"Get over here, you old goat."
Dismas' gruff command doesn't offend Reynauld, merely has the old soldier huff quietly behind his visor. Though the bleeding has long since stopped, Dismas ccan still feel the phantom trickle and itch of open wounds, it shows itself in his mood, his barks short and demanding. Tired, of torches burning too quickly, of sea salt and death trapped in his sinuses, Dismas fists his handkerchief tightly before pulling it loose, fabric hanging 'round his shirt collar.
Reynauld dioesn't dare help him, merely stands beside him and removes his helmet and armor with shaking hands. When he fumbles with a clasp sluggishly, he turns sharply from Dismas, until he can set himself right.
Clothes thrown in a far pile, Dismas douses himself first. Cold rivets of water cascade down his body, gooseflesh prickling his bare skin. But he watches the grime slip away into the puddle surrounding his feet, knows with his heavy layers he hasn't much scrubbing to do, only old sweat and dead skin to remove.
Reynauld is as slow as ever.
Dismas leans on the rim of the tub, waiting. Watching. Without his armor, Reynauld rolls out his joints slowly, eyes kept away from Dismas until Dismas hisses. His knee begins to seize up and Reynauld sees him shift his weight, Reynauld's eyes staring him down until he shuts his own and douses himself.
Chilled fingertips gently sweep down Dismas' thigh to knee, the muscle attachments hot and tender to touch.
Dismas bracs himself with one hand on Reynauld's shoulder.
"Let me assist you." Reynauld says. He encourages Dismas to lean against him before stepping into the bath and Dismas lets him, too tired, and worn, comfort already blossoming beside the pain in his body. Reynauld's touch is steady, a large open palm cradling his hip bone. It gives him the strength to lift his leg and get in the tub.
They slide in together, water warm, lapping up against scarred skin.
Dismas lets out a low groan, "Could die like this."
Reynauld's hand suddenly grips tight and Dismas shoves against him.
"Ah, apologies..." He rubs the sore area gently. "I did that unconsciously."
"Don't mean it," Dismas says. "Feels good." His bad leg drapes over Reynauld's own when Reynauld's hand moves to rest on his stomach, water moving around them.
Neither speaks, nor moves, waves rolling and echoing in caves still in their minds. The Siren is dead, stolen from the Cove, but her presence still lingers. Reynauld, ever the diplomat, and Dismas could cut him, for doing this to them both.
"Where did she take you?"
A whiskey soaked mouth and toothy grin, with a temper as hot and sharp as a fire poker. Scratchy wool linens to keep the damp ground from freezing them in their sleep. A wild passionate youth that ended in a bloody head in a bag.
"You gonna tell me?"
Reynauld starts to speak, but predictably clears his throat and goes quiet.
"Thought as much," Dismas says, unkind as he is tired.
"You pulled away from me." Dismas can't look at him. "You wouldn't look at me. Have you even come back?"
Dismas' mouth is pulled down, a grim line of a frown, but Dismas can't stop his eyes, too open and moist, his hand placed on Reynauld's chest to keep him away, to hold him, he isn't sure.
"I'm touchin' you," he finally says. "S'enough." It has to be enough, but he can't say anymore. Throat too tight, eyes stinging, he's a grown man but feels like a boy all over again. It happens too much with Reynauld, this tender thing, weakness pitted in his stomach. Makes him soft it does, with nowhere to hide but within himself.
But it's what drew them together in the first place, an ache they recognize but never speak of. He's not the sly type, Reynauld, so forward it is, his mouth pressing to the spot underneath Dismas's ear. He kisses his neck, slow moving and good, has Dismas holding onto his bicep.
In the quiet moment, when the ache in his knee has stopped taken precedent and their bodies hotter where the touch than the water, Reynauld asks,
"Let me in."
Dismas already has, like the poor sap he is.
He turns and kisses Reynauld proper.
"Already did, you don't remember four nights ago?"
Reynauld exhales loudly, unable to hide his embarrassment. It's enough to make Dismas smirk into his cheek.
"Old fool," Reyauld groans but tightens his hold, this time pleasurable instead of painful. His lips hot, he whispers a secret into Dismas' burning skin.
"Were I not already sore... just holding you is enough to excite me."
The shiver that runs down Dismas' spine isn't cold at all.
"Troublemaker. Stealing my fun."
Dismas had cracked a wry comment, that if Reynauld could take him to the abbey, Dismas could influence him as well. It seemed to be proving true.
Reynauld shook his head, "No. Just want to return a favor... sooner than later."
Dismas sighed, fingers carding through Reynauld's damp hair.
When the leave the bath, the water is cold, and Reynauld's arm is still curled tight around Dismas' waist.