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Nov 28, 2020 5:53 AM
Tedekhi comes home with some news
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Tedekhi’s sobs stop abruptly and he slides into deep sleep, the stiff tension ebbing from his body. He sighs softly, the pain easing from his face. 

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Saki shouts in alarm, for a moment thinking that he's dying on the spot, but then she realizes that he is merely asleep and claps her hands back over her mouth. “Sorry!” she gasps. “Sorry, sorry. He’s just sleeping. He’s sleeping and the medic will be here soon, and —  it’s okay. He’s okay.”

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No fear. He is just asleep. His body is under incredible stress, but he will be fine, largely thanks to the two of you. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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“It is our honor, your majesty,” says Saki earnestly, bowing her head. Jizhu does the same. “We will continue to take care of him.”

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I will send someone to keep you updated on Mehtien’s situation. I understand that this is extremely confusing and distressing. I implore you to keep the truth of Mehtien’s torture quiet for now, until he is home and can decide how much to divulge.

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“Yes, your majesty,” say both women fervently.

“We’ll keep quiet about all of this, your majesty,” says Saki. “We understand. I hope that Mehtien will be home soon.”

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Findei smiles, looking a little troubled. “I hope that as well. Thank you both for your understanding. May you both have a more peaceful afternoon than morning.

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Finaki tilts his glider down towards the white sprawling complex of the hospital. He's wearing a flying cap and visor, to protect his face from the cold thin air at high altitude, and tears keep filling up the mask. They've frozen on his cheeks during the flight, and now are melting as he descends, dripping down his face.

His stomach drops out as he swooped down; a feeling he normally delights in, but now he barely notices. Everything in him is focused only on MehtienMehtienMehtien; he's flying on autopilot.

He's close enough now to pick out leaves on the trees and shrubs, and ripples in the fountain in the courtyard of the hospital. He circles in one loop and then lands, swinging down from the glider and skidding to a stop in the grass. He barely slows down enough to park the glider properly before he is running, letting the momentum carry him through the double doors.

He hits the front desk with a soft oof, pushing the visor out of his face. 

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The receptionist stares at him in naked shock. “Sir, please! This is a hospital, you need to —”

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I need to see Tedekhi. Please, I need to see Tedekhi, he’s here isn’t he?” 

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“Tedekhi, Tedekhi...”

The receptionist scrolls through the computer logs. “I’m sorry sir, you need special clearance to see that patient, I’m going to have to ask you to lea —”

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Finaki hisses and unbuttons the top of his shirt enough to yank out the thick beaded necklace and amulet, flashing blue and gold with the emblem of his father. “I need to see Tedekhi,” he says. He feels a small twinge of guilt for his rudeness, but this is a fucking emergency. 

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The receptionist stares, her eyes popping out of her head. “My prince,” she whispers. “I’m so sorry, I — of course, of course, he’s in room 206, it’s just over there —”

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“No worries, sorry,” Finaki shoots out over his shoulder, taking off running down the hallway, shoving the amulet back into his shirt. He doesn't like flashing it around like that. Mehtien didn’t either. Mehtien always said he wanted to be recognized for his own merits, not honored because he was lucky enough to be born to Fanur. Thinking of Mehtien hurts, and Finaki bites his lip so he won't cry again. 

Room 206. Room 206. Where was it — there. Finaki skids to a stop, sliding awkwardly on the tile floor, and shoves the door open. 

The room is white and blue and green; a sterile room, smelling of disinfectant and linen. The hospital put effort into adding color: blue charms on the walls, plants by the windows. The curtains are drawn, and the room is dim. 

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In the bed is Tedekhi, his eyes closed and his hair limp and loose on the white pillow. The sheets are tucked up to his chest, his arms above the blankets. An IV leads into his left hand, and electrodes are taped onto his chest under the thin medical robe. A monitor beeps quietly with his vital signs.

His face is thin and waxy. His cheekbones stand out sharply, and his skin is pale and tinged with grey, the color washed out. He looks small and frail, lying unconscious, tucked into bleached sheets.

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Finaki closes the door behind him and sits quietly in the chair next to Tedekhi’s bed. He sighs heavily and puts his head in his hands, feeling profoundly useless. 

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Tedekhi’s eyes flicker open. He blinks, waiting for his eyes to focus on his visitor. They don't focus, not completely, but his vision sharpens as much as it is going to, and that's enough to recognize —

“M’prince,” he croaks, trying to sit up. “Finaki, ‘m so sorry —”

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