tagRomanceShackled Ch. 20

Shackled Ch. 20


They were alone now. Emma was sitting next to him on the bed, discussing the procedure with Laura. He knew it wouldn't be that bad. He knew what real pain felt like and this wouldn't be close. Real pain wasn't even physical. No, losing something you love, something you valued above even your own life, that was real pain.

Pain that never stopped.

As the two women were talking, he felt Emma's hand slide into his and gave it a small squeeze. She was very close to him, her warmth radiating on to the side of his body, her hand in his....

You're going to make me sick. Holding hands like a love struck kid.

Oh. You didn't leave with the others.

Don't be a smart ass, it doesn't become you. At least, the smart part doesn't....

Well, you're here too then. Feel free to help out whenever you want.

The scientist and Laura seem to get on alright and they both like you, maybe....

Don't be disgusting!

Just don't let the pretty little scientist take your mind from the main game.

Never thought of it as a game.

It is. Just the stakes are higher, that's all. You have to let her and her friend finish off the vaccine.

I know that, mate. What do you think we've been doing for the last twenty four hours while you've been hiding in my head?

Just let her do it.

I will....

He heard his name. It was Emma.

*"So...when are we doing this and how? Obviously I need all my faculties and so does Liam if we're going to get anything done. What are the risks?"*

Hansen didn't think the procedure would be much at all, it was just the women talking medical procedures and getting a kick out of it. Shit, it was only a small transponder the size of a small ball bearing. If he could reach it, he would have dug the thing out himself.

"To be honest, your guess is as good as mine," said Laura, her brow furrowed. "I've never performed the procedure before. Usually people go boom before anyone gets to them in time...situations like this one are rare..."

"Well," said Hansen. "Do we have to do it? The shackles are tiny and under our skin. What harm is there in leaving them there?"

Laura sighed.

"Um....we don't really know, but Victor did say there would be nothing stopping the SPFs from reactivating them remotely once the confusion from our attack comes down."

"Ok, then it's best to get it done?" he said, looking sideways at Emma with a comforting glance.

"I'd think so," said Laura. "Just to be sure."

They were all silent for a moment. Then Laura spoke again.

"So....do you have anything strong, like whiskey or vodka?"

Hansen frowned at her. "You think we'll need to anaesthetize ourselves?" He looked at Emma again, his eyes wider, his look less comforting. "It'll hurt that much?"

"Fuck no," said Laura, "I've never done this before. I need to calm my nerves."

Hansen rolled his eyes and shook his head.


That's my girl.




Emma's nerves buzzed. She didn't find Laura's little wise crack very amusing, but it seemed like waiting even just one more day wasn't a very good option. Not after they had made their presence known so loudly. Clearing her throat, Emma stood, leaving Liam to sit and contemplate. His eyes dark and a sharp, just about the same way they were when they had first met and her heart went out to him. Had the medicine worn off so quickly?

With a soft sigh, she reached for Liam's alcohol while Laura seemed to move about his place with ease. As she returned, she noted that the tall blond was digging under Liam's bed, bringing out a small box of supplies. "A good doctor is always prepared."

A twinge of jealous for a moment annoyed Emma. It was so blatantly obvious that Laura had stayed here regularly...as had Bonnie. Hell, she was wearing Bonnie's clothes! Suddenly she longed for her own clean and scuffed up attire, but tried not to be a baby about it. Forcing herself to see reason, she set the bottle of whiskey on the edge of the bench for Laura as she sashayed over and opened up the medical kit. Digging around, Laura's long slender fingers soon found a pair of tweezers and a sharp blade to do her dirty work. Next came some rubbing alcohol, bandages for both of them and a small bottle of anesthetic. "I'll just give you both a small local and hope for the best."

Unable to help herself, Emma let out a little snort. Laura didn't take offense of course and set her supplies up, going to the kitchen to sterilize her equipment. Emma sat down on the edge of the bend and clasped her hands together. While not thrilled, she wanted it over with as soon possible. I'm opting to go first, if that's alright. Because if I don't, you might have to hold me down."

Laura chuckled from behind her. "Take a swig of whiskey!"

Emma smiled slightly, "Not a bad idea...though I prefer coffee with mine."

Grasping the bottle she unscrewed the cap and locked eyes with Liam for a moment, then took a brave swig of the alcohol. It burned all the way down her throat and into her belly. She made a face and wrinkled her nose, shaking her head. "Gross."

"Amateur." Laura teased and came over to get her ready. Cool hands tugged her hair back away from her forehead. "This might be uncomfortable, but I need you to remain still. I'm going to inject a small amount of local anesthetic, then feel around to see if I can get a general location. I'm hoping it's superficial enough that I can feel it, then go right to work."

Emma nodded, tilting her head up and automatically shutting her eyes as her fingers curled around the edge of the bench and took on a death grip.


Laura busied herself with preparations and Hansen watched Emma grab the whiskey bottle. He was surprised as he watched her take a swig of the whiskey. He was amused at the way she looked after drinking it. It was....cute. She bravely leant over and gripped the bench and waited for Laura to inject the local anaesthetic.

Hansen reached for his neck and felt the slight bump where the shackle had been shot into him.

Yep, it's gonna hurt.

Thanks for the reassurance.


You can laugh.

Hey, at least you'll get Laura handling you. It's been a while, shy boy.


You know, like she used to.

Fuck off.

So eloquent. Hehehe.

Hansen heard a little groan from the bench and glanced over. Laura was starting to dig into Emma to retrieve the disabled shackle. Again, he rubbed the bump on his neck.

You know, I really am getting tired of you.


Yes. Really.

Who do you think put me here?

Put you here?


You're always speaking in riddles. Put you here. Made me. What the fuck are you going on about?

You'll never find out if you keep taking the drug.


Yep. You can walk around ignorant for the rest of your life. Or.....you can find out.

Find out what?

Who made you.

There you go again....

And who put me here.

Stop it.

And why.


I know you're from Australia, but you really have to stop acting like a cockatoo and repeating what I say. Yes....why.

Hansen clenched his jaw and looked back to the women. In a way it was good that he'd been distracted. He couldn't watch Emma in pain, not after all he'd done to protect her, even if was necessary.

Laura stood up from behind Emma.

"There. Done."

She dropped a small metal object onto the bench and then placed a gauze over Emma's wound.

"Press on that for a while, dear. You've been very brave. Once I remove Superman's shackle, I'll dress it with a fresh bandage and in no time you'll be back to normal."

Hansen looked into Emma's eyes. They were a little moist and reddened, but she'd done very well to not cry out. He winked at her nodded. Good girl.

She got up from bending over the bench and went and sat next to him on the edge of the bed. He gave her a quick kiss on the forehead. He saw Laura look away quickly, embarrassed at their intimacy.

Well, she'll just have to get used to it.

Swapping glamazon for Dr. Nerd. You really have lost it.

Fuck off.

You really do need to broaden your vocabulary....

"Right," said Hansen, standing up from the bed and clapping his hands together lightly. "I guess it's my turn."

Laura smiled.

"Yeah, big boy. And my turn. Finally."

Hansen's face reddened a little.

"Well, take it easy on me will you?"

"Oh, I always save my best for you," said Laura with a sly grin. "Always...."

Hansen shook his head and walked to the bench. He picked up the bottle of whiskey, unscrewed the cap and took a large swig. In fact, it was probably three or four shots worth of whiskey in one swallow. Then, without saying anything, he leant over the bench.

"Geeez," said Laura. "I said just to numb the pain, not pass out." She paused. "Although I must say, you're in a very attractive position. Just saying."

Nothing can numb my pain.

He turned his head and looked at her and tried to smile, keeping the situation light.

"Maybe I'll need counseling after all this."

"I'd sure love to get into your head, see what I find there."

"I'm not sure you would, Laura. Now get this fucking thing out of me."

He gritted his teeth and waited for Laura to start her work. There was movement behind him.

"Now hold still," she said with a giggle and giving him a light slap to his arse. "Nice butt too....for an old fellow."

Hansen rolled his eyes and then felt Laura's fingers on his neck and then the sharp sting of a scalpel. Good.

He smiled because it meant this was nearly over. Or nearly the beginning. It depended on your perspective. Finally.

He broke out into a bigger smile at the thought of starting the fight.

You really are a sick fuck. She's sticking a knife in you and you're smiling.

Hehehe. Once we're finished here, I'm going to work.


I'm going to make every fucker who ever crossed me pay.

Wow. Every fucker?....Wow. Aiming high aren't we?

You don't know how high.

Of course I do. I'm in here remember. I just like asking rhetorical questions.

You do?

Don't be a smart arse.


e extraction of the disabled shackle was over quickly.

"There," said Laura, pulling it out and dropping it onto the bench.

She applied the gauze pad to his neck.

"Hold that firm for a few minutes, then let it go as I've taped it. It doesn't need much looking after. Not much more than a nick really."

Hansen stood up pressing the bandage to his neck. Laura walked around to talk to Emma for a few moments and he could smell coffee.

Good old Emma.

Oh God, spare me.

Fuck you.

I see you neglected to take my vocabulary advice.

Damn fucking right. I'm not good at taking advice.

You think?

Now who's asking rhetorical questions?

Emma left them for a moment to freshen up and get ready for bed.

Oh God, it gets worse. Bed?

Hansen smirked.

Man's gotta sleep.

I don't remember too much sleep happening the last time you were in bed with nerd lady.

Emma, mate. Her name's Emma.

Yeah. Nerd lady.



"Oh yeah, thanks for that," said Hansen.

She looked him in the eye, a serious look on her face.

"You know it wasn't a problem," she said, her voice husky all of a sudden.

"I know."

She pursed her lips and then smiled.

"I could stay?"

"Emma's here."

"I know that," she said. "I could stay."

Hansen looked at her and shook his head.

"Emma's here."

Laura smiled, a bigger smile this time.

"Typical. I miss you."

"I know."

"But not enough for....?"

"No," said Hansen, "not enough."

"I'm here you know," she said. "Right now."

"I know."

They looked at each other for a few seconds, but it felt like hours, their eyes exchanging information and memories that only they knew about.

"So," said Laura, taking a slow breath, "for now it's her and you?"

"It is."

Laura nodded.

"So it is....I guess."

Hansen loved Laura. She'd saved his life many timesand he had saved hers. It was ironic. She could keep saving him, but she kept losing him.

"I'm, sorry," he said.

She raised her hand to stop him and shook her head.

"Don't," she said. "Most guys would be desperate to have me, shit, they'd kill to have me, but the one guy I really want, doesn't want me."

Hansen looked at her, his heart pounding and his mind racing.

The nerd instead of Laura? You sure?

It is as it is.

Why do I bother?

Why do you?

Hansen nodded.

"I want you, but I love her."

She chuckled.

"Supergirl left on the shelf?"

He smiled wanly.

"I wouldn't say that."

"Spare me," said Laura, her eyes reddening. "I better go."

Hansen looked at her and then at the ground and then back to her.

"Yes," he said. "You better. Probably for the best."

He stepped towards her and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek.

"You know what?" she asked.


"You may not love me yet, but I love you," she said. "At least I'm fifty percent there. I just have to change your half of the equation."

He smiled.

"My dear Laura....," he said with a slight shake of his head. "Always working out the percentages and ever the optimist....but it won't happen."

"Not now," she said softly, "but I'm patient."

"I wouldn't want you to waste your time waiting for something that probably won't happen."

"Better to have nothing of the perfect man than to fully have something less than perfect."

He smiled.

"Perfect?" he said raising an eyebrow and smirking at her. "I'll have to remember that next time we argue."

Her face returned to its playful countenance and she placed her hands on her hips with a mock pout.

God, you're beautiful, Laura. Perfect....but not for me....

"Well don't expect me to repeat it," she said. "Old man."

"Hey, who are you calling...."

He quickly grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her forward, landing a more substantial kiss on her lips. She was surprised, but she kissed him back just as strongly. They kissed for a few moments before he gently released her.

"Not bad I reckon....for an old man," he said with a wink.

She sighed. "No, not bad."

They stood in silence for a few moments.

"Well," she said, "I better go. We all need our rest."

He nodded.

"We do."

Laura gave him one last smile and then turned and walked out of the door without looking back.

So you let her go? Just like that.

Yes. Just like that.

You know she's yours....if you want her.

She's not mine.

She is....and Bonnie.

Maybe you should become a matchmaker after all this is done. You seem to take a keen interest in my love life.

It's not your love life, it's what you're meant to do.

Mean't to do?

Questions again. Yes, meant to do. You can't give back what you've been given.


Oh for fuck's sake, Hansen. They're yours. Now you're mixed up with the scientist. The ying has been split from the yang.

Next you'll be calling me grasshopper or little master. The ying split from the yang? Really, mate.

The balance has been upset. Like when Jess was there.

Don't mention my wife.

But I have to. Was it fair on her?

I said I don't want to talk about it.

Typical. It's too hard so you'd rather blow something up or beat someone up.

Hansen shook his head.

Just don't fucking mention my wife!

Hansen stood looking at the closed door Laura had left through and then he took a deep breath and looked at the floor for a few moments, trying to shake the confusion out of his mind.


It was Emma.

He looked around at her and smiled. She'd freshened up and looked beautiful, as usual. She tilted her head towards a mug of coffee sitting on the bench and then back to him.

"Made it fresh," she said. "Doing alright?"

His features softened. It was impossible to stay tense around her. He walked over towards the bench and decided he could with some coffee.

"Yes. I was just thinking about what we're going to do next."

She looked at him over her coffee, ever patient.

"But," he said, taking a sip of his coffee, "we need to go to bed."

He put the cup down and walked over to her. He hadn't shaved for days and he was high from what the team was about to do, but he leant down and kissed her lips softly.

He pulled back to look at her.

"Now, whether it's to sleep or not is entirely up to you, but we should definitely go to bed."

He smiled and leant down again to kiss her, this time a little harder.

"Yes," he murmured, "entirely up to you...."

(For those of you reading the stories I've have posted, I want to thank you for your patience and for your wonderful feedback. Yes, even the bad. If you are also following More Than Friendship Material, I understand there has been a lot of negative feedback from the last chapter I posted. I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I would hope you don't give up just yet...a lot of what we write is tongue in cheek and we've been dabbling with some fun and humor. Not is all as it seems though, so if you can muster up reading through our next posting when it gets done, please do. :) Until then, enjoy Shackled! :) )

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