injured!tartaglia x reader (part 2)
part two of this
request: Hello I absolutely loved your one shot of Tartaglia helping an injured reader sdjgksjfkf if you don't mind I'd like to request a part 2 where reader asks him the story behind that big scar he pointed out? Maybe reader finds HIM injured and returns the favor and asks about his other scars while they treat his wounds?? Ahaha reader's just like "fuck I can't just leave you here to bleed out but don't you dare think this means I care for you or anything" lmao
format: two-parter (again, read part one first)
ship: tartaglia x reader
tags: fluff, reader is the traveler-ish (a completely separate character from aether and lumine, but still the traveler, does that make sense?), author forgets basic wound care halfway into the fic
warnings: blood, mildly graphic depiction of injury, stitches and needles
notes: hey so uhhhhhhhh i kinda went off the rails with this one, i didn't really follow the prompt in some points since uh... the part about the stories behind the scars... i kinda forgot about that... or like... eh you'll see, anyway, - banner still fucked up it will be fixed i prommy
Despite the high number of hilichurl camps, abyss mages, fatui agents, ruin hunters and ruin guards, Lisha was still one of your favorite places to explore, it was full of treasure chests to open, sweet flowers to pick and ore to mine. Plus, the atmosphere managed to still be peaceful, the open fields where the sun would shine uninterrupted for hours and hours on end were your favorite place to sit down and bask in the sunlight.
Your leg was still recovering from the tough hit you had taken a few weeks prior, which meant that you had to take more breaks while adventuring. Not that you would complain, taking breaks, putting some numbing cream on your wound, eating some reinvigorating food and drinking fresh water was just as satisfying as exploring.
After resting for about half an hour, you decided to get up, careful not to put any pressure on your injured leg. You threw your bag over your shoulder and walked north-west, towards the road to the chasm.
In the distance, you started hearing sounds of fighting, and as you got closer to them, you could see a tall figure fighting not one, but two separate ruin hunters, with a bow. It was too far away to see the person’s face, but you had half an idea of who it could be.
Then, out of nowhere, a bright purple flash, and in less than a second the ruin hunters were both on the ground, completely destroyed. Yep, it’s Tartaglia.
You thought about turning away and changing your direction before he could see you. You had already reluctantly thanked him for helping you that day, as well as paying for your medication out of his own pocket, but you still felt like you owed him a favor that you really did not want to fulfill. He was still the guy that almost destroyed Liyue, and made you fight for your life, despite everything.
Until you saw him fall to his knees, and as he turned to face your direction you could see his chest covered in blood.
You acted on instinct, ignoring your brain telling you to leave him alone, that he could tend to his own wounds, and you sprinted towards him. He may be an asshole, but you just want to avoid him, not leave him to die.
He was resting his back on a wall, head thrown back. Even from far away, you could see that he was breathing heavily. That same backpack you had seen on him the day he helped you was now sitting next to him, his left hand already rummaging through it.
His head shot up, he had definitely heard you coming towards him, his eyes widened as you kneeled down right in front of him and got a better look at his condition. You could see a cut crossing his chest, from his right shoulder to the middle of his torso, right over his heart. His grey coat was soaked in blood, as it pooled on the bend of his hips and slid down to the ground.
“So you do care about me.” he broke the silence, struggling to talk through heavy breaths and groans. He was completely out of breath, covered in blood, definitely in pain, and all he could think about was joking.
“I don’t. Just because I hate you, it doesn’t mean I want to see you dead.” You didn’t have time to get mad at him. “Also - I owe you a favor, I guess.” The only thought in your head was to help him, so you did not think twice before quickly unbuttoning his coat and undercoat and moving them out of the way.
You got a look at his chest and through the blood you could see several other scars, most of them looked years old, a few of them looked pretty large, carving his chest and abdomen. You wondered if his entire body looked like this, and why his face didn’t.
“Like what you see?” he joked again, his voice sounded hoarse, strained, very clearly struggling to talk. You sighed, couldn’t he just shut up for a minute?
You turned to your own bag to pull out anything you might need to help him. Potions, numbing cream and even a stitching kit laid next to you. You had bought the kit after that day, and started learning how to stitch wounds.
“No,” you dismissed him again. He whined quietly, you weren’t sure if it was because of your response or the wound.
All of the sudden, you felt… fear? Fear of what? Him passing out? And anger, at the fact that he wasn’t taking the situation as seriously as you were. He could easily die from this wound and all he was doing was making jokes.
You quickly started cleaning the blood with a cloth in one hand, while holding a bottle of antiseptic potion in your left, ready to pour it on top of the cut. You were being quick, passing your hand over his chest as fast as you could, trying to gather all the blood while avoiding the open skin, but there was so much of it that in mere seconds the cloth was soaked and completely useless.
You looked up at him and he was staring at the ground, his eyes completely unfocused. “Childe,” you called him and he squeezed his eyes closed, “try to stay awake.”
“Easy to say,” he muttered. At least he was awake.
You threw away the bloody cloth, and poured the antiseptic potion directly on his scar with no warning. Despite knowing that you were just helping him, a wave of guilt washed over you as you heard him cry out from the pain and throw his head back, wincing again when he hit the wall.
Half a bottle of potion and another clean cloth drenched in blood later, the wound had completely stopped bleeding, and you finally breathed out all the tension you were holding in your body.
His face, and body, were completely pale from the blood loss. His mouth was agape, eyelids half closed - looking at you, he sighed, barely letting any air out. You glared back, but by the way his head was positioned, you couldn’t help but look at his lips, the way they moved slightly every time he breathed out, they seemed so… soft, sweet. You brushed aside a thought that had snaked into your brain. His mouth curled up and he barked a laugh, but he stopped immediately and groaned again. Had he noticed that you were looking?
“Don’t laugh, it’ll hurt you,” you reminded him as you threw away the second blood drenched cloth.
“Sure,” he replied, voice still strained. “Whatever you say.”
You find a third cloth, the only clean one you had left, used some water from your bottle to make it damp and used it to wash your hands.
“Don’t talk either,” you looked at him as you opened a small glass jar containing numbing cream. “What were you thinking, being here alone and fighting two ruin guards?” He opened his mouth. “Don’t answer, you’ll tell me later.”
“I was just collecting some debts when those two attacked me.” He groaned again.
“I said, don’t talk if it hurts.” You made it clear from your tone that you were annoyed at the way that he was acting.
You dipped a couple of fingers into the cream, and hesitated before placing your bare hand on his chest, carefully placing the cream around the wound, so that he would not feel pain when you would be stitching it closed. As you got a better look at the cut, you noticed how the skin had been basically mangled, it looked like it would not be an easy recovery.
“You look like you know what you’re doing,” he pointed out, before groaning again. You were starting to wish you had taped his mouth with something.
“Because I know what I’m doing, I’m not an idiot. And you’re making me regret helping you, just shut up already.”
Your hand froze over his skin. You moved your eyes back up to him, trying to decipher his expression. Was that an invitation, or just teasing? He hadn’t even tried to put on a smug face, his expression just looked tired and worn out, which made it even harder to decipher.
The longer you looked at him, the weirder it would get, you would have to do something before it got awkward and that thought from earlier slammed back into your head.
You wanted to wish you had run the other way, but the truth was that you were glad you hadn’t. Maybe it was all of the tension you had accumulated while seeing all that blood flow out of him, maybe it was the heavy lidded look he was giving you, but you placed your clean hand on the side of his face, cupping his cheek. His eyes widened, mouth parted ready to say something, but, before he could, your lips were on his.
The kiss was fast, you pulled back almost immediately and averted his gaze right away. You could feel him staring at you as you put your hand back into the jar and picked up some more cream.
“I didn’t think you would actually-” he didn’t finish the sentence.
You quickly caught a glimpse of his expression before focusing on taking care of the wound. You contained a laugh as you saw him look absolutely dumbfounded and flustered, he had seriously been rendered completely speechless by what could barely be considered a kiss. If he hadn’t lost that much blood that day, his cheeks would definitely be red.
Honestly, you couldn’t believe what had happened either. You couldn’t believe you had even done it. You could’ve just laughed it off and kept medicating him in silence. But you were glad that you didn’t.
Neither of you uttered a word for a while, and even though the atmosphere wasn’t explicitly awkward, you wished he would say something. After a thick layer of numbing cream and several minutes of silence, you finally gathered the courage to look back at him. He was clearly pretending to look away, as if he hadn’t spent the entire time looking at you working.
“Is the pain gone? Can I stitch it now?” Your voice came out unexpectedly soft. You touched the skin around the wound, waiting to get a reaction from him.
His head snapped back to face you, and he nodded. “Can’t feel a thing,” he said as he touched his own chest. “I can stitch it though, if you wa- Ah!” He lifted his right arm, the injured one, and immediately stopped mid-air, “fuck- shit, not this,” he almost yelled.
“You ripped a tendon.” You gently took his right arm, putting it back down for him, and looked at his shoulder. “I’ll stitch it, don’t worry - I’ve learned.”
He didn’t say anything, and you took it as permission. You opened the kit you had bought at Bubu pharmacy weeks prior: recurved needle, thread and tweezers. You could feel Tartaglia’s gaze on you as you struggled passing the thread through the needle, but in the end you managed to do it.
As you hovered over the wound, your gaze fell on a large scar, the one that would normally be visible from over his coat on his neck, and it went down over the left side of his body down until his hip. It looked pretty old, but it was still very visible.
“Can I ask you… how did you get that?”
You pointed at the scar with your pinkie and slightly traced over it, “this scar, what happened?”
He followed your finger with his gaze, and kept his eyes on the scar even as you moved back to the still open wound. “Oh, that?” You passed the needle through the skin and pulled it out on the other side. “I was 14.”
You saw some blood trickle from the cut as you carefully pulled the thread and passed the needle through one more time. By the way he had spoken, you felt like he was going to continue talking, so you didn’t interrupt.
“Uhm, when I was 14, I-” you heard him pass his tongue over his lips, “the Abyss, you know.” You nodded quietly as you passed the needle through a few more times.
“You don’t have to talk about it, if you don’t want to,” you reassured him, you knew that it was a pretty sensitive topic, or at least you imagined it would be. You stitched a few more loops with ease, getting progressively more comfortable with what you were doing.
“It’s fine, I- I was in-” his voice was starting to shake the slightest bit, but you noticed the change of tone in his voice.
You finally reached the end, and you cut the thread, tying it tightly at the end. You put the needle and the tweezers back into their container.
“I had to fight this… huge- and when-” once you looked up at him, you realized how lost in thought he was, looking at his scar, unable to take his eyes off it, he was probably getting some flashbacks. “I-” his voice cracked, his lower lip trembled ever so slightly, and you could not bear it anymore. Without even thinking about it, you grabbed the side of his face and dragged him in for an actual, proper kiss.
He fell right into it and reciprocated immediately, placing his left hand on the side of your waist. It was sweet, and tender, and you got a better feel of what his lips were like: just as soft as they looked.
You pulled back first once again, and as you got to look at his surprised face, eyebrows raised and everything, your mind started racing. You had just kissed not just a Fatui, not just a Harbinger, but the Harbinger that had tried to kill you, that manipulated you and that nearly destroyed Liyue for the second time. And he was sitting in front of you looking like an idiot.
You couldn’t figure out what you were feeling, but there was something going on deep in your chest, and stomach.
“This doesn’t mean anything,” you quickly clarified before he could say anything. “Neither of them do, they were just to shut you up.”
“Were they?” he asked. And just like that, he came full circle back to the false smugness.
You really, really did not want to think about the weird feeling that was growing in your stomach. “Look at what I got from Baizhu.” From your bag, you pulled out a thick strip made out of cotton and a small vial full of Slime concentrate.
“You’re avoiding the question.”
“What do they mean to you?” you bit back, waiting to see if he would face the question himself, or back out like a hypocrite.
“What did you get from Baizhu?”
You both chuckled, and you noticed his bare chest rising and falling back down as he laughed. “He said it’s a new type of bandaging, you use slime concentrate to stick it to the skin.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “I don’t love the sound of that, actually.”
“I was skeptical too the first time I tried it, but trust me - it’s much more comfortable.” You heard him sigh in defeat as you already spread some of the slime condensate over the strip, and set down the half empty vial. “It won’t hurt.”
“Do you promise?”
He looked into your eyes with a relaxed expression, you looked right back. “I promise,” you replied with a kind smile, before turning your attention to the strip and stuck it over the wound, carefully placing it so that it would cover the entire cut.
“All done,” you said as you started getting up, but you felt a hand grabbing your arm, another one grabbing the side of your face, and tugging you back down, and before you could realize it your lips were once again on Tartaglia’s.
You couldn’t help but reciprocate the kiss, his lips were still soft, and at that point you felt like you could get used to them. The kiss was exactly as gentle as the one before, you could feel your fluttering in your chest as Tartaglia’s thumb started gently rubbing your cheekbone.
He pulled back first this time, and as you opened your eyes back you could see a wide smile on his face.
“Sending me mixed signals, huh?” you pointed out.
“I told you, I never had anything against you personally,” he said as he put his clothes back on, trying to fix them as much as possible, despite the very clear cut on his chest and the blood covering them completely.
“I’m gonna need some time before I’ll believe that.” You got up and reached down a hand for him to get up. “You’re gonna need to prove it to me.”
He grabbed it with his non-injured hand and stood up beside you. “While you take your time, care to walk me to Bubu pharmacy, so I can buy some of these sticky bandages?” he asked, a wide smile still on his face.
“Sure,” you simply replied, picking up both of your back and tossing them over your shoulder.
You watched him move his injured arm slightly, to figure out how much he could move it. Unsurprisingly, not much.
He hummed. “I’m gonna have to take some time off from duty, hopefully they won’t kill me for it,” he said in a joking manner, but you could sense that he wasn’t kidding about the killing part.
“Well,” as you both started walking back to the harbor, you got an idea, “you could use the time off to show me that you truly don’t hate me.”
“Like what?” You could feel his gaze on you.
“Like, we could go out for dinner,” you suggested, keeping your eyes in front of you. “In a completely neutral way, and then see what happens from there.”
“It’s a plan, then.”
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