Bandages and Bedside Manner
Location: Infirmary, Stormholm Caer, Cymeria
Timeline: Late Morning, 3 November 3550
Having been seen out after their audience with the High Lord and taken a short walk through the winding passageways of Stormhom, Richard and Sofi found themselves at the infirmary. "We're here. As promised." Richard said with a teasing smile as he opened the door and held it for Sofi to enter. Following her inside Richard shrugged and took a seat on the examining table. Despite having seen the Caer's Infirmary before, he was still surprised how much it reminded him of a modern doctors office. Sure most of the furniture was wood instead of stainless steel, but the well lit, clean room with its white linens showed a very sophisticated understanding of medical care. At least in his layman's opinion anyway.
Richard shrugged out of his tunic and set it aside so that Sofi could get to work on his wounded shoulder and ribs. They were healing up just fine in Richard's opinion, but he was sure that wouldn't cut much ice with Sofi. "These aren't really that bad." He said. "I know there were others hurt far worse than me." Shrugging he sighed slightly. "And I'm afraid that no matter what the High Lord decides, things are going to get a lot uglier before they get better."
Rinsing her hands in an antiseptic solution, Sofi carefully examined Richard's injuries. The stitches had held nicely and were healing well. Sofi wasn't a doctor, just a Paramedic, but she knew what she was doing. There was no sign of infection, the skin drawn together neatly. "No, they aren't. You're healing fine." She told him as she fastened clean dressings over the wounds. "Yeah, you were lucky," Her voice was quiet and there was a slight shake of flaxen blond hair. "I really don't know how to take all of this. Sometimes it doesn't feel real. Like I'm stuck in a dream or a movie or something you know?" She asked. "Going to war over magic and stuff? It's crazy."
Richard could hear the deep confusion and worry in the young woman's voice as she spoke. It reminded him of his sister's voice when she had called him on September 12th. She had known from the moment she had seen the first news reports the day before that her brother was going to war. They didn't know where, or against who, but they both knew it was coming and she feared for him. He had promised to come back in on piece. Now it looked like he wouldn't come back at all. Sofi even looked a little like Rebecca, though his sister's hair was more of a sandy color and her eyes green instead of Sofi's crystal blue.
Richard reached out and put a hand on her shoulder. "Our own world has gone to war for some pretty crazy things too, but this isn't about magic or bloodlines. We're going to war because those monsters murdered innocent people in cold blood." His voice and his expression had grown hard as he spoke, but then they softened. "I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't scared too. I've been in dozens of firefights and I was scared every time, but you dig deep and push through. We'll get through this. Together. I'll keep you safe, you patch me up."
She was grateful for the touch, for that little bit of familiar contact and she covered his hand with one of her own for a moment, squeezing it. "There's always that feeling you know, where you've gotten a call and you're jumping in the rig and the siren's going, where you don't know what you're driving into. A car accident becomes a bomb when the gas tank goes or a robbery gunshot turns into the OK Corral in the parking lot. That's how I feel here all the time."
Letting his hand drop away Richard gave her a lopsided grin. "As strange as this place is, you've found yourself a big brother. Whether you want one or not."
Sofi laughed shortly, chuckling. "I think I'm older than you and if you even think about trying that overprotective because I'm a girl crap, just remember who has the painkillers the next time you get hurt..." She grinned at him.
"Doc Kiernen?" He replied with a grin. "Besides being a big brother isn't about age, it's a state of mind. And it isn't because you're female. I was the big brother to the soldiers in my squad too. I'm a non-commissioned officer, I have a duty to protect and help others." His tone had grown serious again but then he smiled again. "And just you try to stop me from protecting you sis!" he said and stuck out his tongue at her.
Sofi's reply to Richard's action was a simple raised eyebrow. Sticking out his tongue seemed a little childish in her opinion, especially from a military officer. She couldn't picture any of her father's deputies doing that. She said nothing about it but gave him a smile instead. "All done." She said, wiping off her hands on a rag and gathering up the used supplies to take care of.
With her work on his wounds done Richard slid back into his tunic, but he didn't quite want to leave yet. He enjoyed the sense of home that went with Sofi's company and he took almost as much delight in teasing her as he had with his actual little sister. Besides, she might have some information he'd like to know. "So has Laryn been by for her check up?" he asked, doing his best to sound disinterested and failing. "She's probably smarter about these things than me, which is not exactly a high bar, but she's got a stubborn streak a mile wide when she sets her mind to something."
She could tell that he was looking for a reason to stay, he just had that look about him and a moment later, it became clear why. "Ohhh, so I see now..." She'd seen it before honestly, the way he was all mother-hen worried about the younger dark-haired woman. "Someone's twitterpated." She teased gently, not quite answering his actual question yet. Standing up, Sofi moved to take care of the supplies she'd used. "She stopped by this morning to let me know she was going for a ride while the weather was holding and she'd be back about lunch time."
It was Richard's turn to raise an eyebrow at Sofi's choice of words but the slight flush that rose in his cheeks gave credence to her assertion. For a moment he seemed to be struck mute. Though after a few false starts that left him looking like a fish out of water as his mouth opened and closed. Eventually, though he managed to coordinate his tongue. "I want to make sure she is okay. She's been very kind to me."
Shrugging as he regained a bit more of his composure. "Is it wrong for me to be attracted to her? Every knight wants a princess." He said, his good natured tone returning. Glancing at his wrist he was disappointed to find that he still couldn't tell time that way. "What time is it now anyway?" He added with his best effort to make it sound off hand.
Now, this was amusing, watching Richard seem to scramble for composure after her teasing. "She is kind. She lent me a few bits of clothing to get me started and she's been nothing but helpful since I got here." She replied to him. "No, it's not wrong. It's just...be careful. She doesn't remind me much of any princess I've ever seen." She offered the advice as only that, and she meant well. With a resigned sigh, Sofi looked at him. "Holy hell Richard, you're like a fifteen-year-old." She shook her head. "And I think it's about half hour till lunch."
Richard smiled at Sofi. "Did you know many princesses back in New Mexico?" He teased. "I mean she doesn't sing or have a cute animal companion, but I think Disney set an unrealistic standard." Pausing for a moment he let the teasing tone drop out of his voice. "Thank you for caring, if worse comes to worse, it won't be the first time I've had a broken heart."
Richard decided to let the comment about acting like a fifteen-year-old pass with out comment. If he was honest with himself he knew she was right. He hadn’t felt this infatuated with a girl since Sarah Bennett back in high school. Shrugging he smiled mischievously. "So would you mind if I kept you company for a little while longer then?"
It wasn't so much Richard's broken heart that Sofi was worried about, it was more other broken things. She'd seen Laryn in battle and had watched her sparring off and on with some of the younger guards and she could definitely hold her own. As sweet as Laryn may be, Sofi had a feeling that she wouldn't put up with any nonsense or pressure from anyone, including the male Traveler. "You're ridiculous but fine. You can hang out until she shows up, but you have to leave when she gets here. Privacy during exam and all that."
"Of course," Richard replied with a nod. "The last thing I would want is to violate her privacy or make her uncomfortable." His tone as he spoke was earnest. "She deserves all the respect due to a princess, not because of her bloodline, but because of the kind of person she is." Richard added looking at Sofi to try to emphasize just how sincere he was in his intent to be nothing other than a gentleman towards her.
After a moment more he let his usual good natured smile return to his face. "I may be ridiculous, but at least I came by it honestly."
"As long as you're aware of it." Sofi said, moving to find something to keep her hands busy until someone else stopped in to get looked at. There was always something to do here, which she appreciated. Sofi was finding that if her mind wasn't occupied with something, her thoughts wandered back to her father and the guilt would eat away at her heart. She hadn't given up hope of finding a way home someday but as the days passed, the more she believed them when they said it couldn't be done and it killed her.
After a little while, Sofi going about folding clean linens with Richard's help, there was a knock at the door and a young guard stepped through. "Coli Grace, forgive my intrusion but do you have a moment? I was instructed to return for a wound check by Healer Kiernan."
"Of course," Sofi said, rising to her feet and gesturing the young man in, turning to Richard with an apologetic smile. "Sorry, time for you to go. If she stops in, I'll let her know you were looking for her."
Richard had been more than happy to help Sofi with the various chores around the infirmary. He had seen that look she had before. The look of someone trying to stay busy to keep their mind off their worries. He sympathized with her but didn't know what if anything he could say to help her.
When the door opened Richard's smile turned into a brief flash of disappointment when the person who entered wasn't Laryn. Still, he didn't protest when Sofi directed him to leave. "I appreciate it." He replied when Sofi told him she would mention him to Laryn. "Godwyn is supposed to show me how to get down to the market after lunch, but I will try to catch up with you at dinner." He told the healer. "Until then take care of yourself."
Turning to go he offered a nod to the young guard as he passed him. "She'll take good care of you." He said to him. "She's one of the best." With those parting words, he left the infirmary to seek out Godwyn and something to eat, not necessarily in that order.
Giving a parting wave to Richard, Sofi turned to her newest patient with a smile, hearing the door shut behind them.