So close, no matter how far

Couldn't be much more from the heart

Forever trusting who we are

And nothing else matters

There was a loud boom coming very close to Vijay that spooked him good. He nearly jumped out of his skin. However he did stand taller and moved towards where this bang was coming and lit his light at the spot. There was a trash can, it must've fallen from the wind, he decided.

But just as he was about to let that pass something caught his eye. A small gleam that ricocheted off of the light he was shining around.

Before he even processed he jumped to the action.

He started to see a shape of something… someone actually…

With his heart now trying to pump out of his chest he rushed to the crumpled form of the man he's been looking for.

''There you are my boy.'' he half whispered and pulled the man out of the rubble. The man was unconscious but alive so he just did what he came to be. Prepared to save a life.

Without a doubt he started to dig out his two extra sweater layers he'd put on for when he gets Mal. He already managed to trickle some water down his throat and now he was onto a mission to dress the man warm and wrap him up so they could get the hell outta there.

Well that was odd feeling to the man who was usually the one to undress this body he felt so strongly about.

But he pushed past that sentiment and kept working on getting the man more warm. It wasn't the best but he tried his best to get his favorite burrito back home.

To come to think of he felt grateful he'd found Mal and could get him home to swaddle him with love and all the good things for the coming days. This concept allowed Vijay to be calm about this and not panic like he would otherwise. At least Mal was pliant to his dressing and other moves so he held a hope.

And with that he'd packed Malcolm up quick and well enough. He managed a pretty throughout job with layers and now he was considering moving again. It's been probably around forty minutes of burrito-ing Mal into layers, but what a difference in the weather.

It was incredibly calm and peaceful. Vijay could see the moon through a slit in the cloud cover. Full round moon. Which, in retrospect, was a bit funny when thought of that. Somehow full moon always brought them more shenanigans than on normal days. And yet this one was completely out of their control.

Surely he'll give Mal his own piece of opinion about clothing choices and actually for once considering of the weather before leaving a place. And to pay more attention to surroundings. He could tell Malcolm has tried hard to consider weather and outfit before leaving in the morning, which was amazing and good and he loved the man more for that alone. But it still backfired just like majority of the city that struggled to get home but still got stuck on the street. Which was okay, he'd be in trouble had he not gotten to this rescue mission with weather on mind. Okay, he's gonna let that slide. After all this day took everyone by surprise.

Forever trusting who we are

And nothing else matters

The sudden calm in the weather was offsetting to a point until Vijay remembered its how hurricanes worked. Several hours in - or what they called the eyewall, the hole in the sky will be maybe hour of peace before the second round comes in.

So that was their window to get back to Mal's building and hunker down. At least the service was down for sure so maybe they will get the peace for once. Emergency service can still work without actual reception - that Vijay recalled from their wild days back when things were a little simpler.

So with all that in mind he set off to carry his unconscious mate to safety… or at least what he deemed safe compared to open street.

Never opened myself this way

Life is ours, we live it our way

So far it went as well as it could be expected. The level of snow accumulation was impressive for a place like Manhattan. In spots the snow was all the way up to knees but other spots barely ankle high. It made the travel harder because he had to carry Malcolm and also be careful of his possible injuries that were hidden and that made it all slightly harder because also Vijay had to look where he was going as the snow not only piled up but also hid some objects that had flown off and landed on the street.

Just like an obstacle course. They used to run and hide in woods and pretend to be adventurers once upon a time.

And as that it wasn't something they tend to do nowadays. But it used to be fun back in the day. He often thought back to those times and while maybe he was considering himself an adult the old urge to at least for a moment to pretend he was a teen in his spirit was there. And why not, after all they lived once so technically he could grab his boy and they could go on some adventure, even if just to get his mate out and about instead of glued to the precinct.

Of course, knowing Mal the shit would happen regardless and they most likely will find a body or some other type of crime scene. Or maybe they would become a part of a crime scene…

Vijay shook his head to get the thoughts away. Their reuniting meet up was already pretty adventurous and scary, if he was being honest. He kept worrying about his old friend, actually scratch that, lover maybe, he couldn't tell. Their romance and bromance was something of mystery and whatnot back in the day, but he still loved the man despite all the time passing. And while he couldn't be sure of what's next for them he did hold a hope for their relationship to blossom over this weird time given to them.

A ll these words, I don't just say

And nothing else matters

It took a rather long while for Vijay to get them back halfway the street and he now just started to notice the wind slowly picking up the pace and throwing some stray snowflakes at his face. Small whisps of snow being thrown in the air from rooftops already.

Yet still they had a few yard long way to go.

But he had to put Mal down for a bit. While he was rather light as a human body went being limp made it heavier still. And so far the man hasn't shown any sign of regaining consciousness which made Vijay worried but also slightly relieved. Mostly because it made easier the whole carrying and manhandling his body.

But for now he had to check over and see if Mal was still okay.

And quick check over told he was doing as good as he could in the given conditions. With that made sure of Vijay decided to try the water again. He was getting thirsty himself so he used their short rest to handle their water situation. Which was a bit struggle for Mal as he had to be fed it via a napkin and dribbled in his mouth slowly and carefully. No choking for Mal here, Vijay promised to both of them.

Trust I seek and I find in you

Every day for us something new

With all the rest stop dealt with Vijay picked up Malcolm's body gently and positioned as comfortably as he could. And with that their journey continued…

The steps were not too heavy yet but still slower than he liked. Constant stepping over and trudging around whatever hid underneath the snow cover…

It was taking toll even on Vijay who counted himself as a fit person and cherished his athletic physique and time at the gym.

He always kept himself fit and sometimes his job did get a bit more physical than one would expect. He knew Mal had his own regimen to keep up with himself and a routine for his mental health. Which all was great but for some reason didn't work as well as Vijay had hoped. He noticed the huge line of pills looming from the kitchen island and it always gave enough creeps to not comment on. They had their purpose for Mal and he was going to respect that.

After all Vijay wasn't that much better. He had his own demons he was trying to drug away from existence and while they worked on most days there still were times it was all a futile attempt.

It made him realize he'd seen his therapist way less than was advised by everyone. And he knew he was fairly busy man but that was never the excuse for skipping his therapy sessions. Even Mal had been vaguely noticing things even if their communication lately hasn't been the most consistent.

And that was saying quite a lot.

But Vijay still kept up that show for people that weren't Malcolm. And maybe a bit for Mal. He knew the guy worried lot more than he showed and it still kept warming Vijay's heart.

Open mind for a different view

And nothing else matters

They finally were close enough for Vijay to take a big breath to exhale loudly. It kinda eased his tension but didn't make the road easier.

The debris was getting thicker the closer to their building they were getting. Looked like most of the stuff got blown over from the intersection and stayed just 'round the corner where the wind wasn't as strong. At least the way snow piled up it looked just like that.

He took two seconds to adjust his grip on Mal's limp body and took a look around quickly. It still was strange to see the street so empty and void of any life whatsoever. Not even a stray cat was visible nor a bird out there. It was an eerie feeling that Vijay tried not to dwell on as he made slow walk around fallen trash can that he tried hard not to trip over.

Not like Vijay was a clumsy person per se. He wasn't just sometimes he forgot how to be a human and operate his body. It's coming a long way from his younger years. And he's witnessed Mal being the most clumsiest ever. Though maybe that happened only when they got high and forgot to function.

The thought made Vijay giggle for some reason. But maybe the reason was the small package hidden in his bag back at the loft. He surely wasn't to hunker down without some added fun. Even if that was less for fun but more for relaxation now that he was over the teen years of fun seeking.

And he knew Mal benefited from his little packages in a way that neither of them expected. For Vijay it was like a meditation of sorts and he actually realized very recently his little shenanigans were making his own demons less violent.

And that was his end goal. To make his demons less like trying to end him when he was struggling so hard.

Which he understood was ultimately also Mal's goal with his own issues.

Never cared for what they do

Never cared for what they know

But I know

Finally the door to Mal's loft was there. Vijay was sighing in relief as he unlocked the door and fished out the key from the pant pocket. They were finally where they were supposed to be. And what a journey that had been.

Luckily wind was patient and didn't pick up much from when he'd started the way back.

Which he was grateful for considering the hurricane had been upgraded to a level absolutely unnecessary to newyorkers. But now he didn't actually care. There was a generator built in somewhere and some other extras that Jess had placed in just days before. It was always fun to learn of what things money can get you.

But right now he just needed to tend to his dear fellow corner table boy just like old days.

I never opened myself this way

Life is ours, we live it our way

All these words, I don't just say

And nothing else matters

Vijay made sure the couch was fluffed up with many warm blankets and fuzzy covers, he let the bath run decently hot and put on some water for hot drinks. He knew the med kit was also in service and ready to be used as he knew Jess was the one to make sure everything was okay for both of them.

Sure the woman knew he's gonna come and visit her dear son. And even extended her invitation to her house just in case. Which was small but nice gesture. Not all in his family liked the idea of Vijay being here with Mal and not all had accepted that past was past and this was now.

However he didn't dwell on that as of right now. Mal was slowly stirring and twitching in his sleep signaling that his consciousness was indeed returning step by step. So Vijay went on to prepare for the bath Mal surely needed.

And the man did look rather poor. He had blood on the side of his face probably coming from the gash on his head somewhere and his hands were all frozen cold. He most likely sported some colossal bruising under the clothes. And he was indeed shivering slightly so just as the bath was ready he moved on to coaxing the man out of the clothes and into the warm water that wasn't actually scalding hot.

Knowing the man - magnet of all accidents and trouble Vijay went to prepare the PJs by the bath and pulled out the fuzziest robe in the house - the one he sent Mal as a gift. It was something he knew the man would appreciate the most with his sensitive skin. While most people frowned upon his need for high thread count for his bedsheets Vijay knew it wasn't because of the money, it was something Mal's condition needed. He was sensitive to bedsheets in a way most wouldn't even bat an eye. Not Vijay. He knew the importance of fabrics and materials and way textures mattered.

And for himself it was just as important. He still had all the soft socks Mal had sent him for his birthday and he still cherished those meaningful gifts.

He then moved on to prepare all the bath salts he knew was for abused body. And damn, the bruising was not fun on his boy.

He peeled all the clothing off and put the man in the bath. There was a mild twitch here and there but for most part no other response aside goosebumps from temperature change.

It took Vijay about twenty minutes to wash all the grime off and get the better look at the man. He was bruised all right but also scrapes that went along caused a concerned frown. Vijay realized Mal had been in a tumble way before he reached his street and what looked like some hard object may have hit him on the way. Maybe that's why he was there so late. Knowing Mal he most likely was hit by something flying or tripped over something already down and got confused as he wasn't always good with navigating.

He did occasionally had issues with getting confused. Vijay was still regretting that one adventure while being high but back then he'd decided it was okay with Mal being okay when sober but now he was deeply sorry for that.

He had some issues of his own but mostly if he was already a good punch in. Not just because. So maybe once they were out of woods and hurricane was over he'll take them both to a trusted doctor for checkup. It was long overdue anyway.

Not that he was very happy about pouring his secrets out to a stranger. In fact Vijay hated opening up to anyone else aside Malcolm. It was one of the things the man liked to keep for the closest to heart.

But once upon a time he was sent off to a series of mental health specialists for something he was still unsure about.

His mother made him see specialists after his father got arrested but only after meeting with Malcolm and later when their ways parted Vijay truly started to struggle with his life. Almost as if his life was turned upside down just by that one thing happening so that everything from before decided to catch up all at once.

And what a disaster that was…

Trust I seek and I find in you

Every day for us something new

Open mind for a different view

And nothing else matters

His eyes slid over the sleeping man on the bed. He was all cleaned up and all fluffed under the blankets. Vijay tried his bestest to wrap his human burrito as comfortably as he could and then cleaned up himself as well. But before climbing into the bed next to the man to keep him close for the night Vijay went down to the basement for a drink and a bit of smoke to ease up his nerves and lower the anxiety levels.

He needed to calm down before he'd attempt at sleep or being still for the night. It usually took couple hours to unwind from the day but this one took the cake for being most nerve wrecking in a long while.

And not just because he almost lost his only friend and hopeful lover. He actually had a rather eventful day of his own way before he even reached New York by noon.

And that was relatively lucky from his point of view otherwise he'd been six feet under by afternoon and now looking at the man breathing softly he was thankful he made it okay.

They'd most likely will have a talk all about this and he already could imagine Mal's reaction to that story and mentally prepared to be smothered by his boy's worry and care.

But first he just needed to see the man himself and take care of him.

With that in mind Vijay finally moved over to the bed and sniggled up to the sleeping figure. He loved this man for so long and finally he has been given a chance to stay with him for the rest of his life. It was a daring thought now that he's come to it but the hope was still there and strong and so he let his body envelop Malcolm and take in the man's smell and whole being. It was the best calming effect to Vijay and he felt content. It's been a rough day for both of them and he was thankful he was falling asleep with a man he's loved for most of his life in his arms.

And he was happiest he's ever been as he let his consciousness slip away into dreamland…

So close, no matter how far

Couldn't be much more from the heart

Forever trusting who we are

No, nothing else matters