Solace ~ h.s.

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

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11. ⪻ 11 ⪼

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H.

“Belle!”

I shout over the screams of the boy in arms, my voice getting lost in the chaos. The broken girl with frizzy hair and tears streaming down her red cheeks doesn’t seem fazed by her name. She just seems dazed as hands come to clench her ears and a wail leaves her lips.

“Niall, get in here!” I call out, taking a short glance towards the kitchen. Niall was literally beside me moments ago, so where did he go now?

When I turn my head back towards Annabelle, I see her sway on trembling knees. I call her name, clutching the thrashing boy in my arms as I try to stand and make my way towards her. But before I can do anything, and as Niall enters the room out of breath, Annabelle tumbles to the ground.

The deafening sound of skull against wood echoes throughout the room, causing the young boy in my arms to scream louder. Niall darts to the girl, examining her as I maneuver Edward in my arms a little bit. I can see the blood on the corner of the coffee table and now pouring out onto the hardwood ground.

Shit.

“Edward, buddy, I need you to take a deep breath.” I order, flipping him around so that he’s facing me. His body shakes and he tries peering over his shoulder to look at his sister. I do my best to keep his eyes on me, not wanting him to freak out at the sight of her blood. “Annabelle’s okay, she just wasn’t feeling very good.” Edward shakes his head, no longer screaming but still crying loudly.

“She’s dead! She’s dead like mummy and daddy.” I shake my head, taking a glance towards Annabelle. Niall has her flipped on her back and is applying pressure to her head with a dish towel from the kitchen.

“No, Edward, Annabelle is not dead. Look at me.” I take his face between my hands and move his gaze to my own face. “Sometimes when people get extremely overwhelmed they pass out, or faint. Have you heard of this before? Fainting?” Slowly, Edward nods his head. “So you know that when someone passes out or faints they don’t die, right?” Again, Edward gives me a nod. “She’s not dead. And she’s not leaving you.”

Edward nods his head, crying lightly now as he falls forward and buries his face in the crook of my neck. I look over to my friend and fellow doctor, who is taking Annabelle’s pulse. After a couple seconds he nods his head and peeks underneath the cloth that’s covering the laceration.

“Niall, take Edward?” I question lightly, careful not to disturb the boy too much. He’s already freaked out enough with the news of his parents, and now his sister passing out from a panic attack.

“Pulse is 98. She’s got a nasty laceration to her forehead that’s gonna need stitches and she’s probably going to need another head CT with the injuries from the accident and now this.” Niall states standing with me. I waste no time in handing Edward over, who whines loudly but is immediately taken out of the room.

“Annabelle.” I say her name loudly, kneeling down beside her and pressing against the dish towel. I can feel and see the blood oozing out, meaning we’ve got to get to the A&E soon. Head wounds bleed a lot and aren’t good on a normal day, but in Annabelle’s case this is far from good. “Belle.”

I give her shoulder a little shake and call her name again, which results in some fluttering of her eyelids. Within a couple more seconds, her eyes spring open and she frantically tries to sit.

“Whoa!” I hold her down against the ground as she trashes a bit. Ultimately, she’s left lying on the floor, slightly clutching her healing side. “Belle, it’s okay. Calm down. You fainted and hit your head on the coffee table. Can you tell me where you are?” I ask, watching her rapid eye movement.

“I’m at home.” I nod my head. “Where’s Edward?” She asks, trying to sit again to take a better look around the room.

“He’s with Niall. Let’s not worry about him, okay. Let’s worry about you. Do you think you can sit with me?” I ask her. She gives me a little head nod, but winces whilst doing so. “Okay, count of three.”

I count to three and help her sit up slowly. Her body is weak and promptly as she sits up she falls against me. I assure her everything's okay and continue to hold the rag against her head.

“Do you have any first aid supplies here?”

“In the upstairs toilet, under the sink.” She replies, her voice small as her eyes leak a couple tears.

“You hit your head pretty hard when you fell and it’s bleeding. We’re going to need to go to the hospital and get it stitched up, and probably another CT.” She quickly shakes her head, letting out a little cry.

“I can’t go back. We can’t afford it.” Annabelle immediately says, reaching up to where my hand is holding the rag. She winces when I apply a little more pressure and lets out a small cry. “You can stitch it up here, can’t you?” I shake my head, shooting the idea down right away.

“Belle, I don’t have any supplies here with me. Even if I did, I don’t have any local anesthesia, so you’d feel everything. We’re going to the hospital.”

“But -”

“Don’t worry about the funds.” I interrupt her. I’ve only known Annabelle for around four days, but I already know that’s she’s one of the most stubborn women I’ve ever met. “Now, can you hold this whilst I go get the first aid kit?”

“Yes.” She answers, sounding none too happy.

I sigh a bit and take her hand in mine, guiding it to the proper place. After instruction to keep it there and apply a good amount of pressure, I go out in search of the first aid supplies. As per her short instructions, I find the first aid kit underneath the upstairs sink, filled to the brim with plasters, gauze, and medical tape, along with some disinfectant.

“How’s she doing?” I hear as soon as I exit the toilet.

Niall stands leaning against the doorframe into Edward’s bedroom. From beyond the Irishman I can see Edward lying on his bed, having a much needed rest. After everything he’s been through, he can use the rest.

“She’s awake. I’m going to dress the wound and then take her to the hospital. Can you stay with Edward? I know you must have things you need to do, but I really don’t think dragging him along with us is good for him.”

“I can stay with him. What about you? You’re due back at work tomorrow.” I nod my head, releasing a small groan. The last thing I can do right now is work. In the past it’s the only way to keep me sane, but as of four days ago being away has kept me somewhat sane.

“Thinking about finally using a few vacation days.” Niall shakes his head and creates a small tisk noise with his teeth. “What?”

“Nothing. It’s just that you’re kind of getting too attached, Harry. This isn’t good for you, Edward, or Annabelle.”

“And what about you? You haven’t grown attached to either of them.” Niall opens his mouth and I chuckle deeply. “That’s what I thought.”

I turn on my heel and skip down the steps and back into the lounge. Annabelle is resting back against the couch, searching the room with her eyes as she holds onto the bloodsoaked rag. I dart into the kitchen briefly, grabbing another rag before joining Annabelle again.

We don’t say much to each other now that we’re sitting together and I’m tending to her wound. She stares off into space whilst I do my job, my own mind wondering to Niall’s words.

I had become attached, from the moment I saw the vehicle dive into the water there was no going back. How could I not become attached? I’ve been with either Annabelle or Edward the entire time. I helped calm Edward down in the ambulance and I helped treat Annabelle once we arrived at the hospital. I checked in on Edward whilst he slept and kept a watchful eye on Annabelle.

I’ve been watching a boy I barely know whilst a girl under my care stayed put in a hospital. I have grown attached to the cheeky youngster who talks my ear off and laughs louder than anything I’ve heard. And I have grown accustomed to nightly talks with the girl sitting before me with a head wound and tear filled eyes.

“Is it awkward, my being here?” I ask, breaking our newfound silence. Annabelle blinks up at me, running a finger across the bottom of her eyes to rid herself of the tears. Surprisingly, she lets out a small laugh at my question rather than a blunt answer.

“In this moment I’m rather thankful that you’re here.” She admits, breaking eye contact and allowing her eyes to fall to my arms. “I don’t know what I would have done if you or Niall weren’t here and this had happened. So, to answer your question: no, this isn’t awkward. Why do you ask?”

My shoulders fall into a shrug at her question, this conversation alone turning into something along the lines of being too attached.

“I don’t know, it’s just I’m not used to this whole becoming friends with my patient thing.” Annabelle smirks a little, peering up at me as I tape down a few plasters to her head. Another little laugh escapes her lips and it’s refreshing, I’d rather have the laughter than I would the tears. “What’s so funny?”

“So we’re friends now?” I, too, release a laugh of my own as I wrap her head in gauze. The two of us take one look at each other and break out into a chorus of laughter; myself laughing at her pale and blood stained face and her, well I don’t really know.

“Yeah, we’re friends.”

“I don’t get a say in this?” She asks once she stops laughing harshly. I think about it for a second before shaking my head and telling her no.

“As your doctor, and your friend too, I suggest we head on over to the hospital.”

Gone is the smiley face, replaced with a pout. I know she must be sick of hospitals by this point. If I were in her position I’d never want to see another hospital, but I’m not and I practically live in hospitals.

“What about Edward?”

“Niall will watch him, plus he’s napping.” With a heavy sigh, Annabelle nods her head.

“I’ll only go to the hospital if we can stop and get pizza afterwards.” She bargains, crossing her arms over her chest and peering up at me.

The sudden switch to a slightly playful mood throws me off guard. I can't help but enjoy it for the time being.

“Alright, deal.”

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