The Story Continues

Unconventional Comfort

Lynus was sorting through his medical bag in his room, removing empty glass bottles and replacing them with freshly made ones, unfolding pieces of paper of written information he shoved into the many pockets for later reference, and stocking up with clean, fresh bandages. Despite the way he would throw whatever he picked up or was given to him into his bag, he liked to keep is organised. For efficiently, of course.

As he was sorting everything into its rightful place, mildly wondering to himself whether or not he would be needed at the hospital that day, he heard the door to his room creak open. He momentarily paused to look over his shoulder to find the door slightly ajar. But there wasn’t anyone there. The wind was likely responsible, so Lynus returned to his task.

It wasn’t until he heard the slight clink of a chain did he turn around again, and nearly fell out of his seat when he realised that Kerri was standing right behind him, all but breathing down his neck.

“Kerri!” he squeaked out in surprise and unconsciously scrambling against his desk to put some distance between them. “P-please don’t sneak up on me like that!”

Kerri appeared unfazed by his reaction, simply tilting her head to the side in a motion of curiosity. She continued to stare at him for the longest second before she righted herself. “Simmons is unwell,” she suddenly stated.

Despite the way his heart was still thundering in his chest from the previous fright, Lynus felt a frown of concern tug at his lips and he sat himself back down onto his chair. “Unwell?” he asked. “Is he at the hospital?”

Kerri shook her head as she hovered silently on the spot. “He is at home.”

The question of why they hadn’t taken to the hospital sat on the tip of Lynus’ tongue. Simmons was a common fixture there, after all. Everyone knew of him. He wasn’t exactly unwelcomed, though often treated with exasperation. But that was the same for all the members of Cosmos. Why was this event different?

Perhaps Kerri thought it best for Lynus himself to deal with him? He wasn’t scheduled to work at the hospital today. Maybe Kerri believed that Simmons would feel more comfortable with him as his treating doctor rather than someone else? She was protective of him, after all. And he would be more comfortable in his own bed, in familiar surroundings.

Still, if he was really ill, he would be in better hands at the hospital.

…He would have to find out for himself, wouldn’t he?

“Do you wish for me to visit him?” Lynus asked.

Kerri simply nodded her head before she silently turned and headed for the door.

Lynus hastily took to his feet and hurriedly placed everything he needed and more into his bag, haphazardly arranging the items before buckling the flap and hoisting it upon his shoulder. He rushed from his room to follow the hexer, closing the door behind him before quickly descending the stairs.

At first he couldn’t see Kerri anywhere, but as he turned to the inn’s front entrance, he found her there. She was all but barring the entrance, and staring directly at Rahas, the dark hunter appearing as though he had just wandered up and was greatly startled to have the tiny hexer block his path.

Though Rahas appeared confused, Lynus immediately understood the hexer’s intentions and was unable to prevent a smile from gracing his lips. Kerri was Simmons big sister, after all.

“Rahas,” Lynus called as he made his way over to the two. “Simmons is feeling unwell today and Kerri has asked for me to visit. Would you like to come along?”

“He’s what?” Rahas muttered as he hastily turned his attention toward Lynus, only to realise what he said and bristled, though it was hardly intimidating and far too easy to see the sincerity of the action. “Why would I want to do that? I-it’s not like I care or anything.”

Lynus continued to smile, even though his expression of that of scepticism.

Rahas unexpectedly flushed a light red before huffing and folding his arms over his chest. “But since I have nothing better to do, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to tag along.”

Lynus mildly wondered if it was exhausting trying to keep up that emo, I-don’t-care-about-anything facade Rahas had going on constantly. But he, of course, didn’t ask him. He didn’t want to provoke him into changing his mind and leaving in a huff. Instead he nodded his head and turned to follow Kerri as she drifted off once more.

As Kerri led them through the streets of Lagaard and toward the residential district, Lynus was unable to prevent his mind from wandering to what Simmons reaction might be when he realised that Rahas had agreed to visit him as well. Would he be thrilled? Or would he be dismayed that Rahas would see him when he was sick and vulnerable? Ah, perhaps both. Happy to see him at first before diving under the blankets to hide his sickly self.

Reaching a two story town house that was quite old but still quite beautifully taken care off, Lynus then realised that he had never visited Gerald’s place before. And as he glanced from the corner of his eye, it was Rahas’ first time as well. The dark hunter seemed curious, though, perhaps even a little edgy. It was honestly a little surprising to Lynus that Rahas had never ventured into the place where Simmons was essentially living. Was he too nervous too? Had he even been asked to visit before?

Kerri quickly made her way up the stairs to the door that was already partly open. With a curl of her robes, she pushed it open and wandered inside. Knowing they probably wouldn’t receive a courteous greeting and invite to enter, Lynus and Rahas quickly followed.

Inside, Lynus was a little surprised to find it lightly furnished. The bare essentials, really. But it felt as if it wasn’t from the lack of money or such. It felt bare because of necessity. Perhaps, once, this townhouse was filled with quirky and antique furniture, items and object that were connected to memories. Memories that were now painful…

…He could just be overthinking things, of course.

“This way,” Kerri said as she led them through the residence.

Passing the seating room, Lynus realised that was occupied by Tiffany. The blonde-haired gunner sat on the couch with a book in her hands. She lifted her head and lightly frowned at him, rather childishly honestly, before turning her attention back to her book. Her posture and expression gave the indication that she didn’t care who there or what was happening around her.

However, Lynus could tell she was at least a little bit worried. The book she was ‘reading’ was upside down, after all.

“Did you get him?” a gruff but familiar voice called out from one of the rooms.

“I’m here!” Lynus called back and watched as Gerald quickly exited one of the rooms. He looked unexpectedly haggard, his face drawn with worry. But he did look subtly relieved to see Lynus there. And only mildly surprised to realise that Rahas was accompanying him.

“Sorry,” Gerald said gruffly and somewhat awkwardly. “He didn’t want to go to the hospital. Something about pink fairies?”

Lynus blinked. Pink fairies? Well, that certainly wasn’t a positive sign.

Gerald motioned toward the room he just walked out of with a wave of his hand and Lynus took that as an invite and indication that it was Simmons’ bedroom. He gave Gerald a small, hopefully reassuring smile before he entered the room. Though he could feel Rahas’ presence directly behind him, his attention was focused on the bed.

Curled up on his side and under a bundle of blankets, Simmons could be seen resting fitfully. His face was flushed, his lips parted as he drew in raspy breathing, and a light sheen of sweat beaded across his brow. The window to the room was open, allowing in a fresh breezed. But that wasn’t the cause for the violent shivers wracking Simmons’ body.

Even from the short distance between them, Lynus knew he was unwell with a cold. There was something else involved.

Placing his bag onto a vacant chair that had been pulled up next to the bed, Lynus glanced over at Rahas to find him further into the room than expected and that there was a real sense of concern in his gaze. Understandable, really. While Lynus had seen Simmons injured and in pain before, he had never witnessed him unwell. It was a little unnerving for the usual jovial landsknecht.

“How long has he been like this?” Lynus asked over his shoulder at Gerald, though kept his full attention on Simmons.

“Only a couple of hours,” Gerald replied as he and Kerri lingered by the doorway, not wanting to get in the way.

Lynus nodded his head in understanding before he raised his hand and placed it against Simmons forehead. Immediately he is able to locate the exact spot of origin of the problem within his aura and he didn’t like it one little bit.

He furrowed his brow in concern as he removed his hand from Simmons’ forehead a mere moment later and turned to face Gerald fully. “Food poisoning.” Well, actually poisoned food, if he wasn’t mistaken, but he would keep that to himself for the time being. “What has he eaten today?”

Gerald roughly scratched his jawline as he fell silent in thought for a moment. “Ah, not much, actually. Just the usual at the bar.”

“Did he leave the food alone for a moment?” Lynus asked.

“Ahhh,” Gerald uttered in mild confusion and rolled his eyes toward the ceiling as he tried to think back once more. “Ah, yeah. Cass asked him to help with a wine barrel or something.”

“Was anyone seen, ah, loitering around it after he left?”

Gerald looked disgruntled for a moment. “Wha? I don’t know. I wasn’t watching it or anything.”

So, probably a yes then?

Though Gerald didn’t seem to realise the subtext to Lynus’ questions, Kerri certainly did. He watched as her usually stoic and impassive face suddenly twitched into an expression that while still stoic, was darkened with a need for revenge. Without a word, she turned around and menacingly floated away. Only the sound of the front door slamming shut was heard.

“Eh?” Gerald muttered as he looked in the direction of the front door. “Where she heading to now?”

Lynus shrugged. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about finding the one responsible. Though the hospital might have to deal with a patient in need of intensive care rather soon.

Never mind that now. He had Simmons to take care of first.

A low groan emanating from the bed caused Lynus to pause in his questioning of Gerald and turned toward Simmons once more. Though it was reassuring to see the blue-landsknecht push himself up into a sitting position on the bed, the paleness of his skin and the faraway glaze in his eyes were concerning.

“Simmons?” Lynus called out gently as to not startle him. “Easy now. You’re safe. Can you tell me where you are feeling unwell?”

Blearily, Simmons turned his face toward him and looked at him blankly. His face devoid of any emotion, which was honestly quite unnerving. But a mere moment later that goofy grin of his appeared and he all but giggled. “Are you an elf?” he unexpectedly asked him.

Lynus tilted his head to the side and thought for a moment. “A healing elf, yes,” he found himself saying, to which earned him a loud, pleasing laugh from Simmons. He couldn’t help but wonder what would have prompted Simmons to confuse him with such.

“He’s been reading too many damn fantasy books,” Gerald unexpectedly explained, and as Lynus turned to regard him, he found the older gunner looking somewhat disgruntled. “He called me a hobbit and said Tiffany was a gremlin.”

Despite himself, Lynus released a soft chuckle. He was certain Tiffany would not have appreciated that comment very much. He mused that maybe he should mention it to Macerio. Just in passing, of course. He would find it hysterical.

“He also said that the hospital was filled with nasty pink fairies,” Gerald continued. “Which is why he didn’t want to go.”

Well, that was certainly different. No doubt a side-effect of the poison or drug that was placed in his food. Not life threatening, but still greatly unsettling.

“Rahas?” Simmons murmured Rahas’ name ever so softly.

Lynus glanced over at Simmons to find him staring blearily, almost disbelievingly, directly at Rahas. Lynus followed his gaze and briefly turned his focus upon Rahas as well. Rahas was tense and still, and while his gaze seemed to be looking at everything but Simmons, he was still facing in his direction.

“That…Rahas?” Simmons questioned as he continued to stare at the named dark hunter.

“Yes, Rahas is here,” Lynus said as he moved to push Rahas toward the bed, and despite Rahas uttering a low protest under his breath, he didn’t physically resist.

“Y-yeah, so what if I am?” Rahas muttered as he folded his arms over his chest and looked defiantly at Simmons.

Simmons, however, just…looked at him for the longest moment. From disbelief? Probably. Questioning if he was seeing right. But it was somewhat reassuring. Even in his feverish haze, he was able to make out Rahas’ form and presence, in spite of him not uttering a word since stepping foot inside.

After an awkward minute of silence, that well known goofy smile of his quickly returned and he giggled deliriously once again. “Heh, Rahas has bunny ears~” he unexpectedly muttered.

Rahas immediately bristled. “I don’t have fucking bunny ears,” he hissed.

But Simmons blatantly ignored him and continued to look at him goofily, but endearingly all the same. “Rahas is a pretty bunny,” he began to prattle mindlessly. “A white pretty bunny. Just like Sandra. Sandra is pretty, but Rahas is prettier. Fluffy and pretty.”

“I’m not a fucking bunny!”

“Now,” Lynus said patiently to Rahas as he patted his arm in an attempt to calm him down. “He’s delirious from a fever. He thinks I’m an elf, remember? Getting angry with him won’t do any good.”

Rahas spun around toward him in an indignant fashion, no doubt ready to hiss and fizz about he wasn’t a damn rabbit and demand to know how Simmons could mistake him as such.

However, he was abruptly interrupted when Simmons suddenly leaned forward and snared Rahas’ hand in his. Rahas immediately stiffened upon contact and turned around to look at him, his face twisted into a scowl but the concern was so evident in his gaze. As Simmons squinted at him, staring silently, Rahas opened his mouth as if to ask what was going on with him.

Again, he was silenced abruptly, this time by Simmons sharply tugging on his hand and pulling him toward him on the bed. With impressive speed and agility, Simmons had Rahas on the bed next to him, lying on his side and wound tightly in his arms, Simmons holding him against his chest as if he was holding a comforting teddy bear.

Lynus was greatly surprised by the sudden turn of events, but his shocked compared nothing to that of Rahas’. The white-haired dark hunter was stunned into complete stillness as he lay in Simmons’ arms. His wide eyes stared up at the ceiling, his mind not quite registering what had happened.

It wasn’t until Simmons started to nuzzle his cheek cutely against Rahas’ hair and mutter something about it being soft and fluffy did Rahas finally react by trying to literally claw his way out of Simmons’ grasp, his arms flailing and his legs kicking as exotic and creative curse words tumbled from his lips.

“What the fuck?!” he yelled, his voice a tone higher than usual. “Let go of me you idiot! What the fuck do you think you’re doing?!”

Simmons was completely undisturbed. He simply tightened his arms around Rahas and appeared to be settling himself back down to sleep. In fact, Simmons barely even flinched as Rahas continued to fight for his freedom. All of Rahas’ flailing and struggling was completely in vain.

It was…honestly quite amusing seeing how frantic Rahas was compared to how peaceful and still Simmons was. He really did look like a child hugging a teddy bear, if that teddy was a spitting and hissing living being.

Or rather, should that be a plush white eared bunny?

Ah, but he couldn’t help but note that despite all of Rahas’ desperate flailing, he wasn’t lashing out and hitting Simmons in anyway. If Lynus was to be so bold, he could even state that the thrashing about was for show more than anything else.

“Don’t just stand there!” Rahas all but shrilled at him.

“I’m sorry,” Lynus managed to utter around his desperate need to laugh out loud. “B-but as one of the healer’s code of ethics, ensuring the patient’s comfort and security is vital.”

“What about my comfort and security?!” This time Rahas did shrill at him.

Lynus shook his head and smiled comfortingly at him. “You’re doing a great job at keeping him calm for me,” he said as he turned his attention to mixing up the perfect concoction for Simmons’ ailments. “So thank you very much.”

A rather unconventional method of comfort, but it works, so no complaints.

“You can’t leave me like this!”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Lynus said nonchalantly. “Chances are he won’t remember what happened. So no point in fighting.”

Rahas was fiercely annoyed, one could say utterly pissed, but ceased in his struggling nonetheless. “If you tell Hamza or Macerio about this…” he hissed, leaving his threat hanging before abruptly pointing a stern finger at him. “Patient confidentiality!”

Lynus gave a mock sigh of defeat. “You got me. I promise I won’t tell a soul.”

Oh, he wouldn’t tell anyone. But what Rahas failed to realise was that Tiffany had peeked in, lured in by his squawking, and added her own, wailing about how Simmons has a better love life than she did. She just might complain about it to someone later that day when she had a little too much to drink at the bar.

Ah, but then again, maybe no one will believe her?

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.