Genre: RPS, hurt/comfort, schmoop, might be pre-slash or slash, but I leave the decision to the reader
Warnings: If migraines squick you, stay away
Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine, not mine. These are real people with real lives that bear no relation or resemblance to this work of fiction
Word Count: ~770
Series: Incremental Movement (first story)
Summary: Safety comes, unlooked for, in the darkness
Note: Thanks, morganoconner. You know why. For the "nurse back to health" square on my schmoop_bingo, and the last one I needed for a vertical bingo. Wow. I bingoed. The world might possibly be ending soon….
Pain, was all it was. A solid wall impossible to scale, a sea impossible to swim, impossible to think, almost to breathe. Like someone scooping out his brain with extreme prejudice and a spork –
"Last time I checked. What's up?"
"You're not filming today, right? Any chance you can come over? It's Jared –"
Nothing worked. Nothing helped except drugs and sleep, and the latter wasn't coming without the help of the former and he couldn't say if the former would stay down –
"Don't wanna leave him alone in the house, y'know, if something –"
"On my way, Jen. What about –"
A nudge at his elbow, cool and wet. Dogs knew, they always did, and they'd be quiet, can't take noise now, noise or light, nothing but curling up in the darkness and waiting to die, wanting to die, wanting it to stop, just stop. That throb behind his eyes that made him see the tunnel, closing in at the edges, and flashes like sparklers, and the roar in his ears. Relax, the docs all said, try to relax, yeah, right, you relax with an icepick in your head –
"Hey, c'mon in, thanks for –"
"Shut up. Like I wouldn't have come. Where is he?"
"His bedroom, but I think Harley's in there too, he gets worried."
"'S'okay, me and Harley have reached an understanding. I think."
"Light kills him now, light and sound, you –"
"Jen. I know. Believe me, I know."
Just pain. That was all, and the dog there trying to comfort, poor guy, he knows, but there's nothing to do but curl up and drown, drown, something else, motion…Jensen? Checking up? He's gotta work today…no. Not.
Bare breath of sound, no more, different, different smell, and a cool hand light on his neck. Familiar? Wanted. "Rich?"
"Shh." Soft, barely there.
Jared reached, just a little, curled fingers around a wrist, pressed. Coolness against his skin, good, felt…good. Couldn't be Richard, but he wanted that, wanted him, wanted Richard, Rich would, he –
"Shh. Easy. Here."
More coolness. Not cold but cool, just enough. Along the side of his neck, the back of his cheek and behind his ear. The hair brushed so gently off of his forehead where it had stuck and itched and that was better, God, it was the tiny things. Was he crying again? Then coolness there, blessed cool across his forehead and temple and there, oh, there, there.
Like that, yes. Yes. Cool and just a touch of pressure, there above his temples where things threatened to explode. God, it was wonderful, the slightest ease but he'd take it, do that, do that and don't leave –
"Shh, s'okay, 'm'right here."
So wonderful. Drifting in it, pain machine dialed down a notch, just a notch, but so good. Jared curled his fingers again and caught his rescuer's skin, warm and alive. The coolness against his head never warmed, though, shifted and left and came back but never warmed and that was good, and he drifted, clinging to his raft, not quite drowning now, but….
"Wanna try the meds now?"
He didn't think about it, thinking hurt, but maybe, maybe…he opened his mouth.
Just a dull roar when Jared next knew anything, like the muted bass thump from a party next door. Or even down the block. He could deal with that. Just darkness when he opened his eyes a crack, grimacing at the gummy feeling. The other feeling, though….
Someone was holding his hand.
Jared pried his eyes open further, cautiously. Then wider as he realized what, who, he was seeing. Even in the dimness, there was no mistaking that profile. Richard was sitting next to Jared's bed, leaned back in the chair and sound asleep. Holding Jared's hand.
Richard was here. Here. And Jared was drowning again for an entirely different reason. His fingers tightened.
Richard took a breath and stirred, turned his head. Jared quite couldn't see his eyes. "Rich?"
He sounded hideous, but you wouldn't know from the warmth of Richard's own voice. "Hey there. Feeling any better?"
"Loads. Thanks." He was still holding onto Richard's hand. He – didn't want to let go. "So you…why…." How did he ask?
Richard saved him. "Jen called, he didn't want you alone. The dogs are good and all, but no opposable thumbs if you needed something." One of those thumbs moved gently over Jared's skin.
Richard – wasn't letting go either.
"And…you stayed." Jared's fingers tightened again, totally beyond his control.
The slow curve of Richard's smile – Richard's, not Gabriel's or anyone else's – was blinding in the dark. "Of course. Where else would I be?"