Andrew Knizner 2/19/21
Meliora - Headers
It was a while before they'd started dating and actually not long after he'd finally stood up to him.
He just happened to be passing CRDL's dorm room. In front of him he saw Cardin coming his way, eyes focused downward and hands held together. The other boy didn't notice him. But Jaune definitely noticed him or, more specifically, his hands. Blood smeared across the skin like he'd been in a fight. His gasp was what finally got Cardin to notice him there. The other boy froze a few steps away and Jaune probably moved before he had the chance to do anything, closing that distance in a few quick strides. Gently he grabbed Cardin’s hands and turned them to examine the backs. He rubbed a thumb across where the blood was thick and drying over a knuckle, apologizing softly when Cardin hissed. All his knuckles were torn up, the skin flaked and gone in a way he'd thought aura would've prevented.
“What happened?” Jaune asked quietly. His eyes were still on the torn knuckles.
For a long moment Cardin was silent. Then he scoffed, “It doesn't matter.”
“Were you in a fight?”
“That's not your concern.”
“Cardin.” The name was firm but still quiet. Jaune glared into his eyes.
The other boy looked away. Jaune rubbed his thumb against the back of Cardin’s hand where blood had smeared to and dried. Because for some reason, Cardin hadn't yanked his hands away. “Not unless you count a wall.”
He frowned and pulled Cardin into CRDL's dorm room. The other boy must've been confused, which was fair since the last time they'd interacted he'd basically yelled that he never wanted to see him again, because he let himself be directed inside and over to sit on his bed. “I'll be back,” Jaune told him before he went to get the first aid kit he knew Cardin kept in the bathroom. Before he walked in he glanced back at Cardin. His hands were loosely held together and his gaze was at the floor.
The first aid kit was still in the cabinet. Briefly he thought about opening it there and just grabbing what he needed, but decided against it. He could very well need more than he thought. There was a bowl next to the kit too and he grabbed it and a rag as well and filled the bowl with warm water. When he went back out Cardin hadn't moved an inch.
“Alright.” Jaune kneeled down in front of Cardin. To his surprise, Cardin flinched back slightly. Then he immediately scowled. He ignored both and gently pulled his left hand away to clean off the blood. “This'll probably hurt,” he murmured. This time when he rubbed the caked blood there was no vocal reaction. Just the briefest grimace here and there. He rinsed the rag and grabbed the right.
“So why did you try to beat up a wall?” Jaune asked. He wasn't sure why he kept so quiet. Maybe to soothe Cardin. But that brought with it more, bigger questions he didn't have the answers for nor did he want to think about.
The other didn't answer.
“Fine,” Jaune sighed. “Is this what happens every time you storm out and disappear? Do your teammates know about this?” It had happened a few times while he was still being bullied by Cardin. Each time Jaune had left before Cardin returned. If it was… Jaune rubbed his thumb gently against a raw knuckle. Then Jaune had missed this each time.
Honestly, he's kinda glad he did. Sure, Cardin was a dick, but he didn't like seeing this. Especially knowing he'd done it to himself .
Again Cardin didn't answer. Just looked away from him with a huff. But he didn't pull away either. Jaune squeezed his hand softly.
“Why do you care ?”
“I-” Jaune wavered. Why ? That was one of the questions he didn't think he wanted the answer to. “Fuck, I don't know,” he answered instead of thinking about it. “maybe I just don't like to see people suffer.”
“Well maybe you should just leave some people alone ,” Cardin snapped and finally ripped his hand away from Jaune. “Instead of giving them stupid pity like they're something you have to take care of.”
Jaune gritted his teeth against his own sudden anger. “I don't have to do shit and I'm not pitying assholes,” he replied. And he grabbed Cardin’s right hand back, slapping antiseptic on it. Perhaps a little too hard- Cardin let out a sharp hiss as it hit his skin, different from the hiss of the anticeptic’s sting. He made sure to rub it in more gently. An apology for basically hitting him out of nowhere. “Call me insane but I don't actually like seeing you hurt like this.”
“You're insane,” Cardin said immediately, causing Jaune to look up. For a moment Jaune just blinked quietly at him.
“Okay, I didn't mean that literally.” He looked back down at Cardin’s hands, squirting some antiseptic on the left one. This time Cardin didn't make a sound when it hit his skin. It was strange, every time his twin had their wounds cleaned they hissed. Even with the hundreds of wounds they'd gotten. Yet he made none. Jaune glanced up at Cardin's face in time to see a quick grimace. That was all. “Doesn't this hurt?”
Cardin only shrugged.
“It's okay if it does,” Jaune shrugs slightly, “my twin always complained when Saphron, our older sister, had to bandage their wounds.”
“I didn't know you had siblings,” Cardin said.
“I never really had a chance to tell you about them while you were blackmailing me,” Jaune said pointedly.
Somehow, Cardin actually had the grace to look slightly/a little guilty/sorry/apologetic.
“I have six of sisters and a twin.” For a second he paused to grab the bandages. He started to wrap them around each wound. When Cardin gave no indication of replying, he continued. “Four of my sisters are older and two are younger. They’re all really cool and super promising. Saphron, she’s the second oldest, is actually a fashion designer. Gwennie’s in her final year of culinary school. Everyone else is really cool and I just.” He shrugged and absently rubbed a thumb against the bandaid he just placed. “My twin’s the one who helped me get here. They caught me trying to make a fake transcript on my own, turns out I'm not even good at that.” Jaune gave a short, self-deprecating laugh.
“You seem to be pretty good at this.”
Cardin flexed the hand Jaune had finished with and turned it this way and that. “Cuts clean, blood gone, antiseptic applied well, bandages not too tight,” he listed off like he’d been inspecting it as Jaune went. The hand dropped back to his lap and Cardin looked at him. “You did really well.”
This time, Jaune’s laugh was happier. Even if it was caught halfway between closed lips as it was surprised out of him. Cardin just seemed so earnest , it threw him off. “Yeah, my twin and the older twins got hurt constantly . Couldn't let Saphron and mom patch them all up by themselves and then Saph moved out, so.” He brought both of Cardin's hands up and gave each a kiss along the knuckles. It wasn't a conscious action. Just something of habit. If not for the sudden flash of lighter red around Cardin and the bright, lingering red that suddenly spread high on his cheeks and the tips of his ears, Jaune wouldn't of even noticed he'd done it.
“ Ah !” Jaune dropped the other boy’s hands. “Sor- sorry,” he chuckled awkwardly, voice an octave higher as he rambled out an apology. “Like I said, often injured older sisters and twin, also younger sisters, and then Saph had a kid who I've also helped with before- I seriously didn't mean to, it just kinda becomes habit I guess after a few years.”
“... it's fine,” Cardin said, though his gaze was averted. The short hair let Jaune continue to see the unfaded red, though. It was oddly comforting to know that he seemed to be as embarrassed as he was.
“Well!” Jaune stood up and went to the door. “Try not to fight walls next time, I guess.” He opened it and went through, not expecting anything after that.
The time at Beacon had always been surprising.
And the door closed.
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To everyone who sent Lady Vulca and I baby things thank you so much for your kindness. I have sent samples from each to be tested and have them under an air lock quarantine for two weeks before we will open them. I may extend the quarantine to three weeks depending on who it’s from and the item.
The lovely wife is doing well and we get our second slight hormone increase tomorrow. Vulca for the most part has really only gotten a bit more emotional and cuddlier (no complaints from me) and really I don’t see any signs of change in myself. Lady Vulca claims I am getting more protective but I’m not sure.
I may take off of work if Vulca has rough symptoms again but I am trying to save my PTO as much as possible.
Anyways, again thank you all for the things! You all rock.
~Lord Cardinal Lambda