If the world wasn’t quite making sense today that was okay.
It was okay because he’d just had the most amazing night with Margana. It was okay because Cremsden felt happy and relaxed for the first time since.. Well, he couldn’t remember when but it was okay. Everything was okay.
And if his head felt a little fuzzy, as if he couldn’t quite wake up, that was okay too. Probably meant he’d overdone the alcohol the night before. Couldn’t actually remember drinking anything but he couldn’t remember a lot about last night. The bits he could remember were gold standard though so. Don’t question.
He ambled about, quietly content with his world as he checked how things were going. Apprentices seemed to be progressing well enough, though a few of them seemed to be holding back giggles for some reason. He was cheerfully unaware of how disreputable he actually looked; usually neat hair sticking up and shirt buttoned as though by a blind man. It was like a badge advertising that something had gone wrong that morning.
Kregg looked like that most of the time anyway so obviously didn’t care about it in general, but as a change in the norm… that he noticed.
“No whisky today,” Cremsden said, smiling. Actually, he’d been smiling most of the morning. “Sorry.” And he didn’t smell of alcohol either -- or like he was trying to smell of something so he didn’t smell of alcohol. Smelt mostly of sex actually.
“Then why the smile? You look like you got laid,” Kregg said and frowned. “Waiiiit...noting a smug smile, a slight swagger, rumpled bedfur hair… you randy wher-son, you did.”
It wasn’t a smile now, it was an outright grin, and Cremsden didn’t even have the decency to blush about it. “Might have had a good night,” he admitted cheerfully. He patted absent-mindedly at his hair as though just noting it wasn’t where it should be.
“Your dragonrider buddy or some other lucky warm body?” Kregg questioned. “I have to live vicariously here you know.”
“No, you don’t. Pretty fecking sure there’s ways to do that that don’t involve injuring your leg,” Cremsden said. “And Margana’s on transport duty.” He grinned again, and this time it was a proper beam as though the sun had come up. “She’s going to marry me.” That part of the night before he did remember; tucked away to take out and smile at every now and then.
“A rider….marry? Obviously ordinarily it would be...someone, marry you? In tones of great surprise but maybe this is finally proof that between addles their judgement,” Kregg pointed out. “Are you sure whisky wasn’t involved?”
“Shut the feck up!” But Cremsden was laughing as he said it, clearly not taking it seriously.
“Spill the details then..” Kregg insisted sitting down and ladling out stewed klah from over the fire.
“What, you want small talk now?” Cremsden said, but reached eagerly for the klah regardless. Maybe it would help clear his head.
“Secretly I’m a romantic, and I swoon over the precious, precious moments,” Kregg said. “Actually I just want to see how this incredibly long shot has come into being.”
“Ah, feck off,” Cremsden said cheerfully. He drained the cup as though it were water and reached to refill. “They don’t make this stuff strong enough any more. I’m not giving you details of my sex life.”
“I’m going to have to assume some minor miracle then,” Kregg said. “Or you’ve become some secret sex god.”
“I’m going to let you assume it’s that second option,” Cremsden decided. He took a gulp that was only slightly smaller out of his second mug, yawning. “Can’t hang around too long anyway. Some of us have work to do.”
“What work would that be?” Kregg said. “Work or...work.”
“Well, if we want to not look like we came out here on a wild flit chase for a plant we’d better go back with some actual plant life.” Cremsden yawned again. Funny how once you started it was hard to stop. “And if I don’t switch the apprentices stirring numbweed round there’ll be riots.”
Kregg was watching him closely some of his usual mocking tone becoming absent. “True.” He suddenly leaned forward staring into Cremsden eyes. “Aha!”
“What?” And if Cremsden’s pupils were dilated he wasn’t looking guilty about it. He didn’t flinch back but held his hands up as though surrendering. “I know they found quickwort. It’s fine. I’m clean.” And he sounded surprisingly calm about that too, for someone who usually got twitchy at even the suggestion.
“Dilated pupils.. Quickwort changes their size but constricted first,” Kregg pondered. “More like fellis…”
“And yet here I am, wide awake,” Cremsden said.. and had to fight to stifle another yawn. He was sounding very calm still. Parts of his brain were starting to fire up enough to tell him he should be worried but it was difficult to gather the energy to follow through on it.
“But showing calmness, and some yawn response. WHat have they all been doing in your numbweed group huh?” Kregg said sounding speculative rather than disapproving.
“Well, one of them somehow got the wrong plant, but..” Cremsden stopped to actually consider that, then shook his head. “Haven’t eaten anything since stew last night. And klah.”
“Which klah would that be? Sounds like the sort of fun thing apprentices might do,” Kregg said. “Spike the klah, or the stew.”
He thought about that, or tried to, though his brain felt like it was working through fog when he actually tried using it for more than idle chatter. “Didn’t fall asleep after the stew,” he said finally. “That was when.. Well.” He cleared his throat. “Too long before sleep.”
“Not just fellis then. Or something completely new...love it.” Kregg said musing. “Whatever it is, it would help with those pesky succession requests to the Hall.”
Cremsden yawned again, and leaned his head against his hand making no move to get up despite his insistence of work to do. “If it helps, I could probably use a nap about now,” he admitted. The drowsiness seemed to be increasing rather than decreasing. “Could be the klah. You sleepy?”
“Nope. I think I better hunt down the remnants of what you had,” he said decisively.
“Okay. If it was apprentices feel free to blister their ears,” Cremsden offered, lifting a hand as though to bless that idea. “Feck. I really do need to do some work.”
“I’ll see what it is..might be useful for therapeutic approaches,” he said.
“Mmmhmm.” Cremsden struggled to his feet reluctantly. “No testing it on yourself.” Apparently that was his job today.
“Come on, share the love Cremsden,” Kregg said. “If you get to have a fantastic night, I feel I should too.”
“But unfortunately you’re just not my type,” Cremsden finished for him, grinning. It seemed likely he was going to be grinning for most of the day, even if he was yawning at the same time.
“Drugs can change a lot of things,” Kregg replied. “If you can get laid, there’s hope for everyone. It has to be some form of passionberry variant. That’s the only thing that can stimulate this sort of reaction.”
He brightened at that. “Heard someone found passionberries yesterday?” he offered. “Didn’t go near that group though. Somewhere near the quickwort I think.” So for obvious reasons he’d steered clear.
“Oh, if it is a variant, we might have found the cultivation zone,” Kregg seemed animated by that prospect. “And come on, apprentices were forever popping berries in the soup when the harvest came in. “
“Go have fun,” Cremsden waved him away, too comfortably sedated to worry too much about Kregg taking that literally. “Just not too much fun. And stay away from my apprentices while you’re having it.”
“I’m more interested in locating the variant plants...if passionberries are evidence or not. As far as I’m concerned you can all get frisky on your own time, I’ll save mine until later,” Kregg replied. “Plus the apprentices are ugly.”
“Yeah yeah. No using them for experiments either,” Cremsden said cheerfully -- nothing was going to dent that cheerfulness today it seemed.
“Well here goes that nefarious plan,” the Master Healer replied. “You, have something to eat and drink not laced with drugs and when you come crashing down from whatever this high is, come and find me. Hopefully by then I will have worked out what has caused this.”
Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.