Chapter Ten: Of Socked Feet and Brazilian Water Fights
Dedicated to HarryPotterMangaGleek
Audria was awake, her morphine had been reduced and she was now allowed to legally sit up- no more violent pushing for a while.
But all she did was stare into space.
Her eyes were unseeing, always filled with tears but never quite crying, her lips moving but never speaking. There were no legible words being uttered under her breath as Jasper had attempted to find, or a coded message in her flickering eyes as Maggie had attempted to prove. Audria was simply dead on the inside.
'I failed. I failed at the one thing my parents always told me to do.'
"Audria. Snap out of it,"
"Audria, come on. We need you back,"
'Why didn't I die? I deserve to die. Why /am/ I alive? What in the world do I have to live for now?'
"What's wrong with her Maggie?"
"She's suffering depression and shock, there's no telling how long she'll be like this- weeks, months even. Losing her sister was just to—"
'I am so sorry. I deserve to feel like this, like everything I do is wrong. Like everything I touch dies. Like it's all. My. Fault.'
"Well, where are her parents? Maybe they can help..."
'Elaine... If only I could tell you I love you one last time...'
"Henry, you're crazy. You can't talk a person out of depression."
"Watch me, Maggie. Audria needs this,"
"Needs what? Henry, you're not going to hurt her are you?"
"Maggie, trust him, he knows what he's doing."
There was a silence.
"Audria. Audria listen to me, I know losing Elaine has hurt you; it's hurt all of us. We love her just as much as you do, but we're not going to find her by looking at that wall. Audria, your baby sister needs you. She is somewhere on this Earth, crying out for you as we speak, and are you just going to let her die? Because the Audria I know, would fight to the very end."
Audria, after days of sitting, blinked sleepily, as if waking up from a nightmare.
"Is Elaine dead?"
There was a pause, a careful consideration of words before the blonde spoke. "She will be for sure if you don't help us look for her,"
Audria nodded, then turned her head. A small, sad smile on her lips as she looked at the collection of friend's she had somehow managed to gather in the past weeks, realizing how lucky she was sometimes.
It took her a moment to find the right words; tears beginning to fall smoothly down her cheeks as she spoke. "I want my baby sister back."
The trio burst into cheers as they hugged the new addition, plans forming in each of their minds on how they could retrieve the fearsome toddler they had come to adore.
Audria took a deep breath and grinned, her hands around Henry's neck as he piggyback rode her up the path to Henry and Jasper's front door, Jasper and Maggie trailing behind them with arms heavy with suitcases (well... There was a duffel bag anyway) and Teddy bears with flowers (apparently Audria had quite a few visitors while she was passed out).
"Okay, so you're sure you'd rather stay with the guys?"
"Yup, they have hammocks and they can protect me if my killers find out the job wasn't done." There was a loud crash from behind the trio as Jasper dropped everything he had been holding.
Audria laughed weakly, "I was just kidding, Jasper. Lighten up a bit."
"Lighten up a bit, Jasper,'" Jasper mocked, his voice reaching a squeaky soprano as he attempted to imitate Audria's voice. "Lighten up, she tells me." He muttered, opening the door harshly as the trio waited behind him. "Yeah, I'll lighten up when I'm dead!"
Audria and Henry laughed and Maggie sympathetically patted his back as Henry dropped Audria onto the couch, the rest of the teens following in her suit. A collective sigh as they hit the worn furniture in relief.
"Jasper, could you possibly get off my arm? Please?"
"Oh! Yeah, sure, sorry 'bout that..."
Audria winced and flexed her arm; attempting to move the cast a bit, only succeeding in whacking Jasper in the face.
There was a silence as the foursome sat, Maggie whispering something to Henry as Audria attempted to wiggle her toes again.
"The doctor said you won't be able to wiggle your toes for another week, the neurological damage you had was pretty extensive. You're lucky you didn't permanently damage anything." Henry commented, watching as the girl's forehead creased in deep concentration.
"Why do you have to be a know-it-all sometimes, Henry?" Audria asked as she stuck out her tongue in partial concentration and partial annoyance, her eyes glued to her feet- on of which was wrapped in a cast because her and Henry had gotten a bit too excited about her then-new ability to get out of bed and had decided to race down the hospital halls with socks on. Ending in a spilled cart, sprained wrist, fractured ankle and a very angry nurse.
At least it would only be on for a few more days.
"Ha! I did it!" Audria shouted with glee, raising her hands but accidentally whacking Jasper in the face again. "Sorry, Jasper!"
Maggie burst out laughing until she realized Jasper's nose was bleeding, quickly rushing him to the bathroom with her purse.
"Huh, who knew that you would actually wiggle your toes, Audio?"
"I did!" Audria giggled, the medication she had been taken was making her a bit loopy...
"I guess you did, didn't you?"
The two didn't see Jasper and Maggie stick their heads out of the bathroom door, frustrated looks on both of their faces and a tampon sticking out of Jasper's nose.
"Thanks again for letting me stay here," Audria thanked, looking at Henry softly.
"Of course! It'll be just like Brazil,"
Audria laughed and blew her bangs out of her eyes. "Brazil..."
"Henry, they're not at the camp."
"What? They have to be! Your parents couldn't have left us!"
"But they're not at the camp!" Audria yelled in frustration; Henry was staying with her family for her seventh birthday, his own parents in Mongolia while he was with them.
"Well what do we do now?"
"I don't know, gather berries or something..." Audria muttered, kicking a stone around.
"Let's build a shelter!"
It started out building a shelter, but it quickly escalated into a water fight in the nearby brook.
"Stop it Henry!"
Laughter echoed throughout the trees as Henry splashed Audria. "You're horrible Henry!"
The seven year old just laughed and splashed the girl again; Audria shrieked, her small ponytail soaked as well as her t-shirt.
They fought playfully until the sky was a dusky orange, the stars beginning to twinkle lazily in the dimmed sun. Audria looked up at the sky with worry as she sat on the riverbank, hugging her knees in thought.
"Henry, where do you think they are?"
The boy shrugged, taking off his sopping wet shirt and wringing it out. "I have no idea, Audio. But surely they have to be looking for us- we're not that hard to miss." Audria smiled and looked down at the ground, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
"I guess so... But I can't help but feel a bit worried..." Audria trailed off, biting her lip as tears began to fill her eyes. Henry walked over and squatted, wrapping an arm around her comfortingly.
"We'll get through this, and I promise I will get you home; so don't worry, we'll be fine!"
Henry lowered down to her ear level, his cheek touching hers as he whispered softly. "That vow still holds. I will get you home, and everything will be okay. We will find Elaine, I promise." He swiftly kissed her on the temple, leaving her skin warm and tingled spreading throughout Audria's body,
And she was pretty sure it wasn't the meds.
A/N: So... Don't kill me. Please. I know it has been MONTHS (with, unfortunately, no exaggeration there), this chapter is kinda short- not to mention unbeta'd- and LONG overdue. It's completely my fault, and unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, my writing situation probably won't get much better (besides the updating thing- I'll get faster at that...). I know you're probably sick of my rambling, but I have a few people I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to specially thank for making this chapter possible:
First and Foremost- HarryPotterMangaGleek. Thank God for people like you. I'm sorry I haven't responded to your PM, but I dedicate this chappie to you for everything you've done :D
Secondly- Diana Silver for PMing me and reminding me to actually write something... I'm so sorry I didn't respond to your PM, but it meant the world to me that people actually cared about this story enough to.
And Lastly- my wonderful beta, InkShaper. Don't know quite what got you, whether it be the hurricane or the AP work, but this story would not be nearly as popular if it wasn't for your help. Thanks :)
Well, that's about it...
And thanks to all of you AMAZING reviewers/readers/favoritors/anything else you guys do-ers this story would be nothing without ya ;)
As usual, reviews are always appreciated!