Disclaimer: Don't own, definitely wish I did

Curled up in bed together Jack tried to quiet the voices in his head that were aghast Tom could keep a secret like that from him. The day had been never ending and dealing with one disaster after another did not leave much time for Jack to corner the other man and demand an explanation for the lack of honesty concerning matters of vital importance. He tried not to be hurt at what he deemed a lack of trust in their relationship and finally kicked himself in the ass for his brooding that too closely resembled a lovesick teenage girl for his liking.

"Tom why didn't you tell me?" the small set of shoulders in his peripheral rose and then sank and a soft sigh filtered through the silence of their bedroom.

"Tell you what?" The words were whispered and blanketed in a clearly manufactured tone of indifference.

"Tom, this is serious. How the hell could you not tell me something like this?"

Soft words were murmured into his neck and Jack could not help but press Tom closer to his chest to protect him from whatever false beliefs were clearly causing him shame.

"I'm sorry? I didn't quite get that." He teased as gently as possible.

"I didn't want people to pity me. I was afraid if my parents found out that I had been spreading it around they would think I was devaluing his sacrifice. I didn't want people to look at me and have images of my brother dying in their heads. I didn't want to be a liability to NBS." The words were quiet and steady and ended abruptly. What followed nearly broke Jacks heart. Soft barely-there sobs shook the slim body and a small dampness spread rapidly across his skin. "And I didn't want to worry you."

Running hands up and down the shuttering back Jack pressed his lips to Tom's temple and murmured into the sweet smelling skin. "But it hurts you. And that will always make me worry. "

"I'm sorry."

"God, don't apologize. You can tell me anything you want and if there are things you want to keep to yourself that's fine too but never for that reason. I need to know if something's hurting you. You have to tell me. Okay Tommy?"

The room was quiet afterwards the only sounds rustling of covers. Jack slowly ran a hand through Tom's mussed hair and hummed to fill the silence. His other hand ran over Toms back spelling out the same words over and over again. I love you. These simple but powerful words seemed to spur Tom into a revelation.

In a soft stuttering voice Tom began, "My brothers in the army. He builds…hospitals…and schools in warzones. It's dangerous. Really dangerous. It's his third tour and they say it's more than likely… he won't make it. He's my little brother and I worry about him all the time…"

The painfully honest words spilled from his lips and onto Jacks skin long into the night until both men having dealt with possible death and heartbreak and come out the other side still whole drifted to sleep wrapped around each other.