Vernal Remedy


Authors
Zap
Published
1 year, 5 months ago
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1208

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It was the first day that it could be mutually agreed upon by the couple  that Winter had finally lowered its vast, silent head, in respect of  the new rule of the boisterous prince of Spring. Tutti looked up from  his place by the remains of last night’s bonfire to see Daigo  approaching with arms full of water-filled urn. Tutti raised his arm in a  small wave, standing up to walk closer.


“That’s more than we  need to put out the cinders,” Tutti commented with a small, bemused  smile on his face. Daigo set down the urn with a huff, saying nothing,  and held up a finger before turning his back.


“Re-light that  fire, would you?” the shorter Chimereon asked curtly, and Tutti blinked,  wondering what Daigo was planning. He opened his mouth to ask, then  sneezed suddenly, a few times in a row, as Daigo slipped into the  underbrush.


Tutti supposed he’d get no answers, right then. He  glanced at the urn and smiled--it was one that they’d bought at a nearby  market, and was shaped in such a way that it was easy to tie onto their  pack. The design was pretty, as well--striped in bold, zig-zagging  lines, with a practical, sturdy form. Daigo was able to carry it, even  full, without much of a visible struggle at all. Tutti found himself  daydreaming, his cheeks a little warm in admiration.


Ah, right,  the fire! Tutti hurriedly grabbed a stick in his tongue and began  ripping up dried kindling grass around the fire to use as a starter.  Now, where was that fire kit…


--


Daigo hunched near the  ground, a trained, focused look in his eyes. In his fist he held a  bushel of various kinds of herbs and flowers, continuing to pick more  with his free hand as he hobbled from place to place. Sprigs of yarrow, a  fistful of lavender blossoms… he could almost certainly use some of  that leftover rosemary in the tent, whatever was left from their meal  the previous few nights. Satisfied with the blend, Daigo straightened  his back and adjusted the cloak around his shoulders with a tug of his  teeth on the collar. His hands were full, after all.


He made mild  haste walking back, for he’d walked quite a ways. But it was hard to  speed through the beauty around him—wildflowers, new in their vigor,  were sprouting up wherever the ground could hold them. New shoots  tickled his ankles as he walked. Spring… was a very good time. New herbs  to collect, new medicines to discover… all around, it was a symbol of  new life.


Not for Tutti, though, he reminded himself grimly. The  poor thing had been sneezing and sniffling for days now, but today was  the worst one of all. Daigo had a plan for it—he had a plan for  everything, after all—and it was most certainly going to help.


When  he returned at last to the camping spot, Tutti stopped in mid-scratch.  Daigo’s brows shot up at the rash developing under Tutti’s jawline, and  he furrowed them, putting the herb stems in his teeth. He moved closer  and carefully took Tutti’s head in his hands, angling it in such a way  that he could see the rash better.


“A ‘hello’ would’ve been less  startling,” Tutti joked quietly, but let himself be maneuvered around.  He felt guilty, worrying Daigo like this. But as beautiful as springtime  was, it was difficult to control the effect that the newly escaped  pollen had on him. The flowers and trees had barely begun to bud, but it  was with a vengeance. “Where’d you run off to… herbs?” Tutti blinked as  he glanced up at Daigo’s mouth in the corner of his eye, and when his  head was released, he looked up more properly.


Daigo took the  herbs from his mouth and gave no response beyond a simple nod. It looked  like Tutti had re-stoked the fire--that was good. Daigo strode forward  into the tent and disappeared, his tail flicking back and forth where it  stuck out, and Tutti smiled a kind of amused, exasperated smile.


And sneezed again. Geez, the air was thick with it out there.


“Maybe  once we get to the mountains, these allergies won’t be so bad,” Tutti  mused aloud as Daigo clanged around in the tent. Moments later, the  doctor pulled a metal basin out. Usually it was used for washing  clothes, but last time Tutti checked, neither of them had gotten  particularly dirty.


Tutti observed the other with a quiet  curiosity, knowing better than to ask questions. Whatever Daigo had  planned, it would reveal itself soon enough. As he stoked the fire, he  watched Daigo put the urn on the grate covering the coals, letting the  water heat up. The methodical, calm nature of Daigo’s actions began to  lull Tutti into a trancelike state, his eyes drooping low as he dipped  his head and begun to snore softly.


Daigo smiled ever so slightly  at the other, brows raising at the quiet snoring sound. He refocusd on  his task of ripping the herbs up into small pieces, adding a few of them  into the pot as it began to heat. As it began to boil, he hurriedly  removed it from the fire, and with a steady hand Daigo poured the  steaming water into the basin. He sprinkled a few more herbs on top,  watching the bubbles settle down, and snuck back into the tent for a  pair of washrags.


It wasn’t long before Daigo gently shook  Tutti’s shoulder, rousing the Chimereon from his light doze. “Mm?” Tutti  hummed out, blinking blearily. Daigo made a pensive face at the  delirious look in the other’s eyes.


“I decided an herb bath would  be a nice way to welcome Spring proper, and also chase away its ill  effects,” Daigo said almost clinically, but Tutti’s expression focused,  and warmed. The forethought…


“Ah, you gathered all of that for  me?” he murmured, standing when his wrist was taken. The cold bath in  the river the previous day had not done much for his rattling  lungs—this, however, he could already tell would do wonders. Daigo’s  eyes shone in response, and Tutti leaned in to press a light peck to his  cheek.


With Daigo’s guiding hand Tutti settled in the basin, the  water up to his waist, and sighed contentedly as he curled his tail  around his knees. His eyes flickered in surprise as Daigo dipped a rag  into the herb-filled water and brought it to his back, beginning to  gently scrub it. “I could do that myself, you know,” Tutti murmured,  though his drowsy tone didn’t hold much indignation to it.


“I  know,” Daigo stated factually, his voice quiet but firm as he fixed  Tutti with a smile. “But allow me to take care of you, just once more.”


Tutti  blinked once, a flush rising to his cheeks, before he huffed it away  and turned back around, his eyes resting on the firelight. His voice was  soft and secret when it came out next, pushing past his foolish pride.  “Perhaps many times more, if you’d be willing.”