~17~

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I wake fully and shift under the arm wrapped around me. 

"Hey there, Sweetheart," Kota mumbles sleepily.  I struggle to sit up and he helps me, sitting up himself and then letting me lean against him.  I hear the snick of his glasses unfolding and he moves around, perching the black frames on his nose and smiling kindly at me.

"How are you feeling, Princess?" Victor asks as he walks into the room carrying a to-go coffee cup in each hand.

I wince as my voice rasps out, "I'll be fine."

Gabriel trails in behind Victor, carrying another two cups and glaring at me.  "You're not fucking fine, Trouble, so tell us the god damned truth!"  He sets the drinks down and sits beside me.  He gently puckers my lips with his fingers squeezing the sides and raises his voice into a horrible, breathy impression of me.  "I feel like shit, Gabriel," he sings in a warbly falsetto while moving my lips with his fingers.  "Give me some damn drugs and I promise to always tell you the truth from here on out."  He bats his eyelashes at me and I can feel Kota chuckle from behind while I  see Victor roll his eyes.

"I'mph shorry, Meanie," I mumble around his fingers and he laughs humorlessly.  I notice the shadows under his eyes, and that he looks distinctly rumpled.  He releases my mouth and reaches over to hand me one of the cups he brought in with him.

"The selection here is shit, so we ran down the street to a little cafe and got you a hazelnut hot cocoa."

I wrap my hands around the warm cup and inhale the mouthwatering aroma.  "I've never had hazelnut before, but it smells delicious."

Gabriel's mouth drops open and Victor looks stunned.  "You've never..no Nutella?" I shake my head and he gasps, "Fuck, Trouble!  Just you wait!  Luke is going to rock your palate as soon as he finds out."

I look to Victor for a translation, but he just shakes his head and looks to be in complete agreement with Meanie.  I shrug it off and take a small sip of my cocoa.

"Mmmm," I moan as the chocolate hits my tongue.  I take two more sips with my eyes closed and savor the flavor before breaking the silence.  "I definitely like hazelnut," I declare and I see something dance behind Gabriel's tired eyes.

Victor smiles at me and his fire eyes ignite.  "Glad to hear it, Sang.  Now tell me, how are you feeling, Princess?"

I sigh and lean back into Kota's embrace.  When did I become so comfortable with him?

"I'm sore," I murmur.  "I've had worse," I tell him, hoping he'll let me leave it at that.

No such luck.

"What do you mean, Sang," Kota rumbles from behind me.

I shrug and put my cocoa down on the side table.  "Nothing." Victor opens his mouth and I pierce him with a stare.  "Can we just drop it, please?"

A cramp grips me and I fold forward, clutching my abdomen.  Tears well in my eyes and I whisper, "I'm sorry, little baby."

Kota rubs my back like Owen did before and Gabriel begins to hum again.  Victor lowers himself so that his face is right in front of me.  "What can I do, Sang?  Doc will be back in just a few minutes, but if you need, I will go and get a nurse.  Tell me what to do," he pleads.

I shake my head and suck in a breath through my teeth.  Victor wipes my tears away, and between the three of them, I feel like the most loved girl alive.  I breathe through the pain and slowly, it tapers off.  I straighten up and feel the tension ease out of the boys.

"Shit, Trouble," I look over and see tears pooling in Gabriel's eyes, "I'm so fucking sorry, Sang."  He takes my hand in his and holds on with a death grip.  "I'm so god damned sorry that you're having to go through this."  He lifts my hand to his lips and gently kisses each fingertip.  "But you're not alone, okay?  I'm here, and Vic, and Kota, and Luke, and Nathan, and Silas, and North, and Doc, and Mr. B...we're all here for you, and not a single one of us is going anywhere."  I feel Kota's arm tighten around me in a comforting hug, and Victor takes my other hand in his.

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