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A touch that tastes like a promise

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Rip puts a hand on his stomach. He lets out a low groan, feeling the nausea that woke him in the middle of the night increasing at an alarming speed.

It seems that eating the hospital food has been a bad idea.

He takes some deep breathes, trying to calm down, but soon the discomfort reaches levels so high that he can't ignore it. He sighs, exhausted, and with a hand on the mattress he tries to push himself to sit up. This seems to be also a very bad idea and when the world around him starts to spin, his body leans dangerously forward. Someone grabs his shoulders, preventing him to fall out of bed, and Rip jumps, startled.

«Idiot.» It's an amused and exasperated snort. He knows that voice too well.

With caution, he leans his shoulders against the wall and turns around.

«Sara» he glares «what are you doing here?»

It's a good question. It's the middle of the night and Rip is sure enough that visiting hours ended a long time ago.

She grins. Even if the light in the room is dim, Rip can see clearly the lines of her smile. Sara, after all, has this way of smiling that could illuminate the universe.

«I suspected that if you needed help you would have been stupid enough to not call the nurse. So I sneaked in your room after visiting hours.» She ends the sentence with a shrug of shoulders. Rip has to restrain himself from rolling his eyes. He does that only because the movement would have been without a doubt in disagreement with his stomach.

«I just need to go to the bathroom. I don't need help with that, Captain.»

Sara raises an eyebrow in defiance. She knows that Rip, in this kind of situations, uses her title only when he's annoyed with her. Not that it matters. He's always annoyed with something when it has to do with the team and Sara started to think by now he does that just by habit.

«You mean that you don't need help to go to the bathroom to puking up your guts?» she helps him to stand up, taking one of his arm on her shoulders so that he can put most of his weight on her. Rip lets her do this. If it was anyone else he would have protested a bit more, but Sara is different. Sara is always there by his side. Physically or in his memories. Even his evil self made her the center of his hate. Sometimes Rip wondered if he did that because he was afraid that she could have stopped him, that just being near him could have brought him back to his weak, pathetic self, such a poor excuse for a captain.

His stomach twitches and they reach the bathroom just in time for him to start puking his soul out in the toilet. His muscles keep contracting with unexpected violence and soon enough Rip can't acknowledge anything else apart from the pain to his abdomen and the shivers that shake his body. He finds himself to praying for the coming of the rest of the team, for Jax to have repaired the Waverider so that he can escape from there and let himself in the care of Gideon, surely more efficient than a hospital from the twentieth century.

The pain is unbearable, but then he feels a hand supporting his soaked forehead and another massaging his back. He tries to focus on this and Sara's voice.

«It's gonna be ok. It's almost done» and till he keeps concentrating on her, everything seems so much tolerable. Before he realizes, he has nothing else to puke.

By now he's barely awake and almost doesn't notice the glass of water that Sara gives him so he can wash his mouth and take a couple of sips. She helps him to stand up and the trip to the bed is just an unfocused memory. When his head touches the pillow, Rip has already closed his eyes, but before he completely falls asleep he still manages to reach out and grab one of her hands.

«Thank you. Thank you for coming.» he mumbles with gratitude. He could swear he hears her smiling, but the last thing he remembers before falling asleep is Sara's grip on his hand.

It's a touch that tastes like a promise.