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Nightsickness

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Beau woke up sick.

She had suspected it when she went to bed the night before, but had hoped that the sore throat and headache building behind her eyes had more to do with sorrow and exhaustion than actual illness. But today the whisper of pain had turned into a shout directly at the base of her skull, which grew louder every time she moved. Her joints felt creaky and slow, as though she had tried to work out without stretching in years, despite the fact that she had done her usual pre-bedtime stretches the night before. Her throat felt tight and her face felt hot, but her core was freezing, and she noticed that her sheets were wet with sweat.

“Goood Morning Beau!” Trilled Jester from the other side of their room.

“Ungh,” moaned Beau, pulling the covers back over her head.

“Wake up sleepyhead!” Continued Jester as she turned on the magical lantern that hung from their wall, filling the room with a natural-looking yellow light. Beau groaned louder and turned over, mashing her face into her pillow. Then she decided it was too hard to breath like that and with great effort turned her head so that one bloodshot eye was squinting up at Jester. At least there weren’t any curtains to open or sunlight to let in – Beau didn’t think her fragile head could have handled that.

Jester stood by the door to their room, already fully dressed.

“If you don’t get up soon you’re going to miss breakfast! And if you miss breakfast, you’ll be too hungry to go shopping with me! Which you promised to do!” Jester reminded her, with far too many exclamation points for this early in the morning.

“Just give me a minute,” was what Beau tried to say. Unfortunately, it came out as “ ‘us immg mmit.” She cleared her throat and tried again.

“Just gimme a minute Jess,” she said from under her blanket, only slurring the words together a little. “I’ll be right down.”

“Ok!” Replied Jester cheerfully, still not noticing anything out of the ordinary with Beau’s post-waking grumpiness. She let the door slam behind her, the sound sending shock waves through Beau’s poor head. Beau lay still for a long moment, then another long moment. Then she groaned and rolled onto the floor, pulling her blanket with her.

Beau sat up and considered her usual vestments dully from her spot on the floor, before ignoring them altogether and simply pulling her coat on over her sleepwear and fastening it tightly against the chill in her center. She lifted one hand half-heartedly to her hair, preparing to brush it out and put it up in her usual top-knot, but the thought of keeping her hands lifted over her head for that long was exhausting. She was decent enough, she decided, stumbling out the door and towards the stairs. Hopefully Jester or Caduceus would notice how wretched she felt and offer to cast a restoration on her -- without her having to ask.

“Beau, are you alright?” Was the first thing she heard Nott ask as she gingerly made her way into the dining room and slumped down onto the first available chair.

“Who, me? I’m fine,” She said with what must have been a ghastly smile, willing her teeth not to chatter.

“You don’t look fine,” Nott regarded her suspiciously. “You look like something the cat dragged in.”

“Speaking of cats, where is Caleb?” Interjected Fjord. “Wasn’t he saying last night that he needed to come shopping with us? Something about being out of paper.”

“He remembered that he had more of that special ink that could turn regular paper into spell paper,” explained Nott. “He was up very late last night working. We should let him sleep. You really do look awful, Beau.”

“Thanks,” she rasped out through her sore throat.

“No, she’s right. You look sick,” said Fjord walking around the table to place a hand on her forehead. Beau glared up at him, trying to convey that she was submitting to this indignity only because she might throw up if she moved too fast right now.

“Beau! Are you sick?” Jester exclaimed, walking in from the kitchen carrying a plate of what looked like scones. Caduceus followed behind her, carrying a teapot. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“I don’t think I’m ~sick~, per se – “ began Beau.

“She’s sick.” Fjord cut her off. “Come feel her forehead, Jester.”

“You could have just told me when I woke you up,” said Jester, coming around the table and replacing Fjord’s hand with her own. Fjord’s hand had been almost uncomfortably cool, but Jester’s blue one felt like ice on her forehead. Beau shivered again as a wave of Jester’s familiar magic cascaded down her back. The shivering stopped and the headache receded, as Jester’s hand went from unbearably cold to its normal coolness. Beau felt like someone had removed a few of the layers of cotton wool that had been wrapping her brain. She smiled up gratefully at Jester.

“There you go! I used a Greater Restoration, so that should take care of all of it,” Jester smiled and smoothed her hand back over Beau’s hair.

“Thanks, Jess.”

“You’re welcome! Hopefully I don’t need that spell slot for anything later,” laughed Jester. “Do you feel up to going shopping now?”

“Honestly…” Beau hesitated. Despite the Greater Restoration, she still didn’t feel one hundred percent. Already she could feel the headache creeping back in. And her throat wasn’t feeling any less sore. “Is it ok if I don’t? I guess I just really didn’t sleep well last night and I’m still kind of tired and achy. I just want to get in a good workout and then maybe take a nap. Do you think we could go shopping together another day? Or even this afternoon?” She felt bad refusing Jester after having promised, especially since Jester had just healed her, but shopping really was the last thing she felt like doing right now.

“I’ll go shopping with you, Jester,” said Nott. “I’ve been wanting to get a few things for Luc and Yeza.”

“Ooh, present shopping!” exclaimed Jester. “We can get some things for my Momma as well! I guess I can let you out of shopping for today, Beau,” she added teasingly.

“Hey, I was also going to go shopping. What am I, chopped liver?” Said Fjord in mock outrage.

“It’s just not the same,” replied Nott haughtily. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand the sacred sisterhood of shopping together. Jester needs another woman on this trip.”

“Of course not!” Said Jester at the same time. “I would have been perfectly glad to go shopping just the two of us, Fjord. But I’m also glad you’re coming too,” she added to Nott.

“If no one starts eating breakfast, it’s going to get cold,” observed Caduceus mildly. “And then no one is going to want to go shopping, because you’ll be too hungry.” This effectively ended the conversation, although Fjord and Nott exchanged a few more barbs as Nott tried to steal his scone off his plate. In the commotion no one noticed Beau drink only a cup of tea for breakfast, before quietly slipping back up the stairs.