Sean had never slept well. Ever since he was a child he'd been haunted by nightmares, visions of his father's death, of underground tombs. After his Iceland expedition, he has dreams of T-Rexs chasing him through lava filled caverns, of dying alone in a gallery of magents. He'd kept them to himself, kept himself silent when he woke, but this, two days off the island, this was the worst one yet. He slammed awake, and before his mind caught up with his voice he yelled, "Hank!"
It was stupid, he knew it was stupid, but he didn't want to be left, didn't want -
The man knocked on his doorframe as he came in, asking, "Sean, you alright?" He didn't answer, he was still half-asleep, still terrified, and he acted without thinking, holding his arms out in a sort of silent supplication, wanting to be held. He dropped them almost immediatley, meaning to send the man away, but Hank was too quick, and before he could think, Hank was sitting gingerly on the edge of the bed, his arms wrapped around him.
It had been a long time since he'd had something like this, since he'd had someone who did this, who made him feel this safe. Not since Dad. Grandpa and Uncle Trevor were nice, but they weren't trustworthy, not like this. They couldn't be depended on, not really. Not when things got bad.
Hank, was dependable. He was a rock. He couldn't be driven away, no matter how hard he'd tried. He took a deep, long breath, and nodded, as the man asked, "You all right?" "Bad Dream?" He nodded into Hank's t-shirt again. It was probably that LSU one. The one that's really old, and fall apart in your hands soft. Hank didn't let go, but he did loosen his grip, so Sean didn't feel trapped. Then he seemed to settle in and asked, "You want to tell me about it?"
"You left." Hank left, and Mom went with him, and there was nobody else who cared enough to even try to save him, and it was all his fault - He feels Hank's breath deepen a little, before the bigger man explains, softly, "That isn't gonna happen, Sean. That's just not going to happen. You're know that - don't you?"
He knows that, logically, but he has always had a fear of being left. His father, his grandfather, his uncle. They all left him. When Hank was first dating his mother, he had been afraid that she would leave him for the big man. He let Hank talk to him for a while, until he settled, calmed. He was exhausted. He hated pacific islands, and his ankle hurt. Hank seemed to geuss at least some of this, becuase he felt Sean's forehead, and shook his head, "You've got a fever. Hold on." He nodded, and Hank told him, "I'll be right back." as he walked into the hall. He heard the man's footsteps in the bathroom, opening up the medicine cabinet, before he came back with a glass of water and a couple of aspirin. After Sean had taken his pills and drank some of the water, Hank told him, "Lay back down." then tucked the comforter over him, telling him, "You'll feel better in the morning, buddy. Get some sleep."
He spent the weekend laid up in bed, drinking Gatorade and watching reruns on TV. When he comes down Monday morning Hank is frying eggs, and he gestures to the table, telling him, "Something for you there."
It's an envelope, with a quarter-sized medal on a silver chain. He looked at it, and realized that it's the Navy insignia, the one that's on the old t-shirts that Hank has. There's an enscription on the back, and he's a little stunned as he reads, "Someone I'll always come back for."
He pulled the chain over his neck as the man puts the eggs in front of him, telling him, "Eat, buddy. You're going to be late."
He looked up at the man, wondering how he does this - fixes all the issues in his life, then hands him eggs and tells him he'll be late. He thinks either his family has been very, very dysfunctional up to now, or mom was right to snap Hank up, becuase hey, he serves his country, he fixes your deliquent son, and he cooks too!
"Buddy? You okay?"
He nods, cutting some of his eggs and managing to snarf some toast before the bus horn honks. He grabs his backpack and his jacket, then pauses in the doorway - "Hank?"
Hank looked up from the plate of eggs. "Yeah, Buddy?"
He shifted on one foot, hears the honking of the bus, then grips the medal around his neck and just says, "Thank you."
He's out the door before he can see the man's response, but that's all right. Hank will still be there when he get home.