In Sickness

Xanadu Weyr - Dragonhealer's Annex
An entrance way which would allow admittance to even the greatest of Queen Dragons leads into a chamber which would house half-a-dozen of the same size. To one side is a shallow pool which constantly clears itself of grime and is used is washing wounds. Nearby is a shelf with a generous supply of clean bandages and clean sheets upon stone shelves. The other side of the chamber is taken up by an alcove with multiple banks of computers to house medical records and help to diagnose illness and injury in the Dragons who come for aid. Within this alcove is a small medical laboratory where medicines and herbs can be prepared and experiments can take place. The far wall houses two dozen Dragon couches, each separated above by a rail which supports a thick curtain allowing the patients an option of privacy as they rest and recover.

Ka'el has not been having a good day. Not at all! He's had a heck of a time trying to concentrate because his head seems to be in a fog. He probably stayed up too late the night before. Bringing work home usually is sign for a long night ahead, but he’d rather work on any paperwork at home rather than behind his desk in his shared office. But it’s not good today. Today, the letters of the papers he’s looking over swim off the page. He feels tired. Maybe he needs to take a walk to perk himself up? And so Ka’el has been walking, which ended up being a chore. He feels more like going home and crashing into bed rather than anything else, and his stomach is starting to feel weird. Not to mention the ‘head floating off of his shoulders’ feeling. His steps have led him towards the feeding ground, where he met up with Kanekith who seems unable to finish a kill he’s just made. He’s also laying down and seems disinterested in Ka’el’s arrival. And he’s looking a bit green…which is bad for a bronze. And his eyes are..murky.. And Ka’el is arriving in the Dragonhealer Annex now, looking pale-ish himself.

"-and come back in a seven to get it checked," Soriana says to the brown's rider, who nods obediently. Anything else? Nope, that's the last of the instructions, and Soriana just smiles reassuringly before she moves on to… what is the next thing on her agenda, actually? This dragon was the last patient on her list, so that means she's back to… ugh, is it paperwork time? Doesn't she get enough of that when she's doing the junior weyrwoman half of her work? But no, it has to follow her here too. And follow her to home - which, admittedly, is sometimes not actually her paperwork, but that doesn't mean she doesn't stay up late for it, because… the alternative would be going to bed by herself, and that's just… well. She stays up late, is the point. Also, the other point is that now she's got no excuses to avoid yet more paperw- aha! Look just walked into the Annex. It's an excuse! That is, a Ka'el. Her eyes brighten as she starts toward him, with a smile that lasts until she gets a better look at his face. This does not look like the face of a Weyrleader here to inspect the annex or sweep her away to an early dinner that they'll both pretend is crucially important until they get out of sight. She keeps on heading toward him, but with less of the smile and more of the concerned almost-frown. "…you look half-betweened." It's better than half-dead, but only barely.

Somewhere out there, Kanekith takes a bite of his kill. Why? Because he's not going to let some other dragon scavenge what's his, that's why! And the longer he lays there, the more other dragons are like 'hmmm, can I have some of that?' And he's hungry, but at the same time he's not. But .. whatever. This is his! Nom! … *gurgle* Ka'el is starting to look vaguely green around the gills as his stomach ties itself in a knot. And … ugh. The smell here is not helping his stomach. That trademark 'hospital smell' is making that knot tie tighter in his gut, and it's with near-desperate eyes that he searches for a dragonhealer. Or maybe he needs a healer. He's not sure, but he's not here searching for just any dragonhealer. He's searching for his dragonhealer, which is probably why he's not in the infirmary. And, lucky him! There she is, speaking to him. He smiles, barely, at her quip. "That's better than some things….right?" He can't think of them right now because right now, he feels awful. "Someth-.." *bellygurgle* "…Somethin's wrong with Kanekith..Or me…or both've us."

"Sure." Ka'el could be all betweened. Or, uh, he could be… gurgly enough that he can't think of a quip. Fr some people, that's a natural state, but for Ka'el, it's a sign of something wrong. There's no answering smile from Soriana, just the look of concern that's half professional and half personal. Because, well, while this is obviously a patient, it's also a Ka'el. Something's wrong with Kanekith, he says, and she looks about behind him for signs of bronze dragon, which… aren't there. Right, something's wrong with Kanekith. He's not here! And while the bronze might well avoid the infirmary for his own sake, she'd expect - if he were the healthy one - to find him lurking near a Ka'el who looks like that. So! "We can come look at him." This does get her out of paperwork, it just also gets her a small frown. "Wait here a minute." Because, well, she's still only grade two. But she can pester one of the more senior healers. … and get told they'll be along shortly, go conduct an initial assessment. So she nods, grabs a bag of general-type supplies, and comes back to Ka'el. "Okay." Shards, he doesn't look good, does he? The actual worry she usually hides behind healer-professionalism has to be pushed down. "When you're ready."

Ka’el can wait, sure. He stands, doing his best not to look like an invalid. He’s the Weyrleader and in public, and thus can’t afford to look the way he feels. And he feels like crawling into a hole and falling asleep for the rest of his life. He puts on a face that he hopes looks stoic as Soriana goes off to get things in order. Off in the feeding grounds, Kanekith has stopped feeding, thank Faranth. That’s helping to keep the nauseated feeling from flaring up again, though the queasiness is still in both of their stomachs. The meat is sitting in there like a lump. An unappetizing, heavy lump. Ka’el slightly plucks at his shirt, trying to appear nonchalant as he does so, and pausing when Soriana returns. “Ready,” he says with a slow nod, turning to head out with her. “It’s started just today,” he explains on the way, glad for the coolness of outside’s air upon his vaguely fevered face. “He felt… out’ve sorts this morning on our morning flight around the Weyr. Didn’t think much of it, though I should’ve..” He frowns at that. He should’ve been more attentive, to Kanekith and himself. Not all of his sickly symptoms are merely Kanekith’s shared projections. “Later, I couldn’t concentrate in the office. Thought I was just.. tired. I dunno. .. Shards..” He should’ve paid closer attention. Guilt momentarily overrides his own sickness. But then .. oh yeah. Woozy feeling dominates again. He grimaces, visibly faltering in his step, but recovering quickly enough. He elevates his chin. Press on, Weyrleader. Through the clearing. Towards the forest. “He’s in the .. feeding area. Do we … do I need to move him to the.. the annex? He’s.. uh, his belly hurts.”

Even Weyrleaders get sick sometimes. Those stacks of paperwork… don't actually have healing powers, strange as that may seem. Soriana nods to Ka'el, and while he may be so very nonchalant, she lets him pick the pace. Partly because, well, she doesn't want to rush him if rushing him means his lunch getting tossed out onto… whatever. Today, he says. "Okay." That's probably a decent sign that either it's not awful, or that it's still in the progress of getting worse… but let's hope for option one. "You might yet be tired." It's not like he's been getting that much sleep, some nights - up late working on things, up early to do patrols, not much time in bed… which makes him more susceptible to getting sick. "Sometimes it's the sort of thing that goes away after a nap." Soriana looks to Ka'el as he stumbles, reaching out a hand for support - though he recovers, so it's not needed. Still. "…sometimes it isn't." She frowns, and adds more briskly, "We'll check him over where he is, first." Feeding grounds. That message's being relayed back to the Annex by way of Luraoth, so the senior dragonhealer that's coming after will be able to find the bellyhurt dragon. "Was he eating? When was his last meal?" Also, as she continues to regard Ka'el, "…when was yours?"

“…Yyyyesterday,” says Ka’el, having to think on the answer. “Yeah.. Yesterday he ate. Around midday, I think. .. Yeah, it was midday. Got somethin’ from the feeding grounds, like usual.” He trails off with furrowed brows. “Y’think it’s somethin’ he ate? I don’t think he got into anything.. But the.. last time he had.. stomach issues, he had eaten blueberries. On Fort.” Like, a lot of them. Ka’el’s actually surprised (and lucky) that whoever owned those blueberry fields didn’t complain and cause a fuss! “I let’m roam when I’m busy. But I didn’t feel anything was wrong. Til today.”


Xanadu Weyr - Feeding Grounds
A large portion of the eastern edge of the meadow has been fenced off, the corralling on three sides is located on the rolling meadow, while the fourth is located a short way up on the eastern hills. Within the large corral are a variety of beasts - ovines, bovines, and wherries - milling around, though the appearance of a dragon may send them one way or the other to try and escape. A small pond is set near one corner of the enclosure, and at times it reflects the low, bordering mountains.

Just at the forest's edge set under the tree line is a guest weyr for use in mating flights, a simple cottage made of weathered planking and grey stones.

Into the forest they go, aflame with the colors of Autumn. Eventually, the trail that leads to the feeding grounds is followed, and Kanekith is easy to find once they’re there. He’s abandoned his kill, allowing a green to feed from it while he scowls at her some yards away, laid flat on his belly and looking exceptionally surly. Ka’el’s taking a while to answer the question proposed to him. When was the last time he himself ate? He has to think about it … that’s why it’s taking a while. Probably. “I ate…yesterday, too. Din-…lunch. Didn’t feel much like taking dinner. I meant to, but got caught up. Was going to get breakfast after our patrol this morning, but got caught by Comet, then started feeling…weird.” He gives her a half-guilty look. “Guess maybe I started feeling off before today.” Illness can creep up on a person!

Yesterday is yet another sign that whatever's going on with Kanekith, it's not some sort of long-running thing that's been lasting days and days. It's new! Because… of something he ate? Soriana shrugs. "Maybe. But at least his stomach was working then." It changes how urgent this is likely to be! Kanekith's not starving. Food has gone in! And… "Did he pass anything?" Because if the food's gone both in and out in recent memory, that's a pretty good sign that Kanekith's digestive tract is (or was) fundamentally intact. Which is good. "Dragon-stomachs can deal with a lot." They chew rocks and breathe fire! A few branches and twigs, er, blueberries… Soriana half-smiles as she gives her head a little shake for that. "Sometimes, though…" Sometimes, dragon-stomachs can't even deal with normal food! Like… today. Soriana looks over Kanekith as she arrives at the feeding grounds. Stretched out, check. As scowly as a dragon can get? Also check. That's kinda sorta a good sign too. When recalcitrant dragons don't have the energy to resist, that's when the healers really start to worry. Soriana draws her gaze from that ill dragon to arch a brow at Ka'el. Yesterday. "You might be what's making Kanekith think he's hungry." Those feelings and projections go both ways! Especially if either (or, uh, both) of the bonded pair are sick and not as much in control of their thoughts as they usually are. "Are you going to the infirmary after this?" Soriana doesn't wait for the answer, turning back to Kanekith to continue her inspection.

Did he pass anything? Ka’el looks at his dragon, mentally investigating the possibility of any recent bowel movement. Dragon poop. The things healers must know! “..Not yet. I, it feels like he might’ve tried but…didn’t. Couldn’t?” he says, not very sure of just how normal it is to speak so freely about .. poop. It certainly doesn’t feel normal, as he’s never spoken about his dragon’s bowel movements before! At least, not while not in Weyrlinghood, where speaking about everything dragon-related, no matter how graphically disgusting, was the norm. ‘What? Your dragon defecated green? Mine’s was orange-brown. I wonder what that means!’ *sigh* The good ol’ days. He makes his way towards his grumpy lifemate, managing a grin to him. “Hey…what’d you do to yourself, bud?” he murmurs, touching a hand to the bronze’s foreleg. He certainly feels normal to the touch. That’s good, right? Do dragons get fevers? Humans do, and Ka’el has one, which likely is just a Ka’el problem and not a Kanekith one. Kanekith’s stomach hurts, that’s all! The queasy feeling in his gut is very real and possibly due to something in his diet, which he isn’t sharing right now. Right now, he’s tolerating Soriana being close. She’s The Girl, anyway. He’ll tolerate her as long as his rider is so attached. But he doesn’t have to be happy about it, right? He snorts at any prodding or touching he may receive. Turn his head away. Ka’el looks to Soriana at her guess that his hunger is being picked up by Kanekith. Dragon 101. “I’ll eat,” he says, even though the thought of food doesn’t really sit with him well. “Do I need to go to the healers? I’ll.. I probably just need to sleep. And eat. Like you said.” Because she’s sort of a healer, and that counts right?

For Soriana… yeah, talking about dragonpoop is normal, at least when she's being a dragonhealer. It's one of the things that goes wrong with dragons! And as such… she nods to Ka'el's answer, with the small frown. Not the very worried frown, more just the frown that says she's thinking about what he said and putting pieces together. She'll poke and prod… actually, more she'll just put a hand against his side, feel lightly along his gut and the base of his tail for any of the suspicious rumblings or lumps she's learned how to detect. But… "Sometimes these things are a knob of bone that gets at the wrong angle, or stress that makes things block up." Soriana steps back from Kanekith's side, and looks once more to Ka'el. "If that's what it is, what he needs to do is pass it. Usually they'll manage it on their own, sooner or later." But, her grimace adds, it's not exactly a pleasant experience. "We can give him some blackseed oil, that'll help move things along." It'll coat things with oil! And is also a mild laxative. "As long as he's drinking water and not too out of sorts, it's okay if it takes a couple days." He'll be a grumpy dragon! But not a dragon who's actually in danger. Ka'el, on the other hand… "If you go home and go to bed… no. But if you try to go back to your office, then yes." Soriana is not a human-healer. Dragon skills do not count. She is, however, Ka'el's weyrmate. "I can make you some soup." To be had in bed. Where he'll be sleeping, and if he's not better by morning, they can revisit the healer question.

Healer visit: Avoided! Ka’el is much more inclined to follow orders to go home and stay in bed and let Soriana tend to him as opposed to going to the healers and get prodded and poked and looked at and questioned and pricked and ugh. Much like what Kanekith is going through with his tail and such. Blockage? There probably is! And Soriana being the healer that she is can fix it! With oil of the blackseed variety. All of that sounds…pretty gross. But at least it’s nothing serious. And.. Ka’el pauses, peering with furrowed brows at the sick dragon in question. “..Seriously?” Insert mega-sigh … here. Kanekith turns his head towards his rider to stare in such an impetuous way that if he wasn’t feeling so ill, Ka’el himself would probably laugh. But no. He glares instead, then shares with Soriana. “He feels inclined to tell me that..he met with some weyrbrats the other evening. .. Where?” A pause. “Why were they in the forest? Why were you in the forest? You can hardly….eh… whatever..” he waves it off, headache overpowering. “They fed him treats…” He pauses, eyes unfocusing as he tries to focus his fuzzy mind enough to search through Kanekith’s. “..Candies.. Cake. Crumbly nut bread… what? Nuts?” He blinks, shaking his head as if ot clear it. “You ate nuts? .. why?” He waves it off again, the argument not worth the headache it’ll bring. He turns pale eyes to Soriana. “I’ve to catch up with Comet, move some shifts around. I’ve a rider complaint…Set up a visit with with Rubicon River…But I’ll forgo all’ve those things and go to bed.. if you promise me one thing.”

"Yes?" Soriana says to that seriously, but… oh, wait. That was meant for Kanekith. She waits while dragon and rider commune… okay, so communing generally doesn't involve that much glaring, but… she gives him the questioning look of wondering if he's turning feverish. What does this have to do with… "Oh." Cakes and cookies and nuts and… "That… might have something to do with it." She looks down over the dragon again. Who's been eating… non-dragon-food things. "The stickiness and… yeah." If it's the other night, he'd have already vomited it up if he was going to, which means it's probably in the intestines and… "We're definitely going to get some blackseed oil into him." Because, while she's not sure of the exact procedure for candied nuts in a dragon, really, what it comes down to is this: either it's something that'll be fixed with blackseed oil and time, or it'll require surgery. Given that they can't get a clear idea of which it is, that surgery is an involved and risky process, and that Kanekith's not showing any signs of imminent crisis, they'd much rather wait a few days to see if it gets better on its own. By which we mean… the gross way. Like weyrlinghood all over again! Soriana gives Ka'el a dubious look as he lists his duties. The look where he's not going to get out of bed, or more to the point, he's not going to get out of getting into bed. "That's why you have a Weyrsecond," she points out, then tilts her head slightly. "If what?"

Kanekith very much believes that he deserved all those things the small people were tossing at him. Sure, at first he was adverse to their presence. They’re small creatures that were unfamiliar to him. Why would he be glad that they were around? But it soon turned out that these small humans were actually alright, for they ooooh’d and aaaahhhhh’d the correct amount of times and with the proper intensity to their tones. And they marveled at him. “He’s the Weyrleader’s dragon!” they said, and of course they were right for Kanekith wears the fancy colors of Xanadu that claim him as such. And so of course those boys, who had stolen away in the night and snuck out of homes in order to do mischief in the woods, gave him their stash of snacks .. because maybe, if they fed him snacks and got themselves on his good side, maybe he’d let them ride him! Or at the very least they’d become his favored weyrbrats and they’d be able to boast that to the other boys of the Weyr. And Kanekith did not complain as sweet thing after sweet thing was tossed his way and disappeared down his mega gullet, because he never gets sweet things (and probably for good reason) and they were good! But those boys were sadly disappointed and got no ride or even a thank you after the last treat was devoured and Kanekith lumbered off, having no reason to stay. But now, all of those jumbled up sweets are doing a number on him. But … it’ll pass. Grossly, with the help of oil, in a day or so or however long it takes.

Ka’el, on the other hand, will need a little more time to be back at one hundred percent, for human viruses take a bit more than blackseed oil to pass. The fact that he has a Weyrsecond to take up the slack isn’t lost on him, even though a bit of possessiveness will make handing everything over to her a little…difficult. It’ll happen. Today. As will that request, which comes now. “Appoint someone to teach these weyrbrats not to feed the dragons. A class or something.” Weyrfolk. That’s her domain, right? “..And ask Luraoth to tell Ujinath that Kiena’s got to take care of some things for me,” he says with less resolve, likely because his body is giving up on this whole idea of being useful. “Agenda’s on my desk..” At least he’s organized. “And I’m.. going to go to bed.” Kanekith will stay here or go, with some prodding, to where he needs to be. And Ka’el will go home, and peel off his coat and tie and everything else that is unnecessary for lying in bed before he indeed lays in bed. To rest. To sleep. Being sick is the pits.

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