CB forces himself to breathe. It’s hard—mucus keeps filling his lungs, and he’s constantly coughing and gagging, trying to take a clear breath, but he finds if he focuses on breathing it's easier to handle everything else: the fever, the chills, the pain shooting through his gut. Focusing on a very basic act of survival allows him to move everything else into the background.
It doesn’t solve the problem, though: Plague is killing him.
“I didn’t even have to try this time.” Plague sounds smug. “Last time we met, I really had to work up a sweat to break through your—I don’t know. Whatever it is. That thing you have that’s protected your sorry ass for as long as we’ve known each other. But here, in this place? With all this power swirling around? I just had to think and it happened.”
CB coughs, wheezes, and says nothing.
“What, no smartass comment? Well I’m not surprised. Disappointed, I guess. I kinda hoped you might go down swinging. For old times' sake, you know? On the other hand…” Plague chuckles to himself. “I did give you a hell of a disease, didn’t I? And you know what the best part is? This is the best part…”
Plague crouches down in front of CB, staring at him hack and cough and try to breathe.
“The best part is, I made it up.”