Sebastian woke up with Jim - James, he cursed inwardly - lying next to him. He was smiling and tracing patterns on Sebastian’s face with his fingers. Sebastian watched him for a moment; James didn’t seem to mind that he was awake again, and continued what he was doing until Sebastian spoke.
“Morning,” he muttered.
It had been two years. He’d grown accustomed to his life now, Jim’s name only ever crossed his mind in the mornings when he was too tired to remember or his brain wanted to rest for a moment longer in the blissful and comforting world of his dreams, where he could chase Jim around London, guns blazing.
“Morning, Seb,” James replied, his voice lilting and cheery as he beamed up at Sebastian. The sniper smiled back wistfully, stroking James’ cheek before getting up.
“Breakfast?” he asked, and James nodded, following Sebastian and taking his hand cheerily. He pressed a kiss to the shorter man’s forehead and walked him to the kitchen, grabbing cereal from the top of the fridge and passing it to James.
James paused for a moment, looking at the cereal box and his empty bowl. He had a look of concentration on his face, and Sebastian was used to it. James would figure it out in a few moments and go on as normal - well, not quite normal, but there wasn’t any other way to describe it.
Sure enough, about a minute later James was tucking into his cereal and smiling at Sebastian.
It wasn’t until half an hour later - when Sebastian went to clean his teeth - that he noticed the scratches. James must have pressed a bit too hard earlier when Sebastian was asleep and he’d just been tracing meaningless patterns over the sniper’s face.
It was faint, but if Sebastian squinted he could make it out. In small, faded red lines over his forehead. A word he thought he’d never see again. A word he thought James would never come to know.
Sebastian froze, his mind scrabbling for information. Had Jim been reading the newspapers? Maybe there was a small article, an old obituary. Or perhaps he was hallucinating, seeing what he wanted to see. His eyes darted around manically, and he nearly jumped out of his skin when James entered the room.
“Seb?” he asked, his voice soft and almost concerned.
Sebastian sighed, forcing himself to calm down. This wasn’t Jim. This wasn’t the cold, heartless and brilliant man he’d followed for so many years.
The sniper’s shoulders slumped and he walked over, placing a comforting hand on James’ shoulder.
He was so distracted that he didn’t even notice that James hadn’t said ‘I love you’ that day.
((Long-ish note here, but it’ll be useful to read. Firstly, somebody asked for a long!fic of James recovering, but I’m having a hard time writing it, as I don’t see him recovering fully. So, here’s the deal. Whenever brain damaged!Jim angst gets too much, drop me a note asking for another little bit of him recovering and you’ll get a little snap shot like this of James becoming Jim again. Secondly, the ending of this will make much more sense if you read my brain damaged!Jim headcannon. Hope you liked it and feel free to send prompts, headcannon asks and general spam my way))