Title: Free Fall

Summary: An unexpected call shakes both Owen and Nathan.

Disclaimer: Disclaimed.

Note: ESL


The day his heart gave out was the day that Megan Hunt came home.

There was no spectacular arrival, no flashlight blaring, no insistent beep to call him. It was the sight of Owen, oblivious and silent in a maelstrom of patients, that warned him, and the dim awareness of his heart suddenly thundering in his chest. His tongue, dry and clumsy, tried to call the man who had been his best friend, who had almost been his brother and who now stood frozen in pain, his mind lost to the world.


His voice caught, and he took a step and tried again, unable to look away, unable to tear his gaze from the other man's stillness. There seemed no air left in the room, and yet he moved forward, unaware of anything but the man in front of him, and the secrets he held.

"Owen … " He was close enough now, close enough to touch a shoulder, close enough to see the other's brows knitted together in confusion, close enough to feel the startled shudder when his hand tightened on a tense back.

"I … I need ..." Owen's eyes were unsteady, unfocused on his face, and for a moment Nathan wondered what his friend was remembering, which scenes he was seeing in his mind that caused such pain, and he knew he wanted those memories, but would never ask.

He envied him, envied every moment they hadn't shared, and he grabbed Owen's arms to calm the hand that was vainly clutching at his chest, trying to rip out the hole where his heart had been.

"I need to go." Owen's voice was breathless as he stood, lost, but his eyes finally settled on him, and his hand stilled, and it was that look that proved to be Nathan's undoing, the mirror image of what he had been afraid of for too long.