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Welcoming The Uncertain End (part 3)
Zeydar opened his eyes. He felt hot and sticky. The air was thick and a bit difficult to breathe. He was hungry, but not in the way that one needed food. He was parched but not from lack of water. His body needed magic. The moment he understood the need, the room turned into an oasis filling him.
“Are you awake?” Evester’s voice was little more than a whisper in the dark room. It resonated off the walls, that had no other sounds save the drip of his IV. Zeydar had a vague memory of music and narration but he could not place why. His senses were on high alert, and he felt that within seconds it could become overwhelming.
“Yes?” His own voice was too loud, pounding in his head, and forcing him to wince.
“Don’t talk.” Evester kissed his cheek, pressing himself closer to Zeydar on the bed. They were holding hands, wet with sweat, but Zeydar refused to let go, because he could feel their heart beats in their hands.
“It hurts.” Zeydar hissed out at the lowest volume he could.
“You pushed yourself.” Evester kissed his temple. “It’s going to take time to acclimate again.”
Zeydar pressed his head against Zeydar’s shoulder. “It hurts…”
However he had done it before, he would do it again. There was no clock in the room, no sense of direction or time. “How long?”
“Only a day. It’s the first night after battle now. I’m happy I turned off the audio book to sleep.”
Zeydar did not want to imagine how he would have reacted if he had heard additional sounds. Squeezing his eyes, he tried to let himself focus on the magic and on Evester. The two of them could not hurt him.
Evester shifted and sat up a bit, to prop Zeydar up a bit. His skin smelt of heavy condensed magic, sweet enough to eat. Zeydar laid his head against Evester’s bare chest. Zeydar rested against him, until he was strong enough to sit up on his own without his head spinning. It was then that Evester got out of the bed, walking as silently as he could across the floor to a table. He brought the luke warm bowl of soup to Zeydar who ate slowly.
“We should do some exercises.” Evester said once Zeydar had eaten half.
Zeydar glanced at him. He could see Evester’s figure in the darkness, as if he were in the light. He was not smiling, looked tired, but he was not angry. Zeydar nodded.
“To get your body moving. Relaxation, some stretches and meditation.” Evester went on not seeing Zeydar’s reaction. “To get your blood flowing and the magic circulating. The air has been a bit still for the last hour or so.”
“It was moving before?”
“Swirling and dancing into you, at a slow but constant pace.”
“I didn’t know I could do this.”
“Before yesterday, there were many things you didn’t know you could do.” Evester sat on the edge of the bed and reached out. “They’re like tiny glass shards. Harmless if you look, but dangerous if moved incorrectly. No wonder you were in so much pain.”
“I don’t know why this is happening.” Although he wondered if it had to do with him calling and condensing the magic he needed to sustain himself, but being unable to take it all in at once. When he had done it before, it had crystalized, as it had no where else to go. He had limited his intake speed so that it would gather but not freeze around him. This manifestation had to be the same as a fear response. He’d gathered all the magic, but his body had not been able to accept it fast enough thus it lingered.
“How is everything?” Zeydar asked, taking Evester’s hand.
“Killing the Queen, saved us but..” Evester leaned in. “You should have told me. I wouldn’t have stopped you.”
“I didn’t… It wasn’t because I thought you’d stop me. I didn’t tell you because I wasn’t sure what I was doing. It was hypothesis and I was too focused on it and answering the questions. If I gave you an answer, there was a chance that seconds later it would be wrong.”
“But you knew you had to kill the Queen.”
“You should have told me.” Evester then reminded him, “EverDanger always operates at a margin of error. It’s okay to be wrong. You just have to be fast enough to fix it.”
“I know.” But acting on that was easier said than done. “I didn’t know where she was, or if I could do it.”
“So it was reckless, all the more reason you should have told me.” Evester placed their foreheads together. “I wouldn’t have stopped you.”
The second time he said it, Zeydar believed it. He had not realized he was so afraid of Evester trying to stop him — him or Heia — that Zeydar had said nothing at all. He had been distracted by the logistics, theories, and numbers, but he’d been afraid too. Was that what it was? Fear? Was that why EverDanger was able to accept the risk of failure? Because they did not fear death. Or was it because they believed in each other more? Zeydar was not sure he’d be able to give up on certainty for a while, because he only could control himself with certainty. But in time, if he had the time, he could do it. Because it wasn’t that he didn’t trust them. It was that he didn’t trust himself.
“I’m not letting you leave this room until I know you can handle yourself.” Evester told him.
Zeydar opened his mouth and then shut it. “You won’t tell them I’m awake?”
“So they can use you further? No.” Evester leaned back. “You will sleep and recover, and when you feel like you could wipe human civilization off with the flick of your hand I’ll let you go.” He urged Zeydar to continue eating. Zeydar shook his head, and Evester nodded able to see it this time. “Some people might want you to kill off all the Aralax, so we can reclaim our home.”
“You could. But that won’t save the planet. They are too hopeful.”
“Of course you won’t, because only Kony and I will know you’re awake and lucid. And until this room is clear and you look healthier, I won’t let them see you.”
Zeydar laughed to himself. He knew that Evester was furious, not with what he had done, but with the world that wanted to push him further after they had seen it with their own eyes. “It was easier than holding up a failing tower while I was out of my mind.”
“I bet it was.” Evester gave him a quick kiss and took the bowl back. He then helped Zeydar out of the bed, and removed the IV. They began stretches together, which made Zeydar’s already sore body feel far better. The magic in the room once more began to filter into his body, strengthening him. He channeled it into healing, chanting the words and shaping the magic inside of him. By the time Zeydar got back into he bed, he was exhausted, and fell asleep easy to his favorite song.
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