templemarker: generation kill: two soldiers watching artie rain on a city (when the world ends)
[personal profile] templemarker
Wiser on the Morrow
by templemarker

Notes: For [livejournal.com profile] shoshannagold, who asked for Colbert/Fick, hurt/comfort, first time. This is my variation on that idea. With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] marcolette and [livejournal.com profile] wynterwolf47 who let me be the squeaky wheel on their holiday; and [livejournal.com profile] oxoniensis, for her incisive beta.

***

The thing was, Nate broke his leg hiking.

It wasn't even a difficult trail. It was just that it had rained the night before, and he made a wrong step, caught his foot on a tree root, and tumbled backwards down a hill.

The worst part: it was in Massachusetts. He'd served for five years in some of the most dangerous territory in the world and come home with no more than a strained muscle, and walking a trail on the Blue Hills Reservation gave him a closed fracture and put him in a cast.

He debated not telling anyone except his family. That thought lasted about as long as it took for his hiking buddy, Artie, to snap a picture of him in the emergency room and start emailing.

At least it was the start of summer. He'd completed all his exams, and had decided to take the summer off to do research for his public policy paper. Most of the things he needed to read he'd already withdrawn from the library or were ordered off Amazon, and everything else he could access from his computer. But there were only so many hours he could take shut up in his apartment, leg stretched out in front of him, sitting and reading until his ass was numb.

His sister Macy offered to come stay with him awhile and help him out, but the family had been talking about going to Vermont for Christmas, and she only had so many vacation days. He felt too guilty to let her do it, so he told her he was fine and kept pushing himself to go out, even when he fell, exhausted, into his bed at three in the morning, papers strewn around him.

I probably shouldn't have picked the third floor apartment, he wrote in an email to Mike Wynn and his buddy Jim Beal. but I have to say the view I have from the kitchen table is the only thing keeping me sane. I haven't gone running in so long I think I've forgotten how, and a man can only subsist on delivery pizza for so long.

Two days later, Brad showed up at his door.

"What are you doing here?" Nate asked, resting on one crutch. He resisted the urge to look down at himself; he'd been wearing the same pyjama pants for a couple days because it was too frustrating to try and change, and he hadn't had a shower in the same length of time. He needed a haircut, but he couldn't balance to clip it himself, and it was too much trouble to go out. His shirt had a hole in it and the house was a mess. Nate tried to block the entrance, but Brad just shot him a look and strode in, dropping his bag to the floor.

"Word on the hook is that you're being stupidly independent," Brad said, turning back to watch Nate shut the door and limp back. "And here I thought a Captain in the USMC would know a thing or two about making a strategic plan for stability operations. Clearly my faith was unfounded."

"That's former Captain," Nate pointed out, making it to the armchair that had been the center of his life for the last two weeks. "And other people have to work, not babysit. Like you. I thought you were working," he said accusingly.

"I had some leave, so I took it," Brad said like it was the most normal thing in the world for him to be here instead of off rappelling Carlsbad Caverns or something equally dangerously adventurous on his limited time off. "And I like clam chowder."

Nate squinted disbelievingly at Brad. "You like clam chowder?" he repeated.

Brad sunk further into Nate's extra-large couch, the one concession to furniture he made in this apartment. Well, that and the bed. Combat pay was good for something. "Yep."

Nate shifted. "So you decided to visit me to call me a whiny bitch and get some clam chowder."

"You got it," Brad said, kicking off his sandals.

"Well, I don't have any clam chowder," Nate said after a minute. "But I guess we could get some, if you wanted."

Brad's smile betrayed none of his teeth. "Sounds good."

Four days later, Brad's good temper was significantly less apparent. It wasn't Nate's fault--he couldn't take the time off, not if he wanted to get the first half of his draft to his supervisor before she went on her trip to Germany. Brad had cleaned up his apartment despite Nate repeatedly telling him not to, made essentially a vat of pasta sauce that he froze for Nate to eat after he left, and apparently caught up on three seasons of Top Gear on his computer while Nate was puzzling out the complexities of international aid requirements to third world countries. Nate shifted in his seat and cursed under his breath when he forgot about his leg, again, and made something twist painfully.

"Really, this is enough," Brad snapped. "When you're not reading, you're bitching about your leg. When we go out so you don't forget the sun exists, you complain about how you wish your leg wasn't broken. And to top it all off, I can hear you not sleeping in your bedroom because your stupid overintellectualized brain won't shut up, which makes you even more pissy the next day. Enough."

"What?" Nate said. "I'm not pissy."

Brad looked incredulous. It was an unfamiliar look on him. "Are you fucking kidding me? I thought I could come out here, distract you for a couple days, make you go outside to remind you that there is a life after a minor injury, and leave you better than I found you. But now I'm convinced the only thing that'll fix you is a good blowjob, and I don't know any Boston whores."

Nate was affronted. "I don't need a blowjob," he said. "Not that I would turn one down. But I'm just concentrating. I wasn't expecting company, you know. I'm working."

Brad snorted. "You're overworking," he clarified. "That's what happens to people who choose to do two degrees in as many years."

"I'm motivated!" Nate protested.

"You need to get laid," Brad said.

"Well, I'm not dating anyone, and I don't have your affection for whores," Nate said mouthily; Brad could always get under his skin, when he wanted to. "So I guess you're just going to have to deal with bitchy me."

Brad cocked his head, and then stood, putting his laptop on the side table and walking towards Nate.

"What are you doing?" Nate asked, uncertainly. Brad stood over him for a second, and then leaned down to Nate and kissed him.

"I'm not as fond of bitchy you," Brad said, hot breath exhaling against Nate's lips. Nate was unsettled, but kept still. "I like smart you, and funny you, and strategic thinking you. Bitchy you rates pretty low."

"So your solution is to...?" Nate asked, tilting his head to give better access.

"I think we mentioned something about a blowjob," Brad said. "If that works for you, Captain."

"Former Captain," Nate smiled. "Yes, please."

Brad kissed him again, pushing him back against the chair and undoing Nate's shorts with one hand. In the past four days he'd made Nate change his clothes every day, helping him in and out of them; but that hadn't felt as intimate as this. The brush of Brad's hand made Nate's cock jump, and he throttled back a noise. "Fuck," he said instead, grinning when Brad said, "Not with a broken leg, Nate."

Brad jacked him hard, calloused hand wrapping the length of him and holding firmly. Nate let his head fall back and stared at the side of Brad's head, following Brad's gaze to where Brad was thumbing the head of Nate's dick, making him shudder and jerk. "Fuck," Nate said again, and Brad's head turned, moving to kiss Nate more.

"I don't think I have to tell you to hold still," Brad said, breath hitting the saliva on Nate's lips, and Nate nodded. Brad ducked his head down, and the feeling of his wet, hot mouth almost undid Nate then and there.

"God, yes, this," Nate said, gripping the arms of his chair, watching with fascination and arousal as Brad's head moved up and down. "Fuck, right there."

Brad's hand pushed past the fabric locked around Nate's legs to fondle at his balls, and Nate tried not to thrust upward. His good leg was pressed against Brad's torso, and feeling the heat of his body just brought Nate closer to the edge.

"I'm almost--" he said, cutting himself off to take the fingers Brad pushed against his lips into his mouth. He let out a more wanton sound than he was comfortable with when Brad went down to the base of his cock and sucked, hard.

"Fuck," he shook out, spilling into Brad's mouth and biting on Brad's fingers. "Fuck."

Brad pulled off and wiped his mouth, pulling his fingers from Nate to wrap his hand around Nate's cock and pull a gasp from him again.

"I think you broke me," Nate said finally, closing his eyes.

"You did that to yourself," Brad pointed out.

Nate opened an eye to look at Brad again, finding that Brad's smile was very, very satisfied. "Did you wait until you had a sufficient excuse to come proposition me?" he asked, watching Brad put him back into his boxers and shorts.

"There was always a sufficient excuse," Brad said. "This just happened to be convenient timing."

Nate rested a hand on Brad's neck, running it up to the back of Brad's head and drawing him close. He could taste himself on Brad's tongue. "If you help me to the bedroom so I can lie down, I'll return the favor," he said.

"I'm glad my work was pleasing enough that you'd abandon your studies, Nate," Brad said, mockingly. Nate rolled his eyes; it was pretty clear that was what Brad had been trying to do all along. This was just a more innovative approach than most.

"I have some remedial education to do," Nate said, caught between deadpan and eager, running a proprietary hand over Brad's dick through his pants.

"C'mon, gimpy, let's go learn something," Brad said, helping him up.

Nate grinned. The paper could wait.

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