Prompt: OzXGilbert AU - Oz and Gil are childhood friends who secretly have feelings for each other, but after being in a car accident, Oz falls into a coma. 10 years later, Gilbert is the only one who continues to visit him in the hospital, and it is after these ten years that Oz finally wakes up, completely unaware he's been asleep so long. Fluuuuuuff please? With tears and hugs and Gilbert trying to help Oz adjust/get through rehab/etc.

Yes, I started another new fic ^_^; Sorry! I just couldn't help it :) I know the title seems a little awkard, but it suits the story :)

On the plus side, it got me out of my writing funk (the Kink Meme saves the day again!), and if I manage to keep up the pace the next chapter of Loyalty should be up in the next day or so; sorry for the delay!

But back to this story... It was more of a venting excercise for me, but I ended up really enjoying it, and since I do intend to make it a multi-chapter fic it seemed like a better idea to post it here, rather than take up so much space in the Kink meme with it (Like I did with Masters and Servants/Dominance ^_^;). I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to write Oz's rehab (I need to research it a little more), but I think this could be a fun side story :)

I won't be updating it again until I have some of my other fics updated, but I thought I may as well post a bit of it ^_^ Anyway, without further ado, here is the Prologue to Forever Finding You; I hope you enjoy! ^_^

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Forever Finding You

Prologue

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It was early November, and the weather had taken a turn for the worse. The temperature of the air was frigid, but the rain fell far too heavily to allow snowflakes to form. Most would have stayed at home on a day like this, or rushed back there the moment they were free from work or school. Most people would not have pulled on a thick coat and risked a cold in order to race to the bookstore the moment they were free of work just to pick up their preordered novel. Most would not have abandoned the bus stop shelter and, once again, brave the cold, wet weather because the bus was 'taking too long'. Most would not have ran all the way to the hospital just so they could make it there before visiting hours began, so that they could make the most out of their visit.

But Gilbert Nightray was not like most people.

He arrived at the hospital ten minutes before visiting hours began, soaking from head to toe, his face flushed from exertion. He had managed to prevent the novel getting wet by hiding it beneath his jacket, which he was forced to leave at the front desk because it was dripping with water. Shoes squelching beneath his feet, Gilbert made his way down the quiet corridor and towards the room he had been visiting on an almost daily basis for… what, was it ten years now? It seemed like far less and far more at the same time…

As he walked, he read the black numbers that had been carved onto the silver plate around the door handle of each room along the left side of the corridor, something he did by habit more than anything else, because he could have found his destination with his eyes closed. 101, 102, 103… Until he reached the room numbered '115', where he stopped. When he did, something within him sparked, despite his best attempts to suppress it.

Even after all these years, there was still a moment where his heart would stop as he reached towards that door handle. A moment when his heart, ignoring his head, elated with the hope that when he turned that handle and stepped inside, he would be greeted by bright emerald eyes and that beautiful, sunshine smile had always banished his darkest worries away with the tiniest quirk of the lips that formed it.

But every time, his foolish heart was left disappointed, deflated and falling, leaving a cold well of disappointment in his chest. Every time, he opened the door to his best friend's hospital room, and was greeted with nothing but the steady bleep of the heart monitor, the gentle bellowing of the breathing machine, and the thin, motionless form of his best friend.

This time was no different.

"Hello, Oz," he whispered quietly as he stepped inside and closed the door behind him, as if he were afraid of waking the comatose blond that lay before him. Heh… if only it were that simple. "I brought you something."

Even though it had been ten years since the accident, Oz Vessalius was still the image of the boy that Gilbert had met in his younger years, if a little taller. His pale skin had healed of all scars over time, his blond hair trimmed regularly to the very same style he had always worn, and he had even managed to somehow retain his youthful appearance, despite the fact that he was an adult, now. Gilbert wondered if it was the steroids and various other drugs that he had been given that appeared to have stunted his growth, and thought, with amusement, of how annoyed the boy was going to be when he woke up and found out that he was only a few inches taller, while his best friend stood at a height of six feet.

He smiled warmly down at the boy as he approached the side of his bed, reaching down and pushing a few golden strands of hair from his face. Even with the mask covering the lower half of his face, Oz always looked so peaceful. It was as if he really was only sleeping, and that the smallest noise would wake him from the peaceful dreams that weaved their way through his thoughts. Maybe that was why Gilbert often found himself whispering to his friend, rather than speaking aloud. He allowed his fingers to trace Oz's features lightly, simply watching, unaware of the seconds ticking by until the book almost slipped from his idle right hand. Jolted back to reality by the novel, he gripped the chair situated next to Oz's bed, pulling it closer and sitting down.

"Look," he said, still quietly, as he lifted the book upward to show his friend, "I got you the brand new Holy Knight novel." Silence was all that greeted the dark-haired man when he paused for response, but he continued regardless. "I preordered it this time… The thirteenth book in the series, and it doesn't seem to be showing signs of ending anytime soon. I bet that makes you happy, right?" Leaning back in his chair, Gilbert carefully opened the book on the first page. "You better pay attention," he said, glancing upwards, "because I'm not repeating myself. Alright… Chapter One: Reverse Corte…"

He read though the chapter at a comfortable pace, pausing only to adjust himself in his seat, or to lean forward so that he could lay the book on the bed and fold his arms on the edge. He continued onto the next, and the chapter after that, also, though he did interrupt himself halfway through to tell the boy that his uncle, Oscar, was out of town, and that was why he hadn't been to visit that day. "I'm sure Ada already told you that when she visited earlier today, but I thought I would mention it, just in case…"

By the time he had reached the halfway point of the forth chapter, it was time for him to leave. Thanking the nurse and promising to be gone soon, Gilbert closed the novel and opened the cupboard next to Oz's bed, placing the novel on top of the twelve other books stored within, before pushing himself to his feet and brushing the creases from his clothes. "I have to go now, but I'll be back again tomorrow," he whispered, stepping up next to Oz and reaching downward to gently hold his friend's right hand. He could not hug him, or hold him… This was the most physical comfort that he could offer the person he had watched over all these years. It seemed unfair, and he wasn't even sure if Oz could feel it, but it was the best he could do.

"Happy Birthday, Oz…" he whispered softly, squeezing the blonde's hand gently.

He could have sworn he felt his friend squeeze back.

"If only…" he thought with a sigh, loosening his grip on Oz's hand…

Only to realize that the boy's fingers were, indeed, curled around his own. He started, eyes shooting down to their still-connecting hands, his heart beating just a little faster. The blonde had no great hold on Gilbert, but his fingers had definitely wrapped around Gil's own. That… had never happened before…

And when he raised his gaze, sightless eyes of dull emerald stared back at him.

Gilbert thought that his heart would literally leap out of his chest, his stomach twisting sharply and throat instantly tightening.

He… had to be dreaming… This… Oz couldn't really…

But he was looking right at him!

Did he dare to hope?

"O… Oz?"

The sound of his name seemed to break the spell, or whatever force it was that had kept the Vessalius' eyes open, because the moment Gilbert spoke Oz's eyes fluttered and closed, his hand falling limp, something like a mixture of a sigh and a groan escaping him as his body returned to its limp state.

But his breathing had changed, and Gilbert could see that his friend was struggling to open his eyes again.

It took several seconds for the golden-eyed man to realize what had just happened, his body and mind frozen in shock.

But then he shook his head, clearing his thoughts, and placed Oz's hand back on the bed before racing out of the room, calling out for a doctor, or a nurse, or anyone who would listen. He didn't care that people were sleeping. He didn't care that he couldn't stop crying.

Because Oz Vessalius had woken up.

After ten, long years, his precious Oz had finally, finally woken up...

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To Be Continued

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