Oliver woke up slowly. He hadn’t slept well, but he had slept, and that was something. He sat up slowly too and blinked a few times. Rowan raised her chin from where she was resting it against Joss’s bed, bent forward in the waiting chair. As she came more into focus as he blinked away the sleep, he could see she was smiling slightly. “Feel better?”
“Much.” He scrambled out of his blankets and up to Joss’ other side. “Any change?”
“No. They’re still running tests, but no change. Although, in this case, that’s good news.” Rowan took her sister’s hand in hers. Under her breath, she whispered, “Lucky Bitch.”
Oliver knew the teasing. When they were young they’d all been convinced that there was only one lucky gene per birth, and they’d spent most of their lives teasing and going back and forth that one of the others seemed to have gotten it. But, he failed to see how it applied to this situation.
Rowan responded to his thought. “She just gets to lie there, oblivious to the world, while you and I get to stand vigil at her bedside, wringing our hands and hoping that she might wake up soon. She’s the lucky one here.”
Oliver laughed in spite of himself. It felt weird to laugh. “Okay, point to Rowan. Remind me to tell Joss it’s her turn when she wakes up.” Oliver reached out and took Joss’ other hand. “For what it’s worth–” Oliver said quickly, hoping that Joss couldn’t hear them in her coma, at least for the moment, “And I will deny it if you ever mention it again, but I’m glad you’re the conscious one.”
Rowan raised an eyebrow “Thanks. I think?”
“Well–I’m a bookstore owner, and Joss is a kindergarten teacher. What the fuck do we know? You’re a doctor. You can tell me that no change is good news at the moment. If something is wrong with Joss–really wrong–you can tell me how serious it is despite the sugar-coating. You can call people on their bullshit. So, you know, I would prefer it if both of my sisters refrained from slipping into comas in the future, but if one has to help me through it–well, I’m glad you’re here to help me.”
“Aw–” Rowan leaned down to stage whisper in Joss’ ear, “Ollie loves me more. Did you hear that?”
“That’s not what I said! Joss, you know that’s not what I said.” Oliver protested loudly, for a second forgetting that Joss would be able to respond anyway. For a second, it all seemed so normal, that the crash back to their current reality hurt a bit.
“I’m just scared,” Rowan said softly.
Oliver reached out to take Rowan’s hand, completing their little triangle. “Me too.”