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Upon arriving at the hospital, Justin was once again rushed into surgery covered in blood leaving Brian sitting in the same waiting room, clothes drenched in Justin’s blood.
This was the second time in five fucking years someone had tried to kill Justin. Five years ago, Brian had been given a second chance with Justin and he had royally fucked it up and so had Justin. All Brian wanted was one more chance. He vowed to which ever deity was listening that he wouldn’t fuck it up. He just needed Justin to live then he could tell and prove to Justin how much he, Brian fucking Kinney, Stud of Liberty Avenue, loved him.
Brian was so desperately willing Justin to live through this that he didn’t register the arrival of the family until Jennifer touched his shoulder and shook him.
“Brian, how is he? Do you know anything yet?” her voice was tinged with hysterical fear.
“No. I don’t know a fucking thing. He’s in surgery now.”
Jennifer didn’t reply. She simply sank into the chair next to him and held onto his arm. After a few moments, Brian flipped his hand palm up and grabbed her hand, intertwining their fingers in an attempt to comfort hem both. The two of them both sat in the waiting room, holding onto each other. Tucker sat down on Jennifer’s other side and held her other hand. Brian and Jennifer each sat and remembered the last time they had been here for Justin. This time though they had each other for comfort.
“Thank you,” came Jennifer’s voice, barely above a whisper.
“What?” Brian turned to look at her startled, he’d almost forgotten that she was beside him.
“Thank you for giving me my son back, for loving him even if you won’t say it out loud.”
Clearing his throat, Brian looked away and whispered “I do love him. I do.”
A squeeze on his hand was the only reply for which he was extremely grateful. They slipped into silence once again. Never taking note of the bustling family members sitting in chairs all around him. People came and went, some if not all attempting to talk to the pair at some point or another.
Tucker pressed a cup of coffee into their hands at some point and attempted to feed them. Both Jennifer and Brian had been grateful for the coffee but couldn’t stomach the idea of eating anything.
After about an hour and a half, Carl had shown up and brought with him a spare change of clothes for waiting pair. Brian was extremely reluctant to move. Irrationally, he felt as though if he moved he might not be there when they brought news of Justin. Ben assured him that if anything happened he would fetch him immediately.
Reluctantly Brian made his way to the nearest restroom and tried to clean himself up the best he could. Having seen what he looked lie in the mirror, the brunette had suddenly been desperate to get eh blood soaked clothes off, unable to stand them a second longer.
Exhausted and worried, Brian made his way back to the waiting room and once again took up his position beside an equally fearful Jennifer. A sudden though occurred to him between his muddled thoughts.
“Has someone called Molly and Daphne?” Brian rasped. His throat felt raw and unused.
Jennifer shook her head as did all those around him.
“Molly’s at a friend. I’d far rather tell her in person and when I have more news. I can’t remember Daphne’s cell number.”
Brian stood up and pulled out his cell. “I’ll call her.”
Jenifer reached out and squeezed his hands for a few seconds. “Thanks, Brian.”
Brian made his way to the hospital entrance, his cell in his hands and took a deep breath of the cold night air. He didn’t want to make this phone call but he owed it to both Daphne and Justin to be the one to do it.
She picked up after two rings and Brian quickly gave her the outline of all that he knew. He didn’t tell her how his heart was beating in terror. She would know. He didn’t tell her about the sticky feeling of Justin’s blood soaking into his pants. It was something he would refer never thinking about again.
Daphne demanded to know which hospital they were at and Brian didn’t hesitate to tell her. He could already hear the sounds of her quickly throwing on some clothes and heading out the door.
He was entirely positive that this was the absolute worst day of his life, worse than when Justin had been bashed, worse than when he had found out about the cancer. The only thing that would make it better was when Justin woke up.
If he woke up a traitorous voice whispered in the back of his mind.
No. No, he was not going there. He couldn’t go there.
Three hours later a tired looking doctor in a white lab coat over stained scrubs walked into the waiting room.
“Who is here for Justin Taylor?”
Nearly half the waiting room stood up at the question, Brian and Jennifer at the front.
“I’m his partner.”
“I’m his mother.”
“I’m Dr. Brandon, I operated on your son. Mrs Taylor, if you would come with me and we could discuss your son’s condition and the treatment plan.”
Grabbing Brian by the arm, Jennifer marched right up to the doctor.
“This is my son’s partner. You treat him as you would any other husband and tell the both of us how Justin is.”
At any other time, Brian would have smirked. It appeared that Debbie had rubbed off on Jennifer. She had come a long way from the woman that had first walked into his office. Looking momentarily startled, the doctor quickly recovered.
“Justin has lost a lot of blood and we had to give him a transfusion. A piece of the debris punctured his spleen and we were forced to remove it. He also had some internal bleeding that we were able to stop. He has a mild concussion but because of his previous head injury we are going to keep a close eye on it in case it starts bleeding on the brain. He is going to be in the ICU for two days and then we will move him to the ward for a week before he can go home if nothing else goes wrong. Justin is holding his own and is very lucky to be alive.”
“When can we see him?” Jennifer asked as it appeared that Brian had lost his voice.
“You can see him now for fifteen minutes and then every two hours for fifteen minutes until he is moved to the ward and then you can stick to visiting hours.”
“Why does he need to stay here so long? He hates hospitals,” Brian spoke for the first time since the doctor had started talking.
“Because his spleen was removed, he runs a very high risk of infection until his liver can take over. Once he is released from hospital he will need to have as little contact with lots of people for a couple of weeks until his body adjusts.”
“Okay. We want to see him now,” Brian seemed to slowly be getting back in control but he needed to see for himself that Justin was alright.
“Come with me.” With that the doctor turned around and walked through the double doors he had been standing in front of with Brian and Jennifer following close behind on his heels.
It was relatively quiet behind the double doors. Most of the sound was coming from all the hissing and beeping of the machines hooked up to various patients. A moan broke through the steady hum of the machines. A moan which Brian knew intimately. Without a second's thought, Brian walked straight to the bed that held Justin. Justin was twitching and becoming more and more restless as he slow gained consciousness.
Brian only paused for a second at the sight of Justin lying in the bed looking so pale with a couple machines attached. Careful not to disrupt anything, Brian stroked Justin face while quietly whispering to him. Justin immediately stopped fidgeting and slowly opened his eyes again.
“Shhh. You’re okay now sunshine. Everything is going to be alright.”
“What…What happened? Why am I in the hospital?” Justin began to sound more and more panicked.
“I’ll explain later. Just calm down and get some rest.”
Jennifer and the doctor were standing at the foot of the bed watching the scene unfold in front of them. Jennifer looked on with a fond expression on her face while the doctor’s face was carefully blank.
When Brian sat down on the edge of the bed to be closer to Justin and to continue quietly talking to the blonde, the doctor stepped forward with the intention of separating the two. The head nurse of the ICU, however, stepped forward to intercept the doctor before he reached the couple.
“Leave them be. Brian keeps Justin calm and it’s in the patient’s best interest that he stay calm and as still as possible. Surely you want the best for your patient, Doctor?”
This caused the man to stop where he was and look directly at the nurse. After looking him in the eye for a few seconds, he looked away, turned around and walked out the ICU muttering about being back later to check on the patient.
The quiet scene had caught the attention of both Brian and Jennifer who were on either side of Justin’s bed.
“Thank you, Miguel,” Brian quietly said as he approached them.
“Not a problem though I must be honest Brian, I never wanted to see you here haunting the halls again but you’re actually in the room with Justin this time so I must say that is an improvement.” Just a touch of a smirk graced Miguel’s face before he once again looked serious.
“Justin? Sweetheart? Can you hear us?” Jennifer queried.
Justin’s eyes kept fluttering open and closed.
“He will be pretty disorientated for a while. The important thing is to keep him calm and as still as possible so that he doesn’t pull his stitches.” This was said with a pointed look at Brian.
“Just relax, Justin. I’ll explain later when you’re more coherent.” With that said Brian couldn’t resist placing a kiss on Justin’s forehead.
Jennifer just watched with a small smile on her face. She had finally accepted that Justin loved Brian and he always would and that Brian did in fact love her son and no matter what the two would always come back to each other in the end with no exception.
“I’m going to let the others know that he’s going to be all right and then I’m going to go home and shower and phone Molly to tell her what happened. She is at a friend and I’m sure she is terrified,” Jennifer spoke softly to Brian while running her hand down the side of Justin’s face.
Without taking his eyes and hands off Justin, Brian replied, “I’m going to stay here with him.”
“I was counting on that Brian”
To Brian’s total surprise, Jennifer walked around the bed and gave him a hug and a kiss on the check.
“I’ll come back later to sit with him and you can go home then if you want to.”
“I’m staying with him until I absolutely have to leave him”
Jennifer turned and walked out. At the door, she looked over her shoulder at Brian sitting by Justin.
Yes. He really does love him and will take care of him no matter what.
With that comforting thought, Jennifer walked out to meet the family leaving Brian and Justin talking quietly and whispering promises of love and comfort.