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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Enigma - 22. Chapter 22 - The Aftermath

By the time I open my eyes I am in a hospital bed. It takes a minute for me to figure out why.

“Hey there. How you doing?”

I turn my head towards the sound of the voice and immediately regret it as those fireworks start exploding again. “Aw.”

Sam grins at me. “Easy tiger.” He looks strangely out of place against the faded floral of the curtain that separates us from the rest of the world.

“Fuck. What happened?”

“Do you remember anything?”

“Of course I do.” And I wish I didn’t.

“You’ve got a nasty cut on your head with a lump the size of a chicken egg. Fortunately you have such a hard head it that it hasn’t done you any lasting harm. You’ve had some scans and it seems there is no serious damage. You’re going to have a hell of a headache for a couple of days but you’ll be fine.”


Sam stops smiling. “You scared us for a while. You were well on your way to going into shock by the time I got there. But it seems like you’re made of stern stuff. You bounced back quicker than Silver did.”

“Silver... shit.” How could I have forgotten him? “Is he alright? He was... shit he was so fucking brave. He threw himself at Faith. Faith kicked him. Is he... is he okay?”

“He’s fine. By the time I got there he was pretty much hysterical and the medics gave him a shot to knock him out. He’ll sleep for a good few hours yet and he should be fine when he wakes up. He hasn’t done himself any damage.”

The relief is almost overwhelming.

“Is he here?”

“No. He’s at home. I told you... he’s fine.”

“I have to get back. If he wakes and I’m not there he’ll be scared.” I try to sit up but the pain defeats me. I fall back and regret it the minute my head hits the pillow. For a minute everything fades out but I fight it down and blink my eyes clear again. “I need to see Silver, Sam.”

“Silver will be asleep for hours and so should you be. You need to rest.”

“I don’t want to rest, I want to go home.”

“Well you can’t.” Sam said flatly. “The doctors want to keep you here under observation for 24 hours so that’s that. Silver will be fine. As soon as I’m sure you’re okay I will go back and sit with him so I can reassure him.”

“I want to reassure him.”

“You’re not going to be reassuring if you keep passing out are you? You need to get yourself fixed before he sees you or you’ll just scare him even more.”

“I... I suppose.” Damn Sam and his impeccable logic.

“Can you tell me what happened?”

The question takes me by surprise and as soon as I think about it the memory and the feelings flood back. Before I realise it I am shaking and tears flood my eyes and pour down my face.

“Sam... I killed him Sam... I shot him and I killed him. I... I’ve never... I’ve never... killed anyone... he... he... He was going to shoot Silver.” It was an effort to get myself together enough to speak but Sam, bless him, simply waited quietly and let me get it all out. “I was in the kitchen. I needed the loo. Nick was... he was making toast and when... when I was in the loo I heard a crash. I thought it was the bloody grill so I didn’t think anything of it.” I rub a hand across my eyes.

“I should have known. When I came out and saw the back door open, I should have known. I thought it was to let the smoke out because the toast was burning. I really should have known then. Why would Nick leave the toast to burn?

“I went into the living room and it was dark. I saw someone by the bed and though that it was Nick checking on Silver but then...” I swallow deeply, not wanting to remember. “... then I tripped over something. It was Nick. He was dead.” Closing my eyes I can still see those wide blue eyes, staring forever into the face of infinity. I begin to shiver but still Sam stays silent and lets me speak.

“It was then I realised who that figure was. It was Faith. He said... he said that the Master had freed Silver so... no one’s after him any more but he... Faith had a score to settle and he was going to kill him. I... I told him that it was me who called the police to the warehouse and he said he was going to kill me too.

“He... he pointed the gun at my head and he was really going to shoot me. He did shoot but Silver must have been awake and listening and he threw himself at Faith and knocked him over and... and the gun went off but it wasn’t pointing at me.

“I went for the gun and so did Faith and he would have got it but Silver held on to his feet, even though he was in terrible pain... and Faith was kicking him. He pulled Faith down and I got the gun, but Faith kicked Silver and hurt him and then... then he went for me. The gun was between us. He knocked me over and I hit the table and fell and as I fell the gun went off.” For the first time I look up at Sam, my eyes wide, horrified. “I killed him Sam. I know he was after us but... but... I killed a man.”

I can’t hold it together any more and start to sob, curling on my side as I am washed over and over by waves of pain and guilt. I am barely aware when strong arms encircle me. My arms go around him automatically and he cradles me until the storm passes.

Finally, hiccupping and soggy, I pull away and fall back against the pillows exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open but I don’t want to fall asleep. I am afraid of the dreams that will come.

“It’s alright River. Let go now. You’re safe. I know how you feel. The first time I killed a man I felt exactly the same way.”

“The... the first time?”

“I’m a police officer River. I work on the armed response team. I’ve killed my share of men and I am not proud of any of them. I do what I have to do and so did you.”

Blinking to keep my eyes open and focussed I look up into his calm, familiar face and I recognise the look in his eyes. Feeling suddenly calm and, somehow clean I manage to smile and to whisper, “Take care of him Sam,” before I fall into a dreamless sleep.

* * *

I slept through most of the day and, with help, most of the night too. However, by the next morning I was well enough to be grouchy, stubborn and, to be fair to the nursing staff, who all took it well... downright unpleasant. I was itching to get home, even though I had been allowed to telephone Silver and let him know I was okay.

He sounded strained and unhappy and I knew it was because he was worried about me and would continue to worry until I could hold him and he could see for himself that I am okay. I think that they had thought the call would settle me down but, in fact it had exactly the opposite effect and, after the call I made such a nuisance of myself that they had to let me go.

I rang Sam and he came to get me. I could hardly contain myself, waiting for him to arrive and if it had not been the case that I had to wait for him to bring clothes he would have found me walking down the road. As it is I am very glad that I didn’t start walking because all the excitement has not only exhausted me but has notched up the headache to the point where I have to lie down or throw up.

Lying on the bed, listening to the sounds of the ward going on around me, the clicking of the heels on the tiled floor, the swish of curtains being drawn, the chatter of the other patients, the cheerful voices of the nurses, I feel strangely calm and at peace. After the turmoil of the last couple of weeks I haven’t really had time to experience peace, real peace, except for odd moments stolen with Silver.

I actually start to drift off when I am startled awake by the sound of the curtains around my bed being pulled and I open my eyes in a hurry, afraid that they had changed their minds about letting me go.


Sam grins at me. “I thought you would appreciate a little privacy while you got dressed. Unless, of course you want to show off your arse to the rest of the ward.”

I blush scarlet and shake my head, wincing. I am really going to have to try and remember that sudden movements hurt. Still blushing I grab the bag off Sam and he disappears.

It still makes me dizzy to stand up for too long so I sit on the edge of the bed and pull on my clothes. I am surprised to find that it does not tire me at all and I am more than ready to leave by the time I am done. Scooping up my meagre belongings and stuffing them into the bag I pull aside the curtain and look for Sam. He is chatting to a nurse in the corridor outside the ward and they look as if they know each other.

Sam looks over when he sees me hanging back and, exchanging a few parting words with the nurse who walks off smiling he strides towards me grinning all over his face.

“I hear that you have been making something of a nuisance of yourself.” I grin and shrug. “That makes two of you then.”

“Two of me?”

“You and Silver.”


“He won’t believe anyone that you are okay. He thinks there is a conspiracy and that everyone is lying to him to stop him trying to come to you.”

“Shit. Is he okay?”

“Nope. He actually got as far as getting himself dressed and escaping the house in the middle of the night. Luckily his father got up for a pee and caught him as he collapsed on the doorstep.”

“Fuck! Oh shit. Is he alright? He didn’t hurt himself?”

“He’s charmed, that one. With everything he’s been up to lately he should be in a coma... but he’s fine. Mr Hart got him back to bed and force fed him drugs until he fell asleep. He was still asleep when I left.”

“He did what?”

Sam smiled. “The doctor left him some sleeping pills.”

“Oh. I got scared for a minute.”

Sam’s deep rumbling laugh settles the churning fear that has been gnawing at my guts.

“You two are more trouble than you’re worth, do you know that?”

“Trouble? But we’re sweet innocent boys... how could we possible be trouble?” Sam gives me ‘a look’ and I grin. “You love us anyway though don’t you?”

Sam doesn’t answer but ruffles my hair affectionately. Something occurs to me. “Shouldn’t you be in work?”

“River... I should have been in work many times over the past two weeks when I have been shooting the breeze with you two. I have taken time off.”

“You have? Why?”

“Call me crazy but I happen to like you two. I was impressed from the first time I saw you... and as for Silver...” He grins and shrugs.

“Yeah... everybody loves Silver.” I glow as I make the statement because not only do I know it to be true and am intensely proud of him for that... but I also know it to be true that, no matter how many people love him there is only one person he loves... and that is me.

“What are you grinning at?”

“Oh nothing.”

I doze for most of the journey, feeling warm and comfortable and safe, and it seems like no time before we are pulling up in front of the house. I don’t wait for Sam but as soon as the car stops... well to be honest probably a second or two before that, I am flinging open the door and practically running.

I am so excited. It’s crazy how excited I am. I feel like a kid arriving at the gates of Disneyland. I am going to see him again. In moments I am going to be in his arms. I have wanted this since the moment I opened my eyes in the hospital and I have been desperate for it all day.

I am absurdly disappointed to find that Silver is fast asleep. Mrs Hart is sitting in the chair next to the bed reading quietly and she gets to her feet as soon as she sees me, drawing me into a warm hug.

“River... it’s so good to see you. We have been worried. I can’t... I can't begin to... to...” It is disconcerting to see this strong woman break down like this and I am confused. Surely she wouldn’t have been that worried about me.

“I lost Mattie... Silver once and I almost lost him again. I can’t begin to tell you how that feels. And then... then that awful man... and you saved him. You saved my baby...” She can’t continue and I hold her close as she weeps. Now I understand.

“Hey... it’s okay. He saved me too.”

She looks up at me, those incredible silver eyes wet with tears and looking like pools of quicksilver. Sniffing, which from her is a strangely refined sound, she smiles and nods.

“I am glad he found you River. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for him... what you are doing for him. I was so frightened about having to go home and leave him here. But I’m not frightened any more. I know you will look after him.”

“Did you never think that he would go home with you?”

She smiles a stronger smile and shakes her head. “He’s not Mattie any more River. He’s not my little boy. He’s a man now; a strong and beautiful man and he’s his own person. Our home, our lives, our village are too small for him now; he doesn’t belong there. He belongs here with you.”

I smile and nod, knowing how difficult that was for her to say. “I’ll take care of him, I promise.”

“I know you will; and I know that he will look after you too. He loves you so much... which means that we love you too. You are part of our family now River. Never forget that. We are here for you and always will be.”

I don’t know what to say about that. I feel touched in a way I have not been for a long time. My own family are not particularly close these days. I can’t say that my parents turned against me when I told them I am gay, not exactly but there was a distinct cooling of the relationship.

It’s strange that even after everything that happened with Nikki, the fact that I had other boyfriends, that I actually took one of them travelling at one point, they never knew, not until I sat them down one day and told them. And then I left and never went back. They didn’t try to stop me. They didn’t ask where I was going. They’ve never contacted me, although I have called them from time to time, more to speak to my little brother than them. They are not hostile... exactly but they are not welcoming either.

It has been a long time since I have felt that I belong within a family group. It’s strange that when I do it is with people I have known for such a short time.

“Thank you. That means a lot to me.”

She pats me. “I’m glad; because it means a lot to us too... you mean a lot to us River. Don’t be a stranger, and don’t allow him to be either.”

“We won’t. Hang on... are you leaving? I thought...”

“We can’t stay here forever. We both have jobs and lives. We’ve been away too long already and now that we know you are both going to be alright there is no reason for us to stay.”

“When are you leaving?”

“Richard is packing now. He’s going to pick me up in about half an hour.”

“That soon? But what if Silver isn’t awake?”

“I think it would be better if he wasn’t. I know I am doing the right thing... leaving him here with you but... I don’t know if I could cope with saying goodbye.”

I hug her again, understanding. “I’ll explain.”

“I know you will. You’re a good man River and, as soon as he is well enough to travel I want you both to come and stay with us for a while.”

“Of course. I would love to come... and I know that Silver would too.”

“Good. It’s settled then.”

I take time to look around. The room is spotless. “Who cleaned up all the blood?” I ask looking at her with wide eyes. She smiles.

“Don’t look like that... it wasn’t me. Once the police were finished photographing and measuring and they had taken away...” She pauses, not quite able to bring herself to say ‘the bodies’. “Once they had finished, a whole host of people in white jumpsuits came and fixed it. It was quite impressive actually. I picked up a few tips from them about getting out stubborn stains.”

“They are the experts. They’re what we call the ‘clean up team’. You are very lucky... they don’t get called out to the scene of every crime.”

“Thanks Sam.”

When the Harts left Sam left with them and, for the first time in what seems like years we are alone. I am sitting in the chair, turned to face the bed, alternating between reading a book and dozing. It has been tempting, a number of times, to wake Silver but he needs the rest so I don’t. I am even carefully quiet when I go to the loo or get a coffee. Even so it is getting harder and harder not to.

For what must be the millionth time I peep over the top of the book and this time I see what I had been hoping to see the previous 999,999 times. Silver is stirring. He makes a sleepy little moan and turns his head on the pillow, snuggling in with a sigh. For a moment he is still and I think, with disappointment that he is going to go back to sleep. Then he smacks his lips, licks them and blinks open his eyes. Gods if that wasn’t the sweetest and sexiest return to consciousness I have ever seen.

When he sees me I watch the emotions fly across his face and the tears spring to his eyes. He opens his mouth to speak and closes it, then opens it again.

“Are you trying to do an impression of a fish?”


“You keep opening and closing your mouth.”

“I don’t know what to say,” he states simply, making me grin.

“How about something like ‘I love you’?”

“Oh god I love you River. I love you so much it hurts. I’ve been so... I was scared.”

“I think that what you are about to say was... I have been so stupid, River.”

For a moment he looks blank and then he blushes and turns away. “I was scared. I thought... I thought I’d lost you.”

“Now you know how I felt... and how I feel every time you do something stupid like that. Okay... one of the times you did something stupid wasn’t stupid at all and actually saved our lives but as long as there is no homicidal maniac for you to throw yourself at you have to promise you are not going to do anything stupid like that ever again.”

“I promise I’ll try not to.”

“I guess that is the best I’m going to get isn’t it?”

He nods, then grins broadly and holds out his arms. How could I resist that? Climbing up onto the bed, as I had before, I take him into my arms and hold him close. There are no tears, no comforting words... there are only us, the two of us, together.

Neither of us are up to much activity and, as much as we might want to get physical we both know it is out of the question, so we make do with elevating kissing to a whole different level and eventually fall asleep in each other’s arms.

There are no shadows lurking in the corners, no nightmares to disturb our sleep. Much as we have both done a lot of sleeping over the last few days we are absolutely content and we drift off easily and peacefully, replete and in harmony, with each other and with the world.

Copyright © 2010 Nephylim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

This was sweet relief after all the agonising dirt you pulled the boys through. Still few chapters to go... it is gonna be smooth sailing from now on, right?

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I knew it! You ARE a romantic at heart. Shhh, I know, you have a reputation to maintain.



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On 03/23/2011 09:13 AM, Marzipan said:
This was sweet relief after all the agonising dirt you pulled the boys through. Still few chapters to go... it is gonna be smooth sailing from now on, right?
Right :)_ When is life ever plain sailing
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On 03/23/2011 01:42 PM, ricky said:
I knew it! You ARE a romantic at heart. Shhh, I know, you have a reputation to maintain.



Of course. But... You haven't got to the end yet
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Marzipan lol don't you know not ask a question like that!!

I am so glad that they have this moment together but like Marz said there are a few more chapters to go what do you have up your sleeve??

Onto the next chapter to find out - brilliant as always though Neph :worship:

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On 01/27/2014 10:16 PM, Sonya said:
Marzipan lol don't you know not ask a question like that!!

I am so glad that they have this moment together but like Marz said there are a few more chapters to go what do you have up your sleeve??

Onto the next chapter to find out - brilliant as always though Neph :worship:

Thank you :) Don't worry, Marzipan knows better now :)
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