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Today of All Days, See How the Most Dangerous Thing Is to Love

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Yusuf stared at the ceiling, unable to sleep. Nicolo didn’t seem to be having the same problem, he was dead asleep, curled up against him with his head pillowed on Yusuf’s chest. He absentmindedly ran his fingers through the other man’s hair, not really sure what he needed to do.

The events of the past few days ran through his mind. The mission, realizing it was a set up, finding a new immortal. Then getting taken to Merrick and tortured, learning Andy was mortal, and finding out that Sebastien, their little brother, was the one that betrayed them.

Yusuf couldn’t help but think that they must have done something wrong. How did he manage to miss the fact that Sebastien felt this way? Was he really that bad of a brother, that he didn’t notice how desperate the younger immortal was to die?

“Yusuf,” a voice said softly, snapping him out of his thoughts. “Joe, are you okay?”

“I’m fine, go back to sleep, habibi,” he said softly, but something must have slipped into his voice.

“No, something’s wrong. What are you thinking about?” Nicolo asked.

“Booker.”

Nicolo sighed.

“I don’t- how did I not notice? How did I miss this?”

“We all did, Yusuf.”

“But how? He’s family, Nicolo. Our baby brother. And we, what, just didn’t notice that he was so miserable that he was willing to be experimented on in the hopes that someone would find a way to kill him?” There were tears silently running down his cheeks.

Nicolo moved, pushing himself up on one elbow and looking at Yusuf before gently brushing the tears from his face.

“Do not blame yourself.”

“I can’t just blame it all on him, Nicolo!” Yusuf said, sitting up. “I- we failed him. Somewhere down the line, something we did, or maybe it was something we didn’t do, pushed him away. He didn’t come to any of us about this, and he should have been able to.”

Nicolo wrapped his arms tightly around him.

“You’re right, we must have messed up, but this isn't on you, or on any of us. It’s on him. He made the choice to set us up, to expose us, not you.”

“I can[t help but think, maybe if I’d done something differently. Checked in on him more, made sure he was okay, that he knew he always would have us. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened.”

“We will do better,” Nicolo said quietly. “It is not our fault, but we will do better when he returns anyway. Now, lie back down. You must sleep.”

“Okay,” Yusuf mumbled, defeated, allowing Nicolo to lie down with him still in his arms.

“Goodnight, my love,” Nicolo murmured. “Sleep well.”