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Storm Clouds

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Rolling over in his bed Chris let out a frustrated groan as the first hints of the morning sun filtered through the blinds. When he laid down he had hoped that he had at least an hour or two of sleep, but that was too much to ask for apparently.

After the weekend that he had had all he wanted to do was roll over on his side once more and shut his eyes. The idea of blocking out the rest of the world and finally getting the rest he was so desperate for called to him. It was also the last ting that he was currently able to do.

Hannah had allowed the team an extra few days off after back to back cases had almost driven them into the ground. She had pointed out that nothing good ever came when people were looking for shadows over their shoulders. Especially when those people had guns. Which was actually a fair assessment of what was going on with them.

If only the rest of his life had gotten the memo. Four days off to relax and get his head back on straight and that was the last thing he had been able to do. It seemed every time he thought that he was able to sit on his porch with a beer his phone was ringing with someone asking for his help.

Not that he was actually complaining about. Chris loved that he had so many people around him that trusted him enough to know that he would help in any way that he could. He was never more grateful than when he was reminded of that.

The major flaw with that though was the fact that he did not actually feel the best. When they had taken down the suspect he had ended up flat on his back his head cracking into the concrete floor. It had left him with a headache that had just gotten worse as he tried to do paperwork.

He had actually been hopeful that the time off would help get rid of it for good. A little time at home with his family doing some housework was just what he had thought he needed. It was not what he got though and that was his own fault.

Mostly because he hated saying no to anyone that needed help. It was something that his brother said he shared with their Mama. The last thing either of them wanted to do was leave someone when they needed help. Even if they were about to fall over themselves.

That knowledge always brought a smile to his face. Everyone always pointed out that he looked and acted like his father while Cade was like their mother. Not that it was a bad thing, but he liked knowing he had a bit of her in him as well. Especially now that she was gone.

He could still remember just how much love had filled their home when she was alive. The laughter that used to echo through the hallways made his heart feel warm though he hadn't heard it in years. Every second of his childhood in that house made the world seem brighter. Better.

His Mama was the most wonderful person that he had ever known. Her heart had shown through everything that she did. Even years after she had died her name could still bring smiles to the people that heard it.

He could also still hear the broken sobs that his Daddy tried to hide behind closed doors. The clinging of glass bottles hitting tables as they were emptied. The oppressive silence that made him feel like he couldn't even open his mouth to breathe let along actually talk.

For the first few years after her death it was as if everything had drained. All that was there was pain and tears. It was as if all the love had been torn from the house leaving them all living in the shadows.

It wasn't often that he felt truly scared by things, but the way everything changed after her death terrified him. How one person broke so many never failed to make his heart pound. He would have understood if it was him and his family, but it had seemed like the whole town stopped.

As much as he loved his Mama a part of him hated her for that too. Something that didn't always make sense to him. It wasn't her fault that she had gotten sick and died. She had fault with everything that she was until she just couldn't fight anymore.

No, what got to him was how much pain her death had caused. Perfect strangers seemed to be devastated about the fact that she was gone. That they would never get the chance to meet her. To feel the warmth that she brought everywhere with her.

It wasn't fair of her to be hurting them so much and it wasn't fair of them to feel as if they deserved to mourn someone that they had never known. That should have belonged to her family, but it hadn't.

Even years later those emotions played through his mind with every case that he worked. He didn't know the people whose murders he was called in to solve, yet the amount of time he spent mourning them… He understood a lot better now than he did when he was a child.

Then his stepmother came into their lives. He could admit at first that he was not a fan of hers. The last thing he wanted was another woman coming into their lives and doing all the things his Mama should have been there for.

It had taken awhile before he had seen who she truly was and had fallen in love with her. She had brought some of the light back into all of their lives. Something that he would never be able to truly thank her for. It was because of her that his family had come back together again.

So when she had asked him for some help with the house the next time he had some time off he hadn't even thought to say no. She might not have given birth to him, but she was just as much his mother as his Mama was.

There hadn't actually been all that much work that needed to be done when he got there. He knew that it would take maybe a day and a half and he'd get to be with his family for a bit. It was a win win in his mind.

Before he had even really gotten started on the house though a neighbor's fence had needed some repair. Again it hadn't been all that much and the couple that lived there had been like grandparents to him so he had said yes.

That kept happening over and over until he felt overwhelmed by it. He wasn't supposed to be back home for all that long and with the amount of work that he had said he'd do there just hadn't been time for him to get some rest.

Which lead him to where he was. Laying in bed feeling as if a semi had run him over. There was no part of him that didn't feel painful. All he wanted to do was call into work and sleep the rest of the day away.

He couldn't in good conscious do that though. As long as he was able to stand on his feet and think straight than he was able to be at work. Even if all he did was paperwork. That was something he got from his father.

It wasn't the best thing for him and he did know that, but sitting around being in pain when others needed him was not the person that he was. Anyways, it was mostly his head that was bothering him. A couple of asprin and some of that tea Sebastian was always drinking and he'd be fine.

Not that he was going to let the man know just how bad he was feeling. It wasn't often that Sebastian let his anger take over him, but he was protective of the people he cared about and also a bit of a mother-hen.

If Chris let him know that he wasn't doing all that when than he'd be in so much trouble it wasn't funny. That was the last thing he wanted to do to either of them. So he was going to suck it up and not show anyone how badly he felt. Especially after what had happened between them the last time he had gone to work not feeling the best.

He would never be able to get over seeing the normally happy man look completely void of emotion. That had been the main reason he hadn't fought as Sebastian practically drug him out of work that day.

If Chris was honest it wasn't even close to being the first time that someone on the team had done that to him. All of them had done that to him at least once in their time working together. It had been different though.

Maybe it was because they had only been dating for a short amount of time. Maybe Sebastian had just gotten to the point where he was done seeing Chris like that. He had no idea, but it had been different.

Instead of rolling his eyes, saying something sarcastic to hide the worry, and forcing him to drive back home Sebastian hadn't said a thing. No, he gripped Chris's wrist almost painfully and forced him into his own car before taking him home.

The agent had tried to say something to break the silence on the drive, but all Sebastian would do was grip the steering wheel tighter his eyes narrowing at the road like he was trying to make it burst into flames.

By the time they got back to his home Chris had fallen silent himself his mind attempting to figure out what was going on with his boyfriend. He didn't have a single clue until they were in his bedroom and Sebastian started to try to pull his clothes off him.

He had been so exhausted at that point he had barely been able to stand let alone push the man away. Once he was in his boxers though he was pushed onto his bed and forced underneath the covers. It was only than that Sebastian had decided to speak.

He could still hear the angry, tearful way the man had demanded he quit forcing people to watch as he slowly killed himself. That he start to think about how much it hurt them to have to watch as he ran himself into the ground.

With the last of his energy Chris had pulled the man into his arms and held him as tightly as he could while he tried to get control over himself. Even the memory of that day broke his heart in a way he couldn't explain.

With all of that in his head though he couldn't bring himself to call in. He wasn't really sick at all. It was just that he was tired and sore with a little bit of a headache that just wouldn't go away. It wasn't ideal, but wasn't worth calling out either.

Anyway, it was their first day back. It wasn't as if they were going to be called in on a case and if they were he would tell Hannah what was going on and work at his desk until he did start to feel better. It would be fine.

So despite the fact that all he wanted to do was sleep he pushed the blanket off of him and started to get ready for work. If everything went the way it should than he'd barely be a few minutes late. It would be fine.

Chapter Text

Refilling his cup of tea for what felt like the hundredth time that morning Sebastian found himself staring at the clock hoping that it was wrong. Which was highly improbable given how many other clocks he had checked on the way to the kitchen that said the exact same thing.

When he had woken up that morning he had been so excited to get to work and finally be able to see everyone again. After their long weekend away from each other it was nice to know that they were finally going to be around each other again.

Alright, so he had been excited to see Chris, but who could really blame him? It had been days since he had last been able to talk to the man. Something that he hadn't realized would be as hard as it was.

It never occurred to him that they saw each other every day. That being away from him would hurt as much as it did. Especially since he hadn't been able to jump on his phone and send a text to his boyfriend.

Though if he was going to be honest he hadn't wanted to text Chris. All he had wanted to do was grab the phone and hear that drawl. Despite the fact that he had lived in the south all his life and heard basically every southern accent there was something about the mans that always got to him.

It wasn't until his mother had forced him to put away his phone that he had even realized that he wasn't going to hear the man until he got back. Something that sounded more than a little pathetic when he thought it. He was only going to be gone for a handful of days!

It was because of all of that he decided that he was going to tell Chris exactly what he had been thinking. If it had been any other of the people that he dated in the past he would have hidden that very embarrassing fact, but it wasn't any of them.

They had been friends for too long for any of that to actually matter to him. Okay, so it mattered, but it didn't make him feel as if he had to hide any of it. It was surprisingly liberating to be with someone that already knew him.

That wasn't to say that he actually thought that they were going to get together. Never in his wildest dreams would have have thought that they would start dating and he had a very healthy imagination. One night changed all of that though.

He felt a smile come to his lips as he thought back on it. It probably should have been special given everything that had happened, but it had actually been a fairly normal night with all of the team having a nice dinner that Pride had decided to make for them.

A part of him loved that it seemed to happen so naturally. It wasn't like how it was in books or movies. At the same time though he didn't think it would have happened any other way than how it did in the end.

Okay, so Sebastian still wasn't sure exactly what happened. All he could remember was walking to their cars after dinner and dropping his keys. Chris bent down to pick up them up laughing at something that he had said and when he came back up he fell silent just staring up at him.

Nothing happened for a moment. It was like some kind of spell had been cast. They just stared into each others eyes before Chris's reached up his hand coming to rest on Sebastian's neck his thumb gently caressing the skin. Sebastian had felt like he couldn't breathe as the hand guided him down until their lips were pressed against each others. Everything seemed to fall in place after that.

Sebastian knew that there was nothing really grand about how they had started their relationship and if he was truthful he knew that not much had changed in how they acted with each other either. Yet he loved everything about it and he wouldn't change a thing.

Okay, so there were a few things that he didn't exactly like. The fact that Chris was so… Chris sometimes. Not that that made any sense. As much as he loved the man he also periodically felt like he was bashing his head into a wall.

He knew from experience just how difficult it was to just stop for a moment. He understood that so much it wasn't funny. It was something that he had been trying to deal with for as long as he could remember.

Sebastian had always had a difficult time slowing his brain down so he could actually figure out what was being thought. He rambled about any- and every- thing that came into his mind just so he could stop thinking about it and move on.

He also had a difficult time saying no to people when they asked him something. Especially if it was someone that he cared about. He was pretty much completely out of luck. He always agreed to help however he could. Still, despite what it seemed like he had gotten a lot better than he used to be.

Chris, on the other hand, didn't really notice that something was off with what he was doing. He never stopped to complain or talk about what was happening until someone physically stopped him. No, he clenched his jaw and acted as if nothing was wrong.

That was the thing that got to Sebastian more than he liked to admit. He wanted to smack the other man just to get him to see that he didn't have to try to do everything by himself. Hell, he didn't even have to do everything at all!

Yeah, he spent quite a lot of time worrying about the agent. Even before they started to date he worried. There was just something about Chris that made him want to keep an eye on the man and make sure he didn't do something stupid. Which was always possible.

Chris had got to be one of the most caring and protective people on the planet. To everyone other than himself. To himself it was as if he couldn't give a damn. Nothing mattered to him as long as the people around him were fine.

Knowing what he did about the mans past Sebastian found himself more often than not trying his best to be there for his boyfriend when he did need to talk. Something that had actually not happened just yet.

At least it hadn't happened with him. He knew that Pride had stepped in a few times and did his best to be there for Chris. It wasn't an easy thing to do though. It would be so easy for the man to fall since it was so hard to gauge where he was mentally.

Which brought him to where he was currently. Standing in the middle of the kitchen waiting for his boyfriend to show up. Or text him at least. Anything that let him know that he was alive and okay. At that point he'd take pretty much anything to ease his mind. Especially since Chris should have been there an hour ago.

Sebastian shakily took a sip of his drink trying to calm his mind. To say that he was nervous was an understatement. He felt like he was about to go out of his freaking mind and he honestly had no idea how he was supposed to keep going as if nothing was wrong.

It hadn't been an easy case they had worked on before their break, but there also hadn't been something that felt personal to any of them. At least that's what he had thought. Maybe he had missed something and Chris just hadn't talked. It wouldn't even be close to the first time that happened. And if that did happen that meant that Chris had been alone for days thinking about what it was that happened.

Unless it had nothing to do with the case and something bad had happened while he was gone. He had said that he was going to go help with stepmother out with something. What if he had gotten hurt awhile he was gone?

"Sebastian," Hannah suddenly greeted walking in with Gregorio, "Have a fun time with your Mom?"

"Yeah," he offered only half hearing what she said.

"Thinking about Chris still?" Gregorio tried shaking her head, "You've been thinking about him since you got in last night. I still don't know why you didn't just got to his place when you got in. I don't know why you're not with him now."

He opened his mouth to point out that the man wasn't there yet when he finally caught sight of his boyfriend. Practically throwing his cup onto the counter Sebastian ran out of the room needing to get to the man and lay his mind to rest.

"Chris!" Sebastian called out a grin coming to his lips only to slide off a moment later when he took the man in, "Chris?"

Over the years that they had known each other Sebastian had seen Chris in a few different states. From drunk to tired to injured he knew how the man acted. Looking at him now… All he wanted to do was rush to the man and make sure he was okay.

Swallowing roughly he slowly made his way over to his boyfriends side his hands itching to reach out and touch him though he looked like he couldn't even handle that. Instead he found himself watching as the man half stumbled towards his desk not paying attention to his surroundings.

Out of the corner of his eyes Sebastian saw Hannah and Gregorio walk in their eyes locked on Chris as well. None of them could think of what to say as they watched the man continue to try to move forward.

"C-Chris," Sebastian tried once more his voice sounding weak even to himself.

This time the man turned his head towards them. Sebastian felt his eyes go wide and his heart stutter to a stop when he got a good look at his face. Chris looked like he had gotten into a fight with someone and lost. Badly.

Underneath a few days of beard growth his skin was blotched black and blue with bruises that looked new. Normally bright blue eyes seemed so dull and empty as they stared more through him than at him.

All the worry that Sebastian had been feeling seemed to triple just looking at the man. It had only been four days! How could he look the way he did after that short amount of time? What the hell had happened to him when he was home?

"'Bastian?" Chris questioned his voice sounding rough with confusion.

"Yeah," Sebastian nodded finally stopping in front of his boyfriend, "Chris, are you… What happened?"

"What? Nothing, Sweetheart. I'm fine. Just a little headache still."

"Still? Wait, you're head has been hurting since that guy threw you into the floor?"

"I'm okay."

"Chris, that was… Do you know what today is?"

"Course, 'Bastian."

"Then tell me."

"Tell you what?"

Sebastian couldn't help but squeeze his eyes shut at the question. It was so easy to tell that something wrong with his boyfriend and an all too familiar panic flared in him. All he wanted to do was turn to someone else and see if they could help.

If it was anyone else that was probably exactly what he would do. It wasn't just another person though. It was Chris. The person that he was slowly and surly falling in love with. He couldn't just pass it off to someone else. He'd never forgive himself if he did that.

"Chris," Sebastian started before shaking his head, "Peaches, please, what's the last thing you remember?"

"I..." Chris tried to start his voice trailing off as he stared at the floor, "Umm… I remember… You?"

"Me? What was I doing?"

"You made me a cup of tea. I just finished it off."

"Peaches, that was four days ago."

Chris slowly lifted his head until he was looking up at him. In that moment he looked so young and lost as Sebastian wanted to do was wrap him in a hug and never let go. He'd do anything to never see that look on his boyfriends face again.

"Okay, Chris," Hannah tried stepping closer to them, "What do you say we go to the hospital?"

Blue eyes blinked slowly as Chris turned his head towards their boss. For a moment it was as if he was going to agree with what had been said. Taking that as an agreement Hannah stepped forward once more. Before any of them could say anything Chris seemed to come alive.

Moving with a practiced easy they watched Chris grab Hannah's extended hand and throw her over his shoulder sending her into her desk. Jerking back Sebastian stared with wide eyes as Chris moved like he was ready to fight.

"Hey!" Gregorio barked out moving towards him, "What the hell are-"

"You're not touching them," Chris growled out his eyes narrowing.


"Chris-" Sebastian tried to say only to freeze when his boyfriend turned back to him. It wasn't Chris in front of him it was Agent LaSalle and there was absolutely no recognition of who he was in the mans eyes.

"You couldn't just leave them alone, could you?," Chris glared moving towards them like he was about to strike, "Haven't you done enough, you bastard!"

Moving quickly Sebastian grabbed Gregorio's arm and pulled her towards him barely avoiding the punch Chris threw. He spun towards them a snarl on his lips despite the fact that his eyes were still completely blank. Sebastian felt his hear stop at the sight.

"Chris?" Sebastian tried as the man stalked towards them, "Chris, can you hear me?"

"You son of a bitch," the agent growled his hands clenching into fists, "You killed them. You killed my family!"

"I am your family! Chris, you need to look at me. Really look at me. Tell me you see me. Please, tell me you see me, Peaches."

"How could you take them from me? How could you-"

As suddenly as he had began Chris came to a stop his face draining completely of blood. Knowing what was going to happen before it did Sebastian shot forward catching his boyfriend in his arms as he went completely limp.

"Chris!" Sebastian cried out cradling the man to his chest, "Chris?"

Chapter Text

Dropping the pen onto the desk Pride let out a soft exhale as he stretched his cramping hand. He had been stuck at his desk for the past week filling out the exact same form over and over with nothing else in-between. He was tired. Alright, so there might have been other things, but it honestly hadn't felt like it. It barely felt as if time was passing at all.

In the back of his mind he knew that the job he was doing was important. Despite how much flack he always gave the higher ups they had a tough job to do. Something that he was learning and hating every second of.

How filling out paperwork could possibly be more stressful than chasing down murders he didn't know, but it was. He had never wanted to go on vacation and be away from it all more than he did at the moment. And there was no real reward to balance out that stress.

Instead he spent hours feeling as if he was letting everyone down. From his family to his city he couldn't help thinking that he wasn't doing everything in his power to give them everything they needed to be okay.

He had always been in the middle of things. He did everything he could to help keep the city safe. Just like he did everything he could to make sure that if anything ever came after his family they had to get through him first.

It wasn't the easiest job to do by any means, but he always felt as if he was doing something. Even when he got hurt it was worth it to him because he knew he did it to stop it from happening to someone that wasn't prepared for it.

Now he was safe behind a desk. A safety that people seemed to think he had earned after everything that he had gone through over the last few years. A safety that his daughter felt thankful for every day. A safety that he ran away from at every possible chance that he could find.

His place was out with his team chasing down the bad guys and solving cases. Making his city safe. Not filling out paperwork and meeting with people who barely understood what an agent even did for them and didn't give a damn about New Orleans and her people.

That was one of the reasons he was so excited. His team… Hannah's team was back from their long weekend and he'd be able to get away from the mundane job that he was now doing. For a moment at least.

Ever since he had agreed to let them have a bit of time off he had been waiting for them to come back. It was one thing back when all of them had their time off together. Then he knew that he could relax and let his own guard down.

Now he had to continue to work even when they were gone. The amount of times he had reached for his phone only to realize that everyone else was out relaxing was pathetic. He hadn't realized just how alone he felt without them around.

Shaking that thought away Pride stood up and started to make his way out of his office trying his best to look as if he wasn't about to make a prison escape. Even if that was exactly how he was feeling.

His mind was already going over what he was going to find when he got to the bullpen. It was a little over an hour since they started working and he knew they weren't working a case just yet. Instead they'd be catching up.

A smile came to his lips as he thought back to all of the times that had happened before. He could still remember getting up slightly earlier than normal just so he could get something in the oven for them to come back to.

Five to ten minutes before any of them actually had to be at work Chris would come walking in with a smile on a face and drinks for everyone. Not just any drinks either. No, these, as Patton liked to say, were their 'first day back' drinks. A little on the more expensive side, but still worth it.

Either Tammy or Sebastian would come in next. Both of them looked so much calmer and less like they wanted to bury their heads in a pillow and scream. Okay, Tammy usually looked like she wanted to open fire, but the premiss was the same.

Those were always some of Pride's favorite days. Being able to see the light back in all of their eyes after their cases started to wear them thin never failed to warm his heart. Even when they started to act like the children that everyone always compared them to.

The amount of times he watched all of them behave as if they didn't face down nightmares on a daily basis helped him in ways he couldn't explain. Being with them let him see exactly what it was he was fighting for.

At the same time though it reminded him of how everything had changed for the team. Both Brody and Sonja had moved on to bigger and better things. Now he was gone as well. The team had changed so much over the years and it felt so bittersweet to him.

It wasn't as if it was a bad thing that they changed. Hell, he was proud of every single one of them for becoming the people they were. A part of him just missed how things used to be. That was the thing about being a parent that he hated and to him everyone on the team was his child.

With all of that in mind he decided to stop at a bakery that they all loved and grab a treat for them. It wasn't what he was used to doing but it was better than nothing. It was time that he changed a little with everything else. That didn't mean that he wasn't going to be there though.

After he grabbed some food for them all he got back in the car and drove to the office. A large smile was on his lips as he made his way into the bullpen. Everything that he had been expecting went out of the window as he watched Sebastian dive to catch Chris as he collapsed to the floor.

Dropping everything that he was carrying Pride skidded to his knees so he was next to the younger men his hand already coming out to check Chris's pules. He felt his heart fall as he took in how weak the beating was. This wasn't supposed to happen. It was supposed to be a good day.

"Sebastian, lay him on his back," Pride ordered taking control of the situation, "Gregorio, call for a bus."

Almost instantly he could hear Gregorio on the phone, but Sebastian continued to hold Chris as if his life depended on it. Which, given how much he knew the younger man loved his boyfriend, wasn't far from the truth for him.

He hated how vulnerable and destroyed Sebastian looked. It was clear that his mind was trapped thinking that Chris wasn't going to get back up. A thought Pride did not want to think about too hard. A thought he couldn't focus on.

"Sebastian," Pride tried again hoping he sounded calmer, "You need to lay Chris on his back."

"He's barely breathing," Sebastian replied his voice breaking painfully, "Pride, he's barely breathing."

"I know, Sebastian. That's why you're going to lay him flat on his back. Right?"

"I'm going to… Right. Yeah. On his back. Flat on his back."

Pride let out a sigh as Sebastian finally seemed to come back into reality. Moving back slightly he helped the younger man lower Chris to the floor doing his best to ignore the fact that he was completely limp.

He looked so still just laying there. It was all too easy to think that he had stopped breathing. Pride had seen one too many dead bodies over the years to not know exactly what they looked like. He would never not be able to see Chris as if he was…

Pushing those thoughts away Pride forced himself to focus. Right now they all needed him to think like a cop instead of a father. He had seen too many situations go sideways because a trained person got so caught up they forgot their training.

That was the last thing that any of them needed right now. Especially since he knew that they were already close to fully panicking. There needed to be one person thinking clearly. Well, as clearly as possible. Right now that was him and he was going to be at his best for his boys. Both of them.

"Sebastian," Pride said hoping to get the man to focus on him instead of whatever it was going through his mind, "I need you to tell me what happened before I got here. Did Chris say anything at all that might have lead to this?"

"I don't… He said his head hurt," the tech started his eyes darting between Chris and Pride.

"Okay, did he say why it hurt?"

"I think it was because of the fight we had with the suspect. He said it still hurt. I tried to ask more questions, but he was confused. The only other thing I could think to ask was what today was."

"What did he say?"

"He didn't. He forgot I ask the question almost as soon as I asked it."

Pride felt his stomach drop at that. He might not be a doctor, but he had seen enough head injuries over the years to know just how bad they could be. Not remembering something right after it was asked paired with having a headache for days spelled disaster.

"Was there anything else?" Pride asked gently resting a hand on Chris's forehead and noting the heat radiating off of him.

"Yeah," Sebastian offered the tears he was trying to hold back clear in his voice, "I asked him what the last thing he remembered was."

"What did he say?"

"The cup of tea I brought him. I brought him that cup when we were doing paperwork. Four days ago. That was when Hannah came in. She was talking about going to the hospital. Then… It was like a switch flipped. He hit Hannah and started to go off like he thought we were the bad guys. He didn't… Pride, he had no idea who I was. He didn't know me."

The absolute devastation in Sebastian's voice was heart-wrenching. Yes, they all had their moments when something happened and they broke down crying, but it was different now. Sebastian was never supposed to have the look on his face. He was never supposed to look like his whole world was falling apart.

When the two men had gotten together he had been over the moon for them. They had been dancing around each other for so long he thought it would never happened. How they had been so blind for so long was beyond him.

For some reason though he had forgotten to think of times like this. They all knew just how dangerous and deadly their jobs were and how that affected relationships. The likelihood of something horrible happening to one of them was astronomical.

The fact that it had taken months for it to happen was surprising to say the least. Maybe that was why it was so easy to forget that it was going to happen at some point in time. Maybe if they remembered how dangerous it was they wouldn't have gotten together. Or they would have done it sooner. Maybe it would have been better if they hadn't started to date at all.

All those thoughts circled in his head until he felt someone drop next to him. Looking up he saw the paramedics trying to get to Chris. A small voice in him demanded that he not leave the younger mans side even though he knew he wasn't doing any good.

Forcing all of that away Pride stood up and took a few steps away at the same time Tammy forced Sebastian up. For a moment it looked as if he was going to fight her grip, but instead he gripped her shirt tightly in his fists.

It felt like hours passed as they all watched the paramedics work. The normally noisy bullpen was suddenly completely silent except for the paramedics trying to figure out what was wrong with Christopher. What the hell had happened to the boy that this was what was happening?

"We need to move him," one of them finally spoke up causing everyone to look at them.

Question after question popped into Pride's mind, but with barely more than a quick utterance of what hospital Chris was being taken to the paramedics were out the door. After they left it was as if everything had stopped. Pride could almost act as if the last few minutes had been a nightmare he made up.

Then he heard a shaky sob echo through the space. Tearing his eyes away from the doorway he looked back at everyone he caught sight of Sebastian his head tilted towards the floor his shoulders shaking with sobs.

"Hannah," Pride offered hating how weak he sounded, "The three of you need to get to the hospital."

"What about you?" she questioned her brow furrowed in confusion.

"I have some calls to make and I'll meet you there."

"I can..."

"It's okay. Mrs. LaSalle already knows me. I won't be long. Go."

Hannah stared at Pride looking as if she wanted to argue, but she must have seen something on Pride's face that made her nod her head reluctently. Gathering both Sebastian and Gregorio she lead them out of the building leaving him alone.

Reaching out he placed his hands on a desk and forced himself to take a few deep breaths. Every single part of him wanted to just stop. He wanted to go to the hospital with his family and wait for news on his son.

He would never forgive himself though if something really was wrong and he hadn't called Chris's family. With one last breath he picked up the phone and dial a number he memorized long ago though he rarely called.

"Mrs. LaSalle," Pride greeted when she answered, "It's Dwayne Pride… Yes, Ma'am. Chris's boss."

Chapter Text

Sebastian felt like the world was spinning out of the control even as time stood still. It had been a few hours since he and the rest of the team had ended up in a hospital waiting room and it was truly starting to get to him.

A part of him wanted to jump up and take off running in hopes of getting rid of some of the energy that was building up in him. The other part of him felt as if the entire world was pushing down on him making it so he could barely breathe let alone move.

He didn't really understand why he felt the way that he did. It wasn't like it was the first time that he ended up in the waiting room wondering what the hell was happening with someone he cared about.

It wasn't even the first time that he had been waiting for news on Chris. It didn't happen very often, mostly because the man was stubborn and usually refused to go, but it had happened a handful of times. This time was no different.

Except that it was different. It was actually very, very different than any other time because he wasn't just waiting to find out if his friend and co-worker would be alright. He was waiting to see if his boyfriend would be alright.

All Sebastian wanted to do was focus on what was going on. He wanted to be watching the swinging door for a doctor or nurse to come out and tell them what was going on. Or staring out the window thinking about nothing at all. Just waiting.

That was what everyone around him was doing. Tammy had taken up residence by the windows as soon as they got there while Hannah and Loretta were on either side of him trying to offer some kind of silent support.

A part of him wished that he could be that person. Yes, Chris was his boyfriend, but he was also friends with everyone in the room. Shouldn't he be trying to support them as well? It's not like any of this was about him.

Instead he was lost in his own thoughts. Which wasn't a new thing by any means. He was always thinking about something or another when he should be focused on the situation at hand. It was just who he was.

Except he didn't want to be thinking. At all. He didn't want images of Chris smiling at him from across the bullpen while they were doing paperwork. Or to suddenly picture the way Chris always fell asleep against him when they had movie nights together. His mind was completely filled though.

Forcing himself to take a deep breath Sebastian tapped his fingers against his knee so not to squirm. He didn't want anyone's attention on him at the moment in time. He had already dealt with that before. Right now he just wanted to be left alone with thoughts that he wished would just shut up for once!

With another deep breath he tried to ignore the thoughts again and focus on his surroundings. A row behind him sat a woman and a little girl. They had gotten there a little after he and the team and had about as much news as they did.

From he had had gathered the little girl had been spending the day with her aunt when the call came in. Her mother had gotten trapped in an apartment fire and had been rushed to the hospital when she was found.

So he sat there listening to the woman attempting to comfort the sobbing child. It didn't seem to be doing any good. The little girl was still as distraught as when they first came. Her cries and pleas for her Mommy tore through him. She sounded so weak. Every word breaking painfully.

A small part of him wanted to follow her lead. To fall onto his knees and scream to anyone that was listening to just let Chris be okay. The longer they waited for some kind of news the more positive he became that it was going to end up being horrible.

At that moment he would do anything to have someone tell them anything. He didn't even really care if it was bad news. He just needed to stop the feeling that his body was slowly collapsing in on itself. He wasn't completely sure that wasn't true.

It was just so wrong on so many levels to him. He had done this whole thing before. Never had he felt the way he currently did. There was just a complete and total hopelessness that just wouldn't leave him alone.

That was not something that he was used to feeling. For the most part he was an optimist. Yes, there were points in time when he went dark. A lot of points in time when he went dark if he was honest, but it wasn't a dark darkness. It was a darkness that for some reason made others laugh even while it terrified him.

For the most part though he was an optimist. Seeing the good where most had trouble had gotten him out of some rough times in his life. It was truthfully one of the things that he actually really liked about himself.

Knowing that he was the one that helped keep a smile on peoples face was one of the best feelings ever. Even when he was in a bad mood he had a tendency to bring smiles to peoples faces. Though that was more because he was a little on the weird side than anything else.

At the moment in time none of that was helping him. How as he supposed to be happy or optimistic with everything that was going on? How was he supposed to help his friends when he felt like everything was falling apart?

It was the oddest feeling. He was trapped in the loop of the little girl crying, Chris staring at him as if he had no idea who he was, and memories of the two of them together. Sebastian had never been more afraid of his own thoughts than he was right then.

Blinking slowly he looked away from the swinging doors to the people around him hoping to take his mind off his thoughts for a moment. Everything looked exactly like it did the last time he looked. Which was either five seconds ago or five years. He wasn't sure.

It wasn't until then though that he realized who wasn't there. In all the time they had been waiting he hadn't seen Pride. He was completely sure that the older man had been there when Chris had passed out, but he hadn't seen him since.

Sebastian was vaguely aware of the fact that Pride had phone calls he had to make, but for the life of him he had no idea what they were for. Only that they would tear at the older mans heart and that he wouldn't let anyone else do it.

Dimly he was aware that there was a lot more to the story that he should really be thinking about, but he couldn't bring himself to do so. All he could do was tilt his head back in the chair and try to ignore just how uncomfortable it was.

At least that was the plan until he heard doors open. Jerking his head up his eyes darted towards the swinging door his heart pounding loudly in his chest. Only the doors that Chris had been taken through were still closed.

Still he found himself staring at them as if watching was going to bring a doctor out of them at any moment. Once he was sure that wasn't going to happen he started to look around only to freeze when he came face to face with Cade.

Suddenly it hit him what Pride had been doing. Why hadn't he realized that Chris's family would have to be called? It wasn't as if that wasn't an exceedingly important thing that happened every time one of them was hurt.

He wanted to smack himself for being so stupid. Yes, he and Chris were dating, but that didn't mean that he was the only one that cared about the man. They all did. And he had seen first hand just how much love Cade had for his brother.

He had only met his boyfriends brother a few times, but it was clear from the start how much the two of them meant to each other. Sebastian used to dream of having a sibling just so he could have the relationship that Cade and Chris had.

Now he was staring at a man he only barely knew and he had no idea what the hell he was supposed to say. It felt so different than any other time they had met before. Without thinking he slowly climbed to his feet and moved in front of the older man.

For the first time since he got to the hospital everything he had been attempting to ignore hit him like a tone of bricks. Feeling his throat begin to close as tears filled his eyes Sebastian felt as if he was breaking.

An odd look came over Cade's face that Sebastian couldn't identify. For a moment he wondered if he should run away. Before he could decide though Cade's hand come out to grab him by the back of his neck and into an almost painfully tight hug. Normally he could hate that feeling, but this time all he could do was sink into the hold letting the man simply hold him.

"I know," Cade muttered into his ear squeezing his neck gently, "Chris is strong. Whatever is happening he's going to fight it and everything will be fine."

"But what if..." Sebastian tried his hands coming to fist in the back of the mans shirt.

"No. Come on, you know Chris. He's never going to let anything stop him when he has something to live for. All his life Chris has been fighting. Anything that came his way he fought. There was always a reason behind that fight though."


"The people he loves, of course. He would kill himself a thousand times if he thought that he could keep his loved ones even slightly safe. I've heard him talk bout you, Sebastian. There's no way he doesn't love you. Just like there's no way he wouldn't fight to get back to you. He's not leaving any time soon. Understand?"

Forcing himself to take a few deep breaths Sebastian repeated Cade's words in his head over and over letting them calm him down. Everyone else in the waiting room had tried to help him like that in their own way, but for some reason he was the only one that succeeded.

"Okay," Sebastian nodded his head after a moment.

"Okay," Cade agreed pulling back from the hug though he kept his hands on his shoulders, "What do we know? Has anyone said anything?"

Shaking his head Sebastian moved back to fall into his chair burying his head in his hands. He felt like he was failing not knowing anything about Chris's condition. Something he knew was stupid, but it didn't help how he felt either way.

Feeling a hand rest on his shoulder Sebastian looked up and saw Pride smiling sadly down at him. It was the first time he had seen the man since Chris had been taken away and he looked horrible to say the least.

"We were hoping that you could help with that, Cade," Pride spoke up before he could think anymore on it, "Do you know what Chris did when he was home?"

"What didn't he do," Cade shook his head, "The boy barely had time to eat."

"What do you mean?"

"Exactly what I said. Every time his phone rang it was someone asking him for a favor and the phone never stopped ringing. As far as I know he never said no to any of them."

Sebastian couldn't help but shake his head at that. For as many times as the man forced him to stop and take care of himself he was horrible at doing it for himself. Before they even started dating he had been forced to step in just to get the man to rest when he needed too.

Something that was happening more and more often. Pulling Chris away from his desk after a case or forcing him to say no to people that called looking for favors. It was all a part of dating the other man.

A part that he hadn't realized he needed to think about when they were apart. He should have kept his phone and made sure that his boyfriend was taking care of himself. Why didn't he do that for himself?

"Christopher," Pride sighed out his disappointment clear.

"I'm guessing he didn't say he'd been injured at work," Hannah offered though they all knew the answer.

"You have met my brother, right?" Cade replied falling into his own chair.

Looking up Sebastian found himself taking in Chris's brother. He looked so guilty for all that was happening. With a quick look around the room he saw the every single one of them had the exact same look on their face.

In that moment he found himself furious at his boyfriend. All of them knew who the man was to the point that they weren't surprised they ended up at the hospital. He was actually shocked it hadn't happened sooner.

A slightly manic laugh slipped from Sebastian's lips as he climbed to his feet and began to pace. As worried as he was for his boyfriend he was all the more pissed at him for making all of them worry and feel guilty. He should have known better than to push himself especially when he was already hurt.

"Sebastian?" Tammy cautiously questioned in confusion.

"I hate him," Sebastian stated not looking at his friends, "I hate him so much right now."

"You and me both, brother," Cade jumped in laughing himself, "You and me both. He's been like this his whole life. Should have seen him when he was younger. Mama was the only one that was ever able to corral him. Though no one ever really corralled her."

Looking at Cade Sebastian found himself picturing what a little Chris would have been like. Running around doing everything for everyone even when he really shouldn't be doing it. They probably didn't even ask. He just did it.

"Cade," Sebastian tried to start only for the swinging doors to open.

Once again his heart started pounding in his chest at the mere thought of finally getting some news. The nurse that walked through gave him a sad smile before she made her way to the little girl and knelt in front of her before she started to talk.

"I really hate this," Sebastian muttered sighing.

"You never actually said what happened," Cade tried after a moment looking around, "How did all of this start?"

"Your brother got thrown into the floor when we were taking down a suspect," Tammy supplied crossing her arms over her chest, "Knocked his head pretty good."

"Something that explains part of the problem with Agent LaSalle," a new voice spoke up causing them all to turn.

Blinking a few times Sebastian stared at the woman for a moment before it hit him that she was a doctor. Everyone jumped up and gathered around her hoping that she had something to say. The look on her face though was causing him to want to turn around and not listen.

"What does it explain, Doctor…?" Pride asked sounding much more hopeful than Sebastian felt.

"I'm Doctor Emily Reeves," she supplied before looking down at the chart in her hands, "With the additional fact that Agent LaSalle had gotten a head injury, I can tell you that it's not nearly has bad as I thought it was."

"What do you mean?" Hannah questioned looking around, "How can the fact he'd been hurt already be a good thing?"

"Because of what the scans are saying. It's clear that there's been head trauma, but there was no cause for that. Without a cause we had nothing to go off of besides the fact that based off his blood-sugar levels I'm guessing he hasn't eaten in awhile and the fact he has a very high fever he was overexerting himself in a very sunny environment."

"He did spend about four days outside in the Alabama heat working on one thing or another for our neighbors."

"He didn't eat or drink water?"

"I know he drank a few cups of water and lemonade or sweet tea, but I could only get him to eat a few stripes of bacon before he was back to working. I guessing that's part of what happened to him?"

"The heat mixed with not eating properly or getting any real kind of rest made it difficult for his body to heal his injuries."

"What does that mean?" Sebastian questioned looking around.

"Head injuries are very finky things. It's difficult to measure just how bad one is so most simply continue their lives thinking nothing of it. That's probably what Agent LaSalle did."

"It was serious though?"

"It was. Nothing a few days rest wouldn't have solved, but he didn't do that. Instead he worked. In doing that work he put his body in a very bad position. It didn't know if it was supposed to use its energy heal him or use it to help him do all the work he was already trying to do. Because of that he pushed his body too hard and it stopped."

"Stopped? Like heart stopping type of stop?"

"No, not that far, but close enough that he's going to have a very rough few days. I'm going to keep him here until we can get his fever down. Right now that's the thing I'm worried about the most. If we can't get it down soon than we're going to have a lot more problems."

"But he'll heal?" Cade wondered staring at her, "Right?"

"I believe so. It just won't be easy. I can tell you right now the temperature that he's currently at is when things in the brain start to fail. Memories, recognition, speech, movement. We need to get it down quickly. A nurse is moving him into a room where we can hopefully do that. I'll send him to get you once that's done."

Chapter Text

Running his hand over his face Cade let out a soft sight as he stared at his little brother trying his best to ignore the idea that Chris wasn't going to wake up anytime soon. He had only been there for an hour! Of course Chris wasn't awake yet.

An hour. One singular hour. Somehow it felt as if he had been watching over the man for days just waiting to see those blue eyes. Although thinking about it it wasn't all that far from the truth if he was honest. And he did not want to be honest.

Ever since he saw his brother a few days back he had been watching him whenever he could. He knew just by looking at the man that something was wrong, but that wasn't all the uncommon whenever he came to visit.

There was no doubt in Cade's mind that Chris loved his job more than anything. The idea of him not being in law enforcement of some kind was laughable. At least until he drug himself home after months of being gone.

All the kindness and light that shined in the blue eyes seemed faded every time he came home. Like he was losing his faith in not just the world, but himself as well. It broke Cade's heart every time he saw his little brother like that.

All of their lives Chris had been the stable one. He was the rock in the storm. Whenever things seemed to start taking a turn for the worse he was right there pulling everyone back from the brink with that same warm smile on his face. Cade couldn't count the number of times he saw someone turn to his brother trying to feel that warmth that he seemed to exude wherever he went.

There was just one problem with that. Eventually all rocks slowly began to get chipped away because of the storms. It might take awhile for it to happen and the damage might not be all that bad, but it was always there and there was nothing anyone could do.

It was just too bad that no one else seemed to notice what was happening to him. Though that probably wasn't as bad as the fact that Chris also seemed to be completely oblivious to what was going on as well.

Not that any of it was all that surprising. Cade had been trying to get Chris to take a minute to breathe and take care of himself since they were little kids. The boy always took on too much. Even when it wasn't his to take on. Especially when it wasn't his.

It was about as easy to rein him in as it sounded. To say that his little brother was hard-headed was an understatement. He had never met someone more careless with their hearts and their lives as Chris was with his.

Which had given him more than a few nightmares. Even before he had announced he wanted to join law enforcement Chris had been the type of person to do all the dangerous things that should probably be left to professionals.

Then he decided that he wanted to be the professional himself! The knowledge that Chris was going to be putting his life in danger day in and day out… He had been waiting for a phone call saying something had happened since he first got his badge.

Up until Chris joined Pride's team every time he was home and the phone rang he had assumed the worst. Before that it was like Chris had nothing to live for other than taking down as many bad guys as he possibly could. Screw getting hurt in the process!

Once Pride had come into his life though something had changed. He had been able to give Chris something that had been missing. Cade wasn't completely sure what that was, but he would never be able to think the man for what he had done.

The fact was that the older agent had seen something in his brother that no one else had. After that he had been able to bring him back from the brink as often as he did was a testament to how much he cared.

That didn't mean that Cade was exactly happy about the turn of events. As much as he loved his brother and knew that things were changing he had a hard time forgetting that Chris didn't need his help nearly as often as he used to.

When they were kids he had done everything in his power to keep his brother safe. Something that he had loved doing. Especially since Chris had needed to have someone step in every once in awhile to stop his more idiotic plans.

That didn't last nearly as long as he had hoped. It moved from him protecting his little brother to Chris protecting him. Not exactly something that he was pleased with, but he couldn't be happier that he was still as close to the younger man as he was.

It was part of the reason he was so mad at himself at the moment. He knew who Chris was. He had seen the lengths that he pushed himself when someone asked for his help. It didn't matter to him if he was hurt as long as he could help.

When no one was there to call him out he didn't stop. He just kept pushing his needs to the side until something gave. Normally it wasn't all that bad. Getting a little sick and being forced to stay in bed was nothing in the long run.

Still, Cade did his best to look at Chris whenever he visited. If he could just catch it in time than things would be fine. Which he did as soon as he saw his brother a few days back. To say he looked like hell was an understatement, but it wasn't close to what he usually looked for. Chris came home when everything in the world started to be too much for him. That was just how it was

At least that was true up until a few months ago. Things had changed a bit ever since Chris and Sebastian had gotten together. In a good way too. Chris suddenly had another place to go when things got to be too much for him. Which Cade was more than a little happy about.

He loved the fact that his brother was starting to open up a little about the things that he wanted instead of letting others come before him. There was nothing better than seeing Chris's smile become more and more true as time went on.

When Sebastian came into his life, even before they started to date, Cade knew that his brother had feelings for him. It had taken everything in him not to push Chris into asking the other man out and speed the process up. Chris never took well to people pushing him into something.

Yet somehow all of that brought him to this moment, sitting in a hospital next to his very sick and unconscious brother. He wasn't completely sure what the hell was going on. He just needed his brother to be okay.

"Cade?" someone asked their hand coming to rest on his shoulder.

Jumping to his feet he spun around only to come face to face with a startled looking Sebastian. He couldn't help laughing. He had no idea who he had thought was behind him, but, of course, it was his boyfriend coming to check on Chris's status.

A status that was still up in the air. Even with what the doctor had told them they had no real clue what was going on with the man. They wouldn't really know until he finally decided it was time to wake up.

It was a little odd to think that he was here because of something that had nothing to do with a case. Alright, so it all started because Chris got hit on the head, but that was minor. A little bit of rest and he would have been fine.

No, it all happened because Chris didn't know how to take care of himself. He should probably be more thankful that it wasn't something like a bullet wound or something that wasn't as simple as it was.

"Sorry," Sebastian apologized holding up his hands showing the cups in his hands, "I didn't mean to startle you."

"It's alright," Cade shook his head falling back in his chair, "One of those for me?"

"Yeah. I didn't know if you'd prefer coffee or tea and since Chris doesn't drink coffee I thought maybe he got that from you. Which I'm now realizing that maybe that was a stupid thing to think. I mean why would he get that from you? That's more of a personal thing. Not that..."


"Yeah? What? Oh! Sorry. I do that."

"No worries. Chris told me."

A faint blush bloomed on Sebastian's face as he handed over a cup. Smiling slightly Cade took a sip letting the tea warm him. He wasn't exactly cold, but just sitting there watching his brother not move had made him feel more than a little chilled. He'd take anything he could to have some comfort at the moment.

"Does he..." Sebastian started before clearing his throat, "Does Chris talk about me a lot?"

"Define 'a lot'?" Cade laughed softly looking from the man to his brother and back, "I knew you two would end dating before he told me."

"You did?"

"Nobody talks about someone like he talks about you without being in love."

The blush grew darker as he begin to stutter. Cade couldn't help snorting at the look of complete disbelief on his face. Slowly the look transformed into a shy smile that had him smiling himself. Chris was right. Sebastian really did look innocent.

"Does he..." Sebastian tried looking at Chris and smiling gently, "We've never said that. But I do. I do love him. Most of the time."

"Not right now I'm guessing."

"You would be right. I know Chris. I know who he is and this isn't surprising at all and that pisses me off."

Hearing the other mans words he couldn't help nodding his head in agreement. He was more than a little pissed off at Chris himself. At the same time though, it was completely clear that Sebastian didn't mean what he was saying. At least not fully.

"Is this going to be our life?" Sebastian asked out loud though it sounded more like he was talking to himself, "Am I going to just be watching him find creative ways to kill himself?"

"Sebastian," Cade tried to say only to stop when he heard a soft whimper.

Looking down at his little brother Cade felt like he had been punched. Gone was the smooth, stress-free look he had before. Instead an almost painful look replaced it. He hated that look more than he would ever be able to explain.

"Chris?" Cade questioned moving to sit at the edge of his seat, "You hear me, little brother?"

Another painfully scared sound fell from Chris's lips as he started to squirm. Without thinking he reached out taking the mans hand causing him to stiffen before his eyes fluttered open. For a moment they simply stared at each other. At least Cade thought they were. Until he noticed how unfocused the gaze seemed.

"Chrissy?" Cade tried his voice barely over a whisper.

Chapter Text

Running a hand over his face Sebastian watched closely as his lover answered question after question the doctors asked him. He finally looked as if he wasn't about to pass out and fall into a coma and it had only taken three days.

Three days of being awake long enough to look around the room before he was out again. He hadn't said anything or even looked as if he recognized anyone that was there. All he did was look around and fall back asleep.

The doctors said that it wasn't all that uncommon for someone with Chris's injuries to do that, but it hadn't actually brought him any peace. In fact, it had made him all the angrier at the other man in the end.

None of them were stupid. Every single person on the team knew that if the agent had just taken a step back from taking care of everyone else and did it for himself they wouldn't have ended up in the hospital wondering if Chris was even going to wake up.

It wasn't a thought that Sebastian liked to think about, even though it did come up a lot. Every single day that they went out into the field he was aware that it could be the last time he saw any of them. Still, it never really hit him until he was watching his lover pass out. They hadn't even been working a case!

"'Bastian?" Chris suddenly called to him dragging the tech from his thoughts, "Hey, you okay over there?"

A part of Sebastian wanted to just smile and be happy that the man was going to be fine. Yes, it had been terrifying to watch him basically fall apart and have no idea what the hell was going on, but he was okay.

Except he found in that moment that he couldn't. All the happiness that he felt having the man that he loved be okay was drowned out by the fact that none of it had to happen. Everything could have been fine if Chris had just thought.

Maybe that made him a bad person. Shouldn't he just be happy about the outcome instead of pissed off at what had brought them there? It's not as if he didn't know that Chris didn't mean for it to happen.

The only problem with that was that Sebastian found that he didn't care. He didn't care that it was an accident. He didn't care that it could have very easily been any one of them. He didn't even care that everything was fine.

All he could focus on was how angry he was. The fact that he wasn't surprised that Chris had done something that ended up with him in the hospital was more of a heartbreaking fact that anything else. It was bound to happen and it would definitely happen again.

"Sebastian?" Chris tried again.

Everything in him wanted to rush to the mans side when he heard that tone. He sounded so lost and scared. It was everything that Chris never should be, but still he found himself standing on the other side of the room just watching.

Even with Cade, Pride, and a doctor looking between them as if they were waiting for something grand to happen he couldn't bring himself to move to his lovers side and give him some kind of comfort.

He wasn't sure how long he stood there his eyes locked on Chris's, but when he finally looked away he noticed that the room was empty except for them. Something that made him chuckle humorlessly.

"Hey," Chris started once more, "It's okay. I'm fine, 'Bastian. Everything's fine."

"Is it?" he replied finally speaking up.

"What do you mean? Of course, it is. The doctors said that everything was looking better and that..."

"For how long though? How long until we're going to be in here again waiting on some kind of news?"

Chris fell quiet at that his eyes dropping to the bedspread. Sebastian couldn't help but scoff as he turned away and made his way closer to the window needing to look at something other than a hospital room.

"You promised me, Chris," Sebastian muttered shaking his head.

"What?" Chris asked confused, "Promised you what?"

"That you wouldn't make me watch you kill yourself."


"No! Don't you dare say that that's not what happened. It's exactly what happened! You decided that you wanted to take care of everyone around you when you should have been taking care of yourself and look where it got you! You're in the hospital, Chris!"

"I know that."

"Do you? Because something tells me that's the last thing you know."

Chris opened his mouth as if he was going to argue only to close it a moment later when nothing came out. Shaking his head Sebastian ran a hand over his face trying to hold back the tears that wanted to fall.

As bad as it sounded he had thought about his lovers death a lot. Even before they started dating. Given what they did for a living it was something that came up a lot. Both in real life and in nightmare form.

Even with all of that though he hadn't thought it all the way through. In his mind it was always in the middle of a case that Chris died. He ended up getting shot and they weren't able to save him. A hero's death.

Standing in the middle of a hospital room he realized just how wrong he had been. Chris wasn't going to getting killed because he was protecting someone else. He was going to get killed because he was protecting someone else.

It had taken a long time for Sebastian to figure out that there was a difference, but now that he understood he couldn't stop seeing it. He also knew that there wasn't a damn thing that he would be able to do to stop it.

"I hate you sometimes," Sebastian offered turning to look at his boyfriend, "I hate you."

"Sebastian," Chris tried to say his voice sounding so broken.

"I hate you because I love you and I know you. I know that we're going to do this again. We're going to do this a hundred times. Nothing's going to change. No amount of me begging for you to be more careful or me getting angry that you can't put yourself first is going to change that. It's going to end up like this one way or another and I hate you for that."

"I'm sorry."

"I know. Just like I know that it's going to happen. You're going to throw yourself into a situation that could get you killed because someone needs to be saved. Why is it the thing that I admire about you is the thing I hate the most too?"

Both men fell silent at that. All the words that had been echoing in Sebastian's head had finally been said out loud and he had been right. Nothing was going to change with them. Not in the long run anyway.

Chris was the person that he was and as long as he was in Sebastian's life than that was going to be something that he had to deal with. And he was very much not okay with the man not being in his life.

A sigh slipped from Chris's lips as he lifted his hand towards his lover. Feeling the tears finally spill over Sebastian made his way to the side of the bed grasping the hand tightly in his own and holding it to his chest.

"I love you, Sebastian," Chris said firmly, "I love you with everything that I am."

"I love you too," Sebastian replied smiling sadly, "I just wished that changed things."