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Little Moments

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“You,” Adolin said. “Are an idiot.”

That sounded way too much like something Syl would say. In fact she suddenly materialized in the air right next to Adolin, in her favourite shape as a young woman, nodding solemnly.

Kaladin frowned. “You know,” he said. “I just saved your life.” Everyone’s life, really. But no, being a hero wasn’t good enough of an excuse now.

“Tilt your chair back a little bit,” Adolin told him. Kaladin did as asked, wondering what was going on. He would have turned to look, but his neck hurt too much and his shoulder was bleeding, and he’d completely run out of Stormlight – they were down to candles, flickering slightly.

Adolin moved something against the back of Kaladin’s chair so that he wouldn’t fall down. It sounded like wood – heavy, as the princeling was of course still wearing his Plate. He’d been as reckless as Kaladin and then some, considering that his wounds wouldn’t magically heal, but of course Kaladin was the one stuck being told how stupid he was.

Honestly. It wasn’t as if those lightening would have ever actually hit him.

Sly was still looking disapproving, though, and Adolin was…

What was Adolin doing? That sounded like water.

“Adolin?” Kaladin asked. “What’s going on?”

And then he felt water being poured on his head.

It was scalding hot.

“Is it warm enough?” Adolin asked, self-righteous satisfaction pouring out of his voice. “I can never tell.”

Somewhere on his left, Syl started laughing.

“Adolin,” Kaladin asked again. “Have you finally gone insane?”

The man reappeared in his field of vision, a strange twist to his mouth. “I wish,” he said. “It would make everything so much easier, wouldn’t it?”

It was a thing he did; at times Adolin got almost ridiculously sentimental. Kaladin never knew how to deal with it. It was… flattering, sure; but it felt so odd. Usually he just hoped it would pass soon.

Adolin understood.

“You have pieces of voidbringers in your hair.”

What had that to do with… “What?”

“You have pieces of voidbringers in your hair.” Adolin repeated. “It’s dirty and disgusting and I could never associate with you, not to mention being seen in public with you unless you clean that up right now.” He paused. “But you can’t really move, so…”

He went back to pouring water on Kaladin’s hair – it was only pleasantly warm now – and was that soap?

“Adolin,” Kaladin said. “Are you going to wash my hair?”

That was oddly sweet, even for Adolin. He was going to say so, but then felt the other man stiffen, embarrassed.

“You can’t very well do it yourself, can you?” He sounded defensive.

Kaladin smiled. He should have let it go, really. It would have been the mature thing to do, appreciating a kindness without making a big affair out of it.

Then again, Adolin had called him an idiot.

“You are washing my hair,” Kaladin repeated. He really was, and he could smell the aroma of Adolin’s soap, imported from Shinovar and probably more expensive than everything Kaladin owned. He caught Sly’s gaze. “Are you seeing this?” he asked the honorspren. “He’s doing menial work.”

To Adolin, he asked. “Did you actually heat the water yourself?”

“I’ve changed my mind,” Adolin said. Kaladin couldn’t see it, but he was sure his cheeks must have reddened. He would have to ask Syl later. “Next time, do get yourself killed. It’d be better for everyone involved.”

“That’s good,” Kaladin had to admit. “You almost sounded like you mean it. But you’re still washing my hair.”

The next time, Adolin made sure to pour all his water in Kaladin’s mouth.