It wasn’t her fault, Sasha knows that. It wasn’t her fault that she missed it, the way Zolf was surrounded by enemies, not when she herself had been so tightly flanked, back to back with Azu (she avoids being near Hamid in fights ever since the Fireball incident, and Grizzop was somewhere firing arrows that toppled their opponents like toy soldiers).They’d all missed it, really, until Hamid had screamed, piercing and panicked, “ Zolf! ”
She’d gotten grazed with a dagger by looking back to see Zolf on the ground, bloodied and passed out while a burly, weary but triumphant thug stood over him with a nasty crimson blade.
Stood, at least, until Hamid’s well-placed Magic Missile sent them sprawling and Azu cleaved a line of enemies, clearing the way for Sasha to duck under the singing axe and dart over to Zolf to take up defense positions. It ended up not mattering.
Azu and Grizzop had tried healing him the best she could, but their magic reserves had already been fairly depleted, and they’d had to resort to the trial-and-error method of sleep and care. Zolf had drifted in and out of consciousness since bringing him to the makeshift med bay while Grizzop and Azu recharged. It’s quiet, too quiet, save for Azu’s nearly inaudible hum of some lullaby Sasha’s never heard before. She likes it though, the way the song rumbles in Azu’s throat and gives her something else to focus on other than the guilt.
It wasn’t her fault, Sasha knows that. Zolf would say the same, probably will tell her when he wakes up-
If he wakes up , says the cruel little voice in the back of her mind that always vaguely sounds like Barrett somehow, and Sasha feels her lip curl in disgust and focuses on twirling a dagger inbetween her fingers, trying very hard to not feel sick. Zolf wouldn’t want her to cry. Zolf would want her to keep it together for the others. Zolf would want-
“Tea?” Grizzop’s voice cuts in, startling her out of her thoughts. She’s not the only one; Hamid also jerks his head up from where it’s lolled against his cupped hand, and Azu stops humming. Grizzop stands there, holding a tray that would look comically oversized in any other situation with several steaming teacups.
“Two sugars, right, Azu?” he says, balancing the tray on one hand and handing another to her.
“Thank you, Grizzop,” Azu says, taking it from him.
“Half cream and four sugars, that’s Hamid,” Grizzop carries on all businesslike, as if everything is perfectly fine. Hamid takes his tea, hands trembling a bit but murmurs a quiet thanks before taking a long sip from it..
“And black for Sasha.”
Sasha takes it, the warmth ebbing into her fingers, but doesn’t drink from it, just watches Zolf’s brow furrow in his sleep, tan complexion uneven with a concerning pallor, and feels that dreading anticipation creep back into the pit of her stomach. She glances down into her tea, watching her own worried expression in the dark liquid mirror.
Azu puts an arm around her shoulders, and Sasha sags against her, suddenly very tired.
“It’s alright to sleep,” Azu says softly. Sasha swipes at her eyes (though whether it’s to rub sleep or tears from them is hard to say) and shakes her head.
“Don’t wanna,” she says, and her voice is rough. She takes a sip of her tea to avoid speaking, and Azu is insightful enough in a way Sasha can’t ever imagine being that she also falls quiet.
Azu doesn’t start humming again, but Hamid falls asleep at some point and when the tea is drained from her cup, Sasha starts twirling daggers once more, waiting for Zolf to wake up.