Author: iridescentZEN

Pairing: Bill/Kiddo

Summary: A moment between a delirious Kiddo and an all too lucid Bill.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything.

Vernita Green was merely a silhouette in the door way when Bill laid his eyes upon her. As she approached him coming into the light, it was apparent that she had been in a slug fest. Bill didn't worry about her, though. The blood wasn't hers. It belonged to Black Mamba.

"The bitch will live," Vernita said, her tone not matching the genuine relief in her eyes. Her statement was anti-climatic as this was information that Bill was already aware of.

"She's mumbling in there all delirious and shit." Vernita wiped at some sweat on her brow with the back of her hand. "Going on about never going home again, and running away like she's sixteen. I tell you Bill, that is fucked up!"

Bill raised a glass of scotch to his lips, swirling the amber liquid before taking a long drink. "Well," he said, his fingers tapping lightly against the side of the glass, "One does tend to blabber on when one's taken a ballistic knife in the gut."

Vernita narrowed her eyes dangerously. She didn't like excuses. Not even from 'The Man.' "She's a runner, Bill. When the going gets tough, this bitch will run."

Bill stood up, his gracefulness and posture belying the viciousness he was capable of. Pulling out an expensive monogrammed handkerchief from his black leather jacket, he brought it to Vernita's bloodied face, wiping the crimson fluid gently like a lion grooming its cub.

Vernita was never one to hold back her opinion. "The only time I needed the bitch to run, she was out like a mutherfucking light."

Bill put his index finger against Vernita's lips in a classic shushing motion, the turquoise ring that adorned the digit catching the light momentarily. "Enough, Vernita. I can guarantee you, Beatrix will not be running any time soon." Whether it was a play of words on Beatrix's current physical condition or a statement on the future, it was hard to tell. He canted his head to the side, "Go, take a shower. There are some clothes in the guestroom. Please stay."

It wasn't a request. Bill didn't request a thing.

"Okay. She -" Vernita started, but Bill interrupted her.

"- She will be fine. The doctor has already stitched her up. She will wake up when she's ready. We already know, a little stab wound won't be stealing the likes of her from this life."

"You'll let me know?" Vernita asked, after a moment's hesitation. All the anger in her vanished like a popped balloon.

Bill gave her a warm smile, "Of course."

With Vernita's foot falls echoing in his head, Bill made his way to the closed door of the room he simply called, "The Infirmary." When an assassin was injured, they couldn't just go to the hospital like the average person. Bill made it his top priority to have a fully functional medical site, and with crooked doctors available at a moment's notice for cold hard cash, it was as good, if not better than the real thing.

Opening the door as quietly as possible, he stared hard at the woman lying on the bed made up of crisp white sheets. She was so pale she almost blended in if not for the shock of blond her hair made on the pillow. There were no machines beeping, just the quietness of the night. The wound she suffered was bad, but thankfully the blade had not stabbed anything vital. It was a clean wound. Sure, it had to hurt like a son of a bitch, but it could've been a lot worse.

"Bill!" Beatrix exclaimed in a muffled, slurred tone, her hand smacking down against the bed rather impotently.

Bill cracked a smile at the exclamation. The doctor had been quite generous with the morphine. Unfortunately, it was the only time Bill ever had with any of his women where they were vulnerable, and emotionally exposed. The snake charmer that he was, he took it as a time to ask them important questions, to gauge their loyalty, and sometimes, when it came to Elle at least, to try and decipher a moment of lucidity from the criminally insane.

There was a rather unique, potent truth serum he was working on, but Bill found that unnecessary as doped out on drugs as his girls were after being injured. Besides, they might remember that and get pissed off. He would much rather them think he was a dream, a figment of their imagination.

"Hey, Kiddo," he said softly, taking her hand in his own. Her skin was so soft, at odds with her personality. Beatrix was fidgeting a lot, her brow furrowing with pain, whether it was emotional or physical, Bill didn't know.

"NO!" she uttered emphatically, still deeply asleep.

Bill brought his hand to her shoulder, rubbing it soothingly. "Shh! It's okay."

After what felt like an eon, her body relaxed beneath his soft touch.

"Do you care for me, Kiddo?" he asked, not using the L word. Had she been awake, Beatrix Kiddo would have been unaware of the emotion behind the question, as Bill's face remained as inscrutable as ever.

"Yes," she replied, the word coming out as a half sob, a lone tear snaking down her face to drip to the pale white pillow case below.

"You wouldn't run away from old Bill, would you?" If she was awake, Beatrix would have noticed the solemnest of his features as he asked this particular question, so important was her answer. Usually, a runaway wasn't something he had to deal with. No one turned their back on money and killing. It was too much of who they were. Too much had been given to reach that point.

"No," she said softly, licking her dry lips.

Bill grabbed a cup of water teeming with ice chips from the bedside table, instantly relieving the dryness by dipping his finger in the cup and running the digit over her lips. They opened slightly beneath his touch, showing him how much she trusted him, even while asleep and drugged.

The scowl that took over his features as he waited for her to answer disappeared with her soft affirmation, his relief evident despite the lie he told himself. He didn't care, right? It didn't matter anyway. He was a cold bastard who didn't want to love or be loved. Still, "You promise?" he asked, not really sure why he'd expect her to honor a promise she made while so completely high.

She scowled in her sleep, as though offended by the question. Her eyes opened, glazed and unfocused blue, but still beautiful. "Yes," she answered, as though she was giving a vow. Which in a way, she was.

"Good." Bill leaned over and kissed her cheek. "I love you, very much."

"Love you, too," she whispered back, not that she would ever admit that during a sober moment.

Bill smiled. A genuine warmth spread over him at the thought of his favorite girl, his favorite person, loving him. It was a weird bond they shared between murdering bastards. They were both liars, and killers. They lied to themselves on a daily basis every time they skirted over admitting things or doing things that other human beings said or did without hesitation while in a relationship.

Nevertheless, Vernita's concerns were instantly pushed away.

Beatrix Kiddo would never run.

She most definitely would never run away from him.

It was in this instance that Bill was wrong.