AN: No, I haven't forgotten about this story. I'm really only putting up this chapter because of a review I got recently. Thank you so much for reminding me that people still care about this. But I have been incredibly busy. I know that's not much of an excuse but I can't help it. If I'm not in class, I'm usually traveling somewhere exotic. I will do my best to keep this up though. :]
"Do you-do you want water or anything?" Jake asked as he dug around in the kitchen.
"No," Wil answered with a slight grimace of a smile, Jake mother henning him was always amusing.
Wil was still in bed, legs pulled tight against his chest as he clutched the blanket around him, he couldn't make himself move. He just kept shaking. His heart didn't feel right. Wil idly traced the neat ridge of scar tissue on his chest, the one that magically appeared after the spell left, his thoughts drifting further and further away until Jake was suddenly in front of him and practically slapping him.
Wil grunted and pulled back in surprise, "What Jake?"
"Nothing."Jake sighed, even though Wil could tell that Jake meant the exact opposite of 'nothing' Jake backed off a little.
"Don't worry so much," Wil shrugged as stretched out and tried to make himself relax, "I'm just a little tired."
"Tired?" Jake questioned incredulously, "Wil, tired means you're slightly sleepy. You look like you haven't slept in months."
Wil glared at Jake but didn't say anything in response.
"I think," Jake licked his lips, "I think the Mirror Queen is still alive."
Wil studied the stitching of the blanket and replied, "I think so too."
"Really? You believe me?" Jake asked, "Why?"
"It's-" Wil hesitated. How could he put this so that his brother wouldn't freak out? "It's just a feeling."
That was the best way to explain it, he had told Jake about the dream and his little brother had freaked out about that, but he wasn't sure how to explain the feeling. It was like his heart wasn't in his chest. He could feel the beats and rhythm but they felt distant and foreign.
Jake anxiously gave his sleeping brother one last glance before closing the door of their cottage. He made his way quickly to town to buy some food and supplies, he was pretty sure that they were going to stay in Marbaden for at least a few weeks. At least until Wil could stand without looking like a simple breeze would tip him over. But Jake was sure that if he said that to his brother, then he would be subjected to many glares.
They only knew so much about magic and most of it was probably embellished. Parts of stories grew more and more impossible as the stories were passed from mouth to mouth, but still Jake knew there was truth in them. The answer was in the stories. He just had to figure this out before…before Wil...
Running quickly to the center of town he picked up a few loafs of bread and some dried meats. There was something his brother was holding back from him, probably out of some odd need to protect his innocent ears, but there was something nagging at him.
Wil's heart was...there was something wrong with it. Jake could tell. Not just from the way Wil kept rubbing at his chest, but Jake had gotten up the nerve to put his hand over Wil's chest while his brother had been out cold. The beat felt off.
Jake wasn't sure how much time they had but he knew that he couldn't lose his brother. Not after losing everyone else. Wil was all the family he had left. Sure, most of the time Wil was an arrogant prick, stupidly oblivious, and completely self absorbed. But the thing was that Wil was the only one he could ever trust. He was the only person who was always there, right behind him; if only there to call him an idiot.
His fingers were like icicles and the numbness seemed to have spread throughout his body causing him to stumble more than walk. He had his hands tucked in under his arm pits so that he could keep some warmth, but none of it seemed to want to stay with him. Each struggling breath brought a bolt of pain. It was freezing him from the inside out, he swore the air was icing over his lungs. He trudged forward, there was a cottage ahead of him, and he knew it would be a safe harbor away from the chilling wind and icy rain. His teeth had kept up almost a constant chattering that drowned out the pattering of the rain, but with each staggering step he was sure that he was getting a little warmer.
He was getting closer and the ice in his bones was starting to melt, he was sure of it. He stumbled quicker, and when he got to the gate he didn't feel quite so numb anymore, most of the feeling had returned to his arms and legs. By the time he reached the door he was sure that even his ears were warm again. He knew the moment he went inside, everything would be perfect that it would all be all right.
Then he noticed it. An incessant whispering. Music.
It had been there the whole time. When he was staggering though the rain and when he had begun to run towards the cottage but, only now, did he notice it. It was saying something to him, the same thing over and over again. His hand rested on the door knob. Warmth was radiating from it. He was so close to being warm, but the whispering was becoming clearer.
"Come to me, my prince." The whisper floated through ice and snow to reach his ears.
Wil didn't want to, it was so cold there. So utterly cold but he couldn't make himself turn the knob. The door was probably unlocked. But the whispering grew until it blocked out the sounds of the rain and wind. It was all he could hear and it was hypnotizing. If he went into the cottage he would become warm, but it was only temporary.
What about eternal warmth? Safety. Never having to worry about food or shelter.
Wil let go of the doorknob and took a step back from the door. Already he started to feel slightly cold again, though it was nothing compared to the outright frozen thing he had been before. The chill was already working its way up his spine and into his chest.
He wanted to be warm, but going into the cottage would not fix that forever. He should listen. That was the only way. The only true way to be warm was to listen to her. Leave the cottage and follow her voice.
Something about that logic did not make complete sense but her voice wouldn't give him time to think.
He backed away from the door and towards the gate. With each step he took, icy tendrils wrap tighter around his heart. The frigid claws were closing up and crushing his chest. But it was alright. It would be okay. All he had to do was to follow her voice and everything would be all right.
R & R