"Hey Ald..." Steve's cheery greeting died on his lips, his brow furrowing almost instantly at the strained sound of his friend's voice. "What's... um, ok. Yeah, I'm sitting... Aldis, you're scaring me... what's..." He inhaled sharply and took an involuntary step backward; his knees hitting the chair behind him, sending him sprawling into the seat. "What... what do you mean, an accident on set?" His voice grew higher, his hand trembling. "An...What... what kind of accident. Is... Oh God, Chris... is he.. please.. how bad? Dammit Aldis how bad is he hurt? No just.. just tell me, please. Fuck. Oh God. Fuck fuck fuck. No. I.. um.. I'll be on the first flight I can."
The call disconnected and Steve’s phone fell from suddenly numb fingers. He moaned, fighting the urge to scream and or cry. His stomach knotted up and he couldn’t get enough air, breath coming in short sharp pants. A low keening noise escaped him and he fell forward, burying his head in his hands.
“Steve? Steve? Hey, c’mon man... Steve?” Darren frowned, shaking Steve’s shoulder when he couldn’t get his attention
Steve jerked up with a gasp, looking up at Darren’s concerned tone. “I...” He shook his head, scrubbing the heels of his hands over his face. “Christian... accident... hospital... I gotta...”
Darren nodded as he pulled Steve to his feet. “I’ll drive you to the airport.”
Barely five hours had passed since Aldis had called but it felt like lifetime to Steve as he skidded into the hospital waiting room. The tears he’d been refusing to shed slid down his face as Aldis pulled him into a bone-crushing hug. His shoulders shook with the force of his sobs and he could hear a low, pained, ragged moan which he realised was coming from him. He fell back in a chair between Aldis and Beth, forcing a weak smile as Tim handed him a polystyrene cup of coffee. His eyes traced the cracks on the tiles at his feet. “What happened? Is he OK?”
Aldis, Beth, and Tim exchanged a look before Tim spoke. “Christian’s going to be fine. As Aldis told you on the phone, there was an accident on set. Aldis, Beth and Chris were filming a scene in a warehouse. There was... I don’t know... the investigation is still ongoing but they think there was a fault in the wiring of the place.”
“I... “ Steve frowned and shook his head. “I don’t...”
Beth placed her hand gently on Steve’s knee. “There was a fire. “ She winced at the choked groan that came from Steve; his already white face turning paler. “I’m sorry, Steve. We... we were trapped. Christian... he... he practically shoved Aldis out the door and then he made sure I got out but... the fire spread so quickly and...” She trailed off, dissolving into her own tears as Aldis pulled her into his arms.
“A beam or something came down blocking the door. Chris couldn’t get out,” Tim picked up the story as gently as he could. “I don’t know how long he was in there but he got himself out. He came crashing out of a window. Not even a fake stunt window, an old thick glass one. Smashed it to pieces,” Tim smiled despite himself.
“But he’s going to be ok?” Steve asked, not even able to be embarrassed at the needy tone to his voice.
“Christian is going to be fine,” a different, unfamiliar, voice reassured Steve. All four of them looked up as a doctor approached them. “You must be Steve. I’m Doctor Kendall.” Doctor Kendall shook Steve’s hand, then sat down next to Tim, opposite Steve. “"His most serious problem is some second degree burning to his back and the backs of his arms and legs. There were also some first degree burns and a broken arm. We've set the arm and bandaged up the worst of the burns. He also sustained some minor injuries; lacerations from the broken glass, mild smoke inhalation, and some bruising. He's very lucky he wasn't hurt more severely. But yes," he confirmed with a warm comforting smile. “He’s going to be fine.”
“He singed his hair,” Beth blurted, “He’s gonna be so pissed.” She giggled helplessly against Aldis’s shoulder as Tim shot her a quelling look. Aldis elbowed her gently in the side and she clapped her hands over her mouth in mortification, her eyes wide.
Doctor Kendall nodded, then turned his attention back to Steve. “He’s asking for you.”