Hello, lovelies! It's been awhile. You hate me. I'm aware :/

Enjoy!

DPOV

I sat next to Rose's bed, as I had been for the entire week we'd been at the Royal Court. Dr. Olendsky said that since Rose was in a coma, it wasn't fit for her to stay at the Academy. The Queen had fortuitously reserved a private room for the princess, and she as even going far enough to fly Lissa down after her final exams. The novice had been calling me everyday, begging for news. Each day it was the same: no change.

However, for the first time, Lissa had said that she had gone in Rose's head. We had thought it impossible, since she hadn't felt anything since Rose had been poisoned, but we were taking it as a sign that she would wake up soon. It hurt my heart to see her laying there, paler than ever, a tortured look trapped on her face. Whatever it was that was laying inside her, it was causing her pain, and that just about broke me. Plus, the dream that Lissa had witnessed was a common nightmare for Rose, and I hoped that she wasn't trapped in that same nightmare, even now.

My hands clenched around the western novel I'd been attempting to read. Ever since becoming Rose's guardian, it had been one thing after another, and now someone had tried to poison her. Adrian hadn't gotten far enough in his healing training to do anything, and he wasn't being very forthcoming if he had any other abilities that could help. Not to mention that every moment she lay there, I was flooded with feelings that a guardian should never feel about his charge. Unfortunately, they weren't going away for me anytime soon. Rose was the symbol of what was good in the world (even if she had a funny way of showing it) and for someone to try and take that out of my life, it just made me want her all the more to myself. What better way to protect her than to keep her close?

"Don't think too hard, Comrade. You'll get wrinkles," a raspy voice said from the bed.

I cursed, sitting up. I'd been so focused on my own drama that I'd missed her waking up. Dammit.

"Roza," I whispered, moving closer to her. "I thought you would never wake up," I raised my hand as if to stroke her hair, but I managed to catch myself at the last moment, letting it fall to my side.

"Sorry to disappoint you," she rasps again, before her voice dissolves into a fit of coughs. I look around for some water and spot an empty cup by the sink. Filling it, I put it to her lips and she gulps it down greedily. "Is this a piss cup?" She asks.

I look down at the cup confusedly, "what?" Surely I couldn't have heard right.

"You know, the cup that people pee in for drug tests? Or other tests, I suppose," Rose asks, speaking really slowly as if I were a child.

"Uh...how does one determine whether it is a...'piss-cup?'"

"You're kidding, right? It's plastic, with a lid. Have you never seen one of these before?"

"Fairly certain I've never had to take one," I say.

"Figures you'd be a goody-goody."

I'm about to retaliate when the doctor enters, so I close my mouth abruptly and settle for a glare instead. At least her sense of humor was intact. My mind flashes to what seems like a lifetime ago, when I watched her convulse on the floor. My hands clench again, but I force myself to let it go and listen to what the doctor is saying.

"...vision, so far?" The doctor asks, and Rose shakes her head.

"I mean, not within the last five minutes. When can I get out of here?"

"Well, Princess, considering we don't know what poison it was and why it only effected you, not to mention how you woke up, it'll probably be awhile-"

"Wait, poison? What poison?"

We all stop, looking at her. I search her face, looking for any sign of a joke, but I see none.

"Your Highness, what exactly do you remember before you woke up here?" The doctor asks, tentatively.

"Uhm," she says, "I was at the feeders, right?" She looks to me for confirmation and a nod, pursing my lips. I suppose she wouldn't have known it was poison in the first place, but she would have remembered something off about the blood, right?

"Is that all you remember?"

She nods her head uncertainly, her trepidation plain on her face. When she looks at me like that, all I want to do is pull her into my arms and hold her until the danger goes away. Of course, I mentally slap myself for thinking these things. Not only is she underage, but she's a Moroi. A royal Moroi. If I were to pursue a relationship, I'd most likely end up in prison, if not executed.

"...safe keeping," the doctor finishes. I curse myself again for zoning out, and judging by Rose's face, something wasn't going well.

"A month? Oh, hell no! No way," Rose yells, crossing her arms.

"Princess, I'm afraid you don't have a choice. This is a directive straight from the Queen," the doctor states.

I brace myself for the rage that I was sure Rose was feeling right now, but she surprises me by simply laying back on her pillows and heaving out a sigh. She looks completely exhausted.

"We'll leave you to get some rest. A nurse will be in in awhile to give you some medication," the doctor says, getting up and leaving the room.

"Do we know who poisoned me?" She asks, and I frown.

"No, but we will, Roza. I swear we'll figure it out."

"I know. You always know how to fix things, Dimitri," she says softly, her eyelids fluttering. I decide fuck it with formalities, and I move to sit on the bed next to her. Pulling her into my arms, I stroke her hair softly. She lets me, sighing into my chest and I wish I could do this everyday, for the rest of my life.

"Get some sleep, princess. I'll be here when you wake up," I whisper, watching her eyes drift closed and her breathing even. "I'll fix everything, I promise."

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