Getting Stitched


Ava_icon.gif Nicolae_icon.gif

Summary: Ava and Nicolae in the aftermath of the giant worm.

Date It Happened: November 29, 2001

Getting Stitched

Nicolae and Ava's Apartment

Nicolae and Ava got a lucky break from what would've otherwise been a hellacious schlep all the way back home after battling the worm-maggot-demon thing. It turns out that Gene, the guy Nic's been carpooling with to one of his dubious day jobs, was able to get his dinosaur of a car started and was thus able to give the couple a ride home. Given the state of the vehicle's interior, sticky monster goop really didn't make that noticeable of a mess. It wasn't a fun ride by any stretch of the imagination. Nicolae nearly ground his teeth to powder trying to resist the urge to tear the tape deck completely out of the car and hurl it into the other lane of traffic. There's only so many times a healthy human brain can hear 'Like A Rock' without wanting to beat someone insensate with one.

Upstairs, behind closed doors and finally able to let out the shaky, pained sigh he'd been holding in for almost half an hour, Nicolae drops his bundle of weapons on the floor with a clatter. He continues to ignore, or pretend to ignore, the stub of dagger-tooth sticking out of his shoulder. "Are you hurt?" he asks, in the sort of tone that implies he's not going to take her word for it regardless. He tilts his head, looking her over for a moment before he reaches out to start pulling up her blouse to check for himself.

"A little bruised. Nothing serious." Ava is quick to assure him. "But you - not so much. We need to get you cleaned up and get that thing out of you." She studies it curiously. Hmm. Demon tooth. Maybe it'll be useful in a spell sometime.

Her assurance doesn't deter Nicolae from fussing over Ava in search of bruises. Under other circumstances it could be construed as harassment, or foreplay, except for the look of consternation he wears as he counts the purple places. He vents a sigh of relief and settles his hands on his knees once he's satisfied that she's not broken too badly and looks up at her with a shrug. "It kept me from bleeding all over everything," he explains. "Its…ichor..might be poison." He straightens, and then tears away the gore soaked t-shirt along the widening hole in the fabric, wadding it up until he finds a clean spot to wipe down his shoulder with.

Ava nods. "I know. But you can't keep it there forever. It'll infect, just mundanely. So we'll get it out and patch you up, and watch you real close to make sure you don't get sick. I'm betting if we don't see anything weird in the next 24 hours, you'll be alright." Ava is already bringing out their first aid supplies. "Gah, throw that shirt in the garbage, it's gross."

Nicolae nods distractedly in agreement as he looks over the area around the wound, tossing the ruined rag of his shirt toward the kitchen. Hearing the rustle of plastic, he assumes it made it into the trash, and proceeds quite unceremoniously to yank the yellowed bone barb from his shoulder. He squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his jaw and goes still for a moment before letting out a shaky breath. Then he starts to turn the broken tooth over in his fingers, examining it with idle curiosity as his shoulder starts to bleed. It occurs to his body to sit down now, a thing he's not entirely aware of. This probably means the chair he plopped down is a lost cause too.

Ava of course didn't expect him to do that this very second, without anything set up. "Nicuuu!" she wails in dismay, frantically trying to gather enough bandage to put pressure on the wound. "I wasn't ready!" she scowls angrily, adding, "I hope you don't lose a lot of blood. You going to be okay to sew yourself up? I can always get more rum."

The act of pulliing out the tooth seems to have made Nicolae a bit woozy. He sways his way toward the back of the chair, blinking and grimacing in mild confusion and then looking about as if trying to figure out when exactly he sat down. Ava's wailing inspires a dopey grin and a weak shrug, before he holds up the tooth and waggles it back and forth between thumb and forefinger, looking pleased with himself. "It had to come out anyway." He clears his throat and musters his composure as he watches her fuss and then reaches over to set the tooth down upon the table. "I'll be fine," he assures. "This isn't even as bad as the time with the nail bat," which is to thank for the row of thin, ragged scars across his belly, and is the least of the war stories associated with the scars that are accumulating upon his person.

Ava makes an upset noise in the back of her throat, moving to get a pair of bottles. One is the cheapest sort of alcohol bums get at package stores, the other is a very cheap, but still by comparison more expensive, bottle of wine. The wine she uncorks, offers to him in the direction of his good hand, and the other bottle, she unscrews, putting her free hand on his arm as she tilts it over the wound. Cheapest disenfectant there is.

Nicolae would argue, however misguidedly, that both of his hands are in perfect working order. While Ava holds one of them down, he and reaches eagerly for the wine bottle and then tilts it toward her in a wordless toast. At the first splash of cheap booze into his wound he tenses and clamps down upon a cry of pain that escapes him as a strangled, barely audible sound that tapers to a wry chuckle as he tilts back the wine bottle and indulges in a hearty swig.

Ava immediately sets about cleaning the wound, and gives it a good looking-at. "You're going to have to stitch that up." she tells him. There are just some things Ava won't - or can't do. She knows how to clean and pack a wound, but actually performing stitchery on flesh? She'll pass. So I can keep the booze coming and make sure that it stays clean, but you know the drill."

Nicolae nods with the bottle still held to his lips, glancing sidelong at the wound with a rueful smirk. "I know the drill," he assures with a chuckle. "Anyway, better this way. Sewing myself up," he clarifies, in between swigs from the bottle, "instead of you. Although.." he eyes her speculatively, gesturing with the wine bottle, "you would still be lovely, even with a scar or two." He sets the bottle down and sits up, hunting for the needle and thread.

Ava grins. "I'm not the one who likes to make with the stabby stabby. That's all you." She actually rises and roots through their first aid supplies, producing needle and surgical thread and making sure all is clean and disinfected before he's permitted to make with the sewing. "I'm uh…gonna go call for a pizza." she says, because she hates watching him stitch himself up.

"I'm just saying," he replie, watching her rummage. To be honest, Nicolae's not a fan of watching himself work the needle either. He brandishes the wine bottle in a wordless gesture of approval and then tilts it back to brace himself for the sewing to follow. Now that his nerve endings are properly lubricated, his wooziness gives way to a loose, warm and fuzzy indifference. "Extra pepperoni," he mutters distractedly as he prepares to work. The barely stifled sounds he makes as he starts to stitch his shoulder are unfortunately quite eloquent, but he quiets down once he's got the process started. "We're going to want to throw away our clothes," he says, raising his voice to be heard as Ava arranges for their supper. "I hope you're not wearing anything you're fond of."

Ava lets out a sigh, but follows up with, "That's okay. I can just hit the Goodwill tomorrow morning." She takes her time on the phone, opting to pay with cash as she orders their pizza. Every time he makes the least little noise she winces in sympathy even as she chats with the order-taker. After hanging up, she deliberately keeps her eyes off him and heads for the shower.

Nicolae lets out a sigh and shakes his head, grinning to himself as he works. Looking up once she's stopped talking on the phone, he notes Ava's destination and begins to work more intently and urgently on getting his shoulder pulled back together. Finally everything's as good as it's going to get, and he ambles toward the bathroom. "I'm done stitching," he announces as he reaches the door.

It takes a few minutes, but she pops out finally, having brought her change of clothes in with her. With wet hair, she inquires, "Did you pour some more Mad Dog over it after you stitched it up? You really should." She studies him through narrowed eyes. He may need to be drunker.

Nicolae looks vaguely disappointed as Ava leaves the very room he was headed toward, which says at least that much about his state of sobriety. "I remembered," he assures. His shoulder's now the cleanest part of him, apart from the streaks where subsequent dousings of his wound have trickled down. He regards her with a puzzled look as she studies him.

Ava blinks up at him, thrown off of her assessment. "What?" she asks. "I'm just worried that you're still in pain." Ava can be a fusser. She reaches out, gives his good arm a nudge with her hands. "Let me put a patch over the stitches so they won't get wet before you shower."

Nicolae lowers his head as he grins, looking almost bashful. He reaches out to catch her hand with his 'bad' hand, and raises it to kiss her palm. "It doesn't hurt that bad," he assures. "If it starts to," he looks back toward the table, "We've got more wine." He walks past her, letting go of her hand as he steps into the bathroom. After wiping off some of the steam on the mirror he rests his palms on the edge of the sink and examines his handiwork, giving a short nod of approval.

Ava gets a little glazed look in her eye when he kisses her palm. "We could go out tonight." she suggests. "I was at one of my supply shops today and I heard tell of a bar called Caritas. They've got karaoke." And she likes it when he sings.

Nicolae looks over his shoulder, giving Ava a dubious look at the mention of karaoke. The only bad part, as he has been known to lament, is that everyone gets to sing, and not everyone should. "We could go," he replies after a moment. He's just drunk enough to be game for nearly anything. Well, once the monster gunk is off of him and he's got some food in his belly.

"We'll see." Ava says. "It may be better that you rest." A bandage is placed gently over the stitching, and then surgical tape used to keep it in place. "Try not to get it too wet, but the tape should stick." she says, her fingers gentle. She's a softer creature when she's alone with him. Softer…but not weak.

"I'll be fine," Nicolae assures, chuckling. Now he's convinced that Ava wants to go out, and so that's the game plan. Raised to defy weakness at every turn, he has to struggle with his instincts every time he wants to take the easy way through anything. Ava's tenderness touches him more deeply than she knows, further strengthening the ties that bind him to her. "You'll sing this time, right?" he asks, once the bandage is secured. "If you don't want to sing while we're out, then later tonight?" This is followed up with a teasing grin offered to her reflection in the mirror.

Ava turns a faint shade of pink. "I'll sing." she replies, though exactly when, she does not make clear. "Go shower."

Nicolae teases her with a quick bounce of his eyebrows and then closes the door. And then he opens it. "This would stay dryer if…" and with that teasing insinuation left for her conclusion-drawing pleasure, he ducks back in, pulling the door to. A moment later the water's on, and Nicolae is singing.

She doesn't bother changing into out-on-the-town clothes. She mentioned Caritas, but the night is young, so she can afford to simply slink around in one of his t-shirts and a pair of sweatpants. Not the most attractive of outfits, but Nicolae's not terribly particular about her clothes. She flicks on the tv, momentarily distracted by a repeat episode of Alias.

As far as Nicolae's concerned, Ava could wear a burlap sack and still have his full undivided attention. He shuffles toward the table a bit later in a wifebeater and sweats, making a purposeful but not terribly hurried approach of the wine bottle as he presses his fingers to the bandage on his shoulder. "My uncles used to tell stories about worms like that," he announces out of the blue, after having another pull from the bottle.

Ava lowers the volume on the tv, and then after thinking about it, shuts it off. She rolls onto her side. "Really?" she asks with interest. Alcohol makes his tongue a little lose, and he speaks so little about his family. She'll take the opportunity to hear a story.

Nicolae carries the bottle with him. It's his new best friend for the moment, at least until it's empty. "Yeah," he answers with a nod, moving to settle in beside her, lifting up an arm to make room for her if she wants to use him as a cushion. He also offers her the bottle as he takes a slow breath and sighs it out, finally letting himself relax. "The Old Men used to go on about how all the real monsters were dead and we had nothing left to hunt but the dregs." His grin holds equal parts bitter amusement and fond recollection. "Like, they would tell me about the Sluggoth. How it was bigger than anything and older than the rocks, and how it liked nothing better than to swallow things whole. Animals, people…anything. Sound familiar?"

Ava blinks. "I wasn't much for the demon killing until I met you. Sluggoth? That sounds like it would be big. You haven't gone home since you came here." she recalls suddenly. "I'm guessing you don't miss it."

"It was like a serpent…or a worm," Nicolae explains patiently, "a gigantic worm." He chuckles as she brings up home, letting his head tilt back until he's resting it against the wall. "I don't miss it at all," he declares firmly, if lazily. He looks over at her with a smile and ruffles her hair. "And not just for the obvious reasons. It…..was harder than it needed to be, living there."

"It made you who you are." Ava wrinkles her nose at the ruffling. Who is she, his kid sister? "Don't know that I'd love you any differently." The last is a tease.

Nicolae drapes his arm across Ava's shoulders and draws her close, leaning to meet her halfway with a grin that quite plainly shows he's feeling no pain at the moment. He doesn't let himself relax like this very often, although he's nowhere near as tightly wound as he was when they first met. He pursues a kiss, and once he has it he offers to share the wine while there's still some left. "It did half the job," he corrects. "I learned the hunt. As you tried so hard to grind into my head, the hunt isn't all there is."

Ava takes a swig of wine, grimacing at the taste. It's not very good wine, after all. "Gyah." she remarks, and gives him a tug toward the bed. "Let's stay in. We can watch tv and eat pizza and you can relax." It's that argument again! Except she really means it, she doesn't want him out and about when he should be recovering after actual ministration has been necessary.

Her reaction to the wine makes Nicolae give the bottle a curious look and then sample its contents, taking a moment to determine that yes, it's the same stuff he's been drinking. He just shrugs, and turns a grin toward Ava. "You're still going to sing," he teases as he lets himself be tugged along. "But it's okay. I'll sing too. Like karaoke without…." he accosts the air with a vague, fluttering gesture as he settles in with her, "..other people."

Ava laughs. "And less words." she supplies archly. "I can't imagine being able to manage with a sewed up shoulder." Her tone is innocent. "I don't want you splitting stitches."

"I'm imagining it right now," Nicolae replies, before looking at the very real stitches. "Oh, wait." Clearly he's feeling relaxed, if he can make with the deadpan humor. If not for the injury he might be fun on an outing. Most of the time when he's sober it's hit or miss, usually miss. "it's manageable." he assures. "You'll just have to be gentle with me."

And before they might otherwise test how gentle she has to be, the pizza is delivered. Carnal attraction can wait; for now there is double pepperoni.

Although Nicolae is predictably nonplussed by the interruption at first, his temper improves dramatically when he remembers -why- someone's at the door. For one thing, Ava is sure to sing better on a full tummy. He scoots his way upright and leans out to see how the transaction is going, and keeps his habitual reach for a weapon in the (more unlikely than he gives it credit for being) event that the delivery guy is going to make trouble. Usually he answers the door with something hurtful in hand, which is part of the reason they don't have as many dinner options as they used to.

There's an exchange of cash for goods. She closes the door and brings the pizza over to the bed, laying it on the comforter and opening it up. She shoves the box in his direction, for the champion's portion.

Nicolae makes approving noises and nods slowly as he looks over their repast, grinning up at her as he folds three slices over one another and then settles back to start eating them, like a pizza sandwich.

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