Seraphina and Arwyn had gotten Orion home but he wasn’t showing any signs of healing, his wounds were still seeping blood and his body was burning up. Sweat from a high fever mixing with the blood of his wounds despite his children’s best efforts to keep the wounds clean. Sera was holding a cold wash cloth against his forehead as he laid unmoving on the couch. From time to time a small wince would leave his lips. “We need to get him to the hospital if he isn’t going to start healing.” Sera’s voice held an edge of panic but Arwyn was ever the voice of reason trying to calm his sister down.

The young lycan opened his mouth to speak but his father’s voice came out, “Sariah…” He muttered in the midst of a fevered dream. She was so close, he could see her but the closer he ran to her the farther she seemed to get from him. When he thought she was within arm’s reach she was suddenly miles away and the words ‘good bye’ seemed to echo all around him.

Sera grabbed his phone and pressed his finger against the unlock button muttering curses under her breath for the fact that he had to keep it lock all the time. Sure he was an Ambassador and had private contracts on his phone but the lock wasn’t helpful at times like this. “Sariah, Sariah.” Seraphina said to herself as she scrolled through his contacts before finding the name in question. It was late, Sera knew that but she really didn’t care. It was unlikely her Dad said the name as a way of helping but even though Sariah wasn’t a doctor she was the human Ambassador and the head of the Organization which meant she might have something that could help her father.

Pressing the phone button, she waited as it began to ring. “Pick up, pick up, pick up!” The young kitsune muttered as her leg bounced up and down while she waited. Patience was far from her strong suit at the moment since all she wanted was to get her father some sort of help. “Please pick up.” She pleaded as her grip tightened on the phone and she could hear it beginning to crack and quickly loosened her grip.

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She knew it was tonight. How could she not know it was tonight. Despite the fact that the therianthropes had tried to keep a lid on what was happening the organization really was everywhere and the whispers were abuzz in the woods area of the city all day. The blonde had stayed late at work to distract her from everything that was happening, it hadn't been to much success however because her mind had kept flashing to the look on Orion's face just moments before he had walked away. Eventually she had closed her laptop and headed home, taking a cab this time because paranoia had gotten the best of her since she had first met Elijah.

Getting home Sariah had set down her things before changing and getting into bed. She had laid awake wondering if she had done the right thing by stepping aside and letting him do what he thought he needed to because right now it didn't feel like it as she clutched the covers tightly as though they could somehow take away the pain and fear she was feeling. She didn't really know when but eventually she had passed out from pure exhaustion into a restless sleep, the flash of images allowing her little rest as her concerned mind flipped it's way through every possible scenario. "Orion" the name had rolled off her lips several times as she slept until the ringing stirred her awake. 

Sitting up quickly in bed the blonde had reached for her glasses on the bedside table before picking up her phone and reading the caller ID, it felt strange to say that this was the first call she had ever gotten from him. Despite the fact that she knew she should probably decline the call it was almost reflex as she tapped the accept button and pressed the phone gently against her ear. The moment she did so and spoke a soft "Hello" a worried female voice had spoken down the line. It hadn't taken long for her to realize it was Orion's daughter she was speaking to. A look of relief crossed the ambassador's face as Seraphina had explained the events of the night, Sariah had been quiet as she listened to the panicked voice on the phone.

The relief however was short lived as she realized quite the extend of what had happened and she could feel the sense of panic looming over her to. Shaking her head the blonde attempted to pull herself together, now wasn't the time for emotions to get the better of her. Luckily for Orion Sariah had kept to her promise of their alliance and began work on several different projects that benefited the therianthropes, including a serum designed to help with silver poisoning. "Okay, you need to stay calm for me, I need a temperature reading" she pressed the speaker button on the phone as she climbed out of bed and grabbed the first pair of jeans and shirt beside the bed. 

Once the temperature reading came she did her best to not show her reaction down the phone line, as silver worked it's way through a therian's body it would heat up their core body temperature to a feverish level, it was as though it was having a chemical reaction to their blood and as the reaction continued, so did the rise of the temperature, if the healing couldn't fight it off then the temperature would eventually become unsurvivable. "Okay I'm going to need you to find every piece of ice you have in that place and get it into a bath, I'm sure you can guess what you need to do next" by now the blonde had dressed and grabbed her keys as well as her organization ID badge and switched to a headset so she could keep talking. She grabbed a pen and scrawled down the address Seraphina had given before heading out of the door.

Orion could vaguely hear his daughter talking to someone but he couldn’t really hear the words. Consciousness was not something that was easily coming to him as he tried to open his eyes his fevered mind fighting him every step of the way and telling him to relax and sleep as his body shivered violently. Orion could feel every wound from his broken ribs and leg to every laceration and contusion on his body. With the adrenaline gone the pain was setting in full force and between the pain and the fever he was trapped in very odd dream mumbling out in his unconscious state. That didn’t worry his children too much until he began to mutter their Mother’s name which Sera and Arwyn both took as a bad sign.

”Dad, Dad....Dad!” Sera roared out trying to bring him out of it, “Sariah’s coming she’s going to help you so just hold on.” The young Kitsune said as Arwyn went to go dump the ice into the bath as instructed. When the ice maker was empty he flipped the switch on for it to make more and grabbed the couple of ice trays and emptied those too. “Come on.” Sera said in a soft voice as she and Arwyn lead him to the bathroom and the jacket before placing him in the ice bathtub. 

For a split second Orion jolted up and released a startled and pain filled roar before he fell back in the tub. The ice slowly trying to bring his body temperature down and it also helped to sooth the pain running through his veins. After ten minutes his eyes slowly began to open just the smallest amount, enough to see the worry on his children’s faces. Orion couldn’t fault them for that since they had never seen him in such bad shape because he had never been in this sort of state in his life. Elijah may not have come out the victor but there was a chance he would still get what he wanted.

”Someone pulled up.” He said weakly as he fought to keep his eyes open. Orion was so tired, tired of fighting and tired of losing. Maybe if he could just sleep he’s wake to this just been a very vivid dream. Once more his eyes slide closed before he felt a sharp sting against his cheek, his eyes flew open as he stared at Sera in shock, had she just slapped him.

”Dad you have to stay awake. I called someone to help you, just let her.” Arwyn had apparently gotten the door and the voice he heard from downstairs caused a different sort of shock to move through him.

Sariah was running on pure adreneline as she walked out of the house quickly locking the door behind her only managing to slip on her running shoes from besides the door as she unlocked her car and climbed into the driver's seat, she didn't really like driving unless she had to but tonight was definitely a good enough excuse for a small contribution to global warming. The ambassador drove the short distance between her home and her workplace in record time before she climbed out and quickly transferred her call to the building security "I am going to need clearance immediately for an urgent matter" she had spoken the words much calmer than she felt as she waited for the light on the entrance doors to turn from red to green. 

As soon as the door was unlocked she headed inside using her key fob to allow her through the private elevator, taking it to the fourth floor the blonde, almost looking like a sleeping zombie in her half awake state complete with a mess of blonde curls walked hurriedly through the halls to the prototype lab. It didn't take her long to find what she had been looking for and tuck it into her bag before she retraced the route she had come turning off the lights in the empty building as she went. Exiting the building she instructed security to lock down the building once more before making her way back to her car and punching in the address she had written down into her GPS.

The journey had mostly been fast, it was gone midnight and most of the crowd were home in their beds by now. There was however a moment as she pulled up at a red light where she shook her head a little, everything felt surreal, all she knew was that she had this chilling doubt in herself, someone's life was quite literally in her hands, not just anyone but the man she cared for, she was terrified. Before the raise in her heartbeat and breath cause set in however the light turned green and she sped away the rest of the distance to where the GPS would announce she had arrived at her destination. Killing the engine she took just a single deep breath before grabbing the items on the passenger seat and climbing out of the car.

The door was open before she had even reached it and she was greeted by a young man, despite the dark eyes Sariah instantly recognized Orion's face in his, a brief exchange of hellos and introductions would let her know his name was Arwyn. As the blonde went to speak he had ushered her inside and closed the door behind them both "How is he?" she asked almost fearing the answer but to her luck the ice seemed to have staved off the fever long enough for her to get what she needed and make it here. Wasting no time she allowed Arwyn to lead her to the bathroom which after a moment to catch her breath she opened the door to and stepped inside.

This time she couldn't contain the look of horror on her expression as her eyes scanned over his frame and the very breath left her lungs for a few moments, she hadn't known what to expect, she after all wasn't a doctor and wasn't used to blood or wounds of any sort. Despite the look in her eyes her voice remained surprisingly steady "Good job on keeping him awake" she commended the young girl who stood at his side noting the very recent red mark against his cheek. The blonde grimaced a little, she had never really been all that good with blood and gore so this would be a challenge for her.

Sariah had fell to her knees in order to lay out the things she clutched in her arms, before she met Orion's gaze on eye level, it hurt to see someone she had always seen as so very strong in such a way, even if she knew the reasons it had happened and all but begged him not to go through with it. "You're going to be fine" she spoke it but even she didn't know if she believed it. Opening the automated health kit she typed in her password before the machine sparked into life with a soft progression of beeps. Taking the wires attached she hesitantly got to her feet before reaching down to press each one gently against the different pressure points on his skin as she had been taught by the medical assistants.

Right on cue the machine burst into life as she attached the final wire, the screen showing all different measurements. Despite the ice the temperature gauge was highlighted red indicating that it hadn't been enough to allow the fever to break which meant the worst was still yet to come.

It was an internal conflict of wanting to see Sariah, knowing she could and not wanting her to see him this way. Seraphina was already scarred but he was proud of her for keeping it together, from the moment he won she’d been trying to be brave and help him. The younger Kitsune knowing how to set bones, wrap ribs and give stitches, all of which she’d been quick to do once they got home but the fact that he wasn’t healing meant everything she had done meant never little. As much as he looked like he’d just journeyed through hell, he felt it too.

Sariah had told him that his strength came from others and now he was putting that to the test. A doctor likely wouldn’t be able to do much with the silver in his system and heavy metal toxicity could kill a Therian or a human because their bodies weren’t made to filter it. That’s why silver was so dangerous in liquid or powder form. Once in the blood stream it wasn’t easy to get out and a Therian’s body would increase to a temperature high enough to kill them just to try and fight it. Even with the ice which freezing cold, his body temperature was causing it to melt, Arwyn bringing in more ice to try to cool him as he stared at Sariah in the doorway.

It was hard to get his eyes and mind to fully focus and for a moment he thought it was a delusion brought on by his fever. As soon as her scent tickled his nostrils he knew this was real and she was here. An expression of mild shock and disbelief crossed his features before a fond smile caused his lips to curve up. “The whole life and death thing is a pretty persuasive reason to see me.” He said trying to joke but as he started to chuckle he quickly winced as his ribs screamed in protest. Orion couldn’t feel any internal bleeding so he was pretty sure his broken ribs hadn’t punctured anything, they just hurt like the dickens. As Sariah praised Seraphina for keeping him awake he frowned, “I think she’s been waiting a while to slap me.” Sera gave a watery smile before excusing herself from the room.

Orion knew she probably needed a moment since it had been one hell of a stressful and upsetting night for her. As Sariah knelt next to the tub he tilted his head to watch her, his eyes were heavy but he forced them to stay open. His lips pulled into a small smile once more glad at least one of them seemed to think so. Seeing Sariah again was nice even it was under terrible circumstances, it was better than her attending his funeral though. The Kitsune had no idea what the machine was for but the beeping was mildly annoying even if he was sure it served some sort of purpose. Little pads attached to wires were pressed to his skin and though he knew Sariah was trying to be gentle some still hurt regardless but it was thankfully a fleeting jolt of pain. Of course it was hard to tell what was fleeting when his pain receptors were constantly firing. The Therian now understood why doctors put burn victims and those who suffered extensive wounds in medically induced comas in order to cope and start to heal. 

Orion would have shown more curiosity over the machine but just keeping his eyes open was a challenge in and of itself. His eyes slowly began to close again as a violent shiver went through him, his body convulsing. For a man who prided himself on self control this was pure torture. 

The one thing that Sariah really had going for her in this moment was that she tended to be level headed when it came to her actions in a moment of crisis, she supposed that's probably what got her the vote for the role of ambassador because while her mouth might not give the best words, the way she handled herself was far superior. Part of her was screaming that he needed a doctor and just leaving him here without calling one was hurting his chances of survival but the other more reasonable side of her knew just how little the doctors knew about the supernatural anatomy, especially compared to someone like her who had studied it for years. 

As she looked back at him she noted the look of shock in his eyes, it was clear that he hadn't expected to see her, she guess she hadn't expected to be here either, when she had said goodbye it hadn't been a whim of the moment thing, she had made that decision and there had been reasons, ones that seemed so distant in this very moment as her eyes scanned over the wounds that littered his body and the fear of the very reality of this situation set in. His joke brought a wary smile to her lips, she would take the fact that he was able to speak as good sign "It's almost tied with 8 hour long council meetings bad" she responded lightly despite the darkness of the scene before her. 

Sariah had shrugged in response to his disgruntled comment "Smart thinking" she had to take Seraphina's side on this one, keeping him awake meant giving him the best chance of survival, regardless of how it was achieved. The blonde turned to watch as the young girl exited the room and she grimaced a little, not only was Orion relying on her now but both of those kids whom she could tell were afraid they would be a orphan by morning light. As she placed each of the wires from the machine she tried to make as little contact with his skin as possible in order to not disturb the wounds which covered his body.  "Sorry" she had spoken gently each time he had winced at the contact against his skin, she hated to see people in pain.

Once the machine was hooked up the blonde started entering commands into the system. Her focus was to use it to keep steady on his body temperature. The devices had been made by the organization and gained input from the high ups at Evermore General, it was one of the most expensive pieces of equipment the organization owned and it had saved countless lives already since it's invention 2 years ago. She hadn't noticed him slipping again until she heard the sound of his violet shaking and turned quickly towards him her hands shaking a little as she grabbed onto one of his. "Hey, Orion" she soothed gently "Hey, it's going to be okay" she reiterated as she watched him closely "We're going to get through this together, okay, so you're going to focus on the sound of my voice" if she was best at anything it was talking someone's ear off. 

As she released his hand she went back over to the machine and stared for a moment at the other item she had brought with her, to say she was hesitant to use it would have been the understatement of the century, while she was confident in the serum it was still a prototype which hadn't undergone medical trials, she had no idea if it would have side affects or even whether it was too late to use it. "I've loved computers ever since I was young, built one myself at the age of 12 using spare parts from the basement, obviously back then they were bulky and couldn't do anything like that can today but I loved that thing" she laughed gently as she tapped more commands into the machine allowing it to provide some level of pain relief "With my IQ I probably could have make a fortune in mathematics if I wanted to, but instead I chose to be computer nerd" she grinned a little to herself.

"Well I mean actually when I was younger I wanted to join the army" she added, she was mostly just talking about whatever came to mind "I was pretty athletic back then too, not that you'd believe it nowadays" she picked up the syringe with the serum again her expression lost as she debated the positives and negatives in her mind  "Wasn't meant to be though" she added with a half smile, losing that acceptance had hurt so much back then but now when she looked back on it, she realized that perhaps it was just life's way of pointing her to where the needed to be. "Which I suppose is good for you because if it wasn't for that setback I don't think we would have met" she added as she circled around the tub and knelt down beside him. 

"Orion" she spoke softly her breath was close to his ear her tone shifting from the light to the darker  "I have something that might be able to stop the poisoning but I'm scared of what else it might do" she confessed as she waited for his reaction. She guessed she was looking for his forgiveness if she did use it and it either made things worse.

Sariah’s voice seemed so calm but he could smell her anxiety, fear and worry. That wasn’t what he focused on though he focused on the sound of her voice, it soothing and a welcomed relief. Besides it was something he hadn’t expected to hear again so soon. The Therian hadn’t meant to scare anyone least of all his own children but both had seen him ready to give his life before but that would never make it easier. His daughter was very much a Daddy’s girl and he was the only parent either had left. Orion however was a firm believer in leading by example which meant if you taught your family to defend and protect others you always did everything you had to in order to do the same.

Even though he felt like death warmed over he hadn’t lost his sense of humor. Or the fever was just so bad he lost the ability to filter himself and was just saying the first thing that happened to come to mind, he really wasn’t sure. “Don’t want to go to meetings.” Orion muttered his brain muddling her words a bit making him wonder why she wanted him to go to a meeting, he couldn’t in this sort of shape. Unless they wanted to have an Ambassador meeting his bathroom but that just seemed weird. It was a good thing they weren’t currently having an in-depth meaningful conversation because his brain was not being helpful in translating it all to make sense.

“I’m sure you wouldn’t mind slapping me either at this point.” He said in close to a childish whine knowing Sariah was still incredibly upset with him. Why wouldn’t she be? He went against what she told him and maybe the worst case scenario hadn’t happened yet but it was still a possibility. Breathing and talking was a challenge but much like an animal in the wild he didn’t let on how wounded or in pain he really was. Blood seeping from the field stitches every time he moved or shivered. “It’s the least of the pain to be honest.” He said in a low and breathy tone trying to cause himself as little pain as possible while speaking.

It was an incredibly long twenty seconds before his body stopped convulsing, the feeling of Sariah’s hand strongly grasping his own helped to center him and gave him something to focus on. His hands probably being the only things that didn’t hurt at this point. Orion calmed drastically at the sound of Sariah’s voice, he didn’t need to give anyone around him more reason to worry since there was only so much control anyone had over life and death. “Sound of your voice.” Orion agreed as blood began to tint the melting ice, he wanted to ask what the machine was and did but for once in his life he was tired of talking the pain of his ribs seeming to increase the more he used them.

Keeping his eyes open he looked at Sariah as she spoke. The Therian was used to her ramblings but he didn’t mind them, he always ended up learning more about her that was. Technology was something Orion muddled through and did his best to work but it was something Sariah was a genius in and apparently it was something she had always been drawn to which wasn’t too much of a surprise. Sariah had built a computer at 12 and for Orion computers weren’t much of a thing the general public had when he was 12. “Numbers were never my thing.” He was more for physical activity when he was young and he still was to date.

Shock moved across his features at Sariah’s confession since that was something he hadn’t expected. “Working in a lab or behind a computer doesn’t mean you can’t be athletic.” He said taking shallow breaths in order to have enough oxygen to speak and survive. With Sariah talking it was easier not to focus on the pain or discomfort though and easier to just be in the moment. “We all help in our own way and have to find our...” He winced in pain which just caused him to hurt more, “Our own path.” If anyone had told him he would be an Ambassador in a city he would had said that wasn’t possible, that his family had always been hunters and he himself was a Hunter but now he worked for peace. “I don’t want to think about not meeting you.” She might not realize it but she had changed his way of thinking more than she realized.

Warm breath played over his ear lobe and he could hear the hesitance in her voice. He could understand why she was unsure and scared since it didn’t sound like it had been tested yet. “Sariah...any chance is better than no chance at all.” He better than anyone understood the precarious state he was in, the state he allowed himself to be placed in. “I trust you.” He said softly knowing she wouldn’t be questioning it if she didn’t care what might happen. She had said he didn’t have equal trust in her as she did in him which wasn’t true he was just afraid of being the reason she was hurt. Turning his head to look at her his eyes met hers with sincerity and blind trust.

Hearing his almost lucid response to her words she bit gently on her lip in concern, silver had all kinds of negative impacts when it made it's way into the bloodstream which she imagined would only be intensified for a therianthrope. One of the main affects was delirium to the point where the victim started to no longer be able to separate reality from a dreaming state and if the way he was talking was anything to go by, they really didn't have a lot of time. "I don't think any of us really want to go to them" she answered with a gentle shake of her head, they were for the most part a lot of bickering and far from productive in the human ambassador's eyes.

His next words brought a twitch of a smile to her lips, she had to admit that perhaps the thought had crossed her mind because whenever she thought about how incredibly reckless he had been in the name of protecting others it brought a small amount of fire to mind, furious that he didn't acknowledge the idea that perhaps there were people who cared about him just as much as he cared about them. Now wasn't the time to be angry however so she shrugged it off "I believe there's a saying about kicking someone when they're down" she answered with an semi amused expression.

Sariah had done well so far not to look too closely at each of the individual wounds. One of the reasons she had steered clear from the medical field was because she had never really been able to stomach the look of blood, it brought a sickness to her stomach that she really didn't need right in that moment. The ambassador had instead focused her eyes on the tasks she was completing and on his face, Orion had the kind of face she could get lost in on any other day but today she could see the very strain that everything he was going through was having on him, it made her hurt a little inside knowing there was no way she could take his pain away or make it feel better.

Grabbing his hand had been a reflex, as much for her own sake as his as they attempted to hold one another steady, her eyes met his as he slowly came round from what she knew must have been an agonizing spasm of pain, Sariah knew his tolerance for pain would be much higher than hers considering the small hint of the scars she had seen on his body through their time together. As she released his hand she had started talking, she was talking crap for the most part, anything that came to mind that seemed interesting enough to keep his attention, to keep his mind off the pain. Sariah hadn't realized she was speaking about things she had never really spoke about until the words were already out there.

"Numbers were all I had to keep me sane for a long time" she answered and shrugged gently, focusing on her work had been the very core of her way of coping with everything difficult in her life, Sariah had worked harder and longer than anyone around her and she had excelled and that success had been enough to keep her going. She was working on the machine as his spoke his next words and despite his sincerity there had been a hint of sarcasm in her response "No but having an irregular heartbeat does" she answered without much thought to it, she had been diagnosed not long after her military application had been rejected and since then she had followed her doctor's advice within the lifestyle in order to ensure it didn't affect her life majorly.

Hearing his thoughts about finding your own path Sariah nodded, it was hard to live a life like hers and not agree that there was some point, something big she was meant to achieve. "We do" she repeated back to him with a half smile which covered her concern for the red staining she was starting to see on the ice and that fact he was barely getting a sentence out without wincing. Sariah sucked in a breath as he spoke his next words, the way that he said things like that so easily made her a little jealous, she would always trip over her own self when she tried to say something meaningful. Circling the bath and kneeling just in his eye line the blonde released the breath she hadn't realized she had been holding.

Sariah knew she would never forgive herself if the serum made his condition worse but she also knew that choosing not to use it was going to set his fate into stone. She was quite literally holding onto his words as he spoke, with a slight nod of her head believing what he said, if there was something she could do to save him, she had to try right? Her mind was still whirring through her calculations and thought process as he spoke again, she fell silent as she looked back at him seeing the very definition of safety in his eyes, she didn't need a lie detector to know he was sincere, the look he gave her told her everything, perhaps she had been wrong before. "Okay" she spoke it softly as she picked up the serum from beside her. 

Quickly Sariah transferred the contents of the capsule into a syringe as she debated in her mind where it was best injected in order to treat the poisoning faster. "I wish I could tell you this is going to be painless but.." she trailed off and shook her head "It's going to hurt like hell" she admitted and like ripping off a bandaid she reached down to take his arm, focusing her gaze she found a vein before inserting the needle and injecting the liquid into his bloodstream. The moment it was done she pulled it back and placed down the syringe before pressing a hand against her mouth to stop herself from throwing up as she reached forward to grip the edge of the tub with her other hand.

No one did ever want to go to those meetings, it was still slow going and they were working on building trust between all of the factions. That lead to disagreement and some arguments and strife at times but at the end of the way they had come together for a common purpose. All they had to go was pull together instead of pulling apart. Of course, when most of them only saw one another during such meetings that didn’t get them very far. The Therian Ambassador being closest to both the Nephilim and human Ambassador but that was about it and he knew he needed to branch out but not while he was lying in the bathtub. “Need better food.” He muttered since food would definitely make those meetings better.

Orion didn’t miss the mild humor in her face at his words, it was nice to see a bit of humor even in this dark situation. He knew she was still beyond pissed at him and would be for awhile since this did all just take place in a matter of twenty-four hours. The Kitsune knew how and why he was in this position but he couldn’t argue with the way it had all turned out Elijah was dead, his pack and the city were safe and that was all that mattered. His survival still questionable but despite the fact that he was completely insane and knew going up against Elijah would likely kill him but the risk was worth achieving what he needed to. “Not sure what they saw about slapping a guy lounging in a bathtub though.” Soon enough she would have her chance, if he had the strength to pull through.

Orion was drawn into Sariah’s gaze and became lost in her eyes the pain becoming a lesser thought. It was funny how when you had something to focus on everything seemed dulled and unimportant other than Sariah. Right now she was his center and his solace in this world of pain which had engulfed him, she gave him hope and support and that was all he could ask for in his current state. Orion had been harmed countless times in his life mostly when helping or protecting others and now was no different. What was different was the amount of pain he was in having never been hurt so badly in his life. Broken bones, lacerations, contusions and concussions were all things he had suffered throughout his life but rarely all at the same time. Destiny and Seraphina had always done a pretty good job of packing him up but right now he was beyond needing a few stitches or bandages and needed much more attention.

Listening to the level tone of her voice he gave a small smile since everyone did in deed have a thing and numbers and code were her thing. It was clear she had some sort of reasoning for falling into them and relying so heavily on them whether it was from a lack of a social life or something happening he didn’t know. Sariah’s focus returned to the machine and task as hand and the pain returned full force Orion trying to find something to focus on once more as Sariah spoke but making out the worlds was difficult. So he focused in and listened to her so called irregular heartbeat, Sariah was right if he listened there was a flicker or pause every once in awhile the steady rhythm being interrupted. “You’ve still found a way to help people though, your own way.” It was a very unique way to say the least but it was perfect because it was all hers.

Orion had left so many things unsaid in his past and he didn’t want to continue that pattern. “No…no matter what happens Sariah you did everything that you can. I did this to myself and anything that happens after, you didn’t cause it.” He said giving her whatever reassurance she needed, this situation was brought on by Orion’s need to protect everyone but himself and now he was hoping that she could save him.

Orion gave a small nod of understanding since he had already assumed that this wouldn’t be a painless process. He watched her load the syringe and knew the sting would come soon. “Pain I can handle but if….if anything happens take care of them. I know Sera and Arwyn are grown but they still need…need someone to look out for them.” His voice was weak as he spoke before the needle found it’s way into his vein and she pushed down on the plugger the serum going straight into his blood stream. That wasn’t the part he felt though. What the kitsune felt was fire moving through his blood steam as an inhuman roar left his lips, his eyes opening wide a pale green showing with golden yellow around his dark pupils, the eyes of a Ailuranthrope Alpha, not those of a kitsune. The color quickly shifting to a neon green which was natural for his branch of the species.

Dull nails clawed at the edge of the bathtub and everything seemed so loud, he could hear Sariah’s irregular heartbeat, Sera in her room trying to cry as quietly as possible, Arwyn’s surprising steady breathing from outside of the bathroom and it was all just so loud. His sense of smell was also overwhelming him, if it hadn’t been for the fact that everywhere the ice touched was numb he would probably be freezing to death. It was all too much to take in, before there had been pain but it wasn’t overwhelming or over taking him but now he couldn’t focus on any one things and felt like his skin was burning to the touch.

Sariah was doing pretty well at bottling up the emotions that she had been feeling for the last 24 hours, as much as they were in an impossible situation before and she stood by every word she had said the last thing that she would ever do is turn away anyone who needed her help, regardless of who they were and what they had been through. She knew that if he made it through the night they would talk and all she could do was hope that the talk happened, because if it did then it meant he got to live and that was so much more important than any disagreement she had. "You know me, never been one for solving things with violence, besides I'm pretty sure it'd hurt me more than you" she answered truthfully, if it had been then she was sure that Noel would have gotten far more than a restraining order out of their pathetic excuse for a relationship.

Sariah could tell if it wasn't for the patches and bindings around his body that he would have been dead before she had even got there, she recognized easily that someone else in this household had been in the same situation before. Sariah couldn't even imagine living a life where you constantly had to fear the death of those closest to you and to feel so incredibly helpless as you watched them deteriorate right before your eyes. Except she didn't need to imagine as she looked back at him the fear of the unknown evident in her eyes, if the thought the fear of losing him had been crushing before then she had completely deluded herself.

The blonde allowed a gentle smile to cross her lips as he spoke his compliment, Sariah had dedicated her whole life to trying to make the world a better place for good people in it. Part of her fire came from losing her best friend, part of it came from the number of setbacks and heartbreaks she had lived through "I just hope it'll be enough" she answered allowing some vulnerability slip through her calm demeanor, it was moments like this that could make or break a person and despite his confidence in her and his assurance that it wouldn't be her fault she couldn't stop the feeling of concern that consumed her. Sariah bit down hard of her lip which was trembling, she wasn't going to cry now, she wanted to be strong for him.

She nodded in response to his ask, Sariah wouldn't even think twice about helping them, she knew all too well what it felt to be alone in the world and she would never wish such a feeling on anyone, she knew they'd need her help. "I promise" she answered as she pressed down on the syringe. The moment the item clattered against the floor she pressed her hand against her mouth and backed up a little from the tab to give Orion the space he needed. Her research on the serum had shown that it was the kind that hindered to help, meaning that he was going to have to go through hell and back.

She winced a little as she heard the roar of pain come from his lips and she watched almost transfixed as his eyes shifted from a golden yellow to the familiar neon green. What did that even mean? she questioned in her mind as she scooted closer to the machine glad that it hadn't come loose in his sudden burst of movement. Her eyes were transfixed on the numbers as she considered what each of them meant, his heartrate had increased tenfold and his body temperature had rocketed for a few moments before slowly declining. Panic was attempting to set in for the human ambassador as she looked around from side to side, there was so many unknowns in this equation that she felt hopeless in the realization that all she could really do now is wait for the outcome, either his body wouldn't be able to take the pain and he would die or with the serum's help he would be able to fight long enough for it to stop the poison and he would start to heal.

Orion had attempted to laugh at Sariah’s little joke but the pain slowed him down a bit the pain intense, he wasn’t sure if it was getting better or worse. Violence might not be Sariah’s first response, but it didn’t need to be since her words tended to pack more of a punch than her fists could. Orion would know, since the words they spoke before good bye were not the softest and her point had definitely been made. It was still weighing heavily on his mind and they hadn’t resolved their differences and the unlaying fear remained that they might not over come what came between them, his own actions.

Even with advanced healing he would still be in trouble even if it had started. Alpha healing should work faster even with wounds from another Alpha but the silver was holding up the entire process. One last screw you from Elijah because the man had never been able to win without taking short cuts. Now he was fighting for his life and his only hope of survival was the woman he seemed to be coming to care for. They had both professional and less than professional meetings and she made him laugh and reminded him of the strength of humanity and the good in the world at a time when he deeply needed it. Orion could honestly say that he didn’t want to die, not like this and not in front of Sariah, he still had a lot he wanted to accomplish and do. The faction still needed him and he needed them so he would fight with every ounce of strength he had in order to survive.

Orion would never want Sariah to blame herself for what might happen to him, all she was trying to do was help and she was the only one he knew that might be able to do so. Sure this was far from a lab test and under less than favorable conditions for a trial but Sariah was going to get a very clear, up front and personal view of how the serum worked and hopefully it did work. If not for his own sake than that of his children who had already lost so much and yet remained strong despite it all. Now more than ever he understood why Sariah was upset about his decision because all he could think about was everyone else, Krystal, Harper, his pack, his family, the city and Sariah who was beginning to show cracks in her calm demeanor as the adrenaline seemed to wear off and reality seemed to seep in. When she promised to look out for his kids he felt such relief but it was short lived.

Orion’s mind was yelling for him to focus but his body and mind were at war and he had no control. It was more painfully than his first shift and he swore he felt something like claws break through his fingertips but that was impossible. It had to be the serum which he swore made even his hair feel pain even though there were no pain receptors. Panic seemed to be taking over which had never happened to Orion before. His feet trashing out, kicking at the bottom of the tub the soles of his feet hitting so hard the ceramic was bound to break if he continued. His hands tightening farther on the edge of the tub the circulation to his fingers being cut off as his knuckles turned ghostly white.

The smell of Sariah’s anxiety rising added to his own. He wanted to leap out of the bathtub and just run as far away from civilization as he could, away from some much noise and so many scents. He could hear the cars moving over the road displacing small bits of asphalt, the pounding of House music coming from one of the nearby homes, the scent of the trash downstairs which had the pizza box from dinner last night, the smell of the woods and the turned earth were what finally brought him to a point of focus. Though he couldn’t just stand up and run in his current state he could go to that place in his mind if he held onto that scent.

It was easy enough to imagine himself within the woods which were out his back door, of being in kitsune form his paws thudding against the ground, stirring the scent of damp earth and grass. His feet stopped kicking and his hands loosened their death grip on the tub. It was a familiar sense of freedom and peace that lulled his body into a false state of relaxation. He imagined a breeze kicking up the scent of the fallen leaves and ruffled his fur as he ran easily maneuvering around trees and leaping over the ones which had fallen not long ago due to winter storms. Though the normal scents of the forest he caught another once which was all too familiar to him and never seemed to be too far from his mind these days. “Sariah.” He muttered softly in almost a whisper easily imagining her there in a thick coat, warm hat and gloves since the weather was harsh this time of year. His body fully relaxed in the tub his breathing leveling out and becoming some what shallow instead of heavy. The pain was still there but it was dulled due to his own consciousness taking him to a place which made it easier to handle as he went into a catatonic state.

For years Sariah had perfected her ability to shut off emotions and replace it with rationality, she was the responsible one, the one who didn't get attached because people were bound to let her down, sure it had made for somewhat of a lonely path to lead but it had allowed her to blossom, her work had been so incredibly important to her and she knew it always would be. But as she looked back at Orion, feeling the pangs of dread rise in her stomach she realized that he had managed to get under her skin without her even knowing it, they had only known one another only a few months and yet she found herself wanting to protect him from the world and a pain in her chest from the very thought of losing him.

She was fighting to hold herself together as her misty eyes started at the screen in front of her trying to make sense of it all, to be able to confirm that he was safe, that he was going to be okay but to her frustration she just couldn't figure it out, the serum was an unknown value in an equation that didn't seem to add up and there was nothing that make Sariah more frustrated than a seemingly impossible puzzle. Tearing her eyes from the screen she tried her best to slow her breathing, she knew her panic wasn't going to make anything better for either of them, nor was it going to instill confidence in the two therianthropes whom she knew were listening in. Sariah didn't need super hearing to know they were both hurting right now and unlike Orion, they had no reason to believe in the choices she had made.

Feeling the vibration in the floor as he convulsed in pain she pressed her hands against the floor before pushing to her feet, it hurt her to see him like this, so much so that she winced a little in response to his movements and from seeing the white in his knuckles that only further solidified her worry for how unbearable it must have been for him. She was about to go full on panic mode and pull out her phone when the shaking stopped and everything quietened, the quickening beeps from the monitor slowed and as she rounded her way to the machine. Her eyes had focused on the temperature ready when he heard her name spoken gently on his lips. 

Hesitantly the blonde turned around and moved closer to him pressing her chin gently against the edge of the tub as she watched his glossed over gaze into the distance and realization of what was happening was set in. Slowly she moved to place her hand on top of his "I'm here" she spoke it softly more for her own benefit than anything, part of her was glad that his body had found a way to cope with the pain but the rest of her knew that a state like this would be very dangerous. The steady beeps told her that his vitals were okay which meant now this was an waiting game "You're the strongest person I know" she spoke softly in just above a whisper "If anyone can make it through this it's you" she was reassuring herself, placing her hopes in whatever gods there were up there that he would have enough strength to fight and win this particular battle. 

After 15 minutes with little change the blonde sighed gently, she couldn't even properly retrace the steps she had taken to get to this place, it was like she had been walking alone when suddenly she had utterly and completely stumbled over a stranger until they were suddenly so much more than that, there was no rationality nor logic behind it, just emotions, blinding and confusing and sometimes even painful emotions. Eventually she raised from her crouched position before she headed out into the hall to explain what had happened to Arwyn and Seraphina and what they could now expect. Sariah was patient with their questions before the three of them decided that he was best moved from the bathroom. 

Relocating to the lounge the blonde had ensured that the machine was still wired up correctly before checking the temperature gauge, seeing that it was slowly returning to a normal state. After another hour of sitting and talking to Orion's children they had both passed out from exhaustion in the chairs they were sitting. Sariah took a moment to scan her eyes around the room really taking in the place she was in. Everything smelled the very same warm and earthy smell that she had become familiar to, the room itself was not hugely decorated instead mostly being simplistic but homey. The picture on the mantlepiece of Orion, Arwyn and Seraphina brought a smile to her lips. Sariah didn't have any photos in her apartment, all the ones of her were on display in her mother's hallway.

Curling up on the couch next to the one Orion was laying on she slipped on her glasses and picked up a book that was set face down on the table "I hope you don't mind, but I need a distraction" she admitted as she ran her fingers along the pages finding the page it was left on and scanning her eyes over the words. Despite reading a chapter of the book she never really took in what she was reading as the words started to look as though they were melding together and eventually her eyes closed and the blonde slipped into the depths of sleep.

Orion was well aware he had slipped into his own mind in order to deal with everything around him. It wasn’t the first time it had happened but there had been no one there to see it other than Destiny who had pulled him out of it. If you retreated into your own mind you always run the risk of becoming trapped in your own unconscious state and though he didn’t want to deal with the pain, Orion didn’t want to be trapped in what seemed to be a perfect forest either. As he was looking towards his created version of Sariah he heard another familiar voice say his name, it seemed fitting his mind would conjure Destiny now. As he turned in the direction the voice had come from.

He stood as a man now facing his late wife a small smile on his lips, “Why does it not surprise me that I’d see you now?” He inquired feeling an odd fluttering of pain in his heart at the very sight of her kind features as she smiled at him in an almost sympathetic way, “Does this mean I’m closer to death than I’d like to think?” Orion was sure it was merely his subconscious looking for a sense of calm.

“You’re the one who brought me here Orion so you shouldn’t be surprised to see me. You always sought me out when you needed to find peace and comfort. You aren’t dying the silver is already working it’s way through your system.” She stood looking ever like the pillar of strength she had been to him while she was alive. “I think we both know it’s not me who gives you strength anymore. It’s alright Orion, you’re allowed happiness again even if you tend to sabotage yourself with it. You have always been strong for everyone around you and only relied on yourself and your family and you cannot live your life like that.”

Orion knew his mind was only telling him what he needed and wanted to hear. Though he knew if Destiny were able to, she would tell him the same they had only ever wanted the best for one another. He could hear Sariah’s voice tell him he was the strongest person she knew but he was only strong because those he cared about gave him strength, she gave him strength. “You have only ever done what was best for everyone else, as a father, as a husband and now as an Ambassador. You are allowed to do things for you Orion, you just have to stop taking a backseat in your own life. You’re alive, so act like it.” Her voice held that stern edge like when she was trying to get her point across to their kids or trying to get something through his thick skull.

“I miss you everyday but she makes me miss you a little less. You’ve been in my life for so long and it was hard without you, waking up alone, doing everything we once did together, alone. With time it’s gotten easier and maybe I see a lot of the same strength you had in her.” His jaw tightened slightly as he had a mental conversation with his dead wife, “I’m scared to move on Destiny, I’m not sure I know how but I’m trying though I do admit that it took a life and death decision for me to open up to her. That’s never been my strong suit but I think I’m ready to really try, if I can fix what I’ve broken.”

Destiny gave him a kind smile, “You’ve always had a way with words and though you don’t apologize often you know how to, show her the man you are not the man you had to be.” Everything seemed to slowly fade into darkness as the pain began to set in again but it was tolerable. Hazy eyes slowly opened as he blinked a few times trying to become somewhat coherent.

Dim sunlight was beginning to spill through the curtains of the living room and he knew the sun had recently risen due to the amount of light coming through the curtains. It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust and awareness to return as he stared up at his own ceiling his mind going over the night before. The serum had worked, so at least it was a positive trial, well at least in the way that it worked was positive but it had been a miserable and excruciating experience, but it was also the reason he was able to wake up today. Turning his head he spotted a familiar head of blonde hair sprawled out on the other couch small snores leaving her lips which caused a small smile to pull at his lips. Slowly sitting up on the couch a small wince left his lips at his fragile and healing ribs. Some of the bruising was faded and lesser cuts were just scabs but the broken bones and deeper lacerations around his throat and leg were better but still deep and healing.    

Orion watched the sunlight playing across Sariah’s hair and her peaceful face as she slept. If anyone needed and deserved sleep it was Sariah. He had smelled her anxiety and panic from the previous night and those sort of emotions could definitely wear a person out. Reaching over his ribs protested as he brushed a strand of hair out of her face glad she was still here.


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