Fandom: The Sentinel
Pairing: Jim/Blair, Steven/Michael (preslash)
Summary: It all gets better-eventually.
Beta: By my sister Anna. All remaining errors are mine-with apologies.
Football, Birthdays and Holidays
“Michael, hold Jim steady,” Simon told the bodybuilder. Filling a syringe he quickly injected Jim. In seconds the convulsions stopped and Jim lay on the couch silent and so very still.
“What’s wrong with him?” Steven asked, tears rolling down his face.
Simon frowned, gently stroking Jim’s sweat-slick forehead. “I don’t know. Until we find out we better get him to the hospital.” He picked up his phone and quickly dialed for an ambulance. Then the hospital to make arrangement to care for one very sick Sentinel.
Once Jim had stopped convulsing Blair had calmed down somewhat. He still had a strangle hold on William’s neck, whimpering quietly. “It’s okay, Son. It’s going to be okay,” William said, trying his best to calm his youngest son.
“I do. I hurt my Sentinell.”
Simon looked up. “No, Blair. You didn’t do this.”
“I do. I bad, bad Guide,” Blair whimpered, softly, burying his head against William’s neck, crying softly, mournfully.
“Watch Jim carefully,” Simon told Michael, who’d been hovering nearby. He went to where William held the trembling little Guide, rubbing his back soothingly. “Listen to me. Blair. I’m your Doctor and Jim’s. I wouldn’t lie to you. You didn’t do this.”
Blair looked over at him. “I no do?” he asked so hopefully it made Simon close his eyes for a moment to fight back the tears.
“No, Son. You didn’t do this. Something else made Jim very, very sick. We’re going to take him to the hospital to figure out what did. It wasn’t you.”
“I okay Guide?” Blair asked in a small voice, lower lips trembling.
Simon reached out to touch Blair’s curly head. “I can say for a fact that you are the best Guide ever.”
Blair’s big blue eyes shimmered with tear. “No lie?”
Simon shook his head. “No, Son. I wouldn’t lie to you. Do you want to be with Jim? You can if you want.”
“You betcha. Come on,” Simon told him offering his arms. Blair went into them quickly.
They all watched as Blair very carefully made himself comfortable on top of his unconscious Sentinel, burying his curly head against Jim’s shoulder. Then he very, very softly began singing to him.
Steven covered his mouth with his hand. “Oh, God.” When he was more or less under control he turned to Simon. “Is Jim going to be okay?” he asked Simon.
“I can’t say for sure. We need to find out what caused this. Until we do Jim will be put in a sterile environment. Everything coming and going will be strictly regulated. I’ve already called ahead, by the time we get to the hospital everything will be ready.”
“And Blair?” William asked, letting the tears fall unchecked.
“Will be with his Sentinel, where he belongs. He’ll be bathed in sterile solution and changed into clothing that contain no chemicals or anything that could be potentially harmful to a sensitive Sentinel. Where the hell is that damn ambulance?” On cue the sounds of the sirens could be heard in the distance. Simon met William eyes. “We’re going to do our very best. You won’t lose your son.”
William wiped at the tears. “Simon, I won’t be losing one son, I’ll be losing two,” He replied looking over at his sons. “Blair can’t live without Jim. He won’t want t…to,” His breath hitched.
Simon laid a hand on William’s arms. “We’ll see that-that doesn’t happen.”
William looked into the room that contained his sons. All three. Steven refused to be parted from his brothers. Enduring a painstaking sterilizing procedure along with Blair to be able to stay with the Sentinel/Guide pair.
Jim still had not woken. Blair had finally fallen asleep against his very ill Sentinel. Steven asleep in a chair head resting on top of Jim’s right hand. The left hand hooked up to IV’s and monitoring equipment.
Simon came to stand next to him overlooking the room that held William’s sons. “Anything?” William asked softly. “It’s been two days.”
“I know. The toxicology report shows an elevation of some sort of pollutant. It’s being narrowed to get an exact reading of what it was that made Jim sick. We’ll know what to do then.”
“Blair has stopped eating.”
Simon looked at William in surprise. “When did this happen?”
“This morning. He refused breakfast. Steven tried, b…but Blair refused to eat anything.” William turned to Simon. “How long can someone so little go without food before they die? Simon, if something isn’t done soon I’ll lose two of my sons and the life will go out of my third.”
Simon took off his glasses to rub the bridge of his nose. “Damn.”
William turned back to look at his sons. Willing to give everything he had to hear them laughing, joking, even fighting. Anything as long as they weren’t so silent, so still.
“When Grace died I thought my life was over. The night after I buried her I went into my sons’ room and watched them sleep. Steven woke as I knelt by the bed they were sharing. They had their own separate beds, but that night they shared. Giving each other comfort, even though Steven was very young, around the age Blair is now. Somehow he knew that Jim needed him, that I need him. He looked at me all blue-eyed sleepiness and he lifted the bed cover.” William smiled slightly. “Without saying a word he knew, asking me to join them. That night my boys gave my life new meaning.” His breath hitched again. “Then came Blair. All of two, smartest little thing I’d ever seen. All bouncy blue-eyed happiness. With a smile that could light up a room.” He turned to look at Simon his own blue eyes brimming with unshed tears. “I’m the proudest man you ever did see when he calls me Daddy. He touches everyone he meets. There’s no denying that. You’ve seen it as well as I have. If my sons die…”
Simon touched his arm. “They won’t die. On my word, I’ll do everything in my power to keep them alive. We’ll figure it out. We will. Why don’t you go home and get some rest.”
William shook his head. “No. I’ll stay here until I can take my sons home with me.”
“At least let me get a cot set up for you,” Simon urged. “You won’t be doing them any good if you pass out from exhaustion. And when was the last time you ate?”
William rubbed his face wearily. “Breakfast. Steven came out to eat with me even though it meant he was going to have to go through decontamination again. He wanted to make sure I was eating and okay.”
“How’s he doing?”
“As well as can be expected. If something happens to Jim and Blair, I’m not sure what will happen to Steven. I’m so afraid that all that feistiness that is my middle son will vanish. He loves his brothers, very much. I am so worried, Simon.”
Simon rubbed William’s back soothingly. “So am I. We’ll figure it out. You won’t lose your family, Will. I’ll make sure of that.”
“My sons should have been getting ready for school. They were looking forward to it.” William chuckled softly. “At least Jim and Blair were. Steven called it going back to the salt mines for another year.”
Simon smiled. “He would. Where’s Steven’s big shadow?”
“Michael? He went to get Jacob at the airport. I sent Sally home. There’s nothing she can do here anyway and she was dead on her feet.”
“As you are, my friend. I’m going to go get you something to eat and then you’re going to lie down. I’ll be right back. I’m going to see if the toxicology report is in, too.”
William nodded. “Alright.”
Half and hour later found a plate of barely touched food sitting on the table and William laying down, not really sleeping, but resting on a cot Simon had-had brought in. Which was a compromise Simon wasn’t happy with, but it would have to do.
The door opened slowly to the observation room allowing all of Jim, Steven and Blair’s friend in.
“How’s Jim doing?” H whispered.
“As well as can be expected. There’s no real change.”
Rafe, H and Carl gathered around Simon looking in. Steven saw them and gave them a small wave. They all waved back.
“Damn, I’ve never seen Blair so still before. Usually he’s bouncing around the room like a ping pong ball on the loose,” Rafe said softly.
“He stopped eating this morning,” Simon told them. They were the boy’s friends and they needed to be told the truth.
“Damn,” Carl cursed softly. “Oops, don’t tell him I did that. I don’t wanna get hit. Well, you know what? I don’t mind getting hit just this once.”
H laughed softly. “Yeah, huh? How’s Mr. Ellison doing?”
“You couldn’t get him to eat?” Carl asked, looking at Steven who was watching them with the saddest blue eyes he’d ever seen.
“No. He did try, but he said it kept getting stuck in his throat.”
Rafe looked at the unmoving figures of two of his friends and they were his friends, even if Jim was mad at him for reasons he didn’t really understand. “Dr. Banks?”
“You know that Blair is really special, right?”
“Yes,” Simon turned to look at him curiously.
“Why hasn’t he fixed Jim?”
Rafe touched the cold pane. “Yeah. Blair’s been able to fix Jim before. He did it at the store when we were getting ready for school. There hasn’t been much that he can’t do when it concerns his Sentinel, he should be able to fix this as well.”
“Yeah, doing that aura and chakra thing he can do,” H said, understanding what Rafe was saying. “He should be able to pinpoint where the problem is and fix it.”
Simon’s eyes widened in astonishment. “You’re right. Out of the mouths of babes. Hot damn, but you’re right.” He went to where the phone that connected isolation to the waiting room, motioning for Steven to pick up the other end.
“Steven! Steven, wake Blair. Have him scan Jim’s aura, chakras or whatever it is he does. See if he can fix what’s wrong with Jim. Do it now.”
Steven nodded. They all watched as Steven went to where Blair lay curled around his Sentinel, half tangled in all the wires. He very gently called to him. Trying not to scare the little Guide. Blair was scared enough as it was.
“Little brother, wake up. Come on, Blair, wake up. Simon thinks you can fix Jim, but you need to wake up.”
Blair opened his big blue eyes and looked at Steven. “Stevie?” he asked softly, using the nickname Jim had just started using for him.
Steven smiled at him. “Yeah, little brother. Are you awake now?”
Blair nodded. “Yup.”
“Okay, good. Simon,” They both turned to look at where Simon and their friends stood waiting. Their Dad had joined them when he’d heard all the commotion. “thinks that you might be able to fix Jim. Can you see his chakra points?” Blair nodded. “Are the colors off-not right?” Blair nodded again. “Okay. Do you remember when you turned Jim off ‘cause he wanted to wait for you?”
“Okay, I want you to do the same thing. Well, not exactly the same thing. I want you to try and fix whatever is making Jim sick. Can you do that?”
“I tink so.”
Steven cupped the earnest face looking up at him. “I won’t lose you or Jim over whatever the hell this is.” He bit his lip when he felt his eyes fill with tears. “I won’t. You’ve got to fix Jim. Please Blair, fix Jim.” He pleaded.
Blair reached up a tiny hand and gently wiped at the tears coursing down Steven’s face. “I fix,” He promised solemnly. “No lose. Luv you, Stevie.”
Steven moved his face into the gentle touch. “I love you too, little brother. Now fix Jim.”
Blair nodded. Turning toward Jim, he silently contemplated his Sentinel. For the longest time he simply stared at him. Everyone beginning to despair that Blair wouldn’t be able to do it.
He finally reached out placing his hands over Jim’s torso he gently pushed in. Then carefully removing the heart monitor he touched the middle of the young Sentinel’s chest and did the same .He moved away to once again contemplate his Sentinel.
Unable to stand the wait. “Did you fix him? Did you fix Jim, Blair?” Steven asked.
Blair nodded. “I fix.”
Steven turned toward where everyone was anxiously waiting and gave them a thumbs up. He couldn’t hear, but saw when everyone broke out in cheers.
“Why isn’t he waking up?” he asked, frowning.
Blair sat cross-legged on the bed, watching and waiting. “He wake soon.”
“Do you know what it was, Blair? Do you know what hurt Jim?”
Blair shook his curly-head. “Nope, but it make Jim berry sick.”
Just then Jim started moving around restlessly. “Come on, Watchman, come on you can do it,” Steven urged desperately. Jim slowly opened his eyes, swallowing heavily. Blinking he looked around.
“What the hell? Where am I? Why are you guys dress all in white? And smelling like disinfectant? You guys really stink.” He said wrinkling his nose.
Steven gave him a brilliant smile. “Oh, man-you gave us quite a scare, Watchman. You’ve been sick since Saturday.”
“Yup. What do you remember?”
“Getting in the car with you, Blair and Michael. After that nothing,” Jim replied. He looked at his little Guide who was holding his hand. “Are you okay, Baby?”
Blair lifted Jim’s hand and kissed the top of it. “I is LOTS better now.”
Jim smiled at him weakly. “I’m sorry I scared you.”
“You scared all of us,” Steven replied, pointing over toward the window where everyone waited.
Jim looked over to see his Dad, Simon and all their friends looking at them anxiously. “Dad,” he whispered softly, his eyes filling with tears when he saw how tired and worn his Father looked. He hadn’t looked this bad since Mom died. “Oh, man-Dad looks awful.”
“Yeah, well, he was really worried. He got more worried when Blair quit eating.”
Jim looked at his little Guide. “You weren’t eating? Why?”
“My Sentinell, my life. No Sentinell, no life,” Blair told him bluntly.
Jim gasped in shock. “No, Baby. No.” Blair just looked at him. There was no denying what his little Guide had just said, but first things first. “We will talk about this later. Stevie could you get Blair something to eat? Have you and Dad been eating?”
“Dad hasn’t, not really. I have.” Steven shrugged his shoulders. “You know me and food.”
“Yeah, I know.” He looked around the room now that he was starting to feel stronger. “Hey, where the hell are we?”
“Isolation room. Simon thought it best to put you in here till we find out what happened,” Steven replied. “You had us really worried. You wouldn’t wake up. Till Simon told me to tell Blair to fix you doing that chaka/aura thing he does. Thank God, it worked. I don’t know why none of us thought about it before. You going into convulsions musta thrown us for a royal loop.”
Jim smiled at his little Guide who was quietly watching. “My little hero,” He whispered affectionately.
Blair gave him a brilliant smile. “Yup. I luvs you.”
“I love you too,” Jim replied, lifting their tangled fingers to kiss Blair’s forefinger. Earning a happy giggle. The Sentinel smiled, before turning back to Steven. “I’m sorry I scared everyone.”
“It’s not like you did it on purpose,” Steven told him slightly annoyed. “so quit apologizing. We’re all just happy you’re better. I’ll see about getting Blair some food.”
Jim nodded. “Okay. Tell Dad I’m alright and for him to go home and sleep. And Stevie?” Steven looked back at him. “Can you get someone to come in and take these things out? They hurt,” Jim asked indicating the IV’s.
Steven nodded. “You got it, Watchman.” Going to the window he motioned to the phone. Simon quickly picked it up.
“How is he?” The Doctor asked, eyeing the Sentinel/Guide pair cuddling and sharing happy kisses on the bed.
“He’s good. He wants the IV’s out. And he wants to see if someone can get some food for Blair.”
“No problem. I’ll have the nurses take care of it.”
“Simon-when can we get out of here now that Jim’s awake?” Steven asked the Doctor, but was watching his Dad who was swaying unsteadily.
“To soon to even consider that. We need to find the reason Jim got sick in the first place then deal with that. You can come out any time, but Blair and Jim are going to be in there for awhile.”
Steven shook his head. “I’m not going anywhere. As long as my brothers are in here so am I. Simon-can I ask you something?”
“Of course you can. What is it?”
“While we’re in here can you look after Dad? Make sure he’s eating and sleeping. He doesn’t look to good.”
“No problem there either. Now that Jim’s awake maybe I can get him to go home for a while.”
Steven gave the Doctor a huge smile. “Cool. Could I talk to him, please?”
Simon nodded, handing the phone to William. “Steven wants to talk to you.”
William gave his son a small smile. “Steven, how are you, Son?” he asked, touching the glass that separated them.
Steven placed his hand against his Father’s, wishing the glass wasn’t there. “I’m okay. But Dad you look dead on your feet. Please, go home for a little while and rest. Jim’s awake and Simon’s going to get Blair something to eat. Everything is better.”
William shook his head. “No. I’m staying here. We go home together.”
“But, Dad-you’re really tired. Sleep, shower, change, eat. Get Sally to make you a roast beef sandwich.” He smiled at his Dad. “And have her send one over for me. And maybe some chocolate chip cookies.”
William smiled. “I can do that, but I’m not leaving the hospital. When we go home, we go together.”
“But Dad-everything’s really okay. Go home. Nothing can happen while we’re in here. If you’re really worried you can always hire some bodyguards to watch over us.”
William looked over at Jim who was quietly watching and listening. “I don’t know,” William said hesitantly.
“We’ll be okay. I swear, Dad everything we’ll be okay. I’ll protect Jim and Blair while you rest. Please, Dad.” Steven’s eyes filled with tears. “You look so tired. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Please, Dad. Please?” he pleaded softly.
“Alright, Son-I’ll go home.” William replied, very reluctantly. “But I’ll be back in a couple of hours.”
Steven shook his head. “No, Dad-you need more than a couple of hours. Rest as long as it takes to feel better. I swear on the Ellison name I’ll guard Jim and Blair.” Smiling when William nodded unwillingly, but he was going to do it. “Cool. I love you, Dad.”
William gave him a tiny smile. “I love you too, Son. And don’t think you waving your ‘I love you’s’ around will always get you your way. I’ll be back later.”
Steven nodded. “That’s okay. It got me what I wanted for right now. Don’t forget my sandwich and cookies.”
William shook his head smiling. “I won’t.” He looked over at his other sons. Jim was still quietly watching, Blair asleep in his arms. “I love you, son,” He whispered, knowing he would be heard. The young Sentinel gave him a brilliant smile, mouthing. “I love you too, Dad.”
William put the phone back into its cradle before turning to Simon. “I have been ordered by my sons to go home,” He told him, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
“They have you’re best interest at heart, Will. If you collapse because you’re exhausted you won’t be any good to yourself or them.”
William sighed. “Let’s go then. The sooner I rest, the quicker I can get back.”
Steven watched worriedly as Simon led his Father out of the waiting room. He looked at Rafe, H and Carl motioning for them to follow. They understood what Steven was asking and quietly followed the adults out. He watched them leave before turning back toward Jim and Blair.
“Is that good?” Jim asked Blair as his little Guide ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Blair nodded. “Good,” he said, trying to chew the sticky peanut butter.
Jim smiled offering a Blair a glass of milk. “I’m glad. Baby, can I ask you something?”
“Ask,” Blair told him offering his Sentinel a piece of sandwich.
“If I asked you not to do this again, would you?” Jim asked, taking a tiny bite.
Blair tilted his head. “What?”
“If something like this happens again, I want you to live.”
“No,” he was told firmly.
“No. My Sentinell, my life. No Sentinell, no life.”
“Simon could get you another Sentinel with no problem,” Jim whispered softly, earning him such a look of horror he regretted with everything in him having mentioned it.
“NO!” The little Guide screamed.
Jim flinched. “But Blair…”
“NO! Jim my Sentinell. MY SENTINELL.” Blair shouted angrily. “No otter. EVER.”
“I’d let it go if I were you,” Steven advised from his newly acquired bed.
Steven shook his head. “Let it go, Watchman. Now’s not the time.”
“You’re starting to sound like a broken record. You almost died. LET. IT. GO.”
“I want what’s best for Blair. Is that so hard to understand?”
Steven sat on the edge of his cot. “Let Blair decide what’s best for Blair?”
“He’s three years old.”
Steven shook his head sadly. “Damn, but you almost dying musta done something to your brain. Blair is almost four. And smarter than you and me put together. Smarter than you and me and Rafe and H and Carl put together. You could probably put Michael in there to, but all the weight lifting he does squashed his brain to mush. So I don’t think he counts. But do you see where I’m going here?”
Jim pulled Blair into his arms. “He’s still only three.” Kissing his little Guide’s forehead affectionately. Loving the blue-eyed sleepy look his little Guide was giving him. Worn out by days of worry and a now full tummy.
“Did you know you bring up his age when you’re afraid?” Steven asked him curiously.
“So?” Jim asked, pulling the now sleeping Blair higher into his arms. It felt good to be free of the monitoring devices and the IV’s. Now if they could only get out of the hospital. But Simon had been adamant-not until they found out what had made him sick.
“Wanna know what I think?”
“Most times, yeah-I guess.”
“Are you sure you wanna hear what I’m about to tell you?”
Jim tilted his head. “Is it that bad?”
“Yeah,” Steven told him softly.
Jim sighed heavily. “Alright. I know I’m not going to like it, but tell me.”
“You don’t have a choice in this. You never did. Blair made it the moment he bonded you,” Steven told him, waiting for the explosion.
“What the fuck are you saying?” Jim hisses angrily. Shushing Blair when he moved restlessly.
“What I’m telling you, Watchman-is that if you die Blair will go with you and there’s not a damn thing you or anyone can do about it,” Steven told him baldly. He watched Jim blanch.
“I’m afraid so.”
Jim looked down at Blair. His beautiful little Guide. No. No. It wasn’t right. “There’s gotta be something we can do.” He pleaded softly.
“No. Nothing that Blair wouldn’t fight tooth and nail and win.”
Jim stroked Blair’s forehead gently. “It’s not right. He’s his own person and shouldn’t be tied to me. There’s gotta be something we can do?”
Steven went over and sat next to his brothers on their bed. “fraid not.”
Jim looked up at Steven blue eyes filled with misery. “What am I going to do then?”
Steven touched Jim’s arm. “I have one suggestion.”
DESTINY UNFOLDING, DESTINY INTERTWINING
Steven had finally gotten Jim to lay back and sleep. It hadn’t really taken much. Jim was still worn out from whatever had almost killed him. Simon was no closer to figuring it out. And they in the meantime, were stuck in a sterile room, with not much to do.
They’d been allowed to bring some things from home and Dad had talked to their teachers at school. So even in the hospital they couldn’t get away from homework. Mattie was making sure of it. To Steven’s eyes that really sucked. He did kinda like the art class, though. Simon had made sure his art supplies were Sentinel safe before allowing it into the room, but come to think of it everything in the room had to be Sentinel safe.
So Steven sat on his Sentinel safe bed drawing with his Sentinel safe pencils, on his Sentinel safe pad-his brothers. He was so engrossed in it he didn’t realize there was any one in the waiting room until he saw a slight movement.
He looked over to find Michael staring into the room with such wistfulness it kinda hurt to see.
Steven went over to the window and they just started at each other for a minute before he placed his right hand on the glass. Michael reached up and placed his corresponding hand over his. They stared at each other for a long time. Steven brought up his left hand. The body builder covered it with his right.
He acknowledged the look in Michael’s blue green eyes with a small nod. The body builder missed being with them. Michael nodded back as they stared at one another. Something passed between them as they continued staring at each other. Steven frowned not quite sure what it was.
Steven tilted his head to the side as he silently contemplated Michael. The body builder’s blue-green eyes darkened to jade telling Steven everything he needed to know. The question Michael was silently asking.
Steven watched as Michael’s eyes darkened even more to a color he’d never seen before. Almost black yet with a hint of the green that was prevalent most times. He wanted an answer.
Steven turned his head to look at his sleeping brothers. Before meeting Michael’s eyes again. Silently asking the body builder a question.
Michael nodded his curly head in understanding. Knowing what was being asked. Vowing silently to help Steven protect his brothers. Offering more. Everything he was he now offered to Steven. A commitment of life, body, heart and soul.
The middle son of William Ellison understood this as well as he understood his role in Jim and Blair’s life and all with Michael not saying a word. They continued to stare at one another, the silent communication between them almost tangible.
Steven’s frowned as he thought about it. The fact that he may have been to young to make such a commitment never entering his head. Being to young never seemed to bother Blair. Michael seemed willing to wait for him. Steven may be young, but he wasn’t stupid, he knew exactly what Michael was offering. And the body builder didn’t come with an off switch like Jim or at least not one Steven knew how to work. Yet he was willing to wait for Steven no matter how long it took.
Steven thought fleetingly if he could ask Blair to do that chakra thing for Michael the same way he’d done for Jim. If he accepted the bodybuilder’s offer, that was.
He saw the thoughts racing across Michael’s face so fast he almost couldn’t read them. He pushed his hands against the pane of glass, seeking a little closer contact or trying to. Seeing it, Michael pushed from the other side.
“Are you sure about this?” Steven asked wordlessly as Michael’s thoughts came through clearer.
“Yes,” Michael answered back just as wordlessly.
“It’s a huge commitment you wanna make, musclehead.”
Steven watched a small smile touch Michael’s face. “I know. I want it.”
Steven tilted his head slightly. “Why? I’m not exactly a prime catch.”
The smile deepened. “Says who?”
“Says me,” Steven thought back. He frowned. “How the hell are we doing this?”
Michael shrugged. “Who the fuck cares? I like it.”
Steven smiled. “Yeah, huh? Now we can cuss all we want and Blair can’t get mad.”
Michael chuckled. “Yeah. There is that. Well?”
“Are you going to take me up on my offer?”
Steven gave him a huge smile. “Can you afford me? I don’t come cheap.”
“Yeah, I can afford you, Numbnuts.”
Steven rolled his eyes. “Geez, what kinda marriage proposal is that?” He watched Michael pale.
“Hell yeah. What the fuck did you think you were offering me? A trip to the mall?”
“You really are a dip, you know that? Do you even know what the fuck you want?” Steven asked sarcastically.
Michael looked away for a moment before. “Yeah, I know,” he replied shyly.
“I’m only eleven you do know that right, perv?”
Michael sighed heavily. “Yeah, I know, dumbass. What the fuck do you take me for?”
Steven smiled at him mischievously. “A perv. I am after all only eleven.”
“Yup. So if I accept this proposal of yours, do I get a ring?”
Michael frowned at him. “You wanna ring?”
“Hell, yeah. Be happy I don’t wanna big wedding.”
Michael rolled his eyes at him. “I’ll wait. How ever long it takes, I’ll wait for you,” He vowed seriously.
Steven looked away fighting the tears. Damn, he was getting as bad as Jim. “Thanks.”
“We could always ask Blair to turn me off like he did Jim?”
“Heard that did, you?” Steven asked sheepishly.
“Is that what you want?”
Michael looked at him shyly from underneath his lashes. “Yeah.”
“You positive. Don’t wanna hear later that I made part of your anatomy blue.”
Steven rolled his eyes. “Been sniffing to much sweat from the gym have you? Killed a couple million brain cells, did it?”
“What the fuck are you taking about?” Michael asked in frustration. Half the time he had no idea what the hell Steven was saying. Now he was going to have to figure out what he was saying when he thought it too? Goddess help him.
“Well, you certainly aren’t going to be the brains of this outfit, that’s for sure.” Steven told him snootily.
“Oh, please. Like you’re that smart.”
Michael just looked at him. After a moment. “You are SO going to get an attitude adjustment hug when you get out of there.”
Steven returned the look equally. “Well, the way I see it-it’s your right.”
“Huh?” Confusion once again lit the bodybuilder’s face.
Steven’s blue eyes crinkled in amusement. “Seeing as we’re engaged and all,” He chuckled softly when Michael turned a bright pink. “You’ll get all the hugs you want since you’re gonna be waiting for me. And that’s all you’ll be getting till I’m of age, perv. You better treat me right or I won’t be of age till I’m forty.”
Michael turned even redder. “Oh, man. Is it to late to withdraw the offer?”
“Yup, way too late. You’re mine from here on end, musclehead. Get use to it.”
Michael gave him a shy smile. “You’re gonna take my offer?”
Steven nodded. “Yeah, I think I will,” He blinked when Michael gave him a brilliant smile as if Steven had just given him the best present in the universe. “You are fucking crazy to want me, you know that?” he told him smiling slightly.
“Yeah, I know, but I want you any way. Will you talk to Blair?”
Steven nodded. “Yeah, first chance I get. You better go now. Don’t wanna break this telepath thingie we got going here.”
“Yeah, I guess,” Michael replied reluctantly.
“Hey, it’s not forever. We’ll be outta here as soon as Simon figures out why Jim got sick.”
“I just don’t like being away from you guys.”
“I know, but it’s better you’re out there. We need for you to take care of Dad. Make sure he’s eating and everything,” Steven told him softly.
“I will,” Michael promised.
“You better. I don’t wanna get out of here to find Dad’s faded away to nothing.”
Michael shook his head. “It’s been a week. How much fading could he do in a week?”
“Enough to worry us.”
“You don’t have to worry. Sally, Mattie, Simon and I are looking out for him. So are the guys. He’s getting mad at us for hovering, but we’re doing it. Jacob said he’d be in tomorrow to visit. Said he apologizes for not being in sooner, but he had things to take care of.”
“I’ll tell Blair when he wakes up. You better go.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Michael replied, slowly taking his hands away from the pane of glass that separated him from where he really wanted to be. “I’ll see you later.”
“Okay. Hey?” Steven called Michael back as he walked reluctantly toward the door.
“Don’t forget about my ring.” Steven chuckled when Michael turned bright red. “I want it by the time we get out of here.”
“Huh, okay,” Michael told him, with a tiny yet happy smile.
Steven was still chuckling when he turned back to his brothers. To find Jim sleepily watching him.
“What was all that about?”
Steven made his way to his bed. Jumping on it. “I got me a bond kinda like the one you and Blair have.”
“Yup,” Steven told him, picking up his sketch pad.
“Cool,” Jim replied, pulling Blair closer he went back to sleep.