“Oh Dios que duele!” Oh God that hurts! Honey Lemon hissed through her teeth as she ran her arm under cold water. Stupid. Stupidstupidstupid. Absolutamente estupido. Of all the times and of all the ways.
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, but like this? Come on.
Working with dangerous chemicals was a reality Honey Lemon had jumped head first into without a second thought. She had always loved explosions- booms, crashes, kabooms, pows, kapows- if Fred could name it, she could mix it (and it was a game they often played), so chemistry had always seemed like the natural path. She had never really had any other school goals other than chemistry. Plus she was good at it. Really good. Like, gifted good.
Which is why she felt so incredibly embarrassed now. She guffawed at herself. It was like the universe was mocking her. It was like a comedy show set up! Why did life have to be so incredibly ironic sometimes? Well done Honey, well done indeed.
“Ay!” She gasped. Alright alright, she wouldn’t touch it then. But she would need some ice. Sure, she had been burnt before- what with experiments at the lab and at home trying new recipes, burns were but an occupational hazard; though she could tell this one was worse than just the tiny red ones she had had before. At least it wasn’t black… then she would have to go to the hospital, and who had the time for that?! Certainly not Honey Lemon. She had five experiments to do still, three major projects and at least four lab reports to write up, plus there were always at least twenty-five ideas for inventions rolling around behind her eyes as she worked.
Today, she had been working with iron oxide and aluminum. She had needed to melt iron actually, for a bigger experiment and the thermite reaction she would get when the iron oxide reacted to the aluminum to form aluminum oxide and iron would have been the fastest and, let’s face it, coolest way to do it. It was a high school level experiment that was set up in a heartbeat and Honey had put in the iron oxide and stepped back, though not too far back because, of course, she wanted to be close to the eye- blinding explosion that would happen.
Honey tisked herself through her incredulous smile, she was as bad as Gogo. No one really thought it but it was true. She really had no regard for self preservation.
The exothermic reaction hadn’t let her down and there had been a terrific white hiss as the metals changed. Seeing the exact size of the explosion and knowing it would still be reacting steadily for the next few seconds, Honey had stepped forward in her platform heels to get a closer look. A fwoosh of energy had suddenly fizzed out of the clay container she had been using sending a waterfall of sparks to the floor. She had jumped back in surprise, gasping with delight at the bouncing pieces of molten iron bounding around the floor like a fountain of pixy dust. Stepping back, she had actually tripped over her own two feet, which sent her scrabbling backwards onto her counter space and, with a yelp of pain, promptly spilt her still boiling tea on her inner wrist.
She had been working with iron that had been heated past its melting point by an exothermic reaction and she had managed to be burnt by honeylemon tea of all things. Tea. One of the most calming elements in existence had given her a second degree burn that was already starting to blister.
“No puedo creer que yo pudiera ser tan torpe.” I cannot believe I could be so clumsy. She was still muttering to herself as she walked around the lab trying to find some ice. She looked at her wrist as she was walking and winced. It would be a beauty of a burn. About as big as three fingers and glowing a beautiful dark rose colour, the blisters were quickly rising up as yellow puss-filled bubbles. Honey gritted her teeth. It was already stinging loudly. Really loudly.
Walking faster, trying to find ice before she couldn’t stand it anymore and had to run it under cold water again, she tried the minnie freezer where they kept their lunches and other lab items that had to be kept frozen. Nothing. Biting her bottom lip, Honey looked around the lab space. She had been glad while she was running the burn under cold water that no one had been around and now she regretted it. She knew there was ice around, but she had completely forgotten wh- Ay! Geeze, the burn would not let her forget about it for a second so she made to run back to the sink to rinse it again when she heard a sudden crash coming from a lab room.
Tadashi! Her face lit up and she quickly ran over and ratatat tat’d the door.
“Come in.” said a strained voice from inside.
Honey opened the door and peaked her head in, “Tadashi? I was wondering if you knew where- Tadashi!” Honey ran over to where he was pinned under his toolbox.
“Hey Honey, I’ll be with you in a moment.” He grunted, shifting his weight so the red metal box toppled off of him with another clang. Honey moved to put the toolbox out of the way,
“Are you okay?” She asked, eyebrows raised in concern. Tadashi looked okay, but there could easily be some bruises on his ribs from the heavy box, “What happened?” Honey looked around to see anything that might have caused the accident.
Tadashi just laughed from the ground, “I’m fine, just watch where you step, my prides probably lying around here somewhere.”
Honey smiled and made a face as she raised her arms and picked her feet delicately off the ground, looking carefully to make sure she wasn’t stepping on said ‘pride’. Lowering her arms, she raised her wrist immediately as the burn protested loudly at being slightly forgotten about. It was definitely a doosy, bright red and blistered, probably to scar nicely too. Ah well, battle scars are cool right? Honey was about to ask Tadashi where the ice was but he was already talking and Honey hadn’t been paying attention,
“…adjusting the specs on my healthcare robot from the step-ladder and accidentally turned it on somehow and it completely bowled me over!” Tadashi laughed, “Imagine, I built the thing and I designed exactly where the on switch is,” He tapped his temple indicating where it was on the robot, “and I go and brush up against it.” Tadashi was shaking his head at himself. He picked up his hat that had fallen off when he had fallen off the ladder and shook it back to its original form still muttering and chuckling.
“Speaking of silly mistakes,” Honey Lemon began quickly, the burn was stinging so badly by now that her fingers felt twitchy, “do you know where the ice is?”
Tadashi put his baseball cap on with a tweak to the ‘just right’ position, “It’s in the cooler beside the freezer, remember we had to put it there because Phil needed the space for his- wait, why do you need ice? For your tea?”
“No, I just went and burnt myself.” Honey laughed and held up her wrist. She didn’t want to make too big a deal out of it, it was only a burn after all- a burn that was making her arm limp with pain, but it would be appeased as soon as she got the ice.
However, Tadashi had other plans as soon as he saw the ugly thing, his face immediately changing to one of fear and concern, “Honey! Are you okay? That looks awful! Come on come on, we’ll get the ice on that- why didn’t you say anything while I was blabbing about my robot you knucklehead, that must hurt a lot! It’s even blistered, ouch girl, you should have told me to shut up!” His voice grew fainter as he ran out the door and to the cooler.
Honey swung around his lab door he had barreled out of, “Tadashi!” She called out, smiling, trying to brush his concern off,
“It’s okay, it’s not as bad as it could have been, don’t worry about it, I can get the ice now that I know where it is.”
But Tadashi wouldn’t hear of it. His eyes narrowed like they always were when he was focused purely on a single task as he got the cooler, took out four ice pieces that were stuck together in a square and wrapped them in paper towel. He took Honey’s hand, “Here,” he put the ice in her palm, “gently press in on the burn, but not too hard right away, ease into it.”
Honey smiled and pressed the paper towel onto her wrist. It didn’t feel like anything for a moment but then the burn went haywire and stung sharply. Honey hissed through gritted teeth and wrenched the ice away.
Tadashi grimaced at her pain and moved closer, “Here, may I?” He asked softly, taking the ice from her hand that was already open.
“Sure I guess, but Tadashi, it’s no big deal, it’s okay, you’re more swamped than I am with school. I got this.” But her voice betrayed her and really said the exact opposite.
Tadashi took her injured wrist in his open hand and touched the ice to the burn. So gently at first, Honey barely felt it. He lifted it up and repeated the motion over and over, the pressure increasing ever so slightly but the gentleness of his touch never changing.
Honey’s fingers were tense at first, but as the burn began to realize that this was actually what it had wanted all along, it too settled down and Honey relaxed a bit. She looked at Tadashi who was being so careful with treating her burn. He finally met her eyes and smiled,
“So how did this happen anyway?”
She rolled her eyes towards the ceiling, “With stupidity, clumsiness and a whole lot of pyromaniac need.”
Tadashi scrunched up his face in a grin, “Do tell more oh great fire princess.” He was well aware of her disregard for her own safety when something shinny was glowing- or could be glowing- in her face. He never stopped dabbing her burn either, making sure the entire injury got attention.
Honey quickly summed up, “I needed to melt iron for my fire rainbow experiment so I whipped up a quick thermite reaction but the iron splattered out of the bowl and when I went to back up, I tripped over myself and knocked over my still boiling tea onto my wrist.” She gestured to her hand for emphasis. “Your pride and mine are probably together in a corner somewhere right now avoiding us at all costs.”
Tadashi was chuckling, “Wow, that sounds fantastic. Like a comedy set up or something. Honestly, someone could write a hilarious novel with lab antics. It would be a best seller I’m sure.”
Honey laughed, “Great idea! We could have the Robotics student who managed to accidentally turn on his own robot then had his toolbox land on him and the chemistry wiz who was doing a thermite reaction experiment and was burned by her tea instead as the main chapters.”
Tadashi nodded enthusiastically, still dabbing at her arm, which was feeling numb and amazing by now, “And then also include the time when Gogo put her bike on the treadmill to see if it could match speeds with the machine only to press reverse and completely flip over the handlebars.”
Honey spurted a laugh, “And the time when Wasabi had just finished organizing his shelf when his plasma gun went off, taking half of his hair with it.” Honey smiled wide at the memory and Tadashi giggled like a school girl,
“He dunked his whole head into the sink to get his hair to stop smoking. And it was filled with dirty ash water.”
Honey ‘s half moon grin was shining, “And then of course, the time Fred bumped into me and his hair turned white from the bleach powder and toner I was mixing. He thought he had turned into the next Storm from X-men. It was even really windy that day and he swore he was controlling it.”
Tadashi guffawed, smiling just as wide as Honey Lemon. Turning back to the burn he rubbed the now wet paper towel over the injury slowly, so lightly it tickled a bit,
“Well I think it will be okay.” He said, giving the ice back to Honey, “It will still sting for a couple of hours yet, but don’t put the burn near anything hot and ice it whenever it stings and it should be okay. You’ll have one heck of a battle scar though.” Tadashi smiled.
Honey rubbed the ice on the burn, loving how it cooled it right down, “Thanks Tadashi, thanks a lot.” She looked into his eyes, hoping he understood. She really appreciated his help whenever he did anything for her. Anything at all.
Tadashi just grinned his crooked closed-mouth grin and tipped his hat to her in a bow, “And with that, my knightly deed for the day is done, wakare madam fire princess, always feel free to grace me with your presence anytime you are burned by foul dragons. I shall always help a fair maiden.”
Honey winked, “And I’m sure your pride always thanks you for it.” She said to his back as he walked to his lab and pretended to wave a handkerchief at him when he looked back before dramatically bowing and going into the door- almost hitting his head on the side of the open door in the process.
Honey Lemon smirked and shook her head as she walked back to her own work space, “Cabeza hueca.” Knucklehead.