Being There

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.

Jethaniel sits by Darsce's cot in the infirmary. He has a pen in one hand, a piece of paper in the other, and he sketches calibration lines lightly across the page. "…and here," he says of one cross-hatched point, lifting the pen and jabbing sharply at the paper to puncture it.

"The depth of field is…" His words pause as he stabs the paper again. "…somewhat misleading. In the absence of other visual cues, intensity becomes an inaccurate proxy for distance."

Another jab at the paper.

"Given the current toolset… the difference cannot be conveyed, and as such, the view must be both flattened and abstracted."

He continues in similar tones, talking about distances and angles, the proportions which he sketches onto the page, and everything he says is punctuated by the sound of the pen tearing the paper at seemingly-random points and making holes with lines drawn between them.

When the process concludes to his satisfaction, Jethaniel rises from his chair and crosses to a floor-lamp illuminating this alcove.

He lifts the sheet of paper, perforated in a great many places, and holds it in front of the lamp. It occludes that light - save in those spots where pen pierced paper, which shine through. It's imprecise, inaccurate. The light spreads unevenly, and there's enough distractor light from other sources that it's hard to even see the effect of scattered points of light.

"I will remember the stars." His voice is soft, an earnest promise roughened by emotion. These are not the stars, and yet the fields of bright specks is a reminded of them.

Jethaniel regards his inaccurate map of the stars, the imperfections in its representation, and he frowns.

"But…" He lowers the paper, turns with it in hand and sets it down on the tray of barely-touched food that someone brought. Someone brought it. Someone will take it away. Perhaps they'll take that paper with it. Jethaniel finds its fate irrelevant, his eyes returning to Darsce.

"I wish to look at them with you."

Jethaniel crosses once more to Darsce, reaching down and trailing his fingertips along the back of her hand. He closes his eyes, breathes in, breathes back out.

"I am here. I love you, and I will be here for you. I…" He shakes his head, sits down in the chair and curls his fingers around hers, lifting the hand slightly to place his other beneath it.

"I know I cannot always have you." He traces along the back of Darsce's hand, looks up to her closed eyes. "I… have not had nearly enough of you. I wish to have you, hold you, be held by you."

Jethaniel lifts that hand, touches his lips to the back. "I wish to be yours. I am yours."

Human striving may be ultimately insignifcant in the fact of the universe, and yet people continue to seek to make their mark, to demonstrate upon the world one simple precept which Jethaniel now states.

"I am here."

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