I finally finished my soft Lucky Shots fic so uhhh here it is? I love Pete Riske and Amanda Cohen more than my own life
Pete’s leg bounced as he waited. He hated this. It should be him in that hospital bed, not Expatriette. That guy had been aiming at Pete, after all. It was just dumb luck that the guy was a terrible shot and ended up wounding his friend instead.
Expatriette (Amanda, he reminded himself) had come out of the surgery just fine. The doctor said it would’ve been a lot worse if she hadn’t been wearing her flak jacket. It was a small consolation, but at least it was something. They said she’d pull through, that they’d gotten all the shrapnel, that she wouldn’t see many, if any, lasting repercussions from this. Pete hadn’t really been listening when the doctor told him about it. He’d mostly just been numb and sick. Nightmist—Faye—had already gone home after failing to convince him he should do the same.
He shuffled his chair closer to her bed, hoping she’d wake up soon. He wanted to apologise in person, wanted to be the first person she saw when she woke up. If she woke up to a nurse—or worse, alone in a strange hospital room—she might panic and try to escape. At least if Pete was there, he could be a familiar face, help explain what had happened. He didn’t know if she remembered the end of the fight or the trip to the hospital, after all. And while he knew the doctors had done their best, he wouldn’t feel right until he saw Amanda awake and well with his own eyes.
Pete was halfway through counting the ceiling tiles for the sixth time when a noise brought his attention back to the bed. Amanda had propped herself up on her elbows and was blinking groggily at him. “Wha’happen?” she asked.
He shot up from his seat to make her lie down again. “You shouldn’t be sitting up! You took a bullet to the abdomen in the fight today.”
She pushed him off. “I’m fine.” She ran her tongue over her teeth and grimaced. “My mouth feels like cotton.”
“Yeah, they had to do surgery.” Pete wrung his hands and rocked back on his heels. “I’m sorry.”
Amanda looked at him like he was crazy. “For what?”
“That guy was aiming at me…”
She rolled her eyes. “How’s it your fault he was a lousy shot? Don’t beat yourself up too bad.” She eyed his face, and he knew she was looking at the bruises that his suit didn’t quite cover up. “Looks like someone else did a good enough job of that.”
Pete grinned. If Amanda was feeling well enough to take cheap pot-shots at him, she was clearly doing better than he’d thought. “I should…go,” he said. “I’m—visiting hours are over, technically, but the nurse was nice and said I could stay until you woke up. I’ll go tell her you’re up—”
Amanda grabbed his wrist as he started to turn away. “Hey.” Her voice was quieter than usual. “Thanks. For waiting, I mean. Means a lot.”
Pete wished his mask covered more than just his cheekbones so it could hide his blush. “Hey, yeah, no problem, anytime,” he blustered. “I’m, uh, yeah, it was, um, I’m good. Yeah.”
She shot him a wry smile and Pete felt his chest tighten. “Fuckin’ dork,” she mumbled, releasing his wrist and moving to get out of bed.
“Nooooo no no no no no no,” Pete said, trying to shove her back into bed as gently as possible. “The nurse said that’s definitely not allowed.”
“You should sleep.”
Pete looked up at Amanda, blinking tiredly. “I could say the same to you.”
She shrugged, but her shoulders drooped and her one eye was near bloodshot. It was obvious she was just as exhausted as he was. “I’ll live. You look like death. You should sleep.”
He shook his head, but stood up from the couch. “Not unless you do, too.”
Amanda waved him off. “I’ll crash on your couch in a couple hours; it’s fine.”
“It’s not fine,” Pete insisted. He’d seen this pattern with Amanda before. She was going to work herself to death long before her mother or the Organization or whoever else got to her. “I mean, you can stay over, that’s fine, but I’ll take the couch. You can have my bed.”
She rolled her eyes. “It’s a bit late to be acting the gentleman, Pete.”
“No, just, you’re still injured.” He gestured to her stomach, where he knew a new scar was forming from the bullet that should’ve hit him. His gut still twisted when he thought about it, so he tried not to, but it was hard. “You should have the bed.”
“You’re still on about that?” She didn’t sound annoyed, which Pete took as a win, more exasperated and fond. Heat bloomed in his chest. “I’m fine. Honestly, Pete. I’ve never had someone worry about me as much as you do.”
“Someone has to,” he said. “You’re not going to worry about yourself.”
She cracked a wry smile. “I could say the same to you,” she said. She held up her hands in mock defeat. “Alright, let’s stop arguing and get some sleep. We’re not going to get anywhere about finding Slim tonight, anyway. But I’m taking the couch.” She pointed at him when he opened his mouth. “No arguing.”
Pete closed his mouth and pretended to zip it, lock it, and throw away the key. Amanda’s laugh brought the warmth back to his chest.
The realisation that he had a crush on Amanda wasn’t anything huge or earth shattering. It came when she dropped by his apartment to use his shower after a mission, claiming it was closer than any of her safe houses. She casually sauntered in like she lived there, dropped her weapons in a heap by the door, and headed for the bathroom. Pete idly flipped through a magazine until she came out, plopped down on the couch next to him, and started reading over his shoulder.
And suddenly he realised huh, I think I’m in love with her.
Pete liked to think of himself as a laid-back guy. He rolled with the punches, went with the flow. Whatever happens, happens, and things will always work out in the end. That was how he’d always lived his life.
But even the most laid-back people in the world needed some gumption, so he turned to Amanda and said “hey, do you want to go out with me?”
She stared at him, eyebrows raised. “What?”
He smiled at her, suddenly realising what he’d just done and instantly getting nervous. “Well, you know, like. On a date? Wait, do you date? Just, uh, in general?”
“I—haven’t dated,” she said slowly, “not for a while.”
“Me neither. I mean, well, it’s been a few years, give or take, but anyway, I just wondered? If you’d be interested, I mean. In dating me, specifically. I just realised that I think I have a crush on you and I like you a lot so I thought maybe I should ask, because hey, you don’t know until you put yourself out there, so—”
Amanda clapped a hand over his mouth. “You’re rambling.” She moved her hand away and sighed, closing her eye. “I…I like you too, Pete. I think I have for a while now.”
Grinning, Pete cupped her face with both hands. “We’d make a great couple, you know. We both worry too much about each other because we won’t worry about ourselves.”
She laughed, and the sound brought the warmth back to his heart. “True enough.” She paused. “So now what? Do we make out or what?”
Pete's face went hot. “Yes. We—we should do that.”