And Her Peace was Shattered

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            “BROOK!!!” Lily wailed, clinging onto Brook’s lifeless figure under the sheets. “Please don’t die! Don’t go away! Wake up, Brook, wake-”

            “Lily,” Lucy hissed angrily, dragging the sobbing girl out of the room by the collar for Nathan and Brook to be alone. Lucy closed the door gently behind her. “Lily, you need get a hold of yourself!”

            “But Brook-”

            “-needs to be left alone,” Lucy said gently, brushing away Lily’ tears. “And don’t worry, Brook isn’t going to die.”

            “How come Nathan gets to be next to her?”

            “Well, because he and Brook are the same,” Lucy explained patiently, guiding Lily down the hall. “On the other hand, you’re still healthy, and on top of that, you’re a young indenture. If you’re not careful, you’ll catch their cold.”

            “What’s a cold?” Lily sniffed.

            “It’s what happens WHEN YOU FALL ASLEEP,” Lucy said, raising her voice loud enough for Nathan to hear, “COMPLETELY SHIRTLESS!”

            Nathan ignored this biting remark and the sound of fading footsteps, turning over to watch pale, unconscious Brook intently as if she would die any second.

            This was the impression he had of the situation when he first woke up to find Brook in some sort of coma, running a fever of 101. He didn’t even notice that his condition was much worse than hers until he tried to get up. He pulled the covers closer to his shivering body and propped his head up on an elbow.

            “Why are you indentures so fragile?” he muttered under his breath.

            “Says the guy who caught the same illness as me,” Brook croaked, opening her eyes and smirking.

            “Oh, sorry, did I wake you up?” Nathan asked, brushing a strand of hair from her face.

            “Just a little. Shouldn’t you be sleeping too?”

            “I’ll be alright in no time,” he replied dismissively.

            “What are you talking about? You’re running at 103.8 degrees!”

            “I’m a royal.”
            “I’m still better off than you.”

            “More importantly,” Nathan said incredulously. “I can’t believe you took a cold shower and didn’t even dry your hair. If you have the guts to do that, don’t get sick!”

            “Oh shut up,” Brook grumbled, turning over so all he could see was her back.

            “Well,” Nathan chuckled, reaching out and wrapping his arms around her, “when I get better, I’ll spoil you like a little kid, okay honey?”

            Brook slapped his hands off, blushing furiously and pulling the covers over her head. “What’s gotten into you?! Do you ALWAYS act drunk when you’re sick?”

            Nathan smiled. “It’s nothing. I just noticed you’re extremely fun to tease.”

            He winced as an angry foot rammed into his shin.

***

            The sun shone brilliantly in the cloudless blue sky as leaves and birds danced in the air. Horses lazily grazed under the shade of leafy trees, enjoying the peace Brook longed to savor.

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