Michelle’s brow is furrowed, and she’s muttering under her breath as she applies pressure on Taylor’s wound. She can make out some of the words—idiot, stupid, and reckless stand out the most—but Taylor doesn’t pay attention to that.
She looks at Michelle’s hands (stained with her blood, but she doesn’t want to think about that). They’re trembling. Impulsively, she reaches out and covers a hand with her palm.
“Michelle, hey,” she says quietly. “It’s alright. I’m fine.”
Michelle scoffs, lifting her gaze to meet hers. Her eyes are red-rimmed. “Fine? You bleeding out is you being fine?”
Taylor winces. “Okay, that was a poor choice of words,” she admits. Michelle raises an unimpressed eyebrow, as if saying, you think? “But we’re safe now. That’s what matters.”
“…I just wish you’d stop throwing yourself into danger,” Michelle says, eventually. This time, her voice isn’t full of anger. It’s tired. “I know that’s too much to ask. We’ll never be free from danger as long as we’re on this island.”
Taylor smiles, hoping to uplift her mood. “Some vacation this turned out to be, huh?”
Michelle scoffs again, though the corners of her lips twitch upwards. “Oh yeah. Just what I needed,” she says sarcastically, more like her usual self. It fills Taylor with relief. There are some things, at least, that the island won’t be able to take from them.
Taylor realizes they’re still touching when Michelle moves her hand. Now they’re palm to palm. She goes to pull away and pretend it didn’t happen, when the blonde squeezes her hand. Is her skin always this soft?
“Thanks,” Michelle says, voice gentle. Then she looks away. “But uh. We should let go now. You’re still bleeding, and I’m not done patching you up.”
“Oh! Right!” Taylor pulls her hand away, her cheeks warm. “Thank you. For doing this.”
“Yeah, well. You know anyone else with experience in first aid?” The words are dripping with sarcasm, but Michelle’s smiling, and that’s all that matters.