[profile] 7s_prompts: You are alive

Oct. 4th, 2009 09:17 am
fast_max: (I love you)
[personal profile] fast_max

Max slowly woke up to the awareness that he was home, in his own bed - and alone in it. To the pain in his side, familiar pain of a recent but healing wound. The somewhat fainter pull in the back of his right calf reminded of itself when he turned.

It had been difficult not to limp for the first two days - of course, he had been told not to walk at all, but they were out there on a job, and it had to be done, and after the problem, he had to be there for it himself to make sure a certain aspect of it was done right. The proper counter-threats delivered in the proper manner by somebody who knows details. The group from Archer Imports present could handle the rest of the deal. That part, he had to take care of personally. Besides, it was slightly intimidating on its own, after whatever reports they had received of his wounds, to see him up and about, let alone as steady on his feat as he had seemed the day before. Steady he could manage. Light and fast, two of the characteristics that didn't usually show to the untrained eye... His people knew, and the battered security were on double attention to compensate for what he couldn't do then. Happily, the message was received well enough. They weren't bothered again.

And now, he was home.

He didn't pretend to walk easily as he almost-hobbled to Sammy's room to see if his wife was there; he didn't need to. Slow, at least slower than usual, but it wasn't that bad anymore. The few days of the drive back had been easy and he had rested somewhat. It was a start.

Dia wasn't in their daughter's room; the girl was sleeping peacefully, the night-light illuminating her face softly. Max stood at the door for a bit, just watching her, his heart swelling. She had shown him so many things she had done while he was away, it was amazing. As was the feel of her tiny arms around his neck. Perfect.

But Dia was not here; he moved on, carefully, to find her and see if something was wrong.

It apparently was, judging by the muffled sobs and sniffles that reached him as he headed down the stairs. He descended as quietly as he could, followed the sound to the living room, and there she was, curled tight against the back of the couch, a cushion on top of her knees, face buried against it. Shoulders shaking. Made his mouth go dry as he limped around the couch, standing before her. Carefully, he lowered himself to his knees, before reaching to caress her hair hair. "Dia? What's the matter, love?"

She started at the touch, gasping sharply, face rising quickly to show wide, wet eyes, strands of hair sticking to her cheeks, then breathed in, recognizing him, or the voice, he couldn't be certain. "... oh. Max. I.. didn't mean to wake you." Voice trembling. He wasn't sure if she was trying to hide that she'd been crying or not. Was crying.

"You didn't. Woke up all on my own." Small nod, another sob. He cupped her cheek, she didn't quite lean into his palm. "Dia... Did anyone say something bad? Do something wrong?"

She closed her eyes, new tears running down her cheeks, a very faint tickle on his skin where his palm rested on her face. "No... nobody. Just..." Deep breath, trying to control herself. "You shouldn't be out of bed."


Her eyes squeezed tighter, and she curled in on herself even more. Her voice was barely understandable, so quiet and shaky. "You're hurt. And it's not lightly."

Oh. He tried to say something, but she went on, and he bit on the words.

"I mean, you were here, and you were fine, and everything was alright, what, two weeks ago? And now you're... you could've not returned, and what would I be doing then?" He tried to tell her that she would be cared for, no matter what, but she interrupted, "yes, I know Stephen would make sure I was fine, but I wouldn't be fine, and you know it. You wouldn't be there, and I don't..." Sobbing for a bit, "I don't know what I'd do."

He closed his eyes for a brief moment, focused, then rose enough to sit on the couch, behind her, managing it without either gasping or groaning. Arms wrapped around her, but he didn't tug her against him yet. "You don't have to. I'm right here." His voice ended up sounding lower and rumblier than he meant it to be, but it worked. "Got the wounds, yeah, but it wasn't that close a call. I am careful with my life, I really am, Dia." The sobs had subsided, and her cheek was turned to the cushion, he could see the delicate profile, pale in the moonlight against the darker fabric. Eyelashes a thin shadow against her cheek; she was listening. "It's what I do, and what I do best, and you know I do it well, very well. They didn't even so much surprise us, this time, as I had to let them do a certain amount of damage, but it was under control."

She seemed to spasm and curl up even tighter, eyes squeezing again, and now he did tug her against him. She took a moment, and then just squirmed around and burrowed into him. "It is all right. I'm okay, I'll get better. Because I have reason to, you know. You, and Samantha." Softly, nuzzling into the soft, sweet-smelling hair, close to her ear. "You are alive. That's the writing on the wall I keep in mind. You're alive. And, you know. You know how it feels to do exactly what you should be doing. You feel that you are alive. Don't you?" Small nod, and then a more certain one. "You're alive. And I'm alive. I have you, you have me, Sammy's got both of us. It's good. All's good. And it's going to stay good. Okay?"

She sighed. "Max... it's what you do. How many times have you come back with people missing because of--"

"Shh." This time he covered her lips with his, gently, softly. "Enough thinking of that." He shifted his hold on her, gripped her tight, and rose, carrying her in his arm.

"Max! Let me down, you're still--"

"I'm not that hurt. You're very light and delicate, you know? I could wear you for hours." Small grin. "Well, usually. Now, I'll manage to get you to the tub. Or bed. Your call."

Eyes reflecting slight glimmers of the faint light. "Bed. I think."

"Okay." Another kiss, and this time she responded, and then he limped a bit, to the stairs, up them. To their bedroom. Her frown didn't ease with his uneven step, but she didn't argue any more. Then again, he murmured something in her ear halfway up and she suddenly giggled, then pressed her hand to her mouth, both of them listening to make sure their daughter hadn't woken up.

Next day was all-at-home day, and she seemed to like that.

The next day he was out and about again. And, just because the changeable moods did kind of ring a bell, he got a pregnancy test on his way home.

Dia glared as he gave it to her. And then even more when she saw the result. That melted a little, at least temporarily, when she told him and he smiled. Apparently, she liked that smile.

For now.

The next few months were going to be interesting. And in some ways, especially for her, not easy.

But that was alright. They were alive.
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