Of waking up
Summary: In which Ralph wakes up, and Jack kisses Simon.
A/N: My sincerest apologies for being gone for so long! I had lost all of my inspiration for this story in one fell swoop, but hopefully I am back? I will try and update at least every two weeks, at the very least. Who knows, we might get around to a weekly update! (Maybe) But thank you to those of you that reviewed! It means a lot to me, hearing from you guys. I'm so glad that you've enjoyed it thus far, and I hope you'll bear with me until the end!
Warnings: Definitely some teenage angst, some other feelings, and fluff. There will always be fluff. Not yet beta'd, but I wanted to hurry up and update 'cause it's been a really long time and I'm sorry!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Lord of the Flies.
Ralph was acutely aware of three things when he slowly came into consciousness, over a week after he'd been first admitted to the care of the hospital. Firstly, there were several sets of hands touching him; brushing through his hair, holding one of his hands, and some adjusting the blankets. It would seem that this was becoming an increasingly more common thing for him to wake up to nowadays, but that did nothing to comfort him. He could only hope that the offending appendages belonged to people he knew. He scrunched up his face and wiggled his nose a bit, frowning a little as this earned soft laughter, and opened one eye. He was met with the bright, smiling face of Nina Davies, the eldest of Alison's children, and by far the calmest. She loomed over him a bit, having been checking his temperature, and had deemed him alright, grinning brilliantly at him as she sat back down.
Nina Davies was a mess of long, wavy jet black hair, blindingly bright blue eyes, and what one would think were half a million freckles. Nina took after her mother in the looks department, though her height she'd gotten from her father, standing at just under six feet. Almost all of the Davies children were impossibly tall, save for little Alexander, but they suspected that the sweet, shy boy wouldn't end up much taller than their darling mother. He spent so much time with her, they suspected that it had simply rubbed off on him, not that Alison minded. It was nice, having at least one child that was moderately at eye level.
"Morning, sunshine," Nina greeted, propping her elbows upon the edge of the bed. "How're you feeling?" Ralph groaned a little, unable to force his voice to work, and Nina laughed again. After a few moments Ralph managed an, "I've been better." And sat up, successfully extracting his hand from his father's, who had been by his side since he'd exited the argument with Ralph's mother. As for who had been adjusting the sheets, Alison was sitting in the corner, looking far too innocent for Ralph to suspect it of anyone else. That made him feel at least a little better… At least it was people that he genuinely loved. After taking everything in for a moment, Ralph looked over to Nina and frowned quizzically. "Forgive me if I seem rude, but…. What are you doing here? I thought you were off at Uni." Ralph slurred, earning a few giggles. However, the question quickly sobered up everyone in the room, and Ralph knew that it couldn't possibly be good.
"Well, I came originally to see Roger and Jason, after they got into another fight…. But mum told me you were here too, so I thought I'd come see what adventure you'd been up to this time." Nina explained, frowning a little. To say that Ralph's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates would have been an understatement. One would've thought they'd be in danger of falling out of the eye sockets all together if they were any wider. "A fight?" Ralph mumbled, furrowing his brows. What had happened? What situation could they have possibly been in where they were even remotely near one another? "Yes, I'm afraid so… Physically, Jason got the short end of the stick, but emotionally…" Nina shook her head, sighing. Ralph looked back to Nina, the unasked question hanging in the air between them for a moment. "He's been under a lot of pressure lately… You just gotta give him some time, sweetheart." Nina sighed, taking Ralph's hand in her own as Ralph looked away. He felt sick to his stomach.
He knew that the added stress was because of him. If he hadn't run off like that, then Roger wouldn't have had to go and hunt him down… If he hadn't run off then neither of them would be in the hospital right now. Sure, fighting amongst Roger and Jason was inevitable, but it would have been avoided, if only for at least a little longer. It was his fault, for running off, for adding to the stress that Roger already dealt with, and for landing them both in the hospital. Ralph sunk back down into the bed, covering his head with the sheets as he curled up, feeling awful for what he'd done. He'd never wanted to hurt Roger… Especially not like this. Ralph shook with silent tears, wishing he'd been left in the attic to die. Maybe then he could stop hurting Roger…
Several days had passed, and Simon was about ready to explode. The dorm room he shared with Ralph felt so empty with only him in it... He'd assumed that Jack felt the same, because he was easily compliant when Simon asked if he'd come and bunk with him, until Ralph came back. Jack hadn't said another word about what he'd said to Simon the day that he'd taken him to dinner, nor did he make any signs of bringing it up any time soon. In fact, he seemed to be distinctly nonchalant about the whole thing. Simon didn't buy it for one second.
Simon was currently lying flat on his back, scowling up at the ceiling, ignoring Jack as he entered the room. A tired greeting pierced the air, but fell upon deaf ears as Simon brooded, arms folded tightly across his chest. This was the general greeting that Jack had received over the past couple of days, but there seemed to be something bothering Simon more than usual today. So, Jack thought he'd ask… Or try. "Simon?" Jack offered, setting his belongings upon his bootlegged bed. Simon ignored him, instead huffing and rolling onto his side, grumbling at the wall. "Simon," Jack tried again, sighing a bit, rubbing his hands over his face tiredly. Again, no answer but he did get a low grumble, which was more of a response since Simon had become decidedly mute in the past few days. This, however, was going to get them nowhere if he was to be making any attempts at redeeming himself.
Jack went and perched on the bed beside him, earning a low, irritated growl of protest, though Simon made no move to look at him. He would have been lying if he'd said that this was an unusual occurrence, but he decided not to comment on it, and instead scooped Simon up from his brooding corner and sat him up. Simon looked as if he were going to throttle him any second. Jack easily ignored the glare that could have killed Rasputin and instead wrapped an arm around Simon's tiny shoulders and frowned a little in concern. "What's wrong, Simon? You've been in a state all day." He tried, watching as Simon huffily folded his arms, grumbled some more, and looked away. "Sorry, poppit, didn't quite catch that." Jack muttered, sighing. He was too tired to deal with Simon's mood swings… But he was the only one there now, and he knew he'd have to listen whether he wanted to or not. Might as well try now, while he was at least conscious, as opposed to waking up to screaming. Jack realized that Simon had actually said something as he caught the end of it, pulling away from his thoughts with, "Hm?" Simon scowled. "If you're not going to even listen to what I say, then why did you ask me to talk." He hissed coldly, earning another tired sigh from Jack. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" Jack murmured, pressing a chaste kiss to his temple, causing Simon's face to flush bright red. "I'll listen, I promise." He continued, offering as much of a smile as he could manage.
Simon, bright as a tomato, scowled back at him, but refrained from hitting him. He looked exhausted… In the nearly two weeks since Roger and Ralph had been in the hospital, Jack had been running back and forth from school every day, bringing back and forth school work (Roger would be damned if he fell behind for simply being injured) clothing (Ralph was not a fan of the daft hospital gowns), and going to work, all while taking care of his own school work and looking after Simon as much as he would let him. Simon let his scowl ease into a frown and sighed heavily. "It's… Nothing. I'm fine." He mumbled, relaxing into Jack's embrace a bit. Jack was unappeased. "Simon," he began, but was cut off by Simon shaking his head. "You're exhausted, Jack, and it isn't important." Simon reasoned, finally looking over to him. This had been the general response when Jack had tried to be patient and sit down and make time to talk about what was upsetting Simon, and slowly it was beginning to get on his nerves. But Simon was right. Well… Half right, at least. Jack was completely exhausted, without a doubt, but he was also stubborn. Besides, he wasn't sure how much longer he would be able to put up with Simon's particular brand of psychoses all by his lonesome.
"But it is important, Simon. It's important to you… It's important to me too," Jack said, frowning. Simon could've sworn he felt his heart melt a little with how softly Jack spoke, and how genuine the words felt, but it lost its romanticism as Jack continued. "And your mood swings are almost on the verge of giving me whiplash." Simon glowered and looked away again, grumbling to himself under his breath, wondering if other people had so much trouble with these things. Jack laughed tiredly, all the same, and rubbed Simon's back a little, grinning. "C'mon, Simon, just talk to me." He pleaded, leaning back against the headboard. Simon gave a halfhearted snarl as Jack rubbed his back, but decided to appease Jack. Leaning back against the headboard as well, Simon curled into a comfortable position, fidgeting with the end of his sweater sleeve thoughtfully. As Simon thought, Jack let his eyes shut for a while, leaning his head back, knowing that this could take a while. Simon tended to organize his thoughts before letting all and sundry know just exactly what it was that had made him so snarly and what he was going to do if it was not fixed in a timely fashion.
So, it came as no surprise to him when a tentative, "Jack?" pierced the air, questioning his consciousness. "You ready?" Jack murmured, slowly opening his eyes and tilting his head forward again. Simon nodded mutely, still fidgeting with his sleeve, and snuggled closer to Jack, who made no move to protest. "So, what is it that's made you so mad, poppit?" Jack asked, arm still laced around Simon's shoulders. Simon frowned a little, looked at Jack, and then back at his sleeve. "You remember the day we went to go get food? The day I almost walked into that car…" Simon asked, mumbling that last part quickly, flushing a bit. "I recall saving you, yes." Jack grinned, earning a small glare. "What about it?" he continued, grinning. Simon sighed and rested his head against Jack's shoulder, letting his eyes glaze over, already trying to distance himself emotionally. He didn't want to have to feel the pity or regret. He refused to be taken down by such emotions, if he could help it… But little by little, his resistance was melting away. "When we were in the restraint… You said you would make it up to me, for hurting me…" Simon shook his head, looking over to Jack with a frown. "What in the bloody hell is that supposed to even mean, Jack?" he mumbled, laughing humorlessly. He was somehow reminded of Roger, and the way he simply checked out of feeling things. He was certainly stoic, if nothing else.
Jack took on a thoughtful expression, looking to the ceiling for a moment. He hummed thoughtfully, but said nothing, shrugging after a while. "To be honest, I'm not entirely sure, Simon…" he said, looking over to Simon apologetically. To say that Jack was shocked by the expression that adorned Simon's features would have been an understatement. He looked absolutely miserable. The light and life was completely gone from his eyes, he looked centuries older than he would ever be in this life, and his heart ache was palpable. "Simon…" Jack murmured, sitting up. Simon shifted as well, allowing Jack to pull him into his arms, making no move to protest as he was held close. This was what he'd wanted, wasn't it? All he'd ever wanted was for Jack to hold him, to care about him… But not like this. He didn't want Jack's pity, he didn't want him to feel regret for pain he'd never knew he'd caused. He didn't want him to try and force himself to love him because he felt bad for him. In yet, he couldn't bring himself to push him away. He laid there compliantly, entirely still and silent, letting Jack fret over him. For a long time, it felt as if the world had gone completely silent, and everything had slowed down to a crippling pace, but the slow, stillness was shattered as Jack shifted again.
Simon sat patiently as Jack moved, looking like a lost, lonely child as he sat wordlessly, putting as much distance as he could between himself and the pain that he feared would never go away. But it would find him… He knew it would find him, and for a moment he didn't care. He wasn't sure at what point he'd closed his eyes, but he knew that, at some point, he had as he felt the warmth of Jack's lips leave his. It took a few seconds for it to occur to Simon what had just happened, but when it hit him, a small and involuntary squeak, almost a whimper, escaped his lips. That was what he'd wanted for so long. Not to merely be held and cared for, but to be kissed, for once. He'd gotten so tired of being the one that did the kissing, getting nothing in return. Jack gingerly pressed the tip of his nose against Simon's, smiling a little. Simon looked surprised to say the least, all wide eyed and surprisingly innocent. For a moment Simon stared at him, slowly poking out from behind his mental safe place, and furrowed his brows for a moment.
Jack knew that as soon as Simon had wrapped his head around what he'd just done, there was a very likely chance of him either becoming blindingly mad at him, or returning to the stoic silence. However, Simon did neither, and merely smiled coyly. "Jack…?" he murmured, letting Jack lace their fingers together gently. "Yes, Simon?" Jack asked, somewhat cautiously. Simon laughed, for what felt like the first time in months, and grinned. "Kiss me."
A/N: that's all for now! I hope you enjoyed it~ Leave a review and let me know what you thought? I'll hopefully have the next one up sooner than I did this one. We'll go n' visit Roger in the next one, I promise!