author's note: Hey there, it's been a while since I wrote any Miles/Olivier. This is set post-manga. Hope you enjoy!
Title: 7 Days
It was the warmth which woke her up. A fire crackled nearby, possessing the room in a cosy heat. However as luxurious as the room was, Olivier's head was pounding and her side stung immensely. Both feet were numb from the amount of agony they suffered, and her right arm was limp at her side.
This time, she had really worked herself to the core.
Swinging a blade for more than three hours wasn't healthy. There was only so much her petite body could endure, and even though she was a merciless warrior, she too needed rest. Being thumped about, knocked to the ground repeatedly, and stabbing who knows how many Drachman assholes, Olivier still managed to claim her rightful place again: an unbeatable Queen.
Not all her men were impressed. Admittedly, Olivier could be a bit of a show off. She was fantastic with a blade, but sometimes she was too skilled for her own good. Thankfully one soldier, Major Miles, could roll his eyes when she mentioned how much her right arm hurt.
Now having a warm room was very unusual. Olivier loved the cold. Heck, she lived in it! To have a fire blazing in the corner scared her more than any other creature she had faced. I don't have fires. No way would Olivier surrender to the cold. The cold surrendered to her.
Sitting upright, the woman fell back again, groaning loudly. Her head was too heavy, and a harsh stabbing pain pierced her side. Had she been shot? But she had been so careful! Olivier didn't get shot.
Just as she collapsed onto her pillow again, the door opened and in came probably the one human being on earth to get away without knocking first. In one hand he held a bowl, the other a mug.
'I brought you some soup and coffee,' Miles said, approaching the injured woman.
Olivier attempted to sit upright again, before leaning against the headrest. 'You'd make a wonderful maid.'
He didn't particularly aim for that response. 'Can you feed yourself?'
Olivier sneered and snatched the bowl off him with her left hand. 'I've always been able to feed myself.'
'I doubt you could when you were a baby, ma'am.'
She ignored him, and placed the soup on her lap before dipping the spoon in. Miles noted she was only using her left hand, her right lay limply at her side.
'I added some herbs to help heal your wounds.'
'Thank you, nurse.' When Olivier rose the spoon, the harsh jabbing pain returned and she dropped the cutlery, wincing. 'Agh, dammit–– The hell happened to me?'
Miles took over, dipping the spoon into the soup. 'You had a little scrape, ma'am. Nothing to be dramatic about.'
'Shut up, Miles, agh!' Olivier slapped her hand to the throbbing wound, glaring at Miles while he laughed lightly. 'What's so funny?'
He quickly cleared his throat and resumed his work. 'Open wide, ma'am... I need to feed you.'
No way would Olivier have someone feed her as if she was incapable. Roughly, the Major General slapped his hand away, which only resulted in soup being sprayed everywhere and the spoon flying across the room. Miles sighed and rolled his eyes.
'That wasn't very clever.'
'Pick it up!' Olivier demanded. Then a cruel smile reached her lips. 'Like a good nurse.'
A little concerned by her tone, Miles obeyed, quickly cleaning the spoon with his jacket. Olivier pulled a face of disgust.
'Oi, I'm not eating from that! You just wiped your horrible germs all over it.'
Miles returned to feeding her. 'Since when did you care about germs?'
'If you don't do this properly, I'll just have to tell the manager to send a different waitress. You're done now.' Olivier snatched the spoon from him. 'Get out.'
'Ma'am, you can't feed yourself. You've just been stabbed––'
'Thought you said it was a little scrape, Major. Look who's being dramatic now–– Ow!'
'I hope that hurt.'
Olivier didn't return his cocky smirk. 'Do me a favour, Miles: ask one of the men to blow a cannon, and make sure you're standing in front of it.'
When the commanding officer finished her snarky response, she wrapped her arms around her waist and curled her lips. Whatever had happened to her, it hurt a lot, and she wasn't very happy about that. No one should be able to beat her at anything. How come she couldn't remember the incident anyway?
Had her mind really removed the memory because it was so shameful?
It took her a moment to realise Miles' palm was pressed against her forehead, and by the time he moved away Olivier realised something was wrong.
'You have a high temperature,' he murmured. One would think his tone was impatient, but Olivier knew he was concerned. She has a temperature. This could mean two things: either it was a fever, or an infection. Now, if it was an infection, it could be cured, but Olivier would have to be checked on closely and frequently.
Plus it would get worse before it got better.
A lot worse.
Miles stood up and made his way for the door: 'I'll grab Sherri and have her come see you. Try not to faint while I'm gone.'
'Better watch that tone, or you'll be one with a damn temperature.'
To Miles' dismay, it was an infection. Finally Olivier could view her wound when Sherri had the bandage removed and she widened her eyes once facing the gaping hole. Whoever attacked her must have had a huge blade on him. No wonder Olivier completely forgot about it! She wasn't conscious.
Exhaling slowly, Sherri rattled through her head the treatment the commanding officer would require, before informing Miles to make a specific type of drink.
'I made sure the wound was clean when I wrapped it up,' the doctor said, clicking her tongue.
Olivier replied, 'Good work.'
Pursing her lips at the woman's sarcastic response, Sherri stood and rubbed her chin. 'Fortunately we caught the infection just in time. However you will be sleeping for a while.'
'How long?' Olivier demanded.
'Mm... about a week?'
If looks could kill, Sherri would be disintegrated by now. 'For your sake, I hope you're joking.'
'It's not my fault you decided to swing your sword around.'
'I had a duty to–– Argh!' Olivier winced.
Sherri sighed. 'Your only duty is to rest now, ma'am.' The lady turned when Miles reappeared, the mug of medicine in hand. 'Ah. Drink all of this. It should help you relax and ease the pain.'
Obviously Olivier wasn't enjoying this period of vulnerability. Reluctantly, she took the mug from her subordinate and sipped at it. The taste was horrific and she instantly flinched, pulling a face.
'What did you expect? It's medicine. Not exactly going to taste like chocolate, is it?'
Olivier wiped her mouth, now more grumpier than before. 'Thanks.'
'You're welcome. Miles, make sure she stays in bed.'
The half-Ishvalan nodded, avoiding Olivier's look. He could only imagine how humiliated she felt right now. When Sherri exited the room, Miles grabbed a chair and placed it before the bed, before sitting down.
Olivier slumped her shoulders. Hopefully, all of this would be over soon.
Only a couple of hours later did the medicine begin to take a full-on effect. It was a rare sight indeed to witness the Major General dozing, and Miles decided to leave her alone for now. She wouldn't be needing him anyway.
After going through several folders of nothing but paperwork, the Major returned, only to peek through the door. Olivier was still sleeping. Stepping in, he placed his hand at her forehead again, and wasn't very happy to discover she was warmer than before. In fact, the woman was sweltering in the few clothes she had on.
Miles bit on his lower lip and decided he should remove the clothes instead the heat became too much for her. When he took hold of her arm and gently pulled Olivier up, the blonde moaned and began to stir. However she said absolutely nothing while he removed her top, allowing the cool air to tingle her skin.
Extinguishing the fire, Miles left again.
For two days, Olivier remained mostly unconscious. If she ever did wake up, it was only for a couple of seconds or when Sherri checked in on her. Never did Miles witness the woman open her eyes and he began to feel a little disappointed by this. It wasn't like Olivier to surrender to any form of illness, but this infection must be powerful.
Hopefully the medicine was working its magic.
She did awaken late in the evening, and Miles was so busy into his paperwork to notice. When he heard the sound of sheets shuffling he rose his head and almost dropped his work.
'Ma'am? You shouldn't be getting up...' He quickly dove to her side, carefully placing both hands at her shoulders to have her lie back down again. 'You need to sleep.'
Bright blue eyes met his, before closing a little. 'It's–– cold.'
Cold? Miles instantly helped Olivier into her top again, before adding another blanket. 'Is that better?' He checked her temperature, hoping her body was also cold, but unfortunately she was still piping hot. 'How are you?'
Olivier said nothing, and was soon sleeping again. Miles ran a hand through his hair and slumped back into the chair again.
Damn it. If this medicine failed to cure her, the Major wasn't sure how he would respond. It was impossible for Olivier to die. Especially from a ridiculous infection. She was much stronger than that.
Heck, Olivier knew she was as well, and wouldn't give in without a fight. At least she was obeying Sherri's instructions, but the treatment was taking its toll. If nothing miraculous happened soon, it might be too late for anything else.
What hurt the most was that Miles couldn't do anything. All he could do was check on her and hope.
Maybe –– just maybe –– that would be enough for Olivier to live through this.
Thursday. The fourth day.
No progress so far, however Olivier did wake up for a minute or two, only requesting for cold water. Miles happily obliged, but no more words were exchanged. Soon the girl was asleep again, her body still struggling to defeat the infection.
Sherri soon appeared, checking on Olivier's temperature and how her wound looked. 'I wasn't expecting it to be this bad. We're so lucky we caught it when we did, Miles. Keep giving her the medicine. It has never failed, and certainly shouldn't fail with her.'
Then she noticed his expression. Usually Miles was a stoic man, and it would be difficult to discover what was on his mind. However today he was allowing the mask to slip slightly. Sherri patted his back.
'Chin up. It'll be fine.'
Yet even she didn't sound convinced.
Some aspects to commanding a Fort were thrilling, but it didn't feel completely right. Whenever Olivier was absent, Miles was supposed to be in her position, and he was lucky nothing had occurred this week. Everything was in good order. If anything were to happen, all the men were prepared, but after what happened not long ago there shouldn't be any fuss.
It was midnight and Miles was working a late shift. By one in the morning, he decided to retire and read a novel of his own into Olivier's room, just to make sure she was stable.
Finding his chair, Miles sat down and read for a while, relatively engrossed in the book, but occasionally glancing to Olivier. By now, she did look a state, suffering restless nights and moments of severe dehydration. A very poorly girl.
Miles almost dropped the book and turned to the woman who attempted to speak. He instantly knew the issue and grabbed the glass of water, bringing it to her lips. Painfully, Olivier had a few gulps before pushing it away.
'Do you need something to eat?' Miles whispered, placing the glass aside.
Olivier shook her head, which felt heavier than before. In fact, she could barely move. Her eyes felt sore, and throat stung. This really was Hell. Placing a hand to her forehead, Miles was relieved to discover her temperature had dipped, yet he put a cool, wet flannel over her forehead, hoping this would help.
Then he sat on the edge of the bed and leaned over her a little.
'You look better. I was beginning to worry you'd sleep forever.'
'I'm okay,' Olivier's voice was quiet and croaky, but he heard it. And damn it, was he happy to.
Miles held her upper arm and squeezed affectionately. 'Of course you are. You're doing really well.'
'It wasn't s'pposed to be this bad...'
'No. It wasn't. You're awake though, and that's enough for now.'
A little smile appeared at her lips, tired eyes softening. 'Th'nks for waitin'.'
Miles shrugged. 'Don't mention it, ma'am. It's been a pleasure.'
It was probably because she was tired and found it painful to speak, but Miles found his ears burning when she gazed at him almost admirably for a while. Did she appreciate his hospitality that much?
Or, maybe, Miles had proven the lengths of his loyalty.
Sleep soon took over, but the Ishvalan didn't leave her side at all that night. Just in case there was a possibility she would wake up again, and need him.
Saturday afternoon, and Olivier was able to sit upright without falling to her pillow again. However when she finally rose there was no one to witness her. This wasn't a problem. Actually, Olivier was relieved. She didn't want anyone nagging at her to lie back down again. She was ready.
Once her feet met the cold ground, the lady General slowly stood, grasping the chest of drawers. All was successful. Her head did feel like she had bumped it against the wall repeatedly, but the wound at her side was no longer as vicious as before.
After ten seconds she had to sit back down again. Yet this didn't down her mood. She was thankful to be standing again after so long.
Gripping from ear-to-ear, Miles happily offered Olivier the bowl of porridge. It looked as if her right hand was back to being mobile again when she was able to feed herself, but slowly. Her throat strung harshly whenever she swallowed, and there was also the threat of snot dripping from her nose.
After several mouthfuls Olivier had to stop. 'Blurgh... I thought I was infected.'
'I've been infected before and that was not how it should have been.'
'Well, I'm happy you're talking again. It's nice.'
Olivier rose her gaze to meet his. 'How has the Fort been?'
Of course. Work always came first. 'Perfectly fine. Nothing to report, ma'am.'
In truth, it felt as if Miles had never been closer to her before than he had been these past few days. When Olivier showed vulnerability, it frightened him. He wasn't used to this strong, powerful woman to suffer.
Yet there was something comforting about the fact she could express a softness around him; she could be grateful about his presence without feeling ashamed.
'Good. I should return tomorrow.'
So soon? Miles kept quiet. Olivier would decide for herself if she should come back to work. Even though she was careless about her health, she wasn't stupid.
Olivier sighed and leaned over to him, placing a hand at his cheek. At once Miles' felt his cheeks blush, and he wondered what she was going to do to him. However it didn't look as if she was about to perform anything fatal.
In fact, the very same smile appeared from the night before.
'Thank you, Miles.'
His heart skipped a beat. It honestly meant that much to her.
'It wasn't a favour, ma'am: it was my job.'
Even if it were a favour, a chore, a job or whatever else, Miles would always be there to keep his Major General safe. It was the least he could do, after all.
'By the way, you make a fabulous maid.'