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Just A Scratch

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“It’s just a scratch,“ Catherine insisted. She almost regretted showing it to Jane as the vicar seemed to be cross with her.

“We need to take you to hospital,“ Jane insisted and not for the first time. The cut on the palm of Catherine’s hand was deep and still bleeding, despite the policewoman’s assurances that it had been “ages ago“.

“No, no, no hospital, can’t you just put a bandage round it?“ Catherine retorted. She knew Jane kept a first aid kit in her bathroom cupboard and she had retrieved it before even presenting the cut to her. She would have sorted it out herself but bandaging your own hand was a bit of a challenge. At least it wasn’t her dominant hand.

“I am not a doctor,“ Jane insisted but started rummaging around the first aid kit regardless.

“Well, what do they teach you at bloody Cambridge then?“ Catherine teased, hoping to lighten the mood.

“Not how to look after wounds that need stitches, unless you’re studying medicine which - as we just established - I haven’t,“ Jane shot back.

“Your bedside manner sucks,“ Catherine huffed.

“You could go and see a doctor if you’re not happy,“ the vicar retorted and they both started laughing.

“I’m sorry, I just…“ the police sergeant took a deep breath, watching Jane wrap up her hand with great care. “I didn’t want to go to hospital, I didn’t want to go anywhere, I just wanted to come here…“ she admitted and reached out to brush back a strand of the vicar's brunette hair with her uninjured hand.

“Okay…“ Jane nodded, accepting her explanation as she tied the knot on her bandage. It was far from perfect and it seemed to start soaking through already but it was the best she could do. She pressed a soft kiss to her fingers. “How did this happen?“

“This kid brought a knife to a pub… he were off his head on drugs…“ Catherine answered in an off-hand-sort of way, raising her injured hand as they had been taught in first aid.

“Isn’t there some sort of protocol for dealing with deadly weapons?“ Jane frowned.

“Yup.“ Catherine nodded but avoided her eyes which told the vicar everything she needed to know.

“Did you follow it? Or did you throw yourself at the kid and try to wrestle the knife from him?“ She tilted her head a little, watching the policewoman intently.

“He were tiny, okay?“ Catherine burst out after a long moment of guilt-laden silence. “I only cut meself 'cause this other lad interfered.“

“You’ve got to stop doing that,“ Jane sighed, shaking her head a little.

“Doing what?“ The police sergeant asked and the vicar was quick to answered:

“Putting yourself at risk.“

“I’m not.“ Catherine was affronted but Jane held firm:

“Yes you are.“ She reached for her uninjured hand and gave it a squeeze. “It’s no wonder that psychologist was asking if you had a death wish…“

“I don’t. I’ll tell you same thing what I told him, I…“ the policewoman started but Jane stopped her in her tracks:

“Catherine. I’m not saying you have, I’m saying you act like it, sometimes. Like your wellbeing is an afterthought and that’s admirable. It’s admirable what you did for Ann Gallegar. But it’s stupid when it comes to wrestling knives from drug users.“ As always, her voice was calm, reasonable and kind. Catherine had very little to hold against it.

“I see the distinction you’re making there…“ the sergeant huffed.

“Think about Ryan,“ Jane continued, driving the point home. “Think about your son. Think about your sister.“

“Think about you?“ Catherine interrupted, looking at her across the table they were sitting at.

“If you like,“ Jane gave a soft smile.

“I do. Think about you. A lot…“ Catherine leaned across the table and pressed a soft kiss to the vicar’s lips. Jane smiled, even blushed a little, as the policewoman sat back down and looked at her hand critically. “I’d have hoped you would’ve put a good word in for me, with him.“ She nodded towards the ceiling and regarded her wound critically as the bandage appeared to be soaking through.

“I have. But even the Lord himself can’t protect you from being bullheaded and cutting yourself on a knife,“ Jane replied in amusement.

“Point taken,“ Catherine sighed and held her injured hand out to Jane again: “Think it’s stopping bleeding, don’t you?“

“No, I don’t, I think we need to go to A&E. I’ll drive.“