Where The Infirmary
Rating/Warnings PG, none
Evan swallowed hard, looking back and forth between his House Head - standing by the hospital screen, and the incredibly composed-looking Healer, who sat in a tall wooden chair at the end of his bed.
“What we’re trying to say, Mr Rosier,” the Healer said, in that sugary, patronising voice, “is that we think you’ll benefit from time spent away from the school, in our specialised ward where we will be able to help you - take care of you. You’ll be back in school before you know it!”
Evan shrank back against the head of the bed, sheets twisted in his fingers, face pale. Take me away? From here? From Regulus? He shook his head firmly, his hair swinging in his eyes that were wild and slowly filling with tears.
Regulus leaned against the wall outside of the infirmary long enough to glance over the pile of books and clothing that he was carrying. He thought he had everything, hoped he had everything. He didn't want to spend the rest of the time he should be spending with Evan being sent back and forth by Pomfrey. With a quick, deep breath to prepare himself for the sight of his lover lying in that bed, he pushed open the door and stepped in, walking immediately towards the area that Evan was staying. He was brought up short by the two figures standing there, one which he had never seen in the school before. Both of them turned towards him, the stranger with a dissaproving look at being interrupted and his Head of House with something of a flustered look. "....Evan?"
Evan’s head swivelled round, fixing his gaze on Regulus who was carrying some of his belongings in his arms. He immediately wanted to reach out for the other boy, but his hands never left the bed sheets. Their House Head cleared his throat rather abruptly. “Black, now is not a good time,” he said quietly, gaze shifting from Evan to Regulus and to the Healer whose lips were pursing together in impatience.
Narrowing his eyes, Regulus, even though he wasn't as tall as the Head of House, still managed to look down his nose at the man. "You're not going to stop me from seeing my...best friend, are you?" His words were in the same tone he always used when the Head of House said something that upset him, the one that said 'Go ahead, piss me off, you'll deal with my mother when she finds out.' He walked past the men and set his bundle down on the chair he usually sat in, sitting down on the side of Evan's bed and stroking one of his lover's hands.
Turning his palm over so he could lace his fingers through Regulus’, Evan avoided his House Head’s uncomfortable cough, and the way he looked at the Healer as if to say, ‘Alright, go on then!’
“I’m afraid your little friend cannot stay-” the Healer began, before being abruptly cut-off by the Professor.
“You can stay, Black. But nothing leaves this room,” he said, in his nasally, drollish tone. “Go on,” he gestured to the Healer.
“Right. Yes, Mr Rosier,” the Healer continued as if Regulus wasn‘t there, leaning forward in his chair, clutching his briefcase to him. “You’ll be spending time in a ward of your own, so you don’t have to worry about mixing with others. I guarantee the time you spend will indeed be beneficial - your Mother appears to be rather keen that you stay with us.”
Regulus' stiffened as he realized what they were talking about, his hand gripping Evan's harder. "And yet his mother made no move to approach him directly about it...." He shifted to wrap his free arm around Evan's shoulders, cuddling up to the other boy while continuing to glare at the adults.
Evan watched as the Healer shifted uncomfortably, glancing between the two boys before moving on. “The bottom line, Mr Rosier, is that you need help. We’re prepared to give it you at St. Mungo’s, and it’ll probably be the best treatment you ever receive. Do you want to continue living like this? I doubt it. And your mother seems to agree. After all, she does know what is best for you.”
Evan worried at his lip, thinking over the man’s words. He didn’t want to be taken away, locked up in a room where Healers could pick him apart and prod at him, judging his every move. There was nothing wrong with him, as far as he was concerned. He was just sad. Since when was that a clinical disease?
“I don’t want to,” he said very quietly.
"And how, exactly, is being poked and prodded by a bunch of healers supposed to make him feel better about himself? Where was his mother's help and 'good' advice when his father was still alive?" Regulus knew that Evan would never agree, but that didn't stop a part of him from being terrified at the prospect of spending months, maybe even years, without the other boy.
Evan felt his chest tighten, his breathing increase as he shifted his gaze between everyone in the room, feeling frantic rise from the pit of his stomach. “I don’t want to go,” he whispered again, words scratchy as he began to hiccup and struggle for breath. His House Head lunged forward, eyes wide. “Calm down, boy,” he said, in what was meant to be a soothing voice. He heard the Healer say something similar, something gentle, but squeezed his eyes shut against them all, hands coming up to cover his ears.
Regulus shot a fierce scowl at the two adults and pulled Evan farther into his arms, holding the other boy. He rested his mouth against Evan's ear, murmuring soft, confident words that the professor and healer wouldn't be able to hear. "You don't have to go if you don't want to, Evan. I'd never let anything tear us apart. You don't have to go anywhere you don't want to go." He heard the adults shifting closer, obviously wanting to know what he was saying and wondered if the Healer had realized just how close he and Evan were, yet.
Physically relaxing under the other boy’s touch and words, Evan took in a few ragged breaths, hands slowly coming down from his ears. The Healer and Professor exchanged nervous glances, and it was a long moment before the Healer stood up, his briefcase by his side. “Well, it’s something to think about, Evan,” he said the other boy’s name easily, as if they were friends or relatives, “Please don’t opt us out.” And with that, he and the House Head turned to leave the two boys in the infirmary on their own.
Regulus leaned back so he could look at Evan's face, studying the other boy. They were both, he thought, terrified of the prospect. "You know that, if I thought it could help you, I would let you go...."
“You don’t think it would?” Evan asked quietly, rubbing at his eyes with the sleeve of his itchy pyjama top. His hands were still bound in tape and bandages - would be for another few weeks when the cuts would heal… Evan shuddered, remembering when Pomfrey told him, and the dread and shame that filled him when he realised he would have to wear them to class, in the common room, in the dorm. Everyone would be dying to see them, to laugh at him.
Regulus snorted, shifting so he could swing his legs up onto the bed on top of the sheets and half-lie next to his lover. "How could it? How could be locked away and studied help you? Here you have me and..." he trailed off, not able to say the werewolf's name, not wanting to admit that he and Evan seemed to get along, "if I can't help you, how can strangers?"
“I just… I don’t want to be taken away,” Evan whispered, eyes huge under his dark fringe. “What if Mother forces me? What will I do?” He licked his lips frantically, searching Regulus’ face for a response. It was the type of thing his Mother would do - she had always favoured him with cool disregard - his older brother such a big part of her and his Father’s life that he just didn’t seem to matter. A chance like this would be golden for him. He was an embarrassment, the spare - not the heir, an accident.
Regulus shook his head, leaning forward and kissing against Evan's lips. "She won't. Even if I have to find some way to stop her, I won't let her take you away from me. We need each other."
Evan nodded, closing his eyes, kissing his lover back gently and savouring the taste for what he knew would be another solitary night, sleeping alone. “I love you,” he whispered against Regulus’ lips, fingers squeezing at the material at the front of the other Slytherin’s robes, forgetting how they got there in the first place.
Regulus watched Evan sadly, kissing him back with as much gentleness as he could. He was lonely even now, knowing that later Evan wouldn't be there in their bed, wouldn't be their in class when he needed someone to write notes to. "Evan...I...I can't walk in on you covered in blood again. Thinking you were dead hurt me. If you ever did die...." He shuddered, wishing that there was some way to guarantee that Evan wouldn't try to kill himself again, but knowing that even a promise wouldn't be very trustworthy--if Evan became that desperate again, he would forget any sort of oath.
Evan pressed his forehead underneath Regulus’ chin, squeezing his eyes shut and curling against him like a small child. “I swear,” he whispered, breath hot against Regulus’ skin, “I swear, Regulus, I’m not going to do it again…”
Regulus rocked Evan gently, closing his own eyes and fighting back the tears he had managed not to spill over this most recent event. "If you do, if you ever do, Evan," he took a deep breath, knowing he had to treat this as seriously as he could or he should just send Evan off to St. Mungos now, "...we're over. I can't go through that again."
Pulling back, Evan’s eyes widened - bloodshot and wide, cheeks wet with tears. This was how serious it was. The force hit him like a killing curse. A large lump rose from the back of his throat, causing his eyes to spurt forth more tears, his hands trembling against the front of Regulus’ robes. “Please,” he breathed, shaking his head, falling apart at the seams, his guts laid bare, “Please don’t leave me.” Not now, not ever.
"I love you, Evan, I love you. And I love you enough that you can...you can hurt me more than anything. I don't know if I could survive this again." He wiped at Evan's face, yelling in his mind that he should stop, should just comfort Evan and forget about what had happened.
“But I it won’t happen again, I swear!” Evan cried desperately, bandaged wrists scraping against the fabric of Regulus’ robes as his fingers scrabbled up to curl around the other boy’s neck, into his hair, ghost across his cheeks. “It won’t!”
Regulus caught Evan's arms just below the bandages, hoping that the boy's frantic movements hadn't torn open his cuts again. "I believe you, Evan, I know." He kissed him again, moving his lips across Evan's cheeks to taste his tears. "I couldn't leave you now, Evan, I'm not capable of it. I'm just...warning you, I'm not saying that I am leaving."
Evan’s fingers rested on either side of Regulus’ neck and he pressed their foreheads together again and closed his eyes. “I don’t want to be in here anymore,” he whispered shakily. He was amazed at how much emotion he held down inside him, how much was being bared after this one occurrence. “I want to be with you, I can barely sleep without you.”
"When did Pomfrey say you could leave?" Regulus wondered if he'd be able to reason with the woman, Evan could recover in his room just as well as in the infirmary if she only wanted him there for another day or so. "I want you back with me, too. Our bed's so cold...."
“In the next few days,” he said quietly, sniffling and brushing their noses together. He doubted the old witch would let him out early, he was ‘still weak’, and she wanted to monitor his ‘mental progress’.
"Perhaps," Regulus' eyes moved towards Pomfrey's office, "perhaps I can ask her if I can stay? In a separate bed, of course." He smirked, knowing that as soon as she turned her back he could slip into Evan's bed. Regulus wanted to be near Evan, and Evan obviously needed more comfort than visits could provide.
“Please,” Evan whispered, nodding almost desperately. He was so tired - he knew he would be able to sleep well with the familiar warmth of his lover’s body pressed against his. And he too, knew that once Pomfrey was out of sight, they’d be sleeping together, in the same bed.
Regulus nodded and disentangled himself from Evan, moving slowly over to the office as he thought over his argument. As soon as he entered he started talking, staying as polite as he could while stressing how fragile Evan seemed, how he could use a friend nearby. Ten minutes later he was walking out, a smirk wide on his face.
Evan cast a hopeful glance over at Regulus, having spent the last ten minutes chewing nervously at his fingers. The other boy’s expression spoke volumes, however, and he felt himself relax against the pillows, weight lifting from his shoulders and some of the shadows sifting from his eyes.
Regulus walked over to Evan, pleased at how happy the other boy looked, and kissed him on the forehead. "I have to get a few things for myself, I'll be back as soon as I can." He moved down and kissed Evan on the lips, passionately. He could barely wait for the moment Evan would be healthy enough for them to have sex again, needing that confirmation that everything was alright.
Evan responded to the kiss as best as he could, but pulled away a little breathlessly and smiled - barely a smile, but enough to let Regulus know that he was truly happy. He wanted to say something like, ‘hurry back’, or ‘don’t be too long’, but all that escaped his lips was a simple, quiet, “Okay.”