EMAIL: Annie



"I ought to beat the living crap out of you, Jesse!"

Jesse stumbled back as the door to his apartment was pushed open and Steve Sloan barged on through.

"What the hell did you think you were doing offering to swap places with me in a hostage situation?" Jesse's arms were grabbed and held in a punishing grip and shaken forcibly. "You are not a cop, Travis! You're a doctor, for Christ's sake!"

"You're hurting my arm."

"What?" Steve looked as if he'd barely registered the words.

Jesse pulled free of the restraining grip, feeling the pain lance through his forearm. "You're hurting me," he repeated, his voice softer now. He walked across to the kitchen and opened the cupboard where he kept his first aid equipment. Reaching up, he muttered soft imprecations under his breath as his fingers caught at the edge of the case and pulled at the gash along his forearm.


Then Steve's hand was over-reaching his, pulling down the bag with ease.

Jesse felt himself turned around so his back was resting against the edge of the counter.

"I'm sorry." The words wafted into his ear. " I didn't mean to hurt you."

Jesse looked up into Steve's face, registering the worry he found there. "That's okay," he murmured equally softly. "No harm done."

He watched as Steve placed the bag on the kitchen counter and opened it.

"What did you need?" Steve asked, his hands flickering jerkily over the contents of the bag.

Jesse lowered himself to sit on the floor, suddenly feeling as if whatever energy had kept him going all day had run out. "There should be some Ibuprofen in there," he replied. He touched his hand to the wound in his forearm and grimaced as it came away wet with blood. "Um… I might need a couple of cotton swabs and a gauze bandage as well," he added.

Steve's head snapped up from his self-imposed task at that. Jesse could see his gaze narrowing down on the blood-wet fingertips. "Jesus! Did I do that?' Steve asked, his voice guilt-ridden.

Jesse shook his head. "It's just a flesh wound, Steve. It happened when man-mountain tossed you aside and grabbed me. He nicked me with his knife. It's no biggie."

"Dammit, Jess!" Steve crouched down next to his lover, the first-aid box at his side. He pushed up the sleeve of Jesse's shirt and winced sympathetically at the long gouge that marked Jesse's flesh. "Here, let me help."

By the time the wound was disinfected and bandaged, Jesse was sweating, his teeth clenching down on his lower lip.

"Why didn't you get this checked out at the scene?" Steve asked, moving to sit next to Jesse and pulling him in against his side, one strong arm draped around his lover's shoulder.

Jesse shrugged. "I knew you were already pissed off with me and I didn't want to hang around for the lecture." He turned his face up to Steve's and grinned ruefully. "Guess I got it anyway," he said.

"Yeah, well, you deserve it," Steve said gruffly, planting a kiss on Jesse's damp forehead. "Why'd you do that, Jess? Offer to change places with me. That guy was hanging out for heroin and God knows what else and three times your size. He could've killed you."

"I played a hunch," Jesse replied. "I figured if I told him I was a doctor he'd think I'd make a better hostage than you. That I could get him the drugs he wanted. I knew you could take him down if I could get him to turn you loose." Jesse smiled up at Steve. "And you did. You tackled the guy almost the minute he grabbed me. And nobody really got hurt."

"Except for you," Steve said, nodding down at Jesse's bandaged arm. "You sure that doesn't need stitches?"

Jesse shook his head. "Nah, it's just a flesh wound," he repeated. "I'm a doctor, remember."

"But not a cop," Steve reminded him as he bent his head and kissed Jesse's mouth gently.

"Let me get you those pills," Steve said. He stood up and carefully levered Jesse up to stand beside him. Then he turned and pulled the young man into a tight embrace. "Don't you *ever* do anything like that again," he warned gravely. "I can't live without you, Jess. I don't ever want to have to."

Okay," Jesse mumbled, his face smooshed happily against Steve's broad chest. "Will you let me breathe now?"

"Smartass," Steve said, grinning as he pushed his lover away and held him at arms-length. "You know," he said conversationally as he opened the packet of pills, shook two out into his hand and gave them to Jesse then walked across to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water, "I've heard that sex can produce endorphins. It's supposed to be a great pain-reliever."

"Yeah?" Jesse replied casually. He swallowed the pills and a sip of the water in short order and put the bottle on the table. "As a doctor and a researcher, it would probably be a good thing if I tested that out for myself."

"Need a control subject, Doc?" Steve asked, winking lasciviously.

"Only if it's you, big guy." Jesse laughed as he allowed Steve to throw him over his shoulder in a fireman's lift and carry him off to bed.

The End