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A Car Crash Gone Right

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Ray crossed the street, heading home on autopilot. It had been kind of a shit day. It had started off with an 8 AM class that he nearly slept through despite the fact that he really needed to pay attention because the test was next class and he was more than struggling. It was immediately followed another class, this one with a professor who must think they have all the free time in the world considering the sheer quantity off work they were assigned on top of the paper due by the end of next week. Next came skipping lunch because he was nearly late to his shitty job at GameStop, wherein he dealt with difficult customer after difficult customer, and was rewarded with a lecture from his boss for no real reason.

All in all, things were not going so great that day. Ray consoled himself with the fact that today was Friday, and he could bunker down in a pile of blankets on his couch in his shitty apartment and play video games until 5 in the morning.

Lost in his own misery, ray didn’t really pay attention to his surroundings. The bustle of the city was all background noise, as was the car horn that was getting closer and the screech of breaks. The sudden impact, however, managed to catch his attention.

Ray’s breath was knocked right out of him as pain blossomed on his side. His feet flew out from under him while the street raced upwards. His head hit the ground hard and his vision swam. There was shouting and honking around him, but it all seemed so distant, like he was in a tunnel.

A shape kneeled down next to him and all Ray could make out for sure was a pair of blue eyes blown wide in panic. A deep voice was asking him something but he couldn’t understand what it was. The edges of his vision were fading to darkness and Ray struggled to stay awake as he felt himself be moved, but the idea of just closing his eyes and blocking it all out entered his head and was simply much too appealing to ignore.

When Ray opened his eyes again, he was staring up at a white ceiling. He looked around and found himself in a strange apartment. Ray quickly shot up, immediately regretting the action as his head throbbed and he became nauseous. A bag of half melted ice slid off his head and into his lap, next to another bag he’d displaced that was lying on his side.

Ray gingerly lifted his shirt up and cringed at the sight of a large, purple spot spread across his sore right side, just under his ribs and above his hip bone. What the fuck happened? He searched around a bit and found the familiar shape of his glasses sitting near him on a coffee table. Putting them on, he noted a long crack in the left lens and looked around more as the apartment came into focus.

It was neat place, nicer than Ray’s and definitely bigger (then again so were most closets). There were a few normal enough decorations and a very nice looking TV with an enviable quantity of video games stacked more or less neatly on a bookshelf. Ray was laying outstretched on a rather used but comfortable sofa, while across from him sat an armchair with a man asleep in it.

Oh. Ray probably should have noticed the guy before the games. Priorities though, right? There was something vaguely familiar about the man slumped in the arm chair. He had sandy blonde hair that looked soft and fell in a very Disney prince fashion, and his beard was short and close shaven on his chiseled jaw. The man was clearly tall and looked muscular, though not obnoxiously so. His chest rose gently as he slept and Ray couldn’t help but be calmed slightly by the sight.

Ray took stock of his situation. He was injured and alone with an oddly handsome stranger, felt like death, and didn’t know where he was. He checked his pockets and found he still had his wallet and phone, but the phone was dead and the screen was cracked in a few places. Ray decided that the best idea would be to just leave before the hot guy woke up, and figure the rest out after he was away from the danger.

Ray moved the makeshift ice packs off his lap and quickly got to his feet. He was then reminded of why sitting up was such a pain by a heavy wave of nausea hit him, followed by a sharp pain from his side, making him cry out. Ray fell back onto the couch, which just made the pain and dizziness even worse and forced another pained noise from him.

“Oh shit! You shouldn’t be moving!” A deep voice said suddenly, breaking through Ray’s pain. Fighting to see through the pained tears pricking at his eyes and the crack in his glasses, Ray’s breath hitched at the now standing figure before him.

Apparently he had been loud enough to wake the stranger up. This was it, time for the mystery man to reveal he was some sort of psycho killer or something. Ray waited for the man to latch his hands around Ray’s throat, and jumped when the man knelt down next to him.

“Hey, hey, you need to calm down there, your head got knocked around pretty bad.” The man said, reaching toward Ray, but hesitating when Ray flinched again. The man looked at Ray’s face with a questioning look, only to turn around and look for something when he saw how pale Ray had gotten. He found a bucket and placed it in front of Ray, rubbing the injured man’s back soothingly as Ray tossed his metaphorical lunch.

When he was through, the man took the bucket and left, coming back a minute or two later with a cleaned out bucket, some crackers and a water bottle. Placing the items aside, the man knelt down next to Ray again, gently placing a hand on his shoulder to steady the wobbling man.

“How are you feeling?” He asked, trying to meet Ray’s slightly glazed over eyes.

“Like I got hit by a fucking car or something.” Ray answered, cursing himself for leaning into the man’s touch.

The man chuckled lightly, “Well, you’re not wrong.”

“Wait what?” Ray snapped his head toward the man, causing another bout of dizziness, though not nearly as bad.

“Yeah, sorry about that.” The man replied, looking everywhere but Ray, “I had a green light and you just popped out of nowhere. I tried to stop, but I may have sort of kind of run you over a bit?”

Ray looked at the man shocked, the two finally locking eyes when the man looked back to Ray with a sheepish smile. Ray finally realized where he had seen this guy before, or rather those blue eyes. This guy probably saved his life.

A tiny voice in Ray’s head said something about how cute this guy’s little smile was and how nice it’d be to just lean forward a little bit and press their lips… nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. Not happening. Warning: that would be fucked up. Prince charming here was the one who ran him over in the first place anyway.

“You hit me with your car and then kidnapped me?” Ray asked incredulously, “At least ask me out on a date first!” Why Ray felt so compelled to add that last part he had no idea, but he really wanted to punch himself in the face for it.

“Sorry! I just kind of freaked out! You weren’t hurt too badly, but I couldn’t just leave you in the street like that.” The man defended, a little blush spreading across his face. Ray’s agitation calmed slightly before flaring back up, this just wasn’t fair! How could this guy manage to get any cuter?

Ray pushed the thought to the farthest reaches of his mind; he’d dwell on the attractiveness of the man after making sure he wasn’t about to be murdered.

“Fine,” Ray said, allowing the man his point, “So where am I and who exactly are you?”

“Oh, right! Sorry. I’m Ryan, you’re in my apartment right now.” The man, now Ryan, held his hand out to Ray.

“I’m Ray,” Ray said, taking Ryan’s hand in a short shake before drawing in on himself.

Ryan grabbed the water bottle he had brought, opened it, and handed it to Ray, “Here, drink this.” Ray took the bottle and slowly started to sip at it. Ryan got the crackers from the table and sat down next to Ray, keeping a respectful distance, though quickly broaching the space when Ray wavered where he sat.

“Ugh, this is just my fucking luck,” Ray groaned, taking a cracker when Ryan held one out to him and nibbling at it, “Not even ganna lie, getting hit is honestly just the icing on the cake of a day I’ve been having. Really should have gone cakeless.”

“How is getting hit by a moving vehicle not the worst part of your day?” Ryan asked, snorting a laugh.

So Ray told Ryan, a complete and total stranger who ran him over with his car, about his shitty day, which somehow lead into an avid conversation about anything and everything. Ray decided that if this guy wanted to kill him he probably would have by now. As they talked, Ray forgot about his nausea and pain.

Ray learned a few things about Ryan: he was an animator for some advertising firm, he was a gigantic nerd who loved video games just as much as Ray did, and he and Ray got into many healthy but heated debates about largely unimportant topics (“I’m telling you! The uniform “Captain” Krunch wears isn’t actually a naval captain’s uniform!”).

Ray also learned that Ryan had a really nice laugh that rumbled through his whole body, his eyes lit up when he talked about his latest project, and Ryan somehow radiated heat, which was nice since the Puerto Rican was always so cold. At some point Ray ended up basically in Ryan’s lap, laughing at something one of them had said. He cringed when he laughed so hard his side hurt.

Ryan frowned and rubbed Ray’s good side soothingly and it occurred to Ray that he really probably shouldn’t have warmed up to this random guy so fucking quickly. Like, Ryan was cool and Ray was absolutely positive he had a crush on the man but they had met each other literal hours ago and maybe he shouldn’t be nearly as okay with leaning into Ryan’s touch as he was. Still, Ryan was nice and warm and soft in all the right ways, and he never tried anything, only touching Ray in ways the younger had approved of and immediately backing off when Ray froze up or flinched.

Ryan glanced at the time and was amazed that it was just past 3 AM. “Shit, you should really get some rest. You should probably stay the night – if you want that is! Though you’ll have to settle for the couch. If not, I can totally drive you wherever you live.”

Ray looked sleepily up at Ryan, only now realizing how tired and drained he felt. He shouldn’t stay at some stranger’s house while he had a bad head injury, but he was too tired to really bother to move and he was pretty sure being in a car would reawaken the nausea that was finally subsiding.

“Mmmm, I’ll just sleep on the couch, if that’s okay with you. Besides, I’m not sure I should be in a car with a guy who has a history of accidents.” Ray teased.

“Hey! You are the first person who I’ve hit with my car!”

“Does that mean there are other people who you’ve hit with other people’s cars?” Ray mused.

“There is not a single person alive who can claim that I have,” Ryan replied just a little bit too quickly.

“Dude, don’t make murder jokes while inviting me to stay.” Ray chuckled, shifting so Ryan could get off the couch. Ryan stood up and headed for a small closet.

“Aw, don’t worry, Ray,” Ryan consoled over his shoulder, “You’re too cute to kill.”

“Sh-shut up man, I’m manly as hell!” Ray said with a blush, feeling like a cliché of himself from the number of times he’s had this argument. Why did everyone have to call him cute?

“True, but you’re cute too.” Ryan said with a proud smile sporting a light blush of his own.

Ray couldn’t help blushing even more at that, “Fight me.” Ray grumbled, somehow a little glad that Ryan found him manly and cute (not that Ray would admit it, no way).

Ryan found the blankets and extra pillow he was looking for and handed them off to Ray, pointing out the bathroom and his own room and telling Ray to just ask if he needed anything. When Ray was all set they said an awkward goodnight to each other and Ray snuggled into the surprisingly comfortable couch, falling asleep rather quickly for a change.

When Ray woke up next it was to the smell of something cooking. Ray put his glasses back on and glanced at a nearby clock that told him it was nearly noon. He sat up and stretched, wincing and hissing in pain when he stretched too much and was reminded of his side wound.

Ray heard footsteps coming from the next room over and looked over the back of the couch just in time to see Ryan come in with a worried frown. The man had a loose t-shirt and PJ pants on, his hair a mess, and all Ray could think was that the whole disheveled look really worked for him.

When Ryan saw that Ray was up his face softened into a dorky smile and Ray tried not to blush. He helped Ray into the kitchen and sat a large plate of freshly made pancakes in front of him. Ray stared at the delicious smelling food, then watched Ryan move around the kitchen to get drinks and syrup. Ryan had to bend over to grab something and Ray was fucking gone because it can’t be legal for one man to be so kind, a good cook, and have an ass like that.

Ray decided to stuff his face before he ended up voicing his thoughts and was pleased to find the pancakes some of the best he’d ever had. He noticed that Ryan barely put a dab of syrup on his stack while Ray had nearly drowned his in the sticky substance, which brought them right back into the easy and playful banter they had enjoyed the night before.

When Ray looked at the clock again he was surprised to find it just past 2 in the afternoon. Where had the time gone? Ray guessed that time flies when you’re falling in lov- nope. Nuh uh. No way.

Ray reminded himself for the billionth time that this was the guy that ran him over with a car, and he really just didn’t know this man, regardless of all the talking they’d done. He really needed to get himself out of this situation before he was in too deep.

“Hey, Ryan? I should probably be heading home. It’s getting kind of late, and I feel bad for taking up your Saturday.”

Ryan blinked at Ray then glanced at the clock himself, “Shit, how’d that happen? Yeah, let me take you home, if that’s alright with you that is. And don’t feel bad, I’m the one who hit you.” Ryan paused then added, “Plus… I had fun.”

Ray felt heat rise in his cheeks and tried his best to will the blush away, “I did too,” he admitted, giving the other man a small smile, earning one from Ryan in return which made his heart do a weird thing.

Ryan changed into day clothes, then drove them to Ray’s building, helping the younger man get into the third floor apartment. When they reached the apartment, Ryan shifted nervously from foot to foot at Ray’s doorway, looking a little lost. Ray didn’t really want Ryan to go, didn’t want to have to say goodbye and probably never see him again, so he stood awkwardly not saying anything.

“So, um,” Ryan said finally, breaking the unnerving silence, “Is there someone that can come around and check on you?”

Ray was caught a little off guard but answered, “Yeah, I have a couple of idiot friends who…” Ryan raised an eyebrow at Ray’s pause, “Who just left for a two week vacation to England,” Ray finished with a sigh.

“Why are they in England?” Ryan asked incredulously.

“They’re there for a big reunion with Gavin’s family. Michael went with him to be introduced.”

There was another pregnant pause and Ryan looked everywhere but at Ray.

“I mean,” Ryan said at last, “I guess I could swing by and check up on you later this week, if that’s not weird I mean, cause I get if that would be kind of weird and stuff. It would probably be a good idea. I mean you don’t have to it’s just someone should maybe keep an eye on you just be safe. Not that I’m saying that you can’t take care of yourself! That is I uh,”

Ray cut Ryan’s rambling off by laughing so hard he had to hold his sides, wincing because fuck did it hurt to laugh, why did Ryan have to make him laugh so much? Ray whipped a tear from his eye and looked up to Ryan who was fidgeting and sporting an adorable blush.

“That would be fine. It’d be nice to see you again.” Ray said, and nearly started laughing again when Ryan perked up like a puppy given a treat. What a dork.

Ray grabbed some paper and a pen from inside the apartment and gave Ryan his number. Ryan gave him the goofiest grin that honestly made Ray want to pull him into the apartment right then and there, but he just beamed back at Ryan and said goodbye.

Ray was on cloud nine for the rest of the weekend, even as he worked on his overly large quantity of homework. The pain in Ray’s side slowly subsided, but he could only work or look at a video game screen for so long before he got a bad headache. Texting Ryan, now that was something Ray could do for hours without a single problem.

The man had a tendency to find his way into every thought Ray had. When Tuesday rolled around, Ryan stopped by as promised. When he found out that poor college kid Ray hardly ate “real food” (“A bag of Doritos and a few chicken nuggets is not an actual meal, Ray.” “You’re just saying that because you haven’t tried it.”) Ryan insisted on taking Ray out to eat.

Ryan took them to a cute little family diner where he was apparently a regular because the whole wait staff knew him by name. The food was amazing and Ray was surprised by just how easy and effortless it was to talk to Ryan. There was always something to say, and when there wasn’t the silence was comfortable rather than awkward.

They went back to Ray’s and played video games until Ryan had to leave, though neither wanted him to go. The two spent the next two weeks like that, Ray getting progressively better and Ryan coming to check up on him and take him out for dinner every few days. Ray decided after the second outing that these were definitely dates, at least in his book. After the third outing Ray decided that he was probably in too deep. After the fourth date, Ray didn’t even care how deep he was, he just wanted to spend time with Ryan.

The Friday before Michael and Gavin were supposed to return was spent at Ryan’s place after dinner. The conversation had been a little tense through the night. Ray figured now that Ryan didn’t have an excuse to keep “checking up” on Ray he wouldn’t bother with the Puerto Rican anymore. Why would a handsome and thoughtful guy like Ryan want anything to do with a scrawny kid he hit with his car?

The two were relaxing against each other on the couch, video games traded in for a movie that they soon lost interest with over mocking the characters and bad acting. At one point one of the characters was hit by a car and both Ray and Ryan laughed themselves to tears, Ray immensely grateful that laughing no longer caused pain.

Recovering slightly, Ray looked up at Ryan to find the older man already looking down at Ray. Blue met brown and the two lost themselves in each other’s eyes.

Ryan was way too close, but not close enough. Ray’s eyes flickered down to Ryan’s lips then back up again, debating.

Fuck it, Ray thought. If he wasn’t going to see Ryan again he might as well try. Ray closed the small gap between them, meeting Ryan’s lips with his own and letting his eyes slip closed. Ray felt Ryan tense up and freeze and Ray’s heart hammered hard in his chest. Just as he was about to pull away and apologize, Ryan kissed back, placing his hands on Ray’s hips.

They parted for a second, both of them grinning like morons, before diving back in, thin fingers snaking around Ryan’s neck and into blonde locks. Ryan gently bit at Ray’s lower lip, gaining access and deepening the kiss. They parted again panting, resting their foreheads together.

“This is going to sound bad,” Ryan said, eyes not leaving Ray’s, “But I’m really glad I ran you over.”

Ray felt a giant smile spread across his face along with a deep blush he didn’t even try to suppress, “Yeah, me too.” Ray said quietly, leaning in and kissing Ryan again, glad when he was met half way.