I Can't Smite This Feeling Anymore

(( I've been down with the swine flu for over a week; it's not uncommon for me to inflict illness on my characters when I'm sick. And what happens when a priestess of the Light gets sick and can't just Abolish Disease on herself, anyway? ))

Agness struggled out of bed and wandered downstairs to the living room. She pulled a blanket out of the cedar chest that served as their coffee table and settled in on the couch, finally coughing every bit as much as her lungs demanded.

Upstairs, there was a light snore followed by a heavier, deeper snore, and Agness sighed with relief. At least Vaelen could sleep in this way.

The fireplace was cold, although there were a few logs piled up in it. Agness glanced around the room, looked up at the ceiling, and finally sighed. "Bizpit?"

With a puff of smoke and a stench of sulphur that Agness, thankfully, could barely smell, the imp poofed into the human dimension. He danced along the back of the couch as Agness grimaced and slid over to one side, avoiding the imp's flailing arms and legs, and finally, just as Agness was sure he was going to run upstairs–oh, Light, I don't want to have to go catch him while I'm feeling this way–he plopped down on the end of the couch and said, "Yeeeeeessss?"

This was not a good idea. Agness looked hopefully over at the fire and then back at Bizpit. "Could you start a fire for me?" she croaked.

"What's the matter with your voice? Murloc in your throat?" Bizpit crossed his legs and looked at his fingernails.

"I'm sick," Agness said. "That's why I haven't been going out the last day or two."

"And I thought it was because you just loved married life and didn't want to go anywhere. Oh, Vaelen, you're so handsome! I love your ridiculous mustache! And the way you–" Bizpit's voice quit dripping imitation honey and turned into the creaky, disgusting whine it usually was as he finished. "Smite demons."

"How many times have I told you? It's nothing personal–he's a paladin, for crying out loud–"

"My ears hurt," Bizpit sulked.

"Please go start a fire? I won't let him smite you anymore."

Bizpit's ears flapped at Agness, but he didn't say anything.

"Bizpit!" Agness snapped. She pointed at the fireplace. "Fire!"

"Fine," Bizpit said. He belched out a bit of smoke and then tossed a casual little fireball into the fireplace. To Agness's relief, the logs caught fire immediately, and the room felt much warmer. Also smokier. Agness coughed again, this time not due to her illness, and waved a hand in front of her face. "Bizpit, the flue–"

"Yes, I've noticed you're sick. You want a hankie or something?"

"No, the flue–the fireplace, Bizpit, the flue, can you go open it?"

"Hey, you don't wanna breathe smoke, that's your human failing. Me, I'm just fine like this–"

"You want to go back to live with Daisy?"

Bizpit tossed her a scornful little grimace and scurried off the couch, reaching into the fireplace to open up the flue. The smoke began to dissipate, and Agness sighed with relief.

"Don't know why you don't just heal yourself, anyway," Bizpit muttered, coming back over to the couch and flopping down in a tangle of limbs–some of which were Agness's. She winced and pulled her foot out from under him, and he grabbed part of her blanket and started gnawing on the hem.

"Bizpit…"

"Mmmmm, felwool," Bizpit said dreamily. He got in a few more chews before Agness swung a pillow at him. "Fine, fine! I'll quit! But sheesh, you're a shadow priest, honey, emphasis on priest. Why don't you just poof yourself all better? Unless you like being a sick little girl–"

"Shut up," Agness muttered, and after a moment, lower, "and anyway, I tried that already."

"Ooooooh." Bizpit leaned forward with a gleam in his eyes and a grin spread across his vile little face. "Whassa matter? Holy spells no worky?"

"Shut up." Agness coughed again, and then again, and this time the coughing didn't stop for a minute or two–by which time the snoring from upstairs had stopped, and there were soft creaks from the floorboards. "Oh, balls–you! Get out of here–"

"No!" Bizpit crossed his arms in front of his chest and sat down hard on Agness's foot. "Not going, can't make me, not going, can't make me–"

"Raga razzax," Agness whispered, snapping her fingers, and Bizpit faded away. She groaned and put her head in her hands.

"Agness?" The end of the couch sank down again, but this time instead of a small, ugly demon, it was a tall, redheaded paladin (whose mustache was not even a little bit ridiculous, Agness thought grouchily) in a plaid nightshirt and slippers, and when he rubbed at Agness's ankles, she sighed and stretched her feet out across his lap. He drew the felwool blanket down over her legs so her feet wouldn't get cold, and kept rubbing. "Are you all right?"

"I have a cold," Agness said; it came out more like I hab a code, but fortunately Vaelen understood.

"Poor sweetie. Do you want me to make you some tea?"

"Oh, Vaelen, you just got up–"

"Yes, but I'm feeling fine! I'm too Light-infused to get sick." Vaelen smiled at her and winked as he tickled the bottom of her foot. "I could try a cleanse spell–"

"I already tried that," Agness muttered, crossing her arms over her chest. "Didn't take."

"Oh–well, I suppose you have more experience with healing spells than I do. You are a priest, after all," Vaelen said. "I should have known learning to smite harder would weaken my healing skills–maybe I should go back to the Cathedral and take some more healing lessons."

"But you love smiting!" Agness sat forward and reached out to pet Vaelen's shoulder. "I'll be over this in no time. Really, it's no trouble."

The next outburst of hacking coughs made Agness collapse against the couch's arm in a heap, and Vaelen got up. "I'll make you some soup," he said. "Don't argue, I, ah–how do I boil water again?"

"Just go down to the Pig and Whistle," Agness said, wincing at the idea of Vaelen in the kitchen. "Ask Kabonka for some crocolisk gumbo–you can heat it up when you get back home, if it gets cold."

"I won't let it." Vaelen drew himself to his full height and put his hands on his hips. "I'll be back in just a few minutes."

"Pants?" Agness raised her eyebrows. "You'll wear pants, right?"

"…and I'll wear pants."

* * *

With a bowl of Kendor Kabonka's finest gumbo in hand, Agness was actually feeling much better; the spices were enough to clear her head out, and Vaelen had in fact managed to keep it warm on the ride home. He'd brought home a new knitting book for her, too, one all about knitting warm socks for the man in one's life. Agness had beamed up at Vaelen and promised him new socks before they went back to Northrend; he'd cheered at her and then left her alone to eat her soup while he tidied up around the house. There were, she had to admit, a few handkerchiefs strewn about the floor here and there.

"GUMBO!"

Agness shrieked and jerked her bowl back from Bizpit. "Did I say you could come back? Did I–get out of here, get out out out–"

"Give me some gumbo and I'll go."

"Fine!" Agness shoved her bowl at him. He buried himself face-first in the gumbo, making loud smacking noises, and Agness tried not to gag. "Enough. Enough, now go away–"

"Make me," Bizpit said, sticking his tongue out at her.

"Oohhh–why, you–raga razzax," Agness said, snapping her fingers. Bizpit had just enough time to make an even uglier face at her before vanishing.

"What was that?" Vaelen called from the kitchen.

"Nothing," Agness croaked. "I'm fine, honey."

"Oh, good! Do you want some more gumbo?"

Agness looked down at what was left of her gumbo and shuddered as she set it down on the coffee table. "No, thanks, sweetie. I think I've had enough for today."

Oct 6th, 2009
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