Joe Gibken ([personal profile] ajoeface) wrote2012-10-03 11:23 am

Catboy!AU: Cuddles are the Best Medicine, Part 3

[ooc: continued from here.]

-


Joe doesn't like him. For a start Sid greets him by saying, "Marvelous," and if that's his name, well. Joe just stares blankly.

Secondly he has to keep at the forefront of his mind that there could be the possiblity of abuse here, so he can't be swayed by that look of relief on this Marvelous's face when they appear at his front door. And there's also the way he can't seem to resist giving Sid a quick once over despite the situation, unthinking like a reflex. Joe can't really like anyone who looks at Sid the way he looks at Sid; with want. A prickle runs down his spine, and he's thankful nobody can see the way his hair stands up on end beneath his shirt. It isn't entirely fair of him to get all territorial about this, not when things between him and Sid are... complicated. And especially not right now when he has a job to do! So Joe reminds himself calmly that yes, maybe Marvelous is exuding that faint but persistent human sex musk under his cloying aftershave (okay, it isn't really that cloying - living with a catperson there's no way he could lay it on too thickly without them likely having respiratory issues in response), but Sid not only isn't himself, he hasn't even seemed to notice Marvelous eyeing him up.

It's not important right now. Joe nods shortly as Sid introduces him and lets Sid handle all the talking. Of course it will be better to hear from this catperson - Don - himself his version of events, but Sid likes to scope out the situation as much as possible so that he's prepared. Especially since he won't be approaching Don straight away.

Sid then explains again to Marvelous the purpose of Joe's presence here, and Joe can feel the prickle of his fur rising up again as he waits for Marvelous's response. He hasn't been able to completely discard the natural instinct just because he's met a few nice humans at the clinic. Marvelous looks over at him, but Joe can't actually read his expression. It isn't outright disapproving, but perhaps he's just good at hiding that.

"Have you got a problem with it?" Joe asks, trying to sound blank instead of confrontational - that wouldn't help at all.

"No, I just don't know if he'll like it," Marvelous says. He does actually look quite concerned. Which just goes to show how little he actually knows about catpeople. Joe feels sorry for him, briefly, but it passes.

"I'll be careful," Joe promises. He shares a silent nod with Sid before entering the main room of the house properly on his own.

There's a golden-haired purebred sitting on the sofa with his foot propped up in front him, staring at him wide-eyed. Joe stuffs down all the potential ways he could judge Marvelous for having a purebred for further examination later on. Joe has grown up hearing plenty about purebreds, but he's never met one, and he's fairly sure none of the catpeople he was brought up with had either, so everything he's ever learnt about them could all be the stuff of rumours. And it could just as easily be true.

He hangs right back at first, leaving plenty of distance between himself and Don so as not to seem to be flagrantly invading his territory. Don's scent is all over the house - not that Joe is able to pinpoint it in every room, but the fact that his scent isn't restricted at all means he isn't either. Some catpeople in his experience have been confined to certain areas of the house, though that isn't always a sign of abuse, sometimes it's just a standing arrangement that works for everyone involved.

A minute or two is more than long enough for Don to catch his scent - he doesn't even need a full minute for that in reality. Joe moves towards him with a steady pace, not rushing. He thinks he can see Don trembling as he approaches, but if he is in fear of what might happen then Joe hesitating over this will only put it off longer. He knows his ears and tail are visibly held in non-threatening positions, too, which should help.

Joe glances briefly at Don's ankle, then takes a seat at one end of the sofa, leaving plenty of space between himself and Don. Between humans who don't know one another (or between humans and catpeople), initiating physical contact this quickly is an action limited to and only acceptable in very particular social situations. Between catpeople it's a different story. Joe has no concerns about bridging the gap between himself and Don by laying his tail across Don's thigh and letting it move back and forth lightly at the end.

Joe doesn't say things like, you can trust me, because if anyone is to believe that they don't need to be told it outright. He doesn't even introduce himself, or say anything yet. He just looks at Don openly as he gives Don a chance to decide what he'll make of this. It's fairly instinctive for catpeople to reach out for the comfort of another, but some really are too suspicious and have suffered too much mistreatment for that, and Joe doesn't like to make assumptions.
moehakase: (blanket close-up)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-10-06 10:03 am (UTC)(link)
Joe guides Don’s hand away from his shirt and strokes his back one more time before getting into place to help him move his leg. Don brushes his fingers over the soft fur of Joe’s tail again to try to calm himself. He leans over to lay his head on Marvelous’s shoulder, so that he can hide his face if he needs to.

“I’m ready,” he says, and shuts his eyes tight.

Someone lifts the makeshift ice pack off his ankle, and Don lifts his leg up from the cushion, trying not to aggravate his ankle, which is already starting to throb again. He feels Joe’s hands move to brace his leg at his thigh and calf, so that the touch isn’t too close to his swollen ankle. Don bites back a whimper as Joe helps him elevate his leg further, and he hears Doctor Sid pick up the cushion and scoot over. Joe guides his leg back down, moving it slowly, until Don feels the cushion beneath it again. He gasps sharply at the pain of laying his ankle down, and clings tighter to Marvelous for comfort. Marvelous holds him close like he’d done earlier, and Don is able to relax and exhale again, the pain fading as the ice pack is put back on his ankle.

Don opens his eyes again, peering up from Marvelous’s shoulder, and sees that his foot is now resting in Doctor Sid’s lap, with the cushion beneath it. Doctor Sid smiles that gentle smile at him again. “You’re doing really well,” he says. “Do you want to rest a minute before I start?”

Don bites his lip and nods. “Yes, please.” He needs to have Joe pressed right beside him again before he’ll be ready for the worst of it, after all, and he could use a moment to catch his breath. He rubs Marvelous’s shoulder with his cheek a little, holding his hand tightly in one of his own while reaching back for Joe with the other.
moehakase: (blanket close-up)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-10-06 01:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Don feels Joe move close to him again, so that he’s pressed against Don’s side, his hand laid gently on top of Don’s. A moment later Joe’s other hand is nestled in Don’s hair, petting him softly. Don sighs softly, taking comfort in both Joe’s touch and Marvelous’s. And then Joe’s fingers find their way to the base of Don’s ear and start to massage there.

“O-oh,” Don whimpers, leaning into Joe’s touch. Don’s ears are very sensitive, and he usually feels a little aroused from having his ears rubbed, but at the moment he’s too distracted by his pain for it to be anything besides purely soothing. He’s sure that’s all Joe means by it, too, because this isn’t at all the setting for courting gestures, so he tries not to be too vocal about how nice it feels. If not for the pain in his ankle, Don would probably be purring and content, with both Joe and Marvelous touching him so tenderly.

I know you can do this, you’re being so brave, says Marvelous, and Don lifts his head a little to look back at Doctor Sid again.

“Y-you can start now, I’m okay,” he says, holding tight to Marvelous and Joe to brace himself.

Doctor Sid nods and takes the ice pack off his ankle again. “If it hurts too much, please tell me.” He lays one broad hand on Don’s calf, above the swelling, and it actually feels kind of nice - Don can feel the strength in his hand, but he’s so gentle that it feels more protective than anything. He rests his other hand on Don’s heel, and it doesn’t hurt exactly, but it does make Don more aware of the vulnerability of his injury. “Are you able to move your foot at all?” Doctor Sid asks. “If you can, try pulling your foot back like you’re going to point your toes straight at the ceiling. Just a little is okay, you don’t have to push too hard.”

Don bites the inside of his lip and takes a deep breath. He does as Doctor Sid had asked, flexing the muscles in his ankle to draw his foot back slightly, trying not to whimper too loudly at how much it hurts to do so.

“Okay, that’s enough,” says Doctor Sid, his voice soothing. “You can relax it now.” He braces Don’s foot with his palm as Don relaxes. “You did great, Don, thank you for trying.”

Don takes another moment to catch his breath, tears pushing at the corners of his eyes. “D-did that help?”

“Yes, it did,” says Doctor Sid. “Because you can move your foot, and your ankle doesn’t out of place at all, I’m nearly positive it’s not broken. If it’s alright, though, I’d like to feel the injury for a moment, just to make sure I’m not mistaken. Would that be okay?”

Don nods. He definitely doesn’t want to risk a broken bone going untreated. “Yes, it’s alright,” he says, trying to sound brave, but his voice wavers a little as he says it, betraying his nervousness.
moehakase: (blanket close-up)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-10-06 03:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Don’s cheeks go a little flushed when Joe and Marvelous remind him not to try to be too tough. It’s nice to hear that they won’t think badly of him if he admits that it hurts, and also a good reminder that he ought to be more careful not to overtax himself. “Thank you,” he says, meaning it for both of them. “I’ll say something if it really hurts.” He thinks that’s a very real possibility, with Doctor Sid wanting to examine his injury more closely. He holds on to Marvelous and Joe, and tries his best to prepare himself.

“It’s not going to feel good, and I’m very sorry about that,” says Doctor Sid, giving Don that deeply sincere look again. “But I promise it’ll all be over soon. You’ve been doing great, just hang in there a little longer, okay?”

Don nods to indicate his readiness, and Doctor Sid gives his knee a little pat before moving his hands down to Don’s ankle, wrapping them around it very lightly. Don flinches at having his injury touched, but Joe and Marvelous are right there to comfort him.

Then Doctor Sid starts to move his hands up the swollen part of Don’s leg, squeezing gently at short intervals to feel the bones underneath. He’s not applying all that much pressure, but Don’s ankle protests being handled, and Don can’t help whimpering in pain, even starting to tremble a little as Doctor Sid’s hands move to more tender spots. Don knows he’s doing the best he can to make it go quickly, but it seems to take ages. Finally he touches a spot that sends a sharp spike of pain through Don’s muscles, and Don yelps out loud.

“Oh, ouch, please stop,” he whimpers. The tears that have been in the corners of his eyes spill out and run down his cheeks. “I-it hurts too much right there.”

Doctor Sid stops and moves his hands away. “I’m so sorry, Don, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” He lowers his hands to his sides and leans forward a bit. “Is right there where it hurts the worst?”

“Y-yes,” stammers Don, clinging tight to Marvelous and Joe.

“Okay,” says Doctor Sid. “In that case, I don’t think I need to check any further. I’ve checked the worst of the swelling, and I haven’t found any damage to your bones, so I’m confident that it’s only a sprain. All I need to do is bandage it up to stabilize it, and give you some medicine to help with the pain, and we’ll be all done.” He smiles. “Thank you for being so brave, Don. Let’s take another minute for you to rest, and then I’ll do the bandaging.”
foodispriority: (quiet contemplation)

[personal profile] foodispriority 2012-10-06 03:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Marvelous knew a fair amount about Sid before he walked through the door, thanks to his friendliness and willingness to chat about almost anything in the middle of a coffee shop, but he hadn't ever seen Sid practicing medicine before now. Sid has got the kind of bedside manner that meshes perfectly with Don's personality; plenty of praise, and encouragement, and reassurance. Marvelous couldn't have picked better if he had already known. It's not really thanks to him that this has worked out so well, but he can't help patting himself on the back for it anyway, figuratively.

"That was good," he says by Don's ear, loosening his arms from around Don so that he can runs hands up down Don's arms; he isn't shivering but the pain has worked him up a bit again, and Marvelous is worried that he'll start to tremble from pain or shock. "That was really good. The worst is over now, see? You're gonna be all better soon."

He's babbling again, he knows. He just throws a glare Joe's way that dares him to comment on it. But Joe has been really quiet the majority of the time, almost sullen. Don seems to like him a lot though. Marvelous isn't entirely sure what to make of that; whether he should be hurt or offended by the fact that he had walked in and found Don cuddled up to Joe like they were old friends within just a few minutes. It's not really something he wants to get angry about when Don is injured and vulnerable like this though. He's doing his best to be supportive instead.

"Should he stay off his foot once it's bandaged?" Marvelous asks Sid whilst they're giving Don a moment to breathe and settle down again. "And how long for?" He's already trying to recall his schedule for the next couple of weeks. He hadn't spared a thought for it earlier, too panicked and concerned with making sure Don was cared for, but he may have to do that for longer than just today in regards to his injury. He needs to be prepared. "I'll take care of you," he says, looking at Don. Otherwise he might start to panic about that too.

(Marvelous thinks sometimes Don forgets he used to live alone before Don turned up on his doorstep. Though to be fair the living standards have improved ten times over since.)
moehakase: (Default)

[personal profile] moehakase 2012-11-11 07:09 am (UTC)(link)
Don whimpers softly as Marvelous strokes his arms, calming him down with gentle touches and words of comfort as the pain in his ankle subsides. Don would like nothing more right now than to just throw his arms around Marvelous and bury his face in Marvelous’s chest, but he knows he can’t do that just yet. So instead he lies his forehead on Marvelous’s shoulder and clings to his shirt for a minute. “Thank you, Marvelous,” he says, after Marvelous promises to take care of him while he recovers.

“He’ll need to stay off of it for at least a couple of weeks,” says Doctor Sid in response to Marvelous’s question. “I’ll want to do a check-up around then, to make sure it’s healing alright. If it’s going to be a problem for you not to be able to get up, Don, we can get you a set of crutches to use. You don’t have to decide any of that now, though.”

Don nods. “O-okay,” he says. He lifts his head up and looks back at Joe. “Will you be coming for the check-up too, Joe?” He gives Joe’s hand a little squeeze. Please say yes, he begs inwardly. Joe is so nice, and so comforting to be around. Don knows he couldn’t have handled the examination nearly as well without him, and knowing he’ll be around in the future will make the rest of the process much less scary.