The poison was finally winning.
Kiara writhed on the floor of her tent, cold sweat pouring down her skin
She had fought it off long enough. It was pure agony, comparable to being flayed alive as her blood burned through her veins like molten lead.
The world was blurring and no amount of breath seemed to bring air to her lungs. It seemed an unimaginable feat even to lift her head from its place on the ground, or even to scream for a companion to provide comfort in her dying moments.
How humiliating, to be reduced to this. Wanting to die but wishing not to.
The box was right across from her, sitting innocently on the floor. On a sudden impulse Kiara let her arm move to unlatch it, a rabbit hopping out tentatively afterwards.
"What happened to you?" It asked, holding up a furry white paw to point at her.
Kiara slowly moved her frozen face to reply, words sounding foreign.
The rabbit hopped closer and sniffed at her forehead, its whiskers tickling her numbing skin.
"You ask mercy of me, a creature? Give me a single reason why I shouldn't simply watch you die and go on to slaughter your human friends."
Kiara heaved another, slow breath, and her eyes fluttered shut a moment before being forced open again.
"Because...that's....what I...expect....you....to do. Because...I...chose...not to...kill you."
Puck bit her temple and licked the blood that trickled out, sniffing at the small wound again afterwards.
"Hmm. Most curious."
Kiara's blue eyes started to glaze over and her shallow breathing slowed, the effort of talking having drained the last of her energy.
She could hear her mother's voice, calling her, even though she had long forgotten it.
"I'm...sorry...I...failed...you." she muttered, tears in her unmoving eyes.
And then she went still.
Kiara's eyes blinked open to the sight of the top of her tent at night.
"Is this supposed to be the afterlife?"
"No. Stop talking and don't even dare move."
Oh. That voice.
"Puck? Please say that you didn't decide to haunt me beyond the grave."
A foreign form came into sight and chuckled down at her.
"That would be a delightful idea. But no, you are neither dead nor being haunted."
She sat up in shock, feeling her face and staring at her hands. Besides a yellowish tinge the poison's mark was gone.
"I'm alive?? Bloody hell, I'm ALIVE!!"
"...If you want to stay that way I recommend resuming your earlier position and ceasing the chatter."
Kiara did so for a few moments but felt an insatiable curiosity overcome her.
"You saved me, didn't you?"
"I was simply repaying a debt. And, before you ask how, it was with forces beyond your control."
"No, I used bananas. Now will you please stop-"
"What's bananas? Some kind of Fae herb?"
"Blessed stars and stripes woman, would you pipe down?!"
"...fine. You could have just said something, Puck."
Something blue glowed in her vision soon afterward and the pain faded further from her limbs.
"Can I get up now? I feel great!"
Puck sighed, and the light stopped.
"Fine, you might as well try."
Kiara got up and reeled a little as the shiny world met her eyes, standing and promptly forgetting how to use her legs.
Puck grabbed her before she could hit the ground and sat her back on the cot she had gotten up from, looking somewhat satisfied.
"That proves it."
"Proves what? Bananas? Please tell me I'll be able to walk soon."
The Fae shook his head and conjured an orb of what was presumably magic, illuminating the small space.
He looked positively human now, except for the fact that his short hair was almost as pale as his nearly-translucent skin and his ears were exceptionally pointy. Not to mention that his features were dainty, elven even and his eyes were still that strange shade of deep purple.
"No. Simply a theory that you likely wouldn't understand. You will walk, have no fear."
Kiara regarded him with suspicion and tried to stand again.
This time it worked, and she was able to take a few, staggering steps.
"Why did you really help me, Puck?" she asked, having to look up slightly to meet his gaze.
Puck smiled again mischievously.
"Because you, dear, are one of my kind."