Jim awkwardly moved his shoulders, Matt seeming to drop from him like a heavy winter coat he was eager to shed in summer. Heavy, inappropriate, making him feel sick with a sudden wave of heat. Watching other hands move over the lines of muscle and bone on Sebastian’s back seemed wrong, and every time the doctor touched the scars that he’d put there, he felt as though he should kill the man for daring. He curled his fingers into a fist, resisting the urge to slap the other man’s hand away, to count the marks down his spine.
He knew Sebastian stopped counting with him at number five. The uneven number made Jim’s skin crawl.
He hated doctors, hospitals, institutions. The smell, the sounds, the echo, the threats. That’s what they all were, threats. To stab you, cut you, keep you, break you, under the pretense of fixing you. And it was hard to stand here and depend on someone else to fix Sebastian.
“And therapy after that.” Statement, not a question, Jim’s voice dropping slightly from Matt’s consistently lighter, higher voice, a loss of the musical lilt of his Limerick accent. But Jim played with the ring on his finger; it gave him something to do, and without realizing it, he looked more the distracted, worried husband because of it. “And then…?” He moved closer to Sebastian, hand on his arm for a moment. Unconsciously his fingers flexed, digging his nails into the skin before releasing him.
The doctor shrugged, turning away to make some notes. Jim’s dark eyes were not Matt’s as he glared at him. Shrugging was not acceptable.
“And then?” he repeated.
“And then we’ll see, Mr. Parker. It’s not like fixing a car, sadly.” The man smiled a little tiredly.
Matt stared for a moment before turning to button Sebastian’s shirt. Which he knew Sebastian obviously didn’t need help with. But it was an excuse to look away, an excuse to move, an excuse to put his arms around his neck and kiss him.
“But it will work,” he said, voice almost fierce as he met Sebastian’s eyes.
When Sebastian wasn’t face first into the sterile bed he could see Jim in the room with him. It made him feel better, at least a bit, about being dragged to this consultation. Sebastian didn’t have the faith that Jim had, that blind, dogged desire to see him walk again. It was killing Sebastian to be in this chair, but deep down, in his gut or his heart, or even in the back of his mind he knew that this was something that even Jimmy couldn’t fix.
Sebastian glanced down as Jim dug his nails into his forearm. He was trying to focus on the doctor, but it was apparent that Jim was making all the decisions, like he always did. Sebastian should have felt violated, treated badly, as if his opinion didn’t count even when it came to matters of his own body, but the only thing he was thinking about was how awful it would be to stay in bed for three more weeks. How much it would hurt, how it would itch, how uncomfortable every position would be.
He nodded and slid his arms back through his shirt, pulling it down and begining to fasten it up when Jim was there, in front of him. Sebastian let his hands drop to his knees as Jim slid his hands up, pulling the shirt back to it’s proper place. The man wasn’t even listening to the doctor, his gaze still on the floor before Jim moved and kissed him.
Then Jim pulled away and Sebastian’s hands were around Jim’s wrists. He smiled at the younger man, and tilted his head to the side to kiss his wrist and then nodded.
“It’ll be fine.” He said, either way, it’ll be fine. He gestured over at his chair. “Bring that over, yeah?”