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"What the hell is that?" Cooper asks, admirably keeping his voice calm when it could easily have been loud and hysterical.

JT sets the thing down and grins at him. "It's a giant cactus," JT tells him proudly.

Cooper nods. He can see that it is a giant cactus. He'd known it was a giant cactus since he saw JT unload it from his car from his window. "Yes. But what is it doing in my apartment?"

JT grins at him happily. "I was told they make people heal faster from injuries," JT tells him sincerely.

Cooper blinks. "Who told you that?" He asks, although he has a sneaking feeling exactly who it was and knows exactly what he will do to make that person pay for this prank.

"Cam."

-

Billy, who is tying up his shoe laces beside Cooper, bursts into laughter when he sees Cam.

For his part, Cam walks towards them with an entirely calm face but looking closely, Cooper can see one of his eyes twitching.

GI decides to come over at this moment.

"Hey Cam," he says thoughtfully and Cam slowly turns his head to look at him.

"Do you know your hair is white?" GI asks helpfully.

Cam's eye starts to twitch more visibly. "Why thank you, GI. I hadn't noticed."

GI frowns and opens his mouth to say something but then JT skips over.

"Nice hair, Cam."

The coach calls them over and Cooper breezes past Cam with a smile. "The cactus is doing fine by the way."

-

JT curls up on Cooper's bed and watches him as he towels his hair dry.

"I miss you."

Cooper huffs out a laugh. "Jay, I haven't gone anywhere."

JT shakes his head. "In the team. I miss you in the team."

Cooper laughs bitterly. "Trust me, I miss myself in the team too."

JT squeezes his eyes shut. "Don't."

Cooper sighs and walks over to the bed. He sits down beside JT and runs a hand through the silky black hair.

"Your hair is getting too long again," he says softly.

JT mumbles something and curls up closer to him.

"What?" Cooper laughs.

JT peers up at him. "Cut it then."

"I know you love me but you really don't want me to cut your hair."

JT reaches out and touches Cooper's injured wrist with a gentle hand. "I do."

"What?"

JT leans up and kisses him lightningly fast on the lips. "Love you."

-

"It worked, didn't it?" Cam asks reasonably. Cooper notes that his hair is starting to grow out, the black roots and the white strands making Cam look like a strange clown.

Cooper keeps eating and doesn't justify that question with an answer.

When Cooper stays silent, Cam turns to Billy. "Right, Bills? The cactus totally worked. How else would Cronkster here have gotten better so quickly?" He finishes, sounding incredibly pleased with himself.

Cooper sets his cutlery down with more force than absolutely necessary. JT looks at him worriedly.

"My hand got better because the doctor did such a great job of fixing it. And the only reason that damned cactus is still in my apartment is because Jay actually spent the time to find it!" He takes a breath and smiles reassuringly at JT before getting to his feet. "If you don't colour your hair back, the bleach is going to sink into your skull and melt your brain."

Cooper walks away, feeling immensely satisfied with himself.

-

Cooper doesn't turn around when he hears someone on the balcony behind him.

"Cammy went to find a hairdresser," JT says, wrapping both arms around him leaning close.

Cooper laughs. "Of course he did."

"Cactus or not, I'm just glad you're better," JT murmurs softly.

Cooper turns his head and kisses JT on the cheek. "Me too, Jay."

 

***