Dialogue – “We have something in common”
“The nerve of that man,” Sesha muttered as he turned his attention back to Crescent, the momentary anxiety of being trapped in the room with him subsiding. He’d promised Domerin to stay, but didn’t know if it would change anything. He and Crescent simply didn’t see eye to eye, and he wasn’t sure they ever would. “Let me see your injuries.” He settled back on the stool, reaching out his hand, but then hesitated. “Please.”
Crescent dutifully held out his left hand. He knew what was broken. The pain had eased to a dull ache by now, nothing he couldn’t handle, though he winced slightly as the doctor’s delicate fingers moved over his furred ones. They’d never touched like this, willingly anyway, and he could see the concern flash across Sesha’s face as he felt for the broken bones. The man might not like him, but he was a doctor all the way down to his bones. “It’s really not that bad. I’ve had worse.” He wasn’t sure if that helped, noticing the storm clouds forming on Sesha’s dark brow. He didn’t know how Domerin dealt with his moods. The man had always seemed shrill to him.
“He just let you stand there while he chatted away?” Sesha asked, voice sharp.
Crescent just shrugged, or tried to, wincing again at the motion, which indicated further damage. Domerin had taken a chunk out of him, but he had deserved it for questioning. “A few minutes more doesn’t make a difference.”
Sesha didn’t seem mollified, and his voice cut over him. “I’m going to need to cast the finger.” Usually he would have just splint it, but he didn’t trust Crescent to let it heal without a proper cast. There was a problem though, Crescent’s current anatomy didn’t lend all the well to his skill, he’d never had to do something like this on a person like him.
“Can you… change back?” He didn’t know what that would do to the man, and he didn’t want to cause him more undo pain. Even so, Crescent hardly hesitated.
The feline body shifted, fur receding, though when the change hit the broken finger Crescent gave a cry of pain as the bone transformed, along with everything else, pushing against flesh in a way it was never meant to. “Mother fucker!” His vision darkened in the moments after, spots flashing before his eyes as he tried to get his breath back. Sesha was there, close by, seeming concerned, though he did not touch, only gave him time to recover himself.
In those moments, Crescent seemed very vulnerable to Sesha, though it was hard to believe. Surely the man couldn’t be hard all the time. He wasn’t a monster. Those thoughts were soon overshadowed by the sight of Crescent’s bare skin.
“What the hell is all this!?” With growing consternation, he took in the huge bruises forming across Crescent’s left shoulder and side, along with many more such marks darkening his flesh. The man hadn’t bled one drop, but his injuries were far worse than Domerin’s.
“We worked it out.” Was all the Crescent said, his voice a bit sharp, refusing to speak further of it. Sesha would never understand. He and Domerin were bound together. Deeper than words. Deeper than blood, bone, and sinew. Their very beings called to each other. The winged man had no right to criticize something he didn’t understand.
Sesha was so incensed by that point he thought it unwise to push him and got on with his work. Luckily, he had everything he needed on hand, and he worked with a quiet efficiency. He simply didn’t understand Crescent. The man was everything he was not. It was as if a great gulf divided them.
When everything was ready, Sesha began to roll the material over Crescent’s hand, being very careful not to cause more pain. He’d been silent since his last outburst, feeling uncomfortable. Something needed to be done. For once, though, he didn’t know what to say.
Crescent spoke first, as if reading his mind. “Don’t worry, he showed me the truth I needed to see.” The words didn’t overly satisfy Sesha.
“Do you really believe that, or is it just words hammered into your brain like these bruises he put in your flesh? I can tell the break wasn’t some sort of accident. He did this, didn’t he? He did it on purpose. No one deserves this!” That made him angrier than anything. Perhaps, for the first time, he felt sympathy for Crescent but the man didn’t react in the way he’d expected. Instead, Crescent bared his teeth.
“What we do between us is none of your fucking business, just as what you and he do is none of mine.” He believed, that was all that mattered. Domerin would not lie to him. “I will not make the same mistake again.” He fixed the doctor with a long look, something searching in it. “You don’t understand what’s between us. I chose this life. I chose him. Make no mistake, what he does, I allow. That should be all that concerns you.”
Crescent’s words stunned him into silence. Despite the sharp tone there was candor there, and real honesty. Deep down, he knew the other man was right. He might not agree, but it wasn’t his place to judge. The two men clearly had an understanding between them, something that fit them. Even if they didn’t get on much, perhaps they could do with a bit more respect for each other. He was silent for a time, finishing up his work.
“I’m not after Domerin.” He ventured, finally. Despite living with him, and sleeping with him, sometimes it felt like he hardly knew the man. “Even if he wanted me like that he’s not the sort of person I could be with. Not forever.” He’d never planned on asking more from Domerin than he’d been willing to give. Things were good now but he wondered how long he would last in this organization.
“I know.” Crescent said, his voice surprisingly soft. He was sure Sesha would leave one day, but he no longer feared his presence.
“I think I liked you better when you were mean,” Sesha muttered. He was surprised to find a little smile touching Crescent’s lips.
“Give me time.”
There was silence again, for a time. Even so, it felt a bit more relaxed now. Finally Sesha spoke, his voice softer. “I know we don’t really get on much, and that we’re very different people, but we do have something in common. We both care for Domerin and, like it or not, we have to share. So… what are we going to do?”
Crescent shrugged and again he winced, though this time less than the last. He was preparing himself to face the world with those injuries and refused to let it bow him further. He couldn’t deny that he and Sesha did share that one thing. Domerin saw value in Sesha, who was he to question that? Perhaps Domerin saw things he did not. The least he could do was try to see eye to eye with the other man.
“I will not give you trouble again.” He said, finally, sounding a bit more like himself. His deep seated fear had been addressed; he didn’t feel threatened anymore. “If Domerin approves of you, then so do I.” The words were simple, but for a man like Crescent it was quite an admission.
Sesha was surprised, never having thought to hear such a thing from Crescent. He figured that was as much of a peace as they were going to come to, but it was far more than what they’d had before, which had been a whole lot of nothing. They might never be friends but they could respect each other, and stop the hostilities. Crescent had more than proven he could be reasonable, and he was right, it wasn’t his place to judge what he and Domerin did together. A little more harmony would be welcome, for everyone.
“Likewise. I know the two of you share a very deep bond. I’ll try harder not to interfere, and I’ll respect what you and Domerin have between you.” It might be easier if they didn’t interact as much but at least there seemed to be a truce now, if nothing else. He’d finished his work, and he offered Crescent a little smile. “Well, I suppose we should go tell him.”
The other man shook his head, but there was a smile touching his lips, a good-natured one that reached his eyes. “No need. He’ll know. Domerin’s good like that.”
“Yes. Yes he is.”