The adrenaline from the mission began to wear off as Mav made his way out of the celebrating crowd. Looking over his shoulder, he could see Bradley cheering with his squad. He remembered when that used to be him and Ice after missions and Mav felt a pang in his chest. It hurt thinking about his longest friend, no longer here to celebrate with him. Lost in his thoughts, Mav stumbled over the catch net. Exhausted, he was prepared to hit the rough ground when a pair of arms caught him at the last second. Blinking up, Mav smiled at his savior. Admiral Beau Simpson grinned down at him, hands pulling him upright and settling on Mav’s hips.
"C'mon Captain, let's get you to medical."
Mav leaned a little into Cyclone's grip, "Yes sir," he teased.
He could hear Beau’s little chuckle, "At least your attitude is still intact." They navigated the hallways in silence, Mav rested his head on Cyclone's shoulder and closed his eyes. He took on a slow shuffle and trusted his partner to get them where they needed to be. His body began to hurt and ache the further they went. The only thought in his head was, Crashing two times within a month was not fun.
"Pete, open your eyes for me, sweetheart," Beau's voice was quiet, murmuring into his hair. He hummed back and nodded, blinking at the bright overhead lights. The medical wing was crisp and sterile as always. He straightened up as a doctor came walking over with a clipboard, but winced, the pain in his side growing.
The doctor led them back to an empty bed, but when Cyclone helped him onto it, the pain sharpened and he cried out. Beau froze beside him before he and the doctor grabbed at his flight suit. Finally zipping it open, Mav squeezed his eyes shut as they lifted his shirt, the pain becoming too intense as the doctor began poking and prodding his side.
"Pete, why didn't you tell me?" Beau held him still as Mav tried to squirm away. Chancing a look, Mav gasped at what he saw. His entire left side was a camouflage of purples and blues, cuts and scratches oozed lazily. When the doctor pressed too hard, Mav yelped and flinched away.
"I didn- I didn't know Beau, I swear. I would've told…you…promise," Mavs vision quickly narrowed and the room began to spin as he leaned heavily into Cyclone's side. Breathing heavily, he looked up and met his bright blue eyes, "Tell Bradley, tell him I-"
"I will, I promise Pete, but you need to breathe for me. Just breathe." Beau's soothing voice cut through Mav's panic, trying to breathe in but coughing instead. When he got his breath back, Mav slumped into Beau's side, tears falling down his face, tired and in pain. The doctor left with a few quiet words to Cy and began to talk to some nurses. He slowly reclined back onto the bed, his side pulsed angrily at the movement and Mav groaned. Warm hands cradled his face, turning him to face Beau. "Look at me sweetheart, I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere," he placed a kiss on Mav's forehead, his thumbs wiping away a stray tear.
"Hurts," Mav croaked. Nurses began to surround them, pulling the rest of the flight suit off and sticking him with multiple IVs. The machines around him came to life, settling into a rhythmic beep.
A nurse came up and began to speak softly, "Captain, you have multiple bruised and cracked ribs and we suspect one or two are broken as well. You have internal bleeding because of it and we'll need to correct it with immediate surgery. Do you want us to call anyone for you? Is there anyone we need to contact for medical permission?"
"No," Mav said immediately, "The Admiral is my-my," the words caught in his throat. He turned despite the burning in his side and began to cough. Beau's hand rubbed his back in sympathy, "I'm his medical proxy and power of attorney." The nurse nodded and wrote that in her file. Mav's coughing fit ended and he lay back down with a wince.
"If anything happens," Mav spoke pointedly at Beau's silent form, "you go to him and only him."
The nurse nodded and walked to his IV pole to inject Mav with the anesthesia. Looking at Beau, he raised a shaky hand and rested it on his cheek, Beau's hand coming up to hold it in place. "I'll see you when I wake up, grumpy. Go eat, talk to Sol, do something, okay?" Mav's blinks got longer, his words slurring towards the end. Beau could only nod, as their privacy curtain was pulled back and the last thing Mav heard was Bradley's loud cry, "Mav? Mav!?"
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The quiet machine next to him was the first thing Mav noticed as he regained consciousness. He opened his eyes to a darkened room, lights off and the curtains closed. Beside him, Beau was asleep. His head pillowed on his arms resting on the bed near Mav's thighs. One of his hands was outstretched and linked with Mav's. Giving it a gentle squeeze, Beau squeezed back before shooting up, eyes wide. Mav couldn't help but smile as Beau leaned in for a kiss.
"Hi" Mav rasped.
"Hi" Cy whispered back.
"All good?" He asked, his side no longer burning. His husband nodded, grabbing a water cup beside him and raising it to his lips. When Mav was done, Beau set it back before hesitating, like he wanted to say something. Mav gave his hand a squeeze.
"Bradley was here. And I sent him away." Beau looked away. "The squad is fine, you're the only one with injuries. But I wouldn't let him see you. Not yet, at least."
Mav reached out and gently pulled Beau back to face him. "Thank you," he whispered. Even thinking about talking at an average level made his head hurt. "You know how much Bradley means to me, but right now I just need you."
Beau leaned in and kissed him gently. It was just as electrifying as their first.