Dave winced in pain as Balthazar poured more of the strange antidote on the deep gash. He jerked his arm away as the older sorcerer grabbed another bottle of the blue liquid.

"Stop acting like such a baby." Balthazar said as he opened the second bottle.

"How much more of the antidote do I need?" Dave asked, ignoring Balthazar's comment.

"Only the rest of this bottle." Balthazar said calmly.

Dave eyed the small bottle suspiciously. "What's in that?" he asked gesturing to the container.

"You don't want to know." Balthazar said gruffly. "Now hold still."

"Yeah I do." Dave insisted.

"Blood of-"

"Never mind!" Dave said quickly.

Balthazar smirked and poured the rest of the blue liquid on the deep gash. He took a roll of gauze and wrapped it around his apprentice's arm.

"There. Now go get some rest, you can stay in the guest room. You left some of your stuff here." Balthazar said brusquely.

Dave nodded. When his apartment flooded a few months ago, he had stayed with Balthazar. He didn't particularly like staying at his master's apartment-it just gave Balthazar an excuse to train him harder.

"Right and, uh, thanks." Dave said quietly as he walked to the guest room.

"Yeah, sure." Balthazar said gruffly, he sounded more tired than usual.

Dave walked down the narrow hallway and opened the door to the guest room. He scanned the room; it looked exactly the same as it did two months ago. There was a twin bed in the corner, with a small dresser and mirror on the opposite side. He dug through the dresser in search of pajamas, put them on, and collapsed on his bed. Dave stared up at the ceiling for a while, trying to figure what he should tell his parents-if he told them. He closed his eyes and instantly fell into a well-deserved deep sleep.

0o0

Balthazar rolled over in his bed, to see Veronica peacefully sleeping next to him. He paused for a moment, just watching her. It was good to wake up everyday next to the life of your life-especially if you hadn't seen them for over a millennium.

"Good morning, beloved." Veronica said sleepily, opening her eyes slowly.

"Morning." Balthazar said pleasantly. He kissed her cheek softly and smiled.

"Where were you last night?" Veronica asked.

"Oh. Horvath's recruits have been causing some problems, so Dave and I went to check it out. He got cut with a knife made of dragon talons."

"Is he alright? Are you alright?" she asked with concern.

"He'll be alright and yes, Veronica, I am perfectly fine." Balthazar said with a hint of amusement in his voice.

Veronica raised an eyebrow at her husband. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Balthazar smirked.

Veronica smiled. "What happened with the Morganians?" she asked.

"Dave scared most of them off, but a couple got away."

Veronica looked thoughtfully at her husband. "You're proud of him, aren't you?"

"He did a good job, but that's expected of the Prime Merlinian. Coffee?" Balthazar said gruffly as he got out of bed.

"Sure." Veronica smiled.

The two walked out of their bedroom and into the small kitchen. Balthazar turned on the coffee maker and rummaged through the cabinets in search of the ground coffee.

"In the cabinet by the refrigerator, dear." Veronica said patiently.

Balthazar opened the cabinet and sure enough there was the coffee. "Oh, look at that." He mumbled.

Veronica rolled her eyes and went back to making pancakes.

Before Balthazar could respond, his apprentice stumbled through the kitchen and began heading for the door.

"Where do you think you're going?" The older sorcerer growled.

"Oh, uh, I have to go back to my apartment." Dave said quickly as he opened the front door.

Balthazar pointed to the door, which instantly closed and locked itself. "There are Morganians out there who want you dead. So, you're staying at my place until its safe."

"But I have to go clean my apartment before my parents-"Dave protested.

"No buts. Now sit down and relax." Balthazar ordered his apprentice sternly.

Dave sighed and dragged himself into the kitchen. "Balthazar, come on." He pleaded.

"Did I not make myself clear?" Balthazar asked roughly.

There was a silence.

"So, Dave, I heard you were taking a new class this semester." Veronica said, trying to make conversation.

"Yeah, it's another physics class." Dave said as he picked as his pancakes.

"Oh, that sounds fascinating." Veronica was trying her best to sound interested, but she still had no idea what this 'physics' was.

"How is Becky doing?" She asked the apprentice.

"She's good- oh, that reminds me I should call her." Dave practically ran into the guest room in search of his cell phone.

"You're worried about him." Veronica said quietly to her husband.

"What?" Balthazar tried to fake a perplexed expression.

"Dave is obviously upset about something and you're worried." Veronica said simply. It amazed Balthazar that she could gather all of this information from a short conversation. But that was just Veronica.

"I'm not worried, Dave's just overreacting again. Apparently it's a crisis that his parents are coming to visit."

"Balthazar, you need to have more compassion."

Before the sorcerer could reply, his apprentice came back into the kitchen.

"Can Becky come over later?" Dave asked. "I really miss her." He added.

"You saw her yesterday!" Balthazar exclaimed.

"Is that a no?"

"Of course she can come over." Veronica said, giving her husband a sideways glance.

"Thanks, Veronica." Dave said happily as he began texting his girlfriend.

There was another awkward silence.

"So are we training today?" Dave asked his master.

"No, not today. You need to rest your arm." Balthazar got up and starting clearing off the table.

"My arm is fine." Dave protested. He flexed it a few times just to prove his master wrong.

Balthazar let out an audible sigh, but he looked amused by his apprentice all the same. "If you'd like, I can assign a few chapter for you to read in your-"

Dave almost chocked on the orange juice he had just poured. "No, no! I'm fine. I can find something here to do."

"Thought so." The master apprentice muttered.

There was a pause in the conversation. Dave glanced quickly at his arm.

"Seriously, Balthazar. My arm feels fine. I don't know what the big deal over a little cut is." Dave said, irritation evident in his nasal voice.

"The 'big deal' is that a poison is running through your blood stream. The antidote, over a few days, will clear out your system. But until then, you'll probably start to feel sick."

Dave groaned. "Oh, is that all? My parents are coming tomorrow. What am I supposed to tell them?" His voice gained volume with every word.

"Stop acting so dramatic. I didn't say you were going to come down with the Black Plague. At most, it'll feel like a touch of the flu." Balthazar noticed Dave's posture relax slightly, but he still had that worried glint in his eyes.

"Well, maybe I can get them to come on later this week." The apprentice looked at his master, as if he were waiting for the older man's approval.

"You should be fine by Wednesday or Thursday." Balthazar reassured.

Dave nodded and quickly left the kitchen to call his parents. This was going to be a long few days.