Aaaaww thank you so much! What a sweet idea ❤
“Well, don’t you look like something the cat dragged in,” He said, sitting on his heels over her where she lay, hair plastered to her face with sweat, looking more than a little worse for wear. He held her wrist thoughtfully, and laid a cool cloth across her forehead.
She had insisted that it was a simple cold until collapsing into a heap in the hallway where a maid found her.
“Thanks, I feel better already” she croaked out, shivering despite the mottled flush of fever on her face. “My soul for a dose of Tamiflu.” She mumbled before being seized with another round of hacking coughs.
“You soul for what now?” He asked, as he helped her sit up slightly and smoothed the hair away from her face.
“It’s a medicine from my hometown, but I don’t know how it’s made or anything so forget it.” She muttered, looking at him dubiously.
“Don’t ask for absurd things, my dear.” He said, and tucked the covers back over her, thinking of every remedy he know offhand and wishing that Ieyasu wasn’t back in Azuchi. The doctor in the town had given her some powder which seemed to do nothing more than taste awful and leave her nauseated for several hours.
“I suppose I’ll have to see what I can do for you before the crows start circling.” He said, with a gentle pat to her head.
She cracked a bloodshot eye at him. “You should probably stay away from me before you get sick too.”
“I never seem to fall ill, and besides, there will never be a better time to drug and interrogate you than now.” He replied with a wink that belied his anxiety.
“It figures.” She said, with a rattling sigh.
He left her and went the kitchen, rummaging around for ingredients whose quantities he could only roughly judge at best, based on his own well kept secret hangover cure. Gods only knew how it tasted, he certainly didn’t.
He went back to her, tray in hand, and set it down beside her where she lay in a fitful shivering doze. He’d have to go toward the capital to find a better doctor if it came to that, but the prospect of leaving her alone while she was so weak was a grim one. The pale afternoon light made her look pallid and her pillow was dark with sweat.
He sighed and squeezed her shoulder softly enough to wake her up without a jolt.
“I expect you know that I plan to collect on your soul if this makes you feel better.” He said, keeping his voice light to cover his own apprehension.
“I thought Nobunaga was the devil king,” she said, sitting up unsteadily.
“You called me a fox, maybe I just want to take it so I can trick someone into thinking it’s my own.” He replied as he handed her the bowl he had brought.
“I wouldn’t put it past you.” She muttered darkly as she took it, studying its contents suspiciously. “What… is this?” She asked, nose wrinkled in disgust.
“It’s my personal cure all. Of course, the taste doesn’t bother me.”
“Is that pickled plum? Are you trying to make me more sick?”
“Just down it in one go, you’ll be fine.” He answered with an affectionate pat to her head.
She lifted it to her mouth and swallowed, gulping it down and gasping “water, right now.” She drank, and glared at him. “That was maybe the most unspeakably vile thing I’ve ever tasted.”
“I wouldn’t know, but I’m told that medicine really isn’t supposed to taste good.” He shot back, as he steadied her to put a fresh pillow down under her head. “With any luck that will help you sleep.”
“I’d certainly like to dream that I never tasted that.” She said sleepily.
He sat beside her, his hand over hers as she sank into a deep sleep at last. The room was dark by the time he noticed that her fever had broken and let the tension in his shoulders drop.
She woke up looking far better than she had, with less of a rattle in her chest. He handed her a cloth to wipe her face with and gave her a satisfied smile.
“I’m never going to hear the end of this, am I?” She said, her voice gravelly but steady. “I’m pretty sure I only feel better because my entire being has revolted in fear of that– whatever that was.”
“Why, I would never gloat in such a terribly gauche way.” He shot back as he handed her a cup of ginger tea that she sniffed suspiciously. He leaned in to tuck her hair behind her ear and added “you’ll have to good care of your soul though, now that it belongs to me.”