Nightfall was worried about Willowsong and when Willowsong didn't answer her and instead pushed away, going off on her own, Nightfall knew something wasn't right.
'Willowsong, please speak to me.' she sent, quickly catching up to her.
Willowsong's body was hot, her mind fuzzy, her vision blurring. But it wasn't just from the recognition, something else was going on, too. When Nightfall caught up to her, she couldn't see her clearly.
'S-Skywise... we...' Willowsong felt herself fading. '...he's my...'
'Willowsong? Willowsong!' Nightfall caught her friend as she slumped forward, unconscious. 'Cutter!' she sent in a panic. 'Stonejumper!'
Cutter came running with the others and found Nightfall crouched in the snow, Willowsong unconscious in her arms. "What happened?" He reached forward when he noticed Willowsong covered in sweat- her skin reddened. "By the High Ones..!" Willowsong was burning to the touch, a high fever taking hold. "Quickly, we need to get her back home." He sent for help from home tree, then took Willowsong from Nightfall as they waited for Stonejumper to arrive.
Stonejumper came as quickly as he could when Nightfall sent for him and stood steady as Cutter helped set Willowsong on his back before climbing up himself. When Cutter's arm wrapped around Willowsong's waist, Stonejumper sprang forward and hurried home- the others not far behind.
Upon their arrival to Willowsong's hut, Cutter slid off Stonejumper's back and carried Willowsong into her home, where Clearbrook and Rainsong quickly joined him.
"What happened to her?" Rainsong asked, the worry ringing in her soft voice.
Clearbrook touched her forehead as Cutter set her down, her brow furrowed. "She's burning... Rainsong, do you remember how to prepare the herbs your father used for fevers?"
Rainsong nodded and hurried to prepare the herbs she had brought from the home tree. Since her father had died, the tribe was left without a healer and was forced to do the best they could on their own. Thankfully, Rainsong learned much from watching her father work and knew just what to do.
Cutter stepped outside while Clearbrook covered her with furs and she and Rainsong went to work. When he looked up, he saw Skywise approaching with a very worried look on his face.
'Will she be alright..?'
Cutter sighed. 'She has a high fever, but Clearbrook and Rainsong are taking care of her.' He eyed him for a moment. 'What happened, Skywise?'
Skywise sighed and began explaining what had transpired.
Cutter listened, his brow furrowed. 'She must have used too much of her energy trying to protect you both...'
Skywise sighed. 'There's something else, too...' he started, but then someone called out to them and he looked over to see Clearbrook standing in the doorway. Exchanging a quick glance with Cutter, they followed Clearbrook into Willowsong's hut and found Rainsong sitting by Willowsong- patting dry the sweat beading on her feverish skin.
"Will she be alright?" Cutter asked.
Clearbrook nodded, her arms crossed as she leaned against the wall. "Once the fever breaks and she's had time to rest, yes, she will be fine." She watched Skywise for a moment, seeing him far more worried than she had ever before. "It'd be best for someone to stay with her until she wakes, though. Just in case."
"I'll stay." Skywise said, then turned to Rainsong. "Just show me what to do."
Clearbrook exchanged looks with Cutter, sending her questions to the chief. She had her suspicions, but Cutter didn't know more than what Skywise had told him about what happened and was surprised that he didn't mention a key detail. 'He will in his own time, if I am right.' she thought to herself as she left Willowsong's hut with Rainsong.
Cutter stayed a while with Skywise, having asked Clearbrook to fill in the others. They sat silent for several moments, unsure if there was anything more that could be done to help Willowsong.
'Skywise... you were going to say something earlier, before Clearbrook called us in.'
Skywise sighed and looked at Cutter. 'It was about Willowsong.'
Cutter watched his face for a moment, then his eyes widened when he made a realization. 'Did you recognize?'
Skywise nodded, looking back to Willowsong. 'It happened right before you found us...'
'Are you sure?'
Skywise nodded again. 'It was different than what we experienced, but yes, I am sure.'
'There's more, though, isn't there?'
'When we recognized, she was so confused...'
'Recognition affects each of us differently, Fahr, you should know this.' Cutter said, trying his best to comfort and quell Skywise's worries. 'Just give it time, alright? Speak with her once she wakes again.'
Skywise nodded, knowing that's all he could do.
Cutter stayed with Skywise for a while longer, trying to give him what support he could, but the rest of the tribe was bustling with questions that he needed to answer so he left him to return to home tree- promising to check in a bit later, once things had calm down.
Skywise sat with Willowsong, taking a cloth to dab away the sweat along her face and neck. 'Lihn... I am so sorry...'
Willowsong stirred for just a moment, roused by his sending. 'Fahr...?'
Skywise looked down at her, brow furrowed. 'Lihn, I'm right here.' He could see that she still wasn't complete lucid yet. 'You're home safe. You have a fever, so you need to rest.'
Willowsong nodded, feeling herself fading fast. 'Forgive me... Fahr...'
Skywise knew that she was trying to apologize for earlier, but before he could tell her it was alright, she was already unconscious once more. He sighed, reaching up to smooth back her hair. 'Rest, lifemate. I will be here.'