Word Count: 800
Summary: Mr Smith didn't like to accept help, but he would take it from Kurdy if he offered it just right. References to *The Question*.
Date: Written May 2005
Smith was giving the cook shit. It sounded like the teen behind the counter had offered to carry his tray for him. 'Do I look like I fucking need help?'
Kurdy called out to him across the room. 'Do you talk to God with that mouth? Leave him alone and get the fuck over here, Smith.'
Smith slammed his plate down, then grimaced and slid his salisbury steak back on the plate. Kurdy watched him struggle to cut the tough meat one handed until he couldn't bear it any more. 'Give that over here,' he said, reaching across to pluck the knife from Smith's good hand.
'I could do it myself,' Smith said, but he made no attempt to wrestle the food back. 'I'm not completely helpless, you know.'
Kurdy snorted and Smith continued, his voice rising. 'I can do everything I need to do. I can take care of myself. I can -'
'You can what?'
Smith hesitated. 'I can still go on patrols with you.'
Kurdy's face clouded but Smith rushed on. 'It's important. It's what I'm meant to do.'
'God tell you that?'
'He really did.' Smith's big eyes were entirely candid, but the fact that he believed it only made it worse.
Kurdy leant forward. 'And did he tell you how you're gonna do this when you can't even do up your shoe laces.'
Smith flushed and moved his feet further under the table. 'I can do it. I'll meet you at the exit tomorrow morning.'
Kurdy recognised an out when he was given one. He could leave tonight, shoot through and leave Smith behind. No yapping, no visits from God, no worries about Smith endangering himself - no, damn, no Smith. On the other hand, he would follow him for sure. He was trapped.
So the next day he met him by the main exit. The guard was clearly pissed with Smith. Judging by the body language she had made the mistake of offering to help him with his pack. Kurdy smiled appeasingly at her, but frankly it was a wasted effort. He watched Smith's efforts to balance his pack one handed and, after the third attempt, he picked it up himself and shoved it neatly on Smith's good shoulder.
It felt great to be out in the sunshine. Much as he loved Thunder Mountain, it was claustrophobic and weird to be underground all the time. No matter how they decorated it and moved the plants around, it wasn't like the outside.
They had a four day walk to Blue Water, all through friendly territory. It was as safe a mission as Markus could devise. Markus hadn't wanted Kurdy to take Smith, but really he was like a puppy he couldn't shake loose.
Smith suddenly gripped Kurdy's elbow. 'Look,' he whispered. Ahead of them a doe and her fawn were picking their way across what had once been a highway.
'Bambi,' Kurdy whispered back. He had a gun with him, but it made no sense to hunt at this time of year.
Smith snorted with laughter and the deer started. 'Where's Thumper?'
'You remember that movie?'
'Sure, it had Bambi and the rabbit and the skunk and the coyote.'
Kurdy frowned. 'You sure there was a coyote?'
'Wiley Coyote, and he hunted a big chicken thing.'
'The road runner. That wasn't the same show.'
The argument continued off and on for the rest of that day's march. They made camp about where Kurdy had thought they would. Smith had had no trouble keeping up on the march, but he didn't do so well making camp. He could haul wood but couldn't strike a match to light the fire. He could get their supplies ready but he couldn't use the tin opener. When he cut his hand on the tin opener, Kurdy took it away from him and Smith sat on a log and sulked.
'Don't be like that, man.' Kurdy offered him some hot stew.
Smith pulled a face but began to peck at it.
'Clearly opening a can requires two hands so that can be my job.' Kurdy ignored the silence from the other end of the fire. 'You can be in charge of things you can do with one hand.... hitting things with sticks... waving... sign language.' He sneaked a glance at Smith and he was definitely smiling now. 'Jerking me off.'
Smith's smile broadened and Kurdy leant over and hooked him closer. 'How about you demonstrate that one handed technique?' he whispered into his soft hair.
Smith kissed him with the comfort and heat of familiarity. 'How about you help me out with the zipper?'