"DERYN!" Alek shouted as he shook her limp body trying to wake her up, get her to talk, or do something.
Alek's arm landed on a small box as he continued to shake Deryn (as if that would help) and knocked it over. The clattering helped Alek see through his panic and look at what box he had knocked over.
"God's wounds," Alek breathed as he saw that this box was Deryn's smelling salts, "This could barking work!"
He opened the box and waved it under her nose trying to spread the sharp smell to wake Deryn up. Finally Deryn opened her eyes and Alek sighed with relief, "Thank providence that you're alright, Deryn! I thought you had just died! Are you all right?"
"Oooooohhhh... Alright isn't the right word here, I think," Deryn managed to get out before hurling right on the bed.
"Schiesse! What's the matter Deryn?" Shouted Alek and began to spout off all kinds of Austrian swears.
Deryn looked up at Alek and whispered breathing hard, "Get... get... Dr... Barl...Barl...owe... Al... Alek," before collapsing on the bed being as pale as a ghost, gulping down air, and sweating profusely.
" But... I don't want to leave you here alone!" Alek worried, "What if something bad happens and I'm not there? I don't want to lose you again! I want to help you!"
Alek knelt down wiping furiously at his eyes ashamed to be crying in front of a barking girl, his love. Finally he looked up and saw Deryn's weak and helpless look again, that she was going to give up on life again soon, if he won't do anything to help her.
"Alright, alright, I understand that I can't do anything here and that the boffin is the only person who can help here," Alek sighed and submit, "I'll go get her but if you go die on me here, I won't forgive you for this, you hear? I'll never forgive you!"
With that, Alek dashed out the door but just as he passed the doorway he heard Deryn croak, "Thank you... I... lo...love... you..."
Alek didn't consider him self an emotional guy, but apparently he was, as a small moan and a tear escaped from his soon-to-be wet eyes.
Dr. Barlowe and Volger were all alone in Dr. Barlowe's quarter's having a heart-to-heart moment, when a frantic banging on the door brought them apart, breathing fast gazing into each other's eyes.
"Come in!" called Dr. Barlowe in a higher pitched voice than usual, and gave a glare to Volger as he kissed her on the cheek and hid himself under the bed. The door opened revealing Alek standing in the doorway, breathing fast.
"Oh my, Alek! What a surprise to see you here! What is the matter? You're as pale as a ghost!" Exclaimed the boffin, curious why Alek was here in the middle of the night.
"Dr. Barlowe, you have to come quick!" Alek agitatedly whispered loudly, "Deryn is dying!"
Once Barlowe heard the words "Deryn is dying" she immediately asked, "Is she conscious and if so, what are her symptoms?"
Alek looked reluctant to stand around answering crazy boffin questions but complied, "She's awake but she's breathing hard, vomiting profusely, and she's very feverish."
Nora blanched and whispered, "Oh no. Oh no... This is very bad," and rushed out of the room with Alek behind her, and Volger quietly bringing up the rear.
"Will you at least tell me what is wrong with her?" Alek yelled as Dr. Barlowe tried to shut the door on Alek but vainly failed.
"I can't!" shouted the boffin shoving thee door behind her once more not giving up the fight, "If I do you'll be more worried about her and more determined to enter! I will not tell you what is wrong with her!"
"Let me in!" cried Alek but felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see Volger holding him back.
"Let it go, Alek," whispered Volger, "She'll be fine with Nora watching her."
"NO!" shouted Alek as he saw the door slowly ease closed on him and gave one last push, "I WILL SEE HER!"
But he was beaten as the door slammed closed and Alek heard the key click in the lock. "NO!" Alek screamed, as his fists rained down upon the door demanding it be opened.
"SILENCE!" shouted Volger over Alek's clamor, shutting him up immediately, "You will sit here and ponder as to what you have done here. You will not rise from this spot until you have thought everything through and are able to apologize to us. That is your punishment, your highness."
Alek reddened with anger and was about to curse Volger for betraying him when he was the archduke here when sudden clarity made him see that he was the one at fault here for making quite a scene. "Alright," Alek mumbled his ascension, as he sat down in the area Volger pointed to and put his head down on his knees. When he heard Volger's footsteps lead away from him and fade, Alek finally let himself sob for Deryn, for the boffin, and for all the other people he hurt as he lived.
Alek awoke to the tiny needles sinking into his shoulder and he muttered, "Lay off, I'm trying to sleep here," The needles persisted and Alek getting annoyed raised his head and hissed, "I said lay- oh it's you Bovril. I didn't know you were there."
"Morning, dummkopf," chirped the loris into Alek's ear as Alek stretched his legs, yawning. He looked around and noticing his surroundings he remembered what he had done.
"Oh no, Deryn's in troub-... Dr. Barlowe-... door... Oh what have I done?" lamented Alek.
"Done," repeated Bovril, and scampered off of Alek's shoulder to scooch under the door into the surgical room.
! Bovril!" Alek called but the loris was gone without another word and Alek was left all alone again with his guilt.
Suddenly the door swung open, and Dr. Barlowe stumbled out to lean against the opposite wall, running her hands through her hair muttering, "Never never will I participate in this ordeal again never
Oh, good morning Alek, I did not see you there."
Alek stood sharply and anxiously questioned, "So
? What's wrong with Dyl- erm- Deryn? Is she alright? Will she live? What-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Alek! Hold on a minute, let me rest for a moment, and then I will answer your questions one by one."
Alek turned around and began to pace back and forth waiting for Dr. Barlowe to take her moments rest, which seemed to take forever.
After what seemed like the whole war had come and gone seven times, Dr. Barlowe finally spoke, "Alright, I will tell you what was wrong with Deryn. She apparently had a bit of the bullet shrapnel still stuck in her side that I've overlooked which caused the inevitable lead poisoning. But don't worry, Alek, she will be fine since I have rid of that piece of bullet stuck in her side. Thankfully didn't graze any liquid tracts or she would really be in trouble then with that lead circulating through her body. I've placed her under a strict lead free diet with plenty of nutrients for her to regain her strength and for her body to rid of the lead in her system. Hopefully under these circumstances Miss Sharp will recover."
Alek barely paid attention to what Dr. Barlowe spouted , having only one question on him, "May I go see her now?"
The boffin grinned slyly and drawled out, "We-eeeeelllll, I don't know Alek. Lead poisoning is a very serious condition and it may leave a horrid effect on Deryn and maybe on you too, who knows
Alek's expression fell and he turned around to drag his feet back to his cabin mumbling, "Oh
. Well then
"Wait!" called Dr. Barlowe, surprised at Alek's reply to her teasing, "Do you really think I am serious about not letting you see her?"
Alek looked back and replied, "Well, you are the doctor after all
"Ugh," sighed the boffin, "Well you're no fun at all, Alek. Don't you see that I am teasing you? Of course you can see Deryn! Didn't you listen to anything what I said about her condition?"
Pausing for a moment, the boy quietly thundered, "You were teasing me?"
The boffin glared back grumbling, "Well, I was cooped up in that surgical room for over an hour so yes I think I deserved to have a little bit of fun afterwards. But you're no fun at all Alek! So uptight with your answers, stumbling
Alek heard nothing as yesterday's night replayed itself in the boy's mind, and Alek grinned, "Well, maybe I did deserve that after what I did to you last night,"
"Huh?" Dr. Barlowe said, thrown off her great lecture, "Oh, you're talking about last night? Well, I guess you're right, I was kind of getting back at you with that teasing. So I guess we are even now. No more cruel jokes, but you do have to talk to Volger about that. He is still a little sore about the argument you had spouting off at random times how you are the archduke and how you should properly conduct yourself, and such. I know you don't want to talk to him now but I think you should talk to him after seeing Deryn. You'll be ready then I'll wager."
"Alright," muttered Alek consenting to the boffin's idea, "I don't have to wear a mask or anything, do I?"
"No, of course not," laughed the boffin, "You just have to take off anything that is lead on you,"
"Oh, alright, then," answered Alek and took off his ripped "imperial" clothes and entered only to find Deryn passed out on her bed.