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gentler times

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The cleric bows their head and closes the door, leaving Azu sitting next to the bed, brow furrowed. Laying in front of her, Sasha is even paler than usual, shivering and tossing sporadically.
Despite the cleric’s assurances that it wasn’t a deadly poison, although rare, she feels paralysed with worry, helpless to do anything but watch yet unable to look away. Her eyes dance nervously over Sasha, who seems to have settled into a restless sleep. Azu prays she can at least find peace in her dreams.
After a while she shifts, trying to stretch her arms and her neck. The chair is uncomfortably small and she moves to get up to stretch her legs a little. Sasha mumbles something and her hand shoots out, latching onto Azu’s. Azu freezes.
“Sasha? Do you need something?”
Her voice is hoarse but Azu can clearly make out her words.
“Don’t- don’t leave me.”
Azu’s heart nearly stops.
Sasha raises her head slightly and looks in Azu’s direction through hazy eyes.
“Please- don’t leave me,” she whispers, and Azu thinks to herself that no force on Earth could ever drag her away.

Time passes, with just the two of them. To fill the silence, Azu starts singing in a gentle, low voice. It is a tune she knows from her childhood, and she loses herself in the memory of gentler times. As it comes to a gradual close, she realises Sasha is staring at her once again through one eye.
“I am sorry. I did not mean to disturb you.”
She gives a crooked grin. “Nah. ‘S no bother.”
“Are you feeling better?”
She lets out a shaky breath. “Yeah. A bit.”
“Do you need anything?”
Sasha looks away. Bites her lip. “Could you- I mean- y’know. Uh. The singing was pretty nice.”
Love, Azu thinks, is a blessing. Love is a blessing, and Aphrodite is looking over them all, and Her blessings are bountiful.
“Of course.”
Sasha settles back and closes her eyes, her breathing settling into a slow, steady pattern as Azu begins.