He lay on the bed, her bed. Still, unmoving. A stranger he was to her; they didn't have any ties binding them. And still, she watched over him, transfixed, as if compelled to do so. She couldn't tear herself away from his bedside, except when absolutely necessary. She cared for him, dressing his wounds, and nursing him back to health. Or trying to. The man was the most stubborn she had ever seen. He wasn't responding to her treatment, not her gift of healing, not her medicines, not her prayers. It seemed he'd lost the will to live.
He was delirious. In some remote part of his mind, he could sense that. How, he did not know. He thought he'd died. He struggled, trying to come to the surface, but succeeded only in worrying the woman caring for him; him thrashing around on her little bed. All he could make sense out of was a scent, something that teased his senses, relieved his mind, soothed his soul.
And existed only when she was near.
So. The stubborn man wasn't responding favorably. She would take matters in her own hands. Quite literally. Taking a deep breath, as if preparing for something that was going to hurt, she lightly placed her hands on his chest, over his heart. Pressing down lightly, she spoke. Her voice was low, but held power. She chanted, words of truth. Of enchantment, of wisdom. Of magic, and love.
In doing so, she took his pain inside her own body, felt the fire that burned him, the dagger that had hacked his arm almost to pieces, the sword that had cleaved the whole side of his leg. Every agonizing second of the battle he'd fought, she relived inside her own mind and body.
A scream escaped from her mouth. Inadvertently. Once, only once. She wouldn't permit herself more weakness. She bit her lip and drew blood, trying with every last ounce of willpower to hold the pain trapped inside.
He arched upwards, and she backwards. As if the hurt and pain they both felt was bending their bodies with the force of itself.
And then it was over. Slowly, she lifted her palms from his chest. They pulsed lightly, still hurting. Her breathing was ragged, as she fought to hold on to her consciousness. She passed her hands softly over his face, his hair.
"Live, or die gently".