It'll Take Your Breath Away
“Teacher!!! Time to get up!!”
With wings happily flapping in the air, Meta and Arthur shoved and pushed their mentor out of bed. A loud thud was heard soon after, and Bate let out a weary groan as a response to their morning shenanigans.
“Teacher, you promised you’d take us to the beach today, remember?” Meta lightly tugged on his wing.
“Yeah!” Arthur pulled as well, eager as ever like Meta. “And don't forget our floaties this time, too! I don't wanna play in the sand like before. I could get them if you want if you're too tired." He offered.
The pair stood back as Bate used his taloned wings to push himself up. He tiredly rubbed his eyes and softly yawn as he wasn’t fully prepared to be woken so suddenly. In hindsight, he should’ve saw it coming. They’ve been doing the same thing since he took them under his wing several weeks back. While he desperately wanted to sleep some more, he probably wouldn’t get a decent rest with their constant whining.
With a tired sigh, Bate dragged his way to the attic since he didn't want those two causing a mess up there. “I'll get your items. Stay down here while I fetch them….”
A loud creek echoed through the small attic as Bate went to find the box with their swim gear. Taking a steady step, he made sure he was careful as possible since the last thing he needed was a tower of boxes falling on him. The old warrior let out a small cough from the dusty atmosphere, and couldn't help but kick himself for neglecting his house chores. Since he’s been spending all of his free time with his students, he rarely had time to upkeep a lot of the housework. The attic was always last on his list, but after putting a majority of Meta and Arthur’s seasonal belongings up here, he knew he had to start cleaning it since he’ll be spending a lot of time getting their boxes.
“Let’s see, where is it….." He softly spoke, unaware of the little navy Puff next to him.
“Oooooh, old toys!” Meta read one of the boxes out loud which caused the old warrior to jump back in surprise. "What’s that, Teacher?!! Are they yours?”
“Meta, what in Sweet Nova. I told you to stay downstairs!” He scolded, trying to get him to go back.
“I know, but I wanted to help you look!” He smiled, avoiding his grasp and went to another stack of boxes to look. Wiping off the dust to read what it said, Meta beamed when he saw what it was. “Baby photos? Oooooh! Teacher can I see?!!!” He tried to pull the box out in excitement. The beach could wait if it’s a chance to see his mentor as a child.
“No, Meta. Stop touching the boxes and stay with Arth-“
“Hey, I think I found our swimming stuff!” Arthur called from behind.
"A-Arthur?!!" Bate quickly turned around and saw him trying to wedge a box underneath a rather large stack.
'You did? Let me see!!" Meta focused his attention away from the pictures, and decided to help Arthur first.
“Arthur, Meta, stop pulling it!” You’re going to cause it to collapse!” He shouted.
Before they had the chance to heed his warning, the tower box boxes from above started to tilt sideways. Bate rushed over so it wouldn’t fall on his students, and used his wings to shield them all. A loud crash from the boxes falling could be heard soon after, and a rather unpleasant cloud of dust swept the area.
Meta and Arthur fell back and coughed a bit as they swatted the plume of debris away from them. Once recovered, they noticed Bate coughing as well, and tried to use their wings to blow it away. Unfortunately, it just stirred up what’s already been settled, and Bate banged his hands on the floor to get them to stop. They quickly did, and Meta gave a weary glance at Arthur when his mentor’s coughs started to sound even worse than before.
“Teacher, are you okay?” Meta eventually spoke. “Do you need a cup of water or something?”
Still in a fit of coughs, Bate shook his head pointed out the door. “I…In….h..a….” He wheezed, unable to finish his sentence as he clutched his chest in pain.
“W-what?” He repeated and looked at Arthur for help. “What’d he say, Arthur?”
“I…ah…don’t know.” He inched back, getting worried that something may actually be wrong. “W-wait here. I’ll get Teacher Gordon up. Maybe he can help.”
Quickly rushing down stairs, Arthur pushed himself into Gordon’s room and turned on the lights. “Teacher Gordon!!!” He shouted.
It didn’t take long for his shouts to wake the old Gordo. Slowly opening his eyes, he looked down at the frantic warrior and gave him a look of concern.
“Arthur? What’s wrong, did something happen?”
The warrior nodded. “T-Teacher. He went into the attic, and a whole bunch of boxes fell on him, ah….by accident. He started coughing a lot and asked us to get something, but…umm….we’re not sure what he’s saying exactly….” He lowered his voice since he knew he’d probably get in trouble for causing the boxes to fall. "Could you please help us...I...I think he's in trouble."
Arthur was surprised how fast Gordon left the room once he heard that. He watched as he raced into Bate’s room, and then to the attic. The little warrior climbed the stairs once more and peeked in. Meta was in hysterics while Gordon was hovering over his mentor who was still badly coughing. He slowly made his way in and couldn’t help but tense up when it sounded like he was choking.
Summoning all his hands, Gordon gently but quickly dragged Bate from under the boxes, and helped him out of the attic. The pair followed them into the living room, and Arthur stood behind as he watched Gordon softly talking to Bate.
"Deep breath, Bate.” He heard Gordon speak as he watched him put something in his mouth. The small warrior stood in silence with Meta by his side as Gordon said and repeated the same thing over again. His mentor’s once ragged coughs eventually became soft wheezes, and Arthur walked towards him to see if he’s okay. Meta was still in a fit of tears, and his teacher seemed very fatigued and sickly.
“T-Teacher…are you okay?” Arthur timidly asked. Although he was still breathing weird, Arthur was relieved he wasn’t coughing like before. The same couldn’t be said for Meta, however. The small warrior clutched on to Bate for dear life and bawled.
“Meta, Arthur, please let your teacher rest.” Gordon spoke and picked them up. “Just let him be by himself for a bit until he recovers.”
“Recovers from what? Those boxes weren’t that heavy, he shouldn’t have been that hurt.” Meta tried to wiggle himself out of Gordon’s grasp.
“Meta, it wasn’t the boxes, it was the dust.” Facing the pair, he wondered how in Sweet Nova could they forget so quickly. He set them down and began scolding them. "I told you plenty of times before you moved in with us that he’s asthmatic. And I know for a fact Bate informed you about it as well.”
“You didn’t tell me a bunch of dusty old boxes can kill him!” Meta exclaimed. “You only told us to keep things clean!”
“So he doesn’t trigger his asthma!” Gordon barked. “Meta, I’ve told you and Arthur this time and time before. Were you even paying attention while I was explaining this to you?!”
He saw their wings lower, and Gordon couldn’t help but summon a hand to shake his head. He wanted to continue his scolding, but looked towards Bate when he started coughing again. He gave a small sigh and let the pair go.
“We’ll talk about this later.” He moved passed them to he could help his comrade.
“Did he die?” Falspar asked, resting his head on the grass once Meta finished telling his story.
“No, he just coughed a lot. Teacher Gordon had to take him to see Mends because he wouldn’t stop.” He looked away in shame when he mentioned that.
“Gee, I don’t think I ever came close to killing Teacher Ramset before.” Dragato spoke, slightly concerned over the well being of his previous teacher. “Is he gonna be okay?”
“Teacher Gordon said he’ll be fine. He, umm....just needs to rest for the day.” He frowned, still troubled by it.
From above the trees, Ramset quietly heard Meta and his students discuss the situation with Bate. Eventually, he jumped down and joined the group as well. Dragato and Falspar headed towards their teacher once they saw him, and Meta timidly focused on the grass below once he took a seat across from him.
“So, Bate’s doing okay then?” He asked as his voice slightly tensed up.
Meta gave a nod. He never heard him act so serious before. Just knowing someone like Ramset was concerned caused his stomach to turn.
“That’s good to hear. And, ah….if it makes you feel any better,” He reached over and patted his head. “I accidentally did the same thing to Bate when we first met. Gordon almost killed me when it happened, but I apologized to Bate in the end, and now look- we’re best friends!” He reassured.
Hearing that didn’t seem to help in him any way. He used his wings to hug himself and rested himself on the grass. “Teacher’s gonna hate me.”
“Meta, it was an accident. Don’t let it get to you. Bate knows you didn’t mean it, and once he feels better, just say your apology and everything will be fine."
“But what if it happens again?” He began to cry. “What if I accidentally do something and he has to go to the emergency room like today? He’s gonna avoid me or get rid of me because of it!”
Ramset blinked in surprise from how hard Meta was taking this. He then looked at Falspar and Dragato who seemed equally worried when he said that. Usually Bate’s the one to comfort Meta but seeing as this whole issue is about him, he’ll have to step in. For the sake of not having his own students worry, Ramset knew he had to do something.
“While I don’t live with Bate, I know accidents like this will happen from time to time. I’ve known him long before you, and Falspar, and Dragato were born and he’s always had these sort of, umm.....complications. Seeing as you’re living with him now, you’ll probably see him coughing a lot more compared to only class hours.” He said. “If you’re truly worried about it, how about you talk to him, or even Gordon about it?”
“They tried, but…I guess I wasn’t really paying attention.” He frowned, recalling all the times he focused his attention elsewhere when they were lecturing him.
“Well, after this incident, I’m sure you’ll be getting an earful.” He stood up and motioned his students to head back home. “I’m sure Gordon’s waiting for your arrival. Just remember what I said and you’ll be fine.”
Meta gave a small nod. “O-okay. Thanks, Teacher Ramset.”
“Sure, no problem kiddo.” He gave a small wave.
Chapter 2 >>
Species © Nintendo/ HAL Laboratory
Interpreted characters created from said species © Rhylem
Interpreted characters created from said species © Rhylem