The walls in Caroline’s room were boring. And everyone knows Caroline hates boring.
Boring conversations that happen out of obligation. Boring, killjoy friends (like Hemera). And now, boring, plain polka-dot pattern walls in her room. And when things were boring, Caroline was known as one to try to make things more exciting.
She was in the middle of spicing up her walls with the crayons she always had on her (literally on her, in a bag tied to her leg) when she heard a knock at the door, which was a new and unusual sound. Uni always burst right in if he came to her room; same for staff members. Jay always asked to come in vocally, and Barry hated her messy room, so he never visited...
Nonetheless. Caroline put the crayons back into her bag, before sitting onto her bed. “What’s up?” Caroline called, as her own version of the classic ‘come in’.
Hemera was the one who slipped through the door; and, if that wasn’t surprising enough, she did it with one paw. The other was holding the back of her head, as if hiding or cradling something; all with an embarrassed, yet curt, expression.
Before her friend could speak, Caroline held out her paws. “Wait. Let me guess.”
Caroline stood up on her bed, waving her paws above Hemera’s head like an overdramatic fortune-teller. “You finally fucked someone, but you slammed your head into the headboard.”
“Car-o-line!” Hemera growled in a low, warning tone, extending the ‘i’ for emphasis.
Caroline rolled her eyes. Both Hemera and Barry, such prudes. “Yeah, yeah.” She plopped back onto her bed, sitting so she was facing Hemera, her feet dangling off the side. “What brings you to my domain, Miss Priss?”
Hemera took a second to look around Caroline’s... ‘Domain’. The pleasant polka dots had been scribbled over with crayon. All sorts of symbols, doodles and... Song lyrics? Such a waste. It was such a nice design, too... No matter. Hemera moved the gloveless paw from her head, and held it out, flat, for Caroline to see.
Caroline’s eyes widened as she stood up to take a closer look at Hemera’s paw. “Blood?” Her tail swished from side to side, showing her anxiety was rising.
Normally, a hurt patient wouldn’t be surprising. This is Sparklecare, after all. But, second to only Jay, Hemera’s careful nature helped her to avoid the staff’s violent tendencies the most. So seeing her hurt was rare; and concerning. Maybe one of the staff members was just hurting anyone who came their way-
“No need to worry yourself. I’m not you. I didn’t get hurt by staff. After all, I treat them with upmost respect,” Hemera stated, smugness leaking into her voice with that last statement. “But...” She raises her shoulders and looked at her feet, embarrassed. “I, uh... Hurt myself. On accident.”
Caroline’s expression shifted from confusion to disbelief. “You... Hemera... Hurt yourself on accident? Miss Priss? Queen of Careful?”
Hemera shot her a look for the names, but otherwise did nothing.
Caroline burst into laughter, slapping her paw onto her forehead in a disbelieving manner. This caused Hemera to blush worse, and give her a nasty look. “Caroline, I’m being serious!” she hissed.
After a few more moments, Caroline gathered herself, then sighed with a paw placed on her chest. “Oh, this is rich. Did you run into a door? Trip?”
Hemera puffed up her chest, and stuck her snout high in the air. “No! I hit my head on a desk, returning something you stole!”
“Aw, the hell, Hem?! I need everything I have!”
“You can scold me as you’re helping! I mean, with everything you hoard, surely you picked up a bandage or two at some point.”
“Oh, so now you want my stuff...”
The blue cat huffed, ears twitching in irritation, and pulled a pile of stuff out from under the bed, from which she pulled not only band-aids, but also disinfectant and cotton balls. She stood back up, with the items in her arms, and shoved the unneeded stuff under her bed again with her foot. She then sat down on her bed, and placed the things next to her, and finally pointed at the floor, directly in front of where she was facing. “Sit.”
“I can do it myself,” Hemera grumbled, but sat anyways, facing away from Caroline so she could see the back of her head.
Caroline moved Hemera’s ears a smidge, so she could see the wound clearly. It was small. Very small. Normal folks wouldn’t even notice if they had a similar wound... But this is ‘bleeds-a-lot’ Hemera here.
As Caroline tried to clean it up, she began to talk again. “So, what did you steal from me?”
“I stole it back. And the computer. The one you use to go onto Tunglair.”
“Yeah, that.” Hemera huffed, frustrated. “Honestly, Caroline... A computer? And Dr. Cuddles’ computer, at that...”
“It was dangerous! So, I brought it back to his office.”
“Yeah, whatever, I figured. How did you get hurt then?”
“Well...” Hemera sighed. “I got reckless. I stayed in his office too long. I heard him start to come in, so I panicked and hid under his desk.”
“That’s a dumb place to hide,” Caroline commented, seemingly amused.
“Yes, I know that now. Luckily, though, he only came in to grab something. After the coast was clear, I was so eager to leave that I bumped my head on the bottom of the desk as I escaped. So, I came here.”
Caroline paused, almost thoughtfully. “You’ve never done anything like that before.”
Hemera rolled her eyes. “I know. And I blame you and Uni’s influence.”
Caroline laughed. She couldn’t see Hemera’s expression, but she found herself hoping that she was smiling, as well. “I didn’t mean it as a bad thing, Hems! You can’t be a rule-follower all the time. ‘Cause guess what?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “Rules blow! Then where is the excitement? The spice of life?”
“I’d rather have a spiceless life then spice it up and lose it, thank you. Besides, this isn’t one-sided. I’m affecting you, as well. I mean, it’s oddly responsible of you to have the cotton, bandages and disinfectant all in the same place, with quick access, wouldn’t you say?”
When Caroline went silent, Hemera smiled to herself. She’d won this round. “Anyways,” she continued. “I’m just glad the computer’s back. You could’ve gotten real hurt for that!”
Caroline’s voice went... Oddly soft for her response.
“You could’ve gotten real hurt returning it, dumbass.”
Hemera felt her back straighten and face flush. It was finally dawning on her how... Nice Caroline was being about all this. Taking care of her, showing concern... Her eyes suddenly didn’t know where to look, as she became all too aware of her friend’s gentle touches as she finally placed a bandage on the wound.
“Look, Hems. I like that you’re finally living it up a bit more. If anyone needs it? It’s you. But...” Caroline exhaled through her nose. Wasn’t this what she wanted? Excitement?
Is this what Hemera felt when Caroline got hurt?
She shook her head, as if shaking off the thoughts, before patting Hemera’s head and kissing the bandage softly. She felt Hemera tense up, and she held back a chuckle. She always reacted so much to Caroline’s flirting...
Mindless flirting, right?
Caroline stood up, and moved so she was on her knees, eye-to-eye with the very red-faced Hemera. “Just...” Caroline grinned, teeth and all. “Leave the life-threatening stuff to Uni and I. Got it?”
Hemera nodded, trying and failing to hold back a soft smile.
They both stared at each other for a moment, in a comfortable silence with soft blushes, before Hemera turned away, clearing her throat. “So, I, uh... Like what you did. Drawing on the walls. I’d like you to wash it off before a staff member finds it, but... It does help it.”