Disclaimer: Characters: not mine. Plot: mine. Disturbing thoughts: all yours, baby.

This story was intended as an entry for Makokam's "Mindy on Bed Rest" contest. As the story developed, it didn't quite work out that way. Ah, well, another day, another thousand words.

Laid Out

I woke up confused and in pain.

It wasn't the ache of a good workout or a good fight. Ten years of training and five of fighting left me well aware of what those felt like.

I wasn't sick.

I couldn't feel anything below my waist.

I could smell blood. Dried blood and something else.

I tried to lift myself up so I could see if I still had legs, but I could barely move. You can't even call it flopping around. Wiggling like a squashed worm, maybe.

At least my efforts told me that I was in a bed. I wasn't lying in an alley after being shot in the spine. And it was good that I was lying on my back, so I could breathe. I was too weak to turn my head if my nose were blocked.

I lay there, getting my bearings and remembering what had led to me lying here, unable to move.

Dave and I had been together for almost five years. Not together-together, but everyone who knew us thought that we either were a couple or should be. Including me, but not including the dork.

I'd been chasing him for years before I finally wore him down. Wore him and Marcus down. Marcus wasn't exactly supportive of us being together and he wasn't exactly opposed, but he thought I was too young. He'd told me flat out that if I somehow managed to seduce Dave, he'd throw him in jail the next day.

Maybe Marcus was right. I'm sure he was. I was eleven years old when I decided that Dave was The One. I was just a stupid kid. What did I know about life except training and killing? What did I know about love and friendship? About trust?

Maybe I'm still a stupid kid.

Maybe not as much of a kid as I was yesterday.

Marcus finally gave me the go-ahead when I was fifteen. Dave was almost 22 and I was still under-age, according to the law, but since when have I ever cared about the law? Marcus decided that I was mature enough and he saw that I hadn't wavered in my goal in four years. And, honestly, with the life I led, I might not live to adulthood so I might as well get some while the getting's good.

Marcus was a wise man. If last night was any indication, I wasn't going to see my next birthday. I might not see my next sunset.

Marcus didn't tell Dave about the green light, and told me not to tell him either. It was going to be a test of Dave's character, to see what he would do if I really came on to him.

I guess you could say that Dave failed, if you looked at it that way.

We dated for a while – official dates, not just two friends hanging out together. Things were going well enough, I guess, but too slowly for my taste. I'd been waiting for years and I didn't want to have to wait any longer. So I pushed things. That led to me lying here, unable to move.

I was thirsty. So thirsty, and I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't even try to call for help because my throat was so raw. Like I'd been screaming for hours. Go figure.

I smelled smoke.

I tried to move again, wanting to get up off the bed. I didn't want to be stuck here if the house was on fire. This attempt almost counted as flailing. Maybe in another minute I'd be able roll myself over and off the bed, then drag myself away if my legs still didn't work.

The door opened and a burst of smoke stench preceded Dave. He was carrying something I couldn't quite see and had an unnatural grin on his face.

"Finally out of your coma, I see. You screamed yourself hoarse last night, so drink this. I don't want you choking yourself, trying to talk." He held a glass for me, some kind of mild fruit juice which felt so good on my throat that I almost forgave him for what he put me through last night.

"Have you learned your lesson, Young Lady? That you can only push so far before suffering the consequences?"

"Fuck you. If I could move, I'd stuff you into a garbage can."

"It seems you haven't learned to control your mouth. I wonder what I should do to help teach you."

"Come about one step closer." My one arm was moving pretty well. It would be enough.

Pursing his lips but still smiling, Dave stepped closer. I wrapped my one arm around his neck and pulled our lips together. "It was everything I wanted."

"It was everything I wanted, too. I can't tell you how long I've wanted you."

I smiled and kissed him again, as well as our bruised lips and tired tongues could manage.

Then I smacked him a good one. "And that's for not being gentle my first time, you shithead!"

"Hey, I was gentle your first time," he protested. "And your second. It wasn't until about your fourth time that I started getting wild, and you were wilder than I was. Even with your gymnastics practice and even with how strong you are, I'm surprised you can move this morning."

"I can't move, you ass! Help me up. I gotta pee, then you can help me take a shower. And I'm hungry. Was that burned breakfast I smell?"

"Uh, yah." He scratched the back of his head in Shamefaced Gesture #2. "I fell asleep while cooking. It's ok, I made more and got the mess cleaned up."

I got my shower and had my first experience in having to change messy sheets after a busy night. As we ate breakfast I thought about the coming night. I was probably too sore to do anything, but I wasn't too sore to think about it. And I was going to get as much of it as I wanted for the rest of my life, however long or short that might be.

We went for a walk after breakfast. It was a new day.