Sleep now, you’re home.


She’d fallen asleep in the armchair beside their bed.  Her neck was stiff and it was disorienting to wake up in the room now filled with the fading light of the day.  She had only intended to sit for a minute or two after checking on him, to rest her eyes for a moment.  Had she been asleep an hour, two?

“I’ll tell you everything.  Anything you want to know … when I wake up.  You won’t like it, but … I’ll tell you.”

But he hadn’t woken up yet.  Not for days.  That first night when she’d found him again, she hadn’t slept at all, leaning against his shoulder and listening to his every sound and breath.  He’d talked a lot in his sleep.  It had been fitful and troubled.  And on arriving home, she’d drawn him a bath, watching him from the doorway as he’d cleaned himself up, tending to the more minor wounds on his face and upper body afterwards, and she hadn’t asked a single question.  She trusted him.  If he said he would tell her everything, then he would, when he was ready.  And until then, she wouldn’t be going anywhere.

She tilted her head forward and rubbed at her sore neck, and he stirred at that moment, murmuring her name.  She turned to see that he was still half asleep, and rolled towards the side of the bed where she lay, reaching for her.  She smiled and reached to touch his shoulder from where she sat.

“Dae, “she spoke softly, “I’m h-here.”

He startled and turned over, a faint smile curling the corners of his mouth and she moved from her chair to sit down on the edge of the bed, brushing a strand of hair across his forehead, out of his eyes.  He seemed happy for a moment, just a fleeting moment, but then that look was back.  She saw it in his eyes.  He was physically here, yes, but he was miles away, still.  Burdened.

She slipped into the bed beside him and his arms moved to fold around her readily and she nestled herself into his front, resting her head against his chest, tracing the line of a scar with her fingertips absently.

“I’m sorry…”he began to say, but nothing followed except the sounds of his soft snoring.

“I’ll tell you everything.  Anything you want to know … when I wake up.”

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