''Bonny, Little Thing, You Looked in That. Cute as a Button.'' by AquaCola
|Chapter 19: Cardigan Hem and Bumblebee Hat|
Ann melted into the room and ambled to Mello's side. His bedding had already been tucked around him and his hat taken off, so there was little she could do to salve her instinct of care. She ran her fingers through his hair, gently guiding out the tucks and knots. She would do better with a comb, but there wasn't one to hand. Madeleine caught her eye and smiled. Ann whispered, "His hair has always been so fine. No body in it at all. One breath of wind and it's all over the place. Always had to stick a hat on him, as a child, just to hold it down outside, else it was permanently in his eyes; and him hollering over it."
She yanked her hand away, as his dry, thin rasp startled her. "Trade secrets, Ann." Mello's eyes opened drowsily. "Classified. Need to know basis."
"Welcome home, Mello." Ann smiled, warmly. "Safe and sound now, dear." He attempted a smile, but his eyes were closing again and he was obviously still half-asleep...
...Ann pulled up a chair and eased herself into it. She took his nearest hand into hers and was gratified to feel the briefest squeeze upon it. He knew that she was there. She didn't have to say a word. They sat quietly for nearly 40 minutes, before his eyes flickered open again. He surveyed her solemnly and she smiled, thinking him too out of it for conversation. Madeleine drifted back to see. Mello blinked, then spoke with a sandpaper throat grating the words, "It was a yellow hat. With a bumble bee on the side."
Ann frowned, thinking him hallucinating, "What's that, poppet?" Then she recalled that she had bought him a woolly hat like that, when he was just five or six. He was continuing their earlier conversation. "Oh! Yes. You did. Bonny, little thing, you looked in that. Cute as a button."
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