(Author's note: I needed some Laulu hurt/comfort so here is some Laulu hurt/comfort.)
As Laurence had taken a break from sitting on his desk to stretch his legs a bit, wandering the cathedral, he had stopped to look out at the yard where Ludwig was training his hunters.
It looked like they were sparring. They had formed groups and he could see one going against Ludwig himself. As he watched them, it brought Laurence back to easier times.
He often had sparred with Gehrman or Maria. He was nowhere good at fighting beasts as them but he could pride himself in having some duelist skills, often having brought Gehrman and Maria on the edge.
He missed them. Thinking about this only made his chest tighten so he shook his head and tried to get this thoughts out of his mind.
But he couldn't stop thinking about that he would like to spar again. It often helped him getting his focus back or getting rid of bad emotions. And it certainly had made him a little more fit.
So this evening after dinner Laurence asked: "Say, Ludwig, we have never sparred with each other."
"Um...", Ludwig said and Laurence could feel how his boyfriend stared him over, probably concerned about his scrawny and small stature.
"Hey, I don't look like it but I used to spar with Gehrman and Maria. And I was on par with them.", he said, narrowing his eyes.
"Wait, what, really?", Ludwig said, "But you never partake in the hunts..."
"First.", Laurence said, "The hunt is a complete different thing than a sparring match against a human. Second, someone has to stay and prepare all the blood vials."
"Yes, the church doctors and the blood saints.", Ludwig said.
"Um...", Ludwig had a point. "I mean, you are right, but when we started the church it was all me... so I got used to staying in and prepare the blood ministrations and blood vials.", he murmured. "Anyway, would you spar with me this evening? I feel like I want to try some of my techniques again. Have gotten rusty."
"Well, of course, if is your wish.", Ludwig said and smiled to Laurence.
"Great, then let us meet at around 9 PM on the yard.", Laurence smiled back.
After Laurence had finished a bit more paperwork he snatched his threaded cane and strolled down to the yard, where he already found Ludwig doing some warm up slashes with his Holy Moon Light sword.
"Ah, Laurence.", he said. "I actually feel a bit uneasy sparring with you using the holy moonlight sword. I know we have blood vials, but I would feel more at ease when I could use a wooden training weapon."
"Fine with me.", Laurence said. "I intend on using my cane, there doesn't exist a blunt version of it."
"Fine with me.", Ludwig said and put his Holy Moonlight Sword back on his back, getting a wooden substitute that had exactly the same size. "Do you want to make a few warm ups first?"
"Good idea.", Laurence said as he tested a few slashes with his weapon. Next to him he noticed that Ludwig adjusted himself to the wooden sword.
After he was satisfied, Laurence said: "Let's start."
"Alright.", Ludwig said, walking a few steps away and then turned around so that he faced Laurence.
"Ready?", he asked.
Laurence took in his stance, clicked on the cane to transform and braced himself: "Ready."
The next thing Laurence knew was that he saw Ludwig flash forward, that the floor beneath his feet got drawn away and that he heard a sickening crunch. And then his whole body was pain. He had the faint feeling of tasting some blood.
Somewhere through the fog that his head had become he heard Ludwig scream: "Laurence, by the holy blood, I am so sorry! Are you alright?!"
Laurence was half aware that he was lying on the ground, probably bleeding, it felt like he had broken something.
"Ludwig.", he groaned. "Did you... really think... I could... take... a hit... at your... full strength?"
He felt himself slip into darkness after this.
The next time he awoke he could see Ludwig's worried face come into focus.
"You are already awake? How are you feeling?", he asked.
"Ungh...", was all Laurence brought out at first. He didn't feel any different than before he had passed out, well, maybe there was the difference that he felt the pain concentrate in his left arm, chest and head. "...Where am I?", he asked instead of answering the question. He was faintly aware that he wasn't lying on the floor anymore. The thing he was lying into was far too soft to be the floor.
"Infirmary.", Ludwig said, stroking a streak of hair out of Laurence' face, stopping the motion as Laurence scrunched up his face. "Sorry, did that hurt?"
"Everything hurts...", Laurence whimpered.
"Don't worry, your blood ministration is prepared right now.", Ludwig said. "Though the doctor has to set your arm first."
"It's broken?", Laurence asked, practically already knowing it. The crunch he had heard earlier, the intense pain and the fact that he couldn't move his left arm at all told him. Ludwig just gave a tiny nod to his question and then, Laurence hadn't expected this at all, almost broke out into tears.
"Laurence I am so sorry, I thought you could take a hit, when you said you used to spar with Gehrman I got a wrong impression of your skill and strength and I didn't want to hurt you like this and...", he rambled on.
"It... it's fine...", Laurence said, feeling helpless. He tried to pull himself up, to maybe show Ludwig that he wasn't hurt that bad but a wave of pain and nausea forced him right back into the pillows. He winced when another wave of pain tingled through his head and his right hand flew up to his mouth as his body still considered if it wanted him to throw up.
"Do you have to vomit?", Ludwig asked and Laurence could see his big brown eyes staring at him in concern. Laurence needed a while before he could answer, breathing slowly in and out until the wave of nausea passed.
"No...", he finally said, half aware that a good minute must have been passed. Ludwig had never left his position during this time, his hands still on the bed, leaning forward to look at Laurence.
"Good.", Ludwig said, his eyes easing as he stared over Laurence, "Doctor Tiffany said you might have a concussion. You... were bleeding quite badly so we got a blood vial into you and put some gauze around your head so that you wouldn't make such a big mess."
As Ludwig spoke, Laurence reached out to his head to in fact feel a thick gauze bandage wrapped around his head. He winced as he felt the spot where the wound must have been.
"Ungh.. what is taking the doctor so long?", he asked, "I would like to finally get the blood ministration."
"Ah... it's because it is rather late, sorry, Laurence.", Ludwig said. "There is only one doctor in charge right now. And I think she is still new and will need a little while to prepare the blood ministration correctly."
"Not the best news to wake up to...", Laurence said, staring up at the ceiling. He half wished he had just stayed unconscious, then he hadn't to deal with his body being in that flaring pain.
"Do you want me to stay or shall I look upon her progress?", Ludwig asked.
"Hm... stay...", Laurence said. While he would approve of not being in pain anymore, the thought of being left alone while he couldn't move properly was more scary. He searched for Ludwig's hand with his uninjured right one. Luckily, Ludwig noticed his efforts and took it into his own, a certain warmth spreading from them through Laurence' whole body.
Laurence almost managed to slip into sleep while they waited but got brought back when he heard an unfamiliar voice: "Sorry for the wait."
He opened his eyes to be greeted with the face of who must be Dr. Tiffany. Ludwig was right, she must have been new, she looked rather young.
"As you are probably aware I need to set your bones before I can apply the blood ministration, Vicar.", she said.
"Mhm...", he just said. "Can I have a few sedatives before we start?"
"Laurence, you know you shouldn't take this many sedatives.", Ludwig scolded Laurence. Laurence gave him a glare as best as he could. Really? Was Ludwig calling him out on his addictions when he had very good reasons to take them?
"It shouldn't be a problem.", Dr. Tiffany said, "In fact, the sedatives will help him deal with the pain better."
"See?", Laurence said. "They are in my coat pocket, can you get them for me?"
As Ludwig stood up and walked over to a chair where Laurence' recognized his clothes, he wondered what he was wearing and took a sneak under the blankets. There he cringed as he got a better look at his left arm, which was twisted in a way that just looked plain wrong. He also noticed that he pretty much had nothing on his body than his underwear and a few bandages.
"My apologies, but it is hard to tend to wounds when clothes are in the way.", Dr. Tiffany said right as Ludwig came back with the sedatives.
"Which kind of injuries do I suffer from?", Laurence asked as he watched her taking the sedative bottles and put a few drops in a glass of water.
"A laceration at the back of your head with a possible concussion, multiple breaks in your left arm, a few broken ribs, quite a few bruises.", she said.
"Pretty much your entire left side is blue.", Ludwig said, fidgeting with his fingers.
"It won't be any trouble because the blood ministration will help him back on his feet in the span of 48 hours.", the doctor said.
Laurence internally groaned as she said that. He knew how powerful the blood ministration was, but he also knew that they had to be slow with it and so bad injuries like the ones he suffered would need a bit longer to heal.
"Ludwig, would you please help him up so that he can take the sedatives?", Dr. Tiffany asked.
"Of course.", Ludwig said and came nearer to Laurence' bed, carefully lifting him up, stopping whenever Laurence winced in pain. As Laurence was successfully propped against the pillow, he supported him as the doctor led the glass with the medicine to his lips and made sure that he carefully drank the liquids inside it.
Once the glass was empty, Ludwig carefully laid him back down. Laurence could already feel the effects of the sedatives and searched for Ludwig's hand as the doctor handed him some wood.
"Just bite on it when the pain gets too worse. And when you want me to stop, please raise your right arm."
Laurence wanted to nod to tell her that he had understood but settled for another "Mhm", instead, his head felt like cotton candy. He felt Ludwig squeeze his hand in reassurement.
Laurence put the small wooden block between his teeth and braced himself as the doctor went to set his bone. At least he knew what he was getting into, it wasn't the first time he got a break set.
That of course didn't meant that it would hurt less. After the doctor was done around five minutes later, he was laying there, taking deep breathes as his arm pounded in pain.
Dr. Tiffany made sure to splint his arm and fixated the splint with a bandage. "I think we can save the cast because the blood ministration will have it fixed soon.", she said. She still felt the need to instruct Laurence to move his arm as little as possible.
"And now it is time for the blood ministration.", she said, finally having brought over the equipment, the needle glistening in her hands. "I will put it into your right arm, because your left is covered in bandages."
Laurence wasn't too thrilled to hear this, but he knew he didn't had another choice. There was just one thing...
"Wait...", he said, "before you put the needle in, can I get something more to wear? I am cold."
She stopped, looking at him and then at Ludwig. "Um, we should have night shirts for the patients here... But are you sure? It could be a bother to get your arm through a sleeve..."
"I don't care... I am freezing...", Laurence said. He always had froze easily and that it wasn't a hot night didn't make him feel any warmer.
"Wel, alright.", Dr. Tiffany said and rummaged around in a cupboard to come back with a night shirt. "Will you help him get dressed?", she addressed Ludwig and received a nod from the Holy Blade.
"Come, Laurence, let's get you dressed up.", Ludwig said. Like Dr. Tiffany had predicted, it was quite a hassle to get his broken arm through a sleeve and that Ludwig stopped every time Laurence even slightly winced made the process even more drawn out.
Eventually, he was dressed in a loose woollen night shirt and laid back on the pillow, already feeling warmer and less exposed.
"Can you roll up your sleeve then?", Dr. Tiffany asked. Oh, apparently she wanted to stick the needle in the crook of his arm. Laurence could understand why though, it was far easier to see the veins there. He wished he could just do the blood ministration himself, but he didn't had a choice.
"I would like to but I can't move my left arm.", he said and saw the doctor blush, apparently she had forgotten this tiny detail.
"I am taking care of it.", Ludwig said and rolled up Laurence' sleeve, so that the needle of the blood ministration finally could get stuck in.
As Laurence felt the rush of the old blood circulate in his own body he sighed as the pain in his body got duller and he closed his eyes. He didn't knew how late exactly it was but he would like to sleep.
"You shouldn't get up for the next 24 hours.", he heard Dr. Tiffany say, but didn't care anymore because his body just wanted to sleep off the pain.
The next time Laurence awoke it was still dark outside. He blinked a few times, confused at what had happened and why he wasn't in his bed in his room. When he shifted a bit he felt a sharp pain in his left arm and the "accident" he had came back to him. He lowly hissed in pain, wondering why he had awoken in the middle of the night when all he desired was to sleep over the pain.
However, he knew right away when his body gave him the urgent signal to visit the bathroom soon. Laurence sighed, that wouldn't have been a problem when he wouldn't be hurt. But like this... he required help.
Luckily Ludwig was sleeping in a chair right next to him, close enough so that Laurence could nudge him with his right hand. "Hey, Ludwig, wake up...", he murmured.
Laurence had expected for Ludwig to need a minute or two to wake up, not for him to be awake in an instant and practically shouting: "Is something wrong? Does something hurt? Do you need pain medication? Should I get Dr. Tiffany?"
"No, it's nothing like that.", Laurence said, taken aback by his boyfriend's panicked concern, "I just have to pee. Can you help me to the bathroom?"
"Oh, of course.", Ludwig said, but then fell silent for a few seconds. "I mean, I would when you were allowed to get up. Dr. Tiffany said you shouldn't get up for 24 hours. Also, you are still hooked to the blood ministration."
"Fuck, I forgot...", Laurence said, a faint memory of her saying it in the back of his head. He stared down at his arm to confirm that he indeed was still hooked up. And he knew best that someone shouldn't move around too much while getting a ministration.
"Don't worry, this is an infirmary. There surely will be a chamber pot around.", Ludwig said cheerfully, apparently relieved that Laurence' problem was easy to take care of. "Or should I wake her and ask if you can get up for a few minutes?"
"Nah, it's fine.", Laurence said. Staying in bed felt like the better option anyway, he still had a slight nausea and didn't want to risk having to puke by getting up. He silently watched as Ludwig lit a candle and searched the room until he came back.
"Found one.", he said and put the chamber pot down.
Laurence looked down at himself, his left arm being splinted and bandaged and his right arm being hooked up to the blood ministration. "I think I require your assistance...", he said, blushing faintly.
"Hey, you don't have to blush.", Ludwig said. "I was helping you go potty a lot when you had your frenzy. I don't mind."
Laurence blushed even more when Ludwig brought up the time he had spent in a catatonic state, completely unable to perform even the most basic tasks. But at least he hadn't been aware of this time. Mostly.
"Let's... let's just get his over with.", he said, his face now feeling as red as the blood that was pouring into him.
Gladly Ludwig stopped the teasing and after Laurence had taken care of his need he was already feeling like drifting back off to sleep again. As he saw Ludwig walking away, he murmured: "Ludwig, stay with me..."
Ludwig stopped and looked back at Laurence. "Of course, Laurence, I just wanted to take care of the waste. I will come back right away."
"You better...", Laurence murmured and fell back into a deep slumber.
The next time Laurence awoke the sun had rose and when he turned his head he saw Ludwig kneeling besides his bed, his head resting on the mattress.
"He has watched over you almost the whole night.", Dr. Tiffany came in the room and smiled as she saw him awake. "How are you feeling? Need anything?"
"Hmmm...", Laurence said, checking his needs. He needed to go the bathroom again, but decided that he could wait for Ludwig to wake to help him instead of asking Dr. Tiffany. He also noticed that his nausea had been replaced with a slight hunger, though he still had a lingering headache. He guessed the blood ministration had managed to mostly heal the concussion already.
However, his bruised left side and especially the broken arm still stung. He knew he would need to lie still for a little while longer. "Head doesn't hurt as bad anymore.", he finally answered. "A little hungry."
"It's still early, but breakfast should be prepared soon.", Dr. Tiffany said.
"So it isn't 7 AM yet?", Laurence asked, staring at the ceiling.
"Yes.", Dr. Tiffany confirmed for him, it is around 6.30 AM." She had been busy preparing a few blood vials and once the last one had been out away she came closer to his bed. "Say, how did you get yourself injured like this by the way?"
"Huh?", Laurence said, glancing at Ludwig, "Didn't Ludwig bring me here? He was there when it happened."
"The only thing he brought out was a garbled mess of words and begging me to take care of you because you were hurt and unconscious and he seemed to be very worried that you wouldn't wake up.", Dr. Tiffany said. "So I don't actually know what happened to you. Did you fall down some stairs?"
"Nah...", Laurence said, shaking his head. "Something in me was crazy enough to ask the Holy Blade if he would spar with me... and... he seemed to misunderstand a sparring with going full force."
Dr. Tiffany stared at Ludwig and Laurence could see how her gaze went over the muscles in his arms and his pectorals and then her gaze wandered over Laurence and he could practically feel how she took note of his thin arms and scrawny build.
"I really don't know which of you two has been the dumber one.", she said and while Laurence could have easily interpreted this as an insult, a part of him knew how right she was.
"Tell me if you need anything. Pain medication, sedatives, help with anything you can't do on your own. I'll get some food for you once it is ready.", she said and turned around, tending back to her duties.
Laurence confirmed her with a "Mhm" and watched her for a few minutes before turning his attention to Ludwig, studying his sleeping face and then extending his hand to stroke over his head, playing around with his ponytail a bit.
This didn't went unnoticed and after a few minutes Ludwig opened his brown eyes, blinked a few times and then gently forced Laurence' arm to sit still on the bed. "You are the inventor of the blood ministration and should know not to move that much when you get one.", he said, getting up and stretching himself, making his bones pop.
"Good morning, Laurence.", he said. "Let me guess, you need the bathroom?"
"Morning, Ludwig.", Laurence said and blushed a bit at this suggestion. "How did you know?"
"You always visit the bathroom first after you wake up.", Ludwig said and when his gaze wandered through the room, probably searching for the chamber pot he had found yesterday, it fell on Dr. Tiffany.
"Oh, don't worry, I give you some privacy.", she said. "I will get on my way to get some food now."
"Thanks.", Laurence said, "To, uh, both..."
"Don't mention it.", Dr. Tiffany said as she left the room. "I wouldn't want to be stared at every little thing I need help with in your situation also."
It took Dr. Tiffany around twenty minutes to return with some breakfast, during this time Laurence had decided to doze some more and Ludwig had apparently watched him the whole time. Laurence thought about that he probably had to be more tired than him. While Laurence was the injured one and his body craved the sleep to help with healing, Ludwig had apparently been awake for a long time to watch him.
Laurence awoke from his dozing by a voice from the door. "Excuse me, could you open the door for me? I am carrying three servings."
"Of course, I am coming.", Ludwig said and got up from the chair, walking to the door, letting the doctor in and taking two of the servings from her, carrying them over to the bed, putting one down on Laurence' night stand and keeping one on his lap. Laurence noticed scrambled eggs, bacon and a piece of toasted bread.
"Hey, by the way, where are all the other doctors?", Laurence asked. "Why are you the only one on duty?"
"Yesterday was because it was already late and most of them had headed home.", Dr. Tiffany answered. "And this morning I got the message that there has been a new outbreak. They went there to take care of the disease."
"And why has nobody told me about this?", Laurence said, a bit upset that he didn't got any news about outbreaks or accidents right away.
"Maybe because you are hurt and shouldn't get worked up?", Ludwig said.
"The message has been delivered to your secretary.", the doctor said, while putting a piece of scrambled egg on her fork. "Who has run around headless to search for you by the way."
"Florence, fuck, I forgot.", Laurence groaned and gave Ludwig a tiny glare. He knew about Florence and could have gone to tell her. But granted, he had watched over him the night and it simply hadn't occurred his mind.
"Don't worry, I told her about your whereabouts. She said to me that she would reschedule all your appointments."
"Hm, alright.", Laurence said and then looked at Ludwig again, who hadn't touched his plate at all yet. "Why aren't you eating?"
"Because I am waiting for you to finish talking so that I can feed you.", Ludwig said. "Also, isn't it time for your sedatives? You usually take them before breakfast."
"Oh.", Laurence said, feeling silly about having forgotten his inability to move both of his arms again. "And yes, two drops in a glass of water."
"You can get some water from the sink.", Dr. Tiffany said between bites. Laurence watched as Ludwig got up to get a glass of water, put it on the night stand beneath the meal and added the two drops of sedatives.
After the sedatives had swirled in the glass for a minute, Ludwig helped Laurence into a sitting position before leading the glass to his lips and help him drink it. Like always, Laurence could feel the effect of the sedatives right away and his mind seemed to fly away to a place where there wasn't a care in the world.
"And now it's time to eat.", Ludwig said, taking the plate from his lap and putting a bit of scrambled egg on a fork. "Say aaah."
"I am not a little child, Ludwig.", Laurence said, narrowing his eyes at Ludwig, suspecting that his boyfriend started to have fun with this situation.
"Aw, don't be stubborn, are you refusing to eat?", Ludwig said.
"Only if you don't treat me like a child.", Laurence said.
"Aw... fine.", Ludwig said and finally got Laurence to open his mouth to get a fork of the now half cooled egg.
"You are having to much fun with his.", Laurence murmured.
"Well, the last time I had to feed you, you have been unresponsive and I was worried sick about you ever getting better.", Ludwig said.
"Please don't remind me of this anymore...", Laurence said, opening his mouth to get fed a piece of bacon and while chewing on it, he heard Ludwig say a tiny "Sorry."
Ludwig proceeded to feed him until Laurence told him that he was full and didn't want to eat anymore. He hadn't been that hungry to begin with. He noticed that he pretty much had only eaten the half of what had been on the plate.
"Are you sure you don't want to eat anymore?", Ludwig asked.
"Yes, I think I would get sick when I took another bite...", Laurence said, the concussion hadn't been fully healed yet and he didn't want to risk anything.
"Then you don't mind when I eat your leftovers?", Ludwig said. Laurence was aware that there was a third serving on his night stand but didn't point this out. He knew that Ludwig could eat a whole lot.
"Go on.", he said and gently lowered himself back in a lying position, grimacing when his broken arm shifted and he felt a twinge in it. He then watched Ludwig eat, a process that was over in several minutes because he didn't waste any time shovelling the food into him. Even though it already had gone cold in the meantime. Ludwig didn't care.
After Ludwig had finished eating and downed a whole glass of water at once he got up and took the used dishes with him.
"Are you going to start your duties now?", Laurence asked.
Ludwig turned around to face him and said: "Nonsense, I just intended to take the dishes back to the kitchen. I won't leave your side for long today. And if you request it from me, I leave the dishes here and stay at your side."
That was actually nice to hear. Laurence had feared that Ludwig would leave him alone for the rest of the day, while he was unable to take care of himself. Sure, Dr. Tiffany would be there to help him out, but he felt far more comfortable with his boyfriend around.
"That's a relief to hear.", he said and gave Ludwig a tiny smile. "You can take the dishes back to the kitchen, as long as you come back afterwards."
After Ludwig had left Dr. Tiffany stepped to Laurence' bed to check the blood ministration. "Should be done around noon.", she said. "And then you only have to wait for your body to heal."
"I know.", Laurence said, aware that she simply had done what she had learned.
While the blood ministration was able to heal bad sicknesses and injuries, it took some time for it to take effect the worse it was. Or more, Laurence thought, the healing process got sped up. Two days for a broken bone instead of several weeks. A concussion would be healed in one day instead of two weeks. Tiny scratches would heal instantly and with blood vials, basically a weaker form of blood ministrations, any bleeding would cease immediately.
While Dr. Tiffany adjusted the needle in his elbow crook, he was taking check about how his body felt and determined that it was a mix of a dull pain and a weird itch that he couldn't do anything against. He also had the feeling that every area that had been injured felt far hotter and he felt himself sweat a little after this realization.
"Please tell me if you are in pain or uncomfortable.", Dr. Tiffany said and went back to her duties. Shortly after this Ludwig returned.
"Is there anything you want to do, Laurence?", Ludwig asked.
"Nap.", Laurence answered without thinking about it. His body still felt beaten up and tired but most importantly... "And you should nap too, the doctor told me you were watching me almost the whole night."
He saw Ludwig blush a little, muttering: "I wanted to make sure that you were taken care off..."
"And everything turned out fine. I will call Dr. Tiffany should I wake up and need anything. Or she could wake you when you prefer it."
"I would prefer it.", Ludwig said. Laurence had the assumption that since he had gotten out of the Frenzy Ludwig didn't trust others with his care that much anymore.
"Good, so I will call Dr. Tiffany to wake you should I need something.", Laurence said. "Now go and lay down a bit."
"You are the one who got hurt.", Ludwig muttered but complied and soon Laurence could hear him breath evenly from a patient bed not too far from him. Once he was sure that Ludwig had fallen asleep, he closed his own eyes to give his body the very much desired sleep to help him with healing.
When Laurence awoke a few hours later he saw Ludwig at his side, looking much more fresh than before. Turned out it was already noon and after Ludwig had helped Laurence to freshen himself up a bit, he got some food from the kitchen and proceeded to feed Laurence again.
"Ugh, please don't feed me the peas, you know I don't like them.", Laurence complained once he saw Ludwig fork them up.
"You will never grow when you don't eat your greens.", Ludwig said, making Laurence huff.
"I stopped growing years ago, so who cares?", he replied, keeping his mouth shut as Ludwig brought the fork nearer.
"You are far too stubborn, Laurence.", Ludwig said. "I could tickle you to get this stubborn mouth open."
"What? No, don't touch me, I am hurt!", Laurence weakly yelled and then realized that Ludwig had tricked him when he found the fork in his mouth.
"That was mean.", he said as he had to chew on the disliked food. "At least give me some water to rinse the bad taste."
As Ludwig gave Laurence to drink from a glass of water, Dr. Tiffany's voice sounded behind them: "If I wouldn't know better I would think you two are a couple."
This comment actually made Laurence spit out the water he hadn't swallowed yet.
"Laurence, don't make such a mess.", Ludwig said and got a towel to dry him up, making them look even more like a couple.
"We.. we are just good friends...", Laurence said weakly, not sounding very convinced.
"I know. That is common knowledge in here. I may be new but I got as much from simply listening.", she said, stepping to the blood ministration equipment and observing it. As Laurence took a glance it became apparent for him that it almost had completely seeped into his bloodstream.
"Though, I don't know why neither of you has married yet? You are in the right age, both of you are of stunning looks and there wouldn't be a girl in Yharnam that would turn any of you down.", Dr. Tiffany continued.
"Uh.. I am a man of the Church, I can't marry.", Laurence blurted out a bit too quickly, completely aware of what a weak excuse it was.
"And I don't want to leave a family behind because I regularly participate in the hunt.", Ludwig said, his attention had never left Laurence as he carefully dried his chest, taking care to not upset the broken ribs. His excuse felt a lot more real but Dr. Tiffany seemed to be satisfied with both of them.
"You probably just haven't found the right one yet, it's fine.", she said and Laurence felt his body physically relax at her not poking this subject further and because Ludwig had finished drying him off and released the pressure from his chest. "I plan to draw the needle now. Ludwig, would you please press on the wound until it closes?"
She gave him a piece of gauze and Ludwig gave her an affirmative nod. Laurence knew that normally the person getting the ministration would press on the wound, but with his left arm out of commission he needed the help.
Laurence had drawn the needle out of himself so many time that he knew how to do it completely painless but Dr. Tiffany was still new to the whole blood ministration thing and so he winced when she pulled the needle and it actually did hurt quite a bit.
"Oh dear, did I do something wrong? That usually never bled that much at the test patients...", she murmured to herself.
"That isn't very reassuring.", Laurence hissed but calmed down when he felt Ludwig press the gauze on his wound.
"You probably have made mistakes too, the first time around?", Ludwig asked, but his gaze on Dr. Tiffany had some disdain in it.
"Of course, but back then the blood ministration wasn't as advanced at now...", he said. He wanted to rub the wound but was damned to wait for it to close up on its own. Thankfully, it didn't take too long and Ludwig removed the gauze, folded it once and used the clean site to wipe off Laurence' arm.
"There's some blood on the sheet, should we change it?", he asked Laurence.
Laurence didn't had any motivation to get out of bed and answered: "Just leave it like this..."
"I would like to have you lie still until around 10 PM this evening, alright?", Dr. Tiffany said. "After then your concussion should have healed up for you to move around again. Oh, but you can feel free to go to the bathroom down the hallway now, but only if you get some support."
"Don't worry, I will be there for him.", Ludwig said with this warm smile he gave everybody but that always made Laurence' insides tingling.
Before Laurence could ask Ludwig what they could do now, because he was forced in bed for a while longer, the door to the infirmary shot open and a chubby woman in her fifties entered the room.
"Your grace, just how did you manage to hurt yourself like this?", she asked. "And why did I had to run around this morning to find out what happened?! You couldn't have send someone to inform me!"
Laurence felt himself getting a bit smaller. He really should have tell Florence, his secretary, what happened. Before he could open his mouth to say anything, he heard Ludwig's deep voice speak: "It is my fault, Florence. He got hurt because I didn't had my strength under control. And I didn't want to leave his side to inform you. Besides, it already had been late when it happened, so please take my apologies."
Florence gave Laurence a thoroughly look over and then spoke: "Ludwig didn't had his strength under control? Were you two fighting?"
"Sparring...", Laurence answered, finally finding his voice, though it couldn't have been called a spar, it was more a violent flying through the room and hitting a wall.
Florence glared at Ludwig and Laurence recognized that look. It was her "I know he is the Vicar of the Healing Church but I secretly adopted him as my son" look and braced himself for the tirade that was about to happen.
"Ludwig, have you looked at him? How should he be able to keep up with your strength let alone spar with you on par? All he does is sitting at his desk and going to parties and drink too much...", she gave Laurence a tiny glare as she said that, "...and don't forget the Frenzy, his body is still in bad shape. What were you thinking?!"
"Actually...", Laurence started, seeing how Ludwig seemed to deflate into his chair as Florence continued to give him an earful, but was cutting short by her.
"Shh, Vicar, you just stay in bed and relax." And then the tirade went on for several more minutes until Florence finally was finished and said: "I have made sure to reschedule all your appointments to next week. And I have taken care of the cats."
"Thank you, Florence.", Laurence said as she got up and went away. "Sorry for this, Ludwig.", he said after she had left. "I think she secretly adopted me."
"It's fine.", Ludwig said. "I am used to this by now. Though I have made worse mistakes... but I admit... I can sometimes be a bit... thoughtless."
"That's one way to put it.", Laurence chuckled and quickly hid under the blankets when he saw Ludwig's glance.
After Florence had visited an hour or two had passed and Laurence stared at the ceiling, sighing. "It's booooring.", he complained. "I can't do anything."
"Maybe try to nap a bit more?", Ludwig suggested.
"Not tired anymore.", Laurence said. He had tried to get back to sleep but hadn't managed.
"Shall I get you something to read?"
"I wouldn't be able to turn the pages.", Laurence said. Also, he doubted that he could concentrate on tiny letters, there was still a slight headache lingering.
"And reading to you?"
"I appreciate the offer but your reading speed would make me go nuts.", Laurence said, not missing the hurtful expression in Ludwig's face. "Oh, um, it's my fault for reading so quick, not yours."
That cheered Ludwig up a bit but still didn't solve Laurence' problem of being bored. He sighed. "I wish there would be anything you can do when being forced into bed and can't move one arm...", he said.
"Wait, Laurence, look.", Ludwig had got up and fetched something from the other side of the room. When he came back he presented a chess board. "We could play this. You only need one hand for this."
"Oh.", Laurence said. "That could work. Though I haven't played in a while, I could need some time to get back into track."
"That's fine, I could need someone to go easy on me anyway.", Ludwig said.
Ten rounds later Laurence knew why Ludwig had said that, because he had managed to destroy him every single time.
"I didn't think you were that bad at chess.", he said.
"... I know that I am not the best at this game, but you are simply a genius at it.", Ludwig said. "You seem to perfectly know how to counter everything. How do you do this?"
"It's just pure logic.", Laurence said, a bit baffled. "That's why I always liked chess, it's like math. I often would have play sessions against Micolash, but then we discovered Sudoku. Ah, talking about this brings me back... Why don't you ask Micolash if he comes over for a party of chess?"
Right after he had said that Laurence realized his mistake and his face fell. "Oh fuck...", he whispered, his right hand wiping some sweat of his forehead.
"Yes, I just wanted to ask. Nobody has seen Micolash after you had this big fight last year.", Ludwig said.
"Yeah, forget what I said... I was just... longing for simpler times...", Laurence said and in an desperate attempt to change the subject. "Why don't you get Amelia? She is still young, but smart. She could prove a real challenge to me."
"She is still in school and after that she has to train for her duties as a blood saint", Ludwig said. "Shouldn't you know her schedule?"
"Um..", Laurence mumbled, there was no reason for him to not know Amelia's schedule, he just didn't knew, like usual, which day of the week it was. "I thought it was still Sunday...", he said.
"Aha, of course you don't know which week of the day it is again. Today is Wednesday!", Ludwig said, resetting the pieces of the chess board. "How about another round, but this time you could go easy on me. Or teach me how to play better."
"Going easy...", Laurence suddenly said. Ludwig had mentioned it earlier and it had rubbed him in some kind of way, but he didn't knew in what kind. "Um, Ludwig, you remember that I told you that I used to spar with Maria and Gehrman?"
"Yes. That was the reason why I thought you would be able to counter my blow.", Ludwig said, staring at his lap.
"Well... I think...", Laurence needed a bit to get the words right, "I think... they might have went easy on me..."
Ludwig glanced over Laurence, from his small frame to his puny arms.
"Looking at you, this makes absolute sense. And I have been an idiot for thinking otherwise. I should have gone easy on you too, Laurence."
"Actually, I wanted to thank you... for not doing it...", Laurence said weakly.
"What, why? I did hurt you pretty badly after all."
"It's because... because it felt good that you thought I could keep up with you. Everybody always has let me feel that I was weak and often too sick to keep up with. It was nice to see at least one person that thought otherwise. Even... even if he was right and I can't keep up with him...", Laurence said.
"Um, you are welcome then?", Ludwig said. "But the next time we spar I will make sure to not hurt you, alright?" He gave Laurence a big smile
"Fine with me.", Laurence smiled back at him.
The both of them played a few rounds more of chess which Laurence still all won. Sadly, it hadn't killed much time.
"And what know?", Laurence asked. He could feel that the old blood had already worked great on his injuries, his left side didn't hurt anymore and the headache was gone. His arm and chest still hurt, of course, broken bones needed a bit longer to heal.
"You know what?", Ludwig said and Laurence tiredly looked at his boyfriend's face. "I envy you a bit, Laurence."
"Envy me for what?", Laurence asked, cocking his head, regretting it, that brought the headache back.
"The thing you had with Maria and Gehrman. And... and Micolash.", he said. Laurence felt a sting in his chest. He asked himself if Ludwig knew that the mention of his old friends hurt.
"That is all over...", Laurence said, investigating the bandage around his arm. And it's my fault., lingered in his mind.
"I wanted to ask you... I know it sounds strange, but I never had something like a close friend. Everybody liked me, but nobody really was that kind of friend, you know?", he trailed off before he found his words again: "Can you tell me a few stories of these times?"
"Huh...", Laurence said and the blushed. "But... but a lot of them are really embarrassing. Why do I remember them first, by the good blood..."
"You don't have to tell me anything that you are ashamed of.", Ludwig smiled. "I just... would like to hear a few stories."
"Alright then...", Laurence said. "But there is no guarantee that I remember everything exactly like it happened."
The next few hours Laurence talked to Ludwig about his time in Byrgenwerth, only sometimes interrupted by his boyfriend asking a question.
"...and one day I found out how to open Master Willem's wine cellar and managed to get really drunk right away... and Master Willem was so mad but also worried because I had a pretty bad hangover and I think I had to sit in detention for the whole month..."
"I would have also put my thirteen year old protégé into a month long detention if he got drunk on my personal wine.", Laurence didn't miss the look in Ludwig's eye at his teenage misbehaviour.
"...and then we saw the largest beast I have ever seen in the labyrinth. We all were running away in a panic until we fell down a hole. I remember that we all landed on Gehrman. Don't worry, he was fine, but he was really mad because we didn't get up right away and apparently we were heavy..."
"...Micolash and me had this rivalry going on. It mostly was about who scored better at tests, but we did a few really really dumb contests that I don't want to go into detail about..."
"I have some assumptions but I will keep them to myself."
"...and Master Willem would always get upset with me when I would curse so I made it my life goal to use the f-word as often as possible. My whole language was littered with it and... this is the reason why I always say it when I am upset, it is an old habit..."
"You really wanted to make the life of your caretaker as hard as possible, right?"
"Well... I think it was my rebellious phase. Oh, and did I tell you that I fainted all the time back then? Fuck, I am glad that is over. Sometimes I would know it beforehand and could warn people, sometimes it would happen without warning. And I so often hurt myself when nobody was around catching me... One day I was smashing my arm open on a table..."
"So that is how you got that scar."
Laurence didn't even notice how the time flew by as he told Ludwig about all kind of deeds and misdeeds from his youth, not even realizing that he even started to tell him about the more embarrassing things. Ludwig just listened, smiled and occasionally commented.
"...I think this has been all.", Laurence said after a while, noticing how hungry he was. "Oh, time for dinner I guess...", he said. "And time to take a leak...", he added as he realized that all the water he had drunk to make his voice smoother wanted to get out again.
"I'll help you and then we get some dinner, alright?", Ludwig said and supported Laurence who had the feeling he would be able to walk on his own, but didn't forget Dr. Tiffany's instructions.
After he was laid back down in the bed, Ludwig came back with food and prepared it for Laurence. He was a bit clumsy with his right hand but at least he didn't had to be fed anymore.
After they had eaten, Dr. Tiffany came to check on him. "It isn't 10 PM now, but you look a lot better.", she said. "If you promise me to not push yourself too hard, I let you go. Just remember to come back once your arm stopped hurting."
"Wait, really, you will let me go prematurely?", Laurence practically beamed. After all this time in bed he was eager to get up and be able to stay up for more than a few minutes.
"Let me just remove the bandage around your head, that should be healed now...", Dr. Tiffany got straight to work and after approving that he wound had indeed healed and he didn't show any signs of concussion anymore, Ludwig helped him up.
"We should maybe secure this arm a bit more.", Ludwig said. Dr. Tiffany had him covered because she gave Laurence a sling where he could rest his arm in.
"Come back for another blood ministration should your pain get worse.", Dr. Tiffany said as Ludwig let Laurence out of the infirmary.
"Where to?", he asked.
"My room.", Laurence said. "I couldn't kiss you the whole day, we have to make up for this."
"With pleasure.", Ludwig said, carefully leading Laurence into the direction of his room.
The rest of the night the two of them spend snuggled against each other.