He reflects that there are many types of touches: The slow, kneading motion of rubbing aromatic herbs over the flame-ridden skin of one suffering from a fever, the light touch of the back of one's hand against a forehead, the gentle, probing feel to determine whether a fall has shattered a bone, the slow foreboding movement of closing the lids when all other touches have failed, and the daubing glide that cleanses blood off of her wounded skin.
He wishes he knew of a touch that was merely a touch. Brushing skin with no purpose, no mediation by medical implements. Merely a simple caress.
But, she comes back - broken and bloody - trailing gore and non-repentance and pride into his home.
And Tanda sighs, wishing she wouldn't and knowing that, if she didn't she would somehow become broken past the point of healing. Their definitions of what it is to recover are different.
He knows every inch of her body, every curve, every scar, every wound, every imperfection. And sighing every time he has rubbed oil and daubed blood and bound her together with tight and clean knots. Hoping those knots and the invisible ones he whispers around her when the pain has dulled her ears will hold until the next to she lies prone in his hut.
She wants to save eight lives. She wants to fight the world off with glancing blows because of the words he told her.
Tanda only wants to save Balsa. He wants to caress the life back into her and prays – sighing as he does – that he is successful each time.
Yet he thinks…perhaps, one day…but immediately drowns the thought in ruddy water and goes about cleaning her wounds.
A/N: Personally, there seems to be a whole lot of UST between these two (especially in episode 11). However, there is a very sore lack of fic for this series and I thought I'd try my hand at it. Comments would be love! 3