Pairing: Becker / Matt / Matthew
Word Count: 5,882
Summary: An encounter with an anomaly has an unexpected effect on Matt.
Just the two of us
When the anomaly suddenly began to pulse, as they did just before they disappeared, Matt didn’t bother to move away. Why would he? These things closed on their own all of the time. So when, instead of closing, the anomaly expanded, he could feel himself being surrounded by it. It vanished at the same time as a wave of darkness washed over him and he fell to the ground.
He woke up to find Becker crouched next to him with a concerned expression on his face. He heaved a sigh of relief as Matt opened his eyes.
“What the bloody hell happened? Why did you start to go through the anomaly as it was closing?”
Matt frowned. “I didn’t. It tried to go through me. My head hurts; feels like I’ve got a hangover only I’ve not had fun part last night.”
Becker was about to say something else when a noise from the other side of the low wall where the anomaly had been had him getting to his feet, EMD ready. He crept forward cautiously, peering over it and into the long grass.
Becker looked over his shoulder, a confused expression on his face, before going around the wall.
“What do you mean, not me?” Matt asked, getting to his feet and moving slowly over to him. “You said my name.”
When he reached Becker he stopped and stared. The other man stood rigid, with a man in a brown leather jacket hugging him tightly. No, Matt thought, he was hugging Becker. He frowned; he was losing it, seeing things. He must have hit his head harder than he thought. Wait, he was hugging Becker?
“What the hell?”
Becker looked over to him and mouthed, ‘I don’t know.’ He managed to wriggle free of the embrace and backed away from both of them, eyeing them, looking for differences but finding none.
Back at the ARC, Lester paced around the two Matts before coming back to his desk and sitting down. One of the men was leaning casually against the doorframe, looking bored, whilst the other chewed on his fingernail nervously, occasionally casting looks to Becker as though to reassure himself that the man was still nearby.
“Well?” Lester demanded. “Would someone care to offer an explanation? Anything?”
Abby shook her head. “I wasn’t there; I came back after checking the area for creatures and they were both already there.”
Becker looked to his boss. “I don’t know what happened. I saw Matt in the edge of the anomaly and then he just passed out. He seemed fine when he awoke but then we found the second Matt.” As Becker indicated, the man stopped chewing on his fingernail and offered a self-conscious smile.
“Matt, what do you remember?”
Lester stopped them. “Oh for goodness’ sake! You,” he pointed to the Matt in the doorway. “You’re Matt. You,” he said to the Matt who was seated, now trying to make himself as invisible as possible under Lester’s glare, “are Matthew. Now, Matt, what happened?”
Matthew raised his hand hesitantly. “Why does he get asked first? Why not me?”
“Because I’m the real Matt!”
“You can’t be, because I am.”
“Look how you’re acting,” Matt told him. “It’s bloody obvious that you’re a clone or something. Definitely not me. There’s no way that I’d ever behave like that.”
“Don’t shout at me-”
“Well don’t be so pathetic.”
Lester slammed his hand down on the desk, making them both jump. “Shut up!”
With a martyred sigh, Lester leaned back in his chair and looked up at Becker. “Any suggestions?”
Three hours later, Becker threw his things into his locker and picked up his keys. He’d spent the past few hours in the medical bay, watching as the two Matts were tested for everything and anything in the hope that they could determine what had happened. As yet, the tests revealed that the two of them were identical in every way, or at least they were physically. Their personalities couldn’t be more different. He could easily tell them apart as one was practical and serious, his expression never changing from mildly-bored. Much like Matt was usually, he thought with a smile. The other reminded him of the rare occasions he’d seen Matt after a few too many beers, when he let his guard down. That Matt was affectionate and emotional and nowhere near as assertive as the first. It was as though the side of Matt that he usually kept hidden had suddenly been made flesh. The tests, both medical and scientific, had confirmed this as best they could; though they weren’t sure how, the anomaly had indeed duplicated Matt, splitting him into two aspects of the same person.
Right now, he had another problem: What to do with the two of them? He and Matt had been living together in his house for the past few months, but what now?
Becker headed for the exit but found both Matts waiting for him.
“You were just going to leave me here?” Matthew asked, looking up at him with an expression like a kicked puppy.
“Of course he was,” the other man chipped in before Becker could answer. “It’s what I’d do. I mean, a stranger appears through an anomaly-”
“I’m not a stranger! You are.”
“Another word out of either of you and I’ll leave you both behind,” Becker told them, wondering if he could get away with taking them back to the medical bay and saying they needed to stay for further observation. “You heard what the doc said. You’re both Matt.”
He felt a little like the pied piper as he headed for his car, the two men following at his heels. Unlocking his car he paused, anticipating the next argument and glancing over his shoulder.
“Before you ask, both of you are riding in the back.”
There was a muttered complaint and a loud sigh but they climbed in obediently, sitting quietly until they got home. They had probably realised that if they kept bickering, they’d be walking home, Becker thought, glad of the peace and quiet at last. Ever since the pair of them had been brought in, they had been arguing. It wasn’t as though either could actually win; it was essentially Matt arguing with himself.
“So what’s going to happen to us?” Matthew asked later that evening as they sat around the kitchen table, eating Chinese take-away. “Are we just expected to sit around and be poked and prodded for ever more?”
“Well I’m not. I’m fine to get back to work.”
Becker looked at the determined expressions on their faces and nodded. “Okay. I’ll speak to Lester, but neither of you are going out in the field until he signs off on it.”
Lester gave the pair of them the green light to return to their duties three days later, when it became clear that whatever had happened wasn’t going to be fixed any time soon. Matt had simply stepped back into place in the team but Matthew volunteered to stay behind in the ARC and help Jess when the alert sounded.
Becker agreed; it would be easier to keep an eye on just one of them when they were out and besides, it would mean that he wouldn’t have to listen to them bickering again. It may be funny to watch for a while, but after that he really just wanted to gag them both. It was also rather unsettling to see just how cold Matt could be. He was constantly nagging at Matthew, telling him how pathetic he was acting, but it did give Becker a clearer insight into Matt himself.
He’d known the man for a while now, working together and then dating as well, and he knew that Matt kept a huge part of himself hidden away. He had only just started to open up to Becker, to let his guard down. Matt always told him it was self-preservation, that where he came from you didn’t have time for weaknesses such as doubts and emotions. You did what needed to be done, no matter what the cost. Now it seemed that all of the aspects of himself he thought of as weaknesses had manifested in Matthew and Matt didn’t like having it all on display for everyone else to see too.
“How are they coping?” Lester asked when the team returned.
He and Becker stood in his office, watching as Matt and Matthew chatted to Jess. Well, Matt chatted to Jess while his doppelganger looked scared to interrupt, remaining silent in the background.
“As well as can be expected,” Becker told him. “They seem fine.”
“And how about you? I am aware of your living arrangements, even though Matt’s personnel file has never been updated.”
Becker smiled. “It’s odd. Neither of them is completely Matt, but they both are, if that makes any sense. I don’t really know how to handle it,” he confessed. “At work, they’re just fitting back into Matt’s old life but outside of work…”
“You can’t just pick up where you were before,” Lester finished for him. He sighed. “Maybe if they stayed at the ARC for a while, or at Matt’s flat, it would be easier on you.”
“Maybe. What if we can’t fix this, though? What if both of them are here to stay?” Becker asked. “I can’t just avoid him- them- forever, and I can’t choose between them.”
Lester smiled. “Who says you have to? Having both to play with might be fun.” He frowned at Becker. “Though if you tell anyone I just said that, you’ll be on sentry duty for a month.”
“My lips are sealed,” Becker assured him with a laugh as he left the office.
He hadn’t thought much to Lester to begin with, but after the accident last year they’d started talking. Sharing a drink to drown their sorrows each time a rescue mission for their missing team members failed had forged an unlikely friendship between them.
Looking up from whatever Jess was showing them on the computer monitor, Matthew beamed as Becker approached. Becker thought back to Lester’s words. Maybe it would be easier if he made the two of them stay here for a while; it would give him a chance to get his head around the situation. He couldn’t do it, though. No matter how confusing and unsettling it must be for him, it had to be ten times worse for the two of them. Making them stay at the ARC just seemed mean.
“Come on,” he told them. “Time to go.”
Becker flicked on the bedside light and saw Matthew in the doorway to his bedroom.
“Can I stay with you tonight?”
For the past few nights, the two men had been staying in the spare room but not any longer.
“I miss sleeping with you.”
If he was being honest, Becker missed it too. He’d become used to having Matt there with him and it felt odd to wake up to an empty bed. This still wasn’t a good idea, he told himself, but with a sigh of surrender he lifted up the edge of the bedcovers in invitation.
“Fine, get in.”
“Well if he can stay then so can I,” Matt announced, striding into the room behind Matthew, wearing nothing but his boxers.
Becker didn’t really get a say in it as Matthew climbed into bed, burrowing under the covers and cuddling up to Becker’s chest. He felt the bed dip and Matt get in behind him, wrapping his arm possessively around Becker’s waist.
When he awoke the next morning, he opened his eyes and found himself alone in bed. He could hear the sound of low voices coming from just outside his room but they stopped abruptly when he stumbled to the doorway, still half asleep, to see what they were up to.
The two men were sitting on the stairs, heads together in discussion, but they looked up as he emerged.
“Has something happened?”
Matthew shook his head. “We’ve had a talk,” he began.
“And we’ve decided something,” Matt finished. “We want you back. Just like we were before all of this.”
“We won’t argue, or annoy you,” Matthew continued, almost pleading. “And we aren’t going to get jealous if you spend more time with one of us than the other.”
Matt nodded. “Come on, Becks, I know you still want me. Us. It’s just going to take a bit of getting used to, that’s all.”
Becker did want things to go back to how they were, even though the little voice in the back of his mind was pointing out all the things that could go wrong. The little voice was quickly and quietly kicked into submission by the rest of Becker’s thoughts and he nodded.
“So, what now?”
Matthew flung his arms around Becker and kissed him forcefully, before pulling away and looking embarrassed at his directness.
“Now, we go back to bed,” Matt told them.
Four hours later, Becker, Matt and Matthew jumped out of the car and rushed over to help the others. Abby, crouched behind a low wall as the creature stomped around up ahead. There was a crash and then a siren wailing as it charged headfirst into the car, setting off the alarm. The sound just seemed to make it angrier.
“Where’s the anomaly?” Becker asked, his mind already working out how they were going to get the creature back through. It was too big to carry back, which meant they’d have to herd it that way.
Abby pointed with the end of her EDM. “Connor is still there, closing it.”
“And you came after that thing on your own?”
She rolled her eyes at him. “Well I didn’t have much choice, did I? You weren’t here.”
Before he could apologise Abby darted off toward the creature, leaving Becker no choice but to follow. Between the four of them they managed to shepherd the creature back through the anomaly without too much more damage being caused. Connor sealed the anomaly and packed up his equipment.
“You finally decided to join us, then,” he said to Becker. Studying him for a moment, Connor smirked. “You look knackered. Didn’t get much sleep, eh?”
Matthew looked uncomfortable at the speculation, as did Becker to a lesser degree, but Matt simply smiled at Connor.
“We got enough sleep. It was the three hours we spent fucking this morning that wore us out,” he said, sauntering past Connor and back to the car.
Seeing Matthew’s cheeks turn pink, Becker put a hand to the small of his back and ushered him after Matt, leaving Connor staring after them. He glared at Matt when they reached the car.
“Did you have to say that? You embarrassed Matthew.”
Matt sighed. “Sorry,” he said, climbing into the driver’s seat and starting the engine before Becker could stop him. He hadn’t been allowed to drive since the accident, neither of them had, but there was no way he was surrendering the keys now. “Come on, lets get to the ARC.”
Despite everyone’s best efforts they still couldn’t find a way to reverse the accident, or even what had caused it in the first place. The team had been through countless anomalies over the past few years yet none had ever had this effect on them.
Lester insisted that they continue to search for a remedy, or at least a reason, but in the meantime there was nothing to do but let Matt and Matthew continue their lives. They had both been given a clean bill of health by three different doctors, and Lester had somehow managed to acquire identification documents for Matthew. As of three days ago, Matt and Matthew were twins, complete with bank accounts, driver’s licenses and anything else they could possibly need.
Becker stood outside Lester’s office, leaning on the railings as he watched the activity in the detector room. Matt brought mugs of tea for himself and Matthew as they compared notes for the reports they were supposed to be writing after the anomaly they’d attended this morning.
“They seem to be doing well,” Lester said, leaning next to him. “As do you.”
The pair of them were definitely getting along a lot better. They were keeping their promise to Becker to try and cooperate more and argue less.
Becker nodded. “They are. I wanted to say thanks. For the other day, I mean.”
“The part where you told me I didn’t have to choose between them.”
He saw that Lester remembered that particular conversation as he smiled knowingly. “I take it that things have improved at home.”
Becker deliberately avoided making eye contact with Lester. “We’ve come to an arrangement.”
“Good.” Lester tugged his jacket straight, letting the mask of professional disinterest slip back over his features as he walked back into his office.
That night, Becker dragged the duvet over the three of them as they settled into their now-familiar places. He had grown used to sleeping with one of them at either side of him, Mathew always sleeping against his chest. He often woke up with the other man sprawled half on top of him, with Matt’s arms around them both.
It was usually Matt who woke him the next morning, up long before the alarm was due to go off. He had never been a late sleeper, having trained himself to be up at dawn, but Matthew was. Matt and Becker were usually already playing when he woke up, just in time for their attention to be turned to him.
That was one thing that Becker would never tire of seeing. To begin with it had been odd to see Matt and Matthew together but, he reasoned, it wasn’t as though they were actually brothers. It held no more significance than Matt masturbating; after all, they were the same person. No matter what, it still hit Becker’s buttons to see them kiss or touch each other or, on the rare occasions they decided to play to his fantasies, fuck each other.
When he reached out to turn off the light that night, Matt stopped him.
“We’re not tired.”
Becker tried and failed to keep the grin from his face. “Oh, really?”
Matthew smiled at him. “Really. We’d rather play with you.”
The looks on their faces and the hint of mischief in their eyes told him that he was going to enjoy this.
“And what if told you I don’t want to be your plaything?” he asked, teasing.
Matt reached around Becker’s body to wrap a hand around his cock. “I’d say you were lying. I think want us to hold you down while we do as we please with you.”
Becker nodded. “Fuck yes. Please.”
“And I don’t think you’d stop us, no matter what we wanted to do to you, would you?” Matt continued.
Matthew’s hand joined Matt’s and they stroked Becker’s cock together.
“We want-” Matthew began, pausing, then slightly more timid. “I want to fuck you.”
It was getting harder to concentrate what with their hands on him, but Becker smiled and reached out to pull Matthew into a long kiss. This was the first time that Matthew had asked; since the three of them had begun, Matt had always topped, or Becker, but never Matthew. He hadn’t missed Matt’s smile of encouragement just before Matthew asked, either, and now nodded in silent thanks to him.
They pulled their hands away and moments later, Becker felt cool, slicked fingers teasing his arse. He spread his legs wider, giving them more access, and was rewarded by Matthew’s fingers pushing gently inside him. Once he was inside he stilled, leaning over to kiss him again. After the first few hesitant moments, as always, Matthew’s confidence grew and, the gentle touches grew into something more, driving Becker crazy. Matt sat down next to them on the bed, his hand working his own cock, watching. When Becker reached out to him, to include him, he shook his head.
“Let him have this,” he said, looking at Matthew with something close to fondness in his eyes.
Becker turned his focus back to Matthew, or rather to the wonderful things that the man was doing with his fingers at this moment.
“Please, do it.”
Matthew obliged, moving Becker how he wanted him, and then Becker felt the delicious stretching as Matthew eased into him. It was different to Matt. Matt took him hard and fast, but Matthew was gentler, taking his time but that wasn’t what Becker wanted.
With a sidelong glance at Matt, Matthew grinned at Becker as he did as requested, slamming into him over and over, fucking him hard.
Becker was close when Matthew leaned over and said softly,
“After I’m finished, I’m going to let Matt have you to do what he wants. You like the sound of that, don’t you? What do you want him to do? Do you want him to fuck you too, while you’re still all stretched from my cock in you?”
Just hearing the usually-quiet Matthew talking like that was enough to send Becker over the edge and he came, shooting come onto his stomach. Matthew continued to pound into him throughout, faltering minutes later as he came with Becker’s name on his lips.
Matthew pulled out and dropped down to lie beside Becker as Matt moved into place, flipping Becker onto his stomach on the bed. Becker let him, still too blissed-out to object, even as Matt lifted his hips.
“On your knees, Becks.”
Becker got his knees beneath him just as he felt a warm, wet tongue swipe over his sensitised hole. Then again, this time dipping inside his stretched arse, lapping at Matthew’s come as it trickled out of him.
There was a burst of warm breath against his skin as Matt laughed. “Soon, Becks.”
Matt continued to tease him, pushing his tongue further in each time, closing his lips over Becker’s hole and sucking gently.
“Fucking hell. Now, Matt. Fuck me.”
Becker let out a cry as Matt pushed into him in one move, taking him roughly and ensuring that Becker would still be feeling this tomorrow.
Tomorrow arrived and Becker sat himself gingerly into the padded chair in his office. Matt and Matthew had woken him this morning for a repeat of last night, the pair of them fucking him senseless and ensuring that he wouldn’t be sitting comfortably all day. Not that he was complaining, however. Not a chance. They were both a part of his life now and he cared about both of them, so much so that it was difficult to remember what it had been like before the accident, before they were both here.
“Becker! Lester wants to see you in his office.”
Becker sighed, racking his brains for whatever he or any of his men could have done wrong so as to have an excuse ready and waiting before he got there. He came up blank.
When he got there, he found one of the medics already in with Lester. He was about to sit down outside and wait when Lester saw him and waved him in.
“Have a seat, Becker.” Lester waited until he was sitting down before continuing. “Doctor Morris has just brought me some rather unsettling news regarding Matt. Doctor, if you would?”
Morris took two pages out of the file he was holding and spread them on the desk in front of Becker.
“We found some discrepancies in the recent tests compared to a sample taken just after the accident happened. See here?” he pointed at a list of numbers on the page, then a small graph. “There is a pronounced degradation of the-”
“In English?” Becker said, not really sure he wanted to hear this.
“His white blood cell count is worryingly low, he’s also severely anaemic- Basically, his body isn’t repairing itself as it should.”
“But those are things that people get every day, right?” Becker asked.
Morris shook his head. “Not to this degree. In Matt’s case it seems to be happening faster than normal. The results are what I would expect to see over maybe a year, not just a few weeks.”
Morris shook his head. “Matthew’s tests all appear normal.”
“So what can you do about it?” Becker asked. “Surely you can do something to fix him.”
Morris and Lester shared a look, and then Lester spoke. “They are going to try and transfuse blood from one to the other but there is no guarantee of how long the effects will last, or if it will even work at all,” he said. “If it does, then we may need to transfuse him every few weeks.”
“And if it doesn’t work?”
“Then there are various treatments we could try,” Morris told him.
Becker took it in silently, not wanting to think about what would happen if they couldn’t reverse the division, or delay the effects on Matt.
“Do they know?”
Lester shook his head. “Not yet. I thought it would be best to speak to you first, maybe to have you sit in when we did speak to Matt.”
“No. I’ll tell him. I don’t want him hearing this from someone he barely knows,” Becker told them. “No offence, Doc.”
Morris actually looked relieved not to have to break the news. “I’ll be here if you want me to explain anything to him.”
“Thanks. Is there anything else?”
Lester told him that there wasn’t and he let himself out of the office to go and find Matt. He still wasn’t sure how he was going to do this, but as he said earlier, it would be better coming from him than a stranger.
He found the two of them down in the break room, a packet of biscuits and two empty mugs on the table next to them. Usually he would have teased them about it, how they seemed to spend more time drinking tea than doing any work. This time he didn’t. His face must have betrayed his emotions as both men immediately got to their feet when he entered.
“What is it?” Matt asked.
Becker wondered if he’d done the right thing; he really didn’t want to tell Matt what the doctors had discovered.
“I need to talk to you,” he told Matt. “Can we go to my office?”
Matthew looked ready to follow but Becker asked him to wait for them here. It would be bad enough telling Matt without Matthew there as well.
Matt followed him out, neither of them speaking until Becker closed his office door. Matt turned to him, looking worried for the first time since the accident.
“Okay, what’s going on? Becks, mate, you’re scaring me.”
Becker indicated for him to sit down. “You know that latest round of tests on you and Matthew that they did yesterday? They found something.”
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s not something good,” Matt joked, trying to lighten Becker’s mood. “So, is it Matthew? What did they find?”
“It’s not Matthew, it’s you. The tests show that your body isn’t handling the separation.” He couldn’t look at Matt as he carried on, trying to get it all out quickly as he explained the rest. When he finished, silence fell over the room and he glanced at Matt. “Matt, I’m sorry. The doc said there are things they can try…”
Matt didn’t say anything, just stood and left the room. Becker followed but by the time he reached the door, Matt was gone. Outside, Abby and Jess stood with Matthew.
“I want to know what all that was about,” Matthew demanded. “Matt looked upset; he just barged past me without even acknowledging me. Tell me, Becks.”
Becker nodded, inviting him into the office but making sure that Jess and Abby remained outside. He didn’t want this to be public knowledge until Matt was ready, but Matthew needed to know. He had to give consent for the transfusion.
A month later, Matt waited anxiously as Dr Morris flicked through the printout in front of him.
“For fuck’s sake would you just get on with it?” Matt snapped a few minutes later.
Becker put a hand on his arm and he sighed. “Sorry doc.”
Morris offered him a sympathetic smile. “It’s fine; I can imagine how stressful this is for you.”
“The results, doc,” Becker prompted.
On Matt’s other side, Mathew fidgeted nervously with the edge of his jacket. When Morris spoke, he stopped, his hand moving to Matt’s instead.
“I’m sorry, Matt, but the news isn’t good. The treatments we have tried are making no difference at all.”
Matt frowned. “I thought you said that you’d seen an improvement just after the first transfusion.”
“We did, but it doesn’t last.”
So that was it, Becker thought. From the tone of the doctor’s voice, he could tell that the medic was out of ideas. If this continued, Matt’s immune system would stop functioning, leaving him vulnerable, and given the kinds of things they dealt with on a daily basis he couldn’t run that risk. The moment they left the doc, he confined Matt to the ARC, taking him off the field team. Matt protested but Becker was firm in this, refusing to change his mind.
Matt didn’t like being confined to a desk, but he tolerated it for Becker and Matthew’s sake. After all, if Matthew could go out in the field in his place, then he could put up with being left behind. He could see that just the idea of dealing with the creatures scared Matthew; it was something that he’d had to deal with at one point, back home. As a child he had been terrified of the vicious predators that roamed his own world, hardly daring to go outside in case one of them came near. He’d had to overcome that fear quickly but it appeared that Matthew still held that fear.
Matthew seemed to represent the parts of Matt that he had buried deep inside- the fears and uncertainties- and he was damn proud of the other man for facing them and not allowing them to stop him going out with Becker and the others when the anomaly alert sounded.
They had barely had chance to sit down when the alert sounded again. Becker groaned put his mug back onto the break room table, untouched. He and Matthew set off to meet the others, leaving Matt sitting there on his own.
Minutes later, the door opened again and Becker came back in.
“I think you should come with us,” he said. “It’s back.”
Back at the place this had all started, Becker stood and looked at the shimmering anomaly that hung in the air. It was in the exact same place as last time, but other than that it looked like a normal anomaly.
“So what do we do now?” Matthew asked.
“If passing through it caused the separation,” Abby pointed out, “Then going through again might reverse it.”
Becker sighed. He already knew that he just hadn’t wanted to say it. Matt and Matthew may have started as the same person but they had developed two very different personalities since then. The three of them had settled into a comfortable relationship and Becker didn’t want to lose either of them. They were doing this for Matt, however. He needed Matthew to survive and reversing this was the only way to do that.
Lester had decided to accompany them to the anomaly, knowing what was likely to happen, and now he got out of the car and ushered Abby and Connor away to check the area for creatures. As he passed by, he paused.
“We’ll give you a few moments,” he said, following the other two.
Once they were alone, Matt turned to Matthew.
“Thank you for doing this. You could have stayed here, but you’re willing to go back through for my sake.”
Giving Matthew a hug and then letting him go, he turned to Becker. Becker took first him and then Matthew into an equally rib-crushing embrace, taking one last chance to kiss them both. When he heard the sound of footsteps returning, louder than necessary to give them a moment’s warning, he let them go and stepped back.
“I’ll see you soon,” he said, crossing his fingers behind his back and hoping that he was correct.
After a quick goodbye from the others, the two men walked into the anomaly.
The wait was almost as bad as the goodbyes, Becker thought as he stood with Abby, Connor and Lester. Lester moved to his side and although he said nothing, Becker knew that he was there if he was needed.
After what seemed like an eternity the anomaly began to flicker, and just before it vanished completely a figure stumbled out and landed face down in the grass, unconscious. Becker didn’t hesitate, not caring if the anomaly came back as he hurried to Matt. Gently turning the man over onto his back he looked at him. He was wearing the clothes Matthew had gone out in this morning, but there was no way of telling if it had worked and they were one again, or if this really was Matthew, until he regained consciousness.
“Well?” Abby asked, leaning over.
Becker shrugged his shoulders helplessly. “I don’t know.”
When he began to stir a few minutes later, Becker and Connor helped him up, taking him back to the vehicle and sitting him in the passenger seat.
“Matthew?” Becker asked hesitantly.
“It worked, Becks,” Matt told him. “We’re both here.”
Lester came forward then, looking relieved that he seemed to be alright. “I think we should get back to the ARC and get you checked out,” he said as he, Abby and Connor climbed into the back seats leaving Becker to drive.
Becker didn’t move, still watching Matt. For a split second the idea that, if he turned away, Matt would vanish too flashed through his mind but he told himself just how ridiculous that was. Matthew hadn’t vanished; he was right in front of him, sitting in the passenger seat. He still had them both.
“I love you. All of you.”
As Matt stared at him, Becker realised it might not have been the best time to say that. Glancing up, he saw the others in the back seats watching him, Abby with a sappy smile on her face, and felt his cheeks heat up. Matt followed Becker’s gaze, realising that the other three were listening.
“You know, a couple of months ago, that would have bothered me.” He reached out to slip his hand around the back of Becker’s neck, pulling him in closer. “I love you too,” he said, kissing him.
Becker ignored the happy squeeing sound from Abby and the fact that Connor and Lester were going to tease the hell out of him for this. He didn’t care.
All that mattered was that they were going to be okay.