Bedside Manner

Disclaimer: No, I'm not the one who came up with that brilliant episode last night. Definitely not me.

:: The episode was ah-ma-zing. I have probably re-watched some scenes several times, like 50 or something. This format of the story was originally planned for post-Shockwave fic, but it never felt right so the story had remained unfinished. Now I knew why. Because it was meant for post-PoL fic.


Blink.

The light of one of the rooms at the opposite side of the hospital was flickering; had been flickering ever since the sun retired for the day. That was almost three hours ago and now the rain had begun to fall in mild drizzle. Thousand tiny droplets of water ran down in rivulets down the window pane, blurring the world and reflecting the street lamps in hazy, warm glow.

Blink.

The flickers were constant and steady, mirroring the gentle rise and fall of Jules' chest. She was sleeping peacefully now after the doctor gave her mild sedative to help her rest. At least it looked like the pain wasn't plaguing her any longer, so that was good.

Her slender fingers were loosely laced around his, his thumb softly rubbing her wrist in circular motion. The pressure was gentle, barely there, as he didn't want to rouse her. Sam supposed he should let go and watch her sleep -God knows he couldn't let himself sleep- and yet he found himself incapable of extricating himself from her, even if only for a while.

Blink.

Earlier that day the monitor had beeped its deadly indicator and Jules had immediately looked at him, their eyes locked. In those mere seconds, everything had seemed to cease to matter. Even bathed in the yellow light of the lab it hadn't been difficult to notice her pallid complexion. How her brown eyes had gone lack of the vibrant, fiery spirit they always had.

How lifeless.

Another second wasted meant another chance of survival gone. Taking short, sniper breaths tortured her, and yet he kept telling her to do so. Because as much as he wanted to go in and carry her out to safety, he couldn't. The manual book said it was taboo and there was more than one people at risk.

And Jules would definitely not approve. That's the only thing that he cared about.

Jules. Just Jules. Always Jules.

Blink.

Staring at her struggling for every breath as the blood went on trickling down her arm in tiny rivers and soaking her uniform, a series of images flashed in front of his eyes.

Waking up next to her. Going to bed with her right beside him. Drinking her protein smoothie just so she would smile and kiss him. Midnight walks. Several choices of engagement rings he had been considering after a lone trip to the mall. Yet another round of home renovation. Camping trips. Honeymoon plans. 2-AM craving. A little girl whose eyes twinkled just as brightly as Jules'.

Simply being with her.

Everything that would never happen if something had happened to Jules.

Blink.

She had pulled through though. Jules was right there with him, in the flesh. Pale still with stitches along her arm; a mark that would remind them of today's ordeal for ever, but she was there. The team hadn't showed up, probably wouldn't until tomorrow at the very least knowing that they needed some time together. Sam appreciated it.

Her skin was dotted with the slight shadow coming from outside, and the drops of water sliding down the window made her skin look alive, somehow.

"Say it again."

Her eyes were open; brown eyes looked almost black in the poorly lit hospital room.

Sam grinned, bringing the plastic chair as close to the side of the bed as possible. The matching smile she gave him was sleepy and tired, but the glow had returned to her eyes. "Hey, Jules." He was whispering. A sense of magical atmosphere seemed to have settled over them and he didn't want to disturb that. It was comforting.

"Say it again." Jules repeated, almost child-like, turning slightly to lay partly on her good side and intertwining their fingers tighter.

Sam knew what she meant. Those three words. He had told her he cared about her, that he's fond of her, that he was passionate about her. He had never once told her that he loved her.

Till today.

It had been too close. Sam didn't think he could have lived with himself, without her, knowing that he'd never said that he loved her. If it so pleased her, he would go to the roof and shout so that everybody could hear.

The mountain on his shoulders had been momentarily lifted. There was a good chance that they were allowed to be working together while still seeing each other. Maybe one of these days they could have a double date with Ed and Sophie, or Wordy and Shelley.

He could hold her hand and she would give him a scowl but he wouldn't let her pull away.

Sam brushed his lips against the satiny texture of her hand, using his unoccupied, calloused one to stroke her cheek.

"I love you, Jules."

She smiled and everything was alright with his world.

"I love you, too."


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