“Only you, Charlie,” Danny said, sounding pretty cheerful and in a way that just makes Charlie more annoyed than he was before. If he could have, he might have balled up a hand and threatened him with it. Unfortunately, his punching hand was captured between Lucien’s knees as the good doctor…Well supposedly he was fixing Charlie’s hand but it felt much more like he was having a good old poke around with the sharpest pair of tweezers Charlie has ever encountered.
“Shut up,” He settled for, and fought off the urge to rip his mangled hand away from Lucien as he finally got hold of an especially large sliver of wood. “Are you right there?!” He exclaimed. It felt like the man was poking his already frazzled nerves directly with those long, menacing tweezers. Large of course being relative. Most of the biggest pieces had been dug out already, leaving him feeling concerned and in quite a lot of pain. You shouldn’t need a local to deal with a splinter. Or. Many splinters. But he was not happy about this.
“Now Charlie, I know you’re feeling a little frustrated right now but that’s no reason to have a go at everyone around,” Blake replied, sitting up and cracking his shoulders. Charlie’s hand not being worked on is beginning to hurt and swell up. Blake had assured him that it wasn’t broken but that wasn’t exactly a comfort to him. The fact that there was another hand to do after this one was weighing heavily on his chest like a weight. The fact that he couldn’t move it without agitating the spikes of wood even more so.
“A little frustrated. I almost died! And it’s your fault, so you know. A little sympathy wouldn’t go astray.” Blake just adjusted Danny’s magnifying glass clutching hand so he could get a better look at his palm. He didn’t offer Charlie the requested sympathy, just a slightly exasperated eye roll as he dug the tweezers back into the slightly translucent top layer of his skin.
“How is the Doc’s fault that you can’t hold onto a ladder when asked?” Danny asked, putting both his feet up on the bottom bar of the stool he was seated on. He pulled his hand that the Doc wasn’t using into a fist, rested his elbow on his knee, and then rested his chin on his fist. The veins along the back of his arm are pushed by the muscle as it works to keep him upright.
“Oh, so it should be your fault for hitting the ladder with the car?” Charlie asked in reply, tearing his eyes away from his hand to make eye contact with Danny who finally gave a slightly sheepish smile. It’s quickly replaced by the blustering masculine persona he inhabits most of the time.
“You could have just jumped off like a normal person, not slide down spy style.” He countered finally as if Charlie had some say in how he escaped the ladder with his life and was not driven by pure instinct. Not his fault if his instinct was to be as slick as humanly possible.
“Danny, stop teasing him. You ruined my recreation of the crime and I have half a mind to tell Lawson you need additional driving lessons. Or perhaps that Rose will have to stop hanging around lest you become distracted on the job.”
“That's -” Danny spluttered, almost dropping the magnifying glass in his indignation. Smartly, he shut his mouth and glowered at the Doc like a child. Charlie might have had a great comeback but it was snuffed out by an extremely dignified and manly whimper as Lucien finally slid the large sliver of wood out. A small drop of blood welled up on his palm, formed a little red pearl, and then trickled down the side of his hand. Lucien dabbed at it with the corner of his handkerchief and managed to catch it on two additional splinters making Charlie gasp in shock and yank his hand back on instinct. Lucien almost fell off his seat with the speed Charlie moved. He was quite sure he must make for a pitiful sight. A grown man cradling his bloodied, splintered hand with an even worse hand as two of his closest friends watched in surprise.
“Sorry.” He said and hesitantly offered Lucien his hand again. Lucien cupped the back of it with his own and examined Charlie with that critical doctor’s eye.
“Do you need to take a break?” He asked, “There’s still a lot to do.”
“N-No. I’m okay. You just startled me.” He said, and Lucien once again pulled Charlie’s hand between his knees, and Danny once again lifted the magnifying glass. For his part, this time Charlie made an effort to look away from the hand in question and out the window where the ladder and bucket of water he’d been carrying are still lying on the driveway. The splintery, old ladder lay alone, the bucket of water had spilled and was drying on the red gravel.
He hissed in pain as another splinter came free of his skin. It was uncomfortable, but the shock of it made him twitch more than anything else. Outside, the car Danny had been driving when he bumped the ladder is still sitting disconcertingly close to the house. You don’t see cars that close to the house unless it was raining and they were trying not to get wet. He glanced back at Lucien, who was still picking splinters from his hand. When he was a kid, if you got a splinter, Mum would put a spot of Vegemite on it, cover it with a band-aid and he’d go back to playing. Admittedly, he never had this many splinters when he was a kid. Did that even work, anyway? Vegemite bandaids? He'd prefer that over this process even if it was all for show to make his ten year old self stop crying after climbing the fence in the backyard to speak to the neighbor boy. What was his name anyway? Charlie didn't know, but he could remember that his mother had a large pot of daises that she tended too daily and it was while she was doing such she caught him half over the fence and his friend waiting at the bottom to catch him. Actually, that was nice. Having someone like Lucien to catch him when he fell. It was even nice to have Danny here even though he was annoying.
As each splinter escaped his red, tormented hand some of the pressure and pain released but even so when Lucien released his hand he drew it close to his body before stuffing it under his shirt. He didn’t feel any pain from the splinters brushing across his skin which he took as a good thing. Jean stepped into the room, carrying a large tray with three glasses of lemonade on it.
“I’m sorry Charlie.” She said, averting her eyes from his remaining hand, “I can’t deal with splinters or teeth.”
“It’s okay, Mrs. Blake.” He assured her, looking longingly at the lemonade but not quite brave enough to risk holding anything yet. Coming to his rescue, Danny grabbed the glass with a straw and offered it to him. He caught the straw in his lips before he had time to feel embarrassed and took two long slurps before pulling away to fold his lips in on each other with the bitter taste. Danny chuckled and sipped his drink while the Blakes had a telepathic conversation, with only their eyes for reference it seemed. Well, that is if the very intense look the two were sharing meant; it could mean anything. They could just be caught up on something like the sunlight going through the doc’s beard, or the new style Jean has been trying with her hair. He wouldn’t put it past either of them honestly.
“Alright, Charlie,” Lucien said, after a sip from his glass. “Give me your other hand.”
All he could do was hand it over with a groan.