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Backache by Anniew



He rises stiffly from the cramped position he has maintained for too long.  All four lights on the monitor are now flashing simultaneously. Good. He rolls his neck and stretches to release his kinks and aches, but when he bends down to the console to replace the probe in its case, without warning the sharp pain slices through his back, immobilising him. Damn. It's only too familiar. A tentative attempt to move, and despite his best efforts to prevent it, he lets out an anguished gasp. Vicious spasms lock his position as effectively as a vice. He's stuck, bent like an old man, and he can't think what to do; how to free himself from a predicament he finds unbearably embarrassing. He can only manage a crab-like shuffle along the length of the console until he reaches the wall, where awkwardly he braces himself.

As the pain subsides slightly, he risks taking an agonised step and then another, freezing again as the vice tightens. Another step. Another. Just a tap on the communicator and he could get himself some help, but he can't bring himself to do it.

And then, with inexpressible relief he feels her slip under his outstretched arm, taking his weight on her shoulder, and she presses her hand in exactly the right spot on his aching back so that he can shuffle forward. She doesn't speak. She knows he hates to be helped like this and he can't bring himself to look at her, to acknowledge that he is helpless. Instead, he visualises her bright, slightly mischievous face and feels a relaxing in the tense muscles, because he needed her and she came. He can rely on her.  

Together they inch their way towards his quarters, the comfort of her tiny warm body, tucked in so neatly against his, conveying such a sense of rightness. Such a sense that she belongs there.

"Stop for a minute, Cally," he commands, tired from the ungainly struggle to move. "I need to rest."

"Who are you talking to?" Vila's puzzled voice startles him, the jolt bringing another stab of pain. When it eventually fades he realises that, apart from Vila's anxious face he is alone, leaning heavily back against the corridor wall.

"Fool," he snarls, "you can see there is nobody else here. I've done my back in. Now help me to my room."

They shuffle off together, but he feels her still; tucked under his arm, locked there, belonging. Feels her loss in that phantom presence with a pain more acute than that aching in his back.


All original fan fiction hosted on Horizon is copyright to the individual authors. No attempt is being made to supersede any copyright held by the estate of Terry Nation, the BBC, B7 Media, Big Finish or any other licensees or holders of copyright on Blake's 7 material.


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