Against Medical Advice

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary

// The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.//

A healer out in the field confirmed Darsce to be uninjured. Nevertheless, Jethaniel saw to the packout preparations there with the utmost of efficiency… at least, insofar as efficiency could be managed without giving her up. This was not actually terribly efficient. The healers were quite glad when he was persuaded to leave the rest of the packing to others and bring her back to the Weyr. Everyone involved (except, perhaps, A'dmar) was glad that this happened prior to the Weyrleader's return - though that Weyrleader will likely hear all about it, and have endless ammunition against the Steward because of it. That, however, is past and future; right now is the infirmary, with Darsce on one of the white-sheeted cots. Idrissa's already here, tucked away on another cot, and the healers are doing the usual bustling. Jethaniel is still here, sitting in a chair beside Darsce's cot. Currently, he's leaning back and regarding the ceiling. The texture of it is evocative of the pattern of foothills on a map, or as seen from space. It appears, however, to be insufficiently interesting at the moment. He frowns to it.

No doubt Darsce hasn't won points with the Weyrleader either but who is she to care? Except that it might make things difficult for the Steward. This may not have occurred to the heretofore self-centered young lady. So she is fine, just out cold, and some of that may have to do with having forgotten to take water on her three hour runner ride from the Weyr AND having gone to bed in the wee hours of the morning then getting up at dawn instead of sleeping until noon. Okay and emotional shock factors in there somewhere too because she's never met a feline up close and personal before. The Iernian stirs now, and as is her custom upon awakening stretches, groans… then pulls her pillow over her head. It's morning already?

No, Jethaniel determines. It's not actually foothills. Not Pernese ones, at least. The shapes are too large and erratically shaped for that. It might be closer to the cratering on the surface of a moon. Perhaps- Conjecture is abruptly halted at a sound from the bed. His hand reaches out, getting halfway to her arm before stopping, uncertain now in a way it wasn't before. He glances down to that hand of his, frowning at it briefly, then begins to withdraw it before he thinks better of that, too. "Ah," he says, a throat-clearing, hesitant sound. "Darsce?"

There is a man in her bedroom!!! Darsce… is pretty sure she didn't drink so much last night that she'd forget bringing a man home? Would she even bring…? Thus far she hasn't met one she'd want to… and her papa would have a fit, not to mention kill… Wait-whut? Is that? Groggily, "Jethaniel?" The pillow, which would normally be clung to tightly, shutting out even the teeniest sliver of light is shifted off her face and a tousled blonde head emerges followed by a wide-eyed iceblue stare peeping over said pillow. "What…are you doing…here?" Presumably in her bedroom. Disoriented much?

Darsce's papa may, in fact, have a fit - though not for quite the reasons she's groggily thinking. If, however, Jethaniel's preferences are to be considered here, he would rather not be killed. "Ah. Yes," he admits to being himself. His hand retreats the rest of the way, settling down into his lap to neatly fold with the other one. Together, they will create a dynamic equilibrium of keeping each other from fidgeting. "I… wanted to make sure you were okay," he says. "I'm sorry."

Darsce is perplexed. Why would she not be okay? And he's sorry for checking on her? She blinks at him a few times while the groggy haze lifts and it occurs to her that… she's not in Kansas anymore. She's not in her room either. And her finger hunger hurts. Finger… Weyrleader, the correlation escapes her but there's a vague recollection of having used it saluting him recently. She'll look at her throbbing digit in a minute though. The tiny frown on between her shapely brows has nothing to do with the befuddled feeling that something happened she doesn't remember. "Sorry? For what?"

That should be a simple question. It's certainly simple syntactically. Three words. To arrange it less colloquially, 'What are you sorry for?' To avoid a dangling preposition while being equally true to the original wording, 'For what are you sorry?' These rearrangments, Jethaniel can provide. An answer to that simple question proves more difficult. He is; he percieves the emotion in himself, and yet every reason he can provide, to himself or Darsce, seems wrong. He has no cause to be sorry for what she did. His reason tells him he should be sorry for his own possessiveness of her - he should have yielded her to the healers promptly. He has no claim on her. He has no right - and yet he cannot bring his emotions to be sorry for that. His emotions propose he should be sorry for not defending her, but his reason denies that one. She is her own person. It is her right to take on risks. And so he is silent, and his gaze lowers to his own hands, caught in their dynamic equilibrium.

Darsce can be a brat. Usually she does it for kicks. Sometimes she does it to cover her own insecurities. She feels the urge to do neither at the moment. His silence conveys some sort of unease and all she knows is, she doesn't want him to feel badly for… whatever it is. She's still hugging her pillow - well the infirmary's pillow but. One of her arms uncurls from it to reach for one of his hands to offer a soothing pat to it and a perplexed smile. It's a small one, meant to be encouraging, semi-questioning. Did she offend him somehow? She's good at that. "It's alright." She frowns briefly because her voice sounds rusty to her. But then her throat is dry, so she clears it. Maybe a factual question? She has to clear her throat again, "So… what happened?"

Jethaniel watches the progress of that elegant hand, and his eyes lift to trace her arm, to touch for one brief moment on her face and to, perhaps, meet her eyes - if only for a moment. "I'll get you a drink," he says, and rises quickly from his chair, stepping behind the curtain to, where she cannot see, take in a deep breath and tell thoughts and emotions both to calm themselves. They don't seem to listen, but holding the glass of water he brings back is sufficient to still his hands. One of them by holding it, in silent offer to her, the other for the focus he brings to the simple task. Focus. Jethaniel must focus, and answer the question instead of avoiding it. "We were at the beastcraft camp," he begins. If he begins with the simple facts, he can then move on to more difficult ones. "There were a pair of riders bringing in some cattle. There was… a feline. It attacked."

Darsce blinks at the sudden departure of Jethaniel. Okaaaaaaay. Huh. Welp, she's pretty sure drinking something lying down isn't going to work, so she pushes herself up in that cot, noticing in the process that she's still in her riding clothes - at least the breeches and sleeveless shirt. Her jacket has been laid across one of the chairs, and her boots are on the floor beside it, probably put there by an aide. So when Jethaniel returns she's shoved the pillow behind her and has drawn her legs up to rest her chin on her knees and she's contemplating her socky toes. When he steps back inside the screen, her chin stays put, only her eyes peek up at him appealing silently for an answer, a move that is unconsciously childlike. "Thank you," she says accepting the water and raising her head to lift the glass to her lips. Dehydration is probably one of the words used by the healers when he'd brought her in and that's evident once she's begun; she drinks nearly half of it. She keeps the glass in hand because she's pretty sure she'll finish it presently, the girl listens and nods. "I remember," she says. It… didn't attack me though." And yet she is here? A tiny wrinkle of confusion forms on her forehead. It didn't hurt to sit up?

Jethaniel nods slightly to that thanks, and then he turns the chair slightly, toying with its position before settling down into it again to give his answers. "No," he says. "It didn't." Usually, when he tries to project calm like this, he's aided by the fact that something is currently exploding or melting. The adrenaline effectively shuts off his emotions and speeds his thoughts. Right now, he lacks that advantage - and he's only had three sips of klah today, and not nearly enough sleep last night - so the illusion is fragile and the words come slowly, in simple constructs. His eyes seem to have trouble lifting to her face, instead settling on her hand as it holds the glass. "You… ran out after it. To the beastcrafter. You pulled her away. A rider shot the feline. You… fainted."

Darsce has propped her chin in the heel of one hand and lowered the water to listen to him explain. She promptly drops it to sit back up and blink at him when he does. With a snort of laughter, "I did not!" He's joking right? Somehow though, she suspects he is not because, though her adrenalin-fraught moment of action lacked forethought and she's definitely not the type to have done so, there's the hazy recollection… Her hand starts shaking, told by the concentric rings across the top of the remaining water in her glass set in motion by the tremors in her fingers. "I did?" Fainting, well, that doesn't seem to matter much to her.

The snorted denial does not stop Jethaniel's recitation of the events, though it ensures that his gaze does not lift to her eyes for the rest of it. Fixed instead on her hands, the tremble in them is apparent, and he acts without thinking again, his hands reaching out. One of them to take the water. The other, to take Darsce's hand. After he's done it, his thoughts catch up again, and he's left to stare at what his hands have decided. Unintentional, and yet he can't bring himself to retract them. So he simply stares at them as he says, "Yes. You did."

Darsce's forgotten the water, it's easily removed from her hand which remains in midair as if she's still holding that glass until Jethaniel's hand reaches for hers. Her fingers curl 'round his and her other hand joins it. Take a picture, Jethaniel because this is a rarity: Darsce, speechless! Her mouth opens, her mouth closes and she leans forward, ducking down to try and get her eyes in his line of sight. Wordlessly, hers are asking, 'for reals?' But really why would he make something like that up? It's his genuine demeanor that appeals so much, but she knows her own limitations. She knows her skills. Throwing herself on a grenade isn't one of them. And if he'll meet her eyes and confirm it, her response? "That's shardin' crazy!" Yes, folks, Darsce just called herself crazy. Make a note of it!

The willingness of those hands to join his is perhaps what allows Jethaniel to lift his eyes again, and once they've met Darsce's ice-blue ones, they're caught without any hope of looking away - nor the desire to do so. He nods once, silent confirmation, and then his fingers tighten around hers. "I had not expected it." His surprise at seeing her running out there is echoed in his tone now, and his eyes still haven't found the will to leave.

Darsce's brain - yes she has one - is pulling bits and pieces back to the fore. Speechless she just sits there with her eyes likewise locked on his until she says at length, "It was you. You helped me pull 'Drissa away." Because she vaguely remembers someone else was there. "How is she-?" She pulls her gaze away, turns her head to see for herself, but no, there's a screen around her bed. She turns back to him and asks lowly, urgently, "She's alright?" Hey, she can care - there are screens around to hide it. She'll allow Jethaniel to see it, that she doesn't seem to mind.

Jethaniel has never doubted the presence of that brain, and not simply in the facetious sense in which nearly all organisms have one. Her wit must come from somewhere, must it not? He waits in silence as those pieces come together, and when she speaks again, he nods. "Yes." That's all he has to say about that part of things; one word. One word for running after Darsce. That's all. For Idrissa, he has more to say, but it begins the same. "Yes. She is injured, but not seriously." That was one of the things he checked on to take his mind off of sitting here. It did not distract him nearly long enough, in part because he had difficulty focusing on the details of what the healers said. Today, Jethaniel is very inexpert.

Perhaps one might call what they've both done bravery. Darsce… is not terribly brave. She just doesn't think sometimes. Running towards a feline instead of away from it might be proof of that. The Iernian's relief is visible after she's gotten her answer about Idrissa. "Good." Still her eyes don't leave his and though there's a question in hers, there's also frank approval for his quick action. She doesn't remark upon it, however. "And so…" So she fainted. And now she's here. Which means… "You brought me back?"

Quick? Only relatively. Darsce was faster. Jethaniel's first response was to notify someone else. If he is to perceive one of them as brave, it can hardly be himself. There's an uncertainty to his own gaze; an unwillingness to accept the approval in hers. Still, even if he finds himself undeserving, he lacks the will to look away. And so… "Yes. I did." He swallows, and his head tilts down though his eyes lift up to compensate. "I…" The words he wants to say are a repetition of his apology; for he didn't just bring her back. He carried her; clung to her. He did more, far more, than he feels he had any right to do. He cannot bring himself to say that apology, and so all he says is, "I did."

Darsce only knows what she sees and hears, and so having confirmed that her accomplice was Jethaniel, will admire his participation for whatever reason, though, surely it was to save her fallen friend. While others might be embarrassed about being carted back to the Weyr like a sack of potatoes, this is Darsce we're talking about here. She doesn't seem worried what others thought, doesn't seem to mind that he'd been the one to bring her back. "Thank you," she says quietly, tilting her head to see him better when he looks down. Confused though, by his troubled look, he regains a glimmer of her previous spirit to smirk briefly and tease, "Thank you for not dumping me off with some random healer?"

Darsce, the center of attention. Darsce, the center of gossip. She'll surely hear the gossip, and this time, Jethaniel will also have a place in it. That's stranger - at least, for him to be in the gossip as himself, not as the force behind some force of technology acting for good or ill. Pursued by her gaze, he doesn't flee far, his head reversing course slightly after a moment. "…of course not," he says, and his voice is quiet. "I had to know you were okay."

Darsce has been gossiped about before. She's like… a raincoat where gossip is concerned. That Jethaniel might be gossiped about simply hasn't occurred to her yet. She nods. He's nice like that, wanting to be sure she was okay. Though she's perplexed by how… glum he looks about her being okay. "It doesn't seem to have helped you much?" She's still holding his hand in hers and since he seems to need it, she gives his hand a soothing little pat with one of hers.

That statement of Darsce's makes Jethaniel's head lift in surprise, his eyes widening. For a moment, he's silent, and then he gives his head a small shake. "No," he says, and his fingers give a slight squeeze to hers. "It has. I am glad to see you well." He's silent for a moment, looking into her eyes until he finds a smile to offer her; an honest one. "I am. I merely…" The smile trembles away. "You may be aware, Darsce, that I am… not an expert, when it comes to people. I do not wish to do anything wrong, and… I do not know what is right."

"Okay then," Darsce says archly at his assurance and smiles back at him. See? It's okay? He speaks and she listens, her curious smile lingers even while his evaporates. "Jethaniel. Remember I told you that expertise is overrated." She'll make him a poster with that saying on it now, just wait and see. It'll be purple and pink, decorated with flowers and clouds all ingeniously drawn to disguise the easter eggs in it, unless he looks cross-eyed at it. She'd listened to the tech lecture and now employs his wordage, "People… are volatile chemistry. Mistakes happen." She shrugs, unbothered by the thought. "You did fine today?" She thinks he did anyway.

"You did," Jethaniel says, and the smile makes a reappearance. It is, perhaps, slightly lopsided, but it is nevertheless there. It is, in fact, stronger than before, despite the asymmetry of it. "I suppose they do." He hesitates for a moment, and then his hand moves. It's moving toward him, though it's not trying to pull away, but instead to draw her own hand toward him. If he can manage it, he'll break eye contact in order to lower his head - hair still rumpled and askew - and touch his lips to the back of her hand with its ruined manicure.

Darsce's arm moves easily when Jethaniel draws her hand towards him and she watches with an expression akin to awe as he kisses the back of it. Aww? She's read story books of dashing Lord's kissing Ladies' hands, but no one's ever done that to hers before. While his head is bent, his mussed hair is eyed tenderly. "Thank you," she says again and when he looks up he'll see that her color is back - pale pink has replaced the pallor of her cheeks. Something is remembered, her eyes widen fractionally, "So where is your little green lady?" Suddenly worried the fuss has scared her away - and it will be her fault.

Ah. Jethaniel had not been aware of the degree to which the lack of color to Darsce's cheeks was disconcerting. He's still not entirely aware of it on a conscious level, but as he lifts his head, his smile comes more easily than before. At the question, he pauses. The smile doesn't go away entirely, but it does gain a titre of concern. "With one of the tech apprentices. I left her there last night, when I went to check over the camp." He hadn't meant to be working late enough to stay the night - blame A'dmar for that one - and then the morning caught him up and erupted into chaos sufficient that his thoughts never had a chance to settle on that green-hued lady.

Darsce is relieved. "That was wise of you. She could have been frightened enough to go wild by the fracas. But I'm surprised she hasn't missed you and come looking for you." Becaaaause Darsce totally would! There are no healers hovering or coming in to give her medicine, a fact which she only now notices and something she earnestly wants to avoid. She has no problem with skipping out without checking with them for permission, either. Slipping off of her cot, she leans past Jethaniel to snag her boots and jacket, both gathered in one hand because she's keeping the one he's holding right where it is. Peeking around the screens, she says, "They're in report. Ssssh." Then she tugs on his hand gently to get him to stand so she can make a dash for it.

Jethaniel 's thoughts settle on his Lady Stardust now, though, and Darsce's relief only serves to deepen his concern. "I should check on her," he murmurs, for - though he's no expert - he knows the things anyone does, of dragons communicating over great distances, of plucking thoughts from the minds of others. What if she was scared nevetheless? He was. His own thoughts of the firelizard distract him while Darsce gathers her things, and then he looks up at her and blinks in surprise. "Ah? But…" They'll surely want to check her over. Not only that, there's likely paperwork to be done. Don't they send him compliations of those discharge papers? Proper procedures would dictate… The hesitation only lasts for a moment before he nods, rising to his feet with her.

Papers and protocol? Pfffft! Jethaniel will probably find Darsce's discharge papers in his inbox void of her signature on them bearing block letters AGAINST MEDICAL ADVICE right above the head healer's signature. There's a reason Darsce didn't put her boots back on. Running across the hard floors, her bootheels would surely have given her away. And so, with the healers in the back room, she looks around, makes sure the coast is clear and… runs. The flight is not without plenty of stifled laughter, ducking from a healer headed for her shift and ends in the shadowy back corridors near the residents quarters with her skidding, arm-flaily sliding in sockfeet trying not to fall.

Not only is Jethaniel not stopping this breach in procedure, he's coming along. Those papers devoid of her signature may well be delivered with a scowl if they realize this - but then, who would believe that Jethaniel, the filer in tripliate of important forms and keeper of a copy of the regulations by his bedside - would be aiding and abetting a violation of protocol? He's not very good at it. At least he's not wearing riding boots, just plain shoes. Fortunately for them, the healers are otherwise occupied. There's other things drawing their attention, and so the inexpert escape is also a successful one. Jethaniel is grinning by the end of it. He should know better. He does know better, and yet he's here, pursuing the flailing Darsce and trying to not be the thing that sends her toppling over. It's like a physics problem all over again. Assume a surface of negligible friction, with the following forces applied. Given all that…

Darsce …is a bad influence at times. This is probably one of those times. Even if leaving AMA isn't really something the healers like they also know it is every patient's legal right. And so the flight wasn't perhaps all that necessary, but Darsce will flaunt authority whenever it's convenient. That sock-slidey flailing precedes a trip that will result in her undignified sprawling on the floor, unless Jethaniel prevents that. If not, she'll land on the floor outside the room she shares with her older sister Hali. In which case he might too. In which case, they might end up in a tangle of limbs with sniggering coming from the pile - probably mostly from Darsce. In which case, there might be more gossip forthcoming. But Darsce, of course, doesn't give that a second thought.

Jethaniel most assuredly tries to prevent it. Calculation one is the one necessary to move himself into position to catch her. This involves a matching of velocities. Calculation two is the one where his arms reach up to catch her. So far, so good. The problem arises with calculation three; the one where he brings those velocities down to zero. He might have managed it, except that Darsce's leg continues to slide, and it tangles with Jethaniel's sufficiently that he loses his balance for a moment and begins to topple. At this point, the situation is unrecoverable. Jethaniel's eyes widen, and all he has time to say is, "Ah," before there's the thud of impact. The physics problem ends, as so many do, with a unconditional victory on the part of gravity. "Ow," is Jethaniel's initial comment on the situation, but after a moment, it's followed by a laugh. There will be gossip, oh yes. Word of this will reach all sorts of places. Jethaniel is dimly aware of that, but at the moment, he seems to find it more important to tangle those limbs more tightly instead of loosening them and minimizing the potential impact of that gossip. Perhaps he'll be receiving a lesson in social consequences soon.

Darsce is high on her own prison-break and so yes, she's laughing perhaps more than the situation warrants. It might have something to do with that well-timed 'Ah' of Jethaniel's too. Because that is so profound. Because it seems to be his standard catch-phrase. Because it is so endearing. And so when they're tangled up like that she, who should be trying to crawl out and make sure he's okay and they're conducting themselves with discretion, just lies there with silver-blonde hair spilling on the hall floor, her arms about the Steward… laughing. At least it's nearly soundless because she's used up her breath so it doesn't echo down the corridor?

Darsce ought to extracting herself. So should Jethaniel. The role of Steward ought to carry with it a certain level of dignity. Of, in fact, discretion. While he is not entirely expert in Stewardship, he's at least gained some skill in the domain. He has an understanding of what is expected of him. This? This lying on a floor, his arms twined around Darsce, his legs not bothering to untangle themselves from the mess that got them here in the first place? This is not. The Weyrleader warned him to keep his dalliances in check, but as Darsce so aptly pointed out, Jethaniel doesn't work for him. The Weyrwoman gave him a different instruction, but as Jethaniel himself pointed out, he doesn't entirely work for her, either. At this moment, he can hardly be said to be working for the Weyr. In fact, he can't really be said to be working at all. There's surely work to be done - the records from the beastcraft to be put in order. Inspections on the construction site of the barn. The supply orders for… He does none of those. His fingers reach to touch at silvery hair, brushing it back from Darsce's face. "Still lovely."

Darsce is probably a mess. She hasn't thought of this before now. Still, what girl doesn't love to hear that? There's a moment's realization that her makeup is probably smudged, her clothes are dusty and her hair hasn't been brushed in HOURS. "Thank you," she says huskily, resisting the tickle in her still-dry throat (the girl needs to re-hydrate still) that bids her clear it. Yes she's… uncharacteristically forgotten about all that for quite some time. In such a situation it might cross Darsce's mind to lift her head and press her lips to his but instead she…doesn't. Though the invitation is in her eyes, something prevents her and instead she just smiles, "Your lady awaits." His green lady, she means. And right about that time, someone passes them in the hall and says rudely, "Get a room," and keeps right on going.

Oh, yes. All these things Darsce supposes about her appearance are true, and yet Jethaniel is as earnest as ever in his compliment, his smile tender. This situation is, indeed, the sort that might suggest a kiss. Even to one inexpert in the art of the social situation, the indicators are there. The relative closeness of them. The smiles; the light as their eyes meet. Even to Jethaniel, the indicators are there - and so is the desire. His head moves fractionally closer to hers… and then it stops. Get a room indeed. Darsce is already there; she just has to step inside. And to do that, he'll have to let her go… but not yet. He takes one more moment, where he smiles to her, then bows his head - silly as that looks, given his position. "Her name is Stardust. Lady Stardust. I had to change it from the song you gave me. That one didn't work as a name." He lifts his head again, his eyes seeking hers another time. "I should go." There's work to be done. There's proprieties to be reminded of. Doubtless the Weyrleader will have his hide, but for all that, Jethaniel smiles as he untangles himself to rise and go attend his lovely green lady - for Darsce is (as usual) correct. He should.

A snort of disdain is all the attention the passerby receives from the Iernian. As she sits up, "The… song I gave you?" She doesn't remember giving him a song? Darsce tilts her head and considers the name, no doubt her mind is doing word associations here: stars… yep, they were amongst the stars on the Yokohama. Dust… well the spaceship was pretty much dust-free. But song? Surely her screaming couldn't have resembled song in the least, hence, "Which song is that?" She has to know although she adds, "Songs are poetry, put to music. I love poetry." Well , she is an artist. Poetry is an art. Such scattered observances from the usually well-put-together model. She's scooted up to press hands and knees to the floor, rising with jacket and boots in hand. Leave-taking is immanent, and yet she wants to know the answer. "Stardust is pretty," she says of the chosen name while waiting for her curiosity to be sated.

Dust, as that gathered from rolling around on the floor? Ah, but Ocelara sees to it this place is well-kept, and besides, both this and the Yokohama came after Jethaniel had already named his firelizard. "Oh, yes," Jethaniel says, rising to his feet. "A very old song, by a man who once used the name of Stardust for himself. You didn't say the whole title… but I extrapolated." His lips quirk. "Guided, no doubt, by my own desires. Nevertheless." Jethaniel hesitates, and he tries to bring the answer to his lips… but fails. "It's a good song." This time, it seems, he can't manage to answer even the factual question - yet he smiles to Darsce as he bows to her, then turns to depart. Her curiosity, it seems, will remain unsated.

Darsce is… confused. But this is not the first time the techcrafter-Steward has rendered her so. "…Okay," says she oh-so-brilliantly and her return smile is a touch uncertain in the wake of the not-so-informative answer but she too turns to head into her room. Her hand turns the knob, opens the door partially and then she pauses to peek back over her shoulder to whisper to his retreating form, "Good night, Jethaniel." Then she tiptoes into her room, sockfeet with boots in hand like a holder's daughter sneaking back in after curfew.

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