Title: Traumatized
Pairing/Characters: Paul/Topher
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Slash
Spoilers: For the finale, mildly. Anything Alpha related.
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the dollhouse and profit in no way from my fic.
Author's Note: Another separate comment_fic with the boys. Not connected to previous ones, but technically takes place before my other fic "Broken".

If there was one thing to be said about the Dollhouse, they encouraged people to be workaholics. Not only did Topher have an assistant to bring him any snack, beverage or sugary treat his heart could desire, he also had an on-site apartment to stay in. It wasn't as spacious or well decorated as his own apartment but after spending three sleepless days diagnosing, analyzing and fixing the glitches in the Active Wipe Software, he was more than willing to collapse into the much closer bed the on-site apartment offered and fall into oblivion.

He had been sound asleep for about four hours when Paul came in. Topher had sent him a practically incoherent text about not going home that night so Paul had decided to join him when he was done working on tracking his latest leads to Alpha. As he came into the bedroom he smiled, loosening his tie as he watched Topher sleep, splayed out on his stomach, Batman boxers just visible underneath the loose sheets. He took a moment to enjoy observing the scientist during the only time he was ever still and silent, then moved into the bathroom to get ready for bed.

In the bedroom Topher continued sleeping soundly until a jarringly loud alarm woke him up, shocking him with its intensity. He sat upright, startled and his breathing got even heavier when he realized what was happening, that the sound blasting through his bedroom was the intruder alert warning. Someone was in the Dollhouse, uninvited.

"No, no, no, not again," he mumbled, fear ratcheting up as he started to hyperventilate. There was only one person who ever 'intruded' on the Dollhouse and that was Alpha, the psychotic doll he had accidentally created who liked to kill people right after he methodically sliced them up. Scrambling out of bed Topher tripped in the sheets and landed hard on his stomach on the floor. The wind was knocked out of him, causing his brain to shut down even more from fear. Acting instinctively he just tried to escape, to get away, to be anywhere other than near Alpha. Even as he gasped for breath he crawled towards the corner to try to hide, images of dead, sliced up dolls replaying in his mind in horrific detail. That's when he heard the bedroom door open, just barely noticeable over the blast of the alarm, but there was definitely someone in his room. He flipped to his back so he could face his assailant head on, eyes desperately searching for a weapon, but then there was that beautiful voice.

"Topher?"

He couldn't respond. An exhalation of pure relief and agony was all that would come out when he recognized the voice.

"Topher," Paul said again as he came around the bed, finding the younger man shaking and wide-eyed in the corner of the room. He knelt down beside him and touched his shoulder gently, "It's all right, there's no intruder. It's just a drill. You're safe. I've got you."

With those words Topher collapsed onto him, reveling in the warmth and safety of his arms.

"Not again, please. I can't. Not ever," he mumbled incoherently, unable to stop the images and the shaking.

"You're safe, I promise," Paul repeated, holding the smaller man tightly, rocking him while they sat on the floor. "I'm right here. It's just a drill, I swear. We sent out an email to warn everyone, you must have been too busy to check yours."

Topher nodded absently in response, "What if he does come back? I won't be able to … I can't handle …"

Paul didn't let him say anymore, he just hushed him with a kiss full of promises.

"I won't let that happen, all right. I'm going to find Alpha and stop him. He'll never come back here Topher, he'll never hurt you again," Paul continued to rock the younger man and pressed a kiss into his hair. "I swear."

End

I love these two!!!