Eleven - Vegan Mac'n'Cheese

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When Ricardo passed out, Jaimee thought for a second that he had killed him. He was stuck in place, face rigid, as he watched his boss pitch backwards, knock his head off the desk edge and then land face first in the thick carpet. By the time he actually reached his side, his eyelids were fluttering open. Jaimee pulled him into his lap, cradling Ricardo's already battered head and inspected his pupils like his father had taught him.

"What happened?" Ricardo asked groggily. He tried to sit up but had to be helped. He raised a shaking hand and rubbed a tender spot at the back of his skull.

"Stay here," Jaimee ordered, standing up to reach his phone. "I'm calling an ambulance."

"I'm fine," Ricardo frowned. But when he tried to stand, he nearly fell back to his knees. His eyes were unfocused and he did not look well. Jaimee ignored his protests and called an ambulance, explaining that Ricardo had suffered blood loss, had been drinking heavily on an empty stomach, and then had hit his head. When Ricardo grasped the fact that there was one on its way for him, he glowered.

"Sit down," Jaimee snapped. He was at his wit's end. There was a million thoughts, a million emotions jetting around his body and he didn't have the goddamn patience to deal with a drunk, concussed asshole.

Ricardo actually listened and folded himself onto his seat. Jaimee paused, staring, before he tucked his phone away and began to clear the mess of paper and pens on the floor. It still really shook him when Ricardo listened to his orders, like when he had attacked the poor nurse and Jaimee begged him to let go. He had been so angry but he had listened anyway, releasing Shaun almost instantly. It was just so...surprising.

By the time everything was cleared away, a receptionist was showing two medics in. Jaimee waved them over, answering their questions as they prodded Ricardo. He, himself, glared as they inspected him and gave them curt answers. Once they had checked his injuries and were satisfied, they declared that they would take him in. He almost choked on his own air, he was so angry.

"Is that really necessary?"

Jaimee tried to hide a laugh but he wasn't quick enough. Even with concussion, Ricardo didn't miss a trick, apparently. He glared, refusing the medics' help as he rose to his feet unsteadily.

Jaimee moved to pick up his wallet from the table. "Here."

One of the medics, a pretty girl with dark eyes, rose her eyebrows. "Are you riding in the ambulance with him?"

He paused. He hadn't even considered it. He shot a sideways glance at Ricardo, still muttering away under his breath. "Can I?"

She smiled softly. "Of course you can."

He knew why he hadn't thought about it. He could take his pick, there were a hundred different reasons. The most obvious; he had sucked face with his boss last night. A fact that he had tried very hard to drown out both during the night and this whole day. A fact that had nearly forced him to hand in his letter of resignation this morning. But he hadn't because it was something that could be worked through. A mistake, as Ricardo himself had said. And Jaimee was anything but a quitter.

So he followed them down to the ambulance, trying not to think about the fallout when Ricardo achieved full clarity and came back to a thousand questions. He had barrelled out, ignoring all stares and whispers, much to the indignation of his balance. Jaimee trailed behind, carrying his wallet and eavesdropping. A few theories going, he heard, included Ricardo suffering from an overdose and his liver finally kicking in after one too many drinks. It surprised him because he hadn't realised that Ricardo's drinking habits were public knowledge. Then again, he didn't exactly try to hide it.

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