number 44 for the 100 ways to say i love you with nurseydex, please! clumsy boys + violent sports = who knows?
Dex knows he should just be grateful that it wasn’t worse, but he has been and always will be selfish when it comes to Nursey.
“How are you feeling?”
Nursey tries to make a face, but with all of the wrappings and gauze, he can’t do much more than stick his tongue out. “Ugh.”
Dex softens, smiling a little. “Ready to go back to the Haus?”
Nursey grins. “Yes, please. Carry me?” He asks, reaching his arms out toward Dex, who instead presses his palms up against Nursey’s outstretched ones.
“You hurt your face, not your legs,” he says, rolling his eyes. “I think a big, strong hockey player like you can handle some walking.”
Nursey huffs. “First I’m so disfigured and hideous that you won't kiss me anymore, and now I’m not even injured enough for you to carry me out of here? Some knight in shining armor you are, Poindexter.”
Dex sighs. “That’s not what you said an hour ago, drama queen. Besides, you know very well what’s gonna happen if I try to kiss you with a broken nose.”
Nursey pouts as best he can. “Maybe, yeah, but you’re worth it.”
“Oh, am I?” Dex laughs, running a hand through Nursey’s hair. “And what do I tell Clara?”
“She would understand,” Nursey grumbles, and Dex would chirp him further if Clara hadn’t bustled in through the door just then to take Nursey’s vitals.
2-0, Samwell vs. Dartmouth, second period. Things are going well; defense is having a particularly ‘swawesome game and Dartmouth seems less competitive than usual, for once. In fact, this is the least aggressive Hall has ever seen them. Murray seems to agree.
But Dex is trying not to let it bother him. After all, he’s here to keep his head down and play some damn good hockey, not push his luck.
49 is fast, like Bitty, but he’s about 100 pounds heavier and nowhere near as agile, so Dex isn’t having much trouble keeping up with him. He gets complacent around minute ten; by minute eleven, he’s feeling somewhat antsy. Finally, in minute twelve, he sees it - an assist, if he can get to Ransom in time. He goes for it.
49 long forgotten, Dex is almost close enough to snatch the puck when he hears the sharp crack of helmet against board, followed by a soft thud and Bitty’s quiet, “Oh, Lord,” behind him.
He turns, and the last thing he expects is to see a pile of red jersey lying on the ice.
No, wait. Scratch that.
The last thing he expects to see is number twenty-eight lying on the ice.
It takes his breath away.
There’s a split second where all he can do is pray that Nursey moves, gets up, does something, anything, and then the pile of red (red to match Dex’s vision) sits up and takes off its helmet and Dex remembers how to breathe again and the world continues to turn, for now.
There’s blood, and Dex wants to go to Nursey, but he doesn’t trust himself to move yet - not until he knows for sure that his knees won’t give out on him. So he waits and watches as Nursey slowly hauls himself up off the ice, his head buzzing and the noise of the crowd behind him deafening. He feels his own skates start to drift, and when Ransom and Holster give him the nod he knows they picked up from Lardo, he follows Nursey all the way back to the locker room. He finally finds him sitting on a bench with a wad of paper towels pressed to his face surrounded by Lardo, Hall, and Murray, who start up a conversation as Dex slips unnoticed into a shower stall to change out of his uniform. No way he’s leaving his boyfriend to suffer like that alone; the team will just have to deal.
“I’m fine, it’s chill, I just need a minute. It’s cool. Doesn’t even hurt… that much.”
“Bro, that doesn’t look fine.”
“It’s broken, Nurse. We have to get you to a doctor. Is there someone you want us to call for you?”
“Wait, uh, can’t Ransom fix it? He’s basically a doctor at this point and he’s my bro, he would totally do it.”
“Nursey, we’re in the middle of a game. Ransom could probably help, I guess, but we can’t be down two defensemen and a captain.”
“Well, we can’t leave him here, and I’m not authorized to let Duan drive him… Sorry, Nurse, looks like we’re gonna have to call an ambulance.”
“No, wait,” Dex pipes up, poking his head out of the stall. The crowd turns, startled, and Nursey shifts the paper towels enough to give Dex a semblance of a grin. “I can - I’ll drive you, uh, to the hospital. We could, um, take Jack’s car, if he says it’s okay, and you could, uh, push Ollie and Wicks up. And then, you know, Lardo can stay and you can finish the, um, the game,” he finishes awkwardly.
Lardo smirks at him (she’s the only one who knows about them right now, and she’s still a little too proud of herself for figuring it out before Dex took her up to the reading room one night during a kegster and told her) and hands Nursey another paper towel while Hall and Murray think it over. "Alright. Good initiative, Poindexter. Take Zimmermann’s car, and you’d better keep Duan updated,“ Hall says as Lardo whips out her phone, presumably to text Jack.
“Yes, sir.” Not a problem, I’ve been updating her since day one. “Thanks.”
(Dex helps her with her sculptures, and she helps him vent. It’s a fair trade.)
Five minutes later, Hall and Murray are back with the team while Lardo is off on a mission to find Jack and his keys. Dex sighs and flops down next to Nursey, resting his head on his shoulder.
“You scared the shit out of me.”
“Hello to you, too.”
“Was it 49?”
“Yes, it does. I wasn’t watching him.”
“It’s okay, I thought I had him covered. He snuck up on me, that’s all.”
“You shouldn’t have had to cover him, though. I should have known better than to try and be a damn hero,” Dex laments, closing his eyes.
“Hey,” Nursey says, slipping his free arm around Dex’s waist. “It’s hockey, Poindexter. Shit happens. You weren’t being a hero, you were just doing your job.”
Dex stays silent for a minute and hands Nursey another paper towel. “I should have punched him. I had time, nobody would’ve stopped me.”
Nursey sighs. “Yeah, but then who would’ve swept me off my feet to the emergency room?”
“Literally anyone else, Nurse, I’m not Prince Charming.”
“Damn right you’re not. Where’s your horse, Dexy?”
“Right here,” Lardo interrupts, sauntering in through the door with Jack’s keys dangling from her fingers. “Ugh, d-men. Get a room, you two.” She tosses them at Dex and then crosses her arms, still smirking that awful smirk at the pair.
“Thanks, Lards,” Nursey says and attempts to wink at her, which makes Dex laugh.
“Come on, Nurse, road trip into the sunset,” he says, lacing his fingers through Nursey’s and pulling him up off the bench past Lardo, who rolls her eyes and hands Nursey the rest of the paper towel roll as they pass by.
“If either of you die, I’ll kill you,” she calls after them, and Nursey’s “Chill, Duan!” is so endearing that Dex just has to press a kiss to his cheek. Derek is gonna be the death of him, honestly - no one’s allowed to be that adorable with a broken nose.
“C'mon, Dexy, please?”
“For the millionth time, no.”
“You’re being unreasonable.”
“No, I’m being logical. You wouldn’t know what that’s like.”
“Rude. I’m telling Bitty to put you on a pie ban and also I’m giving you the cold shoulder starting now, so there.”
Dex sighs and falls into the visitor’s chair behind him. The debate had worn on for a full forty-five minutes, and his resolve was beginning to crumble. It was late, he was tired, and all he really wanted was to get home and curl up in bed with Nursey, which wasn’t going to happen at all if he was getting the silent treatment. He would know.
All he gets is a huff and a turn of Nursey’s head in response. Dex, undeterred, pinches the bridge of his nose and tries again.
“Derek, darling. Light of my life. Please.”
Nursey glares at him, and it’s better than nothing, so he runs with it.
“We still have to get you discharged at the circulation desk downstairs, and then I have to bring the car around because we parked kinda far and I don’t want you to walk any more than you have to, okay? So, if you really want me to, I will carry you from here to the elevator and from the desk to the car. Okay?”
Nursey, against poor Clara’s wishes (is it acceptable to tip your nurse?), hops down off of the metal table and crosses the room to plop himself into Dex’s lap with a grin. “Have I ever told you how much I love you?”
Dex’s eyes widen. “Actually, no, you haven’t.” Which… is true, although when he thinks about it, is kind of surprising. He’s already said the words once, while Nursey was asleep in his arms, so he know it didn’t count, but he’s thought them dozens of times. They’ve felt natural almost since the day they got together, so there’s really no reason why he’s waited this long. He guesses it’s because they always seem implied, with Nursey - it’s different with him. Everything they do for each other, every note they leave, every movie night in together, every morning waking up next to each other feels like an I love you, so why say it?
Now that Nursey’s said it, though, he gets it.
“Well, I love you,” Nursey repeats, and Dex would carry him to the ends of the earth, if Nursey asked him to.
“I love you, too,” Dex replies softly, and just so we’re clear, it’s Nursey who kisses Dex.
Clara’s just gonna have to deal.