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09 July 2015 @ 08:06 pm
For smallfandomfest: Southland - John/Caesar - Can’t Wait to Get Home  
My second Southland work in this round. I love this show so much (and still miss it like crazy)...

Title: Can’t Wait to Get Home
Author: megan_moonlight
Date of Posting: July 9th, 2015
Rating: PG
Fandom: Southland
Characters/Pairings: John Cooper/Caesar, John Cooper, Caesar, Lydia Adams, Ben Sherman, Chickie Brown
Disclaimer: All the characters © Ann Biderman, Warner Bros. I make no money from this.
Summary: John looked closer at the man who was led by three firemen to the ambulance. It was Caesar.
Spoilers: -
Warnings: Implied drug use. Swearing.
Beta: lil_1337
Author's Notes: Written for smallfandomfest Round 17 for the prompt John/Caesar, "Caesar is a fireman. One day, he gets burned."
his is my fourth John/Caesar fic. I really can't resist this pairing. When I saw this prompt, and after thinking of possible plotlines, I decided to write something, because I really like the idea. I hope it'll work for you as well. Enjoy!
Mentioned at: smallfandomfest, at AO3 *HERE*


When John and Sherman had heard the news about a fire near their station and had been sent to help, John had thought it would be just another day when they would have to keep an eye on everything. But it wasn’t and John wasn’t prepared for what had happened.

Dealing with fire in a building and trying to calm down scared people, while also keeping everyone away from danger at the same time, was always difficult. No one ever knew what to expect, but they still had to keep everyone safe.

As soon as they got to the scene John noticed that Lydia, Dewey, Bryant and Chickie were already there, trying to control the crowds and keep everyone calm. Others were helping the firemen with evacuating the rest of people from the building and walking the injured to the medical teams. Judging by the smoke coming from the building, the way the fire was spreading, and by the way people were screaming and searching for their loved ones, John knew it was going to be a long night.

When he and Sherman left the car, they walked up to Lydia and Chickie right away.

"Sherman, you go to Dewey and Bryant and help the firemen with evacuating people," Lydia said as they stepped closer to one of the cars. As they heard one of the other officers trying to stop a few screaming people from entering the scene, Lydia turned to him. “John, you and Chickie will go and help to keep the people away. I’m telling you, some of them don’t even know what a caution tape means. Kids taking pictures and filming everything try to get here almost all the time.”

“We’ll take care of it,” Chickie said, secured her gun and nightstick, and went to her car. John went after her. As they walked, Chickie turned to him and pointed at the medical teams standing near the building. “John, I’ll go keep an eye on people standing near the ambulance.”

“Go, I’ll stay here.”

Lydia was right, sometimes people just didn’t get what does it mean to stay away. Some were curious, some had never seen a fire before, and thought it was okay to push through the crowd to get a closer look. John kept them all away, trying to calm them down and telling them not to get in the way. He had to keep an eye on everything at once, which is why dealing with large crowds of people was tiring.

He stood there for about an hour. During that time three more ambulances arrived, waiting for anyone who might have stayed behind. Firemen and police officers were walking around, trying to clear the area and help if anything was needed, as by standers were slowly walking away, clearing the area.

He was about to turn around and ask Chickie if she needed any help, when he heard someone yelling.

“We need an ambulance! Come on, move! We need to get him to the hospital!”

John turned around to see three firemen supporting a fourth one, walking him to the ambulance quickly. The man was barely standing upright, possibly barely conscious, even though three others were supporting his weight

Only then John looked closer at the man’s face. His heart almost stopped.

It was Caesar.

John felt his breath quicken. Caesar’s eyes were barely open, his face dirty and suddenly he almost collapsed. The three men holding him up reacted quickly, supporting him, as they sped up their pace, reaching the ambulance quickly. Shit. John fought the urge to run towards the ambulance and follow them to the hospital. Fuck.

He couldn’t stop staring at the ambulance, and only when he felt someone’s hand touching his arm he noticed that he had tightened one hand on the police tape so hard that he almost ripped it. He let go of it right away, but he didn’t look away from the ambulance until it disappeared from his sight.

When he turned around, he saw Chickie, Lydia and Sherman standing there, looking at him curiously. They seemed to be worried, too, and John really didn’t mean to be so obvious.

“You okay? You look like you had a heart attack or something,” Sherman said never taking his eyes off John. He was looking at him as if he was wondering what was he thinking. Sherman had met Caesar briefly when he had came to John’s place to talk after a particularly bad case. Sherman knew Caesar was a fireman, and John saw the sudden spark of realization appearing on his face as he winced briefly.

“Do you know somebody from this building?” Lydia asked. “If you need to go…”

“No, it’s fine,” John replied, probably too quickly, looking back at the people standing by the tape. He needed to calm down before he could get back to helping the rest of the firemen. People were counting on him. Shit, he had to get himself under control. “I can go after we’re done here.”

John sighed and hoped they will be done soon. He needed to check up on Caesar as soon as possible.


The next weeks were difficult. First John was waiting for any news concerning Caesar’s condition and he couldn’t think about much else, really. He still could do his job properly and Sherman had been... helpful, so it was bearable, but still, it didn’t help much overall. Most of the time he just felt useless and it made him feel like punching something, and not even pills were helping him then. He knew he had been taking more painkillers for the last days, but the stress and the worry, it was difficult. He knew Caesar would just call him a dumbass and take the pills away.

Only after he had found out that Caesar’s condition was stable and he would make a full recovery, and he actually visited Caesar himself, John had been able to get some uninterrupted sleep.

Caesar had been… dealing. It was the only way he could describe it, and John had been there for him. They had seen each other only briefly when John needed reassurance that Caesar was okay, but it was a few minutes, and not really as much as John wanted to, but enough to calm him down. And enough to let Caesar know that he will be there for him and he will visit him soon.

“Soon” turned out to be a few days after Caesar was admitted into the hospital, and felt good enough to see any visitors. Before that he had been to the hospital to check on Caesar, but at first no one had told him much besides his overall condition. After that Caesar’s siblings had been with him almost all the time and after their brief meeting them, while he get along with Caesar’s sister, he had a feeling his brother did not like John. And John did not want to fight with Caesar’s family, especially around Caesar, so he just waited until the man wouldn't have any other visitors.

As he reached the door he saw two people whom he recognized to be as Caesar’s co-workers leave the room, saying goodbye and telling Caesar they would visit him later in the week. Which meant Caesar was awake. He’d waited until the men left before walking in.

When John saw Caesar lying on the bed, his breath caught in his throat.

Caesar had his torso and right arm wrapped in bandages and he must have been exhausted, considering the bags under his eyes. The eyes that opened just when John came in, and he probably did not expect any more visitors, but a relief appeared on his face when he saw John. He tightened the hold of his left hand on the sheet that was covering his body.

“Hey,” Caesar said quietly, his voice hoarse, but he was smiling. “It took you some time to get here.”

John did not reply, but closed the door and sat on a chair on the left side of the bed. “How are you feeling?”

Only when he’d said it he realized how it must have sounded considering the situation, but Caesar snorted and one side of his mouth turned up in a half-smile that looked more like a grimace.

“Like shit, but better than after I woke up. My arm still hurts, but at least I can breathe now. The smoke didn’t ruin my lungs. I can’t really move my arm just yet, though,” he looked at his bandaged arm and closed his eyes for a while. “I’ll have scars, but the doctors say I’m going to be fine in a two months if I use all the creams and meds. Or something. Fuck.”

John nodded, covering Caesar’s other hand with his, lacing their fingers together. Caesar squeezed his hand gently and when he opened his eyes again, John saw that they were shining, but Caesar blinked it all away.

“You’re going to be fine,” John said after a few seconds. He knew it sounded cliché, that it wouldn't help much, but Caesar nodded. “You’re stubborn, so I know you’ll be fine, okay?”

“Look who’s talking,” Caesar snorted, but then sighed loudly, leaning back against the pillow. He looked tired. “I just… fuck. I was so fucking scared, John. I was scared. Everything hurt. I thought I wouldn’t get out. I couldn’t get out. I thought I’d never…” he broke off and closed his eyes, tightening the hold on John’s hand and breathing deeply, as if trying to get a hold on himself.

“You’re fine now. Shit, Caesar, you’re alive, okay? We can handle everything else.”

“Yeah? The burns won’t fucking disappear, John! If my arm won’t heal I won’t be able to work anymore. Fuck!” Caesar almost yelled, but John didn’t tell him to calm down or relax, because it wouldn’t work. Caesar had every right to yell and be angry, and if yelling made him feel better…

John grabbed the cup standing on the bedside table, poured some water in it and handed it to Caesar. The man looked at it first as if he wanted to throw it at the wall, but then he took it slowly. Don't need only after a few minutes of looking at the cup in silence he slowly took a sip of water.

“Can you stay?” Caesar asked, looking up from the cup and John nodded.

“Yeah. I’ll go get some coffee and will be right back.”


Caesar was released from the hospital after three weeks, as his arm was healed enough. He still needed to check in to make sure everything is was healing properly, but he was good enough to leave. John had a feeling that the fact that Caesar complained every time a nurse or a doctor visited him had something to do with it as well, and he smiled at the thought. He and Caesar were very similar in that respect. John also hated spending time at the hospital, especially when he felt fine, and he know he was unbearable then. He always felt better at home, so he didn’t blame Caesar for feeling like that as well. Most people do.

Caesar had told his siblings that he doesn’t need to stay with any of them and just wanted to be back in his own bed, but they could visit all they wanted. Caesar was always a confident, self-reliant person, and he wasn’t good at asking for help, which John understood as well, and staying in his own apartment, especially after being in the hospital for so long, was important to him. And he really missed it, as he kept reminding John during each visit.

The day when Caesar was to leave the hospital, John was with him as well. It was… good to see Caesar smiling again.

His sister had brought him clothes and a bag for everything he had kept in the hospital bedside table. She couldn’t stay long, explaining that she had an important meeting she couldn’t postpone, but promised she would check up on him as soon as she was able to. His brother had promised to buy him groceries, but had to get back to his children, too, and Caesar told them not to worry, because he had asked a friend for help.

John showed up after his shift, buying coffee for them both on the way, since he decided that they both deserved it. As soon as he entered the room he saw Caesar moving around the room, collecting everything with one hand, a small smile on his face.

“Ready to get out of here, huh?” John asked and Caesar turned to him briefly before hiding a towel and toothbrush in the bag.

“Like you don’t know. Fuck, I can’t wait to get home.”

“Yeah, I can see that,” John snorted. He looked at the bag Caesar was trying to zip up.“You want me to take that, or something?”

“John, I don’t need two hands to carry my own bag. It’s not that heavy. And it will be a good exercise for my muscles, the doctor told me so.”

Collecting everything did not take long. Caesar wasn’t the kind of person who took a lot of stuff with him, so he didn’t have much to pack.

After the doctor handed him all the documents and instructed him on taking care of his wounds, changing bandages and making appointments, they left the hospital. Caesar really couldn’t wait to get to his apartment. John packed Caesar’s bag into the truck before he closed the passenger’s door, on the way, raising one eyebrow at Caesar’s annoyed expression.

“Don’t get snippy. Has anyone bought anything to eat?”

“I don’t know. Never asked, I guess. And you know what? I don’t even care. I think I’ll be eating pizza and burgers for the next week, man. And beer, don’t forget the beer.”

John smiled at Caesar’s dreamy tone as the man leaned back against the seat. The pleased smile on his face got even wider as they entered Caesar’s apartment. The first thing Caesar did was to walk up to his couch and lie down on his back, feet dangling from one arm of the couch, but still minding his arm and side.

“I missed this shitty couch, man. I’m think I’ll never complain about it ever again…”

“The couch missed your ass sitting on it, too. What do you want to do now? Stay here and go to sleep or eat something?” John put the bag on the floor right next to the couch and sat down as Caesar sat upright, looking around the room.

“Food. Pizza. Fries. Beer. And fucking donuts. With chocolate.”

“Not picky at all, huh?”

“Fuck you. Like you wouldn’t do the same.”

“Never said I wouldn’t.”

“You wanna watch the game while we wait for the food, too?” John moved to grab the remote, but Caesar caught his hand in his, tangling their fingers together, crawling into John’s lap, with one hand holding on to John’s shoulder for support.

“I think we have better things to do. Unless you don’t want to look at…” only then Caesar looked down at his bandaged arm as if waiting for John’s reaction, suddenly looking insecure. John realized they hadn’t talked about this part at all, but to tell the truth, John thought they didn’t have to. Caesar was not a shy or insecure person, not around John at least, but clearly they would have to talk.

“Don’t be stupid. Come here,” John answered, bringing one hand to Caesar’s neck gently, the other keeping on his hip, fingers raising the shirt to touch his skin. When they kissed it was deep, overwhelming, and so right. Holding Caesar’s hand in the hospital was good, but now that Caesar moved closer, grinding against him, John knew the other man missed his touch as John missed his.

“Just look out for your arm,” John murmured against his mouth and in answer Caesar moved his bandaged arm to lay it across John’s shoulder, fingers of the other hand running through John’s hair.

“How about we just skip the food for now?”

“Are you sure your arm is good enough? I mean…”

“It is,” Caesar smiled and leaned in to press his forehead against John’s. “Stay here tonight.”

In reply John kissed him again, running his fingers against Caesar’s still bandaged arm gently.

They ended up calling for food about three hours later. Eating pizza while watching a game with Caesar, who was leaning against him, was one of the best ways of spending time, if anyone asked John. John was still touching Caesar’s injured arm from time to time, just as Caesar kept one hand on John’s knee, commenting and screaming at the screen every five minutes.

John was sure they will have to talk about what had happened, about Caesar’s appointments and things would most likely get difficult for Caesar, but John will be there with him if he needed him.

*Mood*: worriedworried
Julie: Original ★ fanfictionragnarok_08 on July 11th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC)
This fic was so good!!!
Megan Moonlight: heartmegan_moonlight on July 14th, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :) I had a great time writing it.