Ship Shape – Part 3

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“That’s what I’m afraid of. You might just be overdue for the grave.”

The white mage smirked as she put away the prick-probe and exchanged it with an eyeloop out from her healing kit.

“Your sensory system seems fine, but the examination isn’t complete.  I won’t make you take the hat off, but I need to see your eyes.”

She reached up for the visor, placing her hands on the flip-hinges with a frustrated huff.

“If I was your friend, you would know that I don’t let small symptoms grow into bigger problems later.  Now let me take a look… it will only take a minute.”

Amon winced at both the words (If I was your friend…) and the handling – her fingers so close to his visor! 

Had he ever once indicated that she was his friend? No… not that he could remember… But that’s what he wanted her to believe now. And so, even though this felt a little bit like she was flipping the table on him to get what she insisted upon, he gave in to her demand.

Part of him wanted to exclaim: You were never concerned about other people in your past life… and certainly not concerned about me! Why now?

But, instead, the Elezen settled for making all sorts of disgruntled sounds before etching out the words, “Fine. Just… make sure it’s no one else sees.”

He held still and let her do whatever she was planning on doing to his poor eye wear.  

Scylla lifted the visor, half expecting to see two puffy eyes, filled with purulent infection, or perhaps the black lining of a swollen lid from fighting.

There was nothing of that.  Just the two golden eyes staring back at her, with a slight squint of discomfort.  She examined him closely, before leaning back.

“There.  That wasn’t so bad, was it?”  She put her hand on his shoulder, remembering her lessons in bedside comfort.

Compliment… E-Sumi always said to comfort a patient with a compliment.

“You do have quite the beautiful eyes.”  The white mage looked at him with a tilted head.  “It’s a shame that you hide them so much.”

Stunned, Amon coughed uncomfortably, not sure what to say. He didn’t know if he was staring at her in disbelief, but he might have been.

All the many years he knew Scylla, she had never said something like that. In fact, the very first thing he remembered upon meeting her, back when they were children, was her teasing him because of the size of his ears.

So to hear these strange, unlikely, completely unfathomable words made him think…

Maybe I have the wrong person.

The Elezen tried to swallowed down that doubt.

But how could that be? Everything else about her matched.

She just didn’t remember. That’s all it came down to. And should she remember, she’d probably be blackening his eyes rather than complimenting them.

So, he may as well take it while he had it. It might be a little fun to see what she really thought without the shadows of the past coloring her words.  

“Do you really think so?” Amon tilted his head, trying for an embarrassed smile. It was hard when you were so arrogant to look sheepish, but years of training in the mummer’s arts helped. “You’ve never told me that before.”

“Really?” Scylla smirked slightly as she started to scribble in her notebook. “Well, then you know not to get used to it.”

“You’ll be pleased to know that you aren’t going to die tomorrow, but there are some serious dexterity concerns, and you have been going slack on this ship in terms of keeping up with your routines.”

Scylla continued to scribble furiously without looking up.

“We are going to use this time at sea to ramp up some of your exercises.” She frowned, biting on her pencil.  “I think your mind-aether-reflex system is off.  I’ve seen it before in post-Calamity injuries… I think I have some therapeutic possibilities for this in mind.”

“Most importantly…” Scylla shook her head.  “Try losing the visor… at least some of the time?”

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