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An Off Day

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Scanlan had been acting strange but Pike supposed she was too, with all these weird flashes of things she couldn’t make out from Sarenrae. Something felt truly wrong. Scanlan seemed more affected by whatever strange mood had settled over Westruun along with turbulent skies. Storms battering the city delaying Kaylie who’d been coming to visit from Emon. Pike idly watched the rain bounce off the red brick of her home and the flicker of the dying flame of her candle. The streets would flood in the next few days if this continued. Distant thunder boomed and her kettle hissed. She’d decided some tea would do her some good.

Scanlan was asleep after another harsh migraine that magic wasn't able to help in the slightest, it was becoming a daily thing his days plagued with them while his nights were filled with similar strange flashing visions from Ioun that Pike received. It had taken a lot for her to convince him to rest. But she’d gotten him to reason given the fact that if he didn’t rest now he’d be exhausted when Kaylie finally got to Westruun.

She took the kettle off the stove as she pulled out two cups and a jar of honey. She smiled when she noticed threw the crack in the doorway, Grog asleep with little Juniper napping against her favorite uncle’s chest. Her messy brown hair hiding her blue eyes.

Grog had noticed their strange behaviors but had yet to comment on them, Pike didn’t know what to think. He wasn’t nearly as affected by whatever was happening with the lack of strange, impossible to decipher flashes shown by a higher power but Grog perceptive enough to know that something was wrong with two of his three favorite people.

The Cobalt Soul had sent someone to see if Scanlan would be available for something or other, honestly she hadn’t been paying attention but she had irritably told the poor boy who couldn’t have been older than seventeen that Scanlan was indisposed. She felt bad about it but she didn’t regret it. The Cobalt Soul would be fine and Pike just wanted her family to get the rest they needed. No one besides maybe little Juniper was handling this odd mood well and everyone was losing sleep. It had been a rough couple days.

She poured the boiling water into both cups before adding the little bags of tea leaves; it had been an idle thought of Percy’s that had resulted in him figuring out the manufacturing and sending some of his test samples to Pike. She added a touch of honey to her own and a large dollop into the other cup. Without a second thought she snuffed the candle out. Before she carefully took the tea up the stairs to the smaller, gnome sized portion of their home. The stairs creaked slightly as she moved up them.

When she got up to the master bedroom Scanlan was awake sitting up in bed the light from their window the only light in the room. He glances over as the door creaks open as she pushes it with her foot. Bags still present under his eyes but slightly lessened, his hair loose down his neck. He looks as exhausted as he did before but his face brightens when he sees her.

“Hey Pikey.” he says softly, his voice slightly raw.

“Hey.” she feels herself smiles as she moves over to the bed and sets the cups down on her nightstand.

She takes Scanlan’s hand and just gives it a light squeeze. He brings her hand up and kisses it softly. She gives him a kiss on the cheek as a response, he’s warm. He smiles, love as clear in his eyes as ever. She brushes a stray hair from his face. It’s calming, looking into his eyes as rain hits the window dulled by the magic Scanlan had slowly woven through the house leaving just a faint pitter patter. She could stay like this forever.

Then Scanlan lets out a soft gasp of pain and pinches the bridge of his nose. A flicker of purple light appears on his forehead before he looks up again and it’s like all the energy had been drained out of him. He shakes his head slightly as the pain seemingly dulls to an acceptable level but her husband has always been a good liar.

“Scanlan?” she questions.

“I’m ok,” he assures her but his voice sounds anything but ok.

She helps him lean back against the headboard and hands him his cup of tea, still warm. He greedily drinks it. She takes his hand again as she casts cure wounds to at least see if she could ease his pain. Her hand glows with a soft yellowish light that fades as it makes contact with his skin.

He glances at her foundly, “You didn’t need to do that.”

“Yes I did,” She replies.

He rolls his eyes but doesn't reply just sets his tea down and kisses her hand again. Before letting out a sigh. He doesn't need to explain, she knows she knows all too well. So she leans back against the headboard, sips her tea and listens to the rain hit the window, her hands intertwined with his.

They stay like that for a while just enjoying each other’s company. Listening to distant lighting strikes that eventually turn to an even more distant clap of thunder. Time fades into something fuzzy and inconsequential. All that matters is that they’re here and they're ok and they’ll still be ok when this strangeness ends and things went back to normal. Reality outside of this room can screw off for a bit.

At some point they put their cups down and fall asleep. Her dreams are still as vague and confusing as they’d been for awhile now. But when she’s greeted by the sound of her daughter laughing from downstairs she doesn’t dwell on them. She doesn notice that Scanlan and the cups are gone though.

When she gets down the stairs she’s greeted with a massive pillowfort where their living room was along with the hushed voice of the best storyteller she knew in the middle of a tale, the interior being lit by purple light which showed three figures, a larger gnome, a smaller gnome, and a goliath laying the the floor. She found what she could only assume to be the entrance and went through.

Juniper and Grog’s eyes were fixed on Scanlan as he told them a tale of a conclave of idiotic dragons being foiled by a group of much smarter adventurers. She slipped in next to Scanlan and gave him a smile as he continued. As he narrated the defeat of the white dragon at the hands of the group and how the group’s incredibly perceptive archer landed the final blow by seeing a weak spot in the dragon’s hide threw the blistering cold of a snowstorm the largest blanket illuminated by the light Scanlan had conjured shows what he described with shadow. Juniper’s eyes are full of wonder as he continues on with how the wise druid claimed her staff from the demon who’d eaten it. Pike listened to him describe their adventures in a way that made them seem awe inspiring instead of terrifying. How he wove wonder into his words and created a vivid image of a world that drew you in. She enjoyed the peace as slowly ever so slowly the rain let up outside. They wouldn’t know that a cult had been trying to free the Chained Oblivion until much later.