My Heart Tells No Tales
7. Sick Day
A/n: I really am planning on putting this thing out of its misery as soon as possible. I really am disappointed in myself for not updating like I should or writing it like I should, but I still have feelings for this fic; enough to keep it from deletion anyway. I plan on expanding my horizons this year, though, and writing in other areas like Naruto and Assassin's Creed. Keep an eye out for those fics! Anyway, this chappy will be a bit of random fluff to hold you over.
Disclaimer: I do not own!
Chloe watched the troops practice their marches in the new training fields with a sigh. The move from the old headquarters to this specially built haven wasn't so much physically tiring as it was stressful. None of the soldiers had much issue with the barracks being moved into the fortress that Alec had built for the Task Force; no, the problems were with the higher ups, like Will and Her Majesty.
The woman didn't trust Alec's moves for a second, but she commended Senel on taking his place of power amongst the change. Will, himself, voiced his concerns for the endeavor, but he too was happy for Senel. In their eyes, Senel would make the best and most ethical decisions, regardless of how anyone felt. His amazing judge of character and his merit had made a name for him in the hearts of the people on The Legacy and it seemed he would do his best to live up to their standards.
Speaking of Senel, Chloe glanced around, expecting to see the Commander in Chief observing the group of new recruits as well. She realized briefly that she hadn't seen him for a while now and made up her mind to search for him.
Chloe walked down the huge staircase, wondering who she should ask about Senel's whereabouts and decided that she should probably ask Norma, the new secretary of the Task Force. Lord knows Alec was going bananas when he gave her that job! Chloe sighed again and made her way towards Norma's desk at the entry way.
"What's up, C? Man, am I glad to see you!" Norma smiled her usual cheerful smile and Chloe couldn't help but smile back. Norma was infectious like that.
"Really? Whatever is the matter?"
"Well, you see, Senel said he wasn't feeling well and headed up to his room to lie down. Shirley went out of town to go check on some of the Ferenes; you know, for her bi-weekly visits."
Chloe nodded her head in understanding. It was Shirley's job as a Ferenes to help others like herself, especially being as prominent a Ferenes as she was. Chloe realized she was ignoring Norma and turned her attention back to the brunette.
"-So can you check on him?"
"I said, since Shirley isn't here and you've been living in a hospital, can you check on Senny and make sure he's okay? I really haven't heard anything from him, but I'm much too busy here to even leave. I'm already interviewing for assistants!" Norma waved her hands in the air as if the whole world was hectic and falling apart and Chloe couldn't resist rolling her eyes. There were a total of three people in the lobby currently and two of them were she and Norma.
"Of course I'll go check on him. I hope he's okay." Chloe gave a small wave to Norma and wondered if she really heard her chuckle as she walked off.
He was dizzy. And his head hurt like someone had smashed a rock on his skull. The room was spinning and he was so hot - too hot for a person sitting in an air conditioned room. Senel had no idea what had come over him, but he knew one thing for sure.
He was not well. At all.
Senel tried to get up from the chair and failed a third time. He briefly heard himself groan out loud, but the noise sounded so far away, he wasn't quite sure if it came from himself.
Senel leaned his head up against the wall. How had he gotten sick? He didn't remember doing anything stupid like standing in wind after a shower. He wasn't sure what had brought on his sudden illness, but it sucked.
There was a soft knock on his door, followed by a soft call of "Coolidge?"
Senel tried to answer Chloe, but all he could get out was another soft moan.
"Coolidge, are you okay?"
He realized she probably wouldn't hear him; to him, his voice sounded like a whisper, "C-Chloe..." Senel forced his mind to clear and once again strained to get out of the chair. He released a huge breath of triumph as he stood on his own two feet, although shakily. "Ch-loe... I'm..."
Senel felt his heart skip a beat at hearing his name called, but the excitement was too much for him. He fell to his knees on the floor and tried to call out once again. His head was swimming - it felt so heavy; he could hardly hold it up.
The doorknob started turning and an extremely concerned Chloe burst into the room.
"Senel? Senel? What's wrong?" Chloe kneeled down beside him and Senel leaned his head against her shoulder, trying to calm his pounding heart.
"I...I'm not sure. I think...I think I'm s-sick, Chloe."
"Sick?! But how?"
Senel's eyes slid shut as he leaned harder against Chloe's body. Chloe found herself fighting the most ridiculous blush on her cheeks, as she put her arms around Senel to help hold him in place.
"Dunno." Was all the sick man managed to get out.
Chloe turned Senel's body towards her's and leaned her head forward. Senel's felt his heart pound even faster, though his brain couldn't figure out if it was from sickness or Chloe's closeness.
Chloe's blush was spreading and fast, but she needed to be sure of how sick Senel actually was. She leaned their foreheads together, and tried not to swoon from the close contact. Even ill, Senel still smelled like a strong, pure river and fresh air. Chloe shook her head and forced her thoughts on the task at hand.
"When did you start feeling sick, Coolidge?"
Senel's eyes slid open and he glared at her, almost severely, before shaking his head and sealing his mouth shut.
"Coolidge? Does it hurt to talk?"
Senel shook his head, but his mouth stayed closed.
"What? Senel, I need you to talk to me. I can't help you if-"
"I started feeling odd...this morning. My head...hurt." Senel answered, leaning against Chloe's shoulder again. Chloe helped him stand up and lead him to his bed. They walked slowly and though the distance was short it seemed like a mile run for Senel.
He was practically gasping for breath by the time the two of them managed to get to the edge of the bed. Chloe stepped forward to help Senel into bed and instead, tripped over his foot, sending the two of them crashing onto the bed.
Senel let out a puff of air as his back hit the bed, and he relaxed almost instantly; laying down felt so good. It definitely didn't register to him that only half his body was in the bed because his mind was assault with Chloe's specific fragrance.
"Oh, Senel, I'm so sorry! I can't believe I-"
"Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." Senel gently covered Chloe's mouth with his index finger, shaking his head. Chloe watched the hazy look on his face, and found her worry spike even more. Senel would never keep her this close if he was conscious! "Don worry 'bout it."
To better prove his point, Senel wrapped his arms around Chloe and held her there, with their bodies laying half on, half off the bed.
"I'm gonna take a nap now, kay? Be a good girl and stay put." Senel smiled lazily at Chloe, reaching his hand up to stroke her raven hair softly. "Night"
"B-But Senel-! Can we at least lie on the bed properly? I am afraid you will have b-back pro- Whoa!"
Senel pulled himself and Chloe up on the bed fully, that lazy smile still on his face, "Better?"
"Y-Yes?" Chloe didn't know if she could feel any better; she was laying in Senel's arms. He was so close; she could practically kiss him right then and there.
"Good." Senel snuggled closer to Chloe and gave a sigh of relief; she was so warm and comfortable. Girls were so soft and squishy! Chloe gave a loud sigh herself, but it definitely wasn't from the comfort of the situation.
How in the hell was she supposed to get out of this?
Senel woke up to complete darkness in his room. He could hear the distant sound of voices outside of his bedroom door, but there was no one else in the room. He looked around as his eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room. Wasn't it bright outside when he came here to take his break?
Senel looked to the clock beside him and confirmed what he had been thinking. He had slept almost the entire day away. He tried to remember what had happened after he came back to his room to sit and rest for a little while, but his mind drew a complete blank. How had he ended up in his bed?
A knock on the door broke his thoughts, and Shirley popped her head through Senel's door. She turned the light on, then reached behind her and grabbed a tray with a delectable dinner on it.
"Well, good morning, sleepyhead." Shirley closed the door with her hip and walked over to Senel's bed, while he watched her in confusion.
"Here, let me help you sit up." Shirley readjusted all the pillows behind Senel, making sure they provided support when he sat up. When she was finished, she set the tray on his lap and lifted the lid.
On the tray sat a deep dish of beef stew, a still-warm hunk of bread and a cup of ginger ale. Senel wasted no time digging in, as if he had just realized how very hungry he was.
"Shirley, have you been here the entire time?" Senel asked her between bites. He had dreamed of a beautiful red and green strawberry field as far as the eye could see. When he looked up, a clear blue sky greeted him cheerfully. When he finally lowered his gaze again, a familiar figure stood surrounded by the plants, wearing a lovely red and white polka dotted dress and a straw hat. She looked up from what she was doing, her raven hair fluttering in the wind. She smiled at him and cupped her mouth, parting her lips to say-
"Senel! Did you hear what I said?"
Senel blinked as he came back to reality, turning to face Shirley once again, "Say what?"
"I said I got here right before dinner. I got in just as Chloe was leaving."
"C-Chloe?" Senel frowned at the tray on his lap as he tried to remember seeing Chloe at all today. He remembered not leaving his room this morning, and managing to make it to the chair over by the wall...
"I told her to go eat dinner since she had been in here with you all day. I'm sure she'll head home after that."
He knew Chloe didn't stay inside the newly built fortress like he did. She hadn't wanted to leave her room in the hospital.
Senel moved the tray, feeling a little better with some food in his stomach. He slid out of the bed, surprising Shirley by his attire.
"S-Senel-!" Shirley stammered, her cheeks flaring pink as she tore her gaze to the ground. Senel looked down and realized he was only wearing his navy blue shorts and matching undershirt. He blinked for a second before shaking his head and strolling out of the room.
Chloe flicked off the lights in her office and locked the door with her shiny new key. Her boots clacked faintly on the shiny floor as she walked down the empty hallway. Most of the Task Force fighters had gone to bed in their brand new barracks, and most of the higher ups had either gone to their own deluxe rooms or back to their homes.
"Well, I guess I'll go home too."
She walked down the empty corridors, seeing one of her other female soldiers occasionally. They were giggling and in their pajamas and each girl grinned at Chloe as she walked past.
"Have a good evening, Vice-Captain!" They called, as Chloe made her way down the hall.
"Good night, ladies." She replied, giving her subordinates a small wave.
After walking past Norma's desk, Chloe finally made it out of the building. She sighed; why did Alec build such a huge structure?
She turned from her spot on the courtyard stairs and found Senel running towards her, with next to nothing on. Chloe found herself attempting to school her features; she really didn't want Senel to see her blush...but it was hard to hide the rapid beating of her heart.
"Coolidge? What are you doing?"
Senel finally stopped at the top step, breathing deeply. He realized, a little too late, that he hadn't fully recovered. Chloe hurried up the steps, seeing the flushed look on Senel's face. He definitely hadn't recovered.
He swayed slightly, still gasping for air when Chloe reached the final step, wrapping her arms around him to keep him steady. Senel leaned his forehead against her's, and Chloe found herself staring directly in his jade colored eyes.
"S-Senel..." The name slipped out of her mouth, involuntarily. A lazy smile crossed Senel's face as Chloe realized he was still somewhat feverish.
"I came to say thank you." Senel pulled her closer, embracing Chloe in a hug that surprised her even more. Senel absolutely had to still be sick. Or simply out of his mind.
"Shirley told me that you took care of me all day today."
"So you won't admit to it?"
Chloe gave a small, nervous laugh, "A knight never asks for thanks."
Senel released a deep sigh, and Chloe could feel the weirdest sensation creep up her spine. The puff of air hit right at the edge of her neck and despite herself, Chloe shivered. Senel's eyes took on the weirdest glint, one that Chloe couldn't - or wouldn't - figure out.
"Senel, I think you should go back inside. You'll freeze to death out here."
Senel was silent as he bit on his bottom lip softly, a thoughtful expression crossing her face. Chloe's mind was reeling as she waited for him to answer her; he was just too close!
"Only if you promise something first."
"W-what is that?"
"I'm sick, you know? So you have to promise first."
"But it's hard for me to-" Senel finally stepped away from Chloe, frowning up at her. His cheeks had a reddish tint to it and Chloe couldn't tell if it was from the wind, his fever, or both.
"Promise, Chloe. I won't go back inside until you do. Are you really going to let a sick guy stand out in the cold?"
"F-Fine. You have my word...as a knight."
Senel nodded, finally appeased, "Call me Senel from today onwards."
Chloe's eyes widened considerably at his request and she immediately averted her gaze to the ground, in an effort to keep her surprise hidden. Had it really been bothering him this whole time?
"I just don't understand how we're the best of friends and you don't call me by my name. What is with that?"
Chloe remained silent though occasionally, she peeked up from her hard stare at the ground.
"Well, I guess I'll go back inside now. I really feel very tired all of a sudden." Senel patted Chloe on the head cheerfully, feeling a bit better now that she had promised to call him by his first name. And really, if anyone deserved to speak his name out loud, it was Chloe. She was his closest and dearest friend...
Chloe grabbed hold of his hand and finally looked up. Her chestnut colored eyes were very serious and Senel had no idea what she was thinking. "Will you remember this tomorrow?"
"W-Why would I forget it?"
"Because you're sick. And you sleep like the dead. You will probably think this was all a dream, by tomorrow."
Senel shrugged his expression nonchalant and a bit confident, "So remind me."
Chloe nodded slowly, as if she was already thinking of ways to remind him of all that had happened between them in the span of a few minutes. Senel smiled, glad to give Chloe something to mull over. He would be doing the same thing himself...because of that dream...
Senel shook those thoughts out of his, and placed a hand on Chloe's shoulder. She looked up, obviously torn from her thoughts, "I'll see you tomorrow, Chloe."
She nodded again, her pretty cheeks completely flushed now, "Please get well. Good night."
And they each parted ways, thinking of each other.
The Next Day
Chloe walked into her office with a light heart. Yesterday had felt like a dream. She knew that Senel would probably forget the whole thing, since he had been acting so strange. She knew he wasn't so...emotional or playful with Shirley, but then again, Senel had a fever and had been asleep most of the day...
Chloe forced herself to focus on the stack of paper in front of her, when a knock sounded on her door. She stated a simple, "Enter" and a head of white hair appeared in her office.
"Good morning, Chloe." Senel's warm smile went right to her heart, and Chloe found it was infections. Standing up, Chloe smiled and walked over to Senel, immediately checking his temperature to see if his fever was gone.
"It's not there anymore, I promise."
Chloe nodded, finding his words to be true. She removed her hands and put them behind her back, "Did you sleep well?"
"Yep. I dreamt of strawberries." Senel told her, grinning.
Chloe looked at him quizzically, but shook her head. She hardly wanted to know what that meant. "So what are your plans for today, Commander Coolidge?"
Senel lifted an eyebrow, crossing his arms in slight annoyance. Chloe blinked, her surprise written all over her face.
So he had remembered what happened the night before.
Chloe's cheeks colored and she turned to go sit down at her desk. Senel followed her and leaned on the object, watching her curiously.
"You thought I would forget, didn't you?"
"N-No," she stammered and cursed herself for it. What was she so nervous for anyway?
"You promised, Chloe."
Senel stared down at her, grabbing her hands as she tried to distract herself from the topic at hand. He didn't like that she wouldn't even look in his face.
Chloe's eyes looked like they were going to pop from her head, and she turned her head so she wouldn't have to face him. Slowly, she shook her head, "I...I can't do it."
"When a knight gives her word, she keeps it, right?"
Chloe nodded, dreading the direction this was going. Senel leaned closer from his position on her desk, angling his head so he could look at her. When his blue eyes finally caught her brown ones, he gave her a look of determination before repeating himself, "Say it, Chloe."
"B-But, you're my commander."
Why on Earth was he pestering her so much? Goodness, it wasn't that big of a deal, was it?
She started down at her desk; anything that would stall this torture. Why was he pressing the issue?
Boy, did she love the way her name sounded coming from him. He could say her name all day and she wouldn't care.
"Chloe, this is an order."
Chloe froze up, her gaze turning on him in an instant, "An order?" Chloe lifted her eyebrow and it had appeared that those words had struck some cord in her. Chloe stood up, her chair falling over at the suddenness of her movement. She yanked Senel's hand and they were face to face all over again, inches apart. How dare he order her around over something so ridiculous?! Was he trying to insult her?
Brown slammed into blue and Senel felt his heart pounding in his throat. So this is what Chloe's angry face looked like. Her whole countenance was a ball of intense energy and Senel found himself almost eager to hear her say the one word he had asked for.
"Senel." Her voice was barely above a whisper, soft and barely contained. Senel had no doubt he had made her mad. He watched her, wondering what would happen next.
"Senel." She said it again, this time with a bit more force, not bothering to mask her irritation and fear.
"Senel." It was like the sweetest mantra he ever heard. His brain shifted in a direction he wasn't sure that he wanted to examine and her skin tight body suit wasn't helping.
"Senel." She said it louder, bolder and he found himself leaning closer towards her, if that was even possible.
"Senel." He felt the air from her words, touching his lips and he realized while staring into her eyes that he really wanted to kiss her.
"Senel." She said, again, softly. He wanted to be closer, if that was even possible. There was barely any space between them at all, but right then, the minor gap still felt like too much.
"Chloe." He had answered her, and that one word was each of their undoing. Chloe's eyes were sliding shut, instinctively, and Senel could feel the warmth coming off of her mouth as he closed the small gap that was between them. Chloe held her breath when their lips touched, her insides melting from the gentle caress of his lips.
Senel pressed forward, adding pressure to the kiss as he wrapped one arm around her waist, pressing her legs into the edge of the desk.
They broke apart in a hurry and Chloe attempted to set her desk to rights. Her heart was pounding as she set the chair back in its proper place and she could feel her entire body trembling. She collapsed in her chair and tried to calm the wild thumping in her ears, as Senel opened the door.
"It's Jay!" In burst Norma, a panicked look on her face. She was gasping for breath as if she had ran from a far distance and tried to catch her breath as she bent over, holding her stomach. Senel patted her on the back, wondering if either girl could hear the loud and heavy beating of his heart.
"W-What happened, Norma?"
She held out her hand, asking for a moment, before she spoke. When she finally looked up, there were practically tears in her eyes. "Will and Moses went to Jay's place to check on him and make sure he was all right. No one had heard from him in a while, ya know? So they went over there and his house is trashed! Stuff is broken and thrown everywhere!" Senel and Chloe knew something must be very wrong if Norma wasn't using her nicknames for everyone. And Norma wasn't the type to panic either... "Jay is nowhere to be seen. They even found...they found blood!"
Chloe felt her heart stop. Senel stared as if he had been punched in the stomach.
End Chapter 7