((Reiko Ishida continued from Out of Sight, Out of Mind))
Reiko hadn't stopped moving since leaving the ranger station, but the adrenalin that had kept her going had ebbed and the pain was starting to make it difficult to continue. Her face stung, she couldn't get the metallic sensation of blood out of her nose and mouth, her arms were throbbing, her ribs... well they really fucking hurt. And now her legs were complaining as well.. as if they had any right to given what the rest of her body had been through.
It wasn't long before she stumbled. She managed to hold herself upright against a tree, despite the jarring pain it sent through her. It seemed like a good time to stop, to stop trying to push through things and just rest for a moment. Taking a weary glance behind her, she dropped her bags and settled against the tree's roots.
Gathering herself for a few moments, she stared blearily at the tree opposite before sitting back and looking at the canopy for a little while, leaves and branches cutting contrasting patterns against the sky. After a few minutes she swallowed, calmer now, realising she'd kind of blanked out and forgotten what she was meant to be doing with her little reprieve. Admittedly, she'd basically run on autopilot all the way from the last altercation, and, to be honest, it felt like she'd been like that for most of the past week...
But those thoughts could wait. The pain hadn't dissipated and she was well aware she still needed to patch herself up. As best she could, anyway... Sarah was the medic, not her. She mightn't really know what she was doing but she could at least survey the damage. She gingerly touched her lip, on the way there she'd loathed to confirm it, but a couple of her piercings were definitely missing, leaving bruised gashes in her lips. The most obvious thing to check next was her ribs, they hurt like crazy already, they just felt worse when she touched them, and when she pushed gently against them she almost felt like crying, and couldn't help wincing... but they didn't budge, and knowing they weren't broken was some relief.
Next followed the painful step of removing her glasses, the heels had cut right into the bridge of her nose. Putting them back on probably wasn't going to be much fun either, but she could at least clean the wounds and put a plaster over them. The antiseptic wipes she rubbed across the bridge of her nose stung, and it was hard to ignore the smell, as if she were sniffing a bottle of tea tree oil, but it was hard to see how it was any worse than getting punched in the face.
She dabbed another around her lip, not the inside, risk of infection or not she couldn't be fucked sticking antiseptic in her mouth, and once things had dried a little she stuck the bandaid across the bridge of her nose.
It occurred to her that she probably looked like a massive dork.
She smiled at the fact she was still having stupid thoughts like that.
And then laughed a little at the fact she was somehow managing to smile. And set her ribs and chest burning. She laid her head back against the tree again and closed her eyes and tried not to think about how fucked up she felt. But all that left to think about was how fucked up everything was.
Tobias and Raina were probably somewhere nearby. Carol was lying dead not too far away. So were all the others. They could have escaped with Sarah and everyone else. She could have escaped...
What the fuck had she been thinking.
Everything that meant anything to her had either been taken away from her, or she'd destroyed it herself in her stupidity, and the one chance she had left seemed like a more remote possibility than ever. Reiko blinked and wiped the tears that were starting to gather from her eyes. She needed to suppress those emotions. Crying and feeling sorry for herself weren't going to help her get home, however slim that chance might already be. She took a few deep breaths, her ribs hurting dully, before sighing and laying her head back against the tree again.
Fatigue quickly took her unawares, and she drifted off to sleep before she had time to think it might be a bad idea.
She woke again with a start, looking around quickly to check her surroundings. She'd swear she'd only been asleep for a few minutes, and yet, the sticky feeling in her mouth and the change in the sunlight as it moved towards setting implied she'd been unconscious for hours. It was lucky no-one had turned up while her guard was down...
Pushing herself up onto her feet, she stretched. The pain in her ribs had dulled to a level more bearable, or else her rest had made her more able to bear it. She didn't really care which, and was just thankful for the improvement.
In any case, it seemed like a good idea to move, she might have been lucky over the past few hours but for the night she was going to need some real shelter. With that in mind, and the thoughts from earlier as out of it as possible, she shouldered her baggage and set off again.
((Reiko Ishida continued in Serendipity))