A/N: Apologies for the late update, and thanks to Juno120 for gentle prodding re: update.

Title: Warm

Prompt: #09 – Hospital

Word Count: 369

I hate hospitals.

The food is gross.

The walls are gross.

The sheets are itchy…and gross.

The nurses are blank…and gross.

Hospitals, in general, are gross.

This was the kind of bizarre mantra Juno had going through her head as she lay back in her hospital bed, waiting to get discharged. Absent mindedly she poked at her belly, still mildly surprised that there wasn't anything in it aside from plastic hospital food. After nine months of suffering through a giant bulge of baby, this sudden lack of flesh was eerie and kind of…cold. She'd been feeling cold ever since she gave birth on that cold day, since it had all cut into her like a knife, since crying into her bedsheets at the sudden loss of it all. A coldness that crept into her belly and spread throughout the rest of her nervous system…

"Hey Junebug,"

Juno looked up to see Bleeker walk in, hair mussed up from the wind, cheeks pink, eyes sparkling. She loved the way Bleeker looked when he'd been outside.

"Hey Bleek," she grinned as he sat down on the bed next to her.

"They say you're gonna get discharged in a bit. Maybe even today,"

"Oh, good, maybe I can eat something other than porridge,"

"They only serve you porridge?" asked Bleeker, confused.

"No, but it's the only thing I feel comfortable eating. It's the only thing on the hospital menu that's supposed to be that color,"

Bleeker laughed and Juno smiled, a little wearily. Bleeker's smile faded when he noticed the weariness, and leaned back to wrap an arm around her shoulders.

Juno's mouth spread in a genuine smile as she leaned into his embrace. It was funny, really, something she'd noticed with her father, Bren – heck, her family in general – that it was entirely possible to understand exactly what a person meant without either of you saying a word.

Bleek kissed Juno's crown, then her forehead, nose, cheeks, before finally meeting her smiling lips.

And, not for the first time, and definitely not for the last, in spite of the lack of flesh, in spite of the lack of baby, in spite of the emotional stress of it all…

…Juno felt warm.