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A Few Steps
Mon Sep 18, 2006 23:30
74.129.242.29

God, he was tired.

The elation of Devon being awake was quickly wearing off, adrenaline no longer pumping through his system. Caleb’s brother would drowse, and then suddenly start awake with a wince, amazingly alert for those few seconds. What was the federal agent seeing when his eyes were closed?

Tiredly rubbing his face, Caleb glanced expectantly towards the door at the sound of footsteps coming down the hallway. But the person that stood respectively just outside the room, and beyond the threshold, was someone he had expected to see… God, hours ago. He was sure of it. Time had a different meaning in hospitals, though, twisting so that five minutes was an hour, or an hour was only five seconds.

Instead of ushering Robert Fowler into the hospital room, Caleb grabbed his things from the closet – where he had stowed the gun and everything else from that night, except the clothing on his back – and crouched at Devon’s bedside. The man was marginally alert, enough so that they could talk briefly; or, rather, Devon could listen while Caleb spoke. “I’ll be right outside the door, Dev, all right? John is driving Michael over now, they’ll be here soon.” He seemed mollified, and luckily didn’t bear witness to the way James’ mouth twisted. Oh boy.

“Here,” Caleb murmured, handing over the weapon – bullets discharged and stored in a latex glove, which he received an amused glance for – and the rest of his equipment, before allowing himself a deep breath. “How are things going?”

“Let’s walk.” Frowning, he fell into step with Rob, wondering where he would be led this time around. He was supposed to be retired, not in these camos and talking with the SAC of NYC about business. Caleb would let it slide, but only this once. It was likely the last he would ever associate with the agency for business. “How is Devon doing?”

“As good as can be expected,” he managed, biting back a yawn. Lucy had to be going nuts at the house; he just wanted to go home and not feel guilty about it. “They were worried about his brain hemorrhaging with the severe swelling, and had to cut out a portion of his skull to relieve the pressure.” Caleb’s stomach did a flip-flop at that thought, but it wasn’t the least of Devon’s worries. “Otherwise it’s mostly injuries you would associate with a beating. Broken patella, bruised ribs, rotator cuff, things like that. There was some significant trauma to… uhm…” Caleb stopped, glancing frantically about. “Excuse me!” Before running off to the nearest bathroom.

A few minutes later Rob found him washing his mouth out at one of the sinks, looking decidedly green about the gills. It wasn’t the trauma that had occurred which bothered him; frankly, he had seen far worse during his career. It was who it happened to that made him sick to think about. God, a year ago and he had tried to beat the hell out of Devon. Now all he could do was worry for the man’s safety and well-being. When did that switch happen?

“Here,” Rob murmured, handing over a can of Sprite. “Any idea on what really happened to him before we got there?”

“Just that he was beat within an inch of his life,” Caleb admitted, popping the top of the can and taking a few sips. What the hell was this, sugary fizz? “But he’s awake, which is more than we could say about him last night. The doctors believe his chances at a full recovery are good, though he may always have headaches, or a limp, or arthritis, or…” The list was just too long. “He doesn’t appear to have any significant memory loss that anyone can tell at the moment.” It was a start.

“Why don’t I buy you lunch?” Rob queried as they walked back towards Devon’s hospital room, but Caleb was already shaking his head.

“Thanks, but no. I’d rather stay here until Mic—” The can of soda fell to the floor, leaving a fizzing mess across the clean tile. “Oh fukk.” The only difficulty was that Caleb and Rob were far down the hall, rounding a corner in time to see James punch Michael square in the nose, where the crimson liquid that appeared was startling. John was already separating the pair as they had words, and by the time Caleb managed to get there, Mick was detouring around him to enter Devon’s room.

“Dad, let’s talk,” Caleb ground out, grabbing his father’s arm. Never had he been forward with the man, never mouthed off. But there was a first time for everything. “What the hell was that bullshit?!” he demanded of his father once they were a good distance closer to the exit than Devon’s room.

“He’s a Moriarty, Caleb!” Oh God help him, not this. “And don’t you roll your eyes at me, young man. You do not understand the ramifications this can have on—”

“On who, Dad? Huh? Devon? Michael? No one is going to give a rat’s ass except for you. Why should be Michael be any different, Lucy sure in the hell wasn’t!” James jerked his arm away, but they were still steadily walking towards the exit, which was all Caleb wanted at this point.

“Lucy was different! Not like him at all!”

“Why? Because she was a Medici with ties to the mafia, instead of a Moriarty with ties to London’s Underground?” Caleb snorted, shaking his head. “No, it’s because Lucy is a woman, and Michael – most obviously – is not. Get over it, Dad. If Devon’s finally happy, let him be happy.”

“But—”

“Go home. Just go home.” Caleb motioned for one of the MPs at the door to escort his father out, which felt like one of the hardest things he had ever done. What the hell was wrong with him, talking to his father like that?

It was going to be a bumpy ride.




It was proving to be a most interesting day.

John had woken up to a message from Lucy on the answering machine, asking them to come over, so everyone could be near when there was word concerning Devon. And the place had been a damned madhouse! Was it only earlier that week in which Michael had decided to give himself up for the good of his family and friends?

Of course, people from the theater were there to lend support, though John had a sinking suspicion that the support was more for Lucy than Michael, who they all only knew as a raging asshole that went on benders with the lead actress’ brother-in-law. Then there was the Holmes family, and any potential significant others, which amounted to Lara at this point in time. It didn’t take much time for someone to find Michael, who had been apparently hiding in the dining room, and take out their frustrations on him.

John just never would’ve imagined it to be Ben.

Oh, he could see the man for what he had been ages ago; a man could never shed his military roots, no matter how hard he tried. But he had always been kind and generous with everyone, absolutely everyone. Which was exactly why it was such a shock, and thus the reason John had crouched down before Michael with an ice pack. He knew it wasn’t easy to see someone you cared about be hurt, and thank God Sean hadn’t been injured worse than he had. But the frustration would only build, even if the men were dead.

So he had taken Michael out back, murmuring a few quick words to Sean and asking for some liquored drinks for the actor. John only wanted to keep bloodshed out of Lucy’s home, because of Caleb ever found out about it, he’d go ape shit. As it were, the ex-grunt had a feeling someone would have to worry more about Luciana than they would her husband.

“Devon’s awake and wants to see Michael. Will you drive him?” John was staring in shock, if only because Sean’s ability to wake after surgery had been much, much slower. He hadn’t been expecting Devon to wake for several days, honestly.

“Naturalmente, innamorato.” Of course he’d drive Michael. Who else would?

And the drive was a tense one. John didn’t even say anything when Michael lit up in his car, only cracked the windows and made a mental note to get the vehicle detailed in a few days. As it was, their travel time was not the speediest, dealing with an overturned semi-truck on the expressway. Still, he tried to go as fast as humanly possible, reaching the army base in just under an hour. Security was tight this time of night, due to fewer MPs on shift, and far more thorough with hand checks all around.

Then Michael got far ahead, sprinting in an effort to reach Devon that much sooner, obviously. But John hear shouting just ahead, causing him to sprint forward just like every other time this damned family had gotten themselves into trouble. Was it never going to end?

“You get a free pass this time, since you belong to Devon.” You have got to be kidding! Staring at the two, even as he stepped in to separate them, John couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Judging by Michael’s words, and his nose – for the second time tonight! – James had perpetrated the fight! “I will retaliate next time, Holmes… as only a Moriarty can.” That was it, he quit! These people were just downright insane.

But then his saving grace was Caleb himself, taking James away as Michael slipped into Devon’s hospital room. John only shared a helpless look with Rob, both men shrugging before moving on their way. The Director down one path, and the grunt standing just outside the hospital room door. He wasn’t about to intrude upon Michael and Devon’s privacy, not when the agent had just managed to wake. There would be time later for talking.

“What the hell happened?” Caleb asked once he returned, glancing into the room before turning his attention back to John.

“Your father shouted something about being a Holmes, and punched Michael in the nose.” John shrugged for a second time, eyes darting towards the door and back. “I don’t think Michael provoked him at all.” Sighing, he finally looked Caleb up and down. Scruffy and tired, causing him to shake his head. “Go home to Luciana, Devon will be fine.”

“But—”

“Take my car and go get some sleep. You can pick me up later.” It was going to be an interesting night that was certain.

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