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Recuperation

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Barabas stared. If both of his legs hadn't been broken, he might have gotten up and done something embarrassing. As it was - well, under the circumstances, anyone would stare.

"I don't need to see him in a suit," he'd told Kate, meaning 'I know he'd look devastating, and then instead of acting like a rational, smart adult, I'd make a fool of myself and probably end up ruining everything'.

And then, during the big battle with Roland, he'd wondered if maybe the bigger fool wasn't the guy who'd pass up a chance at happiness just because he was afraid he might screw it up. True, his record in the romance department wasn't stellar, but ... this is Christopher.

"I'm not supposed to do anything to get you excited," Christopher said, hovering by the door as if he was afraid of getting too close.

So you decided to come in here wearing that? Barabas grimaced. True, Christopher had spent a long time as a prisoner, and Barabas still knew very little of Christopher's life before he'd ended up in a cage, his mind broken, his body slowly starving to death.

Still, it was hard to imagine Christopher could be completely unaware of how he looked.

"Are you in very much pain?" Christopher took one step forwards, then froze again, hand outstretched, as if ... oh.

"I'm fine," Barabas said, managing a smile. He felt a little hysterical. "You can touch me." You can do a lot more than touch me. Plenty of time to talk later.

"I don't want to do anything that might slow down your recovery."

Barabas shrugged. "I'm a shapeshifter, remember? We heal very quickly."

Christopher took another step, though he lowered his hand. "So I'd heard. Still."

"Another week or so and I'll be good as new," Barabas said. It was mostly true.

"So you're saying that if I want to get you excited, I should wait until then?" There was a faint gleam to Christopher's eyes, a hint of something Barabas had never seen from the old Christopher.

Barabas licked his suddenly dry lips, noticing the way Christopher's eyes followed the movement.

"By the way, how do you like the suit?" Christopher asked.

"It's all right." Barabas tried to sound casual. He didn't think he was succeeding.

"I really don't want to do anything that might piss off your doctor. Or keep you in that bed any longer than necessary." Christopher sounded sincere. He looked sincere.

"Well, it's a pretty comfortable bed," Barabas said. No doubt about it: Doolittle was going to kill him. Both of them, possibly, given that Christopher no longer had the excuse of a broken mind to excuse his actions.

On the other hand -

Guess some things are worth dying for. Or getting yelled at a lot, anyway.