A/N- I've been aching to write some E/C forever but I am apparently useless and void of any ideas. But I managed to come up with this after watching 7.14 scenes on youtube repeatedly for days...Viola
Under strict orders from Alexx, she'd spent another two and a half days in the hospital after being taken off the ventilator. She'd been warned by Alexx how lucky she was; her other organ systems could have gone into failure due to the lack of oxygen, her breathing still may never return to normal and most importantly, she had been so close to not making it through. Alexx hadn't forgotten how many close calls Calleigh had endured in the past year. Calleigh was one of the most selfless, career driven people she'd ever met, and it was time for a much needed reminder to take care of herself.
They allowed her to move out of the ICU for her last night where she was gifted with a private room. Eric had hung around as much as he could outside of work, sneaking her in good food and bringing her basics from home. He'd even snuck out early for her release late afternoon Friday.
Although she was nowhere near 100%, she was released to go home and rest for a couple of weeks.
Alexx personally wheeled Calleigh ('hospital policy 'she reminded) through the halls and out to Eric's car parked in front.
"Now sugar, don't take this personally," Alexx kneeled down, levelling with Calleigh, "but I don't ever want to see you here again."
Calleigh smiled, leaning in to embrace Alexx. "Don't worry, I don't plan on it." She pulled back smiling up at the co-worker she missed so much. "Thank you Alexx," she said tearfully.
Eric watched the exchange smiling at the two women. They had been so close back at Miami Dade. He himself missed Alexx just as much, and it was nice seeing Calleigh happy under the circumstances.
"Now you take good care of her ," said Alexx grinning. "No exertion, you wait on her hand and foot and call me the second her condition takes a turn," she repeated her earlier instructions for the fourth time, placing a gentle hand on Eric's forearm.
"Don't worry Dr. Wood's, I'm on it," he said mimicking her sarcastic formality. He broke the contact to open the door for Calleigh who was already beginning to take on too much by attempting to stand up herself.
Before Alexx could notice and scold her, Eric gripped her left elbow and steadied her with his other hand on her waist. He guided her slowly into the car, the whole time Calleigh blushed, feeling completely incompetent. "Thanks," she breathed slowly, looking up at him.
He winked playfully at her closing the door and giving Alexx a goodbye hug before coming around to the driver's side. He tossed her belongings; a bag of clothes and her oxygen tanks which she was to use daily and bring with her to therapy.
Waving a last goodbye to Alexx, she closed her eyes, leaning back against the head rest and closing her eyes. The last few days had been scary, chaotic but right now she was exhausted. She fell asleep almost immediately after they exited the hospital parking lot. He glanced over at her every few minutes throughout the drive, making sure she was real as he manoeuvred through the Miami streets to her house in Bal Harbour.
Upon arriving, he took advantage of her sleeping state, and brought her things into the house, leaving the door open and coming back to retrieve his sleeping beauty.
"Cal," he whispered, gently squeezing her shoulder. "We're home."
Her eyes fluttered open and a smile instantly plastered itself on her face seeing him kneeling so attentively beside her. "Sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep."
"It's okay, let's just get inside and then you can lie down if you want."
He guided her slowly into the house, urging her to take her time. Normally she would argue that she was fine, able to walk normally into her own house... But the way his jaw tightened and his deep, childlike eyes widened every time she took a step obliged her to take it slow. Not to mention the way his hands tentatively held her body steady the whole way to the couch.
She lay down quietly on her deep green sofa, watching him through heavy lids as he unpacked her oxygen tank setting it down beside her head on the floor.
"If you feel short of breath or anything its right here," he pointed, smiling at the way she looked with her perfect hair trailing behind her head on the pillow.
She nodded, that grin finding its way to her face for the millionth time in the past few days. She reached almost blindly for his hand squeezing it softly in thanks. He returned the gesture, fighting the urge to caress some stray pieces of hair from her face. He instead settled for placing a lingering kiss on her knuckles. She smiled again feeling his lips on her hand.
Craving more contact, she removed her hand from his, grabbing the back of his and guiding it palm to her face.
His wide, warm palm met her cold cheek and she nuzzled slightly into it. He sat there for a minute, completely lost in the woman before him. She was completely vulnerable in front of him and if the blissful smile on her face was any indication, she was quite content.
Calleigh seriously considered using his hand as a pillow for the rest of her afternoon nap, but reluctantly gave it back when she mumbled an incoherent 'Yes' when he asked her if she wanted some water.
A few hours later, the glass of water stood neglected on the coffee table and Eric sat on the other side of the couch, her feet curled in his lap as he watched the sports highlights on TSN. She came in and out of consciousness for a while, revelling in how... whole she felt in this simple moment with Eric. Although she wasn't completely out of the woods with her ARDS, she hadn't felt this content, this safe in such a long time.
Finally she gave into her parched throat and pressing bladder and began to stir. Eric noticed immediately and lifted her feet out of his lap allowing her to stretch and wake up.
"Good morning sleepy head," he smiled down at her. "How are you feeling?"
"Thirsty," she smiled back, beginning to slowly sit up. He allowed her to get up on her own, watching the entire time as he grabbed the glass and handed it to her.
She downed about half the glass before announcing shyly that she needed to use the restroom. He'd helped her off the couch but let her go the rest of the way, and quickly began to heat up some food he made while she was sleeping.
She emerged five minutes later, pacing herself as she walked back and gently sat back down on the couch. Now that she had more room for fluid, she sipped at the glass of water and flipped through the channels finding nothing interesting on.
Soon enough, Eric returned from the kitchen with a mug of soup and some crackers in hand. She gratefully took the mug and dipped a soda cracker in the steaming liquid and took a bite. "You should eat something too," she said, taking another dip.
"I ate while you were sleeping," he said, patting his belly.
She nodded, "This is good. Thank you," she continued to munch lightly on the crackers.
He winked at her for the second time that day, turning his attention back to the television and switching it back to the last few minutes of the game highlights.
Calleigh beckoned to playfully protest his choice of program, but found that she was completely starving and lost herself in the steaming cup of food. She finished her quickly, setting it down on the table in front of her.
A silence fell between them as Eric searched through the guide for something she might like to watch. After a few minutes of internal battle, she picked at her nails, fighting with herself whether or not to say what she was thinking. While eating her soup, her mind replayed the past few days in her head and the man beside prominent in her memories and all he had done for her.
"Eric," she half whispered, breaking him out of his electronic reverie.
"Yeah?" He questioned, looking almost alarmed at her voice, as if something might be wrong.
"I'm fine, I just- I wanted to..." she paused, breaking eye contact to glance at the T.V. "I wanted to thank you, so much, for everything you have done the past few days. Having you around really has helped; I know I couldn't have got better on my own."
"Calleigh, it's no problem at all. You know how I feel... it makes me feel so much better being able to be with you and watch you; to make sure you're alright." His gaze fell to where she took his hands in hers, her thumbs caressing the backs of his hands.
She was at a loss for words. She really couldn't voice the emotions she felt towards him at this point, like he had done for her. She thought back to her fuzzy thoughts from the hospital, to the exact words he said to her.
"I feel..." she stopped herself, still unsure. Breathing deeply, she tried again, "I can't imagine my life without you either Eric."
He grinned, mirroring her deep breath. He'd been waiting to hear those words from her for so long, but he hadn't wanted to push the issue as her pending health scare took precedent over what he wanted to hear.
He leaned in slowly, making sure she knew what he was about to do. He stopped inches from her mouth to look into her eyes, which were already closed in anticipation. His gaze travelled down to her lips once more, which were slightly parted, looking perfectly kissable before he pressed their mouths together.
His lips moved slowly against hers for a few seconds before he pulled away, still mindful of her limited lung capacity. Still situated intimately close to her, he opened his eyes to see her grinning at him. Before he could say anything, she pulled him to her again, her mouth meeting his in a passionate mix. She nibbled playfully at his bottom lip, her one hand coming up to rub the short prickles of the hair on his head.
This time she pulled away, eyes closed revelling in the utter joy, content, happiness, whatever it was exactly she was feeling right now.
His hand cupped her cheek lovingly, gaze glued to her emerald eyes. "Thank you."
She giggled at his words, shaking her head and looking down at their hands, joined in her lap.
She'd waited 7 years for this, to feel this... And despite the unfortunate circumstances, she wouldn't have this moment any other way.
Thanks for Reading!...
Feedback = oxygen... so unless you want me to end up with ARDS, I suggest you review. (I mean that nicely.)