“An’ then I told Morris to get out of my face,” you laugh,
tying to tease a smile out of Crutchie. After a long day of selling papes,
Crutchie seems a little more exhausted than usual. You’re doing your best to
cheer him up. “And then ya know what I did?”
You stop and wait for him to ask you what you did. His eyes
have a distant look in them, and he’s rubbing his bum leg.
“Crutchie? You alright?” you ask, concerned.
“Huh?” His head snaps up, and he sits up straighter on his
bed. “Sorry. Just got my mind on other things.” Suddenly Crutchie grimaced and
gripped his knee.
“What?” you ask, frightened. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothin’, (y/n),” Crutchie answers, obviously in pain. “Just
“Now don’t give me that,” you sigh, sitting next to him and rubbing his back. “I
know you better than that, Crutchie.”
His eyes fill with tears, and his breath is coming faster.
You hold him close, heart aching, not knowing what you can do to help him. A
single tear falls from his eyes onto your (f/c) skirt as you draw his head onto
your shoulder. He continues rubbing his knee all the while.
“It’s just,” he begins, voice cracking. “What if it happens
“What if what happens again?”
“What if I get sick again? It hurt like this when I was
sick,” he pauses. “It hurts like this a lot.”
“But you never say anything!” you exclaim. “Why don’t you
“Ain’t no helping it. There’s no fix for it. Just gotta wait
it out. No use botherin’ all of ya.”
“Well, Crutchie,” you murmur, rubbing his knee. “You tell me
next time, alright? Does this help?”
“Yeah,” he replies and gives you a half-hearted grin. “Feels
a lot better when you do it than when I do.”
“And if you do get sick again, you’ve got us,” you state,
looking him in the eyes. “You’ve got friends now that you didn’t have the first
time. We’ve got you.”
You two are quiet for a while. Simply being together is
enough for the moment. You keep rubbing his knee, hoping all the while that the
pain leaves him.
“(Y/n),” Crutchie whispers. “Thank ya.”
You smile and impulsively kiss his cheek. He cups your face
in his hand and kisses your forehead.
Sitting back again, he smiles and says, “So, about the
Delancys. You said what to Morris?”