Maybe Spaceboy had been right. Kraken probably did need to stop going off on his own. If he had someone there then he might've been able to avoid that thug who'd crept up behind him. Considering how unprepared he'd been, he'd gotten lucky. The knife had missed anything vital. Now the only real concern was bleeding to death. So that was the reason why he stumbled into the house at one a.m, bleeding profusely from his shoulder. Again.

The lights were out in the living room. Good. No one would know that he'd come home. He'd just get to the medical station and-

With a snap the lights turned on. Grimacing he turned around and sighed. Leaning against the doorframe to her room was Vanya. Considering the fact that she was only wearing a tank-top and shorts she still managed to look considerably irritated.

"Thought you might've gone out," she said.

"You really need to stop waiting up for me."

"I'll stop waiting up when you stop leaving in the middle of the-" Vanya stopped abruptly as she saw the blood stain on his shoulder.

"Yeah," he said, looking over his shoulder at the wound, "About that-"

"You're bleeding everywhere," she said, swallowing as though she was trying to keep her dinner down.

"You should see the other guy," he said with an almost desperate sense of humor.

Vanya wasn't amused.

"Sit down," she said abruptly before disappearing back into the room.

For a moment he considered simply going to the medical station by himself. Truly it was a tempting thought, considering that he had no clue what she was planning on doing. But he didn't feel like dealing with an angry Vanya at the moment. It was probably all of the blood loss he had sustained.

So he sat down on the couch and tried very hard not to let the blood touch the fabric. Séance had become quite concerned about their furniture since the last fight with Spaceboy. He'd named the damn thing Monsieur Canapé. And when Séance got an idea into his head he didn't let go of it. Getting blood on the 'Monsieur' was something that would qualify him on the top of Séance's hit list. His brother's new attitude was beginning to piss him off.

"I'm back," Vanya said.

He blinked once. She'd gone and fetched the medical supplies for him. He was about to mutter his thanks when he noticed her starting to get things out.

"What are you doing?"

"Getting ready to stitch that," she replied as she took out the thread and needles from the container.

"No. I can do that myself."

"Not from where it is on your shoulder," she observed, threading it, "Unless you've developed super-stretchy limbs in your absence."

While he didn't want to admit it she had a point. Vanya took his silence for acquiescence. When she finally finished threading she took out a swath of cloth and said;

"Now take off your shirt."

"Excuse me?" he sputtered.

Rolling her eyes Vanya said;

"I'm going to need to stitch this somehow."

"Is that a fact?" he muttered, for lack of anything better to say, "Well I think I can do with bleeding to death quite well."

"Don't be stupid."

"I'm fine, thanks."

Cocking her head to the side Vanya gave him a speculative look.

"Are you embarrassed?"

"No," he said, a little too quickly.

A rather smug and knowing look came over her face. Irritably he said;

"I have taken my shirt off before, thank you very much."

"In the presence of someone of a female persuasion?' asked Vanya.

The words 'not technically' were coming to his tongue. But instead he asked brusquely;

"Are you even qualified?"

"I've been reading up on this stuff," she said, rolling her eyes once more.


The look that Vanya gave him was so laced with meaning that he didn't need to ask twice. Grudgingly he took off his shirt and tossed it aimlessly on the carpet. Giving a triumphant smile Vanya moved closer and leaned over the back of his shoulder blade. He heard her take a sharp breath when she saw the wound. For a moment he considered saying something and then decided against it. Using the cloth she started to wipe away the excess blood.

"I'm going to start now," she said.

Kraken grunted in response. He winced slightly as the needle bit into his skin. She worked in silence, slowly and methodically. Overall it only took her a few minutes. He heard the snip of scissors and felt a bandage being placed over the deep cut.

"That ought to do it," she said, "Now I'll just- oh my God."

Internally Kraken cursed himself. Letting her stitch it up had been a bad idea. At first she'd been preoccupied with his shoulder wound so she didn't notice them. But now Vanya had time to see every single one of them in complete clarity. He shivered slightly as her fingers traced scars on his back from other times and fights.

"Maybe I should-" he started, reaching down for his shirt.

"What…?" she said, looking at his side.

"Dammit," he murmured under his breath.

Obviously it hadn't fully healed yet. Vanya's fingers hovered over the wound at his side.

"Terminauts. At the amusement park," he said shortly in answer to her unasked question.

After hovering her fingers over it for another few minutes she put her hand on it. The skin was charred in some places, and the main puncture had healed up with uneven and clumpy skin.

"You didn't stitch this," she whispered.

"Look where it is," he said gruffly, using her words from earlier.

"Why didn't you go to the hospital?"

"Are you kidding me? Ever since we fought Dr. Terminal doctors have freaked the shit out of me," he said, shaking his head, "Generally I just bandage wounds up and hope for the best."

"Not any more you're not," she said, withdrawing her hand, "I'm doing it from now on. You hear?"

"Wait just a minute!" he said indignantly, "I don't need for you to take care of me!"

"Obviously you do."

"I've never needed anyone before," he snapped.

"That's because you've never had me," she snapped back at him.

The two of them looked at each other, daring the other to blink first. Finally Kraken shook his head and Vanya sighed. She placed her hand on the side of his face.

"I'm doing this," she said slowly, "Because I want to. No way you're bleeding to death on my watch. Got it?"

He sighed but grudgingly nodded.

"Good," she said.

"Hell if I know why I'm letting you doing this."

"I think you know why. You're not ready to die."

"You know what," He said, leaning in close to her face. To his immense satisfaction he heard her catch her breath, "I don't think I am."

"And why's that?" she asked, still holding her breath.

"Too many things I want to do."

"Like?" she asked, smiling now.

"There's a pretty good program on HBO tomorrow."

The irritated look on her face was well worth it. Laughing he leaned in to kiss her. His smile only grew as he came in contact with her soft lips. But things weren't over yet. As if determined to get him back she slipped the hand on his face down until it touched his chest. Now it was his turn to catch his breath as she grinned against his lips. What originally started out as a simple kiss turned more passionate. Thiers always did. Vanya had to splay out her other arm behind her to support herself.

Bringing his arms round he gathered her to him and deepened the kiss. When he pulled her close though her supporting arm was abruptly moved. Vanya had no time to recover as she lost her already precarious balance and fell backwards. Kraken managed to slow her journey but Vanya still hit her head against the arm rest. She laughed a little as the extent of the ridiculousness of her situation hit her. Then she looked up, right into Kraken's slightly embarrassed face staring down at her.

To say that they were in an awkward position was like saying that Séance was eccentric and Spaceboy was a workaholic. It would've been bad normally, but now tha t Kraken wasn't wearing a shirt it was twice as bad. Biting her lip she looked up at him, uncertain of exactly what to do. Mirroring her expression Kraken froze. They stayed like that for another few minutes, her breath getting more and more labored. Finally, out of impatience or simply a wish to stop the discomfited situation, Vanya moved her head up to resume their kiss.

Apparently that was the right thing to do. Kraken hadn't even been remotely sure about the next move and was glad that she did. He responded enthusiastically and allowed her to snake one of her arms up his. This time he shifted his weight so that he could caress her face with his free hand. When it became apparent that she was running out of air he pulled away and laid a light kiss against her jawbone. She moved her head so that it was pressed up against his cheek.

Using her extra arm she moved it up to the other side of his back. Kraken's body tensed and Vanya realized her mistake.

"Sorry," she said, maneuvering herself into a seated position as Kraken pulled away.

"Not your fault," replied Kraken, wincing at the new pain coursing through his wound. The wound must've really been deep for it to have been so tender to the touch. Internally he was swearing up a storm. The first time he got injured in weeks and it had to be tonight, "My arm was beginning to hurt anyway."

Looking back at her Kraken winced again. Apparently during her initial mop-up of his wound she hadn't gotten all of his blood. Crimson branched out over her entire shirt. Her gaze followed his and she sighed.

"I liked this shirt," she sighed.

"Sorry," he said, unable to force any sincerity into his voice.

Vanya stretched before getting up.

"At least we've still got some of that blood-removal in the laundry room. I swear that we must single-handedly support that product," she said. She paused by him and leaned down.

"I think it was worth it though," she whispered.

He looked up and Vanya kissed him lightly on the lips before proceeding on to her room. Kraken watched her until she closed the door. He sat there for a minute, almost thoughtfully. Then he picked up his shirt from the floor and walked through the hallway to the laundry room.

The next morning the Umbrella Academy was woken to Séance's heartrending shriek of;