**Once again, we delve into the world of prompts! It’s been quite a while since we’ve done these, but we’ve decided to pick it back up again. So without further ado, I bring you a flash fic based on a very specific prompt. It was much more involved, but it boils down to someone needing space, an accident, and being there anyway. Enjoy!**
That’s what he was doing. And he knew it. Jason picked up his phone for about the hundredth time that day, millionth time that week, to call Nick only to remember yet again that they were currently on a break.
Because Nick “needed space.” Whatever the fuck that meant.
A year ago, Jason would never have thought he’d have given his heart so fully to another man. He didn’t think he was capable of that kind of love. He’d made it to thirty-five without ever feeling the need to fully commit to someone. He was happy dating until they both got tired and moved on. But then he ran into Nick, literally, and his world changed.
Jason had been walking out of the coffee shop and Nick had been walking in. Only Nick wasn’t paying attention to what was going on, his gaze focused on the phone in his hand, and slammed right into Jason. Coffee covered them both, and embarrassment flooded Nick’s face. A replacement drink and an offer to pay Jason’s cleaning bill had somehow translated to an hour’s conversation. Which became a date. Which became a weekend in bed, and naked breakfast. They’d been inseparable ever since.
At least, Jason thought they had. Until Jason said the L word and suggested they finally move in together and Nick had paled and asked for the dreaded space. Which, of course, Jason gave him because there was nothing Nick could ask for that Jason wouldn’t give. And Jason spent the past week moping like a teenage girl because he wanted Nick with him. Not off doing…whatever the hell he was doing.
Jason tossed the phone down and sighed heavily, flopping back against the couch and rubbing his hands on his face. He really thought Nick would have called by now. Nick’s past relationships hadn’t been good, and one had been downright scary, so Jason understood his man’s need for caution. Ultimately, that was why Jason agreed to let Nick go for a bit. Not entirely, and he made that clear, but he knew if he pushed too hard, Nick would end things for good. At least this way he knew Nick would come back. But that didn’t stop him from wanting Nick right beside him, curled up in front of the fire, cozy and warm and together as the storm raged outside.
The snow had been falling for twenty-four hours, and the city had all but shut down. It would have been the perfect time to snuggle together and forget the rest of the world existed. Instead he was alone and missing Nick.
The phone rang, and Jason snapped it up the second he saw Nick’s sister’s name flash across the screen. Why in the hell was Amanda calling?
“Oh my god, JJ!” Amanda’s voice was shrill and panicked. “He’s all banged up and they won’t let me back there and you have to come because I don’t know what’s going on and—”
“Whoa whoa, slow down.” Jason’s heart thudded in his chest and he stood fast. “What’s going on?”
“Nicky! He got caught in the storm and he crashed into a ditch and he was there for hours before someone found him.”
Jason was already running for the door. “Which hospital?” He hit the button on his key fob to start his car then started pulling on his boots, trying not to drop the phone.
Amanda told him and he assured her he’d be there as soon as he could. She urged him to be careful but she didn’t have to worry. Not only did he live on a main road and was only ten minutes from the hospital, but his truck was heavy and had all wheel drive.
Jason still drove with extreme caution, and the buildup of snow and ice meant it took more than thirty minutes to go six miles. He kept the panic at bay only because he needed to focus, and it would serve no one if he ended up in a ditch too. Fortunately, there was no one else on the roads, and though he had to go slowly, he made it without incident.
He found Amanda the moment he finally made it into the waiting room. She told him everything she knew at that point, which was very little, and then they sat huddled together, ignoring the TV. Eventually, after what seemed like hours, a doctor came in.
“He’s fine.” The doctor offered a warm smile. “Well, not fine. He has a couple of pretty serious contusions, a broken wrist, and a couple of bruised ribs. And even though he was out there for a couple of hours and was pretty hypothermic, he doesn’t have frostbite. We’ll keep him for a day or two, but he should make a full recovery with a little time and care.”
The relief flooded Jason and was so acute his knees actually went weak. The doctor told them they could head up to the sixth floor as Nick was being moved to a room as they spoke. Amanda and Jason were quick to head for the elevators. When they got there, Amanda insisted he go in first, that she would give them some time. Jason almost told her that he and Nick were technically on a break and Nick probably didn’t want to see him. But he needed to see with his own eyes that Nick was all right.
Jason quietly entered the room. Nick’s eyes were closed, and he seemed to be sleeping. There was a small bandage on his forehead, a cast on his wrist, and he was propped up a bit. Otherwise, he looked no worse for the wear. Jason’s heart pounded, and he was caught by indecision as he didn’t know whether he should step closer or leave altogether.
Nick’s eyes popped open, and he stared for a moment before he whispered, “What are you doing here?”
There was a squeezing pain in his chest, but Jason stood firm. He didn’t walk closer, didn’t take Nick’s uninjured hand like he wanted to, but he didn’t leave either.
“Amanda called,” he said softly, gaze roving all over Nick’s face. “Scared the shit out of me, hearing you’d been hurt.”
Nick closed his eyes and let out a sigh, then winced like even that hurt. “But we’re supposed to be taking time apart.”
“I know you need space, and I’ll leave. But goddamn, I needed to see you were all right.” Jason took an involuntary step forward, then caught himself. He fisted his hands so he didn’t reach out. “I love you. Remember that, okay?”
When Nick didn’t say anything, Jason let out a breath. Nick was okay. He was talking and the doctor said he’d make a full recovery. That was enough for now. He’d go back to the waiting room and hang out, check to make sure Amanda could get home safely, and then leave. He turned to go, and made it almost to the door before he heard it.
“Jason.” That’s it. Just his name. But it was the sweetest sound in the world. He turned back, and Nick offered him a shaky smile. “Stay.”
Jason was at Nick’s side in an instant, reaching out and taking Nick’s hand in his, being careful of the IV. Nick squeezed his fingers
“I was just scared, you know.” Nick’s voice was barely audible, and Jason leaned in closer. Jason didn’t have to ask to know what he was talking about. “Still am. But I could have died out there.”
Immediately, Jason saw where this was going. He bent his head and brushed his lips over Nick’s knuckles. “Now’s not the time to be making any decisions, baby. Just focus on healing, and then we’ll figure out us.”
“I think you’ve got us pretty well figured out all ready.” There was humor in Nick’s voice, and his lips quirked into a tiny smile.
“I do. And you’ll get there. I’ll wait.”
Nick relaxed, like that was exactly what he needed to hear, and a minute later, was fast asleep. Jason didn’t let go of his hand. He had no doubt they’d sort things out. He wouldn’t push, but now Nick knew he wasn’t going anywhere. Would really be there any time for anything.
Jason knew that was exactly what Nick needed. At least one good thing came out of this accident. If Jason had his say, it would be a tiny blip on their way to happily ever after. But as it was, it was enough for now.