AN: New story. See Warnings at the bottom, or read without them.


Clouded Daylight

Chapter One


River stood outside the door to apartment 302C, a faint smile on his face, a bunch of colorful flowers clutched gently in one hand. There was no sign of anyone about, though he had seen the old lady across the hall staring at him suspiciously through the crack of her chained door. She was probably watching him through the peephole right now.

That amused him enough that his faint smile grew a bit, but it quickly dimmed as he tried to imagine Wynn's reaction. That wiped the smile from his face, since there was no one but the old lady peeping on him to see it. He was nervous. This was his last try to get Wynn to agree to a date.

Nervously, River glanced at his watch. It read 2:47, so Wynn should be showing up at any moment. River's smile returned a bit. It did seem faintly stalker-like that he knew that, but it was only chance. Wynn's class ended the same time River's normally did, but for the fact that River's had been cancelled today, and he was being spontaneous.

As if on cue, the elevator at the end of the hall chose that moment to ding softly, announcing it's arrival on the third floor. The doors slid open quietly to reveal a tall, dark-haired young man with bright green eyes and a frown on his face. River straightened, a familiar smile finding its way with ease to his face.


xXxXxXx


Wynn stepped off the elevator, a frown pulling at his mouth. He didn't notice River right away, too distracted by the conversation he'd had with his professor before he left campus. Apparently his work wasn't up to par with some of the other students in the course, and the professor had seen fit to single him out at the end of class to speak with him. So Wynn wasn't in a really pleasant mood.

River was a handsome young man, and Wynn liked him, he truly did. At least as much as any of his other 'friends.' River was persistent in trying to further their relationship though, past friendship. But River was far too lighthearted for anything but a brief fling, so Wynn kept brushing him off. It didn't stop River from trying though, and it was seriously weighing on Wynn's nerves.

Today was no different it seemed. The bright blonde hair was pulled back into a loose braid, the grey eyes were shining brightly, the ever present smile fixed in place on River's face. Something was off about the man, though Wynn couldn't place it.

"Hello, River." He said, pulling out his keys. Hopefully this would be quick, he wanted to work on the papers he had to rewrite while the professor's criticisms were fresh in his head.

The smile widened a notch. "Hello, Wynn." With a small flourish, a small bouquet of flowers was presented to him – daisies and solidasters of shades of orange, yellow and red. Wynn closed his eyes, fighting off a bout of irritation.

"River." Wynn stated, moving his gaze from the flowers to River's face, in time to see the smile slip a bit before bravely returning. "We've talked about this." It didn't matter that his tone was less than gentle. They had talked about this. Well, Wynn had talked. It seemed River hadn't really listened.

Wynn made quick work of opening his door, leading River into the kitchen. He watched as River leaned against the counter casually, still holding the flowers in one hand.

"River." Wynn started again, a frown tugging at his lips once more. He paused, watching the blonde wisps as they fell haphazardly about River's face, freeing slowly from his loose braid. "You can't keep doing this. I've already said no. Multiple times."

River bit his lip, unconsciously mimicking Wynn's nervous habit. After a slightly strained silence, River spoke. "Um… right. Sorry. You might want to put these in water or something." River set the flowers down on the counter, brushing past Wynn as he left the small apartment. Wynn frowned, it wasn't like River to give up so easily. He brushed it off quickly though, debating on whether to keep the flowers or just toss them.

In the end they wound up in a small vase by the sink, where he could easily refill the vase if the water disappeared. He frowned lightly, his mind was totally off his paper now. It was a good thing it was Friday though, otherwise he'd be screwed for tomorrow's classes.

The phone rang as he walked through the living room, and he stood there, waiting for the machine to pick it up.

"Hey Wynn, the gang's goin' clubbing tonight, if you're free and wanna have some fun, well, we'll be at the Imperious first around nine."

The girl on the line was cut off as the phone was wrested away from her.

"Hey Wynn, you gotta come man, everyone's gonna be there, 'cept Jesse. It just wouldn't be the same without you – hey! Stef-"

The voice changed again, back to the girl again.

"Hope to see you there Wynn, who knows, maybe you'll find someone up to your standards! See ya!"

The dial tone rang out, the parting jibe making him feel just a bit guiltier about brushing off River. Perhaps his standards were a bit too high, but he was looking for more than a meaningless fling, which was all he was sure to get with River. He'd go, even if Stephanie and Will were some of the more brain dead 'friends' he had.


xXxXxXx


River blinked furiously as he rode the elevator down the two stories to reach the first floor of Wynn's building, hoping to hold the tears in check. He attempted a smile at the doorman, but it was weak, and he knew it. The man smiled sympathetically back, he'd had a few conversations with River before, and he honestly didn't know what the blonde man saw in Wynn.

River's apartment was cold and dark when he reached it, being halfway across the city, and having crappy heating and a lazy landlord. The clock read 4:43 when he walked in, the dark shadows of an early winter's night casting the small, sparsely decorated rooms into shadow.

The light on his answering machine was blinking, but for once, River ignored it, dropping his keys on the kitchen counter, draping his coat after it. He walked as far as the couch before he stopped, flopping down listlessly and staring out one of the small windows that faced the building next door blankly.

He should've known, really. As he'd been told before, he was nothing but an irresponsible, air-headed twit, so what would Wynn see in him? He didn't know why he expected Wynn to see anything different in him, no one else bothered to look past the smiles and flighty personality that deflected all thoughts of anything deeper than the surface.

There was only one cure – well, not precisely a cure, for he'd still remember tomorrow. But he was going to go out and get horribly, mind-numbingly drunk and forget, at least for tonight, everything about Wynn, and Wynn's final rejection of him. Because he'd be damned if he set himself up for that again.


xXxXxXx


Wynn surveyed the club with just the barest hint of distaste. This was the third club Stef and Will, along with a motley assortment of other pretentious airheads, had dragged him to. They were all drunk and stumbling over themselves, as Wynn noticed quite acutely when a blonde girl whose name he didn't know, fell all over him as they stood.

She blinked up at him in a manner she probably considered seductive, and Wynn might've gone for it if she were male, had hair of a few shades lighter and grey eyes. That's right, his thoughts were entirely on River, that stupid blonde airhead who he couldn't get out of his head, no matter who he tried to distract himself with.

Pushing the blonde girl off of him, Wynn stood from the booth they'd all crowded themselves into and made his way irritably up to the bar. He ordered a drink, something slightly stronger than what he had been drinking so far. Hopefully he'd be able to get River out of his head long enough to get some enjoyment out of the evening.

He glowered as he waited for his drink, staring down the bar as the bartender hunted through bottles. His mood wasn't much improved when he caught sight of a flash of blonde hair that matched River's shade perfectly. It quickly disappeared into the crowd though, and he was left scowling at the bartender.

It was half an hour and two heavy drinks later that he found himself in the men's restroom. It was surprisingly empty for such a large crowd, only one stall of the five occupied. There was a couple getting very intimate on the far wall, but Wynn ignored them, disappearing into one of the stalls to do his business.

It wasn't until he left the stall that he realized that the much shorter woman, the one pushed up against the wall, had the same pale blonde shade of hair as River. He also realized, upon further consideration, that the only one getting intimate was the larger, muscular guy, whose hands were seemingly everywhere while the blonde's dangled limply by his sides. It seemed the blonde girl was barely standing, but that didn't deter the muscular guy too much.

Wynn was already in a bad mood, what with his thoughts focusing on River. The sight of the brutish man forcing himself upon the blonde made him see red. He hated pretentious people like that who thought that they could take anything they wanted, to hell with the consequences, Daddy's rich, he'll get me out of it. That and he was in a foul mood to begin with.

Without further thought, he pulled the guy around by the shoulder and slammed a fist into his face, hard, barely registering as the blonde woman slid limply down the wall. The muscular guy must've been already wasted, for he went down with one punch, falling to land with his face inches from a urinal.

Wynn's evening didn't get much better. For on closer inspection, it turned out that the blonde woman was actually a blonde man, and the reason that the blonde hair looked exactly the same shade as River's was because it was River's. The blonde was currently slumped against the wall, eyes clenched shut, arms wrapped about himself as if to ward off a chill.

Wynn shook himself as a hot wave of rage washed through him. It wasn't River's fault. He shouldn't be resenting the blonde for being molested in the same area he happened to be in. He hesitated for a moment, before stepping forward cautiously.

"River?" The blonde's eyes slid open slowly, the pupils dilated widely, giving the blonde a strung out, dazed look.

"River, you've got to stand up, can you do that?" Wynn asked, frowning. The blonde was probably high off some drug he'd taken, but Wynn couldn't leave him there. River just stared at him blankly, the wide pupils of his eyes eerie in the bathroom's fluorescent lighting. Wynn sighed irritably, before grabbing River by the elbow, wrapping an arm around him carefully, and pulling the blonde to his feet.

River swayed a bit, but didn't fall, and Wynn started the long process of guiding him to the door. He caught sight of Stef and Will, and the large group of people he'd come with, but ignored them, concentrating on getting River out of there. Once they were outside of the building, River pushed him away weakly, stumbling over to throw up in the mouth of the alley next to the club.

Wynn frowned, but waited impatiently as River emptied his stomach. When the blonde was done, Wynn led him to the curb, hailing a cab. He pushed River into the backseat, ignoring the agitated look the cabbie gave him.

"Your friend there, he's not gonna puke on my seat is he?" The cabbie rumbled darkly.

"No." Wynn said shortly, glaring at the man, then at River, who was looking exceptionally pale. "1403 West Market Street."

The cabbie pulled away from the curb, and Wynn slumped against the seat, shutting his eyes. This had to be one of the worst nights out ever. Beside him he could feel River start to shiver slightly. He opened his eyes, realizing then that River wasn't wearing his coat. He hoped the blonde hadn't left it at the club, because there was no way he was going back for it.

It took five minutes to reach Wynn's apartment complex, and he frowned, not yet having given thought to his plan. Well, it wasn't as though he knew River's address, and he wasn't about to go rooting through the blonde's pockets for his wallet. He dragged the still-shivering blonde out of the cab, tossing a bit of money at the driver before pulling River into the apartment building, nodding at the night doorman.

He dragged River into the elevator, the blonde becoming little more than barely standing dead weight. Wynn frowned, brushing a stray lock of tousled blonde hair out of River's face. The grey eyes were shut, River's breathing slightly erratic. The elevator let out a soft ding when it reached the third floor, and it didn't take long for Wynn to drag River down to his apartment.

The blonde was shaking violently now, even though they were in the heated building. Wynn's brown wrinkled in concern as he somehow managed the door while propping River up. The kitchen and living room were easy to manage, and he pushed River down onto the sofa, more concerned when River's eyes barely flickered open before shutting again, the blonde man sliding down the back of the sofa to lie on his side, still trembling violently.

Wynn fetched a pillow and the comforter from his bed, returning to settle River in a bit more. He may have been concerned for the blonde, but that didn't mean he was happy with him. The tremors that wracked River's body started to subside after a moment, and Wynn relaxed, the concern dissipating. He brushed a few errant strands of blonde hair from River's face once more, then pulled his hand back sharply when he realized what he was doing.

Wynn scowled and stood deliberately, walking away from River's passed out form purposely. It was nearing one in the morning, and though he wasn't really too tired, he stripped to his boxers and slid between his sheets, trying to forget the fact that a certain blonde man was passed out in the living room.

It took Wynn quite a while to fall asleep, trying to force his thoughts away from River. He didn't understand why it was so hard, the blonde man annoyed him more than anything, so he shouldn't have any problem ignoring him. He finally drifted off, the clock next to him shouting out in neon green numbers 2:43.


xXxXxXx


Wynn woke the next morning to the unpleasant sound of someone throwing up nearby. A slight headache made itself known, and Wynn groaned in annoyance, hoping to hell whoever it was would stop.

But it seemed to go on forever, until Wynn was positive that there was more than one person trying to puke up their stomachs in his bathroom. Standing somewhat woozily, he made his way over to the bathroom door, accessible only through the bedroom.

He opened the door carefully – well, it was already slightly open, so he nudged it open the rest of the way, stepping in noisily. When he caught sight of the blonde hanging on to the toilet seat like it was a lifesaver, his jaw dropped, until he remembered the previous night, taking River home because he was high and drunk and god knows what else.

And now the blonde woke him up with his incessant retching, putting the cap on the entire encounter. Wynn scowled, but decided to ignore River, turning instead to brush his teeth. It felt like something had crawled into his mouth and died an unpleasant death. He was slightly concerned when River was still heaving dryly as he finished, but decided to get some aspirin and then he'd check on the blonde again.

Sure enough, when he came back for the second time, it seemed River had finally finished trying to empty his stomach. The blonde was leaning weakly against the sink cabinet, his breathing slow and his eyes shut.

Wynn hesitated, then went to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. He brought the bottle of painkillers back with him. If he had a headache, there was little doubt River had one too. He returned to the bathroom to find River standing and splashing water on his face.

The blonde man still wore the clothes he was wearing last night – a pair of dark, now wrinkled, trousers and a tight, cream colored turtleneck. It looked good on him, but Wynn pushed that thought away, setting the glass down with a clink of glass on porcelain, setting the bottle of painkillers next to it. River spared him a glance before popping four of the pills with a large gulp of water.

"Thank you." River said, setting the glass back down, watching Wynn hesitantly. "Um… not to be rude, but… why am I here?"

Wynn's lips thinned. The ass had been so high he couldn't even remember last night? Wonderful

"Well, not to be rude or anything," Wynn mocked, letting his irritation show, "but you were drunk and high as a kite last night when I found you being molested in a club bathroom by some muscle bound freak of nature, so I took you home to sleep it off."

The blonde winced, dropping his gaze.

"Are you at least feeling better?" Wynn finally asked when the silence got too unbearable.

"Better than what?" River asked dryly. "I've just spent twenty minutes retching into a toilet, I've got a hangover from a night I remember in bare flashes, and I'm standing mortified in the bathroom of the guy I'm crushing on. Of course I'm feeling good."

Wynn blinked, then scowled. "I thought you were over that."

"Oh, of course I'm over it, I only just gave up yesterday, of course I'm over it by now." River said sarcastically, brushing past Wynn to cross the bedroom and disappear into the living room.

Wynn's stomach clenched oddly as he heard River say he'd given up, but he put it down to the effects of his mild hangover as he followed the blonde out to the living room. River was pulling on his boots, sitting on the couch by the rumpled bedspread. The blonde didn't look up at him, concentrating on lacing his boots as Wynn watched from the doorway.

River stood and met his gaze. "Do you happen to have my coat around here somewhere?" He asked with a small frown.

Wynn shook his head. "You weren't wearing it when you left the club, and I didn't think to ask after it."

River nodded, then turned and walked through the kitchen. "I'll see you then. Thank you for last night." The door shut after him before Wynn could reply, or even offer him a jacket. There was something vaguely unsettling about the way River had been acting, but he couldn't put his finger on it.

It wasn't for another hour that he realized that River hadn't once smiled that cheerful, flippant smile that always graced his face.


xXxXxXx
River walked down the sidewalk, arms curled about his upper body in an attempt to ward off the chill. He had temporarily forgotten that it was winter, in his rush to get out of Wynn's apartment and away from the uncomfortable silences that seemed rampant.

He'd left his keys and his wallet in the jacket he'd worn last night, so he was currently making the long walk back to the club in the hopes that he wouldn't have to change his locks and cancel his credit cards.

He was so lost in his thoughts, and the misery of his headache, the cold air breezing through his thin turtleneck and the overpowering exhaustion that gripped his body that he didn't notice the man pacing him for quite a few minutes. This was odd, because this man was not one that was easily missed.

He had dark hair, streaked bright violet, fashioned into three inch long spikes that shot every which way, black lipstick, bright blue eyeliner, and the oddest outfit River had ever seen. Baggy black bondage pants that could've hidden a quartet of emancipated children, fashioned with purple stripes and streaks, a thick black turtleneck that clung to his chest and stomach closely, and an assortment of silver jewelry, from the huge four-gauge holes in his ears, to the lip ring, to the silver locket about his throat, to the spiked bracelets on his left wrist. River was able to take in the entirety of the man's outfit because he wore no coat – that was draped casually over his right arm.

The first thing the man said to him made River give a genuine laugh, something he hadn't done in quite some time.

"I'm not a mugger." The man smiled widely, revealing a tongue stud. River blinked and then laughed, as the words settled in.

"That's wonderful. I don't have my wallet on me in any case." River stated blandly, smiling a bit.

"Or a coat I see." The man gave River a once-over.

"Or my coat." River said, chaffing his arms a bit.

A heavy warm weight draped about him suddenly and he started, knocking the coat that had been draped about his shoulders to the ground.

"Sorry." He muttered, leaning down to pick it up. But when he made to give it back, the man wouldn't accept it.

"You're freezing. Not to mention you look like you got hit with an 'sickly and hungover' stick."

"Tactful." River said, but smiled a bit, shrugging the coat on gratefully.

"That's me. Mr. Tactful."

"Oh? So what's your first name, Mr. Tactful?"

There was a short pause, then the man made a face. "Well, I was attempting a witty comeback, but it didn't work out. My name's Evan."

River smiled again, his second genuine smile in as many minutes. "River."

"Pleased to share my coat, River."

"Pleased as well, to not be cold."

"So River, where are you headed?" Evan asked, as they continued walking.

"Um… I managed to leave my coat last evening at a club. I was walking to see if I could get it back without too much trouble." River explained.

"That could be tough, depends on which club though."

River paused. "Oh. Oh shit."

Evan stopped too, ignoring when he was pushed into by some irritated pedestrian. "You forgot where you were last night, didn't you?" Evan's voice wasn't accusatory, and River felt oddly comforted by this.

River just nodded, a faint blush lighting his cheeks, though he wasn't sure why. "This is… not good." Wynn would know. Though he wasn't sure if he wanted to chance calling him, he didn't seem to be in the best of moods.

"Who took you home last night?" Evan asked him, his voice as neutral as before.

"Wynn. He's a friend of mine. Sort of. Not really." River said, with a sad frown that he quickly pushed away, smiling brightly instead, a fake smile though, like usual.

To his surprise though, Evan looked sad. "Don't smile like that. It's not pretty."

River's brows knitted in confusion, though he did drop the smile.

"Would you like to call him now, or wait a bit? We could go get breakfast." Evan offered, starting them walking again.

"Um… I really should get my coat." River hedged.

"But you would rather wait to call him. Breakfast it is, babe." Evan steered him into a nearby café.

"But I can't pay for this." River protested as he was ushered to the counter, ignoring the 'babe' Evan had tacked on to his last sentence.

"It's on me. For the pleasure of your company." Evan winked roguishly. River blinked at him unsurely, but placed an order for a blueberry muffin and a large coffee. Evan ordered a triple mocha latte with whipped cream and a banana cranberry muffin. They sat in the front of the café, by the big plate glass window.

River picked at his muffin, not too thrilled at the prospect of solid food after trying to get rid of his stomach earlier. He sipped at the perfectly made coffee, trying to figure out the man sitting across from him.

"Why are you being so nice to me?" River asked, finally, unable to stand the quiet silence that had fallen between them, the question weighing heavily on his mind.

"Because you looked like you need it." Evan replied simply, taking a huge bite out of his muffin. "Mmmpht thppht phhhhtp."

River blinked bemusedly. "Without the muffin please?"

"Because you looked like you needed it, and because I was there. You gonna eat that, babe?" River slid the muffin to the spiky haired boy, smiling as he took a great bite out of it, only to have a smaller chunk fall off to crumble in his lap. "Oops." River's smile grew a bit. Evan grinned back at him, close-mouthed, for there was still a huge bite of muffin in there.


xXxXxXx


Wynn had decided to go back to bed after River had left, exhausted by his late night. It was only half an hour later, though, that he was jolted awake by someone pounding at his door. Glowering, he opened to door to find a widely grinning Will and a half-drunk Stef standing in his hallway.

Wynn scowled at the couple standing outside his door. He really wasn't in the mood to see anyone, let alone the two ever-cheerful airheads who graced his doorway. Will greeted him cheerfully oblivious, while Stef hung all over him, looking half drunk and doing a damn good impression of it too, wavering as she stood.

"Hey Wynn." Will's lecherous smirk set him on edge again, and he couldn't help the deepening of his scowl.

"What do you want?" Wynn snapped, any hope of a good day totally ruined.

Will looked suddenly uncertain at Wynn's snappish tone. "Well, we saw you leave with River last evening..." if anything the mention of that made Wynn's scowl deepen. "...and Stef noticed he wasn't wearing his jacket. Since we don't know where he lives, we decided to come drop it off here."

"He's not here." Wynn snapped, still annoyed at both River and now Will. Will looked crestfallen, but mustered bravely, holding the black leather jacket out at Wynn.

"Could ya take it? He's more likely to talk to you first than us." Wynn glowered at Will, but accepted the coat reluctantly. Will instantly cheered up, smiling brightly. "Thanks man! We'll be off now."

Wynn waved a hand and shut the door, scowl still fixed to his face. He tossed the coat carelessly onto a nearby chair and went to back to bed.

It was less than ten minutes later when the phone rang, and with a growl Wynn gave up on his nap, striding across the room to where the phone lay crookedly on the desk. He snapped it up with a terse, "What!"

"Erm… hello… Wynn?" The voice was somewhat familiar, but the static on the phone line was making it hard to figure out just who it was.

"Yes." Wynn snapped, his normally complacent behavior was shot after dealing with River, Stef and Will, and his incessant thoughts about River.

"It's River. Do you know the name …static… club you found me at last night?" Wynn automatically scowled at the name River.

"What? Why?" His tone wasn't getting any friendlier, it was however, getting angrier. How dare River disturb his day after ruining his evening?

"Because I …static…coat there, remember? Because I don't …static… of the club."

"What? Your coat?" Wynn asked, the static making him glower.

"Yes! I left it …static…club. Can you tell me where you found me last night?"

Wynn scowled as he remembered Will and Stef. "It's here."

"What?"

"Your coat, it's here. Will and Stef saw you leave with me last night, they brought it here." Wynn said with a frown as he mourned his lost nap.

"It's there? Is it …static… stop by to get it?"

"Yes, just goddammit get off that damn static-ridden phone. And hurry, I've got things to do today." Wynn snapped.

"Okay… yes, hold on. We'll be there in ten minutes. Bye." Wynn frowned as he heard the dial tone. We? God what if he'd run into Will and Stef? And they were coming back too? With a sigh Wynn went back to the kitchen and swallowed another few Tylenol. At this rate he'd need them.


xXxXxXx


Wynn was awake when the knock sounded almost quietly on his front door. He'd decided that he could nap later, after River had left for the second time. And that when he did, he was taking the damn phone off the hook and ignoring anyone who knocked.

He scooped up the jacket that was still flung carelessly over a random chair and swung the door open, his face resembling a storm cloud about to unleash an angry bolt of lightning on an unsuspecting victim.

He was slightly shocked when he opened the door to find no one. But further investigation found the missing River slumped against the wall, leaning heavily on both it and a man Wynn had never seen before. And he certainly would've remembered if he had, by the looks of the man.

"River?" He found himself questioning, sounding concerned despite his best attempts to hide it.

River's head shot up – which apparently wasn't a good thing, for the blonde half collapsed, his knees giving way. The man with the bright purple spikes set River down carefully, propping him against the wall. Wynn found himself summarily ignored.

"River? Come on River, doll, look at me." The man checked River's eyes in the dim hall light, before picking up one limp wrist and putting his fingers to it.

"What's wrong with him?" Wynn asked, frowning again. River hadn't seemed too bad off when he'd left, why did he look so horrible now?

"I'm not sure. He looks drugged though." The man said, before returning his attention to River. "He wasn't like this that long ago. He stayed the night with you, right?"

Wynn nodded.

"Did you give him anything this morning? Do you know if he's allergic to anything?"

"He took Tylenol. That's it. I think he may've had some drugs last night though, he was really out of it when I brought him here." Wynn stated. "I don't know him well enough to say if he's allergic to anything." Somehow his last words were accusatory. Though what he was accusing the young man of, he didn't know.

But the man was ignoring him again. "Come on River, can you stand babe?" Wynn frowned at the endearment, but willingly moved aside as the man maneuvered River to his feet and into the apartment.

"Evan?" River mumbled as he was led through the kitchen to the living room again. He was sat on the couch that still had the comforter from the previous evening scrunched at the end.

"I'm right here, doll." Evan assured, brushing feather-soft blonde hair away from River's bright and dilated grey eyes. The iris was a thin ring around the dark centers and Wynn frowned in concern – what was happening to River?

"Evan?" River's tone was panicked. "Evan, I can't breathe." River's breath was coming in quick gasps, his eyes darting about frantically. "Evan?"

"Call an ambulance." The man – Evan – snapped, before turning back to River. "River, calm down, babe. It's okay." Evan gripped River's cheeks as he spoke soothingly to the frightened blonde. "Slow breaths. Help is coming."

Wynn's hand was shaking, but he managed to dial and get an ambulance on the way. He returned to the living room to find River pulled against Evan's chest, his breathing still erratic. Evan was still whispering soothingly to River, who had calmed down a bit, but not much.

"We have to get him down to the door. It will be quicker." Wynn said, throwing on shoes and shoving keys into his pocket. He grabbed the nearest jacket, before turning to help with River. They tried to maneuver him out the door, but he was dead weight, barely conscious. Evan finally seemed to get sick of it, scooping River off the ground with a minimum of effort.

"Get the door." Evan said, his tone professional and without a shred of emotion. Wynn nodded and went ahead, getting the elevator while watching River in concern. The blonde appeared to be totally unconscious now, his head lolling against Evan's chest.

They were downstairs in minutes, neither speaking, both focused on River. The doorman, a man whose name Wynn didn't know, asked what was wrong with him, concern showing in his portly face. Wynn was irritated that a man who didn't know his name, knew River's. For god's sake, he lived here!

The ambulance was there only minutes after they got River downstairs, minutes that seemed to take forever. Evan nodded in greeting to the paramedics, before joining them in setting up River for transport. Wynn was left in the background, feeling helpless and out of place.


Warnings:

I started this a while ago, and while I have revised it some, there are some aspects of the story that may seem amateurish. Like for example, Evan's style and hair. But I'm keeping them that way on purpose. For one, I like the way it works with Evan's personality. For another, it's going to play a BIG role in Wynn's personality change. In case you didn't notice, Wynn has problems stereotyping. This is going to change, but only by exposing Wynn to stereotyped people who don't live up to it.

Slow updates. Summer crush with working five days a week and my brother's graduating this weekend, among other things that I'm doing. OMG I've got a life. For once. So slow updates. I'll be working on it in whatever spare time I've got, but I'm looking to longer chapters for this one, so longer in between times. I DO have half the next one done, but still, low expectations means less disappointment.

Reviews make me warm and fuzzy.