My first Cranfic so I am a little nervous. Just an AU oneshot between Miss Galindo and Mr Carter set after series one and not complying at all with Return to Cranford. I hope you like it.
He could feel her beside him, sleeping fitfully. Unable to see her face as she lay facing away from him, her shuffling a little as she tried to settle was all that he could feel for certain but he sensed a deep disturbance about her. She muttered incomprehensibly, turning a little. Unable to deny that her distress upset him, he tightened his arm around her a little, squeezing her waist.
"Shh, my love. Try to sleep."
It was in vain: neither the words nor his hold on her eased her any.
Though it was quiet, he heard in plainly and its desperate tone pierced him to his very soul. In all the time they had been married he had never known her sleep with complete ease but nor had she ever been as restless as this.
He wished with all his heart that there was some way he could calm her. Lifting his hand to her forehead, he rested it there for a moment; pressing it gently for security. He felt a cold sweat and deep furrows in her brow from her heavy frown. Shuddering a little, he leant up on his elbow to look at her. She made quite a pitiable sight, the blanket twisted around her clammy hands; curled in front of her face as if trying to hide herself. He had to wake her, he knew it. He rose to give her shoulders a little shake but before he could, she awoke with a heaving gasp.
"I'm here, my love," he assured her as she rolled to find him, a look of pure panic on her face, "I'm here."
"Oh," she gasped in relief as she saw his face and he wrapped a concerned arm around her waist, "Thank God, thank God."
She reached a hand to grasp at his neck, holding him protectively to her and burying her head in his nightshirt. He allowed her a few moments, listening as her breathing returned to a normal rate.
"What is it, my love?" he finally asked her, "What was it?"
Leaning back a little, he saw her close her eyes tightly, feeling the fingers shift on the back of his neck.
"Nothing, Edward," she answered, "Nothing, just some little foolishness."
"It was not," he refuted her plainly.
She sniffed again and he realised that he had probably sounded severe. Kissing her forehead, he tried again.
"What is it?" he asked again, more quietly, "Tell me, my love. Why is it that you can never sleep soundly? Is it me?"
"No!" she told him, "No, you silly man!"
"What then?" he pressed.
He saw her head rise, felt it brush a little against his chest. Although he could not see as much in the darkness of the room he knew her eyes would the brown they went when any kind of vehement emotion was called into play; a brown he could happily wander through for days on end. He brushed some of her loose hair behind her ear; tucking it away from the rest, splayed wildly behind her.
"I still have dreams sometimes," she confessed, consoled by the feeling of his fingers against her jaw, "Nightmares. I dream about your accident. I dream tha-..." she faltered. He saw her lower lip quiver, "I dream that you don't make it. That I loose you."
"Oh, my love."
He could do nothing but press her softly to him, hoping that he could console her in some way. The sound of a quite sob stabbed at the air and he kissed the top of her head, holding it tightly under his chin.
"You haven't lost me," he whispered, "You haven't. I'm here. Every thing will be alright, you have me."
She drew her head back a little. Tears were clear on her cheeks even in the dim light from the gap in the curtains. Her hand tugged fiercely on the front of his nightshirt.
"I know," she conceded, "I know."
"And you will always have me," he told her emphatically.
Once again, she rested her head against his chest and said nothing. Lifting the blanket so it fell tidily back over them, he took her back in his arms.
"Thank you, Edward," she whispered after a while.
"Goodnight, my love."
Later when he awoke again he found her sleeping unusually soundly.
Please review if you have the time; I'd like to know if it was any good!