|Summary:||After the battle, Senna sees to the wounded of the Flint contingent. Later, she and Markus discuss the future.|
|Related Logs:||Battle of Alderbrook|
|Rows of cots in an open pavilion.|
|January 14, 289|
Back at the camps, the lookouts posted to warn those who remained behind have come running back to let the healers know that it's safe to prepare to received wounded. Senna rolls up her sleeves, checks on the bandages and herbs one more time, and braces herself for the rush.
The Young Lord Flint rides hunched in the saddle, blood seeping from his chest in two different, moderately deep wounds. In tow, he has Ser Tam Coope on another horse, tied on so he doesn't fall off. In hand, his helm, and his sword and shield are set to his saddle. Once he's back in camp, however, Anders looks down at the ground from his position and considers exactly how he's going to manage to get off again— something he hadn't considered when he'd mounted. Holding tightly to his horse's mane, he grits his teeth and begins to pull himself from the saddle, dragging rather than swinging his leg over. He lets out a grunt of pain again, and he's feeling a little light-headed in the effort. One foot hits the ground, but as the other does the same, the armoured Lord falls over, though his horse simply stands.. and looks at his rider in curiousity, ears perked forward as if to say, 'What are you doing there?'. For a long moment, he lies there, catching his hard earned breath, and slowly begins to rise once again.
Markus has already been helped, thank the Seven, from atop his saddle, his weapon and shield taken, and his lance perhaps hopelessly lost on the field of battle. He's bleeding, and his maile is rather damaged, the links shorn in at least two places. As adrenaline fades, so too does the sharpness in his eyes, hiding behind a veil of pain.
When Anders rides in, Senna is moving out of the tent to meet the lord, gaze scanning any who might follow behind him. When he falls over, however, he gets a bit more of her attention. "Oh, no," she says firmly to the lord, kneeling next to him and pressing a hand to his shoulder. "There you are and there you stay until we know you're not going to hurt yourself." Her quick inspection starts at his eyes, checking for any head injuries, then starts to move down, unbuckling armor as she goes. "Can you talk?"
Anders opens his mouth to give argument, but the only thing he can actually say is a hushed, "Do not cut my armour off." The plate now has holes and is in need of repair, certainly. But the Young Lord also knows that should he move, more of his blood will seep out. It's already on the saddle, on the ground, on his breastplate.. and he nods, his words breathy. "It won't hurt if you help me up?" That way, "I wish to get this off so someone can see to the holes in my chest that I seem to have acquired along the way."
Senna gives Anders a long, hard look. "That's what I'm trying to do, my lord," she points out, even as she slips a shoulder under his arm. She does pause to lift one of his eyelids, tracking the movement of the eye. "Ser Ilgrave," she asks, lending her strength to get the lord to his feet. "Is he-" There's a pause, a slight hitch. "Did he make it back?"
Anders gains his feet, albeit unsteadily, but does. He nods his head slowly and raises his head to look around the immediate area. His gaze falls upon Markus, and he whispers, "There." The man is obviously injured as well, and reaching out to take hold of his horse, he steadies himself. And there is Ser Tam that lies unconscious on the horse behind him still. "I'll look for my squire."
"Take care of him," Markus manages to the fellow taking his horse away, reaching to give the beast a fond pat for seeing him through the battle but failing to reach far enough, and stumbling into the man supporting him some. "Gods, I think I might have inhaled a bit of my maile," he says, coughing when he tries to laugh.
Senna follows Anders' gaze to Markus, pressing her lips together when she sees the state of the man. "You're not going anywhere but our little infirmary, with all due respect, my lord," she says firmly. She does move a little more quickly, though. Oddly enough, she seems quite practiced at dragging injured knights from place to place, using her own weight efficiently. "Markus," she calls to the man. "Hold- Either sit down or get in a cot, but quite moving any more than you have to."
Anders is more than happy to have his wounds tended, he really is. It hurts like hell, and having two open holes in the chest just does something special for morale. He nods, and begins his path towards the infirmary. He'd obviously much rather be in his own pavillion, but for the moment, that's not going to happen. Perhaps after? "You didn't leave, hmm?" He chuckles and brings a still-armoured arm up to cross his stomach, which reminds him that the rest of the armour has to come off. "My wife will kill me."
Markus groans a touch. "Cot," he instructs the man assisting him, being dropped lightly onto a cot still wearing his armor. "Leave? Why would I leave? I'm having such a…" he winces when he tries to laugh, "Good time my lord…" He's otherwise pretty still on the cot, where moving hurts too much to bother.
"I decided I'd rather your wife kill you than me, my lord," Senna manages a faint smile for Anders as she carefully settles the man onto a cot, keeping an arm beneath his shoulders all the way down. "There aren't enough healers to go around as it is," she adds more seriously. "And I had complete faith in your ability to defeat them," she lies. Snapping her fingers at a squire unlucky enough to be standing nearby, she immediately sets him to working the armor off of Markus. "Don't move him any more than is necessary," she warns. "Gentle, but I can't do anything while the maile is on."
Once in the infirmary, Anders slowly peels off the plate, and hands them off to one of his own men that is acting squire at this moment. He lays down slowly, the gambeson beneath soaked in blood, and that's removed to reveal his chest.. and the injuries. Two somewhat deep holes in his chest where polearms got him. Once he's down, he too has very little inclination to move. "Because these chiurgeons have a reputation," is whispered. "They'll not leave, even when you want them to." The Young Lord Flint smiles tightly, "Either that, or your lords.." there's the same arguement, which he doesn't make. His eyes close, pain moving across his features.
"Next time," Markus says as Anders lays down on a cot nearby, "Let's think about holding knights in reserve?" It's a joke, or meant to be one, though he groans rather than laugh, yet again. "Probably should shut up, too… Hi Sen," he says, catching sight of the woman, his voice betraying a bit of disconnect with his condition, probably from the trauma to his body. "I think I might have cracked a rib." And gotten a nice hole for his trouble in his side. The maile removal is going to be slow going, and the wounded knight is quickly losing the ability to be a useful participant.
"I will ignore the statement in that you are wounded.. but do not forget yourself, Ser," it's a warning; a soft one but one all the same. There are allowances made for jest, but at the moment, he's not feeling very familiar.. to many. Anders has his reasons for doing what he did, and he stands by his decision. "I would do it all over again." He winces at a coughed chuckle, "But with slightly different results."
"Gods, I hate puncture wounds," Senna sighs when Anders' injuries are revealed, taking just a moment to inspect them. That tone in Markus' voice draws her attention, though, and she winces as she looks over her shoulder. "Markus…" She looks between the wounds, chewing at the inside of her cheek. "All right. Lord Flint, I need to see to your man there before he bleeds out. Let me see your mouth." Because that's a normal request. She reaches for his chin, turning his head to look for any bloody foam that might indicate a punctured lung.
Perfectly reasonable request, certainly. Anders opens his mouth slowly and looks at Senna, his brows rising in silent askance as the mistress checks for hints for injury to vital organs. There's no sign of that burbling, gurgling pink foam, thankfully.. though waaaaay in the back, he may have the startings of a cavity?
As reminded of his place as he is, Markus finally falls silent, letting whomever's been tasked with removing his maile do so with minimal interruption. Whatever good humor, black though it might be, he'd found in all this is rather evaporated, between the pain and the rebuke.
Senna lets out a soft breath at the clear mouth, nodding once. "No punctured lung. That's good. All right. You lie still for a few minutes. I'm going to take a look at Ser Ilgrave now. In the meantime…" She reaches down next to the bed, pulling out a skin. "Have a few drinks, my lord." Anders thus supplied, she turns to Markus, smoothing one hand back over his hair as the other moves to inspect the maile left behind after the suit itself is off. "You look terrible," she informs him helpfully.
"Oh, really?" Markus asks, his eyes opening as slits when Senna brushes back his hair. "I hadn't…" He stops the laugh before it hurts this time. "Hadn't noticed…"
It wasn't meant as a stinging rebuke but more rather a reminder. The bonds of friendship simply aren't yet built, but given time, and the man's remaining in service, it may very well come. Particularly in the fact that his wife is fond of the knight, and he is so far impressed with him. Besides the fact the man can fight, he found the other sword, Erik. Within reason, anything his wife wishes, Anders may yet give her. "Oh.. good." No punctured lung, which is always good news. Reaching gingerly for the skin, he takes it in a nod, and works out how to get the water to his lips without causing his wounds to seep once again. He decides against it, and replaces it on the floor, his eyes closing once again.
Water? There's watered /wine/ in that skin. Drunk men are much easier to stitch up, after all. "Shut up," Senna murmurs to Markus, bending over the wounds in his chest. "What did you do, just go run into a wedge of pikes? Or was it axes?" She splashes some water - laced with alcohol - over the wound, then starts to carefully inspect it for loose pieces of maile. She's learned her lesson the hard way about the problems those can pose.
Anders' eyes are closed, and his breathing shallow in the desire not to fill his lungs as it is rather painful. Not so painful, mind, that as Markus is being tended that the Young Lord begins to fall under sleep's spell. Fatigued, injured, blood loss.. he's out.. and the chances are good that even if he woke for whatever prodding or bandaging, there'd be something of a sleep-numbness. In a day, it'll hurt even worse, but for now?
He winces and hisses a bit when Senna throws the alcoholic water on his wounds, and begins poking about looking for bits of maile he just doesn't want to let go of. "Dammit," Markus mutters, but otherwise takes the woman's instruction to heart, and shuts back up.
"Just be glad they're not going to waste any firemilk on you," Senna continues to chide Markus, flushing out the wound thoroughly. "Ser Rivers got it twice. He was out for a solid day each time. Not to mention what it feels like to begin with." Which is probably not considerably worse than having Senna poking around inside of him trying to make sure everything is out of the wound.
"You able to focus when you're talking so much?" Markus wonders as she fishes around inside his wound, trying to remain still as the dead beneath her minstrations.
"It actually helps," Senna informs Markus in a low murmur. "Focus. Keeps me from thinking too much about what I'm doing." Only once she's absolutely sure that everything is out of the wound does she move on, leaning down to reach for a jar of thick paste. "A bit of this," she murmurs, using a cloth to spread it around the margins of the wounds. A chill follows it on his skin, eventually fading to a tingle, then numbness. "All right. We'll let that get into effect while I add a bit to your new lord here." And then it's Anders turn for cleaning and numbing. Luckily, he's already passed out, though.
Fortunate for Senna, it seems her second patient is taking after the first, and slowly drifting off into unconsciousness, sparing her any further attempts at being witty or charming. Just the bleeding now.
Unconscious patients really are the easiest to deal with, when it comes down to it. In short order, Senna has both Anders and Markus neatly stitched up with damaged ribs tightly wrapped. Once that's finished, she gives her hands a good washing and settles in on a camp chair next to Markus' cot, letting out a deep breath of her own.
* Some time later… *
He groans. It's probably a reasonably good sign, even if he wasn't quite hanging on death's doorstep, some noise from the more or less silent Markus has to be welcome. He tries to move on the cot, to get more comfortable, before remembering that he's in no condition at all to be moving. Another groan, and his eyes are slowly fluttering open, pupils searching about to get his bearings.
Senna starts at that first sound, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and reaching a hand for his shoulder. "Hold still, Markus," she mumbles, voice thick with sleep. She's been drowsing through her bedside vigil, though she wakes quickly once he's moving. Tender fingers brush the hair from his brow as she straightens, leaning closer to get a look at him.
"Am I going to die?" Markus asks, stilling as she instructs, aside from how he reaches out to clutch her hand within his own.
"Not for lack of trying, but no," Senna answers, twining her fingers with his and shifting to lay her head on the pillow next to his. "You've got a couple of nasty gashes there, but I cleaned them up and sewed them shut. And a few broken ribs. Or at least very crackly ones. They're wrapped tight, and they'll need to stay that way for a bit. But no, you're not going to die of this."
His grip on her hand eases a touch, though he doesn't let it go, neither does he do much to move and make space for Senna on the cot, though she can find room nonetheless. He doesn't take up that much space. "The rest of the host holds their knights in reserve," Markus begins, glancing over to make sure Anders is either gone or asleep, "He throws us up front and center…"
Senna stays in her chair, just setting her head on the pillow with him. It's a comfortable thing, a holdover from nights when they were both much younger and there was only so much space in the tent. "Mmmm. On the up side, his wife is an excellent healer." She pauses, lips quirking. "Probably because he's given her plenty of practice."
"She seems like an alright sort," Markus says, his forehead resting against Senna's on the pillow. "Not sure that I want to keep up with Northmen after this is all done, though. It's cold up there, after all, and…" He shrugs, though it's just the one shoulder and it's very, very slight. Even that seems to hurt, and his wince shows how much he regrets it.
"And they seem to be lacking in a sense of self-preservation," Senna supplies in a low tone, laughter soft beneath the words. "Of course, so do you." Her thumb brushes gently over the back of his hand, soothing. "This is a chance to meet all sorts of lords and knights, Markus. Take your time. See who has the best offer."
"Orkwood knocked our good Lord Anders down twice, and he did not turn and run, Sen…" Markus doesn't do much moving at all save to breathe, and that is done shallowly, with concern for the sake of his cracked ribs and how they flare with pain if he breathes too deeply. "I couldn't just turn tail at the first, I'd have been marked a coward, and who would want of my service then?"
Senna sighs, reaching up to brush the hair from his brow. "I know, I know. Though I doubt anyone would blame you too much." She watches him quietly for a moment, pensive. "Have you thought about the Naylands?" she asks. "They've been…good to me, these past five years."
Markus nods a little bit. "I remember Rygar from the war," he points out, "Though I don't know that he'd recall me. I wasn't exactly noteworthy then… or today, for that matter." He lets out a breath, and says, "Ain't this something? Back what, five days, six? And you're already patching me up…"
"Oldstones is a tight crew, too," Senna muses. "Though…" She trails off, arching a brow at him. "I don't think you and Ser Alek would get along very well." She sits up at his latter words, taking a moment to check his bandages and make sure everything is tight. "I'd prefer not to have to patch you up, you know."
"There's half a dozen Frey banners too," Markus points out, "There's got to be some looking for lances. Especially if they stand to lose any in this conflict. There's still Seaguard to free, and who knows what else. I'll find something, Sen. I… I'm not him, you know? I always find a way."
"For straight survivability, Markus, I'd say Oldstones," Senna says with certainty. "They've spent time in the east, too. Working together. They're all experienced and they're all good at what they do. And with Ser Gedeon down, they'll want another lance. But I don't think…" She hesitates, looking a little embarassed. "I've been…dallying a bit with Alek Coope. He's a convenient in, and with Gedeon Rivers making claims on Stonebridge, it's nice to have a source. But I don't think it would play out well if you and I both went over there."
"You and I both," Markus repeats, as if that is the more important part of what she is saying. The question's there for her to answer or not, maybe as she sees fit, as he doesn't quite press the issue just yet. Neither does he say much about the dallying. It's not as if he expected that would not still be a trade she plied, or a tool she made use of, but the less he asks, the better.
Senna pauses, catching her lower lip between her teeth. "Sorry," she murmurs. "I didn't mean- I just-" She sits up once more, looking away and shading her eyes with one hand. "Sorry. Old habit." There's a faint flicker of a smile as she draws her feet up into the chair with her, looking away. "You should go wherever they offer you the best deal, of course."
He tries to push up a bit, but that hurts too much, so instead he tries to reach out and find some purchase on her. "Not what I meant, Sen," Markus gets out, though the straining is far from comfortable. "Said 'both'. Which makes it sound like that's where you're going? With your Alek Coope?"
"Don't-" Senna leans forward quickly to press a hand to his shoulder, giving him a stern look. "Hold still, stupid. And it doesn't have anything to do with him," she adds, grimacing. "It's just…I don't know. They remind me of home. Of the only thing we had that was ever like a home. Of you, and me, and my father. And Alek and Ser Rivers both have said they'd vouch for me to Ser Anton. But they're small, and they're poor."
"… and I wouldn't fit," Markus reminds, recalling her earlier observation for her. "It's alright, Sen. I mean… I don't get to just walk back into your tent after five years and turn your life upside down. We're not kids anymore, after all," he insists, laying back down on the bunk.
"You wouldn't fit?" Senna's brows furrow. "No, that's- That's not what I meant, Markus." Sighing, she moves to press her brow to his once more. "The only reason I ever even considered Oldstones was because I didn't have you anymore," she says quietly.
His eyes shut as she presses her brow there again. "Sorry, Sen… maybe I'm just feeling a little… exposed right now," Markus tells her, and while there might be a joke in there, it doesn't quite translate into his voice this time around. "Trying not to make a mess of this either, I mean…" He coughs a bit, his arm curling at the elbow so he can reach up along the cot and touch her chin. It's not entirely the most tender gesture, save for how he can hardly manage to move. "Few days ago, I thought you were dead, I'd lost you."
Senna nods slightly, lifting her hand to his at her chin. "I know. And I don't want to…presume anything. Gods," she laughs softly, shifting to brush a kiss to his brow. "I don't want to make any promises, either. We're both different. But we're family, you know? That means something. Or it's supposed to. I think. We're kind of uniquely unqualified to judge that sort of thing."
"Means something to me," Markus assures her, his eyes drifting shut again. "Don't want to lose you again."
"So we'll find someone to take both of us," Senna says quietly, smoothing a hand over his brow and leaning back to adjust his pillow. "It turns out I'm a valuable asset. I've had more than a few people express interest in my particular skills since this camp came together. I'm sure at least one of them will have use of a good knight, too."
He nods a little, though it's all sideways given how his cheek rests on the pillow, his fingers tightening around hers. "Okay," Markus murmurs, sounding and seeming as vulnerable and unguarded as she's like to ever find him, and slowly drifting back into sleep.