Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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3. ⪻ 03 ⪼

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"Oh my God, Edward!"

The tears that I thought I could contain once I was reunited with my brother were set free upon seeing his slightly scratched up face. If it weren't for Dr. Horan's hand on my unstitched shoulder I would have bolted from the chair.

Edward is apparently a bit more mobile than I, scrambling his small frame off his bed and into my lap at bedside.

I can hear Dr. Horan slightly scolding him about his IV, but I pay no attention to him whilst I gather my young brother in my arms.

Sobs rack through my body as I hold him close to my broken body, my hand gently gliding over his brown locks whilst the other gives him countless squeezes. I don't think I've ever hugged him so tightly in my entire life.

"Oh baby, you're okay. You're okay."

I'm unsure if my words are actually directed towards Edward or if I'm really just trying to reassure myself that he's alright and practically unharmed.

"I'm okay, Annie. How are you? Niall said that you had a boo-boo, just like me."

The innocent child pulls slightly from me, settling down on my lap and looking at me from head to toe. I nod my head slightly and can't help but fight the smile from my lips at his statement.

"Yeah, I've got a boo-boo or two. But don't you worry, mister, we'll be back to playing footie in no time." I say, sweeping his locks from his forehead to get a look at the stitched-up cut on the skin.

"Niall said that he likes football too, isn't that so cool! Maybe once we go home he can come over and play with us!"

"Yeah, maybe."

Edward takes notice of the tears streaming down my cheeks and places his hands on either sides of my face, giving it a little squish.

"Why are you crying?"

"I'm just so happy to see you, that's all." Edward squirms a bit and against my will I release him from my lap. He gets up and stands beside the wheelchair, touching at the wheels and handles.

He's always been so enthralled with new things and I don't think he's ever really seen a wheelchair up close. His little head hangs after a bit of curiosity towards my chair and a pout takes over.

"Where's mummy and daddy?"

The air almost gets sucked out of my lungs at his question and my eyes begin to burn with a new set of tears. I knew he'd be curious, he always has been, but I figured I had a little time without the question being brought forth.

"Um..."

"Hey, Edward." Niall gives my shoulder a small pat and points to the bed. "Bud, let's get back into bed, yeah?"

Thankfully, Niall interrupted when he did: I don't know what I would have done if he wasn't here.

Edward forgets about the question entirely and walks over to Niall, the boy standing only about as high as Niall's hip. Niall lifts Edward up off the ground and puts him back in bed, making sure that the IV and wires are intact.Surprisingly, they still are, despite practically diving from the bed earlier.

"Annie, is Niall your doctor too? He's really cool. He gave me two green jellies when I got my stitches! I love green jelly. And he said that if I behave and be polite I'll get a chocolate custard," Edward looks around the room as if looking for someone listening in before redirecting his attention to me, "for breakfast."

The boy's change in subject brings a light smile to my lips and I laugh at his love for food. Looking to Niall I find him grinning back at Edward.

Edward always could eat, day and night. He especially loves my baking, anything from homemade cinnamon rolls to my mascarpone cheesecake.

"Did he now? Well, I haven't gotten any jelly or custard, you should feel lucky." Edward gasps at my words and turns to Niall dramatically, as if food is our top priority here.

"Niall, we need to get my sister some jelly. She's probably starved!" He orders, before turning back to me. "Your doctor is a meanie, he's not even feeding you." Both Niall and I laugh at the small boy.

"Baby, my doctor isn't a meanie." I clear my throat and glance over to Niall, hoping what I'm about to say won't ruin Edward's mood. "Actually, baby, do you remember the man that pulled us out of the car?" I gulp, watching Edward's facial expressions carefully.

He settles back into bed and nods as he picks up a stuffed animal at his side, one that wasn't in the car with us. He doesn't seem phased by the mention of the car crash and submersion of our car.

"The one with the brown, curly hair? Yeah, he was nice, but kind of like dad."

"In what way?" Edward shrugs.

"I was crying and he told me not to be scared anymore, because he wasn't going to let anything happen to us. And then he wiped my tears away like daddy does."

"Ah -"

"Are you two dating?" I narrow my eyes at him out of pure confusion, wondering where in the world he got an impression like that. Literally, the only time he's seen Dr. Styles is at the crash site and maybe here when he checked on him, but never before that.

"Um, no. Why do you think that?" I ask, glancing over to Niall, who seems utterly engrossed in the conversation.

"Because he kissed you." I nearly choke on the spit in my mouth as the words leave his lips. Whilst he sits playing with his new stuffed animal, Niall and I are exchanging wide-eyed glances towards each other out of shock and curiosity.

I do not remember a kiss anywhere in this tragic story.

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah, he kissed you. But you must not have liked it because you spit everywhere afterwards."

Upon his words, both Niall and I share a glance before bursting out into laughter. The sweet, sweet boy not understanding what exactly had happened, but I can see the confusion.

"Oh no, Edward, I believe he was giving your sister mouth-to-mouth, CPR if you will." Edward seems not to care at all, simply shrugging, probably not understanding. I continue to lightly laugh though the fact that Harry had performed CPR on me was not something to ease the nerves bubbling in my stomach.

"Whatever it was, you must not have liked it." I shake my head, wondering how we got off topic that quickly.

"Anyways, that man who gave me mouth-to-mouth and got us out of the car, is my doctor. His name is Dr. Styles."

"But you can call him Harry." Niall cuts in as he takes a seat on the end of Edward's bed.

Usually doctors leave right away, but Niall and Harry apparently like to stick around at all costs.

"Oh, does he kiss all his patients?"

Oh my God.

"Only the special ones, bud." Niall butts in, patting Edward's knee. I give him a little glare and he simply shrugs."He actually came to see you here and see how you were, but you were asleep."

"Will he come back?"

"Probably. Hey, how about I have the nurses bring you both some food? I know you both must be starving." I smile over at Niall and sigh.

Before the wreck and ultimate crash into whichever river it was, the four of us were on our way home from Manchester. We had spent the entire day out, doing a bit of shopping and then getting dinner. The last time I had any amount of food was 'round five in the evening.

"Actually, Dr. Horan, that sounds..." My voice ventures off when I glance to the clock at the edge of Edward's room, "bloody hell, it's already nearly two in the morning. Edward, baby, you should be asleep. It's way, way past your bedtime."

"Oooo you swore!"

"Edward."

"But I'm not tired." I open my mouth to speak, but Niall beats me to it.

"He's done a lot of sleeping since he got here and it's a bit of a unique day, wouldn't you say Annabelle? I think letting him stay up a bit longer, at least until he gets some food in him, won't do him any harm. Doctor's orders?"

"Please Annie? Please! I'm quite hungry." Edward gives off this adorable little pout and though my head is telling me to do one thing, my heart is telling another.

"Alright, food does sound really good right now. Thank you, Dr. Horan."

"Please, call me Niall. Dr. Horan is too professional sounding for me. Gotta keep it casual." I nod my head at his response as Edward and I watch him rise from the bed. "I'll go fetch you some food, keep an eye on your sister whilst I'm gone." He orders Edward.

The look of joy that takes over Edward's features when he gets an order is adorable. He loves being included. Whenever dad was working around the house, Edward was always there to help. Whenever mum needed help with dinner, Edward was always lending a hand.

"Ah man, she's crying again." Edward mutters to himself. Niall stops short at the door and takes a look back at me, but I wave him off and try to discreetly wipe the tears away.

"Maybe you hurt my feelings."

"I could never." I chuckle a bit and shake my head at the boy that I love.

"If you say so."

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