A steady beeping fills the room, each little blip chiming in time with his heart. Theo squeezes his eyes more tightly shut, wishing the sound would go away. The pain in his chest does not help, nor does the dull throbbing of his foot. Both seem to radiate waves of an unpleasant heat- and Theo does not know what that means.
At his side, something shifts, nudging his hip. Familiar fingers grasp his own. When he goes to speak, his mouth is dry, as if filled with the sands of the Sahara. A hand must be lifted to help pull open crusted over, salt-stained eyelids.
"Riley?" He croaks out, praying the person by his side is indeed who he thinks. His voice comes out raspier then before, and he cringes at the sound. Has he been asleep a long time? Has something happened to his throat? He shifts, his realization making him uncomfortable. Where is he? Is this a hospital? Theo has never been to a proper hospital.
At his jerking, the soft puffs of breath against his thigh change tempo, and the fingers entwined with his squeeze.
Riley lifts his head from the awful, hospital issue sheets, blinking a moment to grab his bearings. Theo is awake.
"Riley?" Theo asks again, shaking.
"Shh, I'm here," the cop promises, moving to sit lightly on the side of Theo's bed. He takes the immortal man into his arms, careful of his injuries. Never again will he let go. "We're in a hospital," he confirms, kissing the immortal man's hair. "I took you here right after the… incident," his voice softens. "He shot you, Theo. The same moment you shot him. I thought it would start healing… but it didn't."
"… what do you mean?" Theo asks. Panic rises like a great wave. He's going to die, isn't he? He's not healing- the next time he's shot, it will be the last time. He will not survive.
For all the times Theo wished he could just die, he never thought the option would ever present itself. Now that it has, he doesn't want to go. He has Riley- why would he ever want to go?
Riley can sense his fear- the man within his arms tenses. "Shh- Theo- Theo-" he rubs the man's back, "I have you. You're okay. You wounds will just need time to heal… your foot, and your chest."
Theo had been very lucky that the bullet had not found any internal organs. It had ripped some tissue, and left a nice hole, but had done no further damage. The littlest bit in any direction, though, and he might have been dead. Riley didn't know who to thank for that little blessing.
"Your foot is in better shape than your torso, but you won't be able to walk for a while. We can get you things for the pain…" One of his hands moves to rub Theo's thigh, moving up to his hip. "Are you in any pain? I can get them to add more painkillers into your IV."
Theo inspects the needle in his hand, covered by layers of gauze. It hurts, but no where near as much as his other injuries. Still, he does not trust it. He does not like the idea that it is pumping something into his system. They could be giving him anything. "W-what?" he asks, fear further gripping him like a giant claw.
Riley wishes he would calm- he hates seeing that fear.
Gently, he tips Theo's head to kiss his cheek, a careful hand rubbing circles on his back. "Just some fluids to keep you hydrated, and to numb the pain."
"I don't like it." Theo says, but he believes in Riley. If his cop says it is okay, than he will trust in it enough to not struggle. He has not been lead wrong thus far. Careful of his injuries, he snuggles into the man's neck, breathing him in. "Where am I going now?" Surely, Riley won't keep him forever- especially now that he knows all. He's dirty, and broken. He has no real worth, no real skills…
And Riley completely disagrees. "Home? I got you some new books. I thought we could read them together…" he sees the doubt in Theo's eyes. Before he can think it through, he's pressing their lips softly together, pulling away to see Theo's wide eyes.
"I've got you."
And Theo knows it's true.
Maybe, with Riley around, he doesn't need to be perfect, or useful, or even beautiful.
Maybe he doesn't need to be bulletproof.