DAMNED || LANDEL'S INSTITUTE

A Multifandom Asylum RPG


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Night 55: Greenhouse Yard
animated
tsunagari wrote in damned
[from here]

Sai stepped cautiously out into the yard. Now that they were outside, it was impossible to tell what they'd run into. Even with flashlights, they wouldn't be able to see far. Then there was the matter of the greenhouse and the fact that they'd be clearly visible to anything that might be waiting inside it.

They needed to keep moving, but they needed to exercise extreme caution.

The moment he stepped out, he moved immediately to his left and hung close to the wall, expecting Brook to do the same. The fewer directions an enemy could come at them from, the better. From this point, they just had to hop the wall into the courtyard and run for the kitchen. With any luck, there wouldn't be anything waiting for them in that small space between the wall and the door. Or it could be that something was already waiting for them right on the other side.

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[From here.]

The difference between the air inside and that in the yard surrounding the greenhouse was enough to surprise the Scarecrow as he crossed through the doorway. The snow had continued falling throughout the day, the once-thin layer now blanketing the grounds. Save for a few footsteps marring the ground near the door, the snow was undisturbed, covering everything in the area with a pristine layer of white.

The Scarecrow was so stunned by the sight (so much snow! Who knew that much could gather in one place?) that he momentarily forgot the immense amount of pain coursing from his arm. He trembled- or was it a shiver from the air? That foot-on-the-floor feeling was all around him, nipping most at the open wound, reminding him that it was indeed still there.

He looked to Carter, that feeling of helplessness making him more and more uncomfortable. "Well, we're out here," he said in a pained voice. "What do we do now?"

Okay. Right. "We need to get cold on it. Don't worry, I've set myself on fire plenty of times and I've always been fine," he said, his cheery tone trying to offer Frank false comfort. Little scorches, yes, but never something that massive.

In a moment of inspiration Carter whipped his beret off and began stuffing it full of snow. He packed it in tightly, as if making a snowball, hoping that it would stay in the hat on its own. "This'll make an ice pack," he explained, sounding more frantic than he'd have liked. "If you keep it on your arm then it won't swell up too bad or hurt so much."

When he was finished he stepped back around to get a good look at Frank's arm. There was so much of the wound, though, and so little hat to put it on... Carter bit his lip nervously and then finally applied it to where he hoped the worst of the burn was.

As Carter collected snow into his hat, the Scarecrow took a moment to pull at some of the scraps of fabric still left from the sleeves of his coat and shirt- most of them had burned away, but the parts that stuck to his wounded arm were stubborn, only causing even more pain when removed. He'd gotten most of them off by the time Carter finished, making as much room as possible for the ice pack.

Having already decided that his arm burning hurt far worse than having his head worked on, the Scarecrow took a deep breath as Carter pushed the snow onto his arm, expecting it was probably going to get worse before it got better. He was right: the feeling that followed wasn't one he'd describe as pleasant in any sense of the word, but he made sure not to pull away. After all, Carter assured him he had experience in being set on fire, and all of his limbs looked as good as new. It probably only hurt so badly because he didn't know what it was like, the Scarecrow reasoned. With this experience, he'd be ready for it, should he ever be set ablaze again.

"I- I think I'm feeling better already," the Scarecrow said with a shaky smile after a minute or two, as though saying it might make it true. It didn't always work, but it couldn't make things worse at this point. Now that he thought about it, it did seem to be dulling the pain- the problem was going to be keeping the hat on his arm. He certainly couldn't hold it if they were going to climb the wall.

His stance wavered as his legs suddenly felt less stable than they had. His boots- still hanging from his shoulders by the tied-together laces, and completely forgotten in the chaos from the Entry Room- thumped against his chest, giving him an idea. "Here, help me get the strings out of these," the Scarecrow said, handing one of the shoes to Carter. "We can tie this on, then we can keep moving without thinking about it too much. I'm probably going to need this hand to get over the wall. We can use my hat too, if need be, since one didn't seem to cover it all."

If Frank kept pulling at his burned clothes like that he was going to open up the wound and get himself bleeding. (Which would be good for anyone wanting to fixate a position with their ring once they got over the wall, but probably bad for the beanpole man's health.)

"I'll let you stand on my shoulders. Both my arms are fine. And it's good you're feeling better, the ice should make it kind of numb and less like it's still on fire." Carter took Frank's free hand and made it press the icehat on the wound before he started unlacing the boot, having to juggle it with the crowbar so both hands could work. The cold was already setting in and numbing up his hands, making it hard to get the knots off.

A clever little thing that made you stop feeling pain? Now that would just be the neatest. If Frank could figure out how to turn it on and off at will he'd probably be the best fighter ever.

The last aglet popped free. Carter snuck a look at him and frowned, having a sneaking suspicion that Frank might not be so truthful about his condition. "It'll be okay," he repeated as he began tying the hat to Frank's arm, making it sound as if he actually believed it. "Don't worry. The nurses here can handle it."

Watching Carter tie the makeshift ice pack to his arm, the Scarecrow was thankful for his optimism, even if it was becoming apparent they were trying to keep one another from recalling the nightmare they'd just lived through and all the consequences that came with it. "You're right. I'd be surprised if there's anything those nurses can't fix. Everything will be just fine by morning." The trick was going to be making it until morning arrived. The snow made the grounds look brighter than normal- it was hard to tell how late into the night it really was. If they were going to get to town before the sun came up, it was probably best that they got moving.

The Scarecrow slipped into his now-laceless boots; without the strings to keep them together, he couldn't think of a better way to carry them than either on his feet or in his hands, and he already knew the latter wasn't much of an option. Leaving them behind and risking the soldiers finding he'd lost them wasn't a better choice. He'd have to save feeling the crunch of the snow beneath human feet for later- with his arm, he'd had quite enough sensation for the time being, anyway.

Moving his arm a little to make sure the hat wasn't going anywhere, the Scarecrow gave Carter a nod. "This oughta hold me together for sure. How can I ever thank you enough?"

"I...just..." Carter fumbled his words and Frank's hat, almost embarrassed by the statement. People didn't thank him so emphatically very often. Sure, he got scolded plenty, and maybe there was a brief bit of praise when he did something really right, but he'd never been so outright helpful.

"It's nothing. Just doing a soldier's duty, y'know?" he managed awkwardly as he knelt again to stuff the second hat with snow. "It's not a big deal. I'm just used to this sort of thing." When he tied the second hat to Frank's arm he did it with a bit more flourish and an eager smile, even making the knot look prettier just so he'd have done the best job he could.

Even with his arm in questionable shape and the danger they'd faced still fresh on his mind, the Scarecrow couldn't help but wear a smile to match Carter's. The encounter with the Burning Man had taken a toll on them both, but as long as they stuck together, he was sure everything would turn out okay. He might not have known how to deal with burns, but he could at least return the favor by keeping the sergeant's spirits up.

With two hats tied to his arm and the wound feeling far less on-fire than it had been, it was time to tackle their next obstacle. "Well, now that I'm patched up, let's see what we can do about that wall. We've got a town to visit!"

The snow crunched pleasantly beneath his boots as the Scarecrow approached the wall that bordered the building. "It certainly looks higher from up close," he noted. "Are you sure you'll be able to hold me on your shoulders?" There was a pause as he thought for a second. "I'm not sure how much I weigh, to be perfectly honest."

"You're pretty thin, and my arm's all fixed now. It should be fine." Carter wandered to the wall and pondered it, trying to judge how much of a lift he'd need to give Frank for him to be able to climb over on his own. He linked his fingers together and gave them a few practice raises, sucking on his lip in firm concentration.

The wind whispered through the courtyard, not strong but enough to make Carter very aware of how cold and wet his fingers were. The soldiers had given them some really nice outfits but they hadn't thought of gloves or mittens. Perhaps he could request some tomorrow.

He wiped his hands on his hands, then rubbed them together to try and get more feeling back into them. "Okay, I think I get it. You step on my hands and then you stand on my shoulders. I think that'll get you high enough that you only need one arm to climb over. Then I can just jump up and come over by myself. Is that okay?" He'd have a hard time climbing with the crowbar in hand...wait, it was a crowbar! He could just use it to hook on the wall and climb up that way, cgrappling hook style. Oh, he was so smart.

The Scarecrow nodded vigorously as Carter explained how they were going to scale the wall. He put a hand on the brick, recalling when he'd climbed over the one connecting the Recreational Field to the Courtyard. Maybe this one only seemed higher because it led to the outside rather than to another part of the Institute? Or it might have been more intimidating because he wasn't sure what was on the other side.

Of course, when he, Remy, and Kibitoshin had climbed over the wall from the field, they had landed not in the Courtyard as expected, but in town. While he was sure it was probably an effect of the enchanted doors that had been everywhere that night, he supposed there was a chance it was something that all the walls did. Well, he was about to find out soon enough.

"That sounds just fine by me," the Scarecrow replied, preparing himself to step into Carter's grasp. "I'm ready when you are."

Carter widened his stance and braced himself against the wall, waiting for Frank to step up onto him. He really hoped the man was as light as he looked, or this evening was going to end in even more pain.

With as quick and tender steps as one could perform in clunky, unlaced boots, the Scarecrow stepped into Carter's hands and onto his shoulders, wobbling only a little before climbing to the top of the wall. Slick from the snow, the boots slid on the wall before finding a hold. He ended up using his wounded arm unthinkingly as he scrabbled to the top- it reminded him quickly not to put too much pressure on it.

He caught himself before falling over the other side, taking a moment to find a steady spot on the edge. Looking to the land outside of the wall, he turned his eyes to the ground. It only then occurred to him that he'd lost his flashlight somewhere along the way- oh, that was right! He'd dropped it in the hall. He supposed he couldn't blame himself for being distracted. Maybe Scar wouldn't mind if his flashlight was a little used when he got it.

Thankfully, the snow was bright enough to see the ground below him was clear. "All looks good on this side," he called to Carter. "Come on up!"

"Okay!" Carter called back. Right, so the crowbar went up here to hang on the wall and the flashlight...went down his pants, since in his pocket there was a chance it would fall out. At least that one guy wasn't around to tease him for having strange things in his pants using euphemisms Carter didn't quite get.

It took some grunting and wiggling, but Carter finally made it to perch on top of the wall. He took the flashlight back out again and shone it playfully in Frank's face before crunching down into the snow besides him. "And there we go!" he said triumphantly. "Let's get walking."

The Scarecrow smiled in return before sliding off the wall to the ground below. It had been a more dangerous endeavor than expected, but they were finally out!

[To here.]

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