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03 January 2014 @ 08:31 am
[shared 'verse: jazz remix] won't breathe until you tell me  
title: Won't Breathe Until You Tell Me You're Alive
rating: G 
word count: 801
community: writerverse 
prompt: Phase #09: Challenge #16: January Prompt Table (theme: hurt/comfort, prompts: on pins and needles, blue, fighting chance, deathless)
pairing: Aya/Mariel\Tristan
summary: Tristan comforts Mariel while they wait for Aya to come out of surgery.

Tristan hadn't objected when Mariel lit her first cigarette, although he couldn't stand the smell or the taste of her mouth when he kissed her after an unfiltered Marlboro, but when she lit a third from the glowing remains of the second, he frowned. He reached forward and plucked it from her long fingers, cold in the industrial, sanitized chill of the hospital waiting room, and smudged it out in the ashtray.

Mariel scowled and stopped pacing. He had snatched her cigarette from her in a moment between drags as she stalked past him, looping endless erratic circles in the little blue-tiled room. Tristan took her hand, folded his fingers around hers.

"You're freezing, Mary."

He tugged her down to sit beside him, and she obliged, curling up in one of the uncomfortable seats with her feet one seat over and her head on his shoulder. Her eyes were bloodshot from exhaustion and anxiety for Aya. Tristan tucked his wife's hair behind her ear and tried not to worry, although he couldn't help the way his lips turned down at the corners and his brow furrowed. He felt Mariel's tense shoulders, the stiff way she held herself.

There was nothing he could say that wouldn't sound hollow, so he kept quiet. They couldn't help Aya now that they had gotten her to the hospital and into the operating room for an appendectomy. What started as a stomachache and high temperature that evening had escalated into an emergency, and now Tristan could see the hazy grey light of dawn seeping in under the ugly curtains.

Instead, he folded his arms around his wife, trying in vain to calm her. She shook all over, face buried in Tristan's shoulder, skin pale and clammy. Having been through surgery himself, Tristan knew the odds, but didn't mention them; they weren't good, poor Mariel was upset enough already. She bit her fingernails down to the quick and picked anxiously at the ragged edges. Tristan smoothed her hair and kissed the shell of her ear as she wept into his lapel.

Mariel dozed off just after dawn, and Tristan let her sleep even though he knew she would be angry - at him, for not waking her, and at herself, for drifting off in the first place - but with nothing to do but wait, he didn't shake her, just sat quietly, his lips pressed against her hair.

Then a perky looking nurse came in, her white hat pinned neatly on her curly head of hair. Tristan nudged Mariel, kissed her temple. She blinked awake, taking a moment to crack her stiff neck before the reality of the situation sunk in on her and she sat bolt upright, lips pressed in a tight thin line.

"Miss Aya Scarlett," said the nurse, and for a moment, Tristan would have sworn he felt his wife's heart stop beating in her chest, and she gripped his hands so tightly her knuckles turned white, "has been moved to an inpatient room. She should be awake within an hour or two."

Mariel jumped up and demanded to be taken to Aya's room. Tristan took his time, rising unsteadily and leaning on his cane more heavily than usual, his back and hip stiff from a night spent in the hospital waiting room. He trailed behind his wife and the chipper nurse, trying to ignore the sharp antiseptic smell. Between the overpowering scent of hospital and his growling stomach, he felt woozy and lightheaded, but he followed them determinedly, willing himself not to pass out.

By the time he made it to Aya's room, Mariel was sitting by the edge of the bed in another straight-backed chair, Aya's pale hand folded in her own, lips pressed against Aya's cold fingers. He dragged the other heavy chair to sit beside his wife, resting his head on her shoulder.

This is what Aya woke to, as the sun rose fully over the tall buildings of the New York City skyline: her girlfriend, dark circles under her bloodshot eyes as she broke into a relieved smile, and her girlfriend's husband, grinning up at her from an uncomfortable chair as his wife kissed her gently on the lips.

"Good morning, Miss Scarlett," whispered Mariel, when they broke apart. Her tears splattered down on Aya's cheeks, and she kissed them away.

"I hope you didn't think I would leave you all by yourself, Mariel Delacroix," said Aya, rather crossly. "You know you don't do very well without me around to keep you in line."

"I never doubted it, my dear." Mariel kissed Aya again, not bothering to glance over her shoulder to see if the coast was clear of any unwanted voyeurs on their tearful reunion. "I love you, Aya Scarlett. Never scare me like that again."
 
 
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