Not a Princess Ficbit – Hello Nurse

“Hah!” Shorter, but just as wiry, Dr. Adams matched Hank step for step, almost down the staircase and just into view of the kitchen doorway. “Don’t think you can flatter me, you young whippersnapper. I just made sure you didn’t die of anything idiotic. You want to thank someone for making sure you’re still in one piece, thank your nurse!”

Making it down the last stair, Hank glanced their way – then stopped. “Wait. Who-?”

“Who do you think?” Dr. Adams snorted. “Will can plow a garden, but I can’t clip those nails of his nearly enough to let him nurse you.”

Hank’s eyes met hers, startled gold. Sharl felt her face burning.

…Were his cheeks pink, too?

“Well!” Mrs. Dowd flung back her shoulders, long skirt rustling. “I never-!”

“You never, hmm?” Dr. Adam’s mustache bristled, gray and black. “I seem to recall asking you and your fine married ladies if they’d come do some charitable work here, more than once. Somehow you never had the time.”

“We have our own veterans to nurse, as you well know.” Mrs. Dowd set her jaw. “Whoever you are, young man-”

“Sergeant-Major Henriette, Ma’am.” Hank stood straight. “Though it may be just Mister by now. I’ll have to check. Things have been a bit up in the air.”

Sharl had to stifle a yip of dismay. Or maybe a snicker, which would be even worse. Mark was young enough to stare, round-eyed, at someone crazy or fearless enough to face Mrs. Dowd and make a joke.


A/N: And NaNo is off! Hopefully by the time this is posted I have more than just some sketchy scene notes….

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27 thoughts on “Not a Princess Ficbit – Hello Nurse

  1. “Up in the air…Why i never!”
    that looks to be glorious encounter to read about.
    we dont have nearly enough fandoms set in fantasy civil war US…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s the guns, I think.

      There’s something about the ringing clash of blades that’s gotten into our instincts at some point . . . which suggests that an affinity for sharp rocks may have been getting bred into our mutated chimp ancestors around the same time we were slowly developing an aversion to burn scars. (Respect for fire being a survival trait, so signs that someone doesn’t respect fire are signs that their posterity are due for filtering out of the gene pool.)

      Anyway, guns don’t allow us to show off how heroic we are in nearly the same way, so they’re not as popular for heroic fantasy.

      Plus, the Civil War is fraught with ill will. To what extent the North and the South were each hypocrites about their reasons for fighting is something that can spark heated debates among otherwise good friends, for example. (It’s one reason I like to say that Firefly was more like if the US had lost the Revolutionary War, since in that setting the Core was more in favor of ‘indenture’ that the rebel faction.)

      -Albert

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The Civil War was a mess, and John Adams predicted it’d happen even back in the Revolutionary War – that the institution of slavery could not stand if they were creating a nation based on the rights given to every man. Smart guy, Adams.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was just thinking about this, in a way.

        WWI, for Europe, was immensely traumatic. Profoundly traumatic. America? To borrow the old Street Fighter line “For us it was a Tuesday.”

        Because the Civil War had profoundly traumatized us, and at the same time left us almost prepared for WWI.

        Perhaps building on what you say, there’s a reason why the Civil War statue issue is received the way it is. The oral history people take in shapes them hugely. There are basically three oral history states found in modern Americans, C, D, and E. C is folks who took in the oral history of mainstream America. This can be as broad as New English Irish, with roots in the US after the ACW. These are the people that grok the ACW as immensely traumatic, and can understand some compromises to keep the war from starting up again, and can understand the desire to heal from it somehow. D is otherwise mainstream, but did not absorb the oral history in some way. Maybe they went to public school, and never listened to their elders seriously, maybe they are fresh off the boat from India, and never talk to anyone who isn’t a doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, or an accountant. E is people who grok the oral history of American Blacks, but do not integrate it into a model of US history that goes behind ‘everything happened specifically for the purpose of hurting Blacks’. E fairly obviously finds the claims of the remove faction credible. D? Think either ‘sounds legit’, or have gone alt-right, and oppose it because ‘this is what the left says white supremacists do, and if I’m not left, I must be a white supremacist, so I will seek white supremacy’. C is where you get views like “I will not let my sacred Union dead lie dishonored because Confederate graves have been defiled.’

        Look, I’m a pro Union extremist of the ‘grew up thinking that Lincoln and Sherman did nothing that every Christian or American would not have been called to do in their place’ variety. Zero nuance, even of the ‘they made some choices that not everyone would have made’. I submit that I hold niche policy positions today in large part because I tried to grow up to be someone emotionally capable of doing what Sherman did, on the theory that he did so with love in his heart and no hatred. (I’ve made a number of such attempts in my life. Trying to use the study of Latin to internalize the madness that made the Romans great may have been a mistake. Trying to learn to enjoy watching the world burn was definitely a mistake, and thankfully a failure.) There are times and places I don’t push at people when they do not enthusiastically support every jot and tittle of my opinions on the ACW. a) because giving each other some space is how we Americans have managed to cope with the ACW as well as we have b) Because giving each other space is part of the more general consensus that permits domestic peace to exist at all in America.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I say the statues should stay up, all of them. If you don’t honor the dead it’s far too easy to do horrible things to the living. There was a horrible wrong in the States, one in every fifty men alive at the time died to see it end, we must not forget.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hear, hear.

        We must not forget the circumstances, nor that they were unusual, lest they not remain unusual.

        Sherman claimed to be motivated by the fear that if the rebellion were not put down, and put down hard, we would become ‘Mexico’, in an endemic state of civil war. If a critic of Sherman won’t realize that that motivation could make even a good man do unjustifiably evil things, they won’t set a guard on their hearts. If the most die hard fan won’t realize that maybe everything done was not appropriate for every circumstance, they will not watch their behavior. If few realize that the wise critic and the wise fan both have points when it comes to policing our selves, we are fucked.

        Kipling’s Danegeld goes “It is always a temptation for an armed and agile nation…”

        We are a Republic, and it is always a temptation for factions within a republic to say ‘we are really a democracy, it is not democratic for me to lose when I wanted to win, so our fundamental rights have been violated, and we have no recourse but to escalate to civil war.’ If my faction wins, I am not so tempted, but I am not always with a winning faction.

        And if I cannot even hear the poor justifications made for slavery, I cannot then follow in the intellectual footsteps of the abolitionists. No one can dictate that my reasons for supporting their positions must be the same as their positions. If some grounds are denied me, one cannot assume that my positions will remain the same. One cannot dictate that opposition to slavery will hold if the only permitted grounds are the current unpopularity of the antebellum slavery with the left. We need the big tent to hold that consensus. We need that consensus on human rights to avoid slipping into another state where a civil war is unavoidable, and perhaps necessary. The big tent is necessary, even if the price of it makes people uncomfortable.

        Mexico, even with its history and present, is a utopia compared to what we can infer of most or all human prehistory. One in fifty hurt us so much because we have been able to support so much peace. A normal of one in three or one in four sucks.

        O, say, can you see? Does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave o’er the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?

        I can measure it literally. I cannot measure it figuratively. I cannot measure the hearts of every American. I choose to believe that America exists in truth. But I see that as fragile, and in need of deliberate careful reiterations of what every American should know already. Pardon my verbosity, I’m short on sleep, woke up outlining a useless bit of fic set in a post America, and my main WIP is politically about a very stressful Japanese not quite civil war.

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  2. I haven’t gotten around to this canon, yet, although I have the gist of the and I tend to trust V’s taste. Is Hank/Sharl canon, or at least a canon tease?

    I mean, military veteran and eligible-yet-slightly-misfit young lady is a legitimate thing, particularly after a major war ends, but I haven’t heard any point-and-shriek about Hank going after a prospect so much younger than himself.

    Or is Abandoned Sacred Beasts just too obscure for the neo-Victorian prudes to have noticed it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, this is anime, and I dont think that Japan cares as much about age differences as we Americans do (this is just a general impression I’ve gotten after years of anime and manga), but as for Hank and Sharp specifically . . . I’ve only seen the anime, so I only know canon up to a certain point, but their relationship doesn’t seem overtly romantic.

      Hank canonically was going to ask an old friend of his (who he also served alongside, the childhood friends thrust into war together trope is strong with this one) to marry him after the war ended, but then she was shot and presumably killed right in front of him. (He fell into a coma immediately afterwards; it was not a good day.)

      Frankly, I think Hank is grieving far too much, at least up until as far as I’ve seen, to pursue a romantic relationship. You can see it if you’re wearing shipping goggles, but otherwise Sharl is a platonic friend who is not going to go crazy, that Hank therefore does not have to kill, but who understands what Hank is going through, which is something that Hank desperately needs (see Vathara’s bulwark of compassion).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Vathara has Hank and Sharl blush at each other, sleep-cuddle, etc. So far just at the ship-tease level rather than outright shipping, but I’m wondering whether there’s canon support for it in the manga.

        -Albert

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The blushing is definitely manga canon. Hank can be remarkably shy around women, and the color Sharl turned when she realized she was dragging around a guy with no shirt on….

        My interpretation is that there could eventually be shipping, if Hank gets over the whole “must die carrying out my duty because there’s no place for me in peace.” And that Sharl cares very much about him as a person, and wants to help him live. Romantic interest, no, not yet on either side….

        But then again, that’s not exactly what Will’s been poking at in this fic. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yep. And that’s partly what Will is aiming at with his teasing – “hey, look, decent people who could help you and use your help, how ’bout learning a little about civilian life before you go off on a rage-revenge hunt?”

        Not that Will objects to Doing Something about Cain. But Hank needs a little more rest first….

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      4. Shield Hero had American folks bitching about the slavery, and IIRC there was supposed to be something about Goblin Slayer. Anime isn’t a bar to complaints.

        I’m not well read on relative scales of property awareness among fandom, but I would guess that Sacred Beasts is more obscure.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Which ‘they’? For example, while priests are often far from saintly, they look practically Christ-like compared to the marxists, at least when they aren’t marxists themselves.

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      1. Well, in post-Civil War terms, I believe Laura Ingalls was two months short of 16 when Almonzo Wilder – who had worked with her father to help get the town through 7 months of winter blizzards – took serious note of her and began honorable courtship. (Granted, the narrative of the novels was a bit smoothed out, but I think that his decision to bring her home each weekend from her first teaching job counts as a solid token of his regard/aspirations.)

        Although of course it was a more civilized era than today, a time when they didn’t have age of consent laws but the average age of first sexual experience managed to be in the early 20s.

        Anyway, Hank may be death-seeking, but unless everyone is OOC in these ficlets, Sharl seems to be good for him. And mentally sturdy enough to handle bedpan necessities for an invalid, when everyone else in town seems to be a River City Matron about it.

        -Albert

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Heh. Think more along the lines of, everyone else in town is 1) busy with their own surviving veterans and 2) absolutely terrified of the dragon. Who is one of their veterans.

        …It’s so much easier to scream about the proprieties.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. In past societies, you basically have different marriage ages depending on how needy the society is, and about what.

        If you really really need a high birthrate, or a lot of dowry money or a big chunky brideprice, or if you’ve got a lot of crazy kids who need settling down, there’s a tendency to marry girls off young (and sometimes boys too).

        If you really really need everybody to be self-supporting and have their own households and advanced skills before they have kids, you tend to marry them off in early middle age. (The ladies, too.)

        If the need factors are disparate on each sex, you get disparities in age.

        There’s also a lot of difference based on subtler factors, like whether or not women in that society can commonly conceive and deliver a first child, and further children, in middle age. The French traditionally had a lot of leeway in this department; you do not get this with a lot of other genetic populations.

        A lot of hardscrabble places in Ireland had both men and women marrying late because they couldn’t afford their own house, or for a spouse to move into either parental household, much less any other mouths to feed. But if conditions were good, they often married young.

        If the man has the money and the woman just has to direct servants and eat bonbons, or if the men tend to die in middle age and it’s a good idea for women to collect several husbands and inheritances, you get women making a first marriage very young to someone older with cash, and then collecting other men of various ages but constant or greater status and wealth.

        If the woman is older and has money and status, she may be courted by a lot of younger guys. Perhaps they don’t care if she can have kids; they want to be her heir or get her as an entre into status.

        And so on.

        But yeah, a woman of marriageable adult age who is more than a few years past puberty is viewed in most societies as a suitable match for a man of almost any age except senility or a minor. A middle-aged guy is perfectly suitable. The iffy thing is Sharl being unchaperoned with him, and his vagabond, outsider status and lack of fortune.

        If the Major were Mr. Darcy, then as Austen noted, he would of course be viewed as suitable. (Although not being chaperoned would be even more iffy, because a girl of disparate but respectable status has to be even more careful to Avoid Talk, or creating incorrect assumptions in the man himself.)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sharl certainly wormed her way into his heart when he thought there was nothing left for him except mercy-killing his squad probably soon followed by his own death. It’s pretty debatable if it’s actually romantic.

        I ship it, but then, they’re both very pretty.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. /“Who do you think?” Dr. Adams snorted. “Will can plow a garden, but I can’t clip those nails of his nearly enough to let him nurse you.”/
    I can’t help but be reminded of McCoy’s classic quote of ‘I’m a doctor not a bricklayer’ in this exchange. Though here it’s more ‘doctor, not miracle worker’ considering the sheer size (and likely toughness) of Will’s claws.

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  4. In the 1632-verse, its brought up that german convention tended to be to have relatively long official bethrothal periods, which had a strong legal standing, about on par with actual marriage. This gave the prospective couple time to gather resources for their future household.

    It was fairly common to for the families to more or less wink and nudge when the couple had pre-marital sex, because it was often several years before a marriage was financially feasible. The betrothal aggreement was pretty much a binding legal contract that a marriage would take place, so if a pregnancy did result, the marriage would simply be formalized.

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