I’m not entirely sure - I’d have to go back and see, but there might’ve been. I was so preoccupied with the phonograph (again she had to pronounce the word slowly, to ensure she was saying it correctly). I’m guessing it’s pretty useless without the discs, so I’ll make it my personal goal to find them.
We always have fun when there’s music. I could teach you the foxtrot! That was mum and dad’s wedding dance. They were always foxtrotting around the house. Dad taught it to me when I was really small.
Xavier smiled at the way Lavinia took the time to say the word correctly. It is a bit useless without the discs, they’re the music. Once I’m better, I’ll come looking with you. He hoped dearly that he would be up and moving around in no time. Being idle wasn’t something Xavier was ever good at.
It’s hard not to have fun when there is music. Is - was the foxtrot your parents dance because your last name is Foxworth? I can imagine you dancing around as a kid. I know how to waltz but I’m afraid that’s all I might know. My parents loved to dance as well.
A music box?
Lavinia couldn’t help the grin. Loving music was a quality she knew they shared. Growing up, there’d always been music in the house - whether her dad had set up the player or was humming it himself, swinging his head with whatever melody was going. When he wasn’t dancing with her mother when they thought she was sleeping, he was guiding her around the living room, step by step. I will! As soon as your all healed up, I’ll get someone to go down with me and we’ll bring it up. We’ll have dance parties every night.
Yeah, it should be. Was there any black circular disks lying near it?
Xavier’s smile mimicked Lavinia’s. He could remember the times when Pollux and Lavinia danced around their small shared home as they danced to Pollux’s guitar and music. Music was something that had kept their friendship closer. The thought of a dance party was enough for Xavier want to be healed already. I think that would be perfect. A dance party would be a lot of fun. I miss getting to dance around.
Lavinia smiled softly as he squeezed her hand. She mindlessly traced circles on the top of his hand with her thumb, happy to keep his mind busy. She kept her eyes on his face, no longer wanting to face the horrifying burns that covered him practically head to toe. Well, I’m not sure what it was. It was labelled phono… phonograph? I think that’s how you say it. It was too heavy to drag up with me, so I was hoping to ask someone else what it was. Any ideas?
With Lavinia’s hand in his, it was easier to concentrate on something her voice. He smiled, recognising the word and the object. It plays music. My grandma used to have one. They’re very, very old but people used to have records and they would place it under the needle and the music would play. He could recall his parents dancing around the kitchen when he was very young, singing to an old some on the phonograph. You should see if a soldier can help you bring it up.
An accident. She wasn’t so sure about that, but Lavinia wasn’t about to voice her suspicions. She knew it was most likely paranoia. She’d spent the last few years living in a constant state of paranoia.
When Xavier reached out his hand, she took it in both of hers gently. They were warmer than usual. She smiled at his inquiry. Always worrying about everyone else before himself. I’m fine. I was floors below the explosion. I had some free time so I decided to explore some of the lower levels. There’s some interesting relics down there.
The memories kept coming. The friendly soldiers that had he had helped, the men that were now obviously dead and the shock of how close Xavier had been to dying himself.
He squeezed her hand gently, happy for something familiar amongst the pain in his back and his thoughts. Xavier was happy for a topic to distract from the terrible stuff. Really, what did you find down there? I haven’t had a chance to get down there lately but it looks like fun.
She smiled softly as Xavier seemed to recognise her. She bit her bottom lip when he asked what happened. They’re saying it was an accident…
She prefaced, wondering if they’d given him morphling. If he wasn’t in his usual, calm state of mind, he might get the wrong idea. But there was no point keeping it from him. There was an explosion. They think it was because of a gas leak.
The sheets felt cool under his back and somehow, Lavinia’s voice made him forget the pain as he settled down. An accident?
The words gas explosion triggered a memory. The smell of gas, the medical supplies and then the fire. Oh… oh! I remember now. He reached out, blindly looking for Lavinia’s hand. Are you okay? Your not hurt are you?
Lavinia jumped in alarm when Xavier shot up in bed, gasping. She’d been on the verge of nodding off, having refused to leave his side for quite some time. Xavier! She resisted the urge to throw her arms around him, happy to finally see him awake again. Shh, it’s okay. It’s me, it’s Lavinia. You’re okay.
Xavier was disorientated but he recognised Lavinia’s voice. If she said it was okay, then it was. Slowly, he settled himself back on to the bed, holding in his whimpers of pain. La- Lavinia. What happened?
It’s okay, Xavier. [She continued stroking his hair gently, smiling at him to try and reassure him.] do you want them to turn you on your stomach so your back won’t hurt so much? They’re giving everyone morphling, you’ll probably get some, too. I… all I know is there was an explosion. They aren’t telling us anything. I wish I could tell you more…
I think I’m resting on something cool. It might be best just to stay still. The sitting up was enough movement for one day. I bet they hate that. They don’t like giving out morphling but it’s been an emergency. I guess… if there was something more to tell us they’d let us know. It must’ve been an accident.
I know you’re disoriented. Something terrible happened, it only makes sense. Nurses and doctors make the worst patients, huh? [Laurel chuckled.] Is there anything I can do for you, Xavier? [She moved her hand to stroke his hair, knowing that it always comforted Magnus when he was upset.] I know he will… it’s just hard to see him in so much pain. But they’re working on getting him all fixed already. I’m glad that we’re okay, too. Especially the munchkin. He’s more important than me.
I guess so. He was soothed by Laurel’s hand even if it was strange. No one really showed this sort of affection towards him. I’m okay. I think I should just lie perfectly still until my back stops hurting. I’m sure they’ll give him some morphling to help through it. In these sorts of cases, it’s the only thing that helps. Do they know what happened? Besides an explosion, I mean.
[Laurel smiled reassuringly but sadly, nodding her head.] Good. Just squeeze my hand as much as you need to. I— I have a concussion, so it’s nothing compared to— [She swallowed hard and bowed her head, shaking it.] Titus got hurt really bad… his legs are— [She put her free hand over her mouth and shook her head again.] Magnus got hit on the head, too, so he’s shaken and scared, but he’ll be okay. He’s a tough little munchkin with a hard head.
I’m - I’m okay. I’m just trying to get my bearings back. I’m not used to being in a hospital, as a patient. It’s … it’s not pleasant. Xavier frowned, thinking about what could have possibly happened. It could have been disastrous for him and it was obviously bad for a lot of people. He’ll be okay though. The doctors here are good. Maybe not as good as the Capitol but they’re good. I’m glad you and Magnus are okay.
[Laurel tried to smile to reassure him, giving his hand a squeeze.] I’m here. I’m here. I… I know. A lot of people are. But you’re okay. You’re in the hospital.
Xavier squeezed her hand in response, letting it distract him from the pain of losing people and the pain in his back and legs. Oh… Is - are you okay? Is Magnus okay? Is Titus okay?