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It's one of her favourite expressions. Must be. She uses it a lot.
And most of the time she is fine. Most of the time you would never guess what she has been through. Most of the time she is happy - and it is genuine, he can tell. She smiles, she laughs, she teases him, she flirts. It's all normal. And she is fine.
Then there are a few times when she's fine because, in the scheme of things, she has no right to be otherwise. Because there are people far worse off than she is; because she has so much to be thankful for in her life; because her loss is nothing compared to what other people have had to endure. He recognises these occasions from the intake of breath, and straightening of her posture - the show of strength - that precedes her "I'm fine," and the small smile that accompanies it. A smile he knows is borne of her thinking about the good in her life.
But, now and again, she is not fine. Now and again, the floodgates open and she can't close them. Sometimes it's a case that triggers it; sometimes she's alone with her thoughts just a little too long and the memories creep in, bringing the heart-wrenching sadness back with them.
He recognises these moments by the hitch in her voice when she says she's fine. And, in her defence, it's not a lie. Even when he finds her hiding away somewhere, she's still not completely broken. Her face may be tear-stained, but she still holds back.
She is the strongest person he knows. He doesn't know how she does it; where she finds the will to be so positive, so caring, so beautiful in the face of what the world has thrown at her. Maybe, in the scheme of things, her loss is relatively minor. But it's hers, and it's too much more than she deserves.
So, at those times when her strength falters, he lends her his. They'll sit in silence, or not; his arm around her, or not; she'll let out all the tears that need to fall, or not. Whatever she needs, for as long as she needs it. Until she can convincingly tell him she's fine again.
Because she is fine.
Most of the time.