[NOTE: Changed Atemu's name to 'Atem' due to the discovery of new (to me) translation information declaring that this is the way it was meant to be spelled and etc. Sorry for any confusion!)
Act 4: Rude Awakenings
Oww, damn…Where am I? …Huh? What the… It's…warm now…It's nice…
…But that's not right…is it?
Moving faster than I probably should (giving the protesting pull of my muscles) I frantically pushed myself up and away from the warmth I'd been nestled in. Unfortunately, I didn't have very much room with which to go up after throwing myself around like that. The back of my head met with something hovering right above me where I'd been laying; something very solid and unmoving. Something that (despite the dull 'thunk' of my skull cracking) gave not even the slightest indication that it'd been hit whatsoever.
Despite myself, I yelped and let out a hiss of pain before crumpling back to the floor, clutching the offended spot and weaving my fingers through my, ew, dirty hair to get at it. Great, that was going to bruise…Ow! Damnit! Who the hell put the ceiling so fucking close to the fucking ground!? I rubbed my forehead against one of the blankets, willing the stinging away as I tried to get my thoughts in order.
This wasn't right…I had no blankets…my cell was empty. I blinked and looked up, scowling but being sure to keep my head low should that blasted ceiling move even lower. The ceiling (which, I noticed, had gained the odd addition of some wooden beams…) looked like it hadn't dropped any further so I let my eyes close wearily. I sighed heavily. Fuck it, if the ceiling felt like being a bitch than let it, I was tired…and dizzy…I let my body fall back on the cooled blankets, though I was further down than before and my feet were now lying on the cold, smooth floor instead. Smooth…that was wrong too. Where was I again? Had I figured that out yet? Ohh, damn, I had a headache, and not just from the bump.
Lying there, I realized my head wasn't the only thing hurting; it seemed every inch of me throbbed with painful resonation. It had been stupid of me to move like that. I carefully tested out each of my fingers. They were all in working order, if not a bit scabbed and mottled with dry blood. All my toes wiggled just fine. One by one I stretched my legs out, wincing at the pull. But that was to be expected, I probably hadn't moved for hours after that…session….
It was only when I decided to try and test my arms that I noticed the bandages. I blinked in confusion. What the hell…? Sure, they were probably the worst wrapped tourniquets on the face of the earth, even in the near non-existent light I could tell that much, but, still... Who…? When…?
My stomach pitched precariously, and to tell the gods-honest truth, I was getting a bit creeped out; not to mention nauseated, though, that was more due to…well…something else. What had happened…to…me…? I started in realization, once more automatically throwing my body away from the ground, only to once again crack my head against the unreasonably low ceiling. Damn it all! The cursed thing was probably laughing at me.
Wincing, but not bothering to stop and pet the injured area like before, I scooted away, ignoring all the gut-wrenching protests my body was making. I didn't care, so long as I got away.
Leaving the nest of fabric behind, I only stopped when my foot rested against a post of some kind. I looked around the area quickly from my corner, eyes darting from shadowy area to shadowy area. The room swayed and twisted dizzyingly as my sluggish mind tried to connect the pieces. This was the strangest room I'd ever seen. Well, what I could see of it, anyway. There was even less light than my other cell, and that was saying something. I couldn't even make out the walls in here! ...Unless…that one over there was one of them, in which case, I think it just moved.
My mind swam. This was all too confusing…too…tiring…but…
…The Pharaoh…he'd come into my prison…for what...? Blast it all! I don't remember! … I do recall the feeling was odd…awkward...did…did I pass out? Shit! I bet that's just what I did. Wonderful. Abso-fucking-lutely wonderful….
The Pharaoh probably laughed his ass back up to his royal court after that, Hell, I know I would have if I were him. Not that I'd want to be. Ew.
Damn him…He had no reason to…laugh…Ugh, I feel horrible. As it is I'm barely holding down what little I've had to eat. The dizziness and tiredness only make the feeling worse…Gotta think of something, anything to take my mind off of…that feeling. But what…?
…Yes…that's right! The chains were gone! Ha! Heh… I thought I'd never be out of those things! Ugh. Now how do I get out of here? There has to be an exit around here…wait, what's that glowing-"HOLY HELL!"
Atem jumped at the thief's yell and immediately drew back, letting the bed skirt fall from his grasp to pool around the floor. His brow furrowed in irritation. At least he's up…That means this ridiculous game of hide and seek is almost over. Atem stood with an agitated, tired sigh and made his way to the wall to let his torch rest in its proper holder; taking his time as he did so. Atem was in absolutely no rush to be confronted by the demon hiding under his bed.
The flickering, teasing light from the flames made it bright enough to see only the barest detail in his chambers, the shadows becoming elongated and deformed, dancing wickedly against the stone. The king quickly lit a few more, so that he could see properly before approaching the bed again. The thief had scared the shit out of him last time.
…Not that he'd ever admit that aloud…
However, what should Atem find when he lifted the sheet again except a very still, very passed-out Akefia huddled near the bed's leg. The young king sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose and letting his head fall back. I swear he's making this more difficult for me on purpose…
After doing one more last check to make sure the coast was clear, Atem dragged out the unconscious man from under his bed. It was difficult, Atem was still sore from carrying him up here, but by hooking his hands under Akefia's arms, it could be done.
With one final tug Atem was able to fully pull the man out; never mind the fact that in doing so it knocked him on his royal butt with Akefia halfway on top of him. Atem quickly crawled back and out from under the larger body; the thief slumping to the stone floor with a quiet thump. The Pharaoh hesitated a moment, but then moved foreword on his hands and knees to sit quietly beside him.
Atem sighed and looked him over with a critiquing crimson gaze, resting his head on his fist. Most of Akefia's loosely-adorned bandages were stained and leaking, and there was a trickle of blood staining the rumpled white hair near the back of his head. Atem smirked at this, running his fingers over the matted area, realizing where the new injury must have come from. Stupid thief.
Ah, but if only he could laugh about the rest of Akefia's injuries…
Despite the fact he'd spent a long time dressing the wounds, they all looked terrible; worse, even, than the night before. Atem sighed in frustration and hugged his knees to his chest as he sat next to the unconscious thief. This wasn't going to work! If he didn't get proper help there was no way Akefia was going to live.
Yes, Atem nodded into his arms, help was needed. Badly.
"Your highness!" A squeaky voice chirped outside Atem's door, "Great Pharaoh, please, open up, it's urgent!" Again?
Atem rolled his scarlet eyes to the heavens, Ra, what did I do to deserve this? He pleaded silently, only to be interrupted by a frantic, "Your majesty, please!!" Ra, the man sounded like he was about to cry. Atem got to his feet and flung open the heavy door just as the tall, willowy man before him let out another wail.
"What?" Atem snapped, not in the best of moods considering his enemy who he'd so kindly savedwas currently repaying him by dying all over his floor at the moment.
The watery-eyed man blinked in a rabbit-like manner as his pale brown gaze met the flat expression of his ruler. "U-um-uh…er…" Hakiha stammered, his winding fingers tapping anxiously at the air. Atem's scowl deepened. He didn't have time for this crap.
"Spit it out, already!" the Pharaoh barked none-too-kindly at his scribe, who jumped and flushed at Atem's irate tone.
"W-well, y-you see…um…Y-you, left your n-notes, s-s-ire…." Hakiha beamed proudly, though stuttering nonetheless.
Atem grit his teeth to keep from biting the scribe's head off and snatched the notes with a bit more force than necessary. "Thank you." He bit out, "You can leave now."
Hakiha didn't seem to notice as the scrolls were ripped from his hands and so grinned cheerily and bowed deeply before scuttling off to do…whatever it is Atem's scribes occupied themselves with.
The pharaoh tossed his notes carelessly to the side and started to pace. He needed a plan…badly. Ugh! Atem glared at the body lying near his bed. Damn you…The Pharaoh inwardly seethed pausing in his paces to stomp over to Akefia.
It took a hell of a lot of willpower not to kick him.
…Well, he might at least try to fix him up.
Atem quickly went about and gathered up whatever he thought would be useful in tending to the thief's wounds before walking back and kneeling beside him once more. The silence was eerie, almost, as Atem unwound the bandages taped around one of Akefia's arms. He couldn't help but wince as some of the scabbing wound peeled off with it. Ew. The young king shuddered and placed the dirty bandages in a bowl of warm water before turning his attentions to the arm itself.
It was a nasty looking wound. Obviously starting to get infected, the edges were crusted and oozing. Whatever had made this wound hadn't been clean. It was deep enough to see muscle and skin re-attaching and healing. It was a good sign, but not something Atem wanted to look at. The Pharaoh bit the inside of his cheek, his stomach turning.
Puzzled about what to do, Atem decided to wait until morning to do anything serious, not wanting to risk doing any more damage with his incompetence. With a frustrated sigh he ran a hand through his tangled hair and slouched, as if deflating. What had he gotten himself into? Carefully he wrapped the wounds in new bandages and scooted the man back under the bed. Lying on his stomach the young king was able to reach around the man's unconscious body and get the blankets back in order, seeing as they'd been shoved aside rather quickly. Unfortunately, this required a lot of leaning over the thief. His stench practically wafted off of him, rising with his body heat, which, Atem noticed, was really warm. He let his hand touch a patch of un-bandaged skin near Akefia's chest, just to check.
Yep, still feverish.
Gods, what was it that stopped a fever again? Atem tried to remember the last time he had one, what had been done for him. It was foggy, but he distinctly remembered the unpleasant shock of being placed in an icy bath.
That sounded fun.