A Haven In A Heartless World

Yeah, yeah. Another fic another rarefandom. This is slash, blah blah blah, you all know the drill, right? Priest/Hicks ficcage. Takes place a few years after the movie. Title comes from a quote by Christopher Lasch - "The family is a haven in a heartless world." Characters are not mine (except one) and please do enjoy! Thanks to kittycrackers for help! Comments are awesome!

Sorry for the slow update. Just got a puppy - not many computer breaks are happening. Or sleep breaks...

This is the last chapter. Thanks for reading and extra thanks for those who took the time to review!

Chapter 8:

Hicks wakes up alone.

The world around him is eerily silent, so much so that he sits bolt upright in surprise. This proves to be a mistake, and a painful one at that, as his injuries pulse in complaint of the abrupt movements. He takes in his surroundings, the house, vacant but for him. The angle of the sun through the windows suggests that it's late afternoon, but he has little else in terms of information, though he's pretty sure he's been in and out of consciousness a few times over a pretty lengthy period.

"Priest?" He calls out, voice rough and hoarse, but he doesn't feel the urge to cough. Despite that, he's kind of afraid, afraid that the Cathedral City men somehow managed to take out the Priest and that they took Shane back with them, that they left him here alone. He stands, unsteady and wavering as the pain shoots through him. He stumbles toward the front door.

He's clad in clothes that have to belong to the Priest, too big on his slightly smaller frame (and that only adds to his lack of coordination) and he's guessing he complied with that during one of his fleeting moments of awareness. Again, he wonders how long he's been out.

"Fuck," he curses, when he trips into the door once he's finally managed to get it open. He tries to stay on his feet, but fails, landing hard on his knees. His vision swims and a wave a nausea hits him with impressive force so he opts to stay perfectly still until it passes.

"You really shouldn't be moving." A voice says. He knows it's the Priest, but he can't open his eyes, not yet at least, to figure out where the hell the man came from. A hand lands on his shoulder, the good one, and he focuses on that instead of the pounding pain in his bad one.

Hicks breathes in and out slowly, trying to keep himself from screaming.

"Let me go put Shane down and I'll help you back to bed," the Priest promises, and then his hand disappears. It returns a short moment later, arms curling around his chest as the Priest hauls him back to his feet without putting much pressure on any of his injuries. "What were you thinking?"

"Couldn't find you," he answers, the words breathed out through gritted teeth as he fights against the pain. The Priest supports him, walking him back over to their bed, where he sets him down gently before sitting down beside him. Shane sits there, too, playing with his stuffed bear. "What's going on?"

A hand on his back now, moving in circles that soothe him slightly. "Just took Shane outside for a minute, he was getting cranky, being stuck in here," he explains, as the two of them watch the boy carefully. "His fever's gone. Yours, too. And if they're smart, no one from the Cities will be trying to come after either you ever again."

There are definitely questions he needs to ask about that last part, because he has to wonder just what his protector did in the time he was out of it that would have so efficiently scared them off, but not now. Right now, he's just glad to hear that they're not sick anymore, even as the Priest summarizes the plethora of injuries he patched up and lists off the things he needs to bandage again now that Hicks is up and conscious.

"And, ugh, that thing. That thing that we need to talk about. From before. Can we talk about that?" Hicks asks, hoping he did not imagine the kiss in the Cathedral City cells or the promise to revisit the topic in the midst of a fever-induced delirium. "That, that happened, right?"

The Priest nods. "Yes, it did. And it'll happen again, if you want that. Whatever you want."

He's happy to hear that, but... "What changed your mind?"

"The vow was theirs. Just another tool to control us in the Order, just like the tattoos and the isolation. I'm not letting them control me anymore, not in any way," he says, "It's a fight they won't win with me ever again, especially when it comes to you. Taking you and Shane, taking my family, was the last straw. I've cut all ties."

"Thanks," Hicks says, "for that, by the way. Saving us. I was a little worried for a while there."

"Nothing would have stopped me from finding the two of you, from getting you back from them."

Hicks shifts, but twisting his body toward the Priest's proves difficult with his arm and the Priest easily catches sight of his wince when he moves to close the distance between them for a kiss.

"I know I said 'whatever you want,' but I'm going to amend that with 'once you're better.'"

"Fair enough," Hicks answers. "Just a kiss."

"Okay," he agrees, moving toward Hicks so that the younger man doesn't have to shift at all. One kiss, light and chaste, for now, is all he gives. Once Hicks' arm is healed, once bruises have faded and cuts have turned into scars, then things will be different, they'll be whatever Hicks wants them to be because that's all the Priest wants, too. All he wants is to be with Hicks and to watch Shane grown up, to have his family.