“Are you annoyed with me?”
“Yes, I’m annoyed with you.” Sullivan hisses through gritted teeth.
“Sorry.” Sid frowns glumly.
“Look I— while I’m very grateful to you for… defending my honour, fist-fighting your cell mates is not the way I’d prefer you to go about it. Now hold still.”
Sullivan takes Sid’s chin between his fingers and angles his face as he wants it. The pot of ointment beside him is thick and foul-smelling, and Sid winces as Sullivan daubs it gently around his eye socket.
“You’re lucky he didn’t fracture something.” Sullivan sounds strained. “I think you’ll have a sparkling black eye by the morning, but nothing more serious. Is there anywhere else?”
Sid holds his hands up gingerly. “Think my knuckles took a bit of a battering. He got a decent shot in on my ribs too.”
Sullivan sighs and gets back to work, gently taking each of Sid’s hands in his and massaging the ointment into the inflamed skin.
“Take your shirt off.” He commands when he’s finished.
“Ooh, Inspector, at least take me to dinner first.” Sid smirks.
Sullivan fixes him with a steely glare.
Sid does as he’s told, a rarity, an indicates vaguely to his left side.
With an uncomfortable frown, Sullivan gets to work on smoothing the ointment across the rapidly purpling skin. “Can you breathe properly?”
“Yeah. ’S alright as long as I don’t breathe in too deep.” Sid says, taking a few experimental breaths. “Just don’t get me too excited.”
After a few months of courting Sullivan supposes he should be used to this sort of flirting. But he can’t help it, their faces are horribly close, and he blushes furiously anyway.
Sid only smiles delightedly, watching Sullivan’s face as he finishes tending to the wounds as cleanly as he can.
“I’ll get you a clean nightshirt if you— I assume you’re… staying here for the night?” Sullivan sounds unsure as he heads for the wardrobe.
“Well I’m not going to say no to an offer like that, am I?”
“You said yourself, don’t get any ideas. No excitement.”
Sid breaks out into a barking laugh and immediately regrets it, hunching over and holding his side.
Sullivan rushes back to his side and places a reassuring arm on his elbow. “Be careful.”
Sid smiles and eases himself to his feet, pushing up from the armchair with his slightly-less-injured left arm. “I’m fine.”
The wince on his face makes Sullivan think otherwise, but he doesn’t comment on it as he limps Sid across the room and lowers him into bed. He brings the covers up and tucks them softly around Sid, worry plain on his features.
Sid stills Sullivan’s hand on his chest and brushes his thumb along the back of it. “Really, I’ll be fine. I’ve been around the block a few times, a few bruises don’t scare me.” He grins in that cheeky, lopsided way, and Sullivan’s knees go a little weak, “Plus, I’ve got you to look after me and kiss my injuries better.”
Sullivan, without thinking, lifts Sid’s hand to his lips and softly presses a kiss to Sid’s bruised knuckles. He blushes immediately, but can’t find it in himself to be truly embarrassed when Sid looks at him like that.
“As it happens, there’s one injury you missed.” Sid says earnestly.
“Where?” Sullivan frowns, doing a mental check. Sergeant Goodfellow had broken up the fight relatively swiftly, and Sid had only taken a couple of real blows. Sullivan feels ashamed for his pride that Sid’s adversary had walked away a lot worse. Both of Sid’s injuries should’ve been attended to and he should be fine now. Is he more injured than he realised?
“Here.” Sid says, pointing to his pouting lips.
Sullivan subdues the urge to scream. He wonders what his life has become as he finds himself bending down and pressing a soft and short kiss to Sid’s lips. He pulls away and heads for the bathroom, on one hand to get ready for bed himself but mostly to hide the horrid blush that he just can’t seem to keep down.
“Is that it?! Is that all I get?! One measly peck for your knight in shining armour?!” Sid screeches indignantly.
“Yes, Carter, now go to sleep!”