It had been four days since Flynn had died on an average, everyday mission to the 1930s. It felt everything but average now, Wyatt thought.
Wyatt leaned forward to unbuckle Lucy’s seatbelt as the hatch popped open. “It feels like these are getting harder. Is it?”
She shrugged listlessly. “Without him it’s a lot harder.”
He swallowed back the nausea—just nausea, not grief, he told himself—and stood. They disembarked from the Lifeboat, and there was Denise and Jiya and—and—
“My God,” Rufus said from behind him.
Flynn blinked at them from the computers, where he stood behind Jiya, and nonchalantly took a sip from his coffee mug. “What are you all looking at?”
Before he could catch his breath, Lucy was shoving past Wyatt, climbing down the ladder in her dress without help, and running at the other man. “Flynn!” she slammed into him. “What did we change? How are you alive?”
“Flynn was dead?” Connor demanded from the corner of the room.
“Report,” Denise ordered, but Wyatt didn’t look at her. He was looking at Flynn, who was patting Lucy’s back and attempting to keep his coffee from spilling. “Wyatt?”
He snapped to attention. “Flynn was dead after our last mission—Rittenhouse. We went after them this time, they were trying to kill Billy the Kid a few years early. We completed the mission. I killed a few agents as a result.”
Rufus was typing furiously on the computers. “Wyatt, that guy you strangled like an hour ago in 1878? The agent? He is—was—the grandfather of the agent who got the drop on Flynn. He was never born, so he never killed Flynn in 1937.”
“No one got the drop on me!” Flynn said heatedly, letting go of Lucy.
“They did,” Wyatt said tonelessly. “It was my fault. I was supposed to watch your six.” He turned to Denise. “Permission to finish debriefing later?”
“Granted,” Denise said curiously, but he didn’t offer an explanation, just turned and left.
Flynn turned to Lucy, who was grinning like a maniac. “What’s wrong with him? Sad I didn’t stay gone?”
Her smile faded. “Losing you was, uh, hard on him.”
Raising an eyebrow, he turned in the direction Wyatt had gone. “Interesting,” he said.
Wyatt grimaced and pressed another towel to the bullet wound in his side, letting it soak up the blood. He ran a hand down his face and bit at the inside of his cheek to avoid the feelings bubbling up in his chest: the guilt, the grief, the shock, and, most overwhelmingly and surprisingly, the joy.
“What did you mean, it was your fault?” Flynn asked from where he leaned against the bedroom doorway.
Wyatt jumped and cursed at the pain of the movement. “Come on in,” he muttered sarcastically.
Flynn strode in to Wyatt’s bedroom. “Thanks for the invitation,” he said cheerfully. “So, hadn’t planned on telling anyone about that gunshot wound?”
“It’s a graze,” he bit out. “No use scaring them. Lucy’s been distraught over you. She doesn’t need more worries.”
He sat next to Wyatt on the bed and held out a hand for the needle and thread. “Guessing you still need to be patched up, though. It’s a through and through?”
“Wyatt?” Flynn gave his best dad look.
“Yeah. No shrapnel, best I can tell,” Wyatt submitted, handing the items to Flynn, but he kept his eyes down and his mouth downturned.
They sat in silence for a moment before Flynn finally teased, “So, you missed me, I heard?”
Wyatt rolled his eyes but said nothing, only shifted so Flynn could get at his wound.
“Oh, come on,” Flynn wheedled, grinning shamelessly. “You can’t deny it, Lucy told me. You can admit it now, you like me.”
He flinched, then cut his eyes at Flynn. “Watch where you’re poking, please?”
Flynn narrowed his eyes. “I barely touched you.” He reached for the disinfectant, feeling the mood shift. “Wyatt,” he began carefully, starting to disinfect, “I’m sure it wasn’t your fault. When I, um, died. Or whatever.”
The other man hissed at the sting, holding his side taut as best he could. “It was a headshot,” he muttered. “That takes time to set up. I should have noticed. Stopped him.”
“Hey, I’m pretty capable,” Flynn remarked coolly. “I’m just as much at fault. Look, you saved me, okay? Take the win.”
Wyatt flinched again, huffed out a frustrated breath, and snatched the needle from Flynn’s grasp. “Your stitches are crap, I’ll ask Rufus,” he called out over his shoulder, already out the door of his own bedroom.
A brief pause.
“Rufus’s stitches are crap, too!” Flynn shouted after him. His brow furrowed in worry.
When Flynn emerged a moment or two later, Rufus and Jiya were seated on the couch watching some NASA documentary. “Where’s—” he began.
“Lucy went to bed already,” Jiya answered, dismissively flapping her hand at him to get him to go away. Neither of them looked up from the computer on Rufus’s lap.
He barked out a laugh. “Not looking for Lucy, actually. Wyatt?”
Rufus stopped, hit pause, and looked up in confusion. “Wyatt? You’re looking for Wyatt?”
“Yes, I’m looking for Wyatt,” he responded, some heat in his voice from exasperation. “Wyatt? You know, blue eyes, strong chin, stubborn as a mule? We live with the guy. I don’t suppose he asked either of you to stitch him up just a minute ago?”
“Uh, no. I think I heard him turn on the shower, though.”
Flynn turned without further response.
Rufus settled back in against Jiya. “I’m glad the guy’s alive and all, but he could use some serious social skills,” he observed quietly. Jiya hummed in agreement and pressed play on the documentary.
The thread wouldn’t go through.
He cursed and tried to shove it through the eye of the needle again, but it wouldn’t stick. The shower trickled behind him—he’d avoided soaking through where Flynn had disinfected, but only just barely. He ran fingers through his wet hair, looking at the needle with annoyance, and sighed.
“You skipped out on our date.”
Wyatt twisted to look at Flynn in the doorway, then sucked in a sharp breath at the sudden, piercing pain in his side. “You’re a real riot,” he bit out, returning his eyes to the needle and thread. His attention, however, remained on Flynn, watching him in his periphery.
“Sorry if I made you nervous.” Flynn came up behind him and they looked at each other in the bathroom mirror. “You should have at least asked Rufus for help.”
“I can do it myself.”
Flynn quirked up one corner of his mouth, but it wasn’t a real smile. “You’re really determined to do everything by yourself, huh? Gotta stitch yourself up alone. Gotta protect everyone else, even me, alone. Gotta take the blame alone. Yeah?”
Wyatt’s breath caught. A sharp pressure came up behind his eyes. “Yeah,” he croaked.
Very gently—for him—Flynn took the needle from his hands and threaded it through easily. “I’ve got it. Let me,” he said quietly, and Wyatt let him.
Flynn stitched him up quickly, but it felt like an eternity of silence. The shower continued to drip, the proverbial pin dropping. A particularly sharp move made the thread tug at flesh, causing Wyatt to wince. The slight but ripping pain provoked the tears that were already waiting to fall, and one slipped down his cheek. He gave a tiny gasp, as much from surprise at the tears as from the pain, and swiped it away quickly.
“I’m sorry,” Flynn murmured from where he knelt by Wyatt’s hip.
“S’okay,” he said thickly, and continued to stare straight forward at his reflection.
After another minute or two, Flynn was done, wrapping the bathroom first aid kit’s gauze around Wyatt’s middle. “There’s painkillers in there,” Flynn gestured to the kit, lying open on the lid of the sink, precariously balanced. Before Wyatt could interrupt, Flynn continued, “Take them. Before I have to wake Lucy to make her make you take them.”
Scowling at the unsubtle manipulation, Wyatt dry-swallowed the pills.
“Good,” Flynn said pleasantly. “They’re also likely to cause drowsiness. Helpful, since you look like you haven’t slept in days.”
Wyatt’s eyes widened. “You’re such an asshole. I was gonna—” he cut himself off, breaking eye contact.
“What, sit up and watch that documentary with Rufus and Jiya? You’re not missing much.”
He shrugged. “I was gonna stay up, keep watch.”
Flynn connected the dots. “Over me?”
He shrugged again.
Slowly, Flynn finished wrapping the bandages and stood. “You don’t have to do that,” he said. “I’m a big boy, I can take care of myself, you know. Besides, we’re pretty safe in the bunker.”
“Yeah,” Wyatt said. But he still wouldn’t make eye contact.
“You saved me,” Flynn insisted. “You don’t have to keep protecting me when it’s already fixed.”
“I had no idea it would save you!” Wyatt burst out, whipping around to face him. He looked up at Flynn guiltily. “I just wanted to kill that Rittenhouse bastard to get revenge. Everyone was upset, and Lucy wasn’t talking, and I missed you—” He stopped himself, eyes wide.
They stood there for a moment, both shocked into silence from the realization, before Flynn stepped forward. Wyatt automatically stepped back, until his back met the sink. The kit clattered to the floor, spilling gauze everywhere, but neither of them looked away from each other. Flynn stepped closer again, until he was actively pressing Wyatt into the sink. “I’ve been letting it go,” he said softly. “The way we look at each other. The way I’ve always felt so strongly about you, whether it was animosity or jealousy or even something more… affectionate. I let it go, because we both have feelings for Lucy and I thought you had no feelings for me whatsoever. But the way you’ve been acting lately has got me thinking I was wrong.” He took a deep breath. “I get that a lot’s been going on. It’s been an emotional time, you’ve had to kill a man, you’ve been shot, you haven’t been sleeping. But let me make this clear.” His voice was firm, confident, but still soft. “I have feelings for you. I think you have feelings for me, too. If I’m wrong, I’ll keep letting it go, but you’ve got to tell me now.”
Wyatt said nothing, only swallowed hard.
Flynn blinked and nodded to himself, making a decision. “Okay. Come on.”
“Where are we going?” Wyatt asked. His voice was almost timid.
Flynn grabbed him by the wrist and led him out of the bathroom, turning down a hallway. “Like I said, you need sleep.”
They stopped walking after only a few seconds. Wyatt blinked stupidly. “Flynn, this is your room.”
“Yes, I know, thank you,” Flynn retorted. His fingers tightened around Wyatt’s wrist, as if feeling for his pulse point. “You wanted to keep watch over me? Well, you’re gonna be asleep in like fifteen minutes. The next best thing is just for us to… stay together.”
Wyatt scoffed, but his eyes scanned the room nervously. “What, like share your bed?”
Flynn shrugged. “You’re injured, you’re not sleeping on the floor. And I refuse to give up my bed when it’s big enough for two. You’ll just have to get over that macho heterosexual fantasy I can see in your expression.”
“It’s not a… a macho fantasy!” Wyatt sputtered. “It’s just…”
“Let me guess, grew up in Texas, Daddy didn’t even like hugging you because he was so homophobic?” Flynn asked, not unkindly. “Look, I get it. Family prejudices can be ingrained in your head so easily. But I’ve heard you mention your dad before. Do you want to be anything like him?”
Wyatt stiffened and looked Flynn in the eye. “No,” he said clearly, and stubbornly marched himself into the room. Flynn followed behind, suppressing a small smile. Wyatt flopped onto the bed—which was in fact bigger than his, and, no, he wasn’t bitter about that—and Flynn sat on the edge.
They sat there in silence for a moment.
“This okay?” Flynn finally asked, awkwardly.
“S’fine,” Wyatt mumbled back. Then, “You can lay down, you know.”
Biting back the smile that didn’t seem to want to go away, Flynn did, and then they were lying there in silence. Flynn turned to face him; Wyatt still lay on his back. “Do the stitches feel okay?” he asked. “Too tight?”
Wyatt shook his head. “They’re fine, why?”
“Because,” Flynn smirked, “my stitches are not crap, and I wanted you to tell me that.”
“I just said they were fine, I didn’t say they were perfect,” Wyatt snorted, and the awkwardness was broken.
Flynn shrugged. “I’ve done my fair share of field medic work, is all I’m saying. I can get the job done.”
“Yeah, so could Rufus. I don’t think that puts you on a high playing field.”
“That’s fair,” Flynn acknowledged, a smile pulling at his lips.
Wyatt yawned and crossed his arms over his chest. “These beds are way too comfortable. Makes it impossible to sleep.”
“I know what you mean,” Flynn muttered. “I don’t think I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep since prison, strange as it sounds. Luckily, you’ve got drugs on your side.”
“Yeah,” Wyatt mumbled, and was asleep within minutes. His breath caught on a slight, whistling snore.
Flynn looked at him fondly, and soon after, he fell asleep himself.
Flynn woke to an impressive, burning heat at his side. “Lorena?” he mumbled, but then his brain clicked, and he knew better. He put a hand on Wyatt’s arm and sucked in a breath at the high temperature, opening his eyes and sitting up.
Yep, Wyatt definitely looked like he was running a fever, the way he’d stolen the blankets and was currently sweating. Flynn leaned over Wyatt to catch a glimpse of his stitched-up side. The wound didn’t look red or angry; this probably wasn’t the result of infection, he decided. If anything, it was from stress, and grief, and undergoing field medicine because he was too bullheaded to go tell Agent Christopher that he needed help. Flynn sighed and shook Wyatt by the shoulder. “Wyatt,” he stage-whispered. “Wyatt!”
Nothing. He shook him again. “Logan,” he tried, his voice more official, and it worked.
Wyatt’s eyes opened. “Fl’n,” he rasped out, voice heavy with sleep. He pressed a hand to his head and groaned. “Head hurts.”
“That’ll be the fever,” Flynn said as soothingly as he could. It still came out awkward and wooden, and he didn’t know how to fix that. “I think it’s just a response to stress. Look, um—I’m gonna go get someone with more experience that can help—”
“No,” Wyatt said. His eyes were Bambi-big and fever-bright. “Please. Just… just stay, please.”
Flynn ran a hand through his hair. “You’re sure?”
“You’re a dad,” Wyatt murmured, eyes already closing again with exhaustion. “You've got experience with stuff like this. You can handle me and my whiny-ass immune system.”
With that, Wyatt drifted off into a light doze, leaving Flynn to deal with the not-inconsequential state of panic he was in. No real medicine… no real doctors… no way to actually help the fever or the man experiencing it, who’d already had enough go awry the past couple of days… Flynn sighed and remembered Wyatt’s words. You’re a dad.
Abruptly, he was reminded of the last time Iris had been sick. He’d had to pick her up from daycare, since Lorena was out of town, and they’d spent the day watching her favorite Disney movies. When she’d felt too sick to watch the TV anymore, they’d gone upstairs, and he’d sat beside her bed, telling her stories and making her laugh until they both fell asleep. The next day, he’d been sick himself, and Iris ran around making sure he was just as content as she had been in his place.
The memory came with the pang it always did, but then he thought of how happy she’d been—even when she had full rights to be miserable—just because he’d made an effort. Been a dad. Tried.
He didn’t need to cure Wyatt right now. He just needed to get him through the night, and make sure he was as comfortable as possible.
Somewhat self-assured now—and who knew Wyatt would be his inspiration toward wisdom? —Flynn retrieved a bottle of water and a few OTC fever reliever pills that he’d been keeping by his bedside and shook Wyatt again. “Wyatt, wake up,” he said, and his voice was as comforting as he’d hoped, “you need to take these and drink some water, c’mon.”
Blinking dazedly, Wyatt let himself be coaxed into a half-upright position, took the pills, and drank nearly half of the bottle. When Flynn was satisfied, he let Wyatt lay back down, but took away the blanket Wyatt had been clutching in his sleep. “It’s overheating you,” he explained, though he doubted Wyatt was awake enough to fully understand. “I can give it back to you if your fever goes down.”
“M'kay,” Wyatt mumbled, and simply latched himself onto Flynn’s arm. “Guess I’ll use you as a heater instead.”
Before Flynn could protest, Wyatt was back to sleep.
“No, wait—I—okay, then,” he sighed in resignation. Acquiescent to his fate, he allowed himself to be clung to and ran his fingers through Wyatt’s hair. Wyatt hugged even tighter in his sleep, in response to the touch. “Would not have pegged you for a cuddler,” Flynn said, mostly to himself, then grinned. “But if you think everyone in the bunker won’t know about this by tomorrow, you’re dead wrong.”
Wyatt, oblivious, made a whuffling noise into Flynn’s shirt, like a sleeping puppy.
“Christ,” Flynn said. “I really didn’t think, when I first met you, that you were gonna be this cute. In fact, I was mostly thinking about how I could kill you without pissing Lucy off too much.”
The whuffling had turned into a droning, but still oddly endearing, snore.
“Pretty glad I didn’t do that,” Flynn said quietly. “I like having you around, now. And not just because you’re nice to look at.” He ran a hand down Wyatt’s back, feeling the firmness of the muscles there. “Though it doesn’t hurt, of course.”
Wyatt didn’t respond, of course, and Flynn huffed out a sigh. “Seriously, though,” he continued, “I… when I was talking about having feelings for you—it’s not just like, ‘oh, he’s hot and angry,’ and that’s all there is to it. I like… you. I like how we can just exchange a look and know how to storm a room together, guns blazing. I like how you can’t cook worth a damn, but you can strategize like a tactical genius. I like how we went from hating each other to understanding each other. And maybe this is selfish of me, but I like that, when you lost me, you felt something more than the obligatory soldier’s guilt. I like that you missed me. I wasn’t expecting that. You… surprise me, pretty much constantly.”
Exhaling slowly, Flynn let his eyes drift over the ceiling as he continued to rub his hand over Wyatt’s back. “I’m fucked, aren’t I?”
When Flynn woke again, his internal clock said it was early morning, probably just past dawn. Wyatt was no longer burning in his arms—instead, he felt like a normal temperature, and he was sleeping easily.
“Well, I did promise, didn’t I?” Flynn said to himself with a smile, draping the blanket over Wyatt and escaping to the bathroom quickly so he wouldn't wake him. Wyatt only moved to hug the blanket instead of Flynn and sigh in his sleep.
A quick shower later, and Flynn was shaving in front of the bathroom mirror. No one else was awake this time of the morning, except maybe Rufus, and if so he was probably working on the machine. He could be alone in peace—something that, due to his brush with death, he sensed was going to be a rare commodity in the next few days.
Still, he probably should’ve locked the door.
Wyatt was a soldier, and he knew to make little noises to keep from startling Flynn. “Hey,” he said from the entrance to the bathroom.
Flynn still jumped, and in doing so nicked himself. “Damn it,” he muttered, then called out, “Hey. Glad to see you’re feeling better.”
Head ducked down in a blush, Wyatt bit his lip against the ingrained embarrassment of having been vulnerable in so many ways last night. “Thanks for, um, taking care of me last night,” was all he managed to stutter out.
With a laugh, Flynn turned and pressed a finger against the cut on his cheek. “S’no problem. I look like a teenager trying to shave for the first time,” he complained.
“Maybe you should let the adults handle it,” Wyatt said before his brain could catch up with his mouth.
Determined not to backtrack, Wyatt stepped forward in a reversal of their roles last night. This time, Flynn was up against the sink, looking slightly confused and a little terrified, and Wyatt was taking lead. Triumphantly, he leaned forward and plucked the razor from Flynn’s hand. “I said,” he doubled down, “let me.”
With a slight, satisfied smile, Flynn let him.
In smooth, even strokes, Wyatt finished the shave that Flynn had started, without any more cuts. In a matter of minutes, it was done, and he was wetting a washcloth and cleaning off Flynn’s face. “There, good as—” he started to say.
Flynn was kissing him before he could finish.
The kiss was heavy, and hot, and intense, and all of the things Wyatt had thought it would be in the rare times he’d allowed himself to fantasize about this. Flynn was clearly an experienced kisser and not afraid to let his tongue do the talking. His hands moved up and down Wyatt’s back and waist, though he was noticeably careful to avoid Wyatt’s bullet wound.
Before he could protest—though not quite sure that he would have—Wyatt found himself spun around and pressed up against the sink, and Flynn was devouring him. He moaned and felt Flynn smirk against his mouth. “You like that?”
“I like you,” Wyatt mumbled in response, a bit more honest than he had intended to be, eager to get back into the kiss.
Strangely enough, it made Flynn pull away, taking Wyatt by the shoulders to keep Wyatt’s lips from following him. He looked Wyatt up and down. “I like you too,” he answered, though his voice displayed more confidence than the rest of him. His eyes flickered away, anxiously, as if expecting some sort of negative reaction. “I think I like you too much,” he suddenly confessed.
For once, such a show of emotion gave Wyatt more confidence instead of less. He reached forward and took Flynn’s hand. “Good,” he said clearly, until Flynn looked him in the eye. “Because we’re just getting started.”
Before either of them could start smiling again, Wyatt had leaned forward and pressed his lips against Flynn’s. This kiss was short and sweet. “Yep,” Wyatt murmured, running his thumb over Flynn’s smooth cheek. “Gonna need to do that again.”
“Sounds good to me,” Flynn said. “But might I suggest we move this out of the bathroom?”
“You got somewhere else in mind?”
“I do happen to know of a bed nearby that comfortably holds at least two people.”
“Interesting. I have to admit that the offer holds some appeal.” Wyatt remained stone-faced, pretending to consider a real offer.
Flynn cracked first and let a smile break out over his face. “You’re ridiculous.”
“Yeah, I’m ridiculous, you’re ridiculous, this whole thing is ridiculous, isn’t it?” Wyatt laughed, then softened. “But… it works.”
“It does,” Flynn agreed, already pulling him toward the bedroom. “It definitely works.”