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"Steve not that I don't appreciate this, I do, but... why are you here?" Jesse Travis asked his business partner, his mentors son, but most importantly his best friend, Steve Sloan.

"Let me see Jess, might it have something to do with the fact that you a) almost got yourself killed, then b) refused to stay in the hospital, and then c) wouldn't stay at the beach house where Dad could keep an eye on you" Steve said, realizing he was snapping just a little.

"I didn't want to be a bother, which I obviously am being, so just go ok, I'm fine on my own," Jesse said, eyes cast down away from the look of scorn and contempt on Steve's face.

He hadn't meant to get shot, in fact in the grand scheme of things it was on of the top ten things he never wanted to experience, but Steve had been in danger, and so he had just kinda barged on in, and well, ok so it was stupid, but it didn't explain why Steve was suddenly treating him like he was no better than dirt on the street.

"Yeah, nice thought, but we both know Dad would kill me," Steve scoffed, turning away and heading out of the small bedroom, and the bed on which Jesse lay, bandages covering most of his lower torso.

Jesse was too tired to argue, he just let Steve go, closing his eyes, and drifting into sleep, wondering all the while how the person that had been his best friend just a week ago, had suddenly come to hate him.

*~*~*~*~*

It was a short time later when Steve decided to poke his head around the bedroom door again, he had planned on saying sorry, he knew he was being rough on Jesse, and he shouldn't be, the younger man had after all saved his life, and almost died himself for his trouble, and that was of course where the problem lay.

Jesse had almost died.

He hadn't of course, as the deep, easy breathing of the young man sleeping on the bed just a few feet in front of him proved, but still seeing Jesse lying on the ground, blood seeping through the light white shirt he was wearing had turned Steve's stomach, as had the image of Jesse in the hospital bed, hooked up to a dozen different tubes and machines, both the images Steve was sure would haunt him forever.

And the worse part, the blood, the machines, the pain that Jesse had suffered, was all Steve's fault, if he had been a better friend, a better cop, Jesse never would have been hurt.

Jesse looked so innocent, sleeping all the tiny lines that had sprung up over the past few years since he and Steve had become friends went away and he looked so much younger.

"Oh Jesse... I'm sorry." Steve breathed out the words, so low that he could barely hear himself.

He moved towards the bed, sitting down as lightly as he could beside his friend, watching him in the dim light shining through the door from the living room.

Steve didn't really move, he just watched, taking in the sight of Jesse's chest rising and falling, the long eye lashes flickering occasionally, and the soft mouth that opened intermittently as he breathed.

Slowly his fingers moved of their own violation, tracing over the soft features of Jesse's face, not quite touching the skin at first, but slowly moving until his index finger was brushing over Jesse's lips.

"Steve..." Jesse moaned, startling Steve, but a quick look told him that Jesse was indeed still asleep.

Steve continued tracing over the soft lips, sliding up along the jaw, and over the shell of the delicate ear. He knew he should stop, Jesse was sleep, this was wrong, but it felt so good to be able to touch him like this, even just for a few moments.

Another moan from Jesse sent frizzel's through Steve's stomach, and he couldn't help himself, slowly, watching Jesse's face for any sign that he might wake up he slowly leaned in and brushed his lips against Jesse's savouring the touch for just a second before pulling back, his eyes closed as he licked across his own lips, trying to capture every trace of Jesse from those few brief seconds of contact.

"Steve?" Jesse's voice wasn't sleepy, mainly because Jesse wasn't asleep as Steve's eyes snapped open to find confused blue eyes looking back at him, wide and innocent.

"I... Jess, God I'm sorry, I..." Steve didn't know what to say, he'd been caught out, he jumped up without thinking, not noticing when he jarred Jesse causing the younger man to wince as Steve bolted out the bedroom door, closing it behind him. He vaulted himself onto the couch, he couldn't leave, but he couldn't face Jesse either. Oh God, what had he done?

*~*~*~*~*

Steve was so lost in thought, he didn't hear the door creaking open from the bedroom, or see Jesse slowly making his way across the room, until Jesse tripped over the edge of the coffee table sprawling forward onto the floor.

"Jesse!" Steve was startled; jumping up, worry for his friend immediately over taking his embarrassment at being caught out before, as he gently lifted Jesse, moving him back to the bedroom, and laying him down carefully on the bed, noting that Jesse had lost weight lately.

Jesse was quiet, shocked, he hadn't been expecting the fall.

"Jesse?" Steve had a look of concern etched deep on his face.

"I... em... you kissed me." Jesse said, ignoring the slight pain all over his body from the fall.

"Yeah," Steve agreed. "I'm sorry about that, I, I'm sorry."

"Why?" Jesse asked, seeming so innocent, like a child lying there, his face pale, eyes wide open.

Steve considered lying, but the look on Jesse face, he just couldn't.

"I love you," he said, his eyes piercing into Jesse's, his arms tightening around Jesse briefly, before he let go, letting Jesse slid down onto the bed.

Jesse was smiling, brightly, his eyes twinkling. "Steve, I love you too." Jesse said, stopping Steve in his tracks.

"Huh?"

"That was just a little monosylibic don't you think?" Jesse teased.

"Come here," he ordered lightly, reaching to pull the blonde detective back down beside him again.

"Jesse?" Steve was more than a tad confused, had Jesse really said... had he?

"Kiss me again." Jesse told him, pulling Steve down as close as he could, reaching his own face upwards until Steve finally seemed to take the hint, and slowly, gently kissed him, pulling him closer, careful not to hurt him, and he slowly flickered out his tongue, seeking entrance to the younger mans mouth.

"God Jess, I love you." Steve panted slightly as they finally pulled back.

"Hmmm love you too Steve." Jesse whimpered.

"I'm sorry I got mad at you, I was so scared I was going to lose you, when I saw you bleeding, and... I'd die if I lost you baby." Steve whispered, holding onto Jesse tightly.

"I'm fine Steve, everything is gonna be fine, so much better than fine, I promise." Jesse told him, holding him just as tightly.

*~*~*~*~*

When Mark Sloan arrived to check on his patient and his son a little over an hour later, he smiled as he came upon the scene of the two men wrapped around each other, sleeping peacefully. He pulled the blanket from the floor, and draped it over the two, looking back once more before closing the door quietly leaving them in peace.


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