Leaning and learning
Disclaimer: I do not own anything…unfortunately, and all mistakes are mine. BTW ALEX DO NOT READ THIS IS WILL GIVE STUFF AWAY ABOUT THE GAME!
I love all the uncharted games, even if I do get stressed out when I get stuck at certain points, the fight with Talbot at the end was one of those points, I just managed to do it but very nearly died twice, so I figured Nate wouldn't have gotten out of it entirely unscathed. Add that to the fact that he is really sleep deprived and probably dehydrated (he went from a sinking boat to a crashing pane to the desert in like one day)I figured he wouldn't be doing so well once he wasn't fighting for his, or Sully's, life and the adrenaline had worn off.
"So much for immeasurable wealth huh?"
"Well" Coins jingled and Nate looked over, Sully tossed several gold coins in the air and caught them in his hand. Drake sighed "It's not much is it?" the disappointment in his voice was easy to pick up on. "It's enough" replied the older man, a sigh from Drake "Yeah"
They turned again to look at the city of Ubar disappearing into the sinkhole, and both Nate and Sully sighed in relief, they were so close to being in there. Salim turned his horse away from what little of the city was now visible above the sand and spurred his horse into a slow walk. Sully followed and Nate took one last look before turning his horse after the others. Leaving the towers of the city to slowly vanish into the sand.
They had been travelling for over an hour and Nate had been unusually quiet. Sully turned to look at him. The younger man's shoulders were slumped and his head was bowed, he wasn't watching the others or the way they were going, trusting the horse to follow them of its own accord. Sully had seen him like this before, back when Nate was still a teenager he had messed up, accidently to be fair, on a job and ended up in that jail in Peru. The look that was now on his face was exactly the same as back then. The 'I screwed up and now we've got nothing look'. Which wasn't entirely true, Nate had managed to once again, stumble across and stop a plot and save the world, almost single-handedly. He should really take some more pride in the fact that even though they didn't find the 'immeasurable wealth', they were all still alive. That should count for something. Hell considering he'd thought that Marlowe had killed Nate after he'd ran off in that market, he was just happy the kid was alive.
But like back then, Sully knew Nate wouldn't come out of this slump on his own, he would think over every single thing he could have done better, every little thing that had gone wrong, and since Sully didn't know what had happened after Nate had been drugged and ran off, he couldn't try and put his mind to rest. The kid never did talk much about what happened to him whenever they got separated, as if he believed all the accident prone things that seemed to be a daily occurrence for him made him weak and unreliable. He never seemed to care much about his own well-being, and only ever kicked himself when it was someone else that was in danger or got hurt. It was everyone else that he brooded about after an adventure. Including Sully recently, which seemed odd, not that Nate didn't normally worry about him, but more so than usual recently.
It was at times like this that Sully wished he could read Nate's mind, most other instances being when the kid is busy defying death and gravity and Sully's left watching wondering what the hell he was going to do next. But mostly in the times when Nate closed himself off, this used to happen a lot when Nate was younger, to anyone else it had looked like he was fine, he would smile and laugh, but Sully knew that his eyes were where the truth could be found. For all his control, his poker face when in mortal peril, Nate's eyes were expressive. At least they were to Sully. But with his slumped position on the horse, Nathan's eyes were blocked from his view.
Sighing and facing forwards again, Sully took cigar from the case he always kept in his pocket. Thankfully the case was waterproof, a gift from Nate after a particularly wet and cold job, so the cigars were still dry after his little swim in the city. Lighting the cigar and taking a drag Sully mulled over what had happened to make Nate so quiet, he was alright when they were in Iram of the pillars, but then again, they were fighting for their lives. Nate had been drugged again, and they had both only just gotten out, if Salim hadn't turned up with the horses when he did. Maybe it was a stress thing? He hadn't really clamed up until they'd gotten out, no thanks to Talbot, tackling him off the collapsing bridge and brandishing that knife…knife? Could the kid be hurt? He did tend to act weird when he was nursing an injury, and leaving an open wound untreated in the desert was never a good idea. Sully spun to inspect Nate again, not able to see through the arms Nate had wrapped around his stomach or the darkness of his long-sleeved t-shirt. Before looking forwards at Salim again, surely he would have said something, the kid tended to be a little enthusiastic sometimes and forget his injuries but he wasn't stupid.
Blowing out a big puff of smoke Sully called out to Salim, "How far away is this camp of yours?" Salim turned back and grinned, "Not far now, just beyond that next rise, it is very well hidden" Sully nodded and turned a full 180 to look at Nate again. Who was in exactly the same position, and didn't look like he'd heard a word. "Sooner the better" he muttered. Before placing the cigar back in his mouth.
Sully remembered the first time the kid had gone quiet on him, well silent rather than quiet, Nate had been rather quiet when Sully had first taken him under his wing. He never sat still, never spoke about his past, but always seemed to know about the latest 'project' Sully was working on. The kid seemed to know enough about history and the occult to write his own book on it. It was just after they'd left the bar in Cartagena and Sully had asked if Nate had any belongings that he needed to pick up. The kid had looked at him strangely, before shaking his head and holding up the satchel he took everywhere, "All my stuff's here". Sully had stopped walking away at this point, and turned to look at his young companion, "How they hell did you survive with just that!?" Silence. That was the first time the kid went silent on him.
Having smoked most of his cigar, Sully threw the butt away and looked up, just in time to see them come to the crest of the sand dune, and look down into the valley where Salim's camp was based.
The camp was fairly small, but then there weren't many people in it. The horses were met by three of Salim's people who took the reins and held the horses still for the three of them to dismount. Sully looked back in time to see Nate practically fall off his horse into the man holding the reins. Who quickly grabbed him and kept him on his feet. It was time to put his foot down and see what was wrong with the kid. "Nate" he called as he walked over, watching as the younger man turned to face him.
Nate looked round at Sully. The older man was going to want to know what had happened, all of what had happened. Pulling himself up to stand straight and thanking the man for catching him Drake tried to figure out how to explain everything to his mentor. He had been fine, well kind of fine, up until they weren't in immediate danger anymore and then he'd just felt so unbelievably tired he still kind of did. Instead of answering he decided to deflect, "So I managed to grab a couple of trinkets too" He reached into his pocket and pulled out several old coins, a chipped gold broach with what looked like a ruby in the centre and an unusual bronze medallion shaped like an eye.
Nathan hoped that the artefacts might be enough to distract Sully from the fact that he could barely stand and focusing on his mentor's face was all but impossible. It didn't work. "What the hell happened to you kid?!" "I'm fine Sully, just tired" "No, you talk to yourself when you're tired this, this is something more". Nate opened his mouth to reply but it seemed that his body chose that exact moment to give in and his knees buckled, his hand clenched unconsciously around the artefacts still in his hand, even as his other reached out to try and grab Sully, to stop himself from falling. His eyesight failed him and a faint echoing "Nate!" followed him into the darkness.