Slow and Steady Recovery

Fort Weyr - Stonehaven Cothold
Ezra's Room and various other locations about the hold.

NOTE: Scene is a continued from He's Not Dead Yet!


The Healer frowns, but does not press the issue. He sets a pillow down beside Rayathess though, and then retreats to the table that he’s turned into a desk, full of Ezra’s charts, some books, and other things to keep the Healer on duty occupied between those half candlemark checkups. Time passes. Ezra’s check-ups proceed as normal, but the young heir doesn’t come back to full wakefulness until after lunch the next day. This time his eyes are clearer as he stares at the ceiling, frowning a bit in confusion. “Mom?” The first word to come to his mind, and spill from his mouth before he can stop himself.

For that Rayathess is grateful that the Healer doesn’t press the issue and so he’ll stubbornly stick to his vigil over Ezra, not at all aware of the passage of time save for the checks. There is little to distract him, only his thoughts which continue to spin in that relentless circle. Does that Harper Journeyman ever come for the paperwork? If he does, Rayathess will barely acknowledge him. He may have to answer later for his behavior but for now he doesn’t care. Time passes. By now, Lana has no doubt been transported back to Fort Weyr and more supplies transported in. New Healers too, to relieve those or add to the small group. Perhaps Gerald has requested a few things too? What requests are made will be attended to, either by Fort Hold or Fort Weyr. With Lana gone, Rayathess no doubt feels all the worst for his guilt in not seeing her. But was she even in any condition for visitors? Speaking of visitors or a pseudo-visitor, Laurali is among those brought in from Healer Hall. Apprentice-level, she’s there to shadow, to learn and to help with the basic necessities. It will be her (or her presence), that has Rayathess relaxing enough to sleep. Or maybe it was the tea she gave him (under Journeyman approval)? Who knows, but the older Stonehaven is (finally) out cold and she’s seen that he’s comfortable before going about her tasks.

It’ll be her, not Rayathess, who will greet Ezra and frown over his confused call for his mother. “No. Afraid not,” Laurali says in a quiet voice as she nods to the Healer on duty before coming to kneel by the young Stonehaven’s side. Her smile is small but gentle. “How’re you feeling?”

Ezra is doubly confused at the sight of Laurali over him, and his heart gives a sharp thud in his chest. Oh. “L…Laurali,” he says, fumbling a bit over her name as he struggles to remember it - or struggles to say it. It’s not clear yet where the fault lies, if it’s memory or verbalization. “Where is Rayathess?” Worry pulses through him and he tries to sit up, struggling with it as his balance is off and he’s dizzy as soon as he moves, looking wildly around for his brother.

Laurali doesn’t seem to mind that he struggles to remember her name or say it, her concern more on a Healer’s level of attention. She will frown and make a soft, reassuring sound. “Hey, easy! Don’t move, Ezra.” Her hands will press to his arms, mindful to avoid his shoulder as she tries to gently coax him back down. Rayathess isn’t far. He’s huddled on the floor, wrapped in a few thin blankets and sleeping on the pillow left by the Healer with a few more propped around him by Laurali’s handiwork. “He’s sleeping. See?” Laurali will point to where his brother is, allowing Ezra to (very slowly) turn his head. “I got him to take some tea.” That he may not have been aware was dosed with something to settle his stomach… that would also make him sleep from drowsiness (a half-truth isn’t bad, right?). She’ll have to be sure to be absent when Rayathess wakes up.

Ezra is too weak to fight, and he settles back against his pillows, turning his head to see his brother. The relief is palpable on his face as he exhales softly. “Is he okay? Is…what…the brownrider. Is she okay?” There’s a pause. “Am I okay?” Pause. “The tea was a good idea. I’m glad he’s resting. I don’t…remember…but I don’t think he’s rested. Maybe he has. WHat day is it?”

Laurali will adjust the pillow beneath his head and the blankets around him once he has settled down again. She frowns, her neutral expression slipping somewhat before she can regain control. “He’s exhausted.” she explains in a soft and gentle toned voice. She’ll omit the emotional exhaustion and distress, the sickness brought on by the anxieties… No sense dropping that on Ezra’s shoulders. “Brownrider Lana? They have transported her back to Fort Weyr where she will mend. She is fine but also recovering. And you,” Laurali will tilt her head a bit, her eyes flicking up to the bandage on his head. “… are mending too. A Journeyman or Master Healer will be in soon, more than likely, to change your dressings and check on your progress.” Mention of the tea has her mouth drawing up in a faint, bemused smile. “Maybe. He won’t be pleased it put him to sleep but it was for his best interest. He hasn’t rested, Ezra. He has been by your side, so I’ve been told, since you were rescued.” The day? “It’s after lunch, a full day after you and Lana were rescued.”

Ezra frowns, exhaling softly as he closes his eyes. “Figures. Stubborn…stubborn Rayathess. THank you for making him rest.” He’s both touched and worried at his brother’s devotion to him. Happy that his brother hasn’t left his side, (he would’ve done the same if the roles were reversed) but also worried he’s put himself through too much. “I don’t feel well,” he murmurs. “I ache all over, inside and out.” But he can move at least, even though they’re small movements. “And you’re here too. Thank you for coming.” As if she had a choice. Maybe he thinks she did have a choice. His hand shifts, reaching for hers. “How are you? Things good at the…the Hall?” Again the slight fumbling with words. THen the door opens and the Harper pokes his head in.

Laurali only smiles her small, neutral smile to Ezra. If she wasn’t technically here on duty as a Healer, she’d show him more emotions than what she is now and she may later, if the supervising Healer takes her off duty and she can have a moment with him as his friend rather than a patient. “That’s from your injury but if it gets worse, you have to tell the Healer on duty.” Or she will. “Are you in significant discomfort right now?” she asks softly and whether or not it’s considered professional, she will take his hand in hers and grip it firmly. She chuckles quietly, “Just like you to ask after me while you lay seriously injured on the floor.” she teases him lightly. “Things are fine. I’ll talk more about it at a later time, when you’re better and it won’t put a strain on you. Alright? Oh. Afternoon, Journeyman.” Laurali nods her head to the Harper and smiles. “May I help you?”

“Afternoon, Apprentice. I spoke with your Journeyman outside and he said I could come in. Ah… I see that Rayathess is sleeping?” The Harper nods his head to where the huddled form of the elder Stonehaven brother is still sound asleep. “Afternoon, sir.” he goes on to say to Ezra, his smile faint but relieved in a way to see the heir awake. “Sorry to disturb you. Rayathess didn’t happen to have some paperwork on him, did he? I’m here to collect it and I must return to Fort Hold with it by this evening.” The sheets of paper, those official documents that brought Rayathess so much conflict, are where he left them just to the right of the door.

Ezra squeezes her hand back tightly, closing his eyes for a moment. “I will,” he murmurs. “I’m…not significant, I guess. I just ache all over, my head is throbbing. THoughts…are difficult. They keep running away.” Shifting, he turns his head when the Harper arrives. “Afternoon. Ah…paperwork? I don’t know. Laurali, do you see any? I think…I think he had some. He…if it’s homework, sir, he didn’t have time to work on it, I’m sorry.” His brother was kind of sort of almost dying. THat’s a good excuse, right?

Laurali nods to Ezra’s description of his aching and throbbing head and of the other symptoms. All noted and tucked away in her head and later she will mention it to the Healer on duty. Right now, she is distracted by the arrival of the Harper Journeyman and is prepared to send him away should his presence be too much for Ezra. “I think I see some by the door, sir?” Laurali offers, pointing with her hand. The man nods his head and retrieves them, eyes scanning as he flips through and there is relief again and satisfaction for what he finds. They’re folded and tied securely. It’s while he’s slipping them into a protective pocket that the Harper pauses to give Ezra a confused look. “Homework, sir? Ah, no need to apologize. This was not homework. Important documents that required his signature, that’s all. Which he has, so I should be off to deliver them.” Again, the full details are washed out and left vague. How frustrating?

Ezra keeps hold of Laurali’s hand, not wanting to let it go and wanting more of that contact. His eyes follow the Harper, unfocusing and then refocusing in confusion. “Ah. I see. Well. I’m glad it’s being taken care of then.” He’s assuming it’s Harper business, nothing to do with him, and he’s forgotten his brother’s evading earlier. “Thank you. I’ll tell him you picked them up when he wakes up.” Or Laurali will, when Ezra is sleeping. If Ezra can’t stay awake until Rayathess wakes.

The Harper tilts his head for a moment, confused as well for Ezra’s reply. It FITS, but there is something just not quite right that has the man hesitating again. Oh, but it DOES have something to do with him! “No need. Fort Hold will send him a letter no doubt and likely one to you as well, Ezra. They’ll be pleased to know that matters concerning Stonehaven’s succession has now been remedied. I’m glad that despite the circumstances, you and your brother were able to come to an agreement and decide upon the best course.” Uh oh. Dipping his head low and dropping into a half-bow, the Journeyman Harper smiles. “Clear skies and speedy recovery, holder Ezra. I’ll be on my way now.” With that he slips out the door. Laurali exhales softly and purses her lips. Hopefully that’s the last interruption? She’ll squeeze Ezra’s hand and then looking down at him, her smile is soft and neutral again, hinting ever so slightly at her curiosity. “What was that he was mentioning?” She figures the two brothers HAD talked.

Ezra blanches slightly, blinking in confusion as the Harper leaves. “Thank you,” he manages to stammer. Left alone, his gaze shifts to Laurali again. “What did he say? Stonehaven’s…what?” He’s wondering if he heard wrong, or if his mind is not comprehending what just happened.

Laurali blinks and shrugs her shoulders as she gazes down at Ezra. “Succession. That’s the word he said,” she tells him, eyes darting to where Rayathess still sleeps, oblivious to all. Her mouth draws into a thin line, brows knitting. “Dunno why they’d bring up succession to heir of a hold, unless…” She falters with a slight gasped intake of breath, her hand coming up to her mouth as she stares down at Ezra in surprised comprehension. Oh, she gets it now! But does he understand?

Ezra frowns. “Succession. Suc…succession,” he fumbles. It takes a moment, but his mind finally makes the connection and his eyes widen sharply. “Am I dying, Laurali?” he demands, his hand grasping hers tightly. “Tell me. Tell me the truth!”

Alarmed, Laurali makes some soothing noises over his demands. “Shh, Ezra! It’s alright.” Please don’t panic! The Journeymen will flay her alive if he does. “You’re not dying. One, you’re in Stonehaven, in your room. If you were so critical and near death, they would’ve taken you to the Hall where they’re better equipped to try and save you. But you’re fine. Badly wounded, but mending.” Like she said earlier. Slipping her hand free of his, she’ll gently grip his good shoulder instead as she looks down at him, eye to eye and her expression serious. “You’ll be fine! You just need to rest.” Which was going so well until that Harper came by!

Ezra shifts, frowning sharply “Then why did the Hold send a Harper for Rayathess’ signature?” he demands, shifting his body again. “Unless I was too…too…dammit I can’t think,” he says, fists clenching against the blankets. “I’m not dying here!” he shouts, staring up at the ceiling and trying to sit up again. He will not die in Stonehaven. He will NOT.

“Too injured?” Laurali supplies before trying to shush him again, wincing when he shouts at the ceiling. “No, no of course you’re not! You won’t.” she tries to soothe him, pleading with him with her eyes to settle. It’s already too late though. The Healer on duty heard that and is opening the door, giving Laurali a rather stern look that has her ducking her head down and shuffling away to allow the Journeyman to step in. Ezra’s shouting also woke Rayathess up with a jolting start and his half-cursed, hoarse swearing can be heard as he struggles with the blankets around him. Where’d THOSE come from?

Ezra squirms, turning his head to seek his brother. “Raya!” he shouts, fear in his voice. “Am I dying? Why did you sign those papers?” he demands.
The Healer is quick to move forward and put a firm and restraining hand on Ezra’s chest, pushing him back to the floor. “Ezra. You need to relax. You need to breathe, calm down. You’re going to reinjure yourself.”
Ezra looks wide eyed at his brother, confused and scared. Very scared. He thought he was fine. But why would Rayathess be signing a document about succession unless Ezra was dying? Those are the thoughts that swirl around painfully and fearfully in his mind. He does stop struggling, panting softly for breath and looking beseechingly at his brother. “Raya…”

Rayathess trashes free of the blanket tangled around him and half crawls, half rushes to Ezra’s side. “What?” he asks, his mind groggy and sluggish in some aspects and overrun with adrenaline now in others. Heart pounding, he looks about the room wildly. Where’s the danger? What’s the emergency? He sees the Healer there and then Laurali in the corner. He glowers at her and she shrinks back a bit further. “Ezra, it’s alright. Listen to the Healer. You have to calm down.” he mumbles, his voice rough and thick. He looks rumpled and disheveled, exhausted and worn. Scrubbing at his jaw, which rasps now with stubble, he grimaces as he settles himself down heavily by Ezra’s side. “So who shardin’ told you about the Harper’s paperwork from Fort Hold?” he mutters next, eyeing Laurali again. She just shakes her head, so Rayathess looks back at his brother. Guiltily too. “You’re not dying. Fort Hold was concerned you might die. Which would leave Stonehaven open to contention…” Unless he signed. “It’s sorted out now. Not that it was ever necessary.”

Ezra breathes. He looks at his brother, he trusts him, and he breathes. Though there are tears of fear in his eyes. “The Harper,” he mumbles. “He said…you’d signed. That…that means you’d be heir. You? You…you don’t want that,” he says, shifting beneath the Healer’s hand, needing more space to breathe. The Healer moves back a bit, and then begins to check Ezra’s head wound, unwrapping the bandage and beginning to clean the head wound and stitches. Ezra reaches out for Rayathess’ hand, fingers groping. “Wasn’t Laurali, she was helping,” he murmurs, seeing that glare. Another breath. “I’m not dying. But. Now. If I did. It’d be you?” He’s confused. Surprised.

Rayathess’ mouth draws into a thin, grim line when Ezra mentions the signed paperwork and he sighs at those fearful tears. If he could, he’d chase both the Healer and Laurali from the room, but they’re tending to his brother’s wounds right now. Taking Ezra’s hand, he squeezes tightly and firmly. “We’ll see.” he growls under his breath concerning Laurali’s “help”. Being jolted from sleep and already so exhausted and worn thin has left his temper frayed that even Laurali’s good will and helping nature is grating on him. Relaxing a tiny bit when Ezra begins to calm and become rational again, Rayathess is too tired by this point to keep dodging his brother’s questions. “Not dying.” he confirms, hopefully backed up by the Healers on that. “Y…yes. It’d be me who is next in line to heir. I… there is no other choice.”

Ezra clutches to his brother’s hand, pulling him gently. “Lay down,” he murmurs. “Here, beside me.” That’s not weird, is it? Brothers? If it is, he doesn’t give a damn. “You…we need to rest. I’m…it…I don’t know how I feel, Raya,” he murmurs tiredly. “Part happy, part not. I know…you…I know you don’t want it…” And that makes him frown, and then wince when the gesture pulls at his stitches. “Laurali…you…” He turns, trying to seek her wigh his gaze. “You’re okay?”

Rayathess grunts softly when Ezra pulls at his hand. “Alright, alright.” he hisses. Maybe it’s a bit weird? But he’ll do it because it’s his brother and he’s hurt. If this keeps him calm and relaxed, then he’ll stretch out beside him. Laurali comes over to offer the pillows and blankets he had been sleeping on and Rayathess is rough in taking them from her, which only leaves her looking startled and hurt before she wipes her expression to a neutral state. “You don’t have to worry about it,” Rayathess mutters as he flops down on the pillows. Is Ezra sure he wants him close? He probably stinks from lack of showering on top of it all. “I don’t want it but it’s done. Stonehaven is secure.” And that’s what Ezra would have wanted, right?

Laurali goes to answer, but the Healer Journeyman has finished his work and speaks over whatever the girl was going to say. “Apprentice Laurali and I are finished here. If you need anything, just call. We’ve someone posted by the door. If you’ll excuse us. Laurali? Come with me.” And something in the man’s tone says it’s not for a fun and happy casual discussion. Laurali has her head lowered, worrying her lower lip as she nods, darting a look to Ezra before she meekly follows the Journeyman out, an obedient Apprentice trailing after her superior. Moments later, the muffled sounds of a voice not far down the hall and lecturing but the words too distorted to make out. Rayathess doesn’t even so much as spare a glance in that direction, huddled as he is miserably under the blankets he’s drawn back up around himself.

Ezra frowns, trying to say ‘It’s not her fault I panicked, she was trying to help, she was trying to keep me calm, it’s all my fault,’ but all he manages as the Healer departs is, “But…” He shifts a bit, hand reaching for his brother’s arm. “Sleep with me?” he whispers, worried eyes searching Rayathess’ face. “Please, Raya. Sleep…”

Who knows what Laurali is being lectured on but in time the muffled voice ceases and is no longer heard. Rayathess doesn’t withdraw from Ezra’s touch to his arm but he does sigh heavily, his eyes opening to focus on his brother and then gaze towards the ceiling. “Alright, alright. I’ll sleep.” he mutters and… doesn’t. He just remains stretched out on his back, staring at the ceiling.

Ezra settles back down again, closing his eyes for a moment. They open again a moment later though. “I’m sorry you had to sign those papers,” he says quietly. “I’d hoped…that…you know. I’d have sons, and…then…” Ezra’s plan was to have as many sons between himself and Rayathess as possible. Just…wife. Right. That comes first. “I’m sorry.”

“Life rarely ever works out so simple,” Rayathess mutters, his lips drawing back into a thin grimace. “But it’s not your fault either, Ezra. It had to be done. It’s done. There’s nothing more to discuss.” Right now. There’s a lot more grey area lurking about in there but with Ezra still recovering and struggling with his mental capabilities and limits, Rayathess assumes now is not the time to have a heart to heart chat. “It’s fine, Ezra.” he assures his brother again.

Ezra frowns, exhaling a soft sigh. His eyes close again, and then he’s once more lost to sleep. Excessive sleep…a symptom and a side-effect of a concussion, and Ezra seems caught up in it big time.

Rayathess is vaguely familiar with the symptoms of a concussion but he knows that sleep is healing and good too. He’ll wait until he’s certain Ezra is lost to sleep before he opens his eyes again to stare at the ceiling. His eyes are troubled and conflicted, his mind exhausted and his body too. Sleep would be good for him but he just cannot shut down. Not easily. Turning his head, he’ll peer over his shoulder to watch as Ezra sleeps on steadily. “I’m sorry, brother.” he whispers. Oh, sure. NOW he wants to talk?

Suuuure. How convenient for him. Talk away all you want, Rayathess, Ezra won’t hear a word of it. He sleeps on. XD

Maybe it’s because Ezra is asleep that Rayathess feels compelled to talk? Which is pointless. Ezra will hear nothing, not a single word but he seems unable to stop. “I… I wish I could be stronger for you, Ezra. Be there. Help more. Did I do the right thing, going to Harper Hall? Or should I be here, in Stonehaven, like Gerald and… helping rebuild our home.” he rambles on in a quiet and shaky voice. He goes on about how he worries that too much has been put on his shoulders too soon. Why did he go to the caves with Lana but not a single Minecrafter or wherhandler between them? He almost died and for what? A potential storage cavern? Rayathess sighs and scrubs wearily at his face, features twisting when he feels so filthy on top of everything else. But he won’t leave Ezra’s side. Not yet. Not while he is still permitted to be here. Eventually he will begin to doze and then fall into a light but fitful sleep that is easily broken.

Ezra sleeps. He hears nothing, shifting a bit in his dreams but is otherwise still. Until the Healer returns for his next checkup. Honestly, how is anyone supposed to get any good rest being woken up every 30 minutes? Ezra opens his eyes with a frown, which for some reason makes the Healer smile. “I have to pee.”
Rayathess sleeps too. He JUST started to go into a deeper state when the Healer returns and he could almost pitch a fit in frustration but clamps down on it tight. Nothing says he HAS to sleep in the same room, but he insists and so he is roused out of his much needed rest by Ezra’s clockwork checkups. There’s a snort for his brother’s statement and, having half rolled onto his stomach, Rayathess’ next words are half-mumbled into his pillow. “You want help to get up to go?” Is the bathroom far? “Or you want your privacy and we’ll just leave you a chamber pot?” Mutter-grumble.

Ezra grumbles, shifting a bit. “I…can I get up?” he asks the Healer.
“Let’s try, but if you feel dizzy, say something,” the Healer says.
“Right, right…” Yeah, whatever. Can he get up already? Shifting carefully, and with help, Ezra sits up a bit. “I…ugh. Yeah, dizzy.” He can’t even hide it, closing his eyes and pressing a hand to his head. “Chamber pot, please,” he mutters, gritting his teeth and trying not to get too
frustrated at himself. Stupid head.

Rayathess will prop himself up on his elbows and then stiffly move to get to his knees, a few joints cracking in protest as he moves. Ugggh. Groggily, he’ll help along with the Healer to try to get Ezra to his feet and then set him back down when the dizziness hits. “Worth a shot,” he mutters, clasping his hand to his good shoulder. Pat, pat. He’ll leave the Healer to deal with the chamber pot business. “‘M going for something to drink. And eat.” Will the Healer warn him not to eat too fast and throw it all up again? Just something more to hang awkwardly in the air. Rayathess staggers from the room, half shuffling and tipsy-like. “Be back.” he says to Ezra, pausing long enough to at least reassure his brother in that.

Ezra nods. “Right,” he murmurs. And when Rayathess is gone, he’ll take care of those few issues and lay down again, closing his eyes once more while the Healer tends to his head wound. Ezra is quiet, frowning, thoughtful as he waits for his brother to return. Or someone. Or something. Entertainment must come to him right now.

If Ezra wants entertainment, then entertainment he’ll get! In a potentially mortifying and embarrassing way! The Healer finishes with his check up and calls to someone in the hallway. Who else enters but Laurali? Her eyes dart to Ezra, her smile quick and warm before sliding away when the Journeyman turns to face her. Murmurs a few words to her that sound like a list of tasks and orders. “… when you’re done with that … go brew more’ve the tea … he’s gone to eat… can’t keep being sick… not good for…” And so on. Maybe he figured Ezra had dozed off again or that he’s being quiet enough. He’ll clean up, leaving Laurali to help and also… well, there’s the matter of the chamber pot too. Yay being an Apprentice? She doesn’t say a word and is gone along with the Journeyman in a span of minutes, leaving Ezra to his silence. And more silence. Minutes tick on… and then the door opens again and in slips Rayathess. He doesn’t bring entertainment but he brings water and some simple fare for food. Easy to eat and stomach food. “Hey.” he all but grunts at his brother, but there’s a vague smile there too. “Want any? Healers said you could.” In moderation.

Ezra tries to smile at Laurali, but who knows if it gets through or not. His eyes close a moment later. “Ah. Food. Yeah. I think I’m hungry.” He thinks. “Are you okay? Were you sick?” he asks, frowning at his brother as he remains laying down on his pallet. He’s getting sick of this position too, but any other sends him into a fit of dizzyness.

Likely not, as Laurali was keeping her eyes adverted for the most part. Maybe half out of embarrassment but largely in part because she’s been warned by her Journeyman not to blur lines between patient and ‘friend’. She is here as an Apprentice and is to act accordingly and approach both the heir and his brother as is proper to her rank. Later, she may try to sneak in a few words when she’s supposed to be off rotation and “resting”. For now though, Ezra gets the “joy” of his not-so joyful brother. Rayathess sets the small tray down by Ezra’s good side and pours him a glass of fresh water. No juice, no klah. Just water and flat bread and other equally as boring, bland food. Something to eat, at least? “I…w-what?” he scoffs and then scowls. “Who…” The protest dies on his next exhaled sigh though and he shakes his head. “Shardin’ Healers.” he mutters under his breath. “Don’t miss a damn thing. I was sick once. I just… I ate too fast and drank too fast.” And had a total meltdown and breakdown that made his anxiety so bad he was physically ill.

Ezra frowns at his brother. “Rayathess,” he says, soft but firm. “You’re making yourself sick, worrying.” About him. The guilt is on his face, but what can he do? “Relax, it’s…I’m going to be okay, alright? I”m sorry.” Sitting up just enough, he takes a small sip of water and a bite of bread, and then settles down again.

“It’s nothing,” Rayathess counters stubbornly, eyes narrowing as he looks at Ezra and refuses to face the truth of it. He IS worrying himself sick. He knows this and it makes him feel guilty. Guilty and weak. He should be strong! Supportive. A source of strength and stability. But he’s not. “I’m fine. And I know you’ll be alright.” Rayathess will watch as Ezra takes some water and food, looking satisfied with that at least. “Why are you sorry, Ezra?” he mutters.

Ezra frowns, unable to do more than the small things he’s eaten and drank so far. He settles onto his back, shifting uneasily, and sighs. ‘Because I’ve put all this on you,” he murmurs. “And you’re…you look awful.” Sorry, brother. “I know you’ve been here the whole time, and I really…I’m really, really glad that you have been. But you’re making yourself…you’re worked up…I…” He sighs, reaching for his brother’s hand. “So I’m sorry. I took heir so you could relax…”

Rayathess takes his hand and sighs again, “Of course I’d be here.” How could he stay at Harper Hall at a time like this? “You’ve put nothing on me Ezra. It’s… Yeah, I gave you heir so that I could pursue another path but I guess we overlooked a few details. You don’t have to be sorry. You just…” Can’t die. “… just focus on getting better, alright? I’ll be fine. It was just… there was a lot for me to cope with at once and I’m exhausted. My mood isn’t… right, because of that.” he tries to explain.

Ezra nods, giving his hand a squeeze. “I guess we did…” he murmurs. “It’s so unlike us,” he adds, an attempt at a teasing joke. “I will, I will. I’m going to sleep more in a bit. I’m just getting tired of it. You rest, alright? Promise?”

Rayathess smirks at the attempt of a joke and while he doesn’t laugh, he does seem to relax a little more against the pillow beneath him. “Guess we won’t make the same mistake twice?” he mutters. He’s still conflicted about signing the papers, of having his hand more or less forced into it but… now some shred of rational thought creeps in. That legal document can be changed later. Will be changed later. So long as Ezra stays alive, that is. “Tired of sleeping. Who knew?” he drawls with dry sarcasm and then nods his head with another smirk. Yeah, yeah. “I’ll sleep.” he mumbles. Promise.

Ezra snorts a bit at his joke, and smirks, before sleep claims him again. This time the Healers let him sleep, and he sleeps for candlemarks upon candlemarks. His vitals remain stable, but he is not forced to wake and allowed to sleep.


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