Title: Promise
Author: Janine
Fandom: The Inside
Pairing: Mel/Rebecca
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, I just love them and am glad to have them back even if it's only for a little while.
Note: Spoiler warning for The Inside episode 9 "Little Girl Lost".
Note part Deux: Mel and Rebecca are adorable, especially when Mel is calling her 'babe' and talking about her college days. That is all.

Mel danced out of the way of a balloon on a string going straight for her head, smiling as the tired but happy Presley family moved by her. She could see Rebecca standing a few meters away in the small waiting the area the family and their well wishers had co-opted earlier. She watched the blonde for a moment as the last of the Presley procession passed her, her eyes catching Webb's as she started towards Rebecca. She hadn't seen him at first as he was half hidden by the wall of the nurse's station, but now that she had spotted him and could see how comfortable he looked she realized that he had probably been skulking there for a while. She felt a chill go through her and tore her eyes away from him focusing on Rebecca once more who was, she was sure, the object of both of their attentions.

"Hey," Mel said softly as she approached Rebecca from behind, careful to announce her presence before touching the blonde so as not to startle her. She placed her hand on the small of the blonde's back and turned her head to face her, her gaze moving a moment later to look at what Rebecca had been staring at. There was nothing there but a wall and a generic hospital sign.

"What? Oh," Rebecca breathed out softly starting a little bit despite Mel's best effort. "Hey," she said relaxing slightly and offering Mel a small smile. "Sorry."

"It's okay," Mel said reassuringly unconsciously moving her hand in a small comforting motion on Rebecca's back. "Are you, though?" she asked not liking the fact that the blonde had been so deep in thought. Considering what she had just gone through, and her history, Mel had found that when Rebecca drifted away with her thoughts they never took her anyplace good.

"The girl," Rebecca said staring out into space once more. "I'd never met her."

"No," Mel confirmed gently. They'd realized of course that Rebecca had hallucinated seeing Dina out in the woods when they had found the girl trapped in the mine with the rest of her family. Mel had wanted to tell the blonde that when she woke but Webb had forbidden it for some reason he was unwilling to share with the rest of them. Not that that was anything new.

She resisted the urge to turn around and shot him the stink eye, knowing instinctively that he was still watching them. It had shocked Rebecca to meet the real Dina a few minutes ago, and considering the fact that she had been doing fine since waking up, Mel was certain that it was that shock that had sent scurrying back into the recesses of her mind. They could have gentled the blow if they'd told her before, but Webb didn't want that. He wanted her to be shocked, he wanted to observe her reaction and Mel hated him for it.

"It's funny," Rebecca said a moment later turning to face Mel once more, blinking as she spoke as if to clear away the fog from wherever she had been in her mind. "We forget how simple things can be sometimes, as we grow up. She reminded me. One foot in front of the other, all you need to do to keep moving is to put one foot in front of the other."

"Who reminded you?" Mel asked knowing that the answer was important. She wanted to take the blonde's hand in hers to offer support and strength, but she was mindful of the fact that they were being watched. She couldn't help the fact that profiling Rebecca seemed to be Webb's new favorite pastime, but she'd be damned if he was going to profile them.

"I need to go to the office," Rebecca said suddenly, twisting her body abruptly as if she were looking for the nearest exit, displacing Mel's hand from her back.

"You were just in a helicopter crash, babe. You think it could wait 'til morning?" Mel asked seeing Rebecca's shoulders slump as her question registered with her.

"Yeah," Rebecca murmured sounding as though she wasn't entirely convinced that it could while looking like a disappointed eight year old, rather than an FBI special agent. It was adorable and Mel had to fight the impulse to wrap her arms around Rebecca protectively, especially since she was sure that after a brief nap Rebecca was going to be right back at headquarters. "I'm gonna blame that one on the concussion," she added smirking at the redhead.

"Likely story," Mel replied smiling at her companion relieved to hear the joke. When Rebecca made an effort to try and lighten the mood it usually meant that she was ready to come out of herself and join the real world for a while.

Rebecca shrugged and smiled happily before lifting her hand up to her face to cover a yawn.

"You need to get some rest," Mel said reaching up to brush some errant strands of hair off of the blonde's forehead tucking them behind her ear. The blonde looked exhausted; truly bone weary and she knew that it had been more than the events of that day that had led her to that state. She knew first hand that Rebecca had gotten little to no sleep in the days leading up to their trip out West, and suspected that those days of sleeplessness along with the head trauma she had suffered earlier was about to catch up with Rebecca in a powerful way very soon. "It's alright to sleep now."

"Sleep?" Rebecca asked sounding almost confused, as if she had forgotten the meaning of the word.

"Yes," Mel said drawing out the word as she guided the complacent blonde towards the nearest exit. "You know, a natural and periodic state of rest during which consciousness of the world is suspended. It's fun, I do it all the time. Like at least once a day."

"You're funny," Rebecca said yawning again leaning into the warmth of Mel's body. "Where are you taking me?"

"To your apartment," Mel responded her gaze drifting over to where Webb was standing by the nurse's station as they passed him. Rebecca was too busy falling asleep on her feet to notice him, but Mel made sure to hold his gaze as they passed, warning him not to say a goddamn thing about her taking Rebecca where she could rest.

"The hospital discharged you an hour ago so you're a free woman," she continued turning away from Webb after he simply nodded at her as they walked past.

"What, you don't trust me to operate heavy machinery on my own?" Rebecca asked smirking at the redhead, sighing as she felt Mel's fingers slip between hers as she lead her … wherever it was she was leading her.

"Let me put it this way. I don't like driving with you even when you're not concussed," Mel replied meeting the blonde's gaze and arching an eyebrow. They both knew she was in no condition to drive, and that even if she was Mel still would have driven because Rebecca wasn't a fan of being behind the wheel unless it was strictly necessary.

"It's not nice to make fun of the brain damaged girl," Rebecca commented pouting a little as she lifted a finger to touch the bandage on her forehead gingerly.

Mel smiled at the blonde and then considered her for a moment as she poked at her bandage. "Does Rebecca's boo boo hurt?" she cooed, easily ducking out of the way as the blonde took a weak swipe at her. "I could kiss it better if you want," she continued as they entered the stairwell that would take them to the parking level where their government issue Sedans were parked.

"Promise?" Rebecca asked playfully, though her face fell in the silence that descended as Mel pretended to consider her answer. Despite the lighthearted conversation they'd been having the word brought back uncomfortable memories of the ordeal she had just been through and she found herself drifting back to the forest, crouched down on the ground while a madman pursued her and the voices in her head warred for control over her subconscious.

"Hey," Mel said seeing Rebecca begin to drift away again. She reached up taking the younger woman's face in her own, stroking her cheek with thumb. "I promise," she said holding Rebecca's gaze as the blonde tilted her head into her hand before leaning forward and lightly grazing her lips against the blonde's. "I'm the cure for what ails ya," she continued smiling, and running her hand tenderly through the blonde's hair as Rebecca lifted her good hand to cover one Mel had on her cheek, a smile dusting her lips before she leaned in to kiss the redhead softly.

"You know," Rebecca said as Mel took her hand and began to lead her down the flight of stairs once more, amazed and delighted as always at the redhead's innate ability to bring her out of her dark moods. "It was a pretty big crash, and I was running through the woods for a long time."

"Really?" Mel asked knowing exactly were the blonde was going with her comments and falling a little more in love with her for it. She could tell from the baby steps Rebecca was taking and the way that her head kept drooping that there was no way the blonde was going to be able to deliver on her innuendos today, but she was happy to play along.

"I've got boo boo's like, all over," Rebecca continued throwing Mel a saucy look as she gestured to parts of her body that were pretty specific.

Mel thought that was pretty ambitious talk for a woman with only one working arm at the moment, but she'd be happy to kiss that and whatever else Rebecca wanted for as long as the blonde managed to stay conscious.

"Well we better get moving on that," she responded smiling fondly at her partner. "I'll make you feel like new when I'm done. Even if it takes all night," Mel replied gallantly pushing open the door to B level and holding it open for Rebecca.

"Promise?" Rebecca asked smiling, swaying into Mel's body tiredly as they continued to make their way towards the car.

"Always," Mel said wrapping her arm about the blonde's waist securely. "I've got your back."

The End