Disclaimer: I do not own Lost Odyssey, its characters, nor the highly amusing scene that spawned this fanfic.

Midnight After

Ming awoke to an unfamiliar room, a soft bed, a Jansen sprawled unceremoniously on the nearby floor. Not to mention a terrible headache.

It took her a moment to recall the circumstances that had led to this situation; the last she remembered, she had been sitting at a table with Jansen, who offered that drinking the brew from the mug before her might help her relax and perhaps her memories would come back, and taking the advice, she... Ah. It was, possibly, unwise of her to have downed the entire contents of the mug at once. She did recall a sort of odd look on the man's face in the moment she had placed the empty vessel back on the table, though everything was fuzzy from there.

It did not take much effort to infer that Jansen, perhaps with the help of Seth or Kaim, had moved her to what had been intended as her room for the night. Considerate of them, to concern themselves such with her welfare. She was used to having maids and other such loyal servants--it was nice to think that these people, who were not so bound to care for her, would look out for her in such a situation. It occurred to her that she had assumed, where she should not have, that the former would be true. She would have to cease thinking quite so much like a queen if she were to survive this journey. Once she managed to get rid of this blasted headache.

So that covered the reasons that led to her awaking fully clothed in an unfamiliar bed. It did not, however, explain why Jansen seemed to be asleep (similarly fully clothed, she noted with some relief) on her floor. Surely the man had his own room? And that room would undoubtedly make a more suitable place for sleeping than a hard wooden floor, particularly when they would all have a long day ahead of them.

"Jansen?" she whispered, not feeling a particular motivation to move from where she now sat. The bed was comfortable, and frankly given her present state, she didn't trust herself not to immediately fall over were she to stand up. She did wish the man currently gracing the presence of her floor had warned her about such odd sensations to follow when he had suggested ingesting an alcoholic beverage. She knew, in retrospect, that he probably had not intended for her to drink said beverage quite so rapidly, but even so, this was most unpleasant. In any case, a quick glance at the window let her know that it wasn't morning yet, and it would probably be best to remove the visitor from her floor and get him back to wherever he was supposed to be. "Jansen," she poked verbally with a bit more force. This time it got a reaction.

"Hmmwhaa? Whoa!" Seeming to snap awake, Jansen skittered backward across the room until he ran into a wall. Which admittedly was not a terribly long distance in the room they happened to be in presently, but that only meant the impact made a louder 'thud.' Ming cringed, both out of sympathetic pain and the fact that loud noises were not welcome at the moment. "I... what? Where am I? Who... Ming?" Jansed blinked at her a couple of times, glanced around the room in obvious confusion followed by obvious embarrassment. "I, uh, I guess I fell asleep, huh?" It was Ming's turn, then, to blink in confusion, though she doubted he noticed the gesture given that his eyes were quite pointedly focused on anything in the room other than her.

"Indeed you did," she replied after a moment of bewildered silence. "My question is why you chose to do so on the floor of my room." If there was any hint of annoyance in her voice, it was more due to waking up into a confusing situation with a terrible headache, rather than the situation itself. She reminded herself that it would probably do her well to be a bit more wary, given that she had passed out drunk on following Jansen's advice and awoke to find him asleep in her room; on the other hand, she was also pretty certain that nothing had happened other than Jansen falling asleep on her floor for reasons yet to be explained. The man sitting across the room seemed to have sensed the brief mistrustful thought, because he suddenly had his hands up in defense.

"Er, no, it's not what you're thinking. I promise I didn't do anything, I mean, I'm not the type of person who..." he trailed off and attempted to regain composure by clearing his throat, his eyes wandering back toward the ceiling. "I mean... I just stuck around to make sure you were okay. You, uh, you were a little gung-ho with the ale there..." his voice trailed off into a quiet chuckle that was filled with embarrassment.

"Ah, yes, about that... next time I shall make sure to not drink the entire glass at once..."

"Probably a good idea, yeah." Having gotten his wits about him again, Jansen stood and moved a few steps closer to where Ming sat, peering at her intently. "Are you okay? I mean, you did black out. That's not exactly a good thing, you know." Ming shook her head in reply.

"You needn't worry so much. I seem to be fine aside from this headache." As if to emphasize the point, she rubbed her temple gently.

"Ah, yeah, I guess that makes sense." Without further explanation, a soft glow began manifesting between Jansen's hands, and he took a step closer.

"Hmm?" Ming inquired, not quite focused enough at the moment to recognize the spell.

"A trick I taught myself a long time ago," he explained. "For some reason the spell to cure poison also works wonders on a hangover. I never really thought that made much sense, but I guess it says something about alcohol, huh?" The same embarrassed chuckle from before reemerged as he released the spell, which, Ming noted, did do exactly what he had said. She offered him a small smile. "Better?" he asked hopefully, to which she nodded.

"Yes. I take it what happened to me earlier has happened to you, then?" Otherwise, she doubted he would have been motivated to try different spells to find the best remedy. Jansen laughed outright.

"Far too many times." He watched her silently for a moment and the laughter faded back to a concerned frown. "I, um, I'm sorry." Ming raised an eyebrow.

"For what?" As far as she could tell, he had attempted to help her call back her memories, and when that backfired he had gone to great lengths to make certain she was fine. How did that require an apology? Jansen, of course, seemed equally perplexed by her response.

"For getting you drunk? I should have realized how badly it would effect you, I mean, you've been alive a thousand years and never had any alcohol before? You couldn't have had much of a tolerance, and, well, I didn't expect you to chug the thing, but even so it was a bad idea..." Thankfully, Jansen was now close enough that Ming was able to silence him with a finger to his lips, which seemed to make his muttering cease more out of surprise than anything else.

"You thought it might help, and it was my poor decision to drink so much. You have nothing to worry about," she assured him with a smile. "And now you should probably get yourself to an actual bed for the rest of the night. I doubt the floor was terribly comfortable." Jansen opened his mouth as if to say something, but changed his mind and simply nodded.

"Yeah, that's probably a good idea." He turned to leave, but stopped at the door. "You gonna be able to get back to sleep?" He seemed at this point not so worried about her health as avoiding rudeness as he left. Ming nodded.

"I'll be fine," she replied, and having noticed another faint glow appearing in Jansen's hands added, "Besides, your sleep spells don't work on me, if you happen to recall." She smiled amusedly as the glow faded and Jansen emitted another nervous chuckle.

"Hah, right, how silly of me... I'll just be going now. Sleep well." And with that, he was out the door. Ming half expected him to reappear with something else to say a moment later, but the longer she stared at the door the more she convinced herself that he had actually gone to bed. She didn't realize that she was holding back a twinge of disappointment at that fact. She rather enjoyed his company.

With a slight sigh, she flopped back onto the bed and pulled the covers around her. Looking back on the evening, despite all vexations and oddities, she felt that she was appreciated and cared for and, ultimately, safe. Perhaps even moreso in some ways than in the comfort of her own palace.

"I think I shall sleep quite well, thank you," she murmured aloud to the air, and drifted back to sleep.