A Collab by @MiddleEarthRoze and @MacabreFox
After reuniting Daro’Vasora with Latro, Brynja picked her way through the carnage, and while her chipper attitude might have come across as unusual, or even out of place, she couldn’t help but feel that way. However, just like fog in a field evaporating with the rising sun, so did her brief moment of joy. There were the dead and dying to be taken care of, and the first one on her list was Solandil. As promised, she told him she would take care of that flesh wound, and she intended to keep it. She found Solandil not long after.
Nodding her head, she spoke, “It’s time. Let me take a look at this flesh wound of yours.”
Following the destruction of all the Dwemer present at the ruin, and their strange airships secured, Solandil had found himself checking the mangled remains of the metal constructs, ensuring each of them were well and truly dead. With the living, one could check for tell-tale signs of life. Faint pulses of blood, a rising chest, and if that failed, the clouding of metal when held against their mouth from dying breaths. With metal, things became more complicated. The best he could do was kick away their soul gems after wrenching open carcasses, provided it hadn’t been done already. The Rangers had certainly done a thorough job.
Starting slightly as Brynja spoke up behind him, he turned to look to her, surprised. Last he’d seen she’d still been at Latro’s side, rejoicing that he was still alive. He’d just assumed she had forgotten about his injury and moved on with her friends.
“Ah.” He paused, feeling uncomfortable all of a sudden. “... I’m sure there are far more grievous injuries on the field to be tending to.” He couldn’t really understand his discomfort, before he recalled that it had been a long time since someone had willingly gone out of their way to make sure he was alright after a battle. The past mercenary jobs had never held such compassion.
“Nonsense.” She said, waving her hand for him to remove the armor. “You first. There are plenty of healers among our ranks.”
It only took a look at her face to understand the Nord woman wasn’t going to waver in her decision to help him. “Very well.” He replied stiffly, fingers fumbling at the clumsily repaired strap of his cuirass. Outwardly, he could have appeared ungrateful, whereas within he was just unsure of how to tread in this unfamiliar territory. There didn’t appear to be any ulterior motive in Brynja’s desire help him, and she didn’t owe him any favours. After a lifetime of being distrusted himself simply for his appearance, Sol was having a difficult time in trusting too.
Despite the hasty repair made in the midst of battle, Sol’s cuirass and pauldrons soon clunked to the floor beside the pair, and his lip curled in annoyance as he saw his bloodied undershirt. That had been his last good one, and with no payment from Rhea and a lack of entrance into Skingrad, he was going to be stuck with it for the foreseeable future. Not that it was much use with a bloody great big rend through the material. As he shifted the shirt over his head with a wince, Brynja would see the scarlet of his fresh wound peppered across his chest, still in the middle of clotting. Against the paleness of his skin the red of blood stood out as brightly as a fire, and the older wound from the Falmer still remained on his shoulder, the once purple bruising which surrounded the cut now giving way to a vivid collection of blues and greens.
Brynja took note of the older wound on his shoulder, part of her chastising how she could have missed this injury. After all, out of all the skills she took pride in, healing was her forte. As her eyes traveled across his chest, she couldn’t help but take a closer
look at his torso. Her face coloured darkly despite her furrowed brows.
Thankfully, Brynja had gone to retrieve her rucksack after leaving Vasora, “I’ll clean this up. It’ll hurt, so… grit your teeth.” She said, and took a deep breath. Unravelling the leather thong that kept the water skin closed, and opened it enough so that the water wouldn’t spill everywhere. With practiced hands, Brynja guided the water skin to the glaring red wound on his chest that stretched from his right shoulder down to his left pectoral muscle, and began to pour the water along the length of the wound, washing what blood she could from the wound. She had to admit, Solandil was… very fit, and she struggled to maintain a proper stature.
Indeed, Brynja wasn’t wrong. As the liquid splashed against the cut, Sol inhaled sharply, eyes squeezing shut and gritting his teeth as suggested. While it was hardly the most painful experience of his life, it still stung like a bugger. One thing he’d noted with wounds involving cuts was that the shallower they were, although less fatal, always burned more than a deep wound. Whether that was typical for everyone or just him, he didn’t know - but his minor wounds had always brought to mind a far more fiery pain than others.
Opening his eyes and glancing down, he realised that for once he didn’t have to look down all that much to see Brynja’s face. It was rare to see a human of this height, particularly a female one. A nice change, in his mind. A tall height in human women was seen as a physical disadvantage from what he’d seen, though he couldn’t understand the basis behind such a thought. They were lesser, because they were taller? Silly men. Brynja was clearly an extremely capable woman on the battlefield, and her height only aided her in this.
Suddenly, Sol came to the realisation that he’d been staring at her in silence for a few moments now. More specifically, her red hair. It certainly captured his attention with ease, and he watched as a few stray tresses blew in the breeze. Altmer’s never had hair with such vibrant beauty within it.
Deciding that was quite enough ogling before Brynja noticed, Sol cleared his throat, still wincing here and there as the water trickled down his chest. “What of your arm, Brynja?” He couldn’t tell whether she had already tended to herself or not… surely, she hadn’t put him before herself? The very thought brought a flush to his cheeks, and he bit the inside of his cheek in embarrassment. He hated when he blushed. It always stood out too much on his white face.
“It’s nothing but a scratch. I’ll take care of it later.” She said quietly, she shifted to her rucksack beside her feet and rummaged through it before she pulled out a simple cloth, and wet it with her water skin. She applied the cloth to the wound, removing the blood that had dried, she did her best not to cause him too much pain.
“I’m sorry…” She glanced up at him, their eyes meeting briefly, was he blushing? And she hadn’t noticed the color of his eyes before, a pale grey, like a cold winter morning when the sun had yet to rise. She averted her eyes quickly before she continued, “...if this hurts. It doesn’t look too deep, which is good.” Brynja moved her hand along his chest, and again her cheeks flushed. Gods, what was wrong with her, it wasn’t as if it were her first time seeing a man without his tunic on. She turned her face away for a moment, her top teeth sinking into her bottom lip before she faced him again, continuing her work with a dedicated diligence. She finally put the cloth away, and nodded.
“This might feel uncomfortable, but tell me when you’re ready.”
Sol had almost forgotten the sharp pain in his chest as he locked eyes with Brynja, noting her expression curiously. It swiftly came back to his senses as she began wiping with the sodden cloth, cleaning the wound and the skin around it thoroughly. As she kept her head ducked, Sol was once more drawn to her hair. It seemed so warm
. As if it were giving off the heat of a fire that shared its crimson tones. Even her skin, pale by human standards, had more life in it that his. Looking down to his chest, the contrast between their skin alone was obvious, even when streaked with blood. Once again, he questioned her motives for helping him out, though he grew increasingly more trusting of her actions.
Meeting her gaze again, he nodded in response, though briefly wondered what he had to be ready for. Stitches? Cauterisation? A brief bit of panic filled him at the thought of the latter by way of a fire spell, before he recalled Brynja was about as proficient in destructive magic as he was. He still had scars from when far less sympathetic mages had healed him in the past. Sol certainly wasn’t used to such careful first aid.
She rocked back on the heels of her boots and turned her hand palm up. A pulsating orb appeared, glowing with white and golden light swirled in the center of her palm. She rotated her hand towards Solandil’s exposed chest, as if the orb was liquid, and she didn’t want it to spill. The light flowed out towards his skin, inching along his wound until the entirety was consumed. Slowly, the broken skin began to knit itself back together, like how a mother mends the torn fabric on her child’s torn sleeve. She had never much enjoyed the sensation of her skin pulling itself back together, it itched like a scab she wanted to pick. There, she had done it.
Brynja pulled her hand back, closing it into a fist, where the healing light was quelled. She raised her eyebrows, admiring her handywork. There would be no scar, that much she knew.
“And there we have it.” She smiled, rising up to stand. She stretched her arms behind her head, her shoulders cracking. “I think we’re needed to destroy those airships.”
Restoration magic had been the last thing Sol had expected. Perhaps leftover prejudices against the Nords from his life on Alinor, or the knowledge that she hadn’t know destructive magic, but he had just assumed that Bynja didn’t know any magic whatsoever. The surprise was so great that he didn’t even notice his discomfort, instead enraptured by the gentle ebbing glow of the healing spell, and the concentration upon her face. “So that’s why she’s known as ‘WhiteHand’...”
He thought to himself, touching the new pink flesh as she finished. The colour would fade eventually, leaving no mark upon his snow-white skin.
Still feeling somewhat awestruck, Sol simply nodded in response as Brynja’s back-to-business attitude returned with a smile. He couldn’t find any words to thank her just yet, so instead cracked a rare smile in return. Though small, it still lit up his face.