Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language, violence, and mature content.
For Tenyo's LMS contest. Word Count: 1067, approx.
Samria heaved a sigh, leaning forwards and resting both elbows on her knees. She rested her chin in one hand and let the other hang down limply. Seth was in a bed, unnaturally still but breathing evenly, despite the thin, black lines crawling down his throat and up into his hair. Beneath his eyelids, his eyes were rapidly moving as he were dreaming--or having a nightmare.
She watched him carefully, worried for him. They'd finally found him and now he might not wake up. She really hoped he would. Sam wanted to talk to him, to get to know him and understand him. To know his likes and dislikes, to see if they were as different as they seemed, personality-wise. But she couldn't do any of that while Seth was unconscious. She sighed again and rubbed at her face. She was exhausted now.
"Just wake up," she muttered, leaning back in her seat and exhaling carefully. "Please, big brother... just wake up."
Seth remained motionless on the bed, and it served only to frustrate her even more. Sam stood up, pacing away several steps. She ran a hand over her face again, wondering what Amerys would say, what he'd do. He'd know what to do about this. Maybe. She turned to pace back, eyes darting to her brother's face again. What could she do to speed this process along? Was there even anything she could do?
"He's going to be like that for a while, Sam," Amerys said, startling her. She turned to face him. He had hesitated in the doorway, eyes on Seth. After a moment, met her gaze and smiled slightly. He looked at tired as she felt--and she knew not just anyone saw him like this. She was special. Her and Seth. "You know this."
"I know, but I'd still like him to wake up soon, Rhys," she muttered and plopped down in her seat again. Amerys crossed the room to join her at Seth's bedside, booted feet tapping a sharp echo against the metal floor. He placed a hand on her shoulder. "We've spent so long looking for him, and now I just want to get to know him. And I can't... because he's unconscious."
Amerys squeezed her shoulder gently. "He'll wake up," the man insisted, moving to sit on the bed. "He has to."
"You're so optimistic," Samira grumbled, scowling at where he sat on the bed beside her brother. She frowned and leaned forward, suddenly curious. "Can you... feel anything from him now?"
He hesitated for several beats before replying, his tone rather hesitant. "Yes..."
Sam raised an eyebrow. "Are you going to share?"
Amerys sighed and shook his head. "It's faint, Sam," he told her, reaching for Seth's face and hesitating short of touching the thing black lines. "He's confused, scared... angry. That's about all I'm getting from him right now, and even then...barely..."
"But... that means you've started, right?"
He blinked at her, expression blank as if he didn't understand what she was trying to sigh. She sent him a dark look. He jerked his hand back, looking down at his hand. There was a tiny frown marring his brow.
"Bonding, that is."
"Oh," Amerys muttered, gaze drifting back Seth. He studied her brother for a moment and then heaved a sigh. "I'm... not sure, to be honest." He scrunched up his face as if the thought bothered him. Samira rolled her eyes. "I probably won't know until he wakes up." He rubbed a hand over his face and made to reach for Seth again--and again, he pulled back before he made contact. He muttered someone she didn't quite catch in Ansharian.
"If he wakes up," she added carefully, not quite looking at Amerys.
Amerys exhaled a soft laugh. "Yes, that." Suddenly, he fixed her with a sharp look. "You're glaring at me, and you're--" He smirked and leaned towards her, lowering his voice. "Are you jealous?"
Samira flushed. "Gods, no!"
He snorted, obviously not believing her for a second, and reached up to cup her cheek. "There's no need to be so jealous, Sam," he muttered and leaned forwards, brushing his lips over hers. She shuddered, suddenly feeling a touch too warm. That was inappropriate, especially while her brother was 'asleep', for lack of a better word. She scowled again. "I'll still be here when you need me." He pulled back and turned towards Seth again, apparently not noticing--or ignoring--her shift in mood. "How does he feel to you?"
She glanced towards her brother's grimacing face. He was not resting comfortably. "I feel nothing," she whispered, "and that worries me the most, I think."
"Nothing?" Amerys seemed surprised by that statement. "Are you sure?"
Amerys fell silent, eyes searching Seth's face. Together, they watched the lines spreading for several minutes. Just as Amerys opened his mouth to say something, his earpiece chimed. The little black and grey half-circle sitting behind his ear was flickering blue steadily in time with the bell-like chiming. Amerys scowled but reached up to answer the call anyway. Sam listened in to the one-sided conversation carefully, pretending to be focused on her brother and tracing snaking black lines.
"Yes, Emir?" Amerys asked and then paused, surprise slipping over his face. After a moment, he grinned. "That's excellent news! I'll be right there!" With that, he cut off the call and lowered his hand, meeting her curious gaze. "Emir found something. I'll go see what it is. You stay here with him." He stood up abruptly and strode for the door, pausing as he reached it. Amerys glanced back at her. "Let me know when he wakes up, alright?"
Sam nodded and made a show of settling into her chair. "Of course."
He flashed her a bright smile and disappeared out into the hallway. She stared after him for a moment before turning back to face her brother. Sam really hoped that Emir had found something on the black lines crawling across her brother's face like the many branches of a river. They needed answers, preferably now--and Seth needed to wake up. She couldn't bear to see him unconscious and in such obvious pain, not for any longer than he needed to be.