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Veritas Vos Liberabit

Guest Taniya_K

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Read the rest of this a while back, glad to get some more of it.Nicely written and really curious about it all.Is it because Belle didn't take her meds and/or she got blood poisoning?Or was it because she mixed her medication with the anti-histamines?And is this "it" or is it a massive double bluff and she actually dies later?Looking forward to more.

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The Aden and Belle banter was really nice. I also liked the part with Annie, Geoff and Irene by her bedroom door. As well as the ending. Looking forward to the next chapter.

"That is not true! I'm a lovely person. All the freaking time!" She retorted, letting out a hiss of pain soon afterwards.

:lol: Loved this line.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update, update, update, update, update, update, update, update, update, update, update, update.

You can't leave it like that.. quick, post the next chapter (or secretly e-mail it to me - evil laugh)

That was brilliant, as always. I think you might have gathered that I'm waiting rather impatiently for the next chapter.



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you write such long chapters and yet when you do i can never stop reading - and always want more at the end :D :D love lovel ove your style, it's been a few weeks since I've had time to sit down and catch up on my favourite fics, but so glad to see this is still going!!!

And the way you portray Aden & Belle -sigh- perfection at it's best :D

As for that ending ... !!! :(

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Thank you all for theh comments. They're all so nice and positive even after what happened! :lol:

Sorry if you're confused with what happeneds. It'll all be explained in the next chapter or 2, I promise. And I assure you, what have been said so far in this fic about Belle's death is true. :)

Is it because Belle didn't take her meds and/or she got blood poisoning?Or was it because she mixed her medication with the anti-histamines?And is this "it" or is it a massive double bluff and she actually dies later?
Wow, so many questions, lol! Out of them all, I'll only answer the last one, because the others would undoubtedly ruin the fic :lol: This is definitely 'it'.

Thanks once again. Sorry for the delay in the updates. I'm currently working on the next chapter, and will hopefully get it up soon-ish.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it because Belle didn't take her meds and/or she got blood poisoning?Or was it because she mixed her medication with the anti-histamines?And is this "it" or is it a massive double bluff and she actually dies later?
Wow, so many questions, lol! Out of them all, I'll only answer the last one, because the others would undoubtedly ruin the fic :lol:This is definitely 'it'.

OK now I'm even more confused :huh: why does Aden get arrested for murder then? I really wanna know what happens lol :D

Great fic, love the first chapter espesically the ending it was like :o

Update soon please :D

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Firstly, I'm so sorry for the delay! It's been hectic and finally got back to uni so *phew* Anyways, here's the next chapter. I hope it's alright. I went a bit crazy with the research, so I apologize in advance if it's repetitive and dragged on <_<

Huge thanks to Ellen for proofing the chappie for me, and to all who read and commented :D

Chapter 5

Sinking into one of the hard, plastic chairs once again, he glanced at the time on his watch. It was now over 4 hours since Geoff had called him from the hospital with the terrifying news about his girlfriend. And ever since he had gotten there, only 10 minutes after with Roman driving the two of them and Nicole, the only good thing that had happened was that they had found out what was wrong with her. Yet even that was scary. All that he had managed to comprehend was that she was really ill, and that it was due to a septic shock and kidney failure. There had been more words mixed into that, including surgery, but none of it had really stuck with him after that.

“Aden?” His head snapped up at the voice, with his posture almost relaxing in disappointment when he saw that it was only Nicole. “Do you want some coffee or something? I’m going to get one myself…”

“No.” Aden told her abruptly in a raspy voice, making the blonde girl’s mouth clamp shut immediately. “Thanks.”

“Ok.” She offered him a brief and reassuring smile that he tried to reciprocate. He was sure that his effort was all in vain as Nicole walked away without another word or look.

His eyes had for some reason followed her as she walked down the hospital corridor, stopping at the corner where Geoff was leaning back against to probably ask him the same question before disappearing around the bend towards her destination. Aden’s gaze lingered for a moment mindlessly, a couple of stray thoughts passing through his head, wondering if the others felt as sick as he did right then, before he managed to tear his eyes away. It was only a split second before another figure joined them in the waiting area, to which her presence made them all stand and alert with attention. Almost as once, Aden could see that the rest of them had guessed what he had; the news wasn’t good.

“Is there any more news?” Irene asked the doctor nonetheless, as if it would have been possible for all 5 of them to have gauged her facial expressions wrongly. “Did the surgery go ok?”

“There is, and it‘s gone perfectly well.” Rachel simply said, nodding once before looking around at them. “I think this would be better done somewhere privately.”

“Can’t you just tell us? It’s been ages, already. We’re worried.” Annie’s innocent and scared voice spoke up from where she now stood next to her foster mother. The fear and sorrow was shining brightly in her glassy eyes; so bright that it made Aden want to look away immediately.

“No, I think there’s a lot of explaining to do, and here is not the best place for it.” Rachel insisted in a tone of authority that reminded them of her place in that building right then, as opposed to them. “It shouldn’t take too long, though.”

“What about Belle? Can we see her yet?” Aden finally asked as everyone seemed to begin to agree and go along with what the doctor was saying.

“Not yet, sorry. She’s having a few tests run and being settled back in. But she’s being looked after too, don’t worry.” She assured them all, making him frown and sigh heavily, but nod anyway. “Irene…?” Rachel prompted her softly, making the older lady snap back to reality before turning to where Geoff and Annie stood next to each other.

“Listen, why don’t you kids stay here, yeah? It’ll be better-” She began saying, only to be cut off by the youngest of her foster kids.

“No, I want to come. We deserve to know.” Annie insisted sternly, followed by her brother.

“We’re family, too, Irene. We‘ve been waiting just as long as you have.” Although they both spoke as quietly as Irene originally had, their tone of voice told them all there that they weren’t going to back down. Aden guessed that it was that, and the lack of energy to argue, that made Irene give in so quickly and easily.

“Alright, fine. You have a point.” She muttered with a sigh. Without another word, except from Rachel to follow her, they began to walk down the corridor towards where the doctor’s office was. She had already disappeared behind the bustling hospital crowds, as had the Campbell kids, when Irene paused halfway there to look back at the two remaining people. “Aden?”

He had been in the same spot as he had been when Rachel had first arrived, not taking anything for granted. When Rachel had asked for them to go somewhere private to talk, he had automatically assumed that it was a private matter. He had experienced hospital policy enough times to know that when it came to privacy at the hospital, it usually regarded family members only, and although everyone knew just how much he loved Belle, or so Aden hoped they did, he wasn’t sure whether that had granted him an invite into the ‘family’ as such. Had it been year or so earlier, he was pretty sure that his short temper would have flared, picking an argument with whoever he could until he found out what he wanted to know. However, right then, had he known it would do any good, he would have done it. But wasting time wasn’t at the top of his priority list at that moment. Finding out what was happening with Belle, though, was, and he wasn’t going to delay that by any means. And for that reason, his feet had been rooted in the same place as before.

Without a word, Aden quickly looked over to where Roman stood next to him; a question clearly being asked even without any verbal communication.

“Go. I’ll stay here.” He assured him with a gentle hand on the shoulder as if to urge him on.

“Thanks.” Aden replied again in a low murmur before following the others down the hallway towards where Irene had been waiting, and beyond to the office room.

Once inside, Rachel closed the door behind them to give them all total privacy before rounding her desk to take a seat in the empty chair behind it. There were two more chairs in the room, both situated in front of where Aden currently stood, one of which was occupied with Annie perching on the edge of it while Irene took a seat in the other one. Deciding to remain standing, even as Geoff balanced carefully on the armrest of Annie’s chair, they all waited as the doctor took her time to speak. Whether it was out of nervousness of what she was going to say, or a way for her to gather her thoughts, Aden had no doubt that it made them all worry just that little bit more.

“Well…?” Irene finally spoke up to prompt the quiet doctor.

“Right, so,” Rachel took in a breath as she let her eyes wander around the room, and Aden could feel them linger on him while he kept his head down for a second out of self-consciousness. As soon as he knew her eyes were gone, he looked back up to listen intently to what she was telling them. “There’s no real easy way to say this, so I’m just going to come out and say it, ok? Unfortunately, it seems like Belle’s condition is worse than we first thought.”

“How much worse? Is she going to d-?”

Geoff!” Annie quickly cut him off in horror.

“Sorry.” He murmured in apology, rubbing his little sister’s shoulder in an attempt of comfort while Irene reached out for her hand. “I didn’t mean it like that. I was just… You said she was worse.”

“Yeah, I did.” Rachel confirmed, bringing all of their attentions back to her. “It looks like the blood test that we ran last week came back slightly wrong.”

“’Wrong‘? How the hell was it wrong?” Aden asked with incredulity, standing up straighter from where he had been leaning against a filing cabinet. “I was there when you told Belle that it was just an infected wound.”

“I know that, Aden, but there is always the chance of errors occurring. Nothing is ever 100% correct.” She argued, making sure that her voice was as gentle as she could keep it so not to raise any more tension in the room.

“So what was the mistake, then? Is it serious?” Irene questioned Rachel with a hint of urgency. The was a pregnant pause where Rachel glanced down at the papers in front of her, before looking up to answer the question that was directed at her.

“Normally, it wouldn’t have been so serious. The infection that Belle had was a bit more intense than we first suspected. However, if she had continued to take her medication, it wouldn’t have caused much damage to her health.” There was an uncharacteristic silence in the room at Rachel’s accusation about the girl in question not having taken her medication as instructed. She had expected a backlash, at least, from Aden about how she hadn’t stopped taking them. But the quietness made her confirm her suspicions.

“Belle wouldn’t have-” Annie began to say, eventually, only to be interrupted by the last person she thought would have countered her.

“Yes, she would have.” Geoff said grimly, shrugging his shoulders as the others looked at him in surprise. “She was saying a couple of days ago how she hated taking them when she felt back to normal again.”

“And you didn’t think about saying anything?!” Aden snapped at him, making the other boy look over at him with a slight guilty look and a frown.

“I didn’t think it meant anything! It’s Belle. She’s been complaining a lot the past week, especially in the mornings.” He added matter-of-factly, raising an eyebrow as if to say that the argument they were having was ridiculous.

“Ok!” Irene hurriedly spoke up to stop Aden from retorting. “There is nothing we can do about it now, so how about we just leave it in the past, alright?” Her eyes jumped from one to the other until they both visibly gave in and agreed with her. “Good. So now what do we do, Rachel? Is Belle going to be ok?”

“Like I said before, the infection has caused extensive damage to her kidneys, so now that the surgery’s done, we’re going to start her up on dialysis. We’ve also put her on some antibiotics to help with the infection, but it’s going to take a while.” Rachel paused as she flicked through a couple of papers in front of her and turned them over. “And we also found some damage to her liver. It’s small, but it’s there.”

“Wow, darl. When you said it was worse, I didn’t think…” Irene trailed off in shock, letting out a deep, shaky breath. “How did this happen? She was perfectly fine yesterday. Were there signs that we missed or something?”

“With things like this, I doubt there would have been anything anyone could have done. These things happen, Irene. It’s probably the worst side of life, but little things can cause really big, and sudden, repercussions.” She replied sympathetically. “Now, there are a few questions that I need to ask you that may help us out.”

“We’ll do anything we can, Rachel.”

“We ran some blood work on Belle as a precaution to find out what was going on and what’s caused the damage to her body, and we founds signs of painkillers and perhaps anti-allergens?” Rachel informed them, turning her sentence into a question as if to ask them whether it was true or not.

"Oh, my Lord! The painkillers!" Irene suddenly exclaimed, making everyone look at her as she covered her mouth with a hand. "She was complaining of having cramps last night, and she looked fairly pale, too. I knew there was something wrong, I just knew it!"

"She threw up, too, remember?" Annie added quietly, as the small pieces of the night before came together. "Is this why?"

"I'd say it's a huge possibility." Rachel nodded, speaking softly and sympathetically. ''Look, guys, there was no way that any of you would have been able to tell or do anything about Belle last night. Don't go blaming yourselves about it, ok?"

"Easier said than done." Irene sighed heavily, giving Annie's hand a light squeeze as she did so. "What else was it that you found? Because I'm sure that Belle doesn't have any allergies."

"The flowers." Aden whispered. He had thought his words had been inaudible, but when everyone turned to look at him, he realised that they were all waiting for an explanation. "Belle was allergic to them. Or at least, she kept sneezing because of them." He added, recalling how she had assured him that she hadn't been allergic. Aden managed to suppress a groan at the thought; a wrench in his gut making it churn as he wondering if it all could have been prevented.

“Ok, well, that explains a lot then.” Rachel told them, looking more directly at Aden who had seemed to have pulled up a wall that she hadn’t seen for a long, long time. Her eyes shifted to the side to look at the others briefly, knowing that they were still trying to process what was happening right then to one of their loved ones. Even she knew herself that, once she was alone, it would affect her as well. Belle might not be her family, but she was a friend.

“Do you think we can see her now?” Annie finally asked her in a small and innocent voice.

“As long as the nurses are done, then I can’t see why not.” There was a little hint of smile curving on the young girl’s lips for the first time in the whole morning. “But you have to remember that it’s not going to be easy, alright? There will be machines and Belle will still be under sedation.”

“It’ll get better, though, right?”

“We hope so.” Rachel tried to assure them all. “We’re all going to keep an eye on her and there’s no reason why things won’t go the way we want it to if we do that.”

He could see everyone nodding and begin to get up, but the only thing that Aden could focus on was the fact that even though Rachel sounded professional and confident, he was able to see the lie behind it. Nobody had asked about what the worst case scenario was going to be, and he was fairly certain that he wasn’t the only one thinking it. And with the way that Rachel’s gaze lingered on him for an extended period of time as she ushered them out of her office, he knew that the chances of the worst case scenario wasn’t as close to 0% as he would hope it to be.


Aden continued to let his fingers skim along the back of Belle's still hand, making sure to avoid the IV needle each time he passed it. There wasn't much else that they could do except for wait, which they had been doing for close enough to 6 hours now. He sat by her bedside; Irene opposite him, both trying their best to ignore the sight and sounds of the continuous whirring of the dialysis machine next to them. There hadn’t been a word exchanged since Geoff had left with Nicole to go get something to eat and to search for his younger sister who had ran off almost 3 hours beforehand. Teary-eyed and scared, Aden couldn’t blame Annie for leaving, even though he did worry slightly as to where she had gotten to when no-one had managed to find her after so long.

Letting out a deep sigh, Aden leant back against his chair, retracting his hand from Belle’s to rub at his eyes tiredly. Although he hadn’t done much, physically, he was emotionally and mentally drained. With every second that passed where his girlfriend remained in the same state as she had been since the morning, the thoughts about what could happen intensified in his head. He knew all about organ failure; he had read up on a lot about it when he had been a young teenager, scared to death about what could happen to his father when he drank himself into a stupor every night. Yet he had never thought that knowing so much could ever hurt him so much, too.

He could sense Irene staring at him as he closed his eyes momentarily, opening them without sparing a glance towards her. If he had, he knew that she would have been able to see the worry and stress in his eyes and face, and probably insist that he got away for a little while for something to eat, or at least stretch his legs. Out of them all, he had been the only one who hadn’t left the room since they had entered it.

A small shudder ran through him as he recalled it. It hadn’t been a pretty sight at first. The only thing that he could remember thinking was how pale Belle looked, and how queasy it was to watch the dialysis machine filter her blood. Nobody had said anything as Rachel and a nurse explained a few things to them until Irene thanked them. It wasn’t long before Aden had rounded the bed, working around the wires to attentively touch her warm, clammy hand before finally curving his fingers in between her stiffened ones. Not much after that had really stuck with him and time had passed without knowledge, even if it was slowly.

Reaching out a hand along the bed in an almost timid manner, Aden lightly laid the tips of his fingers atop of hers just to have some kind of contact. He let his eyes scan over her completely still body, trying his best to avoid the sight of the tubes coming out of her body and instead focused on her face. Regardless of the fact that it was tinged with paleness and the harsh hospital light, she was still as gorgeous as he had always found her to be. Her radiant beauty had always taken his breath away, and as he watched her eyelids began to flutter, causing the shadows of her long eyelashes to dance on her cheekbones, his sighed in relief; his breath this time very literally taken away.

“Belle?” Irene spoke up first, having noticed the same thing as he had. “Belle, love, can you hear me?”

“I’ll go get a nurse.” Aden quickly stood up, but before he had the chance to move, the hand under his began to clasp at his. Moving his hand to hold onto Belle’s, he felt it tighten at the contact as her eyes eventually fully opened.

“What-?” She started to say. Or at least, tried to say. With a mask covering her mouth and nose, it wasn’t easy for her to say anything.

“Don’t speak, alright? You’re ok.” Irene tried to sooth her, running a hand over her hair to ease her gently. However, with Belle being the person that she was, ignored her words and lifted her free hand with the intention of removing the mask to speak. She had only managed to lift her arm off the bed before her face contorted in pain and she let out a low groan that couldn’t have been mistaken for anything but a silent scream. “I’m going to go get that nurse. I’ll be back in tick, darl.”

Aden didn’t say a word as Irene hurriedly left; his insides still twisted up with the sickening feeling that had not left ever since Belle had lifted up her arm. He hated the fact that she was in pain, and more than that, he hated that there was nothing that he could do about it.

Suddenly, her hand was ripped away from his, and Aden’s attention drifted back to his girlfriend who was desperately trying to removing her mask. It didn’t take long before she had managed to do so, and he couldn’t miss the look of shock and slight horror in her eyes as she glanced around the room after following the cause of the pain from her arm.

“Hey, look here.” He told her in a hushed voice, laying a hand on her cheek to urge her manually to face him. “Don’t worry about that, ok? It’s not as bad as it seems.”

“What happened?” Belle finally managed to ask him, voice hoarse and followed by a small cough that made her groan again. “Ad-?”

“Irene was right; don’t speak, alright, babe? Everything’s going to be ok.” Almost as soon as the words had left his mouth, Irene had returned with the same nurse that had been there before, leaving no time for Belle to argue.

“The doctor’s held up in an emergency, but he’ll be here soon. But Rachel said she’d pop in in a second.” Irene informed them as the nurse helped Belle to sit up with Aden supporting her before ushering the other two away from her bedside reluctantly so she could do her job.

Belle didn’t say a word; simply nodding while her eyes searched out for reassurance from both of them. The nurse herself told her not to speak until she had some water, something that she was grateful for as it soothed her dry throat. However, before she could say anything, she was instructed to put the mask back on, and Belle had next to no energy to fight her. Especially as Rachel entered her room soon after and Aden returned back to her side, though without a word.

"Belle, hi. How are you feeling?" Rachel asked her softly while checking over a few notes by her bed.

"Confused. In pain." She groaned out, removing her mask again. "A lot of pain."

"Ok, we'll get you something for that in a moment, alright? But first, I need to know if you can remember a few things, yeah?" Belle simply nodded to her words, allowing her to carry on. "Do you remember when you last took your medication?"

"Yesterday." She replied before pausing and shaking her head a bit as her eyebrows scrunched together. "The day before."

"Ok, that's good." They watched as the doctor scribbled it down onto her clipboard, turning back to her patient a second later. "Belle, do you know why you're here?"

"No." She managed to rasp out, hurriedly replacing her oxygen mask as she felt a burning pain in her chest start to rise up.

"We have reason to believe that a blood infection has damaged your kidneys, and subsequently your liver." She explained, watching as the younger lady's eyes widened in horror and jumping in to add more before she got hysterical about it. "We're doing everything we can to help reverse it, which is why you're on dialysis right now. After that, when your stronger, we'll take things a step further."

"All because I stopped taking the meds?" Belle questioned her in a hoarse whisper, though her eyes averted briefly to the side to look at the machine that had confused and scared her earlier.

"We think that the infection had been building up over the past week. Even if you had finished them all, there's a chance that this may still have happened. It's not your fault, Belle." Rachel assured her. "I'm going to go get that pain relief sorted for you. It'll only be a little bit right now, but it'll be enough to take edge off, alright?"

Merely nodding at her words, Belle kept herself from speaking until the doctor and the nurse had left the room. Glad that they had gone, she turned to look at Irene as she stood at the end of her bed. Sympathy was etched clearly on her features, along with worry and concern for, undoubtedly, her. It was more than enough to confirm her suspicions that there was more to the story than she was being told.

“Irene?” She spoke quietly, taking off her mask to allow her to do so.

“Yes, love?”

“Could get me something to drink, please?”

“There’s some water right here. Hold on a second.” Irene began to walk away towards where the nurse had placed the jug in the room, stopping only when Belle called her back.

“I’d rather have something a bit more tasteful…” She informed her, earning herself a roll of the eyes and a soft smile as Irene walked back over to her.

“Of course.” She pressed a kiss to her foster daughter’s forehead before leaving the room in search for Belle’s request.


“What? You want me to get to some chocolate or something?” He joked lightly, perching on the edge of her bed with a small smile that she could immediately tell he was putting on for her sake.

“Maybe later.” Belle answered, offering him a smile that she knew wasn’t anywhere as reassuring as she had hoped. “What did Rachel mean by ‘a step further’?”

“Look, you don’t have to worry about that now, sweetheart. You just focus on getting better.” Aden quickly told her, his tone soft yet forceful that made her want to believe him so much.

“Aden, please?” She pleaded, letting go of the mask that she had held to reach out for his hand. Just stretching made her abdomen ache, but she did her best to keep the pain and tears at bay from him. “I’m scared.”

“Hey, you listen to me, alright? Nothing’s going to happen to you. We’ll just let the doctor’s do what they do, and everything will be fine.” He assured her, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb, always being mindful of the needle in it. Silence followed where Aden simply watched as Belle tried moving the arm that the dialysis tubes were connected to, only for her to give up all too soon when the pain became too much.

“I still want to know.” She murmured without glancing at him. “How badly are my kidneys and liver damaged?”

“It’s manageable at the moment.” Aden sighed, keeping his eyes fixed on their joined hand as he felt hers start to watch him. “Rachel said that when you’re stronger, they’re going to cut out the damaged part of the liver so that it doesn’t spread.”

“And the kidneys?” Belle pressed, waiting patiently and preparing herself as Aden inhaled deeply and allowed his eyes to flicker up to hers.

“We’re hoping that with dialysis and the antibiotics, that everything should be ok.”

“But…?” She prompted him, seeing the word already being formed on the tip of his tongue.

But they said that there’s a chance that you may need a transplant.” He completed for her, gauging her reaction as she took in her words. Belle simply nodded, as she had been doing a lot that day, and Aden wondered where Irene had gotten to. He hated having to tell Belle these things, especially on his own. If it were up to him, she wouldn’t know anything except for the fact that she was going to be ok. Anything that might upset her or hurt her would be kept hushed up. “Belle?”

“How much of a chance?” She asked him in a low whisper that made him shuffle a bit closer to her.

“I don’t know. I didn’t ask.” He admitted, though keeping the fact that he was scared that the answer he would have received would have been something high from her. “But don’t think about that. That’s the worse case scenario, and even if it did happen, it’ll be ok.”

“I know…” Belle murmured and Aden could tell that it was a simple automatic reflex response to his words. He lifted up her hand to his lips, brushing a kiss to the back of it and letting it linger for a while longer before bringing it back down to rest on his lap. “I don’t get it. Why didn’t the antibiotics work?”

“Rachel said that they weren’t strong enough.” He answered truthfully.

“So why don’t they just give me the stronger ones now? Wouldn’t that beat it away?” She asked him, confusion overtaking her that soon turned to dread as Aden licked his lips and pursed them before shaking his head.

“They have and it would. But apparently the other medication that you took became toxic because they weren’t broken down properly or something.” He frowned as he struggled to remember everything that he had managed to pry out of the doctor. It had been the specialist who had came to check up on Belle, and with time having past by with questions building in his head, he had asked them all. “That’s why your liver got affected, and the kidneys more so.”

“All because of the little cut?” She questioned, and Aden nodded even though he was sure that it was a rhetorical question. “But I didn’t know- I mean, if I knew then I wouldn’t have-”

“I know, Belle, I know.” He quickly jumped in, seeing that she was still trying to process it all. “Just relax and breath. Here.” Letting go of her hand, he helped her put on her mask again and pushed the hair out of her face. As he did so, he managed to catch a glimpse of tears building up in her eyes, even as she closed them. “Shh… Everything’s going to be ok. I promise you, it’ll be ok; I’ll make sure of it.”

“You promise?” Belle said quietly and sceptically after removing her mask for a second. She had opened her eyes and Aden was glad that she wasn’t trying to hide from him in any way.

“I promise.” He replied, just as quietly while reaching out to wipe away the stray tear that had leaked out of the corner of her eye with his thumb. “You scared me today. A lot.”

“One thing a day…” She trailed off with a lazy smile before pulling the mask back on and letting her eyes drift shut again as Aden chuckled deep in his throat in response. “I’m sleepy.”

“Yeah? How’s the pain?” He asked her softly, gently running a hand through her hair repeatedly when she turned her face towards him entirely to lay it comfortably on the pillow.

“Better when I don’t move.” Belle answered, the words in a mutter through the plastic of the mask.

“Ok, you go to sleep then.” Aden removed his hand and laid it gently atop of hers once again, smiling as she pulled it up to her chin.

“Stay with me?” She asked him, carefully lifting up the bottom of her mask to let the words out with the tip of her finger and letting it go soon after.

“Of course I will.” He replied, shifting from the bed to the chair to make more room from her and more comfortable for him. “I’ll be right here when you wake up.”


A voice that was truly familiar, especially accompanied with the urgency in the words that she spoke, met Aden’s ears less than an hour later. He had sat in the same place as he had been when Belle had fallen asleep, even with his arm aching in the angle that it was now that she had pulled his hand tighter to her body. Irene had returned in surprised, and gratefulness, to see that she had managed to fall asleep, though they both knew she was still under the effect of anaesthesia. A nurse had also been in and out with a small amount of liquid painkillers that had been injected into her IV so that she could keep on sleeping, hopefully out of pain.

As the voice came nearer, with Irene’s now reaching him in a much calmer tone, obviously trying to settle the lady before she came into the room. Aden couldn’t really blame her much; if he had found the news of what had happened to Belle hard to digest, then there was no way that someone who knew nothing about the tiny infection a week ago would understand why their daughter was suddenly so ill.

Shuffling in his chair, Aden gently tried to pull his hand free of her tight grip. He was amazed with just how much strength she had. Going for the quick and painless method, he wasn’t disappointed when his hand became his own once again until Belle began to stir.

“Hey, go back to sleep.” He said in a hushed tone, leaning closer to stroke back her hair and brush a kiss to her forehead. That, however, simply made her blink and open her eyes. Confusion was clear in them until she moved slightly and recoiled away from the pain it caused. “Don’t move. Does it still hurt?”

“No, it’s ok.” Belle groaned out, closing her eyes briefly before reaching up to take the mask off entirely. “I just need a moment. My body’s stiff from being in the same position.”

“You sure?” Aden asked, worry colouring his words even as she offered him a smile.

“Yeah, I’m sure.” She replied lightly before the smile faltered and a look of concentration came onto her face. Suddenly, Belle twisted to look over at the other side of the room where the door was ajar and then turned back to Aden with shock. “You called my mum?!”

“Irene did.” He corrected her. “We thought she deserved to know.”

“Yeah, of course.” Belle murmured, trying to push herself up in her bed. When she failed to manage to do so, Aden reached out to help her, even though it was clear from her expression that she didn’t like the assistance. “I just don’t want the fuss.”

“Well, you’re getting a fuss. You’re too important to too many people to not have one.” She smiled genuinely, albeit shy, this time.

“Ade-” She began, planning on telling him to sit back down again when the door was opened fully and in walked Amanda with Irene following slightly behind her. “Hey, Mum.”

“Belle, what have you done to yourself?!” Her mother exclaimed, hurriedly coming to her side and taking her hand. She had lifted it up a bit, only to drop it when she spotted both the grimace on her daughter’s face and the bandages around the gauze and tubes from the operation. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry-”

“No, it’s ok. You didn’t know.” Belle interrupted her softly. “You shouldn’t have came all this way.”

“You’re kidding me, aren’t you?” Amanda asked her sceptically, taking a safer route by laying her hand gently on Belle’s sheet covered legs. “Look at you, darling. As soon as Irene mentioned the word hospital, there was nothing anyone could have done to stop me from getting here.”

“Don’t look at me like that, girly. I just told her the truth.” Irene defended herself when Belle through her a look that clearly said that she hadn’t wanted to worry Amanda. “Listen, I’m going to go get a little something to eat. I’ll be back soon though, alright, love?”

“Ok.” Belle nodded, making sure not to move much of the rest of her body as Irene squeezed her hand gently before leaving the room.

“So, how are you feeling? Are the doctors taking care of you properly?” Amanda questioned her while taking a seat on the edge of her bed.

“I’m alright. The painkillers have kicked in and I’m trying to just ignore everything else.” She glanced over at the machine next to her that was now switched off to show what she meant. “And yes, they are. You don’t have to worry, Mum. This one’s at my beck and call, anyway.” Belle said lightly, winking at Aden who simply smirked half-heartedly.

“That I am.” He agreed, before letting out a deep breath. “Do you need anything now?”

“See?” Belle pointed out to Amanda a bit cheekily before turning back to Aden. “No, I’m alright, thanks.”

“Ok. Well, I’m going to get something to drink. I’ll be around if you need me, alright?”

“I hope you’re not leaving on my account, Aden.” Amanda said with an underlying tone of amusement.

“Nah, I need to stretch my legs anyway. Been in here for too long.” He smirked lightly at her to show that he was partially speaking the truth. Turning back to Belle, he pressed a small kiss to her lips before letting his hand glide down over her arm and then took a couple of steps back and away from the bed and towards the door.

Outside the room, Aden pulled the door close, though leaving it slightly open just in case. He wasn’t too sure what the ‘just in case’ was, but there was need in him that stopped him from shutting the door to separate them. He paused for a moment, letting out a deep sigh and listened as Amanda started to question Belle about what had happened. Shaking his head, Aden forced himself to move so that he didn’t have to hear the story once again.

He had been thinking about it practically the whole day, and every time he did, there were so many times that he stopped himself and realised what he could have done to prevent this. Even though he knew that coddling Belle would have probably ended with one of them losing their sanity, it wouldn’t have been out of character for him. If he had thought about the cut before he had made them go swimming, it would never have gotten infected. If he had asked her about it the day after instead of focusing on her foot, they may have been able to prevented it from getting so bad. If he hadn’t sent her the stupid flowers, then she wouldn’t have had the need to take any medication for the sneezing.

Reaching the coffee machine before he could remember the rest of the list that he had mentally formed, Aden growled in frustration to find out that it was out of service. After being in the same room for most of the day so far, he was in dire need of a pick-me-up. He knew that there was a café on the floor above, but he had told Belle that he was going to be around nearby. Resisting the urge to kick it, he moved away from the broken item and leaned against the bare wall next to it.

His hands were shaking, and he wasn’t sure whether it was from the pent up anger at the world or the annoyance at the fact that there was no coffee. Inhaling, Aden clenched his hands up into tight fists before loosening them just as pain stung the inside of his palms from where his nails were digging in. It hasn’t been enough to draw blood, so when he saw a speck of red on the side of his hand, he was surprised. It took a moment before he realised that it must have been from when he had removed his hand from Belle’s grip as she had slept.

Contemplating what to do now, Aden dawdled back towards Belle’s hospital room. Deciding that leaving her with her mother would be alright for a small amount of time, he placed a hand on the door to her room with the intent of knocking and opening it to let them know that he was going to the café. However, before he even got the chance to curl his fingers up so that he could rap his knuckles to the door, Belle’s voice made him freeze. He could hear Amanda shushing her comfortingly, and as Belle spoke, the tears were clear in her voice as well as the feelings that she spoke about.

“…I’m so scared, Mum.“ She admitted to the other lady in the room with her; both oblivious to the fact that Aden was right there. ”It’s happened so fast, and I don’t know what to do or what‘s going to happen.”

“You don’t have to do anything but get better.” Amanda told her in hushed voice. He couldn’t see them, but from the sounds of it, it seemed like the elder woman had moved closer to her daughter for comfort.

“But I don’t know how to. It hurts. A lot. And there’s nothing I, or anyone, can do about it.” Belle told her with a low hiss of pain that only backed up her words. Just the sound of it made Aden want to enter the room and try to dispel it from her mind and body, but he knew that there was no way to do it. At least, nothing that wouldn’t hurt her in the long run. Instead, he stayed put. He couldn’t enter, but there was something in him that made sure that he couldn’t leave either.

“Why didn’t you say anything earlier, sweetheart? It’s not helping you if you don’t tell the doctors these things!” Amanda chastised her softly.

“I know. I told them. Just not…” Belle trailed off into silence that was only broken when she was prompted to carry on. “Everyone’s looking so helpless, because there’s nothing they can do. I can’t tell them that I can barely move on top of it all. Especially not Aden. It kills him enough that there‘s nothing he can do to help; I can see it. He‘s been here all day. I can‘t tell him that the sight of so much blood makes me want to throw up or that him being here isn‘t making anything easier.”

“Aden’s a big boy, Belle.” She told her in a voice filled with both concern and disapproval. “We just want to help you. We all love you, and if you think that not telling us exactly what’s going on is going to stop us from worrying, then you’re wrong. We’re all fighting with you for this, ok? Anything you need, we’ll give it. Just as long as you promise to get better again.”

“I’m trying.” The light laughter in Belle’s words, even though it was followed by a small sniffle, made Aden unstuck. Deciding against entering the room, he turned right around and headed to where the elevators were.

There was no-one else waiting there, and for some reason it made him even more impatient. He didn’t want to get away, but there was something in him that told him he needed to. Pushing at the call button until it pinged to indicate the lift’s arrival, Aden brushed past the people who wanted to get off in a rush to get on. There were two other people remaining in the small enclosure with him, but he didn’t pay them any attention as he pressed the button for the floor he wanted and waited for the metal box to travel up.

Exiting at the floor that he wanted, Aden slowed down his pace when he realised that he had no idea how to get to the café without looking at the signs. Stopping mid-step, he looked up to see certain labels telling him where the nurse’s station, toilets and the hospital chapel were, but none for the café. Twisting around, he skimmed over the signs that were now in front of him, glad to see that what he was looking for was on the list this time. He began walking, taking only a handful of steps before he paused and went back on them. There was a nagging in his mind telling him to follow these signs instead, and without the energy or caffeine to argue with his instincts, he did so.

Pushing open the last door on the corridor, Aden wasn’t surprised to be greeted by silence and the smell of candles. There were about 4 people in the chapel; a middle aged couple who sat together near the front on the right, an older man dressed in suit just behind them and a young girl sitting at the back to his left. No-one had seen him yet, giving him the chance to walk away, but his feet took him to where the girl sat.

Sliding into the seat next to her, he kept with the silence as he stared straight ahead at where a wooden cross hung on the wall. There wasn’t much else that he could make out, his eyes having misted over already by both the emotions that he felt and the fact that he was sitting in a chapel.

“Everyone’s been looking for you.” Aden finally spoke up, whispering the words so that no-one else apart from the teenager next to him could hear. “We were worried when we couldn’t find you.”

“I didn’t know where else to go.” Annie replied in the same tone and volume. “I couldn’t stay there anymore. That wasn’t the Belle I know.”

“I know. But it just means that she needs you more than ever now.” He told her. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see her nod, but still keep her eyes trained straight ahead like he had. When time passed slowly once again, Aden glanced over at Annie to see that her eyes were shut with her hands clasped together on her lap. It was obvious what she was doing, and for some reason, it made him uncomfortable.

“What?” Annie asked him self-consciously when she opened her eyes and noticed his eyes on her. He hadn’t even realised that his thoughts had taken him far away until he tried to reply, only for the lump in his throat stopping him with the threat of tears. Swallowing it down and regulating his breathing, Aden managed to form the words he wanted to say, even though he knew the raw emotions stuck to them.

“I don’t- I don’t know how to pray.” He confessed to her with a slightly bowed head. It was more to hide his watery eyes than anything else, not wanting to be seen at his weakest and asking for help by the young girl.

“Have you never been to a church before?” She questioned him in shock, reminding him just how innocent Annie still was.

“Not since my mum died.” Aden said quietly, lifting his head up to look ahead again.

“Then why are you here now?” Her words were filled with intrigue and the question destroyed the fight that he had been trying to have against his emotions to keep them at bay.

“Because I promised Belle that she’d be ok.” He told her quietly, leaning back against the cold wooden back of the bench. “I said that everything would work out fine, and I made a promise to myself long ago that I’d do anything and everything I can to make sure that she’s always happy. And right now, there is nothing I can do to because she’s ill and I’m no miracle worker to make it better. So I figured that praying would count as ‘anything’, right?”

Annie didn’t offer him any words of comfort or to show that she agreed with his logic. If he was honest with himself, Aden wasn’t sure whether he believe in his own logic, or whether he believed that praying would mean that he truly could say that he had tried everything for Belle.

With his eyes still focused straight ahead, Aden stiffened slightly when he felt a hand curved around his own on his lap. It was small and attentive, but when he relaxed, Annie held his hand tightly in hers as he did the same. His eyes fell shut in an automatic reflex, and now that he focused on other things, he could hear the almost inaudible whispering of prayer coming from the girl next to him. Holding onto each word, Aden repeated it in his head as together they prayed for the one person who had brought them together at that time out of the love they shared for her.


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*wipes tear away*

Tanyia that was heartbreaking.... poor poor Belle. and i feel so sorry for Aden :(

He is the perfect boyfriend isn't he...being there every second. :wub:

i would say i hope she's okay but the first chapter obviously rules that out.... i have my thoughts on everything which you know so i'm just gonna see how it all pans out.

Brilliant Chapter!


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Well you know i loved it!!

Aden is just THE most perfect boyfriend :wub: it really does cut him up when belle is hurting :(

It's so :( that we know this isn't going to end well, that probably made me cry more!!

Took me ages to read as spent a large part of the time trying to read between the lines, trying to work out what was going on but still non the wiser!!

Thought the ending was really perfect, hope it somehow helps Aden :(

can not wait for more!

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