Bedside Manner

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Beach
With a gentler slope to the water from the main beach and the way it is cut in like a cove, this is the most sheltered spot for bathing. The sand is the same white hue, there are just as many — or perhaps more — scattered shells. From here, one has a beautiful view across the lake, a scene more often tranquil than not.

Despite the snow on the ground and the cold wind that blows across the beach, Mur'dah and his darkly hued brown are out and about. And it seems that something is afoot. Mur'dah is standing with his hands in his pockets, frowning at his dragon while Kalsuoth hops first one way, and then the other in front of him. "No," Mur'dah says with a sigh. "Like /this/." And he walks, long, even steps exagerated. Hop, hop, hop goes Kalsuoth, and the teen runs his fingers through his hair. "They're gonna laugh at you, Kal. Yes, it bothers me. I…it just does."

A gust of wind, stronger than the rest, catches up some of the loose snow and sends it tumbling through the air… right into Soriana's face as she walks toward the beach beside Luraoth. The gold's wings spread, flapping to drive the wind back. "…not helping," Soriana says as she gets cold snow against the back of her neck and her hat threatens to fall off. « Oh. » Luraoth says, and Soriana reaches up to adjust her hat, then glances back to the gold dragon, taking a worried look at those spread wings before Luraoth folds them in against herself once more.

Mur'dah is rubbing his hand over his face and pushing fingers through his hair in agitation when Kalsuoth's head lifts and he spies his golden clutchmate. He warbles a few short, gravely sound to her in greeting, flickers of lightning arcing over the forest of his thoughts. « Hello! We are learning how to walk good. »

« Hello! » Luraoth trills back, with a swirl of thought like the airborne snow, but turned pale pink instead of white. « Oh? You must be getting there. You've already learned the walking part. » He got here, after all… funny hop or not. Soriana's lips twitch in a not-quite-frown, and she continues toward Mur'dah and his brown, lifting one hand. "Hey," she says, and gazes over Kalsuoth with a long and considering look. "He's still doing it, huh?"

Kalsuoth fans his wings before settling them against his back with a happy sound. « I walk well, but he says I don't. I am confused. But, » clouds gather over the forest, darkness swirling between the tree trunks, « he is unhappy with me. » "Oh, hey," Mur'dah says, turning sharply and sighing. "I…yeah. He is. And I just don't…" Frustrated, the teen trails off and dips his head down, rubbing his hands over his face as he tries to master his rising emotions. Kalsuoth tilts his head to the side as if listening to something, and then croons softly.

Golden sunshine reflects up against the bottoms of those stormclouds. « You go where you mean. That is well enough. » Luraoth's thoughts are soft, gentle. « You just walk different. » The gold's motions are graceful as she comes closer, a clear contrast to Kalsuoth's hopping. Soriana nods to Mur'dah, returning her attention to him and biting her lip slightly. "Whatever's wrong… it's not hurting him. So there's that." Her gaze goes back to Kalsuoth, and from there… to Luraoth, lingering there. « Mine worries about me, but I am not worried. I know we can find the way. »

Kalsuoth turns his mental attention to that sunshine, letting it chase the clouds of his doubt away. « What does yours worry about? » he asks, curious, as he stretches out in the snow on his stomach, forehead across his paws. Mur'dah nods slowly, glancing at Soriana. "It doesn't, no. At least not that I can tell. I'd know if he were hurting, right? He never gives me a straight answer when I ask him…"

« My wings. » Luraoth spreads them, letting the breezes blow over their sails. « She thinks they look wrong. » One of the wings, now that they're spread, seems shorter than the other one. « They make her think of another dragon, one who does not fly well. » The gold lifts her head, looking up to the sky. Soriana glances back to her, at those outstretched wings, and frowns. "Yeah," she says to Mur'dah. "I mean… that's like one of the basic parts of the bond. It must be there by now. And riders definitely feel dragon-pain." Which can present challeges when it comes to treating the dragon. "So… you'd know." She looks back to Kalsuoth. "Does it change sides? Or is it always the same?"

Kalsuoth tilts his head far to one side to peer at her wings, first one and then the other. « The color is really lovely, » he remarks first. And then, « That one is shorter. » And he must convey that to Mur'dah, because his head turns to stare at Luraoth's wings. "Is she…?" he asks, glancing back at Soriana, worry in his eyes. What use is a flightless dragon? A gold, at that? But he doesn't say any of that. That'd be heartless. Then, refocused, he shakes his head. "It's always the same side. It's like he's favoring his right leg."

Luraoth croons slightly at the compliment to her wings' color, keeping them extended for inspection. « It feels the same. » she says of the difference, and turns her head back to try to inspect them for herself. They look the same as they always have - not that she can quite get a good angle to compare them properly. Soriana sighs, and puts gloved hands into her pockets. "It doesn't hurt her," she says, with a frown and a stare down at the snow. "But…" her gaze lifts to Mur'dah's. "Yeah." Even a weak flier comes with problems. Especially in a gold. Yumeth never quite fully recovered from her old wing injury, and Soriana's seen that. Now Luraoth… "Maybe she'll grow out of it." Sori sounds unconvinced, but she gives her head a little shake as she looks to Kalsuoth again. "Can he, like… stretch it all the way? Maybe he sprained it coming out of the shell."

Mur'dah's frown deepens at her words, vague though they are. What do you say to that? So he just nods with a soft grunt, and walks forward towards Kalsuoth. "I don't know, never really asked him to do that…" He's not a Healer, he just told Kal to 'walk right'. "It's been almost a month, shouldn't it have healed by now if it were? And it'd hurt him when he used it, wouldn't it? Stretch your right leg for me will you?" Kalsuoth shifts a bit, stretching out on the ground and sticking his right leg out, but it stays mostly bent. "Straight." And the brown tries, but it just won't go.

"It should have, but… maybe if he got used to doing it wrong…" Soriana says. Her tone's not entirely certain - she may be a dragonhealer, but she's only grade one. Sure, every so often they let her do a preliminary diagnosis as part of her training, but it's with a grade three (at least) hovering over her shoulder ready to jump on anything wrong. "…so the pain might've only lasted a day or two, but… huh." That leg is not so bending. Luraoth has folded her wings again, padding closer to watch with a curiously tilted head. « Does it hurt? » she asks the brown, echoing her rider's concern. "Does it… can he bend it in?" In other words, does it have any range of motion at all, or is the joint dislocated or "…surely not broken," Soriana mutters in the 'shards I hope not' voice.

Mur'dah blanches a bit at the word broken. "I would've known…" The 'right??!' is implied in his tone, as he relays the request. Kalsuoth draws it back in and it goes almost all the way, but it's clear that it doesn't tuck in like his other leg does. It's awkward, and just doesn't quite go all the way. And Mur'dah looks at Soriana, the Voice of Wisdom. Fix his dragon?

If it happened in the shell, maybe… it's certainly at least partially healed, but if something shattered and now it's knitted together wrong… Wait, did she say that in her out loud voice? Soriana glances to Mur'dah with an 'oh shells' expression. "Yeah." Probably. "And I don't think it is," she hastily assures him, then turns her gaze back to the dragon. That's just absolute worst case; a bad break that's healed wrong and will need to be re-broken and set properly. Hey, at least she manages to not say that part out loud! Prooobably because she's biting her lip to make sure no more stray words escape as she watches the range of motion. Plus side: it exists! There is, in fact, a range of motion. Minus side: it's not nearly as good as it should be. Soriana frowns, and looks back to Mur'dah. "It…" is kind of out of her depth. She's only grade one! But she's being looked at. So. She returns her gaze to Kalsuoth. "Can I touch it?" she asks Mur'dah. Through all this, Luraoth sits quietly and watches, with curious eyes and a quiet chirring sound in her throat.

« What is yours thinking? » Kalsuoth asks curiously, looking down at his leg. « Am I okay? »

« She thinks many things. » Luraoth's voice is also curious, sifting through her rider's thoughts, the ones close to words but remaining unvoiced. « Maybe you were hurt in the shell, and now it is wrong and they must break it again so it becomes right. » Her mental image is of eggshell shattering and a Kalsuoth walking out from it with even steps. « Maybe you have forgotten how to use it. They have lessons for that. » This time, her image is of a dragon standing in the water, leg flexing back and forth. « Or maybe it is… stuck, and they must push it back. » Like meat caught between teeth, her mental image shows. « You are okay. There is something not-right with your leg, but you are okay, and you will be even better after. » Luraoth sends warm golden reassurance and a confidence in her rider.

Clearly Kalsuoth is relaying these things to his rider, because Mur'dah gets more and more pale, until it looks like he might swoon. "Wait, wait, wait," he says, pressing a hand to his forehead. "/Break/ it? On purpose? Or stuck? And…push it back?" Now he looks like he's going to throw up, looking at his dragon with sick horror. Kalsuoth is less concerned and more curious as he looks down at his leg, wiggling it a little bit. « I am okay. I can run and play and I'm smarter than lots of the other dragons. Mine does not fell well, » he adds, swinging his head to peer at his lifemate.

Wait, what? Soriana was using her inside her head voice! She's sure of it! How did he hear… oh. Right. Her inside her head voice is no longer actually private. « Mine says I need to work on my bedside manner. » Luraoth sounds bemused, and she turns her head to look back at the humans. Soriana frowns, stepping toward Mur'dah and reaching for his shoulder. "Hey. No. It's not that bad." Her tone is earnest, and she looks at Mur'dah intently. "Anything like that… nobody's going to do it without talking to you. Worst case, absolute worst case, we do nothing and he's still happy, he's just got a limp." Okay no, worst case is that the strain leads to a ruptured- Luraoth, do not share this thought. It's not for sharing. Soriana will explain why later. Just… don't.

Mur'dah sways a bit beneath Soriana's hand, while Kalsuoth lifts his head and looks around himself curiously. « I am not in a bed. » "Shards and shells," Mur'dah whispers hoarsely, "I can't handle this stuff. I scraped my knee right before the hatching and went right to mom to take care of it. I..this…I can't do what you do." He turns his head and coughs, but thankfully nothing comes up and he gulps. "It…so what is it?" he asks, straightening and steeling himself, turning to look at her. He's still pale but he's battling through it. Kalsuoth just looks a little curious and amused, head tilted far to one side.

Soriana squeezes Mur'dah's shoulder gently. "It's not so bad," she says. Kalsuoth's leg? Dealing with this sort of thing? She doesn't specify. Luraoth sends her agreement to Kalsuoth. « Perhaps we are supposed to have a bed? » She brings up an image of her rider's cot, and sticks Mur'dah and Soriana in it. « There. » All better now! As Mur'dah straightens himself up, Soriana lets her hand fall away, back to her side. "I need a second opinion," she says. She's just grade one - well, nearly grade two; she'd be getting ready for her exams, if not for being a weyrling. "But… I'm pretty sure it's soft tissue. That means…" rather a lot, but let's stick to the high points. "Nothing's broken. It's probably not going to get worse. You're looking at poultices and exercises, not… other stuff." Better not risk describing that other stuff. "He'll be okay. But… you should get him looked at. By one of the other-" more experienced "-dragonhealers. This stuff's easier to fix the sooner you get to it."

Kalsuoth's mind focuses in on that image of Mur'dah and Soriana in bed, and then he…removes their clothes. Mentally. « That's how it's supposed to be. » Uh oh. Oblivious, Mur'dah is so focused on himself that he is not noticing his dragon's mental image. "Second opinion. Yeah. Okay. Like…tomorrow? Soft tissue. Not…other stuff? What other stuff?" Figures he'd ask, worried as he is. "And what about Luraoth's wing? Are you going to get that looked at too?"

"Yeah, like tomorrow," Soriana agrees. "It's not going to get worse overnight." Pause. "At least, not without starting to hurt." If it starts hurting, all other advice goes out the window! But, well, she's pretty sure Mur'dah can figure that part out. "Soft tissue. Not bones." And especially not broken ones. "Other stuff. Like… surgery, or relocation." Such an innocent word, that. "He wouldn't be able to hide the pain if it was something like that, not from you… or from Luraoth, either." The dragons have, after all, been conversing quite pleasantly throughout all this. « Oh, that's right. » Luraoth says now to the undressing. « Naked is the right manner for the bedside… but wouldn't they get cold, out here? » So she starts to pull the blanket up over them, aaaand that's the moment when Soriana glances to her dragon and catches up to her thoughts. Her ears turn pink. "That's not…!"

Mur'dah nods. "Okay," he says, finally calming down a bit. "Tomorrow. Thanks," he says, giving her a grateful and relieved smile. "I feel better…a bit. That it's not something /horrible/. I was afraid to ask." He blanches a bit at the idea of surgery or relocation, shaking his head firmly. "He'll be okay." He has to be. Mur'dah couldn't stand it if he weren't. Kalsuoth peers at their mental image, and makes a few little adjustments to his rider before Luraoth is pulling up the blanket. « They wouldn't get cold, mine's hot at night. » Personal heater, anyone? But that's when Mur'dah notices as well, and his cheeks flood with color. "Kalsuoth! I don't….that's not…" he echoes Soriana, turning to look at her, horrified. "I don't think that! I mean. Not of you. I mean, not of /anyone/. I don't…don't…" But she's a Healer, she knows teenage boys, right?

« Oh, good! » Luraoth says happily. « Mine likes hot. » Also hot right now: Soriana's ears. "It's, uh, yeah," she says to Mur'dah, and shakes her head. "I mean, uh… it's okay." Pause. "Not that I… I mean, that you do. Don't." What was she even saying? Healer nothing, Soriana knows because she's a teenage girl. « Company is good. » Luraoth's quite certain on that point. She wiggles the mental images closer to each other. Cuddletimes! "That's not the point!"

Mur'dah knows what she's saying, and it causes all sorts of emotions to roll around inside of him. So what does he do? "We should go. C'mon, Kalsuoth. Let's go eat." « Food! I must go eat, » he tells Luraoth happily, leaving the mental image of their riders cuddling (naked) with her to do with as she will. "Thanks for the help, Soriana. I'll see you…" Too much, with this embarrassment hanging over his head. "Soon. Dragonhealers. Tomorrow."

« I will eat soon, » Luraoth replies after due consideration of the level of her hunger. « But not now. » Lucky Mur'dah that the gold didn't decide otherwise… well, lucky him and Soriana both, though with that mental image lingering in Luraoth's mind, Sori's likely got some 'splaining to do regardless. "Yeah," she says to Mur'dah, and gives him a wave. Just a wave. A wave of the not touching at all variety, because anything more would be far too awkward. "See you tomorrow." If not before. It's not like they can get far from each other, given the barracks and all. Her mouth opens again. Maybe she can say something to help this? … yeah, hah, it's not like she knows what she's saying, let alone what she wants to say. Sooo… "Seeya." Luraoth makes her own farewell with a pleasant updraft to speed Kalsuoth on his way.

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