Grumpy Uncle Sluggins
infirmary.jpg

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.


It's a wet Xanadu evening. Outside, rain patters against window sills and rooftops, and rivulets of water make muddy rivers down pathways. Many have taken shelter for the evening. Finding comfort with friends and family by the fireside of a tavern or the caverns, or perhaps their own weyrs to tell stories of the day's events and laugh and continue to speculate about hatchling colors. That day is bound to be soon. There are bets about when. All in all, it's your typical rainy day. Except for in the Infirmary, which has been home to Ka'el for the past…eh, sevenday? Maybe more? And with each passing day, while his condition inches towards improvement, his temperament has gone south. Currently, he's sitting up in bed with his legs swung out over the edge, as if ready to stand. He's changed back into one of his own tunics today, though he's still without his boots. A healer apprentice is nearby, a mousy looking girl of probably fifteen or so, who looks…well, like she needs help. But the seniors are out to dinner! "But sir…you aren't cleared to leave for another…d-day. Maybe two.." Ka'el scowls. "What's another day gonna do? Nothin' but piss me off an' make your job harder, eh? Where're my boots? You've taken them hostage, haven't you?" Glare!

Soriana's been in the infirmary sometimes… when she hasn't been by the sands. Fortunately, Luraoth's been growing more comfortable with her eggs, contented to spend time guarding them with only Kanekith for company. If only Soriana weren't spending all of that free time back in the infirmary with Ka'el. It's not exactly the most exciting place. Not when compared to the beaches of Ista or the peaks of High Reaches or the jungles of Eastern or… shards, the storerooms of Xanadu. At least there she can go poking around in bins of old scrap when she gets bored. Here… she can only read Ka'el's chart so many times, and half the time he's asleep from fellis by the time she gets there. Today she was with Luraoth again, but Kanekith's gotten back from his hunting and so Soriana left the dragons to their meal to head out … into the rain. The cool, cool rain. She is all about the rain. She is soaked as she comes into the infirmary. It's a good thing most of the healers are gone, or they'd probably yell at her about how she's going to catch a cold. (So. Doesn't. Care.) But they're gone, and she's here - and striding right on back without asking anyone. She knows where she's going! Aaaand aroun the curtain she turns. Nice! He's awake. "Hey!" Her hand's waved to Ka'el and healer both. Her eyes linger a moment on the apprentice. Does she know this one? She's come to recognize a lot of the healer sorts, lately. More than she'd ment to. These things… happen. Somehow.

This little healer is probably known by face but not name. She's not the type to do … much. Because she is just of age to even be apprenticing and ranks lowly on the totem pole. Her tasks consist of sweeping up. Labeling things. Fetching klah. Straightening sheets. Getting more klah. And making sure none of the patients explode while healers are out eating in the nearby caverns. Luckily, she's only left alone when there are stable patients around, like Ka'el, who is stable enough to want to check himself out of here. "Please," says she, fiddling with her sleeve a bit, "I don't have your b-boots. I can…look for them? But p-please, sit back? You d-don't want to..reinjure yourself." Sweatdrop. Ka'el wrinkles his nose and scoots himself to the edge of his bed with just the subtle hint of a wince. "I've been sittin' back for a seven. M'sure my arse is as flat as a.." Both his and the apprentice's attention is turned by Soriana's arrival. They both light up. Ka'el knows she can get him out of here! She has power! And the apprentice knows that she can pass the buck to her! Soriana's in here often enough to be seen as part of the infirmary environment. She hustles towards her. "Junior Weyrwoman!" she greets, clasping her hands together and bobbing her head both respectfully and gratefully. "He wishes to leave, b-but he's not scheduled to be discharged until at least tomorrow. A-and he thinks I've hidden his boots." Help, pleeeease?

"Hi!" Soriana says to the apprentice. Oh, she knows that look. It's the 'fix it!' look. The one she smiles at and tries not to promise anything to. So what's wrong now? … ohhhh. She glances up from the apprentice, back to Ka'el. Impatient Ka'el. She arches a brow at him. Really? …but she can't really blame him, and so that smile turns a touch toward grin. "Well, did you?" Soriana asks the apprentice, then leans toward her and lowers her voice. "Why don't you go check some other patients? I'll take care of him while you're gone." She smiles. "Don't worry, he'll be here when you get back."

Did she? Eek! Is she being accused! The apprentice's eyes widen, and she fumbles for an answer. "N-n-no! But..h-he..then…I-I..!" .. Phew. Soriana's quietly said words ease her. She's not really pointing the finger of blame at her, is she? Heh heh, it was a joke! Heh. Yeah, she gets it! Soriana is given a large and grateful grin in reply before she nods (three times) and heads off as quickly as she can without actually running. Ka'el looks smug, pretty sure that his awesome girlfriend in high places just told that apprentice to get his boots or else! He'll be out of here in no time. "I have a box," he says, glancing about the floor, "with stuff in it somewhere. There's a bag inside I need, please. An' I think my socks are in there too. Is it…" he eyes her soggy appearance, "..raining?" Or did Sori perhaps jump in the lake to relieve herself of the sand's heat? .. You never know! "I don' have a rain slicker but, doesn't matter. Lil' rain's not gonna kill me."

Soriana crosses to Ka'el, still smiling. "I'm sure you do," she says of that box as she perches herself down on the cot next to him. She's not looking for that box. Like… at all. Also she's leaving a wet spot on the sheets. "Yeah, it's raining." Soriana turns her head, looking at Ka'el. "Pretty hard, actually." This talking about the weather is not so much helping him get out of here. She regards him for a moment, the smile not going away but… fading a little. "The healers can't keep you here if you demand to be let out. Not unless you're a clear and present danger to yourself or others." She says. But she still doesn't go looking for his socks, instead just sitting next to him.

"Bein' in here is like bein' cut off from the world," snorts Ka'el. Rainy days. Sunny days. They all look the same from within the depths of a windowless cavern infirmary. And being cut off from the world is making Ka'el more than a little stir crazy. He does note that Soriana's making zero effort into getting his box .. that apparently has his socks in it. Maybe she's waiting the arrival of his boots? Brows lift at the information regarding his release. "That all?" he questions with a roll of his eyes. "Then I demand to be let out! There. Is it official?" Official enough for the walls and single apprentice who is keeping a wide berth to hear, anyway. Those Who Matter are still out to dinner. He obviously believes he's no danger to anyone, including himself…despite the fact that he's not making any move to get up or search for that box or his socks (or boots for that matter) on his own. "I think they pushed my box under the bed."

"Yeah," Soriana agrees. "It kinda is." The hatching sands are the same way. Even the temperature is consistent. It's really… dull. She sighs, looking away from Ka'el out across the infirmary bay. "They've got a form for it." And hopefully that apprentice is far enough away she isn't overhearing every word and panicking? Soriana looks back to Ka'el. "It gets turned in to the weyrwoman, eventually." With various stops along the way, of course, and she doesn't always read them - would she even have time? - but… it gets turned in. "So yeah. You can." Soriana half-smiles. "You shouldn't. But…" She stands up, and turns back to Ka'el, offering her hand. "Come on." Even though he doesn't have his socks on yet. (And even though she's shifting her weight to prepare to catch him. Just in case.)

That apprentice is waaay over on the other side of the infirmary, tending to a countertop that looked in need of scrubbing. The junior weyrwoman said she'll take care of it. That he'll still be there when she gets back, which is good because explaining an empty bed that was occupied before the healers left would be difficult, indeed! The talk of forms has Ka'el frowning slightly. Paperwork. Who needs it! … Well, he does apparently, if he'd like to be discharged. "I shouldn't?" he echoes, quirking a brow. "Why not? I've been here long enough. M'not bein' useful to anybody stuck in here layin' on my ass all day an' night. Plus, I feel better." His feet touch the floor now, cold and hard, and he gives his toes a little wiggle before looking to that offered hand. Puh! He can get up himself! … But he takes her offered help anyway, which is probably for the better. He braces, readying muscles that have been on bed rest. His hand grips at the edge of the bed, and he pushes himself up. Legs? Absolutely fine! But that wasn't where the injury was. His stomach and side are what complains, pulsing with a dull ache kept somewhat at bay due to pain relievers. Eyes squint and teeth clench as he grips at her hand tightly as his legs straighten and his hand releases the bed. And.. he's up! There's only a slight wobble before he finds his footing. And as the initial throb ebbs, he puts on a triumphant look. "See?" .. Pant, pant.

Soriana read Ka'el's chart yesterday. And the day before. She talked to some of the healers while he was sleeping. She knows this isn't likely to cause massive trauma. She also knows she probably still shouldn't be doing it, but sometimes rules need to be broken. Even when Ka'els are also broken. "Because," she answers his question, "Aggravating injuries is going to make them take longer to heal." She arches a brow at him, and carefully helps him up, using her other hand to help brace him as he squeezes hers. She squeezes back. "Which is why you're not checking out tonight." She doesn't look sorry. Here she went, getting his hopes up (but not his socks on), and she doesn't even look sorry. "But. If you're very careful, we can go to the side door" it's the closest "and look out."

… Whaaaat? He's not leaving after all? Ka'el gives her a face that clearly says 'omg…whhhhyyyyyy??' even though the 'why' has already been explained. How can she deny him? He's as strong as an ox! … As strong as an ox that has broken a few ribs, that is. There's a new look on his face now. One she's seen before. The 'I'm about to argue with you' face. A stubborn frown. A slightly jutted jaw. Vaguely squinted eyes. And then…he changes his mind, remembering Kanekith. The longer he's hurt, the longer his dragon worries. "Fine," he relents. "That apprentice girl said a day or two more. I'll give'm that much." He keeps his hand in hers, his grip less tight yet still firm. He's stable now, and he agrees to go to the door. Outside! Even if it's just to look at and watch the rain, it's more than he's gotten all week. "I promise to be an uncle and move at a snail's pace.." he says with the faintest traces of a smirk on his lips. And he does just that too, moving at a slow shuffle more for show than necessity. Once a goofball, always a goofball…even with broken ribs and looming personal problems.

Yeah, Soriana is kind of expecting that argument. She's preparing for it. The skeptical arch of her brow. The slight tension of her jaw… though her eyes are more troubled than firm. But she can have that argument. For his health. For peace and calm. She's hoping she won't have to use the argument where she reminds him that while the healers can't keep him here, she can order him to stay. She is a junior weyrwoman. Soriana doesn't want to pull rank, but if she has to… but she doesn't. She lets out a sigh of relief as he relents, and nods. "Okay. If they haven't let you out in two days… I'll talk to them." With all her junior weyrwoman authority. "Okay?" Not that he has a choice, exactly, but… Soriana walks with him to the door, keeping a careful eye on his motion. The slow - even if not needed - is probably good. It'll keep his breathing calm so he doesn't hurt those ribs. "Like a snail uncle," she says with a small smile back. "Old uncle Sluggins, crawlin' along." Not that she doesn't make her own steps just as slow as his, only stepping away when they're nearly to the door in order to open it. There's a bit of an overhang around the doorway to shelter them, though bits of rain are still being blown in by the wind.

"I like that. Old uncle Sluggins. S'got a … ring to it." A slimy slug type ring, probably. Ka'el pauses at the door as it is opened, not at all winded by the slow trip from bed to door. The two of them are given a near fearful look by the apprentice along the way, though, hoping beyond hope that the weyrwoman junior isn't planning on springing the rider patient out of here! Ka'el pays her no mind. In fact, the entirety of the infirmary is ignored once that door is opened and rain fresh air wafts in. The crispness of it is awakening to the mind, and he steps forward to stand in the doorway, leaning against the frame. "Rain reminds me of Kanekith," he says after a while of quiet observation and listening to the rhythmic drumming. "S'everywhere at once, y'know? Sometimes loud, sometimes not. Most times cool. Sometimes warm. But always everywhere."

The apprentice, for the moment Soriana notices her, gets a reassuring smile. Everything is under control. That's one of the auras she practices, as a junior weyrwoman… though, really, this apprentice is junior and shy enough she'd probably not have the courage to say anything if Ka'el was dragging Soriana along in a burlap sack. Still. Soriana doesn't pay the apprentice much heed, beyond that brief smile - her focus is on Ka'el. If the apprentice reports this excursion to her superiors… well, then Soriana will get to find out just how good that authority of hers is! It'll be a learning experience. For now, though… she takes the other side of the doorframe for her own leaning, looking out into the rain but then letting her gaze drift sideways to watch Ka'el instead. And listen, and smile. "Yeah. It always seems to come up all around at once… except sometimes, when you're flying, and you can go into the storm or out of it or chase right along the edge…" Her expression becomes a wistful one, for it's been far too long since she and Luraoth went flying.

Ka'el inhales deeply the scent of rainwater and fresh air and outside. He didn't realize how much he enjoyed being outside til he's been locked away from it. But in one day, maybe two, and he'll have a portion of his freedom back. Not exactly to ride the storm, but at least to be near it again and experience the everywhere-ness of him from a closer range. "I don't like not seein' him," he admits, shoulder against the wood frame. "Makes me crazy, an' I know it's stupid because he has Luraoth an' I can still talk to him. He's not alone, but I don't like bein' apart. Feels like I haven't seen him in months instead of days." His eyes turn her way and linger, watching her expression shift. Wistful. He shares that feeling with her. "When this is all done, when Luraoth's eggs have hatched an' I'm squared away, let's take a break together. Faranth knows you need one. Thea'll give you a day or so to yourself, after bein' stuck on the sands for so long with paperwork, huh? And I…hell. I need to get away. Let's fly together, to wherever we feel like goin'. No plans. Jus' fly."

"It's not that simple, though. I mean… you can know someone's there without… without it feeling like they're there. Because…" emotions don't always make sense. Soriana shakes her head a little, not a denial but just giving up on trying to explain it. "He is good, though." Because she's seen him, even though Ka'el's the one who's actually talked to him. "Sometimes, in Luraoth's mind lately… it's like she's the field and he's the rainstorm." Watering the earth. Making eggs grow. Soriana smiles, fond and a little bemused. She doesn't quite understand her own dragon, lately. There's a distance, even though she's there. She looks out at the rain again, then turns her gaze back to Ka'el, meeting his eyes. Her head tilts to his proposal, and then she nods without hesitation. "Yeah. Let's do that. Just… somewhere." Anywhere. "Nothing's going to fall apart without me." She's just a junior weyrwoman. "Not once the eggs are hatched. We can just… go." Together.

"Because..our brains are smarter than we are sometimes?" Ka'el supplies with a light grin, splatters of miniscule rain droplets peppering his face like translucent freckles as he watches her. "Or somethin' like." He falls quiet again, and a soft smile curves his mouth at the talk of their dragons and getting away. "M'not gonna miss you bein' on the sands. M'not gonna miss Kanekith worryin' over Luraoth or those eggs whenever he's not with them. But I am gonna miss how he is now. Y'know? He's not … worried about the other dragons. He's not tryin' to impress them or battle with'm. He feels … in his place. Like he has his purpose an' now his focus is bein' the best at that an' not bein' the best at everything else. Shell, I know greens have risen here since Luraoth, an' he hasn't even cared." And Ka'el has not had any problem with that at all. "How he feels now, I want him to keep that, even when Luroath is gone an' the eggs are hatched." His eyes return to the rain-glistened world outside, his expression thoughtful, yet peaceful. "I'll get him there," is his quiet vow to himself before he falls quiet, content to watch the rain with Soriana until it's time for him to return to his bed.

"Heh. Maybe," Soriana agrees about those clever brains inside those lumps of hormone and instinct. She turns her head to Ka'el, listening to him talk about Kanekith, and nods. She smiles for it, though it's not an entirely untroubled one. "It'll still be a part of him. Just… maybe not the part that shows. But he's still the same Kanekith. It's a part of him. No matter what." Her hand reaches for Ka'el's, fingers curling around his and holding there as they watch the rain for a while. Not too long - Soriana's not going to let Ka'el strain himself, and besides, things will be easier if they head back before the rest of the healers arrive and the only sign of their expedition is the dampness of Ka'el's hair and the mud-prints on his bedsheets - well, and the report of one healer apprentice. If she dares. But Ka'el is back in bed by the time she makes her next rounds. Just like Soriana said.


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