It had been over two months, but finally Dylan had been released from hospital. It was little wonder he had been in for so long, since he had been hit by a car, and his injuries had been terribly severe. Lydia had been there for her boyfriend as much as she could, though it had been more difficult once school had gone back. She missed seeing him in the hallways of London College so much. They had been nearly inseparable for over five years. Being without him had been like missing a limb.

Or a lung.

While Dylan was nowhere near ready to return to London College, being at home was a huge step. Lydia waited to visit him until he was settled, letting him be with his family for a few hours first. When she finally arrived at his house, she was swept inside by a dramatic Caitlin, who kissed her no less than seventeen times before shooing her down the corridor to Dylan's room.

Lydia poked her head around the corner and caught sight of her boyfriend lying in his own bed, staring out his own window. "Hey," he said softly, biting her lip as he turned to look at her. Though he looked better than he had in months, it was still obvious he had been through a great deal of trauma. His left arm and both his legs were still in casts, and Lydia found herself relieved that at least the bruising to his face was gone. "You look good."

Dylan snorted and shook his head and Lydia moved to sit beside him. "Broken limb chic?"

"Something like that!" Lydia leaned in and stole a quick kiss. Without even realising it, her fingers went to his hair, running through the golden strands as she spoke, "I'm so glad you're home. Your mother kissed me a lot, so I'm guessing she is too."

"She ordered me a cake," Dylan explained with an amused look. "A huge cake in the shape of a knight's helmet. She's so excited and Finian has to keep reminding her that she can't spend every moment in here because I don't have the energy."

It was strange for Lydia to hear Dylan speaking like this, like he wasn't a certifiable genius with the vocabulary of someone twice his age. Before his accident his speech patterns had been lofty and long-winded. Now he sounded just like everyone else, and even after months Lydia wasn't used to it. She had asked him why he had changed a few weeks ago and his only answer had been that everything was different now.

"At least she listens to Finian," Lydia laughed. Caitlin O'Connor didn't listen to very many people.

"Sometimes! Thanks for coming over. You're like a breath of fresh sanity."

Lydia laughed and leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "And I'll be here whenever you need me to. What's the plan now? Let your legs heal and then-?"

"Physical therapy," he said with a groan. "I have to re-learn how to walk." He was lucky that was the extent of the damage his traumatic brain injury had caused. He couldn't move his legs very well. It was like that part of his brain just couldn't connect, and Lydia knew Dylan must be terrified. "I just want to go back to college. Shouldn't be long now. I'll have a fancy wheelchair and once my arm heals, I'll probably get like...huge biceps."

"Hot!" Lydia grinned at him, feeling pleased when he smiled back. "Well I can go to PT with you. No arguing," she added when he started to protest. "I'll be your personal cheerleader. You shouldn't be alone for it. Now. You want to scoot over so I can climb into bed with you?"

When Dylan looked at her like she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, like he did then, Lydia always felt warm all over. "You want to?"

"Mmhmmm," Lydia nodded. "And if you want, I could give you a welcome home handy."

Dylan laughed as Lydia climbed into the bed beside him. "You don't have to-"

"I am totally aware of my non-obligation to handjobs," Lydia informed him. Her parents reminded her of that rather often. If they knew what she was about to do, and had been doing for about a year now, her father would have a heart attack and Aly would likely congratulate her. "I am also aware I haven't been able to be with you for months. And your right arm is broken."

"That has been rather unfortunate," Dylan agreed. "Though most of that time I also had a tube in...places."

"Well. That's gross. I'll get the lube," and she leaned over him to reach for his bedside cabinet while Dylan chuckled. As an afterthought, she rose and locked the door, just so Caitlin didn't walk in on them, eager to bring them snacks or give Lydia more forehead kisses. She was looking forward to spending time alone with Dylan, and making him feel wonderful, even if only for a few minutes.
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Darker London

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