“That’s optimistic, boss.” Sebastian said, almost gently, his eyes still on the ceiling. He could hear the glass shatter around the illusion that Sebastian would wait a few days and then walk out of here, a little battered but fine. How many times had that happened? A stray shot, a stab wound? Nothing as serious as this. Nothing could ever compare to this. Idly Sebastian wondered if Jim would take a knife to his chest to mark up the mirror images of the bullet wounds over his sternum and across his torso.
These things happened. Sebastian knew that. It was a risk he took going into the jungle, it was the dangers he faced during the war, it was something that he engaged with on a daily basis during his time with Jim Moriarty. He had seen worse things happen, he had seen bigger messes, stronger reactions, dirtier clean up jobs - one was still visible on his face and under his messy hair. This was the reality of his life, and he was unwilling to pin so much hope or really any on the vague figure of ten per-cent.
Sebastian literally bit his tongue to keep himself from responding sharply. How did he expect Jim to react? Someone had just touched his favorite playing. Not only that, touched and taken and broken it. A second opinion wouldn’t change anything at all.
“If you’d like boss.” Sebastian said softly.
Jim nodded sharply, trying to pull his dignity around him, pick up the pieces that shock had scattered around the room, rebuild the smirking, confidant consulting criminal. He smiled, tilting his head to the left. It didn’t tip to the right. He didn’t have the answers yet.
“I would like.” His voice was quieter than he’d thought it would be, some sort of emotion. He didn’t know what it was, barely registered that it was something, just knew that it wasn’t what he’d intended, not the control he’d intended. Some sort of slipping.
“So…when will they let me have you back? I mean…” He licked his lips, reaching for the glass again before stopping himself and pulling his hand back into his lap. He didn’t know what to do with his hands. He wanted to stand up and walk, just walk around, pace the way he did when he was on the phone.
But that seemed…cruel? To walk. To stretch his legs. His hands clenched with a desire to rip away the white blanket, to look at Sebastian’s legs. They couldn’t look the same. Under that pristine blanket, he imagined them torn, the muscles ripped away from the bones, the blood somehow contained, hidden, the bones splintered. But that wasn’t it, was it? It wasn’t his legs.
“I mean, when will they release you?” What did his back look like now? When Jim blinked, he saw what he knew—the broad shoulders, marked with the long straight scar from shoulderblade to shoulderblade, then the shorter lines down his spine. What was it like now?
He stood up, unable to remain still, and walked to the bed again. He reached over, needing to touch him now. Hoping Sebastian wouldn’t pull away this time. He just…needed. He stroked his fingers through his hair, careful not to brush his fingertips against the scar that was hidden.
“Your hair’s a mess,” he said, shrugging one shoulder.
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