Title: Safe in My Arms
Pairing: Greg Sanders/Don Flack
Fandom: CSI: Vegas/CSI: NY
Table: Hurt/Comfort, mission_insane
Prompt: 7, Hold Me
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Greg Sanders or Don Flack, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.
***Don glanced towards the kitchen doorway, wishing that the water for a cup of coffee would hurry up and boil. He knew that Greg was okay out there in the living room, but he still felt a need to protect his boyfriend, to be close to him, to hold him.
He'd insisted on taking Greg to the hospital, but aside from some brusies and rope burns, his boyfriend wasn't hurt. He had heaved a sigh of relief at that, feeling that they'd dodged a bullet. Things could have been so much worse -- for both Greg and himself.
His boyfriend was trying to pretend that what he'd been through hadn't affected him, but Don knew better. He had to wonder how much longer Greg could hold out; his boyfriend had been through a horribly traumatic experience, and Don knew that he needed to acknowledge that fact.
Finally, the water was boiling. Don let out a sigh of relief and poured the water into the coffee mugs, stirring in sugar and cream into both of them before picking them up and carrying them into the living room. He deposited them on the coffee table before sinking onto the couch beside Greg.
"Here you go," he said softly, handing Greg a steaming coffee mug. "Careful, it's hot." He knew that he didn't need to add that extra caution, but in the couple of days since he'd rescued Greg, he had become overly protective of his young boyfriend.
He refused to let Greg stay at his own apartment, insisting that the younger man was safer with him. Until they rounded up all of the people who had been responsible for Greg's kidnapping, he was taking no chances. He was determined to keep Greg safe.
There was only one way to do that, and Don was loath to do it. He knew that Greg could only be safe if he severed all ties with Don -- and left New York. There was no guarantee that he wouldn't be followed, but he'd still be safer than if he stayed here and their relationship continued.
But as much as he knew that breaking it off with Greg was what he should do, his heart wouldn't let hm. Not yet. He had to think of a way to do this gently, to not hurt Greg in the process -- well, that wouldn't be possible and he knew it. But to at least let him down gently.
It didn't matter that his own heart would be irrevocably broken in the process. He didn't matter; he was willing to risk his own safety, even his life, to protect Greg. No, what mattered was that the young man he loved would be safe, far away from any kind of danger.
Don knew that it would be impossible for him to keep Greg safe once he was far away from this city -- but at least he would know that Greg wouldn't face danger by being involved with him. Greg would be safe, and free to get on with his life.
A life that wouldn't include him. The thought made a lump rise in his throat; he had to swallow it back before he could trust himself to speak again. "So, you're going back to work tomorrow at the crime lab?" he asked, trying to keep his words and tone casual.
"Yeah, I've kind of got to," Greg answered, his voice wavering slightly. "It's not that I don't want to get back to work, but ...." His voice trailed off; he set his coffee mug back on the table, leaning back with a sigh. "I'm kind of scared to go out again, with those guys still out there."
"I won't let anything happen to you, babe," Don said softly, his heart aching for his boyfriend. The Greg he'd known ever since they met wouldn't have been afraid to venture out into the world. This experience had scarred him more than Don had thought it would.
"I know you won't," Greg told him, a slight catch in his voice. "But I c-can't be with you all the time. You can't always protect me." He sighed softly, closing his eyes and resting his head back against the couch cushions. "I've got to get used to that fact. Nobody's safe all the time."
"No, but I promise that I'll do my best to keep you as safe as you can possible be," Don told him, hoping with all of his heart that he could manage to keep that promise. "I should've been able to keep you safe before. I should have been more careful. More alert."
"It wasn't your fault, Don." Greg's voice was very soft, barely a whisper. "And you don't have to worry. I'm okay. It was a pretty scary thing to go through, but I'll be all right. I just need you to do one thing for me." His voice was strained, more than a little anxious.
"What's that, babe?" Don asked, reaching for Greg and pulling his boyfriend into his arms. He rested his chin on the top of Greg's head for a moment, then pressed a kiss against the softness of his hair. "Whatever it is, I'll do it. Just ask, and it's yours."
"You're doing it right now," Greg said with another soft sigh, this time one of contentment. "I just needed you to hold me. I feel safe when you're holding me, Don. I feel like nothing bad can ever get to me, or hurt me again. I've never felt as safe as I do with you."
"I'll hold you for as long as you need me to," Don whispered, feeling a pang of guilt surge through him as he spoke. He wouldn't always be able to hold Greg; he was already having to work more hours than he had when they had first met. He was here for his boyfriend less and less.
But that wasn't his fault, a little voice murmured in the back of his mind. One of the reasons that he wasn't with Greg more was that he was spending a lot of time trying to track down the men who had kidnapped Greg, to make sure that he was kept safe from them.
He'd never be able to keep Greg as safe as he wanted to. As long as Greg was with him, he would always face a certain amount of danger. That was one of the disadvantages of dating a cop; anyone he loved would always be a target in some way.
"You'll always be safe in my arms," he murmured, knowing that those words were true. As long as he had breath in his body, he would protect Greg. His boyfriend would always find safety and security in his arms, no matter what the circumstances might be.
"I know," Greg whispered, his own arms sliding around Don's waist and holding onto him tightly. "I've never felt as safe as I do when I'm with you. The whole time those guys had me, I knew that once I got back to you, I'd be safe. I just kept telling myself that. And it turned out to be true."
Don closed his eyes, running a hand through Greg's hair and trying to keep back the tears that were rising behind his eyes. The only way to keep Greg safe was to send him away from New York and out of his life; he would only be completely safe if they weren't together any more.
Don didn't want to lose Greg. He wanted to keep this young man in his life, to be with him until they grew old and grey together, for the rest of their days. But somehow, he could feel in his heart that it wasn't in the cards for them to be with each other, no matter how much they wanted to.
So he would hold Greg for as long as he could, until the time came that they would inevitably have to part. It was already breaking his heart into millions of tiny shards to think of letting Greg go, but he knew that was the only option he would eventually have.
That day would come at some point -- and possibly sooner ratehr than later. Don pushed that thought away as rapidly as it came to life; he didn't want to think about a life without Greg. Not now, not when he was holding his boyfriend in his arms.
He wouldn't always have Greg in his life as his lover -- but Greg would always have a place in his heart. And until circumstances forced them apart, he intended to spend every moment that he could with the young man he loved, and make more memories for them both to treasure.
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