The sun seeped through the seams of the shuttered window and door as Eoin awoke the next morning. He observed the sleeping couple wrapped around each other. Drifting to the realization that he had taken them into his dreams and memories, he glanced about the space, free of the peripheral blinders he had worn for months. He released his hold on Fearchar and Seonaid, though he savored the myriad of textures that ran beneath his fingers as he did so. He could only hope that they had not experienced some of his darker memories.
He eased himself from under the warm blankets and stretched in the chill. The leather cloak was warm, but it was heavy and he had not shed it in ages. He could float away with how light he felt. He glanced around the room and his eyes fell on a three foot long tub propped in a corner. He smiled, anticipating finally being clean. Sponge baths had gotten him so far in quick furtive moments, but a thorough scrub would be lovely.
He dug through his pack and produced a small bundle of chew sticks of about a hands-width in height. He took one and a small cup of water to which he add rose water and a tiny drop of mint oil and allowed the stick to soften. From his pack he procured his pots and jars and cleaning cloths while he waited on his stick. When he was finally able to fray the end of the stick, he proceeded to clean his teeth with abandon, reveling in the sensation that he could take his time, rather than hurry through minor cleanings when he knew he would not be seen.
Finished with brushing his teeth, he dragged the metal tub over to the fireplace. He had watched Seonaid pull the tub out to the fireplace countless times to bathe and to wash clothing in since he had been a guest in their house. He went and found the massive kettle she kept at the top of her rafters and lugged it to the fireplace. The bucket was the last thing he’d have to go find. Regardless of his hunting, he could not place it. He glanced back at the sleeping couple. Seonaid was still asleep, but Fearchar was regarding him with half closed lids. Bucket? Eoin asked.
Outside, right. Fearchar signaled back quietly around his wife’s form. Eoin sighed. Well, he was going to have to emerge into the snow anyway, so it was a good enough time. He dragged on his boots and Fearchar’s waxed canvas cloak and gritted his teeth. He dashed out into the tall white powder. The slam of cold immediately wrapped around his bones and blew the air from his lungs. His eyes stung and watered.
Between quickly freezing lashes, he spotted the lip of the metal just peaking out at level with the snow. He tugged and pulled it free of the drift. He dragged it into the house and closed the door.
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