Everyone could tell that Rocco was tired. They watched the first Harry Potter movie, before giving up and letting Chandler pick the next film. Latimer vetoed American Pie, for Rocco’s sake, but they finally all agreed on R.E.D. Within half an hour Rocco was sleeping, with his head on a pillow on Donny’s lap. He let him sleep, brushing his fingers through his hair while he worried about how perpetually tired he was.
“Latimer…is this normal?” He wondered, concerned by the frequency of his fatigue and how quickly it hit. He was glad to see that when he looked up, even Latimer looked worried.
“I don’t think so.” Latimer answered, with a frown. “I think another visit to the doctor is on the cards. He might need some of his medication doses upped.” He pondered.
Donny looked down at his sweet boyfriend and thought about the half dozen tablets he was already taking every morning. He might be on them for the rest of his life, depending on whether his system could bounce back from his deficiencies or not. How much more did he have to go through?
Donny wasn’t aware of drifting into his thoughts until Dominic gave him a nudge.
“Rocco said you were looking for a job tomorrow,” he whispered, with a look that said he was trying not to draw attention to himself. He nodded in the affirmative, wondering where he was going with it. “Could you pick up some stuff for Rocco? I put an order in at the book store.” He explained.
“Sure.” He nodded and then turned to Latimer. “Actually Latimer, I forgot to ask you if it was all right to take Rocco with me tomorrow? He says he’s never been to the village before. I thought he could go with me to look for a job and then I’d take him for lunch.” He explained his plans, hoping to give Rocco a memorable first day out on the town.
“That sounds like a great idea. I didn’t realise he hadn’t been to the village before.” He admitted with a thoughtful frown, rubbing his chin. He was getting a five o’clock shadow and he could tell that the last few days had been hard on him, working so much on Beau’s charity. “We should organise some day trips. Take him to special places.” He decided.
“He’d love that.” Chandler agreed, with a similar excitement to what he expected of Rocco when he found out. “We could take him to the funfair; he could come with me to the skate park.” He rhymed off their options quietly.
Donny just smiled at the enthusiasm Rocco’s brothers had for spending time with him. He really was loved.
“I think maybe you should look into who and where this policeman is, as well.” Donny told them, recalling the way Rocco had talked about him over the last two days. He missed him, but he was also scared of that emotion because of how he’d treated him the last time they were alone.
For every visit after the policeman hugged him, and professed to wanting to love him beyond what Rocco wanted, he hadn’t allowed them to be alone again. It was sad.
“You think he’s ready to see him again?” Latimer wondered curiously.
“Not yet. But when he is you’ll want to be able to get in touch with him. I think he said his name was Jefferson.” He admitted what he could remember, hoping it helped.
Latimer nodded and held his hand to his mouth in what he’d come to recognise as his ‘thinking’ pose. “I’ll look into it.” Was all he said, a few minutes later.
Donny left Rocco sleeping on his lap as long as he could. When he had to nip to the loo, he was careful to lift the cushion and support his head while he slipped out from under him. But when he got back, he put his head on his lap again and smiled when Rocco absently reached for him or curled his hand around his thigh. Even Latimer was helping keep him as comfortable as possible; getting him drinks and fetching a blanket when he curled into a ball, shivering.
When ten o’clock came round, he felt his own system slowing down in preparation for sleep, he cupped his hand around the back of Rocco’s head and gently lifted him until he was sitting up. He moaned sleepily.
“Do you need a hand?” Latimer asked from his seat.
Donny smiled at him as he shot out of his seat, heading over to support his weight. He stood up and braced his knees before lifting Rocco into his arms. He must have been half asleep, because he hugged him tight and snuggled in by instinct.
“Thanks.” He readjusted Rocco in his arms, as he held on tight and kept on sleeping. He nodded goodnight to Chandler, who waved absently and yawned as he made his way out of the living room and upstairs.
It bothered him how light Rocco was to carry, as he made his way upstairs and straight into his bedroom. It didn’t take any real effort at all and that felt wrong; he was seventeen and tall for his age so he should have been a heck of a lot heavier. Then again, he was just a touch over six-foot and he was built well from his years of living on the streets and fighting for his food. Sometimes literally.
Very gently, he lay Rocco on the bed and brushed the hair from his eyes. Heavy eyelids fluttered, but it was only when he let go that they opened and piercing blue eyes pinned him down. Donny smiled and cupped his face.
“It’s bedtime. Do you want to nip to the bathroom and get changed?” He offered. He was ready to carry him there, if he needed him to, but he just got a smile in response and had to watch those blue eyes disappear behind his eyelids again. He waited, deciding that if he didn’t react in five minutes he would put him to bed how he was and let him sleep it off.
“I’m really sleepy.” He signed, without opening his eyes. It made him smile; he really didn’t need to be told that; he could see it for himself. But then his eyes opened and he smiled in a dreamy way and stretched with a yawn. “What time is it?” He asked.
Donny looked down at his watch to make sure he was right. “Ten o’clock. Do you still want me to read to you?” He asked, since he had a feeling he might. And true enough Rocco nodded and dragged himself to sit up.
“But first I need the loo.” He signed, which didn’t surprise him in the least. Instead of asking for help, he slowly slipped off the bed and got to his feet. He wobbled a bit before finding his balance and pulling the covers back. He grabbed a pair of PJs from under the pillow and headed for the door, just as unsteadily.
Donny tried not to make a big deal of it, but he got up and walked to the door, watching to make sure he got to the bathroom in one piece. He stayed in the doorway until Rocco reappeared in joggers and a t-shirt, a bundle of his day clothes in his arms. He smiled when he noticed him standing there, but he didn’t leave him alone until he climbed onto the bed and slipped under the covers.
Rocco headed for the bathroom, grabbed some clothes and changed in his own room before returning to Rocco’s bedroom. He found him lying on his stomach with his head resting on his folded arms.
Donny grabbed the book Rocco was in the middle of reading and slipped in beside him. He didn’t even blink at the way his boyfriend instantly crawled over to his side, snuggling in and holding his hand out.
He lay on his back, shifting around until he was comfortable, holding the book in one hand and began signing the words into Rocco’s palm.
It took half an hour for him to reach the end of the third chapter. Rocco curled his hand around his fingers and drew his hand to his chest. Donny figured that was a sign for him to sleep, so he lay the book to the side, before curling up.
He watched Rocco sleep for a little while, brushing the hair back from his face and wondering how he managed to find him after so many years alone. Even with Dominic as his best friend, he thought he was going to be alone his whole life. Now he knew that wouldn’t be true. No matter what happened in his life, where he went or who he met, Rocco would never leave him.