Two voices, one I vaguely knew through the thick fog in my head; the other, new and strange. It carried a heavy Indian accent.
"She's not woken yet? It's been more than ten hours. Are you sure she's okay?" came the familiar voice.
"Her pulse is strong and steady, as are her breaths. Don't worry, I will take care of her as if she were my own sister," came the Indian voice.
"I shall get you when she wakes. You'd best, go down to the others before the master, gets impatient."
I felt cool fingers stroke my hair. "Rest well, my baby sister."
Footsteps left the room as did the hand on my hair.
I tried to move, even a bit. My body felt so heavy.
I felt a cool hand on my forehead, then light pressure at the side of my neck.
"Are you awake now, Miss Maddox?" came the Indian voice.
I flickered my heavy eyelids just enough to see. I couldn't all the way. Images were blurred and made my head hurt.
An Indian man, wearing a turban over white hair with golden eyes…
"W-water," I forced through dry lips.
"Of course, Madam." He gently lifted my head and tipped a cup against my parched lips.
I took a long sip. When he laid my head back down, my vision began to clear.
The room was dark, lit only by a candle on the bedside table. The walls looked tan or brown and the ceiling white. Darkness made it difficult to see everything.
"Rest please, Miss. You are safe at Earl Ciel's townhouse and I am Agni, servant to Prince Soma of India."
"Sebastian…my sister…where?" I forced again.
"They're both fine. They're downstairs with the Earl and my master. Please don't fret, Madam," he tried to soothe.
It didn't work for me. I had to see for myself they were unharmed.
"I have to -" I tried to sit up.
"No please! Miss, your shoulder -"
A hiss of pain interrupted me. Shocked, I found it my own. My left shoulder protested quite vehemently my every gasping breath. I fell back against the pillows, trying to breathe through it.
How the hell had I been hurt?
Using a sharp burst of what strength I had, I launched myself from the bed and from the room before Agni got a chance to react. I found it surprising I had to lean so heavily on the walls, scrambling down the corridor.
I reached the staircase before a white gloved hand caught me round the waist.
On the defensive, I reacted reflexively and elbowed my attacker hard in the groin, before darting back. My injured shoulder detested me for this. Shooting pain made me lose balance and I found the floor rushing to meet me.
Instead my head fell against soft material and arms secured my balance, via my waist. The same strong arms whipped me up into them before I could react.
"You really shouldn't be moving much yet, Miss Ivy," crooned a dark, velvet voice.
"Sebastian! What -"
He put a finger to my lips. "Later, now rest."
"Agni, would you get the tray of food I left on the counter in the kitchen please. I'll take Miss Ivy from here, thank you."
The Indian man left while Sebastian carried me back to the bedroom.
"What happened? Was anyone hurt in the fight? Is -"
The suddenness of his lips on mine stopped my panicked questions and quite completely erased my thought train. Too quickly, he pulled away, keeping my face between his palms gently.
"Easy, relax, let your body rest. Running like that was foolish enough. You're lucky not to have reopened the wound. But no, you got the worst of it."
He moved to pull the warm bed covers over my now shivering form.
Something severely bothered him.
"I lost control didn't I? My demon half took over."
He stopped mid-movement. I took his silence for yes.
"Did I hurt anyone? Sebastian?"
He sat on the edge of the bed, beside me.
"No. You protected Ciel well, nearly lost your arm doing it too."
I let out my held breath. "It terrifies me, thinking I might become like those things."
He wrapped an arm around me, being wary not to touch my shoulder. I let my head fall onto his shoulder.
"I have no intention of letting you fall into that mindless, violent darkness. Nor shall I let Death take you. You are mine alone to hold. Those demons will be very sorry they ever touched you."
Agni returned with a plate of soup, ham and bread rolls. Sebastian immediately got off the bed the second he heard the man come upstairs.
"Thank you, Agni." Sebastian said politely.
The man turned his golden orbs on the demon. "You need not pretend for me, Mr. Sebastian. The way you see her is plain to me. Therefore, I shall not disturb you further."
Only seconds after he left, Crimson came charging in.
"Ivy, you're awake! You had everyone worried."
"Haven't you heard of privacy, Crimson?" Sebastian remarked.
Her icy orbs turned on him.
"Oi, move, my sister!" she barked at him.
He did, experiencing enough not to test her temper.
She proceeded to sit beside me, while Sebastian leaned against the wall.
"Just to set the record, Ivy, I kept faith in your strength. I knew you would wake soon," Sebastian piped with a smirk.
"Liar! You paced for five hours like a girl!" Crimson accused.
Oh boy, here we go again.
I grabbed a roll of bread and tore hurried chunks off. I wasn't particularly hungry, I just wanted something to distract me from the two's squabble. Preferably before my headache returned.
Couldn't they get along for one day? How hard is that, seriously?
"Idiot Balthazar!" Crimson pushed.
"What did you just call me?"
"This is your fault, you cock-up tosspot!"
"My fault! How in the hell is my fault? You let her leave the -"
"SHUT UP!" I finally yelled. "It's my fault, okay? My idea, my decision, my mistake! So stop acting like children!"
A hiss of pain followed my outburst. Crimson caught me as I doubled over.
"Now look what you did, pis -"
"Crimson, don't even start." I warned through grit teeth.
"Miss Ivy!" Ciel, Agni and a purple haired man tumbled into the room.
"Is everything okay? We heard quite a commotion," Agni asked.
I pushed myself back up on the pillows, despite my injury's screams of protest.
"Other than these twos' inability to get along, no." Sarcasm dripped from my tone.
Ciel stepped forward. "Sebastian, Crimson, I think we should let Miss Ivy rest now. And Crimson, I won't have that language in my house."
Anyone who knew Crimson could predict her reaction a mile away.
"Why the hell should I -"
"Crimson please. When I feel stronger, you can go back to screaming, okay? Just for now, please pretend to be tolerant."
She only nodded after a long look at me, apparently deciding her screaming wouldn't aid my recovery. She slipped from the room with a nasty glare at Sebastian, who followed suit.
"Ciel, will you please stay for a moment," I asked before the boy left with the others.