A Real Headache

Xanadu Weyr - Thea's Weyr

This clearing is sheltered by a thick canopy of trees, which seems supported at its centre by an immense, wild-growing fellis tree. Hanging from one of its high branches is a swing, made up of two ropes and a seat of softwood and leather. The grass is tall here and interrupted in places by clusters of white and blue alyssum. Alyssum covers the indentation of the wallow, remaining hardy despite being continually crushed. The constant sound of herdbeast in their pens can be heard close-by, though its source is invisible through the foliage.

The cottage itself is made of white softwood, like birch, though creeping vines cover all four of its walls from the outside and even encircle the brown-shuttered windows and matching door. The interior floor and walls are raw wood that has been sanded and lacquered to make them smooth and, for the most part, the inside is quite spacious. The bedroom area is plain, an ornately carved wardrobe providing the only real decoration, and at the rear of the cottage a brown lattice has been built into the doorway to a makeshift kitchen, where a breakfast nook has been carved into the wall, along with short counters. On one counter, a circle has been cut out and fixed with a clay-fired bowl with a nearby matching pitcher.

Finally released from the uncomfortably lumpy prison of the infirmary's cots, one would think Enkavir would be able to enjoy a deep and dreamless sleep. Instead, in the depths of the night when clouds keep even the moon from filtering into the cottage, when it is so dark and so silent there should be nothing to stir him from sleep, he lies awake. At first he is still, so still it must be purposeful with measured shallow breaths and even the tips of his fingers not moving. But before long the inevitable happens and he carefully rolls to his side. It makes it feel like the blood in is rushing and sloshing in his head and a hand darts up to hold it, as though pressure might keep the pain contained. A soft little moan escapes gritted teeth against his will.

After three days of sitting up beside Enkavi's cot in the Infirmary, Thea slumbers deeply, curled on her side, finally comforted to have both her bed and her love beside her. Over the past few days she has developed an ear attuned to the nuances of Enkavir's breathing and stirrings. He turns and she awakes, groggy but alert. She waits; he moans and she uncurls, sits up carefully so she doesn't move the mattress and jar him. She leans over to peer in the darkness at him, one hand gently feels for his shoulder. Softly, her voice sleep-furred, "Kav, are you all right?"

Enkavir tries to get his breathing right as soon as Thea uncurls but it's too late. At her touch he quickly drops the hand from his head and lifts it to cover her fingers instead. "I'm fine, go back to sleep." But she heard him, that's what woke her up, so he relents. "I just have a headache and I'm having trouble sleeping. You need your rest though. I'll be alright." Without moving his head he tries to encourage her back into that curled up position, using his free hand to tug at her shoulder, urging her down beside him. "I'm sorry I woke you. I was really trying to be quiet."

Thea is having none of that, still sleepy-voiced. "Hush. I know you were." She peels his fingers off of her shoulder. "Be still, you're moving too much." Says she, though he likely really isn't. "Healers gave me something for you to take just in case." She doesn't ask whether he wants it or not. She lifts the covers and slips carefully out of the bed, pads to the cupboards. There's the sound of the door creaking, the clink of a mug on the counter. Silence as she pads to the fireplace and removes a small kettle hanging over the coals. She returns a few moments later to Enkavir's side. "Can you raise yourself just a bit?" She's beginning to shiver in the chill air.

Enkavir isn't going to fight her, not tonight, so his hand just falls limply back to the mattress. "You… love, you don't need to go running around in your nightclothes. I could get myself whatever that is or they wouldn't have let me out of the infirmary." He's not exactly chasing after her in any way but with words though, and when she asks him to raise himself he seems to brace for the moment. It's not as bad as all that though, and he squishes the pillow up behind him, pushing himself up to sitting. "You're cold too. Hand me that and get back under the covers. I'm not going to be a very good nurse if you get sick." He manages a faint little grin and pats the bed at his side.

Thea reaches for one of Enkavir's hands, patting about for a moment before she finds it and guides it to the steaming mug, held handle-out for him to grab. "It's willowsalic and some other things." Wintergeen, the tang of citrus and some other herbs waft up in the steam as she lets go of the cup. Once she is sure he's got it, she slips back into the bed, snuggling beside him, pulling the covers up as she eases to lean against both the headboard and his side.

Trying to be helpful backfires as Enkavir tries to find Thea's hand and ends up missing it entirely. Just a moment of patting around gets them together and he wraps both long-fingered hands around the mug. "Thank you," he murmurs as he pulls it close to his chest, inhaling the fragrant steam before letting his head lean back against the pillows behind him. "It actually smells really good, which must be some sort of miracle." Her snuggling brings a smile to his mouth and after taking a sip he settles the mug on his lap so he can slide a hand into her hair. "Thank you for taking such good care of me. How are you feeling?"

For a long moment Thea doesn't answer. As Enkavir's fingers tangle in her hair, she leans her head into the hollow of his shoulder, "Better-" Her voice is husky with feeling and she swallows before finishing, "Now that you are." Not referring to his current headache obviously. Then a hesitant, "I was afraid…" An unusual admission for this goldie. One hand sneaks up to curl chilled fingers in the crook of his elbow, avoiding interference with that tea. She rubs his arm gently, her hand warming slowly. "It was hard seeing you like that."

Enkavir takes another slow sip, then blows a cooling stream of air over the surface of the hot liquid. "This actually tastes almost as good as it smells. Whoever mixed this up deserves a promotion." Since taste is really what makes a good Healer. His little quippy comment is lost in an awkward clearing of the throat as Thea gets all husky sounding. "Oh, sweetheart." Careful not to slosh his drink he bends to drop a kiss in her dark hair. "I'm sorry you had to go through that. I'm sorry I'm such an idiot to get injured that way. It's… humbling to say the least." His dry tone hints that 'mortifying' might be a more accurate descriptor. "But I /am/ doing much better now. I don't remember the actual injury still but I remember going with you to the stables, so that's something."

"Oh don't." It's a soft growl. "Wasn't your fault, so don't apologize." Thea quiets after this, allowing him time to drink. "I'm glad you remember. Something. And very glad you didn't forget-" She leaves that unfinished, instead, "Rogawani is taking it very hard, Kav." Her hand tightens just a bit as she says this, "He seems to feel he could have prevented it." She laughs softly, "And Seryth wants the runner's hide." So if a certain black runner disappears from the paddock one afternoon…

Enkavir arches a brow down at Thea. "Don't think that just because I'm injured and weak I can't still take you, weyrwoman." He's teasing though, in response to that growl. He continues to make progress with the medicinal drink, absently stroking fingers through her hair. "If it's anyone's fault it was mine I'm sure though I don't remember the details. I'll have to go find Rogawani and talk to him maybe even tomorrow. It's certainly not his fault." He sips, then lets out a soft chuckle. "Seryth and her taste for runners… though in this case I can't say I'd complain."

Thea's lips curve in the darkness, pleased at the teasing. "I think not, but you can conveniently save face and claim you're not in the mood, since you've a headache tonight." She laughs softly, it's almost a barely-there sound, as is her voice, kept to a low murmur to avoid jarring his poor head. "Seryth just wants revenge this time. She was pretty upset." Her voice catches slightly, but then dosen't elaborate. Instead her free hand joins her other, resting on Enkavir's arm lightly. "Rogawani was injured too."

Enkavir's mouth opens but nothing comes out for a minute, before he reaches down to poke lightly at Thea's side. "I meant beat you up, silly. Take you down for using that tone of voice with me. I'd never use a headache as an excuse." His grin is teasing but warm beneath, until she goes back to Seryth and the runner. "She was upset too? Poor girl. I just have a knack for spreading misery I guess." He tips his head. "Yeah, Ro's leg right? How is it?"

Thea jumps slightly at that side-poke, giggling softly, "I knew what you meant." Smug satisfaction in her voice with her success in baiting Enkavir being only part of the reason. She merely nods to his question about Seryth, then banters back playfully, "It's nice to know you have a talent and use in life then, isn't it? Folks need a bit of misery now and then to keep them grounded." She smiles in the dark adding a cheerful, " Ro's leg is healing nicely. He doesn't like fussing, though, so I don't ask him. I check with the healers." She's devious like that. "How's your headache?"

Enkavir grins down at the giggle and nestles his hand back more safely in her hair. "Mmm hmm. One of these days I'm going to needle back you know." It's a threatening little growl but it's utterly ruined by the soft smile on his lips. "And by the way, I have several talents as you should be well aware. Among them, getting directly in the path of really irritated enormous runners, apparently." He drains the mug then leans carefully to put it on the side table without making his head pound. "I'm glad to hear that. Though I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate you checking up on him that way either. The headache's feeling a little better."

"So you keep threatening." Thea sounds falsely terrified with a mock-shudder of fear. She can't keep it up though, her soft laugh ruins it. "I much prefer to think of those other talents," She adds with a purr in her voice as his fingers work their way through her hair. He's finishing that mug and she hears it clink on the side table. She merely shrugs about checking with the Healers. “I needed -some- peace of mind.” Little defensive, there in her tone. She’s feeling guilty?

Enkavir just lets out a breath of laughter at her terror and shakes his head. "Idle threats are the best kind you know." Her purr has him shifting, sliding down to lay beside her as he rearranges the pillows. He turns to face her, keeping his fingers buried in her hair. "Hmm. Well, you are sort of like his big sister and I suppose that's the kind of thing big sisters do. And really if he doesn't find out about it's probably less annoying to him than having you check in on him so often." He sighs, snuggling down under the blankets. "I sort of like you hovering over me though. It's the only pleasant part of being under the weather."

"Hmm, maybe." Thea mulls this over, "I don't think he likes any kind of fussing over him. I think he's been far too used to being the least favorite in his home." She is indignant on his behalf. She turns her head towards him when he lies down, even though she cannot see him with a short laugh, "You did, huh? Well at least someone benefitted." She is quiet for a few moments, her hand lifts in the dark to trace his cheek with her fingertips. "Kav? Do you think you should send word home about your accident?"

Enkavir arches a brow quizzically but it's likely hard to see in the dark. It may come out in the timbre of his voice though as he murmurs, "I thought he sort of liked the freedom of it. The ability to be a messenger and go wherever he likes. Maybe that's just the way it comes off to me though." He grins then, nuzzling closer and laying a gentle hand on her waist. "Not like I need to be sick to have you around. You seem to stay pretty close regardless." He blinks then, the silence loud as he stops short. "Um. My home?" It's as if the thought has caught him completely off guard.

"Hmm, I think some he does, and some… bothers him deep inside, but he'll never admit it." It is how Thea sees him, anyway. Her breath catches as he comes closer, "I do. You don't mind?" Subtle uncertainty laces her voice. She is aware of his stillness almost immediately, attuned as she has become to his breathing, "Your family.'' She nods in the darkness and waits, her fingers still as well and her hand moves to rest upon his chest, "I felt for your heartbeat that first night and kept thinking if it stopped who-" She stops short. From the clearing there is a soft croon, muted by the walls of the cottage. "-who would I send word to?"

"Huh." Enkavir's single word falls into a puddle of thoughtful silence. "Not that I can ever say that to him, or ask him about it. I don't think we have that sort of… relationship." By the end he's sort of drily amused, but then he chuckles softly, almost huskily at the catch of her breath. "I don't mind at all. With anyone else I might, but never with you." He lifts his head, slowly and carefully, at the croon and then he covers Thea's hand with his own. "Well my parents are at Black Rock Hold, and they would want to know. I haven't been close with them since I was 13 though."

"I'm glad." Thea says it simply for the tone of her voice says the rest. She listens to him speak of his family then and in the darkness there is no way to see his face, his eyes. "You haven't." Not a question, not a judgment, her voice is carefully neutral. "I'm sorry to hear it. You've never mentioned them. Is that why?" Careful not to press she adds, "You don't have to tell me, if you don't want to." She snuggles closer as if to lend strength, comfort. Uncertain which direction to go she softly adds, "I am interested if you do, though."

It isn't the sort of thing that would be obvious to just anyone, but the darkness tends to make other senses heightened, and Thea is generally tuned in to Enkavir. There is the slightest increase in tension, muscles tightening ever so slightly across his shoulders, a bit more pressure where his hand covers hers. "It's not… it's not a big deal, really. I went to be an apprentice, that's all. And then I wasn't one any more and I went to Ierne, and pretty soon after that to Grandfather's cothold to help him out, and then I came here. They stayed at Black Rock and lived their lives, you know? I don't have any siblings so… they just lived their lives."

Thea can feel the tension underneath her hand, for the muscles transmit some of it. "Their only son." In her voice is the longing of someone who has had everything but then lost it. Perhaps she imagines his so. "They must have missed you when you first left?" There's a breathless, barely-there quality to the question as if the asking of it will close a door that she doesn't want to slam shut.

Enkavir takes a deep breath in through his nose, out the same way. "Not really their only child though. My father had his own apprentices, his deckhands and bilge boys. My mother had all of the Hold's children. If they missed me they never said so. But I don't know that I really missed them either, not the way you… the way you wish I did or the way you wish they did. It wasn't ever like that." He shifts his weight in the bed, leans to put his forehead against hers. "Don't be sad though, my Thea. Here is the only place I've ever belonged. Right here." A pat of her hand against his chest emphasizes the words. "And I'm not sad."

For a long time Thea is silent, "You think I wish it were different? It that how I seem?" Her voice holds some wonder, "I…don't. Not if you and they are at peace with it. Maybe you're picking up on something I'm thinking of my own family." He is so near and she smiles although he cannot see it. The words he speaks ring true to her, "Then I am not sad, either, Kav."

Enkavir shrugs, the motions communicated through shifts against her. "Your tone just made it seem like… if they missed me it would be good and if they didn't it would be, I don't know. Sad maybe? What do you wish were different in your own family?" Her smile might not be seen, but by now even the darkness isn't impossible to pierce and it always lightens her tone at least a bit. "Good then. Even if I'm using you as my home? Following along behind you without really returning much to Xanadu?"

"It's always hard to know how people feel about things until they tell you," Thea points out, "How would you have me sound callous? Flippant? That's not my way, Kav." His question to her causes a bit of tension of her own and for a moment she holds her breath, unaware that she's doing so. "I was never close with my father, could never talk to him. And I wish it was different. I think all this-" She pauses, "-seeing you hurt and seeing how hard Ro took it has made me miss my little brother, we were close." In the darkness her head tilts, "Sad because you feel I am your home? No it doesn't. You are fast becoming mine." The warmth is there in her voice for him to hear.

"As always, you do have a point there. I wasn't upset at you for wishing that for me, if you did. I can understand wishing for the best for the one you love, and if in your head parents who love you and follow you through life is the best… well then there you have it." He pauses, shakes his head though it's a faint and careful motion. "That sounds sort of silly doesn't it? Parents who love you /is/ the best thing. I just don't regret the way my life has been. I do wish you could see your brother though. Can't we go visit?" He says 'we' as though his presence is a given. And then she speaks the last and he leans in to give her a soft kiss. "Lucky us. We're like Traders. Home is wherever we are and we never have to leave it for long."

"I am not really sure exactly how I was feeling, to tell you the truth. Maybe it's an unconscious wish everyone has that others they love have the things they lacked?" Thea isn't really sure. "But when I can know you aren't hurting over something specifically then I am free not to hurt for you in that one part, if that makes sense?" She pauses, thinking about his question, "We could, yeah. Visit High Reaches area, show you my home…I think you'd like my brother."

Enkavir gives her another little peck on the corner of her mouth. "That is sweet, as you always are. And you don't need to hurt for me in that one part any more. Now I just get to hurt that way for you, instead." He's lightly teasing, broken by a yawn. The tea must be doing its job because he wiggles down into the covers and wraps his arms around her and starts to drift. "I'd like that. Your home and your brother, see where you grew up." Even as he's saying the last he's yawning again, not bothering to muffle it, and his eyes slip closed.

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