Healing the Traitor

"You've been sitting there for hours. You won't miss anything if you leave, you know."

Drakon turned a miserable face to the healer. He was sitting next to Borysko's bed, and had been for a while, although not patiently. He'd fidgeted a lot, and heavy sighs had featured largely. The healer was hovering between bemusement, amusement and worry. He was bemused by the young man's concern, as he'd been under the impression that the guardian and the guarded did not get on; he was amused by Drakon's slightly martyred sighs, as he knew the boy could never resist a little bit of melodrama; and he was worried, because he'd never seen Drakon stay in one place for so long while concious. As soon as he got a good  look at the young man's face, worry won out. He looked awful, even allowing for exaggeration.

"I know. But I can't help feeling that I was responsible for this, somehow..."

The healer risked a pat on the shoulder.

"That's nonsense and you know it. You didn't poison him; who knows what did? It was probably an accident and nothing to do with you."

"But he was my bodyguard! And he nearly died!"

"Yes, but he's not now, is he? He just needs rest, now. Then he'll be fine. Back to normal."

The healer was practiced at generating soothing tones while telling white lies, but Drakon gave him a look that said quite clearly he didn't believe him in the least.

"He's not going to be back to normal, is he?"

"Not quite," the healer admitted, resorting to the truth. "He'll never be quite as strong as he was, and he won't have as much stamina. And he won't heal as fast. If he gets another wound like that one-" he indicated a sizeable scar on Borysko's chest, relic of some past battle, "-he'll likely die rather than heal like he would before. You can't get anything better than poison at ruining a body for good. It's a blow for someone in his profession, especially since he'll have to look for work as soon as he's recovered-"

"What do you mean?" Drakon butted in. "Why does he have to look for work? I've got three more years of needing a bodyguard."

He fixed the healer with a threatening stare. The man quailed under it; no-one can stare like royalty, even if the person being stared at is unaware of the starer's status.

"You didn't know? Madame de Silva recieved a letter from the King, indicating that Borysko was a traitor and should be arrested. I'm sure he's not," he added swiftly, seeing Drakon's expression, "But he won't be able to be a bodyguard any more after his trial. He'll probably have to be a mercenary, no-one much cares about their pasts-"

He became aware that Drakon had stood up, and was marching towards the door.

"I'm going to bed," he said over his shoulder, opening the door with unnecessary violence and stamping out. "Call me if he wakes up or anything."

As the door slammed shut behind him, the healer thought he caught a muttered comment along the lines of 'He might be my father but he's a misguided old fool', but he dismissed it as his ears playing tricks on him.

Drakon wasn't happy. He, like Madame de Silva, could not imagine Borysko as a traitor, but unlike the Assessor he had rather more leeway to do something about it.

I'll catch some sleep and write a letter later, he thought, trying to stifle a yawn. We'll see if I can't do something about this...

He threw himself onto his bed, not bothering to undress, and fell asleep almost immediately.

Unnoticed, motes of strange golden dust danced briefly around his head, settling with featherlight touches on his skin and winking out.

The End

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