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cat scratches

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"Here, kitty," Virgil attempts to coax the refugee from Roman's side of the Imagination out from under Roman's bed, without much success. Brilliant light green eyes glow, glaring at him, as the cat hisses and sputters like a motor gone awry.

"Come on," Virgil says, exasperated. "You can't like it here. Don't you want to be back home? You belong to Dr. Picani, don't you? He's probably worried sick." The cat cocks its head to one side, glare intensifying. Clearly the mention of its owner did nothing. "He probably has food for you," Virgil informs the cat. "Lots of food. Wet food, even. Cats like that, right?" The cat spits at him, backing further into a corner.

"Right," Virgil sighs. "You're the exception, apparently. Of course you are. Come on, kitty. There's dust and shit under there." He reaches toward the cat.

Mistake. Instant mistake, as one of the cat's fluffy white paws darts forward and its claws rake several bleeding scratches across his hand.

"Shit!" Virgil curses, cradling his bleeding hand and glaring balefully at the cat. "Fine, you can stay there, I don't care," he informs the wretched creature, awkwardly pushing himself up. "But you ain't leaving Roman's room."

He closes the door firmly behind himself, listening to it latch, before he wanders down the hall, aiming for the bathroom. He vaguely remembers that cat scratches are bad for you and while it doesn't really matter in the mind palace, his own peace of mind won't let him rest until his wounds are clean and disinfected.

Virgil swallows hard as he looks down at them. They look like-

Stop that, he scolds himself. You haven't done that in months. Nearly a year, even! It's nothing like that.

But save for the location, they are like that, almost exactly like that. The stinging is almost unbearable as he shoves his hand under the spray of water, but he ignores it, watching watery drops of blood slide down the side of his hand.

"Virgey?" Remus's voice echoes down the hallway, just loud enough to be heard over the water. "Where are you?"

"In here," he calls back. "The bathroom." He doesn't think about how it must look until his boyfriend is in the doorway, green eyes wide and spilling over with concern.

"Virgey?" Remus asks, his voice tiny. "Are you-"

Startled, Virgil looks down at his hand and flushes out to his ears.

"It's not what you think," he blurts out. "Picani's cat escaped and I was trying to put it back into the Imagination for Roman, I heard it meowing and-" He shrugs, rueful. "It didn't want to budge, if you couldn't tell."

"Nope, not at all," Remus says cheerfully. Virgil can still read the relief in his eyes, though. "Need some help?"

"Please," Virgil says, extending his hand. Remus grabs some supplies from the first aid kit under the sink, motioning for Virgil to sit on the edge of the tub. It still stings, but Remus's hands are warm and gentle as they maneuver Virgil's hand this way and that, and he can't bring himself to care about the pain. All too soon, Remus is done, and Virgil is sporting a handful of Nightmare Before Christmas-themed band-aids.

"Thanks," Virgil says gratefully, tipping his head up and allowing Remus to plant a kiss on his forehead.

"There you go!" Remus says, busying himself with putting the first aid kit away. Virgil watches him with a soft, sappy smile on his face.

"Roman's supposed to be back soon," Remus adds over his shoulder. "Let him deal with Madam Snuffles, okay?"

"The cat's name is Madame Snuffles?" Virgil echoes in disbelief, trying to stifle a snort. Remus grins.

"Yup," he says. "Anyway. I prescribe an afternoon of snuggles! And watching a movie with me. Otherwise, your hand might fall off." Virgil snickers at that.

"Fine with me," he says. "Anything to avoid my hand falling off." He slips his non-injured hand in Remus's, letting his boyfriend lead him out of the bathroom. From down the hall, a loud meow echoes. He exchanges a glance with Remus.

"Roman can deal with her," Remus says firmly, but Virgil can already tell what's going to happen. "On an unrelated note, I have to uh, go see something."

Hiding his amusement, Virgil watches Remus hurry down the hall to Roman's bedroom.

"I'll get the first aid kit," he calls after him. "Just, you know, in case." Remus looks back at him. The guilty flush staining his cheeks says everything.

Virgil giggles.