Jenny: Distraction

When Jason had finally finished his inspection, the wound felt sore but less sickly hot. Artos dragged himself up on his elbows to a sitting position, looking down the twisted length of his leg. It looked wretched, and a part of him felt wretched about it. He looked up at Jason. "Will it be ready for the March calends?" he inquired.

Jason glanced up from washing his hands, eyes straying over the limb. "I should think so," he said slowly. "It will be ready for spring, at the very least." Then, catching the shadow that darted across Artos' face, he added more confidently, "It's a long time until the March calends. It should have plenty of time to heal."

Cheered by that news - Jason never lied - the young man repositioned himself and began poking at the wound to see how much it hurt. It growled resentfully.

"Are you up to coming out today, Artos? The cold will help keep the pain down."

Driven partially by hunger, for the Guttersnipe had not been into pamper him with scraps from the kitchen, Artos swung his legs over the side of the bed and got to his feet, dragging his left leg a little as he walked. He said, "It hurts less when I walk."

"It is the healing pain you feel," said Jason, flicking his hands dry. "The wound is beginning to shut of its own accord." The young surgeon smiled encouragingly, though Artos thought all his smiles about his work were oddly grim and faintly morbid, and together they left the room to join Kay and Bedwyr and Cathair in the atrium. Bedwyr was handling himself well, if there was a pinched, sick look about the corners of his dry mouth. Kay had his elbows on the table and his chin on his fisted hands, talking animatedly at his brother in an attempt to distract him.

"We'll build you a new hand," he was saying as Artos swung himself after Jason into the room, "like that Erin story - you know, the magical hand that moved. Perhaps the Guttersnipe can make it move."

Bedwyr looked thoughtful. "Couldn't you hinge the knuckles?"

"Well, yes, but you wouldn't be able to move it without the help of your other hand. You," he turned to Cathair. "You're from Erin. Didn't the hand magically move by itself, like a real hand?" He whirled back on Bedwyr. "He's from Erin - listen to him! He knows what he's talking about."

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