This arc, concerning Ysani's chronic fatigue 'issue', predates the story of her abduction, and is the sequel to their fungus capers (see A Little Mischief and Petty Revenge). Destril/Keilos wrote this particular segment.
Too Much of a Good Thing
Keilos sat on the couch and watched Ysani sleep. She hadn't been in the room when he'd returned from venting his frustrations on opponents in the Tourney, and when he discovered their shared room was empty, he'd felt a sickly turn of worry and unease in his stomach. He was considerably relieved when she'd come back around midnight.
They hadn't really spoken, even then – she'd silently shed her armor and headed for the bathing chamber, leaving him to wipe the plate down with a soft cloth and put it away on the rack as he tried desperately to ignore the tell-tale sounds of running water and splashing from the bath. It didn't much help that his imagination was more than happy to supply images of Ysani in the tub. Keilos gritted his teeth and went to the chapter house’s kitchen to get some water to make Ysani her tea.
He'd steeped the foul-tasting herbs for her and poured her a cup when the tea was ready. The look she gave him when she'd picked up the white china had hurt him – he knew she hated the stuff, but he also knew that, at least before Dorri had butted in, she had been looking better. Less worn anyway.
Now, the red-haired blood knight was asleep in what should have been their bed, and Keilos was resigning himself to another night of broken sleep and uneasy dreams on the couch. It was comfortable enough, for a couch...but it wasn't the bed. Several times a night he found himself crashing to the floor as he rolled over in his sleep, trying to curl himself around Ysani as he usually did.
Maybe I should just sleep on the floor and save myself the trouble...it's where I usually wind up anyway. He didn't think Ysani was exactly aware of what she looked like in the dress she'd worn earlier that afternoon. The dark fabric had paled her skin and complimented her red hair, and the bare expanse around her belly that the dress revealed had nearly destroyed his resolve to follow the medics' orders regarding their intimacy. She was beautiful in that dress. It made him think of the time they'd watched an Orgrimmar sunset together, back around Noblegarden. Somewhere, he still had an unfinished illumination of her wearing the dress he'd given her.
Keilos winced as the disapproving face of the female night elf in the medics' tent interrupted his thoughts. The matronly Kal'dorei had taken him out in the hall, scowling at him, and proceeded to give him a dressing-down the likes of which he hadn't received since shortly before he'd joined the Prophecy of Light. ”Just like most of the other men out there, boy – start thinking more of her. Stop pestering her. Didn't you know she was exhausted? If you really wanted the best for her, you'd have let her sleep, rather than keeping her up all night doing...whatever it is that blood elves do.” Kei had winced and tried to explain to the elf that the situation wasn't entirely of his creation, but she wasn't inclined to listen. ”Now look here, my randy young buck. Not another word out of you. For the next two weeks – at least – you're going to put her well-being above your desires. So it's hands off until she's had a chance to get some proper rest without you bothering her at all hours.”
He'd wilted under the disapproving glares of the medics, their words and their looks making him feel every inch the selfish jerk that Dorri had accused him of being at the Legerdemain. He hadn't told Ysani all they'd said to him, just let them give her an edited version of their diagnosis. He hadn't thought the fortnight would be all that bad. He had been sadly, sorely mistaken. It had certainly made him aware of all the little intimacies that'd he'd come to take for granted in their day-to-day lives – the looks, the touches, the little nudges in passing just to tease or give comfort.
A soft murmur from the bed jerked Keilos out of his ponderings. He saw Ysani frown in her sleep, muttering as she turned over, one hand questing across the other pillow where he usually slept. Softly, the young man sighed. He loved this little madcap Blood Knight, loved her temper and her sense of humor and her courage. He'd never found the right words to tell her, and thought that since she'd never given much hint of feeling the same, there might never be the right words. I don't know what I'm going to do when she decides the dalliance is over. She's never said anything to make me think it could be anything more than that, has she? There was that one time, over the stone - “It makes me want to hunt you down and kiss you.” But that could mean anything. Not like conversations over that goblin rock have all the context of face-to-face talks anyway. I'll be grateful for whatever I get, though. I know full well I don't deserve to be as happy as I have been the last little while.
Kei levered himself off the couch and paced over to the desk, glancing at the blank sheet of paper speculatively. Dorri's anger had made him feel selfish and guilty again, and hearing the two women snarling at each other over the stone had made him feel worse. Why does she put up with me? Or why do I put up with her? She keeps saying she's my friend – does that make it so? And if it does, why am I so awful at being a friend in return? Light, I can't do anything right, love or friendship.
He reached for a pencil, intending to do a quick sketch of the older Blood Knight, but stopped when he saw the fine tremor in his hands, knowing he was too tired at the moment to draw anything worth keeping. Better not...I'll only mess it up, which is about par for the course right now.
Wearily, Keilos extinguished the lamps and returned to the couch. As he stretched out and arranged the spare blanket he covered himself with, Elphi hopped up to drape herself over his feet, purring noisily in the almost-dark. As his eyes began to drag themselves shut, Kei glanced over to check on Ysani one more time. She'd turned back over, one calloused hand right on the edge of the mattress. For a moment, her lips curled in a smile, as though her dreams were pleasant. Just as he thought he really should tell her how he felt, maybe at the picnic tomorrow, his eyes closed, capturing the image of the girl's dreaming smile on the inside of his eyelids.