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Poultice

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"I thought you could sense the Darkspawn, my dear wardens."

Zevran's Antivan accent sounded over the clang of blades. He stabbed another monster in the neck, causing it to fall face down. An arrow flew past him. Landing in the shoulder of a Genlock struggling to fight Wick, Kalya's mabari.

"We do, but I'm always sensing them! I just got used to it." Kalya notched another arrow.

"KALYA!"

The elven woman froze when she heard her name turning her head she saw a Darkspawn raising a sword to her. She wouldn't be able to reach her blade in time. Flinching, she prepared for the pain of the blade. But instead, she felt warmth, she heard the familiar clang of metal on metal. The unsettling crack and crunch of something unnatural and unfamiliar. 

Opening her eyes she made eye contact with very familiar eyes. Alistair's face a couple of inches from her own. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the Darkspawn fall after a blade was embedded into its face. Zevran's doing. But she found herself unable to look away from the man in front of her. She had been physically close to Alistair before, but this was different. 

"Ahem." 

Both Kalya and Alistair turned their attention to the bemused elf and the mabari standing off to the side. The Dalish elf felt her ears and cheeks explode with heat. Alistair slowly unwrapped his arms from his fellow Grey Warden. 

"Sorry about that. Are you alright?" He asked looking her over. 

"Y-yes. Yes. I'm fine." She managed to stammer out. "Did that blow break your armor?"

"Oh relax. It's nothing too bad."

"It looks terrible my friend," Zevran remarked moving behind Alistair. "Absolutely terrible."

"No it-"

His words were cut off by his own hiss of pain. Zevran having poked at the wound on his back.

"Alistair! Take off your armor." Kalya didn't like her own harsh tone. "Please." She added much softer.

"I-fine. If it'll calm you." 

He goes about removing the severely damaged armor. And his tunic underneath. He turned around to allow her to get a better look at it. 

Kalya's breath hitched at the sight. It wasn't very wide but the depth was something to worry about. If Wynne was with them, there wouldn't be a problem. Variel was also a rather gifted healer, but he wasn't here either. If they walked back to camp, the several hour walk might give it enough time for an infection to take hold. 

"'Oh it's fine. Nothing too bad.'" Kalya mimicked Alistair's earlier tone.

"If we got any poultice, we could easily cover the wound until we get back to camp." Zevran's voice piped in, stopping his friend's worrying thoughts.

"Yeah. Yeah! Do you have any? I left mine." Kalya hoped dearly that Zevran had brought some form of medicine.

But they were dashed with the shake of his head.

"I didn't think we'd find anything so serious. Didn't you say we here hunting?" Alistair spoke up.

"Well, I didn't think we'd have to travel so far in order to find enough meat for everyone!" 

Her tone wasn't harsh but helpless. Someone she cared deeply for was hurt and there was a good chance it was only going to get worse. Because she was careless. 

"Perhaps you have elfroot? It's easy to make a poultice of it." Zevran's voice was both comforting and matter of fact.

Like he hadn't seen that his friend was on the verge of tears.

"Oh! I always have elfroot!"

Kalya nearly tore off the backpack she was wearing and pulled out the carefully gathered elfroot leaves. Without even thinking, she put a few leaves in her mouth. 

Kalya's time as a hunter and protector for her clan made her know a decent amount about herbs. She could make rather simple concoctions for poison and healing. Healing was the most common. She couldn't count how many times she had to chew up elfroot leaves in order to heal a child's scrapped knee or a hunter's wound from trying to scare away humans. Though she mostly had to worry about herself. The scrapes and cuts on the arm were in constant need of poultice.

It was second nature. So second nature, that she didn't even realize what she was doing until she tasted something metallic under her tongue. 

Often times, Kalya's hands were too dirty to rub the poultice into her wounds or scrapes. Be it blood or mud, using her hands would cause more harm than good. Which is why, she would occasionally use her tongue. 

She had begun using her tongue to place the poultice in Alistair's wound. 

Kalya's face erupted in heat. There was no doubt that even her slightly darker skin didn't hide how red the tips of her pointed ears were. 

"Uhmmm..." Alistair's entire body was completely stiff.

She wanted to bury herself alive in that moment. What in the Creators name did she just do? But she continued, opting to finish healing Alistair then feeding herself to the Archdemon. 

His skin was smooth, all bumps and dips coming from his muscle. She always knew that he was well built. Anyone who could see knew that much. But feeling it was something else. She could feel him flexing his defined muscles oddly enough. He was probably trying to relax.

It, strangely enough, made her wish to just feel him. Feel his body underneath her fingertips. How his body flexes and flows through every movement.

Wait...

Once she was sure that she'd covered the wound in the poultice, she pulled herself away. Glancing over her improvised handy work, but she couldn't focus on it. Instead studying his physique again. She turned away and tried to discreetly take a breath.

"Go ahead and put your tunic back on. I'll-I'll carry your armor and we'll get your replacement soon."

Kalya didn't even wait for her companions to respond before she grabbed the broken armor and beginning to fast walk.

Unknowingly, leaving a confused and flustered Alistair, and a smirking Zevran.

.

Upon arriving in camp, Kalya gave Leliana the meat she and the others caught before she went into her tent.

Variel noticed that something was up right away. The elven mage looked to Alistair  who wasn't wearing armor when he returned. He left Morrigan's side to go and get some hint as to what was going on.

"Hey? Alistair? What happened when you guys were hunting?"

Alistair's face just turned red, while Zevran started laughing.