Author: Skinner Box
Title: The Only Thing
Archive: Please ask first
Notes: A companion piece to 'Cold Comfort,' this began as a double drabble, then got pared down to a drabble and three quarters. Thank you to Ursula, and to drovar and the fine folk at the Spenderfic List
Disclaimer: The X-files and these characters belong to Chris Carter and Fox Broadcasting. I play with them out of love and for no profit.
The Only Thing
by Skinner Box
Jeff is sleeping. Fitfully, but that's a good sign. Means he's not comatose, not incubating- if Alex's sources are to be believed. Alex traces the blunt nose with his flesh and blood forefinger, ghosts over straight brows, down a sleep-slack cheek, willing the vaccine to do its work.
Baruch Hashem for Jeffrey's way with people, the thoughtfulness and quiet loyalty that win loyalty in return. Ruth from across the way's wise grey eyes are calm, accepting. She slogged from post to post in the Northwest Territories when Les was a young man, watched him leave for Sarajevo in '93, two years before retirement. She squeezes Alex's arm just above the hard plastic.
'I hate this,' Alex wants to say. 'Take care of him,' he wants to add, as if all the people who love Jeff would do less.
"Thank you," he tells her instead.
Ruth nods. "Stay safe, Sandor," she says, and he picks up his pack and heads out the door while he can. The only thing harder than coming back is leaving.
Archived: May 18, 2001