@the-twisted-otaku Maro this has been in my inbox for so long I’m so sorry. Forgive me because ily <3
“Xerx, what are you doing? ” Reim asks, deadpan and staring with great annoyance at Xerxes Break hovering over him with a bandage pulled taut between his hands. What Xerxes is even doing on the bed of his room, he isn’t all too sure. Reim, if he remembers correctly, had returned to the Barma mansion after being ambushed by chains - not the Rainsworth Manor.
“You’re injur-” Xerxes chokes on the word, shaking and coughing up blood onto his handkerchief, “I’m treating you. Let the doctor see you now,” he adds, making a beckoning motion in Reim’s direction, cheerful and acting as if he hadn’t just coughed up half his life.
Reim stares at him with disbelief, out of the two of them, Xerx is most definitely the more injured one, “You’re blind. The doctor isn’t seeing anything.”
“That’s rude, I can still see a little bit, you know,” Xerxes whines at him, petulant like a young child. He sits back on his knees, quietly groaning with pain and withdrawing the bandage when Reim protests too much.
“Don’t lie to yourself, you can’t even tell where I’m injured - plus if you could still see why do I have to do all your paperwork?!” Reim says, incredulous and exasperated, getting only a pout in response.
Reim rubs a hand wearily over his face, sighing audibly, and Xerxes takes advantage of his momentary inattention, pouncing on Reim with the bandages and quickly wrapping them around what he guesses is Reim’s head, he can’t quite see. He ignores Reim’s protests and slaps away his hands when he tries to claw at the bandages until he ties them securely in place and sits back down, grinning and pleased with himself.
“Mmf ismfnt helping,” Reim says, voice and words garbled by the bandages over his mouth, and entire face, really - funny how Xerx had managed to bandage everywhere but the cut on his head. He reaches behind his head and unties the admittedly sloppy knot, letting them fall soundlessly off his face and into his lap. He hopes that Xerx won’t notice and try again. Just in case, he takes it and wraps it around the part of his head where he actually hit it and covers the small cut there.
Fixing him with a stare that Xerxes cannot see, Reim watches him critically, he might be good at hiding it, but then, Reim is good at seeing when his best friend is in pain too. “Xerx, you can stop pretending now. Let me see.” Reim says quietly, somber.
Childishly, Xerxes shakes his head, although Reim just ignores him and moves closer. If Xerx won’t undo the buttons to show him where he’s hurt, he will. He gets the first button undone before his hands are slapped away and, with a long-suffering sigh, Xerxes starts undoing them himself. The bandage wrapped around his torso is more red than white, covered in dried blood, hastily and messily applied and probably in need of a change. Careful to not jostle Xerx, Reim slowly peels away the bandage and exposes the wound to fresh air.
He cleans it up with a soft cloth, washing away all the dried blood as Xerxes winces. It looks like it could do with some stitches to help it heal faster, though he doesn’t have any. “Wait there, Xerx, I’ll only be a minute.”
Reim sets aside the blood-stained cloth and quietly leaves the room, heading towards the room where he knows Barma keeps his rubbing alcohol, fetching a bottle and a new cloth. By the time he’s stepped back into his bedroom, Xerxes is seemingly asleep on the bed, it doesn’t worry Reim that Xerx is no longer awake, he’s snoring louder than a lion. Tipping some of the alcohol onto the clean cloth, Reim disinfects the slash on Xerx’s abdomen.
Xerxes stirs, cracking an eye open, “Ow.”
“Sorry,” Reim says, pulling away the cloth and applying the fresh bandages.
When Reim is done, Xerxes pushes himself to sit upright again on the bed, once again doing up his shirt.
“You’ve got to stop over-using your chain Xerx, it made that slash so much worse than it otherwise would have been.” Reim chastises, pausing for a minute in thought for how to say it, “You’ll be fine - this time. But how many times are you going to take everything on by yourself before you realise you can’t go about trying to throw your life away?! Are you going to push yourself to breaking point every time there’s danger? I might not like fighting but I still want to protect you. Going about and constantly getting yourself hurt, you’ll upset Sharon-sama! Even more so than me!”
Xerxes puts his hands up in surrender, waiting for Reim to finish his rant. He’s listening and kind of tired of getting told off for trying to take on too much, not that one rant is going to fundamentally change him or how he chooses to protect others, but he supposes it’s better to wait it out.
Reim trails off, out of breath from his long rant and watching Xerxes for any kind of reaction, even if it’s obvious that he listened nothing he just said, Reim sighs wearily, flopping onto the bed next to Xerx and ignoring the muttered, ingenuine apology that comes from him. He could do with going to sleep, if it weren’t for someone incessantly poking his side to keep him awake.
“Are you okay, Reim-san?” Xerxes asks, not ceasing his poking in the slightest.
Reim turns himself to face Xerx, not bothering to hide his annoyance, “Fine,” Reim responds, “I’d be much better if you’d stop poking me.”
Xerxes’ hand stills guiltily, “Well, I’m bored - and hungry - what can you expect?” Xerxes gestures around him to illustrate his point, sleeves covering his hands either side of him up in the air as if it was perfectly obvious that he’d decide to never let Reim have a moment of peace in his life. In retrospect, it kind of was.
Yawning, Reim covers his mouth with his hand, tired and watching as Xerxes unconsciously copies, “Would you let me get some rest if I brought you some sweets and something to do? Would that make you behave like an adult?”
Xerxes doesn’t miss a beat, “One hundred percent!” Xerxes answers, dragging out the vowels.
Reim doesn’t deign him with a response, pushing himself up and off the bed and leaving to raid the kitchen ofr whatever sweets that might be there - though they’re not Gilbert’s - and looking for something to occupy Xerxes. It’s a rather difficult task, given that Xerxes is mostly blind and can no longer read; Reim can’t satisfy him with a book. At least, Reim thinks upon spotting it, a chess set might be effective. Maybe he can convince one of Barma’s other staff members to play with Xerx whilst he finally obtains some much needed rest.
He returns to his bedroom with a fork, a full cake on a plate held carefully in both hands, the chess set in its box tucked tightly under his arm and no house of Barma staff member in tow. Reim hands the cake to Xerx - who gleefully and instantly begins digging in - and sets the chess set on the bed in front of Xerxes, climbing up and sitting cross-legged so that the chess set is between them.
“One game,” Reim states, pointing at the board and waiting for Xerx to fix his bleary gaze on it, “When I win, you shut up and let me sleep for a bit.”
Xerxes grins at him, “You really think you’ll beat me at chess? I’m still pretty good whether I can see properly or not.”
Xerxes plays well, though it’s one of the lucky matches where Reim wins and he finally gets to put his head down and close his eyes. He doesn’t even bother to kick Xerxes out of the bed.