Where Portals Yawn Wide

Here we are, another section of Mikas’s story, “The Stars Say Goodnight”.  This was inspired by a word prompt from the WriYe DreamWidth (Yawn).  In it, we learn something… interesting about Nicholai and the other people Mikas has been speaking with throughout.

**

Andrien’s home wasn’t as large as Director Petrov’s had been.  However, it was, by no means, a small place.  In addition to the library, Mikas found a breakfast room, a dining room and a sitting room.  He caught the scent of food wafting out of one room and knew it was the kitchen.

Returning to the entryway, he headed up the stairs.  He should, he decided, freshen up before dinner and, possibly, change into something a little more formal than the tunic and breeches he was currently wearing.  He spotted the maid that had met them upon entering and smiled at her.  “Miss?” he said.

She looked up from the table she was dusting and blinked.  “Can I help you, Master Mikas?” she asked.  Her voice was soft, but there was something about her that told Mikas that she wasn’t all she appeared to be.

“Could you, by chance, show me where my room is?” he said, his voice soft.  When she nodded and set off down the hallway, Mikas followed her.  They passed only a couple other rooms before she stopped and pushed opened a door.

“Here you are, sir,” she said, waving towards the room.  “I hope it meets with your approval.”

“Thank you,” Mikas said, nodding.  He slipped inside and tugged the door closed behind him.  At the sound of it closing, Mikas was suddenly tense.

In his mind, he could see a long, darkened corridor.  At the end of the corridor, he could see a door.  It looked like the sort of door that might be in an old home.  It was large and wooden, with brass fixtures.  It was opened wide and Mikas could feel himself drifting towards it, as if he were moving up the corridor.

He could hear someone – a child – crying.  “I’m sorry,” the child sobbed.  “I’ll behave.  I’ll do what I’m told.  I promise!”

A part of Mikas wanted to run to the door, to see who was harming the child and stop them.  However, instead, he found himself turning away and running.  Suddenly, he felt as though he was smaller and running from something much more terrible that a crying child.

He was jolted out of the vision by tremendous pain.  He blinked and set a hand to his head.  He was sitting on the floor in the room the maid had shown him.  Looking up, he saw the door of the room.  When had he turned around?

The door opened and Mikas blacked out.

Nicholai rubbed at the bump on his forehead and grimaced at the maid.  “I… had a spell,” he said, shrugging.  He stood and gave her a weak smile.  “I’m fine, really.  I just bumped my head when I… fell.”

She nodded and then slipped back out of the room, easing the door closed in her wake.

Bozhe moi,” Nicholai said, rubbing at the bump a bit irritably.  He glanced around the room.  It was pretty standard fare.  The one thing that stood out was the second smaller door in the corner of the room.  Closet?  He stepped over to it and smiled.  The door led into a little bath.

“Mikas was going to take a bath before he had his flashback,” Dmitri pointed out.

Nicholai rolled his eyes.  “I know,” he said.  He shed his clothing and then turned on the water.  As the tub filled, he glanced at his reflection in the mirror.  His hair was getting long again, but he knew that Mikas preferred it a bit longer.

Sighing, Nicholai ruffled his hands through his hair and turned back to the bath.  After switching off the water, he slipped the tub and sighed in relief.  “I knew it was a mistake to tell him the truth,” he said, shaking his head.  “It’s lowering his defenses.  Soon, he’ll know everything and… Alexei will kill him to keep that from happening.”

“Then, we’ll just have to protect him,” Dmitri said, his tone nonchalant, “like we always have.”

Nicholai shook his head.  “I just wish it were that easy, Dmitri,” he said.  “How do you protect someone that you can’t keep away from the one who would harm him?”

“Have faith, Nicholai,” Dmitri said.  “The Great Father wouldn’t give us more than we can handle, if only we lean on him.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Nicholai said, shaking his head.  He needed to finish bathing and dress.  He still wanted to check the grounds and make sure everything was secure before he met Lord Andrien and Lady Darina for dinner.  Would they notice the change?  A part of him prayed that they wouldn’t.

**

Just to make it clear: Mikas didn’t switch to Nicholai because he hit his head.  He had a flashback, ran into the door and the stress of the flashback caused the switch.  Dmitri is the only one that Nicholai speaks to when he’s in control.

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