Non-con sex. Unconsciousness. Threesome, het and slash sex.
Toward the end there's some philosophy.
Contains opinions, assumptions and situations that some might find offensive.
Medical issues are based on my experience with frostbite, information from the internet, and common
sense. They are pretty much correct, but I have ignored a thing or two. It is, however, a whole lot more accurate than "Forever Young."
This is entirely written, so you don't need to worry about whether it gets finished. However, while I certainly appreciate that not everyone gives feedback to every chapter (including me), if I don't get much of any positive feedback, I will probably lose interest in posting.
Rated: Series: NC-17 or E, Chapter 7: PG-13 or M
Type: RP het/slash
Disclaimer: This is fiction. And not intended even to be wise. While some of these characters may be based on real people, I don't personally know them. I made it all up out of my perverted little head.
No, I don't make any money at this.
Archive: No, please.
Feedback: Please feed me. Praise is lovely. Constructive criticism is valued. If you find nothing of value in it, though, please don't bother telling me. You wouldn't be the first person.
And thank you, elfellon111, for for driving me to improve it.
Darkest Before the Dawn
Ellen watched the shivering shake his small body, glad that he had been mostly unconscious. Once in a while his eyes sparkled open, then closed again. She hoped that he would stay out for a long time yet.
At one point Becky came in just in time to see his eyes open. She said “Hi” to him, but he didn’t seem to notice before they flickered shut.
“Becky, don’t tell him that we know, either,” Ellen cautioned.
Becky looked surprised. “Why?”
“Just don’t yet. Listen, he needs to feel safe and relaxed. Not on stage. If he thinks we don’t know who he is, he can just be normal, okay?”
Becky glanced at the shape on the bed. He wasn't anything special to her - Just someone she was trying to help. Worrying about how he would feel about the situation would not have occurred to her. Since she had never paid attention to famous people or how they interacted with their public, she still had a hard time seeing the necessity of this; she would have thought rather than he would be glad to know he was recognized. But this was her mother's schtick, and she had grown accustomed to her mother being right. She couldn't help a bit of an eye-roll as she agreed. "Sure, Mom."
He would probably keep shivering almost until he reached normal temperature. Three or four hours, maybe. Did he have enough fuel for that? Was he strong enough? At least she had gotten down the whole glass of water which meant some resources for his body to draw on. Next time through, she would have Becky get another. After that would come the pain of warming skin. She was not looking forward to that.
Suddenly he was looking at her again, but not with the fuzzy lassitude of the previous times. Fear, confusion played across his face. He started to push himself up with his hands. Ellen came to him, speaking soothingly, “You must lie down,” she pushed firmly on his shoulders, “you have to remain still...”
The cold. The cold! It gripped him still. He had dreamed he had escaped it. He had dreamed ... But he would fight it now. He would break out of this lassitude, fight off this monster!
His face contorted, the look Frodo gave Sam when he turned on him. Ellen's mind went blank, her muscles locked with nameless fear.
“You need to be still...” she repeated.
He swung at her, connected with her shoulder, restoring thought and motion. He must not get up! She flung herself on him, screaming, “Becky! Mary!”
In the few moments until they arrived she struggled to hold him down with nothing but her weight, but he was strong and frantic. It seemed like forever before other hands pulled his hands down, stilled his thrashing feet. Forever ‘til they had him subdued on the bed.
Susan stood at the door, staring horrified at the tableau.
“Don’t just stand there,” Ellen cried. “Get the nylon rope!”
“Why don’t you just let him go?”
“Fuck you! Get the damn rope!”
Susan hesitated a moment more then disappeared. When she returned with the rope, Elijah was once more unconscious.
“Why didn’t you just let him go?” she repeated her question.
“Standing up can be, and probably would be, fatal. Okay?” Ellen grabbed the rope, transferring her fear into anger, and began measuring off and cutting yard-long pieces. Quickly she fastened an end to a bed leg, started to form a loop in the other end. Looked back up at the staring faces. Glanced at the unconscious body exposed on the bed.
“Okay. Show’s over. You can all go now. Close the door.”
“You were right. And not my funeral. Could have been his.” Suddenly she was crying. Shaking
with her fear, she sank to her knees, sobbing.
This is why one is supposed to be objective. I nearly killed him!
Becky hustled Susan out and closed the door as Mary went to her friend and hugged her.
“Not ... objective ... enough,” Ellen choked out.
“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Mary soothed.
“Is he okay?” Her brain raced ahead. Could the activity have done the one thing that had to be prevented - sent the cold blood to internal organs? He was motionless on the bed - just passed out again? Or not breathing? Or had his heart stopped?
She stood abruptly, wiped at her tears, and felt for a pulse, then sighed with relief to find it. “I guess he's okay," she told Mary. "I'd better get this done.” She returned to her tying.
Mary started measuring off pieces of rope. “I hadn’t done it yet, either,” she said. Then, after a moment, “Have you ever used language like that before?”
“I didn’t think so.”
“Worked, though, didn’t it?” With her nerves beginning to settle, she pulled the blanket back over him. Mary snickered.
“I’m dealing with a naked one, too. You don’t have to hide him from me.”
“No, I’m keeping him covered now since he’s probably warmer than the air is.” She finished her knots as she talked, slipped the last loop over a foot and tightened it around the ankle. “Do you think these are tight enough? He can’t sit up, but he could thrash around a lot. I don’t want to make him miserable, but I guess I don’t trust my judgment on this.”
“I think it’s tight enough. I suggest you keep close track of his pulse for awhile. I’m going to get back to mine.”
“Mary, how is he doing? Yours?”
Mary leaned against the door. “I’m worried about him. There hasn’t been any sign of consciousness at all.”
Ellen pursed her lips, for the first time admitting the possibility of an actual death here. Not that she hadn’t known she was fighting the specter, but she had refused to think it could win. Mary, with her hospital experience, was much more resigned to the possibility. Now that she saw that, now that she had just had a frightening experience here with her own charge, she was much less apathetic about Dom’s fate. The actual, tangible possibility of that vital young man becoming a corpse, bereft of life, made the hair of her arms stand on end.
“God, I hope they both make it!”
Mary said, “Yeah,” but then added, "they don't always, you know?"
"Mary? What do you think? Based on your experience?"
"The hospitals like to put things in percentages. This one, I'd say maybe 70 percent chance of making it. Mine," she sighed, "I don't know. I haven't seen anything positive except the fact that he is warming up. Maybe 40 percent."
Ellen shuddered. "That's awful low."
"Well, the longer he's out, the lower it gets."
As Mary left, Ellen meticulously rearranged tablecloth and towels, covered Elijah with the blanket,tucking it closely against him. She opened the door and called down the hall, “Becky, warm towel.”
Mary was shocked to see Dom sitting bolt upright on the bed as she re-entered the bedroom. He was just sitting, looking around confusedly. Her first thought was ohmygod he's getting better ; but with the experience just past, this immediately gave way to severe concern. And the next impulse was to push him down on the bed, but again, remembering Elijah's confusion and fighting, she made herself take it slow.
"Hi," she said softly. He turned to look at her, but there was no reaction - not of surprise, or embarrassment, or anything. She came over slowly and pulled the sheet over him.
"Lie down," she said quietly, and he obeyed, stiff fingers pulling at the sheet.
"You have to stay down," she said, still quietly, but matter-of-factly, as though telling him something he already knew. "I'm going to have to restrain you," she added in the same tone, "so that you don't forget and sit up again."
He lay passively enough while she looped ropes around his ankles, but when she took a hand, he suddenly pulled it to himself, looking at her sharply, distrustfully.
"I'll tell you what," she said. "Let me do your left hand, and I'll leave the right one free. Okay?"
He didn't answer, but he did relax, and she placed that rope. She'd have had a hard time getting to the other bed leg anyway, to fasten the other rope. This would keep him from sitting up again.
For many nurses, that would have been the end of it: do what's necessary and leave it at that. But Mary had always been considerate of her patients. She sat on the edge of the bed and took his free hand to make a better connection. It didn't occur to her, as it would have to Ellen, that she should not be handling that frozen skin, nor did she realize that he couldn't even really feel the warm humanity of her hand. Right now, she was only concerned with the emotional needs of a frightened and confused young man.
"You almost froze to death," she explained. "But you're going to be all right now. Just be still and rest, and try to sleep some."
Her calm voice did more for him than the words. He let go of fighting and allowed himself to slip back into oblivion.
Ellen sat on Elijah's bed to wait, feeling cut off. She couldn’t stroke him, the blanket had claimed precedence. She couldn’t take his hand in her lap, it was confined near the top of the bed.
Becky came in and she arranged the towel. “Bring me another glass of water, if you would, treated just like the other one." Out of nowhere, the thought occurred to her: Aspirin thins the blood. "No, add an aspirin to it, and make it a little warmer, too. Not hot, just warm.”
"Aspirin?" Becky asked, surprised.
"It thins the blood. Should make things easier on his heart. And pain reliever might be a good idea too. Warming up hurts. Let's add an ibuprofen, too. Two ibuprofen, even."
The cycle routine returned. The warm towel, the breath, the pulse check, the water. But with regular breathing and warm air she began to doubt the usefulness of the breath, and she found that she was checking his pulse most of the time, fearing what may be going on in his system from the violence just past. And the shivering was nerve-wracking. How long could he go on like that?
Impulsively, she decided to scrap the routine. It was just time he warmed up. First, using the eyedropper, she gave him water, one dose after another, until the glass was nearly half gone. Then she allowed herself to do what she had yearned to do since the beginning: being careful to keep blanket between herself and his bare skin, she lay down with him, wrapped a leg and arm around him, rested her head on his shoulder and her hand on his throat where she could keep track of his pulse.
And now she gave in to her tears of exhaustion, of fear and self-doubt. No sobbing, she just let them run down her face, onto his shoulder, absorbed in the blanket.
She dozed, aware of Becky coming in periodically to change the towel.
“Mom! Mom! Mary says come quick.”
Ellen jumped up, was off the bed, on her feet, out the door, before she even thought to question what was going on. She entered the bedroom to find Mary stooped over the bed pushing rhythmically on Dom’s chest. She could feel her own heartbeat speed up, adrenaline pumping, her brain sending an ‘emergency’ code. But she needed clear thinking here, not speed or strength. She shook herself, took a deep breath.
Okay. Fibrillation or heart attack or whatever fancy name a doctor would put to it. So Mary is trying to restore rhythm. Is it working? She went to Dom’s neck to feel for pulse.
“Anything?” Mary asked.
“Not that I can find. Aren’t you going kind of fast, though?
Mary slowed down immediately. “You’re right, I should match the pulse rate that I was getting before.
“Let’s see if he’s breathing.” Mary paused. The body lay unmoving beneath her hands.
“Nothing,” she said. “Nothing at all.” She resumed pumping, but said, “You’re going to have to take over a bit.”
Ellen moved in, matching her strokes to Mary’s. “You breathe, “she said, “since there are two of us. Slow, remember. Becky, get Bob in here. He may have to take a turn. And whats-her-name.”
When they came in, she told them, “Susan watch Mary, Bob watch me. When it’s your turn you have to just do it, no time for trial and error.”
After a few minutes Mary backed off. “I’m getting dizzy,” she said.
“Susan, take over.” Ellen’s voice left no room for argument, and Susan wasn’t ignorant enough to be unaware of the gravity of the situation. She gamely stepped in.
“Ellen, there isn’t much point in continuing much longer,” Mary protested.
Ellen shot her a look with daggers in it. “Failure is not an option." She looked back at Bob. "Take over for me please."
She helped Bob move in, then said. “Don’t stop. Don’t stop at all. I have an idea. Becky come help me.”
Mary watched Susan and Bob working for a while, amazed by their sudden helpfulness. Obviously they sincerely wanted this man to live. Her hospital experience said that if he hadn’t responded yet, he wouldn’t, but she supposed they needed to be totally convinced of that before they could let go emotionally. Becky poked back in at this point, bundled up in coat, hat, gloves, boots. “Mom says is there any response yet?”
“Just a sec.” Mary turned to her helpers. “Stop just a moment to check.” She held her hand to his throat. “Nothing,” she reported. Bob and Susan went back to work, Becky disappeared. Mary shook her head. She didn’t want to depress their enthusiasm, but she saw no reason to continue.
It went on, Susan was looking a little green. Mary opened her mouth to say, “Give it up,” but just then Becky looked in again, covered with snow. “Mom says don’t stop,” she said. “Wanted me to tell you that one man recovered from it in a morgue,” and vanished again. Mary took over for Susan.
Five minutes, ten, fifteen. Occasionally Becky would come back with fresh orders not to stop. Then suddenly Ellen blew in with a cold breeze, cradling something heavy wrapped in a plastic bag. She set it down carefully on the floor as Becky came up with cables.
“Susan, paper towels to make sure everything is completely dry. Becky get the plastic bag off.” Ellen was stripping off her snowy outdoor gear. “Susan, Move!”
With the arrival of paper towels, Ellen took another minute to dry even what looked already dry, connected the cables to the battery terminals. Stopping to rethink, she put two spots of water on his chest, then commanded, “Step back.” As they did so she added, “Pray.”
She touched one cable end to his breast, just below the nipple and a bit toward center. Then swiftly, touch and retreat, she tapped the other side. The body jumped a little. Not like she had seen it on TV. “Mary, check.” Mary put fingers to his throat, shook her head.
Susan and Bob were crowding in again. Ellen said, “Get back,” very firmly as she again touched the other cable down, leaving it a fraction longer this time. “Mary, check.”
As Mary reached toward his throat, his chest rose slightly. Every other breath in the room was stilled. “I’ve got a pulse,” Mary said quietly.
Susan collapsed on the floor. Her knees just gave out. She sat there a bit, crying softly. No one said anything for awhile. Becky disconnected the cables and took them back to the kitchen, came back for the battery. Mary went to the kitchen to get a fresh warm towel. Bob just sat in the bedroom chair, his head in his hands. Ellen stood, almost unmoving, for several minutes, mentally thanking God for the inspiration, not to mention the success.
“What made you think of that?” Mary asked, positioning the warm towel.
Ellen held up her left hand, touched the scar that replaced a wedding ring on her finger. “Many years ago I let a pair of pliers cut across the terminals. Happened to hit my ring, too. Knocked me on the ground, I’ll tell you!” She expelled the breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding. “Right now I’m very grateful for that scar.” Remembering other consequences she added, “It also burned up all the sugar in my body. We have to get sugar in him or we could lose him anyway. Becky, put a tablespoon of sugar in just enough water to make it liquid, and we’ll see if we can get it down him.”
She went around the bed to help Susan to her feet. “You go sleep. You’ve earned it.”
Susan looked up at her as she grasped the strong arm to help her stand. “I will do anything you say for the rest of my life.”
Ellen laughed shortly. “I don’t know everything,” she said. “Just more than you think I do.”