A Sticky Situation

Xanadu Weyr - Hali's and Darsce's Room

This is one of the many windowless, standard shared rooms hewn from the same rock edifice that also forms the living caverns. The walls have been painted a sheer olive green, the color so light it's barely discernible while white-painted ceiling, doors and trim brighten the small room, large enough to squeeze two single cots and a dresser in. It comes with a six-foot high niche carved in one wall that serves as a closet, hinged wooden double doors fold open to allow access to the clothing hanging within and shut to disguise the chaos that reigns after having been riffled through. In one corner there's an oval, antique-brass-framed, full-length mirror, while in the other an ivory-colored overstuffed easy-chair is situated. Serving to cushion bare feet from chill stone is a pretty tapestry rug that reaches nearly to the perimeters of the room, the floral and leaf motif mostly dark olive with touches of gold, fuschia, peacock-blue and smoky-toned purple.

If kept neat, this would be a sophisticated and stylishly feminine-looking abode. Alas, while Hali's bed is made, teal and fushia pillows on her gold bedspread neatly arranged and her side of the room clutter-free, Darsce's side looks like a bomb went off in it. Coverlets are usually left rumpled and thrown back, pillows scattered anywhere BUT on the bed, piles of clothing discarded there instead as well as heaped on the chair and floor while searching for the perfect outfit for the day - the rug is usually but barely glimpsed underneath the carpet of cast-off clothing. The nearest half of the nightstand between the two beds is cluttered with hairbrush, nail polish, make up, jewelry, bottles of perfume, an empty klah mug or two and who knows what else. C'est la vie!

Luraoth has risen, flown well and returned to her Weyr, leaving to subside the ripple of reaction in those old enough -or awake enough to be aware. It's midday now, somewhere after lunch in the Crafters Complex when a dark-haired, thirty-something female enters, looking about with a frown. She's just off her shift, hot, sweaty and tired so the general expression on her face is one of irritation as she regards the lounge area, places balled hands on her hips and says loudly, "Is there a techcrafter in the house?" Then she adds, "Please?"

Jethaniel's day - when defined to begin according to the point when he left his room, which is a logical point from which to describe it; certainly, it would be implausible for any external observer to assess a point other than that - has been a busy one. It involved some time at his desk, but in this post-lunch interval, he is passing through the lounge as part of a series of craft assessments. The request makes him pause, turning toward the woman asking. "Ah." He's prompt to answer the call. It's probably a good sign? "Yes," he says, which is a true statement but may not imply what she expects. "Is something broken?" he postulates, given her expression.

The young woman hones in on that 'ah' and marches over to the person who answers. "Oh yes, something's broken alright." She's barely resisting the roll of dark eyes - not at him, mind. At what's broken. She's also looking to his tool belt? Kit? Whatever he's got. "Can you please follow me?" She'll wait, if he needs to go grab something but her toe is tapping. When he's ready, she'll make for the door, striding in a rapid clip across the clearing towards the caverns. "I hope you've got something that can cut metal." That's all. No thanks, no name, just the snorted comment.

Jethaniel has a clipboard. As toolsets go, it is not overly impressive, the theoretical utility of a pen aside. He raises an eyebrow at the information that something is broken. "Oh?" he asks, because under an ideal circumstance, it would be useful to have further information regarding the nature of the problem. Actually, under an ideal circumstance, he would delegate this task to someone who does not have other duties. That - and not an intention to obtain tools - is what has him, given that lack of useful data, ducking back to the techcraft lab. Once there, however, he discovers that the workshop is empty save for a class being taught, and as the education of that many apprentices is plausibly more important than his time - assuming the problem is a brief one - he picks up a standard kit for diagnostics and basic repairs. Either it will suffice, or he can use that pen to take notes about what will be needed for it to be fixed - by someone else. The steward does have other things to do. Jethaniel follows after her, and her revelation makes those brows lift further. "That depends on the metal in question."

The young woman grimaces. "Heavy-duty metal tape. I think." That's what it looked like to her anyway! She either did not want to say with the other crafters listening in, or simply didn't think to elaborate back there where the techcrafter could have grabbed the appropriate tool. "My sister got tangled up with it." Putting it mildly, "She's stuck tight." And she heaves a not-so-very longsuffering sigh. "I couldn't get it off."

"Ah," Jethaniel says to the revelation concerning the nature of the metallic object. "That is likely resolvable." The qualifier is necessary, because it is possible he will not be able to resolve the situation with the equipment he has on hand. That will depend on the precise circumstances. Either it will be resolvable (by him, now) or else… "It may require some further resources." He has not checked the precise contents of his toolkit, but… ah, well… "In a worst-case scenario…" and Jethaniel trails off again, doubtless considering such a scenario. "…strategic use of a hacksaw…" On… what? The sister?

Resolvable. The young woman sidelong-eyes the man walking beside her. What sort of tech is he??? "I hope so!" she says, her voice suddenly high-pitched with the effort not to giggle. Hacksaw? Maybe on the… no, she's doesn't pipe up and say. Instead, she marches them through the caverns and down the back resident's hallway where she finally stops, opens a door and announces, "Your rescuer is here!" She flourishes a hand to him to enter.

The scene meeting the eye? A room for two, one side neat and orderly, the other chaos. In the disorderly side is a young woman, her silver-blonde hair in disarray, sitting on the floor with her knees drawn up under her chin, which is resting upon them. It is Darsce. One arm encircles her knees, the other is… tethered by the wrist to the leg of her bed by shiny silver tape. She lifts her head to see who this rescuer is. The look in iceblue eyes is a wary one akin to a wild creature backed into a corner - until she spots the man. Then her mouth opens, shuts just as quickly and she drops her forehead to her knees. Not, however, quickly enough for the pink flush to her cheeks to be clearly seen.

An efficient sort of tech? Though, given that he also appears to be the sort who will leave his intended plans behind in order to answer a request for aid from (and for) an unknown person, it is likely Jethaniel does not actually intend any harm to life or limb. He is merely considering possibilities. The distracting nature of such thoughts may be why he does not recognize the back hall they're traveling along - for he's been down this way before. He's even been inside, and yet he crosses the threshold before he makes the connection. He does not, in fact, make that connection until his gaze settles on the person in need of assistance. Jethaniel stops. His eyes widen. "Ah," he says, and it's a half-strangled sound from somewhere in his throat. For a moment, he simply stares… but Jethaniel is here to help, and after he has asserted that fact to himself once more, he crosses the room. His steps are not the quick stride with which he crossed the clearing, but something far slower and more hesitant. He attempts to keep his eyes on that taped wrist, instead of - as they are inclined to - looking toward that lowered head. He says nothing more. When he reaches her, he lowers himself to one knee, facing her but still attempting to keep his eyes on her wrist.

Oh quite! But it was the 'this is likely resolvable' that prompted the nearly hysterical giggle. Becaaaause the alternative is… almost too implausible to consider. The elder of the two residents then slips in behind the techcrafter-rescuer, crosses to her side of the room, snags a bathrobe and a bucket of bathing supplies. "You kids have fun. I'm going to bathe," she drawls and…she's gone, shutting the door behind her. It's been a hot, steamy shift in the laundry and she is SO out of here!

"Haaaaaallllliiiii!" That's from Darsce, head once again raised as her sister abandons her. They are alone. Iceblue eyes flit to Jethaniel. Her hand is fine other than being immobilized. She reaches to tug at the metal tape with the other hand. The usually perfectly-shaped, manicured nails of that hand are all broken off at the fingertips. He's silent, so is she, save to say meekly, "I…couldn't get it off after." After what? She does not say.

In a worst case, Jethaniel will merely deconstruct the bed, piece by piece. Hence, the hacksaw. He glances back to… Hali?… briefly as she makes her escape, but does not say anything. Her presence here is not, as such, required, because he is here to help Darsce. He is here to help Darsce, and as he looks back, his eyes meet hers for a moment. His are still wide, with an emotion that edges the space between worry and fear, and they meet Darsce's for only a moment before lowering. This initial motion is merely to stop meeting her gaze; it is only afterwards that those grey eyes track over to once more observe the taped wrist and that other hand. He nods to her words. "It is…" Jethaniel swallows. "…designed so." The tape, that is, "To remain in place." He does not request further details, instead setting down his toolkit on the floor and opening it. His gaze lowers further, to look within, where there are a variety of metal tools and sharp things, as well as another roll of that tape - often useful, but not in this circumstance - and a few bottles with densely-printed labels.

Darsce's eyes dance away from Jethaniel's almost as soon as they meet his. In the back of her mind, she's puzzling over the expression in his but she can't find the words to form the question she wants to ask. What's the fear about? She's mortified over the situation, that's clear from the color lingering on her cheeks. Although when he lowers his head to search his toolkit, despite the fact that it's been some hours since… she stares and her thoughts— are jerked back to now. She swallows hard, flushes red and mutters, "That's why I… yeah." It performed. The resin adhesive of sticky to sticky is impossible to peel apart. "It's not… what you might think!" she blurts out into the awkward silence. Maybe it's more like what her father might think. She does not elaborate.

That's why Darsce… what? Jethaniel does not ask, though he does bend his head a little further down, despite that optimization not being, as such, required for his search through the toolkit. It makes some of his hair fall forward, obscuring his features. "…indeed," he says quietly in answer to that yeah, as an affirmative should provide a suitable response to another affirmative. They are, evidently, in agreement about… whatever it is they are agreeing about. Jethaniel - for once - does not appear inclined to precisely specify. He selects one of those bottles from within the kit, and begins to open it before pausing. Jethaniel looks up at Darsce, dark hair still hanging partially over his face. "…what might I think?" The question is a soft one, and his eyes remain lifted as his fingers continue unscrewing the bottle's cap.

Well yeah, the what part regarding the tape sufficing to its function is obvious. It not only worked, but it might be deduced that the placement tape was not… happenstance but rather deliberate. It's not like she has any reason to be in possession of high tensile metallic tape and she did not just trip with it in hand and accidentally tangle in it. Darsce has tipped her head down after that outburst, allowing for the sweep of tangled silver-blonde strands to screen her face. What might he think? "I don't know!" Yes she does. This looks… bad. "I wasn't doing something… kinky," she chokes, adding "I was here… by myself. " She manages the clarification red-cheeked, with a flick of iceblue eyes to his - through two curtains of hair, light and dark - it's hard to tell the expressions thereof.

Evidence would seem to indicate that Darsce had a reason to be in possession of that tape. If she did not… the tape would not be present. She does, however, lack any legitimate reason, according to many standards thereof. The use of such tape is not part of any tasks to which she is assigned. While it is not a restricted article - there are no regulations concerning its application and storage - neither is it in common use. Evidence would also indicate that this application of it was not accidental. "Ah." That is his statement for Darsce's lack of knowledge, and he looks down again, setting the cap of that bottle aside. It is, technically, true that she does not know; Jethaniel's thoughts are his own. He is, at this moment, somewhat grateful for that fact, even if… he frowns slightly, then looks up to Darsce again as she reduces the possibility space for any retrospective speculation he may choose to engage. "I believe," he says, with a face studiedly neutral and his tone one of careful calm, "that it would be more comfortable on top of the bed." His eyes flick away to her wrist. It does appear quite effectively secured. "Presuming that were the intent." Comfort, he means; it might not, necessarily, be. Jethaniel displays the extent to which his calm is a pretense as he swallows, then lifts the bottle and his eyes. "This is a solvent." These words are easier. "It will reduce the adhesion. I…" Harder again. "…am going to apply it." As Darsce's wrist is attached to Darsce, he will - in order to apply this solvent - be required to lean in close to her. The presence of the bed further reduces the space which it is possible for Jethaniel to occupy. He will have to lean very close, and he hesitates for a moment before he does so. As a techcrafter, it is an understandable necessity for the performance of his intended task, and yet Jethaniel cannot compartmentalize sufficiently to avoid the knowledge that this is Darsce.

Where is her casual, flippancy today? Darsce cannot summon it. Her cheeks are warm again as she just nods about the top of the bed being a more comfortable place for… She's reducing the possibilities for why the tape but not saying why exactly she'd used it. Yet it's important to her to make sure he knows it wasn't because of … that. She continues to watch him through the fringe of hair as he speaks of solvent, notes his throat work to have that swallow, but she also notes the careful neutrality. It's a mixed message, one she reads as distaste. Maybe now he's finally- "I told you I would be trouble," she murmurs dipping her head to await the application of the solvent.

Under many circumstances in which Jethaniel was curious about something, he would ask. It is often an effective means of obtaining information, and can resolve ambiguity or misunderstandings. It is, in fact, one of the few possible means for obtaining information regarding intentionality and the reasoning of others as anything other than speculation. Jethaniel does not ask. He hesitates, the bottle in his hand and his eyes drifting back to her wrist, then flicks his gaze to her lowering head as she speaks. "I hope you locked the door." His control over his voice slips for that; there's a strong (if ambiguous) emotion to the words. Urgency, perhaps, for all the moment is past. Jethaniel drags his gaze away as soon as he's spoken, and leans in across Darsce. His body is mere inches from hers as he bends down to carefully drip the solvent in around the tape connecting her wrist to the bedpost, but Jethaniel keeps his eyes on what he is doing.

Perhaps not having to field awkward questions might be a relief but Darsce doesn't enjoy that luxury. And yet… she can't make herself say why she's taped herself to the bedpost. It's summer, her cutoff shorts and sleeveless shirt were chosen to ward off the heat. Her clothing should be enough to keep her from overheating but not chill her. It doesn't explain why the shiver ripples her frame as Jethaniel leans across her. Despite her resolve not to, she lifts her head to watch - not the dripping of the solvent, but his face. She makes a strangled sound when he mentions the door. Let's try this again. "Yeah," she gets out, sounding like she's trying to hold her breath. "Hali used her key to get in." So she found her like this, stared, rolled her eyes, threw her hands in the air and stalked out to find help.

Jethaniel's breathing, as he leans in over Darsce, is fairly even. His urge to breathe slowly - to calm himself - is tempered by how Darsce's proximity makes his breath want to quicken (hence, the need to calm himself) and the chemical scent of the solvent making him disinclined to wish to hold the air in his nose. Not that he is unfamiliar with the smell of the chemical, nor is it - by tech standards - a particularly unpleasant one. Perhaps Darsce finds it so, and that is why she's holding her breath. Jethaniel does not look up, despite the information that might provide. A small frown lingers about his mouth, and there's a tightness of concern - or perhaps focus? - around his eyes. He nods once. "Good." The door was locked. What Darsce chose to do behind her locked door… she was alone. There was not… but Jethaniel does not say what. After that one word, he is silent once again. This is, at first, reasonable, as he is focusing on the application of the solvent, but the silence will begin to stretch on once again as he waits for it to work.

The scent of fingernail polish that Darsce oft applies and the acetone she uses to remove it have preconditioned her to accept the fumes from the solvent. In fact, it might even be the same agent, though a stronger concentration thereof. That is not what's making her hold her breath but rather something else - something she's trying - and failing - to suppress as the moments tick by. She continues to watch him as he focuses on his work, finding the frown and tightness disconcerting and the silence does indeed stretch. This is awkwaaaaard. She knows he knows. That must be why he's asked the question. She tries to sit still, fails and begins to fidget, anxiety setting in now that the effects of the flight have eased. Holding her breath is increasingly difficult, of course she has to breathe but that doesn't account for the quickening of shallow breaths. Her control crumbles, she tugs against the tape holding her wrist which holds yet, and her reaction is to lunge against the restraint as an almost-whine escapes her.

The flight is over, but Jethaniel nevertheless keeps his eyes limited to Darsce's wrist. Her hand - that hand - still has elegantly shaped nails at the ends of those slim fingers. He notes their color today, because he cannot stop himself from noting it. He has time; the solvent is slow to work. The chemical process itself is moderately fast, but the issue is the penetration of that chemical through the layered adhesive. The interaction of chemical and physical processes is complex. The problem facing Jethaniel - an interaction of psychological and social processes - is, quite possibly, more so. While he waits he has little to do but consider on it. He has noted her nails. He avoids noting other things, by keeping his gaze on her hand. This is partially successful, until she begins to tug at the tape. Jethaniel sees the tensing of her muscles for that pull, and his mouth opens - and she jerks against it, making that sound. There's an answering one, down in Jethaniel's throat somewhere, and he lifts his head to seek her eyes and reaches out with his hand all in one motion. His hand goes to her shoulder, fingers curving around and holding it - her - in place. The frown is gone, his expression simplified to the widened eyes and slightly parted lips of reactive concern.

Darsce's shapely nails this day are a shimmery golden hue. Ironic that she chose that color last night when painting them. Her hand is the same as always, a creamy complexion to the soft skin, long slim fingers - a hand well-cared for. Darsce wouldn't think it would merit quite so much study but while aware he's avoiding her eyes for some reason, isn't focused on that. She's not quite flailing - the hand on her shoulder keeps her in place against the bed frame - but she's managed to hyperventilate and her eyes have a wild edge to them. Not fear, exactly, just the irrational that says she's held it together as long as she can. "I can't…" Can't breathe? She is breathing but it feels like she isn't getting air. Can't be still? Oh yes. Can't explain? Can't understand? E - all of the above.

Jethaniel could study that hand for hours, given the opportunity, but that is not the issue here. (Or is it? His thoughts… are less important than Darsce's reaction in this moment.) He sets the bottle down, though he does not look at it as he does so. His eyes are no longer avoiding Darsce's, instead seeking those blue ones. His hand on her shoulder remains; his other hand lifts to her other shoulder, a stable presence - or at least, the impression thereof. He is, in fact, leaned against the bedframe in a somewhat awkward position, but he ignores that as he gives a small shake of his head. It comes after her statement, but is meant, not as negation, but to toss back his hair to let the earnest grey of his eyes show through. "What do you need?" A question. He follows it by a statement, given one of the suppositions he could make for possible thesis sentences in her answering essay. "I will have you free soon."

Still through the fringe of silver-blonde stands, Darsce's eyes are wide, fixed upon Jethaniel. She nods, her tugging stops but her breathing doesn't slow one iota. The fingers of both hands begin to curl and her gaze wavers to them in puzzled fashion, back to Jethaniel's eyes. "Help," she gasps between breaths. "Dizzy." She can't think, can't get the breath to talk, doesn't know what she needs! She's getting too much oxygen in her system, which oddly only exacerbates the problem. Essay answer? If only she could!

Jethaniel nods, his gaze flicking down from Darsce's eyes to her lips, to her chest (to see her breathing, not because… of other reasons) and back to her eyes. Jethaniel is not a healer. However… "Breathe with me. In." He inhales, to demonstrate. Slowly. A silent count of five. "Out." Even slower. A count of ten. And then - whether she's managed to do it or not - he'll repeat the instructions and the breathing to accompany them. His fingers tense slightly against her shoulders with the inhalations, relaxing with the exhalations, and his eyes remain on hers. Either this will help, or she'll pass out and… it'll be Jethaniel's turn to tell the healers that this isn't what they think.

Or with all this deep breathing they'll both get high on the solvent fumes and the healers will think the worst. Darsce will try anything. She's scared! But she trusts Jethaniel and so she follows his demonstration - or tries to. She's keeping her eyes locked on him, the earnest calm of his grey eyes is her lifeline right now. Her first breaths are gasped too fast, though slower than they had been. Gradually she gets to where she's keeping pace with him and her fingers slowly relax from the involuntary contractions. Limp, spent, she allows her head to rest against the mattress behind her as the muscles in her shoulders under Jethaniel's hands change from tension to soft relaxation. She swallows hard, "I'm sorry."

It is true that Darsce's bedroom does not have excessive ventilation, and as such, that chemical is doubtless not being entirely beneficial to their lungs… but the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is a more important factor to consider. Jethaniel uses the instructions as a source of calm, applied stringently to himself and projected to Darsce. The fact that she does not immediately achieve them is expected. He calls no attention to this fact - when does he ever? - merely continues the slow breaths and descriptions thereof until she does match him. If the situation worsens - but it does not, and so Jethaniel's crisis-response calm - refined over turns of sometimes-explosive technical work - is not further tested. As he feels the tension in her fade, the breath he's exhaling finishes on a ragged note. Nine. His eyes close for a moment, then open. Eleven. His mouth works, silent for a moment. He… cannot simply apologize to her apology. He should move his hands, but though the touch becomes lighter… he does not. He should get her free, but first… still looking at her, he asks. "…for what?"

This is the first time Darsce has ever trapped herself somewhere she cannot run away from. It has proved a wise decision and yet… he wouldn't look at her. Or talk to her. And there's the incidental of taking him from his work, which she won't mention because she knows he'd have come regardless, so she says, "For the… mess." Whatever it is, that should cover it right? "And because you're upset. I can tell." Her mouth pulls to one side. It's more grimace than frown. "I told you I'd be trouble." But she doesn't make the offer to leave Xanadu. She does add honestly, "I wouldn't be happy anywhere you weren't." Iceblue eyes remain on his. Please, they say, talk to me.

At the mention of that mess, Jethaniel's eyes move down for a moment, regarding the tape and the open bottle of solvent. He should likely close that bottle once again, but that would require him to remove his hands from Darsce, and as she continues to speak, he instead looks up to her and meets her eyes once more. The mention of his being upset brings a slight frown, and then the frown eases as his head tilts down but his eyes remain lifted. It might be an acknowledgment that she can, in fact, tell. Furthermore… "You did." His head tilts up once again, and he does not look away, but he is silent for a moment. Even Darsce's projected lack of happiness does not draw an immediate response. He is not, however, oblivious to the look in her eyes, and after a moment, he swallows. "I am… not used to flights." That, he says while meeting her gaze, but then he lowers his head. "I am glad you are…" He trails off into silence, and his hands leave her shoulders, reaching for the bottle to screw the cap back into place. Jethaniel does not look up after doing so. "What I might think is irrelevant." He frowns - at himself, and at what he has thought.

Darsce knows about the flight effects and repercussions on her parents, but firsthand? "I wasn't when I first came here," Darsce says lowly while meeting his eyes. "Papa saved my ass the first time. I wasn't ready for the… obsession." Literally. "Mostly it's the goldflights and there's only been three or four of those." Including this morning's. "I… hide. This morning I…" Her head drops to the forearm she has draped across her knees, "needed the tape." So yeah, that's new. She doesn't say why though. The hands leave her shoulders and her head jerks up. She said too much and… Wait there's that comment and frown. "Not to me," she says of irrelevant. But she won't press if he would rather not say.

Jethaniel nods slightly to Darsce's expression of her own initial inexperience, keeping his gaze on hers. There's a twitch of his lips toward a frown at her description of that first time, but the concern in his grey eyes implies that it does not consist of any displeasure with Darsce herself, and the frown does not last long, easing as he nods regarding the widespread effects of these flights being primarily limited to those of the golds. He has been here at the Weyr for some turns, and conducted informal observations of his own. Hiding is… not entirely dissimilar to his own reactions, but the mention of that tape makes Jethaniel swallow. He may - does - think certain things. He creates theories; suppositions for reasons why the tape might be necessary. These may - do, he expects - contain errors, and yet he is incapable of not drawing conclusions, just as he was incapable of not… the bottle is set down, though his gaze remains downcast. Darsce's correction, however, makes Jethaniel look up. Certain of his thoughts assuredly involve her. Many of them, in fact, though there are multiple regards in which they do so, and yet. "You did not ask me." As such, he should not attempt to enforce - or even define - his opinions. He should not, in fact, say, "But I am glad you were here alone." Having so said, Jethaniel lowers his head once again, and reaches into the toolkit. This is primarily an excuse, to explain why his gaze is lowered. He does not make much progress towards obtaining an appropriate tool, and after a time, his fingers stop entirely.

Talking is… awkward and yet it's keeping her mind off of her inability to be free of the furniture. So the tape. It's kinda there in plain sight. That's why he's here. Darsce would like to pretend it doesn't exist, but no, that's not an option. Her cheeks are still warm from admitting that she needed it as her head lifts to regard Jethaniel. There are many questions Darsce has not asked him. Some haven't occurred to her; others simply remain unvoiced and wondered about. It's possible there are some she may never ask. She was here alone; nobody came looking for her, for example. She doesn't ask why he didn't. He knew where her door was. Not that she would have been able to answer that door if- And that would have been even more… problematic. "I didn't but-" she begins only to stop when he continues. Oh. The admission causes blue eyes to widen and a half-regretful. half-pleased smile to trace her lips. Several seconds of watching his bowed head and still fingers tick by. "You weren't in your office," she blurts, having become tensed once more. Admission? Question? Perhaps both!

Jethaniel is here because a problem was presented him wherein an undisclosed person was tangled in metallic tape. The discovery that the person was Darsce - and the implications and inferences derived from that fact - have made things more complicated. Even seemingly simple statements may, through their ambiguity, become complex. Darsce did not ask him for his opinions. Nor did she ask him for his… presence, nor any of the other things she might have; the things he thought of and both did and did not wish. "I was not," Jethaniel acknowledges. "I…" His lips tug slightly upward. "…hid in my room." He does not volunteer the location thereof. There is an asymmetry here, given that he knows the location of Darsce's room but she does not know the location of his. He nevertheless does not volunteer details concerning that location. Perhaps it shall be another of those many questions Darsce has? Jethaniel's smile - such as it is - does not last for long, but his face is more relaxed afterward, and his fingers start moving again, selecting a thin-bladed, serrated tool. He glances up to Darsce. "I am going to cut the tape." That she needed, because… "Please hold still." The words are a techcrafter solving a problem, but the tone of his voice is softer than that would merit, and then Jethaniel leans in close once again, his body entering Darsce's proximity so he can carefully slide that blade in where the resin has been dissolved and work it against the woven metal to cut things away. It is a slow process. The tape is - by design - more efficient in application than removal.

Oddly enough, asking for the location of Jethaniel's room is not a question in the Darsce-brain queue. He is a Journeyman techcrafter, as such, he likely resides in the crafters complex journeyman’s hall. Or perhaps as steward he's got his own specially-appointed quarters by now. The answer to her comment finds the tension leaking out of her shoulders and a long breath out. She nods to his request, holds very still as he leans in to free her, and though her eyes do flick curiously to see the beginning of his cutting process, her attention returns to his face. Tempted to reach fingers to brush his hair back from his face, her fingers - the ones with all the nails broken off curl into her palm - her hand tucked under one of her flexed knees instead. But the wary tension is gone from her eyes. "I'm glad you hid," she offers her opinion without being asked. It's only fair.

The process of sawing through the tape is a slow and methodical one. Jethaniel uses careful motions, his expression primarily one of concentration. It is not overly difficult, but it is important that he applies the right degree of pressure in the right place, and what precisely is the right place changes with each strand that gives way. It temporarily increases the pressure on Darsce's wrist, but as he continues, that tension begins to ease. Every so often, he pauses to give his head a small shake and get his hair out of the way. This lasts briefly, then it returns to in front of his eyes. He does not, as steward (though he hasn't bothered to request new quarters suitable to that rank), find this an issue as often as he did when spending more time acting in the techcraft, but he is still sufficiently used to it that he does not notice he is doing so. When Darsce speaks, he pauses without one of those headshakes. Her words require - and receive - his attention. She is glad that… "I think," he says after a moment, and his tone is a sober and contemplative one as his hands begin to move once again, "that I do not wish to become used to flights."

It's so difficult to keep her hand tucked where it is and out of his hair. Please don't ever cut it too short! Were her nails intact she might dare… but there's something else holding her back. That thin serrated blade moves a fraction of an inch away from where her pulse-beat quivers the artery just under her skin where the bone joins the base of her thumb and yet Darsce does not flinch. She trusts him. She is soveryglad he hid. That he wasn't out there, impelled to seek the arms of or acquiesce to invitations by the ones who commonly take advantage of such times, oh yes! But also because he wasn't found by her. She cannot tell him this. But her eyes might say it. She cannot tell, but she can ask for clarification. "What do you mean, used to flights?" Used to? How is the overwhelming tide of desire that washes over a person anything to get used to? It's like… She swallows hard. This is probably not the best conversation to be had while someone is wielding a sharp blade near one’s wrist. And yet…

Precision is important for this work. The blade is angled away from Darsce's skin, but the changes in tension could redirect it… if Jethaniel did not provide careful attention to his actions. This would not be a good time for him to become distracted, and his expression is an intent one. He does not look up to Darsce - does not take his eyes from what he is doing - when she speaks, but despite not seeing the look in her eyes, he answers her. "I mean… I do not want to be comfortable with them." To see them as opportunities; as chances for those eager arms - or to fail to realize the source of that desire, and act on the impulse. Actions may become usual. He has found himself, on occasion, opening the door to his office - klah in hand - with no memory of the walk there. He has habituated. In some cases, this is advantageous, or at least value-neutral. In others… the potential thereof is terrifying. "I wish to remain aware that they are flights." And not a part of himself. Jethaniel failed to fully enforce that separation on his body and thoughts - but Darsce did not find him, and as such, the effects of his failure are minimal. Another few strands of metallic tape give way, granting Darsce increased freedom. Jethaniel is silent for a moment as he adjusts the blade, and when he does speak again, his voice is softer - though, given how close he is to Darsce, hardly inaudible. "…whatever that necessitates."

Darsce trusts that precision of Jethaniel's. If she did not, she would sit, tense and silent with her eyes locked on the knife with her breath held while fighting the urge to yank at the tape holding her wrist. Her breathing is still erratic, but soft and she's able to hold it together only because he's talking to her in such a calm manner. The slow thread by thread severing may lessen the tight grip of the tape, but she does not test it by putting tension on it. Her arm remains extended and she sits as still as he'd told her to. He can't see the relief that floods her expression at his clarification but she sags slightly. Some people are drawn to the Weyr for the very thing she'd taped herself here to avoid. Others find it an unexpected perk of living in a Weyr and take to it like a duck to water. Some people might think she is one of them, not that she cares. Jethaniel however, is a different story. "They scare me," she mutters with a flick of confused eyes for his barely audible mutter of whatever it takes. "Like… tape?" A ghost of a wry smile twitches her mouth.

If Darsce were quivering at the edge of panic, Jethaniel would not trust the blade in motion without physically restraining her - albeit in a manner more easily reversed than the tape which is currently requiring these efforts for her extraction. Another of the threads gives way, and then another; as they begin to yield, it becomes more likely for the others to do so. Such is the nature of interconnection in the metallic tape. Darsce's fear concerning flights receives a nod, not merely comprehension but agreement, and then there's an answering flicker of a smile, though he still doesn't look up. "Indeed," he agrees quietly. There's another yielding of that tape, and he carefully draws the blade out from where it is, setting it back in the toolkit and reaching his fingers in to gently peel the tape back from Darsce's wrist. "If that is what you require, I will help you afterward." Not during. He'll be hiding, and so will she.

Darsce remains unmoving but there's a definite steadying of her breath as Jethaniel begins peeling the tape from her wrist. Of needing the tape, "I didn't before; I do now," she says. To keep hiding! Her tone is almost chagrinned. It's like saying I love tasting sweet wine - don't ever let me near it again. Her eyes remain on him while he works and she hms quietly, "I would rather you did, if you're sure you don't mind." Because anyone else would ask her all sorts of probing questions or make jokes. And then spread the word that the Ierne chick got herself taped to her bedpost and left there by someone har, har, har and who was it?

The fact that Darsce's need for the tape is of recent vintage makes Jethaniel pause for a moment. This time - as he is not currently wielding a knife - he actually looks up to her, with a questioning expression in his eyes and the slight lift of the brows over them. That is, however, the closest he gets to asking, and then he ducks his head before returning his gaze to her wrist as he works the tape off with fingers that are gentle despite the fact that the adhesive giving way is not likely to be entirely pleasant. "I do not mind," he says quietly. "I… will be glad to know you are safe." From the people who do enjoy these times… and from what those flights may impel her to do, despite her own desires in more reasoned moments.

Darsce doesn't look away when Jethaniel lifts his eyes, but she doesn't elaborate either. There's just earnest appeal in her iceblue eyes. Don't ask. Not yet. Her eyes drop after his do, to her wrist. She's stoic while he works the tape off, even though her skin is reddened with the grip of the adhesive. "Thank you," she says, heartfelt. There's probably a better solution to being safe during flights than metallic tape and the time-consuming process of extricating herself from it, but she doesn't ask him for ideas. The tape sufficed. Her nails on the other hand… are going to have to be repaired in one of Ierne’s boutiques but it's a small sacrifice for not putting him into an even more awkward position than Darsce-rescuing.

Jethaniel does not ask. He does not trust himself to do so; he is aware of the many - the very many - things that he wanted to ask of Darsce during that flight. If he permits himself to begin asking her questions, he does not know where that would lead him, and he is, at the moment, unwilling to find out. "You are welcome," he says to her thanks, and puts the bottle of solvent away with the other tools before rising to his feet. The toolkit in his hand, he hesitates for a moment, then simply inclines his head to her. "Goodbye, Darsce." He smiles slightly. "I will see you later." Not now, with the redness of tape and the uncomfortable knowledge of what was (and how narrow the line to 'wasn't' may be) lingering to eyes and mind. Now - the problem solved and Darsce rescued - Jethaniel departs, because to do otherwise would be (more) awkward.

Though free, Darsce remains in the same crouched seated position on her carpet that she's been in for hours. She tips her head up to smile at Jethaniel. "I will…look forward to it." She says omitting that she'll miss him. She will, but there's the awkward, the red tape mark and the unspoken questions hanging between them. She watches him depart; he shuts the door. Her head falls back against her mattress with a thump and her eyes shut. The flight is past but the desire is not so easily dismissed.

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