AN: For once I won't ramble. I just thought I'd advice you to check out my AN at the bottom as it concerns a matter of GREAT IMPORTANCE. As usual, please let me know what you think and be sure you've read the warnings.

Thank you all for the encouraging reviews, both for this story and the other two. If it hadn't been for your great reviews of "Everybody's fool", I'd never had written this but I'm so glad I did. I wasn't suppose to ramble. Sorry. -Dorian

"I really must say I love your new apartment," Hunter's mother enthused, more excited than she'd ever been about the one he'd shared with Sebastian. Taking a sip off coffee, Hunter looked around, trying to accept this apartment as 'home'. His parents had helped him pay for it, insisting on it in fact, not asking about his abrupt move. There were still boxes everywhere, Hunter had tried to make himself unpack them, had even started a few times. He had always been a very neat person and the mess bothered him. But he just couldn't. That would be admitting he was staying, that it was over.

Has it really been two weeks since I last saw him? Feels like forever and yesterday.

"It's very-" his dad begun before Hunter's phone started ringing.

"Sorry," he said, making an apologetic face. "Hello?"

"Hunter Clarington?" an un-familliar male voice asked.

Hunter frowned. "Yes? Who's this?"

"Flynn Rider, I'm calling from Bellevue Hospital Center. Are you Sebastian Smythe-Clarington's husband?"

"I am," Hunter said cautiously. The words sounded weird, and he realized no-one had ever addressed him as such. He kinda liked it. "Something happen?" he asked, suddenly worried.

"I'm sorry to say your husband has been assaulted and is currently in the ICU."

"W-what?" Hunter nearly dropped the phone. His parents looked questioningly at him, his mother frowning worriedly.

Assaulted?

For a few seconds he wasn't able to understand the word. Then he just wouldn't believe it. Sebastian had been fine the last time he'd seen him. Physically at least.

Assaulted. Beaten. Hurt. No. Impossible.

"I'm sorry, mr Clarington."

"Will he be okay?" Hunter asked, voice perfectly calm, brain surrounded by cotton.

"It's to early to tell," Flynn answered gently. "I'm sorry."

But... He has to be okay. How can he not be? What do you mean to early to tell? What's to early to tell? Is he dye- No. Absolutely not.

"I see." He stared emptily in front of him, thoughts running through his head without making any sense. "Can I see him?"

"When he's stable. Or-"

No.

"When he's stable," Hunter said firmly. "Alright. I'll, alright. Okay." He hung up.

That was rude. Hanging up like that. Should I call him back?

Hunter shook his head, blinking.

"Hunter, who's hurt, honey?" his mother asked, taking his hand.

"Sebastian." Hunter frowned, it still hadn't sunk in. "He's been assaulted," he heard himself say.

That word again. Assaulted.

"Do they know who did it?" his father asked.

"I- I, um..." Hunter shook his head again, trying to collect his thoughts. "I don't know. But a couple of guys have been giving him grief for awhile, so, I mean, that'd make sense," he mumbled confusedly. "I'm going to the hospital." Of course he was going the the hospital. Sebastian might be mad at him, but surely he'd allow him to visit?

Unless he's- no.

"I'll bring the coffee so it wont get cold," Hunter said, getting up, cup clutched in his hand. "It's stupid to waste it," he murmured, staring at the brown liquid. It was rippling.

Odd.

"We'll drive you," his mother said gently, prying the cup from his trembling hand.

"But, you don't have to do that. You barely know him. You haven't had cake yet. It's from this really nice bakery-"

"Come on, Hunter." His father led him out of the kitchen, arm around his shoulders.

-'-'-

"Let's ask her," his mother said, walking up to a nurse with black hair barely contained in a pony tail. "Excuse me, we're going to the ICU?" she made it a question.

"I'll take you," the petite woman said. "I'm headed that way anyways." She smiled gently at them. Nurses always smiled like that, trying to make their patients feel better.

Probably a class they take in college, 'Caring and Comforting.'

"Thank you."

Hunter walked after the nurse in a daze, unaware of his surroundings. The word 'Sebastian' caught his attention, making his head snap up.

"...so we came here to see him," his mother explained to the nurse, who nodded politely. They stopped in front of a pair of doors.

"They're locked," the nurse explained. "Give me a sec." She swiped her card, disappearing through the doorway, returning after a few moments with another nurse.

"You're here to see Sebastian Smythe-Clarington?" he asked, addressing the group.

"Yes, I want to see Sebastian," Hunter said, words tumbling out of his mouth in a rush. His voice sounded weird, like it came from a distance. "I'm Hunter," he said, like that explained everything.

The Hunter in Hunter and Sebastian.

"I see. We spoke on the phone earlier, mr Clarington. Your Husband is still in surgery," Rider explained gently.

"Surgery. Of course. I see." Hunter realized he kept nodding, unable to stop himself. He felt detached, like he was standing next to himself, observing.

Surgery. Assault then surgery. Surgery and assault. Of course.

"He's in shock," the first nurse told Rider.

"I noticed. Mr Clarington, if you'd come with me."

-'-'-

Hunter quickly dug his old school bag out of a box. He'd been in the ICU for two hours before a doctor had declared Sebastian stable. The relief had made him dizzy for a moment, his entire body tingling. They didn't know ifwhen he was going to wake up though.

"What's this about that boy being your husband?" his father asked from the doorway. Hunter froze in the process of stuffing clothes and other necessary stuff into the backpack. In his panic he'd forgotten Rider had referred to Sebastian as 'your husband', at the time Hunter hadn't even registered it. His parents had waited for him in the hospital cafeteria, then they'd been silent the entire way back to his apartment, leaving Hunter to his thoughts, or so he'd figured.

"Sebastian and I got married in Vegas," Hunter admitted, zipping the bag closed, throwing it over his shoulder as he walked past his dad into the living room. He just said it, like he hadn't just told them his biggest secret. Like he hadn't just bared his fucking soul.

"I've told you you shouldn't drink-" his mother chastised him.

"I wasn't drunk. I did it because I wanted to." He threw the bag over his shoulder, suddenly desperate to get out of there. It didn't matter, them finding out, because he'd lost everything because he hadn't been brave enough before because he hadn't done what he should have and Sebastian had just been lying there completely still with a bandage around his head and the machine beeping was the only thing telling Hunter his heart was still beating.

He'd lost Sebastian and now he'd almost lost him again and he had to make things right and Sebastian had to wake up because if he didn't oh god please he just had to.

"He persuaded you to-" his mother insisted.

"No." Hunter shook his head, breathing in deeply. "It was my idea." Closing his eyes, he felt a bit lightheaded. He shoved his shaking hands into his pockets, fighting nausea. "I'm gay. I'm sorry." He took a trembling breath. "I didn't choose this," Hunter said brokenly, begging them silently to understand. To accept. To support. To still love him.

I can't deal with this right now, I should be at the hospital, not here, not defending my love for a man who might never wake up. Never look at me again. Kiss me. Hold me. Touch me. Love me.

He blinked hard.

Don't think about it.

"You could have chosen not to," Hunter's mother said cooly.

"No, I-"

"Of course you could have," his father snapped. "Instead you choose to lie to us for years. Because I assume this nonsense begun at Dalton?" Hunter cringed, then nodded. "That school corrupted you," his father continued, sneering. "I knew we shouldn't have sent you there. A show choir-scholarship," he scoffed, then snorted. "We were practically asking for this."

"Show choir didn't make me gay." He didn't bother telling them he was bi-sexual. He was with Sebastian and that was all there was to it. "Falling in love with a guy did."

"Two men can't love each other," his mother stated simply. "It's wrong. Love is something between a man and a woman, not between two pansies." Hunter shook his head in denial. "Don't argue with me, Hunter, you know I'm right. That's why you haven't told us, because you knew that what you were doing was wrong." She sounded so reasonable, so logical, except her words were all wrong.

Then what is it I feel for him? What is it that makes my stomach flutter when he smiles like that? What makes him able to still take my breath away even after five years? What is it that makes it so hard to breathe when he's hurt?

"This is a sign," his father said, making Hunter focus on the pair of them again. "You can finally break free from that boy's corruptive influence. He's gotten his punishment, and you've gotten your chance at redemption."

Hunter stared at them. It was like looking at two strangers. He'd known their reaction would be bad, but this...

Bas would never judge me like this.

"So you're saying Sebastian deserved to be beaten half to death for loving me?" Hunter demanded. "To just lie there, while everyone who loves him suffers? What's wrong with you?" Hunter exclaimed. "Where's your compassion? Where's your-"

"He corrupted our son," his father snapped. "Turned him away from us. Made him lie to us. Confused him. Made him a faggot-"

"Do not call me a faggot." He'd had it. Had he denied Sebastian all these years for these two people? "I love him, I don't care if you won't believe that. And guess what? He loves me back. He doesn't judge me or expect me to me someone I'm not, he just loves me for who I am. And I've been terrible to him-" Hunter rambled, choking down a sob. It hurt. He was so angry at them and at himself but it still hurt. They were his parents for crying out loud. Weren't they supposed to be the ones who loved him no matter what? The frustration made him want to scream, scream scream and scream until they got it.

"Listen to yourself Hunter! You're talking crazy. This is not the son I raised. He's completely corrupted you!" his father roared. "And now you're crying like a fucking pansy. Man-up, Hunter!"

"Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up!" Hunter violently threw the potted plant standing in one of the windows into a wall, the pot shattering and the dirt spreading everywhere. His parents stared at him in shock but quickly recovered.

"Will you do the right thing?" his mother asked softly. "Leave this mess behind? Find a nice girl to make you happy, have a real marriage?"

'I want something real.'

He heard Sebastian's voice as clear as if he'd been standing next to him. And there was only one answer.

"I'm with Sebastian," Hunter said hoarsely. "He makes me happy."

"Well." His mother cleared her throat. "If that's your choice, you're no son of mine." Very formal, very cold. Very final. Hunter nails cut into his palms.

Please don't do this. I need you. I'm scared. He's dying. I need someone to hold on to. I need my parents more than ever. Comfort me, help me, please stop condemning me when I've done nothing wrong. Please please please. You can't do this to me. You just can't-

"Dad?" he said tightly, turning towards him. His father studied him for a few moments, then put his arm around his mother.

"You've done this to yourself," he said shortly. "If you change your mind we'll be be here, to help you get back on the right track."

"I see." Hunter closed his eyes briefly. "Then please leave my home. LEAVE!" he shouted when they didn't immediately move.

He didn't let himself feel anything when they literally walked out of his life, not even hesitating at the door. Hunter called a cab, made sure he'd gotten everything he needed, locked the door and left.

-'-'-

Hunter made a quick tour to Sebastian's apartment to feed mr Puss, heart hammering in his chest as soon as he left the hospital. He hadn't left Sebastian's side since he'd come back yesterday after fighting with his parents, sleeping fitfully in a chair at his bedside.

What if he wakes up and I'm not there. What if he dies and I'm not there. Don't die don't die don't die howamIsupposedtolivewithoutyou?

Picking up the cat, he petted him softly, hiding his face in the soft fur for a few moments. He didn't like leaving him alone all the time, being a very sociable cat he got lonely, Hunter could tell by the way Mr Puss had followed him around since he'd entered the apartment. Digging his phone out of his pocket, balancing the cat with one hand, he realized he'd forgotten to turn it back on after he'd turned it off yesterday upon returning to the ICU.

What if the hospital's called? he thought, panicking. No missed calls from unknown numbers and no voicemail. If something had happened they'd leave a message, right?

The phone ringing made him flinch him so bad he dropped it on the floor with a loud thud, making mr Puss startle.

"Hi Shelia," he said, petting the cat in apology.

"Hi Hunt! I've been calling you for like two days. I thought you'd been abducted by aliens or something," she joked. She'd called him every day since he and Sebastian broke up. Just chatting about this and that, reminding him he wasn't alone.

"No," Hunter said, voice flat.

"Hunter? What's wrong?" Where do I start? "Hunter? Talk to me." What do I say? "Hunter," a bit hysterical, "you're freaking me out."

"I'm so scared," Hunter whispered suddenly, words escaping without his permission. "What if he doesn't wake up? What if he dies?"

"Who? What happened?" Shelia asked worriedly.

Somewhere along the way Hunter had forgotten that everyone else's lives went on, that it hadn't affected them, that they hadn't instinctively known that the world had changed so profoundly. Because it hadn't, not for them.

"Sebastian got bashed."

Bashed sounded even worse than assaulted.

"Oh my god."

-'-'-

"Hunter, I want you to consider carefully what I have to say," doctor Brown said. He was a middle aged man with vaguely hispanic features, brown hair streaked with grey and a pair of discreet frameless spectacles.

"Okay," Hunter answered, folding his hands in his lap. They were seated across from each other by Sebastian's bedside. Hunter rarely left the hospital, he did leave the ward when he couldn't stand to watch Sebastian's still body anymore. Then he'd walk over to visit Sebastian's father who'd transferred to the same hospital, or to the children's ward, playing and singing with the kids. He'd left the hospital three times in roughly a week, not able to stand being too far away from his husband, but unable to just sit and wait.

Shelia had been amazing. She looked after Mr Puss, letting him stay with her and her cat da Fonze. She also looked after both their apartments, making sure their flowers didn't wither and brought in their mail. She came daily to the hospital to keep Hunter company for an hour or two, bringing him fresh clothes and reminding him to eat.

Doctor Brown cleared his throat. "It's been eight days since your husband became comatose."

"I know." Hunter stared down at his hands. He knew what was coming, he just wished it wasn't.

"I'd like you to seriously consider what to do if Sebastian remains unresponsive."

Hunter shook his head in denial. "He'll wake up," he said steadily, because that was the only thing that kept him together.

He'd never leave me.

He ignored the voice that whispered he'd already had once.

"He suffered severe head trauma when he was pushed down the stairs, the back of his skull smashing against the concrete." Hunter shuddered at the mental image. "The longer it takes for him to wake up, the risk of brain damage increases." Doctor Brown sighed. "He might not be the same man he was." Hunter blinked hard. He would not break down. Sebastian would wake up, and he'd be perfectly fine. He had to.

This is my punishment.

He thought it before he could stop himself. It was ridiculous, because it was Sebastian laying there and not him, but if he'd just spoken up when they'd had their last fight. If he'd just said the right words and made Sebastian stay then maybe...

"I hear you, sir," he said politely. "But Sebastian is my husband, and I'll never give up on him. I can't." He shook his head. "I just can't." The ever present anxiety pressed against his lounges, making it hard to breathe.

"Would you leave him like this for years?" doctor Brown said mercilessly. Hunter shook his head numbly. "For how long?" Hunter kept shaking his head. "I know it's difficult to hear, but you have to be strong for both your sakes. Hopefully he'll wake up, but-"

"He's capable of breathing on his own, that's a good sign, right?" Hunter cut in.

"If he stays this was that'll change," doctor Brown said, sighing heavily. "We have several physiologists-"

"I'm already seeing one." He turned away, focusing on Sebastian's face. The slight swelling had gone down, he looked pretty much like he used to. Except he was never this still. Sebastian's other injuries had been minor, he'd been pushed before too much damage had been done.

Wake up.

"Good."

"Please leave." He reached out and took Sebastian's hand, squeezing it gently, smiling at him.

Wake up.

"Hunter-"

"Please," he repeated, voice breaking. He pressed Sebastian's hand to his face. Listening to the sound of doctor Brown's retreating footsteps, he tried to pull himself together. "Remember that game we used to play in high school?" he asked, voice rough. "Let's play pretend, Bas." Hunter stroked his hand. "Let's pretend these past five years didn't happen. Let's pretend that I said 'this is Sebastian, my boyfriend' at graduation. I guess that would have ruled out college for me, but we could still have shared a flat in New Haven." He smiled, taking a shuddering breath. "Let's pretend I worked while you went to college, and everyone knew we were together, and they'd roll their eyes at us because honestly, who stays together with their high school boyfriend?" he tried to tease, the words coming out half-choked instead. "Let's pretend that I'd been brave enough to introduce you to everyone back home, and that I was brave enough to hold your hand each time I've wanted to these past years. Because then," he squeezed his hand, "instead of going home alone, you'd already had been there, with me. Preparing to celebrate Christmas together, let's pretend it's something we do every year." He kissed his wrist. "Then you wouldn't be here, like this, because you'd be home. With me. Like you should have been all along." Hunter frowned when something dripped on Sebastian's hand. "And now you've made me cry. Wake up and tell me what a sap I am. Please. Please wake up, Bas," he sobbed. "I know I let you down but you can't leave me. Give me a chance to make it up to you. I love you so much please don't leave me," he begged silently, words barely coherent. "Sebastian, I can't. I just can't without you," he told him, wishing he'd told him years ago, wishing he'd shown him every day.

He startled when someone put a hand on his shoulder. Blaine pulled him to his feet and into a tight hug. Hunter couldn't stop crying, it was too much. He clung to the shorter man, trying to cry out the pain but as long as Sebastian just lay there how was it supposed not to hurt? He managed to calm himself down after awhile, still Blaine didn't let go and Hunter didn't make a move to step back.

"I just heard," Blaine said softly, stroking his hair. "Tell me if you need anything, anything at all." Hunter didn't answer, still shaking with aftershocks. "I know I'm not your favourite person-"

Hunter shook his head, stepping back. "You care about him."

"I do." Blaine agreed.

"And I get that you were trying to do what was best for him." Hunter forcefully collected himself. He couldn't let his emotions get the upper hand. He hadn't cried since his parents had walked out on him a week ago, somehow keeping it together. He refused to fall apart now. "They want me to consider letting him die." The words were out before he realized he'd said them. Blaine stared at him, mouth open in shock.

"W-what?" he stuttered. Hunter sat down heavily, head in his hands.

"What am I- I just-"

"How are you supposed to make that decision?" Blaine asked, aghast.

"I DON'T KNOW!" He hadn't meant to yell at Blaine, and the brunette seemed to get that. Blaine looked at Sebastian on the bed, his chest rising and falling the only indication he was still amongst the living.

"Fuck."

-'-'-

Later that night, Hunter sat right next to Samuel Smythe when he died.

He held his hand and talked about Sebastian, not the current situation but fond memories. Silly stuff that had happened at Dalton, stories Sebastian had told him about growing up - anything to put Samuel at ease. Samuel wasn't very aware, high on morphine to spare him from the pain, but Hunter thought he got through. He felt scared and sick to his stomach because a man was dying right in front of him and Sebastian should be here because the man on the bed was one of the most important people in his life and oh god what if he would be sitting like this in a week but holding Sebastian's hand inste- No.

Samuel smiled suddenly, green eyes lighting up, looking at Hunter. "Bas, you'll be just fine," he assured him. Hunter nearly broke down at that. Seconds afterwards the hand in his became limp.

-'-'-

"It's Christmas tomorrow, Bas. Surely you're not going to miss that? It's your favourite holiday," Hunter coaxed.

Nine days. Shut up. Nine days, Hunter. How long will you leave him like this?

"Mine too," Shelia said, just walking through the door. She gave Hunter a peck on the cheek, then smothered Sebastian's hair back from his forehead, taking the still youth's hand. "I expect you to at least pretend you're happy about what I got you," she told him.

"I got him a miniature Tardis, something tells me you can't beat that." Hunter got up and walked over to the window, his back against them. The grounds were decorated, not a lot, but still enough to be a bit cheery. The lump in his throat was slowly choking him, he needed to breathe but there wasn't enough air. He'd imagined the delighted expression on Sebastian's face when he'd ordered the gift almost a month ago. Now he wondered if he'd ever see any expression at all on the familiar features.

"I got him a full size Tardis!" Shelia claimed, as always trying to make him smile.

"Sure," Hunter drawled.

"Oh fine. I just got him a gift-certificate to the cinema," she moped.

"And that's why he married me and not you," Hunter said, eyes following a kid running around outside, playing. He definitely wanted kids, the time spent in the Children's Ward had settled that decision once and for all.

I think I want two. One to start with, a boy because maybe it'd be a bit easier. But I'd want a little girl as well, and I'd do my best to stop you from spoiling her rotten. We've never talked about kids, but I think you'd be a great dad, Bas. Not that I'd admit it, but you'd be the fun parent and I'd be the strict one.

He swallowed a lump in his throat.

You just have to wake up so we can discuss it.

"Him being gay had absolutely nothing to do with it," Shelia snarked.

"Nope." Hunter smiled to himself, twisting the ring on his finger automatically. He'd put it on when he'd gotten back to the hospital the first time, and hadn't taken it off since.

"Now what does that say about you?" Shelia asked.

"I make an excellent sugar daddy?" Hunter suggested, still watching the kid.

"Hunter he moved." Shelia's voice sounded almost panicky.

"What?" He was by Sebastian's side in a heartbeat.

"His fingers, they, they sort of twitched." They stared at each other, Hunter taking Sebastian's other hand.

"Bas. Bas can you hear me? Move you fingers if you can hear me," Hunter said tensely, staring at the hand in his. He turned his gaze toward's Sebastian's face. "Nurse! Nurse his eyelids fluttered!"

-'-'-

Sebastian missed Christmas, but they watched the fireworks on New Years Eve together from the window in his room at the hospital. Hunter had his arms around his waist, sitting behind him on the bed they'd moved, a blanked draped around them both.

"Are you sure Mr Puss isn't alone? You know he hates the noise," Sebastian asked once again, snuggling back against his chest.

"Yes, Bas, Shelia is with him. She even got him a friend," Hunter assured him for the fourth time, pressing a kiss into his hair, linking their fingers together. He hadn't been able to stop touching him since he woke up, holding his hand, sitting close to him, constantly reminding himself he's there. They would have to talk about getting back together, even though they already were. When Sebastian had become lucid Hunter had told him he was here to stay, telling him he was done hiding. Sebastian had accepted a kiss, right in front of the nurse checking his IV, and that had been that. All problems hadn't just gone away, but they'd be okay, for real this time.

"Hey," Sebastian turned his head, wiping a tear from Hunter's cheek. Hunter looked at it, surprised. "You are such a sap, you know that?" Sebastian teased halfheartedly.

Hunter kissed him, laughing and crying at the same time.

-'-'-

"Nice ring."

"Thank you."

"I got one just like it."

"I can see that."

"It suits you."

"You know, that's what I thought, so I burned the divorce papers."

"You burned them?" A smile tugged at Sebastian's lips. "Drama queen."

-'-'-

Hunter took a deep breath, he'd been dreading this conversation but it wasn't fair to put it off. "Your dad-"

"I know," Sebastian said calmly, pulling the up comforter around himself. Hunter looked at him in surprise.

"You... do?"

"He hasn't been here this past week," Sebastian said, making Hunter feel like an idiot. "And," he paused. "When I was comatose, I had the weirdest dream..." Sebastian's eyes narrowed. "I don't really remember any details. My dad was there, talking to me..." Sebastian frowned. "And when I woke up I just knew."

"I'm sorry, Bas."

"I miss him." Sebastian said sadly, staring emptily in front of him, sorrow making him look years older.

"You got me." Hunter squeezed his hand, resolving once again to keep the promise he'd made Samuel Smythe.

-'-'-

When Sebastian started complaining, Hunter knew he would be just fine.

"Where's my cat?" Sebastian demanded. It was a miracle, the doctors had told them. Except for losing the memory of the assault, Sebastian would be fine, almost as good as new. His back bothered him a bit and he got headaches, but considering the alternative...

He still needed to stay for observation for at least another week though, to his dismay.

"As I've told you, he's with Shelia," Hunter said, barely hiding his amusement.

"Does he miss me?" Sebastian asked, like mr Puss would have left a message with Hunter.

"...he hasn't said."

"Does she give him tuna on Sundays?"

"Yes, Sebastian, Mr Puss gets his Sunday dinner, don't worry."

"Does she- mmmpf."

-'-'-

"...haven't seen your parents around," Sebastian said carefully, resting in bed, Hunter sitting next to him. The weeks they'd been here they hadn't talked about it. Hunter had been avoiding it, not ready to deal with all the pain and anger. He'd told him he'd come out to them, well, everyone really. He'd never forget Sebastian's dumbstruck face.

"I'm an orphan," Hunter answered shortly.

"Fuck, Hunt, I'm-"

"I know. I was stupid," he sighed, shaking his head.

"What?" Sebastian frowned.

"I said, I was stupid," Hunter repeated.

"I heard you. Why?"

"Because," Hunter interlaced their fingers, because Sebastian had looked worried for a moment. "I spent years trying to be someone I'm not, hurting someone who loves me unconditionally to please people who never really loved me at all." It did sound a bit rehearsed, which it might unconsciously have been. He'd given it a lot of thought as he'd waited for Sebastian to wake up.

"I wasn't I saint either, though," Sebastian offered.

"We'll talk this through properly one day," Hunter said, not really wanting to deal with the past right now. They were together, right at this moment. The rest could be solved eventually.

Sebastian was quiet for awhile, then squeezed his hand. "Was it bad? You parents," he clarified.

"Yes. Let's just leave it at that, please? For now," Hunter added. He needed to talk about it but too many bad things had happened lately and right now he wanted to focus on the good parts. Like Sebastian tugging at his hand, looking at him.

"I love you," Sebastian said simply.

"I tolerate you on a general basis," Hunter sassed.

"Charmer," Sebastian said dryly, then burst out laughing.

-'-'-

Hunter stood outside the main entrance to the hospital, huddling in on himself in the cold, arms around his body. It was the end of January and Sebastian was finally allowed to go home. His husband's expression was a bit anxious as he looked around before spotting Hunter standing off to the side. Hunter felt a pang of sorrow at that, resolving to help him get his entire confidence back.

He's the most important person in my life. He's more than enough and I love him more than anything. And I'll remind him of that, every day. I'm not losing him again.

"There you are." Sebastian looked briefly relived, but quickly hid it as he walked up to stand in front of him.

"Here I am." Hunter kept both arms around himself but took a step forward. Sebastian hesitated, so Hunter got up on his tiptoes and pecked him on the lips. When he looked up at him, Sebastian's eyes were closed. He slowly opened them, huffing out a small breath, smiling. Hunter's stomach did that fluttering thing because he was there and he was fine and he was smiling at Hunter. Sebastian suddenly frowned, looking down into Hunter's jacket, then lit up like a christmas tree.

"Is that...?" Hunter grinned, nodding, very pleased with himself, unzipping his jacked to give Sebastian a better look. "I've missed you so much!" Sebastian carefully swept mr Puss up into his arms, the cat purring loudly, butting his head against his master's face. "I love you too," he assured him, quickly opening his own jacket, nestling the cat against his chest. Hunter helped him with the zipper, mindful of the fluffy white fur. "Has it been awful? Don't worry, I'll take care of you properly from now on. Tell you what, let's go for ice cream," Sebastian cooed.

"Bas, it's January." They began walking towards the car, Hunter slipping his arm around Sebastian's waist, Sebastian's attention seemingly completely focused on the purring furball in his arms. He leaned into his touch though, eyes flickering to him for a second before returning to the cat.

"I know. Point?" Sebastian's eyes were shining and he wouldn't stop smiling. He snuggled the cat against him, opening the jacket as soon as he sat down in the car.

Hunter snorted. "Nothing. Let's go for ice cream."

SUPER IMPORTANT AN: Wipe your tears folks! It doesn't end here! I won't write a sequel, but I'll be taking prompts for one-shots in the 'fools-verse'. If you feel like there are scenes missing you would have liked to have read, or if you just want some serious fluff, angst etc, tell me and I'll do my best to write it. Either leave a review here, or write to me on my tumblr (dorianbeingawesome) and I'll do my best. The fulfilled prompts are published as 'Fools verse one shots' -Dorian