Follow Up

Xanadu Weyr - Domicile of Discernment

On the outside, this cottage is fairly unremarkable. It's of moderate size, though it's clearly not the home of a rider - there's no wallow, nor is there any means for even the smallest of greens to enter. It's set in the meadow, amidst the gentle roll of the terrain toward the ridge, but any adornment by flowers or ornamental plants is purely incidental. The exterior is painted white, and the roof-shingles are brown. There's a small wooden stoop, centered along the longer side - three wide steps leading up to a doorway framed by windows.
Once inside, the main room of this cottage is bright and airy, made so by a high arched ceiling and large windows that take advantage of their northern exposure, with gauzy drapes and pale golden oak sills. Overhead, there's more of that oak in the form of exposed beams, the ceiling between them painted a soft cerulean. During the day, there is likely sufficient illumination from those windows, but for night-time, there are recessed lights hidden within the beams that diffuse against the ceiling. The walls are white with a sponged speckling of the same blue from overhead, and underfoot is more of that oak.
The house has a central column of yellow fieldstone, with a fireplace facing into the room and a half-flight of stairs to either side - one leading up, the other down. Above the fireplace is an oakwood mantel, and while it may provide warmth, under most circumstances, the radiant heating system beneath the floorboards is likely to more effective. The fireplace may, however, provide a pleasant flickering warmth, and as such, a sofa and a pair of armchairs are arranged in front of it. The sofa's a velvety blue-grey, accented with a pair of red pillows, and the armchairs are brown leather - suitable for company but selected primarily for comfort.
There's a kitchen tucked off to one side, near the upward staircase. It's small, but well equipped, with granite countertops and a brushed steel cold-box and stove. There's an oblong wooden table with chairs set around it, and even some plants in small terracotta pots on the windowsill, as the presence of fresh herbs is useful when cooking.

Darsce's escape from the infirmary passed without incident; no healers encountered them - perhaps Mur'dah is to thank for that, albeit indirectly - and she did not encounter any circumstances such that a healer would be required. Jethaniel was more grateful for the second of these, and he was never far from Darsce as she arranged for food (uncooked; convenient, that he's seen to it there's things in their cupboards which may be eaten in their raw state) and bathing. These activities, while important, were followed by one that - for Jethaniel - may be even more so: rest. Their bed, in their house, beneath their stars. Jethaniel's arms around Darsce, and while his concerns did not disappear beneath those stars, the assurance of her presence - and his fatigue - were sufficient such that he slept. Now, however, morning has come, and while there's no alarm set, he is used to that schedule, and so he begins to drift toward wakefulness.

Walking through the clearing and meadow in the dark of night might be pleasant were it any other season and the stars were shining above, but this is late fall, late enough to be almost-winter. The leaden sky, a flat black, had been hardly inviting, the ground hard underfoot at least provided stability for steps that might be taken a touch unsteadily. The promise of snow in the chill air borne on the stiff current of air blowing north from the Southern Barrier Ranges… hastened Darsce's steps, the woman being minus one sleeve of her jacket. That's the arm she keeps curled 'round Jethaniel's waist as they headed towards their cottage. Crackers, muffins, fruit and water - lots of that - sufficed, eaten more quickly than she normally would because she's 'starving' and with the assurances that 'This is so good, mmm!' She'd made use of their bathroom, the soak brief but necessary, followed by the comfort of their own bed and Jethaniel's arms that Darsce sought without waiting for her still-damp hair to dry. There, tangled up with him, she lay wide awake staring at those stars while trying to ignore her muscle aches while a headache slowly began and grew. Did she take the last of Jethaniel's fellis-powder when she'd fallen off Cereld? No matter, she hadn't been about to ask for it because… well… she'd rather not go back to the infirmary. Somewhere near dawn she'd drifted off to sleep, not that she needed it, but out of sheer boredom.

The circumstances of that walk were not precisely those Jethaniel would have selected for purposes of enjoyment, but neither was the motivation that enjoyment - at least not directly. Indirectly, Darsce's desires certainly involved that departure from the infirmary, and so… the walk was made, his arm remaining around her as they went. He nodded to her assurances as she ate, made his own ablutions brief ones, and then… bed, his arms around her. Her wakefulness may - for Darsce - have grown excruciating, but the fact of her consciousness, the reactivity of her breathing and eyes to his small motions was - for Jethaniel - conducive to the easing of his fears sufficiently for that sleep. Now, however, he wakes. The familiarity of the setting is comforting, as it Darsce's presence. His arms tighten slightly around her, a semi-conscious reaction while waking, and it's only as they relax from that hug that his awareness returns enough to recall to his mind the circumstances of the past few days - or at least enough fragments of them that his eyes open, searching down to see Darsce and assure himself once more of her presence and… status.

Darsce's there, cuddled in the warmth that is Jethaniel, the perfumed shampoo and soap she'd used last night still faintly scenting her person with exotic spice and sandalwood, reminiscent of Igen's deserts. She'd fallen asleep on her back, her head pillowed on Jethaniel's shoulder while squinting at the star lights, trying to form pictures with them. Somewhere in there, she's shifted so now her head is on the pillow, but her hair has been left in a tumble that cloaks his shoulder and neck; the ends may be tickling him awake? His checking reveals her lashes touching her cheeks and her posture utterly relaxed, boneless, breathing slowly and evenly, even after he stirs. That's nothing new though. Darsce, when deeply asleep is not easily roused.

Jethaniel takes a deep breath, the scent of spice, sandalwood, and Darsce. In the deserts of Igen… they also watched the stars, though the night was somewhat colder then. He smiles, a curve of his lips despite the worry in his eyes, and shifts against her, rolling to his side. It shifts his arm beneath her, but the motion is a slow, careful one - unlikely to wake her, even under ordinary circumstatances. Jethaniel knows this, because he knows how Darsce sleeps. It is… not his intention to wake her, though the smile settles somewhat back toward neutral, fondness mingled with concern. If she sleeps, he wishes to let her. He also wishes to see her wake, but that desire he keeps silent. Jethaniel reaches out, touching his fingers to Darsce's forehead and trailing them down along the side of her face. His touch is light, a mere brush that traces over her temple, skirts the edge of her ear before slipping back to tease along her jaw in a soft caress as he watches her… and she sleeps.

As Jethaniel shifts, Darsce responds, even in her sleep, with a sigh, one corner of her mouth twitching into the beginnings of a coy smile. There is nothing demure about her repose; she usually starts off curled around Jethaniel and winds up sprawled all over the place when she sleeps, this morning is no exception. Her far arm is thrown up over her head, palm up as if waiting to catch snowflakes, while the other rests curved against Jethaniel's thigh where she'd soothed him with gentle pat-strokes after he'd made a muted sounds that she'd interpreted as distress. She must have drifted off amidst doing that, her sleep devoid of dreams, isn't as deep as it might be, given the 'sleep' she'd already had for almost two days. Her lashes quiver and she draws a deeper breath as her somnolence ebbs to something lighter.

That response - sleepy as it is - brings Jethaniel's smile back again. Darsce stirs. The healers told him, while she was in that coma, to watch for small things - but he would do so regardless. The changes of her exhalations; the curve of her lips and the way her eyelids shift even while remaining closed. These are the things Jethaniel studies, his fingertips trailing along the line of Darsce's jaw until they rest beneath her chin. Did that plastic brace leave marks against her neck, either in long hours of being worn or else when she struggled to remove it? He looks for them now, before his eyes lift once more to her lashes, his hand slipping from her chin to her shoulder, leaving the neck alone as his fingers instead trail up toward her flung hand. They're no snowflakes, his touch warm instead of chill, but their touch may yet be as soft.

Darsce's fingers twitch at the sensation across her palm, her fingers closing slowly over his as her lashes lift. She regards Jethaniel for a moment through the fog of torpor, her eyes hazy with sleep before a slow and drowsy smile blooms for him. "I love you," seems to be her good morning to him because she forgot…didn't she? …to say that last night. Fingers and lips. That's all she's moving just yet because she's laaaaazy.

Jethaniel curls his fingers in against Darsce's, letting them go still as hers take charge of his hand. His eyes remain on hers, waiting for the haze to clear. He is unhurried; Darsce is here, present and conscious (or at least approaching that state at what is, for her, a reasonable pace), and that does enough to ease his concerns and let him be patient. "I love you too," he answers her, his fingers squeezing softly around hers as his smile warms further. He might - in other circumstances - leave it at that, but those concerns are, while eased, still present. "How do you feel?"

"With my hands, sometimes," says Darsce impishly as the fingers of her other hand demonstrate her ability creeping slowly up his thigh. Her smile grows, part sensuous, part mischief, as she wriggles a little closer to him in the circle of the arm he has under her. Since his hands are busy, "How about you?" She asks that with a suggestive purr. Deflection or distraction? Both! At least her eyes are more alert?

Jethaniel's breath catches as Darsce conducts her demonstration. She may feel with her hand; concurrently to that, he feels her hand, tracing along warm skin. His arm beneath her shifts, hand lifting a little to encourage that increase in closeness; if his forearm becomes an inclined plane, she may slide directly to him by the application of that simple tool, and once there… his head dips slightly, lips curved in a pleased smile. "Sometimes." His gaze lingers on her, her question seeming to go unanswered as he lifts his head again, leans it toward hers to press his lips to hers, soft but lingering for a moment before he draws them away sufficiently to murmur, "With my lips."

Sliding towards Jethaniel? So yes! This morning via his arm. Their lips meet, hers part slightly and she returns his kiss as gently, but adds a playful tickle with the tip of her tongue as his lift from hers. Her fingers move, caressing both his hand and leg before she slips them away, rotating her hips to turn her body towards him, arms shifting to encircle him. That movement accomplished with a flicker of pain across her face but it's a fleeting expression. She tips her head back on the pillow - a half-swallowed yip as her neck flexes - so that she may see him more clearly. "You look a little less…worn this morning. Did you sleep enough?"

Jethaniel certainly enjoys it when Darsce approaches him, both for its own sake and because of what else it may be conducive toward. His lips part in echo of hers, leaving that kiss with a breath that's held for a moment, then slowly exhaled as her fingers trace along hand and leg. His lips touch together once more, a potential preface to speech but one which is interrupted by his observation of her as she turns toward him. Darsce in motion is usually something Jethaniel enjoys; he takes pleasure in watching her. In this particular instance, the expression of pain on her face brings concern to the forefront of his. Darsce's diversion of him - while effective - is limited in scope. He has not forgotten his worries for her, merely set them aside, and now they return. Jethaniel places his arm around her gently, his fingertips brushing along her lower back as he nods slightly. "It should be sufficient." The question of if he has slept enough raises the question of enough for what. Jethaniel does not answer that subsidiary question, but he does ask one of his own. "How are you feeling?" It is, admittedly, a rephrasing of one he has already asked… but when he previously inquired, he did not actually receive an answer.

Darsce's arms around Jethaniel - at least the one draped over his waist curl to convey her wish to remain close, but then must relax - her muscles demand it. Slept enough for what? Why to make up for the two nights of sitting vigil with her, of course. Darsce may wish to continue that distraction but is currently physically unable, much to her chagrin. Nor can she successfully hide the pain she's in, but will she admit it? Not if- ahh, he asks! Again. She winces. She can lie with flippant disregard to anyone but Jethaniel. "My shoulders and neck are sore. Nothing's broken," she hastens to reassure him, because after all, they checked her for that the best they could. "I must've braced with my hands to break my fall." Sore muscles and a sort of whiplash resulted which, while annoyingly inconvenient are hardly serious. She leans to touch her forehead gingerly to his, eyes darkened with the admission, "And I have a headache."

In the domain of closeness, Jethaniel's wishes are quite congruent with Darsce's. His arms tighten around her in response to her own doing so, and remain holding her even as hers relax; he will, absent an active revocation of her previously expressed desire, continue to presume it even in the absence of the continued expression thereof. Jethaniel's sleep… should be sufficient to let him go through the day without any significant impairment of function, and may be further resolved without the need for intervention… so long as the circumstances which caused the initial lack do not perpetuate themselves. This is an aspect - but a very peripheral one - to the concern with which he asks about Darsce's status. The soreness of her shoulders and neck is not entirely unexpected; he nods slightly, eyes remaining on hers. The headache… "Ah." Jethaniel is quiet in the wake of that revelation. His forehead remains leaned to hers, though there exists no evidence of osmosis for pain. His arms remain wrapped close around her. Several moments pass, and when he speaks again, his voice is soft. "We should go to the healers."

There exists - or has for the most of her short life - things Darsce wants to do and things she avoids doing. Seeing the healers would fall into the latter category - even for serious things (as evidenced by her request to Jethaniel to take her home right after slamming her head on a boulder). She has a headache; hardly something she's accustomed to running to the healers for. Soooo the obvious conclusion her mind leaps to is, "Oh. Are… you sick?" That's after her eyes, which have drifted shut during those several quiet moments, open to blink at Jethaniel for the suggestion. One of her arms moves carefully so she can brush his cheek with the back of her fingers, then his forehead to feel for heat. She… probably wouldn't be able to gauge a fever, but it's what her mother did to Rehsa and her before freaking out and demanding one come see them.

"No." Jethaniel is not sick, though he may become so if he continues to abbreviate his sleep due to exterior circumstances. He might also become so from a visit to the infirmary and the corresponding exposure to others whose trips there have been motivated by infection, but he does not appear to be giving that possibility excessive consideration. He does not evade Darsce's fingers, letting them feel skin possessed of an entirely usual degree of warmth. His own fingers trail softly along her back, tracing up her spine. "When you hit your head, you may have hurt your brain." There are some who might consider a drastic alteration of Darsce's mental function to be a net positive; Jethaniel is not among them. "The headache may be… a symptom." He is not a healer, nor possessed of their specialized knowledge, but the correlation nevertheless seems plausible; Darsce's brain is located inside her head. "It might require treatment." He does not know what that would constitute, nor the means for assessment the healers would use to determine it. An extrapolation from the methodology used to assess peripheral nerve damage may suggest it is something Darsce would prefer to avoid, but Jethaniel's expression merely displays his concern for her. He is - still - worried.

Finding the skin underneath her touch seemingly normal Darsce's next step is to begin questions about what symptoms Jethaniel might be experiencing. But ohhh… her well-being is the topic. She… listens instead of launching into immediate protests. A distinct change in her mental function could conceivably also go south; instead of being an improvement she could be horrifically worse to deal with but, heh, this is Darsce. If asked, she'd probably wonder aloud how she could possibly be better? Whether that would be flippant deflection is anyone's guess and there are probably all of two people on the planet who would arrive at the correct supposition. Jethaniel's explanation is hardly calming. The worried expression on his face conveys the gravity of the situation. Her brain?! She only has one of those! "So… let's go find out." That's said a tad breathlessly, y'see, because she's trying not to hyperventilate.

Jethaniel tilts his head up and brushes his lips gently to Darsce's forehead. "Yes," he agrees. They should go see the healers. More particularly, the healers should see Darsce; from a medical perspective, Jethaniel's presence is not required. His arms tighten around her for another moment before releasing. "We will do whatever is necessary." As will the healers; if their motivation is lacking, it will be… provided. Jethaniel is quite fond of Darsce as she is, though there may be all of two people on the planet who would share that opinion. He begins to rise, not overly hurried but nevertheless proceeding toward the necessary evaluation of Darsce's brain. They may, at least, take the time to dress in clean clothes, thus returning to the infirmary in - at least externally - a better state than they left.

Yep, Darsce would count as one of the two fond of herself the way she is. In fact, she'd go so far as to give the healers the stink-eye should they hint that the blow to the head might improve things. Right, so she needs to go…back to the…infirmary. The place where she has a reputation for non-compliancy. And submit to their examination and evaluation of her… mental functions. She cringes both mentally and physically as she curls into Jethaniel, returning his hug before sitting up and rising from their bed…slowly - and not necessarily due to stiff muscles and aching head. Dressing will also commence without haste. When Jethaniel speaks of doing whatever is necessary, Darsce's head is inside her blouse. Cue sound of record-scratching to a halt as she freezes, then pulls it down enough that iceblue eyes emerge, wide with disquiet, nay terror. "We…will?" Oh shit. This is vulnerability on a scale she's… unprepared for.

Darsce's reputation for noncompliance is well-earned. She has, in the past, demonstrated a particular disregard for the opinions of healers, even beyond the general lack of weight given to most perspectives not her own. Jethaniel's arms are warm around Darsce for that hug, reluctant to leave her - but he has in impetus to do so for purposes of this visit to the healers. There are dire possibilities; some, admittedly, not addressable given the state of medical technology, but others which may be resolved or mitigated via sufficiently prompt action. The sufficiency of that promptness is variable; Jethaniel does not perceive a headache as something which requires particular haste, though he does consider it to require action. He intends to require action from the healers; a full diagnosis of Darsce's symptoms. This will involve their inspection of her brain, but he has considered this only from a mechanistic and functional perspective; the layout of her thoughts and mental structures, not… the contents thereof. He has not considered the difficulty of extracting the schema without the data; he is not a mindhealer. Jethaniel stops mid-motion at Darsce's reaction, the shirt he's selected and put over his shoulders hanging open as he turns to her. Concern is again in the forefront of his expression, mingled with a trace of perplexity in the arch of his brows. He crosses to Darsce, arms reaching around her. "I…" Jethaniel stops. His hand shifts against her back, fingers splaying slightly, and he swallows before he speaks again. "We will do what you wish."

See, Darsce works hard at those earnings. Someday she'll have to meet a healer who isn't an idiot. Though all bets are off on how she'll deal with that. There are some grave possibilities that could have resulted from her contact with that boulder but the dire things Darsce dreads concerns healer actions. Particularly as their assessment will involve testing her brain function without sophisticated equipment. She isn't a mindhealer either, but she's heard things. Only half of which are probably remotely true, still… She's slow to emerge the rest of the way from her shirt, arms threading her sleeves in the time that Jethaniel steps back and offers his arms. She steps into them, leans her forehead with a gentle thump against his bare chest. "I know," she mutters without lifting her head when he trails off, "you're worried." She remains like that, quiet for several moments, then admits, "I'm scared." Of not knowing if she's damaged, of knowing. Of the healers' methods… She lifts her head fractionally, eyes to the level of his open collar and says quite seriously, "I might wish to punch a healer. And, just so you know, if they get too personal, I might lie." Her mouth curls, slightly cheered at that particular thought.

"I am," Jethaniel quietly concurs. It is not how he intended to complete the statement, but it is true. He is worried; he will certainly do what seems conducive to Darsce's continued well-being… subject to her permission to do so. This may not necessarily coincide with what the healers would recommend (and the healers may be - have historically shown themselves - less willing to oblige her preferences). At this juncture, however, Jethaniel believes his worry and the healers' perspective to be concordant; thus, his suggestion for a visit to the infirmary. His arms curve around Darsce, holding her against him. He is also quiet, head tilted down so that he may conduct his own observation of her. While he does not provide inquiries to go with it, he nods slightly as she nevertheless supplies an answer. The admission is an entirely reasonable one, and yet Jethaniel swallows. His worry, her fear… they exist with nontrivial overlap. He tilts his head further, an attempt to study her face despite the difficulties created by her posture. Her potential desire makes his lips curve slightly; the possibility of her lies makes him nod. "There are… things I would prefer not to tell them," he admits as he trails one hand along her back, a caress followed by a slow exhalation. "I will disbelieve as necessary." The option wherein Jethaniel is not present is, while theoretically possible, not one he intends to pursue. "I do not recommend actually punching a healer." There might be undesirable consequences to doing so… such as an orderly intended to restrain her for the rest of the exam. "We can, however, leave." And Jethaniel can worry.

Oh? How was that statement going to end? Surely not in 'am sorry'? "Some things are none of their business," Darsce says, cagey and restless within the circle of his arms. "And I'm not sure I trust them to know where to draw the line." Or that she cares for the sort of psychological power a mindhealer wields (good luck there, Cyrus!). The comment of disbelieving as necessary… oh, that has her breathing again, a touch more relaxed. Jethaniel's going to be there! He's… a safeguard of sorts. 'We', he had said, only she'd focused on the rest of that 'will do whatever is necessary' as total compliance - and there's also the worry for his privacy, which she verbalizes, "They might require your input." His caution lifts her head and draws a slight, if uneasy smile as her iceblue eyes seek grey. Butbut… punching would be so very satisfying - cathartic even, depending on which healer and how obnoxious Darsce perceives that healer to be. Being restrained might be worth it? Only probably not. "I'll give you a signal when I'm lying." Something… subtle. Like a smirk? She shakes her head, rejecting the leaving option. "No. I… we need to know." If knowing is possible.

Not an apology, no. That was - for once - not Jethaniel's intention. He keeps his arms in place around Darsce, holding but not restraining her as he listens. What does and does not constitute a healer - or mindhealer's - business is a matter which may be under substantive debate. "I believe their line may be somewhat different than yours." Notably more intrusive, for one thing. That intrusion may extend to both Darsce's perspective on Jethaniel and… Jethaniel's on Darsce. "They might," he acknowledges as he provides this prospect with due consideration. His eyes close for a moment, then open to regard her as he asks, quite calm and serious, "Where shall I lie?" Jethaniel's arms remain around Darsce, his eyes meeting hers and making at least the affection clear, even if there is also worry and he does not, as such, smile. When it comes to her lies… he gives his head a small shake. "You may tell me after." Any signal sufficiently clear for Jethaniel to understand may also be comprehended by the healers? This would be simpler were it not for the strength of their motivation to visit the healers, but - Jethaniel nods agreement - they are possessed of a desire for whatever knowledge it is possible to obtain regarding Darsce's functionality, present and future.

Darsce's lines are drawn mostly, well, as battle lines. But they're defensive in nature. "I'll bet they are!" says she of the healer's lines being inside of hers. Hence her uneasiness, which though it's evidenced by her restless shifting, she doesn't move away from Jethaniel. His question sees her blinking a few times. When should he lie? Should he lie? "I have no idea," she says at last, vaguely. "I don't even know what they're going to ask me." So it depends on the question? This would be easier if she hadn't heard so many things whispered about mindhealers. Her arms withdraw so she can use the fingertips of both hands to massage the temples of her pounding head and she reflects with her eyes closed. Opening them and meeting his, she says sincerely, "You don't have to lie. I don't…expect you to do that. Just… be aware that if they ask me stupid questions, they're going to get stupid answers." Which she will take great pleasure in delivering! As for subtle signals, she nods. "Alright, I'll tell you afterwards, but I'm pretty sure you'll know about some of them as they occur. I won't…uh, lie about things that they ask about my physical symptoms." That's reassuring, yes?

It is likely that Jethaniel should not, in fact, lie; it would be neither advantageous nor effective. He nevertheless asks Darsce for her preference in this regard, his gaze steady as he awaits her answer. There is a perceptible relief as she informs him it will not actually be necessary for him to prevaricate, an easing of the unconscious tension of his arms (though the intentional holding of her continues) and an exhalation. He nods. "They may have whatever answers you see fit." Insofar as the purpose of this trip is to assess the extent to which Darsce has been altered by her head injury, certain evasive displays may in fact be encouraging - at least to Jethaniel. He smiles slightly as his fingers trail down along her back, then pause at her discussion of physical symptoms and the reporting thereof. It is, in one sense, reassuring. Those are certainly not something about which Jethaniel wishes her to lie; he had, in fact, not considered the possibility that she would. He considers it now with a faint and troubled frown, even as he nods to the assertion that she will not actually do so. "Thank you." His arms press more firmly around her for a moment, holding her close. "I may know some of your lies, yes." Jethaniel is aware of some things about which Darsce might prevaricate; areas where… she tends to present a facade to the world. "If others concern me," perhaps because he doesn't know if they're true or not, "I may ask later." But he'll prepare himself mentally to disbelieve… or at least make an attempt to do so until she can tell him or he can ask. He may or may not actually be successful in doing so, just as the healers' inspection may or may not touch on areas concerning which Darsce would desire to deceive them.

Jethaniel has ways of deflecting the truth without lying outright; Darsce has seen this in action when they encountered Cyrus before. It's an ability she greatly admires. In this situation all bets are off in her mind whether he'll need to use that skill. He probably shouldn't lie about anything he's observed in her in the last twelve hours or so. He relaxes as she clarifies that and she smiles faintly, fondly that he'd asked even though it's obvious the idea makes him uneasy. There might be times that she'd lie to a healer about her physical symptoms; this is not one of them. She drops her hands from her head to curl her arms around him one more, leans into his hug and murmurs something reassuring, it might sound like 'you're welcome' but it's hard to tell because she's tucked her forehead against his chest again. Normally she'd slip her hands up under that unbuttoned shirt and appreciate his skin; this morning, while her arms 'round his waist are warmly affectionate, her hands are still. She's uneasy about the trip to the infirmary but, her, "Let's do this; my head is killing me." It's a vast overstatement, of course, but she adds, "I need something for it." And for that she'll need to see them anyway.

Jethaniel may tell the truth without telling the whole truth - merely those aspects which are necessary. What constitutes that necessary truth is highly dependent on the framing of the question, and he is capable of adjusting that framing as is required by other influences… such as Darsce's preferences. The importance of those preferences from Jethaniel's frame of reference is, however, somewhat unlikely to match that accorded them by an external observer. That is irrelevant; they are important to him - as Darsce is, and he holds her close in that hug. Her wandering fingers, while enjoyable when present, are not necessary. Her presence… is, and so Jethaniel takes a moment to assure himself of it before nodding to her assertion. "…figuratively speaking," he murmurs regarding her head - not because he does not believe she intends it so, but because he is aware that it is possible under these circumstances for the statement to be literal, and as such, he finds it necessary to clearly delineate that intention. His arms release her, that they may continue to dress, and from there… go to the infirmary.

Darsce may tell the healers some truths they'd prefer not to hear - whether they ask for them or not, depending on how thin her patience is stretched by what she decides is incompetence. Oh dear - this could go very badly! There's a chuckle from her at Jethaniel's clarification. "Figuratively, yes," she agrees. She'd be… freaked out if she thought her head was really trying to do her in. Thankfully, even though D'had was turns as a Search and Rescue rider, she's picked up very little from her father and doesn't remember enough to scare herself with. She reluctantly withdraws to finish dressing and then… off they go, to give some poor healer an exercise in patience.

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