Tag Archives: genre:hurt/comfort

ArHi Drabble: Don’t Let Go

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A/N:  It was  the graphic above that inspired me to write this drabble. The graphic’s mine and the copyright is my tumblr url. The drabble’s pretty random actually, but let me know what you think 🙂

 

Don’t Let Go

Her hands are frantic, clutching his shirt with frenzied urgency as she loses herself in his choking embrace. He’s here, he’s really here. Her heart beats in staccato, her breath in short gasps because this is so surreal, because he’s here and he’s holding her as tightly as she is holding him and because there is no hate this time, and she thinks her heart might explode from the onslaught of emotion. I love you, Khushi. The enormity of his words still rests between them but she thinks they can deal with that later because he’s right here, holding her just like that; he’s safe and they’re together and in that moment she thinks she might take on the world with him by her side.

A part of her wonders if he will still hurt her, but it is dispelled when he buries his face in the crook of her neck and she thinks that maybe every moment they’ve shared was meant to lead up to this; the feeling that pounds in her bloodstream, the way he murmurs her name over and over again because he’s in awe too, because they never thought they would live this one out. But they have and the realization makes her slightly breathless. She takes in a breath and the scent is all Arnav. Not even days of captivity can mask it and she breathes him in, once, twice, thrice, over and over again until she’s slightly sure that he’s not letting go; never letting go if she has her way.

She tries to speak but her voice is nothing but a choked whisper, cracking in time with her tears. Don’t leave again, she thinks and his hold tightens as if to say, Never.

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ArHi OS: Stay

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Stay

“You’re breaking up with me.” Her whisper broke through the tense silence, her voice coming out mangled and torn; she really hadn’t thought it’d end like this. She nodded, trying to comprehend his words, wrap her head around them. It hurt her that after all this time he would still do this and that he couldn’t make himself to trust her. She felt like screaming; this was so unfair. She’d given her all to this relationship and he had no right, no right to end it, to finish it like this; through stumbled words and false promises. She blinked back her tears and tried to rein herself in; she was on the precipice of a breakdown, this was agony.

He swallowed the lump in his throat, trying to ignore the deafening silence in the wake of her words. The cut through him, his insides screamed at him to stop this. Everything about this screamed “wrong” but he had to do this; he had to get through this. He willed himself to focus, trying not to let his tears foray. He hadn’t said the actual words, but as usual she’d read between the lines; figured out the meaning. And when her voice had cracked, his gut twisted and took everything in him to control his urge to protect her, shield her, keep her away from anything that hurt her. He’d done the right thing by breaking up, it would’ve hurt more later.

She looked in his eyes, trying to gauge his emotions, hoping to see something; anything. But he was so good at this. At obscuring his emotions when he wanted to. It’d taken her a year of friendship and three years of being his girlfriend to realize something. Arnav Singh Raizada was synonymous to complicated. She didn’t blame him though; with parents like his anyone would be fucked up to their saturation point. She knew he had little faith in long-term relationships and that was the reason behind this break up. Not the shit he’d fed her as a reason for the break up. College relationships don’t last…different careers…wanted different things in life. Bullshit. She knew he was terrified of having to maintain a long distance relationship while they worked on their careers. She knew he was afraid it’d hurt too much later so a clean break was better. She wanted to tell him that it’d be okay, that she had enough faith in their relationship for both of them, that she loved him, but she couldn’t possibly do that when he shut down like this. They had the real thing, why didn’t he get that? She wished he’d take that step forward and atleast try to trust her. The longing burned in her, her throat constricting. She hated that she couldn’t reach out to him, that there was always this one part of himself that he hid from her and that no matter what she did it never came out. Maybe it was better to let go.

He watched her hunched posture, the way her hands gripped her forearms, white with the force they applied. He hated himself for what he’d done. For a fleeting moment he’d wondered if she was crying but she wasn’t. He knew she was strong enough to not collapse in front of him. He wished he could take it all back.

She drew in a deep breath; the silence had stretched long enough. She turned to face him and saw his gaze sear her. Her breath hitched, this was too difficult. Looking inside her she grabbed the final reserve of strength.

He looked at her, his head spinning, his heart beating fast in the most painful of ways. He wished he could stop her, he wished someone would push him to end this madness. He closed his eyes when he felt her lips on his cheek for the briefest instant. A drop of her tears splashed on his cheek and the shuffling of shoes told him she was walking away. The anguish lacerated him, made his heart spasm and everytime he breathed a dull ache followed. He remembered everything, all the times he’d spent with her, her ringing laugh, the way she squirmed under his hold when he tickled her, the way happiness seemed tangible when he was with her; everything. It hurt him physically to see her walk away. What had he been thinking? He couldn’t possibly live without her; it’d be like slow torture. Panic took over him, his brow wet with perspiration and the fear that he had just let her go forever. He was nothing, nothing without her. His need for was too strong; it overpowered his fear of anything else.

She turned back when she heard his voice pierce the quiet as he called out her name. His anguished tone propelled her to turn around. She didn’t bother hiding her tears as they ran ceaselessly down her face. Why was he doing this? Why was he making this so much more painful than it already was? She hated that she couldn’t deny him anything, that she loved him so much. She saw the mad, frenzied look in his eyes, did he regret letting go? She didn’t dare to ignite the flicker of hope, lest it should turn into an all consuming fire that ravaged her. She saw him walk towards her purposefully, his eyes losing the madness bit by bit as they filled with flecks of caramel once more.

He looked at her, her face wet with tears. He winced at what he’d done and walked faster towards her, he had to make her listen. He jogged the last few steps, standing close to her, almost touching as he looked back at her.

Her breaths came fast and shallow, she felt like running away. He looked more calm than he ever had and she closed her eyes for a bit before opening them only to see his eyes misting as the walls came down in a pandemonium of destruction. She saw him destroying them bit by bit, as he stood there rigidly, herculean in his efforts to let go of his demons. She didn’t dare to believe what she saw; it was too much to take in. She stood there motionless, having no idea what to do as his eyes filled up. She saw the conflict in his eyes, saw just how hard it was for him to let go. She knew then, that he’d begun to let go, that he was willing to give them a chance, that he loved her too much to see her walk away.

So when he whispered “Stay” a centimeter away from her lips, she whispered a yes. And when he kissed her, she flung her arms around him.

–ooOoo–

AR OS: The Paradigm Shift

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The Paradigm Shift

She snuggled into her coat just a little bit more, as the biting wind whiplashed her face. The fairy lights, that they had so painstakingly put on, twinkled even as tendrils of sunlight whispered through the amethyst sky. Riddhima passed a faint smile in a general direction but the truth was, she was hurting. The place that had once reverberated with their laughter was now nothing but a fetid cesspool of memories that made her heart ache, the sense of loss almost choking her.

The soft murmurs of commiseration enveloped her and the all too familiar lump in her throat made it impossible for her to respond. She was mechanical, robotic, even. Her replies were laconic to the point of rudeness, but no one blamed her. She took in one more unbearably painful deep breath as she struggled with her overflowing emotions.

She looked at her husband a few feet away, the same brusqueness marked his actions too. They were both bereaved and although they had planned this, months ago, neither of them was prepared for it. Riddhima looked at the medley of people, their hushed whispers of condolences wrapping around the gathering like a shroud. She looked absentmindedly at the specks of dust dancing in front of her eyes and in no time her eyes had teared up, her heart clenching unpleasantly with pain, her control almost shattered. And just when a tear slipped out, hanging dangerously on the eyelashes of her kohl-lined eyes, he was there, wiping it off with his thumb, an identical tear vivid in his own blue eyes.

“No crying, remember?”

His voice, thick with his own anguish brought her out of her musings and she hastily blinked the tears back, even as she wiped his tear before it fell. This was a promise they had given her and if nothing, they’d honor this.

They stood together, hand in hand, acknowledging the condolences, the hand-squeezes, the sympathetic smiles, not once wavering in their control.

His warm hand, holding her small one caused awareness to seep in. The lilting notes of the music did nothing to help her composure and she tuned it out, lest she cried again. She willed herself to focus on her surroundings. The gushing noise from the waves and the salty smell of sea air revived her to some extent and she found in herself a small reserve of strength, to go on with the rest of it.

To an outsider it probably looked like a soiree, she mused. Minus the somber air, of course. No one had worn black, Anokhi had vehemently disagreed to it. She saw faint, reminiscing smiles on people’s faces and she was glad. Another one of Anokhi’s wishes was fulfilled. The incessant tapping on her shoulder jolted her out of her thoughts.

“Riddhima!” his concerned voice made its way through her and she apologized.

“I was lost in thought, sorry.”

He murmured an affectionate “It’s okay.” Before making her face the projection. “Baby, look. Anokhi’s friends have prepared a video. Come, we’ll go sit, okay?”

She nodded, looking at him with apprehension. A video? She wasn’t sure if she could stand a video, it was too painful. He blinked reassuringly and some of her fear evaporated. She wondered how he did it. He was in as much pain as she was, yet he was so strong. Giving his hand an affectionate squeeze she sat down beside him. The video started playing and almost instantly she was enwreathed in memories.

She sat there, holding her bundle of joy in her fatigued arms. She was her perfect thing. Riddhima hadn’t known that something would trounce over her love for Armaan, but her baby girl, their baby girl, took her breath away. Her tiny hands fisted her mother’s little finger and unshed tears of happiness sparkled in Riddhima’s eyes. This was why she’d born the pain. Their baby girl, was their miracle. She looked at him looking at the two of them with unabashed love pouring from every inch of his gaze. She motioned him to come closer and hold her. The fear which was ultimately submerged by awe in his eyes was a moment that would forever be etched in her memory. He held both mother and daughter close, savoring the moment. At that moment, she opened her baby eyes and looked at her parents, her eyes widening with every passing second. In that instant, they knew they’d chosen the perfect name for her. She was their special baby. “Anokhi Armaan Malik” they whispered, as he snuck a chaste kiss on her lips before the nurse came in.

 

They’d finished cleaning up, Anokhi’s seventh birthday party had been a grand success. “Moooom?” “Daaaaad?”

“We’re in the living room, baby!” He smiled as she ran towards them, hugging them tightly. “That was the best birthday ever, Mom! Thank You!”

Riddhima smiled at her bubbly daughter, kissing her forehead. She watched as he settled Anokhi on his lap. “Where’s our return gift?” he asked her mischievously. “What return gift?” She watched the father-daughter duo revel in the moment and smiled, shaking her head. He was such a kid when it came to her. “You gave all your friend’s return gifts, where’s mine and mom’s?” Anokhi laughed, the tinkling sound filling the house with warmth. “I’m your return gift daddy! See you’ve got the best return gift of them all!”

As Riddhima returned with hot chocolate for everyone, she laughed when she saw him tickling her even as tears of mirth poured out of their daughter’s eyes.

 

“Mr. Malik your daughter has Lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. Typically, it’s a solid tumor of lymphoid cells….symptoms are fever…anorexia…extreme weight loss…thankfully it’s the beginning…radiation or chemotherapy will work…”

The doctor continued to speak, but Riddhima had frozen at “Lymphoma”. She wanted this to be a bad dream. It couldn’t be true, they had done nothing to deserve this. What had turned out to be a check-up for extreme fever for Anokhi, had morphed into a full-fledged nightmare for them. She looked at her baby girl, sleeping on the hospital bed, the fluids feeding her intravenously. It agonized her to see her daughter like that, among needles and bottles of glucose. She turned to her husband, the doctor had left them to deal with the blow. She’d sobbed ceaselessly into his shirt, staining it with her tears while he buried her face into the crook of her neck, letting the pain out. She’d cried for quite a while until they were both ready. Their daughter was eleven, she didn’t have to go through this. They were ready to fight. Fight for their daughter’s life.

 

“They said it would go away mom, the doctor promised!” Riddhima held her, helplessness adorning every part of her features as her daughter cried in her embrace. The cancer had relapsed and there wasn’t much chance of it going away now. She looked at her husband, he was discussing further treatment for their daughter and she was happy she had him. He had been her pillar of strength, Riddhima didn’t know what she would do, who she would be, if not for Armaan.

“I’m only fifteen mom, I don’t want to die, please!” Try as she may, to control them, the sobs made their way out. She couldn’t imagine it. Anokhi couldn’t die. Not now, not like this. She felt Armaan take them both in a rib-crashing hug as the three of them came to terms with yet another obstacle. She looked into his cerulean eyes, as they winced, each time a sob cut through Anokhi’s petite frame.

 

“I’m going to die, aren’t I?” The roar of the waves near their beach cottage suddenly seemed louder. Deafening silence enveloped the two adults in the room and she clenched Armaan’s hand at her daughter’s question. The utterly blasé tone in which Anokhi had uttered the sentence surprised her. It was true, but they would die fighting before they admit it.

“No baby, you’re going to sur-”

“No, mom, I’m not going to survive it. Not this time. I overheard Dr. Kevin say that I have, six months at the most.”

“Anokhi, don’t talk like that, the chemo-”

“The chemo isn’t helping dad! I’m tired of it! Can’t we just stop the treatment?”

“And let you go? There is no way I’m doing that, Anokhi!”

“Dad, please! The chemo hurts! And I’m not going to make it anyway, can’t I just live the last few months of my life in peace? I hate the hospital! Please dad, I don’t want to do it anymore, please!”

The desperation in her voice nearly undid him, she could see that. They put her to sleep and made their way out of her room, it was time they talked.

 

“You’re just going to let go? Armaan you can’t do that!”

“It’s hurting her, Riddhima.” He murmured, tiredly. It was the hardest thing he’d done.

“She’s just a kid Armaan, she doesn’t know anything! Please, we can’t let her die!” the tears never stopped. Why didn’t he get it?

“I don’t want to do this either, Riddhima, but we have to. And she’s not wrong, you know that!”

“So you’re going to let her die. You’re going to let MY daughter die?” her maternal instincts took over her, blocking out all reason and any specks of logic that had nested in her mind.

He shook her by her shoulders. “OUR daughter, Riddhima! You think this is easy for me?” she saw the tortured look in his eyes and melted into his embrace, apologizing. Letting go was the hardest thing they’d done.

 

“I love you Mom, and you too Dad. I’m so glad I got parents like you, you’re the best, period.”

“Sshh, don’t talk baby, you’re weakening yourself.” Riddhima held her tears back. They both knew this was the last time they were seeing their daughter alive.

“Don’t cry, okay? Remember what Abhishek Bachchan said in that Simi Garewal show? Don’t cry that it’s over, smile that it happened. And don’t let anyone wear black at the funeral, I hate black, it’s depressing.”

A watery smile made its way up the couple’s faces. She remembered Simi Garewal of all people, right now?

“Okay, baby girl, no tears and no black, I swear.”

Anokhi looked at her dad, “Pinky Swear?” Armaan nearly lost it when she said that. She’d say that when she made the most important of promises. “Pinky swear, baby girl.” He whispered.

Riddhima saw her daughter put up a brave front as she bid good-bye to all her friends. And then it was time. Almost. She heard her daughter whisper a soft “I’m scared” that only she could hear and Riddhima bent down to kiss Anokhi’s forehead. “It won’t hurt sweetheart. We love you.”

And the shrill beep of the ventilator told her that their baby girl, had made her journey across the horizon.

 

And they were all born pretty in New York City tonight,

And someone’s little girl was taken from the world tonight,

Under the Stars and Stripes.

As strong as you were, tender you go.

I’m watching you breathing, for the last time.

A song for your heart, but when it is quiet,

I know what it means and I’ll carry you home.

I’ll carry you home…

As the last few verses from the song floated into her head, she looked at the teenagers on the stage. The video had been absolutely beautiful, showing her just how much their daughter had touched people. And now her friends were singing the song for her. The wind blew across her face, making her realize she’s cried quite a bit. She wiped her tears and glanced over to see how Armaan was doing. He was no better, the tear tracks on his face shone clearly on his face. She squeezed his hand ever so lightly and was relieved when he returned the gesture.

It was an hour later when they were the only ones left on the beach. It was a starry night, with the stars twinkling merrily at them. She looked up; she missed her daughter already. Her ready wit; her ringing, boisterous laugh; her squeals when she had tickle fests with her father; they would all be missed. Her memories were tucked in every crevice of their house. She felt Armaan wrap an arm around her shoulder and with a sigh, she sank into his hold. They walked to their house, with Anokhi’s photo in their hands. She’d inherited her father’s blue eyes and trademark smirk. Riddhima trailed her hand on the picture, the pain nagging every corner of her heart, waiting to be set free.

Riddhima sat on their bed, having changed. Her eyes remained fixed on Anohi’s photo, until he wrapped his arms from behind her. And then she broke down. Turning around she hid herself in his shoulder, her body racking with sobs. She couldn’t help it, it was too damn painful. She felt him shed silent tears on her shoulder and she ruffled his hair, as they held each other, comforted each other through each slash of pain that made their hearts spasm.

They broke away, hours later. Riddhima looked at him as she pulled away. He was everything to her. She remembered him changing Anokhi’s diapers; pushing her on the swing set; teaching her how to ride a cycle; worrying himself to death when she came home late from a party; researching on Lymphoma overnight because he wasn’t in the medical field and wasn’t aware of the disease; supporting their daughter throughout while being Riddhima’s reserve of strength. She gazed at him, a new found love and respect blooming in her heart. Time had changed his appearance, he wore glasses now and there were a few strands of gray hair [although he would never admit it] and in the last few months he looked like he’d aged fifty years. She ran her hand over the tired lines of his face as he closed his eyes. They’d done it. Anokhi may not have survived, but they’d done it. They’d fought for her, with one hundred percent commitment and Riddhima felt an odd sense of peace envelope them.

He placed a chaste kiss on her lips before she slept, secure in his embrace.

–ooOoo–

She sat on the bench, her legs crossed. It was almost time for sunrise. It was freezing out there and she’d bundled up in warm clothes. Riddhima felt him sit beside her and she murmured a thank you when he passed her coffee. She scooted closer to him, as fuchsia merged into topaz and the Sun dazzled on them, shining with all it’s glory. They watched the sunrise together the tranquility encompassing them in it’s embrace. She looked at him and a small smile tugged at their lips. It would take months, years maybe, and maybe the pain would never go away. But the soft smile on his lips, her hand in his and the memory of their daughter told her that they’d get through this. Together. And Riddhima fell in love with her husband all over again, the pain of losing her daughter already starting to heal.

–ooOoo–

ArHi OS: Safe Haven

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A/N: Based somewhere around the Episode with Arnav’s parents’ Barsi. Set in the future.

Safe Haven

She woke up, her throat parched. Coughing a little she sat up slowly, not wanting to wake him up. Why did he have to keep the water on his side? And then he said she woke up him up while drinking water. Go figure. Khushi turned slowly to the other side. She was determined to not wake him up this time. She leaned over him, making sure her hair didn’t touch his face. It was an awkward position and she was trying to steady herself when she felt his rumbling laughter beneath her.

“Khushi, tum uth ke paani le sakti ho.”

She recoiled and sat beside him, her mouth open. She had been so quiet, how in the world had he woken up?

“Aap humein ek baat bataaiye. Aap raat ko sote hai ki nahi? Main paani lene uthti hoon, toh aap uth jaate ho. Main iss taraf mudti hoon tab bhi aap uth jaate ho. Aur phir aap humein kehte hai, ki aapko meri hul-chul se neend nahi aati?!”

Arnav stifled his laughter at his wife’s flushed face. “Dekho, Khushi-”

“Nahi! Agar aapne mujhe phir kabhi kaha na, ki aapko mere hilne se neend nahi aayi, toh aap dekhlena. Main aapse koi baat nahi karungi.”

“Khushi meri baat toh suno!”

“Kya hai?!”

“You didn’t wake me up…I wasn’t sleeping.”

Khushi looked at him, embarrassed. How did he manage to shut her up like that?

He looked at her, as she tried to think of a comeback, and smiled. He was grateful for her presence in his life. She made things better.

Khushi frowned as she couldn’t come up with a comeback. Instead, she lied down beside him, waiting for him to do what he always did. He smiled at the expectant look on her face and brought her closer to himself. It was always like that. She’d lie beside him and he’d pull her closer. Everyday.

“Waise aap jaag kyun rahe the?”

Arnav tensed. He didn’t want to worry her; she always worried too much about him. And you love that, don’t you? He sighed. Yes he did. He’d always taken care of everyone. And it felt good to have someone care for him, he wouldn’t deny that. But she was waiting for his answer.

“Bas aise hi…neend nahi aa rahi thi.”

Khushi furrowed her eyebrows together. She hated it when he did this. Tried to distance his pain from her, tried to hide it. Didn’t he know, she’d love him regardless?

Arnav waited for her accusation. It irked him that he couldn’t lie to her like he did to others. She always managed to read too much into him. Sure enough, she asked him.

“Aap humse jhooth bol rahe hain?”

He looked at her and sighed. He’d known it was pointless to hide.

“Woh, kal barsi…”

Khushi hugged him tighter, offering her support. All these years, and it still pained him. She supposed it’d never get better, though. Losing your parents was not something you ever got used to.

He buried his face into her neck, drawing comfort. He didn’t know what he’d do without her, she always managed to kiss away his pain. He closed his eyes as she placed a soft kiss in his neck and soon the rhythmic movements of her hands in his hair, lulled him into sleep.

–ooOoo—

“Yeh phool lekar aap uss tasvir pe chadhaa dijiye.”

Arnav nodded curtly as the pundit finished each ritual one by one. It was sheer torture sitting in front of the flames; he could swear he saw his parents in them. He put the flower on the picture, not letting his gaze linger for a moment more, lest he should tear up. He forced himself to listen to the pundit.

Khushi looked at her husband sitting beside her. The muscle in his jaw was pulsing and his hands were balled into fists in his lap. It pained her to see him like that. She scooted closer to him, their knees brushing with each other.

He didn’t look at her. If he did, he’d come undone. His eyes flicked to her in surprise when he felt her hands trying to pry his fist apart. He sat there looking at her determined face as she pried each one of his fingers loose and then slipped her hand into his and gave it a squeeze. He looked ahead, not wanting to disturb the puja.

Khushi turned her attention back to the puja. She smiled to herself when she felt him squeeze her hand back.

An hour later, the puja was done and the punditji had gone. Arnav picked up the photo of his parents to keep it back. Just as he was about to climb upstairs she stopped him.

“Rukiye!”

He looked at her quizzically. She came closer and kissed him on the cheek. “I love you.”

He smiled for the first time that day and for the millionth time thanked Him for bringing her in his life. He was about to say it back when Naani called. “Khushi bitiya?! Zaraa ek minute yahaan aaiye.”

“Abhi aayi naaniji!”

She blinked at him in reassurance and rushed to the kitchen, as he made his way upstairs. She made the pain disappear. She was truly his safe haven. And he didn’t know who he would be, without her.

–ooOoo–

ArHi OS: Fear

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A/N: Its based on Episode 97 aired on 13/10/11. The one where Arnav beats up those goons in Nainital 🙂

Fear

She tried to focus, but it only clouded her mind more. Her head was pounding and Khushi clutched it in pain. Just as the haze was about to overpower her she was startled. Through the blur, she watched him beat the man to a pulp. He punched him, over and over again. The man had started groaning in pain but Khushi had never seen an angrier Arnav. He had never been this angry. Not when she annoyed him, not when she did that drama so that he stays back, never. And the animalistic rage in his eyes scared her. Her heart pounded and she screamed at him to stop but he wouldn’t. And she was scared. Oh so scared. Scared that the same man who took care of her this morning could turn so feral in a matter of minutes. Her voice echoed but he didn’t cease his beating. This was not the Arnav she knew. She knew the man who said “What the-” at the drop of a hat. She knew the man whose eyes had softened when the little girl had kissed him. She knew the man who had apologized to her, and this wasn’t him.  She watched helplessly as he pummeled the man with his fist. The fury in his eyes scared her. It terrified her that he was ready to beat this man to death just because he pushed her. In a last attempt to stop him she clutched his shoulder and to her relief a moment later, his shoulders sagged and he got up.

Arnav got up, his heart pounding and his breathing labored. He felt her remove her hand from his shoulder and he stood there for a moment, letting the anger ebb away. He couldn’t help himself. It was alright when they beat him, he could handle it but something in him had snapped when he saw that asshole push her. And for a while there, he’d felt fear. Raw fear, when he saw her sway unsteadily. In that moment nothing but hot, pulsing bolts of anger, coursed through him. And he’d come close. So close in beating that bastard. If only she hadn’t stopped him. He looked at her. She was looking at him, her fear evident in her gaze. She was trying to figure him out, he knew it. He flinched mentally when he saw the unshed tears in her eyes. How did he always manage to do that?

They looked at each other, trying to calm themselves down. The fear had shaken them. Khushi tried not to cry, she would not do that. Arnav took deep breaths, he didn’t remember the last time he’d felt so terrified for someone. He jerked out of his thoughts and recoiled a little as he felt her grab him in a hug.

Khushi hugged him , forgetting that she was supposed to be angry at him. She was afraid, she needed this. A tired sigh escaped from his lips. He gave trying to make sense of what had just happened and clutched her tighter as the residues of his fear left him. She was safe, it’s all that mattered.

A few tears escaped from her eyes and the remnants of her dread left her as he rubbed her back. The one person who made her feel safe, was the person who had scared her in the first place. Arnav smiled wanly. It was she who calmed him and she who brought out the fear. Fear was a funny thing, they thought in unison.

–ooOoo–

ArHi OS: Middle Ground

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A/N: Based on the precap of Episode 98, aired 14/10/11. The one where Khushi’s father is hospitalized and she hugs Arnav spontaneously! 🙂

Middle Ground

He entered the hospital, hoping to find someone who could assist him. He needed to know where she was. He cursed himself for not listening to Jayprakash sooner. Had he known, he’d have been here much earlier. He walked ahead, trying to locate a doctor or atleast someone from her family.

He saw her, then. She was running towards him and for a while there, he thought he was hallucinating. His thoughts were put to rest when he felt her crash into his arms, taking him in a rib-crashing hug while crying like there was no tomorrow. Arnav stood there, too shocked to respond. Where had this come from? Just hours ago he left her by the road with some money, something he regretted now, and now she was hugging him of all people? His mind catapulted to the worst possible conclusion. That her father had passed away. Because only that could make Khushi Kumari Gupta so heartbroken. He’d seen her cry, but never like this. The sheer anguish that filled her voice was scaring him quickly.

Khushi sobbed ceaselessly for the longest time. Seeing her father on the ventilator with a voice that could barely speak had paralyzed her with fear. She was too scared to make sense of anything at the moment. She wasn’t going to figure out what she was doing in the laad governor’s arms or why she had run to him when, just hours ago he had left her on the road.

Arnav felt her fingers clutching his shirt desperately, her body shaking with each sob that cut through her. He decided not to figure this out right now. Nothing he did made sense when he was around her, anyway. So he wrapped his arms around her trying to still her, calm her down into saying something but that stage seemed far away because the moment he hugged her back a few more sobs racked through her body.

Warmth seeped into her body, bringing with it, awareness. The violent sobbing was over now, the tears streamed quietly down her face as she hiccupped, trying to draw in deep breaths, but failing. She didn’t want to pull away, not just yet. He’d hugged her back and for that, she was grateful. It was what she had needed and for once, he’d done it, sans any biting remarks. She pulled away slowly, wiping her tears with the back of her hand.

Arnav saw her wiping her tears and heaved a sigh of relief now that the crying was over. There was a huge wet spot on his shirt, from all that crying and he saw she was looking at it, apologetically.

“Dekhiye, woh hum-”

“It’s okay. Tumhe paani chahiye?”

Khushi blinked at him, shocked, but decided not to ruin the moment. She nodded. He walked towards her father’s room, the water cooler was right beside it.

“Ji, woh kya hum paani uss taraf waale cooler se le sakte hai? Amma, buaji aur Jiji abhi abhi soye hai, hum unhe uthana nahi chahte. Aur haan, Naaniji aur Anjali ji abhi kuch der pehle hi yahaan se nikle hai, unhe please dhanyavaad kehdijiyega. Unhone humari bahot madad ki hai.”

Arnav nodded, surprised. Just moments ago she was crying in his arms and now she was worrying about everyone else?

They walked towards the cooler in silence. Khushi stole glances at him when he wasn’t looking. She liked him when he was being nice. He wasn’t so much the raakshas then.

“Tum kyun nahi so rahi ho?”

She looked at him, debating whether to take a chance and tell him. She decided to tell him. What difference did it make? It’s not like he was going to tell someone.

“Woh hum, dar gaye the.”

Arnav looked at her, as she looked down, her fingers playing with her dupatta. He nodded in acknowledgement.

They reached the cooler and he brought her a glass of water. She sat down on the steps leading to the basement, leaning her back on the wall and closed her eyes as she drank water.

Arnav stood there for a moment but then sat opposite her. He wondered what he was doing, but then gave it up, what was the point? He saw her hold the glass of water with both her hands and drink it slowly. Glad that the color was back in her face, he asked the question that had been on the tip of his tongue ever since he saw her crying.

“Khushi, tum theek ho?”

“Hum theek hai.”

He wanted to ask about her dad, but didn’t know how to broach the subject. Khushi saw him struggling with it and answered. “Babuji ab khatre se bahar hai.”

They sat in peaceful silence, lost in their own thoughts.

She broke the silence with her question that was half to him and half to herself. “Babuji theek ho jaayenge na?”

Arnav looked at her, but he couldn’t be sure she was asking him.

“Woh theek ho jaayenge. Iss hospital ke doctors bahot ache hai.”

She nodded noncommittally. “Agar woh theek nahi hue toh hum jee nahi paayenge. Hum ek baar humare amma-babuji ko kho chuke hai, agar phirse-”

“Khushi, woh theek ho jayenge.” He spoke firmly, she had to understand him. This subdued avatar of the otherwise annoying Khushi Kumari Gupta was scaring him. He remembered her acting like a drunkard, only to cheer up her sister. He remembered her playing with kids. He remembered her doing all that drama just so he would stay back. He had never seen her like this. She looked so…vulnerable was the word. He understood what she was saying though. Losing your parents once scarred you enough, but losing them a second time? That would shatter you.

Khushi looked at him, lost in his thoughts. She closed her eyes, glad that he was here. She was exhausted. Ever since she’d come, she had been pacifying Buaji, her mother and her sister. She’d been the strong one. And somewhere between all of that, she had managed to bottle up her fear. She knew that tomorrow they’d probably be back to arguing, but for now, he was here.

Arnav looked at her and to his surprise she was sleeping. He sat there, not moving, thinking about all that had happened. Amidst his thoughts, he felt a rush of pride with a hint of envy for her. After he’d known that she had, like him, lost her parents at a young age, he had begun to feel that they had this tiny thing in common and somewhere deep down, where neither of them would ever admit it, they were going through the same thing. Arnav smiled faintly. He was so wrong. Who was he kidding, she wasn’t like him. He was mostly insensitive, ruthless and there was so much pent up emotion in him that he had never been able to voice. And she was the polar opposite. She wore her heart on her sleeve. She was able to cry and then forget about it the next morning.

He stole a glance at her. She was still sleeping, her tear tracks shining under the light, but her face was peaceful. He envied her for being able to do that. For being able to let it all out. He had always prided himself on being strong, on being in control no matter what. But when you came down to it, he supposed she was the stronger one. It took courage, courage he didn’t have, to be able to spill your guts like that, without thinking what they might think of you, or whether they thought you were weak. He wished he could do that. Just then his phone rang, it was Di.

He looked at the time. He’d been there for four hours, no wonder Di was worried. Where had the time gone? “Haan Di, main aata hoon. Aap so jaiye, I’ll be there.”

He got up and was about to wake her up, when she opened her eyes drowsily. Getting up, she fixed her dupatta and looked at him. “Aap ja rahe ho?”

“Haan woh Di ka phone aaya tha.”

She nodded. He looked at her, he could still see she was afraid. “Tumhare babuji theek ho jayenge.”

“Aap ko kaise pata?”

“Woh tumhari Devi Maiyya hai na.”

Shock filled Khushi’s features. “Aap kabse Devi Maiyya mein vishwas karne lage?!”

He smiled a half-smile. “Main vishwas nahi karta. Par tum toh karti ho na. Bharosa rakho unpe.”

He almost laughed at the way her mouth hung open. He couldn’t believe he’d said it either.

“Thank You.” She said, smiling at him.

“Don’t mention it.”

He was about to leave when her mother came there. “Khushi? Beta tum yahaan kya kar rahi ho?”

“Woh amma, Arnav ji aaye the…” she turned towards him, but he was facing the other side, talking on the phone.

“Sab theek toh hai na?”

“Haan amma. Woh toh bas babuji ke baare mein poochhne aaye the.”

“Theek hai. Khushi humein tumhare unki bahot chinta ho rahi hai. Agar unhe kuch ho gaya toh?”

“Babuji theek ho jayenge. Vaise bhi, kisi ne humse kaha tha ki agar hum Devi Maiyya mein vishwas karte hai, toh unpe bharosa bhi rakhna chahiye.” She gave him a lingering glance, still somewhat surprised about the turn of events.

Arnav kept his phone in the pocket, smiling at what she’d said. He looked back and she was walking with her mother. Glad that things were back to normal, he exited the hospital.

Khushi sat there, beside her father, holding his hand. She knew that neither one of them would mention this night, but she couldn’t deny it. Things had changed between them.

–ooOoo–

I’m coming apart, I’m coming to you;

This game has pushed us so far, will you pull me through?

Maybe tonight…Maybe tonight…Maybe tonight we’ll find a place,

Between you and me.

– Maybe Tonight: William Tell

 

–ooOoo–

AR: Drabble Challenge

Standard

A/N: My first attempt at Drabbles LOL 😀 I saw something like this on fanfiction.net and decided to try it out for myself!

The rules:
1. Pick a character/pairing/fandom you like.
2. Put your iPod on shuffle/random
3. Write a drabble/ficlet related to each song that plays. You only have the time frame of the song to write the drabble. You start when the song starts and finish when the song is over! No editing afterwords!!
4. Do 5 such songs, back to back.
Even though mine are sorta crappy, here you go:

On top of you [Duration: 3 minutes and 38 seconds]

Her hips swayed sensuously as she moved from one side to the other. His eyes feasted over her bare waist as she thrilled him with yet another tantalizing smile. Her raven hair swooshed with each practiced move she made and she knew exactly what she was doing to him. He got up suddenly, ignoring the wondering stares of everyone else at the bar. He made his way up to her, and she laughed. The sound almost stunned him into unconsciousness. It wrapped itself around him and her husky laugh filled with knowledge of knowing what she was doing was assaulting his senses in the worst way possible, rang in his ears. He covered the distance between them in 3 swift strides and her forest green eyes locked with his. They moved to a tempo of their own, stuck in al limbo in which only the two of them existed. His fingers kissed her waist her scent was an onslaught of feeling on his bedazzled mind. She wrapped her arms around his neck and he pulled her into a deep kiss. It was decided. She was coming home.

Just wanna be with you [Duration: 3 minutes and 41 seconds]

2 days 23 hours. She shivered as the cold wind whipped her face. She was tired of waiting, she missed him so much it was physically painful. 2 years, two whole years since she’d seen him last. 730 days of crying into her pillows at night. 730 days since she’d smiled fully. 730 days since he’d been deployed. And she was waiting, always waiting.

“I love you, Armaan.” She whispered, her voice cracking yet again as she ran her fingers over his picture. “I miss you, come back baby. Please.” And as the clock struck 12, it was day number 731.

Moves Like Jagger [Duration: 3 minutes and 21 seconds]

They moved together in perfect sync with each other, laughing, talking nad dancing on the loud music. She was enchanted. He was enraptured. He’d never met anyone as amazing her. She’d never met anyone who shared her obsession with History. It didn’t matter that they’d met for the first time today, at the club. He liked her already. She thought she might ask him out at the end of the night. Or maybe ask for his number. Her thoughts came to an end when he pulled her closer and she smiled into his eyes, everything else forgotten. They owned the night.

Rhythm Divine [Duration: 3 minutes and 34 seconds]

He spun her around his gaze languid, unlike his movements. She twirled with record speed, her heart thudding as she crashed into him, their rehearsed moves enticing the audience who watched the salsa. His hands held her tiny waist as he lifted her up and she faced the stars, her senses intoxicated with him. He brought her down and the music died down slowly. He brought her closer, closer and closer still until they almost touched. His breath fanned her cheeks for a moment before she felt his lips there. She grinned when he whispered a husky “I love you so much” in her ear.

Perfect [Duration: 3 minutes and 34 seconds]

She sat in the bathroom, the walls spinning around her. It was fucked up. It was all so so so fucked up. Her mothers shouting rang in her ears yet again and she shouted a loud SHUT THE FUCK UP at the walls. Her eyes caught the glint of the razor and she sobbed helpessly as she saw the bracelet on her hand. The bracelet. The razor. The bracelet that was the symbol of her staying away from cutting for a month now and the razor that called out to her. If she’d cut, it’d become better. Everything. She remembered his blue eyes, the way they’d shined when he’d called her beautiful. He loved her. The razor lost it’s shine. Her tired hands picked up the cell phone as she texted him: I need you, please.He would fix it. Like everytime.

–ooOoo–

A/N: Cutting is a serious thing, I do not in any way mean to make fun of it by writing a story 🙂

And I have no idea how there were so many Enrique songs, I put my entire music collection on shuffle and its massive! Oh well 😀