Cowlquape's mind wandered through white fog as she struggled to awaken. Every time it seemed that the fog was getting thinner, she was plunged back down into darkness, only to repeat the struggle for consciousness a moment later.

Every once in a while, Twig's voice floated through the fog, calling her name. Cowlquape fought harder, wanting to get back to her dear master and captain.

Finally, the fog cleared for good. Cowlquape opened her eyes.

"Sky above! Thank heavens you're awake!" Twig shouted, bolting up from his chair in the corner of the room. Cowlquape looked around the small gray room, completely confused as to why she was here instead of in her bed.

"How do you feel, lad- i mean...ahem. Cowlquape?" Twig asked.

"My head hurts..." The apprentice replied, fiddling with the long ends of her blonde hair.

Wait...

Cowlquape ran her hands over her scalp, beginning to panic when she realized the wax was gone. So was the makeup... She looked down.

So were her robes...

Cowlquape let out a surprisingly manly shriek and tried to cover her figure more with the hospital blanket and get as far away from Twig as possible. This ended with her slapping Twig and falling backwards off the other side of the bed, blanket landing on top of her.

"Goodness..." Twig said. "You were never this fussy when you were a man, Cowlquape. Simmer down!" Cowlquape flushed bright red under her blanket.

"So, you know my secret." She said in her normal register, glumly letting her head thunk on the wood floor.

Twig came over to his apprentice, pulling up the corner of the blanket to reveal Cowlquape's face.

"Yes, and so far... I'm the only one. Your secret is safe with me." Twig said. Cowlquape sighed in relief.

"You're not going to turn me in to the council?" She asked.

"No." Twig replied, straightening up and offering his hand. Cowlquape took it, blushing with the memory of the other day.

"Please return to your bed, Cowlquape. You'll get sick again. I'll go find you some different clothing." Twig said as he averted his eyes from her figure.

Cowlquape looked down and gasped, realizing she was wearing a very thin white shift. She snatched the blanket from the floor, covering herself and going back to bed, her cheeks tinged pink.

"Wait.. Twig?" She asked as her Master began to leave. He turned.

"How did you keep this a secret?"

"Told them you were my new maid." Twig said with a wink. With that, he was gone. Cowlquape blushed. Twig was never much one to wink at people, not even when telling a joke.

A bubbly feeling began to build in the bottom of her stomach, and Cowlquape smiled.


Twig cursed and mentally berated himself as he took a wrong turn for the third time going back to their room. He kept getting distracted by the sight of Cowlquape in front of him, practically naked... He was-SHE was beautiful, and oddly attractive for him.

Twig remembered seeing Cowlquape while on the search for Cowlquape... An odd thought to be sure. He wassurprised that he hadn't recognized his apprentice. So distracted was he by her beauty.

CLANG.

Speaking of distracted...

Twig rubbed his forehead, staggering back from the metal signpost he had just run face-first into. He looked up at the street signs, rubbing his forehead.

How in the bloody edge had he managed to get all the way to the cloudwatcher's college? That was on the complete opposite side of Sanctaphrax from his house and the infirmary... Blast.

Twig set off at a run, determined not to get distracted this time.

Once at his quarters, Twig let himself in and proceeded to Cowlquape's small closet of a room. He opened the door, jaw dropping at the tidiness of it. Everything was in its proper place, the books shelved in alphabetical order by category. It was unnerving compared to the utter disarray of the main rooms.

Twig moved to the closet, taking a heavy robe off of the hanger and folding it over his arm. He then proceeded to the small chest of drawers in the bottom of the closet.

The first drawer contained all socks. Twig selected the most cheerful pair he could see, a nice light blue. He added the socks to the pile then moved to the next drawer, immediately slamming it shut again as his face burned.

Twig hadn't had much experience with women, but his time with the pirates had taught him enough to know that the contents of the drawer were not for his eyes.

Twig almost turned around and left with what he had, but his common sense got the better of him. Cowlquape had no clothes. And from what he had seen at the infirmary, that meant NO CLOTHES.

Twig sighed and closed his eyes, reaching back in the drawer and grabbing the first thing his fingers touched, burying it in the heavy Apprentice's robe. That should do Cowlquape until she could get back to the room.

As Twig left, he spotted a tub of hair wax on Cowlquape's desk. He pocketed it, setting off for the hospital at a jog.

As he ran back to his apprentice, Twig vaguely wondered why he was doing this. He could just as easily leave the lad-...GIRL to the council. But then Cowlquape would be sent back to Undertown... Not the place for an innocent girl.

The thought of being separated for Cowlquape made Twig's chest ache uncomfortably. He enjoyed his apprentice's company during the long hours he spent studying. The sound of Cowlquape's soft breathing, the rain against the window, and the rustle of pages had become routine during the evenings.

As Twig's hand rested on the doorknob to Cowlquape's room, he heard a loud high-pitched scream erupt from inside. Twig dropped the clothing, throwing open the door with his heart in his throat.