Title: Suffering & Solace
Email: bananacosmicgirl at hotmail . com
Website: www . cosmicuniverse . net
LiveJournal: bananacosmic . livejournal . com
Prompt: 07. Fear
Words: 1 250 + 875
Characters: Lewis, Cleo
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations from the tv-show "H2O: Just Add Water", created and owned by Jonathan M. Shiff and others. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: There were tear tracks on her cheeks and they made his heart constrict with the knowledge that she was hurting. He knew it would take a long time for her to trust herself and her powers again.
Author's notes: Response to prompt 2 on my Hurt/Comfort table. Alternate take on 2x01 "Control", starting half-way through the episode. Though a good episode, I found the one part silly – Lewis gets thrown way up in the air, into an electrical storm with 200km/hour winds and lots of lightning, and he gets out of it without a single bruise? Right.
He would wake every now and then, wondering each time before he regained consciousness completely, if he was going to find himself back in the rocks of Mako Island when he opened his eyes. In his dreams, he was back there, flying through the air, helpless against the winds. Bolts of lightning split the sky around him and rain smashed into his face, each drop of water feeling like a tiny bullet on his skin because they hit him so hard.
In his dreams, Lewis saw them stand below him, hands outstretched, faces furious. Emma and Rikki with eyes cold as ice – and Cleo's usually warm brown eyes holding no recognition of him whatsoever. There was something primal, something frightening. He feared for his life as he looked at her, as he soared higher and higher into the air, knowing that coming down from these heights could do nothing but hurt – if he came down alive at all.
He woke with a start.
A dark head of hair rested on the side of his bed, warm hands holding onto his.
He wasn't there, wasn't at Mako, and she was no longer under the spell of the full moon.
He moved his free hand and ran it through her hair. It felt soft beneath his fingers, and it was worth aggravating his injured body to touch her.
She had barely left his side in the last two days – only when he'd insisted that she go get a bite to eat did she leave, and then just to buy the food and return to his side.
There were tear tracks on her cheeks and they made his heart constrict with the knowledge that she was hurting. He knew it would take a long time for her to trust herself and her powers again. All three girls would be more careful with the full moon from now on – perhaps that was the only positive thing about what had happened. He knew he'd require physical therapy for weeks or even months to come, to learn to walk again with the leg that had been broken in five places, the other foot sprained badly.
Cleo stirred at his touch, and sat up, blinking slowly.
"Yeah," he said.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping? Did I wake you?" she asked immediately, worried.
"I've slept enough," he said gently. "You didn't wake me up; I woke up all by myself."
"Oh," she said. "Good."
"Are you okay?" he asked.
"Me? I'm fine," she said. "You're the one with your leg in a cast and a concussion and—all that."
He had a sprained wrist and two broken ribs as well, making him one big bruise, but he knew her reluctance to say all of his injuries out loud. Guilt rolled off her in waves. He wanted to say that it wasn't her fault, but in a way, it was, and even though he could blame a lot of it on the moon and the magical powers they didn't understand, she couldn't transfer the blame. She felt guilty, and blaming it on an unidentified, magical force was impossible for her. He knew as much.
Still, he had to try. "It wasn't your fault."
"How can you say that?" she asked. "We—we did this. It is our fault."
He lifted his hand and touched her cheek. She was so soft, so good, so perfectly wonderful, and he hated seeing her in distress. He had no idea what to say or do to make it all right.
"You should've been more careful under the full moon," he said. "But beyond that, it's not your fault."
"It is," she insisted, eyes filling with tears. "How can you even look at me? You nearly died because of me."
"I can look at you because I'm in love with you," Lewis said.
She choked on her tears, and buried her face in her hands.
"Cleo, come here," he said.
He held out his arm to her, motioning for her to come up onto the bed. She must be exhausted after two days of sitting by his side.
She moved hesitantly. Getting onto the bed, she managed to lie down without actually touching him, seeming frightened of doing anything of the sort.
"I won't break if you touch me," he said. "I'll tell you if it hurts."
She bit her lip, but moved slightly, resting her head on his shoulder. He only had a bit of a bruise there, and the good feeling of having her close outweighed the pain it brought, so he let her be, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her closer. Her father would have a heart attack if he came in now – girls and boys should not be cuddling on a bed together – but he was out on his boat, so Lewis figured he was safe. And either way, he couldn't care less. He needed her close, needed to have her and hold her.
He felt her shake, and a wet spot grew where her cheek rested.
Lewis kissed the top of her head, not knowing what else to do to dry her tears. Then they simply relaxed, and he hoped she could find the same solace in their closeness that he did.
Author's notes: Hope you liked. Comments are appreciated.