Colin knew there were no guarantees, but that didn’t mean the promise was worthless. The feeling he’d had since the beginning of the day, that Theo was trustworthy and someone he could count on, was stronger with the confession he’d made. He was overwhelmingly glad to have someone he could relate to, someone who understood what he was going through.
And of course, he could understand what Theo had gone through in the past as well.
Colin was now very glad he’d told Theo about his brother and his quest, rather than just brushing it off and keeping it a secret.
“I think you can see the whole island from up here,” Colin said, smiling a little. “And… thank you for agreeing to help me. I’m very sorry about your sister, I’m sure you really miss her.” Colin stood as well, not entirely sure what to say about it all or whether what he had said was the right thing.
There were a thousand things going through Colin’s head in that moment, but the most important was that he was going to be able to save his brother. Maybe someday, they would become knights together. The future didn’t seem as desperate or hopeless as before, and he had Theo to thank for that.
Impulsively, Colin reached out and wrapped his arms around Theo’s waist, marveling a little at how short he was compared to the knight. “Thank you so much,” he said again, his voice a little muffled by Theo’s tunic.
Theo nodded wordlessly, locking his tongue in with his teeth. No sense dwelling on sickness now, not when Colin seemed so jovial. It wouldn’t be the time to spin back into sadness.
Still, he fought for each subsequent breath of air, like his lungs had transformed to blocks of steel. Stretching his hands over his head did little to relieve the cramp behind his ribs—
“Ooph,” he wheezed, caught off-guard by Colin’s embrace. Hands still raised, he stared at the top of the lad’s head for a beat before he sighed a smile, and shook his head.
“…You’re welcome, Colin,” he replied warmly, ruffling his hair with one hand and patting his shoulder with the other. Then he took a determined step backward and turned to Faustus.
“Ready?” he asked them both.