Healing the World: Episode 23

Katsura and Nick are doing their best to stay warm on a very cold night in Gumgeeville.

Nick has had a great deal of experience surviving in the cold, and considers their present quarters quite pleasant.

Katsura is pressed against Nick under a pile of quilts, her hands on his shoulders, her lips at his throat, working on the lingering effects of the coughing sickness.

Nick gives a sigh of ~~ contentment ~~.

Katsura puckers her lips a little, adding a kiss-like character to the fifth contact.

Nick: Those folks out there don't know what they're missing. There's nothing like a Sime on a cold night.

Katsura lets Nick's contentment permeate her.

A feline-type cat comes close, but they take up most of the bed.

Nick runs a finger down Kat's arm, and frowns.

Nick: You've got some rough skin, here. What have you been doing?

Katsura breaks the lip contact.

Katsura: Maybe from all the laundry I've been doing for Virla. I wonder if I'm developing an allergy to sheep meat? The soap is made from mutton tallow.

Katsura retracts her laterals and lets go of Nick.

Nick: Or it could be the lye, or whatever she uses for scent.

Katsura: If it's getting bad enough that you can feel it, maybe I should avoid the stuff.

Katsura has a natural ~~ dread ~~ of injuring her laterals.

Nick: Didn't we use the last of the ointment on that kid with diaper rash?

Katsura: I think so. Drat. I almost never need the stuff myself. My handling tentacles have been itching a bit in spots, but my laterals are okay... so far.

Katsura tenses as she starts to worry about the trouble she could get into with no one but Nick to help her here in Genland.

Nick is running through their small stash of pharmaceuticals, which were never intended to last this long.

Katsura: The locals probably have their own remedies for irritated skin. Maybe some would be okay for me.

Nick: Let's not take chances. Virla's kitchen has a good supply of herbs and spices. I'll make up something for you tomorrow.

Katsura: Good.

Katsura gently entwines some tentacle tips in Nick's beard, enjoying the texture, and tries to relax again.

Katsura: I didn't know you were a pharmaceutical compounder in addition to your many other talents.

Nick smiles ~~ wryly ~~.

Nick: I haven't always had access to the usual Farris-safe medications. Besides, Arat often preferred some of his old family remedies to the Tecton alternatives.

Katsura: Hm. ~~ interested ~~

Nick: The Audnes didn't know they were Farrises until Arat was halfway through First Year, and they ended up developing their own solutions to the allergies and other problems. Let's hope they work as well for your strain of Farris. They should; Arat could use most of the Tecton versions.

Katsura nods. It's too dark for Nick to see that, but he can feel her much shortened but still wild hair against his shoulder.

Katsura: You should write down what you can remember of the recipes. Our medical staff may be able to use them.

Nick: I don't know how they'll compare with what you're used to, but they do have the virtue that they can be made from materials that might be at hand in the field.

Katsura: Yes. And you never know, some may be better for some people than what we usually use.

Nick: Just don't advertise where they come from, or they'll be labeled seditious.

Katsura chuckles.

Katsura: Nature has no politics. If it works, it works whether you like its origin or not.

Nick: You are more practical than most, I'm afraid. In the months before I came to Sat'htine, I got used to channels who'd rather do without a Donor entirely than let me work on them.

Nick still feels ~~ hurt ~~, but not nearly as much as he used to.

Katsura nuzzles Nick's neck.

Katsura: Fools.

Nick: Well, none of them were Farris channels, so they weren't desperate enough to experiment with a "half-trained rogue". I was very glad to go to Sat'htine.

Nick runs his finger back up Kat's arm, avoiding the rough spots.

Katsura: I hope we're treating you as you deserve. Well, aside from abducting you and dragging you through frozen wildernesses and into barbarian settlements.... ~~ humor ~~

Katsura runs a tentacle down Nick's neck.

Katsura: Forcing you into transfer with monster channels who outrate you....

Nick: Now, now, Virla is quite as civilized as many in-Territory folks. I'll grant you that last, however.

Nick winks, knowing that Kat will zlin it.

Nick: Not that I object particularly, mind.

Katsura projects ~~ strong intil ~~ at Nick.

Nick's nager ~~ valiantly ~~ tries to keep up with the projected demand.

Katsura rests a lateral on either side of Nick's throat and enjoys his response.

Katsura: At home, channels and Companions do a lot of nageric play, like this. It's one of the good things about being a Householder, although maybe it's less common in some Houses.

Katsura then wonders if Nick will take her musing as an effort to recruit him.

Nick: I didn't see a lot of that while I was working under Controller Firlith, and I don't think Snake and Arat ever learned how to play.

Nick thinks that the Narosians spend too much time playing, but then, he'd rather not think of them at all.

Nick: Of course, perhaps Firlith's staff simply preferred to play with someone they trusted.

Katsura: Trust is important. You can't be silly with people you don't trust.

Nick: It's hard.

Katsura: Well, it's no fun, which kind of makes it pointless, eh?

Nick: Yes. Unless you have some other reason for being silly, of course. I believe a number of my... relatives... use a reputation for being silly and undependable to avoid Tecton assignments.

Katsura sighs. Sometimes idly chatting with Nick is like strolling in a minefield.

Nick: Riyyh is a particularly adept master of the technique. Did you know that he avoided filing the mandatory reports on selyn usage and production for over a decade?

Katsura snorts, but then wonders how much of Nick's paperwork aversion is genetic.

Nick: And almost none of the Narosian Companions work outside the House. In fact, I doubt the Tecton has an accurate count of how many there are.

Katsura wonders how different Nick would have been had he been raised in his father's Householding.

Katsura: Well, I'm very glad you're in bed with me, even here in Gumgeeville, instead of in bed with half the ambrov Naros in Naros.

Nick chuckles and tickles Kat with his beard.

Katsura: Mmmm.

Nick: So am I.

Katsura hugs Nick.

Katsura: Let's get some sleep now. You need it to recover your strength.

Nick adjusts Kat to a more comfortable position.

Katsura is pliant in his arms. She doesn't mind being his hot water bottle.

Nick: Well, if I'm going to be a good Tecton Donor, I shouldn't argue with my channel, right?

Nick yawns.

Katsura: Feel free to argue with me, Nick.

Katsura is mumbling -- she's letting Nick's sleepiness affect her.

Nick is too comfortable, and too sleepy, to bother replying.

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