Twenty-one – 03

[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]

                “Well, it’s a nice dream, anyway,” Hecate murmured, then shook her head.  Her gaze drifted toward Phelan, her brow furrowing slightly as she studied him.  “You, sir, are very much not good.”

                He swallowed again, suppressing the impulse to shake his head.  The pounding in his head was growing stronger, but he was continuing to try to ignore it.  Maybe if he ignored it for long enough, it’d go away, like it had in the aftermath of meteorfall almost exactly a year ago.  “It’ll pass,” he muttered.  “Always has.”

                “What exactly is going on?” Marin asked, frowning as she looked at him again.  He knew what she saw—sunken eyes and a washed-out, slightly greenish cast to his skin, probably made worse by the shadows of the hall and the bright red of his hair.  “She’s right, you look like absolute hell.  This isn’t just a migraine.”

                Phelan didn’t say anything, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other instead.  His limbs felt heavy and for a second, he considered that maybe they were right and he should have stayed in bed.  He couldn’t, though, not with a looming crisis and his cousin already laid up.  It wouldn’t be fair.

                Beside him, Marin sighed quietly.  From the corner of his eye, he could see her shake her head.

                “I’ll survive,” he murmured.  “I’ve managed to this long.”

                “That’s been a minor miracle,” Hecate said, a trace of wry humor in her voice.

                Phelan choked on a laugh, one that sent a fresh spike of pain through his head and sent spots dancing before his eyes.  He stumbled a step and almost fell—would have, had Hecate not caught him.  Her voice got quiet.

                “Wanderer,” she whispered.  “You’re not well.  Please.”

                “I can’t,” he said.  “Just—just help me get to the fire and pour me some tea.  Then we’ll see.”

                “Will you make it that far?” Marin said, her gaze searing.

                He smiled weakly.  “I’m not going to give myself a choice.”

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