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Doctor! Wilson AU


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Part 1: The Firefanged

 

Mayor Characters: Willow and Wilson.

Minor Characters: Wickerbottom, Wolfgang, Maxwell, WX-78 and Woodie.

AO3 Link.

 

“Torchlady is shaking. Need other sweet cure?”

“Hmm… it might be better to refrain from overusing the poultices. Surely glands don’t possess antipyretic properties?”

"Ah, yes. The organs from venom-producing beasts. Do they?”

“Well, the boy seems to think they’ll help her… somehow.”

“THIS DISCUSSION HAS BEEN HIGHLY INEFFICIENT. I DEMAND A REBOOT OF THE ARSONIST FLESHLING.”

“Woah! Let’s keep the hands off the lady, eh?”

‘Ow,’ Willow thinks, slowly. And then, ‘that hurted.’ She is lying down in the shade of her tent. Someone has tucked a blanket around her, shoved her arms inside like they don’t want her to tremble it off. Her throat burns.

“-rhaps salve would be a safer alternative?”

A thought comes to her among the blazing darkness. She reaches out of her blankety encage and fumbles around. Her fingers hurt, but not as much as her head. She gropes for the ground, hard earth that scratches at her hands, but doesn't return the feeling to their numb skin.

“That better work, pal.”

“B-Bernie?” She rasps, coughs. Her hand instinctively returns to the cocoon of quilts, and she presses her forehead against the pillow. It vaguely feels like fur, drenched in her fever sweat. “It burns...”

The darkness of her eyelids answers her, cold and damning, and infinitely worse than any childhood buddy. It’s the blackness of space, or of the orphanage’s closet, or dry cinders. Is she dying? No, she wouldn’t end like this, burned and frozen at the same time.

And yet, she wonders if that’s such a bad idea. She doesn’t think she would like to keep living if all she ever gets to see is the darkness of space and the trembling of her own bedridden body, gross as she feels right now.

The world is made of hushed whispers. Willow holds her cover close and sleeps.

 

She is awakened by the sounds of something rubbing against the tent’s low ceiling. There is soft light and a smell like metal. She opens her eyes; Wilson’s hair looks funny in here, flattened beyond recognition.

He mutters something she doesn’t quite catch, her head fuzzy from sleep and sickness.

“... Wil?” Willow takes a breath that only itches a bit less than last time. “W-what happened?” This side of the pillow is cool, someone must have changed it while she slept.

He hesitates. “Hounds crossed over when your raft was sailing the stream... the flooding started after that.”

“I jumped?” She doesn’t remember swimming, just the vastness of the sea and its chilling water. Did she make it to shore?

Wilson nods, already looking more fiddly than she has seen him all spring. “It’s been three days now. You gave us a good scare.”

Willow is about to talk back, to fight and question who kept the fire going while she was gone—it better not have been Wes, she loves him to pieces, but that mime couldn’t gather enough lumber if it gained him a real monocycle—when the breath catches in her throat and she stumbles forward. She stays for a while like that, her breathing pained and heavy, and nearly doesn’t notice Wilson’s hand on her shoulder, too occupied trying not to hack her lungs out.

“This reminds me, you are just in time to test my latest invention!” He says with a tone that Willow deems entirely too cheerful to be honest, and promptly a vial is shoved in her face. It’s smaller than a matchbox, though she nearly bumps into it in her fit nonetheless. "I have been perfecting the formula for booster shots to be less... noxious, so to speak."

Willow blinks once, twice, notes how it smells noxious and stops coughing long enough to put some distance between her face and the spoon he’s already taking out. “Nu-uh. No, t-thank you.” It’s easier than done. “I don’t... hack … don’t need a quack right now.”

She is slightly amused as Wilson brings a hand to his chest with the grandeur of Edison himself—a sign she isn't sick enough to be spared the offended scientist route, the woman hopes. He doesn’t look especially ridiculous for once, and she chooses to attribute that fact to her apparent fever.

“I am a scientist, Miss Willow, not a charlatan.” And with that the concoction is in her mouth before she can spit it out. “And even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t give up so easily”

“Traitor...” She whispers. Whatever was on that spoon, it tastes worse than wet goop and monster meat combined. “Oh.”

It also cools her throat and soothes her muscles, but she isn't just going to tell him that. He doesn't seem to need her to, unfortunately.

“I suppose we could say I’m 'on fire.'” Wilson offers her a satisfied smile that immediately vanishes when she throws the pillow at him. He’d look better inside a dunk tank, anyway. “Hey, that one wasn’t that bad.”

Willows huffs and lies back down, surprising herself with the time that takes for her eyes to close. Whatever he put in that thing, she thinks, it’d be of more use in their next beefalo hunt that inside her body. She is nearly asleep when she feels something soft being tucked under her head and familiar fluff tickle at her side. Willow grabs Bernie just as Wilson is blowing the torch of her tent.

“Get well soon, Miss Willow. We all miss you.”

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