Well, my fanfiction retirement has been suspended temporarily, while I bring to you...a Pandora Hearts story! It's been a couple of years since I started anything new and with a series I've just recently gotten into. So, if you will, consider this an AU, and be kind to me in your reviews. Thanks and I hope you enjoy!
Gilbert Nightray groaned and shifted a little beneath the covers. In his bedroom, the curtains had been drawn shut to block out the bright, irritating morning sunlight, and because of that, Gil's sense of time was completely thrown off—he didn't know if he had been asleep for minutes or hours. What he did know, however, was that the last time he had woken up, about 7:30 that same morning, he felt like he had just been run over by a truck.
Or crushed by a Chain that weighed as much as a house. No, the Vessalius mansion.
Maybe it was that idiot B-Rabbit, he had thought bitterly. Whatever she may have done to him, he definitely wouldn't put it past her for doing so.
Somehow, he had managed to drag himself out of bed anyway, despite how heavy and achy his body felt, and staggered into the kitchen. After all, it wasn't like he could just not feed Oz. The kid was a growing boy, and Gil just couldn't afford to let down his master...again. He cursed as he cracked a few eggs and tossed them into the frying pan. He would never forgive himself for that day 10 years ago.
He threw some bacon strips into the pan, too. Mostly it was to give Oz a little extra protein, but he also knew that it would shut up the B-Rabbit. She was a complete carnivore. He looked down at the pan and frowned. Eggs and bacon—is that really all he had to offer them? Feeling a headache coming on, he sighed and threw himself into a chair. While it may not have been everything in his fridge, it was definitely all that he could muster the energy to actually cook.
Half an hour later, Gil could hear them coming before he saw them. They were running down the hallway, their bare feet slapping against the hardwood floor, no doubt racing to be the first one to the table. He felt his eye twitch as he flipped the eggs over once more. He gripped the spatula tightly, willing himself not to snap.
"Breakfast will be ready in a minute," he said gruffly. Man, his voice sounded horrible.
He heard as Alice and Oz pulled their chairs out from the table, scraping them roughly against the floor. Gil shuddered at the sound, but tried to ignore it anyway, pulling two plates from the cabinet and loading them each with a single fried egg and a couple of strips of bacon. He delivered them to the table and collapsed into the chair across from Oz.
"What's this?" Alice asked, her voice dripping with disdain.
"Just shut up and eat." He brought his hand to his face, using his thumb and forefinger to pinch the bridge of his nose.
"Mm, Gil, this is really good!" Oz said between mouthfuls of egg. The young Vessalius had taken no time in shoveling his food into his mouth.
At least Oz was grateful for his efforts, and in the end, that's all that really mattered.
"This is just the beginning, right?" Alice asked, louder this time. "There's more, isn't there?"
"No, that's it."
"You're kidding!" She threw her arms in the air, fork still in hand, egg still on fork. She was sending splashes of yolk everywhere.
Before Gil was more than just tempted to yank the slice of bacon from her mouth and strangle her with it, he heard a light knock beneath the shelf beside his couch. All anger temporarily evaporated, Gil buried his face in his hands and cursed his very existence.
He got up and trudged to the counter to make himself some coffee just as Sharon Rainsworth and, of course, Xerxes Break stepped out from the shelf. Damn Pandora and its unusual means of transportation. Could they not just use the door like normal people?
"Good morning everyone!~~" Break sang cheerfully. Too cheerful in Gil's opinion.
Gil spun around with his coffee to make sure Break didn't try anything funny and watched as Sharon helped herself to his seat at the table. That was fine; he didn't mind it so long as it was only Sharon. But Break, no, Break sat himself on Gil's countertops. He was rummaging around in his coat pockets, no doubt looking for something to snack on.
"Sharon-sama, would you like something to eat?" Gil asked He wasn't about to include Break in that offer.
"No, we've already eaten," Sharon smiled.
Good, Gil thought. Although he had offered, he was still feeling tired and wasn't even sure he would have been able to pour her a bowl of cereal, much less cook something. He still had to ask though, just to be safe.
"Why are you here?" Oz asked. He had finished all of his egg (though most of it was now smeared across his chin), but was oblivious to Alice picking off strips of bacon from his plate. What Gil wouldn't do to hurl something at her head.
"Glad you asked, Oz-kun, glad you asked. I would like for the three of you to visit and investigate the city of Tamis."
"We've heard there may be an illegal contractor there," Sharon added.
"...And my memories?" Alice asked.
Break shrugged. "This sounds like a wonderful opportunity to find out."
"When do we leave?"
"Whenever you're ready, I suppose, though I would prefer sooner rather than later. Hullo there, what are you doing?"
Gil froze and looked up, feeling four pairs eyes boring into the side of his head. "Pouring out my coffee. I don't want it."
"Give it here then!" Break said, smiling and holding out his hand. He tut-tutted. "Honestly, some people just don't appreciate the tastes of sweets."
Gil didn't want to admit that he had offered no additives to his coffee before deciding he no longer wanted it. He grimaced as Break added a fistful of sugar to his coffee. The sight of it made Gil sick to his stomach.
"We're not ready," he said. "We just got back from our last assignment."
Again, all eyes turned to him. He sighed, wondering if things would ever be like they used to, back when Oz was still trapped in the Abyss and no one really bothered to give Gil a second glance. Now, with Oz here, it was almost like he was important again. He snorted; it was unbelievable how well he had been treated as a valet, as a servant.
"Gil, what's wrong?" Oz's concern was like a punch in the gut. He was supposed to be the protector, not Oz.
"Nothing. I'm just tired." He ran his fingers through his hair. "Look, if you want to go, then we'll go."
He made to step away from the counter and almost face-planted into the floor. Fortunately (or unfortunately, but he would ponder that later), he was saved by Break, who had managed to stop him from falling by reaching down and grabbing Gil by the back of his shirt, nearly choking him, but still saving him from eating wooden planks for breakfast.
Oz had stood up and started guiding him to the now unoccupied chair. Gil didn't have the energy to protest—that dizzy spell had taken the very last of his strength. And still, all eyes remained on him. It was annoying, but he knew shouting would just aggravate his headache further.
"Alas, if Raven is feeling unwell...," Break started.
"He has a fever."
When had Alice reached out to touch his forehead? The B-Rabbit, touching him—it made him feel dirty. Nevertheless, her hand felt cool against his heated skin, maybe even too cold. He shivered and wrapped his arms around himself.
Oz stared at him, frowning. It was so unlike him; Gil would have preferred his smile. "I guess Alice and I can go if you're too sick to."
"No!" Gil said, head snapping up. Why was the kitchen spinning? "Absolutely not."
"Well, that's rude," Alice said, finally peeling her hand away from Gil's forehead and wiping it on his sleeve rather conspicuously. "I'm not going to eat him, you know."
"No...no, it's not that." Although that wasn't entirely true. "I wouldn't be there... No, it can't happen again. I won't allow it."
"They're just going to take a look around the city," Sharon supplied.
"When have we ever had a normal, peaceful outing?" Gil retorted. Another chill ran through him and he shuddered.
"All right, all right, it's off to bed with you!" Break cried, leaping off the counter and moving forward to pull Gil's chair away from the table.
Gil stood, albeit reluctantly, however, he was too spent to do anything but comply. He allowed Break and Oz to lead him toward his bedroom. He was so unsteady on his feet, it was a miracle he had ever gotten up and made breakfast without burning down the kitchen.
Once inside his room, Break meandered around the perimeter, shutting the curtains to block out the rising sun. For this, Gil was especially grateful, for the darkness eased the throbbing in his head. He pulled himself free of Oz's helpful hand and staggered toward his bed, wanting nothing more than to crawl under the covers and go back to sleep. Right now, sleep sounded heavenly.
Climbing into bed was the last thing he remembered of that morning.
Gil's eyes snapped open and he attempted to sit up in bed. He groaned when he felt his muscles painfully protest the movement. He managed to prop himself up on his elbows, squinting against a harsh ray of sunlight that had seeped in through the curtains. He leaned over, reading the clock on his bedside table: it read two o'clock in the afternoon.
Something had woken him, but at the time he couldn't figure out what. He didn't know if he had heard something or...
He gasped and threw himself out of bed, a stream of colorful curses exiting his mouth when his foot got tangled in the bed sheets. He yanked himself free and stumbled to his door, throwing it open with a flourish. The sight that greeted him in his kitchen was the same as when he had first left it that morning, with the exception of Sharon, who was napping on his couch. He had several questions he wanted to ask, but he couldn't just wake her. After all, she was still Sharon Rainsworth. He sighed and began picking up the dishes and putting them in the sink to wash.
If anyone were around to listen to him, he would have admitted to feeling marginally better, despite his throat feeling like he had just swallowed a mouthful of sand. He coughed some, but that only made it feel worse.
The sound of running water startled Sharon from her sleep. After realizing that it was only Gil, she rose slowly, stretching her arms high over her head. She called out to Gil once he shut off the water and started drying dishes.
"Oh, Sharon-sama," he croaked, wincing slightly at the sound of his voice.
"Good afternoon, Gilbert Nightray. Feeling better?"
He shrugged. "Where are the others?"
Sharon hesitated for a moment. "Break returned to discuss an urgent matter with Reim-san, and he has been gone for several hours." Gil swallowed, bracing himself for her to answer the rest of his question. "Alice and Oz-sama have left for Tamis."
Gil clenched his fists so hard his knuckles turned white. He wanted to look surprised, but was he really? No, of course not. He expected Oz to leave; he had changed little in his 10 year absence.
As if to ease the tension in the room, Break suddenly burst through the shelf doors, his eye wild, his habitually fine hair errant and mussed. He froze upon seeing Gil up and about the kitchen, but he managed a small smile and sat down beside Sharon.
"You look terrible," Break greeted casually, popping a piece of candy into his mouth. "You're so pale and sweaty."
"You met with Reim?" Gil asked in an attempt to remain calm.
"Oh, and your voice! Did Raven swallow a toad?"
"I already told you—" Sharon interjected, looking at Gil.
"Did you learn anything about Tamis? Is there an illegal contractor there or not?"
Break remained silent for a full minute, irritating Gil and making him think that his question was not going to be answered. What he did not expect was Break to throw his arms into the air with such ferocity that he almost tossed poor Emily off his shoulder.
"That's it!" he shouted. "Gilbert, listen carefully to what I am about to tell you."
Gil nodded, his suspicion growing and his anxiety mounting at an alarming rate.
"Oz Vessalius has gone back into the Abyss."
Well, how was that? As a note, this story is not really about Gil being sick; it's more about the new development that Break has just provided us. Reviews are welcomed. :)