ladyfirestarter: (hands)
[personal profile] ladyfirestarter
It's nearly twenty hours later and starting to get dark before Charlie surfaces from sleep, and it takes her a little while to realize that she has. Her eyelids feel stiff, almost tacky, resistant to open. She moves to wipe her eyes, and something gently grasps her hand to prevent her.

"Hold up," Prometheus's voice murmurs. "You're still all over clay, you don't want to rub that into your eyes. Here." The light touch moves to her chin, and something rough and wet brushes her eyelids -- a washcloth, she realizes a moment later, as it sloughs away the dried crust of earth. She blinks once, twice, and tries to sit up; he reaches immediately to steady her, and presses the damp cloth into her hands.

"Did it," she starts to say, and coughs as the words rasp in a throat that feels as dry as the clay clinging to her skin. With an effort she swallows, and articulates as clearly as she can: "Did it work?"

"Oh yes." His smile gleams in the dimness. "Can't you feel it?"

"I ... I'm not sure." She kneads absently at her hands with the washcloth, feeling the texture of the weave against her knuckles, feeling her skin relax at the touch of moisture, feeling the still air of the cave brush against her upper cheek. Where the clay no longer touches her, every tactile sensation seems -- not heightened exactly, but weighted with greater impact, as though experienced for the first time; it reminds her of something she can't think of.

"So you know that scene in all the movies," Prometheus says after a moment, "where they've found the guy who was stranded in the desert, and someone always gives him water and says 'Drink this, but not too much'?"

Charlie glances up at him.

Silently, he hands her one of the canteens they brought along. After a beat, she gives a tiny dry laugh and takes it, and drinks. Not too much.

"And when you're feeling up to it," he adds, his tone airy on the surface and almost a purr beneath, "you might want to take a look at what you can do now."

She lowers the canteen to look at him again, and slowly starts to smile.


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