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I'll be mellow when I'm dead. >.[

Yet again, this particular Xerxes Break has spent a solid three days mostly asleep. This time, however, it’s not because he’s passed the week being all domestic and sewing dresses for a local wedding. It’s because he’s just passed the week in the mansion’s version of the Abyss -- exhausted, hungry, and injured for most of that time. To be perfectly honest, it’s very likely that the only reason he survived at all was that Hatter was there to take care of him. Break is entirely willing, even glad, to admit that.

And Hatter’s still taking care of him now that he’s home -- which is what the mansion is, really, at least for the moment. Break was just as relieved to see his bed and his pillow nest and his pot of singing flowers as he would have been to see his apartment in his own world, which is an issue he’ll surely have to think long and hard about later on. For now, however, he is only concerned with recovering; and after spending three days waking up halfway solely to have his leg looked at and to eat whatever was put in front of him that wasn't broccoli, he is already much stronger.

So much stronger, in fact, that he is starting to get testy. The minor aches have all faded. The slight fever he had developed has been firmly fought off. The scratches across his leg are healing jaggedly owing to lack of stitching, but with no signs of infection, and he’s not dizzy, and he doesn’t have a migraine, and his appetite is -- well, he hadn't thought he could be any more of a bottomless pit than he was already, but apparently it is indeed possible.

This all being the case, why will no one let him out of bed yet?!


[ooc: Forward-dated to a few days after the end of the Abyss event. Posting early because I am going to have to be slow when the time comes, so I figured I’d best get crackin’. LATE PEOPLE ARE WELCOME as always; prose and action both accepted.]

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easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 12:17 am (UTC)
Liam brings in a tray of food, something he's been doing since they got out of the Abyss and he saw the condition of Xerxes' leg. He's managed to avoid thinking about the Abyss, though he hasn't done much sleeping lately. Instead he's been reading cookbooks.

But this is the first time he's come in with Break completely conscious.

He comes bearing chicken--and he's experimented with herbs on it--rice, and asparagus that he found in the fridge and looked like someone had harvested it fresh from outside.

"You're looking a bit better."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
"I feel better," Break announces. "I want to go for a walk."

At the moment, however, the food is here, so Xerxes might consider staying for a while before he limps off into the glorious sunset. He leans over to peer at the tray -- and catches sight of the asparagus.

Dubious Break is dubious.

"What is that suspiciously broccoli-looking stuff?"
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
"Maybe. You'll need to be careful. That leg is pretty bad, and you don't want to set the healing back, especially since there are no stitches to keep it closed."

Liam puts the tray on Xerxes' bedside table. It also has a teapot and teacup. One. Indicating that Liam isn't going to have tea.

"It's asparagus. I assume it grows somewhere on the grounds. It looked freshly harvested. It's rather good."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
"No shit. But I have already been going on seeeecret walks anyway, to and from my bafroom," Break informs him loftily, leaning over further to continue glowering at the asparagus. "Because I am Xerxes fuckin' Break, and I piss when I please."

It's just as well that Liam doesn't seem to intend to stay. Someone is very obviously in a mood.

"It's ravver good, says you. My Liam actually enjoys eating broccoli. I do not know if I trust you where vegetables are concerned."
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 01:05 am (UTC)
"I'm shocked." He is unimpressed, Xerxes. And a bit tetchy. "You're injured, not an invalid."

He starts preparing the tea for Xerxes.

"Yes, yes. You're Xerxes Break. You'd rather eat cookies. I didn't realize a vegetable could fell you. But, then, I didn't expect you to be afraid of frogs, either."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
"Damn straight." Viciously, Break stabs the chicken with his fork, and then proceeds to take bites from it while it's on the fork instead of cutting it up like a civilized person. "Someone can carry me to and from the bafroom when I am eighty. And even then they won't 'cause I'll have a bloody walker and go zooming around wiv it, so there."

Guess which Chain has been carrying Break to and from the bathroom lately.

"And I am not afraid of frogs. They give me the heebie-jeebies, which are entirely different. We've been frough this."
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
"Would you like me to poke around in the attic and find you a walker? Or maybe a wheelchair? Then you can run over people's toes and roll down the stairs."

He adds the sugar. Liam will be ignoring Break's poor table manners. As long as he eats, Liam doesn't care.

"I didn't believe that when I was eight and I don't believe it now."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
Break shoots Liam a flat, but patient, look. "Liam. You don't ride wheelchairs down the stairs. That is dangerous. You slide down the banister."

Table manners are for tables. Break is eating in bed, so bugger that. Tiring of the chicken for the moment, he waves the fork up and down until it falls back onto the plate and dives into his rice.

"Doesn't matter whevver you believe it or not, it's truuuuuuue~"
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC)
More patient than Liam is feeling at this point. "So much less dangerous."

He holds the teacup out for Break.

"Yeah, sure. I'll pretend to believe you if it makes you feel better."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Teeeeeea. Break reeeeeeeeaches for the tea.

"I had one of me lungs chopped out once, and that was bloody terrifyin'," he says calmly. "Therefore, I am not scared of sissy fings like frogs."

Far, far more terrifying was almost losing his own Liam, but. Not sayin' that out loud ever.
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
Well, that's one way to find out something so horrifying. It just adds more horrifying to what he saw in the Abyss. It's a good thing Break takes the tea before Liam drops it.

He needs a chair, and so he goes and sits down. It's quite a while before he asks,

"Your lung?"
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
It did occur to Break, more or less as soon as the words were out of his mouth, that they might not be as easy to take as he'd imagined. But, well. His mood is foul and Liam isn't helping it, and he'd probably have found out sooner or later anyway.

Still, he makes light of it.

"Yes, my lung. It went bad, so my doctors took it out, and it hurt like a bitch for six straight months after." He pauses to point to his wounded leg. The injury is hidden beneath his beloved purple plaid pajama pants. "See this? This wound is a sissy wound, and I should not have to stay in bed for it."
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
"So that's how you 'got better.'"

This is said very softly. Liam takes off his glasses and just rubs the bridge of his nose.

When he speaks again, his voice is tired and somewhat defeated.

"I'm sure it's comparatively minor, but we don't have the sort of medical treatment you're used to, and your wounds aren't stitched. If you feel you're able to be out of bed, fine. But if you reopen those wounds, you could get infected again, and the scars will be worse."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 02:52 am (UTC)
"I've been stabbed and not had 'em stitched before. And this isn't the first time I've been cut up here, eiver. I know how to be hurt, Liam; stop fussing.

Haven't I done alright by you and your wounds?"
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 02:58 am (UTC)
"Then if you think they're fine to walk on--and Hatter lets you--go ahead."

Liam gets up, not looking at Break. He wants to retreat from this now.

"You did, yes. But I fuss, Xerxes. That's about all I can do."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 03:11 am (UTC)
"That's just it." Break's other leg is still half-hidden by his covers; reaching down, he whips them up -- revealing a hideous mess of knotted yarns connecting his good ankle to the bed post. He has enough give to flail around a bit, but that's about the extent of it. "Hatter's bein' a jerk."

Which isn't entirely fair -- no, it's more that the Chain was honestly fretting for him, there in the Abyss, watching him spend more and more of his time sleeping and unresponsive. Of course he's paranoid now. It had taken ages to persuade him to check up on the other Breaks, the ones he actually belonged with.

In any case, Hatter isn't there now. It's just him, and this Liam.

"Bollocks. Who d'you fink it was took care of me while I was sick?"
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
"Hatter was terrified you'd be killed and he wouldn't even sense you were in danger, Xerxes. The others have a part of him that they can use to fight, but you don't. And yet he took time out to protect me while I slept, and saved my life."

It feels a little bizarre to be defending the chain, but... Have a bit of a lecture.

"He's likely feeling a bit like he should have been there to prevent you from being injured in the first place. I don't consider that being a jerk."

Liam gives him a tired look.

"If your world is anything similar to mine, your Liam did. I do the same for the Xerxes in my own world, particularly because he frightens the servants, and apparently several of those here as well. That's part of fussing."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
"That's because he's not my Chain. His Breaks are all ill on a regular basis. I adore him, but he shouldn't be spending all his time wiv me. It's not fair to the ovver Breaks."

For a moment, a strange expression -- almost impossibly lonely -- crosses Break's face. He lowers his gaze to hide it, letting his hair fall more actively around his face. When he speaks, his voice is quiet.

"If my Liam was here, and I wanted to get up and go for a walk, he wouldn't lecture me about stitches and infections. He'd walk at my side and give me an arm to lean on, and sit down wiv me if I needed to sit down."
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 03:47 am (UTC)
"And he's not just a Chain here, Xerxes. He has the free will to choose who he spends time with, and he's chosen you. Who are you to say what he should or should not be doing?"

The look catches Liam off-guard, and he's not quite sure what to say or do. His world is different from this Xerxes'--his own Xerxes puts himself in danger so often that Liam finds himself fretting and fussing more often than not.

But his Xerxes puts himself in danger. This Xerxes didn't, not on purpose. That he'd somehow survived in the Abyss for days without help before finding Hatter was almost a miracle.

"I'm sorry. That's what you did for me, and I shouldn't... If that's what you'd like me to do, I will."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
"No." His response is immediate. "You're not my Liam."

He'll let the subject of Hatter drop for now.
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
Liam's jaw clenches.

"Do you really think I don't know that? Even though I'm not, you still helped me recover. Maybe you're not my Break, but why can't I do the same for you?"
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
"Because I don't want anyone but him!"

He snaps it before he can stop itself and regrets it immediately. The only place he can go is under his covers -- so that's where he goes, yanking the blankets up and then down over his head, making himself a bubble-tent that slowly deflates.
easilyflustered
May. 12th, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
The words are like a slap across the face, and not just because they're a rejection of his help.

It's exactly how he feels regarding his Xerxes and being trapped here and what happened before he was brought and having seen what he saw in the Abyss. And he doesn't need a reminder of that, with how close he feels to a breakdown.

"I can't deal with this right now," Liam whispers before he can stop himself.

He heads to the door, opening it and stopping in the doorway.

"I'm sorry I can't help you. I'll send Hatter with food later."
almost_knightly
May. 12th, 2011 05:30 am (UTC)
Break stays in his little tent until he's sure Liam won't be coming back into his room. He does emerge eventually, however -- he hates trying to breathe all wrapped in fabric like that.

Whichever one of them comes to see him next, Hatter or Liam, will find him dozing in his nest, half burrowed into one of the bigger pillows. The plate on the table will have been cleaned of the rest of the food.

Except for the asparagus. But one spear of it is on the fork, and the top has been nibbled off.

He tried it, anyway.
And when they put me in the ground,
I’ll start pounding the lid,
Saying, "I haven’t finished yet —
I still have a tattoo to get
That says ‘I’m living in the moment’.”
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