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“Fuck.” is all Ed is capable of saying as he watches James’ body relax considerably.


“He’s going to be okay, you know.” Greg points out from somewhere in the vicinity of the door. He doesn’t sound as though he’s angry, or upset, or worse concerned, something that Ed is sure he would find incredibly relieving, if he was currently capable of feeling anything. Everything feels as though it’s both alarmingly real and entirely surreal at the same time, as though he’s in a particularly vivid and absurd nightmare. Greg’s still talking, his voice a lifeline Ed can cling to through the waves of apathy and exhaustion that are currently threatening to consume him whole.

Extra weight on the mattress beside him startles Ed, although he still feels as though he’s not capable of responding to external stimulation. He’s not even sure when Greg started rubbing his back, firm and comforting circles providing enough pressure to help him feel grounded. “James is going to be absolutely fine, if perhaps a little bruised. Alex is fixing him up with a drink and a snack now, and then he’ll just need rest, okay? I think you could probably do with some sleep too, if I’m honest.”

Ed shrugs, the slight movement of his shoulders somehow terribly exhausting. “I’m sorry.” He manages, voice slightly hoarse - whether that’s due to disuse or tears, he’s not entirely sure. Greg hums, a simple acknowledgment of his apology, moving his hands from Ed’s back up to his shoulders. “There’ll be time for that in the morning, okay? For now, you just need to try and rest. Do you want me to stay?” A new wave of guilt crashes over Ed. He shouldn’t be sulking right now, he should be with James, apologising desperately, and hoping for the chance to make amends. Instead, Alex and Greg have had their evening disrupted, and James is sleeping without him.

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Greg murmurs, planting a gentle kiss in Ed’s hair, and pulling the younger man close. It’s going to be a tough night, but he knows they’ll get through it.