Tender Wounds

Sixten comes in to have his injury tended.


You are in the backstreets of the city of Viipuuri. An old town, these streets are very quite narrow - too narrow for a tank to get through - and somewhat maze like. This particular area is mostly residential, with a somewhat industrial character to it, though the city does have a certain charm even here.

Red Cross flags are hung on the walls of one of the houses, and trucks are on standby to evacuate the more serious cases whose war is over. Lottas swarm around - this whole street has been taken over by them, medics, cooks, the works. One of the houses is a medical clearing station, but thats not the only one borrowed, the rest have been turned into fairly comfy barracks.

Sixten knocks on the door, then ducks a bit to clear the frame when he comes inside. "Hallo," comes his deep, barrel-chested accent. "Was told to come here for some lookings-at. I think the boys are just making fun of my voice."

Emma has just finished checking on one of the casualties awaiting transport. She comes over near the door to wash her hands in the basin there, and notices Sixten's entrance. "Hello," she says in reply. "Have a seat over there and I'll be right with you." She points to an empty cot not far away.

Sixten coughs into his hand. "Will need to be seen in private. My wounds are…" he pauses, shifting his notable weight from foot to foot. "Tender, if you get my meaning." The man tucks his hands under his arms; nervous, cold, or both. "Do you have private room, or at least curtains?"

"Tender?" Emma echoes, somewhat puzzled. Clearly she doesn't get his meaning. But she nods, scanning the house briefly. "We can go into the surgery if there's no one using it at the moment." She washes her hands briskly, scrubbing the blood off them, and then dries them on her apron. "This way."

"Er… yes," the man replies, probably a lot less than helpfully. He follows, but in Sixten's estimation the journey is over FAR too soon. Removing his coat as he takes a seat on the bed, Sixten's bare hands show themselves to be wrinkled and grizzled far beyond his years—far beyond ANYone's years, for that matter. "I thought I must've just hit my head on something, but somebody said I'd been shot the other day," he says warily, ski mask still firmly in place.

"Shot?" Emma's all about the echoing today, it seems. Her eyebrows go up fractionally. "You were shot in the head and didn't notice?" She's still trying to parse that one, as well as what's so 'tender' about a bump on the head.

Sixten shrugs indifferently, turning his head aside. Sure enough, there IS a dark red stain on the upper left of his mask, which has a long rip though it too. Scabbed over, of course; looks like he's let it go for a while. "Well Doctor," he says easily, despite Emma's obvious gender, "no. Not that I remember, at any rate." Rather well-spoken, for someone with a notable accent. "Which is a problem in and of itself, wouldn't you say?" The front of his ski mask wriggles; likely, he's grinning.

Emma eyes the gash when he turns his head, nodding slightly. "I'd say so, yes. Were you knocked out?" She does pause from her curious peering to correct him, "I'm only a nurse." She casually reaches for the chin of his ski mask, probably intending to pull it off.

"Apologies; mother was a doctor." He shrugs, lifting his chin to help Emma get the mask. Sixten shivers, though there's no way of knowing if it's from cold, pain, or what. "Middle of nowhere town, on the Svedish border." He clears his throat, getting back on track. "I don't think I passed out. I remember firing the first shot of a magazine at the trenches…" Sixten tilts his head, voice trailing off a bit at the end. "Then… I remember running towards the Korsu, reloading. It happens a lot," he adds quickly with a shrug.

"My father's a doctor," Emma says with a proud smile, perhaps happy to find some common ground. She pulls off the mask, and - nurse or no - can't keep from letting out a quiet, shocked gasp when she sees his face. No, she was not expecting that.

Sixten still flinches, despite the sharp little chuckle he lets out at Emma's reaction. "Last year, in Estonia." He speaks to fill the silence. A little smile, that contorts parts of his face which oughtn't be linked. "At least I don't have to worry about shaving or haircuts," he offers lamely.

Emma feels immediately guilty. "I'm sorry," she murmurs, as much for her reaction as for the injury itself. She does recover fairly quickly, gulping and tearing her eyes off the awfully mangled lips and nose. Instead she focuses them on where the gash on his head was. "What happened?" she manages to ask, quietly.

"I got in with some crazy Estonians at University in Oslo." He shrugs, turning his head so she can examine the wound itself. "I'm kinda' crazy too, so when Khostov said we should fight communism at it's roots…" Sixten shrugs, turns his eyes up to her. "It sounded like a really good idea at the time." He's quiet for a bit, letting Emma work, but something about her tender ministrations spurs him on. "Do you know how we destroy tanks, Nurse… I'm sorry," he grunts, clearing his throat. "What was your name?"

"Lotta Korhonen," Emma offers the formal name first, and then in a gentler tone. "Emma." She meets his eyes briefly before returning her gaze to the recent wound. "I'm sorry, where are my manners - I didn't ask your name, either." A brief pause, before she admits, "And no, I don't know. How?"

"Sixten Svensson the Seventh from Sweden!" the young man rumbles proudly, then appends in a gentler tone, "Well, except the Seventh part, but it sounds good." He's in rather high spirits, all things considered. He takes a deep breath, as though in preparation to plunge into a dark pool. "We take a vodka bottle, fill it with oil, pitch, gasoline, and such. Then a gas-soaked rag is stuck in the top. You light the rag, and throw it onto the back of the tank. The muck burns, but not too so fast that it can't drip into vital parts of the tank. If it hits grease, oil, gas lines…" He makes a flowering motion with his fingers. "Ker-pow!"

Emma gives an awkward little smile at his comment about the Seventh. "It does," she concedes. A slight frown forms as she listens to the description of the molotov cocktail. "That sounds…" It takes her a moment to think of the right adjective. "Dangerous."

Sixten shrugs a little, trying to keep still for her. The wound channel is long, but not terribly deep—just a few inches of flesh scraped off the skull. Not that there's anything good about that, of course. "It's not so bad. Well, for us at any rate." He grins, non-lips pulling away from surprisingly good (if a bit crooked) teeth. "What's dangerous is using a steel-cutting charge on the back of a tank. The force, you see…" And his voice fades, as though the throat is suddenly dry. "… the sheer force of it…" Sixten whispers.

Emma touches his shoulder comfortingly as his voice trails off, not pressing for details given his reaction. Instead she says, "The wound isn't very deep. I'll clean it, and it should heal in a few days or so."

Subconsciously, the big man leans into her hand. The one comforting touch is far and away more soothing than hours of sitting in bed, rocking back and forth alone. The Lotta's words make their way through his mind, bringing Sixten gently back to reality. Yes, the wound. The /bullet/ wound, focus on that. He wheezes, swallows, and tries again. "Is there anything I should be doing for it? I take a warm bath when I can, for the skin, and put a butter-balm on it when I've got some. Wll that hurt the new scar?"

"Bath is good," Emma concurs, letting her hand linger for a moment before withdrawing it and going to fetch a small basin of water and some other supplies for cleaning the wound. "You shouldn't put any butter straight on it until it's more healed, though. Just go around, and keep it dry and clean." She sets the basin down on a nearby table and asks, "Could you lie down on the table? You're a bit… tall." And Emma, not so much. Standing on her tiptoes is fine for examining the wound, but doesn't work so well for tending to it.

"… Oh. Right." Seems he's the only one not aware of just how big he is. Sixten leans back, laboriously easing himself down. "I might just take a nap here," he teases, patting the likely very stiff surgery bed. "Back home, I would put a pressboard under the sheets. Just couldn't get a bed firm enough."

"Thank you." Emma gives a slight smile at his comment. "Well, I'll try to be quick then so you can get some rest." Only half joking. She starts to clean the wound, trying to be as gentle as she can. It doesn't occur to her that maybe he can't feel it. "We had to sleep on the floor sometimes in the cabin. I never thought I could get used to that, but it's amazing where you can sleep if you're tired enough."

The big man stretches out, letting out a soft groan and smiling softly. "I remember those days. Hah! One time," he chuckles softly, "we snuck into this one basement to sleep in. Couldn't see a thing, so we just curled up in the corner. So when we woke up, wouldn't you know it? Thirteen skeletons staring back at us." He laughs, but tries to choke it off so his head doesn't move on her too much. "It was some Osteotherapist's basement, I think. But you never saw a half-dozen men run so fast!"

"Skeletons? Goodness," Emma smiles more genuinely at the story, finding herself more at ease in spite of the man's ruined face. "Did he find out you were there?" She cleans and dresses the wound with a practiced hand.

"I should hope not," Sixten shrugs, matter-of-factly concluding with, "or else Khostov would have slit his throat." The man frowns then, the molten face apparently making even the most minute of expressions immediately visible—any movement tugs much more flesh on his face than on a proper one. "I guess that's… I guess that should be a lot more disconcerting…"

It certainly was to Emma. The nurse blinks a bit at his declaration, not quite sure what to say to that. She just nods, and ties off the bandage around his head. "You can sit up now. It's all finished."

A stymied frown creases the left side of Sixten's face. "Er, yes, thanks…" He throws his arms forward to force himself upright, then shakes his head as if to clear it. "Sorry for all the trouble, Nurse Emma."

Emma shakes her head. "It's no trouble. Take care of yourself," she offers, before handing him back his mask and walking him out.

Sixten heads off North.

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