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twodayswrong wrote in pandoraheartsdr
[ There's a Break in the kitchen, seated on the countertop with a plate of cookies at one hand and a teacup on the other. She doesn't seem to be eating them, though-- one's been picked at, all but destroyed, the crumbs littering the plate and part of the countertop itself.

She's coughing into her kerchief, blood spotting the formerly pristine fabric and her fingers, and she's even paler than usual, leaning back against the cabinets behind her. She's never been very good at resting like she's supposed to, letting herself heal; instead, she's been working, collecting the information she can. Since she can't see any longer, it's even more imperative for her to find ways to keep being of use.

Gilbert had wanted her to live, after all.

There's a book of braille closed on her lap, though who knows how she might have found it. Perhaps the mansion had provided it for her. Learning it has been slow going, since she's been attempting it on her own, but determination has usually served her very well in the past. ]

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[Liam is returning a tea set he had taken to his room to have while reading.

At the sight of Break coughing, so pale, he immediately sets it down and hurries over. He notices the book and the braille, as well, but first...]


Xerxes, you're white as a sheet! You could do that just as easily while resting.

[He's fairly sure he knows which one this is. He pulls a sleeve up slightly and feels her forehead with his wrist.]

Let me make you some honey tea for that cough, and I'll escort you to your room. You're going to make yourself sick.

[He doesn't know where her room is, and that's an ulterior motive--if he knows, he can check in on her and bring her what she needs.]

[ She bats his hand away half-heartedly, tilting her head in his direction with an unimpressed expression. Really, Liam worries too much. It's true that she's had better days, but she hardly needs to be bedridden. ]

Don't fret so, Liam. I'm perfectly fine to be up, and my cough will go away soon enough.

[ A beat, picking up her cup and offering it to Liam. ]

I wouldn't say no to tea, though. I'm afraid mine has gone quite cold.

[He scowls at her, even though he can't see it. Naaaaag.]

You look like you're about to pass out--in addition to coughing up blood. Leaning against the cabinets like that! It's a wonder you haven't passed out and slid right off.

[He's actually fairly certain in this case, from the way Xerxes looks, that he could pick her up and carry her to her room, and she likely wouldn't be able to protest much. But he's going to wait on that. Last resort.

He takes the cup, and moves to put on a kettle.]


When was the last time you ate something that wasn't sugar? I likely wouldn't be mobile if I hadn't been forced to eat properly here--by one of your counterparts, in fact. You'll heal faster if your body has the necessary nutrients.

[He'll be checking the icebox for yogurt in a second.]

[ She supposes if she tells him she can't keep anything down right now, he'll just be even more upset, so for the moment, it's best to just lie. ] I'll have you know I had a proper breakfast. In fact, that's why I can't manage a cookie, I'm sorry to say. I would've much rather had that than breakfast, after all.

[ She sits up just to prove him wrong, folding the cloth over and swallowing down the next cough. ]

And I'm not going to pass out, don't be so silly. I've not done anything strenuous at all today, and it's not as if I have Hatter back, yet.

[Nice try, but he doesn't believe her. Liam's used to his Xerxes lying, and it makes him even more concerned.]

Even if you don't have an appetite, you need to have something, Xerxes. Breakfast or no, that entire plate would have been long since demolished and you'd be looking for more.

[He's gotten his goal from the icebox and when he sees her sit up like the stubborn Break she is, he goes back immediately to hover. He grabs a spoon from a drawer, opens the yogurt and stirs it, and then presses it into her hand.

If she doesn't wind up eating it, he will.]


It's what I started out with. It's light enough that it didn't make me nauseous.

And please don't bother with Hatter here. There's no need. I can help you.

[ She takes a sniff of the yogurt and turns her nose up at it, setting it immediately aside. She'll allow fussing to some degree, but she draws the line at overglorified baby-food.

At the comment about Hatter, though, she sits up, eye narrowing, expression bullish. ]


You expect me go simply sit on the sidelines and allow myself to be protected by other people? [ A cough into her kerchief, mouth thinning. ] Hatter is mine, and if the Baskervilles try anything else, I'll need him.

[He sighs when she sets it aside; clearly he'll have to find something else for her to eat.

There are so many things he could say to that, could turn it into a real argument, but Liam realizes he's overstepped his bounds, and he backs down.]


I'm sorry.

[He picks up the yogurt, since clearly he'll be the one eating it.]

Just... At least let me help you while you heal?

[Although he's trying to keep his voice neutral, there's a hint of guilt there that speaks volumes.]

[ For a moment she considers being difficult-- but then she sighs, rolling her eye and leaning back again. ]

You've already helped me a great deal, Liam. [ A brief pause, grudgingly: ] I'll attempt to be more agreeable, but I can't make any promises.

[He's relieved to have avoided an argument, really, and manages a little amused,]

Well, you are a Xerxes, after all.

And... I'm one of those people who has to stand on the sidelines to be protected. The least I can do is help you when it's over.

[He spoons up a bit of the yogurt, but hesitates.]

Are you certain you don't want this? It's a bit like ice cream, but more nutritious. Your stomach will only get worse if you don't have something--though I suppose I could find Gilbertine and help her make you some soup.

I'm afraid I don't find myself intrigued by your gelatinous fake ice-cream in a strange container. You can't fool me with that crime against nature.

[ She pokes him in the chest, brow arching again. ]

I see what you're trying to do. So insidious, Liam, I didn't know you had it in you. Trying to make me run away to hide in my room.

It's a bit odd, but good. A version of you told me to eat it while I recovered.

[This is said defensively, but he gives up and decides to eat it himself; after all, it's much like arguing with a finicky child--or, from the way she turned up her nose, a finicky cat.

Unfortunately, as he's taking that first bite she pokes him right in his stitches, and he winds up coughing when it goes down the wrong way.

When he's recovered, he frowns at her.]


My attempt at cooking would be more likely make you run away and hide, but I suppose I could manage not to burn some soup. If you're having trouble eating, maybe warm broth...? That might also help with the coughing.

[ She waves away the offer, dismissing it with no apparent interest. ]

I'm not hungry right now, anyway. When I am, I'll bother Gilbertine.

[ After a moment, she leans in, brows arching. ]

And how are you healing, then?

[Liam signs and gives up on it, instead focusing on the yogurt. He was a bit hungry, after all.]

In general, I'm healing well. Canterbury had a look at the wounds--he was apparently training to be a doctor--and apparently the stitches can come out soon.

I met Duchess Rainsworth the other day. She was surprised I'm up and walking after only a month, but... [He considers for a moment.] I've been cared for by someone know knows how to help me, here. And perhaps the Mansion is accelerating the healing somehow.

You may be pleased to know that, assuming that Lady Sheryl is in fact from my world, your counterpart there apparently survived the party. [He won't say what else she said.]

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