"Here, let me see that."
They hunched in the reeds, the three of them, thoughts of hunting and food forgotten as Aragorn took Boromir's wounded hand in his own, peering at the bloody cut. Boromir held out his hand awkwardly, pain slicing his finger, knife and dead goose forgotten beside him.
"It is nothing," he murmured, "it is a mere cut that will heal by itself."
He tried to pull back his hand but Aragorn held it firmly, examining the injury with a healer's gaze, while the steady trickle of blood already started to slow down.
"A mere cut perhaps, Boromir, but the knife that made the cut was dirty and the wound needs cleaning or it will start to fester. "
He turned to Sam, who had put his pack down on the only other piece of dry ground nearby and squatted next to it, hand patiently lying on his arm, the other resting on his knee, waiting until they would move on again.
"Is there still any water in your flask left, Sam?" he asked, "I fear ours have been empty for quite some time now."
Sam took his water flask and turned it over, but only a few drops fell out, and they quickly mingled with the dirty water pooling darkly around the yellowing reed stems.
"I'm sorry, Strider, but mine's empty too, not a drop left, I'm afraid."
Aragorn returned his gaze to Boromir's injured hand and spoke again, his voice now soft and serious.
"Ah well, Boromir, even without water, this wound still needs cleaning. We'll have to make do then."
And Aragorn took Boromir's wounded finger in his mouth, his tongue and lips businesslike working to clean the cut. Sam looked on in wonder, gaze shifting from Boromir to Aragorn and back again. But Boromir sat very still and did not move a muscle as Aragorn inflicted his healing pain on him. He merely breathed in and out, while his other hand lay in his lap, a fist that clenched the empty air.
Then Aragorn looked up at Boromir and smiled as he released the other man's finger from his mouth.
"It should heal well now, Boromir." He looked at the hobbit. "Sam, do you have a clean strip of cloth to bind this?"
Boromir breathed out as he felt the evening air cooling Aragorn's spittle on his wounded finger, numbing the pain maybe just a little bit. He looked at Aragorn, trying to make sense of what had happened just yet, trying to make sense of what had happened to him. He started to speak, but Sam startled him, handing Aragorn the strip of cloth he had taken from his pack. Boromir looked at the Hobbit, as if only now remembering they were not alone. He pulled back his hand as soon as Aragorn had bound his finger and he started to speak anew.
"You made far too much of this, Aragorn. I could have taken care of it myself. Next time, ask for my permission before you put your mouth on me."
He froze at his own words, but Aragorn laughed and rose swiftly, picking up the knife, wiping it clean on the wet grass between the reeds and handing it hilt first to Boromir.
"Don't worry, Boromir," he said, as he picked up the dead goose and pulled Sam up. "I will do just that."