Ben groans, slumping back in his chair, making it squeak.
“What’ve you got for us tonight, Archie?” Sammy asks, giving Ben a side-eyed glare hard enough to be heard over the radio waves.
“You boys remember back when I called up the station about Tim Jensen? Or I suppose it was Robo-Tim, not that we knew that at the time.”
“Yes, Archie, we remember. What about it?”
“Well,” Archie hesitates, rare for him. “I’ve got another naked man here!”
“Jack-in-the-Box Jesus,” Ben sighs. “What is it about your place and naked men, Archie?”
“I don’t know, boys!” Archie exclaims. “It must just be my…”
“Never mind!” Ben cuts in. “Forget I asked!”
“Suit yourself,” Archie huffed. “Anyways, I’ve got another naked man up out here.”
“And you’re complaining because…?”
“Sammy!” Ben audibly smacks his friend’s arm.
“This one’s taken, I’m afraid,” Archie said, voice long-suffering. “Literally has someone else’s name tattooed on his ass.”
“You okay over there, Sammy?” Ben asked. “You literally just went white as a sheet.”
“What’s it look like, Archie? Sammy asked. “The tattoo.”
“It’s this little heart with an arrow stickin’ through it,” Archie said. “Letter S right smack dab in the middle of his left asscheek.”
“It,” Sammy chokes on his breath. “It’s, yeah.”
“Shit, okay. I’ve got a best-of ready to go, you wanna call the girls?”
“Yeah,” Sammy fumbled around. “Yeah, you…” The rest of whatever he was going to say is cut off by the start of a best-of tape.
Sammy is barely able to keep his feet under him, dashing through the doors of the hospital. The only thing keeping him upright is Ben’s hand on his arm.
“You’ve got this,” he said, sending Sammy to gather himself in one of the chairs that made up the waiting room while he went to talk to one of the nurses at the desk.
He came back a few minutes later, hauling Sammy up by the arm. “Got his room number, let’s go.”
Sammy followed, barely even thinking beyond that. He startled out of it when Ben stopped in front of a door.
“This is us,” he said. “You want me to come in?”
“Yeah,” Sammy said, voice scarily quiet. “Please?”
“I’ve got you, man,” Ben clapped him on the arm. “Let’s go.”
Sammy pushed the door open, leading the way this time.
“Sammy?” the man in the bed looked surprised to see him in the doorway. “What’re you doing here?”
“I...I live here now, Jack,” Sammy said, sitting in the chair next to the bed. “Came here looking for you.”
“How long have I been gone?”
“It...it’s been a few years, Jack.”
*“Damn it,” Jack glared at the IV stuck in his arm. “Get over here, Stevens, you need a hug and the nurse already threatened me with straps if I try to get out of this bed.”
Sammy laughed, the sound relieved and just a little wet as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed so that Jack could pull him in for a hug.
“Who’s the pipsqueak in the corner?” Jack whispered into Sammy’s ear.
Sammy laughed, “Ben, get over here.”
Ben made his way to stand next to Sammy. “Hey,” he waved awkwardly.
“This is Ben Arnold,” Sammy said, “He’s my broadcast partner, out at King Falls AM.”
“You are like a magnet for radio work, aren’t you?” Jack laughed. “Just find it wherever you go, don’t you Stevens?”
“Shut up,” Sammy laughed, shoving at Jack. “Asshole.”
“You know you love me.”
“I really do,” Sammy sighed. “Guess that means I’m screwed.”