Justin sat on the edge of his hospital bed waiting for Brian to come and pick him up. Today was the day that he was getting discharged and got to get out of the hospital. Hopefully permanently.
As he sat waiting, he played some memories through his mind of what had happened during the last two weeks when he had been moved from the ICU.
The first time the gang was allowed to visit, they had to come in small groups. The first was of course Debbie with Emmett and Drew following closely behind.
“Fuck Sunshine, don’t you ever do that again. Twice in one lifetime is more than enough, thank you,” was the first thing out of the loud redhead’s mouth.
Justin tried to smile but it didn’t come out all too well.
“Honey, I’m so glad you’re okay,” Emmett exclaimed hurrying over to Justin and hugging him despite the glare that Brian sent his way. He was very careful not to touch any of Justin’s bandages that had stitches underneath.
Drew stayed in the background not wanting to intrude. He was new to the group and didn’t know Justin all that well.
“Hi, Drew,” Justin greeted him.
“Justin. It’s good to see you awake.”
“How long are you going to be in here, Sunshine?” Debbie demanded to know cutting straight to the point.
“He’s going to be in here for about two weeks, Deb.” Brian was the one to answer her question.
“Brian!” Debbie exclaimed shocked, only now having noticed the brunette standing by his supposed ex’s bed side. “What are you doing here?”
“Where else would I be when my partner is in hospital, having almost died again?”
The look on Debbie and Emmett’s faces was one that Justin would treasure for as long as he lived. Brian had finally succeeded in rendering Debbie speechless.
It didn’t last for long though.
“Oh sweetie,” Emmett gushed, “I’m so happy for you. It’s about time you two got yourselves sorted out.”
Debbie gave Brian a smile that showed just how proud she was of the brunette before sweeping him up in an all encompassing hug.
“Good on you. It’s about time. You deserve to be happy,” Debbie whispered as she clutched him.
“Thanks, Ma.” Brian gave her a tiny smile.
“So what do you do for entertainment around here?” Emmett broke the serious mood in the room, giving everyone a chance to recover themselves before they chatted aimlessly.
Thinking about that first visit and Debbie’s shock, Justin thought back to the night before that and the conversation that he and Brian had had finally had about their relationship.
Justin woke to Brian’s arms wrapped tightly around him. When he tried to move, the brunette hugged him tighter and blinked a couple of times before slowly waking.
“Brian, I’m alright. Minus a spleen but I’m alright.”
“No jokes, Justin,” he murmured quietly.
He looked down into the blue eyes staring up at him and sighed. He supposed that this conversation was long overdue and he couldn’t put it off any longer.
“I almost lost you. You were almost killed for the second time in five years,” he had to stop here as images flashed before his eyes of both accidents; both Justin’s covered in blood.
He tilted his head down, nuzzling the blonde’s ear. Brian inhaled the smell of his blonde mixed with hospital antiseptic soap.
He put his lips right next to Justin’s ear as if to kiss it and whispered, “I love you.”
Startled, Justin froze but that was all the acknowledgement that Brian received to his declaration, so he decided to try again.
This time he spoke more firmly, “I love you, Justin.” He leaned down slightly and kissed the frozen man’s ear.
Tears ran silently down Justin’s face. He couldn’t believe that Brian had actually said it all by himself with no prodding. It had gotten to the point where he had resigned himself to a life of never hearing Brian telling him how he felt.
Overwhelmed, he turned his head into Brian’s chest and replied, “I love you.”
Brian smiled. For a moment there, he had thought that maybe Justin wouldn’t reply, that he had finally pushed too far and ruined things between them.
“I want you to come back to the loft. I want you to come home. It’s been empty since you left.”
Justin hesitated. It seemed that every time they lived together something went wrong. “I don’t know.”
Brain had been expecting this. Justin wasn’t the blonde twink from five years ago that would jump at the chance to live with him. This man was older and a lot more cautious, in large part thanks to him.
“No more secrets, no more pushing. Partners and equals.”
Justin decided to throw caution to the wind. No matter what, he knew he would always go back to Brian, so he might as well spare them all the drama.
“Okay. I will need to get my stuff, though.”
“Ask Daphne. When you get home, all your stuff will already be there. Your apartment’s for shit anyway. You shouldn’t even go there. Don’t want to chance you catching anything.”
That conversation still had the power to bring a smile to his face and he needed to smile. Physiotherapy had never been his favourite. Having to once again fight to have control over his body was worse than the last time. This time he knew how difficult it would be and how long it would take. His hand still wasn’t what it used to be and that was after years of therapy.
He had been in his new room with Brian for all of a day when the doctor came on his usual check up and explained the next step in his recovery.
“Justin, you are going to need to start physio today. Your Physiotherapist will be here shortly to explain everything to you. If everything goes well, and she gives you the say so, you will be discharged in two weeks. Ah, and here she is now.”
A neatly dressed blonde woman walked into the room. “Hello, I’m Anna. I’ll be your physiotherapist. I know you had another physio last time but he transferred to Wyoming.”
Brian and Justin just looked at her, the latter smiling slightly, and nodded for her to continue. She sat in the chair since Brian was sitting on the bed with his partner.
“Today we are going to just start with getting you into this chair. Over the next few days, we’ll try walking a few steps. Every day going just a bit further. This is to prevent fluid collecting in Justin’s lungs because he’s laying down, which could lead to him developing pneumonia, Hypostatic Pneumonia”
“What is it? What does it mean?” Brian asked needing to understand everything that would or could happen.
“It’s literally because you’re laying flat and fluid collects and then bugs grow. The sooner a patient can be mobilized the better,” she looked at their worried faces and was quick to reassure them.
“Don’t worry. We’ll have you moving before it can happen but I feel that it’s better that a patient understands things than blindly following orders. Makes them more motivated.”
“Is there anything else I should know before we get started, Anna?” Justin asked trying to keep the mood light.
“Yes, there is another thing but it’s nothing to worry about. Most patients, after abdominal surgery, tend to want to walk hunched over to “protect” the injured site. It’s a challenge for physios and nurses to make them stand up straight even though the stitches do pull a bit. So I will push you a bit and you may hate me for it but the faster you get better, the faster you can get out of here.
She had been right. She was the kind of person you liked and hated all at the same time. She had pushed him and it had been painful and difficult but he had managed to walk relatively straight and was functioning a lot better. In the end, Justin supposed that it had all been worth it because now he was going home. As he thought that, a familiar figure appeared.
“Hey Sunshine, you ready to bust outta this joint?”
The blonde grinned, a smile truly worth his name sake, and answered, “You bet your ass I am.”
“I would do no such thing unless it was sure thing that you would win, Sunshine,” Brian was quick to reply, a sexy smirk on his face as he looked down at Justin.
Justin just laughed. He was going home with Brian where he belonged, and just maybe he could figure out what his partner and mother had been up to. He loved a good puzzle after all.