|So Sweet to Rest|
|Summary:||Cordelya acts as chiurgeon to her wounded husband once more. Disappointing revelations are made before Anders gives into the milk of the poppy.|
|Related Logs:||Volmark, Rise|
|The Charlton Campsite|
|A recovery tent at the back of the Charlton war camp.|
|Thursday, January 26th, 289|
"Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast! Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!" — Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene II
After a long, hard night of waking Anders up every hour, almost on the hour, and worrying herself pretty sick about him, the dirty commoner dressed woman finally passed out well into the next afternoon. It's only been a few hours, but her body gave up and gave into the exhaustion of utter terror and hours of adrenaline running. It wasn't until they got him to acknowledge he could at least slightly move his fingers and toes that her brain gave up and she rested. Now, night falling, a few hours later, she stirs in the chair at his side, giving a little moan of stiffness as she picks herself up into sitting straight. -That's- when she remembers where she is. She immediately leans forward, looking him over. "…Andy?"
Corrie must have been dead to the world and needed the sleep as Anselm had come and gone, a conversation gone on around her and she never stirred. Still, it's hard to hold that against the slip of a woman who essentially saved his life. Anders had also gone back to sleep after his brother had left, the time awake having taken a toll, thanks to the bloodloss and the still weakened state he finds himself in. His eyes remain closed, but there's just something that suggests that he's awake once again.. perhaps it's the change in his breathing, the flicker of movement of his extremities.. or the fact that he speaks, softly and hoarsely, and with something of an undercurrent of pain, but it's him. "I haven't gone anywhere."
Those words are enough to unclench her heart, just a bit, and Corrie shifts to her knees to be directly next to the mat, not slightly raised to the side. She comes down onto the side of her hip then, gingerly sitting just on the edge of that pallet right next to his hip as she leans over his chest and face. Fingertips smooth back his unruly hair from his forehead once more, a weak smile crossing her mouth. "Good… thank the gods… Just… just keep holding on. I think you're through the worst of it now… "
With Corrie now coming into sight, Anders can put that voice to a face.. one that is recognizable and not just heard breaking through in the fog, pain-filled dreams. "Corrie?" It is.. and he lifts an arm only a couple of inches off the pallet, but he does manage it.. before it falls again heavily. There's a momentary feeling of panic at the thought of his wife near, so close to the Ironborn.. and if it was the Volmark that push through again? She'd be caught, and worse… "What are you—" He can't go on; his lips are dry, mouth is dry.. but the intent is there.
She can hear that dry rasp in his voice so, now that he's clearly fully awake, Corrie twists her body enough to reach back for the skin of boiled water that she's been keeping near just for him. She pops open the seal and gently brings it to his lips. "Drink…then we shall talk. I am far, far more worried about you than I, right now." Corrie's still in her peasant's get up, but she's abandoned the Charlton shoulder cloak. Her hair has been tied off her face in a tight ribbon, instead of hidden under that hat. She coaxes him to drink just a bit more before she sets the skin aside and breathes out slowly. "Better. Once we check your limbs, if the pain is too much, I have some milk of the poppy…" She's all business for the moment. It's easier than focusing on all the emotions welling sickly in her stomach.
Anders' eyes are open now, and he doesn't have to search for her face. And there's the water skin. He pulls at the water, wanting more than he can physically take. Some of the water dribbles, but it's better than the choking cough. "Gods, Corrie.." is whispered after he's taken what he can. "I'm more worried about you. Me, they won't touch.." Maybe. "You.. they'd take.." He can't move his head without a great deal of pain, so he doesn't even try to.. but at the suggestion of moving his limbs? "I've been trying to move them." But the pain in his neck really is.. excruciating. And not a little bit frightening.. but there is no way he'd give voice to that. He'd come close with his brother, but again.. thoughts of death were chased away.
The water will be there after. Corrie leans over him again, so she can look down into his eyes without his head turning in the least. Her gaze is still a bit glassy, just a hint bloodshot, four hours of stolen sleep not enough for any sort of sanity. But then this whole situation is a bit insane. She shakes her head. "They won't take me… there are other camp followers, people who stay out of the thick of it. I've stayed back, stayed safe… If… if I wasn't here, Gods, Andy… I don't know who'd be sitting at your side. I… " She shakes her head, blinking against a sudden wave of moisture. "… This is why I came." And then she moves out of his vision, down to his legs. "…Just point your toes for me, love… point your toes and hands, and I'll get you that milk."
Anders knows that Corrie is just shy of completely losing 'it'. All that is needed is that push over the edge, and his lady wife would lose that battle almost immediately. But, he's honestly more afraid for her than him. "I don't know.. Cor.." He exhales, his head lying still upon the pillow. "You shouldn't have." At the same time, he moves his hand, wiggles his fingers before he moves a foot.. wiggles toes. "I need that milk. This is.." Hard to bear.
"I know." Corrie's voice cracks out softly, rasping against those tears she refuses to let fall. Not while he's awake. "I don't care. I followed where it was safe. I hid among friends. I was careful, and I came in case I was needed. Clearly, I am. I don't regret it, love." She insists, her voice soft but utterly stubborn. There is no doubt in her about her actions. Once she gets the one side, she looks over to the other side of his body. "…Left hand and foot, then we're done. I have the milk right here… I know it's hard. But you can go back to sleep in just a minute…" She cannot quite meet his eyes, focusing on his body instead. On what she can hopefully fix.
While she can cry when he sleeps, Anders has absolutely no release from his fears; if it were a maester or any other chiurgeon, he'd have his moments of peace, his moments of solitude, but with Corrie here, her presence beside him is as necessary to her as, well.. in a way it both soothes him and troubles him. For now, he sleeps with no dreams, but as he begins to heal, he won't need as much painkiller, and then what? "Left hand.." He wiggles fingers, raises a hand, and does the same with the foot. He's got movement, and feeling. All he wants now is to get better and be able to walk again. "I know you don't, Cor.. but we're so close.." And he's afraid of what could happen. "How's Lord Aleister?"
It's even more movement than before. That alone is beyond a reassurance that, probably, nothing is damaged beyond repair. He won't be paralyzed for his life. A small, sickly happy sound of relief actually escapes Corrie's lips, almost a tiny moan, and she nods in approval to him. "Good…good good. You'll be fine, Andy… fine. You can move everything. Even if… even if something is cracked, it will heal. You'll be fine." She repeats again, her mantra of the last evening and day. She then slips back from his body and grabs for her pack, pulling out that already opened jar with the milk of the poppy in it. She carefully slips off the top again and leans over. "Just a few sips… enough to sleep. Aleister is fine… hurting, but walking and moving. He'll be fine." Her eyes say it all. Even he's worried about Anders. "..And I know we're close. But the forces are strong. They won't break the line. I'll be fine. You need to work on being fine as well now."
"I've been trying to," move everything, that is. "Just.." so very heavy. "I'll be fine." Anders repeats, the words echoing her own, his gaze still moved upwards. "He saved my life too. He gave us the chance to fall back." And his friend did so much more that as far as he's concerned, he owes him a great deal. "The forces aren't, Corrie. We've hardly got anyone. Nowhere near the numbers we really need." His tones are angry, whispered and harsh. "You're too close." He repeats the words again after taking some of the the blessed painkiller, "Too close." Closing his eyes, Anders exhales long and slow. "And if you're with child, you have to leave now." They'd been trying.. and the idea of an heir is even more important now. Anselm doesn't want the Throne, and even his brother expects an heir.. and soon.
His wife gives him one more sip of that painkiller, but fortunately she's done and pulling back by the time he's speaking. Otherwise, she might have dropped it all over him. Corrie doesn't lean in his line of vision again, so she doesn't see those silent tears streaking down her too-pale face, but he might hear it in her voice. A renewed tightness in her throat, a crackling that is beyond exhaustion. "I…I'm not… Andy… I'm not…" She confesses, a heavy shame following those words. Too heavy. She's failed him in more than one day. "…I wouldn't have come…if I was. But… my moonblood came… almost just as you marched. So… I thought… Why stay behind? There is naught to protect… and more trying to be had… so… I came. I'm sorry, Andy…I'm so… so sorry.." The smallest of sobs escapes her throat as she confesses that.
Not? If he had died, there'd be no heir, and it'd pass to the second son. A follower of the Seven; a man who had said that he wasn't meant for the Throne— and all Anders could do was agree with the man, albeit silently. As much as he loves his brother, Anders is the one who has been groomed to take over Flint's Finger when the time came. Lessons in administration, lessons in tactics, in leadership.. and now given his chance to lead men in war. In that, he feels like an utter failure. And now? No heir. "Gods.." The word is whispered, and he tries to recover from the information. He was hoping, apparently, and with the words spoken, he.. has no choice but to accept the news. "There is everything to protect, Corrie."
"…I'm so sorry." It's all Corrie can think to say, half sick with herself all over again. Three months now. No child. Three failures. Maybe it was her? She brings up a shaking hand to brush the back of it across her cheeks and try to push those tears away before he sees them. "Next month, love… as soon as you are… feeling up for it…" That should be funny, but through the tears she's not just seeing the pun. "…Just rest… Heal, and we… we'll keep trying…" Or maybe he'll put her aside for a more fertile wife. The thought alone brings more tears to her eyes. She doesn't lean close to him again, but she shakily slips back up onto her chair to keep her vigil once more. "…Sleep, for now. Please."
Anders won't anything on it. His eyes are closed, and the milk is beginning to take its effect, and as it does, his body visibly relaxes, loses the tension in the muscles. "It'll happen, Corrie.." Even if he is beginning to worry that it won't. "Don't apologize." He reaches up slowly to take a hold of her hand, wanting the contact. "Time to sleep.. Let me sleep now?" Please? "Don't wake me?" He may even sleep the night? "You sleep too. You need it." After those words, he takes a deep breath and lets it out, and the next one comes a little more shallow.. and again.. before he begins the evening's slumber.
The feel of his fingertips against her's immediately gets a reaction. Corrie's warmer hand wraps tight and close around his big palm. She gives a tight squeeze, echoing raggedly. "It…it will happen… we have time, still… " But then he's practically begging for sleep. She nods to him, "Y-yes… yes. Sleep, please. I won't wake you. I'll sleep when I can." She then leans over, kissing his forehead one more time. He might feel the faintest drop of tears from her cheek fall onto his, but he might already really be asleep. "I love you. Sleep sweet…" She doesn't let go of his hand, even as she settles back into the chair and falls into quiet, even if the tears keep coming.