Oh Gott oh Gott oh Gott.
You'd been shot. Here Gilbert was, cradling your limp form on the damp grass in a growing pool of your own blood. He watched in horror as the bullet hole in your shirt was stained with blood. The stain continued to grow.
"Look at me, ______. I'm right here – look at me!" Gilbert had never used such a pleading tone before in his life. It had never had a reason or a chance to peek out from under his awesome persona.
But now he was desperate. More desperate than he had ever been.
"_____, please keep your eyes open," ruby red orbs brimmed with unshed tears. The albino had never cried, and had never thought he would. But now, he couldn't help it – you were slipping away with every flutter of your eyelids, every laboured heave of your chest, every gasp from your lips. Those pale, pale lips…
He screwed his eyes shut and cradled you closer to his chest. Gott, this was all his fault. If he had just been more careful…if he'd only reacted sooner…
Gott, why did you have to step infront of him? Why did you have to try and grab the damn gun, of all things?
Gilbert could feel your breath becoming increasingly more shallow, and his heart plummeted. No.
No no no no no no.
He was suddenly pried away from you by white-gloved hands as paramedics rushed in. the East-German could dimly hear the wail of the ambulance siren and few feet away. Everything besides you had faded into background noise – the screaming students, the policemen, Ivan struggling as he was shoved into a nearby police van.
Gilbert's crimson eyes drifted slowly towards the tall Russian being forced down into the police vehicle. Rage swirled in a white-hot inferno in the pit of Gilbert's stomach, and his vision blurred red for a moment. That bastard was going to pay for hurting you. He was going to pay dearly. But Gilbert forced himself to put all thoughts of vengeance aside – he had to make sure you were okay first. Gott, if he lost you…
Gilbert scrambled to his feet as the paramedics loaded you onto a stretcher, crowding you with bandages and portable IV drips and slipping an oxygen mask over your face because you couldn't breathe and oh Gott you couldn't breathe you couldn't breathe you couldn't breathe…
Gilbert literally shoved himself into the back of the ambulance after you, reaching out to clutch your frighteningly limp wrist – the one that wasn't crowded with IV drips. The paramedics didn't seem to be protesting, but if they had been Gilbert wouldn't even have heard them – all he could focus on was you. You were so pale. So, so pale. The face he'd held tenderly so many times before looked as blanched and white as a ghost. Your lips were almost paper-like. They had always been so warm, so soft…they looked nothing like the lips he had loved to kiss now.
Gilbert was dimly aware of the heart monitor attached to your pulse bleeping somewhere off to his left. The pulse was weak, but stable. A little seed of hope sewed itself in the albino's chest – not that he'd ever had any doubts about you not making it. You had been around him long enough to have absorbed more than enough of his awesome influence – this was going to be nothing to you when you woke up. Gilbert swallowed thickly. When you woke up. Not if, when.
The ride to the hospital seemed to take an eternity. When the ambulance finally pulled up outside the ER, Gilbert was firmly ushered out of the way as the stretcher you lay on was unloaded and rushed inside. When he tried to follow, one of the attending nurses told him very sternly to wait in the lobby. If anything happened, he would be the first to know. The albino was directed to a chair, but he was far too anxious to sit down. Gilbert paced up and down the waiting room, close to wearing a rut right through the floor. How could he sit still and wait when you were probably lying on a surgeon's table while they tried to dig a bullet out of your ribcage? The constant worry nagging at Gilbert's stomach threatened to make him ill.
After what must have been three hours, a doctor in scrubs came walking briskly into the waiting room. He spotted Gilbert – still pacing furiously – on the other end of the empty room. Gilbert's head snapped up at the sound of footprints, and his stomach knotted when he saw the doctor beckon him over. He couldn't see the man's expression due to the mask that covered the lower half of his face – all Gilbert hoped for was some good news.
He shoved his hands in his pockets to avoid wringing them nervously. Stopping before the doctor, Gilbert waited for the verdict on your condition.
"She's resting now, the operation was successful and she'd in a stable condition," as soon as the words were out of the older man's mouth, Gilbert visibly deflated as he let out the breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. You were okay. That was all that mattered.
Seeing Gilbert's obvious relief, the doctor chuckled softly before continuing. "You can go in and see her now, but she'd been placed in a drug-induced coma for a few days so her body can heal. The bullet did quite a bit of damage on her left side."
The albino just nodded, at a loss for words for the first time in his life. Drug-induced coma…Gilbert supposed he could deal with that, as long as he got to stay with you. He would just have to be patient until you were brought out of it. Yes, very patient…
Gilbert sat by your side for four days while they kept you sleeping, letting your body deal with the trauma of the gunshot wound and consequent surgery to repair internal organs and set fractured ribs. The only time he moved more than a foot away from your bed was when the nurses ordered him out of the room to change your bandages and drips, but otherwise he stayed in the uncomfortable wooden chair at your bedside, one of your much smaller, noticeably frailer hands clutched in his. In his other hand he gripped his iron cross – Gilbert was far from a religious man, but he was using every resource he could to pray for your recovery to speed up. He hated seeing you stuck in a hospital bed, weak and unconscious, looking more like a human pin-cushion than his bubbly, vivacious girlfriend. The sooner you woke up and got out of there, the better.
After two days without sleep, Gilbert lay his head down on the side of your mattress, intending on getting a few moments of shut-eye and then resuming his vigil. But his exhaustion ran deeper than he thought, and the next thing he knew he was in a slumber so deep it could have almost rivalled your induced coma. The nurses didn't have the heart to wake him up or move him.
It was almost a full day later when something managed to rouse Gilbert from his sleep.
The voice was small and weak, hoarse from disuse, sounding frightened and confused.
Gilbert dragged himself out of his slumber and slowly rose, stretching his neck and shoulders as he did so. He felt so stiff…probably from sleeping in that awkward position for who knew how long. He opened his eyes slowly, groggily. The first thing they landed on was you. It took him a moment to register that there was something a little different.
Your eyes were open.
Staring at him with a mixture of confusion and fear, but open nonetheless. Gilbert's own eyes widened, and he threw himself over you, almost crushing you in his embrace. He had never felt such a heady mixture of emotion before – relief, joy, and overwhelming sense of elation. You were awake now. No more comas, or poking, prodding, decidedly unawesome and foul-tempered nurses. Just you. _______. Conscious at last. Alive. On the way to a full recovery. Back in his arms again.
Gilbert buried his nose in your hair and he felt you clutch at his jacket, pulling him tighter as you gained more awareness of your surroundings and the happenings that had landed you there.
"Dank Gott you're finally awake," Gilbert whispered into your hair, inhaling the very scent of you, drawing it in so deeply that he would never forget it.
In his mind's eye, all Gilbert could see was you sprawled on the ground, blood seeping through your clothes, pooling underneath you. Pale, pale skin. Glassy eyes. It was his worst nightmare. It would always be his worst nightmare.
"I was so worried, ______" he sighed, drawing you closer.
But you didn't answer. Gilbert felt you begin to shake, small shudders at first, but building up into heaving convulsions. The heart monitor on the other side of the bed went haywire, beeping erratically. His eyes snapped wide, heart plummeting to the soles of his boots. Your grip on his jacket slacked and you flopped back down on the bed, writhing like a being possessed. Gilbert frantically slammed the panic button at the side of your bed, gripping your hand and pleading with you to stay with him. The button stayed silent, and no nurses came. There was no one there.
Your convulsions continued to worsen to the point when Gilbert found himself having to hold you down so you wouldn't throw yourself off the bed. Your eyes rolled back into your head and he panicked, shaking your shoulders in a desperate attempt to somehow snap you out of it. He called your name over and over again, the pitch rising in panic with every repetition.
The heart monitor flat-lined.
Gilbert shot upright in bed, chest heaving and eyes wide, seeing nothing but your dying face in his mind's eye. He felt physically ill, to the point where he had to swing his legs out of bed and rest his elbows on his knees, clutching his face in his hands to avoid emptying the contents of his churning stomach.
"Gil?" a sleepy voice behind him snapped him out of his nightmare-induced panic.
You sat up groggily, the bed sheets slipping down to your waist as you looked worriedly at him. "What's the matter?"
Gilbert stayed silent, just watching you, memorising every last detail – the way your hair was slightly tousled from sleep, the down-turned corner of your mouth as you frowned at him, your half-closed eyes, still clogged with sleep. He had never seen something so beautiful in his entire life.
You noticed his assessing stare and sighed, running a hand through your hair to tame it down somewhat. You shook your head and stretched, ridding yourself of the grogginess plaguing your mind. Breathing out slowly through your nose, you crept across the bed to where Gilbert sat and wound your arms around him from behind, laying a hand over his heart. You could feel it thundering wildly under his skin. You pressed your cheek to his back, whispering, "Was it that nightmare again?"
Gilbert stayed silent, but nodded. He laid his own larger hand over yours, winding his fingers between your slender digits. You settled into your knees and pressed a soft kiss to the albino's shoulder.
"Gil, I'm not going anywhere. Trust me," you muttered, settling your chin in the crook of his neck. "You should stop being such a worry-wart. It doesn't fit in with your awesome ego."
He snorted, tugging your arm. You shuffled around his side, ending up straddling his lap. You cupped his face in your hands and looked him in the eyes, seeing the raw emotion in their crimson depths. These were the only nightmares you had ever seen Gilbert genuinely scared by. It made your gut clench guiltily. If you hadn't been so reckless with that gun, Gilbert wouldn't be having these nightmares. You didn't think either of you had gotten a decent night's sleep since you had gotten out of hospital.
"They're just dreams, Gilbert," you said softly, stroking the side of his face. His messy hair caught the moonlight streaming in through the window and glinted silver. You rain your fingers through it soothingly, and Gilbert closed his eyes, leaning into the touch.
"They're not dreams I like having," he mumbled, holding your hand to the side of his face.
"They'll go away soon enough, I'm sure," you reasoned, resting your forehead against him. "Just don't think of it so much, that's probably why they won't go away. Focus on the fact that I'm out of hospital, I'm all stitched up and good as new."
"I wouldn't say good as new-" Gilbert began, but you swiftly cut him off.
"Shut up," you pressed a finger to his lips so shush him. He narrowed his eyes at you, but complied. "I'm not going to take any of that kind of talk. If I say I'm good as new, then you'd better believe me."
The albino rolled his eyes and smirked. "Whatever you say, liebling," he chuckled, flipping you around so you back made contact with the mattress once more.
You cocked an eyebrow at him, and his smirk widened. "If you're good as new, like you say, then you have to be up for this," he mused sarcastically, leaning down to capture your lips with his own.
You chuckled, returning the kiss. You draped your arms around his neck, pulling him closer and deepening the kiss. Gilbert ran his tongue over your bottom lip and your mouth automatically opened, allowing him access. You met his tongue with your own, refusing to let him have complete dominance. After a while, he growled and moved away, accepting defeat. Your victory was short-lived, though, as he turned his attention to your neck, claiming a new battleground.
He trailed a path of fiery love-bites down the side of your neck, all the way to your shoulder. You writhed underneath him when his mouth ghosted over your notorious ticklish spot. Gilbert paused, and you could feel him smirk against your flushed skin. "Looks like I win this round, liebling."
You rolled your eyes and laughed, shoving his shoulder in mock irritation. "Call it a draw, Captain Awesomeness."
"I think I like that name," Gilbert hummed, moving back up towards your mouth.
"Careful, it might just stick," you chuckled, leaning up to kiss him again.