Chapter 11

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"Broken arm... Broken ribs... Concussion... Bruising... Rest..."

Lauren was trying her best to listen to the doctor, but after his initial 'She's alive, she's been awake and conscious - she's asleep right now, but she's stable', she felt like she could finally allow air to re-enter her lungs again for the first time in three hours, and the rest of his words just seemed to whizz past her. She knew Ally was listening intently, so she allowed herself to bask in the knowledge that her baby was alive, and okay and... And as soon as she was well enough, Lauren was going to talk to her - about love, about them, about everything, because the idea of Camila dying without the knowledge of how much Lauren loved and treasured her, was gut-wrenching. Camila was without a doubt one of the most important people to Lauren... Well, ever. She just couldn't remember a time where Camila wasn't one of the main reasons for her existence, even before their relationship had developed into whatever it was now, Camila had been her best friend for what felt like so long.

"Lauren? You want to see her, right?" Ally asked, placing a wary hand on Lauren's arm to shake her from her thoughts.

The girl nodded her head vigorously, latching onto Dinah's outstretched arm, because she had just realised that maybe it wouldn't be so great to see Camila lying in a hospital bed, and Dinah served as a welcome source of comfort. But she had to, of course. She had to be there for her.

"The doctor said she's okay, Laur," Dinah murmured, and only then did Lauren realise she'd stopped, just outside the doorway of Camila's hospital room. "She's just fallen back asleep and they upped her painkillers, but as soon as she wakes up, you're going to be the first person she wants to see," Dinah assured her, and Lauren felt herself lighting up at that, turning and shooting Dinah a small smile.

Once more she was walking, and slowly she unlinked her arm from Dinah's, her heart rate increasing as her eyes landed on the small body sprawled out in the middle of the huge hospital bed. Camila; her Camila, hooked up to various machines with several tubes branching from underneath the thin blanket covering her body. One arm was bound to a plaster cast - her left arm, luckily - and she had several plaster strips taped to her forehead. Lauren instantly planted herself in the chair beside Camila's bed, her pulse racing much too fast for her liking. Seeing Camila like this was terrifying, and she swore to herself in that moments that she'd do everything within her power to ensure nothing would ever put Camila in this position again, not while Lauren was breathing. "Oh Camz," she murmured, unable to hide the tears filling her eyes - even though she was endlessly thankful for the soft rising and falling of Camila's chest, it hurt endlessly to see her in this position. "I'm going to protect you, now, Camz. I promise you. I love you with my entire heart and I promise that you'll always be safe with me. This won't happen again, baby," Lauren murmured quietly, carefully linking her own hand with Camila's and grazing her thumb over her knuckles as she observed her.

A silence settled over the room for no longer than a few minutes, the remaining three girls hanging back by the doorway of the room to allow Lauren some space. Lauren didn't remove her gaze from Camila once, their hands firmly linked - and then she felt a squeeze, followed by a flicker of eyelids and a quiet, sleepy whine. Attention was immediately perked, and the girls made it over just in time for Camila to murmur, "Lolo?"

Lauren was pretty sure she could've died from joy in that moment.

"That's right, Camz. I'm right here. We're all right here," Lauren offered a teary smile and she heard Ally's audible exhalation of relief as she crouched down beside Lauren, Dinah perching on the edge of the bed and Normani settling upon the arm of the chair Lauren was seated on.

Camila's eyes were wide as she looked around the hospital room, and Lauren could easily see the childish element of innocence and curiosity in her gaze. As Camila finally settled upon looking at her, she allowed herself to bare an uncertain smile, and if possible, Lauren felt even more elated. "You're in the hospital, baby. Do you remember what happened?" she asked softly, tracing small circles on the back of Camila's hand as she watched her.

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