A Time to Heal

“Gods damn it!” Kalimè’s shout came moments before a loud crash, followed by a heavy thump. Her twin brother’s head snapped around as he sighed and walked into the cottage. She was on the floor in a heap of blankets, completely tangled.

“Nésa, it’s been three days. You have to stay in bed,” he knelt down and carefully unwrapped her from the bed clothes. “I know it makes you crazy, but you must. Please.”

The silver-haired girl whimpered and held her arms up so he could lift her easier. He eased her to her feet and gently placed her down onto the bed. He started to lay her back, but she shook her head. “Let me at least sit up for a bit.” Knowing just how stubborn she was, he chuckled.

“Five minutes. And if anyone comes in and sees you sitting up, it was not my doing, got it?” His gaze was concerned, but he did a fair job of keeping his tone even. Turning towards the small table he pulled at a towel. “You up for some food? Aunt Tin brought some over. There’s some soup, soft rolls and what looks like a sort of pudding.” He poked around the tray a little before turning back to face her.

“I could try the soup,” she offered. Her hand came up to her face, touching it gingerly. Most of the swelling had gone, but the pain had not yet left her. “Where’s Este?” She looked around the small cottage, not finding her mate within.

“She went out to the pond with Niqi. Said something about her next lesson,” He moved toward the bed with the bowl and a spoon in hand. Settling into the chair beside her, he dipped the spoon in and brought the broth to her lips. “Go on. It’s not too hot.”

She let him feed her slowly, her stomach jabbing with pain whenever she got some larger chunks of vegetables. He reassured her it would pass, so she steeled herself to it, and continued. By the time the bowl was empty, she was relieved to find he had been correct. “Thank you, Mush’al.” She smiled faintly, her brow furrowing at the difficulty of it. “Elune’s sake…I can’t even smile…”

“This will pass soon,” came a rumbling voice at the door. “Kali look better already. Not much longer now. Sutrakarre gave special attention to face, no scars.” The large draenei bent nearly double to fit through the door. He crossed to the bed and placed a hand on her shoulder, pushing her back down to the pillow. Turning to Ælithil he nodded. “Is good she ate. Recovery much faster this way.”

Ælithil nodded, rising from the chair. He stepped out of the way, allowing Sutrakarre space alongside his sister. “May I stay? While you tend to her?” He set the bowl down and poured out a cup of water from the pitcher. He took a large swallow, waiting to for an answer.

“If you wish. Not do much right now. Only checking progress,” he smiled. Ælithil moved to the foot of the bed, watching as Sutra’s large hands moved over Kali and began to glow. He passed over her right leg, up to her hips. He nodded and continued along, checking her over bit by bit. Æl’s eyes dulled slightly, an odd expression taking over his face. He turned away before the exam was finished, causing Kali to become concerned.

“Æl? What..what is it,” she attempted to sit up as she asked, only to be stopped by a terse look on the paladin’s face. Letting herself drop back down, she asked gently, “What’s wrong, Mush’al?”

“What? Oh…it’s nothing,” her twin shrugged. “Really.” He glanced over at the draenei before giving her a look that told her they would discuss it after. She nodded and relaxed a bit.

The hulking healer let out a very relieved sigh before dropping his hands back to his side. “No new injuries. Have found everything now. I will report to Patriarch the good news.” He bent down and picked up the blankets, throwing them over her before inclining his head to Ælithil. “You and I, we talk soon.” Bending down, he stepped out the door with a grin.

“What? Why do I need to talk to him,” Æl wondered out loud.

“Because he’s the House Counselor. Aunt Tindo asked him to talk to everyone,” Kali explained. “I think I remember him talking to Niqi…at the infirmary. It’s hazy though. But he was really nice to her.” She pointed to the water pitcher and he poured her a cup.
Holding it out to her, he sat back down in the chair. “Counselor. Great,” he grunted.

“You gonna tell me what was bothering you?”

“Oh…” his voice fell, as did his long ears. “It was just…watching him, it reminded me…”

“Of another life,” She nodded. “Thought that might be it. You wanna tell me?”

Æl shook his head. “Nothing to tell. I had magic in that life. I healed people. That’s it.” She was very aware there was more to it than that, but she knew when to just let him say what he was comfortable with.

“Well, you’ve got a good bedside manner.” She nudged him a little with her good arm before taking a slow sip. He chuckled at her.

“I was really worried about you, Nésa. I was scared you weren’t gonna make it,” he admitted. The corners of his mouth pulled down a bit, his eyes welling up with tears. “I couldn’t take it if I lost you.”

“You know I’m tougher than that, Mush’al,” she nudged him again, causing him to chuckle, sniffling back his running nose. “It took three of them and they still couldn’t do it. Who’s the big, bad-ass fighter now, huh?” She started to laugh at her own joke, immediately regretting it.

“I know. I’m still allowed to worry about my big sister.” He took the cup from her hand. “And look! We made it through the big teleport, no skips. Just us arriving here. Like normal people.” Setting the cup down, he took her hand in his own.

She squeezed his hand lightly before getting a mischievous look in her eyes. “Do you think…”

“Oh no. Uh uh. You are gonna get us both in trouble. I know that look.” He leaned back, pulling away from her.

“What? Me?” Her feigned innocence did not sway him. “I was just gonna see if you could carry me out to the pond. I could sit on the edge for a bit and watch Este train Niqi.”

“Oh fel no. An’da would have my head if I moved you when the healers said you had to stay put.” He shook his head hard. “Besides, you’ll only make Niqi nervous.” Kali pouted at her brother, trying to guilt him all the same. “No Kali!” He chuckled at her. “Seriously, does that face work on anyone?”

“Damn… it used to work on you all the time,” she sighed heavily. “All right fine. But if I’m stuck in here, lemme have that pudding.”

He barked out a laugh and got up to retrieve it. Bringing it to his face, he sniffed it. “Smells like berries with some spices. You should like it.” He took a bite for himself first, wrinkling up his nose.
“Hey! That’s mine!”

“Oh trust me, you can have it. It’s got ginger in it. All yours,” he responded, making a face. He scooped out a small bite and fed it to her.

“Oh gosh…Aunt Tindo remembered how much I like it.” She closed her eyes and enjoyed the flavor. He remained next to her, carefully spooning the treat out for her until she nodded off halfway through. Pulling the blanket up over her fully, he set the dessert aside and leaned back to doze in the chair. He hadn’t even noticed Este and Niqi watching from the doorway. The two women looked at each other and smiled before stepping back outside.