LN Part 40: Patching by RedPhantom ()
Members remain the original copyright holder in all their materials here at Renderosity. Use of any of their material inconsistent with the terms and conditions set forth is prohibited and is considered an infringement of the copyrights of the respective holders unless specially stated otherwise.
Ann had several more nightmares that afternoon. It was frequent enough that Andy’s parents left so he could go sit with her. Their chaperone wouldn’t be there until evening, so he talked Merton into joining him. Then he sat next to Ann on the bed and talked with Merton softly.
Later, he joined the others for dinner. He surprised them by saying Ann didn’t want to eat. It was the truth. She was so worried about the upcoming procedure that she had lost her appetite.
“Honestly, I can’t blame her,” Shunati said. “This isn’t going to be any easier for her than last time. I haven’t checked, but it’s likely she undid all the patching that was done the last time. It’s what usually happens.”
“She barely got through it the last time, and she had Kith with her. Is there anyway Andy could be there?” Pt’this said.
Shunati shook his head. “It would be nice if he could, but this is too touchy. It would be best if I could do this alone but I can’t.”
“Nim is going to have to help you. I wasn’t trained in this,” Pt’this said. “The war started before I could finish my apprenticeship.”
“What is so bad about this that she’s so scared?” Andy asked.
“It’s terribly painful. She said it was worse than anything she had ever felt. Even her shoulder injury,” Pt’this said. Andy knew he meant the bond from Lyra.
“It’s also extremely invasive. Not one person who’s been through it will talk about it except a few have said they felt violated,” Shunati added.
“When the mages were compiling the forbidden magics, they wanted to include this one. As it is, only those who have reached the age of consent can go through it. Ann was an exception the last time but only because of the severity of her rip,” Nim said.
“Why are you putting her through this then?” Andy asked. “If she was fine for seven years the last time, does she really need it now?”
“She was not fine the last time. She had so much pain she could barely cast a spell. It was bad enough, the pain would make her sick. Most of the problems she has with magic are because she got used to avoiding drawing in magic or holding it because of the pain she had for so long. This procedure isn’t truly healing. It’s more like patching a hole in your clothes. Once it’s done, she’s at no greater risk for another rip, but if she does it’s a good chance she’ll reopen the old rips and add new ones so her comment about it not being as bad as the last time is most likely untrue,” Shunati said. “I’ll bet she tried to draw in, felt the pain and stopped quickly so she couldn’t guess how bad it is.”
“Andy, we probably should block the bond,” Pt’this said.
“No. I’m not going to leave her to go through this alone. Unless the procedure requires it, I’m not going to do it.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m the one who’s going to be picking up the pieces. I need to know what she’s going through.”
“Your choice,” Pt’this said.
They sat in Ann’s receiving room while Shunati took Ann and Nim down to one of Ann’s empty guestrooms at the other end of the hall. He didn’t want to use her bedroom and risk traumatizing her against it. But he felt she’d be more comfortable in one of her rooms than in a healing room.
Everyone was there except Ria. She tired and wanted to lie down. The rest talked to each other. Andy tried to follow the conversation but couldn’t. Pt’this was right. The pain was worse than the brand from Lyra, and it was throughout her body. There was something else too, something he couldn’t explain. He understood why no one would talk about it. No one could. It was more than the trauma. There were no words to describe it. He could barely think. One minute he couldn’t sit still and was pacing. The next he just had to sit. He went out onto the balcony for air but couldn’t take being out in the open. He tried to talk with the others but would lose his train of thought and forget what he was saying.
Emeton explained what a dragon brother was to Andy’s parents. On rare occasions, non-dragons acted so much like dragons they seemed to have dragon blood. They were considered allies. They were welcome in Baj-tisk anytime. Like Ann and Andy, Emeton had a tattoo showing this, though it was a flame rather than a dragon. Ann had already explained this to Andy. He’d only caught a few words of what Emeton was saying now.
His parents, he could tell, were worried. He wanted to reassure them but was unable to express himself. Pt’this offered to block the bond again, and Andy snapped at the dragon. He then apologized. Pt’this also offered him a drink, but he declined that too.
Finally, he was able to sit for a few minutes. The others were talking, but he had no idea what they said. Then suddenly the emotions from the bond went cold. He recognized that. He looked at Pt’this.
“Nim just told me. You feel it?” The dragon said. Andy nodded, and they headed for the door.
“There’s a slight problem,” Pt’this said.
“What?” Sapphire asked.
“Don’t worry, Blue Eyes. Nothing Scales and I can’t handle,” Andy told her. He looked back at her and saw she gotten the message.
“Did he just call you Blue Eyes?” Emeton asked turning pale.
She nodded. “It must be the stress. Few people call me that,” she explained to Andy’s parents. In fact, only one other person ever called her that, Drepal.
Andy and Pt’this hurried down to the hall. He was thinking a little clearer now.
They found Drepal sitting on the bed. Nim and Shunati were still trying to patch her, but she was resisting.
“Ann, stop it. Let them work,” Andy said.
“I’m not Ann, Pretty Boy,” she snarled. “She couldn’t handle it.”
“Fine, Drepal. Let them finish.”
“Do you know what they’re doing? I’ve killed trolls for less.”
“So you can’t handle it either? I thought you were the strong one,” Andy taunted.
“Watch it, Pretty Boy.”
“Or what? You have no magic.” He knew he was pushing it. He had come to realize that Drepal was closer to a second personality than just an alter ego as Ann portrayed her to be. It was her version of mad-dragon. She could, to some extent, control how far she sunk into that madness but getting back was difficult. That was why she drank. The whiskey helped put Drepal to sleep.
He took a gamble. Drepal had flirted with him in the past. He put his arms around her and kissed her gently. “Let them finish, and I’ll give you more of that,” he whispered.
Her eyes were wide. Deep down, he could feel Ann and her approval. The kiss, his arms, was something Drepal craved. Finally, she nodded and laid back down.
Andy and Pt’this still needed to leave. Returning to the other room, Pt’this asked what he had told her to calm her down.
“You do not want to know,” was the response. “But when they’re done, I’m going to need about five minutes alone with her without our chaperone.”
“Andy.” The name came out barely more than a growl.
“I’m going to need a few minutes to get Ann back. You don’t want the whole palace to know, do you?”
Pt’this sighed. “Five minutes, no more, and watch yourself.”
Drepal remained compliant for the rest of the procedure. Feeling her rather than Ann helped Andy too. The bond was weaker when Drepal was awake. The pain was still there, but the other sensation was lessened. He was still restless, not knowing what to do, but it wasn’t quite as bad. It seemed to take forever. He was half expecting to see the sunrise by the time it was finished. It wasn’t really that late, but it felt like it to him.
Andy went down to the room where Drepal was. She lay resting on the bed.
“How is she?” He asked.
“As abrasive as ever, but patched,” Shunati said. Of all of them, he was the one who struggled the most with Ann being Drepal.
It wasn’t so much the fact that she had committed so many atrocities, although that was a factor too. It was more that Drepal was a broken mind. Shunati was an extremely powerful healer and quite skilled. He had spent decades helping heal others. No one knew why he was still an apprentice. He claimed it was because he lacked control. A simple touch was painful and told him too much about a person, physically. Simply shaking Steve’s hand told him the man had no blood ties with Andy. He had touched Drepal once and had been shocked to learn she was really Ann. Normally, he didn’t say anything, as he had been taught, but, eventually, he said something to Ann. To Shunati, Drepal was a cry for healing. Unfortunately, it was a type of healing he couldn’t give. Mental illnesses and injuries could only be healed if there was an underlying physical cause.
Andy took Drepal by the hand. Of all the people who knew who Drepal was, he was the most accepting. She didn’t scare him, and he forgave her for what she had done. To him, she was just another part of Ann. He led her to their room. He saw someone had put a bottle of whiskey in there. He poured two glasses and gave one to her. She drank it quickly while he’s sipped slowly at his. They both needed it. Then, as promised, he kissed her deeply but tenderly. Drepal responded as he thought she would. Nothing in Drepal’s life had ever been gentle, and she had never felt acceptance from anyone before. Her guard came down, and Ann returned. Still, it was a moment before she moved away, just before the chaperone entered.
“Thank you,” Ann whispered. Now that her emotions were back, she was terrified. The unknown haunted her and him to be honest.
Tylan also came in to help Ann get ready for bed. Andy went to his room to change. When he returned, Ann was in bed having another drink. Tylan handed him his glass to finish.
“I know you don’t normally drink, but I think it would be a good idea tonight.”
He agreed. He took the drink and finished it. Tylan then tucked them both into bed. It must’ve been the whiskey, but Andy giggled at how it seemed being tucked in. “Can we have a bedtime story?” He asked.
Tylan smiled. “Not tonight. It’s late.” After putting away the whiskey, she admitted Carla, and the two mothers sat watch over their children until they were safely asleep.
Image Comments (5)
zaqxsw () 8:58AM | Fri, 21 June 2019
Another wonderful chapter... The depth of your fantasy realm and its magic is outstanding!