This is the sixth flash fiction in the Catalyst series for Falcon Pointe. For the first time ever, see things from Ethan’s POV. If you haven’t read the other flash fics in this group, find them here.
Content Warning: While these fics take place after the event, they will discuss a school shooting.
Copyright 2017 Thianna Durston
Links to this flash fic are fine. Please do not repost elsewhere.
“You’ll have to wait here.”
Ethan reached out. “But I’m his—”
The man in scrubs shook his head as they rushed the gurney with Nick on it through doors he wasn’t allowed through.
In shock, Ethan stared at the doors. That was his Nicky in there and while the two of them were in a committed monogamous relationship, he knew he was about to deal with an uphill battle. They had no domestic partnership, no marriage, no legal recourse for his rights. With Nick unconscious, the hospital would give Ethan no information at all. Even worse, they might contact Nick’s homophobic family. The thought of Nick’s horrible parents coming to the hospital made him ill. The hateful words they might say would make things worse, not better.
With shaking hands, he pulled out his phone and hit the speed dial of the first person who popped into his mind.
“Yes?” Cory’s smooth calm voice poured through the line and Ethan’s breath caught.
“Cory, it’s Ethan. I need your help.” The doors opened and Scrubs Guy came out with the gurney, now empty, and walked by.
“What’s wrong?” Cory’s voice brought his attention back to the phone.
“Nick collapsed. I don’t know why but I have the feeling it had something to do with finding out about the shooting. He stopped breathing at one point. I’m at the hospital and they now have him behind closed doors and I doubt they’ll let me see him.” The words poured out of his mouth in a torrent. He took a deep breath to replace what was lost. “You can find out how he is.”
Cory murmured something he couldn’t hear before he spoke into the phone. “I need to deal with something here and then I’ll be down. Do you know who Nick has as his emergency contact at the college?”
“No clue. Shit, Cory. What if they call his parents?”
“I had the same thought. Give me twenty minutes and I’ll be down.”
Ethan went to shove the phone into his pocket when he remembered another person who needed to know. He hit Deke’s speed dial. Deke was Nick’s oldest friend and had supported him through coming out. If the hospital did the unthinkable and called Nick’s folks, perhaps Deke could head them off.
“Hello?” Deke’s half asleep voice came over the line.
“Deke? I’m sorry to wake you up. It’s Ethan.”
“Ethan?” His voice was more awake. “What’s wrong?”
“Nick collapsed and he’s at the hospital. Do you know who his emergency contacts are through the college?”
“What the fuck?” Deke shouted, now obviously fully awake. “He collapsed? When?” Rustling sounds came through the phone and Ethan hoped that meant he was getting dressed.
“After your phone call earlier. I walked into our room and it looked like his muscles just gave out.”
“Shit. I’m on my way.”
“All right. But do you know who his emergency contacts are? I don’t want his parents showing up.”
Deke snorted. “Neither do I. But that we don’t have to worry about. Nick and I put each other as our emergency contact. I was there when he changed all that information so that his family wasn’t listed. I know he added two others. I could have sworn you were one.”
“The hospital doesn’t have that information, at least not yet. Perhaps when they get it, they’ll let me in to see him.” And he needed to see him. Ethan clenched his eyes shut, an ache in his chest at not being able to be there for Nick almost making him moan.
“I’ll be there in ten minutes. Are you in the emergency room?”
After telling him where he was, they hung up and he leaned his head against the wall behind him. What had made Nick collapse like that? It was difficult to describe what happened. Nick fell to the floor and he grabbed him. Five seconds later, his boyfriend passed out and went into convulsions. As he was healthy, Ethan couldn’t imagine a reason for it. Unless perhaps he’d picked something up on their trip.
Forcing himself to his feet, he walked up to the main desk. A harried looking nurse looked up and smiled. “How can I help you?”
He managed to smile in return. “I know the rules, but my boyfriend has just been taken back there. He’s unconscious and I’ve been trying to think what might have caused it. I don’t know if there was anything but we just returned tonight from a weeklong trip to Europe. Europe always seems a safe bet for me, health wise, but if you know of anything that could match what’s happening…” He cleared his suddenly dried throat.
“What’s his name?” she asked.
“Nick Layton. They just took him back like ten minutes ago.”
She nodded. “I’ll pass on the information.”
She walked away, through a door that he assumed took her to that magical room he wasn’t allowed in.
“Hey.” He turned sharply at the voice, relieved as Deke walked up to him. His hair was sticking up in all directions and there was a crease along his cheek that looked as though it came from lying on something. But he was there. Ethan pulled him into a hug and Deke clapped him on the back. When they pulled back, Deke looked around. “So where is he?”
The nurse came back out and Deke stepped toward the desk. “My name is Deke Delter. I’m an emergency contact for Nicholas Layton. I’ve been told he’s here.”
“He is. But until I get verified information that you’re on his emergency contact list, I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything.”
Deke nodded slowly. “We’re both students at FPU. It will be in his records there. Is there anyone you can wake up to get that information? My best friend’s behind those doors.” He pointed firmly at Ethan. “His boyfriend is behind those doors. And we really need to know what the fuck is going on.”
She didn’t so much as blink. Her smile stayed the same. Ethan assumed she was used to dealing with irate people wanting to know things they had no legal right to. “We’ve called the university’s clinic. They’re supposed to fax over his emergency contact list. Until we have that in hand, there’s nothing I can do.”
“Look,” Deke began, leaning his hands on the desk.
Ethan grasped his shoulders and pulled him back. “Let’s not bother her,” he said with a sigh. “She’s just doing her job.” He glanced at her. “Please, as soon as you get that list. We’ll be over there.” He pointed at a group of empty chairs.
Her eyes softened and she nodded. “As soon as I receive it.”
He led Deke over to the chairs and sat down. Ethan leaned his elbows on his knees and put his face in his hands. “I hate hospitals,” he said.
Deke nodded. “Me too.”
If you have enjoyed this tiny window into Falcon Pointe, check out the first books in the Men of Falcon Pointe series.
Flash Fic #7 will be posted on Wednesday, Nov 15th.
Check out the rest of the wips this week: