Milton hadn't expected to live after being shot. There was so much blood and he knew that Brackish hadn't expected it either even though he had hoped and prayed to any deity that would listen to him and grant him that. He had thought that was it, that he wouldn't get a chance to see his lover's smile ever again or wake with him in his arms. He had thought that there could be no future for the two of them even after years of waiting and wishing.
Waking up to bright white walls and the smell of fresh flowers was something that he had never imagined in those last few seconds of consciousness, too focused on taking in all of the little things about Brackish. He had always loved his hair, even when it was constantly getting in his face on a morning, and his eyes were something else. If that was the last thing he ever saw he wanted to make sure he would memorize it. When he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore at least he had that memory to hold onto.
The recovery after that was a long, slow process that left them frustrated more often than not. There were days when Milton woke up to an ache deep in his shoulder that the painkillers could never touch and that Brackish looked so guilty and hurt that he couldn't do a thing to fix this or make it even slightly better for his love. Days like that only reminded them that they had both come so close to dying and they still suffered for it; Milton with his shoulder, Brackish with his migraines.
As hard as those bad days were, the good days were there for them to look forward to. Ones when Milton would be humming a song, then start singing and eventually just leave his work to one side to reach for Brackish and start dancing in the small amount of clutter-free space that they had in the labs, their laughter and smiles lighting up the room. No matter how much the bad days made them feel like they were living on borrowed time and that the universe would suddenly realise this and correct it's 'mistake', the good days silenced that voice.
Brackish could close his eyes as they swayed together and feel himself falling all over again for the doctor in his arms. He loved the way he was being held tightly enough to reassure them both that they were still alive and still there with each other but so gently and carefully. Nothing in the world could match the sound of Milton's singing either and he had come so close to never having this again.
Neither of them had expected to be there and twenty years ago the thought of wearing each other's rings was so easily dismissed as being something they could never have. But not anymore.