A groan from Rune, snapped Luke back to his senses. He knelt down, but had no idea what else to do. Rune moaned again and his eyes fluttered open.
“Fuck,” Luke said, “Fuck, you scared me.”
“Rio,” Rune cried and cringed back.
“No, Rune. Rune it’s okay. It’s not Rio. It’s me… Luke. Rio’s gone.”
“G…gone.” Rune was groggy and confused but, when Luke reached for him he opened his arms willingly and threw them around Luke, with a sob.
“He’s gone, Rune. It’s okay, he’s gone and he’s not coming back. I promise you he’ll never hurt you again.
Rune rested his head on Luke’s shoulder and wept, while Luke carefully stroked his hair and back. He felt completely helpless.
Finally, Rune pulled back to look at Luke, through eyes that were puffy and red from crying. Even though his face was paper white and streaked with tears, he was still startlingly beautiful.
“Rio,” he croaked.
“He ran away when you fell.” Rune nodded and Luke couldn’t work out if it was with regret or relief. “He hurt you didn’t he?” he said. “Doesn’t he?” Rune dropped his eyes, hanging his head. “Rune?”
Swallowing hard, he nodded his head. “Yes,” he whispered.
A wave of anger washed over Luke. “I knew it. The bastard. I knew it. I’m going to kick his ass ‘till Friday.”
“No!” Rune gasped. “No, don’t. He’ll hurt you.”
“Trust me, I can look after myself.”
“He’ll hurt me,” he whispered.
“No, Rune, he won’t hurt you. He won’t hurt you ever again, because I won’t let him.”
“No, Luke, you don’t know what he’s like. I should have told you. I should never have let you…”
“Yes, you should have told me, but it wouldn’t have made a difference. You’re stuck with me, whether you like it or not.”
Rune’s eyes widened. “Really?” he whispered. “Really? You’re not going to run away like… like…”
“The others?” Rune nodded, wincing. “I’m not going anywhere, not unless you want me to.”
“No,” he said quickly, “Please, no.”
“Good. Right, can you stand?”
“Of course I can.” And he did, although he was not at all steady on his feet.
“I’m going to take you to the hospital.”
“No, don’t do that. Please. I’m alright. I just need to rest.”
“Rune,” Luke said patiently, “you were knocked out. You might have a concussion.”
“Well… maybe but…”
“Please, Luke. I’ve got such a headache.”
“Point proved, I think. Come on, we’d better get dressed.”
Rune was not pleased but, one pair of jeans, one tshirt, two shoes and two visits to the bathroom to throw up, later he had to admit defeat. He followed Luke meekly to the car and allowed him to drive to the local hospital. He dozed on and off all the way, with Luke panicking every time he closed his eyes.
Dizzy and sick, Rune said very little as they waited, resting his head on Luke’s shoulder and groaning every time Luke woke him up when he would have drowsed. After listening to the woman opposite play trivia with her precocious son, who really shouldn’t have known so much about Elvis or Dr Who and the Daleks, Luke began to wish he was unconscious himself, especially when the leggy blonde next to her spread her legs a little too wide, and started eating a banana…
Eventually, the doctor pronounced that Rune did, indeed, have a concussion and insisted that he stay the night for observation. Rune was not at all happy, but he was too tired and sick to put up too much of a fight and, presently, he was settled on a ward grumbling all the way.
“It’s only one night,” Luke said, trying not to laugh at the hospital gown Rune had been forced to wear.
“That’s not helping,” Rune grumbled, hurriedly pulling up the sheets.
“Sorry,” Luke smirked. Rune groaned. “Does your head hurt?”
“Everything hurts, and I feel sick. I’m not exactly the best company, am I? You should go home.”
“Do you want me to?”
Rune’s eyes filled with tears. “No.”
“Then I’m staying right here, until they throw me out.”
“No worry of that,” said the cheery voice of a nurse, appearing around the flowery curtain. “Visiting starts in half an hour and we’re not THAT mean.”
After checking his temperature, blood pressure and pulse, the nurse asked all kind of questions, which she noted on a clipboard. Luke noted that Rune gave a woman’s name for next of kin.
Finally, the nurse stopped asking questions, and Rune sighed, closing his eyes.
“Is he allowed to sleep?” Luke asked anxiously, and the nurse laughed.
“As if I could forbid that. Rest is the best thing for him.”
“I thought you’re supposed to keep people with concussions awake.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be taking his vitals every half an hour and if he’s rousable, he’s fine.”
“If he’s what?”
“If he wakes up okay. Otherwise, he can sleep as much as he likes.”
“Oh, okay. Thanks.”
Left alone with the sleeping Rune, Luke had no idea what to do. Hesitantly he reached out and touched Rune’s hand
Rune opened his eyes. Seeing Luke he smiled. “Thank you,” he said.
“For being here. For making me feel safe.”
“You are safe. No one’s going to hurt you again, Rune. Not Rio, nor anyone else.”
Rune gave a sad little smile. “I wish I could believe you.”
“You can believe me.”
“Rio has a way of getting what he wants.”
“Not with me he doesn’t.” Rune smiled a tight smile and gave a little shake of his head. “What’s the deal with Rio anyway?” How the hell did someone like you end up married to a prick like him?”
“It’s a long story,” Rune said, with a sigh.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Luke said, “and it’s not as if we have anything better to do.”
Rune looked a little uncertain then, with a sigh, he nodded.
Now go read the flashes from my fellow flashers
RC Donitz m/f
Sara York m/m
Scarlett Knight m/f
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m