Jason and Colby Kent-Mirelli have settled happily into married life, decorating their house, and planning their next blockbuster film project together. But a family emergency calls them home to be with Jason’s parents and stirs up old emotions.
Jason loves his parents, and they love Colby. But Jason hates hospitals and hates feeling helpless. Colby’s anxious around crowds, strangers, and noise. And Jason’s trying hard to take care of everyone.
Fortunately, Colby’s very good at taking care of Jason.
Colby took him off to their bedroom, steps matching, house and footfalls quiet. The midnight world pooled distant, hazy, haloed with aftermath and reprieve. Adrenaline fading to rest.
He watched Colby’s hands, slim and long-fingered and good at fencing and writing and kneading bread dough and caressing Jason’s body. Colby’s fingers were mesmerizing, as they flipped on bedroom lights, connected phones to chargers, peeled off clothing, rubbed Jason’s shoulders briefly before lifting his shirt up and off.
Jason vaguely thought that he should be doing more. Taking some sort of action. Asking whether Colby was okay, in need of comfort, thinking about families and old wounds. He knew Colby had never known anything like the riotous whirlwind of love and exuberance that defined a Mirelli gathering, and the contrast could at times be staggeringly stark.
He couldn’t work out how to ask. Strings cut. Joints and limbs flopping loose. Defined next steps all taken now, and nothing left to focus on.
Colby was standing in front of him, and leaned in, meeting Jason’s eyes. Colby’s own were very blue and very certain, and full of love; and he smiled a fraction and put a hand into Jason’s hair and brought their lips together, lightly, a feather of a kiss.
Jason shut his eyes. The tears were back, for no good reason. They seared his eyelids.
Colby knelt, unhurried and undramatic about it, and undid Jason’s jeans, and eased them down. Jason wobbled a fraction, literally and metaphorically. “Babe ...”
“Shh.” Colby kissed his thigh, not a flirtation but a comfort; he hadn’t bothered removing Jason’s boxers. “I’ve got this. And you. I’ve got you.”
Jason let a hand fall, let it rest atop Colby’s head. Those pretty eyes were confident, looking up at him. Colby’s hair under his palm and fingers was a fluffy steadying luxury, cocoa strands ruffling beneath his touch. “Okay.”
“Yes,” Colby said again, and got back up, and tossed his own clothing accurately at the hamper, down to silky sunset-mauve underwear now. He was beautiful, of course, and Jason’s cock gave a valiant twitch; but Colby only smiled more and guided him down into bed and turned off the light and checked on both their alarms, and then tugged until Jason ended up in his arms, head on Colby’s shoulder.
The dark surrounded them, pewter and indigo, velvet and satin.
Colby’s body was capable and welcoming and recognizable, every line and plane and shape Jason knew so well. He’d left his wedding ring on -- so had Jason -- and the gold of it lay against Jason’s skin, as Colby rubbed his back. Jason put an arm around his waist, holding on.
Colby kissed the top of his head. And then leaned their heads together, with a wordless soothing murmur.
“Colby,” Jason said, except it came out half-cracking over a breath, a choke of emotion.
“I’m here.” Colby held him more tightly. “I’m right here. And you’re here, and your father’s home and doing well, and you’ve taken care of everything so well. It’s all gone right, it’s splendid, you’ve done enough. You’ve been enough, love. You are enough. My Jason. So much love.”
Jason wasn’t crying, and wasn’t exactly shaking with reaction -- his entire body had cuddled up to Colby and was busy clinging -- but he couldn’t talk.
“We’re all all right.” Colby’s hand stroked his back again, slow and lulling. “We’re here, we’ve got a plan for tomorrow, and for next week, and for all the upcoming physical therapy appointments. You’re so very good at plans, you know, and your mother told me how glad she was to have you handling that, so you know you’ve made her feel much better, very comforted, with that. As you do for us all, so marvelously.”
“I want to,” Jason protested. “I can ... I should ... I want to help.” But Colby’s words lay like bandages across his soul, every storybook syllable in that fairytale voice a loving stitch, lacing him back together.
A salve, rich as honey. True as the weight of Colby’s hand on him. Real as the heartbeat he could feel in Colby’s chest.