There was no light where they were. Obviously, because the hospital itself was seven miles underground. At first, Rey had panicked when he had come to the Rougue Rebellion Group, but his one friend had assured him that they were safe from enemy fire. Rey was an only child, a rebel at birth. But yet his parents loved him, they wanted a fine young man for the future generations to look up to, so they wasted no efforts on his education and discipline. He went to the Democracy's most prestigious schools, boot camps, became a Lt. by the time was fourteen for the Young Generation's Army. That was when the sun had shone on the soldier, he had the world at his fingertips and he could manipulate anything and make it bend his way. Everything seemed to go exactly how he wanted it to go... Then the war came raining hellfire on his fragile existence. His mother was shot during a raid, helping the rebel soldiers escape from his town. His mother was a doctor, so she had healed many of the dying soldiers- both good and evil. His father had died taking a bullet for his friend, Sebastian, who had been shot anyways a few days later in an underground hideout. Rey was on the side of the Democracy at first, he had even pledged his blood to the Armies of the Senators, but the death of his parents had been too high a price. He fled and lived in the mountains for a year until he had become ill with a fever, then he was miraculously found by an old man who had been apart of the Rebellion group for many years. The old man, known as the General, stayed with Rey as he recovered and gave the boy hope for the days ahead. Because of the General, Rey had turned Rebel, or just realized who he really was at heart.
Because of that old man, he was here, sitting at Ara's bedside watching her try and figure out what to do with her gunned down way of life. Ara had asked weakly where he had come from, but he had stayed quiet. He wanted to keep his history where it was: in the past. He had put a mental block up, and that's how he wanted to keep it. Rey stayed by Ara's side as she healed, much like the General had done for him. He even steadied her by the waist as she decided to walk. The feel of her trusting her tiny body in his shaky hands was a marvelous thing to Rey. She clung to him tightly as they walked down the hall, regaining use of her legs. When she smiled, it intoxicated him, but in a good way. Her thin physique made him worry for the first time in two years. She looked like she hadn't eaten much in the past few months.
"You got it it?" He asked her as he loosened his grip on her waist. Ara nodded," Yeah, I think i've got it."
Reluctantly, he let her go, but kept her in reaching distance, " There you go, try it." He suggested. Ara placed one foot in front of herself as she managed to stagger across a few cracked tiles. Seeing her mobile made Rey feel... almost uneeded. Soon she would be able to leave the hospital and move to a reabilitaion center for survivors and he would be stationed somewhere else. Heaven knows where. As he watched her carefully from behind, he realized something: for the first time since he joined the Rebellion, he didn't feel alone. She made him feel... alive. He scoffed inwardly, that couldn't be possible. He was a man, he prided himself in that. She was... a woman, a girl! He stopped, no, she was Ara. The one whose hope radiated and screamed for him to get her out of that hellhole. She wasn't human, he remembered that. She was... just like him. A cry interupted his thought process as he saw Ara stumble forward, in a split second he caught her and gingerly held her close. The smell of hospital soap and ointments penetrating his nostrils.
"It's okay, Ara. Are you okay?" He asked, untangling her appendages from themselves. Doctors and soldiers glanced at them, but didn't say a word.
"No, I can't walk!" She cried, hiding her head in his chest.
He gave her his most reassuring smile," You can't just walk on your first try. You have to take it slow."
Ara just sighed, leaning heavier on his chest. Rey gave a knowing nod and swiftly ( but gently) took her into his brawny arms and carried her back to her room.
"I could have walked." She muttered to him. Rey gave a stout shake of his head," No way you were walking all the way back to your room." He leaned closer to her ear," Maybe another day."
Ara looked up at him and nodded, not completely agreeing, but she knew that it wasn't time to walk out by herself just yet. Her body was surprisingly light in his arms, she was warm. Rey loved to have her that close to him, it made him remember that he wasn't a machine.
" Hey," He said, smiling down at her," at least you walked down the hall. Not most can in a matter of a few days." Ara looked up at him with a doe eyed expression," I just want to be better."
" And you will get better, you just need to take it slow-"
A soft rumbling came from the bed rock and the lights flickered more strongly than before, the girl sat up in bed," What was that?" Rey stood, and peaked out the door. The HQ was only a floor up, they would know, but he already knew what had just happened. A soft whimpering made him turn back to the weak survivor in the bed. " I'm scared." She said quietly, her trembling was visible and her skin had turned whiter than it ever had been.
" Ara, it'll be just fine. No one can get you down here. They don't even know that you exist. You're safe."
" How am I safe?" She asked, pulling at her pasty skin. The question struck him like a lightnening bolt. In truth, how were any of them safe? The answer was simple: none of them were safe. But she had to be. He would make sure of her safety. He sat down on the bed and looked her dead in the eye," Because I'll keep you safe.'' He answered, reaching for her shoulders and holding her between them his strong hands. The answer and the gesture from the soldier boy seemed to quell her anxiety because she laid back and closed her eyes," I'll take your word for it." She whispered and let her exhaustion set in. The rumbling and the crashing continued, but she was oblivious to it all in her sleep. Rey placed an arm around Ara hesitantly and pulled her close as he was fast falling asleep. As his eyes closed peacefully, he whispered," You have my word..."
Six feet, or point blanc is where Rey took the shot. The pain was as hard as white hot iron blowing up his chest cavity. He was knocked back several feet into a cement wall. His vision was blurred, then blackened as he sunk to the mud below him. His first thought was Ara, he couldn't die after being beside her that whole time. He had to live, he had to keep breathing for her. It had been a month and she was doing well, he was doing even better, his life was vibrant again- but now it was leaking through a gaping hole near his heart. He gasped as the smoke from grenades stung his eyes and filled both his lungs. He let out a yell as his voice almost gave out. All the rebel soldiers were evacuating the area, they had to retreat. The lab had been a lost cause- a trap to get most of the better soldiers dead. And the democracy seemed to have suceeded in their endeavour. Rey gritted his teeth, he was dying, but he wouldn't go with out a fight. He bit off the top of the hand grenade that he had left in his pocket and threw it towards the building that held most of the steriods used to make the super soldiers.
Bricks, cement blocks and metal flew to all corners of the vecinity. He let out a breath as his vision gave out. He heard cheers, but he guessed that was the enemy. He laid down painfully as tears rolled down his bruised and burned cheeks. Ara... He had never got to say goodbye to his... his girl.
" Don't worry buddy, you'll be just fine." said a faint voice. It was his buddy Brix who was yelling over him, his hands pushing against his chest with force. " This man needs help! Get him out of here!" Rey struggled to listen, but it was all too jumbled and painful to figure out. He was so tired. The dust tasted rancid in his mouth. His chest felt like it had exploded, blood had leaked into his hair. He raised his hand to his head as it burned. He tried to open his eyes, but he was too weak.
" God let me live... I need her..." He slurred, head falling to the side. He felt himself being picked up and carried roughly to the medivac. The wetness of blood tasted irony on his lips as he felt his body grow weak and cold. Never in his life had he ever felt such a miserable and agonizing panic.
Ara worked in the emergency ward. The same one that she had been brought into over a month ago. She loved it, the challenges that she faced and the lives she had saved was miraculous. Everyone wondered at her ability to save the lives she did. They admired the thin little creature that flitted from place to place with a single blonde braid that hung from her head and a smile that seemed to calm the wounded civilians and soldiers that entered her care. Rey was invincible in her eyes. He always made it back with just a bruise, she expected him to come back so she could run to him and throw her arms around him now that she had brought up the courage. The commotion had caught her attention away from the clipboard in her hand. Ten people were around a body that was being wheeled in from the medivac elevator. She watched them flurry in and followed closely behind. Her eyes glanced closer at the gurney and her heart missed one beat. Her little feet slowed to a stop and the clipboard crashed from her hands as one of the paramedics slid to the side to reveal the bashed in chest of her soldier boy. The blood drained from her face.
It was Rey.
" Rey," she whispered. He laid limp, his arm swinging from the edge of the gurney. The flurry of people made Ara dizzy. His blood left a trail on the tarnsihed tiles.
" Rey!" She cried out louder, staggering towards him. She reached out, grazing his hand before a pair of thick arms held her in place.
" Dane, let go of me!" she said, fighting against the man's grip. Dane held her firmly.
" No, Ara. He needs to be taken care of. Calm down."
" He'll die without me!" She cried, tears and a sob choking her small throat. Dane held her against his chest as she buried her head submissively into his shoulder," He can't die... not now."
" He won't. Rey will make it just fine." The brown haired man told her. In truth, he wasn't sure of anything at the moment. He felt afraid for his colleague, but did not let it show on his face," You need to rest. Go back to the house. I'll get you if anything happens." Dane whispered quietly in her ear. She nodded reluctantly and walked away listlessly. She felt helpless against it all.
She didn't go home, she ran to Rey's quarters and pushed open the door, of the empty apartment. He had always told her to go to his place if she ever felt threatened or afraid. Now, she used his injuries for an excuse to be there. It was dim, the sun had gone down and there was only one window in the whole apartment. There was a couch in the corner, but she stood in the room- alone, dreadfully alone. Ara hugged herself tightly.
" Rey will be okay." She whispered to the room," He's strong enou-" That's when the tears started to flow freer than before. Ara collapsed onto the threadbare couch and let her cries be muffled by the old cushions.
God don't take my Angel.
It took Ara five hours to regain strength to go back to her work department in the hospital. Her hands still shook as she took the elevator back down to her ICU level, but other than that, she was quite composed. Dane had told her that Rey had made it through the first few hours without any complications, this made Ara feel better, but she still hadn't slept well enough to earn any rest. The people that she passed gave her sympathetic smiles and told her a small hello every once in a while as she made a bee line for Rey's room. She stopped near a very familiar room: the room she had been in a month ago. Ara took a breath and turned the knob.
Rey was asleep, a cannula pushed into his nose and bandages covering his torso. Ara steadied herself against the doorframe as she swallowed her nausea and lightheadedness. She had seen many injuries, some even worse than this, but she couldn't help but look at how different he looked. He was whiter, and his eyes were sunken in, but she could see his chest move up and down in a rythmic pattern. His hair was mussed and burned, but otherwise, he was still her soldier boy. She walked closer to him and reached out to touch him. Her fingers drew over his bruised cheek. He was sweaty and his lips scratched and torn. He looked awful. But Ara sighed with relief. He was here and very real. She wasn't dreaming. With her other hand, she took his hand in hers and laced her fingers through his.
" You'll be okay, Rey. I'm here." She whispered in his ear. His head moved slowly to the side and a grimace pulled on his blistered lips," Ara? It's not safe..." He muttered, eyes still closed. She moved his hair from his forehead," No, you're safe, everything's done."
" You're safe... " Rey murmered before falling back into a daze.
Ara nodded." I'm safe."
She fell asleep there with his hand in hers. The monitor was beeping in a calm rythm and quietly filled the small bedroom. Rey laid motionless, he seemed asleep, but he knew that Ara was there, he could feel her, her warmth, her heartbeat; just feeling her made him feel..alive. Her palm was warm in his clammy one, her hope seemed to radiate like it did when he had found her. It was like her super power. Rey felt resolve boil in his chest, he would live.
Slowly, he opened his eyes and turned his head to face the sleeping blonde at his side. Moving hurt Rey but, it was worth it. Her face rested on his bedside, her breathing almost inaudible except for a small mumbling now and then. He groggily raised his free hand and placed it gently on her small head and realized something rather important: he loved her.
Not a simple, brief kind of love, but a deep, and complex love with many layers that buried many fears. He had an urge to protect her, and he would- with his life. Ara was his little Angel, no one would take her away.