She was trying to . . . comfort him? A strange idea, not so much wrong or irritating as just plain weird. Suicide couldn't think of the years he spent as a squire without some emotion, but he'd never gotten so far as to quantify or understand it. Still, the gesture was kindly meant, and Suicide appreciated it.
This was an odd business all around. So much minutiae; gestures here were small, voices were lower, the tone and inflection of everything was much more important than volume or force. Some of his old skills--like the talking-in-circles bit--were useful, but Suicide felt vaguely like he was out of his depth. It was less like chopping down a tree and more like the delicate work of flaying a man's arm for a quiver. The smallest nick or misused word could ruin the work before it was half finished, and it made him uneasy in some ways.
On the other hand, the woman whose company he enjoyed had just called him big and tough. That he could definitely live with.
"Battle's a good place to learn medicine," he responded. Had he been in lots of battles? Why, yes, and he wasn't above peacocking for her just a bit on that score. Or wait, was a nurse less likely to be impressed by all the injuries he'd inflcited? Shit. Mental Dio, help! "At least, that's what my masters always said," he added, while his mental Diocletian told him to leave her alone and sort out his own messes for once. "We didn't have any of the . . . technically, they're modern, aren't they? Present-day?" He grimaced a little at the idea. Not only was he in a different dimension, but Earth was more than two thousand years past his time. "The modern advances everyone here has. We'd douse a man in sour wine to ward off the affluent evils and sacrifice a black dog to Hecate if someone thought his wound was cursed. But you have anesthetic now. We didn't even have a word for anesthetic." He shook his head. "Actually, we did. It meant 'wineskin and a big rock.'"
He wondered if that would make her laugh again. Some strange part of him--the one that remembered his mother's wagon and appreciated Jenni's hand on his--wanted to make her laugh. It felt odd.
Okay, so running her mouth about tight situations with ridiculous odds had been a stupid error. She should have known better; she knew enough about him to know better. Not something she would allow... more
It did get a laugh, because she'd been there (metaphorically speaking; she'd never actually been to ancient Greece) and knew it for fact. "Yeah, you make due with what you've got and hope for the... more
If her smile tended mischievous, it might have been because she was enjoying watching him melt in front of her like this. No, scratch that. It definitely did, and she definitely was. These were not... more
Jenni was in trouble in one respect: unless no clothes were involved at all, Suicide was not a believer in delayed gratification. He was right-handed, and Medical or not, the limb had been battered... more
Well, so much for plan A, then. That was all right. Plan B had been a possibility in her mind from the start, despite her decision not to actively nudge things in any particular direction—which ... more
Some asshole with a snarky sense of humor had put "A Whole New World" on the bar's jukebox. What kind of jukebox even had "A Whole New World" on there, anyway? Suicide did his best to tune it out,... more
Mostly, Jenni was just confused, though not at all displeased at being kissed again, whistler or no whistler. She smiled even as she tilted her head in the universal gesture of not having a clue.... more
Suicide mentally cursed again as Jenni's words cut through his newfound good mood. For a moment, he contemplated distracting her from the question; he figured he had a 55% chance of managing it, with ... more
So much for doubts. Suicide got the idea, and while most of his thoughts that followed were generally incoherent, part of him definitely decided that the height difference was going to be a pain in... more
Jenni experienced a little thrill at how easily he plucked her up, like the effort was nothing. The voice of caution pointed out that he could probably do anything he wanted to her without breaking a ... more
So this was it: the lair of the beast, the place that would've given Nume an aneurysm if he'd known Suicide was in it. It even had a dragon . . . albeit a plush brown one, which somehow didn't quite... more
Jenni wasn't that worried about it. True, she was a woman who liked a certain level of order, and she generally maintained it for the purpose of letting her visitors know that she had everything... more
As usual, Suicide's awakening was accompanied by pain. He vaguely registered the shrilling of an alarm, but that took a distant second to the litany of other standard complaints--mainly joints that... more
Mmmmm. The aches were still there, but with Jenni's soft curves molded against him, they were hardly worth dwelling on. She'd pinioned his left arm quite neatly, especially since the feeling of her... more
At the hiss she paused her wandering and propped herself up on her right elbow to scope out what she'd touched. She hadn't been thinking about wounds and charts, but when she saw the extensive scar... more