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After-Action Patch-Up
In which a succubus girlfriend proves to be a good nurse, too.

Belle: Well, you should learn to control your temper. Now, hold still. This might sting a little.
[presses cloth to wound; the Beast growls in pain]
Belle: By the way, thank you for saving my life.
Beast: [stops growling] ...You're welcome.

Jack suffered some minor injuries. All he needs is to have the scraps and cuts cleaned and bandaged — maybe some antiseptic, or a few stitches, or a bandage. Fortunately, danger is no longer looming, and here comes Jill to do it; she is usually not The Medic (though she can be), the injuries not being severe enough to require professional attention.

Like Post-Victory Collapse, if The Cavalry Arrives Late, this can keep Jack out of the way while they clean up all the loose ends.

Unlike the After-Action Healing Drama (for serious wounds), it is a quiet moment after the battle or The Chase, or however he suffered the injuries. Therefore, even though he is not suffering Post-Victory Collapse, he will often react more strongly to the pain than during the thick of things — with the humanizing effect of Afraid of Needles, in the antiseptic variation. Using iodine will get a particularly strong reaction.

Jill often has to tell him to hold still when she treats the injuries — often with a warning, in advance, that it will hurt. If she doesn't sympathize with him — either in general or because she disapproves of how he got injured — she may briskly inform him not to be a baby. She may try to soothe him if she does feel sympathetic, particularly if they are still in enemy territory, and he needs to keep quiet. Expect a Bandage Wince or two.

Regardless of how she feels about him, she may inform him that it was really stupid to get into trouble in the first place, which may or may not be followed by an acknowledgement of his courage, or even the Smooch of Victory. Criticism is less likely if it was on her behalf, where appropriate gratitude may be expressed. She may, however, deny that his intervention was needed; that sometimes is true.

It also affords time for a tender moment after an action-packed scene (not to mention a Shirtless Scene), or merely for people to talk about discoveries made during the heat of battle. The first is usually a man getting patched up by a woman; it often advances the Florence Nightingale Effect, but seldom goes all the way from nothing to love because it's only one scene. If not, or if there is no UST, it's commonly used for exposition, since they can talk. Or, of course, both, particularly if this gives a chance for the Scar Survey. It can also be a Pet the Dog moment to show one character cares what happens to the other — especially convenient for The Stoic, since it does not require him to evince any emotion.

When there is no one around to help, Self-Surgery may come into play. It tends to be far less pleasant. If she doesn't have a bandage handy, the subtrope From Dress to Dressing applies.

Contrast Minor Injury Overreaction.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  

     Comic Books  

  • A variation occurs in both the comic and film version of Sin City. After the opening escape scene from the cops, Marv goes to Luceille's apartment to get patched up. He applies his own bandages since he snuck into her place but he is sure to ask her for meds.
  • In Astro City,
    • In "Safeguards", Nick Furst brings the narrator to the field hospital so she can get patched up. This, unusually, gives her time to reflect.
    • Altar Boy is injured after The Reveal at the park. The Crossbreed get him to safety and patch up his arm, and get him to rest for shock. They talk with him about what they learned.
    • the police and ambulance show up after Steeljack brought down the villain, and the Honor Guard took him away. The EMTs treat Steeljack, and a policeman fills him in on what the Honor Guard has done.
  • A gender-swapped version happens to Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, where her boyfriend Tim Drake (Robin) tends to her wounds as she talks about her villainous father.
  • In The Punisher MAX #53, Frank is tied to a chair and Forced to Watch the insane mercenary Barracuda threaten his newfound daughter. The next issue cuts to Punisher in the hospital in a full-body cast trying to piece together what he did during his Unstoppable Rage from his injuries (and the pieces of Barracuda's face stuck in his teeth)
    Punisher: Well, my wrist is broken, so I guess I went insane and snapped the cuffs...

     Fairy Tales 
  • In The Brothers Grimm's Brother and Sister, after Brother is injured in the hunt, Sister treats the wound — though she's much frightened, it's not so serious he can't go out the next day.

     Fan Works 
  • Kurogane treats Syaoran's injuries in Shatterheart after he gets jumped by a gang on his way home and after the disastrous chess finals.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, the Beast saves Belle from a wolf pack when she tried to flee the castle. Belle takes him back to the castle to treat his wounds. He still acts like a hothead and refuses to cooperate, until Belle actually thanks him for saving her life.
    Beast: ...You're welcome.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel treats Flynn's hand with her hair, after they escape drowning.
  • In Treasure Planet, when Jim goes off to scout, Dr. Doppler insists on checking out Captain Amelia. Most of it occurs off-stage, but the UST implications are there. (At first it appears her injuries were more serious, since he uses a Bridal Carry to get her to safety, but once she rests, the injuries do not hamper her.)

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The famous "Well, dammit, Indy, where doesn't it hurt?!" scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • After the beach house shootout of The Killer, Ah Jong and Inspector Li Ying spend a scene tending one of the former's wounds, a gunshot to the arm, leading to Li using a bit of gunpowder from a shotgun shell and a match in order to cauterize the wound.
  • After the Il Duce shootout from The Boondock Saints, all three of the title characters have wounds to tend to, which is shown in a montage that includes a heated iron.
  • Black Cloud: Sammi does this to Cloud after his fight with Eddie.
  • Terminator franchise:
  • A deleted scene in Johnny English Reborn has English giving a Badass Boast of the training he got in Nepal which gave him Balls of Steel, then a Gilligan Cut shows him shrieking in pain as the Love Interest treats his wound.
  • The 13th Warrior. The protagonist is being treated by a Viking woman who, on hearing his groans, tells him he's sounding like a woman, so he quips, "How come you're not doing it then?"
  • The Amazing Spider-Man has a beat-up Peter Parker collapsing through his girlfriend's window, then recovering enough under her care that he manages an impromptu date.
  • In Excalibur, after his first battle as king, Arthur is treated for his wounds by Guinevere, leading to his falling in love with her.
  • A rare James Bond example occurs in Octopussy, where after the final Chase Scene Bond is seen recuperating from his wounds in a large rowboat, and the titular character comes along to check up on him, where it's revealed he isn't that badly injured...
  • Babylon A.D.. Bad Ass mercenary Toorop winces as the woman he's escorting across the border patches him up, and they gibe each other over it. Rather than played for UST (that comes later) it's used to show how the characters are loosening up from their previous antagonism.
  • Played straight, then subverted in Edge of Tomorrow where the protagonists are stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, condemned to refight the same battle unless they can win the war by destroying the Hive Queen. Cage and Rita discover a helicopter in a farm that they can use for their mission, but before taking off Cage insists on treating Rita's injury. This leads to some mild flirtation, which Rita responds to by drawing her pistol, pointing out that she's in pain and suggesting they reset to the beginning of the time loop. Rita saw a close friend die over 300 times in a previous loop, so she has a phobia about getting too close to anyone. Then she realises that Cage is doing this deliberately; he's played out this scene before and each time Rita dies when she takes off in the helicopter, so he's trying to stall for time until it's too dark to fly.
  • A completely platonic version happens in Das Finstere Tal: Greider is wounded badly, but there is no hint of romance between him and the women treating him. There's still a tender moment near the end of the scene where Luzi starts his metronome, which helps calm him down.

    Literature 
  • In The Dresden Files Charity dislikes Harry. Nevertheless, she treats a cut he suffered.
    "I hear they make antiseptics that don't hurt these days. Charity used iodine."
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories:
    • In A Witch Shall Be Born, much of how Salome took over is told by Valerius to Ivga while she tends his wounds, though they are unusually severe for this trope.
    Her soft, nimble fingers were again at work, gently cleansing and closing the gaping edges of his raw wounds.
    • In The Phoenix on the Sword, Conan gets patched up while recounting what happened. At one point, he has to reject the notion that he was delirous.
    Best stop your caterwauling and aid us to bind the king's wounds. He's like to bleed to death.
  • The Memory Wars:
    • In Locked Within, Roland explains how the supernatural world works during one of these scenes.
    • In Silent Oath, Nathan gets patched up by his ex-girlfriend, after saving her baby. It's... tense.
  • In the Wizard Heir books, two characters have nice moment like this.
  • Judge Dee has one of the judge's lieutenants massaging a medicinal ointment onto the other's shoulders where he was hit by a club.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Summer Moonshine, Jane remembers that Joe suffered his bruised knuckle on her behalf and offers to bathe it for him. He turns it down as too trivial a wound.
    • In his Jeeves and Wooster story "The Inferiority Complex of Old Sippy", Jeeves arranges a Tap on the Head for Sippy, which causes Miss Moon to haste to help him, and their engagement.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, after the battle with the orks, Priad talks with Petrok while an apocathery tends his wounds, to tell him something he realized during the battle.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring, they are trudging away from Moria when Aragorn realizes that Sam and Frodo are too badly injured to walk. He and Boromir carry them to where they can camp, but once there, both hobbits turn out to need no more than this. The chief effect of this scene is The Reveal of Frodo's mithril shirt.
  • Happens to A Brother's Price's Captain Tern injured and tended by various Whistlers. Twice. For a Hypercompetent Sidekick, she gets hurt a lot.
  • In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, Constantine carefully feeds the collapsed Sunshine after their escape.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, John Carter first actually meets Dejah Thoris after she's been struck across the face by a green Martian, and he immediately tends the wound, confusing her, because he had ignored (actually, not recognised) a signal for help earlier.
  • In L Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hell, Logistilla fusses over her brother Theo's injuries.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, Tom treats Kyrie's bite. He takes the occasion to warn her, at length, about what are the signs that she has to get more serious treatment.
  • In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel In The Lion's Mouth, Donovan treats Ravn's wounds after they face the Frog Prince. He dismisses it as just following the directions of the medical system.
  • In Alethea Kontis's Enchanted, when Rumbold arrives in the kitchen to find Sunday injured after the riot, a mousy girl is cleaning her wounds. This allows Rumbold to learn who she is, after he had gotten her her job.
  • Evelyn Waugh's On Guard: "No Englishman, however phlegmatic, can have his hand dabbed with iodine without, momentarily at least, falling in love."
  • In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels
    • Rosemary and Rue, when Lily treats Toby at her garden, and when Devin treats her at Toby's apartment, both instances are chances to talk.
    • A Local Habitation after their car is hit by the gate, Gordan patches up Quentin and Toby; unusual, the talk only showcases Gordan's sharp-edged character.
    • Ashes of Honor, after going through the gate to ALH, Tybalt's injuries need treatment, and Toby goes to get him to it. A time for talk. (Until it is revealed that actually, the injuries after all are serious.)
  • Often happens in Warrior Cats after major or minor battles.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Riddle-Master of Hed, Astrin is attacked and wounded by a strange man on the plain. The voiceless Morgan patches him up. Used for Foreshadowing, and to make them justly paranoid
  • In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda for Kosgro, in the notus grove. She even finds the notus helps with the inflammation.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, after Nelis has been rescued, his men start a false trail to draw The Chase because of his injuries. Roane uses her medikit to patch him up.
  • In Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard, when he realizes that her hand is bleeding from the steel she used to protect herself from the Lady's spell, Randal insists on bandaging it up — much to Kate's annoyance, since it interrupts her attempt to get information out of him, which is none too easy even without it.
  • In Andre Norton's Catseye, Kyger patches up Troy's arm after the attempted burglary, and talks of it. Troy tells him he knows of a novice in the Thieves' Guild who had acted suspiciously earlier.
  • In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, Thorvald treats Shann's injuries in the cave and after the forktail, and when arriving as The Cavalry, cuts Shann free and checks, fearing the worst after the Throg threat of Cold-Blooded Torture. This is the clearest demosntration of FireForgedFriendsship until Shann's Field Promotion.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, the harpist treats Jenny's scraps from running through the woods.
  • In Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, Meghan bandages the wounds that Ash got from Rowan during their escape from the Unseelie Court.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Tatiana and Alexander share their First Kiss after he rescues her from the rubble of a bombed out train station and spends the night treating her injuries.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. Badass and Child Duo Sandor Clegane and Arya Stark get into a fight with the Mountain's men during which Sandor sustains some life-threatening injuries. Arya helps sterilise the wounds and bandage him up. Sandor, in great pain and full of remorse, ends up begging her for a Mercy Kill. Arya out of Cruel Mercy or a reluctance to kill Sandor refuses and rides off instead.
  • In Andre Norton's A Brother To Shadows, once inside after the assassination attempt, Zulzan insists Jofre take off his shirt and then treats the burn he suffered.
  • In Sandy Mitchell's The Traitor's Hand, Ciaphas Cain takes several occasions to help wounded troopers. Which gets him nicely out of the line of fire.

     Live Action TV  

  • This is Jack and Kate's first interaction in LOST.
  • In the Arrow episode "League of Assassins," after Oliver and the Canary's battle against three Assassins, Oliver performs some stitching on her back. Its used not really as a romantic moment, but more to show how Bad Ass the Canary is, and Felicity points out that she's not even flinching.
    The Canary: Pain and I came to a little understanding a few years back.
  • Lampshaded and parodied in Community, when Jeff suffers an ACTUAL injury during the Paintball Episode and Britta patches him up, commenting on how the "wounded soldier fantasy" clearly means they're moments from doing it. They do it.
  • Played for Laughs on Angel, when Cordelia is patching up vampire Angel from getting a rebar through his chest.
    Cordelia: Stop breathing.
    Angel: I don't breathe.
    Cordelia: Then stop flexing your manly boob muscle.
    • Definitely not played for laughs is Wesley treating Illyria in the Grand Finale rather than spend his last day alive doing whatever he wants. Since Winifred Burkle died due to Illyria taking over her body, Wesley has lost interest in life and so spends his final hours tending to what's left of his loved one.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Angel's First Kiss is preceded by the former bandaging Angel's shoulder ("Angel"). Similarly, an ice rink skirmish is followed by Buffy tending to Angel's bleeding, bumpy forehead ("What's My Line?, Pt. 2").
      Angel: You shouldn't have to touch me when I'm like this.
      Buffy: I didn't even notice.
    • In "Helpless" when Buffy discovers that Giles injected her with a drug that removes her superpowers on the orders of the Watcher's Council, she threatens to kill him if he ever touches her again. At the end of the episode, after Giles is fired for his "fatherly love" toward Buffy, she allows him to clean her forehead where she's bleeding.
    • In "Never Leave Me" Buffy cleans the blood off Spike after kicking her vampire boyfriend in the face, then chaining him in the basement. This seemed rather symbolic of their relationship at the time.
  • Happens a couple of times in The X-Files, since Mulder tends to get himself into stupid situations and Scully is a doctor.
  • Gender-inverted on Downton Abbey, where Matthew tends to an injured Sybil after she's assaulted during a riot. Unusual in that it's used not to advance the relationship between the two of them, but between Matthew and Sybil's older sister Mary.
  • Janine does this for Michael in "Eastenders" following his beating from Derek.
  • In The City Hunter, Yun Sung gets this after taking a beating from a congressman's son (Step One of an Engineered Public Confession); Na Na thanks him for attempting to defend her honor.
  • At the start of the Granada Sherlock Holmes story 'The Final Problem', Watson is cleaning the wounds on Holmes's hand while Holmes narrates his meeting with Moriarty. Holmes yelps in pain when the iodine goes on, possibly emphasising his vulnerability. Holmes's wounds are mentioned in the original story but not treated 'on screen'.
  • Murdoch Mysteries, "The Murdoch Identity": Detective Murdoch, suffering from Identity Amnesia, gets shot in his arm. Anna Fulford helps him to find a sanctuary in her church, and she then treats Murdoch's wound. They end up kissing, but the kiss brings out memories of certain Julia, so Anna is only his might-have-been Love Interest.
  • Game of Thrones. Arya Stark cleans and sews up Sandor Clegane's neck wound in "Mockingbird". Given that all their previous interactions have involved either killing people or engaging in Snark-to-Snark Combat, it's their first moment of actual bonding.
  • Zoey 101: after the guys are pounded by the football team, except Mark who is left stuck in the basketball ring.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • In Prickly City, after one of Winslow's attempts to fly, Carmen came hurrying up with a first aid box.

    Roleplay 

  • In The Sydney Scroungers, Seiko and Miranda's first meeting involves her coming back to her apartment... and finding him passed out bleeding on the couch. Rather than calling the cops or taking him to a hospital, she decides to patch him up and ask him some questions instead.

     Tabletop Games  

  • Tends to pop up in Dungeons & Dragons as in-combat healing rarely outpaces the damage dealt, and stopping someone from doing damage is more efficient.

     Video Games  

  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater uses a Self-Surgery version of this to teach the player how to use the Cure screen. After being thrown off a bridge, Snake speaks to Para-Medic over his radio while lying in a quiet riverside meadow. It serves the same dramatic purposes in that it slows down the action and allows a little bit of flirtation, albeit from afar.
  • In BinaryDomain, after a hectic level with nonstop action, Dan treats Faye's gunshot wound.
  • Happens twice in Heavy Rain, when Madison patches Ethan up after each of the first two challenges. Ethan also suffers from Post-Victory Collapse (or possibly post-FAILURE collapse) after the second challenge, but there's little that Madison can do besides disinfect his wounds and wait.
  • Implied in Jagged Alliance 2, as all your medically trained team members can do is stop bleeding. Restoring HP and removing any stat penalties incurred from getting hit in a particular location requires a full-sized medical kit and a fair amount of time, up to two or three in-game days if a merc has taken a really bad mauling.
  • If your Fire Emblem character is a healer, chances are they will have at least one support talk involving this.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Henry gets this treatment from either Olivia (who's not a healer) or Maribelle (who is) in their supports. Similarly, Kellam is in the receiving end of this from Sully (again, not a healer).
      • And in the Harvest Scramble DLC stage, Inigo can get this from... Gerome (another non-healer).
  • Played with in Jurassic Park The Game: Initially, Nima only gets first aid treatment after escaping from the Dilophosaurus and the mysterious creatures. During the climax of episode one, however, Nima has to get treatment during an action segment.

     Web Comics  

    Web Video 

  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre is a Setting Update Vlog Series based on Jane Eyre. The scene where Jane saves Mr Rochester from burning alive in his bed is reimagined as a mysterious accident with crashing glass. Mr Rochester's is bleeding severely and Jane, a certified nurse, has to remove broken pieces from the wound and she binds it. It's a very sweet scene and full of UST, mainly from Mr Rochester.


After-Action Healing DramaScenesBedmate Reveal
After-Action Healing DramaHealing and Curing TropesAfter Combat Recovery
After-Action Healing DramaInjury TropesAgony of the Feet
After-Action Healing DramaAction Adventure TropesAir-Vent Passageway
Action Figure SpeechDialogueAfter Action, Villain Analysis
Adrenaline MakeoverLove TropesAgents Dating
After-Action Healing DramaFight SceneArtistic License - Martial Arts
Activist Fundamentalist AnticsImageSource/Web ComicsAmnesiac Dissonance

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