He had forgotten just how much being « human » could hurt.

Still, he would rather have this, two broken legs and a shattered pelvis, than a looming eternity of unfeelingness, coldness, void. Even if it meant being stuck in a hospital bed with his wrist cuffed to the headboard.

He couldn't regret it, really. Not with these ten years given back to him to look forwards.

Not with his reunion with…

« Egads, Yomiel ! What have you done to yourself ? »

She looked at him with her wide, dark, fearful eyes, set into her pale, haggard face. Her nail varnish was chipped, the ribbon around her throat was messily knotted, her long mane of blue-black curls was in disarray.

She was just as beautiful as he remembered her.

He just wanted to beg her forgiveness for failing her.

« … I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking. »

She looked at him, her pink mouth opening into a small incredulous oh.

« Haven't we talked about it ? I am the emotional one. I am the overreacting one. You are the fount of wisdom, the high intelligence there. So don't you go and steal my job. »

He slightly huffed, while a salty wetness pricked at his eyes.

« Maybe I just missed you so much, I had to do what you would have done. »

She rolled her eyes, but she still took his uncuffed hand between her long-fingered, small ones.

« I leave you for two days and that's all it takes for you to turn into such a mess ? »

The tears started to roll on his face, like rain on the desert.

« It felt so much longer to me. »

« Well, so here I am. And here to stay, understood ? »

Her hands were just so warm.

« Yes. Yes, you are. »