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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Caleb noted when the smile on Claire's face turned sad, the longer he found himself awake from most of the painkiller haze he was in, the easier he was finding it to start reading Claire again. To notice the odd small tick here and there, he wanted to do something to reassure her, to offer her some form of comfort, damn maybe he should have commented in the end, but he found he just couldn't.

Sure earlier would have been easier to blame on the painkillers he'd been taking, as to why he wouldn't notice the small emotional cues that anyone would put out, but as the painkillers slowly got reduced, to where he pretty much only needed them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, with the odd paracetamol during the day, he was beginning to notice things again.

It was just, at the moment he didn't know how to respond, he remembered making a glib remark when he'd first been taken, was also pretty sure that was how he got the colourful marks on his face, and once he'd gotten back, woken up, the glib remarks, the sarcastic comment didn't want to flow as freely as it once had done. So yeah he didn't know how to reply to some things at the moment, was unsure of his own footing and that was something that frustrated him, if he didn't know his own footing, then how the hell could anyone else.

Caleb did however have to offer a small smile as Claire replied to him, "Then am very glad the wife part is winning," he said, although he did wonder at what point did Claire switch from being his wife to being his doctor.

Had he completely missed them moments when it had happened a few days previous, had she just been playing at doctor the whole time or is wife? He hated that he was thinking like that, that his mind even went down that route, because he knew that no matter what Claire would be 'playing' at anything with him, if there was one thing he could be one hundred percent certain of it was that.

As the sound of an angered Scottish man faded away, Caleb couldn't help chuckling along with Claire, 'basterd' was most definitely about right for him in that moment. Of course last time he'd been called a name like that, had been for other reasons, actually he couldn't remember the last time someone had called him such a name, it had been such a long time ago. Almost a different person ago now, because he knew that he wasn't the same person now.

"I think there might be some apologising to do in the future," he replied quietly, "you'll tell me what the secret is to winning him back over so he doesn't stick me with the biggest needle he's got right?"

He actually did expect Claire to withhold that information if he was being honest with himself, no matter how much he was trying to joke, it didn't change the fact that he had kind of escaped the infirmary, had walked through about two corridors, one transporter and past about four doors to get to their quarters. All without getting caught out, once he was better - if he ever got better - he was definitely going to have to suggest a few security measures, because if he could escape an infirmary, then he was sure that anyone getting into the city could also manage it.

Of course he didn't really need to be thinking about work in that moment, because as he thought about work, he remembered why he had escaped the infirmary in the first place and just exactly why he was in the infirmary in the first place because of his work. His work had never lead him to this kind of situation before in his past, he remembered having a conversation with his parents when he'd first joined the Navy that it wasn't like they saw on TV, he wouldn't be getting into any big 'hot zones' where he'd be getting shot at every minute. That he would be safe and now, sitting there multicoloured bruising dotting his every inch of visible skin, he couldn't help but think that he had lied to them, had let them down, and the frustration of being possible a liar to his parents fuelled the frustration of not remembering anything.

It mixed into one big ball of frustration and once again he had taken it out on Claire, had snapped at her, had told her what he remembered yet he was back to where he started from, he could feel himself frowning at her words. At her insistence that he would get them back, he wasn't sure how much longer he was going to believe that, when he didn't believe it himself any more, that he wasn't sure if he would and he didn't want to admit it out loud.

"You're right never isn't in a doctors vocabulary, not until the persons dead right?" he snapped, his voice laced with anger, pain, and venom as he spat the words at her. As soon as they had left his mouth he wanted to take them back, wanted to lock them away, to have not even thought the damn words, but it was too late now, he had pushed once more, thrown another stone at the glass building.

He ducked his head, anger vanishing almost instantly, it still prickled across his shoulders though making him feel tense, but the anger had been unleashed for that night, he felt better for it in a way. He didn't dare look back up at Claire, even as she asked him to remember that she was his wife, he wanted to find the darkest corner he could and hide from view, but he nodded his agreement at the statement. He'd remember, he would tell himself every time he saw her that she was his wife, she was there to help him, even if he didn't feel like it was going to do any good.

Caleb felt his breath catch at Claire wrapped an arm around his back, he had moved at some point so he was sat on the edge of the sofa, the blanket now pooling at the bottom of his back and he couldn't help the shiver as the cool night air raised goosebumps on his arms. Finally he looked back up at her, as she offered to rub arnica cream into his bruises and damn if that didn't sound like the most appealing thing in that moment, except for one thing, his skin felt like sandpaper, like every nerve was exposed.

"I don't know," he whispered, breath catching as he hauled himself to his feet, it was going to be a long journey back to the bed, "I can't stand..." he stopped talking for a moment, it wasn't that he couldn't stand her touch, damn he wanted her touch so much it hurt at times, it was that he couldn't stand anything touching him, especially on his torso, "my whole body feels like its on fire, I can't stand anyone touching it, even the t-shirt is making me skin crawl."

He said everything in a rush almost embarrassed that he had admitted such a thing, that he didn't want anyone touching him, and for someone that had lived for quite a few years with wanting people to touch him, and that need to touch back, to have that taken away from him, was even worse than the actual torture its self.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:21 am 
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Claire was tired. Tired, and emotional, and, if she admitted it to herself, worn down. The last few days had been harder for her than she had realised, and every time that Caleb chipped away at her, snapped at her, pushed her away, returning to normal and acting as though it hadn't happened became just that little bit harder.

Like Caleb, Claire needed to rest. She needed a good night's sleep where she wasn't tormented by the empty space beside her, or through sleeping on the uncomfortable sofa. She needed to curl up with her husband, feel him beside her, and let the rest of the world drift away. Tonight, it looked as though she was going to get her wish, but not in the best of circumstances.

She and Caleb didn't fight, they never fought, but Claire couldn't help but feel that they were teetering on the edge of something. Exhaustion and frayed tempers weren't the best of combinations, and if you threw Caleb's suffering into the mix, she was afraid they were heading towards something that could change them forever.

Claire returned Caleb's smile as he agreed it was better that the wife side of her won out. "The wife side of me always wins with you," she admitted. Having been almost up to her elbows in his guts a few days beforehand had been weird, to say the least, and she had been relieved to be able to hand over Caleb's care to Carson and the rest of the infirmary staff. Mixing up her duties as a doctor and what she wanted as a wife had been strange, had felt wrong, but, even so, it was difficult to separate the two sometimes.

What she wanted as Caleb's wife often flew directly in the face of what she knew was best for him as a doctor, and, sometimes, it was almost impossible to draw the line.

Rubbing a hand across tired eyes as she laid the comm to one side, Claire smiled softly as Caleb chuckled. "Don't worry about Carson," she reassured him. "A quick apology is all you'll need." She knew that Carson wouldn't blame Caleb for running out, and Claire herself would receive the brunt of her boss' ire when they made their way to the infirmary in the morning. Besides, Caleb didn't need any extra pressure while he was still recovering.

Claire noticed shadows flit across Caleb's face, and wondered what was going through his mind at the moment. While she could tell when he was hiding from her, no matter how well she knew him, she couldn't tell what he was hiding. Sometimes, she wished she could read his mind: it would make things so much easier to get through this.

Especially now.

Swallowing deeply, Claire's eyes grew wide as Caleb snapped again, throwing the ultimate little stinging ball of hurt at her. It was something she had no reply to, and she blinked back tears as she looked away, her gaze cast to the floor. She was so bloody close to tears, but she couldn't let herself cry, not now. Caleb already had enough on his plate, and he needed her to be strong for him, no matter what.

Claire was coming to realise that she wasn't superwoman, she couldn't do everything. She only hoped that she had it in her to be what - and who - Caleb needed to her to be right now. She took a deep breath in, gathering all her reserves as she looked back at the man she loved, her husband. He was looking at the floor, and Claire could feel the tension and anger rolling off him.

She also felt him wince as her arm slid around his back, and she frowned slightly, wondering why he was shying away from her touch now. She stayed by his side as he pushed himself to his feet, ready and willing to take some of his weight, to help him to bed.

Claire's heart broke again as Caleb admitted he couldn't stand anyone - or anything - touching him, and she bit back on tears again. "I'm sorry," she murmured, looking up at him from under her eyelashes. "Do you want me to let go?" She took a deep breath before asking her next question, an inevitable one, given what he had just admitted.

"Would you rather I slept on the sofa, e ipo?" Claire prayed the answer would be a resounding "no", but steeled herself in case, for the first time since they had become a couple, Caleb was going to tell her that he would prefer they spent the night apart.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:04 pm 
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Caleb felt kind of guilt when Claire admitted that the wife side always won with him, he felt like he was taking advantage of the oath she had made, he knew that part of him did the same, that when it came to Claire, the husband side of him won out more than the soldier side of him.

Actually that was something that surprised him if he was honest with himself, was that they were two very different career people and yet it had never caused them to clash before. Of course he also knew that was due to the fact that they had a solid friendship with each other.

Part of him was torn in that moment, he wanted Claire with him, didn’t really want to leave her side, but he didn’t know how he wanted her, he wanted the friendship she offered, but he also wanted his wife. He wanted his wife to know every little thing that had happened, but he also knew telling her would cause more questions, questions he didn’t have the answer to, Caleb found himself wanting Claire to help, but he didn’t know how to ask for that help.

Not only that but there had been moments, like now as he watched her take the radio call, that he realised he would do anything and everything he could to make sure she didn’t end up like he currently was. To make sure that she didn’t get put in the same position he had found himself in and that was all but breaking him as he realised he had to do one thing he swore he would never do. That’s when he knew why he was snapping at her, knew the anger he threw at her was to try to push her away, to keep her safe and in his own stubborn way he didn’t see what it was doing to himself.

All he did know was that even as he smiled tiredly at Claire, knowing that he would apologise to Beckett in the morning was that he was worn to thin, to exhausted, to tired and in too much pain to really think straight at the end of it. It was why he snapped so harshly at her, why he told her that doctors didn’t give up until their patients were dead and yes he regretted the words, but he couldn’t pull them back not now.

It felt like forever that he sat there in silence after he had snapped at her, before he pushed himself forwards, letting Claire help him into a standing position and they began their strange little three-legged race shuffle towards the bed.

“No,” he said almost clutching Claire’s hand as tight as he could, that was the last thing he actually wanted to happen, he had come crawling back to their quarters for a reason and her then going and sleeping on the sofa was not going to be part of it.

He just wanted to not feel like his skin was wanting to fall off him, and he didn’t know if that was due to how he had been handled when with the Genii, how he had been repaired by the medical staff on Atlantis or just if it was just purely from the drugs that had been in his system. Or maybe it was a combination of everything all rolled into one.

“I just don’t know if I could stand you putting that cream on me,” he admitted quietly and he hated that he wasn’t sure if he could stand her touch, he had spent such a long time touching Claire even before they were a couple, he’d always been there with a hand on a shoulder, a hug when one of them needed it and he was missing that more than missing memories at the moment.

“Just…maybe we can try? See what happens?” he suggested, the steps towards the bed had been small, almost insignificant to actually get them to the bed, but he also appreciated the arm that was basically supporting him at that moment.

Her hand might be through the t-shirt which meant it didn’t feel as sharp to his frayed skin, but the rubbing of his t-shirt was short of having his nerves catch on fire, he was going to have to take it off soon. He knew he was, there was no way he was going to be able to sleep in the t-shirt that evening, besides it wasn’t like Claire had kept their quarters cold, it was actually warmer in their quarters than it had been in the infirmary.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:37 pm 
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Claire felt the tiredness wash over her in incessant waves, as though all the sleeplessness of the last few days was landing on her at once. Add to that Caleb's mood swings since he had arrived back at their quarters, how he had snapped at her and was continuing to do so, and she felt as though she was barely hanging on.

This wasn't how she wanted to feel around her husband, but, no matter what she wanted, this was how she felt. And it wasn't something she could share with him, either. Caleb was struggling with his own demons at the moment, and he needed her to be steady, and calm, be his wife and his friend. He didn't need to have to be understanding about how she was feeling, too. Her own emotions were all on her, not on her husband, and it wouldn't be fair to lay any of this on him right now.

Claire pushed a hand back through her hair, thinking that it needed a wash. While she had showered that morning, it had been a long day, a stressful day at times, and it felt limp and slightly greasy. The last few days were really starting to take their toll on her, and she had to admit to feeling her age for the first time in a long time.

Caleb made her feel like a teenager again, but, right now, she felt every one of her 38 years, if not older. The weight of responsibility lay heavy on her shoulders, and her loyalties, although they lay firmly with Caleb, felt as though they were being torn between being his wife, and doing what she knew would be best for him as a doctor. That was proving to be the hardest thing of all.

Claire bit back on a retort as Caleb snapped, swallowing down the pain and the hurt, reminding herself that he didn't mean it, he was in pain, and just lashing out at the one person who would take it and never leave him.

But what if he did mean it?

She buried that little voice deep down, refusing to accept that Caleb might be deliberately goading her, purposely pushing and testing her. That wasn't his style. The man she adored, had promised to share her life with, would never do that to her. He loved her. Claire knew that. She had to believe it right now, otherwise she would never get through this.

Claire jerked her head around sharply to look at Caleb as he squeezed her hand almost painfully tightly, refusing her offer to sleep on the sofa. This was the olive branch she had been waiting for, hoping for, and she squeezed back, even as her other arm slid into position on his back, ready and willing to take some of his weight.

"Kei te aroha au i a koe, e te tau," Claire breathed, offering her husband a quiet smile. These weren't the happiest of times for either of them, and she needed to make the best of what few light moments may come. "I'm not going anywhere, you hear me?" And she didn't just mean for that night. She meant for the rest of her life. She only hoped that Caleb knew that.

Making their slow way to the bedroom, Claire nodded as Caleb explained that he wasn't sure if he could stand the cream being rubbed into his skin. However, he made a small concession, and seemed to be willing to try. "How about you try to rub it in yourself," she offered, wanting to meet him halfway, but still wanting to help him to feel better. Perhaps if the physical bruises faded, it might help.

They reached the bed, and Claire steered Caleb around to his side of the bed - the side where Claire had tried, and failed, to sleep over the last few nights - and helped him to sit. She cocked her head, her eyes warm with concern. "You okay, e taku tōrere?" No matter how tired she was, no matter how upset she had been through Caleb's snapping, he was her first and last priority right now. "Can I get you anything? Do anything for you?"


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:09 pm 
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The move to the bedroom had been a slow one, Caleb couldn't remember the last time he had actually moved this slowly, getting themselves to the bedroom normally consisted of a lot of laughter between the two of them and the almost sombre mood as he shuffled closer to the destination was almost terrifying.

Even before they had gotten into a relationship, things had never been this way between them, this quiet between them, Caleb was almost wishing he could make a joke, see her smile, feel himself smile, maybe even laugh a little. But it took so much energy to try to remember that this was the healing time, he could joke if he wanted to, could make Claire smile as much as he wanted, but all he could see in his mind was his own battered and bruised body.

All he could feel was the bruises as he sat down, stood up, turned over, damn even he took a breath he could feel the bruises and he was reminded again that he'd been taken, that someone had done this to him for a reason he couldn't remember. That he wanted to remember even as his memory showed him the shiny black hole where that time should have been, it was there like a plug in his head, he just couldn't find the right chain to pull to unplug it, to release the memories, to remember something.

Then he'd look at Claire, notice how tired she was, noticed how much energy it must take her to deal with him and he felt guilt run through him, followed by irritation, he shouldn't feel guilty for letting Claire take care of him, he'd do exactly the same for her if their roles were reversed. But he couldn't help it, and then he would snap at her, hear the angry words come tumbling from his mouth and regret them as soon as he'd spoken them, with no way of being able to take them back.

At her promise of her not going anywhere he just nodded his head, he knew she wasn't going to go anywhere and he couldn't help thinking that maybe she should, he was so hurt in that moment, so tired, that he wasn't sure who he was any more. Would he be that same person she had fallen for? Which meant he found himself almost distancing himself from her, without actually talking to her in the first place, he thought he'd be easier, thought she'd get the hint. Maybe he needed to have a more direct approach, but it wasn't going to happen that night, he was too tired, too sore to do much more than shamble his way with Claire at his side to their bedroom.

Once he was sat down on the edge of the bed, he let out a very audible sigh of relief, he had never known the walk to their bedroom to be so far and he found the t-shirt he'd been in for most of the evening now stuck even more to his body. As quickly as he could, with one hand (a skill he had picked up the last few day) he managed to get himself out of the shirt, smiling almost shy like up at Claire.

“Sorry it was uncomfortable,” he apologised, almost as though he was waiting for her to tell him to put another top on, to hide the marks littered across his body and he wouldn't blame her if that did happen.

Caleb wasn't vein by any means, but he did like to think he had a fairly nice looking body one he had no qualms about showing off when it came to being with Claire, but since he'd seen the bruises, seen the holes that were left in his sides, it wasn't that he had become self conscious of his body. It was more than he didn't like seeing the marks there and not knowing what they had been given for, all the marks on his body, especially the red bullet wound and chest drain sight told a story that he couldn't tell. He didn't want them on show until he could say what them marks were there for as daft as it sounded in his head.

He found himself holding her hand as she stood in front of him, not wanting to loose contact with her just yet, he wanted to try the cream Claire had suggested, but he wasn't sure he would be able to stand himself touching his body, never mind anyone else. Caleb found himself staring the hand he held, running a thumb across the back of her hand, taking comfort in the smoothness of her hand, wondering numbly if his own skin would get to feel that normal ever again.

“I'd say you could do anything you wanted to me,” he said quietly, looking up her at finally, a small spark of the old Caleb (and that was weird to think to himself, that there was a different version of himself now) just below the surface, “but I think we'd get in trouble for leaving more bruises.”

Not that he had ever left bruises in the past on Claire, but there had been times when they hadn't exactly been soft and gentle with each other. There were the odd mornings he got up feeling aches in places he had forgotten about, but there would always have been a smile on his face and a tease to Claire about a round two.

Caleb found himself bringing her hand to his lips, kissing it gently before all but pulling her down to sit next to him, he was sure that there wasn't much strength in his pull at the moment and had Claire wanted to she could most definitely refuse to sit next to him.

“Just sit here for a moment,” he murmured, he hadn't once taken his eyes from her, “just for a moment before I go to sleep, something normal, well as normal as we get right?”


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:53 pm 
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Claire couldn't miss Caleb's silence. It was uncharacteristic and concerning. However, they were both tired, and Caleb, in particular, would be desperately in need of a good night's sleep. His injuries would have taken everything out of him, and she would doubt that he got any rest while he was with the Genii. Much as Claire wanted to sleep herself, she needed to make sure that Caleb was comfortable and settled first.

Not that that was going to prove easy, it appeared. Caleb was clearly in pain and discomfort as he lowered himself to the edge of the bed, finally allowing himself to rest properly. Claire's eyes were soft as she watched Caleb. He was desperate to be independent, yet seemingly desperate for her help, and she didn't know if he realised that he was crying out for both.

Whether he would be able to have both depended on him.

Claire would be more than happy to help him be as independent as possible, but it would definitely mean that he would need to accept her help. She smiled gently as Caleb nodded when she told him she wasn't going anywhere. She still didn't know whether he realised precisely what she meant by that, but, maybe as time drew on, he would.

Smiling as Caleb's sigh of relief echoed quietly through their bedroom, Claire stopped herself from helping as he tugged at his t-shirt. "Nice trick," she remarked, her voice warm and coloured with amusement. When she looked at him, she didn't see the bruises or the wounds, didn't see the damaged man in front of her.

What she saw was the kind, funny, sweet man she had fallen in love with, and who was lurking just underneath the surface of the hurt that armoured the man in front of her. Caleb was still the same man she had fallen for, the same man she adored. Claire just wondered how long it would take him to realise what she already knew.

"Don't apologise," she replied, a smile twitching at her lips, one that could almost be described as flirtatious, but tempered with the tiniest hint of wariness. She didn't know how Caleb would react to something that was slightly more "normal" between them, even though he seemed to be craving that normality and that every day interaction. "With shirt, without... I love you just the same."

It felt important to Claire to remind Caleb that she loved him, no matter what. The shirt was the least of their issues right now. Bruises and injuries or not, Caleb was the man she had fallen in love with, pledged her life to, and she would never leave him, no matter what. If they'd spoken their vows to one another, it would definitely have included "for better for worse, in sickness and in health". Claire certainly had no intention of anything other than death parting them.

Claire smiled - a more natural smile, less tempered with tiredness - as Caleb held her hand, even as she stood beside the bed. She couldn't stop herself from laughing as Caleb finally showed a spark of his usual self. "Oh, I think we could avoid bruises," she murmured, her eyes locked on his, full of love.

And maybe a little hint of hope, too.

The smile almost turned to a grin, Claire's eyes sparkling, as Caleb kissed her hand and tugged gently, asking her to sit beside him. She didn't need asking twice, and, her fingers lacing with his, she lowered herself to the bed, sitting close enough to touch.

"Whatever you like," she breathed, cautiously letting her head rest on his shoulder, hoping that it wouldn't be too much for him. "Are you okay with that," she asked, even as she gave his hand a squeeze, letting Caleb set the pace of things, not wanting him to go through anything that would make him uncomfortable. Claire turned her head and dropped a soft kiss onto Caleb's shoulder. "You need a t-shirt before you go to sleep, e ipo, or are you okay?"


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:31 pm 
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Caleb could feel himself almost turn red at the compliment after he'd taken the shirt off, he'd been kind of reluctant to actually take the t-shirt off in the infirmary due to the fact people visiting would kind of stare at the bruises and he knew what they were thinking, the same thing he was thinking. What the hell had happened to him? Or he had the infirmary staff glancing over at him, assessing him, making sure he didn't pull a stitch there or that none of the bruises suddenly turned purple in the space of the last ten minute look. It actually got tiresome everyone looking at him all the time and that was coming from someone who was normally the centre of attention nine times out of ten, of course in those times he hadn't been quite so badly hurt.

He offered Claire a small shrug, “Can't exactly lift my arm to pull the top off, and as nice as the nurses are I didn't want them...” he took a breath in, “didn't want them touching me. Just you.”

It wasn't that the nurses weren't gentle, everyone had been gentle with him, asking him if he was okay, were they hurting him, did it hurt there or here, and as much as he appreciated the gentleness, he didn't think he could handle being moved about too roughly, he found himself wanting to shout at them. He wasn't made of glass dammit, he was fine, he could do stuff himself, hence how he had managed to take his own t-shirt off, although he couldn't remember the last time he'd had a proper shower so he probably didn't smell the nicest.

But that didn't seem to matter to Claire as she sat next him, and he let out another breath one he didn't realise he had been holding, almost afraid that she wouldn't have sat next to him and he felt himself relax that little bit further when her head rested on his shoulder. Damn he was sure that having her rest some of her weight on him should have hurt, everything always hurt at the moment, but it didn't, he didn't tense up, didn't feel any flare of pain as he sat there, drawing in the comfort that she was offering and he could have sat there in that moment for...well for years if he was being honest with himself.

Caleb huffed out a small laugh at the bruises reply, “You shouldn't make the injured bloke laugh you know,” he teased back, almost afraid to raise his voice encase he broke the moment they seemed to be sharing, as though he would find himself in the turmoil of the last few days if he spoke louder.

He found his hand was still tightly entwined with Claire's, now resting on the top of his pyjama clad leg and there was a small something at the back of his mind that was trying to push him to see if he could move things forward, move things in a more pleasant direction. He stared at the hand as though almost willing something to happen, as though he expected Claire to be able to read his mind and take the initiative, and something did happen, although not what he had in mind as she kissed his bare shoulder.

The last few times people had touch his bare skin had, had his skin on fire, had made him feel sore, as though ever nerve had come alive. Yet the kiss, the kiss didn't trigger that in him at that moment and maybe he was just so tired his body couldn't be arsed to respond he didn't know, but he didn't flinch, didn't move, just let her kiss sink into his skin as though that was all that was needed to heal him.

Caleb took a breath, leant his cheek against the top of her head, ignoring the slight sting of a bruise as he put pressure on his cheek – he was lucky they hadn't managed to split any skin open on his face – as he took a moment to breath her in. Everything was right with the world in that moment, this is what he had come home for, what had kept him fighting, even as that little worm of guilt wiggled in his stomach at the fact he had put her through this, it was his fault they were sat they way they were.

He hadn't realised he had been nodding off until he moved slightly, seemingly jolting himself back awake, he lifted his head, kissed the top of Claire's as he let himself sit up a bit straighter, he was starting to ache being sat there like that, muscles protesting at being held up right for so long.

“Am fine as I am,” he answered quietly, almost fidgeting without moving, “I just need, I need to sit back, this up right business isn't quiet meant for this time of night, or for someone with this amount of bruising, do you mind?” he asked, meaning for her to move and to help him so he could lay himself back against the ever more inviting pillows that he was pretty damn sure where calling his name at that moment.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Claire's eyelashes fluttered slightly as Caleb admitted that he didn't want anyone other than her touching him. He must have been through one hell of an ordeal, and, while a tiny part of her felt almost flattered that her husband didn't want another woman's hands on his skin, Claire knew that it went much, much deeper than Caleb wanting to remain a one-woman man for the first time in many years.

"I think we can make sure that nobody else touches you," she replied, her voice soft in the dim light of their bedroom. For the first time in many days, it felt like home again. No matter that they weren't formally married, they were a family, and it didn't feel right without Caleb there. There and then, Claire decided that, no matter what, she would talk Carson into discharging Caleb the following day. Everything else could be done without him having to spend the nights in the infirmary as well.

"Haven't you heard the phrase 'laughter is the best medicine'," her own voice just as teasing as his, although it was tempered with exhaustion. "Maybe I should roll you onto your back and tickle you better!" She was grinning as her head settled onto Caleb's shoulder.

Claire's eyes drifted closed for a few moments as her head rested on his shoulder, their fingers tangled together. It felt right for Caleb to be home, even though he had had to escape the infirmary to be there. Claire tucked that part of things to the back of her mind. Tonight, it was all about him, all about Caleb being comfortable and relaxed, and it would do no good for her to remind him about his moonlight flit. It would only make him feel bad.

She felt Caleb relax even more as she dropped a kiss onto his bare shoulder. Normally, that action would simply be a prelude to more, a prelude to something altogether more pleasurable, no matter how tired they both were. It would be a terrible idea tonight, though, if she were to try to take things further. It would simply delay Caleb's recovery. Claire couldn't deny that it crossed her mind, though.

Caleb's head dropped onto hers, and she was more comfortable now, even utterly exhausted, and with everything that Caleb had been throwing at her, than she had been for days. It felt as though - just maybe - there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and that Caleb would be able to get through the worst of this without something coming between them irrevocably.

Claire could feel Caleb's head getting heavier, and she felt him jerk as he came to. Lifting her head from his shoulder, she offered him a sleepy smile. "Hey there, Rip Van Winkle," she teased, her voice soft and warm. "I'd be inclined to agree that you need to lie down." She dropped another kiss onto his shoulder, even as she moved away, her hand still in his for now, her eyebrows raised.

"Why would I mind," she answered, smiling as she stood, waiting for a few moments at Caleb's side of the bed. "You want a hand, or are you okay?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:48 am 
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Caleb didn't really comment back on the remark Claire made about no one else touching him, he didn't think at that moment in time that, that was going to be a promise that either of them were going to be able to keep. Although he did have to admit, even to himself that it was nice to have the words said out loud.

He couldn't help laughing some more as Claire sat next to him, and he felt himself actually flush, actual full on red in the face flush at her words. Damn he had never really gotten embarrassed over comments like that before, damn he was normally the one making comments like that and watching everyone else blush. It wasn't that he was embarrassed now as such, it was just...well he would like nothing more than Claire to actually follow through with what she had just said. To have that laughter back in their relationship again.

“If you're putting me on my back it better not be for just some damn tickling,” he teased back, surprised at his own words. He could feel the first stirrings of something in his stomach, something that had been pretty damn absent since he'd woken up, but nothing strong enough for him to actually do anything about, sure his mind might be willing, but his body just wasn't going to be playing ball any time soon.

As the laughter trickled away, leaving in its wake a rather soft contentment in the air, something that Caleb hadn't felt in...well he hadn't felt like this – happy, sleepy, relaxed – since before this whole fiasco had started and he didn't want it to end. The longer he lingered in this happy and relaxed state the more he felt the frustration dripping away, the hurt no longer such a prominent thing, and he just felt...well if he was being honest with himself then he was kind of feeling a bit like his old self.

So what if he found he had drifted off for a moment, it didn't matter, Claire was there to hold him, to keep him safe and he let himself pull that feeling around him, almost like a blanket. It was protecting him and he didn't want to crawl out from underneath it any time soon, of course when he realised he wasn't going to be upright much longer he had to pull himself awake.

Back to the land of the awake people, and that was when the ache made its self known again, he had spent the last few days walking around the infirmary and then resting against pillows, the bed whatever he was sat in, yet since his little escape from the infirmary he hadn't done that and it was beginning to show.

As Claire moved in front of him, he smiled as another kiss was placed on his shoulder, he didn't want to break contact with her, but when she asked why would she mind at his question he just looked at her.

She should mind, she should have a problem with putting her bo...hus...partner to bed, she shouldn't have to be doing this for him, he frowned at his own line of thought, we should be very much laughing and joking, having fantastic sex, not helping me into bed like some kind of eighty year old.

He bit his tongue though, kept the thoughts to himself as he shook his head slightly at himself, he knew Claire would have no problem helping him – she wasn't a doctor for nothing – but he hated that he needed help in the first place. That nice easy feeling from a moment ago was disappearing quickly, as he let himself be helped further onto the bed.

Caleb couldn't however contain the sigh of relief as all pressure from being upright left him and damn the bed had never felt as comfortable as it did in that moment, he found himself closing his eyes almost immediately, yet somehow opened them again to look at Claire.

He hadn't actually yet let go of her hand, “You know if this was any other night, I would....” he paused, gave her a smile, “I would definitely not be letting you just stand there with that many clothes on,”


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Smiling as Caleb blushed intensely at her offer to tickle him better, Claire was somewhat surprised as Caleb made it clear that, if she put him on his back, tickling would be the last thing he wanted. Tickling would be the last thing on her mind as well, but now was not the time to admit that. Given half a chance, she'd push him back onto the bed, straddle him, and have her way with him.

Now was not the time, however. No matter how much they both wanted to return to normal, Caleb's recovery was paramount. Claire wasn't going to jeopardise his recovery for a quick roll in the hay, no matter how much either of them might want that right now. There would be plenty of time for that once he was feeling better.

And Claire had every intention of making up for all the missed opportunities.

"You can bet that won't be what we're doing," she promised, her eyes sparkling with amusement. "And I fully expect you to hold me to that, okay?" Claire dared to hope that this conversation - this small return to normality - was the start of better things. This was the most normal things had been since Caleb had returned, even if it wouldn't end the way they would like it to.

This was the kind of conversation that, as they became more frequent, would hopefully anchor Caleb back into normality, and they would be able to move on from his ordeal. Of course, this was all dependent on Caleb remembering what had happened to him. If he couldn't, Claire knew it would eat him up inside, and he would never be able to get past what had happened to him. If that was the case, Claire was terrified to imagine what that might mean for him, or for them.

However, for now, Claire let herself enjoy the contented quiet that had settled over them, revelling in the warmth from Caleb's body as it leached through the thin t-shirt that she was wearing. It was one of Caleb's shirts: she had wanted to feel close to him while they were apart. It hadn't quite worked.

Caleb's expression was inscrutable as Claire moved before getting ready to get him into bed, and she frowned slightly, wondering what was going through his head. Given that his moods were turning on a dime, she wondered whether or not he was about to explode again, and she steeled herself for more anger and frustration. She would have to admit that she was surprised when it didn't come, and she let out a long, slow, silent breath of relief.

Claire smiled softly as Caleb sighed with relief when he let himself sink back into the pillows. His fingers were still tangled tightly with hers, almost as though he didn't want to let her go. The feeling was mutual, but Claire needed sleep as well. She stood there for a few moments, watching Caleb as he drifted off as soon as his head hit the pillows.

She was about to extricate her fingers from his when his eyes flickered open, and Claire burst into laughter as Caleb made it very clear what he would like to do, if he could. "Who says you have to," she said, her voice soft, as she finally released her fingers from his. She locked eyes with him, and, slowly, sensually, she grabbed the hem of the t-shirt she was wearing, and tugged it over her head. She dropped it to the floor, revealing the fact that she was wearing nothing other than a pair of black cotton panties.

"Your wish is my command," she murmured, heading around the end of the bed and slipping in beside him, pulling the covers up over both of them. Shifting to her side, Claire watched Caleb for a moment, unsure whether he would be okay with her snuggling up. However, she moved close enough to allow Caleb to cuddle up if he wanted to. She arched her eyebrows for a moment.

"You want to pull that Ancient gene trick and turn the lights off, e te tau?"


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