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Summary: Linka confronts the consequences of her cousin's actions as she struggles to deal with her own addiction... but a certain American is determined to not let her go through it alone. Set just after the episode 'Mind Pollution'.

A/N: This fic was inspired by a conversation between Becks7 and I about how we were surprised there weren't more fics out there that took place after Mind Pollution, dealing with Linka's struggle with addiction and withdrawal and a certain Yankee helping her through it. That then turned into a "You should write it," "No, you should write it" challenge, which then led to a "You write Linka really well," "You write Wheeler really well" conversation and then a "Wouldn't it be cool if you wrote one side and I wrote the other" "Yes, that'd be fun!" conversation. And it has been fun! It's been almost a year since we started! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Co-dependence: mutual need: the dependence of two people, groups, or organisms on each other, especially when this reinforces mutually harmful behaviour patterns

Chapter One – Day One

I thought for a while I would never stop crying. Wheeler held me all the while I grieved for my cousin and he is still here now, sitting by the side of my makeshift bed, in the temporary hospital they made of tents outside his Capital building.

He is holding my hand and stroking my hair, trying to soothe me in my sleep. I do not want him to let go so I pretend I am still slumbering. There is more to him than just smart-alec remarks and flirting, I can see that now... maybe I did before. It does not matter now though, I am numb.

They are talking about me, the other planeteers and the doctor. He is explaining some pamphlets to them... He is talking rubbish, none of that applies to me! I do not have any bad habits to break or bad company to get away from, I did not choose this...

"We'll admit her into a drug rehabilitation program." The doctor is saying. "It wont be easy, but in this case there are a lot of people going through the same thing."

Nyet they are not! They did this to themselves, I did not... and Boris... They will not believe me, they will think I place myself above them... I saw what those once good people did for Bliss, I do not want to be shut up with them!

"It could take several weeks depending on her levels of…"

"Nyet!" I say firmly, sitting up despite my friends protests. "I am going home."

The Doctor sighs. "I understand you're not feeling too bad at the moment, the shock of your loss…"

"I am fine." I say. "I have overcome the addictive effects, if I had not, I would not have been able to use my ring, and the pain is subsiding now."

"The drug is still in your system Linka." The professional insists. "When it goes completely you are going to need help, a lot of it. Because of the nature of this drug we can't give you a substitute to wean you off gently, it's going to be painful…"

I can feel the panic begin to rise inside me and I grip Wheelers hand as tightly as I can. Tell them you wont let them take me Yankee...

Wheeler re-adjusts his grip and for a moment I thought he would let go but then I realise he has laced our fingers together, he will help me! I knew he would.

The others are all waiting for him to say something and I join them, willing him to see in my eyes how frightened I am, how much I need my home and my friends.

"Babe, I know you wanna go home, but listen to the doctor. He knows what he's saying. You're not ready to deal with this by yourself. You need professional help."

My chest constricts and the numbness goes, to be replaced with an almost unbearable pain. I have to bear it though, I rip my hand free and look at him as if I would like to kill him, maybe in that moment I did. I have never felt so vulnerable and alone. Even with Scumm I was protected from the others, he wanted an addicted planeteer so as long as I kept popping pills, Boris and I had an endless supply. If the others remember that...

"I will be fine." I say and I know that my friends just think me stubborn, but in truth I am terrified. "I will deal with this in my own way."

Why should they help me anyway? It is my problem not theirs, not his... I will deal with it on my own. I always do better alone anyway, I should have known better than to ask for help.

To be continued…

A/N: And don't forget, to get the full affect of the story, you HAVE TO read Wheeler's side of the story in Becks7's Co-dependents Chapter 1! Let us know what you think!