first aid

Lancelyn Green — Middle Archenland

Lanisen has scaled one of the taller stacks of haybales and is perched in the shadows near the ceiling. He has out the little dagger he bought in Coghill and is carefully working old grime out of the ridges on the hilt with a cloth.

Colin clambers up the ladder and is greeted by one of the stable cats who has perched nearby waiting for attention. He scritches her ears and then kneels down and starts rummaging through his stuff.

Lanisen glances down. He shifts, pulling up his legs so they’re not dangling off the edge of the stack, and hunts around for the blade’s sheath.

The cat makes her way over to Lanisen when Colin ignores her, meowing insistently for the attention she feels she deserves.

Colin pulls out a small book and makes a few notations in it with a small pencil.

Lanisen watches the cat scale the stairstepping haybales easily and reaches out a hand toward her when she’s near enough. “Hey there,” he murmurs, and hauls her into his lap, absently petting the side of her head.

Colin glances up when he hears the noise and grins. “Afternoon, Lanny.”

Lanisen says, “Hi.” The cat butts her head under his chin and he leans back with a snort. Cat fur in the nose.

Colin chuckles as a big tom approaches, ready for some of the attention he’s been missing out on. He puts his book back in the knapsack and picks up the cat to scritch under the chin. “What are you up to?”

Lanisen says, “Nothin’. Tryin’ to clean up this dagger a little bit.”

Colin hms and ruffles in his bag again, still holding the contented fat feline. “Reminds me, I should clean up mine. Keep it in good shape.”

Lanisen nods vaguely, still petting the extremely blissed out cat.

Colin watches him for a little bit and finally turns the tom loose, who decides to curl up on Colin’s boot while he takes out a rag and works on his dagger. “You’re kinda quiet today.”

Lanisen shifts, annoying the cat. “Sorry,” he says. “Just kinda tired.”

Colin nods and continues to concentrate on his blade. The tom reaches out a paw and places it on Colin’s leg, watching the rag move back and forth. “You doing ok, Lanisen? Seems like yesterday was kind of an interesting day.” he comments.

Lanisen says, “Yeah. Sorry about that.”

Colin hehs. “Not your fault. Don’t apologize. I should be the one apologizing.”

Lanisen wrinkles his forehead. “Don’t see that, sir.”

Colin replies, “Well, I do. I should have put more thought into this before tossing you to the wolves. Lancelyn Green was the worst possible place to come camp out for a couple weeks… I wasn’t even thinking. Just because I’ve put the past to rest long ago doesn’t mean others have…”

Lanisen looks down at the cat, which has curled up and closed its eyes, purring. “There’s no wolves. It’s fine.”

Colin makes a frustrated noise and shoves his rag and dagger back into his knapsack, startling the tom cat who yowls and jumps up, shaking himself indignantly as he walks across the loft.

Lanisen looks up, startled.

Colin rubs his forehead and ties his bag back together.

Lanisen watches apprehensively. “All right?” he asks after a second.

Colin’s reply is quiet. “Yup.”

Lanisen asks, “What’s wrong?”

Colin pushes his hand into his pack, shoving belongings further down so he can tie it up properly. He lets out a surprised yowl and jerks his hand out of the bag, dripping blood from a pretty thorough slice on his palm. He clenches his fist to his chest, rolling onto his back. “Ruddy emperor I forgot to put the sheath back on!” He says through gritted teeth.

Lanisen starts at the yell, then is quickly scrambling down to the loft floor from his perch at the first sight of blood. “Lion!” he says, already digging through his own pack for bandages. “Why do they let you out! Is it deep?”

Colin keeps his fist clench, still gritting his teeth. “Dunno.”

Lanisen says with exaggerated patience, still digging, “Well, /look/.”

Colin tries to open his fingers and winces, blood seeping and dripping from the cut. “Ruddy emperor!” he exclaims again, reclenching his hand.

Lanisen finally finds the little kit, just the rudimentary essentials, and hurries to Colin. “‘K. Lemme see.”

Colin urghs and tentatively holds his arm out.

Lanisen swallows hard at the blood, but takes the hand and says, “Open your fingers, lemme see.”

Colin squinches his fingers open, wincing. “G’lion…” he rasps.

Lanisen says, “Come on, it ain’t even that bad.” He fumbles for the waterskin and pours a liberal amount over Colin’s hand, then quickly presses a folded cloth over the slice. “There. Hold that on there.”

Colin sputters. “Ain’t that—lookit all the blood!”

Lanisen says, “Yeah, impressive. Come on, keep that cloth on it tight, sir.”

Colin squeezes the cloth, grumbling unintelligibly under his breath.

Lanisen lets him grumble. He watches the cloth, frowning, then after a minute or so says, “Okay, let it up, let’s have a look.”

Colin slowly opens his fingers again, his pale face beginning to sweat. “Why does this hurt more than a knee to the stomach?” he grouses.

Lanisen says, “‘Cause you’re a big baby, sir.” He touches the skin around the cut with his fingertips, frowning, and watches fresh blood well up. “I think it’s all right,” he says after a long moment. “I’ve got this smelly ointment from Adrian and we can bind it up tight. But it’s deep enough they wouldn’t look at you funny if you went to the healer either. I sure wouldn’t blame you. What do you want to do?”

Colin grits his teeth. “Jus’ tie ‘er up.”

Lanisen looks at him closely. “You sure, sir?”

Colin nods. “Yeah.”

Lanisen looks uncertain, but he nods. “All right.” He rummages through the kit and unearths Adrian’s little jar and another small bottle stoppered with a cork.

Colin inhales the smell of the jar’s contents and winces, turning a bit more pale.

Lanisen gives him a look. “It’s honey and lard and herbs. You won’t even have to smell it once everything’s wrapped up.” He works the stopper out of the little bottle with hands that have begun to shake slightly, and a decidedly boozey smell issues forth.

Colin ughs once more. “Hate the smell of lard…”

Lanisen doesn’t answer. He presses the bloody cloth to Colin’s hand again to soak up the little that has oozed out, then, quickly, before either of them can think about it too much, up-ends the boozey bottle over the injury. It might sting. Just a little.

Colin grits his teeth, hissing.

Lanisen works quickly, dabbing the area dry, then spreads the ointment over the cut. He wraps the whole thing up, looping linen twice over Colin’s palm and once behind his thumb, and ties it off. “All right,” he says shakily. “That oughta do it.”

Colin looks at the bandaged hand, groans a thank you and topples onto his bedroll. “Stuff stings.”

Lanisen says, “Yeah. Sorry.” He peers into Colin’s bag.

Colin grunts. “Thanks for patching me up.”

Lanisen shrugs and shakes his head slightly, then reaches in and shifts a few things to get at the knife. “Daft idiot,” he mutters. “You got any more in there?”

Colin glares at him. “Think that’s only the one unless my flay knife unwrapped itself.” He grumps.

Lanisen asks, “Where the sheath?”

Colin reaches over with his good hand and looks around in the small pile til the sheath turns up underneath his pack. “Figures.”

Lanisen shakes his head, takes the sheath, and puts the blade away. “What were you even thinkin’?”

Colin grits his teeth. “I wasn’t, okay? I just forgot about it.”

Lanisen tucks the knife into its place in Colin’s bag and mutters again. He sits down crosslegged on the floor and lets out a breath, scrubbing both hands over his face.

Colin rests his good hand over his eyes and just lays there.

Lanisen reaches over after a minute to clean up. He screws the lid back on the jar of ointment and stoppers the now empty bottle. “Have to refill that,” he says, looking regretfully down at it. “Don’t think I was s’posed to dump out the whole thing in one go. There an apothecary in town?”

Colin replies, “Think so.”

Lanisen says, “I’ll ask around.” He rolls up the kit and stows it away.

Colin says, “See you.”

Lanisen says, “Tomorrow, I meant. Unless you’re planning on doing that again tonight.”

Colin says, “Oh. Not particularly, no.”

Lanisen says, “Good.”

Colin says, “Thanks again.”

Lanisen says, “‘S fine.”

Colin wiggles himself onto his bedroll in a more even way.

Lanisen says, “What were you all distracted about.”

Colin says, “Nothin’.”

Lanisen says reproachfully, “Sir.”

Colin says, “Not r’now, Lanny. I’m kinda done at t’ moment.”

Lanisen says, “Right.”

Colin holds the bandaged hand against his chest and turns over onto his side.

Lanisen stares at his back. He looks down, bites his lip, and nods, then lets himself down the ladder to the main floor of the barn.


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