Henry had grown used to the sight of Aislin in his meticulously detailed, well fitted nobleman's clothes, pitch black and uniform in shade.
Today he'd woken earlier than Henry, and was dressed in the cheap clothes Henry had gotten him from the capital; he was fastening a belt around the waist of his too-loose shirt.
" Are you well enough to be up?" Henry asked blearily.
" If we need to leave, then I need to be ready to leave," Aislin responded.
Henry got up and came over, and pressed his hand to his forehead. He was red and pouring down sweat, and his fever seemed like it was back in full force.
He looked very weak, in his oversized and mismatched clothes, shivering from fever.
" Get back in bed," Henry said.
" You're still sick. If you push yourself, it'll get worse. Rest," Henry said. He felt like he was trying to order around one of his kids, a little bit, simply because of how obstinate Aislin was being.
Instead of doing anything reasonable, Aislin instead slumped against him, and Henry had no idea what to do or even really why.
" Henry," Aislin repeated his name, now sounding tired rather than argumentative.
It distressed him a bit that Aislin was so slight of frame; there was no telling how much weight he'd lost over the course of the whole affair, and he was naturally skinny to begin with.
" Aislin," he answered, hesitant.
" Don't leave me today," Aislin said.
" Fine," Henry replied. He was privately thinking that Aislin was shaping up to be the clingiest person he'd encountered in his life. Mariposa was less clingy when he rescued her, and she had been a teenage girl! Aislin was a twenty-two year old man! And Mariposa had been in love with him, besides. Aislin was just another knight from his order.
Which no longer existed.
The thought of that sombered him a little. He had been trying to keep it off his mind.
That he hadn't really changed that much about the world in the end.