Dark eyes snapped open, fingers closing around the hand near his chest, and squeezed. “Who the hell are you?” Dari growled.
“Dari, this is the medic, remember?” Arana said from beside him, quickly. “You’re safe. He’s been tending you. Be grateful.”
The grip loosened but did not release, and the Arab turned his gaze onto her. “Eh..?”
Standing over his now awake charge, the secondary medic shrugged. “We get that a lot,” he said, but didn’t pull away. “Hair-triggers the whole lot of them.”
Behind him, his other charge, Christoph was still sleeping. It was sometime in the early morning, somewhere past three.
“Bullet wound,” he reminded the Arab calmly. “Medic pulled you in. You’ve been recuperating for two days now.”
“Two-” Dari tried to sit up, but didn’t resist when Arana pushed him back down. He frowned at the brunette. “Two days? What the fuck?”
She sighed. “You’re not ready to get up. You won’t even be able to stand at this point. You should rest, regain your strength.”
“Lady’s right,” the other man agreed, and handed Dari a cup with a straw. “Take your time with that,” he advised.
Dari eyed it warily, but one look from Arana was enough to have him sipping it carefully. She sighed. “Um, look, I need to… get going. Do a few things…”
The Arab stopped, expression going stony. “You’re leaving.”
She drew a breath, and exhaled heavily. “Yes,” she admitted reluctantly.
“Why?” he demanded furiously. “Medic guy, leave us alone. I’ll stay on the bed, but this is a private discussion.”
Raising an eyebrow, the man nodded. Within moments, the medic left, closing the door softly behind him.
“You know why,” Arana said shortly, running a hand through her hair and grimacing. She needed a shower.
“I know why,” he muttered irately. “Because you’re so fucking scared of outliving every goddamn person you know, that you’re not willing to keep ties with any of them for any length of time.”
“I’m not scared!” she protested. “And watch what you say! There are ears all over the place.”
“Fuck ‘em,” he snapped. “Stop fucking running away, Arana. You told me, didn’t you? Why can’t you tell those guys? Those men that are so precious to you? Why do you have to leave?”
“Because this,” she made a vague gesture that meant the curse, “Will eventually end up killing them. You’re so protective of me, but that’s because you think I’m some sort of damsel in distress. Well guess what? I’m neither a damsel, nor in distress. I’ll live. You almost didn’t.”
“Is that what this is?” he asked, slumping in the bed. “This is my fault.”
“No,” she growled, fingers curling into fists. “It’s not. But… the accidents will catch up, eventually. They’ll end up killing you, and I-” She stopped, shaking her head. “I have to leave, for good. It’s better if I do it now, before you get killed. You’re too young-”
“Oh, don’t even start that crap!” he snapped, cutting her off. “I’m thirty one. I’m older than most of my kind ever get.”
She sighed. “I’m sorry.”
“Fuck you,” he snapped. “So leave already.”
The brunette moved to get up, but he caught her wrist. “No, I change my mind,” he said. “I’ll come after you, if you go.”
She smiled and leaned over, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “That’s my man. You always come after me.”
She broke his grip easily and stood. “Good bye, Dari.”
A few minutes after the immortal had left, there was a rustle from the bed beside him. Thoughtful eyes met Dari’s in tired understanding. Christoph’s fingers flickered over a touch pad before showing the screen to him.
“Svorak tried to leave me too.” The blond man shrugged.
“Yeah? What’d you do?” Dari asked tiredly.
More tapping. “Poisoned him and made myself the only available outlet for an antidote.”
Dari chuckled. “Aah, if only that’d work,” he said, amused.
“It took nearly five years of chasing and arguing, but I survived. Even now.” The blond tapped his fingers on the blankets in thought. “You don’t have to be immortal to think you’ll outlive all your loved ones.”
Dari eyed the blond closely. “That’s right,” he agreed slowly. “You don’t have to be.” But she is, he thought darkly.
The other bedridden patient gave him a tired look. “Just next time you catch up to her, buy a fucking kevlar vest.” The older man shook his head.
Dari laughed softly. “Have one. Left it in the car. Broad makes me stupid,” he confided, and sighed. “Eh, all I gotta do is find the most peaceful place in the world with a recent disaster. I’ll find her quick.”
The blond looked over at him sharply, eyes calculating. “Give us a heads up? The plan was to tie her down for at least one night of drinking.”
“She likes pretty places,” Dari offered. “Beaches, cities with skyscrapers, mountain areas with good views. Avoids England like the plague, though, so you’ll probably never find her there.” He paused thoughtfully. “Never goes to Ireland either, anymore.” He shook his head. “Gimme that; I’ll put in a number where you can reach me if you need to.”
When the cell phone was handed over, there was another message on the screen. “And if we catch a trail, like we did a few days ago, we will let you know as well. Svorak and I have enough connections to find her eventually. We just don’t track her down unless we worry.”
Christoph mused as he watched Dari read the text. When we worry, which is almost always. When have we not seen this woman in trouble?
Dari nodded. “I was just about to ask that,” he said, and entered his emergency contact number into the contacts list, under the name ‘Scorpio’, and noted aloud the listing before handing the phone back.
Lips quirked a little as the blond shrugged. Leaning a bit to the side, he pulled out a wallet and thumbed through it, extracting a plain white card. He handed it over. It read, ‘Baba’ and a URL to a message board. A moment later, the cell phone was turned his way again. “Enter your contact name as a username, B09MEXKittensBW as the password. Then change the password as soon as possible. We tried getting Arana registered before, but she never did.”
Dari nodded. “She’s not a fan of computers,” he said, memorizing the password. “I’ll do that as soon as I can.”
The cellphone was subjected to rapid tapping, as the chemist grinned, entering the new user account and the adding Scorpio to the roster. It was nice being an Admin.
When the blond was finally finished, he looked over and noted Dari’s drooping form. He cleared his throat. “I’m calling in the medic,” he said, voice scratchy and still raw. “Let him pamper you and then sleep. We’ll track her down when you’re ready.”
“Yeah,” Dari murmured, sighing. “She say what she did with my stuff? No one should get into it. Poisons.”
The other man’s eyes lit up the same time the medic slammed through the door. “You!” the slim man growled, pointing at Christoph. “Shut UP.” For a secondary, the man was fast becoming a milder version of the original Medic. “That is not the way to call for attention,” the man fumed even as he stalked closer to the blond.
Smirking, Christoph waved a hand. “Hi Scalpel,” he croaked out.
“Fucking idiot,” the medic snapped, and pointedly jabbed a finger down on a button of the machine.
The chemist had time for a low chuckle before the sedatives kicked in and he fell into darkness.
Blowing out a frustrated breath, the one man standing rubbed a hand through spiky brown hair, obviously taking a moment to calm down. Then he turned to look at Dari. “Sorry. Baba was told specifically not to talk. Anyway, up for a check up?”
One slim dark brow lifted, and Dari shrugged lightly. “Fine,” he replied, eying the man without any real expression. He was mostly curious. He hadn’t ever been in any sort of establishment like this. It was always some sort of partner with medical training. They always had medical training for him. Which was why Arana had been so ideal.
Scalpel looked relieved at the ready acceptance and ran through the checks quickly. The man was mending well, thankfully no complications, other than a bullet that nearly took out a lung. He kept a running commentary of the various observations for his patient’s benefit and at the end, closed up the man’s shirt with professional efficiency.
Then he paused. “Um, the lady left,” he said slowly, and then checked the wall on the other side of the spare bed. “But it doesn’t look like she took anything with her. So, maybe she’s coming back.” The medic looked at the patient.
Dari followed his gaze, and sighed. “That’s all mine,” he replied. “Don’t let anyone open any of it. They’ll lose a limb or two.” He shrugged and looked at the medic expressionlessly. “Thank you for the care.”
The younger man nodded. “Welcome,” he said, then looked at the sleeping blond and murmured exasperatedly, “Idiot.” Waving at the Arab, the medic turned off the lights and slipped out the door.
Dari was left alone to the dark.