Disclaimer: Just to start us off on the right note I would like to say that RA is owned by John Flanagan and until I create something worth writing fan fiction over I cannot claim a written work. So you know the drill. Buckle down, relax, and enjoy my spasmic-tastic fan fic!
Author's note: Please review! I love them, no matter how vain and shallow that may seem…
Set after book 4 with no actual place in the books. So for all of you rusties out there. Will isn't a full-fledged Ranger yet, but he is in training. (there is 5 years between book 4 and 5. I love the author for all the FF opportunities )
So here it is!
adonné de la chaleur by AuthorEmilyRay
"Are you going to bed early, Will?" Halt asked his apprentice who had already finished the dishes and was hanging up his mottled cloak. His apprentice looked over at him and grinned sleepily.
"Yeah. We have a big day tomorrow and I want to make sure I'm not yawning all through it."
"Humph," Halt grunted his reply and let the boy go. It was probably best, thinking of a comeback he called out to the adjoining room, "Well maybe you wouldn't be so tired if you didn't spend so much time smiling!" He heard Will snort as the bed springs creaked against his weight, which wasn't much Halt bemused. Maybe it was best if the kid slept. Heaven's knew the boy didn't really look healthy. He was very skinny and he hadn't grown in the time that Halt had had him as an apprentice. His time in the snowy mountains had taken their toll, especially his sick addiction to warmweed.
Halt got up from the table and stretched, feeling the strong muscles in his back protest as he bent backwards. With a satisfied grunt he went outside to check on the horses once more. They would be riding tomorrow, and he wanted to make sure that the horses were going to have a good night's sleep.
Tomorrow Halt was going to take Will to see Gilan again. They were going to ride out at dawn and stay the night while Gilan helped Will to "walk invisible" as Will entitled it. The boy was already very good at this, and Halt knew that he had begged for this trip not because he truly wanted to improve but that he wanted to see his friend. Abelard whinnied softly as Halt drew near, and Tug moved from side to side in a greeting dance. They were both still awake; the sun had barely sunk beneath the horizon, and there were still streaks of light playing off the twilight clouds.
Halt stroked the horses, and made sure there was enough water in their troughs. He patted Abelard one last time and trudged silently back up to the house. The moon was now spilling it's soft light upon the land, turning the forest into a magical illusion of black's and white's.
He crossed the threshold feeling the day upon his shoulders and decided to turn in early as well. Feeling the calm that came before a deserved rest he undressed and slipped into bed, hoping that tomorrow would be as good as Will had been going off about.
In his room Will listened as Halt's boots came into the house. He heard Halt stoking the fire to make sure that it would last the night, and then he heard him undressing and climbing into bed. He rolled over onto his side as Halt's breathing slowed to a steady rumble.
Finally he thought and moaned a little bit. He rubbed his aching temples and felt the pounding in his head subside a little. He didn't know why he felt so miserable. He pushed his fingers against his eyes, blocking out all the light from the moon and listened to his heart in his ears, beating to the rhythm of his pain.
He rolled over and covered himself with the blanket burying his frozen frame in the familiar sheets. He felt cold. Really cold. His headache had been building the entire day and had finally peaked during dinner. It took all his energy to gulp down the stew that Halt had prepared. For some reason his favorite dish tasted disgusting and he regretted eating it now, feeling it churning in his stomach.
If his headache would just disappear! If it would vanish then tomorrow would be awesome. But for some reason it wasn't showing any signs of stopping.
He rolled over onto his back, pulling his sheets over his mouth to catch the warm air in the covers. He felt better that way, at least he wasn't as cold.
Cold. It was a very strange feeling. Like all the heat had been sapped away from your body and the only thing left to give it was your soul. He could feel himself slipping away and wondered if he was losing his soul or if he was just slipping into unconsciousness. Either way he gladly welcomed the darkness.
"Will!" Halt called from the kitchen, "Will get out of bed NOW! It's time to go! I thought you were excited for this trip?" The ranger was packing last minute supplies. He really should have finished the night before, but he had been tired and there was time (especially since Will was so sluggish) to finish it now. Stuffing bread and a few apples into his saddle bag Halt caught sight of his apprentice stumbling out of his room, his pants on, his shirt untucked and backwards, and one of his shoes missing.
"Will!" He said, exasperated as his apprentice leaned up against the wall, a tired, blank look on his face.
"…what?" Will looked at him with eyes that spoke of a sleepless night. The large bags underneath them were purple, and Halt had a good idea of which one of them would be asleep in the saddle this morning.
"Rough night?" Halt asked. Will shook his head and said, "Nope. Slept like a rock."
Halt wasn't sure if he was being serious or not but sent the boy back to his room to retry getting dressed.
About half an hour later they were up and out of there, just as the sun was clearing the tops of the trees. Will groaned as the light poured into his eyes, and buried his head in Tug's soft mane. The older ranger looked over at him but didn't say anything, wondering what was going on with the lad.
A few hours later they arrived at their meeting point and Halt started to prepare lunch, knowing that Gilan wasn't expecting to arrive until later in the afternoon.
He was pulling the food out of his packs when he noticed that Will hadn't gotten off of Tug yet. The little horse was standing in the clearing with his shaggy head tilted back to look at his master. Will was sitting limply in the saddle, his hands clutching the reins, and his eyes on some far off vision.
"Will?" Halt asked, bemused by the boys blank expression. The kid always had some sort of expression. Elation, Depression, mostly curiosity. Bored was a relatively new one. Especially when his eyes were so glassy…
Halt moved over and took the reins from Will's hands, "Will?" He asked again. The boy didn't respond. Halt moved his gloved hand in front of the boys face, shaking it back and forth. Will didn't react.
Halt took off his glove and felt the boy's forehead. No fever. He grabbed Will's shoulders and shook him. Will blinked but didn't break his gaze from the far away dream.
Halt finally pulled Will from the saddle and dropped him to the ground. It was a bit harsh but it worked, and Will looked up at him from the dirt, a quizzical expression on his face.
"Did- did I fall off Tug?" He asked using Halt's outstretched hand to pull himself up.
"Uh…yeah." Halt said, wondering how the boy didn't even know what had happened.
"Oh, sorry. I must have spaced out." Will laughed and put one foot in the stirrup, ready to mount up.
"What are you doing, Will?" Halt asked, crossing his arms and looking at Will.
"Getting onto Tug? We still have a long way to..." Will looked around and noticed that they were in very unfamiliar territory. The trees were much taller here, and from the shadows that the sun was casting it must be around noon. He brushed his eyes with a hand and looked back at his mentor who was standing beside Abelard.
"…How long have we been riding?" Will asked slowly, suddenly unsure of himself.
"About five or six hours. Will, what's going on?" Halt looked genuinely concerned.
"I just have a headache. I've had it since yesterday." Will hopped back down off of Tug and began to pull his things out of his packs. A small cooking pan, some wrapped meat, and a bag of tree nuts. This with Halt's vegetables would make a good lunch. But Halt wasn't moving to help him. Halt was just standing there staring at him, a puzzled look creasing his graying brow.
"Are you telling me that you don't remember anything that we've done today?" Halt mentally smacked himself for not checking on Will earlier. Silent rides were as rare as dinosaurs when Will was with him but Halt had assumed that Will was tired. So he hadn't tried to start a conversation. Now he wished that the boy would go back to his normal blabbering, question-filled self. Well, almost wished.
"I must have just fallen asleep." Was all Will could give him. He shrugged and started to clear a spot for them to set up camp. Halt managed to pull himself together enough to fix lunch, but his thoughts were constantly on Will. Was he getting sick? If he got really sick out here where would he take him? Going home would be miserable, but he didn't know any healers nearby. Gilan might know one but what would happen if Will got seriously ill? What if they were stuck here for days? Halt would have to leave him to perform his duties to the Baron. And then what?
During lunch Halt took note of what Will ate, or rather what Will didn't eat. The small amount of stew that actually entered his apprentices body was definitely not enough to sustain him for an afternoon of training, but Will took great measures to conceal the fact that he wasn't really eating anything. He kept spooning empty spoonfuls to his mouth and would actually chew the air before swallowing it.
Halt cleaned up after lunch and sent Will to go unpack his bags. But when he turned around he found Will leaned up against Tugs side his head in the crook of one elbow. He went over and touched the boys shoulder. Will's head jerked up and he looked wildly around for a moment before focusing on Halt.
"Are you really alright?" Halt asked.
"Yeah," Will lied, "I'm just tired."
"Well, why don't you sleep until Gilan gets here. I'll keep guard so don't worry about anything. You need strength for this afternoon, or every creature in this forest will be able to see you."
"Are you sure?" Will eyes were beginning to glass over again and Halt nodded.
Will sank to the ground by the fire, wrapping his rangers cloak tightly around his small frame.
Gilan walked along the path, his spirits high. He wanted to impress Will, but knew that Halt was sure to foil his plans with his quick wit and sharper mouth. As he drew around the bend he slipped silently into the forest, making sure that he could see both Halt and Will. His older mentor was standing next to Abelard brushing his mane, and Will was curled up on the ground. If he could just get behind them before-
"Hello, Gilan" He froze in the brush, cursing Halt silently. He wondered if it would be worth it to keep going, or whether he should sneak around anyway- maybe he could still trick Will. The youth was still on the ground.
"Come on out Gilan. He won't see you anyway." Halt sounded tired. There was another feeling hidden in that soft voice… worry?
Gilan stepped into the grove, his head slightly cocked, the question forming on his lips, but Halt beat him to it, "He hasn't been himself lately. I don't think he's feeling too good today." Gilan stopped and bent over the kid watching his eyes move behind his eyelids as he slept.
He walked over to Halt not wanting to disturb Will, "What's been going on?"
"I don't know. Yesterday he seemed fine, maybe a little tired, but today he's been so out of it. He literally was in a trance riding Tug the entire way here. He doesn't remember any of it!"
"What!? Has he had anything to drink?"
"No. I don't drink liquor and therefore neither does he. There would be no way for him to get it anyway. We haven't been into town in ages."
"What else is wrong?"
"He's complained of a headache," Halt tried to remember everything, "This morning he put his clothes on wrong, and when we got here I had to literally pull him out of the saddle to get him to come out of that daze. He's just- I don't know. I've never seen anything like this."
"Well…," Gilan started, "Have you tried any kind of medicine?"
"No… I don't really have anything anyway. Not for disorientation. I've got some stuff for fever, but he doesn't have one."
"Maybe I should look him over?" Gilan suggested. Halt nodded knowing that healing was always something that Gilan had excelled at, although he hadn't been able to learn much under Halt.
Gilan followed Halt over to where their friend lay, and sat down by his head. He pushed the bangs from the youth's forehead, and placed the back of his hand against the smooth surface. It felt normal. He moved his hand down to Will's cheek. Normal. Under his chin. Normal. He checked his pulse. A little slow, but Will was a very healthy teenage boy. His heart may not have needed to pump as much with all the physical labor that Halt put him through because it was stronger.
He did notice one thing. Will was shivering. His fists were clenched around his body and he was shaking like a leaf. It wasn't that cold out though.
Gilan took a hold of the boy's shoulder and shook him, trying to awaken Will. He slept on.
"Will?" Halt said loudly. Gilan knew that if Halt had ever spoken that loud to him then he would have been alarmed that there was a rock slide coming towards them, or something worse.
"Hey, Will? Time to train, Buddy!" Gilan tried to sound cheerful, although his concern was growing by the second. They shook him. Pinched his hands. Called his name. Nothing worked.
Finally Gilan propped Will up in Halt's arms. With a resounding crack his palm collided with Will's face. This seemed to at least arouse the teen. He kicked out with one leg while squirming in Halt's arms.
"Will?! Will, can you hear me?"Halt shook the boy, and his eyes opened to slits. Gilan lowered himself into Will's line of sight, "Hey! Are you ready to go?"
"…hummmifpholosal…" His eyes closed and his head began to lower into Halt's chest. The man shook him again and this time the boy sat strait up eyes wide, gazing strait through Gilan as his brain locked onto some unknown daydream.
"Will? Will?!" Gilan shook his shoulders as Will sat staring at nothing, "WILL!!!!!" he finally yelled into the boys ear. This got his attention.
Will blinked several times, his longs eyelashes fluttering with the movement. He gazed around for a few moments drinking in the scene with his focusing eyes. First came the trees. Their lush green leaves bursting with sunlight, throwing it toward the unsuspecting shadows on the ground. Then with a rush that felt like the blood had left his head he saw two faces swimming towards him. One was the familiar stubble filled face of his companion and mentor, Halt. The other was of someone he hadn't seen in quite a while. Gilan was sitting next to him as he tried to piece together this puzzle.
He realized that Gilan had a hand behind his back and Halt had a good grip on his arm otherwise he wouldn't have been sitting up. He was so dizzy, and the sun from above hurt his eyes.
"will? caN You HEAR me?" The voice of Halt was coming in and out of focus along with his face. His head started to pound with a new ferocity and he felt wave after wave of nausea falling over him. He was going to be sick. He leaned over to the side and gasped as he felt his stomach contract, the small amount of food that he had forced down at lunch was about to make a reappearance.
And then he was gagging, the feeling of his food burning as it moved its way up, and then relief as it finally came out of him. The taste was disgusting and it made him retch even more, until finally nothing more was left to bring forth.
He could feel Halt's strong hand rubbing circles on his back and a few moments later Gilan came with a wet cloth. They moved him a few feet away from the puddle of sick and helped him wipe out his mouth. He blew his nose, feeling the burn there too. The water from the cloth felt good against his skin but at the same time the intense cold from it made him shiver uncontrollably.
Gilan's hand was on his forehead, feeling for fever. But even in his confused haze Will knew that there would be no heat. He was way to cold for that.
The cold reached down far into his gut, pulling at his deepest most hidden insides, and froze them. It pushed it's way into the marrow of his bones and carved out new tunnels there. It slithered itself in between his gums and his teeth until they chattered. His head was splitting as cold fire sunk it's way deeper into his brain.
He was cold. Too cold.
"…Ha…lt…" the cold had frozen his vocal cords as well, making it so hard to even make noise, let alone talk. Halt was there reassuring him that everything was going to be okay. But it wasn't.
He had only felt this cold once before in his entire life and he knew exactly how to cure it. It was a cold that couldn't be cured with blankets or warm baths. He was frozen right down to his soul.
"What is it Will?" Halt's face was sliding out of perspective, his world tilting as he sank to the ground.
"…I'm really cold"
Author's note: AUUUUGGGHHHHH Okay so I never expected it to be this long. I just kind of started writing and it never stopped. Wow the muses must have been feeling generous today…
I was reading Bedridden by Pendragon.P a s s i o n. and I came up with this idea.
It wont be like Bedridden because I already know that this won't be. I'm not rewriting their story- I just had this idea from their story. If that makes sense.
Anywho- I really like RA and I hadn't even thought about FF for it until I read Bedridden. I normally stick to HP, The Underland Chronicles, and Maximum Ride- but writing about Halt and Will was SOOOOO FUNNN!!
So as you can see I'm not completely caught up on my books. I think this is a little side story after Will and Halt get back to Redmont after book 4 (I stated this earlier).
Now I haven't read them recently- mostly because I'm waiting until I can get my grubby little paws on book 7+ (yes America- you suck at publishing Aussie books) to reread so bear with me when I get details wrong… :)
Yup yup! Oh and I'm hoping to add some Will/Alyss and possibly some Gilan/OC. I'm thinking about the healer? What do you think?
Ok so in my reviews I ask you for two things. What do you (like/dislike/wish you could improve) about my story, and if this was YOUR story where would you take it?
Please give me ideas and critiques! I really appreciate you all for reading!
Oh and by the way if you are reading this author's note still you are probably one of the most patient and awesome people in the world!
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Fat Bunny XD
P.S. If you haven't read .Passion.'s story yet. Get off your lazy boot-ay and go read it. It'll make your day!! I promise!