Harper wasn’t fully healed yet but she hadn’t told anyone other than Abby. She was seeing the doctor later at night when the medbay was about to close for the night to get her treatments. Her one hip had gotten infected and the other still hurt when she moved a certain way or if it got too cold. She hadn’t even told her girlfriend, Monroe. She didn’t want to be weak. She wanted to be strong like everyone else.
She hadn’t had the worst of it. Everytime she looks at Raven, her closest friend, she remembers that she could be worse. But when she sees Abby she lets herself feel it. She lets herself know it's okay to be hurt. She needs to be able to fall apart sometimes. So she does. In the quiet of the med bay as Abby holds her and strokes her hair.
They never spoke about it. They never talked outside of the med bay. She made Abby promise and Abby let her do it. So when she went to training she didn’t show how nervous she was. She let Monroe guide her to their side of the room and she gave it her best, and it was fine. Until she tried to turn Monroe to get a better grip and Monroe had grabbed her hips, trying to steady herself so she didn’t fall. Harper cried out in pain and backed away from Monroe quickly. Monroe reached out to her but stopped midway when Harper flinched away.
“Harper, baby? What is it? What's wrong?”
Bellamy and a couple of the others were looking at them. Monroe gave Bellamy a pointed look and he nodded and looked away with the other delinquents following suit.
Monroe made her way slowly over to Harper, trying not to startle her. She wrapped her arms around the girl and stroked her hair.
“Harper what’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Nothing I’m fine, let's just continue.”
“No no way. Come on.”
She pulled Harper outside the building and took her to their tent. She stood across from Harper and waited for her to talk.
Harper just sighed and lifted her shirt and unbuttoned her pants, pulling them down a little so her hips where showing. Monroe gasped and walked over to her slowly. She touched the angry red skin around the injury. Harper hissed in pain and backed away a little.
“The one hip is infected. It...it never healed. Abby’s been treating it. I’m fine.”
“Harper you're not fine! You’re hurt and you didn’t tell me!”
She pulled Harper’s pants up and buttoned them. Harper let her shirt fall back down and she glared at the floor.
“It’s nothing compared to what others have been through Monroe seriously I’m fine.”
Monroe pulled her closer so their noses were almost touching.
“Harper I know that others were hurt. I know they were hurt bad but your pain? It matters too. It matters. You matter, baby.”
Harper started crying and shook her head.
“Raven was almost paralyzed. Bellamy was tortured. For fucks sake Monroe people died!”
“Yes Harper and you lived I get that but baby you’re hurt and you can’t ignore that.”
“I’m not! Abby treats it at night.”
“You didn’t tell me! You let the others push you around while training Harper you bite through the pain and you don’t have to. You can tell people, they aren’t going to hold it against you if you have to take things easy!”
“We’re fighting for our lives Monroe I don’t have time to take it easy,” Harper bit back.
“If you keel over in battle because of the pain you aren’t telling people about, if you won’t let them help you, you aren’t going to make it and I can’t deal with that Harper I can not lose you. Telling people is going to help you survive. I can’t survive without you so you have to make it through this. I can not do this without you I love you and I need you to be okay.”
Monroe was crying now too and Harper pulled her closer. She pressed her lips to Monroe’s gently. When she pulled away she nodded her head.
“Okay baby, okay I promise.”
Monroe just nodded and let Harper pull her back out of the tent and towards the training building. When they made their way back inside Bellamy raised an eyebrow at Harper and Harper made her way over to him. She explained the situation to him and he pulled her into a light hug.
“It’s okay Harper, do what you need to do.”
She just nodded and let Monroe take her to their side of the room. While they trained Monroe was careful of Harper’s hips, she didn’t avoid them though.
“I can’t not pay attention to them because the enemy won’t. They will find your weakness and they’ll lose it against you.”
She squeezed her hip lightly and Harper hissed again.
“We’re going to make a pain tolerance. we’re going to build it until it's tolerable,” she explained squeezing it lightly again.
Harper took a deep breathe but didn’t shy away again she just nodded and they continued. They’d do some of the normal training they had learned and then Monroe would squeeze Harper’s hip and as they went on for the next hour she reacted less and less. When they were done Harper was holding her hip gingerly. Monroe kissed her and gave her a mischievous grin.
“You want me to kiss it better?”
Harper blushed slightly but nodded.
“Oh you better.”