"Inigo, you piece of shit, don't you dare die on me!"
Owain was kneeling over Inigo's broken body, ignoring the footsteps and hoofbeats behind him. He knew he shouldn't be calling Inigo's real name in public but he honestly didn't care at the moment. They were out of vulneraries and someone had run off to get a healer but Owain wasn't about to wait that long. He'd grabbed a stave from some fallen troubadour and was holding it over Inigo, desperately hoping that his mother's lessons in basic Ylissian healing would still be helpful with Nohrian staves.
Below him, Inigo cracked a small, bloody smile. "There's a sight I haven't seen in a while. The great Odin Dark holding a–" he coughed suddenly, blood splattering out of his mouth.
"Shut the hell up!" Severa snapped. "You'll have time to talk later when you’re not dying." Inigo's smile dropped a bit, but before he could voice whatever doubts he had about that statement, the stave in Owain's hands was glowing.
Owain had shut his eyes, concentrating as much magic as he could into the tool and focusing on channeling it through to Inigo's body. Someone gasped behind him, but Owain hardly registered the sound. He tried to visualize the magic seeping into the deep wounds on Inigo's torso, knitting them up and replenishing the lost blood. When he opened his eyes again, the glowing and the bleeding had both stopped, but Inigo still looked frighteningly pale. Owain grit his teeth and tried again.
He was already exhausted from the battle and healing had always been draining for him. They'd all picked up basic healing magic back in their original time, but Owain had never really had a talent for it. Still, he had more training than Severa and larger magical reserves in this war, so even though Inigo needed far more healing than he'd ever attempted, he was trying.
It wasn't as hard to force his magic through the stave this time. He could almost hear his mother's voice scolding him: Keep your back straight and focus on the injury! This may save your life someday.
Well, someone's life at least, Owain thought, collapsing beside Inigo, the stave slipping through his fingers and rolling onto the dirt.
“Gawds, now you're both on the ground.” Severa muttered. She tried to sound upset, but Owain could hear the relief in her voice. There was a pause as she examined Owain’s shoddy healing job.
“I think he's gonna be okay,” she said quietly.
“Great, can I talk now?” Inigo said, voice still weak and straining.
“No,” Severa responded, probably just to be contrary. A tired laugh bubbled out of Owain despite the circumstances.
“The mud is actually quite comfortable,” Inigo said, pointedly ignoring her. “You should join us.”
Severa wrinkled her nose but lied down next to him anyway. They'd all had worse, after all.
They must have been a strange sight to see, three royal retainers lying on a damp battlefield staring up at the sky. Severa’s hair had come loose from her pigtails during the fight and was spread on the ground, probably soaking up mud that would be a pain to wash out later. Owain’s thin costume was torn and stained, exposing even more of his torso than usual. Inigo was covered in sloppily healed injuries and still lying in his own blood, but they were all alive.
They laid there for who knows how long, just trying to catch their breath. Owain felt like he could fall asleep like this, surrounded by bodies and destruction. The smell of blood and decay hung in the air. In a morbid way, it almost felt like home. Like the wartorn timeline he was born in. Just as his eyelids began to droop, however, someone leaned into his range of vision.
“Odin,” Prince Leo said, eyebrow raised, “what are you doing?” Owain gave a tired grin.
“Relaxing, milord. It's been quite a day.” The last few minutes alone had been a lot, honestly. He really wasn’t sure that Inigo was going to make it, and the thought of one of them dying from an ordinary stab wound in a foreign land was too much for him to bear.
“On the ground?”
Just then Princess Elise arrived, hopping off her horse and immediately moving to fuss over Inigo.
“Hey, wait a second!” Elise said after only a quick glance at him. “They told me you were dying!”
Inigo laughed. “I was, milady.”
“So who healed you?” she asked, poking at his still-fresh looking stab wounds. “They didn't do a bad job, but it looks like they're kind of an amateur.” Elise waved her staff, closing the rest of his minor wounds and fixing what Owain couldn't.
Owain sat up on his elbows to look at Leo, surprised. Leo sighed.
“I saw you healing him while I was walking over here,” he explained.
“Oh." Owain said. Leo would expect an explanation later, but Owain wasn't sure what to tell him.
“Well it's a good thing you did,” Elise said, breaking up the awkwardness. “He lost a lot of blood, probably would've died otherwise.”
Severa, who had gotten up to let Elise inspect Inigo, bent down again to flick him on the forehead. Inigo scrunched up his face and weakly lifted a hand to swat her away.
“Hear that? You were going to die. Maybe that'll teach you to think twice before you go around risking your life over dumb shit.”
“I took that hit for Odin.”
“Yeah, he's dumb shit!”
“Hey! I just saved his life!”
Elise just giggled and got back on her horse, leaving to treat more injured. Leo rolled his eyes but stayed. As the three of them dissolved into good-natured bickering, Owain couldn't help but feel very much at peace.