Greetings, friends! Here is another of my Two Character Mash Ups (two characters and a random word from the dictionary.) This one features:
Teera x Onrey x “Whittle”
Overnight trips were always exciting for Teera. If the job was far enough away that they had to get lodgings for the night, that meant once they were done performing, she had a few hours to wander the streets of a new city.
It was a hobby she indulged in alone. Emilin liked cities because that was where the wealthier clients lived, but the subtle differences in culture, wares, architecture, or clothing held no fascination for her. For Teera, this was the best part of traveling.
She found her way to the market street, browsing tents and booths, sampling foods, running her fingers over fabrics – until she heard the scream. Or, maybe ‘scream’ was a poor way of describing it. It was more of a yelp, a muffled grunt, but whatever you wanted to call it, it sounded like someone nearby was in pain, and Teera went looking for them.
She searched a couple of shaded side street before she saw the boy crouched against a wall. He was curled up tightly, shoulders heaving with strained breaths. “Excuse me?” Teera called to him. “Is everything okay?”
He whipped around to look at her. She guessed from his tattered clothes that he was probably homeless. And right now, those clothes had blood on them. At first, she thought it was a stomach wound, but then she saw that he was just using that area of the shirt to staunch the bleeding from his hand.
She took a step forward, and he instinctively flinched back. “Stay away,” he warned, fumbling for a small knife and pointing it at her.
The boy was maybe ten, but Teera didn’t doubt that he would win against her in physical combat. Fortunately, that wasn’t what she was here for. “It’s okay,” she said. “I just want to help. I can take you to a doctor—”
He shook his head. “No doctors.”
“They’re nice people,” Teera said.
“They’re expensive people,” he countered, and Teera couldn’t really argue with that.
“Maybe I can help you, then,” she offered. “My name’s Teera of Stormsdale. Who are you?”
“Onrey,” he replied, glaring at her. “Of ‘this alley.’ And I have it under control.” But even as he said it, he winced with pain and pressed the hand back against his shirt.
“Look, just stay here, okay? Just for a minute? I’ll be right back.” She ran back to the market and picked up some cloth remnants, a jar of water, and a small bit of alcohol. She also bought a couple of vegetable pasties, because the kid looked hungry.
She got back to the alley and at first thought Onrey had run away, but he was just hiding around the corner to make sure that she came back alone. She sat down, holding the supplies on her lap, and waited for him to come over. He ate the pasties with his free hand while she worked on the injured one.
“So, are you training to be a doctor or something?” Onrey guessed, wincing as she blotted the cut with alcohol so it wouldn’t get infected.
“Actually, I’m a musician,” she said. “But my mother taught me some basic stuff. I still think you ought to get this looked at by a real doctor.”
Onrey shook his head, mouth full. “It’s not that bad.”
And it actually wasn’t. It had looked much worse because of the blood. “How did it happen?” Teera asked, carefully winding the cloth bandage around his hand.
“Accident,” Onrey mumbled, sounding embarrassed. He held up the small knife he’d threatened her with earlier, along with small piece of wood. “I’m teaching myself how to whittle, and the knife slipped.”
“Sounds like a dangerous hobby,” Teera said.
Onrey shrugged off the warning. “I just thought maybe if I had a skill or something…” He didn’t finish the thought. He just put the knife and wood back in his pocket and started fishing for something else. “Thanks for wrapping the hand,” he said. “And the food. I don’t really have money, but—”
“Oh, you don’t have to give my anything,” Teera said quickly.
Undeterred, Onrey pulled out another piece of wood, though this one he’d obviously worked on for longer. He held it out to her on an open palm. “It was supposed to be a horse,” he explained. “See, that’s the head, and those are the legs?”
“Yes! It’s beautiful,” Teera said. It was rough, but she probably could have guessed what it was without him telling her. When he continued holding it insistently out to her, Teera took it, folding it carefully in her fingers. “Thank you, Onrey. I love it.”
“So, we’re even, right?” he said.
“Yes, totally even,” she agreed, and stood up. “I should be going. Here, take the rest of the fabric. You should change those bandages any time they get dirty, okay? And if it starts feeling hot or looking slimy, please go to a real doctor.” As she folded up the cloth scraps, she sneakily palmed a few extra coins into them. Onrey wouldn’t discover them until later, and thus wouldn’t be able to return them to her.
“Thanks,” he said again, putting the bandages in his pocket. He looked up at her like he felt like he ought to say more, but couldn’t think of the right words, so instead he just took off at a sprint. He darted around the corner and out of sight, and Teera went back to the market, keeping a tight hold on the toy horse as she walked.