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Cauterization

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Aeor fucking sucks. First their magic is fucked up and they got separated, and now Caleb and Beau are trapped in a dark cave, the stone having collapsed between them and the others. 

Caleb groans as he sits up, conjuring a flame in his hand to brighten the room. Beauregard is laying on the ground next to him, groaning. Caleb rushes to her side, “Beau!” 

She grunts, “I think I’m fucked.” Beau rolls off her side and Caleb’s heart stops. There is a massive gash in her side, blood has already soaked through her clothes and is beginning to melt the snow under them. 

Caleb curses as he pats down his pockets. Nothing. They’re out of health potions. And his sister is bleeding out in front of him. “Beauregard,” Caleb begins shakily, “I have nothing. I don’t know what to do.” 

She grits her teeth as she sits up, leaning against the wall, hand pressing tight to the wound on her side. In the dim light, Caleb can see her fingers are completely soaked with blood. “You have fire.” 

“W-What?” 

Beau groans again as she adjusts her hand over the gash. “You need to cauterize it to stop the bleeding. Then when Cad and Jessie get here I’ll still be alive for them to heal me.” 

Caleb immediately shakes his head, “I can’t hurt you.” He’s hurt so many people in his lifetime, so so many. Beauregard will not be one of them. 

“I’m already hurt,” Beau points out. “I need your help to keep me alive.” Beau blinks at him and he is surprised to see that her eyes are filled with tears. “Please, Caleb. I don’t wanna die.”

“Scheisse.” Caleb roughly yanks a hand through his hair. “Okay, okay. I’ll do it.” She thanks him softly, her voice frighteningly genuine. He hands her a piece of leather from his components pouch. “Bite.” She nods and does as he says. Beau closes her eyes, squeezing them shut, tipping her head back against the wall of the cave. “I’m sorry,” Caleb tells her quietly. Caleb takes a deep breath, summoning a ball of fire to his hand. With a quick curse under his breath, he lowers his hand to his sister's side. 

Immediately, Beau begins to scream through the piece of leather, head slamming back into the cave wall. Caleb holds it for a few seconds, making sure the wound is fully cauterized. Each second is agony for both of them, though Caleb would never dream of comparing his pain to Beau’s. 

When it’s done, he rips his hand away, almost throwing himself away from Beau. 

Beau swears, and she looks at Caleb. Caleb is shaking from head to toe, his eyes blank. “Caleb,” Beau says, her voice scratchy. “Man, I need you right now. You can’t be in your head.” She reaches out her foot and with a grunt, kicks his leg. Thankfully, Caleb snaps to look at her.

“Beauregard?” He asks shakily, almost like he’s not sure if he should be talking to her. It tugs at Beau’s heart painfully. 

“I’m okay. Well...relatively,” she replies. “Not bleeding out. Come here.” Caleb doesn’t move, he just keeps his eyes fixed on hers. Beau’s eyes fill with tears, out of pain mostly, but it seems to effect Caleb and that’s what she needs. 

Slowly, Caleb makes his way to Beau until he’s right in front of her, he gently touches her face. “Okay?” He asks. 

Beau smiles a little. “I’m okay. Sit next to me before you freeze your ass off.” Beau lifts her arm and Caleb tentatively leans into her good side. 

“I’m sorry,” Caleb whispers once he’s tucked under her arm. “Schwester, es tut mir leid.”

“It’s okay. You saved my life.” Beau leans her head on top of his. “Cad and Jess and Veth will be here soon.” Caleb nods, but he digs his fingers into his forearms. “Hey, no we talked about this Cay.” Gently, Beau pries his fingers away from his scars. “Don’t do that. I’ll keep you here.” Beau tightens her arms around him, squeezing him tight. “It’s cold, huh?” 

“Very,” Caleb reaches one hand down to touch the stone, focusing only on the cold and Beau’s arm around him. 

“You should ask Veth to braid your hair in the tower tonight,” Beau says. “It’s getting long.” Caleb hums his agreement. “Or maybe you could ask Essek.” 

“Beauregard.” 

“I’m not allowed to tease you about your crush? You’ve teased me plenty about Yasha.” Then a pause. “That’s what siblings do.” Caleb turns his head into her shoulder, his eyes squeezed shut and his shoulders begin to shake. Beau hugs him back. Since he’s not looking at her, she lets a few tears fall. The adrenaline is starting to wear off and her side is beginning to ache, or at least that’s what she tells herself. 

“Essek is just my friend,” Caleb says after a moment, lifts his head up. 

“Uh huh,” Beau responds. “Sure he is.” Caleb rolls his eyes and leans into her shoulder. 

“They’ll be here soon,” he says. “Then Yasha can scoop you into her arms and you can pretend to faint.” 

Beau elbows him lightly, “Shut up.”