A/N: Hello my friends! I do hope you enjoy this story, as it is one of them that has gotten me back into writing again (after nearly 5+ years hiatus). Please Read and Review, as I do enjoy comments and constructive criticism. And again, Enjoy!
The sound of panting echoed across the wheat field as a young man clad in a black tactical uniform streaked through with effortless ease, despite the limp in his steps. His black combat books sloshed through the field, interrupting the chattering of crickets as he passed. He glanced behind him momentarily, his blue eyes scanning the midnight darkness behind him. He paused in his run, his eyes quizzical and alert, but laced with some fear. His nostrils flared, the scent of smoke alerting him that the battle miles behind him had escalated into a firefight. His breathing accelerated, having heard nothing, not even the crickets. The man knew that silence was a bad thing. Silence meant he was still out there.
As the man stared out into the darkness, he slowly reached down to the gun pouch that was strapped against his right thigh. Determination streaked across his face as he found some resolve to face his former comrade. Thoughts of disappointment and regret etched his mind as he recalled the events that led to this moment - disappointment in his comrade and regret for having to be the one to eliminate him in the end.
A small breeze soon reached him, making him stiffen as the sound of rustling wheat reached his ears, along with something else. Grabbing his gun quickly, the young man determined the foreign sound was coming fast along his left side. He knew he had only a matter of seconds – his opponent had always been faster than him, despite his own abnormal speed. Twisting to his left, his eyes went wide as he was met with an incredible force, knocking him to the ground in instant.
The man gasped out a breath as his lungs struggled for air. He felt the weight of his opponent upon him and instinctually began to wrap one arm around his neck while the other motioned to hammer the butt of his gun into his attacker's skull.
His attacker was quick, however, having already deflected the man's arm by rising his torso upward to avoid the grab and placing his hand across his neck, choking him, whilst his lower body straddled his waist to avoid him from escaping. His free hand had moved to stop the attack with the gun and pinned the man's hand down, whilst making sure the weapon was no danger to him.
The man grunted out in pain as he felt the attacker's hand close tightly on his throat. His fingers slowly losing their hold on the gun.
"Michael, stop this…" The man managed to choke out.
"Why? Gabriel? Why?" The attacker, Michael, yelled out, pain in his voice.
Though his vision was beginning to go white, Gabriel managed to see the hurt and pain in his comrade's eyes. He knew what caused the pain, but orders were orders. That was how The Order functioned. And when one broke the rules, one had to be punished.
"You know why, Mikey." Gabriel felt Michael cringe at the mention of his playful nickname. Feeling that this was his best opportunity, Gabriel rammed his elbow into Michael's ribs, knowing that he had wounded them earlier in their fight only hours ago. Michael grunted, and Gabriel was grateful when he felt the hand across his neck loosen. Gabriel's lungs quickly inhaled air as his hand shot up to uppercut Michael, who was keening in pain. A feeling of satisfaction rushed Gabriel as he landed his mark, making Michael shoot up and roll to his left, while Gabriel rolled to his right, separating them. As he rolled, Gabriel's fingers once again found his gun.
Placing a hand to steady him, Michael had rolled himself into a crouch. Gabriel's eyes flickered to Michael's other hand, which was wrapped around his chest, nursing the ribs he had just struck. The two men stared each other down in their crouched positions (Gabriel stuck his right leg out to the side, having wounded it earlier), both contemplating their next assault.
"How's your ribs?" Gabriel asked with slight smirk on his face as he taunted Michael.
"How's your leg?" Michael retorted. His face an emotionless mask which somehow managed to always irritate Gabriel; he could never tell what he was thinking.
"I'm sorry it has to end this way, Michael, really, I am." Gabriel replied as his hand tightened on his gun, slowly raising it.
"I know." Came the reply, as Michael slowly unlatched his own gun.
"Well, now we get to find out who's better, eh?" An amiable smile spread across Gabriel's lips, knowing that they were both at their limits of fighting.
"You already know that I am; you're just lucky you had Raphael and Cassiel with you, as well as a whole tactical team." Michael managed to crack a smile.
Gabriel snorted, and as if on cue, both men drew their guns at one another and fired.
Flashes of light and sounds of gunfire interrupted the momentary silence that rang across the prairie.
It would be hours and miles later that a bloodied, wounded, and exhausted young man would find himself wandering on a small highway.