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10 December 2014 @ 08:10 pm
For smallfandomfest: Southland - John/Caesar - I'll Be Fine  
Title: I'll Be Fine
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: December 10th, 2014
Rating: PG
Fandom: Southland
Characters/Pairings: John Cooper/Caesar
Disclaimer: All the characters © Ann Biderman, Warner Bros. I make no money from this.
Summary: Sometimes it was hard to calm down. However, feeling Caesar's hand on his chest made everything much easier.
Spoilers: -
Warnings: Implied drug use. Swearing.
Beta: lil_1337
Author's Notes: Written for smallfandomfest Round 16 for the prompt John/Caesar, "touching."
I love this pairing and I felt like writing something for it again, because the prompt was wonderful. I really enjoyed writing this fic. Also, while writing I realized how much I miss this show in general. Enjoy the fic, guys!
Mentioned at: smallfandomfest, at AO3 *HERE*

*I'll Be Fine*

John woke up in the middle of the night and groaned in pain as he turned to his side. He shut his eyes tightly and clenched his fists, trying to get his breath under control, but failing. He had no idea how long he’s been sleeping, but judging from how tired he still was, it couldn’t have been too long.

He moved closer to the edge of the bed and the sharp pain in his back made him groan. Fuck, it was worse than the last time. Trying to reach for some pills he kept in his bedside table, John swore quietly. He always kept some there, just in case, but were there any left? He hadn't needed them much in the last few weeks, but it meant there weren’t many left, as he never went to get refill. He hoped he still had some…

He reached into the top drawer, but damn it, he couldn’t find the bottle. Shit. Where were they? He was sure he left them in there. He groaned again as the pain got even worse. Like somebody was trying to put huge knives through his back. He had to sit up to find the stupid pills…

“John… what are ya doin’?” he heard a quiet voice, still hoarse from sleep and after a second a warm hand touched his bare shoulder. “Shit. Wait, don’t move, I’ll get these…”

John closed his eyes, resigned and angry at himself, as he heard Caesar get up from the bed. The other man switched the lamp on and soon appeared in front of John, reaching into the drawer John had opened.

“Wait here, I’ll bring some water, okay?” he said, and left the room, holding the small bottle of pills in one hand.

John only nodded and put his hand on the pillow, trying not to put any pressure on his back, but it wasn’t helping much. And damn it, he really hadn't meant to wake Caesar up. The man gotten back from work much later than they both would have liked and waking him up in the middle of the night was the last thing John had wanted. He grit his teeth and hit the pillow he was lying on.

He heard Caesar’s footsteps and only then opened his eyes. Caesar was kneeling by the bed, putting one pill and a glass of water on the table and then slowly helping John sit up, wrapping one arm around his waist. He swallowed the pill and drank a bit of water and laid down again, this time on his back. Caesar, however, didn’t lie down. He just sat on his own side of the bed and leaned against the wall, one hand on John’s chest, caressing gently and through the material of his shirt John could feel how warm the younger man’s hand was.

John closed his eyes, trying to calm down. Fortunately, it was easy to focus on the feeling of Caesar’s warm hand on his chest and John exhaled, exhausted. He could feel the other man observing him, most likely worried, but he couldn’t think about it right then when the gentle touches did not stop. He already felt guilty enough.

“Better?” Caesar murmured sometime later, as if making sure not to wake John up if he had fallen asleep.

John nodded in response. Even if his back still ached, he already felt much calmer. He mostly concentrated on how warm Caesar’s skin felt against his and at some point John moved one hand to caress Caesar’s thigh to just enjoy this closeness. He never told Caesar this, but the man’s touch, especially in situations like this one, was incredibly calming. He had no idea if the other man was aware of how much he affected John. Neither of them ever mentioned it, but Caesar always kept his hand on John’s chest or his back when something like this happened, never leaving John’s side, unless it was to get more water or something else John needed at the moment. At first it was hard for John to actually accept these gestures and it led to many fights, however, Caesar was always determined and never had a problem with calling John out on his bullshit.

“You should have woken me up, you know,” the other man added and John only grumbled in answer. He wasn’t going to repeat what he had already said more than once before. “Seriously, man, you’re like an…”

“You were sleeping. I could get the pills myself,” John interrupted him quickly. What else could he say? “You got back from work, what, three hours ago? You were tired and I didn’t want to wake you up.”

Not like that went well.

“Damn it, John, we talked about this. More than once.”

“Yes, we did, and I will keep telling you the same thing every time, I can get my own damn water.”

“Yeah, sure. If you say so,” John was sure Caesar was rolling eyes at him right then. “The thing is, you don’t have to,”

John often wondered why Caesar was dealing with all of this, with him, when he could be doing something else. Something no doubt more interesting than wasting his time on helping John. And yet, even when John tried to get rid of him, drive him away, tell him that he didn’t have to stay, Caesar just told him he was a stupid asshole. Sometimes even shouted it, and even if he left after a particularly bad fight, he always came back a few hours later. He didn’t talk and more than once told John to shut the hell up, but he always kept touching John. Be it a pat on the shoulder, casually touching his back and arms or a press of his knee against John’s when they were sitting on the couch, Caesar was making sure he is (was) not in pain.

They never talk about it. Neither of them felt like they had to. Neither of them was good at it, but somehow Caesar still knew how to get to him.

“You should take a day off tomorrow, or somethin’. Maybe you’re workin’ too much again.”

John only signed. “I don’t need a day off. It will pass soon. I must have turned too quickly.”

“If you say so, man,” Caesar sounded like he didn’t believe him at all, but John couldn’t really blame him for that, could he?

“I’ll be fine tomorrow.”

“Okay, okay. Can you get back to sleep now?” Caesar asked before yawning and John wasn’t aware how much time they had stayed like this, but Caesar’s voice was sleepy and John felt even worse. They both had to go to work the next day, after all.

“Quit worrying about me and go to sleep,” he said finally, also quietly, but the other man stayed where he was and it didn’t look like he was moving anytime soon. It wouldn’t be surprising if he was waiting for John to fall asleep first.

“Nah, I’m cool. Not all that sleepy.”

“Like hell you aren’t,” John grumbled and looked at the other man. He looked like he were to yawn again or was fighting the urge to close his eyes. “I’m fine, okay? You’re an ass when you don’t get enough sleep.”

“Look who’s talkin’, you jerk!” Caesar hit him lightly in the arm and John grinned at that. “You’re worse than me and you know it. Just wait ‘til you don’t get any coffee tomorrow.”

John snorted at that. After a while he turned on his side slowly, making sure to not put too much pressure on his back and exhaled quietly. Fortunately, he already felt a bit better. He was facing Caesar and even if he closed his eyes again, he could feel the younger man watching him.

He sat there for a few more minutes before John heard him turning off the lamp and then he laid down close to John. Putting one hand under John’s t-shirt and placing it on his waist gently, he sighed quietly and moved a bit closer, so that John could feel his breath on his neck.

John relaxed into the touch right away, moving his hand to place it against Caesar’s bare chest. His back still hurt and it won’t stop anytime soon, but Caesar’s fingers massaging his skin brought a lot of relief anyway. He had a feeling Caesar was still watching him, but he didn’t open his eyes to confirm that. It’s not like telling the younger man to go to sleep would have worked anyway.

It looked like it would be John’s turn to prepare breakfast for at least the whole next week. Or at least make coffee, depending on what time they woke up and how much time they had in the mornings. After all it was his fault Caesar wasn’t getting enough sleep. That’s the least he could do.

He wouldn't be able to sleep until the pain went away, so he took the opportunity to stay close to Caesar, taking comfort in Caesar’s touch and the fact that he wasn’t alone.

verdande_miverdande_mi on December 11th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
Southland <3 I never watched all of it, but I loved it and I really liked your fic - just what I needed last night; something sweet :)
Megan Moonlight: coopermegan_moonlight on December 12th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
Southland is one of my favourite shows EVER ♥ I still miss it a lot, but writing fics for it makes things a bit better.

I'm so very glad you liked the fic, and thank you for commenting! *hugs*