Title: No Smoke Without Fire (Part 2)
Rating: PG (this part)
Summary: Written for the prompt of "Athos rescues Porthos from a burning building. Porthos is so grateful that he's driving Athos mad."
As the ambulance doors closed, Porthos found himself being guided to one of the stretchers and made to lie down, while the paramedic strapped him securely in. He suffered this with a minimum of fuss, and she turned to Athos, who raised a hand in mild protest.
"Ah, I'm good, thank you," he murmured, and some combination of the uniform and the quiet authority in his voice meant he was allowed to merely sit on the opposite trolley as the ambulance drove off.
He caught Porthos' eye and must have seen the indignance on his face, because although he didn’t quite smile there was something about his expression that suggested he recognised the indignity he'd escaped, and was sympathetic to Porthos' plight.
Porthos lay there and watched him. It was still sinking in, that if it hadn't been for this man he'd probably be dead, or at least headed for intensive care. It was too big a concept for him to comfortably get his head round, and he concentrated on little things instead.
The thought occurred to him that if he'd just saved someone's life he'd be making the most of it, not bragging exactly, at least he liked to think not, but at least proudly banging his own drum a bit. Athos seemed to be doing his best to down-play it, as if he was embarrassed by the idea he'd done anything special. And he'd been injured. He'd risked his life, and been injured in the process, to save the life of a man he'd never met.
Maybe it was painkillers they'd given him outside, but Porthos was suddenly feeling rather emotional.
"Sorry about your arm," he said, when it appeared Athos was entirely content to sit in silence for the duration of the journey.
Athos looked up in surprise. "It's nothing," he said. "My fault. I should have been more careful. I was rushing."
"To save me." Porthos smiled at him. "You were amazing."
Athos looked flustered. "All in a day's work, I assure you," he muttered.
"No, really. You were. How did you lift me like that?"
Athos shrugged. "Practise. Training. There's a knack."
"Must come in handy."
Athos looked up and a smile finally twitched at the corners of his mouth. "What, for when I'm kidnapping people?" he suggested.
Porthos laughed. "Well, you can throw me over your shoulder anytime."
Athos looked even more amused. "Well. I'll certainly bear that in mind," he murmured.
Porthos blushed as he realised how blatant it had sounded. "Sorry. They gave me something for the pain and I think it's sent me a bit daft."
"How are you feeling?" Athos asked, looking genuinely concerned, and Porthos warmed to him even more.
"Could be worse. Bit of a headache, but to be honest that might be mostly hangover."
Athos smiled. "Mmmn. Been there," he sympathised. "Is there anyone who can come and be with you? They might want to keep you in for observation if they think you've got a concussion, if there's no-one else that can keep an eye on you."
Porthos frowned. "No, not really. I live alone."
"What about the friend you were staying with?"
"Charon?" Porthos looked surprised. "I'm not even sure where he is to be honest."
"Can't you call him?
Porthos sighed. "My phone was in my jacket. Which is presumably toast. Along with my shoes. Thank God I put my jeans on, or I'd have lost my door keys and wallet as well." Also he'd have been lying here in his pants, which would have been awkward in the extreme.
"Charon's your - partner?" Athos ventured, perhaps wondering why Porthos wasn't more concerned about his whereabouts.
"No. Just a friend." Porthos sighed. "Well. Ex, actually. I was just staying over." He looked hopefully at Athos. "I'm single."
"That's nice," said Athos neutrally, and Porthos winced.
"For being single?" Athos smiled, a flicker of amusement in his eyes that suggested he knew precisely what Porthos had been getting at.
"No, for - " Porthos sighed. "Never mind." He stared at the roof of the ambulance for a bit. It was bloody uncomfortable lying here and he was starting to feel a bit travel-sick.
"So - how about you?" he asked after a pause.
"How about me what?"
"Girlfriend?" Athos wasn't wearing a ring, so Porthos was assuming he wasn't married. "Boyfriend?" Trying for studied casualness as he slipped that in, and missing by a mile.
Athos shook his head slightly. "Oh, I'm married to the job," he murmured non-committally.
Porthos gave a short laugh. "In other words, shut up Porthos," he said, lying back in surrender.
"Perhaps your friend could come and stay with you," Athos suggested. "He must be in need of somewhere to stay right now."
"Yeah." Porthos frowned. "Maybe I'll find out if he left me in there first," he said darkly.
"I hope for his sake he didn't." Athos half-smiled as Porthos looked over at him curiously. "Well, I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of you."
Porthos grinned. "Nah. I'm a pussycat really."
As the ambulance pulled up in front of the hospital, unhampered by straps Athos stood up to leave and smiled down at Porthos. "Ye-es. I think I can sense your claws."