|[May. 22nd, 2014|05:34 am]|
“There’s a can of stewed beef here. We could try dumping that in,” Ryouma said dubiously. He poured the stew out of its foil packaging into a clean pot, ripped the pull-top off the beef can, and dumped a pile of glistening brown chunks on top of the stew. It looked a lot like dogfood and it might taste about the same, but beggers and choosers, etc, and at least it was meat. When he had the pot balanced on the kerosene burner, Ryouma returned to the counter to smear ointment on his blisters.|
Abruptly, he asked, “How d’you deal with nightmares?”
Screw it, Raidou was sitting down.
The folding chair creaked as he forced it open and dropped into it, but it didn’t cost him a finger. “On missions or in general?”
Ryouma shrugged one forced-casual shoulder, focusing on his hands. “Both, I guess. Though missions are more to the point. Sounds like it’ll be a couple of days before we get back home. I’ll have to sleep sometime.”
It was the second night you had to worry about, after the brain had come down from adrenaline and exhaustion long enough to start sorting things out. If you were nightmare-prone, that’s when it would hit you. Third night, maybe, if you were lucky.
And Ryouma was right. It wasn’t going to be a quick evac from here. Especially if other teams had gone down.
Raidou shrugged. “Honestly? Try not to worry about it. If it happens, we’ll deal with it. Just don’t stab someone in your sleep, or you’ll make the lieutenant cry.”
“Good thing we disarmed Kakashi,” Ryouma murmured. He stared down at his hands blankly, as if he’d forgotten what to do with them, then finished wrapping the bandages and stuffed the ointment back into Genma’s kit. He was silent a beat longer, leaning against the metal counter, before lifting his chin. “Thanks.”
Raidou thought of the lieutenant's weary but willing smile, and how Genma had taken Raidou’s issues and flipped them around, yanking some of the barbs out. The way Katsuko had offered to buy them all dinner afterwards, which probably meant he’d scared her hollow. But she was still reaching out. Maybe if they kept passing it on between them, the whole team would manage to level out.
He smiled, crooked. “Any time.”