Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm in the big room we set aside as a gym, working out with Nick, when my leg goes out from under me.

Wait, let's start over.

In this particular case, Nick and I are really working out, not doing things that require nudity. Neither of us had been doing much to keep in practice of late, and that can be fatal in a fight, even if you're very hard to kill. So we made arrangements to get together tonight and get some practice in before some ham-handed amateur ran one of us through.

Things were going fine, both of us working up a sweat - if vampires sweated, anyway - speed and flexibility coming back, the moves familiar as breathing - well, if vampires breathed - then, BAM!, out of the blue, my leg goes numb and folds beneath me. Nick presses his attack, sensing victory, but Raina's blade blocks his cut before it can descend.

"Stop it, Nick; can't you see he's hurt?" She turns to me, concern written on her face. "Are you okay, Gareth?"

"My leg," I say unnecessarily. "It just gave out on me."

"Not my fault," Nick growls. "I kept all my hits to the flat of the blade."

"He did," I agree. "Whatever happened has nothing to do with Nick or this workout. Maybe I'm just out of shape." I extend a hand. "Someone help me up?"

Raina hauls me to my feet with deceptive ease. My right leg is useless below the knee; it won't bear my weight, and there's an odd sensation of distant pain….

"K'thyri's hurt," I say, my lips clamped in a hard line. "I didn't think things had come so far so soon, but that's what it has to be."

"Gareth," Raina complains. "Can you tell you're confusing the fuck out of us?"

With Raina helping, I make my way to a chair where I collapse with a groan. "It happens sometime with the Sidhe that a couple - of whatever combination - will become so close - emotionally, physically, mentally - that they can sense when something happens to the other. I thought it only meant that you 'knew' when your partner was hurt, but apparently it can affect you physically, too." I test the leg; below the knee, it might as well be a thing of wood, for all the feeling it has.

"What can be done?"

"At this point, nothing. If she's hurt, she'll find help. As for me… given time, I can erect a mental barrier that will keep this from affecting me quite so intensely. I'll still know when she's hurt, but it won't incapacitate me. Ahhh!" I feel pain jolt through me, pain that brings sweat to my forehead, then it eases. I wait for it to resume, but it remains at bay. I take a cautious breath.

"I think that was Ky, too. Someone just did something rude to her leg while they were patching her up - I think - and she passed it on to me."

We talk for the better part of an hour - argue, really. Raina wants to go to Ky's rescue; I point out that none of us knows the Unformed Plane and the likelihood is good that we'd get lost, or possibly eaten. Raina falls silent, remembering the kahligar, I suspect. I debate trying to get in touch with Inari, but I really have only emergency procedures for doing that; and no matter how important it may be to the three of us, it's not an emergency from the queen's perspective. All we can do is sit and wait.

The healers must have given K'thyri something to make her sleep, because within half an hour, I'm out like a light.

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