and we will never be afraid again-part i / bel x freddie

I have at least one more post-2x06 oneshot that I want to write so this might become a bit of a series. tw: for discussions of violence that will become more prevalent in the next part. title taken from spectrum (say my name) by florence and the machine

—-

On a crumby plastic hospital chair in the early hours of the morning, Bel fingers the outlines of the grass stains on the scarlet fabric of her skirt. She'd washed her hands since getting to hospital, but Freddie's blood has darkened where it's trapped under her bitten nails. Too much blood.

—-

She had stroked his face, kneeling down in the mud next to him. He kept forcing out only one word, even though it plainly pained him to do so: "Moneypenny."

"I'm here, James," she whispers tearfully, grabbing his hand. It takes a while for the only eye he could open to find her in the darkness and even longer for him to focus his vision. The night guards bustle around them, one running to telephone an ambulance and the other draping his jacket over Freddie's blood-stained abdomen. Bel wants to scream at them hurry up but she doesn't want to break Freddie's gaze, she won't let him feel alone now.

His split lips struggle around another set of words. It's heartbreaking because she knows they are his only weapon against the rest of the world. He's not designed for fist fights or physical violence but he can cut down the strongest of men with his limitless arsenal of words. There isn't a stronger passion in the world than the one she despises Cilenti with for taking away Freddie's words. "Don't-don't…leave me, Mon-" he chokes on the final syllables.

"I won't leave you if you don't leave me." Her voice breaks down into a anguished sob by the end of the sentence. She leans down to plead softly in his ear, "Stay with me, Freddie. Just… stay with me, please."

"Alway-" he tries to say but a vermillion dribble of blood escapes the side of his mouth instead. Bel wipes it away with her thumb and tells him to not to talk. If it weren't for the perverse feel of warm blood on her skin, it would almost feel normal.

—-

Her every limb feels weighted with lead. The hospital is close to empty, save for a few nurses and doctors buzzing past and a couple of patients milling around. Bel watches the large clock strike two, then three, then four. When the dawn finally arrives after the very longest of nights, it is divided between the gaps in the blinds on the waiting room windows, and hits Bel's sallow, ashen face.

Nobody knows yet. Lix and Hector and everyone else at The Hour don't even know he's been found at all—Bel will be the one to tell them whenever she makes it into the office. Freddie won't make it into the papers, despite being beaten to within an inch of his life for a story that will change the police force and the response to organised crime probably forever, it'll be Hector's interviewing that gets reported on. Not that she isn't proud and unspeakably glad that she didn't let Miss Ramirez die in vain, but she wants the public to know what Freddie put himself through in service of the truth. She wants the public to love him (and hate him) for it, as much as she does. Stupid, bloody, irritant boy.

Bel wants to say he'll learn from this, but if she knows him at all, she knows he won't. Not even now they're… whatever they are now. She wonders if they'll ever get to find out just what they are now. Bel touches her lips again. They're dry and chapped from her worrying them for the last few hours and suffice to say, there's no smile now.