Author’s notes: Response to prompts 2 and 7 on my Hurt/Comfort table. Alternate take on 2x01 “Control”, starting half-way through the episode. Though a good episode, I found the one part silly – Lewis gets thrown way up in the air, into an electrical storm with 200km/hour winds and lots of lightning, and he gets out of it without a single bruise? Right.


Suffering and Solace


Part One


Blood trickled down the side of his face and there was a metallic taste in his mouth.

Pain shot through Lewis’ body as he lifted his head to look around. He was on the outside of the crater, hard rock below him. A cry escaped him as blinding pain travelled up from his leg, shooting out like a lightning bolt. It must be broken, possibly in more than one place.

He craned his neck to look up, ignoring the throbbing in his head. He’d landed a while down on the mountain.

Flashes of what had happened the night before – he wondered how many hours had passed since; the sun had started to rise – passed through his mind. Fresh fear coursed through his body – if they came after him again, still possessed by the full moon, and used their powers on him, they’d kill him. Really, he might die out here anyway, if he didn’t get help.

His cell phone was in his pocket. Another agonizing bolt of pain shot through him as he moved to get it, every fibre of his being hoping that it would still be all right, that it had survived the fall. If it wasn’t he’d be dead long before anyone found him. Even if a search party was out looking now, it would be hours before they found him – he was hidden amongst bushes and trees on the rocky side of the mountain. Perhaps he should be grateful that he had, at least, landed on the ground rather than in a treetop.

The display of his cell phone was broken, but to his great relief it seemed to be working.

He wondered who he should call.

His first thought was Cleo. But the moon had yet to go down, and she might still be crazy. He couldn’t risk it. And besides, though she was the person he wanted to see, she wouldn’t be able to help him. He needed more; he needed professional help.

Dialling the emergency number instead, he spoke to a lady who sounded horrified when he described where he was. Apparently, the meteorologists had recorded the sudden storm that had passed over Mako Island the day before. Then again, he didn’t need them to tell him just how bad it had been – he’d been in the middle of it, soaring through the sky, unable to breathe, unable to think.

He didn’t hang up; the lady told him to stay on the line. His parents might get angry for a huge bill, he thought, but they’d have to deal with it. He didn’t want to be alone, not now. Not when his head throbbed and his leg was torturing him, not when he tasted blood in his mouth.

He thought he heard a helicopter, but he couldn’t be sure. When the paramedics came to get him off the island, he was so out of it that he didn’t even register it.


They stood on the shore of Mako Island, and Cleo’s stomach wouldn’t stop churning with fear. Where was Lewis? What had they done to him? Was he here still, injured somewhere, frightened and hurt? Had they made the storm? They must have – and they must have hurt Lewis.

“We have to find him,” she cried, and Emma wrapped her arms around her.

They’d searched for hours already, finding no traces of him, other than his torch – the torch Cleo had given him last Christmas. She held onto it as though it was a teddy bear, a safety blanket in the midst of a storm of fear.

Her phone rang suddenly.

“Lewis?” she asked immediately, not looking at the screen for caller ID.

“No, sweetheart,” her father said. “But they just called about him—”

“They?” she asked, blood running cold.

“He’s in the hospital,” he said. “Apparently, he was out on Mako last night when the storm hit. He’s in a pretty bad shape.”

“I—oh god,” she breathed, fresh tears falling. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.” She hung up, and sobbed to Emma and Rikki. “He’s in the hospital! What did we do to him?”

Neither had an answer for her, but followed her as she ran out into the water and sped back towards the mainland. Her heart raced and it felt as though she was going to be sick. Tears washed away from her face immediately, but she knew her eyes would be red and puffy once they were on dry land again.

Rikki scalded both herself and Cleo as she tried to dry them all off quickly, but Cleo didn’t care. She just had to get to the hospital as fast as she could and she was off running before Emma had had time to dry.

They ran there. It wasn’t far, the white hospital building looming before them within ten minutes. Cleo was panting heavily, but she kept going, adrenaline coursing through her veins. Driven by fear and anxiousness, she couldn’t stop.

She threw the doors to the hospital open and hurried to the receptionist.

“Lewis,” she panted. “Lewis McCartney.”

The man behind the counter looked at his computer, hitting keys on the keyboard. It took him a few seconds to find the correct patient, but it seemed like forever to Cleo.

“Down in the ICU,” the man said. “Are you family?”

“Yes,” she said. “Yes, I am.”

Cleo didn’t care about the fact that she was lying. She had to see him. She looked at Emma and Rikki.

“Go,” Rikki said. “We’ll be there in a little while.”

Cleo nodded, knowing her friends understood her need to see Lewis alone.

He was wrapped up in gauze, a cast covering his right leg. There were cuts and bruises on his face, a large piece of gauze taped to the side of his head. His skin was pasty white where it wasn’t bruised in blues and purples. She’d never seen him, or anyone else for that matter, in such bad shape before.

“Oh god,” she whispered, crying.

She ran to his side and stopped there, hovering a few centimetres from him. She wanted to touch him, wanted to make sure that he was at least breathing, but she was afraid that he might break if she touched him.

What had she done? What had they done? For the first time, she hated herself and the powers she’d been granted. She didn’t want to hurt Lewis – she never, ever wanted to hurt him. She would have given up her mermaid powers and her tail in a second at that moment, to keep Lewis safe and healthy.

Carefully, she picked up his hand in her own.

His eyelids fluttered and opened at the touch. He blinked slowly. “’leo.”

His voice was hoarse, but it was the most beautiful sound she’d ever heard.

Lewis squeezed her hand weakly.

“I’m sorry,” Cleo sobbed. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

He smiled slightly, tiredly. “It’s ‘kay, ‘leo.”

“No, it’s not,” Cleo said. “We did this. We hurt you. I hurt you.”

“’ll be fine,” he mumbled.

“Yes,” she said, “Yes, you’ll be fine. Don’t you dare be anything else.”

She turned to leave, wanted to talk to a doctor, see what was wrong with him and how long it would take to fix. But his fingers tightened around her hand.

“Stay with me,” he said softly, and there was a hint of fear in his voice that she hadn’t heard before.

“Okay,” she said, choking, and sat back down, not letting go of his hand.

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