SO sorry for not updating for so long. lots of personal stuff going down. but I'm back now :D
Title: I feel a bit different
Rating: PG-13ish for swearing, violence later, and homosexual overtones
Pairing: Paul/Tara, Graeme/Clive eventually, with mention of Graeme/Ruth
Summary: In which shit DOES go down. And Ruth suspects Clive.
2 a.m., and Clive found that sleep was absolutely impossible.
He’d always hated hospitals with a vengeance, ever since he accidentally broke his leg jumping from that tree when he was eight.
He hated it even more now.
Graeme looked so pale and distant on the hospital bed, faintly lit up by the moon outside. He was stable, the doctors had told Clive. The wound, while still a complete mystery as to how it appeared, was healing much faster than they had anticipated. But as to why he wouldn’t wake up, no one really had answers. Best they had was that the shock of what happened had knocked him out.
Clive knew better. He had been there. Shit, he’d carried Graeme’s writhing, bleeding body to the car and drove him to the hospital himself, while Graeme mumbled nonsense in the backseat. Most of it had been a long tired blur, and everything in him wanted to sleep.
But he couldn’t.
Once again, his best friend had almost died.
Tiredly, Clive found his mind wandering through all the good times he and Graeme had shared, anything to keep himself alert: meeting by chance when they were both four, the first time they discovered Star Wars, the double flying wedgies that took them seven hours to properly untangle, going to America together….25 years of friendship, and Graeme had almost died twice in the space of a year. Rather inconsiderate of him.
Clive took his hand. “C’mon Graeme, snap out of it. You’ve GOT to…”
Ruth stirred slightly in the seat next to him. “Is he awake yet?”
“Nope.” Clive hung his head. “Not even a murmur.” He sighed heavily. “Soon though. They never sleep too long in movies and comics, and we’ll have a nice waiting montage with close ups of our sad faces.” Clive smiled slightly. Graeme would’ve appreciated that. “And then we’ll all win Oscars.”
Ruth didn’t seem too amused. Drawing her legs up to her chest, she rested her chin on her knees., staring at the motionless form in front of them. “He’s lucky, you know. To…To have someone who loves him as much as you do.” She shook her head slightly. “I never had anyone I was close to as a kid, so….you know, having a friend like this must be really great.”
Clive laughed slightly. “He’s more than just a friend, Ruth. He’s my…”
“BROTHER.” He narrowed his eyes at her. “God, not you too. Ever since we were kids, people have been teasing us about whether or not we’re poofters. I thought having you around would settle it.”
She clenched her knees tighter. “I didn’t mean it like that, Clive. I mean, there was a time I’d care about that sort of thing and call you a heathen sinner, but…..if you love him, that’s totally fine.”
Clive felt his face go hot, and instinctively he dropped Graeme’s hand. “Ruth, for one thing, I’m not gay, and neither is Graeme. For two, it’s a nice thought, but usually girlfriends aren’t thrilled to find out someone else loves their man.”
Ruth smirked. “So you do love him.”
“Can we drop it please?!”
Feeling sort of triumphant, Ruth leaned back in her chair and took Graeme’s other hand. “It’s not hard to figure out, you know. I mean, you woulda taken that bullet for him.” Ruth sighed. “And just….just seeing the two of you interact, and how close you are, and how easy it is to touch him for you….” Her voice cracked. “God Clive, I’d give anything to--to touch him right now--”
Clive pulled himself out of his chair and sat down next to Ruth, gently rubbing the red head’s shoulders. He wanted to cry as well, but when Graeme woke up, he didn’t want to look a mess. “Shh, come on Ruth, it’ll be alright…. When this is over, we’ll all go home and forget this ever happened. Everything will go back to normal.”
Funny, how quickly ‘normal’ seemed to change around here.
---Wake up, filth.
The first thing he could distinctly make out was that he was in serious, serious pain.
Paul blinked his eyes groggily, holding his sides like his organs were about to explode (which they very well could). It took a few second to come back to reality, but soon he found himself staring out of the bars of a cell, and into the faces of the invaders.
He narrowed his eyes. “Oh, fuck me sideways.”
For as long as his planet had existed, The Burning Ones had wanted to conquer them for cheap slave labor. Their battles had gotten pretty ridiculous in the past, but Paul’s people had always prevailed over their tall, black, hard-shelled enemies. This thought brought Paul a brief bit of comfort. Even if he was going to be taken prisoner, at least his planet would be safe. And hey, maybe a rescue party was already on their way!
His captors blinked their red eyes ominously. “It is in your best interest to cooperate with us. The best interest of your little friend too.”
One gestured to a separate cell, and Paul strained to see in.
Anger blinded him for a second. “What did you bastards do to her!?”“Nothing, as of yet.”
They clicked their powerful jaws into what should’ve been a smile. It just made Paul uneasy. “We probed her mind for information, but her kind is….foreign to us. You seem to have a fondness for this creature though.”
The leader pulled him roughly against the bars, jaws creaking with a sickening crunch. “You WILL tell us what these strange, soft creatures are, and where we can get more. If you don’t, a slow death awaits you and your friend.”
Paul struggled slightly, pulling away from his captor’s face. “Take your ugly ass and fuck yourselves. I’m not telling you shit.”“Suit yourself.”
With a thud, Paul was tossed backwards against the rough walls of his cell, causing the alarm bells to go off in his head again. “Your friend will regret your decision.”
Once they were gone, Paul dragged himself to the bars again, reaching towards Tara’s crumpled form. “Tara…Tara, can you hear me? C’mon, wake up, please….”
She groaned low, turning her head towards him. Her face was covered in bruises and rough claw marks, and Paul felt unbridled fury once again. Oh, they were gonna pay for this. “Paul?” Tara’s voice cracked dangerously. It’s obvious that she hadn’t had anything to drink in a while. Curse humans and their need for water. “P-Paul, where are we? What happened?”
67 year old women weren’t meant for such cruel treatment. “Here, reach as far as you can, Tara. Let me help you.” Tentatively, she reached out and took his hand. He hurt all over. Healing her might make it worse. No scratch that, it was almost assuredly a bad idea. But he was damned if he would let these bastards kill his Tara.
Tara cried out in surprise as her cuts and broken bones began to disappear, though Paul hardly heard it from the screaming his own body was doing. Surely his race was smart enough to figure out a painless way to do this by now, right? “Just….just a little m-more….” Finally, too weak to hang on a second longer, Paul laid his head on the cold ground and closed his eyes. God he was tired.
“Paul….you shouldn’t have done that…” Tara stroked his hand, gently soothing the best she could. “You’re just as injured.”
“It’s not me they’re after.” He coughed violently, choking as a broken rib rubbed against his chest. “They wanted info on your planet.” Paul could hardly look up. Sleeping was an excellent idea. “Guess they finally found better slaves.”
---Hey Graeme. Can you hear me?
Graeme had been fading in and out of consciousness for nearly three days, plagued by disturbing dreams that seemed far too real. Every once in a while, he’d catch a glimpse of Clive or feel Ruth kiss him, and he’d wake up a little.
This was different.Look man, I know you can. It’s Paul. And I can explain everything.
Paul? He furrowed his brow slightly, eyes still tightly shut. Was he hallucinating again? The…well it wasn’t really a voice, but he could hear it loud and clear. What the fuck?, he thought weakly. You and me, we bonded. Like, hardcore Vulcan mind meld bonding, man. And I really am sorry, but that’s not important right now.
Vaguely, he could feel Clive standing over him, saying something in that high-pitched worried tone he always got. He must look ridiculous right now, scrunching his face in concentration over a conversation taking place in his head.
Could he answer back?Paul? Is that really you?
The voice in his head took on a relieved tone. Thank god, I got through. How you holding up, Graeme? Last thing I was aware of, you’re in the hospital, huh?
If he could, he would’ve sat up in shock. Why couldn’t he wake up, damn it?! I think so. I haven’t really woken up yet. I am so sorry for that, Graeme. But there’s an explanation.
Graeme shivered involuntarily. I know. You’re under attack. I kept having these nightmares, and…well, at least I know why now.I don’t have much time, Graeme. I just need a favor. Get in touch with Zoil for me, ok? Everything I know, I taught him. He’s the only guy who could possibly help.What’s going on, Paul?
The voice paused, and fear crept up Graeme’s spine.They’re coming for Earth next.