Author: Settiai PM
He felt as if he was on fire.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Ted K./Blue Beetle & Michael J. C./Booster Gold - Words: 1,174 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 04-07-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8001098
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Everything was wrong.
He felt as if he was on fire, as if the world was burning around him and taking him with it. His head felt as if it was going to split in two, and his entire body ached from the heat. A distant part of his mind kept telling him that something was wrong, that he needed to focus and figure out where he was and what was happening, but he couldn't. He just didn't have the energy.
There were voices sometimes, familiar sounds that he couldn't quite place no matter how hard he tried. He knew he should recognize them, but he just couldn't think, not with his head pounding and his skin on fire. His vision blurred when he opened his eyes, and he couldn't see anything but a confusing mess, bright colors tilting and spinning around him.
Time passed. Days and nights blurred together, turning into weeks and months and centuries and millennia. It might have been seconds, it might have been ages. He couldn't tell, not with everything burning. Man out of time, a voice whispered in his head. It sounded familiar, for some reason. Maybe it was him. Just wants to go home.
Then, suddenly, there was a pressure on his shoulder, a burning flare of heat that made him hiss with pain and jerk away. The pressure disappeared, only to come back. It might have been only a moment later, or it might have been hours. He couldn't tell.
Someone said something, a faraway sound that he could barely make out. It sounded distorted, as if the other person was speaking through water. He couldn't understand the words at first. They were harsh and guttural, not flowing the way language should. English, that voice in his head supplied. English instead of Esperanto. Focus.
It was hard to concentrate, almost impossible. But he tried.
"Booster, calm down." There was a pause, and the voice seemed to waver a bit. "Booster, it's me. It's Beetle." There was another pause, and the already soft words dropped to a whisper. "Michael, it's Ted."
A handful of images popped into his head: a flash of blue, a man with light brown hair, a handsome smile. Blue and gold.
"Booster?" The voice sounded smaller. "Can you hear me?"
Ted. Ted Kord. Ted.
It was like someone had flipped a switch in Booster's brain. The world was still spinning around him, he still felt as if his skin was on fire, but he remembered. He remembered. There had been a fight, nothing out of the ordinary, but he'd still ended up taking a dive into half-frozen lake. Guy had pulled him out before he'd managed to get himself drowned. They'd all gotten into the Bug and headed back to headquarters, swearing to each other that Max really didn't need to know just how wrong things had gone there at the end, and then—then—
Then nothing. Except a blur of pain and heat and confusion.
It took every bit of strength Booster had and then some, but he managed to open his eyes. They only opened a sliver, a tiny crack just large enough for him to see the blurry world around him. He could still make out Ted, though, slumped in a chair beside the bed. Ted's eyes were closed, dark circles under them.
"Hey," Booster said. Or, at least, he tried to say. It came out more like a croak, and he suddenly realized just how thirsty he was.
Ted's eyes shot open. He stared at Booster for a moment, wide-eyed, without saying a word.
Booster managed a weak grin. "What?" he asked. His voice sounded raspy even to his own ears. "You look like you thought I wasn't going to wake up or—"
He was cut off as Ted basically launched himself at him, wrapping his arms around Booster in a tight hug. Ted was shaking.
"Oh." Booster let his already weak grin disappear completely. "Oh. I was that bad?"
Ted's reply was muffled, what with his face being buried in Booster's shoulder. "You were that bad." A few seconds later, he pulled away enough that he could rest his hand on Booster's forehead. Ted frowned, a worried crease appearing between his eyes. "Crap, you're still burning up."
"I could've told you that," Booster said, closing his eyes for a moment. He was exhausted.
Ted pulled his hand away. "Booster?"
"Still here," Booster mumbled tiredly. He opened his eyes and gave Ted what he hoped was a pitiful look. "Get me some water?"
There was a pause, and then the bed dipped for a moment as Ted pushed himself to his feet. "I'll be right back," he said, the hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Try to stay awake, will you? I need to go let the others know you woke up."
"And get me a glass of water?" Booster asked hopefully.
Ted snorted. "And get you some ice chips," he agreed, reaching down to rest his hand on the side of Booster's face. Booster couldn't help but notice that Ted's smile didn't quite reach his eyes. "Next time, don't go swimming in the middle of December, will you? You've had us worried."
Booster felt his mouth twitch, just a little, despite how bad he felt. "It wasn't my fault," he protested lightly. "How was I supposed to know he was going to throw a boulder at me?"
Ted shook his head. "Excuses, excuses," he said as he pulled his hand away. "I'll be back. I really should let the others know that you're awake."
"I'll be here," Booster said with a weak grin.
"Of course you will," Ted agreed. He didn't move.
Booster stared at him. Then, with a grunt, he pushed himself up just a little with his arms. The world spun wildly around him, but he tried not to let it show. "Ted," he repeated, "I'm not going anywhere. I promise."
Ted stared at him for another few seconds before ducking his head sheepishly. "Okay, okay, point taken. I'm being ridiculous."
"A little, yeah," Booster agreed. He dropped back down onto the bed, trying not to think about how much effort it had taken to raise himself a whole two inches.
With one more worried look, Ted turned and headed toward the door. He paused in the doorway, glancing back.
Booster stuck out his tongue at him.
Ted snorted, rolling his eyes, before continuing out into the hallway.
With a tired smile, Booster closed his eyes. His skin felt hot and clammy, and if anything the pounding in his head was even worse than before. Still, he felt a little better. It wouldn't hurt to close his eyes for few minutes.
They would be someone waiting when he woke up.