I wrote this in response to an absolutely beautiful/heart-wrenching story written by my lovely rp partner, pookiedawuzzle for our DA roleplay group, The Merry Mabari. I had to write a sequel because it was the only way I could get my heart to stop weeping…
PoV of my character, Lysandro.
The fever broke sometime during the night.
I woke up, drenched in sweat and shivering like mad as I looked wildly around at the darkness pressing on me, completely delirious for a moment as I tried to make sense of my surroundings.
Last thing I remember was Mami scolding me… You’re not done yet, boy. Get up!
Okay, mother… I’m awake… I looked around the dark room frantically a moment longer, panting, before my head slowly began working. Not well, mind you, but working. I slowly became aware of my surroundings, particularly the warm pressure against my chest that indicated that my faithful wife was there, fast asleep and clinging tightly to me. I had a vague memory of her keeping solemn vigil over me, her whispered pleas briefly echoing in my ears… You promised… You promised not to leave…
On my other side, a small hand rested against my arm. The soft mass of curls that met my hand when I reached out told me that little Vella had curled up beside me as well. No Alvaro; he would have been trying to stay in his own bed like a big, brave boy, even if he was worried. Vella must have gotten scared and snuck in without Tetris noticing; she had a talent for it. My mother’s scolding rang through my head again… You go back there and help that woman raise your children, or so help me…
A heavy pang of guilt resonated in my chest as the reprimanding tone of my mother, and the desperate pleading of my wife mingled in my head. I had almost left them. Even after I promised… An icy fist clenched around my stomach and I began to shake more violently as wave after wave of sick guilt and dread for what could have been overtook me. I sat up gently. Tetris didn’t wake up. Must have been exhausted, but I drew her into my chest tightly and wept into her hair.
"I’m so sorry, my love," I sobbed quietly. She stirred slightly and moaned, but did not wake. All the better. She’d probably be cross with me for scaring her once she saw me awake.
"Papi? Why are you sad?" A small hand on my back and a soft kiss on my cheek told me that Vella had awaken. I gently set Tetris back down on the bed and looked to my daughter, her wide, green eyes filled with concern, staring back at me in the darkness. I took her in my arms and cradled her small form, trying contain myself, but unable to keep from shaking with silent sobs. "It is nothing, sparrow…" I murmured softly. She reached out a little hand to touch my cheek and she started to sing in a quiet, wavery voice. She was not as fluent in Antivan as her brother, but she always remembered the songs I taught her. I calmed my breathing slowly as I rocked her. Had to look strong. Daddy can’t be sad; daddy has to fight away the things that make Vella sad.
"I heard Uncle Hart tell Uncle Mihi that you might go somewhere. Are you leaving, papi?" she asked quietly. I grimaced slightly and fought back the tears again as I looked between Vella and Tetris.
"No, pajarito…" I replied quietly. "I’m not going anywhere." I looked back to Tetris and reached out a hand to stroke her cheek. "I made a promise, and I’m not going anywhere."