He lay in her spare bedroom, on her spare bed, white down comforter pulled up to his chin, fists meeting in a clench along the top. He was having trouble getting warm. Had he been at home, he would've paced in between rounds of scotch, nervous energy, until he wore himself out and lost consciousness in his recliner. But he wasn't home. He felt better knowing that she was just down the hall, and he marveled at his need to stay here tonight. He didn't usually feel so – lost – but today's experience left him with a nervous flutter and shortness of breath that felt, at times, like a panic attack. He wished he hadn't dodged out of the Lightman Group, wished now he'd had the courage to stay behind with the others. Wished now he'd had the decency to thank Foster, Loker and Reynolds for saving his life. Even wished he could've absolved Ria for her careless, almost deadly, mistake. But the urge to flee was overpowering, and he thought that meeting "Honey" in the bar would calm his flutter, make him forget what had happened. Take him away from the incident that almost took him away from everything he loved in life. Or rather, everyone.
He shifted restlessly underneath the comforter. The clock on the dresser ticked the time past 2 am, and the moonlight coming through the gauzy indigo curtains cast the bed and dresser in an icy blue light. He shivered, and tried to burrow down into the one warm spot he had created. Eyes remained open.
"Hey." He shifted his eyes to find the hall light cut by the silhouette of Gillian in the doorway.
"Hey," he softly replied. "Still awake, luv?"
"Off and on. You too, I see."
"More on than off," he grimaced ruefully. "Just can't seem to shut my brain off."
"It's probably still in overdrive from today," she said gently. A few steps into the blue light, and she was sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Yeah." He squinted up at her. "I'm sorry, luv."
"I should've thanked you. For saving my screwed-up ass."
A ghost of a smile. "Your ass isn't screwed-up, Cal. Well, not irreparably, anyway. Besides, you would've done the same for me."
"Nah… I would've killed the bastard." Another shiver, and Cal bit down to keep his teeth from chattering.
"Cal, you're cold,"she said.
His eyes followed her as she hesitated, then slipped lightly under the covers on his left side. Setting the pillow up against the headboard, she looked at him briefly. Using her right arm to encourage him to roll over, and her left to position his head in the curve between her breast bone and her stomach, she had him laying half on, half off her.
He put his arm across her waist, and felt her draw the covers up over him. She lightly touched his forehead.
"No fever, " she murmured. "Comfortable?"
He nodded slightly. He felt her right arm wrap snugly around his shoulders, and her left hand start to massage his forehead. A full body shiver escaped him, and she whispered , "It's okay. Try to sleep."
Her hand went in circles and small landscapes, hard then soft, easing out the tension over and around his eyes. Her palm pressed against the center of his forehead, probing for deeper aches, and her fingers entered his hair, gently brushing it back before returning to tender stroking. Occasionally she would lay her hand against his forehead, holding still, giving him another warm contact point.
The flutter was settling, and he was feeling warmer. Floating. The brain waves were shutting down. He sighed and softly murmured, "Thank you."
She smiled in the silvery blue light. Then he felt her hand resume its gentle caress.