AN: Kelly's POV of the scene where Scotty comforts him after being tortured by Alaaeddin.


After the pain is over, there's this, the one thing he can always count on. He can barely remember his own name, but he knows he shan't be abandoned to suffer alone.

They toss him to the floor, and all he knows is infirmity and pain. He hasn't talked, but it's a hollow victory—he just wants to curl up and die.

Anchor. Lifeline. Words. His mind. His friend. The voice, his lifeline as he screamed. Perhaps living is worthwhile, after all.

A warm body cradles him, catches what they've left of him. He's lifted up off the ground, lifted out of himself, out of the residual pain that leaves his body and spirit in tatters. Tender hands hold him and gentle him through the aftershocks. Like a child the arms rock him, like a child they comfort him. Weak and trembling in the wake of his agony, he tries to hold fast to his anchor, only to find that his nerveless fingers can't even close. But it's all right, because his limp body's already been gathered into a firm embrace, lending him warmth and strength and life.

He drifts, suspended in the warm support, only vaguely noticing as those skilled fingers work his nerve centers, as his partner's hands soothe and heal and take away the pain, the cold, the numbness. The touch restores him, makes him feel as though he could one day be human again. Ah, that sly magician and his techniques learned from the Far East! He's too weak to smile, but he leans on his Houdini, his head resting on the supporting shoulder as his partner pulls a rabbit out of the hat, Kelly's bone and muscle and nerve and sinew gradually absorbing vitality and vigor from Scotty's body: his haven, his home.

To his surprise, he finds that he can move, move his fingers. He can hardly move his head, yet his arms have mobility. Marshalling all his strength, he brings his hands up to the back of the beloved head, fingering the disturbingly large lump there. He murmurs something he hopes is funny. It's all they have to get through this, especially now it's Scotty's turn.

He doesn't want it to be Scotty's turn. He doesn't want his safe haven to be violated, he doesn't want to leave his human cradle, he doesn't want the most perfect person in his world to be damaged—he doesn't want anyone to touch a hair on Scotty's head. But he realizes, as he lies in the warm, comforting cocoon of his arms, kept off the cold floor by the man's own legs, that it must be so.

He knows this, and yet he would willingly give himself over to those men again if it would only mean he could keep Scotty safe.