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Heat bloomed in Chase’s cheeks, but not from embarrassment. Fear and a mounting lack of air built on him, tensing his shoulders. The giant wasn’t pinching his chest at all, but he almost swore he was. His chest was tight with pain.
“Oh, Jesus,” the giant muttered. Chase caught a glimpse of those eyes again, but his gaze slid to the side as the free hand brushed at his shoulder with a fingertip. The nudge surprised him; it was far more gentle than a fingertip the size of his head should be. “What’s wrong? Did something happen? Can I help you?”
Chase realized distractedly that the pain in his chest must be showing on his face. He shook his head distractedly and pushed against the grip around him, but his force was so weak. He had to blink tears from his eyes from the pressure.
The giant’s grip slackened immediately, and Chase tried to suck in a gasp of alarm. It didn’t work, but it wasn’t needed, either. The hand tilted with him so he slid to the center of a giant palm, that pulse still thudding away beneath him and the other hand still knitting the air nearby as if the giant didn’t know whether he’d break Chase if he touched him.
“I’m sorry,” he rumbled, his deep voice contrite. “Um. I don’t … I don’t know what to do,” he babbled, holding Chase in a cupped hand close to his huge chest. “Water? Do you need water?”
Chase looked up and nodded. “Y-yeah,” he wheezed, only forcing himself into a coughing fit.
It wasn’t clear if the giant actually heard his answer, but suddenly the hand he was on cupped even closer to the giant’s chest while he leaned over where he sat. Chase couldn’t see beyond blue fabric and giant fingers anymore, and he braced his tiny hands against the chest in front of him.
“I have a canteen,” the giant rumbled, his voice rattling through Chase’s bones. He remained cupped close, so he couldn’t see much of what happened, but the whole world seemed to shift and tilt around him as the giant picked up his canteen and worked the cap off.
Something suitable for someone this big could probably fill up a water tower.
When the hand finally moved away from the giant’s chest, Chase’s initial shock from his capture was wearing into simple confusion and wariness. His breathing hadn’t returned to normal, but he had the presence of mind to take slower, deeper breaths, each one with the hope that it’d help relax his lungs enough again.
The giant’s other hand was clamped around a huge canteen indeed, and Chase thought that his estimate might have been a little low. Even that huge hand didn’t wrap all the way around the container, though it held tight to the dark material.
“Here,” the giant said, moving the canteen closer towards Chase. Chase almost leaned away from it, but saw that it was tilted just enough for the water to reach the mouth of the container. Water wasn’t a cure-all for his attacks by any means, but it might soothe him enough. He had to try.
He scooted towards the waiting canteen while the giant tried to keep both hands steady for him. He tried not to think about the fact that he could probably fit through that opening and fall into the giant’s drinking water, and reached out with both hands to scoop some of the liquid out for himself. It was surprisingly cool, though it twinkled in the sunlight.
The first drink cooled his parched throat, and Chase drained it quickly with only one or two coughs punctuating the action. The next time he took a breath, a little more reached his lungs than before.
He reached out to scoop up more water, and the giant’s hand moved. It wasn’t much by giant standards, but it was enough to slop water out of the canteen and all over Chase’s front and lap. He flinched back with a yelp of surprise.
“Augh, really?! ” he complained, shaking out his hands and staring at his now soaked pants.
“Shit, I’m sorry,” the giant said, his voice low but loud and reminding Chase just where he was. He couldn’t go yelling at a giant. He glanced up sheepishly, only to find the giant looking right back at him with a mirrored expression.
“Uh. Just, um. Don’t let it happen again,” he said, recovering. His voice sounded so frail and weak and he hated that. “Just one more drink.”
“Sure, alright,” the giant said, a faint smile ghosting across his huge face. With the fear waning into confusion, Chase noted that the guy, though the size of a cliff himself, couldn’t be much older than Chase if at all. His brown eyes were hopeful and fascinated, watching Chase on his palm.
Chase supposed he couldn’t blame him. He’d probably be fascinated if he found someone that could sit on his hand like this, too.
He took more water in his hands, and while he sipped that down the canteen retreated at last. The giant set it down in the sand, crushing it into the grains so it would stand up on its own without a lid on. Every move the giant made was so casually powerful, and here Chase was, sitting on his palm.
Knowing that hand could close on him again at any time, he finished off his water and then hugged his knees close to his chest. “S-so, uh,” he began, his voice thready and higher than he wanted it to be. Dammit. “You just … nap on the beach, huh?”
The giant blinked at him in surprise, and then glanced around them. “Uh. Not usually.” He sat near the edge of the cliffs, a fair distance away from where the tide washed up on the shore. Looking around with him, Chase actually noticed gouges in the ground from giant hands dragging an even bigger body out of the water.
“I don’t …” the giant began, before looking back at Chase curiously. Chase’s shoulders tensed up as he was lifted back to the giant’s eye level. “What’s going on? How’d you get so small?”
Chase offered a flat look for the giant’s trouble. “Really? You’re the one who’s a giant, pal. I’m the small one?”
The giant’s mouth twitched, and he couldn’t hide his amused smirk no matter how hard he tried. “I’ve never been a giant before,” he pointed out. “So, yeah. You’re the small one.”
Chase scoffed. Bravado out of nowhere prompted him to push to a shaky stand on the giant’s palm. He wavered for a second before he could plant his feet and stare defiantly across at the giant face. “No way,” he protested, waving at the cliffs with emphasis. “Check out those cliffs, and the trees up there! You are a giant!”
The giant looked aside and his eyebrows lifted slightly as he noticed. The trees standing atop the shoreside cliffs were tall compared to Chase, but none of them would come to even half the giant’s height. He dwarfed them like they were potted flowers.
“Ah. Okay,” he admitted, glancing back to Chase. His hand swayed, and Chase had to drop to a seat again. The giant smiled faintly again, a fascinated and amused look. “Guess I am. But you can just call me Jacob.”