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Owen didn’t know what to think anymore. The truth stared him in the face with a cruel sneer, and its breath smelled like gunpowder and his lover’s blood.

Samuel Greene, MI6 .

He reached for Curt’s hand, forgetting that he couldn’t squeeze it back. His hand was hot. In fact, his whole body radiated an unnatural heat.

Owen pressed his lips to Curt’s forehead.

It burned.

His eyes immediately ran to the syringe he still held in his hand. And whatever poison was in it.

Do we have a thermometer ?

Owen frantically searched the room for a thermometer, praying he didn’t have to leave the cabin and go shopping again. He couldn’t go to a hospital yet. They would be found. They would be separated. The last thing he wanted was to be separated from Curt; if he did, he was sure he wouldn’t see him again.

Samuel Greene, MI6 .

Not a pleasant person by any stretch, but not one of Owen’s enemies, either. Same as any other colleague. He had barely exchanged five words with Owen. Which only left room for one explanation.

They know .


When he miraculously found a thermometer in the medicine cabinet, he wasted no time in sticking it under Curt's tongue.

Thankfully it was a double reading thermometer.

103.1 Fahrenheit.

39.5 Celsius.

Christ .

It wasn't fatally high, but it was pretty damn high. He would have to keep it in check.

Curt felt heavy and scorching hot against his back when he dragged him to the bedroom, away from the stink of blood and Greene's pallid face. Samuel fucking Greene. MI6.

Owen kept repeating the name to himself as if he needed any more proof of MI6’s (if not the A.S.S.’s) involvement in this mess. No, not a mess . An attempted murder.

They'd tried to murder Curt.

He felt his legs grow weak and he leaned against his partner almost unconsciously. He was burning up. Worse than before.

Almost 40°C.

Ice .

I need ice .

Owen stumbled to the kitchen, hitting his hip on a chair on the way in.

Ice .

His temperature was fine, yet he felt like he was the one with the fever. He had to remind himself, once again, Curt is breathing .

Fixing an ice pack was nearly second nature to him. His trousers were bunching up at the knee with drying blood.

Samuel Greene, MI6.

He patted down Curt's forehead, neck and wrists.

And he opened his eyes for a moment.

"Owen?" he whispered, raucously, and Owen clutched his hand in response.

"I'm here, love."

Curt squeezed his eyes shut. His expression was pinched with pain and his breath came out rattled: "H… he-" he coughed, "...he showed up out of nowhere-"

"I know, Curt."


"Dead. You'll be alright."

"Good… good…"

Curt closed his eyes and didn't speak again.

It occurred to him when he kissed Curt's forehead, with the excuse of checking his way too high temperature. A shiver ran up his spine.

We need to hide.

They knew their location. They'd come way too close, and Owen was running out of safehouses. He had one left. Only one.

Further away from potential help than any of the others; hidden in a cave. It was not… ideal. But Curt was more vulnerable than ever then and he needed, so badly needed, to keep him away from their agencies.

It would be risky to move him.

But there was no choice.

While Samuel Greene's corpse cooled off in the living room, Owen threw every medicine he could get his hands on and anything useful that he could find into his bag, carried Curt to the car, and drove off without looking back.


There was silence in the car aside from the quiet rumble of the engine and Curt's raspy breaths. It was both reassuring and unnerving somehow.

He was breathing, so he was alive.

He wasn't breathing well, so he wasn't okay.

Owen reached out, just for a moment, to brush his fingers against the back of Curt's limp hand. It was hot, still as hot as before. Owen cursed under his breath. He couldn't give Curt any medicine while he was unconscious, he only had pills with him.

He pressed down on the accelerator just a little bit harder.

He knew he was alone. If he lost Curt, he was alone. Curt needed protection then, more than ever, and Owen wanted to provide it. He wanted it so badly. But the poison was making everything so much worse. So much more complicated. Most of all, he couldn't figure out why : why the poison, when Curt was already being strangled? Why not one or the other? They'd clearly meant to inject him with a bigger dose and, judging by the massive fever he was getting just by the few drops he'd been given, a bigger dose would have killed him without effort. They hadn't wanted to kidnap him. They'd wanted to kill him.

So why ?

Was there something he was missing?

It was at that moment that he realized something.

The car had gone silent. Silent, except for the rumble of the engine. Curt's breathing… was not as audible, anymore.

Owen's head snapped to the side in alarm, and found only his partner's pale face, unmoving.

“Curt?” he whispered, hating the crack in his voice: “ Curt !”

All he received in response was a ragged breath and a scream, so high-pitched that Curt’s voice couldn’t quite reach it and gave out halfway through. He tugged on the seatbelt like it was holding him prisoner. Maybe he thought it was.

“Curt, calm down.” he murmured, in the most reassuring tone he could. He had to pull over.

He didn't risk grabbing Curt. Instead, he slipped his hand between his stiff fingers and gave a reassuring squeeze, and it seemed to work. Curt didn’t wake up. But at least he wasn’t struggling against a damn seatbelt.

Owen brushed his hair away from his burning forehead.

"I'm sorry, Curt." he murmured.

The road stretched ahead of him, infinitely long, like a dark, venomous snake. Empty. Quiet.


Ready to bite.

He didn't know what to do if they were found again. Run away to the Arctic, probably. Run as far as they could get. Build a home under the ice, whatever got them away from MI6 and probably the A.S.S.

Owen would never admit it out loud, never again, but he was fucking terrified.

His blood froze in his veins.

Curt had started coughing.

Louder, louder, than quiet: he wasn't getting enough air to make noise anymore.

"Curt?" he called, dumbstruck, and received no answer. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know what to do. Curt's breathing was erratic.

And then he quieted down.

And he was breathing again.

Owen was sure he would die of a heart attack before they ever got to the safehouse. He couldn't take Curt to a hospital, but if he kept having trouble breathing…

No, that wasn't it. He couldn't trust anyone to help Curt. Anyone but himself.

He sighed deeply.

And then Curt grabbed the steering wheel and swerved them both off the road.