NOTE: this is meant to be between chapter four and five.
She'd been asleep for more than two hours. Derrick paced the living room, mentally kicking himself for allowing her to go too far. He kept telling her that he wasn't going to allow anything to happen to her and he did just that. Although the only there was left for him to do now was make sure she recovered well, which he was certain she would, he couldn't stop the pang of guilt he felt deep in his chest. He'd been in worse condition than she was in, but knew all too well how terrible it felt no matter how far she'd gone. He knew all too well the consequences of pushing oneself too far.
First off, she was lucky there was no fever. There was usually a terrible boiling point only attainable if you didn't know when enough was enough. The length of time the fever lasted depended on how far you'd pushed yourself. Following the fever was bleeding. Blood would seep through your nose, your ears, you might even vomit blood. Last but not least, there was temporary loss of sight. This didn't always occur, much like the fever. Your vision would be clouded, almost like you'd suddenly developed cataracts.
She was instantly bleeding from her left ear when Derrick broke her fall in the meadow, his heart fell to his knees when he realized what was going to happen to next. He'd been making sure to keep a cold towel on her forehead while she slept in case the fever was just running late. He hadn't been able to tell if she was having trouble seeing since she hadn't rose from her slumber just yet. He couldn't keep himself still while he waited, the anticipation was building in his gut and this bothered him. He eventually decided he just wasn't going to be able to stay away from her side and crept back into her bedroom, even though his efforts to stay quiet weren't necessary.
He sat on the empty side of her bed next to her, peering down at her seemingly lifeless body. She seemed peaceful, which eased his thoughts some. At least she was able to sleep soundly without her night terrors that had become the norm for her and Dahlia recently. The longer he gazed at her sleeping form, the harder it became for him to resist the urge to stay. He'd been acting impulsively around her ever since she'd arrived but he couldn't imagine being in any other room at this moment. She was messing with his head and she wasn't even aware. He took a deep breath in as he sighed in defeat, the faint scent of honey drifting through his nostrils. It was the soap that Dahlia had given her, he noticed the smell every time she walked by him. He thought it suited her.
He gingerly placed two fingers on her forehead, careful as though he was handling precious china, and every so gently traced circles into her scalp. He was afraid he'd wake her and have to explain himself, although part of him actually hoped for the very same thing. It was unlike him to have so much uncertainty towards another human being, and he didn't like it. He felt this anxiety grow as he saw her eyelids flutter open and closed. She seemed to be searching the ceiling, glancing back and forth. He realized that her vision was impaired when her fingers began searching the bed.
"Derrick? Derrick!" The panic that engulfed her voice and facial features sent Derrick into absolute guilt and self-hatred. He promptly reached for her hand and held it tight in his to reassure her that he kept his word and was right by her side.
"I'm right here." She could hear that he sounded pained.
"What's wrong? What happened?" He was blown away by the fact that she was worried about what could possibly be wrong with him while she was nearly blind and hadn't received an explanation as to why. She hadn't even learned that it was temporary.
"Everything's fine, I promise. How impaired is your vision?" He could tell that his knowledge her condition gave her a sliver of peace.
"Well, I only see white. This is normal? How long does it last?" She began reaching for him with her other hand.
"Calm down, I'm right here. It's only temporary." He gently lifted her head onto his lap, resting his hands on her shoulders. "It gets better much faster if you sleep. Close your eyes. I promise I'll be right here when you wake." She slowly reached up, her hands searching for his face. She tapped his chest, unable to reach. Her touch comforted him, he wasn't going to admit that to himself though. He placed her hand down beside her and returned to brushing his fingers through her golden blonde hair. In mere minutes she returned to her tranquil slumber. Derrick leaned back against the headboard of her bed, slipping into sleep the same as she had only minutes behind her.