Chapter 34: Progress

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Chapter 34

He stood there, the grin still planted on his face as he took in our expressions, then we all watched, still frozen in silence as he raised a brow in question.

"Yall look like you've seen a damn ghost, what's wrong with you?"

I didn't think I could even manage to speak then and I didn't try as my mind searched for possible solutions to the question of his appearance.

"But you're...you're supposed to be dead." Kyle went on, his voice filled with unspeakable awe and comprehension seemed to dawn on Eddie who, after a pause smirked.

"Well at least that explains why I didn't get a single visit in the hospital from any ah you fools." He joked as only Eddie could in the face of our awe, then without a word John stepped up and pulled him into a hug, his face buried in Eddie's neck as he held on tight.

"Whoa big guy, easy there...still healing remember." Eddie's muffled voice could be heard from somewhere trapped behind John's shirt and I took a shaky breath, holding the arm of the chair for support.

When John pulled away slowly, his face was flushed and I could have sworn I detected a faint glistening in his eyes but I couldn't be sure. "Jesus Christ you're actually here." He said, gripping either side of Eddie's face and pulling him in for another quick embrace.

"The first time you hug me in my whole life and it had to be because you thought I was dead...that's cold man." He continued to joke, pulling back from John with a wince. He lifted his hand to his shoulder and rolled his back as if to loosen the muscles there.

"What the fuck's going on Eddie? We all thought you were-" I didn't wait for John to finish his sentence, I couldn't, not when the man we'd all mourned for weeks was standing before me, clearly alive and well and in a flash I was across the room and pulling him in for a hug too. Then Kyle, who wasn't one to miss out on the welcome, after I'd pulled away shakily, had Eddie wrapped up too.

Some of earlier excitement seem to leave Eddie's eyes then and looked at each of us in turn, offering a small smile. "I'm alright guys...I swear." He promised and turned to face Nate who had yet to utter a word since his untimely arrival.

My lover stood there, his eyes roaming over the man he called brother, looking pale and still disbelieving then when he realized we were all watching he cleared his throat and took a step forward, holding out a hand that clearly shook.

"It's...good to see you man." He offered to his longtime friend and with a grin Eddie, bypassed the outstretched hand and pulled him in for a hug too.

"Missed you too buddy." Eddie mumbled.

It was a long time before they pulled apart again and as I stood watching them, my shock gradually beginning to dissipate and a blanket of utter euphoria built within me, draping me with it's warmth.

Eddie was alive. He was fucking alive. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding as I allowed a grin to grace my face. When I glanced over at Kyle our eyes met and we shared a smile.

Eddie was alive.

"This doesn't make any sense, the chief told me the doctors said you wouldn't have made it through the night." Nate said the moment they pulled apart and Eddie glanced quickly at me and Kyle.

"It's okay, they know." John explained and without argument Eddie nodded.

"I figured you'd tell them." He paused for a bit, took a breath and began. "I wasn't supposed to live." He said seriously, then there was a loud thumb outside and we all froze. Nate and John had their weapons raised again before I could blink.

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