The small village they’d managed to find was a godsend. The people were so sympathetic and willing to help. Silas was just waiting for someone to yell ‘Surprise!’ and burst in, yanking them out of this safe haven. A safe haven that was a barn. Felix hadn’t stopped complaining since they arrived, but Silas was just happy to have a dry place to lay his head. After all, the townspeople were kind enough to give them first aid supplies and food, even a pile of blankets to soften the hay beds and keep warm.
“If you die, I swear I’ll have you resurrected so I can personally beat you to death,” Felix said irritably as he wrapped Silas’ battered ribs, the bullet hole in his right shoulder was already doctored and patched the best Felix knew how. “I’m not a fucking doctor.”
“You’re not much a conversationist, either, Count,” Silas grinned, his face pale though he was making the effort to keep the other from worrying. Felix was an unpleasant little bastard when he was worried.
“I’ll talk how I want. If you need me to, I can just sit quiet an’ look pretty, but I got no one but you to impress out here.” He poked him in the ribs. “And I’d say you’re pretty impressed by my amazing act of heroism back there, huh?” Another grin.
“Shut up, you could have died.” Felix shoved his companion’s head back on the pile of hay. “You still could.”
Silas couldn’t help laughing, though it was through a grimace, a sense of humor didn’t do well for broken ribs.
“Hilarious, I know,” muttered Felix, shaking his head. “But… you know, thank you… for what you did. We’d never have gotten out without you and Phaedra. Even if we lost that girl they tried to save. I wasn’t happy about her being dragged along at first… but I never wanted to see that happen to her.”
“Me, either, but it’s not like we can go back now. We can’t let losing one person take us down. We have too much riding on this escape…. I’m not going back there, Felix, not for anyone.”
The Count only nodded somberly, patching up his companion to the best of his ability—which wasn’t exactly top notch. He was far from a doctor. In fact, the slightest scratches he’d retained as a child were tended to professionally. Tearing bullets out of living human flesh was nerve-wracking, stomach-churning, grueling and unpleasant work. Besides, Silas’ muffled screams into the folded up bridle they’d pulled off the barn wall were enough to make Felix’s hands shake so violently it was a small wonder he didn’t make things worse.
Once finished, the temporary doctor plopped down next to Silas and sighed, arms around his knees as he looked up into the spider-laden rafters. The whispers of Phaedra and Tully two stalls over caught his attention, though he couldn’t make out much of what they were saying. Sleeping in a barn, on damp hay, dirty and caked in flaking blood, his fingers stained from his tending to Silas…. Still it was better than Blackford Hill.
“You’re thinkin’ too hard.”
Felix glanced to Silas, who used what little strength he had to yank Felix down beside him, his unaffected arm looping around him to pull him against his chest.
“Don’t touch me,” Felix grumbled, though there was little weight behind it.
“Shhh, you’re ruining it.”
Felix rolled his eyes. He’d just ripped bits of metal out of the man, he still he was completely placid and ready to just go to sleep. “Shouldn’t you be in excruciating pain?”
“I am, and you’re making it worse by bitching. Shh.”
Felix had to admit, relaxing against the warmth of another body was a special sort of comfort. Or maybe it was just Silas’ body. If anyone else had put a hand on him at this point—well, it wouldn’t have been pretty.
“You trust me, don’t you?” he asked, tilting his head up a bit to look at Silas, before he propped himself up on one hand to he could look down at him.
“Why wouldn’t I? You planned this whole thing, and here I am, right? That’s not nothin’.”
Felix gave a little nod, though he didn’t seem satisfied. His eyes drifted down to to the bandage on his counterpart’s shoulder, his fingers brushing over the slowly-blooming bloodstain.
“What?” Silas stilled his hand, and kissed his fingers, dried blood and all.
Felix turned away, cheeks flaring red. “Nothing. Just worried. It’s a big plan. I don’t know if we can—”
“We can because you want it bad enough. It’s going to work out.” Again, Silas pulled him down and kissed the top of his head. “I trust you. Go to sleep.”
Felix rolled his eyes, but didn’t argue. “My father will know I escaped. He’ll know I have people with me.”
“Then we’ll compensate. If we can bring down your father, Felix, we can bring down Blackford Hill, and any other places like it in your father’s lordship.”
That was true. Felix wanted revenge more than anything, but his will for revenge was fading now that he was out. Now that the pressure of torture and starvation was lifted. Now that Silas wasn’t dying and he didn’t have the Overseer breathing down their necks about every little thing. Though, if removing his father from the equation brought the ruin of Blackford Hill, then it would be well worth pushing forward.
“Alright. We’ll continue with the plan,” he offered finally, and gave a small, resolute nod.
Silas smiled and gave the Count a firm squeeze. “Good. We’ll plan it out better if it puts you at ease. Just relax and sleep for now. We have time.”
Time. Just last night, time was what they were running short on. Now, they were reasonably safe, even if they had to move within a few days. They had time, and Silas trusted him. Satisfied in that, Felix finally closed his eyes and tried to sleep.