rocks_not_dead: (Byron <3)
[personal profile] rocks_not_dead posting in [community profile] watchmen
Title: Bright Light
Character/s or Pairing: Byron/Bill
Rating: PG
Warnings/Disclaimers: mentions of alcohol and violence, slash
Summary: Byron always carried his gun, but he could count the times he actually had to use it on one hand.
Notes: Written for the 11_reasons challenge at livejournal with the general theme '11 reasons why Bill's death drove Byron insane'.

Bright Light

When Byron entered his office he threw the door open with such force that is slammed into the wall and nearly swung shut again. He strode straight to the bar and the nearest bottle of whiskey, his steps so much more steady than his hands managed to be as he poured a large amount of the amber drink into a tumbler and downed it.

Byron always carried his gun; as a means of protection and as a very valuable deterrent. However, he could count the times he’d actually had to use it on one hand. Tonight that very same hand could still feel the rebound of the shot he had fired, travelling through his entire body.

Still shaking, Byron poured himself another drink. He downed it in one smooth motion just as he heard the door creak open further behind him. He didn’t have to turn around to know that it was Bill pausing, framed in the doorway. Byron set the glass down and turned around, crossing his arms tightly across his chest. He was shaking badly, coming down from the night’s adrenaline high and in the aftermath of earlier events.

Neither man said anything as Bill walked towards Byron and laid his hand on his shoulder. Byron’s posture stiffened, though, and for a moment he wanted to shrink away from Bill’s warm touch, wanted to creep into a dark crevice and hide.

He didn’t stop Bill, however, when the other vigilante began unstrapping Byron’s wings with practiced hands. Byron didn’t protest, body rigid and eyes trained on an invisible spot on the floor. Accompanied by the clinking of buckles, Byron felt the strange sensation of a physical weight leaving his shoulders as Bill removed the wings. Byron sucked in a deep, shuddering breath.

“That man… if he dies…” Byron suddenly felt sick to his stomach and no amount of alcohol was going to remedy that feeling. Still staring at the ground, Byron felt Bill’s arms wrap around him and pull him closer. It was only then that Byron really began to shake, violently. Tremors wracked his body and made it hard to breathe. The more Byron tried to draw in deep breath after deep breath, the harder it got to fill his lungs with enough air.

As his breathing rushed towards hyperventilation, Byron felt Bill’s embrace tighten.

“It’s ok, Byron,” Bill’s voice was saying as his hand was rubbing soothing circles on Byron’s back.

“It’s alright, you need to calm down. Concentrate on my voice. Listen to me.”

The words took a moment to get through to Byron’s brain to make him act upon them, but eventually he tried to focus on Bill’s voice, following every syllable of Bill’s words and clinging to him as he would to a lifeline. As he did so, Byron let his head drop forward, resting it against Bill’s chest. It was there he found his true centre of calm; in the strong and even rhythm of Bill’s heartbeat.

With Bill’s hand still stroking his back and the reassuring constant of Bill’s heart, Byron finally found a path to follow, his breathing eventually synchronising with the rhythm. They stayed that way in silence for a few moments, Bill still mumbling sounds of comfort.

A choked sound, maybe a startled sob suddenly escaped Byron and he buried his face against Bill’s chest. Bill pulled away and slipped his hand under Byron’s chin so that Byron suddenly found himself forced to look at Bill. Byron barely reciprocated his lover’s firm but gentle kiss, but it made his mind stall for a moment, long enough for Bill to start speaking.

“Look, Byron,” Bill was saying. “You don’t want to hurt anyone and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the things I love so much about you. But you had to shoot. He would have killed you. And when it comes to that, I’d rather it be them than you.”

When Bill kissed him this time, Byron engaged with Bill’s lips desperately and for long moments.

“Yeah?” Bill asked once they broke apart. Byron nodded slowly.

“Yeah,” he breathed, sinking back into Bill’s embrace and firmly wrapping his own arms around the other man’s waist. Throughout the comfortable silence that followed, Byron continued listening to Bill’s heartbeat, drawing comfort from the bright life and unending compassion it represented.

A/N: Reviews are much appreciated. :)
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