A/N- sorry it's been so long since the last update. Please review, it really helps and they make my day, even if they are critical, and if you have any suggestions for the story, please tell!

It was her eyes, her eyes more than anything else. He needed to see them sparkling as she laughed, remaining serious as she told him another long winded tale of the misdeeds of one of her school friends. He just wanted her to see him, know he was there, hear him tell her that he would always be there, whether she knew it or not. He needed to see recognition move her face, change it from the blank, drawn expression he had been watching for too many days. For these reasons, at least, he was eager to witness her wakening, but another side of him waited in trepidation, cold dread filling him. He did not know how Sue, the boys-hell, even how he would react if the medical team did find spinal or head injuries. He told himself he would not fail her, could not fail her. If she had come this far, as he had begged her to, then surely he was capable of...Of what, though? This was, perhaps, his greatest fear; the unknown.

...

They had waited, God knew they had waited all morning, all through the afternoon, as his wife's false smile grew until her cheeks must have ached, but still the angel did not wake. At first, they had chatted- to each other, to Karen-hoping, perhaps, that the familiar voices would bring her out of her comatose state, but to no avail. Eventually the stilted conversation died and they resumed the careful scrutiny of the tiny girl's face, that had become their pursuit lately.

The night drew in, and he sent her home. She couldn't cope, the children needed her and he wanted his young daughter to himself once more. He promised to follow his wife later,although, truth be told, he could not see the two lively boys at home without the crushing frustration threatening to destroy him, and he knew he would not be returning home until long past their bedtimes.

Nine pm, and he accepted another mug of tea from the cheery nurse who came to check his daughter. He had grown used to these periodic checks now. At first they had alarmed him, and he had watched each routine with an increasingly practiced eye, waiting for abnormalities that would signal what he felt he already knew-that his daughter was irreparably damaged, her life altered for good. Now he gazed languidly from his recliner, letting the familiar scene wash over him. He wondered whether he really would go home tonight, or whether he would let himself fall asleep here once more. It was tempting. The hospital was unemotional and efficient, a polar opposite to his own home...

He could feel it, he was slipping into that apathetic state again, when he ceased to care, became numb. He resisted with some vigour, determined to be a husband to Sue and a father to the boys, but it was at times like these, when he was left to his thoughts that he found it easiest just to succumb, and deal with the consequences later...

Suddenly the hand he had placed in his gently clenched, the angel was stirring. Her eyelids were fighting to overcome that which had drawn them closed for so many days. The nurse started an entirely new routine, paging the doctor, trying to rouse the girl that lay before them, who obstinately clung to the drowsiness threatening to suck her back.

She blinked. He saw it, the nurse saw it, there was no denying it, she was awake. Awake. The word held so many emotions for him and though he tried to remind himself that it would be a long road yet, that he did not yet know the extent of the damage, he could not help but let his heart soar and a broad smile encompass his face.

...

Later, he would swear to his wife (frustrated to have missed it, yet so relieved that it had finally happened), that in those precious minutes he had spent with her, reassuring her, placing gentle kisses where he'd been assured they would not inflict pain, that as well as the confusion and hint of terror he had so desperately been trying to assuage, he had also seen some of the girl he knew. She still had the ability to unnerve the adults that surrounded her with one, searching glance, she still made the same face when she was trying not to yawn and best of all, she could still use that smile, half-knowing, half-crushingly innocent, to wrap anybody she chose around her little finger.

He did not mention, however, the fact that her tears still had the same effect on him, that when the doctors were performing painful tests and she whimpered in ill-suppressed agony, he had to fight to remain in his seat, not slamming the men out of the way, picking up his daughter and carrying her somewhere safe, where he could just cradle her and whisper reassurances in her tiny, puffed ear, that she was finally conscious to hear.

He did not mention, either, the overwhelming joy or the tear that slid down his cheek when he was told that his tiny, tiny angel did not have any life-altering brain or spinal injuries, because he had reassured her so many times that she wouldn't.

...

He went to bed happy that night. A wide grin gracing his face even in his sleep, marking a contrast to the drawn, beaten grimace he had been sporting for what seemed like forever. Yes, there was much to come. Yes, he knew it would not be easy and no, he didn't expect her to be up on her feet and chasing the boys immediately. He knew it was just the beginning of a long battle, and that even now, his daughter, his only daughter was lying in a hospital bed that swamped her, blood coursing with chemicals, almost unrecognisable...but she had awoken, she had spoken in a rough voice, so unlike her own, until he had remembered that she must not tire herself out, and shushed her, to take the conversation into his own hands. Twenty minutes of wakefulness, and tomorrow maybe more.

The more he thought about it, the easier the road ahead seemed to become-she would soon be weaned of all her chemicals, he assumed, then she could come out of the CCU, into a general ward, then, one day soon, he would simply walk in, pick her up, cradle her in his arms and walk out. Then she would be home, and nothing would ever so much as touch her again. He was banking on a recovery with no complications.