Jamie’s chilling on the couch on a rare day off near mid october, marathoning Ghost Adventures because why not, and waiting for Tyler to text him or show up.
The latter happens first, a light little bonk on the sliding glass door that’s letting light stream in. He looks up, and sure enough there’s a little bat flitting around outside, cheeping as it flutters against the glass.
Jamie laughs, but stands to go let him in.
“You could’ve let me know you were coming over.” He says, but really the last time Tyler told Jamie he was coming over was during his first months in Dallas.
Tyler flies around, circling Jamie's head, and he plops back down on the coach, assuming Tylers going to land and change into human form so they can hang out. Jamie knows that Tyler can understand what people say when he’s flying around as a little bat, but Seggy seems content zipping around the room for a while, so he figures the short two block trek from his house to Jamies wasn’t long enough. Ty’ll just burn off some energy and then they can bicker over what to do for dinner and Tyler while inevitable cling to him like an octopus afterwards when they’re watching a movie.
The thing is, Tyler doesn’t stop flying around. Five minutes go by, then ten, then twenty, and Jamie is starting to get a little nervous. How long can bats fly anyway?
After about an hour or so, Jamie starts to feel like a bit of an idiot. What if the bat isn’t Tyler and he just trapped this poor thing into in his home?
He reaches for his phone, and sends tyler a text. And then another. Really, he volleys off about ten, and then calls him while he’s rooting through his laundry for a dirty towel or something. He feels a bit guilt when the little guy flys into his room after him and he instantly ensnared it in the pillowcase he found. It beats its wings in a panic, flapping hard against the fabric, but he makes a quick trip back to his living room and dumps it outside.
In the next half hour he sends out a few dozen more texts, and then calls another five times, and the bat keeps flying around outside the door. It even starts running into the glass, and Jamie bites his lip, glancing outside to watch it as he calls tyler again. The bat then flies full force into the door, a soft thunk that makes Jamie stand up.
“Tyler?” He calls like an idiot, and the bat is fluttering around on the ground outside his door. He opens it, and the creature manages to get back off the ground and zooms its way inside.
“Sorry.” He tells it, because he’s pretty sure it’s Tyler, he’s seen him in that form enough over the years that he’s convinced himself he knows what he looks like. The bat just flutters around, and Jamie settles back in to watch more Ghost Adventures.
Another hour passes and Tyler is still fluttering around, and now Jamie’s really worried, because he has to be exhausted by now, so he mutes the TV and looks over at tyler as he flies around the kitchen.
“Hey Ty? Maybe you should take a break, I think you’re getting pretty tired.”
The bat keeps on fluttering around. Jamie stands up, looking to get closer to him, but Tyler darts away, dips low and almost hits the couch.
“Tyler, I’m serious, you’ve got to be exhausted by now, you’ve been flying around for two hours now. Just change back and we can just cuddle and yell at the TV or something.”
The creature keeps flying, and now Jamie can see how tired Tyler really is. He keeps dipping low and then rapidly flapping his wings to gain height, but then can’t keep it up and drops again. He bonks into the cabinet then bolts down the hallway, and back to the living room. Tyler makes a squeaking noise, a high pitched cheep almost, and Jamie begs him, asks him again and again, just land, relax, change back, something.
He keeps flying, keeps making noise. Jamie knows somethings wrong now, but-
“You can’t change back.” He mutters, staring at Tyler in shock. Bat-tyler shrieks, and flutters around Jamie’s head, confirming his words. “Oh shit, oh- fuck, I’m gonna call Jordie I need- shit, shit Tyler just land okay?! Please, I’ll figure this out but you’re gonna-” He cuts off with a sigh when Tyler goes to flapping around the living room just to get away from Jamie.
“Fuck.” He curses softly, and pulls out his phone.
“Hold on, hold on- what’s the problem here Jamie? Tyler literally turns all the time. You know this. You were there the first time he turned into a bat and he flew into a fuckin window.”
“The problem is he won’t fucking turn back Jordie!” Jamie sounds way to damn panicked over the phone, and yes, Jordie believes his brother about most things, but Jamie also freaks out about most things.
“Look, I’m like five minutes from your house okay? I’ll be right there. And how do you he isn’t just ignoring you? You guys have had some spectacular fights over the littlest things, are you sure he’s not just-”
“ It’s been three fucking hours Jordan.” Jamie snaps back.“ And we weren’t fighting- literally I watching TV and then he bonked into the fuckin window .”
“Oh.” Jordie says, flicking on his blinker. “So he showed up turned? He flew to your house?”
“ Apparently, but that was at like, noon, and he hasn’t stopped fluttering around, and now he’s barely keeping altitude and he won’t fuckin land anywhere and he won’t let me get near him. ” A tiny inkling of worry starts up in Jordies stomach as he turns into his brothers driveway.
“Okay, I’m here okay? Gimme two seconds.” He hangs up and shuts the car off, walking into the house as calmly as he can. Jamie is in the kitchen, phone white knuckled in his hand. Sure enough, there’s a tiny little bat fluttering in awkward circles, dipping randomly and jerking away from obstacles that aren’t there.
“Okay so I don’t mean to be a dick here, but did you think maybe that isn’t Tyler?” Jamie just shoves his phone at him, and Jordie scrolls through a mass of unanswered texts. “Okay, maybe he’s busy-”
“I called him Jamie. Ten times. He’s never that busy. And I caught him with a pillowcase and dumped him outside and he spent the next half hour trying to get in again. He kept flying at the glass so I let him in. It’s too hot outside and it’s not night time and he doesn’t have rabies so it has to be him.” Jamie spouts out the words in his captain voice, but Jordie can tell he’s panicking.
“Okay, well… I mean we can’t do anything unless he calms down anyway, he isn’t going to turn when he’s in mid air, and didn’t you say that when he panics he can’t turn either? So we need to get him down.” Jamie nods, but still looks pained. Tyler squeaks in the other room, and Jordie is considering asking how Jamie caught him before when suddenly Tyler turns sharply and flies right into kitchen, barely missing his head. They both turn and Jordie gets his head around just in time to see Tyler go careening straight into the refrigerator. He drops with soft thump, and Jamie makes a wounded noise and rushes over.
Jordie makes it two steps and then Jamie’s standing, holding a tiny bat in his hands. Tylers wings flutter weakly, and even in little bat form Jordie can see the guys chest heaving.
“Tyler- Ty it’s okay, no, hey stop moving Ty- Segs come on-” Jamie pleads, trying to hold him as Tyler jerk and beats his wings, clearly trying to get back in the air. His left wing is going full force but his right is barely moving.
“Shit.” Jordie breathes. “We gotta take him to a vet-”
“And say what? Oh hey I need you to fix this guy and not let him die because it’s my boyfriend? That’ll go over real well.” Jamie snaps, and Jordie sighs and puts his hands up in a non threatening gesture. He grabs a dish towel and wets it slightly with warm water then spreads it out, gesturing towards Tyler. Jamie just looks at him wide eyed, then looks down at Tyler who’s struggles have started to weaken concerningly.
“Here.” he says quietly, and puts the towel on the counter, then reaches for Tyler. The bat doesn’t still when Jordie gently picks him from Jamie's hands, but he does stop moving when Jordie puts him on the towel. His wings flop open, and Jamie gently strokes the top of his head while Jordie pokes at them as gently as he can. The right one looks broken, if bats can break their wings.
“Can you...do the curl thingy?” Jordie asks, and Jamie just shoots him a look. Tyler pulls in his wings a bit anyway, and Jordie wraps him up in the towel, then hands him to Jamie who coos all disgustingly and walks over to the couch. Both of them seem stupidly calmer.
Jordie sighs, previous worry settling to mild amusement. He turns around to start dinner.
“What do bats eat anyway?”
“Okay look, just...relax? Panicking isn’t going to help him chubbs.” Jordie tries, looking down at Tyler, who’s still a bat. And who’s been a bat for over a day. Which, Jordie doesn’t know much about shifters, but he knows that a long period of time like that is dangerous.
He also doesn’t know much about bats, but Tyler is starting to looks sick. His wing is swollen almost, and he’s hot to touch, and he’s stopped eating and drinking.
“Panicking helps him! It helps me , which helps him, and what the fuck are we supposed to do?! Why won’t he change? What happens if- I mean if he’s stuck then- we have to get him to a vet, or someone, because his wing is fucked up and I know just because you change doesn’t mean you lose all your injuries.”
“Okay well...shifters are rare right, but there have to be specialists?” Jordie offers, but he knows that Jamie won’t go for that. The stories of what happen to shifters when they reveal what are… well they aren’t nice happy ones. He knows the first shifter specialists were true professionals, but in the McCarthy era apparently the government put out fake ones, and the shifters that went to them were taken and never seen again. No one trusts them anymore, and shifters became non existent according to the public.
“No we can’t, you know we can’t, the league-” Jamie's eyes widen suddenly.
“Crosby.” He says, and then shoves Tyler at Jordie and runs for his phone.
“Wait- What?” He struggles not to drop Ty for a few seconds and the bat squeaks pathetically in pain. He follows Jamie to the kitchen where he’s on the phone.
“Crosby.” Jamie repeats, then takes his phone from his ear and redials. “Sid, Sidney Crosby? He’s a shifter. So is Geno. I know Russia treats shifters like fucking gods over there, so maybe Malkin knows something- Sid!”
Jordie listens quietly as Jamie talks rapidly to Sidney, and he almost finds himself bouncing up and down to sooth Tyler like one would a child. The bat started squeaking at the sound of Jamie’s frantic voice, and won’t stop no matter what Jordie does.
Jamie hangs up and looks nervous.
“Well?” Jamie takes Tyler from him and Tyler hooks his left wing on his shirt to cling to him. Jamie shakes his head.
“I don’t know. Sidney said normally when he can’t shift its something mental that’s blocking him, and Geno always helps him with it. He said he would talk to Nate Mackinnon, and see if he knew anything or anyway of getting out it. Geno got on the phone with his parent while we were talking so. Sidney did say we should still take him to the vet at least, because if it is something mental, then if he has a fever and is sick there’s no way he’s going to be able to think through it.”
Jordie nods then pauses, thinking.
“What about Sharpie? He said he helped a shifter once - maybe he knows a vet we can take him too.”
Two phone calls and twenty minutes later and Patrick is standing in Jamie's house with a younger girl with sharp eyes.
“How long has he been like this?” Sharp asks Jordie while the veterinarian works on Tyler. Jordie glances into the kitchen where Jamie is next to her, keeping Tyler calm.
“Which one.” He mutters peevishly then shakes his head, sighing. “Sorry, I’m just worried.”
“It’s fine.” Patrick says anyway. “And Tyler. I figure Jamie's been like this since he found him.” Jordie nods.
“Yeah it’s been...almost thirty hours now.” He whispers it, and he can feel Sharp tense up next to him.
“Yeah.” Jordie sighs again. They end up sitting on the couch, not paying attention at all to the TV and then two hours later Jamie is walking slowly and carefully into the living room, a soft green towel cradled in his arms.
The woman keeps clattering around in the kitchen, and Patty goes to talk to here while Jordie scoots closer to Jamie.
“Is he okay?” He asks softly, peering into the towel to see Tyler, completely limp, eyes closes and wing outstretched. Jamie doesn’t move his head, just stares down at the little bat and breathes slow.
“Yeah.” He whispers back. “She said it was dislocated? Not broken. And because it hadn’t been set, and the muscles were all strained, combined with the amount of flight time he had, he was just exhausted. The fever should go away soonish, once he wakes up and drinks something.”
“Did she give him something?” Jamie's nods.
“He freaked out- wouldn’t stop moving it, and I had to hold him down, and I was afraid he was going to tear a wing, but she gave him a little bit of something and said he should be out for a bit.”
Sharpie leaves with a small smile and the promise of security in exchange for them keeping him up to date.
It’s late by the time Tyler squeaks again, and he clearly seems happier, drinking water and even nibbling on the slice of banana that Jordie cuts up for him. Jordie makes his way to the guest bedroom, and Jamie passes him with Tyler clinging to the back of his shirt. He laughs, and Tyler chirps happily while Jamie grumbles something about not encouraging him.
“You’re so cute together chubbs!” He calls, and receives a very brotherly go fuck yourself in return.
The next morning he wakes up to someone crying in the kitchen. Or two people? Or something. He stumbles into the kitchen, and there's Jamie, crying into Tyler who’s-
“Seggy?” He croaks out, because it’s his adopted little brother as he knows him best - shirtless, smiling, in human form, tattoos running down both arms, although a gross looking bruise is covering his right shoulder.
“Hey darth!” Tyler calls, and Jamie just hugs him closer. “Don’t worry about chubbs here, he’s just really happy that I’m not stuck in bat form, although he’s got an interesting way of- ow! What the fuck Jamie?” Tyler yelps as Jamie punches him in the arm.
“You dick I thought- I am happy, asshole, I was just really scared and both of you can go fuck yourselves, because this is a perfectly normal reaction when someone thinks they’re about to lose the person they love forever!”
Both Tyler and Jordie sober a little at the anger and fear in Jamie’s voice, and Jordie scuttles behind both of them and makes himself busy trying to make coffee while Tyler pulls him back in for a hug. He smiles to himself while he sips his coffee, and when the two love birds are done with whatever they need he turns back around and grins at Tyler.
“You know, you make a really adorable bat…”
“Fuck you Jordan.” Tyler snarks back, and Jamie just sighs, knocking his shoulder into Jordies as he walks behind him.
“Just saying, your wedding photos would’ve been so much more interesting like that- could you imagine little bat-segs in a tiny suit? Chubbs you would’ve taken the term furry to a whole new level!”
“Shut up Jordie!”