titusnowl: (mad bolshevik)
[personal profile] titusnowl
Jens, despite all of his tactical genius, had managed to catch the corner of a bolter round from somewhere during the dust-up earlier. Haas had patched him up first before looking over everybody else's cuts and scrapes, and although the bandage showed white through the hole in his uniform and he'd be swinging his sword with his off hand for a while, the dose of pijnstell he'd been forced to take had left him more comfortable than any of the rest of them were for the moment. He didn't seem to appreciate this advantage much. Somehow his wound was Sander's fault; Sander was loudly disappointed that it hadn't been fatal; Brekt had gotten fed up with playing the net in their tennis game and had volunteered himself for guard duty, and Duiker was almost ready to go out and join him despite having only just found a way to lie down that didn't put weight on any of the collection of bruises he'd picked up during a hasty descent off a roof he'd been sniping from.

"Ain't pijnstell supposed to knock you out?" he asked, tilting his head against Haas' leg to look up at the other man.

"It's pretty small doses in the kits," Haas said. "They don't want us passing out in the field." Their voices were pitched low, their way of having an almost-private conversation beneath the general din of the fireteam. It should have been much harder to pull off, since they were almost half of the members, but when Sander was going at it with someone he was a crowd in himself.

Duiker considered this information for a while. He spoke again, during a lull in the private war across the room, in a tone meant to carry. "If Sander and I give you the pills out of our kits, will you hold him down and make him eat 'em?"

"Fuck you, Duiker," said Jens, and "I was just gonna hold a pillow over his face 'n' save my drugs," said Sander, and Haas laughed.

Jens eventually went to sleep on his own, and Sander, thus deprived of a target, wandered out to "help" Brekt. Duiker had drifted off long ago, and didn't notice when Haas carefully moved his head to get out from under and lie down beside him. He did notice when Haas nudged him to roll over, because the rolling put pressure on the ribs he'd smacked into a drainpipe; he woke up with a hiss.

"Shit," said Haas - too loudly, but there was no one awake to hear. He lowered his voice anyway. "Sorry. What's the matter?"

"I'm fine." Duiker wriggled his way back into comfort, tucked between the wall on one side and the wall-like bulk of Haas on the other, nestled beneath both their blankets. Haas kept looking at him - he could feel his eyes without even glancing over to confirm. Eventually he admitted: "Fell off a roof. Smacked myself up pretty good, that's it."

"Shoulda said something when I asked earlier, you idiot," he said, without a single hint of a you would. "You could've busted something."

"I think I'd know," Duiker protested. "I'm probably blue as Sander's balls all the way down, but I think I'd know if I was busted. Ow!"

Haas was running his hand over Duiker's side, feeling his ribs, and he stopped at the exclamation. "Cracked ribs ain't like busting a leg," he pointed out mildly. "I'm just checking. This hurt worse than that?" He prodded again and Duiker smacked him with an elbow.

"I'm fine, for fuck's sake. I told you."

"Let me check anyway."

"You're so nursey," Duiker complained, but he lay back and let Haas unzip his jacket and pull the shirt beneath it up to puddle around his chest. The investigation did reveal a swathe of mottled purple and blue across a large percentage of Duiker's torso, but although Haas' hands were cold (everyone's hands were always cold) and the bruising hurt when touched, his ministrations were as gentle as he could make them and Haas was eventually contented with Duiker's lack of bustedness.

Duiker got a couple of syllables into "I told you so" and halfway to pulling his shirt back down before they were interrupted.

"Whoops." Brekt pulled his head back out of the doorway. "Sorry. Hang a fuckin' cap on the door or some shit, will ya?"

Haas stared expressionlessly toward the door for a long moment. Footsteps and two voices raised in laughter echoed in and fell to silence.

Duiker snorted. "Well, I guess that means we get a free one, huh?" He tugged Haas down toward him, pausing just before their lips met. "Just don't piledrive me, I'm gonna have enough problems tomorrow as it is."

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titus n. owl

February 2015

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