A/N: Okay, I know angst is my thing, but sometimes… The fluff-monster strikes at me, and then I have to write this stuff! Plus, I'm a sucker for reviews, and since I seem to get more of those when I write one-shots rather than actual chapters, I'm going for it!
Until Death Do Us Part
And then, he says something.
Over the whirring of machines, thumps for footsteps, shouts from paramedics and Adam's own pounding heartbeats.
The policemen outside found Lawrence in the big storage building. A young woman's voice had been in their phone a while ago, sobbing and yelping, whispering desperately into the receiver, like she expected someone to sneak up behind her and tear the phone out of her hands, that two men was locked up in a bathroom at 213 Stygian Street, one of them was hurt, really hurt, and he might've left the bathroom, but the other one was still there and he was shot in the shoulder…
When the police that accepted the phone call had been forced to ask her to calm down, she'd sighed, dejectedly and jagged, and said:
"Just find them! Find the dark-haired one, he's…"
And then, click.
Maybe the one she was afraid would catch her actually did.
Maybe she just hadn't dared to say what was special about the dark-haired one.
The police had gone to the address she'd talked about. They hadn't found the dark-haired one right away, just a blonde one, or at least that's the color they thought his hair had been before it got soaked in blood, before the face underneath it had gotten so pale that it made the hair look darker. He'd been laying there, with a puddle of blood under him and a long streak of it behind him, not really dead, even though his pulse only was a pitiful wriggling under the paramedic's fingers, like a little fish that tried to break free, go back to the ocean, return to what made them alive.
But in the same time, he wasn't really alive, either.
He was dead. His whole body was dead.
The only thing that displayed his consciousness was that faint wriggling that sent even more blood out through the wound in his foot.
And his mouth.
The shapeless, black hole that had once been his mouth.
And the word that came out of it.
His white lips that tasted it.
That one word. Over and over.
It seemed like it wasn't just the young woman that had called that had a soft spot for that dark-haired man.
The dark-haired man that they found just a few feet away, chained up, terrified, crying helplessly, transparent little drips that mixed with the red on his shirt.
The dark-haired man that slapped the policeman that would saw his chain open. And then, he just stared with widened eyes at the cop's more surprised than angry face, before he started laughing, just as hopelessly as he had been crying just a few seconds ago, he rolled over to his back, rolled around and made the chain rattle, he laughed and laughed and laughed until he crawled up into fetus position, tears ran down his face again, streamed in violent gushes, and the policeman wasn't sure if he was laughing or crying or both.
"Hey," the dark-haired man had said, pressed this one syllable from the deep of a chest that was broken, wounded by bullets, nicotine, crying, laughter, despair, joy, and reached out a hand to touch to police's shoulder. "Thanks."
And then, the chain had been broken.
And afterwards, when he was carried out of the ambulance, he'd neither laughed nor cried. He'd just stared at the ceiling, at the men that carried him, at the filthy walls next to him, the battered floor beneath him, with almost childish wonder, big eyes, with new tears that formed in them.
Because he had survived.
He had made it out.
And in a weird way, by some loving radar, he knew that Lawrence has, too.
That they will never be separated again.
That the time when Lawrence crawled away from him in the bathroom was the last time.
They will spend the rest of their lives together.
Because just like in the bathroom, there's nothing else they can do. No one else that they can rely on.
And Adam has been lifted into the ambulance. His gurney is standing next to Lawrence's, the only thing that's heard is Lawrence's slow breathing, the only thing that can be seen is the silhouette of Lawrence next to him.
They've gone through the misery of a lifetime together.
And then, he says something.
Adam furrows his brows and turns his face to him.
"Fuck, don't try to talk."
"Yeah, listen to me now, Adam…"
Lawrence choughs. Some lonely drops of blood are pressed out between his lips, and the hollow rustling that forces its way through his throat pains Adam more than the bullet in his shoulder did.
Since that bullet was a flesh wound.
The wound that's made when he sees those dark drips on Lawrence's chin is something deep, something piercing, something that searches for the most vulnerable, soft bottom of his soul, the foundation of all his weakness.
And there, the dark drips land. There.
Adam's eyebrows are smoothed out slightly.
"Listen to me," Lawrence says again. "I… I mean… We haven't know each other for that long, but… No one can say we haven't gone through a lot…"
Those tears in Adam's eyes, that have been menacingly heavy, like bombs that are prepared to be fired, burn when they rise even further, threatening to spill over, like two boiling pots.
"Don't try to talk," he says again.
He doesn't know what else to say. More than anything, he doesn't dare to say anything else, because he has a strong sense that no matter what he says, and no matter what Lawrence is about to say, it's something that will raise the temperature on those pots drastically, and he'll sob and sniffle even more than he did when the cops were about to release him. It's unavoidable. But he will put it on hold for as long as he can.
But Lawrence actually quiets down. After Adam has said this and started staring at the ceiling again, the sounds in the ambulance are once again narrowed down to Lawrence's breathing, to the sound of Adam's blankets being pushed aside when he lifts his hand and places it over his eyes.
He won't cry.
He won't cry.
When the moment comes, and Lawrence doesn't care about what he says, turns to him and tells him what he wants to tell him, it'll be emotional enough, he knows that.
When that moment comes, Adam's pride will go away, melt down, the most clingy, sensitive, most disgustingly human side of him will be shown, and he'll be so terribly, head over heals in love that he'll never be able to live without Lawrence, ever again, and then, he will cry. But not before that.
"I love you."
Lawrence coughs again. Adam's eyes are too tightly closed to see if more blood comes out, but it doesn't matter, because he was right, the tears dribble down, down from the corners of his eyes, entwine with the short little hairs above his ears.
It doesn't come as violently as he thought. It's not like he bawls and moans, not like he drops to his knees next to Lawrence's gurney, it's a silent, peaceful liberation when he allows the love to engulf him, sweep around him like a warm, safe blanket, like Lawrence's strong, comforting arms that embrace him, like Lawrence's voice, dark, softly vibrating with his whispering in Adam's ear: I love you.
"I… I just had to say that…" Lawrence mumbles and coughs again. "I don't know… If I'll be around for much longer…"
Adam makes a hollow sound. Maybe a sob, maybe a laugh, he can't really tell which.
"Like hell you're dying now," he says.
His voice creaks a little. The tears permeate every word he says, and Lawrence finally turns to him.
"Are you crying?"
Adam violently shakes his head. But Lawrence's mere concern coaxes new tears from that soft place deep inside of him, they well up, hot and scorching, and a sob presses past his lips.
Just because he hasn't been treated like this before.
Just because it's Lawrence who asks him.
"Adam…" Lawrence says soothingly, and almost seems to make an attempt to get up, but settles for reaching out a hand against him. "It'll be fine…"
Adam fumbles blindly after the hand next to his bed, finds it and clutches to it. He can really only pray that some of his own power, his own life pours into Lawrence through the touch, but in reality, he knows.
Lawrence will never leave him.
"Like hell you're dying now," Adam repeats helplessly. "You hear me?"
Lawrence chuckles and gives the small hand in his own a squeeze.
Adam lifts the plaited hands to his mouth, he has to bend down to kiss Lawrence's, its paleness shines even through the darkness in the ambulance.
"You can't fucking do that to me, Gordon," Adam says, like he's trying to raise a child that's ruined his new shoes. "You're staying here from now on, okay? So that I can keep an eye on you. Otherwise, you'll just run off to fuck your interns and saw your foot off and stuff…"
Lawrence chuckles again. And Adam already hears life returning to his voice.
"I promise, Adam."
Adam smiles. And he untangles a finger from the imbroglio of Lawrence's cold ones to put it on the place where one of the paramedics had his finger a few minutes earlier.
The place where a life doesn't wriggles desperately to stay in Lawrence's body, but where a pulse is now beating, blood is pounding, slowly and rhythmically, under Adam's fingertip.
"I'm keeping tracks on you," Adam mumbles, and Lawrence scoffs.
"I wouldn't lie to you. You know that."
Adam smiles again and marvels the feeling of Lawrence's life throbbing under his hand, of it pouring into him, wreathing together with his own, so that it doesn't have to be as terrible, simply because he has someone to share it with now.
He has someone now. Someone to share his suffering with. Share his suffering, his happiness, his scar on the shoulder, his memories that will always haunt him.
Someone that will never go away. Never again.
"Yeah," Adam says quietly. "I know that."
I know that in most of my fics, Adam doesn't react nearly as calmly about the bathroom as he does here, but what the hell… After all my angsty stuff, this is a nice break from it! Feel free to review!