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Running Out

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Lee was at the studio when the call came in.  Amy took it, and Lee arrived back at CB's office just in time to hear, "and he's been delirious for a few hours, but at least his arm's not broken."  A sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach told him who 'he' had to be, but he clamped it down and tried to remain calm.


"What happened?" he asked instead.


"Tony fell out of a window," Amy told him, using the tone of voice people use when they've already told the story and don't really feel like explaining again.  "Leah and Henry wrapped his wounds, but he's unconscious and his arm is hurt."  Tony was hurt.  Tony…he had to go to him.  Jack's words had been ringing in his ears for a few days now, no matter how hard he tried to ignore them.


'The place is being overrun with demons now, you know.  We could all be dead tomorrow.  Take a chance!'


Amy took a moment to snicker, and Lee growled in annoyance.  He was an actor, damn it, his feelings shouldn't be plastered across his face for all to see.  He quickly masked the worry and the anger – and he was pretty damn angry that Tony had been foolish enough to fall out of a window – and pretended that he only cared as much as the next guy.  The only person who'd seemed to catch his expression was Amy, although who knew with CB.


"I offered to sit with him tomorrow while Jack and Leah go out to scope out more demon portals," Amy told him, trying to be cheerful.  "Want to join me?"


More than anything, but he couldn't.  It was too much like admitting he was wrong, too much like giving in.  "I have an appointment at noon…" he began to lie.

"So come with me in the morning!" she crowed cheerfully.  "You don't have to stay long.  Don't you want to make sure Tony's still in one piece?  Henry even gave me Tony-care instructions.  You can help me feed him."  The last was said with wiggled eyebrows and Lee glared at her, but she didn't let up.  "You really should come with me."


Lee sighed in resignation, especially when CB leveled him with a look.  He was surprised that the big man hadn't said anything so far.  He reluctantly nodded, and Amy grinned.

He was only going because it was nice to make sure a coworker was okay after he fell out a window.  It wasn't because it was Tony, and it wasn't because he was seriously terrified that they were running out of time.


Okay, so what if that was bullshit.


Maybe if he closed his eyes long enough, he could even convince himself.




Amy knocked on Tony's apartment door while Lee stood behind her, trying to look as nonchalant as possible.  He knew theoretically that Tony wasn't in any shape to be up and answering the door, but when it cracked open and Leah's face peeked out, he still breathed a sigh of relief.  Leah grinned at him as Amy stepped past her to go inside.

"Don't say anything," he grumbled.  It was far too early in the morning, and he was sick of everyone else butting into his business and giving him knowing looks. Leah smirked but let him by.


"Tony's asleep and probably will remain that way for a few more hours.  Henry says to feed him when he wakes up and keep feeding him as long as he's awake.  His energy levels are so low that he'll starve to death if we're not careful."  Leah took one long look at Lee and he wondered if the room was overly warm, or if it was just her.  A honk out in the parking lot distracted her and he felt normal again.  "Jack's here; I gotta go.  Don't let actor boy here do anything exhausting with Tony until after he's been fed!"  And then she was gone before Lee could demand exactly what sort of exhausting activity she was referring to. He frowned.

He'd been studiously avoiding looking at the figure on the bed, but he couldn't put it off any longer.  I'll just make sure he's in one piece, and then I'll leave, he told himself.  Amy was pulling a boxed, frozen lasagna out of her shopping bag and preheating the oven, although Lee suspected she was just trying to give him some space – difficult in an apartment as tiny as Tony's.  He surveyed the mess in the room and smiled slightly before he caught himself.

He was still avoiding looking at Tony.  If Tony was really just a friend, there was no reason to avoid it, no reason to be scared that he was truly hurt, that it looked worse than it had sounded.  Tony is really just a friend, he said to himself, and then he forced himself to look.


The first thing he saw was Tony's arm, bluish from lack of circulation.  Tony was lying on top of the covers and he looked like hell.  The loose sweatpants accentuated the fact that he was too skinny, and his face was pale and sickly.  He slept as though he was somewhere in between unconsciousness and actual slumber, and his bandages were slightly stained, as if the wounds beneath them had been bleeding heavily earlier.


Lee swallowed.  "You're a damn fool," he whispered, reaching out to brush the messy hair off of Tony's pale forehead.  "What if you'd died? What would I have done?"  He wasn't going to be a sap…he couldn't afford to be a sap.


"You're being a sap," Amy said from behind him.  "You know that, right?"


"Aren't you worried about him at all?" he shot back.


"Of course I am, but I'm giving you space so you can care for five minutes before you run off to find some girl to prove your heterosexuality with again," she told him flatly.  Her tone of voice was clear – we're sick of this crap.  Stop tugging Tony around.  He would stop.  He told himself that every time – he had to stop.  Stop thinking about Tony, stop taking every opportunity to touch Tony, stop caring about what Tony thought, what he saw when he looked at him…

He didn't want to lead Tony around, but something about the other man…he just couldn't stay away.  Tony, Tony, Tony.  Tony echoed in his thoughts, in his blood – he couldn't get away from him.


Amy shoved an empty cereal box off of one of the kitchen chairs and sat down, fixing him with a quiet look totally at odds with the loudness of her pink-and-black plaid ensemble.  "Do you want to talk about it?"


"No," he said, because there was nothing else to say.  He stroked Tony's hair off his forehead again, because he couldn’t not do so, and smiled sadly.  "I have to get going."  He glanced one last time at Tony's prone figure and headed towards the door.  He was almost there when Amy spoke, so low he barely caught it.


"You should be here when he wakes up, instead of me."


He placed one hand on the door handle.  It was cold under his palm.


"I know," he replied and walked out the door.