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queenie

The Lost Days (COMPLETE)

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M214186   
M214186

💕👍

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Gingersneeze   
Gingersneeze

Love this so much 

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queenie   
queenie

@Selene @Privatedancer @AngelEyes @helyzelle @M214186 @Gingersneeze: You bring joy to my life. I love when you quote me and I love when you're speechless.

True story: I finished my polish work today, and toyed with posting the whole rest. But I'm not doing that, because I am mean and want to string the suspense out a little. The conclusion will come soon, and in the meantime:

 

Morgan had taken over the task of Henry-sitting that evening, which made a pleasant change. Morgan’s shifts as caregiver had become his favorite, as she didn’t tire him out so much with constant prodding and questions. She was extremely light on fussing and tended to be very practical about her concerns, which were to check whether his fever rose at night (yes, but only a bit), bring him his dinner (a spicy chicken soup with rice and vegetables, which was delicious although it made his nose run), and then sit beside his bed and read aloud to him from the magical theory book he’d been forced to abandon earlier that afternoon.

Henry drank a warm mug of chamomile with honey while she read to him, and it was almost nice, if not for the residual sniffles.

“Frederick Beene has stipulated that use of the hands in most spells is unnecessary--”

hn’gsht

“--bless you-- and is a relic from the first sorcerers’ use of tools--”

hih’nESSCH’uh

“--bless you again-- which have largely been dealt away with and are considered--”

gnxt-engxt-nngt

“By the stars, take the box of tissues, will you?-- considered extraneous, old-fashioned, and downright silly by most modern scholars. It is important to note, however--” Morgan’s head snapped up and she turned toward the door.

She’d stayed steady throughout his frequent interruptions, so this startle reflex was sudden and surprising. “What--”

“Shh.” She closed the book gently and laid it on the edge of the bed before padding over to the door, where she listened to something Henry couldn’t hear. She turned to him with a smile. “I think Dev’s home.”

A loud crash came from somewhere in the house.

Henry opened his mouth, but she cut him off.

“I’ll be back in a moment,” she said, slipping out the door and closing it behind her.

Henry sneezed forcefully and blew his nose, which was too stuffed up to be helped much.

Morgan did not come back in a moment. In fact, she didn't come back for a long time. Henry heard the scrape of furniture being moved around and voices at a low pitch. Irritated, he got out of bed to go find them, but only made it a few meters before he started coughing and had to stop. They’d let him up to bathe earlier that day, which apparently had used up his one available get-out-of-bed-free card.

He was still sitting, dizzy, on the edge of the bed with his hand pressed to his ribs when Morgan opened the door.

“Yes, I thought I heard the sound of you making a terrible decision in here,” she said. “Get back in bed before you fall over and crack your head on the floor.”

“What were those noises?” Henry wheezed. “Is Dev here?”

“Never you mind,” Morgan said, grasping him above his elbow and all but manhandling him under the coverlet. “Now take your inhaler so some oxygen gets to your brain.”

She settled herself back into the chair beside the bed and picked the book back up. “Where were we?”

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M214186   
M214186

So mean to string me along......😈

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WolfPack   
WolfPack
11 hours ago, queenie said:

“Frederick Beene has stipulated that use of the hands in most spells is unnecessary--”

hn’gsht

“--bless you-- and is a relic from the first sorcerers’ use of tools--”

hih’nESSCH’uh

“--bless you again-- which have largely been dealt away with and are considered--”

gnxt-engxt-nngt

“By the stars, take the box of tissues, will you?-- considered extraneous, old-fashioned, and downright silly by most modern scholars. It is important to note, however--” Morgan’s head snapped up and she turned toward the door.

^ I love this part so much! :D

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queenie   
queenie

Okay, @M214186 and @WolfPack: thank you for playing along. I have not the heart to string you along any farther.

Thanks again to everyone who has read and commented. It has given me great joy to see you engaging, and it's especially heartening when the passages you quote are my latest additions. Maybe I don't suck after all!

This is the final planned installment. If further plot developments arise, they will do so in a new thread. Here you go!

 

 

Henry sputtered awake in pitch darkness, coughs scraping his throat. He lurched forward, straining to get upright so he could pull air past the tightness.

Something shifted at the end of the bed.

Henry startled, and his coughing intensified. He reached with his magic for something to use as a weapon, anything-- the chair. It was heavier than anything he’d magicked in days, possibly weeks, and it took a frightening amount of effort to pull it up. It halted in midair-- he was trying to throw it at the intruder but he couldn't get a breath--

“Easy, easy,” Dev said, sitting up from what Henry quickly ascertained had been his position of lying down horizontally across the foot of the bed. “Slow down, you're okay. You're okay.”

The chair slammed back onto the floor as Henry let it drop.

Henry drew a shaky breath, heart still pounding. “You scared--” and then he was coughing again.

Dev leaned across Henry to click on the light. He grabbed a glass of water from the nightstand, which he pressed into Henry’s hand. “Just breathe.” He was close enough now that Henry could see as well as hear him, his profile arranging itself into discernible features even to eyes as bad as Henry’s.

“What happened to your face?” Henry asked, water glass shaking in his hands.

Dev raised a hand partway to the wound on his cheekbone, as if he'd forgotten there was a line of ugly stitching surrounded by purple bruising. “Occupational hazard,” he said, lowering his hand. He must have remembered, just in time, that it would hurt to touch.

In novels, bruises blossomed delicately and enhanced fragile beauty. Dev’s bruise was not one of those. It was swollen and puffy and made his eye look small and threw off the symmetry of his face. Even Dev’s admittedly fine bone structure didn't pull it off.  In fact, the ugliness of the wound rather called into question the existence of attractive suffering in general. Henry was hard-pressed to think of anyone who would look good with that on their face. Maybe the novelists had made it all up.

Dev looked away, which made Henry realize he’d been staring. Eyes on his own hands knotted in the blankets, he said “They, uh, they said you were doing better.”

“I am doing better,” Henry said indignantly.

“No, I didn't mean it like that. When I last saw you, you were insensible, and now you're trying to quarrel, so--” Dev inched closer on the bed and pushed Henry’s hair back. “You're not scary hot now, either.”

“Thirty-eight this afternoon,” Henry said, “which is practically normal for a sorcerer.” He pulled his knees up to his chest and leaned on them. He could reach forward and touch the fingers of Dev’s other hand, the one still on the coverlet. He didn’t.

“Mm,” Dev said noncommittally. His hand had slid to the back of Henry's neck, and his fingertips were resting just beneath the collar of Henry’s pajama top. Their faces were separated by only a few inches.

Henry’s breath caught. And caught, and caught again, until, frustration heavy in his heart, he was forced to turn away so he could sneeze in a direction that wasn't directly in Dev’s face.

Dev laughed. “Bless you.”

Henry sneezed again, sullen. “What time is it?” he sniffled into the tissue he grabbed from the bedside table. If precedent was anything to go by, he'd been asleep a couple hours before coughing himself awake.

“Near to one,” Dev shifted his weight, putting distance between him and Henry. His dear, wounded face receded from Henry’s field of vision, bruises turning blurry and out of focus. “You should get some more rest.”

Something in his tone made Henry reach out and grab his wrist. “I'm okay.”

“Not yet. You'll be okay when you can keep breathing through a full night of sleep.”

Henry bit his lip. It didn't seem the time to tell him that Henry rarely slept through a night without waking, not unless he’d done entirely too much magic. “I'll be okay,” he said instead. “And if I'm not, it's not your fault.”

“No,” Dev said. “It's yours.”

Henry released Dev’s arm in surprise. “What?”

“I asked if you needed your medicines, remember? When we first took you in, on Cursebreaker. And you said-- you said the inhaler was the only thing you really needed.” Dev swallowed. “But the healer said you wouldn't have gotten so bad if you'd been taking the stuff you'd been prescribed, if you'd been taking care of yourself.”

Henry focused on breathing against the thickness in his chest.

“You almost died, Henry. That's not-- I'm not being dramatic, it's what happened. You may not remember but I do. And I can't--” Dev’s voice broke, and when he spoke again, it was lower. “You can't do that again.”

Henry's breath hitched. Oh, not again. His mouth fell open and his eyes squinted shut. He waited as the tantalizing feeling in his nose grew until it matched the tenderness in his heart. Only then did it expel itself with a firm he’tnch.

“Bless you,” Dev said gruffly.

“I'm sorry I scared you.”

“Just take your medicine from now on, okay? And if you start feeling worse, ask for help.” Dev huffed a breath that was almost, but not quite, a laugh. “If you really want to make it up to me, you can make me another dinner when you're well. The last one was spoiled a bit by worry you were going to drop dead before my eyes.”

“You only keep me for my food,” Henry said, smiling in conciliation.

“And here you are laid up in bed instead of feeding me. You'd best hop to, love, before I find a replacement.” Dev yawned.

“I'm sorry for waking you. I'm sure you're tired.” Henry turned away in case his disappointment was plain on his face. “You should go to bed.”

“You should, too. You're ill.”

Neither of them moved for a long moment, regretful silence stretching between them.

“Of course, you could always sleep in here.” Henry's heart boomed in his chest. He hoped it didn't show.

“Oh?”

“I might need something, in the night,” Henry said. “So you could… stay close by. If you wanted. For a little while. Just until I'm better.”

Dev flowed into the vacant side of the bed as if he were made of water from the sea he loved. “I guess I'd better keep an eye on you. Until you're better,” he agreed, his breath warm against Henry's cheek. “There's no telling when you'll overexert yourself if no one's watching.”

Henry grinned into the shadowy place between them. “Yes, I'm a terrible nuisance. Always getting myself into trouble. You'd best stay right where you are.”

“A good plan,” Dev sighed, already half asleep.

The best plan. Henry snapped his fingers and the light went out.

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Selene   
Selene

OMG, so I was too stupid to see that you've tagged me yesterday, so I did not notice that you'd written another part UNTIL NOW and now I feel deprived of an entire 22 hours more with this story, but also so relieved because I wouldn't have known what to do with myself after this cliffhanger in the part before this one. THIS WAS AMAZING (and therefore deserves all caps, I'm sorry, I'm not yelling at you, I'm just super excited and emotional about this story :sweatdrop: )

29 minutes ago, queenie said:

Maybe I don't suck after all!

No, you definitely don't! :hug:

 

32 minutes ago, queenie said:

In novels, bruises blossomed delicately and enhanced fragile beauty. Dev’s bruise was not one of those. It was swollen and puffy and made his eye look small and threw off the symmetry of his face. Even Dev’s admittedly fine bone structure didn't pull it off.  In fact, the ugliness of the wound rather called into question the existence of attractive suffering in general. Henry was hard-pressed to think of anyone who would look good with that on their face. Maybe the novelists had made it all up.

That part was both sweet and hilarious! It had me laughing out loud like some madwoman at my computer screen :lmfao:

 

36 minutes ago, queenie said:

You only keep me for my food,” Henry said, smiling in conciliation.

Ok, please add this part to the "laughing like a madwoman"-list :lol: Perfect comic relief after that even more perfect and emotional moment of truth between Dev and Henry (which I won't quote here, just because I've already quoted so much and I'll need one more final quote :sweatdrop:)

 

39 minutes ago, queenie said:

“Of course, you could always sleep in here.” Henry's heart boomed in his chest. He hoped it didn't show.

“Oh?”

“I might need something, in the night,” Henry said. “So you could… stay close by. If you wanted. For a little while. Just until I'm better.”

Dev flowed into the vacant side of the bed as if he were made of water from the sea he loved. “I guess I'd better keep an eye on you. Until you're better,” he agreed, his breath warm against Henry's cheek. “There's no telling when you'll overexert yourself if no one's watching.”

I promise this is the last of my quotes, but I just could not NOT quote this passage. It has everyhting I love in a making-up scene: two characters, each of them made mistakes and each of them are still emotionally bruised and upset after what happend, but both of them really want to be together again, but are somehow too proud or stubborn or insecure to admit it. And then you've made Henry speak in this halting speech, because he's somehow afraid of Dev saying no :cryhappy:

Man, I really need to calm down now. This was a perfect ending to a very skilfully and wittily crafted story! Thank you so much again for sharing your work with us! :heart:

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AngelEyes   
AngelEyes

Awwww! Such a beautiful ending! 

23 hours ago, queenie said:

“Yes, I thought I heard the sound of you making a terrible decision in here,” she said. “Get back in bed before you fall over and crack your head on the floor.”

 

23 hours ago, queenie said:

“Never you mind,” Morgan said, grasping him above his elbow and all but manhandling him under the coverlet. “Now take your inhaler so some oxygen gets to your brain.”

LOL. I love Morgan!

 

2 hours ago, queenie said:

“I might need something, in the night,” Henry said. “So you could… stay close by. If you wanted. For a little while. Just until I'm better.”

Dev flowed into the vacant side of the bed as if he were made of water from the sea he loved. “I guess I'd better keep an eye on you. Until you're better,” he agreed, his breath warm against Henry's cheek. “There's no telling when you'll overexert yourself if no one's watching.”

Henry grinned into the shadowy place between them. “Yes, I'm a terrible nuisance. Always getting myself into trouble. You'd best stay right where you are.”

“A good plan,” Dev sighed, already half asleep.

The best plan. Henry snapped his fingers and the light went out.

Sweetest make up ever!

If you do decide to write more of these lovely beauties, I'm definitely on board!

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M214186   
M214186

So great

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helyzelle   
helyzelle

I loved this story!

21 hours ago, queenie said:

Henry grinned into the shadowy place between them. “Yes, I'm a terrible nuisance. Always getting myself into trouble. You'd best stay right where you are.”

“A good plan,” Dev sighed, already half asleep.

The best plan. Henry snapped his fingers and the light went out.

And really, this ending is the sweetest thing I've read in a long time :wub:

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starpollen   
starpollen

I love Henry. :blush:

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Nella   
Nella

Very cute! 

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