His head throbbed painfully. It was an unusual kind of pain. The sort of anguish that generally came right after a nasty vision. Something that he didn't get often and sincerely hoped to keep that way. Visions were messy and misleading. Visions were something he would add to his "Not Fun" list.
So waking to the feeling—the very nasty feeling—of just having a vision was quite disconcerting. Not to mention disorienting. Because if he'd had a vision, he would've remembered the foggy, madness of it. Every quirky, annoying detail. But he couldn't remember a lick of it. Which meant that he hadn't had one, and his body, his brain, his essence was aching for no reason.
Or for a different reason. A different reason that was an entirely separate, entirely terrifying can of worms. One that involved doing something incredibly stupid and death defying. Though considering the fact that he couldn't seem to move, maybe it hadn't been as scot-free as he thought. He strained, barely wiggled his fingers, and groaned.
Good Merlin, he'd died. He'd died saving the world. He'd sacrificed himself for the world, and he was in an incredibly comfortable bed, with a screaming headache, and the inability to move. He wasn't sure if he was being punished or rewarded. Though, personally, he was hoping for the latter. Betting on it. Because who would punish someone for saving the world? Unless the afterlife consisted of malicious, sadistic demons—something he should have taken into deep consideration before allowing himself to be offed.
His fears were assuaged as a cool towel pressed to his forehead. A shuddering breath escaped him, and he was so relieved but terribly distraught. He was safe and okay. He was dead. His eyes teared up behind shuttered lids, fear coiling within him. No more science. No more physics. No more magick. No more Drake. Just dead, and Merlin it was terrifying. A sob bubbled up past his lips; his chest burned uncomfortably.
"Hush," a delicate finger brushed away the tear that slipped down his temple. "It's all right, Merlinian."
Words weighed heavy on his tongue, bitter. He tried to open his mouth to speak, but it wouldn't move. He tried to tell this woman how not okay, not all right this was.
"I cannot allow you to move yet," she states, wiping his brow gently, and Dave felt the spark of magick flutter over his skin.
He wanted to scream at her. Wanted to ask her why. Wanted to beg her to send him back. To make him not dead.
"I know, Merlinian. But it's all right." She muttered, and he felt warmth spread over him. "You do not need to go back."
His body jerked as much as it could under her spells, and he heard her sigh.
"You must stay still," she insisted, and her soft hand fell over his closed eyes. "I will permit you vision and speech if you stop trying to move."
His body went completely lax.
Laughter met his ears, and in the next instant he was opening his eyes and squinting even though the room was lit only by what light could peak from around the brilliant crimson curtains on the windows. He took a shuddering breath, adjusting to the room silently. His mouth was too dry; he had to swallow a few times before he finally managed to wet his throat enough to speak.
"Where—?" his voice broke.
A string of foreign curses drifted in the air like a song. Dark hands rested on him, sitting him up gently in the bed of yellows and reds and oranges. Settling back against the headboard, the wood groaned beneath him, and the beautiful, dark skinned woman smiled while pressing a cup to his lips. He had expected water, so when warmth and spice teased his tongue, he was surprised by the flavor. Sputtering for a moment, the woman clicked her tongue and chided him, tipping his head back as she ran a rough thumb down the front of his jugular. It goaded him into swallowing, and the liquid provided immediate relief.
Once he'd finished it, she set the cup down on the bedside table. Turning back to him, she checked over his face, examining his vision carefully. Checking his sight. He didn't have to say a thing as she read him perfectly. It was safe to say that she was a healer of some sort.
"Empathic and telepathic, as well."
Her accent was something he'd never heard. He watched mutely as she moved from his face down to his chest. Gaze following her quick, efficient movements, he took in the way she rolled down the linens so that she might access him further. At the contrast of her black skin on the starkness of bandages wrapped securely around him, he went rigid as realization struck. Her eyes flickered up to meet his.
"No, Merlinian." She stated with a sly smile. "But you were very close."
There was a moment's pause as she analyzed him, taking in everything. His pain, and his guilt, and his hope. She frowned and finished checking his bandages.
He took in the room in his relative numbness. She was quite good at easing his discomfort the second he needed it. The room was warm—not just in temperature but in color. It was oak and reds and oranges. Pleasing to the eye. A healer's room. The smell was ancient, clean, and spicy. He imagined that it was the smell of the earth. His healer smiled, dusting her hands off as she leaned back in her chair.
"You are mending quickly, Merlinian." She informed him, and his dazed stare fell back on her as she tied her hair back from her face. "Some of my best work."
"Munesu," she replied. "Old friend of your Seer's. Of Cassie's."
"I thought that she had to be neutral," his voice sounded coarse and broken to his own ears. "No help to either sides."
Munesu nodded sagely. "She is and must remain impartial or she is stripped of her gifts."
Dave's eyes widened comically.
"However, it does not mean that her friends must be so," they shared a small, conspiring grin. "You saved the mortal world. Helping heal you was the right choice—Cassie's friend or not."
He swallowed thickly, grateful. "Thank you."
"You are welcome, Merlinian."
Dave had more questions. A thousand of them. They were on the tip of his tongue when there was a knock on the door. Both of them looked over as it cracked open, bells chiming as another person entered.
"Got more of that tea you wanted," Drake mumbled, cradling a bowl to his chest awkwardly, appearing tired and disgruntled. "How is he—?"
Their eyes met and Dave felt a tingling sensation alight his nerves. He went to spring from the bed, to run to his lover, when a hand on his chest restricted him. The blonde seemed to go weak, and there was a sloshing sound even as Munesu pointed a scolding finger his way.
"You drop that bowl and I'll have you lick the floor clean." She snapped, not even looking at him.
Drake swallowed thickly. He moved forward, steps stilted, and set the bowl on the chest at the foot of the bed. His gaze never left Dave's, and he felt faintly light of breath—like he might float away—even with the weight pressing ever so lightly against his bandages. Seeing him and knowing that he was there—that the world was safe, and they could be together—was like having his heartstrings tugged and plucked and pulled. A tiny grin flitted over his mouth, and his heart fluttered happily as Drake drew closer hello god yes hello.
Munesu huffed, reluctantly removed her hand from his chest, and passed scolding glances between the two of them. Without a word, she stood from her spot, grace in every movement as she stepped away from the bed and from the couple. Drake took up her seat, hovering nervously by his side. Not once did they turn their gazes elsewhere. The woman pursed her lips and rolled her eyes.
"Nothing stressing," she grumbled, padding from the room and shutting the door behind her.
Drake flinched slightly at the sound—as if worried anything too loud would wake him from this wonderful dream. He reached out to him, pausing just before their fingers could meet, and Dave felt every bit of his worry. Of his hope. Their hands caught, and they both let out respective sighs of respite. Shaking, the blonde leaned forward, elbows resting on the bed as he pressed a hot kiss to his knuckles.
The kisses continued—they were peppered over his skin, loving and overjoyed. Dave smiled, brilliant and white, and a tear slipped down his cheek as he laughed. Ignoring the twinge of pain that darted up his side, he reached over with his free hand to cup his lover's jaw. Leaning towards one another, their lips met gently and chastely, over and over. When they had finished, their foreheads rested together, and they shared the same breath.
Drake squeezed his hand. "You stupid, stupid, stupid bastard. You stupid, beautiful bastard."
"I know, I'm sorry, I know." He kissed him again, long and searing. "We did it. We did it, right?"
"You did it."
"I did it?" He asked skeptically.
Drake nodded, "You shut it completely down. Ended everything. You were so good, Dave. Brilliant."
"So I'm brilliant, not stupid?" He asked cheekily, and Drake rolled his eyes as he leaned forward to kiss him again.
"You're both, you git."
Dave basked in his attention. He basked in the fact that he wasn't dead—everything had turned out okay. The world wasn't ending. Drake was with him. He wasn't dead. Neither of them were.
Everything was okay.
Despite the prophecy that the world would be overrun by the dead and the damned. Despite the prophecy that predicted Drake's death. That predicted his death. Despite everything, it was all okay.
Because, honestly, the truth about prophecies was that—more often than not—they were wrong.