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Let go and I'll hold you up

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Without really knowing it, a tall, broad, long greasy-haired man who wears stupidly attractive suits named Chris has wiggled his way into Quinn’s life. It started out innocent enough. The man walked into Bo-Vine Cafe one day and never walked out. He’s come in basically every day for about six months now, and Quinn really wishes he’d stop coming in. 

Well, not really cause Bo needs the business, but then again, he really does. It’s just not fair how Chris comes in with a morning filled voice and well fitted suit. It’s not fair on Quinn’s morning brain either. It’s just he’s kind of attractive, and it’s become a thing. 

Enough of a thing for Quinn to schedule his classes around being able to work every morning. It’s stupid, but it’s the few pleasures he has left in his life. It might be a bitch to wake up at the ass crack of dawn, but he’ll do it for a business man named Chris. 

Unless it’s today. Today he wishes he could have just stayed in bed and waste his day away, but sadly he can’t. Luckily Bo texted him last night when there was just a light dusting of snow on the ground to tell him that they’d be opening later than usual and that he didn’t have to come in until eight. So it might not be the ass crack of dawn, but it’s still seven am, three bus rides later, and dangerous. 

The roads are nothing but black ice. He’s halfway across the street when he finds himself sliding. The intersection has cars driving by and even more waiting for their lights to turn green. So he has to make it to the sidewalk before he becomes one sorry bastard. 

He’s got his laptop in his backpack, so he can’t afford to take a tumble. While the poor thing might be on its last legs, he has to get through his last two quarters before it craps out. Graduation is near, and his laptop just has to finish the race along with him. 

He’s so close, and he can just feel it. Graduation is near, and so is the sidewalk, but sadly one is closer, and that’s graduation. He coughs, then feels the pain of the payment before he even registers he’s fallen. 

It should be second nature to him at this point, but as he falls on his ass, he tries to break it with his hands. No matter how many times he was told as a kid not to try to break his fall, he still does it, and his right wrist is already feeling the repercussions. Fuck he can only hope it’s only his wrist. 

Gathering himself, he slowly tries to stand up, but the twinge of pain in his ankle sends him back down on the ice. This time falling on his back, not wanting to fuck up his other wrist. He’s got lattes to make, and he needs both of them for that. So his backpack takes the brunt of the force, and he hopes to anything holy that his laptop is okay. 

Looking around, the traffic light has turned yellow, and fuck the cars in front of him are getting ready to go. It might hurt his pride a little, but he does his best to scoot his ass across the slick city street. He gets as far as the yellow tactical paving before the cars start to fly past him. His ass might be cold and wet, and he might be sitting in dirty snow, but at least he’s not laid out in the middle of the street. 

Well, he may have spoken too soon as there is a pair of polished brown loafers standing in front of him. Looking up, he sees the pained face of his favorite well dressed customer, “You know, that was really pathetic to watch.” Chris laughs.

“Be an asshole after you help me up.” Quinn groans. Even as the asshole he is, god does the man look good as hell. The navy blue suit with a matching waistcoat is exactly what he needed today. He’d rather be fantasizing about being bent over the cafe's bar while making the guy’s disgusting coffee order, but he guesses this will do. 

Chris just shakes his head with a silent laugh, “Can you even stand?”

“Not sure.” His ankle is throbbing alone with his wrist. 

Chris stretches out a hand, and Quinn takes it. Pulling himself to his feet, he does his best to only put pressure on his right ankle. He wraps an arm around Chris while the man has a tight grip around his waist. Quinn tries not to think about the man’s arms around him in a different situation, and he fails. 

The man manages to move him more onto the sidewalk. Chris does most of the work, as the guy is nothing but solid mass, it’s easy for Quinn to be moved. Chris steadies him and loosens his grip, “Try to put some weight on your foot.”

So Quinn does and immediately regrets it. A sharp pains shots through his whole body, “Fuck.” 

“You think you can make it to my car?” Chris asks, taking hold of Quinn again.

And the thing is, Quinn sure he probably could, but with the tears slowly beginning to fill his eyes, he’s not sure if he even wants to try. His ankle fucking hurts, he’s going to be late for work, and he’s got a midterm in about six hours. He can’t afford to not be able to walk on his ankle, let alone not be able to use his right hand. It’s a good hand, his dominant hand, his coffee making hand.

“How far is your c-ar?” Quinn chokes as he attempts to put pressure on his foot again.

“Jesus Christ,” Chris sighs.

Quinn doesn't even get a warning before the arm wrapped around his waist gets tighter and around finds its way under his legs. The man straight up bridal lifts him without even looking winded. Jeez, what else can this man do with all that strength? He momentarily lets his mind wander to be pinned down but shakes it out when Chris starts to move. 

“Warn a guy next time.” Quinn squawks. 

“So there’s going to be a next time.” Chris winks, and Quinn is starting to believe that maybe he hit his head on the way down cause Chris isn’t being an asshole for once in his life.

Quinn does what is probably the best decision he’s made all day. He stays quiet as Chris carefully crunches through the snow. He’s not quite sure how the man isn’t struggling to one, carry him and two, not let them of them fall. He was having a hard time walking into the snow, so he can’t imagine what it’s like to be Chris. Maybe the loafers have better traction than his fucking Vans. 

It’s only a short walk to the guy's car. Chris was parked at one of the meters nearby. Carefully Chris lowers him into the car, and for the first time since he was picked up, he can finally breathe. The man jogs around to the driver's side and quickly starts the car, and turns up the heat.

He also clicks a few buttons, “Seat warmers.”

It takes everything in Quinn's power to not make the stupid, ‘heating up your snack’ joke, so he opts for, “Great, my ass is freezing.”

“Considering you fell on it. That doesn't surprise me.” Looking around, Chris pulls out of the spot, “Call Bo and tell him you’re not coming in.” Alright, demanding bastard. 

“I have to go to work.” He looks over at Chris, “Just drop me off, and you can get your shitty coffee.”

The man shakes his head, “Your ankle fucked, and your wrist is probably broken.”

“My wrist is fine.” Considering that it’s only throbbing under the skin, it’s probably fine. It might be starting to swell a little, but he’ll be fine.

“Move it.” Quinn rolls his eyes but does as he says. He starts to rotate his wrist, and okay yeah. He pulls it to his chest and holds it there. It fucking hurts like hell, “Check meet, mate.”

“Okay fine.” Quinn groans, not letting go of his wrist. 

“I’m taking you to urgent care.” 

“No!” Quinn shouts before starting coughing up a lung. Chris shot him wide eyes as it takes him a while to let it all out. He’s been like this for about two weeks now, and it’s not getting any better like he hoped. After a moment or two, he regains himself enough to say in a strained voice, “I’m fine.”

“Clearly,” Chris glares before looking back at the road.

The thing is, the guy is right, and Quinn knows it. He should go to urgent care, but that means calling his mom and most likely a one-way ticket out to see him. He could really go without it, but if it’s a trip to student health, then it’s only an explanation of, oh, I fell at work, and they require me to get looked over, “I can go on campus.”

The man nods, “That works for me.” 

Quinn pulls out his phone from his pocket and dials Bo’s number. It only takes a couple rings before his boss picks up, “Hey.”

“What do you need?” The man groans. He’s clearly fed up with something.

“Ugh, I fell.” he doesn’t really know what else to say.

Bo sighs, “Do you need me to get you?”

“No, but I’m going to the doctors to get it looked at.”

“Okay, that’s fine.”Bo pauses for a moment as there are some voices on the other end. It’s probably just Jake or Thatcher; the bakers have to be in before anyone else, “We are probably going to close early anyway.”

“Great.” Cool, so he’s not about to miss much then. “See ya.” He doesn’t even get a goodbye before Bo hangs up. 

He doesn’t even get a chance to lock his phone before Chris is saying, “Call the university.”

“I can just walk in.” This man is insufferable. It’s like he’s his mother or something, and even then, his mom would let him deal with it before she begins to fuss over him.

“Call.” His voice stern, which okay, kinda hot. Not even kinda. It’s low and almost mean, which should get him hot under the collar, but it definitely does. 

After a quick google search, Quinn hits dial. On the other end, the woman gets all his information from his name to student ID to what his problems are. She sounds so calm in what sounds like a busy office. He’s halfways through telling her about how he’s feeling and his pain levels when she says, “Well, our only appointment is at three. I’m really sorry.”

Fuck fuck. His ankle hurts like hell, and his wrist is much worse. It’s starting to get fat, and he knows what comes after that is the bruising. “Okay.” 

“Would you like me to make the appointment?” 

“Actually, I think I’ll just go to urgent care,” he sighs and looks over at Chris, who has a shit eating grin on his face; asshole.

“Would you like for me to look up where your insurance is taken?” The woman offers. Which bless her. He agrees, and she starts listing off all the options that takes his insurance. After getting off the phone with her, he gives Chris all the options before he settles on one a little bit on the outskirts of town. He figured it would be less busy. 

Chris has Quinn Google the directions, and while he does that, the man dicks with his center console. He messes around on the touch screen before hitting his contacts page and scrolling until he’s hovering around a few names, “Be good.” Which okay he’ll be dreaming about that later, “I’m calling my boss.”

So as the phone rings, Quinn looks out the window. As they travel from the heart of the business district towards the highway, the greener, it gets. Lush trees start to come into view even if they are still several miles away. 

It’s only a few rings later that the person on the other end picks up, “Hey Chris. What’s up?”

“Hey, Alex.” Quinn thinks he remembers the name from Chris having to pick up an order, but then again, Alex is a very generic name, “Just wanted to let you know I’m not sure if I’ll be coming in today.”

The man hums on the other end like he’s thinking over what Chris just said, “Why what happened.”

There’s a tickle in the back of Quinn’s throat, and he’s really trying not to cough. He’s trying so hard. The guy on the phone, and he’s not sure what lie he’s about to throw out, so his presence can’t be known.

The cough is choked off by Chris saying, “My boyfriend needs to be taken to the hospital after a nasty fall on some ice.” 

He looks over at Chris. The man had said it so calmly and so sure of himself. It’s like he’s said it a million times before. Like he’s said the word boyfriend over and over again when referring to Quinn. Like Chris knows Quinn is gay cause of the awkward conversation over his pride pin he has on his backpack a couple of months back. Chris told him he was gay as well, but like will they be able to get away with this. How much does his boss know about Chris? Has Chris has a boyfriend recently? Does Chris currently have a boyfriend? Is he seeing anyone? 

He’s not paying attention until Chris slams on the brakes and reaches an arm across Quinn’s chest to hold him back. In the process, he manages to jerk his wrist. He could have let out a loud fuck like Chris had even though he’s still on the phone with his boss, but the noise that leaves his mouth is a quiet whimper. It should have been missed in all the honking that Chris is doing, but it’s clearly not. 

After all the commotion, Chris grabs hold of Quinn's good hand and presses his lips to it. Which okay, that’s an unexpected amount of softness for a guy that looks like he justs five in one shower gel in the scent of manly musk or wood chips and cigars. Nevertheless, that will be added to the running of things that Quinn will be thinking about alone, preferable in a bed, but he’ll settle on a shower if need be. 

“Everything alright?” the man Alex asks.

“Fucking asshole, cut me off,” Chris shouts. 

The man still hasn’t let go of his hand. Even as angry as he is, he’s still thumbing lightly over the top of his hand. If Quinn had any gage for domesticity, then this would probably be it. Chris with one hand on the wheel and his other resting gently over his. 

“Alright.” Chris’s boss says, “I’ll let you go but remember the emails, I’ll be cc’ing you. This could be big for us.”

“Yeah, of course.” Chris looks over at Quinn and rolls his eyes. He’s got a smile on his face, “bye.” 

“The ema…” Chris hangs up before the man can even finish the sentence.

“I’ve been told about these fucking emails for weeks now.” Chris groans, “I’ve got better things to deal with.”

Quinn narrows his eyes, “What your boyfriend, the hospital, and apparently my nasty fall.”

“You want to go to the doctors or not.” Chris glares back before turning to look as he merges into the freeway. 

“Preferably, I’d like to go home.” Cause he really would. It’s barely about to be eight, and it feels like he’s lived a lifetime. 

Chris slowly wraps a hand around his wrist and squeezes tight, “Baby, I think we both know that’s not an option.” His words are smooth, and they warm the pit of his stomach. 

“Fuck you.” Quinn spits, getting Chris to remove his hands, and if the man asks, the whimper he lets out is from the pain in his other wrist. 

“Karma.” Chris laughs. 

Their conversation slips into a comfortable silence. Chris doesn’t bother to turn on the radio, but the sound of the cars driving by is enough. It fills the car enough. The more they drive, the more the throbbing in his wrist rises. He feels like he’s going to cry at the pain. 

He feels the tickle in his throat rise. He’d really like to stop coughing. It’s been over two weeks now since the cough has shown up and taken over his life. Some nights he can't fall asleep with copious amounts of nighttime cough medicine ruining through his body. 

Other days his throat is so sore that he couldn’t eat anything, only drink enough water and hot tea to fill him up. It’s a miserable life, but he hasn’t had the time to go to student health; school just keeps getting more intense. 

He figures it’s fine, though. Brock and Elias haven’t gotten sick yet. He even tested it, he drank out of Elias’ drink, and the guy is fine. Which means Brock is also fine since they practically live in each other's mouth these days. 

The first cough leaves his throat, then the next and the next, until his face is halfway into his sweatshirt. He’s scrunched up into himself as he tries to calm his body down. If this was even a couple hours ago, his knees would be right up against his chest as he tries to hide from the vicious acts of violence in his chest. 

He’s finally able to regain enough control to stop coughing. He reaches for his water bottle to soothe his throat but remembers he didn't fill it before leaving home. He was going to make some tea when he got to work, but clearly, he never got around to it. So he digs around in his pocket to dig out one of the cough drops from the handful he shoved in his pocket. 

Chris glances over to him with kind eyes, “Still haven’t kicked the cough?”

“No.” Quinn looks down at his shoes. He told Chris enough the other day when he had a coughing fit at the register. Bo keeps telling him to take a couple days off to get better, but he doesn't have the time, “I think it's worse.”

“You get any sleep last night.” The man sighs. 

Quinn shakes his head, “Downed some NyQuil and hoped for the best.”

“Quinn.” His voice stern. 

It’s not like he doesn’t know that it’s not good for him, but he’d rather suffer at this point, “I know.”

“You should get that checked out.”

“I know.”

“Healthy Quinn is a good Quinn.” Quinn glares at him even though Chris has his eyes on the road, “I’m sorry, just you look so miserable. The yesterday you said your throat hurt so bad that you could eat anything.”

“Please just don’t.” Chris isn’t his dad or, hell, his boyfriend. 

It gets quiet again as the flow of traffic has slowed to crawl. The freeway is always busy at this time, so Quinn takes the time to pull out his laptop. Doing his best to open his backpack, he pulls out his poor Chromebook. It’s seen better days, but a MacBook is a little out of his budget at this point. He doesn’t like the sound it makes when he opens it up. 

He’s fucked. More fucked than when he fell half an hour ago. Little pieces of glass fall out. The screen is shattered. Lines of broken glasses litter the screen. Closing it, he slides it back into his backpack. 

This really can’t be his fucking life. He’s got a busted laptop, wrist, ankle, and bank account. If he can’t go to work, he won’t get tips, and his paycheck will be shit. He has to worry about rent before a laptop. Fuck medical bills. Maybe if he begs his dad, he’ll help with those, but he knows he’ll be on his own for the rest. 

He’s been told enough times so. When he asked his parents for fifty bucks for rent when he got the flu last year, his mother said yes, of course, and his dad said no. It was his problem to fix. He’s the one that decided to move off-campus when his friends asked to get an apartment. His dad said that he made his bed, and now he’s got to lie in it.

Instinctively he goes to wipe his eyes with his right hand but winces at the slightest movement. Bringing his left hand to his eyes, he wipes away the tears with his sleeve. He’d rather do anything else than cry in front of Chris. 

Quickly wiping them away, he lowers his hand and pinches his thigh. He needs to get a grip of himself. He may be in pain, his laptop may be broken, and his life may be crumbling around him, but he will not cry in front of Chris. He’s not a child that cries at the drop of a hat anymore. He’s twenty-one and capable of controlling his emotions. 

A larger hand grabs hold of his. Chris intertwines their fingers, “A laptop can be fixed. You can’t be.” Looking over at the older man, gives him a soft smile before going back to the traffic in front of them, “It’s just you could have been seriously hurt.”

Quinn sighs, “I know.”

“I saw you laying there hurt.” The man’s voice is soft and sincere, “Kid, you’ve got to know how small you looked.”

This guy can’t be real. A teddy bear interior with a grizzly bear exterior. It’s just not fair; Chris isn’t his boyfriend. He hasn't taken him on any dates. Sure maybe Quinn is ninety-five percent sure Chris flirts with him while Quinn’s at the register or even when he’s behind the bar making Chris’ coffee, but this is different. This is the kind of softness someone reserves for their significant other, not a twenty-one-year-old mediocre barista. 

“Not sure what you’re into, but what boyfriend calls their boyfriend k-…”

Chris quickly cuts him off, “You see, I’m trying to be nice, and you say shit like that.” He lets go of Quinn’s hand as traffic starts to move faster. 

“Who said I wanted you to be nice to me.” It came out a lot flirtier than he wanted, but the way Chris's hands grip the steering wheel a little tighter is worth it. 

It takes a moment, but Chris says, “I think you like it when I’m nice to you.” He turns to smirks, “Isn’t that right, baby.”

Quinn burns under the words. The way they settle in his stomach. The way he’ll never forget how smooth the word baby comes out of his mouth. How he wishes to hear while under the man. Right in his ear as Chris…A coughing fit breaks of his thoughts and probably for the better. 

It goes silent between them again. The man drives down the freeway for a few miles before merging to get off at the exit. The urgent care isn’t far from the exit, only another five minutes or so. 

Pulling into the parking lot, Chris says he’ll get Quinn a wheelchair. Like hell, he will. After fighting Chris for a couple minutes, the guy gives up and wraps an arm around him, letting him limp into the building. His pride has already been bruised from falling in a busy intersection, so he’s not about to be wheeled into the building by Chris. He’s got a line he’s not about to cross even though his ankle hurts like hell. 

It’s only a short walk down a hallway before he finds himself at the reception desk. Chris sticks with him as a crutch as Quinn gives the receptionist all his information and what’s he’s in for. It doesn't take long for the man to send him to a seat, and explaining it will be about fifteen to thirty minutes before a doctor can see him. 

They find the nearest seats and settle in. There are not many people in the waiting room. There’s an elderly man with a bandage wrapped around his hand with a woman right next to him; he’s assuming his wife. Then a mother and her two children who are both coughing loudly. Then a couple of other people sitting alone. So he believes the man when he says it’s only going to be a short wait. 

Quinn’s not sure what processes him to fill the silence, but he offers, “I hate the doctors.”

The older man looks up from where he was scrolling through his phone, “Why?”

Quinn shrugs with an awkward turn at the corner of his mouth, “I just do.”

“Never liked them as a kid?”

“Not really.” In actuality, he hated them. 

He’d kick and scream as a child when his mom took him to the doctors. It got to the point where she’d to tell him they were going for ice cream instead of the doctor. She’d always take him after because she felt bad for lying to him, but it’s what got him to his yearly check-ups from the age of five to twelve. 

Chris raises an eyebrow, so Quinn continues, “I always had to pretend for my brothers, but like it didn’t work. My youngest brother Luke would make fun of me when he was like six cause I still had to be bribed with suckers. So it’s not a shock that I made my mom come in with me until I went off to college. I think if she was here, I’d have her come in. She would bribe me...”

He doesn't realize he’s babbling until Chris lifts his chin, “It’s okay to be scared.”

“I’m twenty-one years old, and the doctor still scares me,” Quinn groans.

“And thirty-one, and I hate getting my blood drawn.”

“That’s normal, though.” Who doesn't hate that shit?

Chris takes hold of his hand, “It’s okay, baby, I’m right here.”

And that one simple word calms him. It warms him. Makes him feel safe. Maybe it’s just Chris doing it to be an asshole. Maybe he realizes that it affects him in several ways, so he’s just being a dick about it. But then again, maybe he’s not because Chris leans in and presses a kiss to his temple. 

Looking at the man, his face is soft. Nothing behind it. He doesn't drop his hand either. He leaves their fingers intertwined between them. It’s nice, and Quinn will take as much as he can get of it.

“I’m going to need to call my mom,” Quinn says. 

“Yeah.”Chris gives a short nod, “After, though.”

Quinn nods.“Yeah, after.” It grows quiet again, and for once, he wants to actively fill it, “You know you don’t need to stay here with me.”

“What kind of boyfriend would I be if I left.” The man smirks.

“Chris.” He doesn't want him to say shit he doesn't mean. It will kill him when this is over, and he has to go back to just being a regular customer at the cafe.  “Seriously.”

“I can't leave you.” Chris' voice is not stern, but not all that soft either. Like he’s trying to get a point across, “I won’t.”

“Thank you.” Quinn smiles, and Chris places a kiss on his hair. 

The man goes back to his phone, and Quinn lets him. No matter how much he wants, Chris to just say something he’s not going to force him. So he focuses on Chris’s hand in his and not coughing. He doesn't want to ruin this moment with a cough. 

It will make it all too real. He’s here at an urgent care in pain with the guy he’s been crushing over for months. His hand is being held by a man in a navy suit and dress shoes. People like him don’t get this. He doesn’t get a man like Chris in life. He gets a questionable frat boy that dresses like he needs to do laundry. 

He gets McDonald's and a quick fuck. He doesn’t get even the slightest possibility of a candlelit dinner at a fancy restaurant. He might get the generous tips from guys that could offer that, but he’s not the one that sits across the table from them. He’s the one that would be serving them. 

The door leading to the medical rooms opens, and a nurse calls for “Quintin Hughes.” She’s got a wheelchair, and this time Quinn knows he can’t fight it. 

Standing, the woman walks his way. Taking a seat, he looks up at Chris, “Quinn asks about your cough.” There must be something flashing like a, please help me sign cause Chris asks, “Actually, I was wondering if I could possibly go back with him?”

The nurse looks between them, “That’s up to him.” 

If Quinn could jump up and down, he would, “Yeah, that’s fine.”

“And you are?” The woman asks. 

“The concerned boyfriend.” That little shit, “Chris.”

Heading to the back, they stop to take a few measurements. The woman asks if he can stand, and he thinks he can get through the pain, so he does. The woman quickly takes his height, and Quinn’s going to blame the fact that he can’t stand as straight as he’d like because he is not 5’8”; he’s 5’10”. They then quickly get his weight before the nurse lets him sit back down and runs off to grab something.

It gives Chris the opportunity to lean in to whisper into his ear, “Guess I need to start feeding you more.”

Asshole, “You’d have to take me out first.”

“Been trying to take you out for months now, and that’s all it takes.”

The words are like fire under his skin, but he doesn't even get the chance to respond as the woman comes back. He’s wheeled down the hallway and into a room. Chris helps him transfer to the examination bed before taking a seat in a chair by the door. The nurse asks him a few more questions, takes his blood pressure and his temperature before leaving with the explanation of the doctor will be in soon. 

He tries to push himself back on the bed in the process, putting pressure on his wrist. Holy fuck does it hurt. Trying to wipe the tears away before Chris can see, but he fails as the man gets up to slot himself between Quinn's legs. 

Chris pulls him close to his chest. He runs a hand along his back, “What’s wrong?”

“My fucking wrist, asshole,” Quinn mumbles into his chest.

“I know, I know. I’m so sorry,” Chris coos.

“It fucking hurts so bad.”Quinn has to push the man back as he feels a cough rise in his throat. The man gives him his space to tell the coughs out. Once he’s finished, Chris pulls him close, “You don’t have to hold me. You’re going to get sick.”

“It’s okay, baby.” Chris pulls back to cup his face in his hands. They’re warm on his jaw, “I’ve enough sick leave.” 

“Lucky you.” Quinn pouts.

“Don’t pout.” Chris leans in to kiss his forehead. It’s soft, just a press of his lips. Pulling back, his eyes are soft, “The doctor will take good care of you.”

What’s he’d give to be held like this for the rest of the day, but sadly when this is over, he’ll go back to his apartment alone. His apartment that filled with a happy couple. Both his roommates don’t have class or work today, those lucky assholes. He had work and class and oh no, “Fuck fuck.”

“Am I hurting you?” Chris eyes scanning his face.

“No, my midterm.” He’s screwed. “I need to email my professor.”

“I’ll do it for you.”

Quinn just nods. He can't believe this. He wouldn’t even be able to write the essay questions, “You know, of course, it had to be my dominant hand.”

“I’m sorry.” Chris gently brings the right hand to his face. He presses a kiss to the back of his and then his knuckles. Then carefully turns his hand over to press his lips, thin skin covering his pulse. He’s doing all of this even when he’s hand and wrist is looking rather ugly.

Quinn smirks to himself, “Would it be a bad time to say that it’s the hand that I…” he makes a jerking motion with his other hand.

“Well, in that case,” Chris plants a big kiss in the middle palm and mumbles against it, “we need to get the doctor in here.”

“Fuck off.” Quinn laughs a little, “This was the worst time to fucking fall.” It really is. He’s in the middle of midterm season. He’s got papers and projects due. He’s completely and utterly fucked, “My laptop is broken, I’m missing a midterm, I’ve got a project to do, and now I won’t be able to work.” 

Chris wipes at the tears he didn’t even know were falling down his face, “Oh sweetheart.” 

And it fucking hurt cause it sounds like Chris is saying everything behind the pet name. He makes it sound like it’s everything when Quinn knows it’s nothing, “Are you just doing that to be a dick,” Quinn tries to move out of his grip, but Chris holds him steady, “cause if you are, you can fuck off.”

“And if I’m not?” Chris' mouth is turned up in a smirk.

Quin smiles. This is everything he wanted, “Then you may continue.”

Chris smiles so wide and leans in to kiss his forehead again, then his cheek, then his other cheek. It’s so sweet and soft. With every warm press of his lip, the more Quinn feels like maybe everything will be okay. Maybe he can get what he wants. 

“Don’t worry about your laptop. We can get that fixed,” Chris says with a smile.

“I can’t afford that.” Cause he can’t. Chris might give him generous types at work, but not enough to cover the cost of his laptop, “Hell I’m not going to be able to afford this.”

“Can a concerned boyfriend help?” The man raises an eyebrow.

“No.” He’s not about to have Chris pay for this. He’s done more than enough for him at this point. 

“Can I give tips?” Chris smiles wide. 

“No,” Quinn says with the shake of his head.

“What can I give?” He sounds so sincere and Quinn isn’t about to deny that.

So he’s pushing his luck, “Kisses?”

Chris starts kissing all over his face. Pressing his lips to his cheeks, his forehead, his temples, but never close to his mouth. Ugh, what he’d give. With the man’s hands on his hips, he pulls Quinn a little bit closer, never stopping his kisses, and he can't help but giggle at each touch.

It makes him forget where he is. Right now, here’s not in urgent care, but he’s in Chris' arms. It’s all that matters. The man pulls back and smiles down at him, “There’s that beautiful smile.”

There’s a knock at the door. Both their heads snap over as the nurse from before is walking in. She looks so embarrassed, like she caught them doing something bad, “Sorry to interrupt.”

Chris steps away from Quinn to sit back in the chair by the door. He can’t help but whimper at the loss because suddenly he’s back in urgent care, and his body fucking hurts. 

She places a clipboard on the desk in the corner of the room, “I just wanted to let yall know that the doctor will be seeing you.” Quinn just nods.

Chris asks the nurse, “Is there anything that can be done about the pain?” It’s like he knows all the pain has returned.

“Well, Quinn, has your pain levels gone up since I’ve checked in.” Quinn nods, “Alright, wrist pain one to ten.”

“Six maybe.” Before, he said it was like a six, but since then, it’s definitely gone up.

Chris's voice is stern, “Quinn.”

“Fine seven eight.” Quinn doesn't roll his eyes even though he really wants to.

“Okay.” She marks it down on the clipboard,“Ankle.”

“Six and a half.” It comes out more like a question than anything. 

“Okay.” The woman notes that as well, “Right now, we can’t really do anything until the doctor checks everything out, but after that, I’m sure we can get you something.”

“Thank you,” Quinn says. 

There’s another knock at the door. It’s an older man. He kind of looks like Papa Smurf, “Perfect timing Dr. Johnson.”

The older man nods while the nurse leaves. She closes the door behind them. 

“Mr. Hughes,” he nods at him, “And you are what. Brother, friend, uncle…”

“The boyfriend, Chris.” 

“Oh, I see.” Quinn is not sure if it’s displeasure in his voice or something else, “Seeing here that you're twenty-one, Quintin. Someone your age doesn’t need a chaperone.” 

He looks over at Chris before saying, “I’m not really a huge fan of the doctors.”

“So you had to have moral support?” Okay, right about now, he really wishes he could have gone to student health. They probably wouldn’t have let Chris come back, but at least they would have tried to ease his discomfort. They’ve done it before with cheer tones. 

“Is there a problem with that?” Chris pipes up.

“No.” The man shakes his head, “Just nevermind that. How about we check you over.” Quinn nods, “So you have a bit of a tumble.”

“Yeah, I was on my way to work. I was in the middle of an intersection and slipped on some black ice.”

“Your boyfriend couldn’t take you to work,” There’s heat behind the word boyfriend.

Chris desperately looks like he wants to say something. “We don’t work near each other.” Quinn lies. The guy works down the street, but this doctor will never know that. He’ll also never know that Chris isn’t his boyfriend. 

“I see.” The doctor hums, “What hurts?”

“My wrist and ankle.” Chris clears his throat like he’s trying to remind him of his cough, “And I’ve been coughing recently. Not related to the fall, though.”

“Alright.” The man scans the papers on the clipboard, “Your file says that you smoke,” He says, looking up, “Socially or every day.”

“Neither really. On occasion, I guess.” It’s true. He hardly smokes weed anymore, and he’s not really sure the last time he smoked a cigarette, maybe a month or so ago. 

“Marijauna or cigarettes.”

“Both.” He’s learned to be honest even when his mom was in the room. It was some awkward conversation, but after the whole safe sex thing, it was fine. 

“Okay.” The man clicks his tongue, “I’d recommend to try quieting and then see about the cough.”

“I don’t think it’s from smoking.” Ugh, he knows what smoking cough is like, and it isn’t this. “Like my chest is congested, and some nights it’s hard to fall asleep cause I can't stop coughing.”

He looks over to Chris, “Do you have this issue?”

“What.” Chris looks surprised, “No.”

“Considering your boyfriend hasn’t contracted anything, it’s most likely not an illness.” What the fuck. What thee actual fuck, “It’s most likely a side effect of smoking.”

“So that’s all?” Quinn asks, “I’ve not been feeling well. Weak, and sometimes I have a runny nose.”

The man visibly rolls his eyes, “How often do you kiss your boyfriend?”

“What?” Quinns was absolutely shocked by the question, “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”

“Considering that you believe that you are sick and your boyfriend hasn’t contracted anything, it seems to be.” Okay, he does not like this doctor. He sounds like a condensation dick, “Have you been intimate with anyone else?”

“No.” Quinn gets a little quiet. Chris might be his fake boyfriend, but he still doesn't exactly want him to know this type of shit, “Not for several months.”

“Smoking then.” The man sounds so matter of fact. 

“Aren’t you going to check him over?” Looking over at Chris, he looks almost angry. 

“Are you the doctor?” The doctor glares at Chris.

“No sir, but…”

The doctor cuts him off, “Then don’t unless you want to sit in the waiting room. You aren’t obligated to be in here.”

“Sir, it’s just his coughing is really bad. There’s night where he coughs so hard, he throws up. Other days he can’t eat anything because his throat hurts so bad. The other day he had a fever. So something is clearly not okay with him.” He told Chris all those things yesterday. He remembered. 

“Sounds like mono, but if you don’t have it, then it’s probably nothing. Just smoking.”

Quinn has had enough, “Can I get a different doctor?”

“What did you say?” The man looks so shocked.

“Can I get a different doctor?” he asks again. His eyes are beginning to fill with tears. He’s never had this happen to him before. Even when he was a teen and was thrashing around when a nurse was giving him shots. 

The man huffs, “Surely.”

The doctor opens the door and practically slams it shut. Quinn doesn’t even stop himself from holding back his anger. He lets the tears roll down his face. Hot and burying his vision. He wants to go home and call under the covers. He wants to bury himself and come out when all his ailments are healed. 

Chris is in front of him, pulling close. Quinn buries himself in the crock of Chris's neck. “Oh, sweetheart, I’m so sorry.” He thumbs the back of his neck, “He was such a dick.” Quinn chokes on a sob, “I’m so proud of you for sticking up for yourself.”

Quinn finds himself saying mid sob, “You're not such a bad boyfriend.”

“Really now.” The amusement in his voice. The man lifts Quinn’s head to look at him, “Can I get that in writing?”

Quinn laughs out a few more tears. Chris kisses his tears eyes one at a time, “Yeah, you're actually really good at the whole comforting shit.”

“Yeah?”

“Don’t let it go to your head,” Quinn laughs.

“But a very cute guy just told me I'm good at boyfriending.” Chris smiles wide.

“Boyfriending,” Quinn shakes his head, “And you're the one with a completed degree.”

Chris laughs and laughs. It warms Quinn’s heart to hear him laugh like this. He could go his whole life hearing that laughs and never get tired of it, “I’ve actually got two points five degrees, but who’s counting.”

“Apparently, that doctor,” Quinn smirks.

“That ass,” Chris swears, “Do you think he would have combusted if I kissed you.”

“I would liked to of seen it.”

The man raises an eyebrow, “Then.”

“You are not kissing me in a doctor's office.” Chris glares at him, “You know what I mean.”

Chris lifts his chine, “I’ll wine and dine you, sweetheart.”

“You know my idea of wine and dining is Chipotle and a pack of Miller Lite.” And the Miller Lite is being generous. 

Chris laughs and shakes his head, “Then let me show you what you deserve.”

“Sugar daddy turned boyfriend,” Quinn smiles. “Never would have thought.”

“Don’t sugar daddies get benefits? All my tips got was a whiny bitch and a shitty cup of coffee.” That asshole, the coffee at Bo’s cafe isn’t shitty. Hell, for how much a cup costs, it shouldn’t be shitty. 

“If the coffee is shitty, why do you come?” 

“Cause of the whiny bitch.” Chris leans in and presses a quick kiss to the corner of his mouth. 

Quinn feels like he’s in hell for how hot he is. Chris must notice cause he does it to the other side. Pulling back, Quinn gives his shake of the head, “Yeah, right.”

Chris thumbs the back of his neck, “Wine and dine, baybe.”

“Yeah, yeah. Save your charm for later.” He already knows Chris will come back with some smart ass response, so he continues, “Help me send an email to my professor.”

Chris hops up on the examination table, ripping more of the paper on it, “Do I need to pull your phone out of your pocket?”

“Don’t tempt me with a good time,” Quinn smirks.

“I’ll show you a good time.”

“Kick rocks, old man.”

Someone clears their throat, “Sorry to interrupt this very cute banter, but someone needs to be seen about a cough and wrist and ankle.” The woman chuckles to herself, “Oh my!”

The woman looks friendly. Probably about the same age as the last. Long greying hair with glasses hanging around her neck on one of those string things. 

“You must be Quintin.” She looks at him then Chris, “And you are?”

“The boyfriend.”

“Ah,” She says with a click of her mouth, “All things considered thought you were the husband.”

Chris smiles at Quinn, and this doctor must think it sincere, but Quinn knows he’s just that kind of an ass, “Got to let him finish school first, then we’ll see.”

“Charming.” She smiles, “But charming still has to sit in the corner.”

Quinn likes her.

Just like that, she gets to check him out. Her first consensus is that his wrist and ankle are probably broken; he’s got to go to the X-Ray lab to confirm that. While they wait for him to be wheeled down there, she checks out his lungs and throat. 

The rapid strep test comes back negative. She orders for a mono test, which she’s certain he doesn't have cause all his symptoms aren’t consistent with mono. She does it to be safe and prescribed a medication to help with his undiagnosable lung infection when she’s sure he doesn't have mono. The medication is only a week long course, and she said if it doesn't clear up by then, he’ll have to come back. 

They are about ready for him to be sent to X-Ray when the woman says, “If the wrist and ankle are broken like I highly believe they are, I’d recommend waiting to engage in any sexual activity.”

Quinn feels like his body bursts into flames. He doesn't even say anything. It’s Chris that does, “I’ll make sure of that.” That fucker.

Once he’s done with the X-Ray, he’s taken by to see a different doctor. His wrist and ankle are broken. Luckily his ankle isn’t as severe as his wrist. It’s only a hairline fracture, which everything considered is a blessing. He gets a splint for both. While he won’t need a boot for his ankle but he’ll have to schedule an appointment when the swelling goes down on his wrist to get it placed in a cast. 

It’s past noon by the time he gets out of the doctors and into a CVS to pick up his painkillers and antibiotics. Chris had emailed his professor when he was getting his X-Rays, so while being wheeled around the store with a borrowed wheelchair, he gets an email back. His professor wishes him the best and tells him he can stop by his office later in the week to take the test then. 

It doesn't take long for the medicine to be available. When Quinn isn’t paying attention, Chris pulls out his card to pay for it. Quinn pays him back in car with a kiss on the cheek. There’s a faint blush running across the man’s face when he pulls back. So yeah, he’ll be doing it again. 

Quinn half expects Chris to dump him at home for Elias and Brock to deal with, but the man helps him up the one flight of stairs and stays with him. Chris makes him lunch, helps him get comfortable on the couch, and sits with him while he talks to his mom. When his mom asks if he’s got someone to look after him, he looks over at Chris and tells her he does. Cause he knows Chris will. 

 

---

 

It’s a week and a half later, and Chris wanted to take him out for Valentine's day now that Quinn’s infection is gone. His wrist was set in a cast on Friday, and his ankle will be in the split for a few more weeks, so Quinn refused to enter a nice restaurant like that. So Chris picks him up and takes him to his downtown apartment. 

He’s sat in the living room with a glass of wine while Chris preps dinner. The man has set up candles on the coffee table for their dinner. He can't help, but take a picture and send it to his roommates. They are out on their own date at some restaurant Quinn has never heard of. He promised them that he’d try to stay at Chris as long as he could to give them some privacy. Even if he’s got to sit in a twenty-four-hour diner after Chris drops him off, he will; he doesn't want to hear any of their evening. 

They’ve finished dinner with a movie on in the background. Quinn has his head rested in Chris’s lap with his foot elevated on a pillow. The man is carding his fingers through his hair. Neither of them is paying much attention to the action movie on the TV in front of them. 

He doesn't expect Chris to say, “I got something for you.”

He didn’t get Chris anything. The man had only just taken him out to lunch earlier in the week, so he really didn’t expect it. Chris grabs a little gift bag from beside the couch. Quinn sits up on his elbows enough to look into the bag resting on his lap. 

“Open it,” Chris says.

Looking up at the man, “But I didn’t get you anything, and what I can give isn’t doctor recommended.” He smirks, just to be a dick. 

Chris smirks right back, “Baby, doesn’t mean I couldn’t give you...”

“Please don’t finish that statement, or I will combust.” Chris lets out a full belly laugh, “Don’t you fucking dare.”

“I won’t.” The man swipes a thumb along his bottom lip, and it takes everything for Quinn not to pull it into his mouth. He’s a dick, but not that much of a dick, “I mean, I’d let you combust in a different way.” Now he wishes he was that much of a dick.

Quinn cuts him off, “Do you want me to leave or.”

“No, open the fuckin gift.”

Quinn flips him off but does as he’s told. Looking into the bag, he pulls out the card cause the other thing is wrapped. It’s a generic Valentine's card, but what falls out is a Chipotle gift card. What an asshole, a thoughtful asshole, but an asshole nevertheless. He grabs the wrapped gift. Opening it, it’s a can of Miller fucking Lite. 

He puts them both back in the bag and sets it on the floor. He reaches up and wraps Chris by the front of his shirt.“Come here, you fucking asshole.” 

He pulls him down enough for their lips to connect. Chris was right when he said he’s wine and dine him.