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Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre)

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1 Bedside Manners (Closed with ComicallyMacabre) on Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:17 pm

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Super Duper Angst Meme (Injury Edition)
Send me a ➴  and I will generate a number between 1 and 100 for what my muse will say to yours.
10. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."

The good doctor wiped his brow with the back of his hand, felt the coolness of his sweat collect there. The night had been a long one, but as the dark ended with the coming dawn, so did his work. He glanced down at the woman lying upon the bed, his eyes tracing the severe lines that marred her face, then to the bandages that he'd carefully wrapped around her torso a few hours prior. She'd have a few more scars to add to her collection, it would seem. 

As the soft morning light reached out with gentle fingers to touch the slumbering figure, she had begun to stir. He watched her open her eyes and look around, like most previously unconscious patients had done in the past, and when she began to sit up, he reached out to stop her. His touch was gentle, but firm. "Don't--You'll only hurt yourself more."


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The bastard back-handed her hard across the face. "Don't be so rude," he reprimanded, and then he held the tiny flute aloft, just a few inches from her nose, so that she could get a good look at it. "Do you know what this does, Missy? Perhaps you'll be more inclined to tell me, hm? Or do I have to hurt both you and your friend here? I can assure you, it won't be pleasant." He reached out to caress her face with the club, wiping a red streak of her own blood across her cheek. "You see this here? This is just one of our many little toys. My boys know how to play this game. Now, give us what we want, and we'll kill you both relatively quickly. How's that sound, hm?"


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The battered woman let out a hiss as his gloved hand struck out across her other cheek, but she recovered relatively quickly. She turned to face him again as he questioned her, her eye focusing briefly with some effort on the flute he dangled in front of her before returning its attention to her captor. "Haven't th' faintest."

Well, she wasn't lying. She really didn't know, and she expected Xiro didn't have much of an idea either. All she knew was that it was his, and he needed it. She could feel a warmth from it, but she wasn't entirely certain if it was truly the pendant or if it was simply her head wound. The cool sensation of metal stroking her cheek got her attention again and she tensed, shivering at the sensation. But even then, as exhausted and hurt as she was, she knew she had to keep this man's attention on her. She wasn't about to let Xiro go through any of this.

He'd had his share already.

Quicker than one would expect of someone as bloodied and bruised and dazed as she was, she kicked out hard at the man with a heavy booted foot, spitting a decent mouthful of her blood back into his face in response. A petty thing to do, maybe, but she didn't really have many options. She only hoped that Xiro had more ideas than she did, because the consequences for this surely wouldn't be much fun.



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:04 am; edited 1 time in total

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The man stumbled back with a grunt, his hands immediately going to cover his wounded groin as he buckled. Xiro had to fight to hide his smile.

"Good kick," he mumbled, just loud enough for Lyra to hear. 

The chief was not amused, however, and as he recovered, he straightened, wiping her bloody spittle from his face. "Fine, then. If that's how you want it to be." He bent to pick up the fallen baton, and turned his attention away from the Nightingale, bringing his weapon across in a hefty swing.

Torture trigger:
Xiro gasped as the blow landed upon his side, feeling at least two of his ribs crack and cave beneath the force of it. There came a burning with it, one that he recognized. Iron. Shit. The next several blows were to his stomach, driving the air from his lungs, making him cough up blood and see stars. He crumpled when the beating stopped, and the man backed off.

"Fetch the chest," he ordered, tossing the baton aside and pocketing the flute. "And get me a glass of water."

As the other bandits rushed to do as they'd been told, Xiro huffed and puffed, trying to catch his breath, to ignore the burning that had consumed his torso. He tried to stand himself upright again, but his legs buckled. Shit. Fuck.

There came a howling in the distance, and he blinked. And then he grinned.

"What're you smiling about?"

His bright, golden eyes flashed as he looked upon the outlaw. "Have you any last words?"

"Excuse you?"

"As a man who's about to die, have you any last words?"

The bandit's eyes narrowed into a squint and he bared his teeth. "You've got a death wish, ain't ya?" He picked up the baton again, slapping it against the palm of his hand. "I'm gonna make sure it's slow and painful. I'll have you begging by the end."

Xiro rolled his eyes. "The irony is killing me."

Gore Trigger:
The man opened his mouth to reply, brought up the club as if to swing, but in a flash of fur and teeth, there was no baton, no arm to swing it with, and his words were replaced with a scream. The balverine, which had leaped down into the small space with them, skittered to a halt, spat out the arm, and then turned and made for its prey again. The bandit yelped, backpedaling, babbling profusely-- "No, no, please, no, no!"

But the beast was upon him, devouring him even has he shrieked and begged for mercy. None would come.

Snarls and howls came from above, followed by the screams of the rest of the band of marauders, and the awful sounds of men being torn limb from limb. Soon, all that was to be heard was the sound of the animals feasting.

The first of the creatures raised its great head, blood dripping from its maw, and fixed its yellow eyes upon the two imprisoned. It stared at them for several heart-pounding moments, as though it was having trouble deciding if it was full, or if it should eat them, too. But when its gaze fell on Xiro, it froze, fear seeming to grip it for several moments before it turned with a whimper. It then lifted its chin to howl at the sky, and bound up the stairs and out of sight. Silence filled the haunted castle, save for the rattling of their chains as they slid from their shackles seemingly of their own free will, allowing them both their freedom.


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"Good kick."

The Nightingale felt rather proud of herself for all of a few seconds through the throbbing in her skull and the disorienting haze that was growing more prominent by the second. That unfortunately changed quickly as she saw the man's attention shift to Xiro.

Dammit, no! That wasn't supposed to happen.

She struggled weakly against the shackles that bound her, wanting so badly to help her companion, but. . It was getting so hard to focus. Her face felt sticky and everything ached. Her breaths were coming as little more than shallow gasps, and even those brought sharp pains with them. She felt so helpless, shutting her eyes tight as she heard Xiro's pained cries once more. It was even worse when she could hear the blows that struck him. The sounds quickly fell blessedly silent, and Lyra could just make out some vague words passing between the two men beside her, though it was difficult to focus on them.

"As a man who's about to die, have you any last words?"

The Nightingale blinked, her vision unfocused. That was Xiro's voice, wasn't it. . ?

Gore:
There was an ear-splitting shriek then, and the woman's head whipped upward from the bowed position it had been in just moments before. She felt another splash of warmth on her skin, though she was just barely of enough presence of mind to know it definitely wasn't coming from her. She squinted, trying once more to focus, and quickly wished she hadn't looked upon the sight before them. A great hulking beast of a creature stood before them, the still-twitching arm of the bandit leader clenched in its slavering jaws, which were now stained a brilliant red. Avo, she'd hoped she'd never have to see one up close.

A Balverine.

Lyra's mind went blank, her eyes wide and full of fear as she watched the beast descend upon the blubbering man once more, his cries quickly becoming little more than gurgles before more came, all swooping down upon the bandits in a flurry of cruel teeth and claws. Lyra's vision was flooded with a deep crimson as the beasts feasted upon still screaming men and it was all she could do not to vomit as she looked away from the grisly carnage.

Avo, she felt ill. She was tired and she was scared and in so much pain. And she was about to be eaten. Tears fell unbidden from her eyes; she was too exhausted to stop them. She felt the creature approach, daring to look up for but a moment as it turned its attention to the two remaining figures, its eyes gleaming as it stared down at them.

"Xiro, I--" She began, her voice thick as she tried to work out an apology to the man beside her through the fog of her unfocused thoughts before they were eaten. Her eye turned to her companion, but she was shocked to find that he merely stared back at the beast, seeming altogether unfazed. The balverine stepped back after a moment, and Lyra could have sworn she heard it let out a pitiful whine before it turned its head toward the skies to let out a bone-chilling howl. And as soon as they'd come, they left.

The woman's legs buckled beneath her, and she dropped to her knees, trembling. She didn't even seem to register when her wrists were freed of the manacles that had bound them, and her arms simply dropped to her sides. Unconsciousness claimed her soon after; her body had had enough.

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Xiro nearly fell himself, stumbling forward as the shackles fell from his wrists. His body ached, burned. He could feel blood soaking through his bandages and the shirt that hung loosely upon his thin frame. He ignored it as best he could. There were important things that needed doing, and he couldn't afford to lay about groaning about how much pain he was in. It didn't become him, anyway.

Carefully picking his way across torn bits of flesh and bone, mindful of the blood that threatened to make him slip, he knelt beside what had once been the bandit leader. It was little more than a gory mess now, but a few bits of clothing remained, including the pocket the man had so carelessly tossed the ocarina into. He managed to fish it out, ignoring the warm, sticky redness that now clung to his fingers. Luckily, it had remained intact, though it was now quite disgusting and in desperate need of careful cleaning. However, he did not have the time for that just yet. Wiping off the majority of the blood, he slipped it on over his head and continued on his way.

Next on his agenda was to clean himself up and scrounge for supplies. If he was to see to Lyra's wounds, he'd need a few things. He could only hope that the idiots who had holed up here had had the foresight to collect important things like needles, thread, and bandages. Or at least clean water and a cloth or two. He didn't have the energy to heal her with magic, nor did he have the patience to come up with a lie to explain how her wounds would have mysteriously disappeared. 

Sure enough, the leader was a smarter man than Xiro gave him credit for. He'd kept a small box full of healing supplies (including a Healing Potion! He was quick to down that.) in a chest in a room that could only have been his office. Satisfied with his discovery, the former teacher made his way back to Lyra, whom he sat up against the glowing stones before going to work on her injuries.


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Lyra had no idea how long she'd been out. She faded in and out for some time as her head pounded again and again, the stench of death filling her nose and doing little to help the unease of her stomach. The woman stirred slowly, her breathing labored, chest heaving as she came to. Avo, the pressure built up in her skull could have been enough to crush a troll flat, and the dizziness wasn't doing her any favours, either.

She attempted to blink away the bleariness of her vision as her eyes opened to little avail, and was becoming aware of a coolness against her temple. It would have felt nice if not for the sting of pain it brought as it pressed against her skin, and she hissed softly as she brought a hand reflexively up toward the offending thing, though her movements were sluggish and clumsy.

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His hand caught hold of hers by the wrist, gently keeping her from touching the wound. "Ah-ah-ah, I just got this one clean; keep your dirty little fingers out of it," he teased, though his face remained impassive as he worked. "This one's not too terrible. It'll still need a few stitches, but it's not as bad as the others. Hold still. This is going to sting a bit."

It took but a few moments to stitch up the injury, and then he was dabbing at the blood again, cleaning her face to the best of his ability. He remained silent all the while, and did not speak again until his work was finished and the tools set aside. "You have a concussion, you've a broken rib, and your knee's a little worse for wear. You also reopened several of your stitches, which I've taken care of, and lost quite a bit of blood, so I wouldn't get up just yet, if I were you."


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It took a moment for her to process the voice that spoke, the hand wrapped around her wrist. She blinked and raised her eye to the brown-haired man before her, her vision focusing slowly as she tried recall the name that went with the face through the hammering in her ears.

"X--Xiro. . ?" Yes, that was it. "Wh-- ah!" Lyra flinched as she felt a needle pierce her skin. She squeezed her eyes shut, hands balling once more into fists as he sewed up her head wound. Avo, that stung! Before long though, he was done, and she allowed herself to relax a bit, though the pain was by no means gone. Once again, she felt a cool wet cloth against her aching face, wiping it clean of something that had crusted onto it, and she couldn't help but lean into it. There was a distinct feeling of comfort in the sensation, which she clung onto as she tried to sort her thoughts together.

"Wha. ." She started in response, licking her dry, cracked lips as she tried to voice the questions spinning in her mind. Everything was blur of red, and an acrid metallic smell permeated her senses, causing her stomach to churn. "What happened?"

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"Balverines attacked," he replied, not even bothering to come up with a lie. "Killed the bandits, then high-tailed it out of here and left us alone. We're safe, assuming that there aren't any more of the beasts lurking around here." He shrugged. "You've been out for a while, and they haven't bothered us yet. I think we're in the clear." He paused, looking around at the carnage surrounding them, a grimace upon his face. "I would have carried you somewhere less... gruesome, but I hadn't the strength, and you took quite the beating. I didn't want to risk hurting you further."


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Lyra nodded sluggishly and was quiet a moment as the memories came back to her.

Yes. . She could remember now. The bandits that had captured them and taken the flute, the ones responsible for the pain and discomfort she was in currently. She recalled their violent end and the beating she'd been given with a shiver and a wince of pain, her hand gingerly touching the bruising on her side as if to check if her injury was indeed still there.

Then she remembered how the leader had turned on Xiro after she'd tried so hard to keep him focused on her, and her attention returned to him. "Are you alright?" She asked, concern etching itself into her bruised and swollen face.

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"I'm a sight better than you," he chuckled, but once again, the amusement only barely registered on his face. He mostly looked tired, apathetic. "There was a health potion mixed in with the supplies. I drank it; it should keep me on my feet long enough for us to get back to Mistpeak Valley." It would at least keep the pain to minimal or moderate levels so that he could ignore it. "But I don't think it would be wise to go anywhere yet. You're still rather out of it."

He sat down beside her, tossing the blood-soaked rag aside. "I... feel as though I should better explain myself. I don't want us to be on bad terms when I do leave...." His fingers found the pendant instrument, and he fiddled with it as he spoke, not daring to look at her. "I do not mean to insult you. I know you are incredibly capable, and that you want to do what's right and help others. You're not useless, Lyra, and I don't want you to think that I think that of you. I just... I don't want you to get yourself hurt or killed for my sake. I'm not worthy of it."


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"I'm a sight better than you."

Lyra smiled a bit at that. "Cheeky," she replied softly, her voice still thick with fatigue as it returned to her. It was certainly a bit easier to think without a gaping head wound, but the concussion still wasn't helping her any.

She listened to Xiro, looking up at him as she struggled to keep her vision focused, to keep her head from spinning. Her expression softened noticeably as he went on, growing less tense as he spoke to her. Was that. . an apology? She smiled further, though it was somewhat strained. She wasn't sure he even knew how much his words touched her, despite how upset she still was that he was leaving.

"For what it's worth," she said slowly, trying to ignore the small stabs of pain in her ribs as she breathed, "I think you are. Y'shouldn't be so hard on yourself." It felt strange to say to someone she'd only just met, but she hadn't ever known anyone quite like him outside of her family. Someone who would actually listen to her stories, who wouldn't stare at her scars when she spoke, who she could relate with on some level. Not only that, but the fact that he'd made the effort to tend to her wounds while she was unconscious was rather telling of his character. Whatever it was that he was so ashamed of in his past, she didn't see it. And perhaps that was the point, but she could tell that there was a good person in him somewhere.

Even if he was an evasive arse.

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Xiro's expression flickered briefly as something flit across his face, and then it settled back into its emotionless mask. "Think what you like, but I assure you that I am not." If she knew the truth, there was no doubt in his mind that she would think very differently of him. She would not attempt to kill him, perhaps, but she would be afraid. She may even come to hate him. And how could he expect her to understand his reasons for what he's done, for what he intended to do? "Occasional kindness a good person does not make."

Gods, this would have been so much easier if he could just be honest

"But that's not what I wanted to linger on," he said with a shake of his head, finally fixing his golden gaze upon her. "There is a way you can help me, one that does not require that you follow where I must go. Are you interested?"


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If Lyra hadn't been nursing a head injury, she would have pursued the conversation further, but. . She was just too tired to bother. She settled for an irritated nose wrinkle, though he couldn't see it anyway.

His next words, however piqued her interest. She sat up a little, though immediately regretted the movement when her ribs throbbed in protest. "I-- ah!-- Of course I am."

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“There will be battles that I can't win alone,” he admitted, though it clearly pained him to say so. “Battles that, even with the help of a few others, I will likely lose. I need you to gather the Heroes, rally them to the cause. Convince them of the truth. There will be evidence soon enough. And so when I call for your help, you can come running with a small army at your back.” Even that might not be enough to help fight off the Corruptor's forces, but it was a start. “I know it's a lot to ask, but if you could do that for me, I would be forever in your debt—more so than I am even now.”


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Lyra's face brightened significantly at his request, the gears turning as the fog in her mind began to clear.

Of course! Why hadn't she thought of that? She'd already been considering Dr. Whittaker's offer, of course, but to team up with them to help combat a great evil? It was just like all the great Hero stories! It seemed that maybe, just maybe, there was something she could do to make a difference after all, though it would be. . Strange getting used to working in a group rather than on her own. She wasn't exactly used to being in the spotlight, as it were.

"Yes, I-- I think I can do that." She replied, her eye earnestly meeting his. "Whatever I can do to help."



Last edited by ComicallyMacabre on Tue Dec 22, 2015 6:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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He gave a satisfied nod and looked away with a sigh, closing his head for a few moments. Today had been hellish, and he was so exhausted he could fall asleep right here, in the blood and gore. But he couldn't sleep. Not yet. "I'm not keen on spending the night in these ruins, so we had better start moving."

He hoisted himself to his feet, concealing a wince, and then bent to help her up, too. "Put your arm around my shoulders... Yes, there we go. We'll do this nice and slow, on the count of three. Ready? One... two... three."


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"Ready? One... two... three."

Lyra wrapped an arm around the golden-eyed man, gripping his shirt as she shakily rose to her feet. There was a twinge of pain in her leg as she put pressure on it, followed shortly by a much sharper, intense one in her ribs. She bit back a curse, her fingers clenching tightly around fabric as she worked through the sensation. Sweat beaded on her brow, and she leaned against the much taller man for support, her breaths coming in shallow gasps as she finally stood, her head spinning unpleasantly and causing her stomach to churn.

Her eye was drawn to their surroundings, a revolted grimace etched into her features as she looked over the butchered mess before them. She quickly looked away, not wanting to risk making herself feel more ill than she already was.

"I wonder why they didn't attack us. ." She said softly. It was indeed curious that the balverines had left the two of them untouched, shackled as they were.

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"Hnn," was the only response the former teacher gave, concentrating his efforts on keeping them both upright. She was clearly having difficulties, and he wasn't having an easy time of it, either. This whole journey had taken more out of them than he had originally expected. He wondered if they'd even be able to make it back on their own at this rate.

"Do you think you can walk?" he asked, grunting under the effort of holding her up. That health potion was only doing so much. "If worse comes to worst, we can stay the night in the city ruins... There's enough shelter there..." Even if they were likely haunted.


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Lyra nodded. "I think I can manage. We'll just. ." She winced, biting her lip as she shifted her weight to a more manageable position, taking pressure off of her bruised leg. "We'll just have to be careful." She shot a glance up at Xiro, noting that he seemed to be having troubles of his own. Surely, it wasn't going to be easy on him to hold her up like this, health potion or no.

"If you like though, we can find shelter for the night. I don't want to be any. . any trouble." She didn't want to have to risk him overexerting himself the way she had, after all.

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A sigh escaped him, filled to the brim with exhaustion. No, he could not make it back to the valley in the condition he was in, and Lyra was much worse off.  "You're no trouble, my friend... But I fear neither of us are strong enough to make it back in one piece as we are... I think rest would benefit us both. Although you should not sleep, with that head injury of yours..." He grimaced. He would likely have to stay awake, too, and keep an eye on her. "But regardless, not moving for several hours would be nice, at least."

Nodding his chin towards the stairs, he said, "I know a place we can stay for the night... Let's go."


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As much as Lyra wished to return to the comfort of a nice warm bed, she couldn't help but admit that Xiro had a point. Her eye followed his and she pursed her lips; the woman couldn't help but feel a certain measure of dread as she looked up at the staircase before them. It wasn't that it was a great distance, but it certainly seemed it at that moment. Still, she took as deep a breath as she could manage and shakily exhaled as she braced herself for movement, her fingers still tightly gripping the back of her companion's shirt.

"Al. . Alright. Lead on."

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Xiro nodded, slowly helping her to and up the stairs, then out of the blood-soaked castle and into the open air. They had to take several breaks along the way to catch their breath and muscle through the pain, and by the time they reached the outdoors, the sun was already beginning to set, painting the sky several brilliant shades of red and orange and purple. Yes, rest was definitely necessary. There was no making it back before nightfall.

He was careful to stretch out his senses, searching for danger as they made their way through the destruction, and blessedly found nothing. At least they wouldn't have to worry about being held captive again. He'd have to keep a look out, though, just in case. He hoped he had the fortitude to remain awake throughout the whole night, despite his exhaustion.

"There's a guard's station at the gates," he grunted as they neared the spot. "Or at least, there used to be. It should provide us with a proper roof over our heads for the night..."


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Lyra felt a small wave of relief wash over her at those words. Avo, her lungs felt like they were on fire! Everything felt positively miserable, and she wanted little more than to sit and rest. Sleep would be nice too, though she expected Xiro wouldn't allow the that happen.

She glanced up as they trudged-- well, limped-- on, squinting in the increasing darkness of twilight. Sure enough, there did seem to be something up ahead! Now, all there was to do was get there.

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It wasn't far, but it felt like a mile, and once they reached it and Lyra was deposited against the wall, Xiro sat down with an audible groan, thankful for the opportunity to lay down his burdens and rest. God's, everything hurt. His hand found his stomach and side, feeling the terrible burn left on the iron club's wake. It was worse than he'd thought. Damn him; he should have been more careful!

"You alright?" he asked after catching his breath. If the trip had been hard for him, it must have been hell for her. "Did any of your sutures rip on our way here?"


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