Afro reached a hand up to lightly wipe away Asheyna's tears and then slid his hand to the back of her neck to pull her in a bit closer. Without thinking he gently pressed his lips against hers. She leaned forward and he moved to pull her onto his lap when he felt her wince.
“Are you...” he searched her face, afraid he'd gone too far. His voice trailed off when he noticed the angry red gash on her arm. “Damn Ash, why didn't you say something hun?”
Asheyna tried to hide her face, a difficult task while sitting in his lap. She settled for hiding the blush by pressing her cheek against his chest.
“Well, I was a little distracted,” her face grew even redder. “It didn't seem important at the time.”
Afro chuckled and then grew serious as he examined her arm.
“We can't stay here, but I need to stitch that up before we go anywhere.”
“You're going to stitch me up?” Her astonishment was enough to cause her to lift her face and look at him. The compassion and softness from earlier was almost gone, replaced by concern and a need to act; she could still see the warmth in his eyes as he looked down at her.
“Yes I am, I've gotten rather good at it over the years. Long boarding and tagging aren't the safest hobbies in the world. I've stitched up all kinds of cuts on my legs, I'd show you... but you're kind of sitting on the proof at the moment.” He smiled.
“Oh, I'm sorry.” She tried to stand up and immediately regretted the choice. The loss of blood made her head swim and she fell back into his lap.
“Whoa, take it easy.” He slowly shifted her so she was sitting on the ground next to him. “Stay right there, don't move ok? I'm going to be right back.” He stood up so quickly he missed the look of pain in her eyes when he implied he was leaving.
“Wait a sec,” her voice already sounded weaker.
“Did you need something?” he looked over at her pale face.
Asheyna leaned closer and kissed his cheek softly before whispering in his ear. “Be careful, you had better come back or I'll have to hurt you ok?”
He chuckled again and stood up.
“I'll be right back.” And with a smile he slipped out the door.
He walked down the alleyway and out onto the main road. Reeza gave his ear a little bite. Somehow she had managed to climb up onto his shoulder before he left. Part of him wished she had stayed with Asheyna, but he was also glad for the company. What had he gotten himself into? This hardly seemed like the right time for any of this.
“Yeah Reeza I know. It's not like she's running away or anything.” Girls were hard to figure out, but Asheyna seemed to be making herself pretty clear.
He rounded the corner of the street and found what he was after. This would have to be quick, he was already drawing enough attention from the few people that were awake and out this early. Now would have probably been a good time for a plan, but that wasn't really his style. So far, making it up as he went along, seemed to be going pretty well for him. As Reeza shifted on his shoulder he had an idea.
Opening the door just a crack he put Reeza down on the ground and shooed her inside before opening it fully and walking in himself. He could feel the clerk studying him, trying to decide whether or not to call LitPol he suspected. Right on cue she started screaming.
“Rat! There's a rat in the store!!” As the clerk went into hysterics behind the front counter Afro quickly grabbed what he came for. Iodine, a pack of needles, and a spool of thread all found their way into his pack followed by a few water bottles.
“Come on Reeza,” he whispered, hopefully loud enough for her to hear over the clerk's screams. Just as he was about to start searching the store for his pet a bag of jerky slid out from under a rack of shelves followed by the ferret. He scooped her up and turned to leave the store, “Bear mace... excellent.” A few cans off the display joined the contents of his pack as he quickly exited the store and made his way back to Asheyna.
Afro surveyed his handiwork. A pile of stained cloth, his extra shirt, and a tangle of thread lay on the floor next to him. The smell of the iodine still stung their noses. The stitches were finished.
"I know it's not pretty, but I wasn't exactly quiet about getting this stuff, we gotta get going."
Asheyna unclenched her teeth for the first time since he started.
"It's ok. Thank you." She wanted to say more. There was a lot to talk about, but this was not the place. They needed to get out of town and fast.
As he helped her stand up she couldn't help but groan in pain.
"Aww crap I'm sorry. I didn't even think to get Tylenol or anything." He stood beside her, supporting her as she took a few shaky steps.
"Don't worry about it. Come on, the train passes right behind us. I heard it while I was waiting for you. If you help me I think we can jump on one leaving the station before it picks up speed."
Afro wrapped a hand firmly around her waist and they carefully walked towards the tracks.
Fortunately luck was finally on their side. Not long after they reached the tracks a train pulled out of the station a few blocks away.
With no small amount of effort on Afro's part, and pain on Asheyna's, they managed to climb onto an empty coal car. It was dirty, but it was safe from prying eyes for the moment.