Ship Shape – Part 3

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Amon’s pensive expression was replaced by something a little more unreadable as he found himself unsure of how to respond to her. Two things made this complicated.

First… he was absolutely not used to having this kind of… positive and concerned… attention draped over him by Scylla. In fact, it was almost disturbing… though he was certain that was not her intention.

She had been taken in by the healer’s guild and she was acting her part. She thought he was ill and responded as a healer would. Nothing more.

So why did it grate on something in the caverns of his soul to accept behavior that almost was… kind… and so uncharacteristic… from this woman who looked like his old rival?

Second, was the question she posed. The last thing he wanted her to know was that his form was broken and didn’t fully work the way it should. But she’d been observing him more than he realized.

Gritting his teeth, the bard cooked up a quick reply, his face forced into a sad smile that he hoped would match the sentiment.

“Ah, this? There was an incident… and now my motor skills aren’t quite what they used to be. Interferes with my performance. Some days are worse than others, I’m afraid.” He noted that even to his eyes, his hand was more shaky than usual. “But I’ve been working on it – I’ve learned some methods in Yanxia that have been helping. I’ve just been a little lax with it lately. This ship pitches so much.”

“Incident?” Scylla raised an eyebrow.

This might be indicative of neurological damage. He might have really taken that blow to the head.

She suddenly was worried that she was taking a hopeless journey with a lunatic that had escaped from the Gridianian Sanatorium.

But he did know who I was… and even as scrambled as he might be, there may be clues hidden in that head to my past.

With that resolve, the white mage pulled on her shirt, and took Amon’s hand by the sleeve, starting examining the health of his fingers.

“Perhaps you could explain this… incident?”  Scylla started wiggling his fingers back and forth while motioning to her face with her free hand.

“And take off that silly visor, will you? I need to examine your eyes.”

It took every ounce of Amon’s resolve not to yank his arm free from the White Mage’s grasp. He thought that offering her a little bit of the truth would pacify her. But true to the Scylla he once knew, she wouldn’t settle for anything but the whole shebang.

Being touched and handled was bad enough, but when it came to her final request, his whole body grew rigid. He was taken too much off guard to find a passable excuse. As he grew more anxious, the first thoughts that came to mind slipped from between his lips.

“I can’t.”

He silently cursed himself, knowing two little hasty words were going to cause him more trouble than anything he’d done so far.

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