(So I started this chapter while I was in writers block, which is why there is multiple pov changes, an attempt to break the block. Some definitions.
Didikai- Gypsy friend
Mamioro- spirit or ghost who is said to bring illness
Rom baro- leader
These words are defined almost immediately in the story as well, but just in case the story definitions are not clear, here they are. Enjoy chapter 2)
I walked next to Spot, my mind on things I couldn't remember a moment later. Jack led us across the desert, others were talking quietly, the heat lowering the tones. I glanced around the caravan. Toned and fit boys dressed in rags currently glistening with sweat, the loss of their youth in their bodies. Most of these boys had grown up too fast, becoming adults long before their time.
I looked to the lead as Swifty came back. He was smiling and conferred quickly with Jack. Jack looked up from the conversation a smile of relief on his face. Ahead of Spot and I, one of the younger boys fell collapsing from the heat. Spot and I rushed forward to help him up.
Turning him over I saw that it wasn't one of the younger boys, but that it was Johnny. The dark skinned boy was smaller than the rest of us, even smaller than Boots and Les the youngest at thirteen each. Johnny was sixteen but he had been abused most of his life and remained small in form because of it. I gave Johnny some of my water, while Spot wet some rags from the cord around his waist and placed them to Johnny's forehead.
Johnny looked up at us, the fear in his eyes gone momentarily, replaced with relief. Then he blinked and the fear was back, we knew it wasn't us he was afraid of but to see that cloud his eyes so often was something we weren't quite used to. We helped him up and got him up into the wagon, to keep him cool.
No one else fell and soon we arrived at a large market area. And felt the relief wash over us, we could get more food and water.
I had taken off again, I loved the caravan really but the insomnia haunted me and I couldn't rest as well as I wished too. The rare times around the caravan that insomnia released me, I was plagued by dreams. Dreams of another time period. Dreams of a fire, dreams that I was jumping into the fire. Dreams that I pulled a dark skinned boy from the fire only to hold him in my arms and cry out in fury when the scene changed and he lay dying in a room strapped to mechanical stuff. I often woke up in cold sweat fearing that dream the most; fearing that it may become reality one day and that the caravan would lose Johnny forever. Often after those dreams, I would leave the caravan for a few days.
I snapped from my thoughts when the young maiden sitting with me spoke about gypsies coming into town. I smirked and left the table. I smiled even more when I saw who was leading the group.
I called out, "Didikai, you catch up finally."
Jack looked up, a smile crossing his face. He returned my greeting, "Friend, if you did not travel further than the rest of us, we would not need to catch up."
I scanned the group as they came to a stop. My heart quickened when I realized that it was only Jack, Darry, Kid-Blink, Skittery, and Boots. The crowd behind them had been deceiving and had fooled me to thinking the whole caravan was with.
"The rest of the caravan?" I asked, we were persecuted as gypsies, it would not surprise me if they had not made it.
"Setting up camp, we came in for supplies." Jack answered. I nodded, he wasn't a good person but he did keep the caravan together.
"We still have everyone, though your Prala may have a Mamioro." Kid Blink said. I looked to my best friend, a questioning look in my eyes.
I understood what he meant, my Prala, my brother, might have a Mamioro, an illness causing spirit. He knew about how I felt about Johnny. I grew slightly worried, but it didn't show.
I asked the question that lingered in my eyes. I needed to know. "Is the Mamioro bad?"
He shook his head, "No, I believe it is one that can be gone with good rest and water."
I smiled, "Good."
I laughed when I saw Jack, Darry, Skittery, and Boots looking at us with confusion. Kid Blink and I were the only two of our caravan who still knew the Romani language, the others only knew Didikai was 'gypsy friend'. I enjoyed being able to say things without too many people knowing what I was saying.
"You two say things that we do not understand." Jack said, "If you are going to speak Romani, you should teach the rest of us what you are saying, so we can understand as well."
"Dilo, if I wished for you to know, we wouldn't speak Romani." I said coolly, glaring at the imbecile in front of me.
"So, you have secrets." Jack responded just as coolly.
"Nothing that is going to harm the caravan, but yes I have my secrets as does everyone else." I said keeping the cold tone.
"Jack, Dally's secrets are none of your concern. What he chooses to keep secret are innocent words of his choice." Kid Blink said his voice level and cheerful, despite the tension.
I broke the glare off and walked away. Jack yelled to me, "Where are you going?"
"I was going to go to the camp and see people I haven't seen for a few days." I said without stopping.
"See ya later, Jack." Blink said before catching up to me.
He led the way to camp.
I helped set up camp until I got woozy again. Two-Bit made sure I laid down before I fell down. I was too dizzy to protest. I saw them come back, the sun reflecting off their hair, showing that they were blond. Kid Blink was the only one of the five that left that was blond. I saw his eye patch and realized that the other blond was Dallas.
I felt my heart speed up, Dallas was a good guy to you if he liked you and he still spoke Romani. I knew Romani because that was the language my parents taught me. They got closer and I heard Two-Bit call out to them before I blacked out again.
I woke up to something cold pressing against my head. I opened my eyes to see Dallas holding a cold rag to my head. He started calling for more water when he saw that I was awake.
"My Prala, life has not been good for you, has it?" He whispered to me, calling me his brother.
I looked at him in admiration, and quietly said, "Prala?"
A faint coloring spread over his cheeks, and he said, "Yeah, Johnny, Prala."
I grinned faintly, before Kid Blink came in with some water. I tried to sit up to drink some and felt my heart speed up when Dallas put his hand on my back to steady me.
"Blink says you might have a Mamioro. Do you know what a Mamioro is?" He asked, I choked on the water. A Mamioro was a spirit that caused illness, they could be either very bad or not so bad.
I shuddered before nodding my head. Blink glanced at Dallas, and then said "I don't think it's a very bad spirit, I believe they are haunting you only because of the heat."
I nodded and took another drink, "How's camp looking?"
I felt bad that I wasn't helping very much with camp. Dallas smiled and I suddenly became very aware that his hand was still on my back. I felt my face heat up slightly and was thankful for my dark skin and it's ability to hide a blush.
I smiled, and his face darkened a little bit. "Do not worry about camp it's almost all set up, besides you got your stuff mostly all set up, I finished that for you."
He looked at me in shock, which quickly faded, replaced by the constant fear in his eyes. I cringed internally and rubbed small circles in his back with my thumb.
"Prala, how do you know what a Mamioro is?" I asked, before Johnny answered, Blink tapped my shoulder.
"I'm going to go see if Two-Bit has any food, I will be back." I nodded keeping my eyes on Johnny.
When Blink left, Johnny looked at me. "You keep calling me brother, why?"
I felt the blush creep along my cheeks, "Because I can't let myself think you could be more than a brother. Now answer my question, how do you know?"
He shuddered, and turned away. "Because... I... Um... My... I would prefer to not talk about it."
I shifted my hand on his back, it had been there longer than necessary but I enjoyed feeling his warmth radiating from his back. Placing my finger under his chin, I pulled his face back towards mine and gently forced him to look at me.
"Johnny, it's ok that you know, I just want to know how you know. How about this, do you know any other Romani words?" I asked, my hands not leaving his body.
He pulled his head away, and nodded. I dropped my hands sadly. "Arvah, mira nav shee Johnny. Jack shee Rom baro. Tooti dick Pakvora."
I smiled, they were simple sentences; 'Yes. My name is Johnny. Jack is the leader. You look...' My smile faltered a little bit. "Prala, what is Pakvora?" I asked, it wasn't a word I heard very often, and it confused me.
His skin darkened a little bit. "You don't know?" He sounded so innocent.
I shook my head, as Blink came in. He handed Johnny some food, which Johnny took and thanked him. I watched him, still wondering about the word. I spoke up, "Can Blink tell me, if he knows? He speaks Romani too."
Johnny glanced at me, his dark eyes looked almost happy. The fear was still there but they still looked happy. He nodded.
"If I know what?" Blink said sounding shocked, we had been having a private conversation before he came in and he knew that. It was why he had left in the first place.
I shrugged, my eyes still on Johnny. "A word, Blink. Pakvora? What is it?"
Blink laughed a bit, "Pakvora? You don't know Pakvora, yet you call him it." I turned to him and glared, he rolled his eye before continuing. "Pakvora means beautiful."