With the new season came a plethora of freshly sprouted herbs. Mercy had already done quite a bit of restocking; in fact, she spent the majority of her time out collecting herbs or sorting them in the infirmary. While she was making more of an effort these days to socialize (mostly because she didn't want to worry Sunpaw), the misgivings that plagued her whenever she conversed with her clanmates made it terribly exhausting to do so for long periods of time. And so, unsurprisingly, the molly could be found alone in the old building that housed the medical team, carefully taking inventory of their supplies. Now that she was the sole Spiritcaller (minus her student), Mercy could organize everything exactly to her liking, and she was quick to take advantage of this new freedom.
Ver despite her many faults was willing to learn though healing came to her as easily as a cold spell in the summer. She didn’t have the gentleness that Mercy and Sunpaw had and certainly couldn’t make her way around the infirmary as easily. She was a burden if anything, trying hard to be something she wasn’t just for the sole reason of having more skills under her belt. With the unrealized technicality of wanting to be a second choice medic if worse came to worse. A clumsy medic was better than none.
She’d met many of them in her time within the clans Rockfox being the first following by Shneeps and Azamel as well as Dreamdoll and Mercy. All in her opinion wonderful healers (before their demise for those who’d perished) who she stood no chance of competing with. But she was willing to give this another chance even if she wouldn’t in her life ask Mercy to treat her as a true apprentice. that was humilatiating. But her visit into the infirmary held another meaning. She wanted to see Mercy for other reasons rather than simply to learn. Ver wasn’t a very professional person and she couldn’t stand the distance and lack of connection they currently had. She wanted to somehow get to know the woman better and hopefully try to elate her opinion of her.
A satchel hung loosely in her jaws, smelling of hot sand and flower petals. It'd been a gift she’d brought over from Solaris, filled with herbs and small herbs from their gardens. She’d drop it to her paws once she padded her way over to Mercy giving a small woof to alert the older woman to her presence. ”Hey Mercy” the bag would drop to her paws laying against them loosely ”you busy?”
Mercy looked up in mild surprise when she heard her name, ears pricked in curiosity. It wasn't often that she got visitors, especially not from people she wasn't at all close with – Yuuka or Sunpaw, sure, but Ver? Though she supposed she should've been expecting something like this, considering their conversation while the Midnightbringer was handing out compliments.
Though she'd always been content to emotionally keep her clanmates at arms length, Mercy didn't quite mind this little visit. Ver was a nice and respectable woman, and of course in the wake of Sunpaw's little Spire fiasco she was ever-grateful toward the person who'd rescued him. "No, not really. What's up?" she replied with a tilt of her head, backing away from the supply store and padding over to meet Ver. As she approached, she became increasingly aware of the pleasant aroma wafting from the satchel Ver had brought. "What's in the bag?"
Interpersonal connections are hard, she remembers a time where she scarcely talked to anybody, where she'd observe rather than act. People are complicated, their emotions hard for her to understand and fix, she's not good with comfort or words that hold substance. She doubts she ever will be, but she has improved has allowed people to mean something to her. She can still survive on her own but it feels good to have something, to have somebody. She always wondered who would hold a piece of her next and what connections would last the entirety of her lifetime.
She was more than happy to give Mercy a chance she just hoped the other would return the favor, all they had was mutual respect. Which in itself was fine, great even. She'd sit down on her haunches when the feline spoke, assuring her that she wasn't. ”I came in to pester you” she says a warm smile on her face before she actually gives her answer ”I was actually hoping you'd teach me some more things about healing. If you're willing?” she doubted she'd say no but even still there was a twinge of doubt in her mind. Her paw would push the satchel forward closer to Mercy so she could get a better look at it. ”Just a gift from Solaris. There's a few things in there that are harder to find here in the pines and I'd thought you'd make good use of them”
A quiet huff of amusement escaped her at Ver's quip. She quirked a brow, smiling faintly, but the expression once again became one of slight surprise as she continued. For some reason, Ver didn't strike Mercy as the healer type, but she figured that the more Veilers who had at least some medical skills, the better off everyone would be. "Of course," she replied pleasantly. If she were being honest, though, mentoring Sunpaw, holding so many public lessons, and now taking Ver under her wing was a bit daunting; she'd never trained anyone until her student's promotion, so to be thrown into the teacher role so suddenly could get a bit overwhelming at times. People had told her she was a good mentor, though, which always came as a relief. She just hoped she wouldn't mess it up somehow; one piece of misinformation or any oversight on her part could be disastrous. Or was she just getting herself too worked up over nothing?
She peeked into the bag when it was nudged toward her. "Oh, wow," murmured the Nightwatcher, admiring the flowers and herbs through round eyes. "Thanks for this; I really appreciate it." Eventually she stood up straight and met her clanmate's gaze. "So, what exactly do you want to learn about? Basic first aid? Or something specific?"
She could sympathize with Mercy if she knew of her worries of being a mentor. It was a hard but fulfilling job one that she loved so dearly yet mulled over in worry as well. She’d both prospered and failed, both of the ones she had hadn’t exactly went through life easily. She didn’t have the pleasure of keeping them safe and happy as Mercy had done to Sunpaw. She’d watched one die, bad mourned over him only to have him come back thankfully then there was Krymson who’s been ripped from right between her paws by the Ascendancy. She took both as a lesson, a warning that she had to do better that she had to protect them better at any cost even if it meant her own demise. That bond was worth every second of suffering though, to watch them prosper and smile when they finally understood what she was teaching. To see them grow into strong young rogues who could even put her strength to shame. It was so fucking worth it. She figured Mercy felt the same way about Sunpaw or any other apprentice she’d had in her lifetime.
She grins thankfully at Mercy’s agreement. She’d do her best to not waste her time and to actually take something away from whatever was in store for them. How funny that the teacher became a pupil for once. Mercy clearly had no idea what she was in for but Ver would do her best to not fuck this up as badly as she normally would if only for her sake. She’d watch as she filed into the bag curiously before making a quick comment ”Y’know if you’re interested I don’t mind taking you to see the gardens in person one day.” she’d say easily with a shrug of her shoulders. She’d said it without really think to hardly on it and didn’t return to really thinking about how it could be misconstrued. She would’ve said the same even if she realized.
”Whatever you’re in the mood to teach, I’m easy really. Just show me how to use whatever you having lying around” Anything would work even if it was simple. It wasn’t like she couldn’t always bother her later down the line to teach her more.
Sunpaw was, in fact, the only apprentice she'd ever had. Perhaps that was why she cared so strongly for him; the boy was like a son to her. It might've been a bit strange, considering they hadn't really known each other for very long, but from the day she'd met him she'd latched onto him, in a way. He reminded her of herself when she was young, and of her own children that she'd lost long ago. Seeing him so afraid while treating seriously injured patients always made her heart twist, but as Ver suspected, there was nothing she loved more than working with him and watching him succeed. Sometimes she wondered if Lastbastion had caught on to the relationship Mercy had with her son. And if so, how did she feel about it? Very occasionally she feared that she was overstepping in some way, if she were being honest.
"That would be really nice," she replied automatically, and then paused. Having only ever been romantically involved with Twilightzone, the molly didn't have too much experience in that regard, especially considering how... unconventional their relationship had been. (Her heart sank at the thought of her old sweetheart, and she wondered in the back of her mind what had become of her.) And while she'd never been on a date of any sort, Mercy was fairly certain that Ver's offer sounded like one. "Wait– do you mean like a...?"
She snapped her jaw shut, thinking better of it. We barely know each other, for goodness' sake. God, how touch-starved was she? "Er, never mind. Ignore me." Restlessly flicking her tail, she made her way back to the supply store and began to rummage through it. "Why don't we start with broken bones? That's an important thing to know."
Overstepping boundaries was at this point a pastime to Ver, she acted on sheer whim and guttural impulse rather than logical thought and reason. She knew things were wrong yet she did them anyway, though most of it was innocent and only motivated by mild mischief or some form of attraction. Most of her interactions she instigated something, acted gutsy just to get something out of it. With women, with friends perhaps she did it to cope with what had went down or just from simple boredom.
Mercy isn’t the type who looks easy to tease but the way she reacts to her words makes Ver a tad curiously. She snickers lightly at her bashfulness, at the thought. There’s only one word she could leave out. She sees her mistake but is happy to use it. ”Only if you want it to be” she woofs simply winking one red eye at the medic. She to hadn’t been on many dates, if even one. One night stands didn’t count and neither did drinking sessions otherwise she could easily say she’d been to plenty for a girl her age. She decides to let the topic slide and takes a step closer, leaning down lower so she doesn’t tower. She’d watch as Mercy rummages watching and waiting for her to pull something out. Fixing bones huh? She can definitely make use of that. She can still recall the mild pain in her hind leg from when it was wrenched out of place.
”Oo sounds fun” she’d comment whilst waiting the lesson to begin.
Mercy nearly dropped the herbs she'd picked up upon catching Ver's response. She turned her head a bit to stare at her with eyes wide beneath the shadows obscuring them, her jaws parted ever so slightly. As she processed what she'd heard, Twilightzone's face once again popped into her head. Her smile. The molly gritted her teeth and looked away.
"That's awfully bold of you," she said slowly, grabbing her own satchel and stuffing her supplies in for convenience's sake. Then she padded toward the little creek running through the den and sat down beside it, gesturing to the space across from her — a place for Ver to sit. "You barely even know me." Despite the confident words, the challenge they carried, her heart was pounding. Her own wry attitude admittedly came as a bit of a surprise; it had been a long time since she'd partaken in banter of any sort. The fire within her had died long ago, or so she thought, when a BloodClan intruder slayed her on HawkClan's border and ultimately stole everything she cared about fom her.
Her tail tip continued to twitch erratically, betraying her self-consciousness.
Bold, was a good way to describe her. Though this comment was tame compared to many of the ones she was used to throwing around. She didn’t have many restraints even if she tried her best to instill them as of late for the sake and feelings of others. She knew she couldn’t get away with every comment or flirt she gave out. It was a fine line to play with, but she didn’t think Mercy was the type of girl to snap at her for trying to play. She hadn’t expected her to play along either.
She’d smile slyly as she approached Mercy again keeping in mind to walk softly so she didn’t startle the smaller woman as she stopped beside her to sit down. She right about them hardly knowing each other but Ver’s used to that by now in a majority of her “relationships” she’s far from traditional. She’s sure it Fayina or the more status-quo woman of the world would be disgusted if they knew that little fact about her. ”That’s true, but who says we can’t get to know each other better.” she starts simply her eyes drawing towards the woman’s face trying to make out some semblance of an emotion in those “eyes”. ”Think of it as an excuse” she finishes.
Mercy was certainly familiar with unorthodox relationships; her history with Twilightzone could easily put any of Ver's romantic exploits to shame, of that she was positive. The old Cartel matriarch had been a wild force, initially a pawn that quickly got the better of her. The more she thought about her, the more she realized that Twi had been a contributing factor in her transformation from a meek, uncertain young girl to the woman she was today. Before her, Mercy could only imagine how flustered she would have been if faced with someone like Ver. Her experiences had hardened her.
She raised her chin as the horned shepherd approached her, intrepidly returning her stare. Her hollow, shadowed gaze betrayed no emotions, and for that she was grateful; Mercy began to crack as Ver offered her sly response, her eyes darting this way and that. Though if Ver was perceptive enough, the furrowed brow gave her away, as did the twitch of the corner of her lip. Oh, she's... she was serious, realized the molly, heat blossoming in her cheeks. She really must've meant it that way. Frankly, Mercy wasn't sure how to feel about that. She cleared her throat, steadying herself. "You have a point there," she replied eventually, a ghost of a smile flitting across her maw. "I'm not sure you'll like what you discover, though." What are you doing? Don't tempt her – you're playing with fire. But she couldn't stop herself.
The eyes were the window to the soul or some bullshit like like that, but she found such things as souls incredibly fake. Besides she’d gotten a bit of knowledge from the creases and muscles in the felines face. She had been looking her down for precisely that reason but if she hadn’t it would’ve been a simple unnoticeable as the wind through the pines.
Most things she does are accidents, an impulse decision or a simply wandering into the wrong place at the wrong time or possibly the opposite. She hadn’t really meant to come in here and flirt but the chance had arisen and she would go with it just as she always would. Mercy was cute in a way, she deemed. A different sort of cute, not the type she usually pursued but one that she’d be willing to hang around and learn more about. She’d tilt her head at her words, brows furrowing before she shakes her head. ”I’m not so sure about that” she’d woof in a hum not tearing her gaze away for even a moments break. ”I already like what I see. I don’t think any dark secrets gonna change that” that was way to strong.
On the other hand, Ver... somewhat reminded her of her ex. She was audacious, exuding confidence and charm in stark contrast with Mercy's own, softer demeanor. The thought set her mind whirling, made her nervous. She'd fallen for Twilightzone so unexpectedly — a part of her was afraid of that happening again, afraid to grow attached to someone and then suffer yet another loss. Especially when her heart skipped a beat at Ver's overtly flirtatious remark.
She froze up, and then caved. The molly looked away with embarrassment written all over her face, smiling awkwardly. "I don't know about that," she countered quietly. Fear began to creep in on her, because she was one hundred percent sure that Ver would strike her on the spot if Mercy told her everything. Or perhaps something worse. Chase her out, maybe, or kill her. They all would. She had to deflect her somehow.
"Here's a secret." Mercy leaned in very close, returning her gaze to Ver. She lingered there for a moment, her lips parted ever so slightly. "Our lesson will start with broken legs. There's a few types of breaks, and it's usually pretty easy to tell which kind you're dealing with through quick observation." She leaned back, suddenly all business, but a faint, smug smile lingered on her face. "You can usually tell if something's broken if the muscles around the injured area are swollen — it's a pretty common occurence, but it doesn't always happen. You could also look to see if a joint is set at a weird angle, or run your paw over the injured area to feel for a break. If a patient can't move an injured limb, that's also a telltale sign. You got all that?"
There was an almost smug contentedness to seeing the feline turn from her. As if metaphorically she won, she knew thinking that way was wrong but that’s all relationships were to her. Just a game she played to her hearts content until she could slip away to do it again. Her actions however changed when she adjusted to clanlife, there wasn’t any option of upping and going and acting like everything was normal after the fact. Which didn’t really matter to her it wouldn’t stop her. She was still young and confident enough to coo and play her teensy games. Mercy had allowed her to, had actively participated and for that she’d stick with it. Latching onto the situation.
As she drew closer the shepherds tail would wag and she’d raise a brow lowering her head to make the space between them lesser. Eyes glinting with mischief and confidence until the power swayed and Mercy took the charge. She hadn’t been expected that from her, butit was a welcome change. She’d blink dumbly maw parting before she’d get a hold of herself sticking her tongue out. ”Tease” there was no malice in her tone just a light chuckle and a shake of her head. It’d been a while since someone had caught her off guard.
She’d listen in regardless trying her best to pay attention and make use of the information instead of pushing it aside even if she’s more interested in pursuing Mercy at the moment rather than pursuing the work of a medic. She’d lean back as well making herself more comfy as she finished ”Yeah yeah, pretty sure I do” she’d woof a wry smile springing on her face as she’d go on ”It’s not a bone but I think you may have broke my little heart just there. Want to take a feel eh? Give me a little hands on lesson” she’s kidding of course, just a joke made in bad tastes.
Seeing the dumbfounded look on Ver's face when Mercy left her hanging was almost... satisfying. To be called a tease only gratified her further, and the soft-furred molly shot her a sly look of her own as she continued speaking about the lesson at hand. God, what am I doing? she thought again. But that little voice was slowly becoming fainter and fainter. What was it about Ver, someone she hardly knew, that made her so easy to banter with? You know the answer. This time she pushed the voice aside, shoving down her guilt.
She tilted her head at Ver's admission, playfully dubious. Then she snickered despite herself when the German shepherd went on. "Yeah, you wish," Mercy shot back dryly. "Be serious, or did you just come here to mess around?" Her words weren't meant to be accusatory, as evidenced by her expression. But based on how Ver had been acting, Mercy was fairly certain she knew the answer to her quesiton.
She enjoyed banter immensely, perhaps even more than fighting or getting paid. It was a more intimate affair even if it just boiled down to quips and the occasional flirt that went to far. Some women she’d known were inept to it, others like Mercy gave her a good challenge. She could run with it all day if the feline allowed. Lesson to learn or not she was set on it.
She’d wink down at her still smiling from ear to ear ”You know it~” she’d shoot back easily leaning closer towards the Spiritcaller. If questioned, she’d just lie and say she just wanted to get a better look at the lesson but she wasn’t to subtle whatsoever. She could’ve pulled another stunt by accidentally laying one wing on her but she didn’t favor her chances. She didn’t want this bone breaking lesson turning to an actual bone breaking session. ”I didn’t come here to only mess around” she’d chime with a snicker, it was the truth she hadn’t. But she didn’t pass up opportunities either, she’d gotten what she wanted and something more. She decided she liked seeing her like this, adored this new version of her that she hadn’t seen while they spoke in the crowds surrounded by clanmates and children. ”I do also need to learn. And want to learn, I promise I’m not only here to annoy you” there was a coo of light humor in her woof.
Mercy let out an amused hmph at Ver's playful response, quickly taking note of the way she leaned in. "Right," she said with a toothy smile. "Sure." She did believe her, though, and the canine's next words solidified that. It was nice to see other people taking an initiative when it came to healing; during times of war, it would be highly beneficial to have as many trained medics as possible. And anti-clans were especially prone to... no, wait. Shadow Veil is neutral now, she reminded herself. It was a strange thought; the clan had been anti for her entire life, and while it no longer felt strange not to be surrounded by violence due to the years she'd spent with pro-clans, the change of alignment still struck her as odd. It had come as an immense relief, though; while she'd turned a blind eye her clanmates' undeniably abhorrent actions under the rug as a child, joining a common anti-clan target like HawkClan had forced her to confront the realities of the anti-clans — it quickly became impossible to condone them when her own friends were being targeted so frequently by her old home and all the others.
"In that case, let's keep going. When a bone's been broken, you have to splint it in order for it to heal properly," explained the molly. "You must attend to any bleeding before placing a splint, if there is any. Then, you've got to take something sturdy, like sticks or rushes — but in your case you might have an easier time getting your paws on the former — like this." As she spoke, she reached into her back and pulled out a handful of thick sticks. Furrowing her brow, she created two vertical bunches and presented them to Ver. "You have to place them above and below the injured area, like a sandwich, and then you have to wrap something around the leg to hold it in place. You could use bandages, cobwebs in a pinch, or bindweed. Bandages work best, and I'd say cobwebs work the worst. Here, let me demonstrate on you. Then you try it on me." If she complied, the molly would take more supplies out of her bag and proceed to carefully do as she'd explained, biting her lip as she worked. She elected to use bandages for this demonstration; since they obviously wouldn't get dirty or bloody in this case, they were more easily reusable. "There, your turn," she said upon finishing. Then she gestured to the extra supplies on the ground and held out her foreleg expectantly.
The prospect of Anti-clans and Pro-Clans always confused her, she feared neither and paid no mind to the alignments of allies and enemies. She simply founded her opinion based on the creatures that dwelled within the clan itself, if Blizzardclan was anticlan or proclan it wouldn't change her opinion whatsoever on them. It was useless information that changed nothing about her distain. The same could be said about the Exiles. She worried more about loners and rogues who she knew much better in a more personal light, they'd taken many a member away from the Blackheart Rogues and ferals had attacked them enough times to raise alarms enough so that Healers were practically demanded. Ver would likely never be any close to Mercy or hell even Sunpaw but having the knowledge of how to save someones life would be vital for her. She wouldn't just sit back and watch anymore as their healers suffered alone. She may be born a warrior but that didn't mean she had to fit completely into the mold.
She had not been pushed away as she drew closer, and was practically within fur brushing distance of Mercy. She delighted in the subtle warmth of both her body and of her voice as she went on with explaining. Watching as she went to work and allowing her work on her, holding still as those paws drew over her own encasing her temporarily in bandages. She hated the feeling of the linen brushing into her fur but made no complaints, Mercy was the one who put them on after all. ”I knew you couldn't keep your hands off me” she'd remark slyly in a murmur as she finished. Once done she'd comply and scoot closer one paw resting close to Mercy's as she grabbed the presented supplies. She'd begin by wobbly moving her paws forward clutching the bandages before loosely trying to wrap them around the foreleg. It was much more loose than Mercy's work but that was in part to her lack of practice and her fumbling. She wasn't used to working with anything like this. Her expression was focused instead of its usual lacked smug nature as she continued on. She'd try to taper the bandage off not wanting to use to much before tying it at the end. Once finished she'd look up proudly despite her halfway shoddy work.