Verifiable and Reproducible Results

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 subset of lunch - if one somewhat lacking in complexity of flavors - has been eaten. Some further time has been spent in Jethaniel's office; it has not, from the perspective of Weyr management, been productive. The mealtime crowds have receded from the caverns; this, while not strictly speaking a prerequisite, is an intentional precursor to a trip across them and a visit to the infirmary. This visit will include an encounter with at least one (and potentially more) of the healers on duty. This - depending on the details of that encounter - has the potential to prove interesting in a variety of ways.

Darsce has eaten the bland meal - albeit slowly - and kept it down. Hiding out, as it were, in Jethaniel's office, she's been uninterrupted by her assistant headwomen. They know their daily assignments. They're also used to her disappearances. Long-term delegation is helpful there, provided no dire emergencies arise. Emergence and the trek there is also accomplished without further delays, her strides brisk and confident across the caverns and down the hall. The tight curl of fingers in Jethaniel's might speak a different message, but he'll be the only one to hear it. Upon entering the Infirmary, her pace doesn't slow at all, even though there's the waiting area right there by the door. She does give a look 'round to see if they're busy - in which case, she might come back later - but they aren't. There's a healer seated at the desk doing paperwork and that's where she heads, marching up to it and announcing, "I need you to test me for pregnancy." Like it's some sort of malady? Also hello, healer, hi, I'm Darsce. That's what the short-lived smile is for.

The healer can certainly hear footsteps, the way heels click on floors around here. Stone is like that, echoing off walls and such. She masks any annoyance at the couple barging in behind a professional expression, her, "May I help-" interrupted by the young woman's demand. A glance towards shoulder knots draws a twitch of her mouth but her answer is respectful, "Of course." She rises, addresses both of them, "Right this way." It's to one of those private alcoves she intends to lead them.

The infirmary is, definitionally, a place for the infirm; as such, any condition which would cause one to become located there may be considered a malady. Whether or not the curve of fingers is, in fact, a form of communication, Jethaniel's are quite definitive in that they are holding Darsce's, his presence a solid thing though their contact is - as they cross the caverns and enter the infirmary - limited to the touch of hands. The infirmary is not busy; whether this is desirable, per se, is somewhat uncertain. It does, however, mean that knowledge will be had sooner rather than later, and for that Jethaniel is grateful. His expression is one of neutrality carefully placed on his face, chin dipping slightly for Darsce's expression of the desiderata for this visit, then rising and turning to look at Darsce for the healer's suggestion, weight shifting appropriately to follow.

The infirmary being quiet is definitely a plus - at least as far as Darsce is concerned. No audience, thanks! The tension in her fingers relax a touch as she notices that. She needs to know, but for a moment her feet refuse to follow the healer. Past associations, being what they are… she just stares at the curtained alcove. Her aim of projected calm is belied by the tightening of her fingers upon Jethaniel's as is the lean against him as she feels him shift. Is she… balking? Maaybe! To the healer, she drawls, "If you think you're poking me anywhere the sun doesn't shine, you can think again."

The healer, having reached for a clipboard and pen and taken a step towards that alcove, turns and flicks a questioning look towards Jethaniel, then back to Darsce, who gets a patient sort of faint smile. "Why don't we see what the test results are first, hmm? If it's negative, I think we can forget the rest of the exam." Both brows lift, her head tilts. Yes?

Jethaniel shifts back toward Darsce as he feels her aversion to that change of venue. His fingers remain positioned against hers, his thumb moving in a slow caress against the side of her hand. "…there is an alternative." His words are quiet, and he glances to the healer before returning his gaze to Darsce. "We may wait." Evidence will continue to accumulate as they do so, resulting in either a proof of Darsce's procreative status or strong support for a negative claim. It will, however, require a period of uncertainty that could be greatly reduced by the application of certain tests.

Darsce's skeptical, that's clearly reflected in the iceblue gaze she returns to the healer's offer. Exam - whut? There's that as well?? It's the test she's wary of- But Jethaniel's calmly reasonable where she doesn't want to be and her head swings to listen to him. Glossed lips part, her question left unspoken as he explains that alternative. "I…" Hm, waiting. She glances at the healer - not really to see what the woman thinks but perhaps in preparation to tell her she's leaving, seeya bye-bye, you can take your exam and-

The healer remains patient, if perplexed at the reluctance Darsce shows. She frowns slightly at the alternative Jethaniel proposes, but nods nonetheless: they may wait. "All I need," she says casually with a taptap of her pen to the clipboard, "Is a few your basic health questions and a urine sample." Come on people! Really, this is painless. "If you are, you'll want the vitamins, won't you?" That's faintly coaxing, but she's not going to sweat it if they leave.

Tests, exams, and vitamins - but Darsce has not yet been convinced regarding the first of those, and as such, it may be somewhat premature to proceed further down the list. Jethaniel lowers his head slightly as Darsce turns her gaze back to the healer. He would like to know; it is difficult to plan without data. If, however, Darsce is sufficiently disinclined to the procedure that would grant them an expeditious answer… there are other indications, eventually but not exclusively the emergence of an infant. His frown is a faint one, concern more than displeasure, and his fingers remain curled with Darsce's. Those basic health questions may, if answered, constitute the first time that data has been entered in the records; this will make any historical comparisons rather challenging. The other part of the exam is both more informative and more challenging. "Ah." It's quiet; a consideration of biochemical processing and excretive constituencies. Jethaniel lacks the expertise, but he can postulate why, in the general case, this might be effective. In the case of Darsce… the problem is not likely to be a biochemical one?

Darsce's aversion to healers is growing. It is a biochemical process (it may be considered a problem by some) within the brain, perhaps a wee too much norepinephrine between the synapses and too little serotonin, a cascade triggered by negative associations resulting from her experiences here. For Darsce, the problem isn't her outlook or reactions to stimuli, but the fact that things will conspire to bring to a place she least wants to be. Her skepticism abates not one whit. A slim brow lifts as she eyes the sample cup the healer has reached for and now holds aloft. "That's it? Really?" Oh but if it's positive, it won't be, but her mind is not going there. The healer simply and silently wriggles the cup enticingly; that's it. "Sweet!" Darsce's fingers uncurl from Jethaniel's - the solace of his touch likely the one thing that's kept her relatively calm to this point - and she practically dances forward to accept it. With a twirl to spot the restroom door, she announces, "We need to know." Because… she needs time to research parenthood? Oh yes. But what she says to her healer is a flippant, "It'll take me forever to figure out a name if I don't." She smiles reassurance at Jethaniel and off she goes to pee in that cup.

The healer swallows a chuckle, flicks a look to Jethaniel - you've got yourself a winner there, Pal. "Shall we?" Her head tilts to the alcove. She seems to expect the calm one will follow for she steps that way, whisks the curtain aside, sits on the rolling stool and gestures to the chair within. It seems she'll get started with questions they'd both know. "Now. While she's doing that, perhaps you can tell me how many months she's missed."

A great many things are, ultimately, biochemical processes. In fact, when considered in further depth, they are also physical processes. The depth of useful analysis is, however, highly variable. Jethaniel's fingers remove themselves from Darsce's, though there's a gentle caress as part of the process. His hands slip behind his back, watching as she takes that cup. They need to know; he inclines his head in a nod, and Darsce's stated reason makes him smile slightly. "I am fond of yours." It is rather orthogonal to her reference - which is a very minor aspect of the implications of a positive result - but it is nevertheless true. It is, similarly, true that he considers favorably his relationship to Darsce, albeit without the sarcasm with which the healer might have actually said those implied words. His wife's reaction to the infirmary is, to Jethaniel, a comprehensible one. Her most recent - technically second most recent - visit was not conducted under pleasant circumstances, nor strictly consensual. The alcove in which the healer intends to conduct this consultation is not actually the same one, but the similarities are significant, and the associations are not pleasant. Given that Darsce's reactions are derived from her experiences, Jethaniel might attempt to counter them by providing her with positive stimuli in the context of the infirmary. However, that may not actually be feasible; even the alcove does not actually grant any significant privacy. Jethaniel hesitates for a moment instead of following the healer promptly, his gaze lingering on the restroom door before he follows… but only to the edge of the alcove. He does not take the seat, instead standing as if he's been summoned to a meeting regarding discrepancies in the accounts. The healer's question does, in fact, seek to address certain discrepancies, albeit not of a financial nature. "Ah." Jethaniel shifts his weight from one foot to the other. He is aware of what the question is asking; he is aware of why it is relevant to the present situation. Were Darsce known for a consistent and methodical nature, he might take the fact that she has not mentioned any absence to imply presence. As it is, Jethaniel must acknowledge the possibility that she has merely - consciously or otherwise - dismissed as insignificant a lack of data. "I… do not know."

…He dosn't know. Terrific! The healer sighs, leaves LMP blank and begins writing at the top of the form instead. She already knows the names of both steward and headwoman and so those get filled in. She lifts her gaze, but the expression in them is dubious. "…Was your wife taking any contraceptive - or any medicines, for that matter and if so what were they?" She'll write something - provided he has a clue, then her pen will be held poised over the paternal side of the genetic section and ask him, "Do you have any other children - with anyone and are there any obvious deficiencies in them?" And most likely along that same line, she asks, "Do you have any history of major illness - you or your siblings or parents?"

Darsce, still in the restroom, doot-dee-doot.

The healer also frowns. "Laceseed has known to-"

The restroom door opens, enter Darsce with sample in hand. The cup is wrapped in a paper towel, likely for the purpose of cleanliness but hey - the infirmary isn't exactly private, even if there is a lull in traffic. Her steps direct her towards that alcove, albeit they slow as she approaches. She has… apparently entered a… frowny-session.

Ah there's her patient! The healer's smile is faint and her head dips acknowledgement for the arrival of that sample, a tilt of her head inidcates the bedside table is where she wants it. "Excuse me," she says as, from her pocket, she pulls a pair of rubber gloves, snaps them on, then opens a case conveniently on that same table, selects a glass dropper, a tiny tray, a few bottles and busies herself with the sample. It's a matter of seconds, really before her, perhaps a little too bright announcement informs them, "In several minutes, if you're pregnant, the square will turn from white to blue. Now then. How many periods have you missed, Darsce?"

The curtain is given a wary look. That's irrational; curtains do not bite. Nevertheless, since it's open, Darsce continues on in, the fingers of her other hand drift affectionately across Jethaniel's back as she passes him, places the sample where directed and sits on the cot. It's not the easy, relaxed sort of sit. No, this is the poised-to-run sort of sit. She blinks at the healer. Whut? "Well…none."

Jethaniel turns his head to look to Darsce, and for her he has a smile. He follows her as she enters the alcove, passing the border of the curtain now that she has done so, and crosses to the cot, where he assumes a position behind her. His hands brush lightly at her shoulders, slipping down from there to rest against her hips. The touch is a light one, and would not constrain her departure should she determine that to be the appropriate course of action. He watches the chemical procedure, and while he is aware that reading of results before the expected timeframe of the reaction is inconclusive, his gaze nevertheless lingers on the white square.

None. The healer's frown is more pronounced. "…This… can happen…in rare cases," she says thoughtfully. He gaze flicks to Jethaniel as he moves, but it's Darsce she directs her question to, "What makes you think you might be pregnant? I understand you've been taking laceseed, yes?"

A subtle tension eases about Darsce's posture as Jethaniel's hands settle upon her waist and she leans more towards him than positioning herself for escape. She's still far from relaxed, but it's an improvement. "I… things don't taste right, smells make me nauseas and I've been throwing up rather… a lot."

The healer hms, "Laceweed can be drying to the digestive tract, Are you drinking plenty of water? Do you have any abdominal pain? Have you ever been pregnant before and if so do you have any other children?" More questions follow, about bleeding, dizziness, her eating habits, family history. Meanwhile behind her on that tray the square steadily turns blue.

Darsce's answers are "Yes (because klah counts, right?)…No…No…No…Hell No!"…and "You can't be SERIOUS?!" a cough, then "No" and so on, elaborating that yes, she's been eating fruits, vegetables, starches, proteins and yes milk, though what she's keeping down is debatable.

The healer is busily writing things down all the while. The time comes when she turns to check that tray, smiles, lifts it to show them and says, "Congratulations mom and dad." Then a more cautious, "We should do a blood test to be sure. And about that exam…"

Jethaniel leans forward as Darsce leans back, reducing the distance between them. His hands rest against her, and his eyes flick to the healer at - if not the words themselves - the uncertainty he hears in them. He is familiar with that tone; it implies the possible but unlikely, which further implies that Darsce's queasiness may have its source in disease or injury. A lingering symptom of that concussion, perhaps, or another effect of the fall which caused it. His gaze lowers, looking down along her shoulder as his arms slip a little further around her. The gesture is a protective one, at least insofar as it expresses intentionality. Given that the hazards are either internal and already present or (as in the case of the healer) not actually hazardous, it is of limited efficacy. Nevertheless, Jethaniel keeps his position behind Darsce, arms around her. He frowns faintly for her list of symptoms. He is aware of… many of them, though he has perhaps not been entirely conscious of their severity. There exist various motivations for under-reporting; he may postulate that Darsce did so out of a desire to reduce concern. If so, while temporarily effective in that aim, it is not entirely so; he is certainly concerned now. Untreated symptoms may have permitted the underlying cause to continue in development. This… may or may not be a good thing, depending on that underlying cause. Jethaniel listens to the questions and their answers, watching Darsce as he does. His expression is mostly a neutral one, faintly furrowed with concern and with the occasional flick at the corners of his mouth for certain of the formats her answers take. His eyes remain lowered until the healer turns, lifting to regard… a square of paper whose hue is, most assuredly, blue. "Ah," Jethaniel says beneath the healer's words, and leans to kiss at Darsce's head, just above and behind one of her ears. Those words may, in fact, not be heard at all; Jethaniel may derive all the data he considers essential from the observation of that test's outcome as compared to the stated hypothesis. His head lingers close to Darsce's, arms curved around her as he murmurs quietly to that ear, "I love you." There will be other things to say; many of them. In this moment, however, that is the statement Jethaniel considers most essential, said earnestly and with a softness that is partly due to the healer's observation and partly due to a momentary inability to form louder words.

Darsce's symptoms could certainly have been caused by that head injury. And the fact that that's where her worries were is evidenced in the murmured aside, "I didn't want to worry you," to Jethaniel after she admits that symptom to the healer. That kiss to her head is dimly noted, though she doesn't move or acknowledge it verbally, nor answer the murmured avowal. No, see, she's staring at the blue aquare in stunned silemce, reality-slapped upside the head. The false security of 'someday baby' and 'might be pregnant' whoosh! gone and denial isn't going to work here. While she doesn't appear unhappy, she's not ecstatic. "I… I'm pregnant?" This asked numbly while still staring at that blue square.

The healer smiles quietly at the affection shown by Jethaniel. Aww! That is so cute! Her nod for the question is affirmative even while she answers casually, "Looks like it." Then she's stepping to collect the equipment to draw a blood sample. She's gone less than a minute, returning to advise, "There can be false-positives with this test, but the blood test will be conclusive. We won't know for a few days- hold still now- tiny stick. Theeeeere we go. Good girl."

Darsce sits there unmoving while the healer applies the tourniquet, then shoves a sharp needle in her arm to take her blood. Though her face pales, she doesn't wince or look away - so not her normal response to healer-y activities near her person - but watches with a detached fascination as blood begins to bubble into the tube. It's halfway though when she turns her head up to see Jethaniel, offers him a wide, giddy grin and says dazedly, "I'm pregnant." Then (you knew this was coming) promptly passes out.

"You could have told me," Jethaniel answers that aside, but it's said without reproach; merely an assurance that he is willing to be worried for her - or perhaps that, since he will likely do so regardless, he may as well worry with the most up to date information possible. Regardless, there's little time for discussion there, for the healer has other questions to ask to fill both the time required for chemical reactions and the sections on that form. Both are concluded, and the conclusion is… pregnant. It is not entirely conclusive; there do exist false positives… but the probability has just dramatically increased. The healer's departure is brief; Jethaniel's gaze remains on Darsce, his arms around her. He's quiet, letting the information soak in. It is, however, unlikely to turn her blue when it has permeated sufficiently. He might expect her to retreat or protest when faced with the prospect of a blood draw. He might, in fact, expect her to threaten to draw the blood of any healer attempting this. She does not, and as such, Jethaniel may continue to keep his arms around her. He does so; she's silent until she turns to him, and Jethaniel's smile grows in echo of hers and the evidence of pleasure (or perhaps merely mania?) it provides. She is pregnant; so the healer has stated, because the evidence of the preliminary test is sufficient to postulate such. The secondary test will confirm it, but Darsce… is no longer conscious. Fortunately, Jethaniel is in an excellent position to catch her and possesses some experience with doing so; his arms adjust slightly, his lean toward her becoming one that actually supports her weight. "Oh, Darsce." His voice is soft as his lips brush her hair again. "So you are." And so it begins

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