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24 Hours

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It had been 24 hours since Lieutenant Paul Stamets had come out of the spore drive chamber and collapsed. 24 hours since Hugh had seen his husband open his eyes. 24 hours since that amazing kiss they’d had. Hugh still couldn’t wrap his mind around the last two days, but he was going to try.

-Flashback-

“Paul! Paul!” Hugh yelled out as his husband collapsed on the floor in front of him. One last jump. It was just suppose to be one more jump. Hugh thought to himself. “Engineering to Infirmary, emergency transport, two to beam out!” He said into his communicator.

Not one crew member knew what had happen, but Hugh suspected the Captain, Lorca, was behind it. “That son of b-“ He growled, but now he was in the infirmary, and it was time to put aside his anger and instead help to stabilize Paul.

“Dr. Culber. I’m sorry, but you are too close to the patient to help. No next of kin is allowed to assist.” The chief medical Officer said, as they put Paul onto a biobed.

“Too close? But ma’am, I know his condition the best!” Hugh retorted. He never talked back to the CMO, the two were long time friends, but right now, was not the time for pleasantries.

“Hugh. That’s an order. I’ll inform you personally of his condition as soon as I can. If I need you for anything I’ll come ask, but please. Get something to eat and get some sleep. It’s going to be a long 24 hours.”

Hugh started to argue more, but just closed his mouth, nodded solemnly, and walked out of the infirmary and out into the hallway. He had no clue where to go. He didn’t want to go back to his quarters without Paul, yet he also didn’t want to go anywhere without Paul. So he sat outside the infirmary door, with his back against the cool wall.

-Present-

“Oh Paul. Baby. I just wish you’d open your eyes for me.” Hugh kissed his husband’s forehead and brushed back his hair with hand. Then he gently caressed the young man’s cheek. Hugh hadn’t slept in over two days because he was on shift before the accident with Paul. That’s when Captain Lorca came in.

Hugh stood up, jaw clenched, “Captain.”

“How is he?” Lorca asked, in a soft tone.

“His condition is stable for the moment, but they still don’t know what’s wrong with him. No one can make sense of his brain scans.”

“I’m...sorry.” Lorca said, putting a hand on Hugh’s shoulder.

Hugh brushed the hand off and looked into the captain’s eyes, “You knew it was his last jump, and you didn’t want to loose him, so what did you do? You tried to do the impossible and go into the mirror verse didn’t you? Stamets told me about your talks. Well captain. Now what are you going to do? Because guess what, I’m not letting you use my husband as a toy to do what you want anymore. So you find someway to get us back, without him.” Hugh straightened his shoulders and the captain and him stared at each other for a moment, as if it was a contest to see who would win.

“That’s a very pointed accusation, doctor, but I know your mind isn’t working on all four cylinders currently, so I won’t take offense to it. Get some sleep.”

“I could say the same to you captain.” Hugh pointed out, then he sat back down and held his husband’s hand.

-Flashback-

“He’s coding!” The CMO yelled, “Get me 4cc of—.”

Hugh didn’t have to hear anymore than that bit of information. He was still sitting outside the door to the infirmary, and his heart jumped into his throat. Paul! Paul! Paul! Please no!

He bolted to the door and raced to find out how Paul was doing. The door was locked though, to his disarray, when he tried to enter the room. There was just a pane of glass separating him and his husband.

“Paul! Paul!” He shouted.

The CMO saw him, “Nurse Green can you go help Hugh?”

“Yes doctor.” Green said, and went out of the one room where Paul was and out to where Hugh was. Hugh was on his knees crying.

“Hey come on let’s get you something to eat Dr. Culber. Come on let’s go to the mess hall.” Green tried to get him to move, but he wouldn’t budge. So she just stood there and put a hand on his shoulder as he cried for his husband.

“Please be alright please be alright.” He whispered like a prayer.

-Present-

Hugh had fallen asleep in the chair next to his husband’s biobed, with their hands still held.

“H-Hugh.” Paul rasped out.

Hugh was normally a light sleeper, but today, he was so tired that he was out like a light.

“Dear.” Paul said softly. He turned his head and looked at his sleeping husband in the chair next to him, “Oh Hugh.” He sighed smiling.

Hugh gently stirred from his slumber, mumbling out something incoherent, then, “PAUL!” Which snapped him awake.

“Right here dear.” Paul chuckled, then coughed.

Hugh looked over at his husband, who was awake, and well, coughing. “Paul! You’re okay! Oh gosh you are alright!’ He then went into doctor mode and called for the nurse, ‘Can we get some water please and can you tell the CMO that the patient is awake? Thanks.”

-Flashback-

“He’s stable again.” The CMO said as she walked over to the glass door and came out to tell Hugh this information. “We will have to keep a close eye on his though, but I think he will be alright.” she stated.

-Present-

The nurse came back with some water and Paul graciously took it from her. Afterwards, he turned to Hugh. “Well. That was a trip. I...I saw me...and then I saw you but everyone wasn’t right. Then there was this blinding pain and—“

“Shhh. It’s alright. Don’t need to talk about it right now, but if you ever let the captain talk you into one last jump ever again.....” Hugh sighed.

“No more jumps Hugh. Just you. Me....and that date to the opera house. We arrive at the starbase alright?” Paul asked.

“Dear. We don’t know where we are. Once that jump happened, we are in the middle of nowhere like sitting ducks and nothing works.” He said softly.

Paul gave a confused look. “No no no. I had that jump down. I knew where we were going. The only way it would not have worked is if....someone manually put in different coordinates.....damn Lorca.”

“I know. I already talked to him early. Get some rest. We will discuss it later. Alright?” Hugh stated.

Paul nodded, then Hugh hummed Kaseelian opera to lull the man to sleep. The conversation would take place at a different time, but for now. The two relaxed a little. Hugh was just glad that his husband was alright, and that they were together.