Chasing the Horizon

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Getting Sick

Weeks had already passed and Konnor was hating life. He’d been essentially trapped in his room for the last month and a half and he was in desperate need of fresh air. He’d been feeling just generally pretty sick and tired in the last week too and he was convinced that being trapped in his room was the cause of it.

Everything he needed was brought to him. Servants had been bringing him breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Konnor knew his father didn’t want to see him until everything was set for his wedding. Only everything wasn’t set. Konnor had badgered the servants into telling him what had been going on. Turned out that it had taken Dax practically a month to fully recover and King Austeareus wouldn’t talk about any marriage plans until after his son was healed.

This morning, Konnor had been feeling particularly self-loathing. He hadn’t been to see Dax in the entire month that he was recovering. Now Dax was doing better for a couple weeks and Konnor still hadn’t been able to see him. He knew that even if they were still to marry, this was all just more reason for Dax to hate him. Konnor knew he deserved to be hated. He wasn’t there for the one he loved when he was needed most.

He was laying in his bed, covers pulled closely under his chin. He felt like throwing up and it was greatly draining him. He couldn’t even get any of the servants to listen to him when he said that he was sick and needed to get fresh air. A knock came at his door and he weakly called out, “Come in.”

The door creaked open and a friendly voice called, “Konnor.”

Konnor immediately sat up, looking over to see Timothy standing in the doorway. “Timothy....” His friend smiled and walked in, holding a breakfast tray and used his foot to shut the door behind him. Konnor smiled at him, “What are you doing here? How did you get my father to let you in?”

Timothy shook his head, “King Tendarian doesn’t know I’m here.” He set the tray down on the bedside table and pulled up a chair to sit across from his friend. “I got one of your guards to let me in. I would’ve been here sooner, but I’ve been grounded as well. But not nearly as bad as this.”

“I’m glad you’re here.” Konnor moved to sit on the edge of the bed, hanging his legs over the side. “I’ve been going mad here all by myself.” He reached for the glass of orange juice on the tray, saying, “I should warn you that I’ve been sick for the last week or so and it doesn’t seem to be getting better, so you probably should keep your distance a little.”

“Oh no,” Timothy’s brow furrowed, “I’m sorry to hear that, is there anything I can get you?”

Konnor shook his head slightly, “No, I’ve tried to tell them that I just need a little fresh air, but nothing.”

“Maybe I could say something to-” Timothy abruptly stopped when he saw the expression on Konnor’s face. “What’s wrong?”

Konnor wasn’t really sure what was wrong, all he did was smell the orange juice and he wanted to gag. In fact, he thought this time he couldn’t hold down the nauseation. He set the cup down and quickly got up, running to the attached bathroom. He made it just in time before he started heaving his guts into the toilet.

He sat back when he finally felt like he had a handle on himself. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up at Timothy. He looked down again, feeling embarrassed for his best friend to see him like this. He muttered, “I’m fine, don’t worry.”

“How long have you been sick, Konnor?” Concern was edging Timothy’s voice.

Konnor shrugged, standing up. He didn’t want his friend to think he was too sick, because he wasn’t. He knew it would pass. He walked back into his room without making eye contact with Timothy. “I don’t know, it was off and on at first and now it’s practically every day. So I guess a week, maybe two.”

Timothy was at Konnor’s side again, looking up at the redhead, face serious. “You should have Doctor Grenault look at you.”

“No,” Konnor walked around Timothy going back to his bed and laying down. “I don’t need a doctor, this will pass. It’s just a flu. And it’ll pass a lot faster if I just get fresh air.”

“But what if it’s not?” Timothy kept insisting. He moved to stand right in front of Konnor. With Konnor sitting down, it was one of the few times Timothy could look down at his friend.

“It’ll just go away.” Konnor kept resisting, he wasn’t really sure why he didn’t want to see Alexandria, she’d always been very nice to him over the years. He just didn’t want to admit that anything was really wrong with him. He knew that if he just waited long enough, he’d be fine.

Timothy sat down, pulling his chair up closer to Konnor, looking him right in the eyes. “How did you even get sick? You’ve been here the whole time haven’t you?”

“Yeah, I have been. Maybe it was one of the servants.” Konnor waved his hand lightly, brushing off Timothy’s comment.

“They wouldn’t allow a sick servant to wait on you.” Timothy narrowed his eyes slightly, “What have you been doing here alone?”

Konnor leaned back a little, he didn’t know what to make of Timothy’s interrogation. “I-I don’t know, laying here mostly I guess...”

“Since you’ve been sick, have you had less of an appetite?” Timothy’s gaze was boring into him as kept on with his questions.

“Not really,” Konnor shrugged, he couldn’t tell where Timothy was going with the questions. “I still eat a lot. But I’ve always eaten a lot. What does this have to do with anything?”

Timothy paused for a moment, looking intently at Konnor. “You said you’re an omega...” He whispered so quietly that Konnor had barely heard him. Timothy sat up straighter, brow still creased in concern. “I really think you should see a doctor. It might not be a flu.”

“If it’s not a flu, then what is it?” Konnor was getting a little tired of Timothy’s crypticness.

“Doctor Grenault would be able to tell you for sure.” Timothy didn’t say anything else.

Konnor had to ask, “Tell me what for sure?”

Timothy wouldn’t answer him, he just stood up, walking over to the door. He paused, looking over at the redhead. “I’m going to tell servants to get the royal doctor up here whether you want it or not.”

Konnor let out a long and overdramatic sigh, “If I say fine, will you tell me what you’re thinking?”

“Do you think it’s possible that you’re,” Timothy paused as he stepped back over to Konnor, “That you might be having a baby?”

“What?” Konnor just stared up at Timothy. He couldn’t believe that he’d heard his friend correctly. It couldn’t be possible, could it?

“I think you’re pregnant.” Timothy was far more direct, speaking a little louder.

Konnor instantly shook his head, “N-no...” He didn’t want to believe what Timothy was saying. He knew that he was an omega so technically it would be possible, but it was so unreal. Konnor leaned back and away from his friend. He shook his head more vigorously, “No, it can’t be. We only even did it once.”

“It’s said that chances of conception increase exponentially when you have intercourse with your true mate.” Timothy looked down at his friend.

“But Dax and me... we didn’t even know each other for long.” Konnor just wanted to find anything that he could use to diffuse his friend’s argument. “I know I fell hard and fast for him and he did too but is that enough for us to be true mates?”

Timothy looked Konnor right in the eye, “You and Prince Austeareus do have that kind of powerful connection.”

Konnor just looked back at Timothy. He hated to admit that Timothy was right. Of course he wanted to have a connection with Dax, and he genuinely felt like they did have one. Dax was always on Konnor’s mind. The problem was just that he couldn’t believe that Timothy could be right. Being pregnant just sounded so fantastic. “I just have a flu.”

Timothy shook his head, sitting down in the chair across from Konnor, “Only a doctor will be able to tell you for sure.”

He was silent for a long moment before saying, “Fine. To prove you wrong, I will have Doctor Grenault come examine me.”

“Would it really be so bad?” Timothy leaned back in his chair, looking at Konnor. “You are still going to marry Prince Austeareus sooner or later.”

“That’s just it, this sort of thing is supposed to happen after we get married,” Konnor flopped onto his bed, burying his face in his pillow. “I already have to tell him who I really am and now I’d have to say “oh and by the way, I’m carrying your baby.” Not to mention that my father still doesn’t know that we actually got close when I ran away.”

Konnor felt a hand rest on his back. He turned slightly, looking up at his friend. Timothy smiled back. “We don’t know for sure that there’s anything to think about. Just wait until Doctor Grenault comes, it could be a flu.”

“Yeah...” He had gotten too caught up in talking to Timothy that he almost just believed him. The problem was that it made too much sense. He sat up, “The sooner I get her here, the better.”

Konnor went to the door, Timothy following closely behind him. He went to the door, opening it to see two servants in the hall outside. They were acting like they were doing cleaning chores, but Konnor knew that they were just there to watch him. He got the attention of the girl cleaning the frames of paintings. She hadn’t meant to look at him and blushed immediately when she did and dropped her gaze.

Konnor didn’t like how the servants seemed uncomfortable around him. No, it wasn’t that, he didn’t like he was treated like he was anything better than them. He had been an equal on Dax’s ship and he liked that. “Excuse me,” he stepped out of his room, reaching out to the young girl. “Can you get Doctor Grenault for me? I’m not feeling well.”

She looked at him for a moment before nodding. “Yes, your highness.” She turned and scurried down the hall, disappearing from sight.

He grit his teeth, he didn’t like that honorific. Everyone on Dax’s ship called him by his first name. He liked being just Konnor. Timothy stepped past him, resting a hand on Konnor’s arm because he couldn’t reach his friend’s shoulder. He looked down at Timothy, “Is it okay that I wish I could be the regular person that I was on Dax’s ship, or am I just being ungrateful?”

Timothy shook his head, “No, you’re not ungrateful.”

Konnor didn’t know if he should really believe him. He couldn’t keep from feeling that he was wrong to hate the life he was dealt. Of course he wanted things to be better, but he also knew that things could be a lot worse. He leaned against the doorframe, slumping down a little and hanging his head in his hands. He knew he should wait in his room for the doctor instead of just standing here, but he also couldn’t seem to move.

Doctor Alexandria Grenault, the royal doctor that served only the royal family and the lords of the King’s Court lived close to the castle. She’d been looking out for Konnor since he was born. It was less than twenty minutes before the doctor was walking down the hall towards Konnor’s room. Konnor was still slumped against the door, head in his hands. She practically flew down the hall, long, blond hair flying behind her. She stopped at Konnor’s side, asking, “Are you in pain? Let’s get you into a chair.”

Konnor stood up when he heard her voice, he didn’t mean to worry her. He shook his head, “It’s not that bad, it’s just...” He trailed off, he couldn’t bring himself to talk about his symptoms out loud.

“I’ll be waiting in the parlor, Konnor,” Timothy smiled at Konnor before leaving him alone with the doctor.

Alexandria stood in front of Konnor, her arms crossed and one eyebrow raised. “Well it sounds like you have quite a lot to tell me.”

Konnor let out a big sigh, he didn’t want to actually talk to her about everything. He certainly wasn’t going to tell her Timothy’s theory, he didn’t want to make her think that was it too. He gestured for her to follow and walked back into his room.

Dax was pacing back and forth in the Toeaux sitting room. He hadn’t been outside of the castle in over two weeks and it was driving him crazy. He’d never been kept like a prisoner in his own home before and he really didn’t like the feeling of it. Never before had all of the servants and castle guards tried so hard to keep him from leaving and going anywhere he pleased. He knew it was because he’d already run away once, but hadn’t he been punished enough? It had taken him a month to really heal enough to be able to get up and out of bed and actually do anything. His doctors even said he was still recovering. Dax swore his father was just making them say that as extra reason to keep him trapped here. Dax lashed out at the back of a tall chair.

“Daxi! Calm down,” Saria’s stressed voice brought him back to the present a little and he remembered why he was even allowed out of his room in the first place. Saria had gotten the probation time reduced for the soldiers he’d taken with him. At least for the ones that survived. Today was the day they were free again. She’d come to tell him the good news, but when the upcoming wedding came up, Dax couldn’t help but get riled up.

He turned on his heel, looking right at her, “Would you tell a caged animal waiting to be sent to slaughter to be calm?” Her eyes widened and she even looked like she might cry. Dax wasn’t exactly sure why, he just knew that he didn’t mean to make her feel bad. He tried to speak less harshly, but he couldn’t tell if he was succeeding or not. “I can’t stay here and wait to be married off to some random person.”

Saria opened her mouth to say something, but soon shut it again. He got the feeling she was holding something back from him. He’d known her too long for her to be able to hide anything from him for long. Saria ended up saying, “You could be happy.”

“I won’t be happy.” Dax insisted, “I won’t care about someone I don’t know, I won’t be happy giving up everything I want for my father to be satisfied. He says the marriage is to rally the kingdom against the invaders from the Wastelands, but we are doing fine without the marriage. We don’t need the alliance with Seslin. He has never cared about what I want, so why should I care about what he wants?”

“Daxi...” Saria looked at Dax a moment longer, before letting out a sigh and dropping her gaze to the carpeted floor beneath her feet.

He turned away from her again, he didn’t want to see that disappointed look on her face. His father was disappointed in him enough, he didn’t need that from his only friend too. He leaned forward, resting his hands on the fireplace mantle, trying to calm down even a little. “If my father could just tell me where Konnor is...”

“You know he won’t,” Saria rested her hand on Dax’s shoulder, “He’s yelled at both of us countless of times for even bringing up your runaway attempt.”

Dax stood up straight, Saria’s hand falling off his shoulder. “I need to see him again. I won’t just get married to the Prince of Seslin and let that be the end of this.”

Saria let out a small sigh, “You still need to go to Seslin, Daxi. You can’t run from this marriage a second time.” He glared down at her and she quickly added, “You do remember that Konnor and Timothy were from Seslin. Whatever you’ll end up trying with the wedding, it might be the best way for you to find Konnor again.”

He looked down at her for a moment. That was definitely something he hadn’t thought of. He smiled at Saria, grabbing her by the shoulders, “That’s it! I’ll just make my escape or something before the wedding and go find Konnor.”

Saria’s expression worried as she looked up at him with eyebrows knitted together. “Daxi, that’ll be like finding a needle in a haystack. You can’t just walk around there, asking people if they know someone named Konnor. You’d never find him, and your father would probably find you first.”

He shook his head, letting her go, “I have to try. I won’t just get tied down because that’s what my father wants. And if he has to take me by force back to that wedding, then so be it. I will put up a fight and it won’t matter if I survive or not because I won’t just bow down to him.”

“Daxi,” Saria reached up to touch Dax’s shoulder but he quickly shrugged her hand off.

“Stay and help or leave.” He stepped back, walking over to the window. He hadn’t been let outside since they brought him home from the hospital. He needed to be free, to be out there and looking for Konnor. He hated this trapped feeling. The more he looked outside from behind the thick, paneled, glass window, the more trapped he felt. He stepped back from the window, bringing up his fist and slamming it against the glass.

“Daxi!” Saria shrieked and ran over to Dax’s side, taking hold of his hand. Her voice was tight as she said, “You won’t ever be able to get out of here if you get hurt again.”

She used her handkerchief to dab at the cuts left behind on Dax’s hand. The glass was only slightly cracked, it was mostly Dax’s hand that took damage. But Dax didn’t notice it. He was staring out the window again, he knew Konnor was out there somewhere and he would find him no matter what it took. “I wonder what’s happening to him” he mumbled quietly, “I wonder if he’s out there looking for me... I hope he’s okay.”

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