Austin didn't dare go downstairs the next morning when he woke up. He sat down in front of his TV and played Xbox. When Danny came in to tell him he was going to work he just shrugged and kept his eyes on the TV. A little bit later there was a knock on the door. "Huh?" he called.
"Can I come in?" it was Tyler.
"Since when do you knock?" he called back, the door opened, Tyler came in and sat down.
"I got a post-it note on my forehead that said you were in a mood." Austin snorted and rolled his eyes, "So…Is something wrong?" Austin was pretty sure that he already knew what was up.
"No," Austin answered, "I was just at an intense part in the game."
It was silent for what felt like a long time, "I know it was a while ago that I talked to you about my liking Danny. But my feelings haven't changed." Austin stared at the screen while his character died, "Last night…Last night he told me that he likes me too."
Austin got a stab in the heart, and jealousy and anger welled up inside of him, he spoke without thinking, "He's not as innocent as you think he is." He closed his eyes and breathed deeply.
Tyler was taken aback by his tone, "Yeah, I know," he said, he saw Austin's grip on the controller tighten, he knew what he was thinking, so he added, "He told me." His grip relaxed slightly, "Why didn't you ever tell me."
"I didn't think he'd want me to," he lied, he didn't want to put the idea in anyone's head that Danny was a viable option for that type of thing.
"Hey, this isn't going to change anything between us, right?"
"Why would you dating my stepbrother change anything between us?"
It was silent for a really long time, "Okay, then…I better be getting home then, I'll see you at school tomorrow."
"Yeah, see ya," Austin said. Tyler got up and left the room. "Fuck!" Austin yelled, once he heard the front door open and close, he threw the controller at the wall and put his head in his hands; he stayed like that for a long time.
Later that night Danny knocked on the door, "I brought home food," he said through the door. Austin paused his game and went downstairs. Danny was sitting down at the table, eating Chinese food with chopsticks. Austin got his food and sat down with him. They ate in silence for a while. "Did you do anything today?"
It was silent again, Danny wanted to say something, Austin could tell, he'd opened his mouth then closed it again several times over. Danny took a bite of food, he started after he swallowed, "Would you mind if I, uh, played some video games with you?"
He looked at him like he was crazy, "I thought you didn't like them?" They used to actually play them together a lot, but Danny had quit, saying he didn't like the violence.
Danny blushed, "I actually really like them, I just… I thought you were getting annoyed with me hanging around all the time. Plus I was starting to get better than you."
He made an unbelieving noise, "You weren't."
"I wasn't getting on your nerves? Or I wasn't getting better than you?"
"I beg to differ, about the getting better thing."
"Well, it wouldn't be fair to see know, I'm out of practice."
"Then you'll just have to get in practice."
He laughed, "Alright, you're on." They finished eating and went up to Austin's room. He explained the game to him, he had never played it, it was new, then they started playing in silence, "So…Tyler told you…" it wasn't a question.
"Are you okay with it?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" he asked, he switched to a machine gun he'd picked up a while ago, "It's not like we're blood related, I don't really see how it had to do with me."
"Well, we've been living as siblings for the past six years…"
Austin was starting to lose it, he paused the game and turned to look at him, "Danny, I never would have given into you in eighth grade if I had thought of you as a brother even the slightest bit."
"But now you…"
"No, there's no way I could after."
Danny looked like he was about to cry, "So what? I'm just like those stupid girls that you bang then throw away? You don't have any kind of feelings for me at all? I'm just another face in the crowd?"
Austin wanted to scream at him and shake him until he realized that it was the complete opposite, that he loved him more than anything or anybody in the entire world, but, to protect him and himself, he said, "Yeah, exactly." Danny ran out of the room slamming his door behind him, then his when he got to his room, "I fucking love you, you idiot." Austin whispered, his heart slammed in his chest, he fell onto his bed wishing he was mute.
Down the hall Danny thought he was having a heart attack; he wanted to know why those words had hurt so badly.
Things have gone back to semi normalism. Danny and Tyler have been dating for almost four months, Austin is still a major player. Tyler and Austin are still best friends, Danny and Austin don't ignore each other anymore and mostly act like they did before the bullshit Austin had said, though, when they knew the other one isn't looking they make sad faces to their back. It doesn't help that Austin sometimes walks into the house and finds Tyler and Danny making out on the couch. About a week ago he got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and ran into Tyler, coming out of it, they paused a bit awkwardly, it was the first time Tyler had stayed over since they'd started dating, Tyler disappeared into Danny's room. Austin heard giggling when he walked out of the bathroom.
Christmas had come and past, Danny's mom still hadn't come home, though she was calling about once a week now, each week extending her trip, she now said it was going to be another year at the least, the French were hopeless.
Danny is just as unpopular as he used to be, even though he's dating Tyler and has become pretty good friends with Kyle, who comes over with his girlfriend, Samantha Goslin, a girl he met at The Pub. Danny doesn't seem to mind, he's extremely happy with the way his life is going, or, he was, until the day he crashed.
He had been on his old bike, coming home from work. He had gone the long way to avoid traffic, a drunk driver had had the same idea, only instead of traffic they were avoiding the most likely cop infested route. The drunk driver had been fooling with the radio, he didn't see the red light, he was going ninety in a forty – five mile an hour zone. Danny was turning left at the light which was green for him, the driver didn't have his lights on, Danny didn't see him.
Austin was with a girl at his house, he didn't expect Danny home for another hour, he had said that they would probably be busy and would close later than usual. When he saw the hospital on the caller ID he'd stopped and answered it, curious. He kicked the girl out of his house and grabbed the emergency bag Danny's mom had told them about when she'd left. He couldn't call Tyler, he was in Chicago with the Hockey team for the weekend, he had to go at it alone.
They sat him down in the waiting room, Danny was still in surgery. He bounced his feet on the ground and tried to keep from screaming at someone to tell him what was going on, all they'd said was that he was in critical condition and that it would be best if he came, to give positive identification, if needed, and to fill out information.
A doctor came through the doors, Austin's wasn't the only head that snapped to attention. The doctor went to the straight to the large group of middle aged men and women dressed up like they were at a ball or something. Austin put his head in his hands and breathed deeply, trying to calm his thoughts. One of the women in the group gave a cry and started sobbing loudly, the others tried to console her while trying not to cry themselves.
Austin felt a hand on his shoulder, he looked up, a young looking doctor was sitting in the chair next to him, "You're Austin Thomas?"
"We have different last names, he's my stepbrother."
The doctor nodded, "I'm Doctor Haversham, I was the physician in charge. Danny seemed to have fate on his side, if he had been even one second off, it could have been much worse. I'm glad to say that he made it, but…" Austin's heart stopped for a second, "He's in a small coma." Austin felt that that was an oxymoron, "He should wake up once the swelling in his brain goes down. There was a recent development that allowed us to increase the speed that the swelling goes down. He should wake up with his full memory intact, though the accident may be hazy, but that's normal for all accidents. He had a few broken ribs, and his arm was… Do you need details?" Austin nodded, he wanted to know everything, "The bone in his forearm had snapped completely in half and had broken through the skin a bit. We lined everything back up, and we'll put a cast on as soon as possible, they may even be putting one on right now… That's mostly it, other than a few cuts and bruises. A nurse will come to take you to him in a few minutes. Don't worry, he should be fine."
"Thank you," Austin said, he sat back and watched the doctor leave. His mind was going in circles; Danny was alive; he's in a coma; he'll be okay; he could have died. That thought stuck deep in his mind; he could have died. He could have died without knowing that he loved him. He could have died thinking that he meant as much to him as those stupid girls he lets pass through his room. He wondered if he'd have the courage to tell him when he woke up.
An older nurse took him back to the room, which was being shared with another person, they had the divider pulled, Danny was on the far side, by the window. He ran the last few steps to him and took the hand that wasn't incased in bright blue. The nurse said some things about call buttons, then left. "You look like hell," Austin said, he was surprised when his eyes clouded over. He blinked back the tears and pulled the chair over next to the bed. Danny had cuts all over. Most had wrappings, other, really small ones, had liquid Band-Aid on them or something, the really small ones weren't bleeding anymore.
Austin kept glancing up at the monitor, but he had no idea what any of the numbers meant. Danny had tubes up his nose, but, thankfully, not in his mouth, Austin never would have been able to stomach that. A about twenty minutes after he got in there a police officer came to check on him. Austin stood up when he entered, "Hi," the officer smiled grimly, "I'm Officer Malcolm."
"Austin, Danny's stepbrother," he said, they shook hands, "Do you know how this happened?"
"It was a hit and run," the officer started, Austin sat down, "Luckily it was at an intersection in front of a store with cameras at perfect angles to get it all. I didn't personally see the tapes, but the story is he was turning left at the intersection, the light was green. A red Highlander was speeding, around ninety, they didn't have on their lights, it was dark, they were most likely drunk. They hit his back wheel, sending him flying into a post, into a ditch and a small pile of glass bottles. Someone who saw what happened from the parking lot called it in. We have a suspect in custody. The front bumper was dented in the right place. He was found about a mile away, freaking out in the parking lot of a 7/11. We really don't have any doubts it was him." Austin sighed, it wasn't Danny's fault, and they had the guy that did it, that made him feel a lot better. "I hear he should wake up soon. That's good. I'll be around again, I need his statement." Austin nodded, and the officer left.
"Please wake up soon," Austin said tightly. He looked up at the monitor, it wasn't doing anything different. He looked around, no one could see him, he listened, he didn't hear anyone coming. "Danny? Can you hear me?" he watched the monitor out of the corner of his eye while he looked at his face for signs that he could, nothing happened, "Squeeze my hand if you can hear me." Nothing happened. He looked and listened again for someone coming, there was no one.
He stood up and bent over him. He pressed his lips to his, "I love you," he whispered. The monitor made a few loud beeps, then went back to normal. "Danny, are you awake?" he asked worriedly. Nothing happened. "Danny, I love you. I've always loved you. I loved you in eighth grade, you didn't mean nothing to me back then. You meant everything, you'll always mean everything, even if you don't love me back." The monitor sped up a little, then went back to normal. Danny's hand tightened on his, "Open your eyes, please. Say something."
His eyes opened a little the shut again, he licked his lips, but didn't, or couldn't, say anything, "I know, you like Tyler. Hell, for I know you love him. I know you two…" he paused and gagged silently, "had sex, and-."
"Didn't." he whispered, he couldn't hear, his heart was beating too loudly.
He coughed dryly, "No we didn't."
"But… He stayed over the other night, and I heard…"
"You heard what?" he was squinting up at him now.
"Giggling…" he knew it sounded stupid.
"We were watching something funny on you tube."
"But, he stayed over."
"We were going to, but… He said I wouldn't enjoy it. He said that he wouldn't be able to either, because I'd be…" he swallowed and didn't finish his sentence, "Can I have some water?"
"Oh, yeah, sorry." He picked up the pitcher next to the bed and poured him some water, he lifted him up while he gulped it down. He handed the cup back and laid back down.
Danny winced while he lifted his broken arm, he looked at the cast and laid it back down, "Do you think they'd mind if I painted it black?"
Austin sighed, Danny was obviously feeling better, "I don't think so," he said tiredly. He sat down in the chair and put his head on the bed, all that worrying had really tired him out. It was also messing with his brain, he had completely forgotten Danny was in the middle of saying something about him and Tyler.
Austin's breathing got heavy, Danny put his hand on his head and played with his hair. He fell asleep a little while later; healing took a lot of energy.
They let him go home a couple of weeks later. Austin had spent every possible moment at the hospital with him. Tyler had come the second he touched down. Austin had gone to get something to drink to give them some privacy. When Austin walked back into the room Tyler hugged Danny and kissed his forehead then left, patting Austin on the shoulder as he left, "Thank god, man." He said, Austin heard some kind of hidden meaning, but didn't understand it.
"What was that about?" Austin asked Danny.
"I'll tell you later, at home, they said I could go home today!"
"That's great, are you going to be on bed rest or anything?"
He shook his head, laughing, "No, but I have to take off work for a while. And I can't do any kind of physical activity, which is going to be annoying." He watched him for a second.
"Well, that's not too bad," Danny snorted, he felt like he was missing something, "Do I have to sign papers for your release or something?"
"The nurse said she'd bring them in soon… I'm so ready to get out of here." He sighed.
A few hours later they loaded Danny into Austin's car and they went home. Danny went straight to the bathroom to take care of all hygiene that had gotten neglected at the hospital. He came downstairs a while later and found Austin making himself a sandwich, "You want one?" he asked. Danny nodded, sitting down at a stool at the counter, he dug around in a bag of chips that were on the counter. They ate in silence then went into the living room, Danny because he didn't have anything else to do and Austin because he was following him around to make sure he was alright.
"Man, it's freezing," Danny said a little while later, he started to get up to get a blanket.
"I got it," Austin said, he jumped over the back of the love seat that he was sitting on and got a blanket out of the ottoman that was back against the wall.
"You don't have to baby me," Danny pouted. He brought the blanket over to him and extended it towards him. Danny grabbed his arm instead of the blanket and pulled him onto the couch next to him.
"Why'd you do that?" he asked, looking at him worriedly, checking to make sure he hadn't hurt himself.
"It's been weeks…" he said, Austin blinked, "We never did finish our conversation." Austin blinked and the glassy stare disappeared, replaced by sharp determination and fear, "What was it I was saying?" he wondered out loud, "Tyler said he wouldn't be able to do it with me, because he knew I wouldn't be thinking about him…"
"What do you mean?"
"Geez, now who's the dense one?... He said that, and was completely right in saying it, that I was, and am…you're going to make me say it… I'm in love with you…" he said, he watched his face for the reaction, he was stupefied, his eyes brightened, then darkened, and he looked directly into his eyes, to make sure he wasn't pulling some kind of sick joke, he seemed embarrassed, but sincere.
"You…love me?" he asked incredulously, "Why?"
"I really don't know… I mean, you're a stubborn, ignorant bastard who plays with girl's emotions, and you've slept with half the girls in the area. Your grades suck, and I'm not really sure you have anything going for your future. You can be mean and idiotic, and sometimes I just want to smack you."
"Well jeez, don't hold back," he said, rolling his eyes.
"But, you can be unbelievable sweet, and protective, and gentle, and cute, and stupid, in a good way. You're sexy even when you don't mean to be, and you do and say some of the most adorable things in your sleep. And you're always taking care of me and there for me when I need you."
Austin blushed deeply and smiled, "I love you." He said, not sure what else to say to all that.
Danny smiled up at him, "I love you too." He answered. Austin leaned forward and kissed him softly, but Danny was having none of that and deepened the kiss immediately. They kissed for a good long time, then Austin pulled away abruptly.
"So, wait…you and Tyler have been pretending to date for the past three weeks?" he asked.
"No. We haven't been doing any kind of dating since that night."
"But…you guys went out to a movie before he went to Chicago."
"And we asked you to go but you said no. He's my friend, just like Kyle."
"But… doesn't he, like, love you or something?"
Danny shook his head, "No, we analyzed his feelings that night, his feelings are closer to incestuous lust…"
Austin made a face, "What?"
"He has all the feelings of brotherly type love, but he likes my body," Danny said, giggling.
"That's kind of gross."
Danny shook his head, "It's not like he's really my brother."
"You always used to say you're feelings for me were brotherly…how are they not?"
"I never bothered to think on it…but when I think about you my heart beats faster and the day seems brighter, and it makes me want to go find you and kiss you and lock you in your room like I did in eighth grade and-," Austin put a hand over his mouth.
"Stop right there, you're going to give me ideas about things that the doctors said couldn't happen for a very long time."
"It's probably best that way anyway, cause I'm not having sex with you until you've been tested for every STD in the book."
Austin scoffed, "I don't have an STD."
"You could be carrying one or something…I'm not taking the chance. I saw some of the girls you've been with…I can't risk my health."
Austin nodded but rolled his eyes, "Yeah, alright. You do realize you've already kissed me though don't you… what if I have herpes?"
"You don't do you?" He asked, eyes wide.
Austin laughed and shook his head, "No. I've never had any kind of sore in my mouth, or anywhere south of it for that matter."
Danny nodded, "Good." He snuggled into Austin's side, "All this kissing and healing simultaneously makes me tired." He said slowly, just about to fall into unconsciousness.
Austin squeezed him just slightly and passed out too, from emotional exhaustion.
A/n: Sorry it took me so long to update. I got hooked on asian dramas recently. I have to recommend anything with Yamashita Tomohisa in it, he's wonderful. I also recommend anything with Horikita Maki she's awesome. If you like Korean things better I recommend Playful kiss, with Kim Hyun Joong, lead of ss501(that's a band). Also if you like foreign music I recommend LM.C they are AMAZING! (Funny Phantom is my favorite song)! Any way, sorry again. Please review. Oh, and by the way this is the last chapter… if you want me to add more just ask, but you'll have to give me an idea of what to write because I don't know… Thank you for reading! Please inform me if I've made a mistake.