Author's note: This was originally intended for multifandom1000, a community at Live Journal, but it went over the word limit. Anyway, well, everyone can probably guess the pairing based on my previous Elektra ficlets. It's set some time before the movie, and the challenge at the LJ community was basically hurt/comfort. Someone's ill, someone takes care of them. And this is what my muse inspired me with and made me write. It doesn't really go with the other ficlets I wrote, though I suppose it could follow Untouchable. Anyway, here it is, hope you enjoy, reviews are a wonderful, divine thing.
Disclaimer: I don't own it. Got that? I make no claim on it, I'm just playing around with some characters. So please, don't sue me, ok? Savvy?
There was a sharp pain in Tattoo's side. That was the first thing he was aware of as he slowly came to, the black oblivion he had been in leaving him, fading as consciousness took over. His eyes did not open but the light of the room must have been brought because he was squinting even with the protection of his eyelids.
A soft grown met his ears, hoarse and strained, as if the person who made the noise had not had a drink in several days. It took him several moments to realize that sound had come from him, and his throat hurt it was so dry.
He did not open his eyes or speak. He merely tried to move, to sit, to reach out. But those actions hurt, the sharp pain in his side stabbing him, intensifying, sending agonizing jolts through his body. He hissed, laid down, completely still, completely silent.
Cool water touched his forehead. Tiny drops hitting his skin, trickling down different pathways before they were stopped by a damp cloth, cool and soft. It was dabbed against his forehead, temples, over his eyelids, nose, cheeks. Stray droplets hit the pillow beneath his head while others dampened his hair.
The cloth reached his lips, parched, chapped, desperate for moisture, and he unconsciously licked them after the cloth was pressed against them. His tongue and lips soaked up the moisture like a desert would rain. He moaned, unable to speak, needing more.
Glass, cold and smooth, met his lips. A slender, delicate hand reached under his head, cradling it gently as it moved him slightly, holding his head up. The movement caused him to register the steady pounding inside his skull, the tension beneath his scalp, but the hand - gloved, not a single inch of skin touching any of him - was gentle as could be, gingerly holding him up long enough for the glass to be lifted so water slid down its smooth surface. The cool water met his lips, his tongue, the inside of his mouth, was swallowed greedily down his throat.
A wince formed, his throat protesting such an abrupt, forceful movement. A soft voice scolded him softly, "tsked" at him and lowered the glass. Tattoo got the message, making a moan to ask for more of the merciful liquid. Soon the glass was lifted up and more water seeped into his mouth. He let it trickle down his throat on its own, barely swallowing, sipping slowly and carefully.
Soon all the water was gone, but his parched body yearned for more. Yearend for food now. His stomach was empty and the water's presence made him even more aware of how his gut ached for food. He wondered how long he had been without water, without food.
He wondered what had happened to him. Why was he hurt, why was he in bed? Why could he not remember, why was someone taking care of him? And who was taking care of him?
The pounding in his head protested against all the thinking. The pain in his side was still as intense as it had gotten when he moved. The soreness in his throat was only slightly alleviated. The emptiness in his stomach was worse. The warrior tried to slip back into the darkness, the obliviousness to the pain, the sweet nothing except perhaps dreams he probably would not remember when he woke.
It hurt too much to be awake, to be aware. It hurt too much, yet he could not force himself back into that blissful state of ignorance of his own ailments.
"You should open your eyes," a soft voice, one he knew so well, one that had probably been in the dreams he'd had during that sweet sleep. It was uncharacteristically concerned and gentle. It held no false innocence or deceptive sweetness, sugary and lethal. It was genuine, it was real, it was beautiful.
"Mary," he whispered, his voice still hoarse, still strained. "Mary," he repeated, her name like a prayer on his lips, no longer so parched.
"Open your eyes," Mary instructed softly, though her tone was a bit more forceful, more insistent. "I need you to open your eyes, Tattoo," she told him softly. She was near his ear, but he could not feel her breath on his skin, her infectious breath.
Reluctantly, Tattoo opened his eyes, the lids fluttering, blinking several times, rapidly at first, slowing as he grew accustomed to the bright lighting. Or perhaps it was merely bright because he was so used to the blackness. After a few minutes he stopped blinking, keeping his eyes open. The pale, blue irises were thick, his pupils tiny dots. His gaze fell on her, Lady Death, beautiful and cold and dark and pale. At first she was blurry but soon he was able to focus, take in her features.
Her hair was up, completely. No style to it, the long, black tresses tied back in a ponytail. She did not wear the dragonfly earrings, nor any makeup around her inhuman eyes. Her lips were not crimson like blood, but pale like death. She was beautiful, perfect, flawless even without the trimmings. She didn't need the trimmings.
"Mary?" he asked softly, unable to say anything other than her name, the only name he knew her by, the only human name at least. He needed to know what had happened to him, what was going on.
Typhoid Mary placed a gloved finger over his lips, her own pursing slightly as she told him to "Shh." "Save your strength, Predator," she purred softly. "You were stabbed. Poison had doused the blade, and you were sick. You will heal though," she promised, the corners of her lips turning up ever so slightly, forming the faintest of smiles.
Tattoo's eyes kept her gaze, his expression questioning, wanting to know how he survived. He wanted to grab the gloved hand as she pulled it away, wanting to feel her hand, her fingers, pretend the soft cloth covering her was in truth her own skin. He could not move though, and so he just looked to her, questioned her.
"No poison is a match for my own," she stated softly, plainly. Her whispered declaration was not added to, not elaborated, nothing. It was his only answer, and it was a new mystery to her that he longed to solve. But she stood, lifting her hand to her lips, kissing the cloth, placing the gloved fingers to his mouth.
Tattoo shuddered, his eyes fluttering closed again, her infection lingering on the material and spreading through his body.
Typhoid smiled sadly to herself as he lost consciousness again. She wished he remembered, but she had known he wouldn't. She had known all along that the only night they could share together would forever be her secret to keep locked away in her heart.