Claimer: All characters are my own.


Thudump… thudump

I press my ear to your chest, careful not to wake you, and listen to the sound of life being pumped in and out of your heart.

Thudump… thudump

It's like music, a melody stuck on repeat and played over and over again, intoxicating and calming at once. Long ago you asked me what my favorite song was, and I couldn't answer since there were so many to choose from. If you were to ask me today, I would point at your chest without saying anything. Not because I would be short on words, but simply to watch the look of confusion as it settles on your face, reminding me that you are indeed alive.

Closing my eyes, I let the soft beat envelop me as I slide my hand from your waist upward, enjoying the feel of warm and slightly dump flesh against my palm. Who would have thought that only several months ago you were confined to a hospital bed, the life slowly seeping out of you as your heart heroically refused to give out. You were in so much pain, but always so brave.

"So brave…," I murmur against your skin and press my lips to it.

I let my fingertips wander from memory, tracing the scar that runs down the middle of your chest. I no longer shiver when I touch it and you don't wince. 'It doesn't hurt', were your first words as you showed it to me for the first time. It was months ago so I don't remember what happened next, but for some reason you do, and you keep saying that I cried silently in the doorway like an idiot, sometimes mumbling apologies – sometimes gratitude. And I can't help but snarl at you in response, only to smile a moment later as your rich laughter reaches my ears, assuring me that you are breathing freely again.

Suddenly, your heart skips a beat, and my eyes fly open instantly. The small smile that's been tugging at my lips only moments ago is now gone, and I raise my head quickly to peer down at your face. For a moment all you do is frown, still asleep, and I find it hard to swallow past the lump in my throat. My eyes sting at the corners as I desperately try to convince myself not to panic, to breathe, and I unconsciously press my palm harder against your chest. You throw your head to the side and swallow audibly, and I can see beads of sweat forming on your flushed face and neck. The fear from months ago, that I thought has disappeared, comes crashing back into my heart and all of a sudden I feel dizzy and my breath hitches. Before I realize it, I take hold of your shoulders and shake them almost hysterically, hot tears already streaming down my face.

"Jamie… Jamie, please wake up," I whimper, momentarily forgetting how to exhale or inhale properly. When you don't so much as grunt in response, I completely stop breathing and speaking, and just shake you violently. At that moment, I'm not even aware of the fact that I may be hurting you. The sole thing on my mind is that I need you to open your eyes, your beautiful green eyes, and look at me. Look at me and call my name, look at me… But you just lay there, your shoulders limp in my hands, your body gradually losing its warmth and turning a light and almost sickening shade of blue.


Yes… yes... you finally spoke but your voice sounds so distant and your lips are not moving.

"Zach, wake up!"

As if your words were some kind of spell, I do as you say and open my eyes abruptly for what seemed like the second time to me, gasping for much needed air. Not even a second later, my ears catch the sound of your erratic heartbeat and I realize that my head is still resting on your chest and my hand, palm down, on your scar.

"Zach." I don't answer, for I am busy marveling at the steady rise and fall of your chest. He's alive…, alive and breathing.

"Zachary," you say a bit more gently and thread your fingers through my hair. Only then do I allow myself to truly relax and accept that it was nothing but a nightmare.

"Yeah?" I answer, and don't fail to notice how your heartbeat goes back to normal as you realize I'm alright.

"Bad dream, baby?"

I smile lightly and nuzzle the patch of skin closest to me. I know it's all you'll ask, since not once I refused to talk about my nightmares. Though I never kept their existence a secret from you either, so I prop myself on my elbow, raising my head to catch your somewhat worried gaze, and press my lips to yours. "Yeah," I murmur, and kiss you again.

My hand is still resting on your chest as you deepen the kiss, weaving long fingers in the hair at the back of my head and pulling me closer. Soft moans and gasps fill my ears as our bodies touch and move together, and your tongue darts out to press against mine. I breathe into your mouth the moment you inhale, sharing a portion of my life with you. We move in perfect harmony, and somewhere at the back of my mind I know that eventually, even our hearts will beat in sync. And if that's not what being alive is all about, then I don't wish to know what is.


A/N - I just may turn this into a series of short stories about Zach and Jamie. Hope you enjoyed.