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The Bare Necessities

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Look for the bare necessities

The simple bare necessities

Forget about your worries and your strife

I mean the bare necessities

Old Mother Nature's recipes

That brings the bare necessities of life

Fuu Fuu Furi Furi Pupi held a chuckle in his throat as he felt Demonica twitch her leg to the song’s beat underneath the hospital blankets. If it weren’t for the bowl of vanilla caramel ice cream she was savoring, he bet she’d be singing along to the lyrics. Instead, she merely hummed an imitation around the spoon lodged in her mouth.  

If any of the nurses or doctors made their way into the room at that very moment, they definitely wouldn’t be seeing anything they hadn’t walked in on before; Furi with his arm protectively draped over Demonica’s shoulders, the two of them snuggled close together over a bowl of vanilla caramel ice cream, deeply invested in whatever movie he had chosen for them to watch on his laptop. It was an endearing sight, in a morbidly strange sort of way. He was, after all, the reason she was there in the first place, the evidence of his so called “goof” wrapped underneath layers of gauze and bandages. 

But no, the hospital staff noted, Furi didn’t just visit Demonica because of the guilt he felt for leaving a considerable gash in her chest, or for nearly killing her. They had paid attention to the care and interest Furi showed when he visited their friend Ribbonista while she was catatonic. Despite his intimidating and egotistical exterior, he clearly had a heart of gold. Furi was always ready to assist the nurses when they came in to change Demonica’s bandages or refill her IV bag. He always helped Demonica with the schoolwork she was missing; reading chapters of their textbook to her and helping her memorize math formulas. Yes, they had decided, Furi was definitely not a bother to the girl’s recovery. 

But besides just being an all around respectable boy, Furi’s investment in Demonica’s recovery was clearly fueled by the loving looks he gave her when he thought no one was watching. How he laced their fingers together when she rested her head on his shoulder. The way he brushed the stray pieces of hair out of her face, so carefully, as if he wasn’t sure if it would hurt her or not. 

Despite the odd circumstances, nobody could deny how tender it was. 

Wherever I wander, wherever I roam

I couldn't be fonder of my big home

The bees are buzzin' in the tree

To make some honey just for me

When you look under the rocks and plants

And take a glance at the fancy ants

Then maybe try a few

“You know, I never noticed this before,” Demonica spoke up, no doubt pulling the spoon out of her mouth for only long enough to speak clearly. “Do bears even live in the jungle?”

Furi took his eyes off of Baloo showing Mowgli the delicacy of jungle ants, a hum sounding in his throat as he contemplated her question. “Well, I believe there are some bears who live in the jungle. I suppose he’s just a bear indigenous to India,” he shrugged.

Demonica gathered another scoop of ice cream in her spoon. “Well, yeah, but you don’t think of bears when you think of the jungle, do you?”

The bare necessities of life will come to you

They'll come to you!

“I see your point,” Furi said, the hand that wasn’t rubbing Demonica’s arm scratching at his temple in thought. “But it’s not as uncommon as a feral child being raised by panthers.”

Demonica gave a little laugh, a youthful giggle that Furi couldn’t help smiling at. That laugh was only one of the many things he liked about Demonica. He made a list of everything he found attractive about her one day at school, and it easily filled up two pages front and back. He was just about to continue the list on a fresh sheet of notebook paper when Cones interrupted to tell him another one of his god awful dinosaur jokes. 

There was a soft pop of air as Demonica shoved another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth. “True.” A little bit of ice cream dribbled down the corner of her mouth. “And we can transform into a cat and a praying mantis, so maybe we shouldn’t be questioning how believable a Disney movie is,” she smirked, her words somewhat muffled by the melting ice cream and wads of caramel in her mouth. 

Look for the bare necessities

The simple bare necessities

Forget about your worries and your strife

I mean the bare necessities 

That's why a bear can rest at ease

With just the bare necessities of life

Furi couldn’t help it. He leaned forward, and with his thumb, carefully wiped the dribble of ice cream from underneath Demonica’s mouth. It was certainly less gross than wiping away Ribbonista’s catatonic drool. And cuter, much cuter.

Demonica only let her eyes grow wide for a second before pulling away to laugh over her shoulder, the blankets Furi had covered her with earlier sliding past her collarbone and to her lap.

That’s when Furi noticed it. 

“Demonica!”

“Yeah Furi?” she answered, her words still light and bouncy with laughter, not catching onto the panic filling his voice.

“You’re bleeding!” Furi closed his laptop, and Mowgli and Baloo’s musical bonding time, shut as he jumped out of the bed. 

“What? Where?” Demonica’s voice adopted the same tone of worry as she looked down her front, sides, and even over her shoulder at her back, expecting to see a bloom of red.

Furi rushed over to the other side of the bed, placing one hand on Demonica’s bare shoulder as if to keep her from bobbing forward. His fingers trailed to a dime sized, fresh stain of blood by her sternum. “When was the last time you had your bandages changed?”

As she glanced to where Furi’s fingers were touching, Demonica merely sighed with relief. “Calm down, it’s nothing,” she spoke, pulling Furi’s worrying hand away from her chest. “It’s just some spotting. But yeah, I guess it’s about time to change the bandages.”

“I’ll go get a nurse.” But Demonica took hold of Furi’s wrist before he could run out of the room. 

“Furi! Wait a second!” Furi turned back, confusion filling his head as he noticed the blush creeping onto her face. “You’ve seen the nurses change them enough times, right?”

“I…I’ve seen most of it to understand the process, I guess.” Furi cocked a brow. What was she getting at?

Demonica looked off to the side, the redness in her cheeks deepening. God, Ribbonista’s habits were rubbing off on her. “Why don’t you change them then?” Out with it Demonica, you can do it. “My bandages I mean.”

Furi opened his mouth to express that no, he still had no idea what she was getting at, but before a sound could escape his throat, it hit him. It hit him like Marbel driving an eighteen wheeler straight out of hell. Or Cookie Girl’s spiked bat, still just a painful even though she was a ghost now. 

You see, Furi had wounded Demonica right in the chest, or more specifically, right between her breasts. Whenever a nurse came in to change her bandages while he was visiting, he always turned away long enough to avoid seeing her bare chest. Not only was the temptation to see his sort-of girlfriend half naked daunting, but Furi still felt a considerable amount of guilt for inflicting such a drastic injury. The wound was so ugly and hideous when he first made it, while he foolishly believed she wanted to blow up the school with the vending machines. There was so much blood. Sure, it had been a month since then, and the doctors had told him she was recovering very well. But what did that mean? What if he had permanently disfigured her? 

Unsurprisingly, the only thing Furi could say was, “…why?”

Demonica’s face only burned more. However, she was Demonica fucking Bishie, Justice incarnate. Like hell she was going to crumble into a Ribbonista-like mess of nerves and incomprehensible screaming. She made herself think of it as another one of the ludicrous challenges to pose to Furi. This time, she bit the inside of her cheek. “Because it’s too much trouble to get one of the nurses right now when you can do it yourself…”

“…why?”

“Because they’re pretty busy with all these idiot kids who thought launching fireworks out of their asses was funny.”

“…why?”

Demonica slapped herself in the forehead. “Ugh, can we not play this game right now?”

He didn’t mean to ask questions. In reality, Furi just couldn’t believe Demonica would ask something like that of him, especially when he was the reason she was in the hospital to begin with. That fireworks story sounded pretty interesting, and most likely amusing, though. He’s have to ask her what that was about once this whole thing was settled and over with. 

Furi turned back to Demonica’s bedside, finally able to grasp onto words other than “why”. “I just don’t understand why you would trust me to something like that for you.”

At that, Demonica felt her heart ache a little. Even though Furi made a point of visiting her every afternoon, they still hadn’t actually talked everything through between the both of them. It seemed like they had come to a silent agreement that yes, they did like each other a lot, and yes, all was forgiven. But of course he would still be feeling awful for his little “goof”. She certainly wasn’t asking Furi to change her bandages to guilt him. She wanted him to do it as a way to bring them closer together, to get past that weird hurdle standing between them and being an official thing. 

Demonica chose to answer him with the best, and by no means false, reason she could think of.

“I trust you Furi,” she muttered, taking the melting bowl of vanilla caramel ice cream off of the bed and placing it onto the side table. “You’ve been here for me every day and you’ve done such a good job of helping me get better. I’ve realized I can rely on you. I can, right?”

This time, Furi felt his cheeks grow hot. “Yes, you can rely on me,” he replied, taking in the sincerity in Demonica’s face. It was such a beautiful expression, even more so considering she was already beautiful herself. He swallowed the nervous lump forming in his throat. “Okay. Where are the supplies?”

Demonica indicated towards the sink at the end of the room. “The bandages, gauze, scissors, and antiseptic should all be in the cabinet.”

Furi nodded and made his way over to the supplies, the thought of them not even existing behind the doors of the cabinet as Demonica claimed crossing his mind more than once. But upon opening the cabinet, there was certainly everything that was needed. He gathered the gauze and roll of medical bandages in the crook of his arm, along with the bottle of antiseptic and scissors. 

Before Furi could walk back to Demonica’s side, she spoke up, “Your hands are clean, right? You didn’t wash your hands…” 

No, he certainly did forget about that given detail. 

‘Of course,’ Furi thought as he gave a frustrated groan, ‘I would goof before I even started.’ 

He put a considerable amount of time into washing his hands, scrubbing at his knuckles, his palms, and underneath his fingernails until he thought he must have washed away an entire layer of skin. 

Yes, Demonica tried not to look nervous as Furi walked back over with his arms full of the supplies. She sat up from the pillows, scooting over so that Furi could sit by her side. He laid everything out carefully, one by one in a line by order of when to use them. 

When they found themselves caught in each other’s glances, both turned away nervously. Stupid teenage nerves. 

Demonica lightly held her arms to her chest as she turned her back to Furi. “Just…cut the entire thing off.”

Furi couldn’t help the slight tremor in his hands as Demonica pulled her hair off of her back, exposing the bare skin he had only seen at the school’s pool and the beach. And even then it was under much different circumstances. She still considered him a rival back then. They weren’t this close to each other, both physically and emotionally. 

‘Pull it together,’ he thought, mentally willing himself to steady his hands and just DO IT. 

Demonica suppressed the overwhelming urge to flinch when the cold metal of the scissors touched her skin, the snipping sound almost deafening in her ears. What was he thinking right now? What if he became too freaked out when he pulled the bandages away from her chest? Oh God, what if he felt awful about himself and left and never visited again? What if…?

“You’re tense.”

“Huh?” She hadn’t noticed Furi had been trying to talk to her the whole time she had been spacing herself out with silly worries. He was just about to make the final snip too. “Uh, sorry.” 

Furi said nothing and went back to making the final cut. But that was all he did. In fact, neither of them made any move to do anything else. 

Neither of them were stupid. 

Demonica licked the dryness from her lips. It felt like she was licking her own stupid wounds. “You know I don’t blame you, right?”

Furi hummed lowly in the back of his throat. He wanted nothing more than to say, “You should,” but alas, couldn’t find the reason to do so. 

Suddenly, the hand he had been bracing on her shoulder was captured in warmth. Demonica’s hand, small, and with such slender, but by no means delicate fingers, drove away any sense of trembling Furi felt in his muscles. 

“There was so much weird stuff going on that it shouldn’t make a difference,” she whispered. “You’re here now, and I think that matter more than what got us here.”

Gently, Furi turned Demonica by her shoulder, bringing them face to face. 

As he opened his mouth to respond, Demonica was quick to say, “I swear if you ask ‘why’ I’m going to squash your buggy ass.”

Furi couldn’t help but smirk. It was amazing that she could ready him so well. 

And then Demonica was removing the bandages from her chest, a few sounds of discomfort passing through her lips as some tape pulled at the sensitive, recovering skin. 

Upon seeing her bare chest, Furi’s first thought was something like this; ‘She’s half naked you moron! Look away!’

The second went as so; ‘No! No you have to look. You need to see what you’re dealing with!’

The third was as follows; ‘Please don’t let it look like it hurts too much.’

A breath caught in his throat when he finally did look. It was definitely nowhere near as bad as he thought. In fact, aside from one patch of coagulated blood, the area was fairly well recovered. Yes, there was a long line containing dozens of stitches against the redness of her skin, but scarring was inevitable. Perhaps her transformation powers were responsible for such a clean looking recovery. He missed her heart by inches, true, and the damage he did was serious. But it didn’t look like it hurt anymore. 

“Furi…the antiseptic.”

“O-oh, right,” he spluttered, nearly falling off of the bed as he poured a decent amount of disinfecting rubbing alcohol onto the medical sponge. 

He took a deep breath as he turned back to her, blushing as his eyes feel onto her (thankfully) undamaged breasts. ‘They looked so soft-AUGHHH NO NOT NOW.’ 

And stupidly, the first thing he said was, “Does it hurt?”

But instead of the offended reaction he thought was going to get in reaction, Demonica gave a small smile. “Only in the beginning. After it didn’t hurt as bad as it should have.”

Furi felt a surge of warmth in his chest. Carefully, he placed one hand under Demonica’s rib cage to keep steady, brushing a few tendrils of red hair out of the way as he moved to clean the area. 

He was gentle at first, too gentle to the point that she had to point it out to him. But he was certainly efficient and focused. Every bit of tenderness he felt for Demonica was translated through the precise swipes of the sponge. It stung whenever the antiseptic met with an exposed wound or parted skin, as was the case when he cleaned the area that had been bleeding. But she didn’t flinch once, but held back every urge to wince with a slight groan and a bite of her lip. 

It was a little amusing to watch the subtle changes of concentration in Furi’s face. Whenever a few wisps of emerald green hair fell in his eyes he’d throw his entire head back, his long ponytail swaying from the movement for a good fifteen seconds afterwards. And every so often he’d look up into Demonica’s face to assess how she was doing. And she always met that glance of eyes with a reassuring smile.

As Furi gathered up the accumulation of used sponges into the bedside wastebasket, Demonica cleared her throat. “Hey, I was going to keep it a surprise, but since you haven’t asked, the doctors told me I should be discharged in five days.”

“That’s excellent!” Furi’s face lit up with more passion she had ever seen him show before. Well, unless you count that time during karaoke on Halloween…yeah, she kept that filed under private thoughts in her brain. 

Now observer of this scene, don’t look at Demonica like that! She is a teenage girl after all!

“Yeah, they said I’ve been recovering really well,” she softly spoke as Furi began to tape the gauze onto the stitches, unfortunately being careful to avoid letting one of his hands brush against one of her breasts. As the words for what she needed to say next began to filter out of her brain, Demonica felt a slight pang of anticipation and hope of reciprocation. She had come this far already and Furi had met the challenge she posed for him. Time to lay all your cards down Demonica Bishie. For personal justice. “One of the nurses said it was because I had such faithful boyfriend…”

Furi stilled from wrapping another layer of bandages around her chest, cocking a brow as he caught her eyes. “But Demonica, you don’t have a boyfrie-” 

His eyes went so wide as he grasped onto what Demonica was saying that she feared they might fall out of their sockets. As confident and upfront as Demonica could be, he couldn’t think of a more suitable way for her to confess to him than that. 

And all Demonica could do was smile. “There is that girl you still like, right?”

Furi never thought he would be the one to pull Demonica into his arms and kiss her like nothing else mattered. She seemed to possess that type of initiative. He had never planned on confessing either, even when it was all out there for her to know about following the fight with Bouncy. So here it was, said and finally being acted upon. 

And God, she really did taste like the best thing ever, like vanilla caramel, but better. 

Demonica, meanwhile, was discovering something even more delicious than vanilla caramel ice cream. Even if they ran out of the vanilla caramel that had rained from the sky, if she had Furi by her side, she’d have nothing to worry about. 

Their hearts would have nothing to worry about. 

As they continued their kiss, they failed to notice the nurse who had been assigned to change Demonica’s bandages leave the room. 

She’d have to tell the doctor that their patient was probably good to be released the day after tomorrow.