Waking up feels awful.
Everything hurts, and every movement I make spikes agonising pain, each stronger than the last. The world drifts around me, and all I want to do it watch it go by, but I can't. Someone has to stop those creatures, after all. Abrax is by my side in moments, constantly asking how I am, alongside a nurse who is trying to push me back into bed.
"No." I say to them both, "If these are to be my last few days, which I don't doubt they will be, I will not spend them slowly dying in my hospital bed, I shall make myself useful."
Abrax falls silent, but the nurse is persistent. "Please, there are other people to attend to." I beg, and she leaves reluctantly. Now that she is gone we have a real conversation.
"H-he..." Abrax stutters, something really unusual for him. "He left this morning, saying something about an antidote. We couldn't stop him... I'm sorry."
Tears prick in the corners of my eyes when I think about what he may have gotten himself into for me, and I take a deep breath before leaving the subject entirely. "Okay, what has been done to protect the Kingdom so far?"
"We have put up barricades, but we need more people to help us evacuate."
"What are we waiting for then?" I ask urgently, before setting off to the exit, trying desperately to ignore the fresh protests my body has in store for me at the motion. Abrax understands, and, irritatingly, goes and gets a wheelchair.
"Fine." Huffing in response to his pleading gaze, I sit down reluctantly, protesting all the way.
I try and distract myself with the work, but even wheeling myself to every occupied house I come across doesn't take my mind off Owen. The man is insane, clearly. What if Elektra got her hands on him?
When Abrax comes to wheel me back to the castle, I am exhausted, and I very nearly fall asleep on the way. He notices this, and as soon as we get back he picks me up and tucks me into bed, and the pain finally gives way to a dreamless sleep.