There was a voice, muffled and uneven and kind of scary, making incoherent noises. Ui bolted upright in her bed, eyes snapping open.
"Oh," she said. "What's wrong, oneechan?"
Yui slumped in front of her, head listing to one side.
"I can't sleep," Yui mumbled, barely opening her mouth to speak. She tilted over and half-collapsed on her sister's bed.
"What's wrong? Do you feel sick?" Ui put a hand on Yui's shoulder.
"No, I just can't sleep. It's like every time I shut my eyelids, they spring back open. Maybe they're broken!" The words were typical Yui, but the voice was like a record player playing a song at the wrong speed, slow and stretched. Not that Ui had ever used a record player, though she wouldn't be surprised if Mugi-senpai had an antique one somewhere.
Ui yawned into her hand, checking to make sure Yui didn't notice (she didn't). "How about I make you some tea?" she said, sliding out from the covers and stepping into her slippers. She fumbled her way into the kitchen and hit the light switch, blinking at the sudden contrast.
It only took a few moments for her to prepare some mugi cha -- two cups, as she knew she wouldn't get any sleep until Yui did -- and bring them on a tray back to her bedroom. "Here you go," she said. She adjusted Yui's drooping body so that her sister leaned against the wall. "Be careful, it's hot," she said as she passed over one of the cups.
Yui gave a tired sound of appreciation and sipped.
"Are you worried about anything?" Ui asked, after clambering on the bed next to Yui. She peered at her sister's face.
Yui shook her head in slow motion. "No, nothing!"
"Do you have any tests coming up? How was your last rehearsal? Are you having trouble with any of the songs? Or worried about your next performance?"
Yui's head-shaking grew more emphatic with each question. "I just can't sleep," Yui said. "I don't know why!"
Ui dipped her head to the side and frowned. "Is your bedroom too cold? Too hot? Let's see, what did we have for dinner -- did the curry upset your stomach?"
"No, no, no! I just can't sleep, that's all!" She gulped down the last of her tea, thumped the cup down on the tray, and curled up at the foot of the bed.
"Is Gitah okay?"
"Yes, fine," Yui said, drawing her head to her knees and not bothering to push her hair out of her face.
"Well, how am I supposed to help you if you won't tell me what's wrong?" The patient and cheerful tone of Ui's voice grew slightly strained. What was wrong with her sister? Yui was, in general, an easy person to figure out, so she should be able to find the answer here.
"I don't need to know why, I just need to sleep!" Yui insisted.
Well, maybe she had a point. "Okay, so you're going to try to sleep here? Is that comfortable?" she asked, looking askance at Yui's odd posture.
"It's fine," Yui said, eyes squeezed shut.
"Is there anything else you want? More tea? Or maybe a snack?"
"No, thank you," came the reply, and this did worry Ui: since when did Yui ever refuse a snack?
Still, after a few more rounds of questions, she conceded that she had run out of ideas and reluctantly, at her sister's urging, crawled back under the covers. It wasn't comfortable, with Yui there like a large dog at the foot of the bed.
"You'll get a cold," Ui said suddenly, sitting up to flip the far end of the blanket over her sister. "Promise me if you get too cold you'll come up here with me, okay?"
"Okay," Yui said. "Maybe I'm starting to feel sleepy."
"Oh, good!" Ui said. "Let's both try to sleep now." She put her head back on the pillow and closed her eyes.
It wasn't long before she was interrupted.
"It didn't work. I'm still awake."
Ui set her teeth and pitched her voice to sound encouraging. "Maybe you just didn't wait long enough. Sometimes it takes much longer than a few minutes to fall asleep! Hasn't that ever happened to you before?"
"Never! I always fall asleep right away!"
"Maybe you could try again for a little bit now," Ui said, suppressing a sigh. It was going to be a long night.