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okay, so ! first of all, this took forever and im sorry about that !! ((its 3,686 words so i have an excuse)) and !! after this, im gonna start working on my multichapter prucan fic, so updates for this will be fewer and further between, which i also apologize for !

second of all, as a disclaimer, i have literally *no idea* how anything hospital-related works, so basically everything besides the inclusion of physical therapy & the names of the broken bones are most likely wildly inaccurate

third of all, the ending is a bit abrupt, but i didnt wanna add the epilogue bit i was planning because that wouldve taken *ages* to finish and ive been very slow with my writing, so i just cut it off there instead of making you wait any longer !

and lastly, happy holidays !! i wish you all the best !!

without further adieu, dennor blind au !!

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A man, middle-aged, blond, tall, and broad, dressed in pink faux-fur sleeping pants and black slippers, walked down the street with a corgi at the other end of the leash he held loosely in his hand. Obviously fatigue-ridden, he stumbled along like a zombie, eyes half-lidded and jaw slack.

It seemed as though he had pulled himself together enough to fix his hair before leaving the house, though. Or perhaps his hair fixed its self.

In any case, his dog, named Cherry for her red-brown coat, was very excitable this morning. She sniffed at the ankles of people she passed, darting about with all the grace of a newborn.

The blond man, in his half-awake state, failed to notice when Cherry took a particular interest in a young girl waiting at the crosswalk. Not until Cherry had followed the girl out into the street so far that she tugged on the leash. He stared out in horror at his dog in the middle of the road, seeming to snap into full consciousness within milliseconds. He tried to tug her back, but alas, her collar slid over her head and set her free. He cursed under his breath, dashing out into the street to retrieve her.

Which is when the light switched from red to green, and set several cars, unaware of the blond’s presence until the last second, upon both him and the dog.

The last thing he saw before he was thrown over the roof of a car was his dog disappearing beneath a van.


The blond man opened his eyes slowly, expecting light to assault his eyes. It did not. He would have questioned this if not for the sudden, searing pain in his right leg when he attempted to shift it. He cursed loudly, lifting a hand to his face. Bandaging covered his left eye, which only caused more confusion. An attempt to sit up ended in pain and cursing.

"Mister Kohler! Please, stay still!" A feminine voice scolded him, placing a small hand on his chest to push him back. "You have a few fractured ribs. They’ll heal, but you mustn’t move much."

He blinked, staring in what he hoped was the woman’s direction with confusion written on his features.

"What? Where am I? I can’t see a fuckin’ thing." He finally spoke, grimacing at a soft, thumping ache in his skull that worsened when he moved his jaw.

A silence followed, and he almost thought the woman had left the room when she finally spoke. “You’re in the hospital. You were hit by a car. A doctor will be here soon to tell you about your injuries. Do you remember anything?”

Now that he had been reminded, the whole scene came flooding back in vibrant colour. He began to nod, to open his mouth to speak, but froze.

"Where’s my dog? Is she okay? Cherry? Please tell me she’s okay, I-" His voice wavered as frightened tears threatened to spill down his cheeks, and he let the sentence trail off.

Another short silence.

"I’m so sorry, dear. Your dog didn’t make it."

A long, pained groan that wavered and cracked ripped from his throat, and he lifted his head just to throw it back down again the pillow again. The tears finally spilled, running across his cheekbones and falling to the side. He lifted an arm to cover his face in shame, knowing that it would be twisted with his agony and turning red.

He didn’t hear her leave the room over his grieving tears, nor did he hear the doctor mentioned by the woman before come in, only to sigh at the sight of him.

"Matthias Kohler, please calm down." He murmured in an attempt to sooth his patient. "I’m… very sorry about your loss."

Matthias was startled out of his mourning, scrubbing at his face with one hand in an (unsuccessful) attempt to clear away the traces of his sobbing. He looked towards the sound of the new voice, wondering again why he could see nothing. Was there bandaging over his other eye and he simply had not noticed?

"Sorry," He mumbled, a frown creasing his pale face.

"It’s no trouble – ah, may I call you Matthias? I’m Doctor Lukas Bondevik. We need to discuss your injuries and the treatment."

"Sure, if I get to call ya Lukas. So, uh, what are my injuries, exactly?" He still felt rather broken at the loss of his pet, but pushed it aside for now. There would be room for grief later.

"Well, let’s start from the bottom. You have twenty fractures total in your feet, two breaks and a fracture in your right tibia and fibula, a fracture in your right femur, and three fractures in your pelvis. Two broken ribs, a broken collarbone, and," Here he paused, taking a deep breath before reading off the last one. "Serious – permanent – damage to the vision center of your brain.”

It finally clicked.

"I’m blind?!”

Lukas had apparently expected this, halting Matthias’ attempt to sit up and to claw at his face with quick movements of small, strong hands. “Please, be calm, Matthias! Don’t hurt yourself. No, don’t cry, Matthias-“

Too late. The tears came down again, though this time silently. He let all the grief and the pain roll down his cheeks, stain his skin with glittering tracks, leave him behind to soak into his pillow and bandaging instead. Lukas loosened his grip on Matthias’ wrists and chest, instead brushing Matthias’ hair from his forehead and murmuring encouragement. It’s okayWe’re here to helpYou’ll get through this – it all was whispered into Matthias’ ear, and he clung to each syllable like they were his only hope of survival.

And after what seemed like forever, he finally calmed.

He reached up, fumbling blindly until he found and grabbed Lukas’ shoulder. He had so much to say, to ask, but he could only seem to say one thing. “Thank you.”

"Of course." Lukas said, his warm breath washing over Matthias’ tear-stained face once more before he pulled away. "Are you feeling well enough to talk about the treatments?"

Matthias nodded, rubbing away the tears with one hand and placing the other over his chest. “Yeah, okay.”

"Alright. You’re going to be confined to a wheelchair for a while, while your pelvis and ribs heal. After that you can switch to crutches, and you will undergo physical therapy to keep your leg from getting weak while it’s in the cast. You’ll also be assigned a personal nurse from the staff here, as most of us are trained for it. I’m not sure who it will be yet."

Matthias grinned, shooting out a hand to point in Lukas’ direction. He could only hope it was accurate. “Maybe it’ll be you!”

"I certainly hope not," Lukas grumbled, the sound of crinkling paper signaling the turn of a page. "Anyways, the personal assistant will help you through your daily routine and such until whatever injuries can heal do so. At that point they will begin training you to do things on your own. You will also be taught to read braille."

"Read what?"

"Please don’t tell me you don’t know what braille is."

"…I know what braille is?"

"My god, Matthias. It’s a series of small bumps that visually impaired people can run their fingers over and read."

"So it’s, like, reading with my sense of touch? That’s so cool!"

A moment of silence was ended by a soft chuckle. “Yeah, sure, if that’s how you want to think about it.”

A scraping sound came from somewhere to his left, and he flinched, instinctually turning to look though he no longer could.

"Calm down," Lukas said. "It’s just me. I sat down in a chair next to your bed."

"Oh." Matthias breathed out a sigh of relief, before speaking again. "Hey, Lukas?"

"Yes, Matthias?"

"I don’t know what you look like."

"Oh. I suppose you don’t."

"I never will."

"…Yeah."

"…Could I see with my sense of touch, too?"

"What do you mean, Matthias?"

Matthias swallowed nervously. This would sound weird, he was sure of it, but he wanted to see if it would work. “I wanna, uh, touch your face.”

A stunned silence followed, and just as Matthias was about to apologize, he heard the scrape of Lukas’ chair against the tile – scooting it forward, towards this bed. “I suppose it couldn’t hurt.”

Matthias grinned brightly, holding out a hand. “Okay, put my hand on your face so I don’t hit you tryin’ to find it. And you gotta tell me about the colours, too, okay?”

Lukas mumbled his assent, gripping at Matthias’ wrist at pulling it up to his face to rest over his cheek.

"I’m very pale," He started, sounding cautious, as though he were testing new ground. "And I have blue eyes that, from a distance, look purple."

Matthias nodded along to his words, gently pressing his fingers into porcelain skin. He traced the line of his jaw with his fingertips, lifting to the pad of his smooth cheeks and up again to his cheekbone and nose bridge.

"I have faint freckling over my nose," He spoke again, as if triggered by Matthias’ touch. "Very faint."

Matthias, hoping to guide Lukas’ words further, lifted his hand again to push at his hairline, only to pull back down again with a strand of silky hair between his fingers.

As hoped, Lukas’ words tried to make sense of his hair when it was touched. “My hair is blond, a lot like yours, but a bit lighter. It’s mostly straight, but waves at the ends a bit. I have it pinned back on the left with a hairclip. A silver upside-down cross.”

Matthias hummed as his fingers followed Lukas’ directions, colliding with the clip and tracing its shape. Indeed, it was an upside-down cross. He let his touch trail down, brushing a stray strand of hair behind Lukas’ ear.

"Thank you, Lukas. Thank you."

Matthias could hear the smile on Lukas’ lips as he returned with a simple ‘Of course’. Without thinking he reached down, pressing the pad of his thumb against the curve of Lukas’ lips and taking in the warmth of his emotion which he so desperately needed.

No matter how much he tried, he still felt cold.


A few days later and his new routine had been scheduled. To Matthias’ glee and Lukas’ rather-well-hidden excitement, Lukas was assigned as Matthias’ personal assistant. He was assigned for physical therapy on Wednesdays, and emotional therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Lukas and Matthias were left to their own devices.

One such free weekend, on a particularly warm Saturday no more than two weeks after the incident, Matthias had been coaxed awake with teasing promises of waffles and was downstairs gorging himself on Lukas’ cooking. Lukas looked on in pride; not only were his waffles so good that Matthias was practically inhaling them, but he was using his silverware properly. You almost couldn’t tell he couldn’t see his food.

After Matthias had finished his breakfast and Lukas had disposed of the dirty dishes, he turned back to Matthias to help him into his wheelchair. After reaching a certain vicinity, he recoiled in disgust.

"Oh, god. Shower time. That’s really awful."

"Oh, please. This isn’t even bad. Once, I went a whole week and a half without showering, and people on the street walked around me like a river ‘round a rock." Matthias announced with a hint of pride, at which point Lukas whacked him upside the head.

"Don’t say it like it’s a good thing! That’s gross! If I were a more dedicated doctor I’d be having a meltdown!" Lukas scolded, nose scrunching up in disgust. "Honestly, you reek. I can’t imagine any worse. You are taking a shower right now.”

"Okay, mom.”

"Shut your mouth and strip!"

"Doctor Bondevik, I never knew you felt that way about me!"

"I will throttle you.”

"Alright, damn!" Matthias relented, laughter lacing his words. "Hot shower this time, yeah?"

Lukas grunted affirmation before stalking back up the short flight of stairs to the second floor, stomping to make his exit clear to his sightless ward.

"What a teenager, honestly."

I heard that, Matthias!

Matthias only snickered, beginning his struggle to undress himself. The quicker he got the shower over with, the better.


After a long, steam-clouded shower that ended in a feeling of refreshment for Matthias and utterly drenched clothes for Lukas, (he still vehemently refused to actually join Matthias in the shower, much to Matthias’ own amusement,) Matthias was heaved into his wheelchair and taken back downstairs.

"Okay," Lukas huffed, exhausted by the strain of getting such a large man down the stairs on such precarious wheels. "Did you have any plans for today?"

"Not particularly. I kinda wanna watch a movie."

"…Watch?”

"Listen to a movie. You know what I mean, fuckass. Pick a movie from the shelf, whichever one you want."

Lukas shrugged, but after remembering Matthias couldn’t see him, he grumbled assent. Shuffling could be heard as he sifted through Matthias’ collection of discs, plastic clacking against plastic as disc cases collided. “How about Finding Nemo?”

"Well, I have to admit, I didn’t expect that one. I knew you were secretly a teenager. Thirteen with a PhD. I’m impressed, Lukas."

"Shut your trap. I am thirty, fuck you very much.”

"Oh my god."

"What?"

"Oh my god, Lukas. I’m older than you.”

God save me.”

Matthias laughed at that, slapping his knee against his amusement as half-honest fear dripped from Lukas’ words. “Alright, alright -” He broke his own attempt at regaining control with another burst of laughter, which he eventually managed to recover from. (If he had to mention, Lukas’ ire filling the room like a cloud of smoke certainly helped.) “Alright. Okay. Put the movie in. Help me onto the couch.” There was a pause. Absolute silence. Matthias broke it with a childlike groan. “Please.”

Matthias could practically feel Lukas’ smirk worming its way under his skin, which elicited a half-hearted frown to pull down the corners of his lips. “How rude, my lovely nurse.”

"How rude indeed." Matthias heard the whir of the DVD player as it started up, squeaking in surprise as his wheelchair was suddenly turned and pushed towards the couch. Without giving him time to even open his mouth to speak, Lukas grabbed him under his arms, heaving him up from the chair to the couch with a soft wheeze.

"Oh! Thanks. I could’ve helped, y’know!"

"No need. You’re injured still, you know." Lukas probably couldn’t tell he was letting concern lace his words, like he so rarely did.

But Matthias could tell.

He said nothing. He liked it. If he told Lukas, he might stop.

He merely hummed his agreement, listening as several clicks sounded and the movie began to play.

"What was the dad-fish’s name again? Merlin?"

"Marlin," Lukas corrected gently.

And with that, a comfortable silence settled in with them, the only sound being Marlin’s concerned, then sad, then scolding voice from the speakers, followed by Dory’s endearingly ditzy chirping. At some point, Matthias wasn’t sure exactly when, he found Lukas’ hand idly tapping against Matthias’ knee.

He was letting his guard down, Matthias could tell. But only in his distraction. Seemingly mindless fingers inscribed indiscernible languages into his kneecap and thigh, smooth fingernails brushing lightly against his leg and causing him to shiver at the feather-light contact. God, being ticklish was such a curse. He didn’t want to startle Lukas; then he might take his hand away.

Matthias sighed contentedly as Lukas returned to his gibberish inscriptions. Lukas truly cared for his patients; mourned with them, sympathized with them, comforted them when he could and cried with them when he could not. He knew this, from tales from around town. Lukas was the most empathetic doctor on the face of the earth.

So why, he wondered, did Lukas seem to avoid contact with him?


It had been another week, and another Saturday dawned. In one week, Matthias would be able to switch to crutches; this physical therapy had been going extremely well.

His mental therapy had not.

He had been growing – as Matthias liked to word it when speaking to his therapist – colder; for him, negative emotions were cold, and positive emotions were warm. He always felt warm when he smiled or laughed, he explained, and would grow cold when he was angry or sad. And lately, he had had to pretend he was warm, when in reality he was colder than he could ever remember being. I feel lonely, he would say. Even though Lukas is there, physically, I feel as though he doesn’t really want to be; that his mind is somewhere else. And that makes me even lonelier.

His therapist tried, but he could do nothing to console the poor man.

Lukas had begun noticing too. He didn’t know the reason for it at first, as Matthias had asked for secrecy, but he had most certainly noticed. Matthias had become much quieter, and if that wasn’t enough to scare anyone who knew him, he had also begun disregarding his appearance. He wouldn’t take showers until Lukas forced him, he hardly ate, he wore the same clothes for days on end; it was well and truly terrifying.

Lukas had, at first, tried keeping his distance from Matthias. However, this only seemed to make it worse. The thought of trying to get closer to Matthias made Lukas cringe.

He did, after all, have a terrible problem with lacking a brain-to-mouth filter when it came to crushes.

It had happened so slowly, Lukas hadn’t even noticed it at first. One day, he caught himself staring while Matthias was smiling and laughing about something on the radio, caught himself smiling too, and that was it. No questions. No room for denial.

He had it bad for Matthias.

And that was when he’d pulled away. From past experiences, he knew he would start running his mouth and end up giving himself away. He had no idea of Matthias’ sexuality, or romanticism, and even if they aligned to give him a chance, he had no idea if Matthias was interested in him specifically.

Lukas had decided he would rather put himself through never knowing than try, fail, and have to live through the most awkward period of time he had ever experienced while finishing with his care for Matthias. With the way Matthias was acting in response, he knew it was rather selfish of him, but he was terrified.

And so Lukas kept his distance, watching in agony as Matthias let himself go to ruins. Oh, how Lukas wished he could still be a friend to him without fear of making everything worse.

On this aforementioned Saturday, Lukas was busying himself with scrolling through several sites on his phone, and Matthias was fiddling with the dials on the radio. A song came up through the static, and Matthias began tapping his fingernails against the table to the beat. Lukas, completely aware that his and Matthias’ taste in music did not align at all, tuned the music out in favor of his phone.

He glanced at Matthias out of the side of his eye, more instinctual than anything, to make sure he was alright.

And he saw glimmering tears trailing down Matthias’ cheeks.

Lukas, suddenly alarmed and wondering what the song could have done to elicit tears, let himself listen.

'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly, but I'll miss your arms around me.

Oh. Lukas knew this song. It was by a favourite band of Matthias’, though he couldn’t quite pin down the name. He continued to listen, curiosity now peaked.

The silence isn’t so bad, ‘til I look at my hands and feel sad, ‘cause the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly.

Oh.

Oh.

Well, that was a game-changer.

Some hopeful part of his mind begged and pleaded for Matthias to be listening to that song and thinking of him. Another berated him and told him he couldn’t possibly be.

Lukas was understandably biased toward the former.

In a (rather pathetic, if you asked Lukas,) attempt to draw a determining reaction from Matthias, Lukas stood, rushing over to Matthias and bending to wipe at his tears. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

Matthias looked him in the eyes with terrifying accuracy, placing his hand over Lukas’ to press it against his cheek. He opened his mouth to say something, then seemed to think better of it and shut it again. Lukas could only describe the look in Matthias’ eyes as a mixture of adoration and utter, crippling fear.

In that moment, Lukas felt his heart crumble and flutter into vibrant life simultaneously.

It was also in that moment that Lukas decided he was going to do the absolute stupidest thing he’d ever done in his entire goddamn life.

He leaned forward, and he pressed his lips against Matthias’ as gently as he could.

Waist-deep in thought because when I think of you, I don’t feel so alone.

God, Lukas was going to throw himself off a bridge if this didn’t work.


Matthias nearly screamed when he felt the press of Lukas’ lips against his own. Instead, he pressed back, tilting his head to keep his nose from hitting Lukas’. Though he already could not see, he closed his eyes.

No fireworks went off, the world didn’t stop turning, time went on just as it had before, and all too soon it was over.

That didn’t stop it from leaving Matthias absolutely breathless.

"Lukas…?" Matthias called softly, as though he expected Lukas to have disappeared.

"Yes, Matthias?" Came the murmur in response. So, no, not gone. Not an illusion. Really there, as breathless as he. Matthias could hardly believe it.

"…Am I dreaming?"

"No, Matthias. You’re not dreaming."

"Thank god."

Lukas laughed, soft and wispy and everything Matthias ever wanted to hear.

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