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(Spellbound) The One Who Understood


TITLE: The One Who Understood...
THEME: Seeking Solace
PAIRING: Angel & Argentine

WARNING: Potential spoiler

The house was quiet as Argentine let himself in after having no response to his knocks. It was not a typical move on his part. he was not accustomed to just walking into another's home, but something in his heart told him he had to be there. Something just screamed out to him that things were not all right. It had been several weeks since the accident that nearly stole her life. She had refused to come out of her home since that time and rarely answered the calls to her phone. Her mother's voice sounded strained and tired as she continued to apologize for her daughter's distance. As much as he tried, though, he could not just sit back and wait for her to come out of her shell. Something in his heart told him she needed help, even if she would not openly admit it.

Quietly, he padded up the spiral staircase and down the hall. His steps slowed even more when doubt suddenly clouded him. What if he was wrong? What if he should not be there? What would happen if he turned around and just left her alone? Shaking his head, he shook away his fear. The feelings he had for her countered every doubt. She had refused everyone. Maybe he would be no different from the others, but he would never know unless he tried. Taking a breath, he touched his hand to the doorknob and pressed it gently downward. The sounds he encountered when he stepped into the room threatened to break his heart.

His eyes glanced over to the crib where a sleeping baby rested peacefully before they turned toward the bed where he found her. Curled up on her bed, she clutched her pillow as if it were a lifeline, muffling her shattered cries. A muscle in his jaw twitched and his hands clenched tightly into fists as he took a determined breath. easing himself into calmed control, he stepped toward the bed and sat on its edge.

"Angel..." There was no response to his soft tone. "Mon ami, please..." *Carefully, he reached out to place a tender hand upon her shoulder. To his wonder, the sobs quieted as if she was waiting to hear what else would be said. "Angel..."

His gentle urging never raised above the soft tone and in the end it began to work. His breath stilled when she slowly began to sit up and turn to face him. She wore no make-up, not that he felt she needed it. Her white-blue eyes were red and swollen from her tears. The circles under her eyes told him of the long sleepless nights. She struggled to get a grip on her emotions and calm her gasping breaths. Silently, she stared at him, as if uncertain.

"I'm not going to tell you it will be okay, cherie," he told her quietly, resorting to a French term of endearment for her. "So many people have already tried to tell you that, but I know that is not what you want to hear right now. Life is hard and uncertain and you are scared. You don't want someone to try to sugar-coat things as they may be from here on out."

She stared at him silently a moment before she spoke, her voice cracked with the lack of usage. "So what is it do you think I want?"

"Nothing from anyone right now. You lost someone very dear to you. Nothing can replace that. So I offer you this: A silent friend. A hug you can lean in to. A shoulder to cry on. No promises. No guarantees. Just the option of somewhere to go and someone to go to for solace when the pain seems to become too much..."

Several tense moments passed between them as his words hung over them. She sat there beside him, her eyes shielded, her walls up. For a moment, he was certain she was going to tell him to leave her room and never return. His heart stilled when she shifted on the bed, pulling her legs up to her chest after laying so her head rested in his lap. She was silent again, her hand tucked under her head, flat against his leg. Carefully, he finally dared to move, tenderly stroking the soft golden strands of her hair.

"Thank you," she whispered after a while of silence. "Thank you for being the only one to completely understand..."

Finally, as he continued to sit there with her head upon his lap, quietly stroking her hair, Argentine felt his heart begin to beat again.