to clasp El's, which he squeezed in response. "All right, all right," he whispered, already drifting off. "Sleep."