The table was set for three, the oven turned down to warm as the pork chops and potatoes were done, and Dick rinsed the last dish he'd used making supper.
He chuckled. Rig sure had him well-trained.
Dick frowned as he heard the news come on in the living room. It couldn't possibly be six o'clock already--it was Rig's early day and he should have been home ages ago. In fact he should have been home long before supper was finished cooking.
He dried his hands and headed out to lean against Rock's battered armchair. He and Rig had tried to replace it last Christmas. The new Lazy-boy was now in residence in Rig's office, Rock's favorite chair still taking place of pride in the living room.
Fuck, but Rock looked good, hair freshly cut into its customary high and tight, white t-shirt hugging every damned muscle, and there were plenty of them.
"Rig's late," Dick pointed out.
The bluest eyes he'd ever known turned up to him, and Rock nodded toward the TV. "Probably stuck in traffic; there was a hell of wreck."
He frowned, nodded. Jesus, there must have been eight cars in the pileup, including a semi-truck and a...
He frowned deeper.
A white Jeep.
A smoking, crumpled, shattered white Jeep with a navy blue roll bar and white-walled tires and a really fucking familiar bumper sticker on the back that used to say "We Love You Uncle Alex" that was just visible on the Hi-Def.
His hand shot out to Rock's shoulder, holding on tight as the image of Rig's Jeep burned into his retinas. His fingers curled into Rock's muscle, his stomach dropping somewhere to the region of his toes. "Oh, fuck."
Rock was absolutely still, absolutely quiet for what felt like a long time. Hours maybe. Days. A year. The moment stretched and stretched and then Rock growled, "No."
"That was..." he couldn't say it. He hadn't felt like this since ... the night they'd received a phone call in the middle of the night telling them their Rig was in the hospital.
"No." The word was repeated and Rock surged up, turning on him, eyes burning into his. "No."