(1311-05-04) Messed Up
Summary: Étienne concludes his big day out honouring Camael and being stitched up by Emmanuelle Shahrizai, by horrifying his friend Symon.
RL Date: 08/05/2019
Related: Takes place after Day of Camael: Duel Contest and Keep Still.
symon etienne 

Étienne’s Chambers — Les Tanières

This small sitting room is wood paneled and cozy. It has a small fireplace with a shared flue, with two comfortable chairs in front of it, with a small table on a green and black rug between them. There is a small writing desk and an X shaped oak foldable chair in front of it.

The floor of the bedroom is made of blackened wood that has aged to be hard as stone. It bears a shallow dip at the door, worn shiny by the passage of feet. There is an oval rag rug made of old clothes in all the shades of the sea in all its moods at the center of the open space. The room is lit by an irregular window, with a deep, padded sill. It has heavy asymmetrical shutters than can be closed completely, or secured on one side, with thick green curtains that can be drawn to hide the window seats. There is simple stained wood paneling. The ceiling is timber frame and plaster. Someone has re-plastered it, embedding a wide assortment of shells from the north coast of Azzalle and the southern coasts of Eisande. In between are smaller bits of mica and iridescent shell fragments that make the ceiling sparkle when a candle is moved.

The furnishings are in the same heavy, sturdy, but simple style as the sitting room. A canopy bed with faded green and black hangings is pushed against one wall, with a heavy chest at the foot. A table and two chairs is set by the windows. The table holds a large brass bowl for washing and an ewer of mildly lavender scented water, assorted cloths, a shaving kit, strops, and some other rather nice male grooming items of clearly local manufacture. A bookshelf mostly holds particularly nice shells and books on astronomy, navigation, and travel, along with a few other items. The bedside table holds a lamp, spare candles, assorted small jars and tools for care of weapons. A few swords and practice blades are propped in a corner.


Symon did not attend the duelling. He had some appointment of an unclear nature. It is possible that in truth he didn't want to watch for one reason or another, but no such confession has been forthcoming. Only as he walks around the flat now, tossing an apricot into the air and catching it again, he finds his path takes him again and again past the windows. But nothing can be told by that except that the streets are crowded. And there is still no messenger. Which surely means everything is fine. Surely.

A carriage pulls up and what looks like guards in livery alight. One carries a sack of what is likely armour from the shape of the lumps, and another helps a bandaged figure out of the coach. The bandages are to his chest and leg and he seems loath to put weight on his leg, so the guard helps him into the building and up the stairs.

Symon stops by the window, craning his neck as he looks down at the carriage. the sack of lumps is momentarily alarming, though of course a moment later it's obvious that that is just a bag of armor. Which is normal. But the next sight has alarms ringing again. Symon drops the apricot and goes to the doorstep. "W…what's happened?" he demands to know.

Étienne's face is barely bruised at all and he gives Symon a bright smile, "I fought really well but I lost. You'd have been proud of me really. It was really close and the first guy who beat me went on to the final." The guards are nonsense and clearly want the northerner and his baggage off their hands, "Where do you want them, my lord."

"B-but…" Symon is distracted from producing that sentence by his annoyance with the guard for that sort of question. "P-put the armor on the floor anywhere and take him to the b…bedroom," he says in an exasperated — but also somewhat frightened — tone, pointing in the direction of the bedroom. "And do so c-carefully!" he further instructs snappishly while he tries to understand all of Étienne's injuries just by looking at his bandaged form.

The guards do as ordered and leave with a bow. Étienne babbles on as if nothing at all is the matter, "I was doing really well the second bout, but I started to weaken. I think it was maybe the blood loss? And he got his second wind. I was trying to walk home, but Dorimène nó Cereus de Shahrizai made me come in her carriage to get sewn up."

Symon does absently slip one of them a coin, but not a highly valuable one. Then he comes to Étienne's side, kneeling beside the bed instead of getting in. "W…where are you hurt? How m…much d-did you b-bleed? Who is this Dorimène?" He reaches for one of Étienne's hands.

Étienne's sword hand is a scraped up mess of bruises, stiff and swollen. The other hand seems untouched. "She's the daughter of my cousin Jehan-Pascal's lover, sweet." He lifts Symon's hand to his lips and kisses it, "I'm all bruises and I messed up my ribs, arm, and legs, but I really am fine. I'm just sorry you weren’t there to see how well I did. Next time you should give me favor for luck."

"W…what do you m-mean by 'm…messed up?'" Symon demands with some irritation. "M…messed up is if you run into a door frame, not— hold on." He gets up from the bedside and roots around in a drawer before he comes up with a little velvet bag. He kneels down again and puts a stone from this back into Étienne's uninjured hand. "Here, this is good for swellings and fevers," he says, and then pulls out another one which he puts somewhere that looks safe on Étienne's chest. "And this one for if you haven't enough blood." He frowns guiltily. "I should've gone," he says. "B-but I w…would have stopped you. Do you think I w…would w-watch w…while you, while you get yourself all b-bruised and b…bloody? Look at your hand!"

Étienne beams up at him beatifically and genuinely charmed, "I have the amber you gave me in a pouch 'round my neck. From when I was poisoned." He reaches to stroke his cheek with his uninjured hand, "Were you worried, sweet?" Étienne dutifully picks up the stone and holds it after he's done stroking his cheek, "It's really all right. I've been hurt worse before."

"That's good," Symon says, "Amber is good for poison." He's not really thinking about what he's saying, but he is quietly touched that Étienne should have gone on wearing the amber. The question makes him hesitate, and he turns his face toward Étienne's hand. "It's duelling," he says, as though that should make it clear. "You didn't come home on time at all, it's b-been hours and no w…word. If that Dorimène is sending carriages she ought to have sent m…messengers, too." He's apparently annoyed with this woman who saved Étienne whose name he's only just heard.

Étienne just keeps smiling at him, all dimples and innocence, "I didn't have a proper favour of yours, but I had the stone." His eyes go wide, "Oh! I didn't think! We were stuck in traffic and I was bleeding rather a lot. He got me just above the greave and I thought you were out anyway. If I'd realised… Next time I'll send a note, all right? I promise, sweet."

Symon can't restrain himself on hearing all this new information, and crawls into the bed with Étienne, looking for an unbandaged spot where he can lay his head. "W…weren't you frightened to b-be b…bleeding so m…much?" he asks, fingers plucking at the edge of the chest bandage. "Did it hurt awfully? Next time I shall send you w…with a p-proper favor."

Étienne smiles and carefully shifts so he can wrap his uninjured arm around his lover, still holding the rock. He smells of sweat and blood and medicinal ointments. There's a lump in his gambeson and a leather thong going under. He kisses the top of Symon's head, "It doesn't hurt that much when you’re fighting. It's after you notice how injured you are. I wasn't frightened until she took off her petticoat to bandage it and I saw how much blood there was. It was far too nice to be ruining that way, which was when I knew it was bad if that made sense. Honestly, I'm much more afraid of her mother then I am of wounds, but by the time I realised where she'd taken me it was too late to leave." Another kiss to the top of his head, "I'd like that. Wearing your favor, I mean."

Symon nestles in, though he's careful not to bump anything that looks hurt. "Did she help you?" he asks. Which should be obvious, since Étienne is all bandaged and medically scented. "I don't like the idea of you b-bleeding. I w…would've m-made a fool of you if I'd b-been there. B-but you m…may always w…wear my favor…"

Étienne rocks him gently. All the serious damage seems to be on his right side, so as long as he doesn't move too much, Symon can safely cuddle his left. "She took very good care of me and her mother is a chirurgeon, among other things." His wide blue eyes are serious, "Next time I'll know better. I thought it was all of no matter to you, but now I see that it mattered so much you couldn't watch. It's all right. I'll know better than to ask you to and send a messenger if I'm hurt again, sweet."

"Yes, immediately," Symon agrees about messengers being dispatched. "B-but w…were people impressed at how b-brave you w…were? I w…would think everyone w…would see how hard you fought. Did—" He breaks off looking at Étienne. "Well. M…maybe we should have a rest. And then I w…will ask m-more later."

Étienne squeezes him gently, "I impressed Lord Cyriel who I very nearly beat and he's terribly good. I really would have made you proud, sweet. If you could prop my leg a bit, I think I would very much like to take a nap with you." he gives him another beatific smile, "I love you very much, you know."

"You m…make me p-proud anyway," Symon says, slipping a leg under Étienne's to prop it. He smiles. "Love is very complicated," he says, but in a note of subdued good humor. "I can tell that from how I feel today."

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