Who: Bill Weasley, Remus Lupin
Where: St. Mungo's
Summary: Remus wakes up for the first time, and begins to realize something is very wrong
Bill paced along the cold hospital room. He'd been there, by Remus' side during his entire sickness. There were slight stirrings from him, but nothing more. Bill was feeling nervous and nauseated. When was he going to wake up? Was he going to be all right?
With a sigh, Bill came to the side of Remus' bed and sat down on the chair next to it. There Remus was, motionless and with his eyes closed. The only sounds of the room were the soft 'drip, drip, drip's from the magical IV that was jammed into Remus' arm and Remus' soft, laboured breathing. Bill grabbed Remus' hand and held it, rubbing his thumb over the surface.
He's so cold. Remus… why won't you wake up? Wake up, Remus, please. Wake up.
He wasn't certain how long he had been floating in the darkness, but gradually things began to impinge upon his conscious like stars coming out in the night. At first there were sounds, small snatches of voices around him uttering words that he couldn't fathom. Then scents, acrid, chemical smells that he didn't like, that reminded him distantly of times he would rather forget. Finally, though, it was the pain that filled him, burning like electricity along his nerves, that forced him up out of the darkness and into the light.
Groaning in pain, Remus opened his eyes.
Time stopped. Bill began hyperventilating. Was he seeing things, or were Remus' eyes really opened? His body went rigid. OhmygodhesawakewhatdoIdo?
"Remus! Oh my god, Remus?! Are you awake?" Bill felt himself shouting, but he didn't care. Was he really awake, or was it another one of those 'wake-and-fall-asleep-again?' sort of deals?
A voice called his name, and Remus blinked, focussing only on the white that seemed to surround him, and the fire that seemed to burn through every part of his body. Then he became vaguely aware of another sensation, one more specific and immediate than the torment of his nerve endings, which had him feeling as though he were suspended in that horrid moment just before a transformation, when his body ceased to be human and became a monster.
Concentrating on the pressure, he gradually worked it out. His hand. Someone was squeezing his hand so tightly that it was almost being crushed by the force. But the sensation was welcome, because it helped him clear away the fog of agony in his brain, enough so that he could cast his eyes to that side, and blearily make out a flash of color in the whiteness. Red. Blazing, brilliant red. Drawing in a breath, he caught the familiar scent, and a shudder ran through him as he squeezed back the hand that held his own.
Not sure if he could speak, he concentrated again, drawing a deep, painful breath, and forcing it out in a exhalation past his dry lips. "Bill?"
He was there! Remus was there, squeezing his hand back. He had even spoken his name… Bill shuddered as the feeling of relief ran down his spine. Tears spilled from his eyes and splashed down his cheeks. He gave a relieved sob, though his throat clenched tight and refused to be worked.
"Oh my god, Remus!" He fought the urge to jump onto the bed and maul Remus with hugs and kisses - he doubted that the older man could handle it in his condition. "Remus… you're awake. I've missed you. Oh my god, I've missed you."
Turning his head, Bill yelled out towards the door, "He's awake! Remus woke up! GET THE HELL IN HERE, HE WOKE UP!" His attention turned, once more, to his lover. He leaned over the side of the bed and planted a kiss on the top of his forehead. "Remus!"
Confusion. Why was he here, why did it hurt? "Why... what... happened?" he asked, voice barely above a whisper. "Hurts... Bill."
The softness of Remus' voice calmed Bill down ever so slightly. He frowned, staring his lover in the eye. They were filled with pain… so much pain. Bill's heart panged, and he felt more tears creep from his eyes. Remus didn't understand why he was there.
"Remus… you were poisoned. I don't know how. Nobody gave me details, but it was bad. You… you almost…" A sob escaped Bill, and he didn't bother trying to hide it. His body shook. "You've been in here for so long. I've been so scared…"
Bill's distress was like a knife in his heart, and Remus reached up with his other hand, laying it against his Bill's cheek. "S'okay. I'm here," he reassured his lover, although the word poison had sent an icy dagger of fear through him. Only one thing, there was only one thing that could have done this to him, could make him feel like this... could almost kill him. Silver, he thought numbly. Who... why?
Stroking Bill's cheek with a trembling hand, Remus felt the tears. "Sorry..." he murmured. "I'm... sorry."
"No, Remus. No, don't be sorry. It wasn't your fault." Bill took a gulp of breath, sighed, and clasped his hand over that of Remus' that caressed his cheek. "The only person who should be sorry is Snape." His eyes narrowed and the feeling of sickness smacked Bill in the stomach. "I swear, Snape is involved in this."
"When I heard what'd happened… Hannah came and told me… I came to St. Mungo's as soon as I could. I found Snape lingering over you. You told me yourself just a little while ago that he wanted to kill you. He had his opportunity, didn't he? But he'd knocked it up, messed up somehow… so he wanted to finish the job and came to St. Mungo's to do so."
"Oh my god, Remus. I've been here night and day, watching over you so that damn git wouldn't come back and get you."
Bill sniffled and wiped away some of his tears. "I've been watching over you."
Severus? Remus started in surprise at Bill's accusation. Yes, Severus hated him, but... dead? So much that he would truly want him dead?
Closing his eyes again, Remus breathed deeply, painfully. Can't be... can it? I can't think... not now. Hurts too much. "Thank you, Bill," he replied instead. He brought Bill's hand that was clasping his own to his lips, brushing them over his palm and breathing in the familiar, reassuring scent of his lover, letting it soothe him. "You're good... to me."
Bill squeezed his eyes closed, reassured by the feel of Remus that he was alright. He felt giddy. The whole inside of him was singing praises and joy, and his mind was screaming in happiness, but no words seemed to explain what exactly it was that he was feeling. Bill leaned over and kissed Remus' forehead once more, feeling the warmth against his lips. "I can't believe you're awake. I've been so lonely without you... so damn worried."
"And I can't believe that Severus would actually pull something like that. Ooh!" He disentangled himself from Remus and stood up to once more pace across the room. "It pisses me off to even think about it." Bill tapped his thigh with his fist. "He's very, VERY lucky that you woke up, Remus, I'll tell you that right now."
"Bill... Shhh... S'okay," Remus said, trying to comfort him. He swallowed hard, closing his eyes again. No, can't think about it... Could Severus really hate me so much? I... don't want to believe it. Instead, he concentrated on the feel of his body, trying to look beyond the pain, trying to find the signs that his lycanthropy was fighting the poison, returning him to health... but what he found made him go utterly cold. I'm dying... It's going to kill me. I can feel it.
"Bill, please, come here. Please... hold me," Remus asked, shivering. "Please, I need you."
The worried tone of Remus' voice made Bill stop in his tracks. He frowned and made way to his lover's side once more. "I'm sorry, Remus. I'm right here. I'll be right here when you fall asleep, I'll be here when you wake up. I'm not going to leave." He ran his fingers through Remus' hair. "Don't ever think that I won't."
"I know," Remus replied, shivering again. "Thank you. Just... need you. I'm so tired."
"Take your time, Remus. Go to sleep. You need the rest... And don't worry. When you wake up, I'll be here."
Brushing his lips again over Bill's hand, Remus drifted back into the darkness.