Gabriel pulled the covers up over his shoulders as Dawn climbed into the strange bed beside him.
“How long are we here for?” Dawn asked.
“Until tomorrow evening at least” Gabriel said maybe the next morning, I have to get some more clothes for us”
“Aren’t the ones we have enough?” Dawn asked
“They are enough but not suitable for snow and cold.” Gabriel said Dawn clearly heard the shudder in the prince’s voice.
“You don’t like the cold?” Dawn asked.
“No” Gabriel replied “I like to be able to feel my extremities” Dawn smiled and shifted feeling something beneath him he sat up and moved the princes braid, still slightly damp from washing.
“I believe this is yours.” He said laying it on top of the blanket, Gabriel laughed more to cover the shiver that passed through him.
“I believe so” he said tucking his hair down between his wings.
“Sire?” Dawn said “Gabriel, if we’re staying for a while I would like to make sure you're okay” Dawn flicked slightly as Gabriel rolled over swiftly.
“I'm fine” Gabriel frowned.
“Your back I meant”
“I know” Gabriel said in the dark Dawn could hear the defensive nature of the princes voice.
“I saw your injuries earlier and they don’t look right.” Dawn said carefully.
“Salt” Gabriel said “it made them a bit red is all”
“I know” Dawn replied “I know the salts good for open wounds but they looked infected.”
“They’re fine” Gabriel said gently.
“Okay” Dawn smiled “let me know if you want my help though”
“I will” Gabriel said smiling again and Dawn relaxed once more.
The next day Gabriel was awake at sunrise. Dawn opened his eyes an hour later to find himself alone, he sighed and dragged himself out of bed dressing in the few clothes that Gabriel had left for him he headed downstairs.
Sylver looked up at Dawn with a frown as he approached them at the breakfast table.
“Is Gabriel laying in?” Marcus asked smiling.
“No chance” Sylver growled “any ideas?” he asked Dawn, who shook his head, Sylver swore quietly.
“I though you said he could take care of himself?” Dawn said worriedly.
“In the forest yes,” Sylver said “but someone’s been asking about us here”
“And?” Dawn asked.
“And I don’t like it” Gabriel growled from behind Dawn. The tall angel spun Gabriel only just ducked back feeling the rush of air on his face as Dawn's fist passed his nose.
“Sire…” Dawn's eyes widened in horror “I'm so sorry”
“It’s alright” Gabriel smiled rubbing his nose “glad to know you're alert, remind me though, never to sneak up on you again” Dawn managed a smile as Sylver laughed.
“Where have you been?” Sylver asked as the prince sat down.
“Making a few inquires” Gabriel said “also getting some new clothes for everyone” he pointed to the stairway and Dawn saw that there was a small pile of paper bags at the bottom. Sylver nodded then he smiled slightly.
“I still don’t like the fact that you can sneak around without us seeing you” he sniffed “I take it we’re leaving”
“Soon” Gabriel agreed as Marie came over to the table.
“Hello sirs” she smiled “your clothes are almost dry, another few hours and they should be done.”
“Thanks” Gabriel smiled Dawn saw the prince’s eyes flash in the shadow beneath his hood.
“You’re welcome” Marie said “would you like me to bring them to your room when they're ready?”
“Please” Gabriel replied, Marie turned to Sylver “the same for yours?” she asked
“Thank you” Sylver nodded, she left and Gabriel stood stumbling slightly.
“I'm going to lay down” he said.
“Are you okay?” Sylver asked.
“Fine” Gabriel said dismissively “I just didn’t sleep well” he left passing the crowds and grabbed the bags at the bottom of the stairs.
Dawn frowned and stood too.
“I'm going to check on him” he said.
“Very well” Sylver said “I think we’ll all be safer in our rooms.” Dawn nodded and Sylver and Marcus followed him upstairs.
Gabriel dropped the bags inside the bedroom door and flopped down on the bed. He shivered slightly as he pulled the thin blankets over himself and closed his eyes.
Dawn looked at the princes pale face two bright spots of colour burned on is high cheekbones and Dawn frowned unsure of what to do. The prince had a fever that was obvious Dawn thought he chewed the inside of his cheek as he fetched a bowl of steaming salt water. He set the bowl down on the small bedside table and took a deep breath as he gently laid a hand on Gabriel's shoulder the response was instantaneous, as Gabriel's hand wrapped around Dawn's wrist bending his hand back, pain shot through Dawn's arm.
“Sire” he yelped and Gabriel released him as his eyes cleared.
“What?” Gabriel snapped “I've only just got to sleep”
“I know and I'm sorry” Dawn said nursing his bruised wrist.
“Then why did you wake me?”
“Because you're burning up” Dawn said.
“I'm fine” Gabriel said Dawn looked sceptically at him “okay I'm not fine, but I need sleep if I'm going to be fine”
“I agree” Dawn nodded “but first your wounds need cleaning”
“Dawn, no” Gabriel frowned.
“You said I could” Dawn reminded him, “in the forest”
“I said that to stop you worrying” Gabriel said.
“Well I didn’t stop worrying” Dawn smiled “please?”
“Why Dawn?” Gabriel asked sitting up slowly and starting to unbutton is shirt.
“Why what sire?”
“Why are you worrying?”
“Because it’s my job” Dawn tried soaking a wash cloth in the salt water.
“Bullshit” Gabriel growled.
“Fine” Dawn smiled “because I care”
“But why?” Gabriel asked again.
“No idea” Dawn said his eyes meeting Gabriel's own.
“Fair enough” Gabriel said shrugging his shirt off. Dawn looked at the angry red cuts.
“Sire, I don’t know if I can deal with these alone” he said.
“Well you're going to no one else is to know about them.”
“Why?” Dawn asked as he pressed the cloth to Gabriel's back almost feeling guilty as the prince hissed in pain.
“Because I said so” Gabriel snapped “you only know because I made a mistake”
“Okay” Dawn sighed. “I’ll see if the salt makes a difference, if not I will try and get hold of some herbs”
“What herbs?” Gabriel asked.
“I'm pretty sure I know which ones I need” Dawn said “but I can always check at the local healers later on.”
“Very well” Gabriel said the salt was beginning to numb the raw wounds and his eyes were closing.
“Sire?” Dawn said.
“Hm?” Gabriel said not opening his eyes.
“I'm telling the truth you know?”
“About what?” Gabriel muttered.
“About caring” Dawn said rinsing the cloth in the water and gently wiping the rest of the dried blood from the princes skin, Gabriel clenched his teeth. “Don’t ask me why but I do care and I wish I’d met you years ago.”
“Dawn you’ve known me for five days” Gabriel frowned.
“I know sire” Dawn said dropping the cloth into the bowl he used a clean towel to gently dry the princes back. “Sometimes it feels like I have known you all my life, then other times it does feel like five days.” Gabriel smiled to himself and looked around at the tall angel who was sat beside the bed.
“For the same reason Dawn, I feel the same.” He said he saw a small but pleasant smile spread across Dawn's face.
“You look better when you smile like that.” The prince said honestly then Dawn noticed that Gabriel was shivering slightly.
“Are you cold?”
“Freezing” Gabriel smiled as he settled back down Dawn stood up and tugged the covers up to Gabriel's chin.
“I’ll stock the fire up and go into town” he said
“Be careful” Gabriel muttered as Dawn pulled the curtains closed.
“I will sire”
“And let Sylver know you're going”
“I’ll tell him you're resting too” Dawn said then he paused. “sire?”
“Pass me my pack Dawn” Gabriel sighed as he spotted the blush on Dawn's cheeks, Dawn did so. Gabriel sat up slowly his body felt heavy and he dug into a small pocket at the front. “I'm going to forward your first months wages” Gabriel said handing Dawn three gold coins and two smaller silver ones “and you will not spend that on me” Gabriel said sharply. “here” he passed five more gold pieces to the angel who stood looking down at his palm in amazement. “Don’t worry about any that’s left, you keep it.”
“Sire” Dawn said slowly “the herbs won’t even cost one gold piece” he still looked at the coins in his hand.
“Then use the rest to get yourself something pretty” Gabriel grumbled dropping his pack back onto the floor and pulling the covers back over himself.
“Don’t argue with me” Gabriel growled “if you're that worried make it something useful like a weapon”
“Yes sire” Dawn swallowed he'd never even seen the amount of money he now held “thank you” Gabriel grumbled incoherently and rolled over facing away from Dawn.