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What I Did For Love: Chapter thirteen
Seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours and soon the night dropped like black mantle over the town. Fran and Maxwell eventually went home, but despite their pleading to follow them C.C. refused to leave Niles' bedside. She thought if she left and -heaven forbid- something happened or if he opened his eyes and she wasn't there, she wouldn't be able to forgive herself. She just continued sat in the uncomfortable chair beside his bed -occasionally shifting position- while holding his cool, unresponsive hand tightly. During this time C.C. had left his side only when the nurses and doctors needed access or her bladder was about to explode. She hadn't showered, she hadn't eaten, she hadn't slept and every single muscle in her body ached, begging her for rest. She was a complete wreck but she didn't care, she wanted to be as physically close to Niles as possible could be. She was telling herself that her butler boy was the only person in the world she could do this for and none other. For him she could sit still for minutes, hours, days or eternities without make a single complain if it was necessary. All that mattered to her was the constant beeping of his heart monitor and the rising and falling of his chest with every breath he took because it meant she hadn't lost him. He was still hanging in there and he was going to wake up soon.
The last thing Niles remembered before the shadowy abyss began to claim his body and soul was C.C.'s concerned face whispering in his ear. He was sad that things between them had to end like that. They had never gotten their chance and now he was dead and he wasn't coming back. Why couldn't they have opened up a little bit sooner…why? Stupid, stupid pride!
He strained to remember exactly how he had died, but his memories were tangled and he couldn't concentrate, however, somehow, somewhere in the distance he could hear a steady beeping sound. Maybe it was just his imagination. But then again how was this possible for a dead man? So... maybe, just maybe he was… alive? He was alive!
Slowly the darkness began to lift itself as the sound became louder and louder. Eventually the darkness faded into a dark shade of grey and then to an obnoxiously bright shade of white, so bright that he was instantly blinded by it. He had no idea what had happened, but his hand automatically reaching up to block out the light. This small act of nature made him realize two things; one, he was indeed alive and two, It was daytime considering the light was from the sun outside. With a valiant effort, he forced his eyes to open to mere slits and blinked until he could get used to the light shining through the blinds. "What happened to me? Wh-Where am I?" He whispered to himself in confusion, but a few confused moments later, he came to the conclusion that he was in a hospital room.
Suddenly a tiny movement to his left caught his attention and gently -not to cause himself unnecessary pain- tilted his head, to see what it was. A smile spread on his lips as his eyes landed on a familiar figure, C.C.'s figure. She was sleeping peacefully in an uncomfortable looking chair beside his bed. Her long legs were curled up underneath her awkwardly and her head was resting on the edge of his bed while she was holding his hand in hers like he was going to disappear if she let go.
Her hair was messy, sticking out in different directions like she'd been running her hands through it constantly for hours. Cautiously he extricated his hand from hers and tenderly smoothed back a few strands of blond hair that had fallen over her without a single trace of makeup, but still very beautiful face, hiding it from his view. Clearly she had spent the whole night in that chair, holding his hand until exhaustion overtook her. The position she was sleeping in was very awkward and he felt bad for being the cause of it, but at the same time he was glad she was there. She was like a ray of sunshine in the middle of his darkness.
He couldn't help the small smile or better the slight grimace that formed on his face as C.C.'s blue eyes slowly opened, blinked and then widened in surprise as she realized he was awake. "Oh my God, you're awake!" She exclaimed, a hand flying up to cover her mouth before she reached for his hand again, clutching it tightly between her own.
"Niles, I'm so glad you're awake. How are you feeling?" C.C. asked in a sweet, compassionate tone. Finally things were going right with the world…hopefully they will stay that way, she thought.
Niles drew in a long deep breath, closed his eyes and exhaled slowly through his nose. "Sore…exhausted…" He croaked out, his voice was hoarse and his mouth felt like cotton from lack of liquids.
C.C. nodded in understanding as her fingertips traced circles on the back of his hand, soothing him. "Well its normal...the bullet missed your heart by a few millimeters."
"Bullet? What bullet? What...happened?" He asked almost breathlessly, it was like he had a heavy weigh on his chest holding him down while making him struggling to get the words out. Pressing his hands down, either side of his bed, he tried to push himself up, however halfway through the action a sharp pain stabbed through his chest and he fell back onto the bed in agony, using every restraint left in his weak body to not cry out in pain. Then he squeezed his blue eyes shut, waiting for it to pass. That was when everything that had happened came flooding back to him. His eyes snapped open and his breathing quickened more than he thought he could handle.
"You okay?" C.C. asked visibly panicked as her mind worked double-time thinking a million different thoughts at the same time. "Maybe I should get a nurse or better a doctor." She mumbled quickly in panic before pushed her body out of her seat, fully intending on finding someone to help Niles.
Niles shook his head slightly. "I'm fine. Please sit down." He pleaded her as his breathing slowly became less strained and the wrinkles on his face softened.
Babcock studied his face carefully and when she made sure that he was better she murmured "Okay," then eased herself back down on the chair.
"I just remembered …the kidnapper, the bullet, the blood…everything," he paused to rub his forehead, "and that weird feeling…" he trailed off, looking sad, but almost instantly felt C.C.'s hand squeezing his a little bit tighter, "what feeling?" She asked in concern.
The Butler swallowed and bowed slightly forward, "the feeling that I was… dead."
"Miss Babcock, what's wrong?" Niles asked when she tore her eyes from his gaze and dropped them to the floor, looking at nothing in particular. For a moment she opened her mouth and made a few motions as if to answer but she closed it again. When she finally lifted her gaze to his face, her expression was clouded and her blue eyes were darkened like the sea before a storm and Niles wished he'd never asked the question.
She took a deep breath and willed herself to speak, there was no point avoiding it any longer anyways."You were," she simply answered while fighting with every fiber of her being not to fall apart as painful memories flashed in her mind.
Niles forehead crinkled into a frown. "What?"
"You were dead for almost three minutes, before the paramedics bring you back to life and I …" she took a deep breath, "I've never been so scared before in my life. You stopped breathing and I thought I was going to lose forever. I didn't know what I would've done if you had..." C.C. didn't finish her sentence just stopped and looked down at her hands that were clasped together in her lap. She just couldn't say the word; it was as if she was scared that it could make all come true somehow.
"Well, it turns out that you can't get rid of me that easily, Brunette." Niles said with a ghost of a smile on his face but it faded away when he saw her desperately serious expression.
"Don't turn this into a joke, Bell boy, this is serious…you could have died!" C.C. yelled emphasizing the last word, while getting more frustrated by the moment.
"Yes, but I didn't." Niles replied in the same tone C.C. had used, emphasizing the last word as well or at least he tried to.
"You should have left when that man told you to," She cut him off sharply.
A look of sheer disbelief crossed Niles' features. "So do you!"
She narrowed her eyes slightly but continued to yell at him ignoring his last statement. "What the hell did you think you were doing by staying there?"
"What do you want me to say? That I'm sorry that I stayed?" Niles asked. His voice was as raised as his dry mouth allowed it, but the irritation was evident in his tone.
"Yes!" C.C. shouted staring at him hard and intently.
"Well I can't…because I'm not!" Niles responded in stern, sure, take-no-prisoners kind of voice leaving no place for doubts, after all it was the truth, everything he did he had done it in all conscience and he didn't regret it at all. "I did what I thought was best at the time and I'm not going to regret it, nor now, nor ever."
"Best?" She said, chuckling. "For who, the kidnapper? Because for you defiantly…" C.C. couldn't finish her sentence because Niles cut her off.
The things his pride had forbidden him from saying for so long came pouring out, "Best for the woman I love…best for you. I tried to tell you and back then, but you didn't let me finish. I love you C.C. I've loved you from the first time I saw you but I never found the courage to tell you how I feel and when you were taken I was so scared I would never see you again that I did what I thought was best…maybe it was wrong, maybe not, I don't know, I don't care. All I know is that I did it from love…for love…you…please believe me."
"You should have left," she said with a serious tone then paused for a moment as she placed a piece of her short, blonde hair behind her ear before she continued, "but I believe you, I believe your intentions and I know how you feel because… I feel the same way about you…"
Niles looked at her, too stunned to speak, but found back his words when something like a small bell, rang inside his mind. "What did you say?"
"I said that I believe you…" She began to say once more but he cut her off impatiently.
"NO! What did you say AFTER that? You said that you feel the same way about…ME?"
C.C. nodded gently her head. "Yes!"
"I knew it!" He exclaimed feeling deep joy and peace settling inside him. "I knew it that it couldn't have been creation of my imagination or some kind of dream, it was too real."
"What was too real?" C.C. asked him tilting her head a little to the side.
"The last thing I remember before everything went black was you hugging me and whispering in my ear… and I heard you…I heard what you said." Niles explained to her smiling, his eyes never leaving hers, searching for her reaction.
C.C. knew exactly what he meant, but didn't say anything. A small smile that matched his own graced her lips before they captured his in a deep kiss. After all sometimes, actions speak much louder than words…now they both knew it…
A/N: Okay guys, there you have it:) I hope you all liked it! I'd like to say a huge thanks to all of the readers that reviewed, added this story to their favorites and subscribed to the story alert!:) Cheers guys! Till next time.