There was pain, of course, because there was always pain, but it was surprisingly bearable. She didn't even feel the need to whimper, let alone scream. Then again, her pain threshold was seriously fucked up -- she could merely blink mildly at agonies that had hardened marines rolling on the floor in tears.
Suddenly, Vi realized that she wasn't breathing and the panic of that thought made all of her muscles seize and she rolled over, expelling viscous fluid from her lungs. It felt like she was coughing up her lungs, actually. Spasms wracked her body but she was vaguely aware that there was a hand in the small of her back, guiding her, steadying her, soothing her. She concentrated on the warm touch, her anchor, and gradually the spasms ceased and her gasps for air settled into uneven breathing.
She might, conceivably, get around to opening her eyes sometime in the near future. Maybe.
The hands gently helped her sit up and propped her up on what felt like vinyl pillows, then they started to rub her down with a cloth, peeling sheets of gelatinous membrane away from her skin. It was nice, except for when the cloth reached her face. That hurt. But her hearing was starting to come back now, too, and she should probably find out what was going on. She opened her eyes.
"Hello, flower girl," said Griffon. His voice was faint through the roaring in her ears and she could barely see him through the exhausted tears of sheer relief in her eyes. He was alive. He was alive and so was she and that meant that everything was going to be okay.
Vi closed her eyes and breathed. She hadn't thought of her love in the first moments of awakening because it was too painful, both literally and figuratively. She remembered the last moments of their working before the explosion ripped into her body; her last thought had been of him. Knowing that they would die together. To have survived him would have been... worse than the hellish agony of death.
She opened her eyes again as Griffon delicately wiped the tears off her lids. She gasped in renewed pain as the pad of his thumb caught on a sensitive spot at the corner of her eye.
Griffon winced. "Sorry, love." He started to draw away but Vi summoned her strength and reached up, catching his hands between her still-slick ones.
"No," she croaked out in a whisper, her voice sounding like it was coming from the bottom of a deep, dark well. "Don't stop. Please. Touch me."
He smiled and it was the most wonderful thing Vi had ever seen. "Ahh, love, what you do to me! I've missed you so-" his words choked off with a strangled sob as he gathered her up, burying his face in her shoulder, shuddering.
Vi clung to him limply, finding peace in his arms. Finally, however, he lowered her back down onto the pillows.
Her eyes had cleared enough so that she was able to get a better look at him. Her breath caught at what she saw.
His right cheek was deeply scarred. It was a festering, ghastly wound veined in black and with deep purple bruises. "Your face!" she moaned.
"Shhh, shhh, it's alright, it's nothing."
"But!" He put a finger on her lips to still her protest.
"You shouldn't be talking yet, Violetta. You're healed enough to come out of the cocoon, but you're far from perfect health. And," he hesitated, "well. You took the brunt of the blast, love." He shook his head. "My silly human girl, always trying to protect me, when you're so much more fragile."
'That's because you need me to protect you,' she thought but didn't say. They would argue about it later. It was so wonderful to have a later!
"Love," he sighed. "My face is really nothing. Your face... I'm so sorry."
'It's okay,' she tried to say with her eyes. 'I love you and you me and that's all that matters.'
He seemed to understand. "But you're alive. We both are. And I will always love you. I've waited for you so long, my flower girl, so long!"
She gripped his hand. How long?
"You were in the cocoon healing for almost a thousand year, love. I've been waiting for you for the last six hundred years, ever since I came out of my own cocoon."
V closed her eyes. A thousand years! The thought was overwhelming. And he had waited for her...
She opened her eyes and saw the fear on his face. "Good thing... you're an elf," she whispered. He smiled in relief and leaned down to kiss her.
"I would wait an eternity for you, Violetta," he whispered into her lips.
Vi knew that no matter what the future held, everything would be alright.