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Fic: Lucky

Title: Lucky
Rating: PG
Characters: Glitch/Wyatt, OC, mention of others
Word count: ~3450
Summary: Glitch was having a rough week. For lionille, who has been patiently waiting for this for a long time.



~*~

It was through no fault of Glitch’s that he was having a bad week.

First there was the monthly visit to the local orphanage. The children always loved when they had visitors from the Palace, especially the friendly and exuberant Royal Advisor.

The thing about kids that Wyatt loved was that they were far more welcoming of people than adults could be. A warm and kind grown-up meant far more to them than the fact that that particular grown-up had a zipper in his head.

So it was that Glitch was more often than not used as a human climbing gym, youngsters hanging off his arms and wrapped around his legs. Wyatt, holding a giggling little red-headed girl, could only stand by and grin at his partner’s feeble attempts at escape.

Three days after their last visit, however, Glitch started to feel unwell. They had returned to the Northern Palace, where the rest of the family had settled for the winter. Wyatt was awakened by feverish murmurings, tossing and turning and cold feet kicking his shin.

Wyatt scooted over and pressed his palm to Glitch’s forehead, wincing at the heat pouring from the flushed skin. “Damn,” he whispered, tossing aside the covers. “Hang on, let’s get you cooled off.” He started unbuttoning the sleep top, then stopped when he noticed the rash.

Glitch grumbled and pushed him away weakly, scratching at the bumpy, reddened skin of his chest. “Itches,” he muttered, still half-asleep.

“I can tell,” Wyatt grimaced. “Just – stay right here. I’m going to call down to the doctor’s chambers and have her come take a look at you.”

“Ugh,” Glitch made a disgusted face, even as he absently scratched at his chest. “She’s always trying to poke me with things. You’re just giving her an excuse to torture me.”

Wyatt rolled his eyes and swung his legs out from under the covers, sticking his feet into the slippers on the floor. “I’ll protect you from the mean doctor.”

“You’d better,” Glitch snuffled and buried himself under the covers again.

~*~

It was a toss-up who groaned louder when Pamela pronounced Glitch to have hen pox.

“I thought only kids got that,” Wyatt complained from where he sat on the bed, though he contradicted his annoyed tone by squeezing Glitch’s ankle through the duvet.

“Was Glitch around any children recently?” Pamela asked, reaching into her bottomless supply bag and producing a white tube of ointment.

“The orphanage,” Glitch supplied helpfully, following up with a frantic scratching of his upper arm.

“Mmmhmm,” Pamela pursed her lips thoughtfully. “And because Glitch spent most of his childhood secluded here in the Palace, he wasn’t likely to have caught the disease as a boy. Only extraordinary good luck got him through his annuals outdoors without getting it.”

Wyatt decided to let the mention of Glitch’s exile pass without comment. “So, what now?”

Pamela handed Wyatt the tube. “This should help with the itching. As for the fever,” she said, fussing with her bag again until she came up with a small pill bottle. “One of these, four times a day until the fever breaks. Cool water and a clean rag for his forehead. That should keep the worst of it down; with the pox, the fever usually only lasts a couple of days.”

“I hate being sick,” Glitch grumbled, flopping pathetically onto his side and idly rubbing his sternum.

“Stop that,” Wyatt pulled the hand away. He looked back up at Pamela. “Let me guess, he’s confined to bed?”

“I’m sorry,” she replied, sounding like she truly meant it. After all, she knew Glitch very well. “You’ve had the pox, haven’t you?”

“When I was eight,” Wyatt nodded.

“Then I’d like it if you could stay with him,” Pamela told him as she re-packed her bag. “I’m almost positive neither of the Princesses have had hen pox and the last thing we need is an epidemic on our hands.”

Wyatt stroked Glitch’s leg comfortingly. “No problem,” he replied easily.

Pamela patted Glitch’s shoulder with care. “Now, I don’t want you giving Wyatt too much trouble, you hear?”

Glitch snorted and nudged Wyatt’s leg with his foot. “Too late for that.”

Standing up straight, Pamela picked up her bag. “I’ll take care of letting everyone know what’s going on, so we can keep exposure to a minimum. The kitchen staff can send someone up with meals and I’m just a phone call away if you need me. I’ll check back this evening to see how you boys are doing.”

Wyatt stood to see her out. “Thank you for everything,” he said earnestly, opening the door.

“My pleasure. Take care of him,” Pamela grinned cheekily and took her leave.

~*~

Sleeves pushed up out of the way, weary and concerned, Wyatt took the basin of water to the bathroom once again. It had been a long day of trying to keep the restless Glitch in bed and comfortable. Glitch had finally settled down long enough for Wyatt to fetch some fresh water.

After rinsing and wringing out the cloth first then setting it aside, Wyatt dumped out the warm water slowly. When the large bowl was empty, he tucked it under the faucet and turned on the cold water tap.

Wyatt gripped the edge of the counter, locking his elbows straight and letting his head hang down to stretch his neck. Glitch’s fever had bounced up and down all day, giving him vivid nightmares when he managed to sleep and confused half-awareness when he was awake. It was exhausting for both men.

A loud bang and a rush of cold air brought Wyatt back to the present and his head shot up. He hurriedly turned off the water before rushing back out to where he had left Glitch.

Only, Glitch wasn’t there.

Wyatt’s heart seized when he saw that the bang had been the balcony door slamming against the outside wall. There was a freezing wind blowing through the room, carrying a dusting of snow with it from the raging blizzard outside. He threw himself across the room, crossing the threshold in time to see Glitch already halfway over the rail.

“Glitch, stop!” Wyatt yelled, his heart pounding in his chest.

“I won’t go back,” Glitch called back, his voice distant and shaking badly. Wyatt wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or from something else. Even as he watched, Glitch’s hand slipped on the icy rail and his precarious balance nearly gave.

“Glitch, you need to come back inside,” Wyatt took another slow step forward, reaching his hand up little by little. “You’re sick, remember?”

Glitch laughed suddenly, sharply. “Sick,” he repeated brokenly. “You’ve already got my brain, what more could you want? I won’t go back in that cell.”

Wyatt swallowed hard, understanding now where Glitch was in his delirious mind. It was a terrifying place to consider and Wyatt desperately needed to get through to him. Glitch had on only his sleep clothes, thin dark blue fabric that was already dark with melted snowflakes. His feet were bare and red from exposure. “Listen to me, Glitch,” Wyatt said carefully, emphasizing the name. “You’re safe. Let me help you. You trust me, right?”

There was a long, breathless moment where Glitch studied him, even as his hair grew whiter with each sharp gust of wind. But finally it was there, that flash of recognition that crossed Glitch’s face and made his eyes widen. “Cain?”

But before Wyatt could reach him, Glitch’s hand slipped again and he disappeared over the edge with a startled, abrupt yelp.

~*~

Wyatt stared at the empty space where Glitch had been in disbelief. “Oh, damn,” he mouthed, unable to find enough air to speak out loud. Then he turned and bolted across the apartment, out the door, down the hall and down the wide staircase.

He skipped the last two steps, landing hard in the foyer and making a sharp left toward the doctor’s chambers. After a moment of pounding, the door opened to reveal a stunned Pamela. “Goodness, Mr. Cain! What’s wrong?”

“Glitch,” Wyatt panted, gesturing frantically. “He – fell. Balcony.”

“He fell off the balcony?” Pamela repeated incredulously.

Wyatt nodded frantically, pointing. “Help.”

“You go, find him and stay with him,” Pamela pushed him, all business. “I’ll gather the troops and get what we need. Don’t try to move him, though, understood?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Wyatt replied and spun around, taking off in a full run. He darted around the columns that littered the entry hall like a forest. The door stuck for a few moments, frozen into its frame. Wyatt drove his shoulder into it and it broke loose, showering him with snow and ice chips when he pushed it open.

Ignoring the biting cold and the sharp sting of snowflakes striking his face, Wyatt made his way around the corner to the part of the property their balcony overlooked. Faint light from a nearby window was barely enough to see by, but it reflected off the snow, magnifying its strength. He spotted a dark form in the snow bank and veered toward it, struggling to make his legs work in the deeper drift.

He briefly wondered if this was what Glitch had felt an annual ago, finding Wyatt’s own motionless body lying in the snow.

Kneeling down and brushing the newly fallen powder from Glitch’s face, Wyatt leaned down and laid his head against Glitch’s chest. The reassuring sound of the steady heartbeat, along with the shallow but regular breaths, nearly made Wyatt sag with relief. “You’ll be the death of me someday, sweetheart,” he murmured, tucking one hand under Glitch’s head.

Faint voices could be heard approaching from the direction Wyatt had come and he looked up, squinting through the darkness and nearly horizontal snowfall. Ahamo led the group, holding a lantern; behind him, Pamela, hugging a large bundle, and two of her assistants carrying a canvas stretcher followed.

When they reached the two men, Pamela gave a few short directions, having her team place the stretcher next to Glitch while she handed Wyatt the bundle of blankets. “How is he?”

“Breathing. Freezing,” Wyatt replied.

“We’ll get him inside as soon as I make sure we can move him safely,” Pamela told him kindly, patting his arm before kneeling down and getting to work on her examination.

She ran her hands over Glitch’s head and neck, just reaching his arms when he started to stir. Tapping lightly on his cheek, she spoke directly to him. “If you want to get warm any time soon, you’d better look at me.”

Glitch chuckled softly and managed to give her a half-lidded look. “That – that’s s-some b-bedside manner,” he murmured through bluish lips.

“Got you up, didn’t it?” Pamela smiled at him. “I know you’re cold but I need you to tell me if anything hurts before we can move you.” She continued her inspection, noting any winces or grunts as she came across bruises.

When she got to his left leg, Glitch jerked sharply. “Ow,” he hissed, clawing at the snow under his hands.

Pamela did a quick check and found swollen, hot skin around Glitch’s knee and the sharp edge of broken bone pushing against the skin of his calf. “Here’s the problem,” she said to herself. “All right, we’ll get you inside and take care of this, shall we?”

“Sounds g-good,” Glitch replied, closing his eyes again. “Wyatt?”

“Right here,” Wyatt assured his mate, reaching down to stroke Glitch’s forehead. “You scared the hell out of me, you know.”

“Sorry,” Glitch said, then he was being shifted onto the stretcher. He bit his lip as his leg was inadvertently jarred in the move.

It only took a couple of minutes to get the blankets tucked around Glitch and then they were moving back toward the door.

The next couple of hours passed in a blur. Wyatt sat at Glitch’s side and held his hand, stroking the inside of his wrist rhythmically. He helped when asked, held things and handed things, talked to Glitch quietly. Distracted him as Pamela set the broken bone and wrapped it in plaster, kept him from scratching at his pox rashes.

When Pamela pronounced Glitch well enough to go back to their own room, she left them to go retrieve a pair of crutches. While she was gone, Wyatt got Glitch sitting up and wrapped in a warmed blanket, rubbing his back with wide arches.

“What next,” Glitch sighed, leaning heavily against Wyatt’s chest. He patted his hand against Wyatt’s waist then let it rest there.

Wyatt wrapped his arm around Glitch’s shoulders and pressed his lips to the top of Glitch’s head, right across the zipper. “I’m sorry.”

Glitch looked up, frowning. “What for? None of this is your fault.”

“I should have gotten to you faster,” Wyatt told him regretfully. “I just keep seeing you slip and...I was so close...”

“Hey,” Glitch sniffed and straightened, careful not to jostle his new cast. “None of that, okay? It was an accident and if anyone’s to blame, it’s me. But I didn’t know what I was doing, so I refuse to let any of us feel guilty about it.”

Wyatt sighed into Glitch’s hair, the damp strands sticking to his throat. “I’ll just have to keep a closer eye on you.”

“I can live with that,” Glitch said. He looked up when Pamela came back, a pair of polished wooden crutches.

“Now, I’m only giving you these so you can get back upstairs,” Pamela informed him firmly. “You’re going to take the elevator and as soon as you’re safely in bed, you’re to stay there until I say so. That fever has at least another day if you’re lucky and didn’t make it worse with your little adventure. Then you’ve got to wait for the pox to run its course.”

Glitch slipped his arm around Wyatt’s shoulders, giving Wyatt a moment to get a hold of him. His other hand gripped the edge of the table and he slid down slowly, balancing on one leg. There was a fumbling hop as he caught his equilibrium, but Wyatt was there to hold him upright. After sneaking a quick scratch of his collarbone, he tucked the crutches under his arms. “Home, Wyatt.”

“You got it,” Wyatt agreed and together, they made their slow way to the rarely used elevator and gradually up to their room once more.

~*~

After such a harrowing evening, Glitch managed to sleep soundly through the night. His fever had faded somewhat after the long exposure to the snowstorm but returned with a vengeance around four in the morning. Wyatt had gotten a few hours of solid rest himself, so was ready to take on the task once again.

By evening, the fever had broken and Glitch had become a different kind of handful to deal with. Wyatt learned just how inventive Glitch could be when it came to sneaking a scratch in when he thought Wyatt wasn’t watching. Wyatt would simply raise his eyebrow and descend with the ever-present tube of ointment. The smell of mint had become ubiquitous, clinging to the sheets and Wyatt’s hands stubbornly. It was the scent of healing, one he now associated with taking care of Glitch.

~*~

The fourth morning gave rise to a very restless Glitch, who was under strict orders from Pamela to remain in bed to rest his leg and sprained knee. He was only allowed up to use the toilet, the rest of his needs seen to by Wyatt or a staff member when he required something brought to the room.

Wyatt was sent on a mission to retrieve an extensive list of books from the Western library, the room Glitch had dubbed “the blue room,” because every piece of furniture in the room was blue. Including the wood.

When he returned with his armful of reading material, he was not surprised to see Glitch tucking something nonchalantly under the pillow. Rolling his eyes, Wyatt dumped the books on the bed. "How many times do I have to remind you not to scratch under your cast," Cain grumbled with a very put-upon sigh, moving to take Glitch's newest creative solution away. He blinked in mild horror at what it was he had confiscated. "Is this my toothbrush?"

Glitch pouted, arms folded across his chest. "Yes," he nodded firmly. "I have hen pox, my leg is broken and you left me alone for more than five minutes. What did you expect?"

“A small amount of dignity?” Wyatt shot back, unmoved. “I need to go downstairs to get a new toothbrush. But I’m afraid of what you might find if I leave you alone again.”

“There’s a couple of extras under the sink,” Glitch waved his hand at the bathroom. “And it itches. I can’t get the ointment down under the cast, it’s driving me crazy.”

Wyatt sat on the bed, always mindful of the hard cast stretched out in front of Glitch. “I know,” he said sympathetically. “I wish I knew how to help.”

Glitch sighed, scratching his head and making his zipper pull rattle. “It’s not so bad if I keep my mind off of it.”

“Right,” Wyatt nodded. Glitch needed a distraction and the books just weren’t enough. Straining to think of something, he let his mind wander to what they had around the mansion. A thought occurred to him and he smiled slowly. “I have an idea,” he said, standing up. “Think you can behave for a bit? I need to do some snooping.”

Glitch smiled in return, curious. “I’ll do my best,” he promised. He raised his head to accept a soft kiss on the lips then settled back against the pillows piled behind him. Grabbing a book, he made a sweeping motion with one hand. “Go. Be a snoop.”

Wyatt patted Glitch’s good leg through the blanket and left on his mission.

~*~

It was nearly an hour later when he returned, a large wooden crate in his hands. He set it down on the floor next to the bed, crouching next to it.

Glitch leaned over inquisitively. “What have you found?”

Wyatt’s head popped up and he grinned. “Remember that project you and DG were working on, to take some of her Other Side films and put them onto disks we can use here?”

Catching on quickly, Glitch’s eyes lit up. “You didn’t!”

“She said you’re welcome to the ones you guys managed to transfer so far,” Wyatt announced proudly, finally pulling out the portable projector from the crate and setting it on the foot of the bed. He snake the cord around the floor and stuck it into an open outlet in the wall. The wall on the far side of the room held a single painting so Wyatt took that down to leave a solid white surface to project the film onto.

After he closed the curtains to darken the room, Wyatt made his way back over and crawled onto the bed. “So, genius,” he said playfully, handing Glitch the small box of video disks. “I have no idea what any of these are.”

Glitch studied the labels, trying to remember what DG had said about each of the films as they had transferred them. One title caught his eye and he held it up. “If I remember right, we’ll like this one,” he said, handing it to Wyatt to put into the projector.

After Glitch gave a few instructions, they both settled back against the mound of pillows to enjoy DG’s movie about a labyrinth.

~*~

And so the next week went by with a steady stream of books, films, a bouquet of mint and popcorn and easy companionship. Wyatt was always ready with the ointment and pain pills, helping Glitch clean up and change clothes without complaint. Whenever Glitch got a cramp from the immobility of his leg, Wyatt was there to massage it out. No matter how unattractive and uncomfortable and repulsive Glitch felt, Wyatt never once treated him any different.

As the last of the pox faded and Glitch was comfortably tucked into Wyatt’s side, watching the pictures move rapidly on the wall, Glitch turned his head and planted a kiss on Wyatt’s cheek. “Thank you.”

Wyatt turned, his nose inadvertently brushing against Glitch’s. “What for?”

Glitch shrugged and kissed his lips. “Just...everything.”

Responding with a longer, deeper kiss of his own, Wyatt smiled against Glitch’s mouth. “I love you.”

In the end, Glitch decided that it hadn’t been such a bad week after all.

~*~

End

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
avari_maethor
Jul. 5th, 2009 03:42 pm (UTC)
Awww! This was to cute.

Oddly enough this brings back memories for me. I fractured my ankle a few years ago and about three days into that I got chicken pox from my cousins. I feel Gltich's pain about the itching in the cast.

He briefly wondered if this was what Glitch had felt an annual ago, finding Wyatt’s own motionless body lying in the snow.

I love this reference. And watching the Labyrinth! :D
surranndie
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

Oh, that's too funny!! *hugs* At least it gave you a good frame of reference...*GRIN*

I was trying so hard to think of *something* they could watch that wouldn't be too strange of a reference. So I figured that "Labyrinth" would be a movie DG would like, perhaps unconsciously reminding her of Finaqua. :D
lionille
Jul. 5th, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
THE FIC! At last the toothbrush line of awesomeness gets its place to shine! \o/

~
“He fell off the balcony?” Pamela repeated incredulously.
~

I quote this complete with both Italics of Incredulosity. :D This made me laugh so hard, because, you know, here she leaves them with these simple instructions and expects him to just be resting in bed, and then this happens, and she sounds so stunned. LOL.

Wyatt is a complete doll in this. Really, just amazing, and your description of how frumpy Glitch was getting, lol, but STILL Wyatt is true.

Thanks so much for writing this!
surranndie
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
*wields the toothbrush [line] proudly*

Hahhaha yes! That poor woman must have it terribly rough with those two. She would be horrified by what Wyatt is telling her, but somehow not terribly surprised. It's like she knew it was coming, in some form, but now that she's presented with it, she can't believe what Glitch has managed to do to himself!

Wyatt is such a good puppy. He's loyal and attentive and eager to please, so full of love. :D

You're welcome, dear! I'm so happy you liked it! *dances you*
slashybits
Jul. 5th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Oh so cute! Poor Glitch! And Cain for having to go through it too.
surranndie
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I imagine that for someone like Wyatt, who had been married before, the role of the caregiver is easy to slip into. But Glitch is still surprised and thrilled that someone would be so willing to take care of him with such ease. :)
amedia
Jul. 5th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
“If you want to get warm any time soon, you’d better look at me.”

I LOVE Pamela SO MUCH!!!!!

"I have hen pox, my leg is broken and you left me alone for more than five minutes. What did you expect?"

ROFLCOPTER!!!!!

This was ever so much fun! Funny and sweet and a little bit scary in places.

And a bit of a nostalgia trip - poor metherion had an extremely mild case of chicken pox as a wee one--we didn't realize it wasn't enough to give him immunity--he caught it again as an eighth-grader from his "kindergarten buddy"!

I wonder if DG got chicken pox on the Otherside, and if so, whether that would make her immune to hen pox in the O.Z.
surranndie
Jul. 6th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm always wary about original characters, but in this case it was necessary (can't have the easy-out of Raw fixing things, because we needed Glitch in his cast for LOLZ). So it's always a pleasant surprise when you guys take to them! :D Pamela seemed to be just what those two needed: someone snarky, bright, and intensely caring; someone that would keep Wyatt focused and calm, that would keep Glitch on his toes and grounded in the present.

Oh, that line - that was the basis of the entire story, right there. \o/

Awww! Poor sick woobies! I've never had chicken pox, but I can well imagine how annoying they would be!

You know, that had occured to me too!! I thought about having DG pop in and ask if hen pox was the same as chicken pox and if so, she's safe 'cause she's had them - but it never seemed to fit into any scene, so I gave it up. But I'm so glad you thought of it, too!! Hehe!

Thank you so much!!!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )