Participants:

Garou_icon.gif Valentin_icon.gif

Scene Title Miracles
Synopsis After the events of High Time In Lowtown, Garou receives healing.
Location Valentin's room
Date Solace 21 9:31 Dragon
Watch For One very stubborn healer.
Logger Valentin

The trip across the Harbor in the condition he's in is not an easy one and though Garou begins the trek making an admirable effort to both tease some life into Cenn and cover up his own growing discomfort, by the time they reach the Gallows that pallor has become waxy and the sweat of hobbling around on one functional leg has turned cold and clammy and miserable. At this point, it is all he can do to take a break and request to be leaned against a wall for a minute. Someone find Valentin. It's the only word he's kept repeating. If they get him to Valentin, everything will be alright.

And Valentin had been found. Maybe, in some other situation, he wouldn't have been, but there's no denying his abilities as a healer, or Garou's need for precisely that. But the pace at which people insist on leading him, as though he is not perfectly well acquainted with how his own legs work, is an infuriating trial. In fact, at some point in the being lead, Valentin breaks away entirely. He knows his way to the Gallows on his own, thank you very much. But having left his escort behind, once he is outside, he is suddenly and acutely aware of the fact that he's not sure where in the Gallows they've set Garou down, exactly. So once he's away from the stairs, the mage calls out for the Lieutenant. "Garou?" Loud enough to carry, and he tries to keep the worry out of his tone. He mostly manages.

One word out of anyone should not be so sweet a sound as this, but there is real, gnawing fear inside this Templar and this is the only person he can think of who could possibly put him back together again. "Here," he calls hoarsely. "I am here." Where exactly 'here' is remains unsure and he almost forgets hey he's come here, but trying to put weight on the leg stressed is just not at all working well.

"Save your breath - " Valentin cuts himself short before words that would endanger them both spill from his lips in so public a place, "The bracelet will do well enough, if you can move that easier than speaking." Though Valentin has gotten a general direction from those words, and is successfully moving, more less, toward Garou. Either the sound of the bracelet will make him more precise, or the searching tendrils of magic will find his lover, and he can follow that tether.

Yes and no. The bracelet is easier than talking - especially with the way his mouth has started to go entirely dry - but it sits around the wrist attached to his semi-broken hand and that means rather severe discomfort while moving it. "Valentin, I'n sorry. I tried. I did my best but there was no way to stop her."

Between the continuation of stubborn words, bracelet, and his magic, Valentin finds his way there eventually. He drops to his knees beside Garou, his hand coming to his lover's shoulder and then frowning. "Shhh…" He eases, "Explain later." But that investigating magic finds the injuries quickly, and the attempt to heal his leg. He growls quietly. Suddenly it makes sense. "Okay, Rou, I can't fix that out here, not with you in all this armor. I'm going to ease your pain, and I will help you inside, but I need to ask you to let me get you some place better suited. If you can't do that, I can pull you out of this armor and carry you if I need to but…" Well, Valentin probably had the strength to carry Garou when he wasn't in his armor, but the mage trying to do so with his lack of sight would be… An adventure at best. "At that point, it might be safer for me to have Seren fetched." None the less, he lets the effort to keep the aura at bay fall away. Grumbly anybody else in the Gallows be damned.

"You can take me wherever you like," Garou sighs, though not in frustration or annoyance. He reaches behind him with his uninjured hand and pushes hard on the wall to try and lever himself back up to stand where he can reach for Valentin with perhaps a little more familiarity than he should. But he's trying. "Tell me where you need me and I'll get us there." The delicate little bones in his inured hand throb worse than anything at the moment, but being surrounded by cool and rapid water is like finally being able to breathe.

"A spare room, or my room, will do. Someplace I can work without being disturbed, and where I can get you out of his armor without us being… Out here." Some place private. Some place where he doesn't need this pretense. Because this isn't going to be fun. If he was being presented with a fresh, untouched break, he could do that in his sleep. This was something else entirely. He was going to have to see if the already knit bone could be coaxed into being where it is supposed to be. And if it doesn't… Well, it's… There's only so much anesthetic property that his magic has. Standing with Garou, he takes his arm, putting it over his shoulders. He can't see, he can't lead, but he can bear weight. His arm wraps around Garou in a well practiced movement that supports more of his weight, and takes pressure off of everything from mid back down, well trained through years of practice.

Garou opts for Valentin's room, guiding them there with the same attention to detail he always gave when he spent time being his lover's eyes. Anything less would feel like failure and with the fear and despair rising to choke him he can't cope with that too. "They won't let me stay," he breathes shakily when they're finally in the homestretch of the mages' wing. "If it can't bear weight, I'll be no good to them here." That knowledge - the understanding of what happens to every Templar when they have outlived their usefulness driving something wild and terrified inside him. "They'll send me away," he breathes when the pair of them are finally at the door. "I don't care what it takes - I can fight without my hand if I need to - but I have to be able to stand. Please." Because he knows that parting is eventually inevitable, but he's just not ready yet.

"Hey, Rou, love," Valentin says gently as soon as the door is closed, "Breathe. You're not going anywhere. I will fix this. You're going to be okay." Because he'd do whatever it took, and the damage doesn't seem too irrevocable. "Better than you were before. Just keep breathing. And let me help you out of all of this." And he leads, then, knowing this room. To the bed, where he can lean Garou. Over the years, he's become familiar with his armor. But he starts the removable process in the wrong place. Removing first anything that cannot be done while sitting. And once that is done, he's easing Rou down onto the bed. And as he pulls at closures, he's breathing even and calm and gentle. "Your hand, did she try and heal that too? I can't feel anything but it may have just faded, or be too subtle for me to tell…"

"It hurt when she cast," Rou answers, trying to give his lover the information he needs without being able to articulate it all correctly. He trusts Valentin, there is a faith in him that is probably more than a little heretical, but it still takes a few forced breaths to try and regain his sense of perspective. "I don't think she cast anywhere in particular?" he tries again. "I could feel it everywhere, tugging and pulling and swelling." Growing scar tissue that would make no part of this fun. "It… it wasn't like your magic. It hurt and I couldn't Silence it." He is docile for Valentin's ministrations, doing what he can to ease the process as a whole before sitting on the bed and trying very, very hard - as he has been all night - not to look down at the unnatural angles to either hand or leg.

Valentin nods. "Creation magic isn't meant to fix broken like this. It hurts when you push it to its limits. It'll keep a body together, not make sure all of the pieces are where they belong." He explains softly. Because understanding eases fair. "But it is not something wholly irreversible, with enough patience and a high pain tolerance." Nevermind that he has a pit of hot burning rage kindling in his belly. But now was not the time. He would address that later. "You will be okay. I promise." Because he had to be. Valentin refused to have it any other way. Refused. And once all of the armor is removed, he gently encourages Garou to lay. "If I have to feed you liquor, what are you willing to never want to drink again?" Never drink your favorites as anesthetic.

"Anything clear," he answers simply, leaning into Valentin as the process wore on. Vodka or that strong black licorice smell. Understanding eases fear but there will likely always be some fear out there of people like him… Because even the big rooms make people uncomfortable to be in with him alone but Rou is docile and loves to lay with his head in Valentin's lap. This is not going to be pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but less fun given the conflict buried inside his own head. "Whatever needs to be done," he breathes again, unable to quench entirely this feeling of desperation - that the Order would sweep down any moment and force him to separate from his heart. "I trust you." And he can endure almost anything, if it's Valentin to ask it of him.

"Alright." Valentin says with a nod. "You sit tight then, love, I will be right back." Because before he starts this, he's going to fetch a few things, so he, hopefully, need not leave once the process has begun properly. Leaning forward, he places a kiss to Garou's brow before he steps away. Leaves the room. Is gone for some minutes, though he does try to make it quick. When he returns, he's giving gentle instructions to apprentices whose help he enlisted with carrying. A pitcher of drinking water, a cup, two basins of water, to be heated or cooled as Valentin needed, towels, a bottle of vodka Valentin had had to huff to requisition, some other general necessities. When it's set where Valentin orders it, he sends to the apprentices away, all in a tone that is stern even through its gentleness. The tone of healer who has no time for anyone to dally. And when they are gone, Valentin pulls a simple stool that was brought in to the edge of the bed, sitting down. "Alright, your hand has more fine, finicky bones. We will start with that, as I will do better work on it when I am less tired." He says, placing his hand flat upon the bed in request of the wounded hand. And, assuming it is given, he inspects more closely. Which bones are broken. Which, if any, Creation magic had made knit together. And what has not been touched by magic that will only make things worse, Valentin takes a deep breath and begins to heal. This is no general, wide spread thing that just knows what it is doing, or believes it does. This, Valentin is healing individual bone by individual bone.

Hand breaks are very delicate, aggravating things. The thing is that you cannot possibly know all the little micro-movements that palms and fingers go through just while lying in bed until every single one of them is dull-dull-SHARP agony. The injury to his leg is doubtless more severe, but so long as Rou lays a little funny to keep the nerve being terribly pinched, he can stomach it. It's this hand that's driving him slowly insane. The arrival of the appendices is a combination of relief and … irrational anger? Not at them, exactly, but just at the fact that he hurts and they're existing in his space and despite that being for very good reasons he just wants them gone. When the room is at last quiet, he sighs his relief, but the worst is hardly past. See, those bones… they are so small and there are so many of them in such a tight space that even the burst of creation magic has managed to fuse fragments of three wrist bones to each other in a bone growth that looks like twisted modern art, one metacarpal actually snapped by the healing as the tendon in the wrong place over it had been strung tight again. Add that to the otherwise relatively clean initial fractures in the proximal tips of the bones all with new osteal tissue growth while just a little bit off-centered and Garou is not in for a fun time. He is not without discipline but there comes a point where the tears in his eyes are going to fall no matter how hard he clenches his jaw and no amount of tension can stop the way his body jerks with each adjustment like fire and pressure and the jagged edge of a knife. Doesn't stop him from trying, though. Stubborn bastard.

Bones this fine and small, he's not going to be able to break them safely by hand, he would just be making dust. So how he has to go about the actual fixing of the problematic Creation magic is rather more exhausting. "That bottle on the bedside, you can have that whenever you like." He says gently. If he was in here anyway, he could stave off alcohol poisoning if need be. "And cry if you need to, it's not as though I can see it." He says, feeling the tension well enough for what it is. The small smile brought on by his own quip, though, is indulgent and soft. "This is going to feel… Different. As a warning." He says, as he turns his normal application of magic upside down. He's not telling bones to knit now, but to break, right at the points where they've fused to the wrong other bones. Pulling apart false knitting with an effort that is swiftly taxing. Releasing tendons where they have reattached with the wrong tension, all manner of small, fiddly injuries. His magic can do this, it doesn't like to, he doesn't like to. This isn't bright, fresh clear water. This is the deep, dark turbulent deep with its fury and its pull and its ability to crush. His, distinctly still his, but turned to a purpose that neither the caster nor the magic like very much. But needs must.

On any other day at literally any other time, Garou would doubtless find this change in the feel of his lover's magic fascinating. He loves the rushing-water magic just as he loves his rushing-water mage, part of the greater whole. But tonight was not just pain. Tonight had been fear - primal, gut twisting fear of magic that he has not felt in years. The familiar magic from Valentin is soothing to that raw place inside his own mind, but when it changes, when it becomes something Other and unfamiliar and dark, his heart begins to pound and race in a rhythm that for all of their shared passion Valentin has never inspired before now. Garou is afraid and he hates himself for it. It makes the pain sharper and also hazier, so rather than responding to his lover's valiant attempt at humor, he simply reaches for that bottle in silence.

Valentin blinks at little in that change in heart rate, but he doesn't stop. This is not going to be pleasant, he knew that, but he hadn't quite been expecting this. But he has work to do. None the less, as he focuses on pulling things apart, Valentin leans to nose gently just under Garou's jaw. A tiny, non-distracting affection. "It's only me." He says, knowing the difference between the changes in a body from fear, and from pain. He had seen Garou in pain before. This wasn't that. "I have you, and you are safe." Even if bones are breaking and this cannot be comfortable. It doesn't last forever, though. Eventually the breaking and pulling stops. Eventually, like swimming up toward the sun, the magic changes back to the familiar brightness for which he is known. Easing inflamed tissue and reducing swelling so that nimble fingers can work bones back where they belong before he can ask them to knit properly.

The liquor burns down his throat as he drinks. For anyone else, chugging a good half dozen solid swallows of such rough stuff might be too much. For Garou - with his lengthy history of drowning his problems before he beat them to death - it's only mildly nauseating. It doesn't help as much as he'd hoped it would, another gift his personal history had given. Valentin's affection does more, a reassurance and a tie to something real and solid when he's started to feel entirely afloat in a world of fear and pain. It almost always gets worse before it gets better, he knows this. He knows. Still, there is a profound relief when finally the magic becomes something he knows, something familiar and safe. It is intense enough that it comes with a small, choked sob.

Those gentle affections continue. Soft, loving nonsense all the while. The work is long, and unpleasant, and by the time Valentin comes up for air, there's a sheen of sweat on his brow. "Test it." Valentin says, letting go of Garou's hand gently, and nodding.

Garou does as he's told, making a fist and then spreading fingers wide - counting on individual fingers in that way that becomes second-nature after childhood. Lastly he clenches the fist around empty air and flicks his wrist in the most extreme motion swordplay would ever demand. The area is sore in a way he's come to associate with recent healing, but more surprising than that is how tired he feels. "I didn't even do anything," he grumbles, reaching to grab for his lover's hand with an only slightly-shaking grip. "Thank you."

"You don't need to thank me." Valentin says gently, taking that shaking hold in both of his hands. He draws Garou's hand up, laying soft kisses to still tender flesh. "I love you. And I will be here any time that you have need." Taking a deep breath, one of his hands travels up Garou's arm, spreading an easing warmth to knotted muscle that had surely had to compensate for a broken hand. "Let me get you some water, you should drink some." He says gently. He's not going to pull his presence away without Garou letting him, not right now.

Garou is not only letting him, there is a part of the Templar clinging to the familiar energy surrounding him. Just because his abilities come from manipulation of the magic's equal opposite doesn't mean he cannot embrace them both. "I love you," he murmurs, melting under the soothing heat and easing of tight muscles. "That makes expressing my gratitude more necessary, not less." Feeling it and not saying it would be… dishonest. "Water would be welcome." His mouth is dry and he knows there is more still to come.

Explaining to Rou why he did not need gratitude for this was not a debate worth having right now. So instead he just smiles, hand moving to cup his lover's cheek briefly before he stands and moves to fetch the aforementioned water. "Drink this, slowly." He says gently, "While I have a look at this leg." Which as soon as the water is handed off, he turns to do so, mapping the breaks and where incorrect healing has made a mess of things. Cool and familiar and gentle.

The breaks would have been a fairly simple thing. His lower leg is twisted the wrong way so that those bones in his calf are over 90 degrees clockwise from where they should be. The kneecap itself has a series of impact fractures - as do the two proximal heads of the bones that tuck up under it where they've jammed up into the distal end of the femur. But this is where the bulk of that spell hit first and the worst, the most complicated damage is to ligaments, tendons and the delicate nerve fibers coming up off of that main line. The limb is in no position to bear weight at all like this. "It's not so bad if I don't look at it," Garou tries to joke between sips of water that feel amazing in his mouth and throat but sit heavy and uncomfortable on his stomach. He misses already the touch of that hand on his cheek, but contents himself by sinking into his lover's magic and opening to it eagerly - without hesitance or resistance. When it feels like this, that part is easy.

This is a bloody mess. A mess, and when Valentin gets his hands on whoever thought throwing Creation magic at a break this bad was a good idea, he's going to throttle them. Outwardly, however, Valentin just takes a deep breath and smiles at Garou's joke. "I'm sure it is." He says with a small laugh. Oh, if only this was as simple as rebreaking bone. He'd wholly underestimated the difference in these two injuries. "This is going to take awhile, my love. And will likely be taxing. Tell me when you need me to stop. If you grow hot, or cold. If I am in a place where I cannot stop, I will tell you, but this pace is one you can set." Because the delicate process of strengthening, healing, and repositioning damaged nerves was not something that could be done quickly.

"Hot or cold?" Now Garou is well and truly confused. The laugh that follows the question is breathy and tight, unsure of whether or not he's missed a joke somewhere. "Going to be throwing some Primal spells in for flavor, beloved?" He is so clueless.

Valentin laughs gently and shakes his head. "No, but I'm going to be putting stress on parts of your body that regulate all sorts of things. Above and beyond just possibly messing with your perception of temperature, your blood flow elsewhere could compromised. Which can manifest in a myriad of ways, including hot flashes or shivering. Atop a number of other things, like bone sickness, or the unlikely event of some sort infection that slips by that I will have to attend to. With the precise work I have to do, I can't be everywhere at once so I need you to talk to me. Even if words are hard, knowing that tells me something is wrong." Broken bones were not simple things when you had to leave them broken so you could rearrange every other part of the surrounding physiology.

"Oh." That… sounds a whole lot scarier than broken bones. Swallowing thickly, Garou nods? The habitual humming vocalization of the motion breaking a bit in the middle. But he's going to swallow and take another sip of water before setting that, too, aside. At least now he has both hands to twist into the sheets if he needs to, so that's … something. "How will I know what's important and what's … part of your process?"

That break is not something Valentin misses. "You're going to be okay, love. It's no different than any other time you are my eyes." He says, his hand coming once more to rest gently upon his lover's cheek. It's not that this is worse than a broken bone, exactly, but that people seriously underestimate and understate the very real dangers broken bones pose. "If it feels wrong or is a sudden change I do not warn you about, tell me. There may be false alarms. That is okay. And even if something is wrong, I will fix it. I can fix it. I just need to know to do so." Leaning then, he presses a kiss to the opposite cheek.

His face held and kissed while his task is explained to him with patience and precision both go a long way in settling Garou. He takes a deep breath and nods, lifting his hand to squeeze at the one on his face and nodding again where it can be felt. "I can do that." Another deep breath and a decision to try and keep as much of his wits about him as possible rather than reach for the bottle again just yet. (He's already hazy enough, okay.) "I'm ready, beloved."

Valentin smiles gently, presses another soft kiss to Garou's brow, and then he slowly draws back. His hands move to Garou's leg with a ginger touch. And in the next breath it begins. Everything is such a mess that it's something of a puzzle of what will need to be rearranged and mended first. So he focuses, his eyes closing, unwinding knotted everything with careful precision, listening also for changes in breathing, and feeling for changes in heart rate. Thus far it is the same, familiar brightness for which Valentin is known.

This is not a pleasant sensation. It aches and it stings, but also… "That itches," Garou tells him quietly, doing his level best to sound informative and not like he's complaining. The familiarity of that magic is an enormous comfort, one that lets him keep himself stable and centered through this early stage of what is sure to be a long and overwhelming process.

Valentin nods. "That makes sense. I am sorry, I cannot imagine that is comfortable. I will see if I can ease that at all. Thank you." All of this gentle, almost indulgent. Though it is in a low, easy rhythm that he can maintain without breaking his concentration. And yes, this is going to take… Awhile. He's working on less than inches at a time. It's infuriating and finicky. But if this is going to be done, it will done right, so help him.

It has to be done right. It has to be. And Garou would trust no one to do exactly that save for this man hovering over him and literally bending reality to his will to save Garou's leg - and thus his livelihood. It's… despite the pain, despite the discomfort, despite the way time seems to slow and drag on eternally during this all too necessary suffering… seeing Valentin so meticulous, so fierce in his demand for precise perfection and still so gentle with him. It's the kind of thing that makes an impression on a guy, especially when his mind is already pretty raw. He does his best to do as Valentin has asked, quietly informing him of each change in sensation and gritting his teeth against everything else. Nerves are touchy things and though pain has so far been able to keep his blood pressure high enough to cope with the rapid beat of his heart, there is a point when working around the sural nerve inside the knee when it starts to drop, leaving him rapidly light-headed and nauseated in a way he hasn't felt since childhood. "Valentin," he begins, reaching out for his lover's shoulder to steady himself. "Something's - " but he knows no words for this.

Each update comes with gentle acknowledgement and adjustment if he can make it. He'd fallen into a rhythm, the puzzle making more sense the longer he worked inside it. But the sound of his name in a tone like that draws his attention easily. Like putting down the world's most delicate knitting project, Valentin unweaves his hold on Garou's leg. His hand shifts immediately to his lover's chest, finding the beat of his heart, following its line to find what is lacking. "I have you Rou, breathe. Try to explain if you can. If you can't, just breathe. You'll be okay." Gentle and rhythmic as before, as though there is no crisis at all. Just a serious situation to address. No panic, no fear.

"Head hurts." It's the easiest thing to address. "Pounding." In his throat too, but the magic pressed against his chest is like a bolster, making up for his own body's lack. A weight is lifted from his lungs and he sinks into the bed. "Better. Thank you." He sounds tired; he sounds exhausted, but he knows this has to be much more taxing on his mage. "Did the herd of miniature druffalo bring you lyrium with the rest of it?" Helpful Rou is… not really all that helpful, but he tries.

"They did." Valentin says, taking a deep breath as he resettles Garou's internal equilibrium. "But I do not need it yet." Yet, of course, being the operative word here. Because, well, he certainly would. Even if the damn things tasted like death and made him feel like he could hear time. Easing off the forced bolstering, Valentin pauses a moment to see if Garou will remain stable without his active support. "But we should take a break. You should have more water." Nevermind that Valentin has gone pale with effort, but he'll see to his own needs when and if he needs to.

"Breaks are good," Rou sighs. "I'll drink more if you will." It's perhaps a low blow, holding his own welfare hostage even in such a small way, but he worries about Valentin - almost literally all the time - and the amount of brainpower available to come up with a better way to word his need to look after him is simply unavailable.

Maybe it's not the most appropriate way of expressing what he needs, but Valentin understands, and it makes him smile, some of the exhaustion easing around his edges. "Alright, you beautiful, stubborn man." He says, placing a small kiss to the top of Garou's head before he moves to fill the water cup once more. He drains it himself while standing there, kicking it back like it is whiskey. He'll do what he's told, but he's not going to linger on it. The cup is filled again, and Valentin returns, offering it to Garou with a self satisfied smirk.

There would probably be at least a token effort to appear contrite when Valentin gives in, but Garou is too tired to try and hide the way that acquiescence and the laughter easing around the edges and the kiss to his hair all warm him from the inside out. "You'll forgive me if I don't match your pace," he teases through a tight voice. "My maidenly constitution is no match for that kind of straight shooting." Says the man who chugged like a quarter bottle of vodka. But water is different. Obviously. Even so, he leans up on one elbow with only a small wince and accepts the cup with his other hand, sipping as best he can stomach.

Sitting back down, Garou earns another soft laugh from the mage. "I know. Water is a trial. I swear, the wine will come later. I know it is what gives Orlesians true nourishment." He quips back, needing the levity just as much as he imagines Rou does. None the less, he does shift to put his hand firmly on Garou's back, between his shoulder blades, supporting his weight if the Templar would like, or allow, him to. Because he caught the sharper inhale that comes along with a wince, Ser.

"Did no one tell you, sweetheart?" It's a testament to their current situation that Garou does not even make an attempt at resisting the offer of support, though he turns and nuzzles his cheek against familiar chest. "It's the bloodline power of all true Orlesians; we can survive indefinitely on nothing more than wine and our lover's release." Incorrigible. Actually the worst. He finishes that cup of water and presses the empty vessel gently into Valentin's lap. "Though what meaning could survival possibly hold without at least the promise of a royal patisserie?" It's possible that alcohol is taking more of an earnest hold, now. He settles back down to lie in his previous position, hands preemptively twisting in the sheets. "Valentin?" he ventures, one last question before acquiescing to the second round of this necessary misery. "When this is over, we can sleep for a few days, yes?"

"Can you? It's a wonder the Chantry with its chastity manages such a hold in Orlais, then." Valentin says with another laugh. Incorrigible, indeed, but that was precisely how Valentin liked him. And that joking says something positive to his lover's state. "Yes, my love," Valentin says gently, "We can. In fact, I think it entirely likely we won't get much of a choice on the matter." He places another kiss to Garou, to his brow, and then sets the cup aside. Again his hand move to Garou's leg, and when Garou is as settled as he's going to be, they begin again. And he tries something different, as things progress. Rather than overwhelming Garou with the different, darker magic all at once. Because some of these things will need to be done in varying orders anyway. "The magic is going to change again." Valentin warns softly, before he pulls apart bone that should not be connected quite that way, because he's unknotted the mess around the break, and he is safe to right it. But it is brief, before the brightness returns, knitting the bone where it belongs, and then moving on to the next knot of problems. If he can keep those dark, pulling, crushing moments to snippets in the comfort, given with warning, perhaps they will be easier to bear.

"They only really care about chastity in Starkhaven," Rou explains. "The rest of us know there is no sin in love." That last kiss is bracing, but it's Valentin's new method that makes this next leg more bearable. And without much else to do but lay there and listen to his own body, Rou can't help 'listening' at the changes in that magic, too. By the third or fourth resurgence, most of the fear has drained away entirely; that darker magic still belongs to Valentin, his fingerprints are all over it if the proper time to find them is taken. And it may be deep, it may be dark, but Garou's faith in this man is nigh on absolute. So long as he can find Valentin in the tool being wielded, he need never fear it being turned to evil intent. The pain remains, the discomfort remains, the sickening sensation of his body being ripped apart so that it can be put back together remains. But without the clawing fear, the rest of it seems just a little more like something he can survive instead of being overwhelmed by.

Valentin shrugs acceptance of that explanation. It was not his Chantry, he did not truly claim to be an expert upon it. The healing continues on like this for a long while. Gentle warnings and calm reassurances and work. So much work. It pulls color from him, it makes him sweat, but Valentin's giving no sign of giving up. It's just difficult. With how fierce and wild his magic is, urging it to be so exacting is a trial. Like trying to direct a white river through a drinking straw slow enough that someone could swallow the river without drowning. Eventually, he comes up for air with a small tremble, his mana flagging. He shifts, clearing his throat and reaching to the small bag beside his stool. A potion of an all too familiar blue is pulled from the bag, opened, smelled to identify it. Yeah, there's no mistaking that smell. And summarily, it is downed in one.

Garou surfaces from his own experience when Valentin comes up for air. It takes him a moment for his eyes to focus on the room around him, but once they do Valentin is the first point of reference. He watches his lover reach for the lyrium and his brow furrows in something other than pain. "Sweetheart," he rasps, making a mental note to water them both again in a moment. "Beloved, if there is much more left to do, it may do us both good to rest now and begin again fresh?" That ashy pallor is causing him some real concern and he knows he probably doesn't look much better. The only reason it's this bad is the accelerating Creation magic making it seem as though it had been untended for weeks… right? "Surely a few hours can't make it worse."

As though that mental note was one that Garou had said aloud, Valentin rises in the next moment. He caught that rasp. He takes the opportunity of turning his back when he moves to fill the water glass to frown a little. It's gone when he turns back. "That is not necessarily true." Valentin says gently, offering the water to Garou once more. "Are you uncomfortable beyond that which comes from the healing and the injury? I can cool you down or add to the fire or…" He asks, once more offering his arm to bear Garou's weight. "This is difficult but I am loathe to leave it unfinished. If you cannot go on, we can rest, but do not call a cease to this because you worry for me. I know the limits of my magic."

Garou sighs, but he leans into Valentin's arm and side and drinks this offering with more gusto than the last attempts. "If I were to call a cease to everything because I worried for you, I doubt another word would have the space to leave my mouth." It's dry humor and entirely self-directed. "And you would set me on fire." It's the same wild spirit that he loves so. Which is why when the temptation to claim the rest for his own need comes, he only hesitates for a moment before shaking his head. "I follow where you lead here, Valentin." Undermining the ability to make that call himself just felt wrong. He can't pinpoint why this is any different from trying to bully his rambunctious mage into drinking some water, only that it is; there is a line and he isn't going to cross it. "I am ready when you are."

Valentin smiles. "If by set you on fire you mean make some water boil angrily, maybe." He jokes. Because, really, outside of the wonders he could do with healing magic, Valentin was… Actually a fairly lackluster mage otherwise. Especially with fire, if he was being honest. Have you seen his magic? It's water. Fire just… Makes no damned sense to him. Nevertheless, Valentin presses a lingering kiss to Garou's temple. "Thank you. You're doing very well." He says, taking the water glass and letting Garou down gently. His fingers card once through his lover's hair before he returns to his working position. And once again he waits for Garou to settle. And it begins again. When he gets his hands on this foolish, awful wannabe healer he's really going to… Honestly, he doesn't know what he's going to do just yet. It won't be pretty. The rhythm continues as it was. And it takes… A long time. Pins fall from his hour candle, ringing merrily against the ceramic plate on which the candle is mounted. The number of pins marking the hour. Through all of this, that happens a good number of times. When Garou asks for a break, or when Valentin needs one, it is given. When he needs to drink lyrium, he does. When water is needed, it is provided. He stops counting the potions. They're heavy in his stomach, making him cringe at the unpleasantness, but they are necessary. But, eventually, when the sun has risen, peaked, and is beginning to crawl back down toward the horizon, Valentin is approaching the last of the damage.

Garou is drained beyond anything he can remember. Even his vigil had not so completely depleted his ability to move or speak or think. And as bad as he feels - covered in a cold sweat and headachy from hours upon hours of a clenched jaw not to mention the pain and discomfort from the process of fixing - he knows Valentin more than likely feels worse. The singing of the pins has become meaningless to him at this point. His entire world consists of his body and Valentin; that's all. Anything more is absolutely beyond him. At least relief is coming soon. Soon. Soon. And then they can sleep

Fueling himself entirely on the hollow mana of lyrium potions that stuck in his throat, Valentin is no more enjoying this than Rou is. His robe has been discarded at some point, just shirt sleeves and trousers, the sleeves rolled up. Because Rou's sweat may be cold, but Valentin's is the hot beading of exertion. His hair is a tousled mess. Circles under his eyes age him at least a good five years, though they are all the color left in his face. But he'd insisted each time that no, this needed to be done. No, he would be fine. Taking a deep breath, Valentin is about to start in on the last of this when the door opens. The mage snarls, making the Recruit who opened the door jump. "The Captain sent me to chec-" Oh the lad's so well intentioned. "Get. Out." Valentin growls back, cutting the Recruit off, "And tell your Captain that unless they would like one of you to have your digestive system turned backward, they will not have me interrupted again." And between the words, the darkness added by exhaustion, and the glare in the direction of the door, it's enough to send the young Recruit running for the hills. Likely right on back to Isolde. Who will likely understand. With luck. Valentin hopes. Because, really… He shouldn't have made a threat like that, but he's so tired and is almost done and just… Really, world?

In all fairness, no, Valentin probably shouldn't have made a threat like that. (If only because the universe is a terrible place and with his luck the next one to pop up would be Miyo or someone equally as stubborn.) All the same, there is no scolding from Garou, no furrowed brow, no 'tsk' of disappointment. No, that bastard is laughing. Well, as much as he can laugh without any real energy behind the sound. "You are radiant when you're angry," he manages, voice hoarse and tired. "Has anyone ever told you?" And it's true. Those dark circles might age him, that pallor combined with hot exertion but… Garou is absolutely and entirely smitten and that's his twitterpated impression.

Let's chalk it up to Isolde's good sense that she didn't send someone stubborn like Miyo. Valentin laughs as well, exhausted but no less real, and even manages to blush. Though, in the state he's in, it's mostly just color coming back to him, which is definitely a good thing. "I love you, you great, smitten fool." He says, shaking his head. "Now, let's be done with this, shall we?" He says, and gets back to what he was doing, because fuck it would be nice for both of them to be able to sleep. And hopefully the fear of the startled Recruit would dissuade anyone asking after Garou for a good, long while. Or Val will just use the last of his strength to move the dresser in front of the door… Or something. Burn that bridge when he came to it.

"I love you, too, you menace," Rou rumbles back, no less besotted in the rebuttal. The color returning to Valentin's face is an enormous relief but still, they both need sleep to a degree that is ridiculous. "Please, let's." Because once this last damage is taken care of, the only thing in the world that he needs is an armful of Valentin and he will probably sleep for a week.

Garou is definitely the only person allowed to call him that affectionately. Definitely. But it makes Valentin smile like an idiot, even through the effort. He trembles as he breathes in deep, but it doesn't affect his precision. It's only a little while longer, but it feels like hours with how tired he is. And when it is done, Valentin lets out breath he didn't know he was holding. Shaking, he takes a couple deep breaths before he pulls himself up. "Okay… Let's test it…" He says, offering his hands to Garou, "I know you're likely just as exhausted as I am, but I want to know… Before we sleep…"

Being able to look down at his leg without immediately and violently wanting to be sick is a relief to tension Garou hadn't even realized he'd been carrying. He takes the hands offered to him - partly because he craves physical contact with Valentin always (but especially when physically or emotionally compromised) but also because the lack of pain at the end of this venture has left him in something of an exhausted weak-as-a-newborn-kitten state and he isn't exactly sure of his own ability to hold himself upright. He can bend the knee, roll the ankle, flex and point that foot… but the moment he stands and the limb takes his weight the Templar releases a harsh, choked sound and gathers his lover into his arms, practically clinging to him and burying his face down in his shoulder before he can do something foolish like cry. "Thank you," he breathes, voice shaking. "I know I've seen you work miracles before, but this… I was so afraid." But it would be impossible to doubt Valentin now, the way Rou's mind is wired. He lifts his head to turn and nuzzle into the side of his lover's face, pressing little ghost kisses along the jaw. "You mad, beautiful man. Come to bed. I promise I will tell you the entire story when we're not dead on our feet."

The lack of wincing pain as the joints are rolled and bent is a good sign, but Valentin is actively holding his breath until his lover stands. He's even put himself in a stance that would allow him to reach out and likely catch Rou at the slightest sound of discomfort. When he is instead met with being gathered into Rou's embrace, he sighs relief and wraps his arm around his Templar. The other lifts so he can pet at Garou's hair. He's exhausted but he's smiling, and if Garou's not going to do something silly like cry, Valentin will, though the tears are silent things. "I will always fix you, my love. Always." He says in response to that gratitude, returning those nuzzles with a tired, affectionate purr. Ah, the story. Honestly, in all this madness, Valentin had… Not stopped caring exactly, but the how this had happened had grown less and less important in his mind as he grew more and more tired. So that idea just gets a nod and a gentle easing of his hold on Garou to allow his lover to return to the bed. Valentin will join him, but not before he's pulling off his sweat soaked shirt.

Garou has never slept in much - and over the last few years has gotten used to sleeping next to someone who doesn't either. So when Valentin holds back long enough to shed a layer or two, Garou doesn't even bat an eye. He sprawls out on the bed, stretching tense muscles and finding the limits of what's sore and what's a little tingly still. The after-effects of Valentin's magic are almost as much a wonder as the magic it comes from. He won't fall asleep before Valentin joins him but it's effort.

Valentin isn't all that long. The shirt is dropped unceremoniously upon the stool, and then he's climbing into bed. Right up to Garou's side, curling there and placing his head in the crook of his lover's shoulder. He purrs, tension easing down his back so dramatically that some of his vertebrae audibly crack. Sighing, his hand rests on Garou's chest. The exertion has made Valentin warm, likely pleasantly so when beside him.


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