Kate awoke slowly to find a small pair of hands resting on the guard rail of her bed. The young girl who was quarantined along with her mother was standing next to her bed, looking down at her expectantly. "Hi," Kate greeted her warmly, pleased to see that all colour had returned to the child's cheeks, and that she was looking in good spirits.
"Hi. Your girlfriend came to visit you while you were sleeping."
Kate tried not to cringe at that title; who even uses that term to describe a female friend anymore? (Megan, apparently.) Visiting hours were long over, so Megan must have flashed her Philly MEO badge and bullied the nursing staff into letting her in. She really ought to talk to Megan about that.
"Oh. I don't suppose she would have said what she wanted?"
"No, she just sat there and held your hand for a long time." The little girl reported happily.
Kate blinked. Now that she was out of mortal danger and was only kept in hospital for observation, she did not expect Megan to continue the bedside vigil she had been keeping. But no, she had been coming in the morning before work, in the evening after work, sometimes even during lunch hour. Because Megan had had it rough during the outbreak, pretty much single-handedly battling the CDC and the FBI into cooperation, Kate could not find it in her heart to rebuff Megan's kindness, but now it seemed like a bad idea.
"We saw it on TV," The girl said, "She was with you when you fainted."
"Yes, she's my hero." Kate replied lightly, not wanting to think about how many newspaper front pages had sported a photo of her writhing on the floor, eyes rolled into the back of her skull. <So hot…> Her gratefulness to Megan, however, was sincere.
"Mommy thinks it's really sweet. It's too bad you guys can't get married."
*Disk scratch* <Wait, what?>
Kate's mouth gaped open, unable to form a single word in response. The girl's mother called her back over to the other side of the room, embarrassed and avoiding Kate's eyes.
<Being mistaken as a couple with Megan Hunt. Forever filing under things that will make me laugh to keep from crying. Still, I could do worse- DON'T GO THERE.>
Megan stood in the shower, absently scrubbing herself of contaminants from the hospital. She brought up her hand and stared at her knuckles, contemplating.
Kate had been sleeping when she muscled her way into the outbreak ward (no longer under isolation), after hours. She had looked so relaxed, so beautiful in her sleep that without conscious effort, Megan had reached out and lightly stroked the perfect cheekbone with the back of her hand. Sensing warmth, Kate had instinctively turned her head and brushed her lips against Megan's knuckles, and Megan's innards were turned into liquid fire. If she hadn't then sensed a roomful of eyes on her, she might have lost herself, climbed onto the bed, and kissed Kate awake. And then she would have been arrested but it would have been worth it. Probably. No, most definitely.
For now, she kissed her own knuckle softly, right where it was graced with the divine kiss. Now, Kate was safe. Now, they had time.