Jarlaxle sneezed violently. He blinked his eyes furiously and shook his head. Entreri snickered.
"It's not funny!" Jarlaxle snarled hunting around in his pack for a hanky. "Damn! Have you got a …"
"Nope." Entreri smirked. "Use your sleeve like any good adventurer would."
"Ugh! That's revolting! I'm beginning to glean why you are the way you are."
"Glean on me …" Entreri hummed. "That sounds like it would make a catchy tune."
"Oh do shut up," the drow grumbled trying not to sneeze as he quickly tore the hanky out of the pack. "All praises to the Dark Queen," he mumbled as he convulsed into the fine square of linen cloth.
"Having fun are we?"
"No 'we' are not! What's wrong with me? I've never had this happen before. I've seen others doing it …"
"Well, well, a first for you! That must be a rare feeling," Entreri continued to watch his dark friend with an amused smirk. "You have caught a cold."
"A cold?" Jarlaxle looked puzzled. "I wasn't hunting anything. What does this 'cold' look like?"
"Let's see," the slender man mused tapping a finger on his lips, "it normally has a red nose but in this particular case I can't tell, watery eyes, it sneezes and wheezes a lot and, from what I've seen so far, it's pitiful and grumpy and whiny."
Jarlaxle gurgled into the hanky with a disgusted look on his delicate face. "Why would anyone go hunting for that?"
"'Catching a cold' is phrase used to mean that you have acquired a common human disease."
"A disease?" the dark elf yipped. "I have a disease? A HUMAN disease! I'm not even human so how is that possible? And nothing, nothing at all, is common about me!"
"I'm no expert but I would presume that since you are so afflicted that elves get them too. Particularly those elves that have a tendency to consort with human females on a near continual basis. Gods only know what else you may have caught."
"There could be more?" Jarlaxle snuffled in shock.
"Indeed there could," Entreri said feigning a serious look. "Even things that could affect your most private parts making them droop, wilt and drip. Mind you … you don't really keep them that private. You're just so wondrously free in spreading the joy that is Jarlaxle around and all that fun stuff."
Jarlaxle's eyes were wide. "Why did no one ever tell me of such things?"
"Come now. You drow know how inferior the rest of us are. Perhaps it was just taken as a given that you'd figure it out. Surely vermin such as humans must be riddled with all manner of disease and such. There has to be some basis for your bias." he paused more than a little disturbed that he almost sounded like Athrogate and his infernal rhyming.
"Have you totally discounted the notion that maybe, just maybe, Kimmurial, or one of the others, neglected to mention these deadly diseases in hopes that you would contract one and, dare I say it, wither in the web?" Entreri asked solicitously.
Jarlaxle's dark ruby eyes widened even further and started to water as he was overcome by yet another fit of sneezes. "I'm embarrassed to say that the thought had never occurred to me." Jarlaxle sniffed. "Could this be fatal?"
"Hmmm …" Entreri mused, "hard to say. I've never known an elf with a cold. And who knows, maybe you don't have a cold. Maybe you have the flu."
"The flu; what's that? What's the flu?" Jarlaxle looked suspiciously over his hanky.
"Very similar to a cold but you get all achy …"
"I am! All over but mostly in my back. I'd thought that perhaps I'd over done it when we were playing with those gnolls yesterday or maybe when I was chasing that rather robust bar wench around her room."
"Interesting, interesting. Do you have a headache as well?"
"Now that you mention it I do," Jarlaxle whispered and gave a sniff and a slight shiver, "I assumed that it was just a combination of being tired and the bright sun."
"You do seem a bit 'wilted' today. Are you feeling anything else unusual?" Entreri asked trying to cover his glee.
"Now that you mention it I am feeling hot and cold off and on. Is that important?"
"Oh!" Entreri blurted. "No! Of course it isn't."
Jarlaxle's eyes narrowed to slits. "There's something you're not telling me." He snarled. "Out with it!"
"I am afraid that you may, just may, have the flu my friend."
Jarlaxle collapsed back onto the grass. "I knew it! The moment you listed the symptoms I just knew it. I'm doomed! I've survived Menzoberranzan and its evil Matron Mothers as well as having braved the Nine Hells just to end up perishing of some 'common' human affliction. Oh the irony of it all."
Entreri turned away from the sight lest he burst out laughing. This was far too easy.
"I really do hate to burst your little shimmering rainbow bubble there but it's very unlikely that you're going to die."
"I'm dnot?" Jarlaxle snerfd as he grew stuffier.
"No. It will probably just run it course. You'll feel crappy for a few days then you'll be back to your old odd self. Happy?"
"Dno I'b not habby," he snorted with disastrous results.
"Sit up. You're just making it worse," Entreri pointed out the obvious as the beleaguered drow flailed around trying to get up and use his hanky at the same time.
Jarlaxle pouted. "Helb me."
"Help you? How? You want Matron Mommy to stick a dagger in you somewhere or something?"
"Pah. She tried that and it didn't work. How about some herb tea? I'd lobe some nice hot tea. With honey."
Entreri rolled his eyes. "It's very hard to believe that one with your reputation could turn into such a baby and I'd like to add that I'm not a nurse maid. Would a shot of that hideous Hillsfar Dragon's Breath help?"
"It wouldn't hurt but I'm certain that it would be much nicer in a cup of herb tea … I have some herbs here." Jarlaxle hinted.
"Herbs," Entreri snorted. "Yeah. You've got herbs all right. What don't you carry? Do you have a cleric stashed in there by any chance? It would be very handy and you could get her to heal you and you wouldn't have to be bothering me at all."
"You're mocking meh. Do you forget all that I'b done for you?"
"Done FOR me? How about all of the things you've done TO me?" Entreri spat incredulously.
Jarlaxle looked hurt and sniffed a bit more.
"All right dammit. Give me the Lolth damned herbs!"
"Thank youb. And deys aren't Lolth damned. They're fromb Ebereska."
"Evereska? How the hell did you get those?" Entreri asked as he sniffed at the contents of the little green bag Jarlaxle had passed to him.
"I habe friends." Jarlaxle winked.
"Oh … I feel like total crapb." He said collapsing onto the grass once again.
"You certainly look like it. At least you don't have …" he stared to say as Jarlaxle sat bolt upright with a shocked look on his face. The lithe mercenary sprang to his feet and dashed for the shrubbery clawing at his belt. "Oh. Maybe you do."
Entreri sighed and set about starting a small fire to boil some water. "Sweaty leather is really a bitch to peel off isn't it? Now you know why I favor a simple thick fabric. And keep away from me!" he yelled towards the wretched and rude sounds coming from the bushes, "I don't want whatever it is that you've got!"
"Vith dos!" came the strangled, slurred reply.
"Do watch out for the poison ivy too," the assassin chuckled quietly with an evil grin.