A/N:Run to You is back! And every single chapter is being massively revamped and mashed up into one another all for the purpose of making every chapter much longer so I can actually do what I wanted to do with it when I started to write it. I will be editing as I post them, but they should only be an hour or two between at tops. Reviews would be spectacular! If you're interested in speeding me up then they are rather essential. Just to leech from any readers (because you're wonderful! And you know it ^_-)
Warnings: First and foremost, this story contains gay content. If this makes you uncomfortable, do not read this story because I will not take the blame for your offence. There is also strong violence, domestic abuse, sexual assault and a whole other range of things including fluff. I will post specific warnings when appropriate.
"This had better be damn important…"
Sam staggered down the street, arms wrapped around his chest in an attempt to lessen the pain spreading from his ribs, tears rolling down his bruised cheeks. The rain was dripping through his blonde hair and had soaked his shirt through, the light material clinging to his thin chest, making his far too visible ribs stand out and him shudder with the cold. With a wordless noise of misery, he stopped to lean against a streetlight gasping shallowly for air, the motion sending agony burning through his chest.
The blonde man leant his head back against the metal pole and looked up into the sky as rain mingled with tears and lines of blood as it pattered onto his face. The sky was black with heavy rain clouds, sheets of rain cascading down onto the empty streets. It was a few hours past midnight, and he still had a long way to walk before he got back to the apartment; he had nowhere else to go and he didn't want to cause anyone else any trouble because of a situation he brought onto himself. There really was no other place to lay the blame.
He pushed himself away from the light post and took a sharp breath as his entire body protested the movement. He pressed on regardless, stepping unsteadily down the path. He was hurting. His pale face bore steadily darkening bruises and his chest and arms had fared little better.
There was a small trail of blood running from the corner of his mouth and he limped heavily on his injured ankle. A car sped down the street, headlights chasing away the shadows and making the droplets of water shimmer, startling him and causing him to side-step away from the road, breathing heavily as the sudden movement sent pain flaring up from his ankle. It rounded the next corner and then the street was once again fell quiet, the only noise his ragged breathing.
It did not long before he could walk no further. He sank down against the wall of a brick building and drew his knees up against his chest, face twisting in pain and blonde hair heavy with water falling over his eyes. He drew his mobile phone from his pocket with a trembling hand and bit his lip. More tears welled in his eyes and a pearl of red liquid stained his teeth as he bit into his lip, realising that he had no other way. He had to call for help; it would be easier to explain to someone now instead of once he was presumed missing. Sam's stomach tightened as icy anxiety grew within him at an alarming rate, fingers dialling the first person that came to mind. The only person that would help.
He just looked at the number on the screen of his phone for a moment in hesitation before hitting the green button below it. The phone started to ring and he shivered, coughing as his throat constricted.
"What the hell do you want?" Jake's voice grumbled when the line finally connected. "It's too early! This had better be damn important and not one of you god-forsaken drunken calls…"
"Could you pick me up?" Sam laughed weakly, a sob catching in his throat. The man on the other side of the phone immediately forgot his qualms with the time. "Where are you? Are you hurt?" He asked urgently and Sam could hear him moving around the room.
"I'm on the corner of Tiernan Avenue and Burgen Street. I'm alright… just… I need to get back." He managed through the tears that just would not stop, feeling more pitiful by the second. He heard Jake pick up his keys, "Hang on. I'll be there in a minute."
"Could you stay on the phone?" Sam asked in a quiet whisper. Jake grunted, and then,
"Yeah, I'll stay on the phone." Eyes slipping closed, Sam dropped his head down against his knees, mobile still held to his ear with his other arm wrapped around his chest. Everything hurt, but the tears that ran unchecked down his cheeks were not entirely due to the pain.
He had started this fight, not Brendan. If he had just kept his mouth shut instead of making such stupid comments, Brendan would never have raised a fist to him. He never would have, it was always his own stupid fault.
"You alright?" Jake's voice interrupted Sam's mind trail.
"Good. I'm almost there." Sam nodded wearily and then, realizing that Jake couldn't see that, spoke.
"Thanks… for this," He murmured, wincing as he took a slow breath in an attempt to replenish his lung's air supply, blinking to disperse the black spots clouding his vision. He really didn't feel so good, and a headache was starting to hammer out its presence.
"Don't mention it."
It felt like ages to Sam before his friend's car finally pulled up in front of the shop. He tried to move, to stand up and walk to the car, but found that he couldn't. In brutal honesty, he was struggling to hold his head up. He was utterly exhausted, anxious, freezing and now decidedly ill. Jake effortlessly lifted Sam into his arms and carried him to the car, carefully placing him into the passenger seat and cursing furiously as he hovered over his friend; he couldn't believe the state that Sam was in.
"What happened?" Jake asked angrily, not that he needed to ask. It was written all over Sam's battered face. Sam didn't answer immediately and he sighed in disbelief as he buckled Sam into the seat and pulled up his collar against the rain as he ducked around to hop into the driver seat of the car
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Sam muttered once Jake was back in the car, his left eye now nearly swollen shut. Jake grimaced but chose to accept the side-step to his question, for the moment anyway. The blonde tried to change the focus by apologizing for getting water all over Jake's car seats, but he just told him to cut it out and then proceeded to drive through two red lights and go miles over the speed limit. "You're going the wrong way." Sam said, murmured, trying to force his worn out body to remain awake.
"No I'm not." Jake assured him with a tone of decisiveness that Sam really didn't want to hear, eyes not moving from the road as he sped through the intersection; rain battering heavily on the windscreen as the storm raged on outside.
"The apartment's back there to the left, not this way, you've missed the-"
His roommate cut off his confused, disoriented voice. "That is not where we're going. You need to get to a hospital. Hell, you've had the absolute shit beaten out of you!" Jake snapped, turning briefly from the wheel. Sam cringed back against the chair and Jake instantly regretted raising his voice. Although, it just confirmed his theory as to who had done this. He forced down the snarl building up in his throat and instead throttled the steering wheel, knuckles turning white.
"If that bastard goes anywhere near you, ever again, I swear I'll-" Jake broke off in what appeared to be a valiant attempt to not swear his head off, complexion reddening in fury as he glared out at the road.
"Don't" Sam begged, voice hitching as he deteriorated into tears once more. "Just… take me back home." He felt pathetic and useless, but god he just wanted to be home and the hospital was not somewhere he wanted to end up. Neither of them had private health cover – it was simply too expensive at the moment – and he knew how much everything would cost. And that wasn't just the hospital fees. Any time taken from work would result in another struggle to meet the rent.
"Are you kidding? You need to get checked out!" Jake snapped, shooting a glare over to Sam. "Christ! I don't give a shit what excuse you've come up with this time, you are hurt!" He said, punctuating these last three words with a heavy hit to the steering wheel. "You can't even bloody well stand."
"Please." He raised his tear-stained face to look at Jake, eyes dull with misery. "Please. Just take me home. I just want to go home." The older man's hands tightened on the wheel and his eyes narrowed. "Jake…"
"Fine." He said, trying to keep his voice calm as he spun the wheel, his sleek car sharply and rather dangerously taking the corner. "But you'll let me look at you. Agreed? You're not getting off that easily." Sam nodded, giving up, and let his head fall back against the headrest, damp, blood-streaked hair sticking to his face. Jake cast him a concerned glance but steeled himself to silence, focusing now on not getting them killed. He didn't know if Sam was in any immediate danger, and having been in a guardianship position before, he was well versed in first aid. Everyone had to know the basics if you were going to make it living in a city as dangerous as this one.
That fucking asshole will find himself in an even worse situation than Sam if he tries to get away with this. He lays one more hand on him and I'll fucking rip his arms off.
Jake was forced to brake suddenly as another car pulled out in front of him and he swore violently at the other driver, who obviously couldn't hear anything anyway through the rage of the weather. Sam slumped forwards against the seat-belt and then limply fell back against the chair, head lolling against the headrest. The dark-haired man cursed, anxiety making his head pound. "Sam, hey, no! Stay with me!" He said quickly, reaching over to shake the too thin man's shoulder. "Come on." Sam didn't respond.
Jake swore heavily and sped off. The idiot. The fucking idiot.
In only moments - thanks to his reckless driving – they were home, and he was careful to not jolt Sam as he parked the car, slamming his door and rushing over to the passenger seat to unbuckle Sam. He crouched down and checked for a pulse, for breathing. It took a few agonising moments but Sam gave a weak cough, and the following breaths took place as normal, if a little shallow. He exhaled slowly in relief and carefully collected his housemate into his arms, cradling him so his head was securely against his chest.
Sam was lighter in his arms than he should have been at any rate, and Jake made a mental note to keep a closer eye on how much he was eating. Sam always had been small and thin but sometimes, when the rent got a little too tight and they had to work extra hours just to keep the house, he would notice Sam taking little more than an apple to work with him, giving him assurances that he would buy lunch in his break. He swore that his cheekbones were starting to stick out too much again. There was no reason to cut corners like that to save money. Idiot should actually talk with him when he was worried, not just cut corners like that.
Jake shoved open the door to their apartment and rushed inside. It was small. Two bedrooms, one bathroom and a tiny living room with a kitchen, but it was more than enough for the two of them. It wasn't as if they could afford to go anywhere else in any case. He carefully placed Sam down on the couch and forced himself to calm as the light showed him what he had missed before. Sam's delicate face was a mass of dark bruises. His lip was swollen and there were darkening handprints on his neck. That explained the rasping breaths.
Setting his jaw tightly and fighting back rage, Jake gently reached out to tuck back a strand of Sam's hair that was hanging over his eyes. His friend took a shallow breath and his eyes creased as he tightly squeezed them closed. Jake grunted in relief to see him again awake and threw a blanket haphazardly over Sam before turning away to grab the medical kit which he kept carefully stocked.
"Don't go back to sleep." Jake said sharply as he returned with the box in hand, sitting down on the couch and grabbing some bandages. If that's what Sam's face looked like, he was definitely going to look at his friend's chest. The last time this happened, there was nothing that couldn't be hidden, and the only way he figured out that something was wrong was by giving Sam a gentle shove, which resulted in the blonde doubling over and gasping.
Sam reluctantly helped Jake pull of his shirt, looking away. Jake managed to keep his composure and started to wrap the bandages around the bony chest. The intensity of the bruises just screamed broken ribs, and Jake wasn't willing to take the chance that they weren't. The blonde took a sharp breath, pain flashing over his face, and reached up to take hold of Jake's wrist. He faltered and looked quickly to Sam.
"Did I hurt you? Is it too tight?" Jake asked, frowning in concern as he noticed that Sam's eyes were becoming glassy once more.
"I'm sorry." Was the answer, and Jake snorted, looking back to his hands that shook in anger. He gently brushed off Sam's hand and tied off the white bandage, sitting back to check that it was neat. Sam said something, but the words were too soft for him to hear, and Jake leant forwards, pressing his hand to Sam's forehead to check for a temperature.
"What was that?" Jake asked, trying to catch the brilliant blue eyes that were again looking anywhere but at him.
"Going to be sick." Sam repeated, louder this time, voice trembling as he pressed a hand to his mouth, grimacing. Jake flew into action mode and carefully helped Sam up, more than half carrying him to the bathroom and placing him down by the toilet. Within moments, Sam was hunched over the porcelain, retching as his stomach emptied itself of its contents. Jake grimaced and rubbed Sam's trembling shoulders, not knowing what else to do.
He couldn't get a grip on just how furious he was. Sam was one of those kind, charming and eloquent people that manage somehow to shift themselves straight into your life. He was a complete idiot though, and constantly optimistic and always wearing this stupid goofy grin that usually followed one of his shockingly irritating comments. Most of the time, it annoyed the crap out of him. And also for someone who took so much pride in their appearance and presentation, Sam was a complete slob. The apartment was constantly littered with articles of clothing; light blue jumper in the kitchen, a few unfolded, clean shirts on the couch, and socks in the most obnoxious places, somehow even managing to make it into Jake's room.
He used all of the hot water, sang in the shower (always whatever song Jake had stupidly admitted to hating the night before), and was always up at some bloody ridiculous hour of the morning in what seemed to be in the intent of simply annoying Jake. But even though the blonde's dumb-ass antics seemed only to make him angry and he made a very strong point of telling Sam exactly that, they never really annoyed him. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Not that he would ever admit to that.
Well, waking up at 5:30 in the morning to see that idiot sprawled out on your bed was something that never garnered anything more than irritation. First he would be annoyed at seeing the grin first thing in the morning, and then he would notice the time, and then – and only then – he would start to wonder why the hell Sam was in his room in the first place. Then on his bed. Mornings made him angry, and waking up like that really set of a line of rage-filled explosions, but the small quirks that Sam had, like his ability to see good in every person and situation, these were the things that made him smile.
Even if he would never admit to it.
There were no to people so different in personality and appearance but Jake believed this to be the single reason that he hadn't gone mad yet. Sam was skinny, almost dangerously so, whereas Jake was well built, a real exercise junkie (he had even nailed a punching bag into the ceiling of the living room), and he barely smiled and didn't like to talk much more than was necessary but Sam, Sam never stopped smiling and never shut the hell up.
Reality sprang back into sharp focus when Sam sat back, sinking against the wall and quivering as hoarse sobs wracked his lithe frame. Jake grabbed a towel which he had dropped in the sink earlier and turned Sam around to clean off Sam's face. The blonde let his eyes shut, face flushed with fever, and Jake sighed, discarding the soiled towel and lifting Sam off the floor. "Come on, up you get." He debated between carrying him and just helping him out when Sam swayed slightly and he lifted him into his arms again with a small sigh.
He sat Sam down on the edge of his bed and sat down beside him, rubbing his shoulder comfortingly. His friend's face was turned away, and he had just stared to wonder whether he was again crying when Sam did something Jake hadn't expected him to do. He leant over and clung to Jakes shirt, burying his head in the crook of his neck, blonde hair falling down to cover the side of his face. Jake froze for a moment, feeling suddenly awkward, before he wrapped his strong arms carefully around the blonde, holding him close to his chest and just sitting still. It worked to calm Sam, somehow, and the blonde relaxed, just clinging onto Jake.
"You alright?" He asked quietly, awkwardly patting Sam on the back. Comforting people had never been his strong point, and 'hugs' didn't really cross into his social life, but it had calmed Sam so he didn't move. The younger of the two nodded into Jake's chest and pulled back wearily, eyes still bloodshot, although he was no longer crying. "Go to sleep." He said, standing up. He brought Sam some painkillers and left some more on the bedside in case he woke up during the night. "Just yell if you need something." He instructed. Sam nodded silently again, burying his face in the pillows.
If anything, his silence scared Jake more than the bruises had. He grimaced and left the room, deciding that he had been through a hell of a lot and probably just needed some time. He shut Sam's door behind him and sank down onto the couch, heaving a sigh and dropping his head into his hands. He'd seen this coming, but had decided to let it go instead of acting on his suspicions. It was not something he was proud of.
Sam had been seeing this guy called Brendan for a few months now. Jake himself had only seen him twice, but he had instantly pegged him as an A-grade asshole. According to Sam though, he was nice, caring and handsome. He'd just snorted. Then their arguments had started. Turned out that Brendan was an angry drunk, and had been drinking more and more lately. One thing that Sam was always clear about was his disdain for alcohol, he hardly ever drank, and when he did it was a glass of wine. Out of all the spirits Jake had handy, he chose wine. Sam had, with Jake's instruction, tried to ask Brendan to at least drop the amount a bit. He had come home with a black eye.
Things just escalated from there. Sprained ankle – from falling down the stairs apparently. Broken ribs; same damn staircase. He had smiled bashfully while trying not to aggravate his ribs, saying that he really should start using the handrail. Through all of this, his idiotic smile had stayed put. Through all of this, things had never been as bad as they had tonight. And through all of this, he had just watched from a distance and had never been strong enough to damn well make the call and stop this shit.
And Jake had never felt so accepting of the idea of jail. It was worth a sentence if he got to kick this bastard's ass right?
He hated that Sam could be so forgiving. He'd say these dumb ass things like, "It was my fault." Or: "I started it, I deserved it." And then; "It's nothing, really." It made him sick. And even worse, the day after one of the more aggressive attacks, Sam had come home smiling, eyes bright with happiness, tucking his soft blonde hair behind his ear and blissfully ignoring the dark marks on his face.
"He said he loves me."
Up till then, he had been able to reign in his anger. That was all it took. One simple lie and everything was forgiven. He hated that Sam couldn't see how wrong it was. That was not love. That was nothing near love. Love was when someone would do anything possible to prevent the other from falling into harm's way; to bring a smile to their face every day and never, ever let anyone take that away. He felt like an idiot for thinking something like that but it was true. Whenever he had been with someone, the idea of hurting them was alien, and he couldn't even begin to imagine just how the mind of people that would do something like that worked.
He hated that Sam meant so little to himself that he couldn't see through this. Hell, he thought that this was the closest thing to love that he could get, and it was destroying him.
Jake swore and lay down on the couch, eyes still absently on Sam's door. In the morning he would have to tell him he could never see this guy again. Brendan had crossed the line this time, and he was so, so sick of watching someone as bright and alive as Sam be crushed into nothingness. This would stop. He would stop it, and even if it made Sam hate him for the rest of his life, it would be worth it. He meant too much to Jake, and this was too wrong.
He had gone through school with Sam, half of the time trying to escape the stupid situations that Sam dragged him into, and the rest of the time trying to keep Sam himself out of trouble. It seemed that the blonde was a magnet for misfortune, even if he had never really noticed it himself. Their comradeship was interrupted when Jake ran into some serious problems at home, and then he had left school, left Sam behind, and tried to get his life back on the rails.
Two years ago, when Jake was sitting at the table musing over the pointlessness of his own life, the phone rang. Sam needed somewhere to live and had rang Jake. Of course he had said yes, never bothering to question the obvious fact that Sam had friends back in his own state that would be more than happy to house him, but instead just enjoying the fact that he again had a friend; that he was again enjoying the day to day monotony because of Sam's company.
Sam was his closest friend, his only real friend, and In the morning, he would fix all of this. With that thought firmly in mind, Jake let himself fall into a restless sleep, face frozen in a frown.
A/N: No pitchforks please, I know I'm combining chapters, but that's because I want them all to be bigger. :) It's a means to an end, and there will be monolithic new chapters very shortly. By at least tomorrow. At least. And I'm fixing all the silly mistakes and plot issues and changing things.