Birthdays weren't really a big deal to Mackenzie. they were just reminders on how he was one day closer to losing all his marbles, one day closer to sitting in a chair as a shell of himself, empty of everything except the memories of that moment, gone like early morning fog when the sun beat down on it. His greatest fear, his greatest anger.
He didn't expect to be spending the week at Jeff's. Sleeping in the same bed, cajoling him to eat, fretting every time he winced thanks to the pain in his ribs. A pain self-inflicted because he'd send his car down two flights of stairs in Prague. It was clearly warped that he thought that Jeff was totally over reacting. Doing that was far safer than swimming with bull sharks for research in his book. Really, it was Jeff who was the dangerous one. Jeff with his soft, blue eyes and that crooked smile and that woodsy scent. Jeff with his warped sense of humor and his talented tongue that could spit cheesy jokes in more languages than Mac could ever learn. Jeff--the man he'd spend a fair amount of time first daydreaming about, then lusting after, and now--now he'd shared his bed for four days with no action more carnal than a good night kiss and a hand resting on his stomach while he slept. Plenty of talk, from the both of them, but the injury forced Mackenzie into staying his hand, as it were. To force him to slow down and in that slowing down, savor the start of this.
While Jeff slept, Mackenzie watched over him and contemplated what was happening. They'd had a tense conversation, one of their first. It was about Jeff's past, where he grew up. He wasn't always the best of picking up on verbal cues. He'd missed the clipped way he answered until that one word made Mac turn and see the pinched look in his partner's eyes. Going slow sometimes hurt. Was that hurt worth it? It had to be. He wanted more. He didn't want Jeff to think it was just because of their looks and their connection that he was here. Jeff trusted him with what he called 'his greatest secret, his greatest lie'. Did it scare Mackenzie? Of course it did. Only a fool wouldn't be and he could call himself many things, but a fool wasn't one of them. It could all be a play, it could all be part of establishing his cover but he didn't believe that because the earnestness in his eyes...Mac wouldn't believe that was fake or manufactured. It couldn't be.
What he did do was watch over his charge while he slept, wake up extra early to make one of the few things he excelled at, spinach and cheese omelets with toast and bacon and freshly brewed coffee from Jeff's ridiculously complicated machine. He grumbled that he shouldn't need his damned Ph.D. to run a coffee maker and "what isn't a old-fashioned Mr. Coffee good enough for you, huh?" but it was worth the aggravation to see his face light up when Mac brought him breakfast in bed. 'The longest second date in history' they both joking called it but in all honesty, Mac didn't want it to end.
"I didn't even get you a card, sweetheart," he'd said. Mac scoffed as he carefully settled himself next to Jeff, balancing the plate in his lap.
"Psh. Don't need a card. Or a present. I got you, didn't I?"
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