Healer Knot Required

Continued from: Storm Falling

Note: Nothing in the log is actually ICly known. If you want to 'discover' anything, please speak to Jethaniel and Darsce on-game.


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.

Dinnertime in the caverns of Xanadu has come and gone nearly eight hours ago and with the fading of grey light to dark the lowering temperatures and barometric pressures began their downward plunge. An ice storm comes, they said while the wings went out to patrol and preparations made to secure things that could be secured. The Weyrstaff, each assigned to their areas got busy. The radio in the administration hall cracked with the back and forth between the holds and the Weyr, warnings given not to send out fishing fleets, to remain indoors… extra wood brought to for the hearths and cromcoal in the kitchen for the stoves for power might be lost. Barrels of sand moved to points about Xanadu, positioned under cover for the aftermath, people reminded to centralize or plan to remain in their weyrs for at least three days. The messy system did not blow or howl into the area, but the heaviness and the popping of ears had become noticeable nonetheless.

Foreboding… Darsce is and has been full of that. But work must be done, klah pots kept hot and full of fresh brew for both the administration hall and the caverns. Hot soup also for those having to be out in the storm, blankets brought out from storage and pallets laid in the back halls and in the cavern and in the hatching arena where, it the power did go off, would remain warm for some time… Things. SO MANY things to do and yet there comes a lull finally as folks settle in and finally sleep. In the dimmed halls the headwoman paces in soft shoes so she won't wake those sheltering there, restless, remembering, trying to breathe slowly and failing. The hour draws towards two and she cannot do this alone any longer. She wants Jethaniel's arms around her, to hear him tell her this will pass. Oh, she knows that he's probably busy, as all the ice accumulates out there in the freezing sleet. He might be seeing to something in the crafter's complex or he might be catching some rest to be up at a moment's notice if called. She's going to find him. But that means going out into the storm. And so she gathers her heavy coat from her room, trades boots for soft shoes and heads to the mouth of the caverns. Need greater than fear, her intention is to cross the already-icy clearing and go to him.

The empathic abilities of firelizards are one of the traits that drew the colonists of Pern to them - and them to the colonists. They are capable, when newly hatched, of impressing to a human. Once they have done so, they share some aspects of thought and memory - as do their larger draconic cousins. Firelizards are, however, simple creatures, and as such, they are driven primarily by emotion - their own, and (in the case of those bonded to humans) those of their bondmate. Sometimes, this leads to trouble as firelizards act out uncharitable impulses of their human, but in other cases, the human acts as a calming influence on an otherwise flighty firelizard. It primarily depends on the temperament of the human - though it is important not to discount the ability of unusual circumstances to alter behavior. Stardust appears from between with orange-tinged eyes, diving for Darsce's shoulder. It's lucky Darsce is wearing her coat, because the green is heedless of her talons as she heads for a landing. Caution is not a part of the green's comprehension of the universe. Not now. Pain and worry have had enough time to - in a firelizard's mind - become forever-true and inescapable. They are. They always have been. They always will be. But… something did change, moments ago. The moving stopped. The pain became a little less. (Because the moving stopped, but causation is not a firelizard specialty.) Another thought appeared, and though it involved complexities too great for a firelizard to comprehend, one part of it was clear enough for the green. Darsce. So Stardust came to find her, and having done so, creels in an anxious tone, though she herself is entirely uninjured - if somewhat damp… and perhaps… a little chilled?

Darsce doesn't like firelizards overly much, but she doesn't dislike them either. The closest she's come to warming up to the tiny green is to note Stardust behaves. Her indifference has perhaps been vaguely engendered by the draconic similarities they share with their larger cousins and it's likely a subconscious reticence than an active avoidance. Nearly everyone is asleep and the firelizard population seems to have burrowed with them, leaving the caverns free of the winged-traffic Darsce's accustomed to dodging. So the appearance of Stardust, just as Darsce's hand reaches to part the heavy winter tarp affixed over the cavern entrance, is both startling and unusual. It's unexpected enough to have her flinching back against the stone wall from reflex reaction before she realizes just which firelizard this green is. "Stardust?" Flapping wings, clinging claws and orange eyes all register before she catches the wisps of… something… the firelizard is trying to share. She can't catch it. But the signs are there in her body language and creeling. "Shhhh, shhh," she croons, slim fingers reaching automatically to soothe the firelizard now clutching into the fabric of her shoulder. Why is she here? Why is she not with Jethaniel? Why is she wet and cold to the touch? "Where's Jethaniel?" She's speaking to a firelizard but dosn't really seem to think about that much right now. Confusion and disorientation pulse in her head, her heartrate increasing beyond the uneasy she'd already had and why? She doesn't know, can't sort it out. She eases the tarp back to peer out into the sleet-grey murk of the night. Perhaps he's coming across the clearing?

Ordinarily, Stardust is a calm and polite firelizard. She spends her time at the foot of Jethaniel's bed, or the cushion he keeps for her in his office, or perched on his shoulder. She seldom shows an interest in other humans - oh, she knows which ones can be relied on to give her a snack when hers is too distracted by work, but this - flying toward someone other than Jethaniel? It's entirely out of character for her. She's not aggressive to other people - she just avoids them. Now, however, she clings to Darsce's coat, even permitting the touch of those fingers as she makes piteous hurt-sounds. It's wrong. Things are wrong. She found the other human! The one hers thought about. Why isn't it better now? It still hurts. Her human is- and this human is- Stardust launches herself away from Darsce's shoulder with a springing motion. The leap carries her into the air, her wings beating out strongly as for a moment she angles toward the clearing - then turns. That's not where Jethaniel is. Not anymore. He was - she found him there - but he isn't now. While Darsce paced in the back hallways and pulled on her boots, Jethaniel moved. Now Stardust has found Darsce, but it didn't help - so she flutters, and darts to the ground as she draws on instincts that tell her the way to lure a big thing. Stardust plays the part of broken-winged firelizard, with flutters and hops and speed disguised as piteousness as she leads the way toward… the infirmary.

Stardust is hurt? But why is she not with Jethaniel? Darsce cannot see into the clearing very far with the sleet and fog and gloom, but she peers after the fluttered hopping dumbly for a few minutes before the thought that Jethaniel would be upset to have his firelizard left pitiful and broken out in the storm. The dragonhealers are surely on duty tonight of all nights! And so she will go gather her up so the creature can have attention. She steps out, calling to Stardust, slipping and stumbling after her but never near enough to scoop her up. Which way are they going? She doesn't even notice until they are there at the door. What? "This is the wrong… place," she starts, once again reaching in attempt to capture Stardust.

When Darsce is slow to follow, Stardust waits, with a hop and flare of her wings that draws attention to herself. Look at her. She's certainly hurt, so say the signs of her actions - and never mind that a hurt firelizard could vanish between and escape whoever sought to follow her. That's not the point. This dance is meant to appeal to other instincts, and when Darsce begins to follow, the firelizard leads her on with flits and flutters. The apparent effort of her abortive flights is at odds with the ease with which she evades each of those attempts to catch her. It's instinct, the clever twists and quick motions - the same she'd use to draw a predator away from a clutch in the sand, yet here she's using it to lead Darsce not away but toward. The infirmary door, and now, as Darsce leans toward her for another attempt, Stardust does between - like she could have done at any moment. Not far, just to the other side of the door. It's far enough to bring her out of sight, but her creel might be loud enough to hear even through the door. Out of sight, out of firelizard mind, and the thought of Darsce fades in Stardust's awareness - or perhaps the change of thoughts is because her sound has changed Jethaniel's thoughts. Regardless of the cause, Stardust launches herself into the air, flying now with swift beats (for there's nothing at all wrong with her wings) across the infirmary toward where curtains surround a cot. One of the healers on duty looks up from the hurried consultation they're having, but Stardust ignores him. She's going to that cot. Jethaniel's there, lying on his side and half curled in against himself. He's still wearing his jacket. He's still wearing his boots. The removal thereof was a nonessential element of the process which brought him here. Oh, the healer suggested it, at the point when Jethaniel sat at the edge of the cot - but when the healer left (something called him away. Jethaniel does not recall what) Jethaniel found it more compelling to simply fall sideways onto a surface significantly softer than ice and close his eyes. That's when Stardust left him. Now, she returns.

Almost there… just a little bit further… and reaching to scoop… thin air! Darsce blinks. "But-" The confusion clears from her mind with the sound of the creel from the other side of that door but she still has no clue why they're here. Stardust may have *Betweened* to the other side of that door only to fall in a broken-winged heap and so Darsce is quick to open it. She's in time to see the determined flight towards that curtained cot but still, perhaps her mind doesn't want to make the obvious conclusion. Firelizards get themselves into all sorts of mischief, don't they? And this is exactly why she has avoided impressing one! Yet, she's never known Stardust to… well she's never noticed! She does need to be sure Stardust is alright - for Jethaniel, wherever he is. And so she follows, into the busy room to head right for that cot. If not stopped beforehand, she'll reach to part those curtains and look for her.

Stardust has already forgotten Darsce. Firelizard minds are very small, and besides, the thoughts coming from Jethaniel have shifted in focus again. That healer who noted her does the same for Darsce, but he doesn't comment. Perhaps he assumes the headwoman's here to make sure there's clean sheets? Or perhaps whatever it is he's been discussing with his counterpart is still distracting enough that he doesn't give her overly much thought. Stardust flits over the top of the curtain, then dips down to land on Jethaniel's shoulder - insofar as she can. The position in which he's lying means that her usual perch is not available, and so she instead lands on his upper arm, talons gripping at his jacket as her wings flare one last time to bring herself fully to a stop. The inertia being thus reduced has to go somewhere, and results in a small movement to Jethaniel's body. A trivial one, really - a tiny change in angular position, leaning his torso forward toward where his lower arm is resting, bent at the elbow with the hand toward his pillow. It is, however, sufficient to cause a minute change in the position of his forearm. This, in turn, is sufficient to cause Jethaniel's eyes to squish further closed and for him to make a small noise. A brief exhalation, partially voiced, which is followed by a pause prior to his inhalation.

If I don't look at them, they can't see me! It's not a conscious thought nevertheless Darsce does just that, the storm and a childlike impulse acted upon without preplanning as she heads towards where Stardust went. See? It works! The healers let her pass. She strides to that cot, both hands lift to flick them apart with a swift, sure movement. Looking for green hiding amongst the coverlet, looking for- She stares, iceblue eyes taking in the form while her mind screams, NO! NO, THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT IS! She's there in time to hear the breath out and it's in the pause that she bends to see his face, her hands hovering helplessly over him, unsure where is safe to put them without hurting him and then finally one to his side aimed to turn him back from that slump as she whispers, "Jethaniel?" Disbelief. As if this is not her Jethaniel, maybe another. Oh, but it is! This floods her awareness three seconds later. "Jethaniel?" Sharp alarm, the swallowing of panic. The healers would all be over here if it were bad right? Wide eyed, she reaches light fingertips to brush dark hair from his forehead. It's soaking wet! "I'm here." The timbre of her voice? Never sounded like that.

Jethaniel is aware of the weight of firelizard on his arm, but he does not wish to move. The previous motion - involuntary as it was - caused pain. He has once again discovered a local minima for that pain, but moving has the possibility of causing more. His face is… scrunched. The local minimas of pain he is currently capable of discovering are non-zero, but so long as he does not attempt to move certain portions of his body… the expression begins to ease. His eyes are still closed, but he's trying to push up the furrow that wants to form in his forehead. If he attempts to present an impression such that there is no pain, perhaps his body will oblige by ceasing those throbbing sensations? The attempt has not, thus far, been successful. The touch to his side makes his body go still, pausing between breathes once again. Stardust hops down from Jethaniel's arm, sidling along the edge of his cot and eyeing Darsce as she goes, but for a moment, Jethaniel just lies there. The touch might be the firelizard again, and while he shifts back a little, he remains on his side. The voice… might be his own imagination. It is, given the circumstances, quite plausible for him to be having minor hallucinations. As such, Jethaniel is willing to dismiss what he hears - until the repetition. The sharper tone makes him wince, his eyes opening and widening as they do so. They blink - once, twice, and focusing on… "Darsce?" His voice is slightly higher in pitch than usual - and proportionately quicker, as if the name has simply been sped up, frequency of the wavelengths increased. He blinks at her again, tilting his head toward her, and as her fingers brush at his storm-blown hair, he swallows. It is an attempt to get his voice under control. It does not meet with any notable success. "What are you…" doing here?

Darsce really never enjoyed reading, but she can do it. These pain-etched features are by far the most distressing message she's ever read. Sharp. It is the cry that rises from her gut to her throat only to be held there by force of will. She will not scream, she will not think. she will just be here. For him. He breathes and she… she remembers to do so also. Stardust is in her periphery but the green is blurred, her focus entirely upon Jethaniel. He speaks her name and she sinks to her knees beside the cot, her face close so her whispered answer - while holding back the want to keen - will be heard. "Yes. It's Darsce." As if she's run miles to get here, she has almost no air to answer, "Stardust brought me." Breathe, Darsce, breathe. She must remember to do that. She dizzy. That's ignored, though. "Jeth-" No tears! "Oh Jethaniel, what happened?" All the places he could go in an ice storm to repair downed lines play through her head, the roof of the hatching arena, the tower up by the starstones. The fingertips now stilled in his hair know there's something they should do but her mind cannot think clearly. The hand she'd placed so featherlight on his side lifts to find one of his - the one on the cot by his pillow. "Where are you hurt?"

Jethaniel's hand lifts - the upper one. The one that's been draped vaguely back, its position not requiring precise specification. He reaches toward Darsce with that arm, moving slowly - though it does not hurt. As long as Jethaniel maintains a sufficient tension to his torso that the motion is not transferred, he can move it without pain. He does so, until the fingertips brush against her cheek. Darsce is, in fact, here. Jethaniel smiles for that fact, though even the smile is pained. Stardust, she says, and and he blinks for that before giving a slight nod. He is willing to accept that answer. Furthermore, it is of somewhat decreased importance to him at present, because one of the effects of pain is to encourage him - like a firelizard - to live in the present. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to characterize it as not permitting him to become distracted from certain elements of the present. "Darsce…" he says to her, his fingers soft on her cheek, but he is incapable of forming a suitable conclusion to that statement prior to the diversion of her question. "I fell," he says, and there's a quirk of his lips with an attempt at self-deprecating humor. It might be more comedic under different circumstances. "I'm sorry," he adds, and then as her fingers touch the hand by the pillow, he winces. The skin is warm with increased bloodflow and roughened by a minor scrape. He tried to catch himself with that hand. Now, Darsce's touch there makes him react with an expression of pain, his other hand moving quickly (he is already in pain; as such, there is no reason not to be expeditious) from her cheek to attempt to catch that hand of hers and lift it away. "Not there." The secondary meaning of those words is that, in fact, there is one of the places that he hurts. The primary intended meaning is, however, that he does not wish her to touch him there. Jethaniel takes a moment to remember to breathe. Inhale. Exhale. "There is… that." His hand. More specifically, the wrist, but motion anywhere in that vicinity has a tendency to transmit sensation unpleasantly. "And my ankle." The upper leg, shifted slightly back from the lower one, turned at the hip such that the knee and ankle are resting sideways on the cot.

Jethaniel's fingertips tracing the curve of her cheek will find a dampness there. Tears, yes but not hers. How could they possibly be? Darsce's not crying, won't cry, must be strong, will be. She never felt them well up and spill over, so they don't exist for her. Her eyes close briefly at the sound of her name on his lips, the silence after is answered with another, "I'm here, Jethaniel." Comedic? How could it be? Later she'll think to ask him why he's giving her this apology. But now? "It's alright," she says quickly to that apology. It's going to be! It is! She's never taken her eyes off of his face and so when she touches his hand, she isn't aware of the abrasive scrape until his fingers catch her hand away. "I'm sorry," she gasps quietly and even though his hand has hers, her fingers dare not apply the slightest pressure to it. Her eyes move to travel his form, only now understanding that he lies so twisted. And then it registers that there is no ice pack for that ankle, his coat and boots are still on and there is no numbweed on that raw palm. The question is nearly spit out, a low growl. "Have they done nothing for you?" Oh he can answer, but she's pushing to her feet with icefire in her eyes. Cover your ears ladies and gentlemen, this is not going to be pretty! "Healer!" The curtain is whipped aside and she's glaring around. One of them HAD BETTER come running! Because if she has to go drag one of them by the ear, she will!

He's worried her. That's why Jethaniel's sorry. Because Darsce is here and she's worried. He's not sorry she's here, exactly - perhaps he should be? But he's not - simply that she's worried because of him. He's sorry that he feels tears on her cheek. He will likely be sorry, at some point, for those portions of the storm preparations not properly double-checked because of his impairment - as well as for the other things which will slide by without being done. He is not, at present, considering those - and besides, he's not sorry to Darsce for any of that. He's sorry for worrying her, and that's why he tries to make it a joke. It's nothing. He'll be fine. Don't worry about him? His hand - the uninjured one - squeezes gently against her unmoving fingers as he gives her a somewhat wavering smile. The pain will recede to its previous level, he presumes, if he simply gives it a moment to do so. The scrape itself is not terribly concerning to him - painful, yes, but it's a quick, stinging pain. Easily ignored. The throbbing in wrist and ankle, though… ah, that's more difficult to avoid. They both ebb and recede, following the pattern of his heart, and motion - or pressure - can make them spike into sharpness. That pain - those pains - are the signals of a body saying 'this is injured; do not injure it further'. Of course… Jethaniel already ignored those signals for a while. He walked here on his own feet, because he didn't have the focus to send Stardust with a message. (Or paper and a pen to write it!) The good news is, his ankle can still bear his weight. The bad news was the pain of each step - and the further injury he likely caused by aggravating it. His wrist is less suited to weightbearing, but he is uncertain of the relative degree of pain, as the vicinities of the injuries are sufficiently distinct as to generate some amount of confusion. Also, he is still not thinking entirely clearly. As she rises, his hand keeps to hers for as long as it can. "Darsce…" he says again, and this time, it holds a note of entreaty. Don't cause trouble. (He only just got here.) Don't worry about him. (He'll be alright.) But the one he actually says, as her hand draws from his to jerk back the curtain and search for those healers, is, "Don't go?" It's soft, barely voiced. Pain focuses the mind on the present. Logically, it is advantageous for Darsce to apply her attention to stimulating the response of the healers rather than soothing Jethaniel. Even with her demand, nobody actually comes running. The healer in charge this duty shift has vanished somewhere. In fact, just at this moment, the only one visible is an apprentice who seems to be trying to hide by studying a chart very, very determinedly.

Right now he might be sorry Darsce's here to use language he's about to hear from her. She's rising in tightly-controlled anger at the negligence she feels has been indicative of his care here. He should not be lying here in pain without numbweed and ice at the very least. Perhaps fellis should wait until a comprehensive exam, but williwsalic? They could give him something to take the edge off! Twisting to yank that curtain with one hand, her other remains in his. Her fingers twitch in his grasp, the movement to twine fingers with his. She opens her mouth, her intention being to let forth the stream of frustrated swearing that begs to be unloosed, but he speaks and, quiet as the plea is, she hears it. Those particular words. From Jethaniel. He's asked something of her. The intended words meant to bring the healers running leak from her in a long, wordless breath out instead and she turns her head slowly to Jethaniel. She slowly pivots the rest of the way towards him. Sinking down into a crouch beside him once more, her eyes never leave his the entire time she’s moving while her throat works. "I won't," she says with a voice kept carefully steady. He must be very badly injured, maybe his head because…because that question! So she asks with the same carefully-level tone, "Where did you fall from?"

Jethaniel might be sorry for that forthcoming language, but he isn't. Darsce is here; this looms sufficiently large in his perceptions to minimize any concern as to the consequences of her selected use of language on reputation or future behavior. Besides - he's not really thinking about it. Those portions of his brain not capable of complex analytic thought are currently taking up a rather excessive amount of his focus, and so his fingers curl against hers, the motions just slightly less smooth than they should be, and he simply turns his head up to watch Darsce as she glares out at the infirmary in challenge. (On his behalf.) There is, however, a lack of answer to that challenge. Evidently someone out there is having a worse night than Jethaniel - or at least one that has been designated as being of greater urgency. Triage is not an exact science. When Darsce turns back to him, a smile flickers on Jethaniel's face. That part of his expression encounters difficulty in remaining present, but his eyes stay on hers - mostly. They have a tendency to drift slightly out of focus before he forces them back to alignment again to keep his gaze on Darsce. He swallows. "Thank you." His voice is soft, the tone earnest. He wants her here. He doesn't want her to worry - but, oh, he wants her here, and the pain makes it difficult for him to keep a watch over his tongue. Her question makes him blink. For a moment, he seems confused - pain is a very effective distraction. It causes him difficulty in unpacking ambiguous and misleading statements. He begins to shake his head, then stops as the motion is transmitted through the cot. He's still for a moment, then speaks. "I… simply fell. The ice…" making a slick spot on the ground. The rest was physics and unfortunate angles, after a long day that left the Weyr prepared but Jethaniel… less so.

Much like a firelizard, Darsce isn't thinking about future consequences or reputation either. Hers is not a desirable one anyway. Sure, she's the one to blame for building the facade in the first place but she's not really thinking how present actions will reflect upon the Steward of Xanadu. She's thinking about him lying there twisted and in pain as her glare sweeping 'round the infirmary fails to spot a healer who can do something for Jethaniel. There must be an emergency out there somewhere, a fact that ordinarily would have her picking the lock to that medicine cabinet to treat him herself. But no, she's responded to that request though it costs her much to do so. "You're welcome," she says and her smile is there, though a pale reflection of the normal one she gives him while her eyes remain concerned. At his answer to her question there's a visible release of tension in the set of her shoulders. So he probably hasn't got internal injuries or broken bones, and still she needs to know, "Does your head hurt? You can feel your feet?" Since she's staying without letting go of his hand, she rises, stretches out a leg to hook the toe of her boot around a nearby chair leg and pulls it close, then sits and leans over his cot to press her lips to his forehead then further to breathe a question in his ear, "Jethaniel, where's your master key?"

Jethaniel's smile is not precisely his normal one, either. Much like his focus, it drifts away; there is a reduction in it that approximately corresponds to those throbs of pain. His thumb gives a twitch against her hand; had the motion been smoother, it might have qualified as a caress, but as it is… it is likely not as effective in comforting her as he might have wished, because Jethaniel himself is far from comfortable, and as such, has no supply of it to provide. This time, he does not shake his head to her question. He is capable of learning. "No." His head is not in pain. "Yes." It might be more immediately pleasant if he could not, though the ramifications would be problematic. "I can move them. Mostly." He finds it necessary to add the qualifier, though he expects it may worry Darsce, as for certain movements he has not, as of yet, managed to push past the pain to determine whether it represents a hard or soft limit. Nevertheless. He walked here without making any noise of pain significantly louder than the storm around him. This is suggestive as to the relative severity of his injuries. As her lips touch his forehead, Jethaniel's eyes close for a moment - perhaps to hide the wetness that wishes to arise as a result of his gratitude for her presence. He swallows, but then… "What?" His eyes open again, though Darsce is near enough to be unfocused. At least, to Jethaniel's perceptions - but then, those are already rather lacking. After all, here he is reacting with confusion when Darsce presented him with a perfectly coherent question. "My pocket. But…" The why is implicit, but unvoiced.

One thing worrying about Jethaniel has done for Darsce: it has helped her forget about the storm outside. She's still unaware of how he arrived here, most likely assuming someone found him and carted him in on a stretcher. So there's more relief when he answers, even with that qualifier. He did say his ankle hurt; he wouldn't be feeling that if his back was broken, something she hadn't thought of before she asked if he could move his feet. Oh well, she's not a healer, but she's heard enough over the turns to make some uneducated conclusions: he did not fall from something high enough to cause death, he hasn't got a head injury and he isn't going to be paralyzed. Grasping these facts tightly to herself comforts her and the fear ebbs away, though lingering is her wish to comfort him. To do that she must remain with him. However, if those healers remain away for a long time, she's going to leave his side to gather something to make him more comfortable. "I'll need it to unlock the med cabinet," she says lowly, leaning back enough so that she isn't making him look cross-eyed at her.

For a moment, Jethaniel stares. Darsce has reached a logical conclusion, and yet he requires a moment to focus himself to… "Ah. Yes." Which she would do in order to procure medicines. In - he is aware - an unauthorized fashion. Did he not have a conversation regarding inventory securement with a certain healer? There's accountings and procedures, there for good reason. "You… do not have to." Jethaniel can wait. He is becoming increasingly uncomfortable in this position - the cot is not all that padded, and even on a more cushioned surface, he would wish to shift his weight… but surely he can wait? It will (or so he hopes) not be necessary for action to be taken. Jethaniel does not wish to impose, even though he has already done so on Darsce… but that he cannot even currently bring himself to apologize for. He wants it too much. Jethaniel, he is becoming aware, is in somewhat less than full control of his faculties. His fingers squeeze at hers gently as he considers this fact. He is compromised. The master key represents access not simply to the medicine cabinet, but a wide variety of places around the Weyr. Jethaniel's fingers release Darsce's, and he begins - with a very deliberate effort - to move. The key is, unfortunately, located not simply in his pocket but in his lower pocket. As such, it is currently somewhat covered by his body. He is capable of moving. His upper leg shifts further to the side. His lower one bends. His lower arm presses an elbow into the cot. He rotates - and therein lies the difficult part, because he is incapable of rotating without placing torsion down through his legs to his ankle. Jethaniel makes an involuntary whimpering noise, brief - but only because he successfully cuts it off, instead reaching his good arm across his body in an attempt to reach his pocket and obtain that key. The angles are… rather suboptimal.

"I know that," Darsce says with a slightly more tart tone than she intends and she grimaces at her own snappish anxiety. "Neither do you," she says more softly. As in wait. His discomfort is difficult to watch and knowing she could at least get the numbweed and ice - or poke that apprentice to get them is nagging at her. The locked meds though, that's riskier, for she doesn't know the dosing. She has a plan for that though! Still, "I won't just yet if you'd rather I wait, but-" She allows his fingers to slip from hers and watches as he goes into the twisting, reaching attempt, holding her breath at the expression on his face. The small moan moves her into action. "Let me help." It's more demand than request, even if quietly spoken. She leans to reach both hands, one sliding under his hip and presses down on the thin mattress, the other, just one finger pokes into his pocket in an attempt to hook her fingernail through a key ring - if it's on a ring. Hopefully she won't make things worse with the attempt but he can always forestall her hand as he did when she'd reached for his scraped hand.

Jethaniel nearly closes his eyes at Darsce's tone. "I'm sorry," he says quietly. His own voice is edged with apology and pain; he did not intend to frustrate her. The fact that he did is, he concludes, further evidence that he is not functioning as he should. Darsce will wait on his judgment - but should his judgment be trusted, under the circumstances? That, not his pain, is his primary motivation for his twist for the key. Jethaniel makes the attempt, but… for him to succeed in this, on his own, would likely require further rotation or the use of his injured hand. (Or the removal of his pants, but there are other potential issues with that approach.) Darsce's desire to help makes Jethaniel nod sharply, not trusting himself to speech, and he attempts simply to hold himself up off the cot to permit her to obtain that key. He also attempts to not make further expressions of pain. He is nearly succesful in that, so long as one discounts the drawn look on his face and the increase in his rate of respiration. Most of the exhalations do not, in fact, resemble moans, and many of the inhalations would not qualify as gasps. Darsce, in her attempt to gain the key, is more successful. Her finger encounters that ring. There's two keys on it - the master, and the smaller one specifically for the techcraft's chemical cabinet. (He never did return it.) If they - or that fingernail - jab against Jethaniel, he won't protest. Opening his mouth might permit a whimper to escape, and he's merely focused on attempting to remain up long enough for Darsce to withdraw those keys before he collapses back to the cot.

Darsce might not be trustworthy under any circumstances but aside from the reckless plan to ease his pain, she will try not to disappoint Jethaniel! She pulls her finger from his pocket with the prize, which is deftly strung on her necklace chain and immediately secreted within her clothing by being dropped down inside her shirt. She may be a little too into the clandestine moment here! "Got it," she says quietly triumphant, said so he can do that collapsing to the cot. She frowns at the drawn tightness glimpsed on his face as she eases back into her seat. Gentle fingers reach to brush his hair back from his forehead, soothe his pinched brow while she gives him time to catch his breath. "I'm sorry; it's just hard seeing you in pain when you don't have to be," she says softly. For now she will wait because she promised, but one task she can accomplish while keeping it is to help make him more comfortable. "Would you be more at ease on your back with your hurt leg on a pillow? I can help support your leg and ankle while you roll?" Another searching look rakes the infirmary. Where are those damned healers?!

Whatever other assessments may indicate, Jethaniel trusts Darsce, and so when she indicates that the handoff has been successful, he is relieved as he falls back to the cot. Unfortunately, he is somewhat more literal in that than would have been ideal, and there's another wince and a sharp inhalation. That breath is let out slowly as he attempts to control his pain - not through the medications still in that cabinet, nor even ice and numbweed, but simple willpower. That, and not moving. His eyes close for a moment as Darsce's fingers brush against his forehead, and open again as the pain recedes to manageable levels. (Jethaniel is rather good at management. He is, after all, the Steward of Xanadu.) His hand reaches across his body once again, this time simply to trail his fingertips along Darsce's arm. "The healer… will be soon." Or so Jethaniel both presumes and hopes. Surely he must be appearing somewhere on their triage list? Unless there's a twelve-dragon pileup happening out there in the clearing - or, more likely, injuries out near the forest's edge or along the coast where travel time under adverse conditions is greater than the time for treatment, and the apprentice left behind to watch the infirmary hasn't realized to go rouse one of the sleeping off-shift healers to help take care of things. There's no screams of pain from the patient. Quiet is good, right? Jethaniel's now in a somewhat awkward position, partially rotated toward his back but not entirely so. This posture is, he is already beginning to notice, not a very comfortable one. Would it be better to be on his back, as Darsce suggests? His brow furrows again in an attempt to model that situation. "I… don't know." He's not happy about his lack of knowledge. The discomfort is beginning to creep up. "Maybe?"

To be trusted. That's a new one for Darsce. And she will not take that trust of Jethaniel's lightly, either. She watches his efforts to subjugate his pain and considers: others might see his mildness and deem him weak; she knows otherwise. This she tucks away with those other observations of hers regarding this remarkable man. "Let's try," she suggests. What else is there to do while they wait? She rises, and steps to the next cot - it is empty - and snags the pillow. This is placed beside his hurt leg, hands gently reach under both his knee and ankle, cupping them, ready to take the weight for him. "When you are ready? Use your elbows and shift your hips to your right as you roll onto your back." She's expecting compliance here! And if he does so, she will lift a knee and nudge the pillow under his leg, twitching it to tuck it snugly into the back of his knee to elevate his calf and ankle so she can ease it back down. The position should help gravity to reduce the swelling of tender tissues now. She'll wait and make sure that's alright before she returns to his side where she swiftly undoes the buttons of his coat and eases the material under him to the small of his back so he's not sitting on it when she helps him sit up. She's going to help him get out of that, if he hasn't figured that out yet. If it wasn't from melted sleet, perhaps that's why his hair felt damp to her touch - he must be roasting in here! She'll hook an arm behind his neck and help him to partially sit up, ease first one, then the other shoulder out and draw it off of him by pulling it over his head, then ease him back to his pillows before tugging alternately on the wrist cuffs to get his arms out of his coat. The maneuver is not without exertion and she's flushed and breathless by the end of it.

Jethaniel gives a slight nod to Darsce's suggestion. While she's at the next cot, he starts the motion - though, really, it's more simply a test of his capability for motion without pain, one that does not achieve notable success prior to her return. Her instructions receive another nod, and Jethaniel takes a deep breath to steady himself before digging his elbow in and rolling himself back. He's expecting pain as part of this compliance, and he's right to do so - but with Darsce's hands there to lift the leg, it's less than he'd feared. The muscles beneath her hands tense as she lowers that leg, an expectation of pain at being set down that proves once again to be less than feared. The pillow is softer than the cot, and his heel (still booted) can dangle slightly over the edge while the fluff supports his calf. Jethaniel's exhalation is, as such, one of relief, and he offers Darsce a smile. "Thank you," he says - but she's not done. He assists in her tugging of his coat, as he figures it out by bending his uninjured leg and pushing up off the cot slightly (the softness of the pillow beneath the injured one partially absorbs the vibrations) to help lift his butt enough to slide the material out from under it. He puts his arm - the uninjured one - around her middle as she helps him sit up, and for a moment, as she leans in, he rests his head against her chest. Just a moment, for he's conscious of her exertion (and sitting up with an elevated leg is somewhat uncomfortable) before he lets Darsce shrug him out of the shoulders and lowers his head when she tugs it over the top, then settles gladly back to the cot. The first wrist comes easily. The other, as the jacket slides over it, makes Jethaniel yelp. Despite Darsce's skill in the removal of clothing, something catches, just for a moment (most likely because of swelling), and causes a flare of pain - one that makes his arm jerk back, tugging out of the sleeve and letting the jacket slide entirely free.

It's choreography at its finest, baby! Perhaps Darsce learned it while peeking through the door all those turns back in Ierne when on occasion her father staggered home drunk and her mother helped him to his bed on the couch (usually because she and her younger sister Rehsa were already in Asher's bed). During that maneuver she doesn't have the breath to speak but she does take the time to catch it while Jethaniel's head rests against her collarbone. She'll take the moment to press a kiss to his hair too. What she wants to do is remain right here and hold him, but she's so concerned about his comfort that she keeps it brief and finishes hauling the poor Steward out of his coat - as gently as she can. The yelp causes her to cringe and she's immediately contrite. "Oh sorry, sorry!" she breathes, taking a quick peek at the room. Did that bring the scurry healer of footsteps? Probably not! And then of course she's shrugging out of her own coat, throwing it with his on that chair she'd been sitting on. All this discarding of clothing and not nearly as fun as it might be! She'd like to take his boots off but, eh, no. Not without fellis. Though by the time he gets some, the boot is likely to need a sharp knife to cut it away thanks to the swelling. "Better?" she checks before at last easing halfway onto his cot to drape an arm gently over his torso in a semi-embrace and tuck her head on his shoulder. They both need this, right? She certainly does!

Jethaniel's reluctance to move away from Darsce in that moment when he's leaned to her is outweighed by his desire to both be out of his coat and settle back against the pillows again. His desire to not be in pain - while also present - is not entirely met, and for a moment, he is quite incapable of responding to Darsce's apology - or, indeed, of doing anything save holding himself very still, his eyes closed as he waits for the pain to recede. It might do so more expeditiously if that healer would come and provide ice and medication, but there's no sign at all - not even that apprentice. Perhaps he's finally abandoned his post to go rouse a more senior healer? Or maybe he's hiding. Either way, there's nobody coming with fellis, and so Jethaniel will, for the moment, retain his boots. The point at which they are discarded is - fellis or not - unlikely to be fun for him. He is, however, not presently considering that, as his focus is more completely on the present. The pain of his wrist subsides sufficiently for him to open his eyes - in the brightness of the infirmary lamps, the extra moisture brought there and not yet drawn away glistens clearly - and nod to Darsce. Better? "Yes," he says, though his voice does not wish to express more complex concepts than that. He is not, however, entirely without means to express them, for as Darsce leans in against him, he gives a soft mmh as his arms shift to - carefully - go around her. One of them touches with nothing past the forearm, and lingers only a moment before settling back to the cot once more - but his other remains there, holding her as he closes his eyes. Oh, yes. He needs this, and this time his incentives to move away have been greatly reduced while his desire for the touch remains constant.

That's alright, Darsce is not asking him to wax philosophical and poetic at the moment. She's done all she can at the moment to assure his comfort - short of breaking into the medicine cabinet, which as the minutes tick by she is more and more tempted to do. She's steeling herself to not react to the pain-laced shimmering of moisture in his eyes and so doesn't call attention to it. She merely sinks into him with a sigh, though he won't feel her full weight because he's giving her the impression that any touch might hurt and she doesn't want to do it. Long moments pass in which she hasn't forgotten the absent healers before she lifts her head and once more peers around the infirmary. "Jethaniel?" It's whispered. "I can make you more comfortable yet if you don't mind me stepping away for a few minutes?" Note: Not verbalizing what she's about to do. Later? He may claim ignorance!

Darsce's weight is not what Jethaniel wishes to feel. He wishes to feel her warmth, for all he's only just removed his coat, and he wishes to feel the presence of her body. Her weight is, while correlated to these things, not actually relevant to his desires. Her caution may, for that matter, be well advised; there may yet be injuries insufficiently prominent to rise to his attention that would be negatively impacted by a significant increase in pressure. He doesn't think he's very bruised. He'd rather not find out. In those moments when Darsce presses against him, his breathing slows. It was elevated from the exertion of changing positions and getting his coat off, but with her presence, and the obviation of any further necessity to move, it reduces to a point slightly below the rate at which it was when she first arrived. His arm remains around her, though it is a static thing - even his fingertips are still - and his eyes stay closed until he feels the shift of her head rising from his shoulder. Then, they open, and regard her with the full degree of focus he can, at this point, engage. This degree of focus is such that he's quiet for a moment as he attempts to assess what she's suggesting. She is intending to… make him comfortable. He wants her here. He doesn't want to worry her. Jethaniel swallows, and lets his arm slip from around Darsce, fingers reaching to touch her cheek. "Just come back." It's softly spoken, but earnest… and important. As long as he possesses the knowledge - the certainty - that she will return, Jethaniel is capable of accepting her absence. He does not like it (ordinarily, he is rather more capable of being rational about such things), but if Darsce says she will return, she will. He trusts her.

Even with the pungency of the astringent herbal odors of the infirmary Darsce breathes of his scent, for while her head is tucked on his shoulder, her forehead rests against his neck and her nose is not at all far from his skin. It is comforting and while she'd like to remain thus, she must think of his comfort first. And since the healers aren't, she's going to do it for them! "I promise I will. And it won't be more than two minutes," she says after lifting her head. She brushes her lips lightly to his and slowly rises - no sudden moves so as not to jar him – and emerges from that curtained cot to look cautiously around. That apprentice is nowhere in sight and so she strides swiftly towards the back supply room, looking for… Aha! That has to be it, that chest right inside the door! With another peek of her head out the supply room to the infirmary at large, lifts that chain, draws the key from inside her shirt, unlocks the cabinet and scans the contents. How convenient! Everything is labeled in neat script and there are even individual dosage packets assigned by patient weight. She approximates Jethaniel's - she can't be more than a few off hopefully! She selects fellis. One packet, it says, will have an effect for eight hours. One ought to be enough? It is tucked down her shirt. There's a dispensary log there and she eyes it speculatively, thinking before a small smile works its way to the fore. She recognizes the name on the last entry, and so takes the pen signs that packet out and forges the signature (and she is not bad - the signatures appear nearly identical). She notes a time in close approximation to the last time entered. The cabinet is then closed with a small click, the turn of the key relocks it and the key is joining the medicine packet where it’s hidden. Now she moves deeper into the supplies room. Where do they keep the first aid supplies?

Darsce's presence provides something for Jethaniel to focus on for which he has a positive valence. He can listen to the sound of her breathing. He can try to feel her heartbeat instead of the painful throb to his injuries that is his. He can be reminded that touch is not just the uncomfortable pressure where the back of his boot is digging into his calf and the over-sensitivity of his injuries that makes him disinclined to permit them to touch a surface but even more painful to attempt to keep under muscle tension. Her presence does not actually remove any of these negatives. It nevertheless comforts him… but Darsce is going to leave him for a moment. He… doesn't want her to go, but he is at least capable of controlling himself far enough to release her, and to nod his head slightly for her promise. Jethaniel is not currently capable of entirely sublimating his desires, but he is capable of delayed gratification. He tilts his head up to touch his lips back to hers, and forces his grey eyes to remain in focus on her as she rises and until an adjustment of field is insufficent to view her, as she has become occluded. Then - once she's out of sight - he closes them, letting out a breath. Jethaniel will wait. He can wait. He is surely capable thereof… but, oh, he wants her. As Darsce conducts reconnoissance in the back room, Jethaniel wait on the cot. Stardust keeps him company, sidling back in now that her human's alone and curling against his side, and that makes Jethaniel's expression ease slightly, though he doesn't open his eyes. If he opens them, he might see that time has passed and Darsce is not yet returned. As such, he does not wish to open them. She is… only gone briefly. He does not, in point of fact, know precisely what she is doing - though her time in fashion has probably provided her with some skill in assessing build and proportions, which may well translate to calculating body weight - but he knows she will be back. Two minutes.

Darsce remains cognizant of her promise to hurry. Moreover she doesn't want to be caught back here, so finds the things she's after rather swiftly. Someone has a too-developed ability to scan and find things of use in unfamiliar territory for her own good! A cooler is spotted, some chilled juice poured in a cup, a straw placed in it for the ease of taking the fluid. Then she bundles the armful of supplies carefully in one arm while taking that cup with the other hand, returning to Jethaniel's side if not within the two minutes, close to it. There's a rustle as wrapped packages are placed at the foot of his cot, faint vibrations as heavier items - a small bottle of redwort, a jar of numbweed tumble to the mattress with them, the quiet metallic skreet of runners overhead as she draws that curtain around his cot to conceal her next moves, the puff of exhaled air on his cheek as she leans to kiss his lips, slightly breathless from her haste. "I'm back. I'm going to give you something to drink. It's going to taste slightly bitter; that'll be the medicine." He'll hear the tearing of a paper packet, the scratch of something stirred before Darsce reseats herself beside his cot. "Can you lift your head a little or do you need help?"

Jethaniel waits. He begins to silently count. One. Two. When he reaches one hundred and twenty, Darsce will be back - but he loses track when his calf, sweaty under the boot, begins to itch, and he shifts to change the pressures such that it provides some modicum of relief. There. He can resume… but he's forgotten where he was, so he simply starts again at the beginning. Darsce will arrive within those two minutes. He will count them out, and - there are sounds. She's back, or - perhaps the healer has finally arrived. He had not yet finished his (interrupted, re-started) count, so there is still time for her to reappear within the stated limits. The vibration of those packages is noted, but unimportant. If they'd bumped against his injured leg, that would be a different matter, but they don't. The touch of her lips provides an answer to the unstated question. It is Darsce. As she leans back, he smiles slightly and opens his eyes to see her. She said she'd be back, and here she is to provide a positive focus for him once again. She is far more appealing than counting. She is, additionally, going to provide him with a drink… which is medicated. This implies things about what she did in those moments away, but is not precise. It is entirely plausible that, for instance, she found a healer who was mostly occupied but willing to divert for long enough to provide her a suitable dose to convey to him. In theory, it is possible that this medication is authorized… and in practice, Jethaniel does not care. Not right now. He will consider the situation later, but… If infirmary procedures are not sufficient to medicate patients in pain until a proper treatment can be followed, those procedures may require review. He can arrange for that, once he is capable of further coherency to his thoughts. This medication will, he presumes, assist with that by causing a cessation of pain. "I can." He will. Jethaniel puts his good hand against the cot, pushing with it and pivoting slightly toward his good hip as he curls his upper body up, until he can set that arm back with the elbow dug into the cot and his head slightly elevated. He takes a heavier breath from the effort - not substantive ordinarily, but made so by his attempt to avoid pain during the motion - and looks to Darsce. His head is lifted sufficiently for drinking (assuming he's careful and takes small sips), but he will not, given the angles and his injured hand, be able to hold the cup for himself. His eyes flick to that, then back up to her. He has done what he can, but… there are twinges that inform him his actions thus far are closer to his current limits than he would like. "I… will need help."

Counting the seconds until her return? Darsce would probably want to know he's doing that, but it's likely she'll probably be more concerned than flattered if he tells her. He couldn't have seen, but she had to bend her knees and twist awkwardly to deposit those materials onto his cot, shielding his hurt ankle with her forearm so those heavier things wouldn't roll to bump it. The awkward with which he raises his head is enough for Darsce to chuck the idea of worrying about his dignity: she's going to baby him because the effort for him to move just that much looks painful to her. "Yes, you will," she says agreeably and so half-sits on his cot, easing in behind him with one knee folded under her, while her other leg dangles off the side of the mattress. Her arm reaches behind his shoulders, carefully edging him up just a bit more. Now she's where he can rest back against her thigh and hip to have that drink and so relax - at least a little, she hopes. She could have done the same with adding more pillows, but no. To be near him: she wants this. Holding the cup for him, Darsce's forefinger keeps the bent straw clamped to the rim of the cup so it won't roll away from his lips. She did stir and some of the power dissolved; some has likely sunk to the bottom already and that's going to give him more of the medicine sooner, not that she knows this and so doesn't think to stir again. "You should try to drink it all." She doesn't say what it is, but she'll tell him readily enough if he asks.

It is remarkable how significant even a relatively minor injury can be. Jethaniel knows he walked here, and yet… the adrenaline and endorphins that assisted in that process have faded, leaving him more sensitive to the throbs and twinges of pain. The fear of experiencing them is, to a certain extent, a greater curb on his behavior than the actual pain. He knows he walked here. He does not remember precisely what it was he felt that made him make sounds of pain as he did - but he expects it was not something he wishes to experience again, and so when he feels the initial twinges that seem to threaten that degree of pain once again… he avoids them. There are other factors. He's been lying too still, again from that disinclination to move. It's been… too long; he's fatigued from a long day and dealing with pain at the end of it. Past what should have been an end of it. Many factors, but the end result is that Jethaniel - dignity or not - needs help. Darsce is here to provide it, and he tenses the muscles of his torso as she helps to lift him, the motion a strain out of proportion with his expectations. Jethaniel is not used to things like this being difficult. He is not used to requiring assistance… but it is and he does, and he leans back against Darsce with an exhalation that is closer to a groan than he would like. "I'm sorry." For troubling her. For needing help. He doesn't look at her as he says it, lowering his gaze to the cup and taking the straw between his lips. The juice rises through the straw into his mouth, bitter nearly overwhelming the sweet… but he swallows, then sips again. His stomach is empty, dinner having been sparse and eaten on the run, which will assist the medicine in taking effect expeditiously. It is also somewhat adverse to the concept of having anything placed within it. Jethaniel takes small sips of the aqueous solution of sucrose, esters and trace organic compounds, including partially precipitated fellis derivatives, pausing between for long enough to breathe as he attempts to get it down.

Wait until he tells Darsce he walked here! She won't chide him, but she'll definitely be facepalming on the outside while wishing Stardust had come to her sooner so she could have prevented that. "It's okay," she reassures him, "I'm glad to do it." While she's not happy he's hurt, she certainly doesn't mind him asking for help. In fact, being needed is rather nice if she doesn't think about the situation that prompts it. That fellis acts quickly is something she's expecting to happen because she's had occasion to see it before. Not personally experience, mind. Witness it. And so she belatedly thinks to warn him as he works to drink it, "You might feel a bit nauseous; please don't throw up on me." That last bit is said with a dry chuckle, and it'll have to do as her best attempt at humor tonight.

With the fellis entering Jethaniel's system, Darsce may not have to wait long? He nods to her assurances, and between sips of the juice, he tilts his head toward her for a moment's further touch. His eyes close, then re-open with a tiny quirk of lips. "I'll try." Not to vomit. In general, really, but specifically not to do so on Darsce. Jethaniel, as he turns his head back to the drink, is not certain he is capable of promises, even joking ones, but hopefully the roil of his stomach is merely a transient effect - or, if not, he will at least absorb sufficient fellis to have an effect on him prior to any consequences. The juice becomes sweeter, relatively speaking, as he continues - though Jethaniel might attribute it to becoming acclimated to the taste - until he reaches the bottom, which is to say, he has drawn sufficient juice through the straw that the surface has reached the bottom of the cup. He releases the straw, then takes a breath. Is the muzzy feeling he's currently experiencing fatigue, or the initial effects of the fellis? Jethaniel is uncertain, but he turns his head toward Darsce, leaning toward her instead of letting her get up from what is probably a somewhat awkward position. "…thank you."

No doubt there are other things Darsce doesn't have long to wait for, hopefully among them will be him no longer in pain! And yes with the avoiding vomiting on her because if he wants to see her quietly freaking out that will do it. She won't rush him, so when he tilts his head back against her she just waits. He's too close for her to kiss even the top of his head - her spine would have to bend in ways it is not designed to accomplish it - and the hand not holding the cup is still busy helping to support his shoulders. When the cup is empty she peers at it to make sure there's nothing left. Distracted by Jethaniel's gratitude, she half-smiles down at him answering with an odd catch to her voice, "You're welcome." He's adorable! The mug she sets on the bedside stand, which she can barely reach, so it teeters on the edge. Given a little push with her fingertips it's away from the edge and her hand is now free to run through his hair. "How are you feeling?" She'll remain pinned for the time being if this is his preference. Her leg might fall asleep but it's a small price to pay.

Darsce freaking out - quietly or otherwise - is not among the things Jethaniel wishes to see. This provides a further incentive to attempt to not vomit. Not that he required one - he will not be doing so unless his body chooses to overrule his conscious control - but it would increase the degree of unhappiness he would have with such a situation. Fortunately, he does not actually seem inclined do so, a mild queasiness aside, and the contents of the cup have been reduced to a residue. His eyes slip up to her, questioning, at the sound of her voice… but they become distracted from that question before his lips can properly form it, for instead, they just smile, his grey eyes softening - or is that blurring? - in accompaniment. He continues to gaze up at her - or at least, the posture of his head remains so, but his eyes begin to drift before they're recalled by a question of her own. "I feel…" he begins, then pauses, blinking as though in sudden realization. "I itch." Not that he moves to scratch anything; the tone is more fascinated than anything. It's a surprising observation, and one that Jethaniel (in his current state) has determined is worth sharing. It may, nevertheless, be informative as to that state - though it is perhaps not as detailed as Darsce might have wished. Jethaniel would, were he thinking of how uncomfortable her leg is likely to become, doubtless suggest she move. He is not, however, thinking of that or any other potential consequence; merely that she is warm and soft and he appreciates the touch.

Darsce smiles back, but her eyes remain sharp, noting the degree of relaxation and dis-focus of his eyes, trying to gauge the effect the medication is having. As if she might test this, she begins easing out from behind him. She doesn't go far, remains sitting on the side of his cot, hips swiveled so she can ease down beside him, half sitting, half lying. His answer draws a startled blink. In a strangled yelp of guilty surprise, "You do? Where?" Does she want to know? And note, she's not going to offer to scratch for him until he says where. And even then she might not!

Jethaniel makes no protest as Darsce slips out from behind him, adjusting his position - when nudged - to let her move past him. He settles back to the cot and pillow once more, head turned to watch her with those widened, half-focused eyes. Her sharp response makes him blink back at her, but he answers the question in a matter-of-facr tone. "Everywhere." A moment later he adds, "But it's okay." Because he's stopped itching? Or maybe - to judge from the expression on his face - because he simply doesn't care. Fellis takes effect quickly, on an empty stomach. Some of the drug was likely absorbed before it even encountered his stomach; as for the rest, the juice will not require significant processing before being passed further through his digestive system, the sugars in it being absorbed along with the chemicals. Jethaniel smiles, because he's beginning to stop caring about the pain. He can still feel the throb of his injuries, the way they pulse, but there's a distance to the pain. He's aware of it. He doesn't feel it. The medicine was effective, whatever… "It was." The words are half-spoken, forgetting the difference between thought and murmur.

Everywhere?! Darsce's eyes widen and she sits upright with a jerk. He may not care, but she very much does! Her breathing is short and jerky as she eyes him. She reaches for his shirt and her fingers stumble over the buttons, undoing them enough so she can peer closely at his bare chest and neck. There is some faint red patchiness, here and there, but no rash or hives that she can see. It's been so long! She was far younger then, but wasn't this how anaphylaxis started? Itching, hives, rash, choking, gasping, dusky blue pallor… Her hands are beginning to shake and she swallows to moisten a suddenly-dry throat. Her mouth opens to ask him if he's breathing okay when he speaks. It was a murmur, but hmm… his voice sounded fine, not high, squeaky and raspy. "W-what was that?"

Jethaniel may not, at present, care terribly much about the signals from his own body - like that brief itch that crawled over his skin and then was gone, or the throb of dulled ache that continues from his injuries. He does, however, care about Darsce, and her panic concerns him. His eyes blink, trying to clear the dazed fog that wants to gather in them and focus properly on her. He doesn't resist as she undoes the buttons of his shirt, but he does reach up, touching his good hand to her shoulder as his eyes - still wide, but more focused now than before - search for hers as she lowers her head to peer at skin that has certainly been exposed to irritants but is not currently engaged in an extreme reaction to something construed as such. "Darsce," he says, and his voice sounds, if concerned, more or less like it should. Perhaps slightly blurred, but with an over-abundance of enunciation as he tries to speak clearly despite it - like a drunk (or, appropriately enough, someone drugged with fellis) trying to pass for sober. Her question is, while not ignored, ambiguous enough that he has trouble answering it, and so he passes it over for a more urgent query of his own. "What's wrong?"

Darsce keeps her head bowed to intently watch the skin on is throat. That's where it seems to begin from what she's- "Hmm?" When she lifts her head enough to make eye contact, she notes his breathing seems fine and so she lets out the lungful of air she'd gasped inadvertently. Her laugh is somewhat shaky. "N-nothing. I guess. I thought you might be allergic. Are you-" she turns her head slightly to one side while still eyeing him, "still itchy everywhere?" He's definitely relaxed, she can see - and hear that, but before she does anything more, she needs to know if he’s going to choke to death.

Jethaniel's throat moves with his breathing - which has quickened slightly in a reflection of Darsce's worry, but still not even to the rate it was at when she first found him here. (The fellis is effective.) It moves when he talks. It does not, however, show any tendency to become red, splotchy, or swell. When she looks up to him again, there's relief - but a perplexity that only grows as she tells him it was nothing. Or, at least, probably nothing. It might have not been nothing, and that makes his eyes widen once again before he nods - only to stop the gesture abruptly at her question. "No. I am not." A shake of his head, just in case she needed further denial yet. "I don't… I feel better." He's trying to reassure her, now, with simple words and an earnesty that his fellis-widened eyes makes almost comical in degree. "I don't itch. It was nothing." A brief sensation, a passing feeling he might have ignored - but she asked him how he was at just the moment that he felt it, and Jethaniel - for once - spoke without thinking.

Darsce can't tell him more than that right now. She doesn't want to scare him and she's trying to be strong for him. Some other time she will tell him why she reacted so strongly. Tonight? He needs help and she's very focused on that. She relaxes further at his assurance and her eyes drop from his so she can re-button his shirt. When she's finished with that task, she lifts iceblue eyes to meet his grey ones, "I'm going to work on your hand," she says in what she hopes is her normal-voice. Reluctant to step away, she nevertheless does so to gather those first aid supplies from the bottom of his cot. Back, she sits in the chair and reaches for his hurt hand. She's not a trained healer, but she isn't helpless, either. She's had plenty of skinned knees treated by her papa, who worked with Search and Rescue in Ierne and so knows the basics of first aid. Once she has his palm in easy reach, she opens the numbweed and dips a square of gauze into it, spreading it over his scuffed skin with swift strokes. And as her papa did, she warns, "This will sting a little before it goes numb. You'll be brave, won't you?" It's an unconscious switching to the past, borne of being rattled so by events, or maybe it is lingering effects from the storm raging outside. She'll wait for it to take effect, talking - or listening to him while holding his hand. "This seems backwards, but once it seems numb, I can clean it and you won't feel a thing." As if he's never, ever fallen and scraped his skin. She wipes the numbweed off and opens the redwort bottle, soaks another gauze square and swabs his wound with it. This is dabbed with a dry one, then more numbweed applied before she uses the rolled gauze to wrap his hand.

Jethaniel's uninjured hand lifts from Darsce's shoulder to brush fingers against her cheek as she buttons his shirt. "You can leave the top one open," he says - again without thinking, as memories connect and he remembers a suggestion she made. The blur in his voice grows a bit stronger as he relaxes again and stops fighting it as much. It tugs him toward an easy state, one where everything drifts vaguely and, while associations are not precisely strengthened, the activation costs to proceed between them are reduced. Even with that relaxation, there's a trace of worry as Darsce says she'll work on his hand - the fear of pain, though it's been lessened by the fellis's ability to place further distance between what Jethaniel perceives as himself and what he recalls as pain. He watches her gather the supplies, his gaze drifting unfocused, then returns his attention to her with a tilt of his head to watch as she takes the hand. The muscles are relaxed, not resisting, but even so there's a moment when he winces as the wrist bends in her hand. The sharpness of the pain is sufficient to cut past the numbing of the fellis, but it passes quickly, faded into something that won't trouble him almost as soon as it's there. Compared to that, the sting is likely to be insignificant - and Jethaniel has not only scraped his skin, but treated his own minor injuries. He nevertheless nods to her warning, though his lips purse with a thought, then open - "Is it brave?" He holds his hand still as he muses. "I know it will stop. If… I didn't… that would be brave." He trails off, somewhere between questioning and simply losing his train of thought, and watches as the hand is cleaned and daubed with redwort… though somewhere in there, his gaze drifts up to Darsce, watching her face. "But I like feeling you." From someone else, it might be an innuendo. From Jethaniel, dazed with fellis, it's simple truth, earnestly expressed.

Beneath his fingers, Darsce's cheek is now dry, the skin smooth and cool; she's composed. Though the suggestion - request? - has her smile, which has been absent for most of this ordeal, returning. "Alright then," she says, leaving the last one open with a little twitch of fingers that reverses the button-up of his collar. "You look great," she says reminiscent of another occasion and directs a quirk of brows that asks mutely if he has caught the reference. While she works she flicks occasional glances at him, gauging his discomfort level and so catches his wince and immediately adjusts the tilt of his wrist. Ah, so he's jammed the wrist too, she should have thought of that! "I'll get a splint and some ice for that when I'm finished," she promises. If the healers haven't returned by then, she snorts in silent frustration. She holds his wrist as steady as she can for the rest of the disinfecting and application of more numbweed, though bandaging is likely to be a challenge. His question draws a thoughtful stare and after some silence, Darsce asks him wonderingly, "Could you be brave if you thought it might never? Because I don't know if I could." What kind of pain? There are many and she doesn't specify. Wrapping his wrist is completed just as his honest comment is made and she stops. Her hands, one supporting his wrist, the other cupped under his injured hand, are still while she meets his earnest gaze. "Why do you?" she asks with open curiosity, uncharacteristic of the suggestive Darsce many might think they know. Seeking perhaps, something beyond the obvious because the obvious is not always… enough.

Jethaniel is not likely to require any great amount of formality to his attire while he's here on the infirmary cot. His words were meant to offer the choice to Darsce, but he approves of her decision, and his lips curve into a gentle smile. "I don't think I'll be leaving soon." Certainly not before the healers (wherever they are. Perhaps they've fallen on the ice with their patients and are waiting for more healers to be brought?) have seen to him - which is not intended as an aspersion on Darsce's care. He is, however, expecting those healers to have more expertise… and even with the fellis, he is not looking forward to an attempt to move. (Though fellis is somewhat more conducive to looking at the future than pain. It is not, however, conducive to focus.) Even if Darsce 'borrowed' him some crutches, he'd have to use his hands with them. He nods to her promise to bring a splint and ice, seemingly unconcerned by it. (That'd be the fellis.) In the moments when he's not otherwise occupied, his gaze simply lingers on Darsce, watching her with appreciation - she is a much better thing to focus on than his injuries. Her… and her questions. The first manages to draw his smile away. "Perhaps." He looks away from her, glancing down the bed to his own feet. "If it was important, I… try." He's slipped between tenses there, or else he's dropped a word into the mental fog produced by the fellis. Any troubled look might be attributed to the fact that Darsce has started to wrap the bandage, and as careful as she's trying to be, it's enough to draw his gaze back to watch for a moment. His eyes soon rise once again to Darsce's face, insofar as he can see it with her attention on tending to him. The lift of her eyes to his makes Jethaniel smile. His answer? Is the obvious. "Because it makes me happy."

"You don't look that great," amends Darsce with a little snort, tempered by a half-smile. Were she to jailbreak him out of here, she'd go for a wheelchair, thanks, and make a faster getaway! Despite her aversion to being here as a patient herself, she wants him here, at least for now. She will, however, be happy to help him out later if he decides to exercise his client rights and leave against medical advice. "Do you?" she asks him of being brave. She naturally asks in the present tense, though flicks an uncertain glance at him then back to his wrist to finish. She may or may not be putting any weight at all on his comments, for she she's seen drunken ramblings before (not that he's rambling). There is, however that element of truth that oft runs throughout such. His answer draws another half-smile from her, but she doesn't answer right away. Happy. The answer seems almost… borne of pure and childlike candor to her perception. The answer prompts further questions, but those she leaves unvoiced. "I'm glad," she manages. She means that, but her careful smile is a touch troubled. That though can be attributed to her next comment. "I'm going to get your boots off now." And unless he protests, she’ll rise, drag her chair to the foot of his bed, untie and loosen the laces to the boot on his uninjured foot, draw it off and drop it on the floor. She does the same to his other boot, but rather than just loosening the laces, she removes them entirely. Her hands are as carefully gentle doing that part as they can be. The boot? Still on his foot. She sits. He might feel some odd tings and vibrations as she works on it. What's she doing? She doesn't say.

At present, Darsce is likely a more effective planner than Jethaniel. He gives a single 'ha' of laughter for her amendment, amused at - seemingly - his own condition. This is likely due in not insignificant part to the fellis. But, no, he has no great urge to leave. When the time comes, perhaps Darsce will assist his exit. For now, he will merely remain here and trust her to arrange things as she sees fit. Her question as to his bravery simply receives a nod, and his expression is one of thoughts drifting and not quite reaching the surface. Not enough to be spoken. There's so many tumbled thoughts, activations spreading - but only the strongest one can make it through, because his lips can only move one way at once. Sometimes, as with his bravery, there's enough uncertainty that nothing quite emerges, and other times, one answer rises to prominence. His eyes wander her face at her reply, and there's a trace of furrow to his brow as he tries to make out her expression, but then he's distracted by her plan to remove his boots. "Okay." The fact he's not troubled by that prospect is also likely due to the fellis… and that he trusts Darsce. The one boot is easy. The other… takes more work, though he can't really see what she's doing. His gaze drifts up vaguely, for it's hard to keep his head bent to watch, and his mind… wanders. "It's not because you're beautiful," he says - presumably to Darsce, though he's looking more at the ceiling. "You are," he once more states what's obvious to him, "but that's not why. I like feeling you. I like knowing you're touching me." As opposed to simply liking the touch? "And I like the touching." In addition. "I like loving you, too." Verb form.

Darsce will try not to influence Jethaniel's departure plans, but she'll be certain to note how he's being treated while he's a patient in here. She will probably be far less tolerant of perceived overbearing treatment perpetrated upon him than he's likely to be. Or at least she's assuming he will be, given the patient and mild manner she's observed in him. As she continues her work, he ought to feel the pressure from that boot loosening, at least a little. There are clipping sounds now and then; he might deduce her method in getting the thing off without hurting him. The comment about beauty lags enough that it comes out of nowhere for Darsce and those tiny vibrations cease. Her head emerges from behind his feet as she cranes her neck to see his face while he says the rest of it. Her lips twitch, then curl into a smile. He's using contractions, unusual enough that she notices them. Are they being overheard? If the thought even occurs to her, which it might, it doesn't seem to bother her in the slightest. That would however, change depending on whether a particular mindhealer were evesdropping. "Yeah?" she says to both of those assurances, pleasure coloring her singular question as her smile grows. Given that last part, she probably ought not to be encouraging elaboration, but she does. "Go on" If he rambles, it will make her tedious clipping of boot seam with suture scissors seem faster.

Should Darsce choose to exert influence, she is likely to. Even while attempting to avoid doing so, she may - but for the moment, there are no healers here for her to assess behaviorly. This lack is, in point of fact, grounds for an assessment of the infirmary… but is not likely to indicate a scenario such that Jethaniel's exit needs to be expedited. The easing of his boot is a relief, as the pair was - as she doubtless noticed on the other one - well-fitted to his feet. This means that, with the swelling of his ankle, it's become tight. The sensation is mildly unpleasant - though, for purposes of calibration, it is important to note Jethaniel is currently dosed with fellis. His expression, as he explains, is a dreamy sort of smile. It's affectionate and earnest, influenced by but not because of the drug. "Yes." He nods, not quite coherent enough to think whether she'll see it but instead simply nodding because the statement needs more agreement. "I do." Go on? He might have done so regardless, but with Darsce's encouragement, Jethaniel certainly will. "It feels good." His voice has a certain cadence to it, the syllables more rounded than usual, evener in tone. "I like touching you. I want to touch you everywhere, even when I shouldn't." Jethaniel is capable of utilizing contractions ordinarily, but under most circumstances his words delay, ever so slightly, while he considers the next ones. There is a caution to his speech. Now, the words run even with thoughts that are slow and drifting. "I think about you. About touching you." Jethaniel tilts his head, drawing his gaze down from the ceiling to look at Darsce as she works. "Is that okay?"

The infirmary assessment might not indicate a scenario for swift departure; healer technique might. Darsce's smile can't help but show how she thinks of that assurance; she's very pleased. "Good," She says and as he does indeed go on, she suddenly ducks back behind his feet as if to continue clipping the seam along the boot tongue. Those vibrations at the foot of his cot? Not due to clipping. She's listening and… trying not to burst out in a series of snickers. Not because she's embarrassed or thinks it's amusing. He's just so damn adorable! If they were in private this conversation might be- no definitely would be a turn on. As it is- Nono, she has to focus right now and so stifles the thoughts and impulses that interfere with her task. But she's still liiiiiiiiistening! And prompting more disclosures with brief questions such as, "Why shouldn't you?" Or is that when? She doesn't phrase it like that, however. As Darsce clips that tight stitching, there likely comes a point where with a faint 'pop' the pressure on his ankle reduces somewhat suddenly. This is probably not a wonderful feeling, but as the series of ticks continues, the heel sags until she finally can gently ease the boot off the end of his foot. She eyes his sock; it's pretty tight. She'll just have owe him a new pair - this one is getting cut off. For that she utilizes the larger shears that she'd grabbed to cut the rolled gauze, snipping the length of his sock. His ankle, now that she can finally see I,t has her swallowing a little gasp of dismay. That's when he asks his final question. Blink. She takes a deep breath, rises and moves to his side where she bends down to kiss his lips. "It's more than okay," she says lowly, the answer rich with suggestive meaning. "I'm going to get some ice for your wrist and ankle. Be right back." Should she be worrying that other healers might catch some unfiltered comments? Maybe. Does she? Not… for her own sake, no.

It may be difficult to entirely disentangle the assessment of the healers from that of the infirmary itself. Their presence is (supposed to be) one of the definitional elements. For the moment, however… if those healers are here, they are not making their presence known. Given that there is currently an injury requiring and receiving treatment, this might well be considered a failure of technique. For Darsce, however, Jethaniel smiles happily. Her approval and the fact that she's listening - and wants him to speak - is, at the moment, all the encouragement he needs. The vibrations transmitted through the cot are just a reminder that she's there. His mind wanders, but it does so while retaining proximity to the topic of Darsce. The healers might claim that now would be one of those times when Jethaniel shouldn't touch her, given his injuries, but they're not here to do so, and besides, that isn't the question Darsce asks. It's not the one Jethaniel answers, either. "Because it's not appropriate," he says. He doesn't stumble over the longer word, but he does stretch it out, the pauses between the syllables approaching those between other words. "That means people talk, but I don't mind that." He might, given his current loquaciousness, have said more - but that's the moment when boot gives way, and he inhales sharply. The sound is more of surprise than pain - not that the sudden easing of leather around his swollen tissue is a pleasant experience, precisely, but Darsce's decision to provide him with fellis prior to this step was effective. It does mean that - while his thoughts return to Darsce and the touching thereof - he's no longer considering propriety. Instead, there's the observation about what he's thinking, a recursive idea that leads, as boot and sock are removed, to that question. Her answer to it concerns him. The fate of his sock does not do so in the slightest, and Jethaniel's gaze follows Darsce as she comes up the bed toward him, an earnest question in his grey eyes that broadens into an eager grin for her kiss and answer. Even the fact that she will be momentarily departing is not enough to cause that smile to depart, and he nods - twice. Once for the ice, one for the fact that she'll be back. "That's good." A moment, and then he adds, "There's a lot of ice outside." The storm continues. Perhaps Jethaniel will try to think about the Weyr logistics while Darsce is gone, but more likely… he'll think about her.

Failure of technique might, in some cases be from healers being present too, not that Darsce has had time to voice her concerns about the one she has in mind. Even after her drawled answer, the word inappropriate is lingering in her mind and with the recent visit to Cove Hold still fresh, is considering something. This is left unvoiced for the moment, however, because priorities! "There is," she says with a smile into his eyes, "But I think I'll get the gelpacks in the cooling unit instead." She straightens and reemerges from that curtained cot, taking his cup with her. The healers are still missing, she notes with a wrinkle of concern now. How long has she been in here? At least an hour? The cup is rinsed and the residue washed down the drain before it is placed in the dishbin. And now her steps hurry because she's been reminded that the storm still brews. And bad things happen in storms. So this time it's likely to be her that counts the time it takes to get back to Jethaniel. When she steps back inside that curtain, her breaths are faster, but not necessarily because the trip has been quicker than her previous one. She's silent while carefully draping the larger soft-frozen gelpack on his ankle, fitting his wrist into the plastic-molded splint and then the smaller gelpack on top of it. Restless, uneasy, she draws the chair as close to his cot as she can get it and curls up in it, leaning her head on the mattress of his cot. Thinking…hearing…trying to slow her breathing to acceptable levels.

"I think that is a good idea," Jethaniel agrees to Darsce's plan for obtaining cooling agents. She may have many things to consider now. Jethaniel? He watches her go, his eyes tracing along her form despite the difficulty he has in focusing them at present, and while she's gone, he simply permits them to drift. His thoughts, he makes somewhat more attempt to direct. There were things regarding the ice-storm preparations that he left in an indeterminate and possibly incomplete state. "…ventilation…" is one of the mutters - intakes and vents that might get blocked with ice and cause various problems, such as a buildup of exhaust from the generators used to "…warm…" and from there, Jethaniel's thoughts take a detour back to Darsce. He attempts to redirect them back to productive considerations. He fails to do so with any particular efficacy. It does, however, distract him while he waits for Darsce, and he looks up at her return almost surprised to see her so soon. Not that he's got much sense of time, at this point. The pain has receded, but the fellis responsible for that fact is quite present. He holds his breath for a moment as the weight of the gelpack settles in his ankle, but while it's notable, it's not painful - just cold, which is, in fact, the goal. Getting his wrist settled into the splint has minor pain, but soon enough that's dealt with as well, and Jethaniel watches Darsce, reaching over with his good hand to brush his fingers softly along her hair. He may currently be limited in certain regards, but he still wishes to touch her. "Thank you," he murmurs.

Darsce did a very thorough reconnaissance when she gathered supplies the first time. She noticed the cooling unit had a freezer when she got the juice to mix the fellis in and so knew right where to go to grab those gelpacks. So that trip was a matter of seconds. Feeling Jethaniel's hand in her hair is very good right now and rather than sit back up, she shifts her head enough to give her some eye contact with him. "You're welcome. I owe your boots a cobbler's repair." She doesn't really sound worried about the boot; it can easily be re-stitched. She does look somewhat troubled but she's quiet about that. "Are you in any pain? It's been a long time since m- D'had taught me… I hope I did everything I was supposed to." She'll wait first to hear his answer, then draws a breath, "Jeth?" She doesn't ask if using his first-chosen nickname is alright, instead, "I'm sorry I was inappropriate the other morning in the Caverns. I'll work on that." Because he's steward and she's learning that sometimes it does matter if people talk.

Darsce is efficient. More so than Jethaniel, at the moment. His fingers are drifting in their caresses, stroking gently though her hair with no intentionality greater than the desire for that touch. "They can be repaired," he agrees about his boots, quite unconcerned. He looks back, attempting to maintain focus, and though he smiles to see her, there's a touch of worry as he takes in her expression. Perhaps it's because of the question she asks? He wishes to reassure - it's obvious in his tone - and yet the answer he gives is, "Only a very little." Because Jethaniel tells the truth to Darsce. "It is much better." That's earnest, a praise for her first aid - regardless of the time since her acquisition of the skill. His fingers continue their gentle caresses, and the use of that name for him simply draws a further tilt of his head toward her and another attempt to focus his attention - sufficiently so, in fact, that the fingers pause because he is not entirely capable of multitasking at present. It takes him some effort to recall the situation she describes - the fellis, combined with the fact that Jethaniel has no personal aversion to anything Darsce did, despite the fact that people talk. "I do not mind. But, it is… " His fingers brush down to her cheek, and pause there. "Contextual."

Relief floods Darsce's face. "As long as it isn’t as bad as it was," she says, a faint smile easing some of that tight concern on her face. She should know more about fellis, but pharmacology was not included in her father's abbreviated teaching. And since she saw- Well she hasn't ever had fellis herself. So she doesn't think to reference her comment. "Con-what?" He's lost her, says the uncertain smile she gives him. The ‘but’ in there is enough though, to partially direct her and she murmurs kindly, "Nevermind. You should sleep. I will stay with you." They can try to kick her out, but it's unlikely she will go - at least until the morning.

Jethaniel nods his certainty to that. It is nowhere near so bad as it was. He still does not wish to move those limbs… but he is not, at present, required to do so. Jethaniel trails his fingers back over Darsce's head, brushing along her hair, and smiles. Her suggestion he should sleep is momentarily deferred - or at least, that's his intent. Given his current mental faculties, it may or may not be successfully revisited. First, though… he wishes to explain contextual. Given those current faculties, this takes a moment, during which his eyes begin to drift, but then he says, "It depends who is watching." Which, just this moment, is a very sparse list. "I do not mind. People watching, may." In a variety of regards - everything from her kid brother feeling awkward because he doesn't have a date to his mother's outright disapproval over dinner. Jethaniel strokes his fingers through Darsce's hair again as his thoughts begin to drift, and then they pause. There was a topic he was going to return to. Something about what he should do, and Darsce's presence, and… "Will you kiss me?" This may not be entirely the topic he was searching for, but it is an appealing one for Jethaniel, and - if it is to be considered a goodnight kiss - plausibly connected. His gaze is hopeful, and then he adds a further connection, one that defines the context in which this action is to be performed because it may be applicable to the appropriateness. "I'm on medical leave." Or will be, as soon as he can file for it.

Darsce considers Jethaniel's clarification. The… Others. Those. "They'll bite if they smell blood," she murmurs, not realizing she's said it aloud. Her gaze has drifted towards the curtains behind his head, her recollections leaving her face very young, vulnerable and wary. His question draws her back to the here and now, her inner disquiet chased by a smile for the request. That's twice tonight! Yeah, he's left the choice up to her, but he asked! Medical leave? She's good with the context being that flimsy curtain shielding them from the Others. And so she answers in the best way she can, lifting her head and pushing up on the handles of that chair so she can lean her elbow beside his pillow while she kisses him. Somewhere outside a muted crash vibrates the windows of the infirmary. Darsce's reaction is immediate. She utters a low-pitched cry and less than one moment the rest of her lands in the cot beside him, curled nearly in a ball. She probably jostled him in so doing but the movement was over in a flash, for she's as still as a stone now. She's not even breathing. Without them talking to cover the faint sounds from outside, the wind and occasional distant crashes can now be heard.

Given the context, Jethaniel might be able to infer some things about Darsce's 'they'. Given the fellis… he is perhaps attempting to be too literal. It may be partially due to the infirmary setting - while most of his injuries have not broken the surface, there was that scrape. Is that why she was so careful to tend it? His thoughts are unproductive, and his expression is a questioning one - but he does not press her on the subject. This may or may not be ascribable to the fellis. His request - for, yes, it was one - is not caused by the fellis, but may have been encouraged by the drug-induced lack of filter on his tongue. Jethaniel is, for once, thinking more about his desires than what's appropriate, and so he tilts his head to Darsce as she leans toward him for that kiss - and then, the crash from outside. It's a somewhat startling sound. Darsce's reaction is more so, and Jethaniel's eyes widen as he draws in a breath, half-voiced with a whine. That's for the way she jostles him, but though the pain doesn't last for long, Jethaniel's eyes stay wide. He gazes at her, curled tight - "Darsce." His voice is worried, less dazed than before. Adrenaline has that effect, even with fellis. "Darsce, what's…" Jethaniel reaches for her with his good hand, brushing fingers against her side - but he can't reach far enough for his satisfaction, and so he pushes off with his good leg and the elbow of the now-splinted arm, rotating his hips sufficient to give him the extra rotation he requires to reach his arm around Darsce. It's still awkward. It's also slightly painful, putting a strain down through his injured ankle that he cannot entirely ignore, even with the fellis. He nevertheless attempts to do so. It causes him to lose track of where he was in that statement. He begins again, with the most important part, as his arm attempts to tug her against him. "Darsce."

Darsce should know her movement would be one that would cause Jethaniel pain. She should express remorse for having done so. Moreover she should protest his movements, for they're going to cause him more discomfort. She does neither. It's not because she doesn't care; she is isn't aware of having done so. Or of him moving. There is no response whatsoever to the sound of her name and initially none to the tugging either. A closer crash finally prompts her to breathe; one, she needs to and two, holding her breath is not stopping what's going on outside - or on the inside either. So the inhale is the ragged sort of one that might precede a scream. She doesn't quite get to that though because now she's aware of Jethaniel's arm tugging her. She goes willingly, shifting towards him one arm reaching for him seeking if she can to burrow close. If she has managed the maneuver, he'll feel her heartbeat hammering against him. Wordless, tense but she's at least breathing again.

It is with growing concern that Jethaniel tries to draw Darsce… toward him, ideally, but he'd settle for any motion of hers other than this tense stillness. Even that ragged breath of hers is a start. Screaming would be better than silence - but coming to press against him is better yet. He draws her close, and while he makes an attempt to return his leg to the neutral position which most reduces the pain of it, he is not entirely successful. The icepack is slightly misaligned, for one thing. It is, however, close enough. His arm stays around her, now that he's brought her here, holding her with a tightness that may not be entirely comfortable. "I am here." Wordless she may be, but Jethaniel nevertheless believes a desire for his presence is being conveyed; as such, he speaks to it. His thumb moves against her, the rest of the fingers to intent on their grip to join in the caress, and as he watches her with still-worried eyes, he adds, "They are not." Though he is still uncertain as to the precise definition thereof. Perhaps it's the fellis that prompts him to speak despite a lack of clarity.

Darsce hears and he'll feel her nod somewhere against his neck or shoulder, wherever she's managed to press her face. He is here; it is enough to not go there in her mind. She does not jerk or cry out, but her frame is the bow across which the taut wire of muscle is plucked by an invisible hand with each muted crash outside; the vibrations travel through her and he'll feel them through her body. The weak trees and limbs give way first as the ice accumulates; the stronger remain and so as time passes the crashes, for now gradually become less frequent. With the lengthening periods of silence, her heartbeats calm and her breathing grows more regular. Muscles gradually relent and release her from their grip, but she makes no move to depart and her arm remains around her Jethaniel. That's because somewhere in there she's fallen into the sleep that comes after the sort of emotional exhaustion left in the wake of this night's shocks. Whenever the healers return or morning shift comes, they'll most likely find her thus.

There are things that Jethaniel - even were he in full command of his faculties - does not understand. The crashes are due to ice building up in excess of the carrying capacity of the branches. The ice's formation is due to the relative temperatures of ground and air during this precipitation. The precipitation is due to Pern's rotation causing uneven heating of air masses, creating winds that acquire moisture from the oceans and lose it as changing temperatures and pressures reducing their carrying capacity - similar, in some regards, to the fellis powder falling out of solution in the juice. Jethaniel understands all these things, but he does not understand why Darsce tenses so. He does not ask questions. He holds her with his good arm - and, after a time, with the other as well, carefully easing it into place against her. The splint is sufficient to keep him from further injuring himself. His arms are, he hopes, sufficient to comfort Darsce, at least when provided in combination with the presence of his body pressed to hers. He attempts to remain awake, to stroke her back and find calming words for her - despite her having told him he should sleep - but he fails. It is uncertain which of them falls asleep first, but it might be Jethaniel - though his arms still remain around her throughout the night. He is unlikely to wake until roused by some exterior stimuli. He may not, even then, wish to release Darsce.

Continues in: Consent For Treatment?

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