8: Your Blood, My Hands

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Tiredly, Sophie stroked Fitz's bangs aside as he slept, wondering when he would wake up. They'd been in his office working when the attack started, and weren't aware of it happening until a guard burst through the door and informed them. Fitz had taken her hand as they left the room, squeezing it tightly as if he was worried he'd lose her in the chaos. The guard that informed them of the radicals being in the palace was drawn into the fight almost immediately, so Sophie and Fitz were left to their own devices. They were about halfway to the safe room when a Neverseen goon came out of nowhere with a short sword, slashing at Sophie's neck. Fitz had pulled her against him in time so the blade only left a long, thin slice along the side of her neck. The radical was about to take another swing, but Fitz grabbed his forearm, stopping him... or so he thought. By applying force from his foot to move him forward and flexing his wrist, the Neverseen goon plunged the foot and a half long blade into Fitz's shoulder.

For a moment of horror, Sophie could only stare, watching as Fitz's hand slide away from the goon's forearm and go slack, allowing the radical to push it in deeper so the tip came out through is back. Instinctively, as the goon pulled the sword out of Fitz's shoulder, Sophie kicked the goon where the sun doesn't shine so hard that he doubled over, the sword slicing her shin as he went down. Sophie took this as an opportunity to thrust her knee upwards sharply, causing the goon to fall over. She yanked the short sword out of his hands and kicked the goon one last time for good measure before she felt the prince slump against her. Sophie gasped and wrapped his good arm around her shoulder, She slid the shortsword into the belt of her dress and pressed a hand on each opening of the wound tightly, trying to ignore the warm blood leaking between her fingers and the dull stinging feeling in her neck and leg. "Hang in there Fitz," she whispered, "I'll get us to the safe room." Fitz only grunted in response, and his head hung forwards, his face twisted in pain, but Sophie took that as a go-ahead.

Slowly, they stumbled along the wall, Sophie gripping either side of the wounds, and Fitz's head resting on hers, the sound of his slow, forced breaths twisting her gut with fear. Instead of letting her fearful thoughts consume her mind, Sophie focused on moving forwards. Her only priority for the time being was Fitz, and if a Neverseen radical came up to them, she would defend him with her life. He was always there for her, and now it was her turn to be there for him.

Eventually, they made it to the safe room, and Sophie typed in the password with a shaking finger, constantly glancing over her shoulder to make sure no one with malicious intentions was following them. When the door swung open, Sophie wanted to cry with relief when she saw Della and Alden, who'd clearly been in the middle of an argument. "Help Fitz..." she begged.

The king and queen rushed forwards and helped Sophie and Fitz inside. Sophie and Alden carefully sat Fitz down, propping him against Della's shoulder. Together the three of them worked together to take off Fitz's jacket, waistcoat, and tunic in order to get a better look of the wound. Sophie grabbed the emergency first aid kit and rifled through the supplies, "We have everything we need but a tissue regrowth elixir, proper bandages, and Fountain of Youth water. I have a needle and spare thread in the purse on my belt."

Alden stood up, "I'll go get them from the infirmary. Della, I know you don't want me out there-"

"Go," ordered Della, who had tears streaming down her cheeks, "just come right back, and only fight if you have to, okay?"

"I promise. I'll find Elwin if I can," the king nodded, and quickly slipped out of the safe room.

Sophie then dropped down to Fitz's side and used his tunic to apply pressure to both entrances of the wound, counting the seconds until Alden came back. Neither she or the queen said a word, and Sophie's brown eyes didn't leave Fitz's paling face until she counted to 764 seconds and Alden rushed back into the safe room with no Elwin.

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