AN. Right. First to get a couple of things out of the way.
1) This is my [first] entry into DBZ-Friendshippy's March contest. The theme is arguments.
2) The title is not very original. I found the word I used most in the dialogue and put it as the title. There we go then.
3) It is nearing midnight and I am knackered from a long day, please excuse most (not all!) mistakes and put it down to this.
4) I wrote this in a different order to how I usually write. Usually I write it all sequentially, you know, start at the start and end at the end. Well, I did it differently this time. I wrote the dialogue first (all of it) and then added in the paragraphs in between. It gives it a more segmented feel I think...I don't know, maybe I just think that... I was originally going to post it as just dialogue, but it didn't make a lot of sense and I enjoyed writing the descriptive bits.
5) I wrote the dialogue to this about two months ago. I wrote all of the non-dialogue (the actual word for that escapes me at the moment XD) bits today, both before lectures in the morning and while watching TV at night. Yes, you read right, I watch TV. As a med student. The horror.
6) Yes, this is a numbered list. Why? Because I like how it looks when I write things in order. I know, shocking, right?
7) There is NO number 7, are we clear!?
The room was still and dimly-lit, the windows covered with drifts of snow, the wind howling outside quietened to a whisper by both the thick snow piled against the walls and the insulation. In the centre of the room a young man sat on a chair, perched on the edge, his body tilted back so he could recline. His face was screwed up in a grimace of pain, his skin shiny with sweat and coloured an ashy grey, one hand covering his three eyes. His other hand was in the possession of the small boy standing beside the chair, who held the wrist gently in both hands. This arm was oddly-shaped, the forearm too short and bulging at a point near the elbow, bruises blossoming in a vivid purple and blue from that point. The child examined it closely for a moment, then gave a short, brief, experimental tug.
Turning it over, examining it closely, a slight change in the angle, and another, slightly sharper, tug.
"I said stay still!"
An irritated frown directed up at the man, who responded by removing his free hand from his eyes and openly glaring. His tone was short, biting, and vicious.
"It hurts! Be gentle!"
"Let's see. Be gentle…do this right… Be gentle…do this right. I think I'm going to do this right."
The child lowered his eyes to the malformed arm again, frowning thoughtfully. Another change in angle and then the strongest tug he could manage, the muscles in his arms straining against the skin as he did. The man jolted in his seat, his eyes widening with shock.
"Shut up and stay still!"
Another gentle tug from the small boy. The man jolted again, almost pulling his arm from the boy's grip.
"Kami damn it, that hurts. Stop it!"
The grip on his arm grew lax as the boy stared at him, his gaze irritated and incredulous. When he spoke his voice was level, but the hot flush of anger was rising on his cheeks.
"If you'd stop squirming then it wouldn't hurt so damned much."
The man retorted, his tone furious.
"If you'd be more gentle then I wouldn't squirm."
The boy's voice was soft, but his irritation was plain in it now, and his tone was sharper.
"If I'm gentle then it'll never go into place."
He tugged again, gently, experimentally.
He changed his grip slightly, moving his hands down the wrist, and pulled out sharply. The man's voice emerged as a surprised scream.
The boy's gentle demeanour finally broke and he snapped as he swung his head up and tightened his grip.
"Dammit, do you want me to freeze you!?"
He tugged harder, almost maliciously. The man jolted again and glared at him.
"Ow! I know you can't freeze me and use your hands at the same time. O-o-o-w!!"
The last word was a drawn out moan in response to another pull, his eyes slitting as fresh sweat broke out over his forehead. His other hand curled into a tight fist. The boy looked up, then lifted one hand and waved it towards the man, palm out.
"Correction, I can't freeze you and use both my hands. You want me to do this one handed? Coz if you do the consequences will be your own damned fault."
The man fell silent and the boy replaced his hand, adjusting his grip, then pulling again, twice in quick succession.
An affronted, shocked stare, wide eyes and open mouth, a hand-shaped mark reddening on the side of his face. His voice a quavering, disbelieving shout, the volume raised out of shock.
"Don't hit me! I'm only doing what I'm s'pposed to."
A disbelieving scoff, though it contained no amusement, a bitter, irritated sound.
"You were asking for it. You're just pissing about now, you're not even doing anything useful."
Fury sparked in the boy's eyes. His jaw set and he released the man's arm, crossing his arms and stepping back.
"You want to deal with this yourself? Fine then. I'm going to go find Krillin."
He turned sharply on his heel. He managed only a few steps before a trembling hand grabbed his upper-arm. The grip wasn't strong enough to stop him, he could have pulled free easily if he had wanted to, but he felt the desperation in that weak grip, and halted. The man's voice was a plaintive whisper, regretful.
"No, no, I didn't mean it, please don't go… I didn't mean to hit you, honest. You just pulled a little hard, that's all…"
The boy relented, turning back, his anger fading as he noticed that even more colour had drained from the triclops's face, his skin completely grey, even his pleading look twisted by pain into a grimace. The child sighed softly, then said in a gentle voice,
"But I have to pull hard, you know that right? It won't work unless I do…"
The man's face tightened for a moment, then he nodded resignedly and gingerly offered his misshapen arm.
"Alright, just…do it then. I won't…hit you again."
The boy smiled sympathetically and gently took the arm in both hands.
There was silence for a moment as the boy looked down and examined the arm in his hands. He turned it over a little, hesitated, then braced his hands tight around the man's wrist. He gave no warning before pulling it hard towards him, the muscles in his arms straining, a soft noise of effort leaving his lips.
"AHH! Dammit!! That fucking smarts!!"
The triclops's voice was a howl of agony, his head thrown back and tendons standing out in his neck, colour rising in his skin once more as blood rushed to the surface. But despite his agony the boy was grinning, holding the arm gently in his hands. The forearm was a regular length again, that disturbing lump near his elbow smoothed out, the vivid bruising spreading like an inverted starburst the only sign it had been there at all. The triumph and pride in the boy's face made his next statement sound smug, almost haughty.
"Of course it does. What'd you expect?"
The man stared at him in disbelief, every other muscle in his body still clenched tight with pain.
The boy's smile faltered a little, then he regained his composure and looked down at the injured arm, a thoughtful frown touching his forehead. When he spoke his voice was soft, and he was talking more to himself than to the triclops.
"Well, it's in place now. I've just got to wrap it…"
The man's eyes widened with horror and he yanked his arm back into his possession, cradling it close to his chest as he turned his body away slightly.
"No, you're not coming near it again."
The telepath, shocked first by the sudden movement of such a delicate limb and second by the vehemence in that short statement, took a moment to recover. He blinked silently, then managed one word of incomprehension.
The triclops hunched his broad shoulders forward a little as though to add an extra level of protection to his bruised and battered arm.
"You heard me! That hurt, dammit!"
The telepath managed to recover his sense of self completely, and as he did his sense of sarcasm returned as well.
"Well la-de-freaking-da. It's not like it was a walk in the park for me either. You hit me! You haven't hit me for years! Now I don't want you to do it wrong so you'd better let me do it."
The triclops looked down at his arm, then at the incredulous face of his friend. Another moment of silence followed, after which he ventured cautiously.
"Well… I might let you if you promise to be gentle."
The boy rolled his eyes, but when he spoke his voice was sympathetic.
"As gentle as I can be. Cross my heart and hope to die. Give it here."
As he said the ditty he crossed the tip of one white finger over his heart, before holding out both his hands. The triclops hesitated, then gave back control of his arm, wincing as the boy pulled a bandage out of his pocket and started to wrap it tightly around it, starting at the wrist and working up.
The telepath glanced up and rolled his eyes again.
"Well of course it hurts! It's broken! Jeez."
The triclops tried to retort to this, but at that point the boy reached the first of the bruises, not altering the tightness of the bandage, and he broke off with short gasps of pain.
"It's...ow...ah, ah, ah, Kami, make it stop!"
The bandaging moved around his elbow, over the worst of the bruises, where the lump had been not so long ago, and a little up his arm.
"Nearly done. Just stay still a little longer, Tien."
Tien hung his head forward, breathing in short, uneven gasps as flinches touched the muscles of his face and shoulder. He didn't speak, he couldn't speak, he could only moan in a low, pained voice.
"Don't tell me all that meditation we've been doing has come to nothing. C'mon, Tien, be a man."
Chiaotzu's voice was lightly teasing, but Tien's lips didn't even twitch. His face screwed up even tighter and his next words were said in one, quick gasp.
"That's not funny."
Chiaotzu lowered his head back to his work, shrugging his shoulders a little as he started to make his way back down the arm, gently and steadily pulling the bandage tight after each wrap around.
"Sorry. Couldn't help myself."
Tien shook his head, his other hand now lightly hitting himself in the middle of the forehead, just above his third eye.
"Seriously not funny..."
Chiaotzu didn't defend himself, he knew that Tien had already forgiven him, and turned the subject back towards Tien's arm.
"There, look, almost done now. Feel better?"
A brief silence.
"What do you think?"
Chiaotzu sighed softly as he reached the wrist again, nearing the end of the length of bandage.
"I'm guessing no...right?"
Tien's voice was flat, the one syllable short and almost expressionless. Chiaotzu didn't have to look back up to know his dearest friend was now pressing very hard on the eye in the middle of his forehead, trying to distract himself from the agonising pain of his broken arm. His next statement was said softly, but very sincerely.
"Well, I'm very sorry."
Another pause. Then Tien sighed, his voice sounding slightly stronger.
"It's...alright... It doesn't hurt as much as before..."
Chiaotzu sent a long, measured look towards Tien, frowning just a little.
"You know, we could have avoided all that with just a quick trip to see Dende. He'd have fixed it no trouble. No pain either, from what I can gather."
Tien did smile at that. His previously ashy skin was now flushed pink with blood, his muscles were still tight in response to the pain, but the smile was genuine and pleased, only twisted a little at the corners.
"I missed the old-fashioned way. Now where's my sling?"
Chiaotzu giggled, and fetched a length of cloth, wrapping it beneath Tien's arm and up around the back of his neck. There he tied it into a knot, tightening it so there was significant tension through it, removing the necessity of Tien holding his own arm up. Tien tested it, smiled, and then gave Chiaotzu a quick, one-armed hug as thanks and, the telepath thought, and apology for the slight fight they'd had before. He smiled to himself, and hugged back in apology too.
AN. And a couple more things before I leave you.
1) I hope you enjoyed it.
2) I apologise for any mistakes.
3) Don't ask me how Tien broke his arm, I honestly don't know. Maybe a tree fell on him or something. I dunno. [insert shrug here]
4) Yes, the numbered list returns.
5) Reviews are very much appreciated. I am a very busy person, and getting feedback about anything I do (I mean literally anything, I'm scoping for honest feedback about how I've set up my room right now to be honest XD) makes me very, very happy. So please, if you're not as busy as I am, be kind enough to leave your thoughts with me.
See you next time I decide to post (Kami knows when that'll be XD)