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After-Action Patch-Up

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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 scrapes 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 whatever way he had 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 Unresolved Sexual Tension, 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.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk: Casca does this with Guts three times, each at a different stage in their relationship: first when they are barely friends, second when they reconcile and become friends, and third when they become lovers.
  • A Bride's Story: Amir tends to Azel's wounds at the end of chapter 35, which concludes an invasion.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: This is played around with a lot.
    • Ed has been known to wind up in very large fights which almost inevitably result in his arm getting destroyed. Winry is never happy with this, as she repeatedly tells him to stop getting into trouble and breaking the thing she worked so hard on. She even beats up Ed any time his arm gets broken.
    • Ed has also been known invert this trope as he also goes to the hospital for the fights he gets into, which is reasonable enough since he often engages with immortal monsters.
      Envy (carrying an unconscious Ed): His life's not in any danger, but you might want to get him to a hospital as soon as you can.
    • May acts as a medic since alkehestry is specialized for medical use. After meeting Scar for the first time, she notices a large cut on his leg and immediately heals it.
      • She also does this for Hawkeye after she gets her throat slit.
    • A rather creepy example with Father. Ed and Ling return from Gluttony's stomach not long after getting into a fight with Envy which resulted in quite a few injuries. Father immediately gets to work healing Ed's broken arm and ribs and even makes Al a new hand since Gluttony swallowed it. However, this is all because the brothers are sacrifice candidates and Father needs them healthy, meaning Ling is exempt from this treatment.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics has Rose Red finding a Princely Young Man unconscious, watching over him until he wakes up, and then patching up his leg. He is the Bear Prince's younger brother, and they marry in the end.
  • Gunslinger Girl. A significant change in the relationship between Hilshire and his cyborg Triela happens after she removes a bullet from his chest after Hilshire is wounded carrying out an assassination mission he was supposed to assign to Triela.
  • In Inuyasha, this happens a lot between Kagome and the titular character. One episode has his brother stick his arm straight through his chest. Kagome tries to patch him up the next day only to find that the wound has healed due to Inuyasha being half-demon. She still has to wrestle him to get his shirt off though, leading to Not What It Looks Like.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood:
    • This is how Jonathan reunites with his childhood sweetheart, Erina, after his first battle with Dio in the Joestar Manor.
    • Humorously, Speedwagon also rushes to Jonathan's aid but finds that Erina actually beat him to it. He suddenly becomes cognizant that this trope is in play, and withdraws coolly to leave the two lovebirds alone.
  • In Maison Ikkoku, After thanking Godai for saving the day by returning her bikini top to her earlier in the day (which Godai had thought he had accomplished anonymously), Kyoko treats Godai's arms, which he scraped in the process of trying to remain anonymous while returning it.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, Momoshiro receives this after winning against Sengoku with an injured leg. His sempai Inui, the one doing the patch-up work, can barely believe that Momo was able to even play with an injury like that.
  • Ranma ˝: Happens more than once between Akane and Ranma. The most notorious example happens in the martial ice-skating arc: he's moping after a fight because a man named Mikado gave him his first kiss and then defeated him (not knowing that Ranma and the girl he'd kissed were the same person), so Akane comes in to snap him out of his funk and bandage any wounds. This results in several Almost Kisses between them before their families interrupt.
  • Sk8 the Infinity: This is done between protagonists Langa and Reki more than once, and leads to a focus on an important conversation between them, whether heartfelt or painful. Reki does it with adhesive bandages after Langa first gets cut, leading to a quiet conversation in which Langa opens up for the first time. Later, Langa fixes the injury wrap on Reki's arm when they're hiding from the cops, which leads to a conversation on recklessness, and Reki's quiet relief that Langa is okay (and Langa smiling quietly to himself when he hears it), before transitioning to an important promise.
  • Happens in the background after the climactic battle of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light. Mokuba can be seen bandaging Kaiba's arm, which was injured when Anubis threw him into the ground arm-first.

    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.
  • Robin (1993):
    • 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.
    • A platonic variation occurs when Tim (Robin III) and Cass (Batgirl III) help patch each other up after a battle while she explains a bit about her villainous father:
      Tim: How can you take a bullet and not bat an eye?
      Cass: You know that... kid game "two for flinching"?
      Tim: Yeah. Oh no, don't tell me -
      Cass: My... Dad and I played something like that.
  • 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...
  • On multiple occasions during the Golden Age of Comics Wonder Woman helped patch up Steve Trevor's minor injuries after an altercation if they were on a mission and he couldn't be brought back to headquarters or to a hospital easily without compromising their current mission.

    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 
  • In the Discworld continuum of A.A. Pessimal, Matron Igorina fulfils this function for Assassins post-combat. As Matron at the Guild school, she also works wonders with pupils who haven't quite grasped the blades really are that sharp.note 
  • Anglerfish: Jason gives Tim some first aid treatment after Tim ends up with a stab wound and a broken leg after Jason started a shootout with some gangsters Tim had been fighting.
  • In The Beast Of Gusu, there's a downplayed one. Lan Wangji insists on checking Wei Wuxian over for injuries after they return to their home following the attack on Cloud Recesses. Wei Wuxian insists that he’s fine (thanks to his Healing Factor), but Lan Wangji isn’t reassured until he sees the scars fading for himself.
  • A non-romantic version between Ritsu and Teruki makes up the entirety of Chapter 17 of A Breach of Trust, though it's less about fixing the injuries and more about covering them.
  • In the Punch-Out!! fanfic Bump in the Night, the last portion of the story has Disco Kid dressing a wound on Aran Ryan's hand after Aran chases a raccoon away from the house.
  • A mental health variant occurs in The Dragon and the Butterfly. After the fight between the Vikings and the Madrigals, Hiccup takes a moment to talk about the fight with Mirabel (as he had to watch his fantastical foster family fight his former father).
  • In the Star Wars Rebels fanfiction Ezra Lost, there's a breather chapter where Hera Syndulla is patching up Kanan Jarrus' wounded shoulder. It naturally doubles as a Shirtless Scene.
  • One early scene in Chapter 5 of Forum of Thrones has this between Kersea and Clayton, where he is patching her up after beating her in the first place. It is not meant to be a bonding scene between the two though, rather it serves to demonstrate another layer in their messed-up relationship.
  • Junior Officers: During "River Riding Adventure, Part 2", Barnacles breaks his leg in an accident, and the latter half of the chapter and "A Leg Up" show him being patched up.
  • New Stars: After he saves Marcus and Ty from Krill soldiers, Maxx is knocked out by a blast to the helmet. Dr. Finn takes him to the Orville and patches him up. This is a more platonic version of this trope, as Claire is married to Isaac. It does, however, help them become friends and help Maxx trust her to the point that he believes her when she tells him what she learned about his inhibitor chip.
  • Early in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash gets injured while protecting Pikachu from an angry flock of Spearow and Fearow. Misty, who happens to see it, decides to bandage his wounds with a spare undershirt she has before taking him to the Viridian Pokémon Center.
  • Resident Evil: A Brother's Promise: Chapter 10 has B.J. and Claire doing this to one another after their first confrontation with Mr. X.
  • Kurogane treats Syaoran's injuries in Shatterheart after he gets jumped by a gang on his way home and after the disastrous chess finals.
  • SV Wishes: Luo Binghe treats his master Shen Qingqiu's bruises after the latter is hurt after stopping Liu Qingge's qi deviation and getting attacked by Yue Qingyuan as a result. This permanently sours Luo Binghe's opinion of the Lord of Household.
  • A Triangle in the Stars: After Bill rescues a then-poofed Steven from Gabriel, Steven heals the triangle's wounds via his famous healing spit.
  • In Twelve Moons and a Fortnight, Lan Wangji tends to Wei Wuxian after the battle with the land-eater and helps him recover from the subsequent qi deviation.
  • In Where There's A Will, There's A Road, after the fight with the Spider Spirit, Nie Mingjue helps set Jin Guangyao's dislocated shoulder and the two have a long talk.

    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 The Hunchback of Notre Dame, after getting an arrow stuck in him after refusing to follow an order to burn an innocent family's house down with them in it, Phoebus is escorted back to the Cathedral and has the wound treated by Esmerelda. This is where the Love Triangle between them and Quasimodo starts to show up.
  • 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 a long almost 24 hours straight of Indy digging into ancient ruins, battling hordes of snakes and Nazis, getting physically beaten to a pulp, chasing down a truck, being shot, and getting dragged behind the aforementioned truck down a rough and rocky road, Marion is trying to patch Indy up, but every single place she touches or tries to treat just makes him flinch or cry out in pain. Marian starts trying to kiss the few places on his body that he indicates aren't hurt, but instead of getting sultry, as Marion intended, as soon as her kisses relax Indy he promptly passes out, much to her chagrin.
  • After the beach house shootout of The Killer (1989), 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. Ahmad is brought water by a Viking woman who proceeds to inspect a wound on his brow while he drinks, and on hearing his yelp, tells him he's sounding like a woman, so he quips, "Do that again, and you'll make it."
  • 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.. Mercenary Toorop winces as the woman he's escorting across the border patches him up, and they rib each other over it. Rather than played for Unresolved Sexual Tension (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 (despite being Afraid of Blood at the start of the movie). 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.
  • In the aftermath of a furious shootout in El Gringo, the protagonist (simply referred in the film as The Man is being tended to by his Love Interest, with her using her bra and panties as an improvised tourniquet. Leading to this line:
    "It's almost worth getting shot!"
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
    • The montage of Arthur growing up on the streets of Londinium keeps cutting to the prostitutes who are raising him patching up his injuries until he gets big and tough enough to start dishing it out instead of taking it.
    • After Arthur first unleashes the power of the sword in battle, he and the Mage have a quiet scene together where they discuss what just happened while he helps her tend to a wound on the back of her shoulder.
  • The Legend of Tarzan: after a Curb-Stomp Battle between Tarzan and his ape brother Akut (Akut did the stomping), Tarzan's friend George Washington Williams patches up the massive bite wound in his shoulder with the mandibles of living termites.
  • Under Siege offers a brief example, though it's hard to tell whether there is any Unresolved Sexual Tension, what with Steven Seagal's incredible acting range.
  • When Knighthood Was in Flower: The romance between Princess Mary and Charles Brandon moves forward when Mary has to bandage up his wounded hand, which he got in a sword fight defending her against the Duke of Buckingham's goons.
  • A nonverbal version happens at the end of Dredd, when Judge Dredd patches up rookie Judge Cassandra Anderson as they're traveling in the elevator from the 200th story to the ground floor. While no words are exchanged, Anderson's expression as she stares at Dredd likely inspired a few fanfics.
  • A double version in Gemini Man after the first confrontation between Henry Brogan and Junior, with both characters trying to puzzle out with the person patching them up why their opponent was similar to them.
  • A very mild version occurs in Shredder Orpheus after one of Orpheus's concerts where Orpheus massages Eurydice's feet, which are worn-out from dancing.

  • In Dragon Bones Oreg patches up Ward at least once. One time using his own shirt as a bandage.
  • In The Dreamside Road, Orson and Enoa meet again at the end of the first arc, after defeating Tucker and Maros respectively,. They take stock of their harrowing but brief adventure, as they are treated.
  • 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 delirious.
    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.
  • The Murderbot Diaries. The cyborg title character is usually repaired by whatever MedSystem is available, but in Rogue Protocol it catches a load of shrapnel and Don Abene insists on patching it up, causing Murderbot to freak out. Abene breaks the impasse by getting her Robot Buddy to do so instead.
  • The title character of Skate the Thief has an arm injury healed with a potion after a burglary while she bickers with a wizard about how old he is.
  • In the Wizard Heir books, two characters have a 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 apothecary tends his wounds, to tell him something he realized during the battle.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Fellowship of the Ring, the Fellowship is 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 immediatelynote  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.
  • Andre Norton
    • Dread Companion. Kilda for Kosgro, in the notus grove. She even finds the notus helps with the inflammation.
    • In Ice Crown, after Nelis has been rescued, his men start a false trail to draw off The Chase because of his injuries. Roane uses her medikit to patch him up.
    • 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 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 demonstration of Fire Forged Friendship until Shann's Field Promotion.
    • In 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 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 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—which are not minor, unlike some examples of this trope; she's in pain due to lack of morphine.
  • 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 life-threatening injuries. Arya helps sterilise the wounds and bandage him up. In great pain and full of remorse, Sandor ends up begging her for a Mercy Kill. Out of Cruel Mercy or a reluctance to kill Sandor, Arya refuses and rides off instead.
  • 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.
  • In Harry Potter, the infirmary gets regular use. It often features as the location for discussion.
  • In The Rogue King, Lasil heals the injury Veng gained trying to save her. She then tends to the wound and attempts to seduce him.
  • In InCryptid, this is commonplace in all the novels and some of the short stories. Cryptozoology is not a safe science.
  • In The Fire's Stone, Aaron nearly dies and seriously wounds himself getting the Stone back into position in the climax of the book and wakes up in Darvish's bed covered in bandages and unable to move. Darvish has a fair number of bandages of his own, but he's at least mobile.
  • Across Heralds of Valdemar, exhaustion and injures frequently catch up to heroes in the aftermath of fights and general action. Usually someone can help them recover.
    • In Winds of Fate, Darkwind is not physically injured when he encounters Elspeth and her party, but he's just gone through some massive strain and heartbreak and is worn to the bone, yet pushing himself to keep going because there just aren't enough able-bodied people about to take over for him. He has a great front of strength but this doesn't prevent him from collapsing in front of Elspeth, who puts Need in his hand. Need heals him of general exhaustion and gives him some sympathy.
    • Vanyel Ashkevron is particularly prone to these but special mention goes to the official Hurt/Comfort Fic in Mark Shepherd's short story Chance, where mage-lightning cuts off Vanyel's clothes and an admiring gay soldier takes him to a safe cave with a hot spring in it and gives him a head-to-toe massage with ointment.
    Fortunately, Vanyel's injuries were bad only above the waist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • Played for Laughs when Cordelia patches up the vampire Angel after he gets 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.
  • Arrow
    • In "League of Assassins," after Oliver Queen and the Canary's battle against three Assassins, Oliver performs some stitching on her back. It is used not as a romantic moment, but more to show how she Took a Level in Badass since Oliver knew her in their pre-hero days. Felicity Smoak points out that she's not even flinching.
    The Canary: Pain and I came to a little understanding a few years back.
    • In "Time of Death", Felicity gets shot and insists on being patched up at the Arrowcave like the others instead of being taken to the hospital. As she's nowhere near as badass as them, John Diggle slips her some painkillers under the guise of aspirin.
    • Another non-romantic version is in "Restoration" when Felicity patches up Oliver. Instead of their usual Ship Tease, she gives him a roasting for taking on the metahuman who give him the injuries without backup. Also Oliver is shown wincing at the treatment, showing how he's unwound somewhat from the stoic façade he would have put on in the early seasons.
    • The romantic version occurs in "The Huntress Returns" but involves a variation where a doctor is the one doing the patching up, with Thea Queen giving Roy Harper (injured while saving her from an Attempted Rape) a Kiss of Distraction because he is Afraid of Needles.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Angel's First Kiss is preceded by her 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, Part 2").
      Angel: You shouldn't have to touch me when I'm like this.
      Buffy: I didn't even notice.
    • And yet again, in "Ted" Buffy redresses Angel's hands from his wounds sustained in the episode before. She's babbling on about what's happening in her life before it turns into a sweet moment between the two of them.
    • 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 by the Council 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Samwell Tarly gets severely beaten trying to stop the Attempted Rape of Gilly, who later treats his wounds and has Rescue Sex with him.
  • Practically a way of life on Outlander, where Claire is constantly tending to Jamie's wounds after conflicts: most notably in the first episode when she sets his dislocated shoulder, after his duel on behalf of the Duke of Sandringham when he is mildly stabbed, and reversed at the end of season 3 when Jamie gives Claire an injection and brings her soup after a small cut gets infected. Romance almost always ensues.
  • 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'.
  • This is Jack and Kate's first interaction in Lost.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • Late in "The Prince and the Rebel", Julia is shown tending to Murdoch's wrists after he had been tied up by the kidnappers.
    • In "The Murdoch Identity", 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 his wound. They end up kissing, but the kiss brings out memories of certain Julia, so Anna is only his might-have-been love.
    • At the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston", Murdoch is seen to have survived his jump from the bridge in pursuit of James Gillies and Juia treats his injuries (including reducing a dislocated shoulder). Murdoch, Julia, and Brackenreid discuss whether or not Gillies survived his fall (clearly possible since Murdoch did), and Crabtree joins them to tell them they can't find Gillies or his body.
    • In "Kung Fu Crabtree", after they fight off a trio of black-clad ninjas, Crabtree notices Wu Chang (the man he was supposed to be arresting) has a deep cut on his arm and takes him to see Dr. Grace for treatment. While there, Crabtree and Dr. Grace get to know Mr. Wu a bit better, including the fact that he isn't one of the Boxers (of the recently ended Boxer Rebellion) as a Chinese detective claimed.
    • In "The Devil Wears Whalebone", Julia struggles to get out of a suffocating corset, falling and breaking her arm. Dr. Emily Grace later gives Julia a once over, including a stethoscope check and putting Julia's arm in a support and sling.
  • Zoey 101: After the guys are pounded by the football team, they get treated for injuries, except for Mark, who is left stuck in the basketball ring.
  • Supernatural: In "Goodbye Stranger", Castiel cleans up Meg's injuries from a year of Cold-Blooded Torture at the hands of Crowley, and they have a discussion in which they acknowledge their Foe Romance Subtext.
    Meg: You really do know how to make a girl's nethers quiver, don't you?
    Castiel: I am aware of how to do that. Although it doesn't usually involve cleaning wounds.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Jemma Simmons, resident biochemist on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., handles these despite it not being what she's paid for. Early on, if a specialist (almost always Ward) had been beaten, shot, stabbed, or otherwise inconvenienced, Simmons would have something to say about it. The comments are usually sweet, but frequently sarcastic.
    • Edwin Jarvis cleaned the wound for Peggy Carter in Agent Carter when she got injured after a particularly nasty mission. Unusual is that this scene surprisingly lacks any kind of sexual tension and fanservice.
    • Claire Temple functions as the medic for the protagonists of the Netflix shows, including Matt Murdock in Daredevil (2015) and Luke Cage in Luke Cage (2016). She also treats Luke in Jessica Jones (2015) after Jessica shoots him with a shotgun to break Kilgrave's control over him.
    • Daredevil (2015): Besides the Claire examples, Foggy gets to do this to Matt after he gets shot in the head and sustains a major concussion.
      • Done as Book Ends for "In the Blood". At the start of the episode, Claire Temple patches up Matt Murdock, and it's played for the usual Ship Tease. At the end Matt patches up Claire, after she has been kidnapped and beaten by Russian mafiya thugs trying to find out who Daredevil is—in the latter case the conversation is more serious and Matt reveals his true name as a sign of trust.
    • Iron Fist (2017): Claire Temple patches up Danny Rand after he's injured escaped from Bakuto's compound. She also patches up a doctor that the Hand had kidnapped. In a non-Claire example, Colleen Wing stitches up a cut on Danny's left arm that he sustained in a duel against several Hand assassins, which culminates in them having sex.
    • Subverted in The Punisher (2017) which always plays these scenes for Fan Disservice, given that Frank is usually a bloody mess.
    • Hawkeye (2021): After escaping the fire in Kate Bishop's apartment Clint Barton tells her they need "supplies". Kate assumes this means Avengers-level tech but Clint actually means first aid supplies. He then shows her how to properly clean and dress her head wound to prevent infection. As Clint is Happily Married, and there's a large age gap between him and Kate, the scene is strictly platonic and more about Clint reluctantly acting as The Mentor for Kate.
  • In the Supergirl (2015) episode "Medusa", Alex stitches up Maggie's wound after the latter got shot by the Cyborg Superman. Alex uses the time to thank Maggie for helping her realize her sexuality, and that she finally understands herself now because of it.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Princess Diana is sent to America specifically to deliver Steve Trevor to an American hospital after patching him up on Paradise Island following him being shot by a Nazi soldier.
  • Altered Carbon has a sci-fi twist to this trope, as it takes place in a future where people can have their personality downloaded into another body. Takeshi Kovacs has been 'sleeved' into the body of Detective Kristin Ortega's former partner and boyfriend. She patches up his injuries as she's done for her ex-boyfriend before, then has sex with him. In a later episode, Ortega is the one who turns up injured and there's a Bathtub Scene where Takeshi cleans up her injuries. Only it's the Big Bad who has sleeved into Ortega's body, in order to find out just how close Takeshi is to her. As the Big Bad is Takeshi's sister, there's an Incest Subtext to it all.
    • The first episode starts with an implied one combined with Shower of Love, as Kovacs and his unnamed companion clean a copious amount of blood off themselves in a hotel shower, and then proceed to have sex in the same shower.
  • Temo tends to Ari's split lip after the latter's fight with Mateo in El corazón nunca se equivoca.
  • Happens a lot on Gotham:
    • Lee does this for Jim a lot. Justified as she is a doctor, but since she's also his girlfriend it usually ends with them kissing.
    • Alfred is the one that does this for Bruce, as per usual for the characters. One particularly memorable scene between them sees the establishment of Bruce's iconic Thou Shalt Not Kill rule.
    • Selina has also done this for Bruce on one occasion, but it was used more to set up another "becoming Batman" moment than any Ship Tease (though that is there too).
      Bruce: And in that moment...I knew no matter what he did to me, that he couldn't break me. That no one can.
  • Happens a couple of times in The X-Files, since Mulder tends to get himself into stupid situations and Scully is a doctor.

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

  • 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.
  • Most roleplaying games that provide for some way to apply first aid or otherwise top off those precious hit points again will see this happen after a fight in which any player characters were hurt even a little as a simple matter of common sense — usually at least one PC will have some relevant skill, be that mundane or magical. It's relatively unusual to see such a scene played out to much actual dramatic effect beyond the odd bit of inter-player squabbling about who needs the help first or more, though.

    Video Games 
  • In Binary Domain, after a hectic level with nonstop action, Dan treats Faye's gunshot wound.
  • One of the first things that happens to Markus in Detroit: Become Human upon discovering Jericho. He falls off a very high catwalk and gets a nasty cut on his side, so he's encouraged to see Lucy to get it fixed. Said fixing involves nothing more than a hot poker and a bottle of thirium, but it also results in her telling Markus' fortune.
  • If a 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 Gregor gets it from the aforementioned Olivia.
      • And in the Harvest Scramble DLC stage, Inigo can get this from... Gerome (another non-healer).
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the supports between the male healer Azama and the Glacier Waif Effie in the Golden Path have at least three scenes like this. She gets wounded via Taking the Bullet for him in their C support and he heals her, then he finds her badly wounded in her B support and patches her up again while calling her a fool for her lack of self-care, and this happens again in their A one, leading them to have a rather serious talk and to her falling asleep on him. If the player gets their S support, Azama asks Effie to marry him and straight-up says he wants to protect her so this trope won't happen again and they'll grow old together.
      • The support chain between the Ninja Saizo and the White Magician Girl Sakura also starts like this, with Saizo being grievously wounded and chased around by enemies and Sakura healing his injuries so they can get away safely. In the B support Saizo, who knows Sakura has a huge Sweet Tooth, brings her candies as thanks nevermind how he detests sweet stuff. If they reach S-Support, they get married.
      • The aforementioned Saizo is in the receiving end again if the player builds the support chain with Azura. This time it's different: Azura is not a healer so she rips her own skirt to dress Saizo's wound. Which is a turning point in their support chain, as he sees a huge scar she has and they discuss their issues.
  • 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 while in combat 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. Any Unresolved or Belligerent Sexual Tension is, perhaps mercifully, left to the player's own imagination.
  • 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.
  • One retrievable memory in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has Zelda bandaging Link's arm after a battle with an unusual number of monsters while chastising him as "not immortal."
  • 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.
  • Seen in Operation Wolf, where a villager bandages your wounds (completely refilling your health bar) after the Village mission.
  • Death Road to Canada: In-between driving events, the character with the highest medical skill will patch up the rest of your party. Characters with a maxed-out medical skill can do this without even using up medical supplies.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Morgan is injured in the escape from Barbarossa. On her romantic path, the protagonist is with her while she recovers.


    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane. The episode "Oil and Water" has a variation where Caitlyn's father removes shrapnel from her leg, while her mother drinks a cup of tea and lectures her wayward daughter.
  • Superman: The Animated Series, "World's Finest" has Lois Lane patching up Batman...after he's been unmasked in front of her, so rather than being played for Ship Tease Lois is furious, as she was dating Bruce Wayne because she wanted to get away from the whole superhero thing.
    Bruce: I didn't say I wasn't Batman. (Lois slaps the cut she's putting iodine on) Ow!


Video Example(s):


Where doesn't it hurt?

Marion tends to Indy after their adventure in Egypt

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / AfterActionPatchup

Media sources: