The first deep breath you take without coughing, there are no words to describe it. Four months of blood tests, lung biopsies, and painful breathing treatments have prepared you for the inevitability of your death, but it never came. Instead you're sitting in bed, at 3 am, just barely awake and feeling more alive than you have since you first heard the word clone in reference to your existence. You twirl a finger in the nearby blonde hair, the soft sound of Delphine's snoring just adding to the equation of her exhaustion. She had worked so hard to fix this, delving into the deepest darkest crevices of immunology that even you, as a biologist, had no understanding of.
You had tried to help, but between the tests and the illness, your energy level had been all but depleted. Even recently, you slept most of the day, which is why you are up at 3 am, taking deep breaths with lungs that no longer bleed.
Of course you are. This is the most oxygen your body has had in months. You're already used to taking shorter breaths, not over exerting yourself so you don't pass out.
You should wake her. You should turn her over and press into her, caress her soft skin and taste what you've missed so much since that last time you passed out and Delphine made you make that promise. "Until we fix this" is now. You're no longer bound by a heartbreaking promise that left you feeling less of a person.
You start a mental checklist of things that you want to do now that you're better, and you know exactly what's at the top of your list.
You should wake her, but now it's she who doesn't have the energy. Every time you woke up, she was there rifling through books, taking notes, or just watching you sleep. She's slept so little these past months, and it wasn't until the past week, when the rattling had stopped, when the color returned to your cheeks, that she got a full night's sleep. This is only the second night, waking at 3am, that she wasn't awake with you.
Ok maybe it's sleep first. Sleep should definitely be on your checklist.
You can't stop yourself from reaching out to caress her hip, feeling her bones more pronounced than they should be. She's lost so much weight, weight she couldn't afford to lose. She's been making sure you eat what you can, but you've both lost weight. You should celebrate over a mountain of pancakes and fruit. She loves pancakes.
So mental checklist is as follows: