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Quite the explosion.  If he only knew.  He didn't think Gabe truly understood the level at which he operated.  It was only a short distance between safety and fury with him.  What he said in Glamis had not been a threat.  He could deliver everything he promised.  At this point though, he wanted to disappear and leave it behind.  Superficially, he knew he'd done that, truly... he knew he never could.  Everyone else in the damn world had been able to reinvent themselves, why was he the only one  that wasn't allowed to?

 

Pale eyes flicked to him, hand patting the top of his head again to find his glasses.  Eyes weren't much better, had he lost the damn things?

 

Dull stare focused on the hills his legs made under the white blankets, fuzzy around the edges of his vision.  Bad vision, meds, pain, exhaustion... yet he listened.

 

Lashes blinked slowly and the quirked expression cocked his brow as he sought the man out in the darkness.  Was he avoiding him because...?  Because he thought the Czech wanted out?  God damn it.  The most hard headed, brilliant yet oblivious person he had ever met...

 

"Jesus criminey Gabe..."

 

He flopped back on the mountain of pillows with a defeated huff, followed by a pained seethe.  Okay, the collar bone hurt a lot.  Ginger temper and impatience.  Eyes closed, back of his hand resting on his forehead.

 

"Jacob wishes we were done... "

 

He mumbled it under his breath.  That was a shit storm they were going to have to bring to the table, soon.  Jacob was like a damn guard dog that wanted to take a chunk out of his arm because the man didn't deem the ginger worthy.

 

"I don't eat, sleep unless you remind me to and you don't even NEED to eat... your office is constantly covered in my paper crap.  I drink from the carton, hide your booze and let you drive that French German Italian bastard car like a bat out of hell, and your best friend hates my guts.  You shouldn't be putting up with me.:

 

He paused a long time, dry throat finally cracking a quiet voice.  It was becoming very apparent there was some serious friction between he and the bouncer.

 

"My brain never stops moving.  I run on a clock that nobody understands.  Glamis feels like yesterday.  The shit storm over the last few days in New York feels like forever ago.  I didn't realize it had been so long since Scotland.  I wasn't feeling like... myself at the cabin after Maree showed up."

 

Hand moved off his forehead under his own power to take a drink.

 

"Ten years  of my life learning to be alone, okay with the idea of putting a gun in my mouth up until you stuck a knife in my ribs and...  filled this... hole in my life.  I almost didn't want her to be alive, then I felt guilty for that.  I've only ever had to rely on one other person in my life.  Now there's two... and I feel guilty I want her to stay in New York, and us here.  Like I'm betraying her because I want to stay here with you."

 

Glass clinked softly on the table.

 

"I was avoiding.  Sorry for that."

 

Sorry didn't seem like enough... hi I ignored you for months because I couldn't get my shit together, then go on a suicide mission, come back alive and blow myself up.  Sorry.

 

Thumb wiped crusted moisture from the outside corners of his eyes. 

 

"I'm a nerd... you know nerds have no social skills until after a few whisky shots."

 

Lips pursed up slightly, his quirky humor urging the older man to loosen up.  They were oddly perfect together, two suns caught in each others gravity.

 

"I'll get you something.  It will take a while though, but that's the point.  Not supposed to be easy.  If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth fighting for.."

 

Sigh was soft, met with a cough and sharp 'fuck'.  He had to get out of this damn bed...

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Dark eyes watched the hand pat his head, almost breaching a smile across his lips. Looking for his glasses again.  He really needed to get Chelsea to look at Bo's vision, see if there was options…. was lasik even a thing anymore? The Spaniard had no idea.

 

Confession was naked and incredibly vulnerable. The reaction, however,  wasn’t exactly what he expected.

 

"Jesus criminey Gabe..."

 

Blink was a bit confused.  Brow lifting as the Czech fell back against his pillows and huffed at him before seething a groan of pain.

 

"Jacob wishes we were done... "

 

I don’t care what other people wish……..care what you wish……..

 

Soft words came instantly to the mumbled complaint.  It was the truth. Ausar himself could forbid a relationship and the Spaniard would defy him if it was what the Czech wanted.

 

"I don't eat, sleep unless you remind me to and you don't even NEED to eat... your office is constantly covered in my paper crap.  I drink from the carton, hide your booze and let you drive that French German Italian bastard car like a bat out of hell, and your best friend hates my guts.  You shouldn't be putting up with me."

 

……..putting up with you implies I do so out of obligation….. being with you has never been an obligation to me Bodhan….

 

Quiet words licked of his heritage accent. It happened the most when he was exhausted and emotional, the full name that was rarely used hanging warm in the air.

 

"My brain never stops moving.  I run on a clock that nobody understands.  Glamis feels like yesterday.  The shit storm over the last few days in New York feels like forever ago.  I didn't realize it had been so long since Scotland.  I wasn't feeling like... myself at the cabin after Maree showed up."

 

Nod was faint in the dark. He knew that, and knew it was too much to expect the Czech to commit at the same time as the reunion. That had not been what embedded the doubt for the Spaniard. It had been the growing distance, the silence, the lack of any contact.

 

"Ten years  of my life learning to be alone, okay with the idea of putting a gun in my mouth up until you stuck a knife in my ribs and...  filled this... hole in my life.  I almost didn't want her to be alive, then I felt guilty for that.  I've only ever had to rely on one other person in my life.  Now there's two... and I feel guilty I want her to stay in New York, and us here.  Like I'm betraying her because I want to stay here with you."

 

He wanted...... to stay? It was an odd revelation for the Spaniard. Lips parted then closed, unsure what it was he would say. The Czech forever felt like he was trying to get away. The last six months had been an endless procession of feeling the younger man was trying to escape.

 

"I was avoiding.  Sorry for that."

 

Swallow was tight as he tried to digest it all. The words wanted to beckon relief but the last six months left him cautious. Perhaps this was just the pain meds talking?

 

"I'm a nerd... you know nerds have no social skills until after a few whisky shots."

 

 The tickle of a smile finally emerged over his lips, the barest hint of a chuckle rumbling in the barrel chest. The Czech was definitely more social after a few drinks. Of course that was a double edged sword, it made him flirty too and not always with the Spaniard. It had been a long time since the Czech had been that relaxed…. a very long time.

 

"I'll get you something.  It will take a while though, but that's the point.  Not supposed to be easy.  If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth fighting for.."

 

I have never needed anything but you….. just you…..

 

It was cliché but….it was the truth.

 

The cough drew the Spaniard instantly forward. Red, bald head penetrated the soft blue light of the indicator on the IV stand as the large hand rested on the chest to lightly compress, quelling the urge to cough knowing the ribs and shoulder would be angry with that form of concussive violence.

 

You need rest….

 

Soft words came as his thumb stole the opportunity to gently rub along the chest as his hand held the compression.

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Lip quirked upward at the chuckle.  He knew Gabe was upset, he wasn't ignorant to that... it was just, the man was really sensitive... and he had no other way to weasel through to him than humor.  He wasn't used to people not knowing what he was thinking.  It just meant, well fuck, they needed to really spend more time together.

 

Cough shot pain through those thoughts, the compression of his chest welcome... bringing his breathing back to a normal flow.  The visual of his Spaniard, was not.

 

Brow furled at the man, taking in what had happened.

 

Fire.. sun..  none of the above..??  Someone else while he was away?  The expressions flickering over his face from guilty, to anger... revenge promised to whomever had done it... then back to guilt.

 

"I did this.."

 

Face scrunched tight as he rubbed his eyes, already guilty and on a teetering edge- he just knew.  Brain put back together the time of day he'd fled the plane, when he started his 'cleansing' of his property, how long it would take Jacob to tattle, Gabe to travel.

 

Sun or fire.  Maybe both.

 

"I'm always fucking things up."

 

Fingers closed over the hand on his chest, the exhale a small wheeze.  It wasn't true, he knew it wasn't true... even the inkling that he'd probably just helped save the eastern seaboard didn't make up for the fact that his actions had hurt Gabe.

 

Face released, swallow thick.

 

"How long will it take you to... get better..."

 

They never talked about stuff like that... the Czech always burning with questions but never asking.

 

"Lot less than my collarbone I would imagine.."

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He caught the furl of the brow and instantly it was mirrored. He didn’t want the Czech worrying about him.

 

"I did this.."

 

Head shook as the hands that went to rub tired eyes were caught by oddly soft hands, the new skin still lacking the normal calluses.

 

Nah…..I had an argument with the sun…. you will be happy to know I won….. he is off sulking at the moment.

 

Smile was gentle, bathed in the glow of blue indicator light the missing eyebrows and lashes were also visible giving the Spaniard an oddly ethereal appearance.

 

"I'm always fucking things up."

 

Thumb rubbed over the fingers that closed over his hand.

 

Not your fault Sun got randy…..

 

Smile still lingered.

 

"How long will it take you to... get better... lot less than my collarbone I would imagine.."

 

A soft chuckle again murmured in the deep chest, a warmth that it had lacked lately in his sullen sulking.

 

Ya… skin already stopped sloughing off, just a little raw still…. the hair….

 

Hand lifted to lightly rub over the balded head with ginger pressure to ensure he didn’t peel the still fragile skin.

 

Well…. last time I fritzed in the sun I had no more than peach fuzz for a good month,  took a few months for it to grow completely back.  

 

Lopsided grin came with a shrug as he lightly brushed the collarbone.

 

Probably have all my hair back about when this is fully healed.

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Stunned to silence.

 

Of the horrendous things he’d done in his life since the Event, everything he’d done to survive… he’d never done anything to hurt anyone who truly didn’t deserve it, let alone someone he loved.  Thoughts that Gabe could and would eventually heal were little comfort. Words of encouragement that Gabe himself offered were of no comfort either. He was dangerous, unstable… with a wealth of knowledge that could be more than deadly. Catastrophic.

 

A short sigh was quiet.  He was dead in the water.

 

“I want to go home.”

 

The amorphous request didn’t specify where home was. To Prague? To Shadow?  Did he really even have a home?  He’d just blown up one, if that ever really was one.  Prague was, nothing anymore but a vapid wasteland of broken civilization.  So why home?

 

He didn’t want to be here.  He wanted to sulk in the privacy of somewhere where he didn’t have to answer to anyone.  There it was, the recluse that had hounded him all his life.  Be alone with his thoughts.  Now, even he didn’t want to be alone with his thoughts.  What would he do then?

 

“I just want to go home,” the numbers in the monitor were already blurry, they began to blur even more. “…and stop hurting people.”

 

It was the truth of a lifetime.  Become, not him.  Bury the scientist, become the book keeper and occasional drunk flirt when he’d had too much vodka.  It was exactly why he’d withdrawn away from everyone, he didn’t want to exist anymore.  Full circle.  It had come full circle since the night the big brute had stuck a knife in his ribs.  He didn’t know who he was, and in trying to find it, he hurt people he loved.  It didn’t even matter that he’d saved so many, if even one was hurt… his work was…

 

Side of his lip quirked upward at the brush of his collarbone and the goofy grin on the Spaniard’s face.  Blink was quick away from the glowing blurry numbers to the bald soon-to-be husband.

 

“Sorry… just zoned out for a minute.”

 

Fuzzy.  Everything had been fuzzy for a few moments.  He still had a concussion, he was sure of it.  He wanted to go home.  He wanted Gabe to heal.  He wanted to make things right with Jacob.

 

“Better grow back…”  the shy glance up at Gabe and back to his lap hinted of a joke.  “Look weird in a tux without…”

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“I want to go home.”

 

The faint grin that had been playing on his lips vanished. Concern shadowed the features as the back of unusually uncalloused fingers lightly slid up the younger jawline.

 

“I want to go home…. and stop hurting people."

 

Head shook as his hand moved to curl fingers over the Czechs hand.

 

I told you… you didn’t do it.

 

“Sorry… just zoned out for a minute.”

 

The smile still ghosted of concern as the thumb rubbed over the back of the younger man's hand near the IV entry point. He could "borrow" the small ambulance to get them back to Shadow.  Jacob's car was off getting a massive cleansing or his bodyguard would freak at the volume of flesh and blood that saturated his seats.

 

He kind of understood where the Czech was coming from. He didn’t really want to spend the whole night in the hospital either. A long sloughing in their own shower… a stiff drink from their home bar…. their own place…. their own bed. That was where he wanted to be.

 

Question was….. was that the "home" that Bodhan was referring to. The Spaniard wasn’t entirely sure.

 

“Better grow back…Look weird in a tux without…”

 

Hey…. I don’t have such a badly shaped head….

 

Hand lifted to rub lightly over the smooth skull with a hint of self conscious concern even as the smirk played at his lips.

 

I mean some think bald guys are sexy.

 

Lifting the Czech's hand gently to his lips he kissed the back of scraped knuckles as he gingerly stood.

 

Let me check on transportation. Then…… then you tell me where you want to go.

 

He didn’t want to presume. There were lots of places "home" could mean to Bodhan and he was going to accept whatever he decided.

 

Moving down the hallway the bare feet slapped firmly, it was about the only part of him not burned. He found her back garage and as he expected the small unmarked ambulance was in the garage, a little searching found the keys in the guard office.

 

She would understand… or at least… he could pay her nicely for the "rental" if she insisted.

 

Keys in hand he padded back to Bodhan. He wouldn’t move him except he knew that healing was always best in a place of comfort and no offense to Chelsea, the clinic was cold.

 

Coming into the dark room he jingled the keys.

 

Well… I found a ride… you sure you up to be moved?

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