Chel stared at Lexx uncertainly. He shifted to sit up, trying to stand up again.

“I believe you,.” Chel was quick to kneel in front of him, stopping him from any further effort. “Are you ok? Can you walk? Are you still bleeding?! Do I need to do anything? Anything?” In the dim light, she couldn’t see if Lexx’s torn wing was still bleeding. She knew the nanites would heal him, but wasn’t sure of how quickly they worked.

Lexx didn’t respond immediately. He was relieved to hear her say she believed him. She meant it. And now he didn’t want her to move. It was comforting to have someone to lean on and now he sought her warmth and the awkward embrace. Chel was trying to get him to pay attention to her questions. She was worried about him.

“I’m numb, but I’m not bleeding.” Lexx averted his eyes, not wanting to look at Chel. His eyes instead rested on her hand, gripping his shoulder.

He lifted his right hand and rested it on her shoulder, tilting his head to look at her. “I think I’m going to be sick or pass out,” Chel tried to stand again, but with Lexx’s added weight and the ground, she wound up slipping and being held up by him. “I’m getting blood on your clothes, Chel.”

He grumbled, swaying uncontrollably. “I’m , sorry.”

“It’ll be okay,.. don’t worry about it, Lexx.” Chel frowned. The only thing she could do was help him back to the ship.

“I’m sorry.” Lexx didn’t seem to be thinking very clearly and he was shaking. “I’m sorry.” He repeated, unable to find any other words. He gripped Chel’s shoulders and smiled slightly. “Thank you, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. Now, shut up and let’s go back to the ship.” Chel reached into her pocket with a free hand and pulled out the portal remote to open it behind Lexx.

An angel. If he believed in angels,.. but how could he not? She was standing there. Lexx sat on the couch, fumbling with the room control to lower the armrests on the couch. Chel was standing in front of him, a bloody cloth in one hand swabbing his shoulder.

“Lexx,.. come on, let me get all of this before you lay down.” She insisted, not entirely convinced that he wasn’t bleeding. She hadn’t found any actual wounds, other than the nasty stump of his severed wing and the tear that went directly down his right side to his hip. She hadn’t wanted to touch it, afraid she’d hurt him, but he didn’t seem to care. He was more interested in the remote and mumbling incoherently.

Chel figured he had lost a lot of blood and was probably in a state of shock.

She left to get a blanket and pillow from the bunkroom. Where had the dice gone? There wasn’t a single one to be seen. Not even Zeta. That was odd.

She couldn’t figure out why they’d all disappeared or where they’d gone.

Lexx scowled, shakily rising to his feet to go to the kitchen area. He’d seen where Stealth had gone the moment they were on the ship. “Stealth.” He grated angrily, leaning against the doorframe.

The cat was in a drawer, quickly digging out packets. She jumped and banged her head on the top of the drawer. Stealth knew she was in trouble. She arched her back and hissed, scooting out of the drawer and turning to face Lexx.

“You should not have done that Stealth.” Lexx glared at the cat, but didn’t have the energy to move. “I am so furious with you.”

“So I misjudged the situation.” Stealth hissed, backing her ears and twitching her tails.

“You could have gotten me killed.” Lexx growled. “You’re lucky I can’t reach you or I would snap your neck game or no game.”

He was mad. Stealth decided that perhaps it would be best to not backtalk. “I could have, but you are still here. I am sorry. I was, concerned. Lexx. I really had good intentions.”

“I know,.. but I do not need your help.” Lexx felt the room spin.

“Lexx?” Chel was standing behind him. She reached out and touched his back, “You should take off your pants.”

“Take off my pants?” Lexx turned slightly, still leaning on the door. “You want them off, you take them off.” He grumbled, not realizing what he was saying.

Chel hrmpthed. He was being difficult. “You need to sit down.” She decided she was going to have to be a little bit more commanding and grabbed the back of Lexx’s pants, twisting the fabric. “Lexx.”

“Stupid cat.” Lexx muttered. He allowed himself to be guided back to the couch and sat down again.

“You could help.” Chel felt awkward about undressing Lexx again, while he was awake. His pants were ripped and soaked with blood and water. He could at least take off his own pants.

“I don’t want to.” Lexx grumbled stubbornly. “I want to sleep.” He couldn’t help it. He was so mad at the cat for bringing Chel to the surface while he was fighting.

“You’re being childish.” Chel grabbed Lexx’s left foot and pulled off his shoe. He didn’t resist, but he did nothing to help either. He just sat there, glowering.

Why was she doing this? Lexx stared at the floor and amusement laughed its way through his head. For the second time, he was being stripped by the same girl who was just trying to help him. And he was being a jerk about it. He smiled.

“I love you.” Lexx mumbled, the words escaping his mouth before he could take them back.

“Huh? You need to speak up louder if you need anything.” Chel didn’t hear the words. They were slurred and impossible to understand. Lexx sighed and leaned back. “Did you want something?”

Lexx could feel his face burning with embarrassment and relief. He bit his tongue to keep from saying anything else. Why did he say that? It was just the blood loss speaking and yet, he hurt deeper than the battle wounds. It was something more.

Chel tossed Lexx’s pants away, made sure that his legs were ok, then held up the blanket to Lexx. “Is there anything I need to do?” She stood before him, asking again.

An angel. Lexx tilted his head to one side. “I’m sorry. I’m just so…”

It was a reflex, the only thing Chel could think of seeing the look in his eyes, pleading like a hurt puppy. She spread the blanket over Lexx and sat down next to him, intending to comfort him if he would let her. He wouldn’t have allowed it before, but now. He was tired. He was hurting. And someone was here whom he couldn’t push away.

Lexx didn’t say a word, turning and laying his head against Chel’s shoulder, choking back a sob. Only one. Then her arms were around him, “It’s over, you’re safe here.” Chel wasn’t certain that he was really safe, but for now, there was no one threatening him.

The ship was silent.

‘Don’t leave don’t leave me here alone.’

He hadn’t spoken. Chel blinked, he hadn’t spoken aloud. But she had heard him.