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Andrew wakes to a thud coming from the kitchen.

It's pitch black in Jason's room where he's curled around Trip in Jason's bed, sweat sticking his fringe to his forehead and the sheets to the skin of his back. He waits in silence, before-

"Shit!"

-followed swiftly by the sound of something heavy falling to the floor.

Andrew groans, rolling out from underneath Trip's sleeping form, peeling off the sheets and pulling on a shirt. He rubs at his eyes for a minute, blinking himself into awareness before standing on legs wobbly from sleep, feeling his way to the bedroom door in the darkness.

Jason is huddled on the floor next to the threadbare thing he calls a sofa, arms wrapped tightly around his knees, face hidden. His shoulders are shaking.

"Jason?" Andrew croaks, clearing his throat. "Hey, uh, are you alright?"

Jason looks up and Andrew's heart drops. His eyes are bloodshot, red-rimmed and streaming tears, cutting tracks in the grime on his face.

"It was his dad," he chokes out, voice hoarse. "It was his fucking dad, man."

Andrew drops to his knees beside his friend, chewing his lip. He's never seen Jason like this. When Jason's upset he shouts at people, throws things, locks himself in his room for hours and draws endless pictures he'll burn afterwards, but Andrew has never seen him break so obviously. His breath stinks of alcohol.

"What was whose dad? Jason, what's happened?" Andrew's intensely aware of just how bad he is at the comfort thing, tentatively placing a hand on Jason's arm, eyes darting around the room as if the light from the open windows can offer any advice worth saying.

"AJ's fucking dad," Jason tries to shout, but it cracks half way through. Andrew shoots a look at the bedroom door, slightly ajar, wondering just how many downers Trip had popped to sleep through this. "It was AJ's fucking dad, he- he shot- and I just didn't know what- I had to get out of there, Drew, I-"

Jason stops his broken tirade, growing suddenly and visibly paler.

"Hey, how much have you drunk?" Andrew asks softly, because he has no fucking idea what Jason is saying and no fucking idea what to do but he thinks it might be a clearer picture for both of them if Jason didn't smell like his dad's liquor cabinet. But Jason doesn't answer, shakes his head, and says-

"I'm gonna be sick."

Andrew freezes. Shit. Shit.

"Okay, okay," don't panic, don't panic. "I'll, um, I'll go wake Trip-"

But then Jason is lurching forwards, moving his legs out of the way, and there's no time because he's expelling every drop of alcohol in his system all over the wooden floor and it spills between his fingers as he presses a hand to his mouth, but it's no use, because god he's drunk so much, god he's taken so much and god it's too fucking much. It burns like hell as vomit pushes its way up his throat and through his mouth and up his nose and he can't stop, can't stop to catch a breath and his head is spinning like a hurricane as he shudders and retches over and over.

Andrew's still frozen to the core. He can't tear his eyes away as Jason continues to puke over the floor, over his hands, over the cuffs of his jeans, but the more Andrew looks the more he feels like he's going to puke himself and he really, really does not want to do that.

"Drew-" Jason gasps between retches and Andrew blinks. He lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding, realising that he's been doing nothing but staring as his friend's insides came up through his nostrils.

"Fuck," he says. "Jesus, Jason, okay, it's okay," and Andrew doesn't know who he's reassuring as he pushes back Jason's fringe about three minutes too late, supressing a shuddering gag as sweat and vomit and spit come off on his hand. He searches his brain desperately for something to do but he only information that he's getting is that his throat is closing the fuck up and he's seeing spots like lights in front of him.

Jason coughs and splutters a couple more times before he collapses back against the sofa, drawing in air with rattling gasps.

"I'm sorry," he rasps, eyes closed. Andrew swallows. Don't panic, don't panic, looks at the vomit on the floor, don't panic, looks at Jason who's as pale as a sheet, lips chapped and red and smeared in saliva and bile, don't. panic.

"It's okay," he manages. He stands and his knees buckle before he grasps the arm of the sofa. Eyes wide he drags himself away to the sink, filling a glass with water and spilling half of it over his fingers because he can't stop fucking shaking and oh god, please can he not be sick too.

Suddenly there's a hand on his waist and he nearly drops the glass altogether, spinning on his heels, one hand flying back to the sink to stop himself falling, and Trip's there, makeshift pyjamas of some heavy metal band shirt and black boxers on his slender frame and a look as steady as a rock in his eyes. He takes the glass from Andrew's trembling fingers and plants a kiss to the top of his head, running a hand down his cheek. Trip leans down to press their foreheads together and looks right into Andrew's eyes with a silent promise. Andrew takes a shuddering breath.

"Thank you," he whispers, and Trip kisses his lips, fleeting and gentle, before walking over to where Jason is still crumpled on the floor.

-----


It's a half hour later and Jason's asleep on the couch, out of his filthy clothes, vomit washed from the floor and a trashcan by his side- just in case. Trip sighs, pushing hair out of his eyes as he stretches his legs from where he's been crouched for ten minutes; making sure Jason wasn't going to wake up and choke on his own sick. He pads through to Jason's bathroom where he can hear the shower going. It's been running for ages.

Huddled inside the shower doors Andrew's clutching his knees to his chest, head in hands that still shake. He's fully clothed and breathing heavily through the flow of scalding water. Trip pulls his shirt over his head and steps out of his boxers and Andrew doesn't even look up as he sits down next to him, reaching one arm around his shoulders and the other up to turn the temperature down. Trip kisses Andrew's temple, coaxes his head up, wipes tears from his cheeks and tucks dripping brown tresses behind his ears.

"I can still feel it," Andrew chokes and he rubs at his arms like he's trying to escape his own skin. "I didn't know what to do, Trip, it was everywhere."

Trip just takes one of Andrew's hands in his own and presses it to his bare chest. Andrew feels Trip's heartbeat through his fingertips, about ten times slower than his own, feels Trip's lungs inhaling and exhaling, in, out, until his own breathing eventually, finally slows too.

Trip stands, pulls Andrew up and out of his soaking clothes, towels him off and guides him back to the bedroom, wrapping his arms around his waist as they curl up together under the sheets. Andrew pulls one of Trip's hands up higher around him, clutching at the pulse point in his wrist like it's the only thing keeping him grounded.

"Thank you," he mouths against Trip's fingers. "Thank you."

Trip kisses the back of Andrew's neck, rubbing his thumb over Andrew's hand in circular motions until they're both asleep.