Actions

Work Header

Fight night

Work Text:

This time, Ryan meets Sam at the door. "Okay, really, ribs tonight," he insists, giving his lover a big smile and already starting to walk him backwards before Sam can get all the way inside the house. Not even a welcome-home kiss, because Ryan knows damn well how that'll end up... "I'm starving and I want fried chicken-steak or whatever the hell that is."

"Okay, you drive though," Sam says, rubbing a hand over the back of his head and neck, the lack of hair there still weirding him out. "We had a good day but it was all fights and I'm just done for."

Automatically Ryan reaches out to touch, to soothe, then catches himself and jerks his hand away. "Sorry," he murmurs. "After dinner, I'll give you a massage, yeah?" He unlocks the car and opens the passenger's door for Sam, then hops in behind the steering wheel. "Is tomorrow going to be more of the same?"

Sam nods, sitting back in his seat, watching Ryan. "The next few days will be, yeah," he says, realizing he didn't get even a kiss. Fuck. They'll have to make up for that later. "What about you? How was your day?"

Ryan shrugs. "It was fine. I wandered for a couple hours, got to know the area better. I'm trying to think of ways to make the house more homey, and I think I've got some good ideas for your next day off." He shoots his lover a grin. "You know, if you're not too tired."

"You can pour a couple of Red Bulls down my throat if I am," Sam promises, before backtracking. "Wait. What kind of good ideas? Touristy good ideas or kinky good ideas?"

With a laugh, Ryan clarifies, "Kinky. Sexy, at the very least. Quality time, when you don't have to leave the house." He takes his responsibilities as Sam's boy very seriously.

"That sounds brilliant," Sam says, leaning his head back against his headrest, more exhausted than he even thought he was. "Do you know whether there's any other pillows in the place? I thought I slept okay but when I woke up this morning I felt like I'd been hit by a Mack truck."

Ryan's glance darts to his lover in concern. "I'll get you some tomorrow, the kind you like," he promises, and reaches out to rub Sam's thigh. "Quiet night tonight? We'll just eat and have a few beers and go home and I'll put you to bed, all right?"

"Yeah, maybe," Sam agrees, too wiped out really to do anything else right now. "I'll be better by the weekend," he promises.

Taking Sam's hand, Ryan lifts it to his lips for a quick kiss. "I know, love," he says, pulling off the road into a gravel parking lot. "They're just really having you hit the ground running with this one."

"Yeah." Sam nods, the kiss making him smile. He waits until they're parked then sits up straighter, giving himself a shake. "This it?"

"Yep." Ryan deepens his voice and announces, "Meat," as if he's gone and hunted it himself. "Let's go be natives," he adds in his normal tone, climbing out of the car.

Sam laughs. He joins Ryan on the sidewalk, extra careful not to touch his lover.

The place is more crowded than Ryan would have expected for a weeknight; apparently it's a popular local hang-out, with plenty of patrons grouped around the bar with their drinks. He and Sam find a booth and Ryan waves down a waitress to get them set up with beers, onion rings, and chips before they even open their menus.

"What did you say you were going to have?" Sam asks, stifling a yawn against the back of his hand as he squints at the daily specials board.

"Umm, the... chicken-fried steak, with mashed potatoes and gravy," Ryan reads off his menu. "Christ, that sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. I bet it tastes really good." He grins at his lover. "Oh, wait! You can substitute an overcooked vegetable if you want."

Sam laughs. "I'm having the ribs, full rack, with coleslaw, beans and cornbread," he decides. "But they have pulled pork too. Maybe I should do half and half."

"Pulled pork," Ryan says with a snicker. "I've never been able to say that with a straight face."

Sam laughs more. "Brat," he murmurs, under his breath, smiling and nodding at their waitress as she delivers their beer and takes their order. "We should have got a pitcher," he says, nodding at the chalkboard. "It's a better deal."

Biting his lip, Ryan shakes his head. "How about if I work extra hours for my boss so that we can afford the difference? I mean, yeah, he's a real hard-ass, but..."

Sam just gives Ryan a look. Fuck. Although his lover's right. It's been a long time since he had to worry about a few dollars here and there. Doesn't mean he's got used to it though. Houses in Malibu and Sonoma aside. "Smart ass."

Ryan just grins, his eyes sparkling. He knows better than to let his feelings show in public like this, he really does. But sometimes... God, he's just in love. It's tough to hide it. And he hopes no one's watching them anyway.

"You're getting used to the look, are you?" Sam teases, taking a sip of his beer.

"What, your big bald head and skeazy goatee?" Ryan teases back. He hates the look, truly. But he probably won't even notice in a few days, he figures, and his attraction to Sam is all-consuming regardless. "Yeah, I'm getting used to it."

"You don't think it makes me look like a skinhead?" Sam says as casually as he can manage, poker face fully in place.

Ryan shrugs. "Yeah, it really--" he freezes in the act of reaching for his beer. Then he looks up at his lover, his eyes stricken as cold memory washes through him. "Oh, my god. I said that to you last night, didn't I."

Sam nods. "Yup."

"Ohh, fuck." Ryan buries his face in his hands for a second, then forces himself to meet Sam's eyes. "I am so fucking sorry," he whispers. "I really-- If I'd known what I was saying then I wouldn't have let myself--" Aye, there's the rub: he still would have thought it, he just would have censored himself. Ryan grimaces, and repeats, "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Sam says with a smile and a shrug. "Just as long as you're not totally repulsed."

"Now?" Ryan asks, just to check. "Fuck, no. I was just so shocked when you came home like that." He gently kicks Sam beneath the table, and cautiously drops his voice. "You know you get me hard in seconds."

Sam grins at that. "Good. I'd hate to see that ever change," he murmurs, sitting back as the waitress delivers their fries and onion rings, his stomach growling the moment they're set down.

Of course, given the sudden track of his thoughts, it takes Ryan a bit longer to quit watching Sam and start paying attention to the food. Fuck, he's such an easy mark, and what's worse is this time he did it to himself, all by himself. Dumbass, he thinks, and slathers a few onion rings in mustard.

One beer quickly downed, Sam signals for another, popping fries and onion rings into his mouth. He tells Ryan about his day, the fights, the near-misses and the actual hits, promising to show him the bruises later.

Ryan laughs as he listens, adoring the animation on his lover's face, loving that he has the opportunity to just sit and soak it in while Sam talks. Sam has the sexiest laugh in the world, and even when he says a rehearsal or shoot was boring his descriptions of it always turn out hilarious. The waitress comes by to drop off their entrees and Ryan's eyes widen at how huge the portions are. "I think you have an entire brontosaurus rack there," he says, gesturing at the platter in front of Sam. "Like Fred Flintstone."

Sam grins. "Yabba dabba doo," he says, pulling off the first rib and taking a bite. He groans with pleasure the moment the taste hits his tongue. Christ. He could never go vegetarian.

"Ah, hey now," Ryan complains, watching Sam's mouth, his body immediately reacting to that sounds of pure animal enjoyment. "That's dirty pool."

"What?" Sam looks up from his ribs, not a clue what Ryan's talking about.

Not wanting to say too much aloud in public, Ryan just shakes his head before picking up his fork. But as soon as he drops his gaze, he makes sure to lick his lips.

"Oh." Sam grins, chuckling as he goes out of his way this time to groan as he takes another bite.

The food turns out to be tasty, surprisingly so (to Ryan, at least), and they pack away a decent amount. They do eventually order a more-economical pitcher of beer, and then a second one. Ryan's got a light buzz on by the time he starts joking around about dessert - which he doesn't actually have room for - but he's been careful enough that he knows he's still safe to drive them home.

"You'll have to roll me into work tomorrow if I have dessert," Sam says, although apparently he has room for more beer, he reflects, refilling his glass once more. Hoping Ryan won't be too disappointed if he just passes out tonight. It's not like it happens very often. Almost never, actually.

"Just what is it that Monster does to earn his nickname, anyway?" Ryan asks, swirling the last of his beer in his pint glass. "Or is that all in the past? Maybe he--" He cuts himself off when a stranger approaches their table, looming over the two of them in all his cigarette smoke and beer gut glory.

"Hey," the man says as he squints at Sam, and Ryan can smell that he's downed a few pitchers of his own this evening. "You're that actor guy, right? The Australian."

Sam nods. "Yeah. Sam Worthington," he supplies helpfully, taking another drink.

"Yeah." The guy nods back. "I saw you in some 3-D movie, fighting monsters and some shit. You looked real fucking tough." His gaze skates briefly over Ryan, then returns to Sam. "My friend says you're a lot shorter in real life."

"Your friend's right," Sam says easily, not entirely sure of the vibe he's getting from the guy. "I'm 5'10" - everyone looks taller on the big screen."

Slowly - his attitude as casual as he can manage - Ryan unfolds his posture from where he's been huddled in at the table. Now he stretches out and leans back, resting one arm against the edge of the vinyl booth. The stranger is making him nervous. Maybe it's that he's drunk and clearly outweighs Ryan by at least fifty pounds. Or maybe it's the way his mates at the bar are all now focused on Sam and Junior, like they're only waiting for their cue to saunter over and join in the conversation. Ryan really doesn't care just what it is that's pinging his nerves right now -- he trusts his instincts. And he doesn't fucking like this.

"Yeah?" The guy belches and swipes the back of his hand carelessly over his mouth, giving Sam a once-over. "Stand up, I want to see."

What the fuck? Did Junior just fucking order Sam to do something? Ryan slips to his feet before he even thinks about it. "I'm 5'10", same thing," he offers with a friendly smile, his bearing relaxed and open. "You've got to be well over six feet, yeah? I bet you work out."

Junior recoils a pace, apparently confused by the talking plant. For a moment, anyway. "What?" he asks, one of his friends stepping up silently behind him.

"Hey," Sam says, pushing to his feet and out from their booth. "We're just here for dinner. In fact, we're actually done," he adds, nodding towards the waitress who's doing her best to stay clear of what looks like a situation about to explode.

"Yeah, it's cool," Ryan assures Sam, one hand held low in a signal. If his lover can go pay their tab and extract himself from the situation that way, it'll be perfect. He includes the guy at Junior's shoulder in his smile, even as two more locals slip off their bar stools and wander over. The odds don't look good. "Let me buy you guys another round."

Thing One snorts a laugh and Thing Two actually spits on the hardwood floor -- and okay, maybe Ryan's been spending too much time in polite society, but it's been a while since he's seen that outside of a movie. "Shit yeah, he's a lot shorter," one of them says in a loud voice, taking a step towards Sam. "Looks like a fuckin' Hollywood pussy."

Those last few words, though, they're a blur in Ryan's ears. Because the instant the guy moves on Sam, the world starts to blend into slow motion. "Hey," he says evenly, his smile wiped clean, somehow managing to get between Sam and Thing Two even though he was on the other side of the tangle a moment before. "He had his dinner, he's leaving. Go back to the bar and I'll buy you another round."

Sam sighs. Christ. He's just so fucking tired. This is the last thing he needs. "Look, mate, you don't want to do this," he tells the guy.

Nonono! Ryan thinks, frantic because he doesn't want Sam here, shit, he can't take on four wifebeaters at once if he has to keep checking over his shoulder.

"So what, you're like his Mini-me?" Thing One asks Ryan with a snort. "Hollywood's all full of midgets now?"

Like Ryan's going to reply. Like he even gives a shit what they have to say, at a moment when Junior is smirking and circling to Sam's blind side. The big man reaches out with some or other slurred insult and he shoves Sam -- and Ryan's control just snaps. He slams a front kick into Thing One's gut - the asshole reels back into Thing Two - and Ryan smoothly follows up with a fist to Junior's jaw.

Sam's eyes go wide when Ryan springs into action, taking on three of the four fucking goons. The last one steps in though and Sam just fucking loses it, aiming a kick at the guy's knee that cracks something and sends him to the floor. And then it's an all-out fucking brawl like he hasn't been in since back when he was a brickie at home. Christ.

Movement flashes in Ryan's peripheral vision and he ducks even as he turns to block whatever's coming, one arm thrown up to protect his face while he drives a solid left to the midsection. "Get out," he snarls at Sam. Fuck he wishes he'd spent more time learning jujitsu, but he didn't think he'd ever actually need to use it; he's used to one opponent at a time, anyway. Someone grabs him in a headlock from behind and he uses the hold as leverage to kick Thing Two in the head -- but then he takes a nasty punch to the kidney and he knows he's fast losing any edge he might've had.

There's not a fucking chance in hell Sam's leaving Ryan to fend for himself, even if his lover seems to be doing a damned good job of it. He gets in another few hits - and kicks - before finally others start wading in, pulling everyone apart, someone yelling that the cops are here.

Strong hands twist Ryan away from whoever it is who's trying pin him, but unfortunately not before someone else's fist finds its way into his face first. He doesn't know which way is fucking up or down at this point, but he kicks out and makes solid contact with something that gives, and that's good enough for him right now, considering that can't even see out of his rapidly-swelling right eye. "Do not fight us, sir!" an unfamiliar voice booms in his ear, even as his arms are wrenched up behind his back and cold metal snicks into place on his wrists. "You are not under arrest at this time, but you are being detained and taken to the police station for questioning. It'll be better for you if you cooperate." His breath huffs out of him, but he frantically looks around for Sam.

"Fuck. Do you know who I am?" Sam says, adrenaline having taken him from fairly inebriated to completely fucking pissed.

"Yes, sir, we do," one policeman says, shaking his head as he cuffs Sam. "But you're all going downtown until we sort this out."

"Do I need a fucking lawyer?" Sam asks, craning his neck and trying to catch sight of Ryan. Hell. He's never been arrested in the States. And only once back home but they were released without any charges. All he knows here is what he's seen on Law & Order and shows like that.

"Not yet, sir," the officer answers, pushing Sam's head down as he walks him out to the car.

Cold shame washes through Ryan and he scuffs at the gravel in the parking lot. He's never been arrested, shit, and he's taken his share of mockery for being an altar boy for that, too. All he can think about right now, though, is whether he might have fucked anything up for Sam tonight. That possibility freaks him the hell out.

The nameless officer maneuvers him into the backseat of the police car without any beatings, which makes Ryan consider himself lucky, considering all those episodes of Cops that he's watched. And once in the car... "Oh fuck, you're here," he says, relief melting through him the instant he sees Sam. "Are you all right? Are you hurt?"

Sam shakes his head. "Other than this," he says, trying to indicate his cheek which is purpling as they speak, "I'm fine. I'm sure I'll be feeling it in the morning and make-up'll have my ass but there's no serious damage. Unless they fucking charge us." He sighs then smiles at Ryan, wishing he could touch his lover. "What about you? Your eye's a mess."

Ryan shrugs off the question. He's sure his face looks like he just went three rounds with Sugar Ray, but he's not having the kind of pain that would suggest any cracked bone or anything as serious as that. From what he can tell right here, the worst of it will probably be cosmetic. What he's really worried about is how he's going to be pissing blood for the next week or so, but he's not about to tell Sam that. "Do you think they're going to charge us? Do you need to ring your PR team?"

"They shouldn't," Sam says. "We didn't start it and they didn't give us any choice in terms of walking away. I can't imagine anyone in there saying any differently, other than the fucking assholes themselves." He sighs. "I'll call when we get to the station. Just in case. You're sure you're okay?"

"Yeah." Ryan gives Sam a little smile, so fucking grateful they were both able to walk away. Even more grateful that the cops put them in the same squad car so that he can at least have this small amount of reassurance as to his lover's welfare. "Give me an icepack and I'll be brand new."

"We'll see if they've got one at the station," Sam says, sitting back as two police officers get into the car. Wishing he could touch Ryan. That they weren't stuck pretending they're not together for this whole fucking ordeal.

Immediately Ryan shuts up as well. He's not really sure what the protocol is here, but he's assuming that anything he says - even to Sam in the backseat - can and will be used against him. That's how it's supposed to work, right?

The ride to the police station is quick, at least, and after a swift onceover to make sure that their two captives/detainees look secure and calm for the moment, the officers seem to ignore the two of them for the duration. They do talk quietly between themselves some, and one responds to some unintelligible chatter on the radio, but then the squad car is being parked and it's back to, "Get your head down, sir," and, "two steps up, here," as they enter the station, noisy with late night sounds. Sam and Ryan, still cuffed, are put in a room with one table, four chairs, and left there to stew as the solid metal door swings shut and they're locked in.

Sam just shakes his head. He's tired, aching and totally pissed off with nowhere to put it. He was hoping for an early night and now they'll be lucky to get out by dawn and that's if they get out. And all because some fucking asshole happened to recognize him even with the shaved head and goatee. Christ. "Sorry about this," he tells Ryan.

Slumping down in one of the chairs, Ryan peers at Sam. "...the fuck you apologizing for?" he asks. "You didn't start that shit." He frowns down at his feet for a minute, thinking it was a good job that he happened to choose boots this evening over his trainers. "Do you suppose we're on camera?"

"I didn't start it but it wouldn't have happened if I wasn't who I am," Sam says, peering into the huge mirror on the one wall. "And yeah, probably someone's watching us."

Ryan gives him a crooked smile, wincing only a little when it makes his split lip start to bleed anew. "I don't blame you for who you are, Sam," he assures his lover, and can't help shooting a paranoid glance at the mirror as well.

The door swings open and two people walk in: one a uniformed woman, and a man who is apparently a plainclothes officer, currently dressed in a suit, his necktie loosened. The woman takes up a guard position by the closed door, and the man sits down across from Ryan. "I'm Detective Josh Burrow. Which of you is Samuel Worthington?"

"I am," Sam responds, taking a seat beside Ryan. At least someone doesn't know who the hell he is.

"Good." Burrow starts making notes on his clipboard. "You are?"

"Ryan Kwanten," Ryan answers, and then spells his name out. "I'm employed as Sam's personal assistant. You know, I organize his schedule, handle the bills, whatever."

Burrow nods again, still writing, then glances up at Sam. "Tell me what happened in the bar tonight."

"We were having dinner, we were pretty much done, when this guy came up to our table and asked if I was 'that actor guy'," Sam says, wishing they'd at least take the fucking cuffs off them. "I said I was and he started in on how I looked bigger on-screen and I agreed with him, said I was only 5'10", he started crowding in on us, telling me to stand up, his friends too, calling us names, and I told him we were just finishing up." He glances over at Ryan, blowing out a breath, then returns his attention to the detective. "I got up to pay our bill, Ryan was offering buy them another round, anything to defuse things, and then the first guy pushed me and I lost track after that. But we didn't start it, we tried our best to stop it, and we were only defending ourselves."

"Mm-hmm." Burrow nods. "How many of them were there?"

"Four," Ryan answers, wondering whether it's all right for him to speak. "The first guy who came over to the table, and then his three friends who came and joined him. It was four against two, and they started it." It can't hurt to clarify, right?

The detective flicks a glance at Ryan, then looks back to Sam. "How much alcohol have you had to drink this evening?"

Fuck. Sam considers fudging his answer but if they breathalyse him... "A fair bit," he admits. "Two half-pints and then the better part of a pitcher and a half. I knew Ryan was driving and I'd had a rough day so I was enjoying myself." He shakes his head. "Honestly? Five more minutes and we would've been heading home so I could crash."

"And you, Mr. Kwanten?"

"Three glasses. Maybe three and a half," Ryan answers, relieved that he can tell the complete truth. "Like Sam said, I was his ride home. It's one of my job responsibilities."

Burrow nods, making more notes. "Have either of you met any of those four men before? Or had you spoken with any of them before the one man approached your table as you mentioned?"

"No," Ryan says, his tone very definite.

"We'd never seen them before. Even in there. We just came in, sat down, ordered our meal and kept to ourselves. You can ask our waitress. I don't think we were drawing any kind of attention to ourselves," Sam says, his shoulders really beginning to ache, what with the cuffs and the whole fucking day spent fighting.

"Hmm." The detective shuffles his papers, making notes on other pages now. The officer by the door doesn't move an inch. And it takes every ounce of willpower that Ryan possesses to keep from looking at Sam right now. He knows each nuance of his lover's voice, and he can hear the strain when Sam speaks. There's nothing in the world he wants more than to just get the fuck out of this place, head back to the rental house and set himself to the task of soothing Sam. That said 'task' will soothe him as well, hey -- that's just a bonus.

"Look," Sam says, it taking every ounce of willpower he has right now to keep his voice low, calm, steady, "if we're gonna be here much longer, is there any way you could see about getting us an ice pack or two? And I should really call my agent and the studio guys. Especially the studio - they'll take care of lawyers and whatever else we need."

"Yes. That, and if you're detaining us, then obviously we need to be medically triaged," Ryan adds, wondering just how much he can get away with considering that Sam is 'Mr. Worthington' but that he is, well, not. "We both took a lot of hard blows from our assailants back there, and yet neither of us has been examined for the possibility of concussion, fracture, neurological damage..."

Burrow lifts his head and actually glares at Ryan, but he does flash some sort of signal at the officer guarding the door. She steps out for mere seconds, then returns with a cordless phone which she hands to Sam before taking up her old position. "One call," the detective states.

Sam rings his PR guy and explains the situation, telling the guy exactly what they've already told the detectives. Dinner, minding own business, fucking apes attacking them, only defending themselves. "Okay, thanks, yeah, no, they haven't charged us with anything," he says. "Thanks." He hangs up and hands the phone back over. "They'll have someone here within the hour," he tells Ryan.

An hour. Fuck! Ryan winces, but he tries very very hard not to let any other expression show. He definitely isn't going to break down and cry like he wants to, most certainly not in front of these unsympathetic goons.

The detective pushes to his feet, the chair scraping loudly on the floor. "You two will wait here," he says, picking up the phone and turning his back to leave.

Ryan opens his mouth. "A medic--"

"You'll wait," Burrow growls back, and leaves the room, his officer following him. A minute later, the door opens just long enough for the officer to toss two icepacks onto the table.

Sam just shakes his head and rolls his eyes at Ryan. "Seriously?" he calls after the officer. "What are we supposed to do? Stick our fucking faces on them?"

"Christ," Ryan mutters, and does just what Sam said, nosing at the plastic bag until it's a bit flatter, and then resting his aching eye on it. "D'you think this is some kind of good ol' boy loyalty thing?" he asks softly. "Like, they don't fucking care who's right, it's just their patriotic duty to treat us like shit?"

"Either that or the assholes are their buddies and we're gonna get fucking railroaded," Sam says, watching Ryan. "You sure everything else is okay?" He knows Ryan took some pretty damn good hits despite what he was dishing out.

"Don't worry about it," Ryan murmurs, wondering whether he risks frostbite if he falls asleep on the ice like this. Probably.

A raised female voice in the hallway - "Oh yes I will have a private conference with my client!" - has him raising his head, however, and a moment later a tiny whirlwind of a woman bursts into the windowless room. She has bright red hair and stands maybe five-foot-five when tottering in three-inch heels, and she sizes the two of them up in an instant as she lets the door slam shut behind her. "I'm Kylie Embers, I'm part of your legal team being provided by the studio," she informs Sam, and without taking a breath asks Ryan, "You're the personal assistant, Mr. Kwanten?"

He nods. "I--"

"Has either of you been offered medical care at any time?"

"No, Ma'am--"

"Have your handcuffs been removed, at any time?"

"No, we--"

"Have you been offered water, food, or bathroom facilities?"

"No, they--"

She nods fiercely and whirls out of the room as abruptly as she came in, leaving Ryan, at least, feeling like he's just been struck in the head by a hammer.

Sam watches her go then turns wide eyes on Ryan, unable to stop from cracking up. "They're gonna be sorry now," he says, not feeling the least bit of sympathy for Burrow and his lackeys.

"Jesus," Ryan mutters, staring at the closed door. "I get the feeling she's going to fucking take them apart. Do you want to ask for any souvenirs or anything before we leave? Maybe an official state holster or something?"

"I want a mug. That, or a t-shirt," Sam jokes, lying his head down on the table, all adrenaline completely gone again. "I wonder how long we've been in here."

"Long enough that it's already started to feel like The Twilight Zone," Ryan suggests. "I want to go home and sleep. And I might never eat chicken-fried anything again, ever."

Kylie Embers bustles back into the small room, the center of a twister with her hangers-on desperately trying to keep up. They squeeze into various corners. "Doctor Padely, take all the time and room you need to examine your patients," she directs a young blond man who looks barely old enough to be done with high school. The man immediately begins setting up shop at Sam's elbow. "Detective Burrow, their handcuffs?" There's a long moment of unbroken eye contact between the two of them, but eventually the detective cracks and moves behind them to release first Sam's wrists and then Ryan's. Finally, Embers looks at them. "Mr. Worthington? Mr. Kwanten? Do either of you require the use of bathroom facilities at this time?"

Glancing around the room, Ryan hesitantly raises his hand. Another fiery Embers glare has Burrow detailing one of his uniformed officers to escort Ryan down the hall. The bathroom mirror is a mirror in name only - actually made of shiny metal and not glass at all - and Ryan can't see more than a vague image of his face in it. It doesn't matter, his worst fears are confirmed when he takes a piss and blood pours into the toilet right alongside -- definitely injury to his kidney.

"Are we getting out of here anytime soon?" Sam asks, gently rubbing at his wrists. "We didn't do anything but defend ourselves."

"There's a car waiting for you out front. You'll be leaving within ten minutes, no longer," Embers assures Sam. "Unless Dr. Padely finds reason for either or both of you to be transferred directly to the hospital," she adds, tapping her fingers rhythmically on the tabletop.

"That won't happen," Burrow growls under his breath.

"I imagine you certainly hope that it won't," the attorney tells him with a small smile. "But you really can't say that with any degree of confidence, can you? Because you refused to do your job." Another staring contest commences, and this time it's far sooner before the detective breaks and looks away.

Sam presses the ice pack against his cheek now that he can reach it, letting Dr. Padely give him a quick once-over. "Check Ryan out when he gets back," he tells the man. "He took most of the shit since he was trying to protect me."

The officer escorts Ryan back to the questioning room, and Ryan sits down where the doctor indicates. Embers begins a loud discussion of possible charges against the local police force in general and Detective Burrow in particular, with Burrow trumpeting back -- for all Ryan can tell, it's just a verbal pissing contest. He submits to Dr. Padely's examination, answers his questions, and tries to downplay how much it hurts to be poked in various places. But Padely busts him anyway.

"Mr. Kwanten has multiple hematomas, a possible cracked left orbital, and a left renal contusion with gross hematuria," he announces, and is greeted by stares of various degrees of vague.

Embers attempts to cover for her incomprehension first. "I see. And your recommendation, doctor?"

"He needs to go to the hospital for imaging studies and blood work. CT with contrast and X-ray."

"What? No," Ryan whispers instantly, looking at Sam in panic.

"I'll go with him," Sam says. He knows hematomas are bruises and renal means kidneys but that's about it. "That is, if we're free to go now?" He looks at their lawyer.

"Yes, you are," Embers says, and doesn't even bother to look at any of the police staff. "The studio has a driver waiting for you."

"They need to sign papers," Burrow insists, sounding a touch desperate, and Embers waves her permission but makes it clear that said papers are to be signed this instant, and no more waiting.

And in minutes, that's it. They're finally out of the gray room, down the hall, out into the night air and into the back seat of a cushy black Cadillac. "Sam, I don't want to go to a hospital," Ryan whispers. "I want to go home." Going anywhere else will just prolong this nightmare of an evening.

"I know. Me too. But we can't take any chances," Sam says, giving Ryan's hand a quick squeeze now that they're finally alone.

With a sigh Ryan sits back, taking all the comfort he can from the touch -- grateful that they finally can touch. He's startled by a sudden loud knocking on the tinted window and he abruptly sits up, his fingers releasing Sam's hand just as fast as Sam is letting go of him. Ryan pushes open the door.

"Hi," Dr. Padely says, leaning down and handing him a thin stack of papers. "You'll need these when you present to the Emergency Department, so that when the doctors there examine you they can refer and confirm based on my notes. The CT scan you need is to search for a certain marker, and that marker won't even show up until eight hours have passed since your injury."

"Oh." Ryan stares at him, wide-eyed. Wondering if the doctor could see them holding hands, through the dark windows. "Thanks."

The doctor smiles a little. "What I'm saying is that you don't have to go to the hospital right now, not unless you feel like it. Just go first thing in the morning."

"Oh," Ryan repeats, his eyes lighting up. "I get it." He smiles back. "Thank you, I appreciate it."

"Sure thing." Dr. Padely's smile widens a bit and he looks past Ryan to include Sam in it as well. "Have a good night." He stands up and closes the car door.

"I'm going to call David," Sam says, plucking his mobile from his pocket. "Tell him I won't be in tomorrow."

"Okay." Under ordinary circumstances Ryan would kick up a fuss at being any kind of impediment to Sam's work. Clearly, these are nothing like ordinary circumstances. He just wants to get in bed and cling to his lover, and that's as far as his thoughts go.

"Hey, David, it's Sam, I -- yeah, no, we're out now, they let us go. We weren't doing anything but defending ourselves against these guys." Sam nods, listening to the other end. "Yeah, that's what I was calling about. It's late, we're exhausted, Ryan has to go to the hospital tomorrow for some further tests and I should probably get looked at again... No, okay. You're sure? Thanks. Yep. I'll let you know. Thanks again." He hangs up. "Everyone'd already been in touch with him, so we're good." He leans forward, taps the driver on the shoulder and gives him their address.

"Okay," Ryan says again, a weird feeling of numbness beginning to creep in despite the aches and pains. Maybe it's just that he's so damn tired. He buckles his seatbelt with mechanical motions and braces his elbow against the door, resting his head in his hand.

"You sure you don't need anything?" Sam asks, watching Ryan, fingertips brushing his jeans.

"Just a good night's sleep and a few Motrin," Ryan answers, glancing towards the driver.

Sam looks too but the guy's got his eyes on the road, not the mirror, and Sam just doesn't give a shit right now. He leaves his hand right where it is until they pull up in front of their place and he tips the driver, telling him not to bother getting out of the car. Fuck. Which reminds him that they drove to the fucking restaurant and they'll have to cab it there in the morning before heading to the hospital. Oh fucking yay.

Feeling like he's maybe one REM cycle away from sleepwalking, Ryan makes it up the front path and unlocks the door to their rental. Inside he heads straight for the bathroom, shedding his clothing and gently washing his face. Trying to feel human again.

"Motrin," Sam says, following him in and holding out pills and a glass of cold water for the fridge. He's already taken his. "Renal's kidneys, right?"

"Yeah. I think someone punched me," Ryan says, gratefully accepting the offerings. "You okay, love? Do you need anything?"

Sam shakes his head. "You'd tell me if you were hurt, wouldn't you?"

Ryan lays his arms lightly on Sam's shoulders. "I'm hurt," he confesses. "I didn't want to say it back there. Can we go to bed now?"

"Yeah, but only if you're sure it can wait til the morning," Sam says, not wanting to admit just how worried he is about Ryan.

"It'll keep." Ryan gently kisses his lover, mindful that they've both taken punches to the face this evening. "I'll meet you there."

Sam takes a few minutes to wash up and brush his teeth, his clothes tossed in the hamper. He's not sure what first thing in the morning is but sets his watch for eight and sighs when he checks the time again. If he has his way, there'll be a nap tomorrow afternoon. He wanders back into the bedroom and crawls under the covers, pulling them up over his shoulder and pressing close to his lover. "You were something else tonight," he says with a smile, kissing Ryan's shoulder.

"Hmm?" Ryan's surprised to find himself startled out of a doze; he never falls asleep first, not unless they've just gone through a heavy scene. "Hey," he whisper, shifting position to put his arm around Sam. "I love you so much. Wanted to kill those fuckers."

"See? I don't need a bodyguard," Sam teases, kissing Ryan softly on the mouth, "but you might actually be underpaid given the added services."

Ryan huffs a soft laugh. "And all this time I thought I might be underpaid given the other special services I provide," he teases.

"Either way," Sam laughs, pulling Ryan even closer. "But maybe I should hire a bodyguard while we're here. I could get someone through Citadel."

"Why here, specifically?" Ryan asks, lifting his head to look at his lover in the dimness. "Do you think those guys are going to give you trouble again?"

"No, but maybe I've been assuming too much - thinking I could just walk around and not be bothered, have someone pull shit like that," Sam says, rolling onto his back a little. "And once the story hits the papers, who knows what kind of fuckheads are going to think they could do better."

"Oh." Yeah, it sounds awfully reasonable when Sam puts it that way. Damn it. "Yeah, I guess," Ryan whispers. "You know what would be really great? If you could put that pit bull Embers on retainer, seriously."

Sam chuckles. "You want to find someone for us?" he asks. "Call Citadel and see who you're comfortable with?"

"I'll work on it," Ryan agrees, then turns his head to muffle a giant yawn against Sam's shoulder. When he speaks again, his voice is small. "Please don't get hurt, Sam. Ever."

"I won't," Sam promises, even though they both know it's not one he can guarantee to keep. But here, now, like this, just making it is what matters. "We're gonna grow old and gray together. Remember?"

"I remember. And you're going to have a cane just so you can beat me with it, right," Ryan says with a soft snicker. "I love that so much." He rubs his cheek against his lover's bare chest, comforting himself further. "Thank you."

"That's my job," Sam says with a smile. "To take care of you, both as your husband and your sir. Love, honor, cherish and protect forevermore."

"And torment," Ryan adds, like someone just carelessly left that out of their marriage vows, and he's doing the responsible thing and fixing their mistake. "Thou shalt torment unto the point of begging, and unto the point of begging, thou shalt torment."

"Definitely, but not tonight," Sam murmurs, kissing the top of Ryan's head. "Tonight I'm just going to have and to hold."