"Alex. Is everything okay?" Jesse Travis asked gently, not turning on the light as he entered the Doctor's break room.
He'd seen Alex come in here after Craig's father had been arrested, seen the pained look the young man wore.
"I can't believe he's dead." Alex sounded choked.
"I know you two were close," Jesse said, sitting down beside Alex on the couch, the only light in the room coming under the door, it was a pale glow, but it was enough to illuminate the tears running down Alex's face.
"We were... closer than close."
"You were lovers?" Jesse asked, trying to hide his shock.
"On-again, off-again, but yeah. We were off... before this, but when we were working together out at the school, we were gonna give it another chance you know. A real chance. And now he's dead."
"Did he know you loved him?" Jesse asked.
"I told him, last night. Too little, too late." Alex said coarsely.
"Alex, he knew you cared, that’s the most important thing you could have said or done for him, to let him know he was loved." Jesse said, hugging the younger man while he cried.
The door opened, revealing Steve's shadow.
Jesse shook his head, and Steve moved away again, he was sure the cop was still outside the door, probably leaning back against the wall waiting for Jesse to be done.
"Alex you wanna stay with me tonight? You shouldn't be on your own." Jesse offered.
"Thanks Doctor Travis, but no, I want to go home. Please don't tell anyone about Craig and me I don't want anyone thinking less of him." Alex begged.
"Alex, no one here would think less of Craig, or of you. But I won't tell anyone if you don't want me to. I do think you should tell Mark though, and take a few days off." Jesse said.
"I'll think about it." Alex said but Jesse saw the lie, Alex wouldn't tell Mark, he wouldn't take any time off, he'd do his job and try to hide the pain as deep down as he could.
"Jess, you've been awfully quiet since we left the hospital everything okay?" Steve asked, going to the fridge in Jesse's apartment, and pulling out two beers.
"Alex and Craig were together," Jesse told him as they both flopped onto the couch, Steve's legs coming to rest on the coffee table, Jesse's tucked under him as he leaned against Steve.
"I figured. He must be hurting pretty badly," Steve said.
"He won't take any time off." Jesse sighed, and let the cold beer bottle rest against his head.
"You can't help if he doesn't want to let you, Jess," Steve said gently.
"I know, I just... I guess I finally came face to face with reality. I saw myself when I went into that break room, after you got shot - and don't ask which time, I mean all of them – and I thought I might lose you, and then I saw Alex tonight, how he looked, that could be me on any given night." Jesse took a sip of his beer, but it was tasteless to him.
"Jess, babe, I can't change the nature of the job, or who I am."
"I know, I don't want you too change, part of why I love you because of who you are, what you do. It just hit home tonight how fragile this all is, how easily it could all vanish, and I'd be left with nothing but memories, and a few photographs. I wouldn't even be able to tell anyone how I was feeling because no-one knows."
"My dad does." Steve admitted.
"He... how we were so careful we..."
"Jesse, this is my dad we're talking about," Steve reminded him with a slight smile.
"Yeah... I guess. Do you mind?"
"No. I've been thinking we should tell him, and Amanda, for a while now." Steve said.
"Jess, you're right about how this could all go horribly wrong one day. Sure I could get shot but look at, Craig, he's not a cop. Either one of us could die, I don't want either of us to have to face that prospect alone. So no but... Dad knows, but we'll tell him 'officially' and tell Amanda as well." Steve said.
"Can we tell, Alex too? I want him to know he doesn't have to be on his own with this, if he knows maybe it will help him open up."
Steve nodded, kissing the top of Jesse's head where it rested against his chest.
"Come on, it's late and we're both exhausted." Steve said, pouring what remained of the still half full beer bottles down the sink before throwing the bottles in the trash.
Steve got into bed first, letting Jesse snuggle in against him when he joined him a few minutes later.
"I love you Jesse," Steve murmured softly.
"I love you too Steve," Jesse sighed, making sure he was as close to Steve as was physically possible.
Seeing Alex so heartbroken had really gotten him thinking about everything, about how much he could lose and how easily.
Still what he'd told Alex was true, knowing you were loved was the most important thing a person could know. And just like he was sure Craig had felt more at peace with what was coming, knowing that Alex loved him. Jesse felt more at peace knowing that whatever was coming next, Steve loved him.