Steve woke suddenly from a restless sleep. He would have sat upright if not for the injuries he’d sustained. He was healing, but not nearly as fast as he wanted. Of course, it had only been three days. He winced, and then laid there for a few minutes.
There was bright light streaming in through the windows, so he turned his head to look at the clock. It was 10 am. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept that late, and hadn’t actually been in the hospital.
He slowly swung his legs over the side of the bed and sat up. He took a few deep breaths and stood. The bottom of his feet still hurt when he put weight on them. At least they didn’t bleed anymore. That was a nightmare.
Steve went into the bathroom to take a shower. Normally, he’d take his swim first, but with his ribs, and the still healing burns and cuts, he was advised not to. He was in no mood to prolong his recovery, so he, for once, took the advice.
He went to grab a towel and noticed there was already one laid out on the counter. He didn’t remember putting it there the night before, but he had been so tired.
He picked up the towel to hang it on the hook next to the shower, when something fell from one of the folds. It was a tattered piece of paper. It looked like it had been folded and unfolded several times, and there were dirt smudges on it. He slowly bent down to pick it up, wincing when he felt the pull in his back and then his chest when he stood back up.
He turned the paper in his hand. It was folded in half twice, and looked as if it had been wadded up at one point, and then flattened back out. He unfolded it and flipped it around so he could read the messy handwriting.
This is the last thing I thought I’d be doing while on a plane to come rescue your ass. I mean really, what does it mean that it takes us having to rescue you, for me to finally tell you how I really feel? I have no idea if you are even alive.
Steve had to sit down. He put the toilet seat and top down and sat heavily. He took a few deep breaths and continued reading.
You better be alive, Steve. I
don’t think know that I won’t be able to deal with it, if you’re dead. I just can’t imagine my life without you in it. Just, please, don’t make me find out what that’s like.
Steve had to look away momentarily. He ran his hand down his face and rested it over his mouth. His eyes began to fill with unshed tears, but he refused to let them fall.
Before we left, Grace called me. She knew something was wrong. Don’t worry, I didn’t tell her. She just wanted to make sure you were okay. I told her that you would be, and not to worry. Don’t make me a liar. Please.
The tears began to fall before he realized it. He hadn’t realized how much of an impact he had on the people around him, especially Grace. How did she know? He sniffled a few times, wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand.
So, I guess I better get to the point of this. I don’t care that you tend to get me shot at, or blown up. I don’t care that you have a problem calling for backup. No matter how many times I complain, I really don’t mind that you drive my car all the time. I love you, you big goof. So, you better be okay.
Steve smiled through the tears that were again falling. The thing was; he felt the same way. He never thought he’d get the chance to act on it. He never thought that Danny would ever feel the same way about him.
He had to take a minute to let the information sink in. He reread the letter a few more times, just to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. It wasn’t until the third time that he noticed the small addendum at the bottom of the page. It looked like it had been added later than the rest.
P.S.: Any chance of making our current living arrangements more permanent?
He laughed. It felt good deep down in his soul. His chest started to hurt, but he didn’t care. I felt good for the first time in awhile. He didn’t notice that he was no longer alone.
“So, I see you found my letter.”
Steve startled out of his reverie. He turned and saw Danny standing in the doorway. He smiled up at him.
“Yes what, Steven?”
“Yes, to everything.” He held up the letter.
It took Danny a moment to realize what Steve had just told him. Once the information had sunk in he smiled back at Steve.
Steve stood up as quickly as his body would let him. He didn’t have to move far, as Danny closed the distance between them and enveloped Steve in a hug.
“This is real? I’m not dreaming?”
“No, your goof, you aren’t dreaming. I meant everything I wrote.”
“Well, in that case, I was thinking we could…”
He was interrupted by Danny leaning up and kissing him. He tensed at first, not expecting it, but quickly relaxed and opened himself up to it. After a few moments, Danny pulled back.
“We’ll worry about the big stuff once you’re healed up. For now, you need a shower, and I’ve got to go pick up Grace.”
Danny turned but Steve grabbed his arm. “Wait, please.”
Danny stopped and turned back around to face Steve. He didn’t say anything; just waited for Steve.
“I never thought I’d get this chance, especially while I was…” He paused for a moment. “I love you so much, Danny, and I think I have for awhile now. I just…”
“I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere. I just wish it hadn’t taken what happened to you for us to finally tell each other.”
“Yeah, me too.”
Steve wrapped his arms around Danny one more time then pulled back.
“Go get Grace. I can’t wait to see her.”
“She can’t wait to see you either. She was worried.”
Steve looked down at the letter, where he’d dropped it on the counter.
“Yeah… How’d she know?”
Danny smiled. “I’ll let her tell you that when she gets here.”
“Okay. Love you, Danny.”
“Love you, Steve.”
Danny turned and walked out of the bathroom. Steve was left standing there. He picked up the letter, folded it, and walked back into his bedroom. He opened the drawer in his bedside table and laid it inside. After closing it, Steve walked back into the bathroom and closed the door behind him.