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Author Topic: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)  (Read 270 times)

Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« on: August 07, 2020, 10:28:16 AM »
It was a long day, an extremely long day, one of those days that you wish just ended. Mike had just returned from a scouting expedition. Of course, there were casualties, there always was. it was tough forging friendships and creating attachment, only to have everything torn apart by the teeth of a hungry titan. It was late in the afternoon, and Mike wished to numb his skull with a couple of tankards of ale before hitting the hay, however, he still had one duty he needed to complete before he was finally done.

He walked on foot through the somewhat empty streets, leading his horse gently along the cobblestone pathways. They had to walk slowly as the horse had somewhat injured it's back right leg. Mike had done his best to bandage the leg and take away as much pain as possible from the horse. He knew he wasn't equipped enough to tend to the injuries properly, and delaying any further would seriously jeopardise the horse's future. He knew exactly who to take the horse to.

"Hey Hugh! You around?"

Mike entered the stable, leading his horse through the gate towards the centre of the building. His heightened sense of smell was greeted with the aroma of horse manure, although he was rather used to the scent at this point, he never found it to be pleasant. He didn't understand how Hubert put up with the smell all day, perhaps he liked it. Hubert was a quiet, genuine man who kept to only himself and his horses. He was the kind of man Mike got along with, he resonated with those who were different from the usual flock. There was no greed in tending to horses, it was honest work, far from what the military police practised.

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 05:02:43 PM »
The day before the last expedition was supposed to head out, a horse had spooked and Hugh had been given a pretty nasty kick. Square in the chest - it had been enough to knock him back into a shelf that was just at the perfect hight to give him some nasty cuts ad bruises to his face. - along with the ugly purple blotch on his chest. While he had assured everyone he was fine - a couple of other veterinarians were able to go on the the expedition and it was decided Hugh would stay back this time.

There was always a lot to prepare for when an expedition came back. He'd spent the better part of the last 48 hours making sure that stalls were clean and that he had enough supplies. There were always injuries. To both human and horse. Hugh's main care was the horses.

"Hey Hugh! You around?"

Hugh had been mucking out a stall when he heard a familiar voice. A rare welcome voice.

"Mike?" Hugh popped his head around the corner and was pleased to see Mike's tall figure.  Mike was one of the people Hugh could say he genuinely liked. And respected. Mike had been one of the first people in the Corps to extend a hand of kindness towards Hugh and they had formed an easy sort of friendship over the almost two decades they had known each other. And Mike was one of the only people Hugh knew who was taller than he was.

"Well welcome back," Hugh mumbled as he walked towards Mike and his horse. He could see the bandages around the horse's leg and he appreciated that Mike had takent he time to tend whatever wound it had received.

Hugh moved to kneel down and looked at the leg, "Bring him over here," Hugh said as he moved aside. He pointed to his work station. It was lit well with lanters and had all of Hugh's tools set out on a table in the corner.

"Want something to drink?" Hugh offered. "Water should still be hot." Hugh knew Mike knew where the kettle and mugs were. And the flask of gin.

"How'd it go?" Hugh asked he began to cut the bandages off. Mike had done a good job wrapping everything up. But Hugh needed to take a look and at least get everything cleaned up. 

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2020, 08:49:55 AM »
Mike was surprised to see the numerous cuts and bruises painted on Hugh's face, he looked even worse than Mike did. He handed the horse over to the proper caretaker, before walking over to where the gin was stored. He picked up the flask, flipping off the lid to take a small swig. The gin had the right amount of burn and tingle to take away some of the pain endured during the mission, it was temporary but it was better than nothing.

"Hugh, you know me well enough to know that I was heading straight for the alcohol"

He let out a hearty laugh before leaning his body against the bench where he collected the flask. His muscles were tired and his mind was weak. His facial expressions altered to a more serious complexion, his facial features dropping as his eyes closed for an instant.

"It goes how it always does Hugh. We lost a lot of good men and women."

He took one more swig before letting the flask on the surface of the counter. There was pain in every moment, in the depths of his voice. No matter what he endured, Mike never gave up, and that was evident in the way he carried himself. There was no defeat in his eyes because the fighting never ended.

"Will the horse be alright? She did well out there today, I know it must've been painful walking on that leg."

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2020, 01:24:49 AM »
"Hugh, you know me well enough to know that I was heading straight for the alcohol."

Hugh made a sound that was halfway between a snort and a grunt. He did know that Mike would go right for the gin. He'd have a sip once he was done fixing of the mare. Hugh liked his drink. Seldom at taverns though. Mostly alone in the stables late at night. Or with a solitary friend once in a while.

"It goes how it always does Hugh. We lost a lot of good men and women."

Hugh watched Mike's face fall and he nodded, "As it always goes." Hugh had seen that the other veterinarians made it back. That was pretty typical. Riding in the middle of the formation gave them a level of safety that the other Corps members did not have.

"Your team okay?" Hugh asked as he tossed the rest of the bandages into a bucket and began to clean the wound. It was not too deep but a few stitches would be needed. He moved to his shelf and grabbed a bottle of ointment that would numb the area a bit.

"Will the horse be alright? She did well out there today, I know it must've been painful walking on that leg."

"I'm sure it hurt like hell," Hugh said as he dabbed the tart smelling salve on the horses leg, "But she'll be fine." He was silent for a moment, looking closer at the leg, "I don't think there is another expedition schedualed for a little while. That should give her time to heal up."

He'd begun stitching and the horse gave a little whinny. He reached up and have her chest a pat - murmuring to her as he worked.

It was a quick job and Hugh stood up with a grunt, "She needs new shoes. I'll do that in a few days."

"You can put her in the stall I just mucked out. There's fresh hay and water," Hugh told Mike as he took the flask of gin and took a swig. He looked at Mike and took in his old friends face. Life in the Corps took a toll on people. Hugh certinly felt older than his own thirty-three years. Mike had a few years on him and Hugh wondered how he felt. Just the fact that Mike had lasted this long spoke to his character and ability.

He handed the flask back to Mike, "Want a sandwich?" Hugh would occasionally not emerge from the stables for days and he always kept food around. In tins and jars so the mice would not get to it.

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2020, 09:21:05 AM »
He nodded in response to the first question. Fortunately, his team always seemed to come back. He chose his team carefully and trusted each and every one of them with his life. It was fundamental that a team completely trusted each other, a lingering sense of mistrust and that could result in the deaths of the whole team. It took years to develop that sense of trust, it's difficult trusting yourself alone.

"Yeah, they made it back. Tough group, I couldn't do it without em."

He was glad to hear the feedback on his horse, an especially strong mare that had seen it's fair share of battle and death. Every rider and their horse developed a bond, it was strong and difficult to replace. Mike felt more comfortable riding into battle with a trusted companion, he needed every advantage he could get when every second on the field was life or death.

"Thanks for the help Hugh, I can always rely on ya."

He walked over to the horse to offer a gentle pat. The skin was soft to touch, resembling the gentle nature of the beast. These beings were as important in the fight against the titans as the ODM gear.

He turned around to offer a surprised expression, it was an odd question but nothing unusual from Hugh. He hadn't even in hours, however, Mike always struggled to stomach food after an expedition. Still, it was rude not to accept.

"What kind of sandwich?"

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2020, 07:33:44 PM »
"Yeah, they made it back. Tough group, I couldn't do it without em."

Hugh nodded his approval, "Glad to hear it." Hugh was actually qualified to be a Team Leader. All the current vetrinarians were. But Hugh could not imagine Commander Smith  actually giving him a team...or disliking any of the other Corps members to assign them to him.

"Thanks for the help Hugh, I can always rely on ya."

Hugh shrugged, "It's my job." It was...but Hugh would basically do anything for the horses of the Corps. And Mike had been a good friend all these years. He'd go above and beyond for Mike.

"She'll be good as new soon enough," Hugh said. That was by far not the worst injury he'd seen a horse take on an exepition.

"What kind of sandwich?"

"The kind with bread Mike," Hugh said as he slapped together bread, cheese, and what was left of the ham to make two sandwiches. He handed one to Mike and took another pull of the gin.

"Who was lost?" Hugh asked as he took a bite. The bread was a little stale but it still tasted fine. He was not picky. Food was food. He glanced at Mike - watching his friends face. He knew Mike would not answer if he did not want to. Hugh was content to sit in silence if that is what Mike wanted.

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2020, 08:03:25 AM »
He extended his hand towards Hugh, receiving the sandwich with a sense of discontent. Mike wasn't the biggest fan of ham and cheese, he couldn't understand why it was such a popular combo. Mike tried to hide the look of disappointment, sheltering it underneath the usual gloomy look he wore. He stared at it for a moment, realising the fact he was alive to eat a ham and cheese was cause enough to bite down. He took a bite, his teeth crushing through all the layers in a method to avoid the least chewing and instant swallowing. He would wait to down a gulp of gin after every couple bites, passing the flask back and forward with Hugh.

He paused at Hugh's last question. It was a tough one to answer. The soldier didn't want to flick through the list, recount a memory shared with each fallen soldier because the reality was plenty of them were new recruits and Mike barely knew their name. He finished off the sandwich, finishing off the last bite with an aura of victory, hoping Hugh wouldn't offer another. He was more of a chicken sandwich type of guy, however with the latest food rations that seemed unlikely.

He recalled back to Hugh's question, a sense of defeat painted on his face. He didn't want to answer the question, he had already lived through it once, no need to do it again.

"Any chance you have any chicken?"

Re: Having a Yarn in the Barn (Mike and Hugh)
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 11:09:27 PM »
OOC: I never mentioned it - but really cute title!


Hugh understood what the silence meant and nodded - letting the question go. Lives lost were lives lost. Did it really matter who it was?

"Any chance you have any chicken?"

"Not a chance at all," Hugh returned dryly. He shrugged. Food was food. "Go ahead and finish or take the gin if you want," he added. He was expecting a bottle of whiskey in the next few days so Mike was more than welcome to the gin. Looked like he needed it.

Hugh was content to let things be silent for a while. He appreciated that about Mike. The man never felt the need for idle chatter.

One of the stable cats was sitting on a one of the work benches and Hugh stratched under her chin.

"Wait," Hugh said suddenly, "I don't have chicken...but I have some apple tarts. I...helped a person with a mare who was having trouble...and they gave me those. You want one?" Hugh had totally fogotten about those. They were probably still good.

"Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That's the problem."


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