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Sudden Clarity

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When Jester went down, Beau felt her breath catch in her throat.

Admittedly, part of that was because she'd just been punched in the chest by a very large man who apparently didn't know when to quit. But, still. The point stood.

"Shit, shit, shit!" Beau hissed out, spinning around to catch the asshole who was trying to kill her with a strike right to the back of the neck. He froze in place, stunned, and with a well-placed kick she knocked him to the ground. She didn't even spare him another thought.

Without a second's pause, she turned back around and sprinted in Jester's direction.

There was a part of her brain pointing out that she was probably being a bit overdramatic. It wasn't like it was the first time Jester had gone down in a fight, after all, and the odds were pretty good that it wouldn't be the last. All Jester needed was a quick healing spell or a potion, and she'd be fine.

Still, she couldn't help but worry. Just a little. Even if she'd never actually admit it out loud.

Caduceus and Fjord were clear on the other side of the field, dealing with their own problems. Yasha's head was too focused on the fight for her to be any use for anything other than slicing and dicing mercenaries, and Beau was almost certain that Caleb was out of healing potions considering the amount of blood dripping a stab wound on his shoulder. Which left Nott, and gods only knew if she had any potions on her.

And since Beau had know idea where Nott was just then, that mean it was up to her to get Jester back on her feet.

The man who'd sent Jester sprawling unconscious to the ground was still standing over her, a nasty-looking sword in his hands that was dripping with blood. There was frost in his dark hair, not to mention some sickly-looking wounds going up and down his arm that had clearly come from one of Jester's spells. She'd given as good as she'd gotten, at least.

His foot was on her throat, clearly cutting off her air.

Beau saw red.

Looking back, she honestly didn't remember much of the next few seconds. One moment, she was sprinting in Jester's the direction, and the next thing she knew she was pulling her hands back as the guy dropped to the ground with a broken neck.

She spat some blood out on the ground beside him. "Good riddance," she muttered, turning her attention back towards Jester.

Who was still sprawled out unmoving on the ground.

Not moving at all. Even a little.

Beau felt that weird flicker in her chest again, kind of like when she'd seen Jester go down in the first place, but this time there wasn't someone punching her to explain it away. "Fuck," she hissed out, all but throwing herself at Jester. "Fuck, fuck, fuck."

She pointedly ignored the fact that her hands were shaking ever so slightly as she ran her fingers over Jester's neck, feeling desperately for a pulse. Relief flooded through her as she realized that it was there. It was faint, much too faint, but it was there.


Beau narrowed her eyes, focusing her gaze on Jester's chest for a moment. Her much, much, much too still chest. She moved her hand upward, over her mouth and nose instead of on her neck.


Jester wasn't breathing.

"No, no, no, no, no." The steady stream of words were a mantra, or maybe a prayer, all but tripping over each other in their hurry to get out of Beau's mouth. "No, no, no, this isn't happening."

If she hadn't been pretty damn sure that the guy who'd done this was already dead, she'd totally be making plans to kill him much more painfully than she had. Fuck him sideways.

Her hands were shaking again, and Beau had to force herself to take a deep breath and push down the feelings of utter and complete fucking panic that were threatening to overwhelm her just then. The thought that Jester could be gone, that she was going to definitely be gone if Beau didn't do something right that moment, was sending her mind spiraling.

But she didn't have any damn time to deal with that or try to unpack what it might have meant just then. Not with Jester lying on the ground in front of her.

Beau put her hands on Jester's chest, trying desperately to remember just what she'd been taught when it came to helping people who weren't breathing. It had been ages ago, just after her father had sent her packing, and she'd barely paid attention. She'd been focused on other things, not particularly giving a fuck about learning anything they had to teach her.

She was suddenly regretting that decision.

"Come on," Beau muttered, silently counting in her head as she pressed down hard against Jester's chest. One, two, three, four... "Don't you fucking do this to me."

... twenty-nine, thirty.

Beau leaned forward, pressing her lips against Jester's and breathing in. Her lips were still warm, and Beau was almost certain that she tasted a hint of fruit on them.

Jester's chest moved slightly under her hands as she breathed in. But she didn't start breathing on her own.

"Fuck." One, two, three, four...

Beau glanced up at the sky, careful not to lose count as she pressed against Jester's chest again. "Come on, asshole," she growled. "Jester says you're always there, so if she's right then you need to do something. Fix this."

She wasn't remotely surprised not to see anything, no sign that anyone or anything was listening to her. Well, other than Caduceus, who she was fairly certain she saw running their way off in the distance.

Well, fuck him then. What kind of god was he if he wouldn't help someone like Jester?

... twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty.

Beau leaned forward to press her lips against Jester's again. And, just over her shoulder, she would have sworn for a second she heard a chuckle.

Jester's eyes shot open as she gasped for breath.

Beau jerked away, her own eyes just as wide as she watched Jester take in a few deep breaths before slowly letting them level out. She didn't even know how to describe the sense of utter fucking relief rushing through her just then.

"What happened?" Jester's voice was rough but recognizable. She blinked a few times, turning her head to the side so that she could see the dead body sprawled a few feet away, before turning back towards Beau. "You got him?"

Beau took in a shaky breath of her own. "Yeah," she agreed. "I got him."

The smile that Jester shot her was as bright as the sun. For just a second, at least. Then it instantly disappeared, replaced by one of surprise. "Duck!"

It said a lot that Beau didn't even hesitate. The moment the word came out of Jester's mouth, she did exactly what she'd been told, just in time to feel the whoosh of something cutting through the air where her head had been a moment later.

Jester raised her hand, not even taking the time to sit up, and a blast of white, radiant energy erupted from it.

Behind her, Beau head a gasp and a strangled scream that cut off mid-sound. Then she heard a thud.

"It's good now," Jester said. She put her hand down and pressed it against the ground, giving herself enough leverage to sit up.

Then she glanced at Beau, tilting her head to the side a little. Her face looked as if it was a slightly darker shade than blue than usual, just a hint of something different about it. Almost like she was... well, like she was blushing. "Did you kiss me?"

Beau stared at her. "You weren't breathing," she said, her reply coming out a bit strangled. "I was trying to fix that."

Jester blinked. "Oh," she said. "Good then."

She sounded almost disappointed, and it surprised Beau a bit how much she really didn't like hearing anything come out of Jester's mouth in that tone. The fact that she was always so godsdamned cheerful was one of the things that she loved about...

... oh. Oh. If Beau's mouth dropped open a bit at that realization, well, she thought she had a pretty good reason for it.

Jester smiled at her. "Thank you," she said. "I think you saved me."

Beau just kept staring at Jester, her mind racing.

After a few seconds, Jester's smile faded a bit. "Are you okay, Beau?"

It took some effort, but Beau managed to nod. "Yeah," she choked out. "Yeah, I'm good."

Then, before she had a chance to think about how monumentally stupid an idea it was, she leaned forward and pressed a quick kiss against Jester's lips. She didn't take very long, just a moment or two, but it was enough to leave Jester staring at her, wide-eyed, as she pulled away.

"That was one was actually a kiss," Beau said. "Just to be clear."

Beau pointedly didn't think too hard about the potential reason behind of any weird feelings in her chest as Jester's mouth twisted into another one of those blinding smiles of hers.

Especially when Jester leaned forward to kiss her back.