After the rush of energy and enthusiasm generated by the excitement of exploring the full extents of Caleb’s magnificent mansion, the Nein collapsed on to perfectly soft sofas and chairs around the fire in the living room. Food appeared as if from nowhere and drinks topped themselves up on command as everyone took a moment to themselves to let out the stress of the day. Conversation was easy and light, recounting highlights of the day without probing too deep, an unspoken agreement that everyone needed a night to just relax.
The others weren’t subtle in the way their eyes would flick back to Caleb regularly to check in but he accepted their care with a thankful smile until Jester began to yawn, quickly followed by Veth and himself.
“Well, it has been a long day, ja? Perhaps we should hit the hay and decide on a plan in the morning?”
A chorus of agreement sounded as they each climbed to their feet, Caduceus stretched his arms up to almost touch the ceiling and Fjord seemed to make his way to the door with his eyes closed calling goodnights as he went. Beau moved as if to stand but paused halfway out of her seat, a thought passing across her features, before she sunk back into her seat.
“Beau? You coming?” Jester asked, one hand on the doorframe.
“You guys go ahead, sleep well. I’ll just finish up here.” She swirled the whiskey in her glass as an explanation and a toast to them.
There was something in her eyes that opposed the easy going smile she threw out but Jester could almost hear her four-poster bed calling her name, such was the tiredness in her bones, so she decided to leave any questioning to another time. She trusted Beau not to hide away from them anymore and maybe she needed to work through her own thoughts before sharing them. With that settled in her mind she skipped to her room and the promise of sleep that awaited.
The bustle of everyone leaving died down and Beau turned back to gaze into her glass. The amber liquid stared back but in the corner of her eye the glass reflected some slight motion by the door. Surprised, looking up, Beau met the eyes of a hesitant Yasha.
“Everything alright Yash?”
“I think I am not actually very tired. May I stay up with you?”
“Yeah. Sure, whatever.”
With a nod to herself and her face relaxing, she stepped over to settle herself on the same sofa as Beau. There was a moment of comfortable quiet as they both watched the flames dance in the fireplace, hearing the occasional spitting and settling of logs.
“This is amazing.” Yasha’s quiet voice broke the silence.
“Huh? What?” Beau was shaken out of her thoughts, blinking a few times before looking to her.
“Caleb’s spell. When I said that home was wherever we all are, I didn’t think he could literally make us one.”
“Ha, yeah, it’s pretty sick huh? Better than that cramped bubble for sure. I mean, free booze? I might never leave!” With a wink she swirled the dark liquid in her glass and took a sip.
“Ah, yes, it is very nice. Maybe we can even teach Veth how to swim in the hot tub?”
“Wow, that’s a great idea!”
They laughed together at the memories of their last attempt. When silence fell again, Yasha spoke quietly.
“Is it weird that I miss the hut?”
Beau looked at her out of the corner of her eye curiously but didn’t say anything.
“I think, I liked seeing the sky and hearing the wildlife and the wind in the trees... and…“
“And...?” Beau whispered, her focus entirely on Yasha.
Meeting her eyes, Yasha took a breath and continued, “and... being close to everyone? There was something about being able to wake up and see everyone safe and sleeping. I don’t know… I know we are safe in here but I am not used to comfortable beds and being alone reminds me of when I would leave you all…” She trailed off.
Beau spun to face her completely. “I feel the same! Well not about the reminder of being gone… but it was comforting knowing everyone was right there and sleeping on the floor- well I think the beds make me feel too comfortable you know?”
“And honestly, I think I kinda like Caduceus’ snoring now! It’s weirdly relaxing? Or Jester talking in her sleep or Frumpkin making biscuits...”
“I think it’s just comforting, you know, to be around people when you are falling asleep?”
“Absolutely!” Beau was grinning up at her now, drink forgotten on the side table. “Wanna know a secret?”
“I was gonna wait until everyone went to bed and then get my bedroll and sleep in here next to the fire. Figured the sound might help me sleep…”
“That’s- that’s a great idea Beau… could I join you?”
“Yes. That sounds amazing.”
Grinning at each other they jumped up to fetch their bedrolls from their rooms and threw them down by the hearth.
“Thanks for doing this Yasha.”
She looked up from arranging her blankets, a soft smile on her face. “I got you.”
Morning found them sprawled across the floor, Beau tucked into Yasha’s shoulder snoring softly, surrounded by the other members who had, in turn, returned and decided to copy their idea. From then on, while they all still had their own rooms, Caleb was sure to make an extra dome shaped room with stars moving across the ceiling and a small campfire surrounded by cushions.