Recursive Application of Logistics

Xanadu Weyr - Rustic Treetop Café

Perched on the cliff overlooking Xanadu's beach is a gnarled and massive skybroom tree. The bark and outer layers are sturdy enough to support the thriving, brushy top, but the interior, which is hollow, contains a spiral staircase that leads to a cafe built on a high platform amongst the branches. With a panoramic view of lake, sky, Weyr and the mountains beyond, the treetop eatery offers both sheltered seating just inside the trunk and tables on the wide deck that encircles the old tree.

The cafe's decor is comfortable and rustic, but closer inspection shows the smallest embellishments to be artfully combined into one detailed masterpiece. The wood of the doors, floor and walls of the trunk have been stained a dark mahogany that lends the space a sense of intimacy. Tables in various sizes have been carved to mimic driftwood, the chairs and benches padded with oiled sailcloth cushions to provide weather-proof comfort. Each table has an aged brass lantern filled with shells and agates gathered from Xanadu's shores, the sparkling natural mosaics holding tapered candles upright in their embrace. Lamps hang from the ceiling on silver poles, the thick frosted glass carved into intricate pastel shells or swirling white-capped waves. At night the colored glass softens the glowlight to enhance the ambience.

During the day, the retractable doors allow leaf-spattered sunlight to fill both the outer deck and the smaller interior with green and gold light, as well as allowing pleasant breezes to cool the interior. On clear nights, farviewers perch on the elaborately carved railing are free for use to enhance the gorgeous view of the stars over the Caspian Lake, the Sea of Azov beyond and the rock formations of the Weyr.

The hour is, quite solidly, that of lunch. As such, the treetop cafe is somewhat crowded. Jethaniel is, nevertheless, holding down a four person table with… himself, and a glass of iced tea. He's been here for long enough that the waitstaff have progressed to eyeing him from across the room, but he continues to ignore the suggestions of how he might like dessert? Or possibly anything else? No? …and yet another waiter slips away in defeat. The other chairs at the table are in some disarray, as they have been recently used and - as Jethaniel has not yet vacated the table - not been returned to their proper positions. The one most recently in use, other than his own, is the one where his scribe was seated, but Jethaniel sent him off with a series of tasks. The first was to deliver a note to the headwoman, consisting of a folded sheet of paper with - in Jethaniel's hand, wobbly from the injury but still recognizable - "Could you meet me at treetop cafe?" The words, being difficult, are sparse, and there's an inkblot's worth of pause before he managed to write the next ones. "Bring fellis." Jethaniel still has his prescription, even if he's mostly not using it - but the healer, along with encouraging him to begin mild-to-moderate exertions with the aid of the cane currently leaning against the table's edge, has informed Jethaniel that he's been given that prescription for a reason. The healer has also reminded Jethaniel that the Weyrwoman (who's paying for this healer) has informed him that his patient is to be doing work as capable and not overexerting himself. Jethaniel… has written the note, and sent off his scribe to make the delivery and carry out a further series of tasks that should keep him occupied for some time. Now, he waits, and sips his iced tea left-handed.

The…Treetop Cafe. This, Darsce knows, is across the Weyr by a good hike. "What the f-" She stops herself right there because someone is sitting in the chair opposite her desk. "Excuse me," she says sweetly to that person as she rises, "but we'll need to reschedule. Something's come up." She ignores the sputtered protests, all but pushes the person out, shuts her office door, locks it and heads for her room. There's where she debates. She's in high heels. There's no way she's wearing those to make this trek. And flat-soled shoes won't go with her short dress. So the garment is shed, shoes kicked off and a one-piece jumpsuit, the silky, shimmery lizardskin print clinging softly to her form, is slipped on, leather ankle boots stomped into, her hair fluffed - it really needs brushing but she isn't taking the time right now - before she grabs one of those fellis powder packets and heads off to her errand. She doesn't run. That would get her there faster, but she'd be a sweaty mess. Not that… Jethaniel hasn't seen her like that before, but they’ll be in public this time. She arrives slightly breathless from hurrying nonetheless and pauses once there to find- ah! There he is. She waves off the hostess and strides to that table for four. "Jethaniel." She's trying to contain herself and appear easy, but her iceblue eyes search his with concern as she sinks down into the vacated seat beside him without taking her eyes off him. "Are you alright?" she asks lowly.

The hike itself, Jethaniel managed. The hike back, he… might have also managed, had he not also limped up that spiral of stairs. He managed to keep his focus for the business lunch that followed, to maintain the polite smile and suitable conversation for so long as there were eyes on him. When, however, it came time for him to rise once again, an experimental motion of his foot to the position it would need to be in to rise assured him that he was not going to manage the trip back unassisted. Not with what the swelling has done, after excessive activity and a lack of elevation. He could have sent the scribe for a healer, but… no. He sent a message to Darsce. At least the fact he was capable of so doing can assure her he didn't simply collapse somewhere. Now, he waits for her, and when he notes her arrival, it's with a smile on his lips and an apologetic look in his eyes, one joined by the tension of pain around their edges and on his forehead - but then, she's seen him like that before. "Thank you," he says, and reaches with his left hand for hers. His head tilts down slightly, and his voice is quieter. "I… seem to have somewhat overexerted myself." He eases his control over his features, showing her the extent of it briefly - and then his head continues the downward motion, lifting her hand to touch his lips to the back.

Overexerted. You think? Darsce could have told him that. And she might beg to differ about the walk out 'cross-Weyr, unstable beach sand notwithstanding, let alone the walk back. She doesn't though. Instead there's a fondly-sighed, "Oh Jethaniel." For that apologetic look in his eyes, she murmurs, "I'm glad to come to you." Her fingers caress his hand as her takes hers, lips twitch into a pained smile. Pained for him. Her other hand uncurls from the packet she's pulled from her pocket and offered over silently. She'll note the used table in a moment, perhaps. Right now her focus in on him and she nods to his tea. "Would you rather have juice for that?" Because she'll go ask if he does.

Jethaniel should, perhaps, have consulted with Darsce before conducting this expedition. Or, in fact, consulted with anyone except his own impatience at remaining inside the caverns. It was a pleasant day. He had been advised mild exertion was advantageous. He… was overly ambitious. "I would prefer you do so under different circumstances," he tells her as his fingers caress hers in return, then give a gentle squeeze before releasing her hand to take the packet of fellis she offers. He would prefer he did not need her help - but he will ask for it. Jethaniel glances to his glass. He can choke his medicine down regardless of the taste, but the ice may be problematic when it comes to dissolving the powder properly. As such… "That… seems advisable." The juice. He looks back to Darsce, and adds, "And… if you wish something to eat…" His lips quirk. "It is, perhaps, not an ideal date, but I would appreciate the company." Also, it'll give the fellis time to work before he gets her help with standing up and hobbling back across the Weyr.

If he had consulted with her, Darsce probably would have looked at him like he was nuts and suggested a stroll across the clearing and back. "Yes, I would too," she says with a suggestive smile that says just what those different circumstances she'd prefer are. As for hobbling back across the Weyr, a slight frown tugs at her lips, "You should let me get one of the woodcraft carts to give you a ride back." What? It's better than one of the goat carts the children play with? This one is at least pulled by a draybeast. He does need that fellis and she's going to slip off and get that in a minute, but first she tilts her head to eye the three vacant chairs and give his suggestion an answer. "I had lunch in the caverns. I could get something to drink though. Looks like you've already eaten."

Darsce would have been correct. Jethaniel did not, however, consult her; this was among his mistakes. If he had consulted with her, he might have avoiding excessive strain and proved himself capable of crossing the clearing without overexertion. Such a capability might indicate his readiness to move back into his own quarters and return Darsce's room to its officially designated occupants. He did not, and as such, their current meeting is not ideal. Darsce's preference regarding those circumstances brings a smile tugging at Jethaniel's lips and a duck of his head in a nod, but speculation upon future situations does not alter the present one, and her suggestion of bringing him a cart makes Jethaniel frown. "I do not…" He pauses, because he could end this statement in one of two ways. If he says he does not want that, the statement is true, but does not fully account for the realities of the situation; what is desired is not always feasible. If, however, he says he does not need that, the statement… may be somewhat false, particularly once he has managed the stairs on the way down. Jethaniel glances back to the fellis packet, and curls his fingers around it. "Perhaps." He will defer that decision. He may consider it while Darsce goes to get the fellis, and potentially a drink. He nods to that, and to her assessment of his previous meal. "It was a business meeting." Which he conducted here, over lunch, instead of in his office. He could, if the lunch had been considered essential, had it catered to his office, but Jethaniel did not. He chose to come to the meeting instead of bringing the meeting to him; this was also among his mistakes.

Jethaniel will likely hear it from his healer, perhaps several healers; from Darsce? Not so much. She doesn't chide him, just looks concerned. Likewise she doesn't press about the cart. Because halfway back he may decide otherwise, "I'll leave that up to you," she says, adding with a pert toss of silver-blonde hair, "I'm not piggabacking you home." Of his business lunch, she merely nods, but refrains from asking him about it. "I'll be right back." He needs that medicine and to that end, she rises and disappears to find that hostess, ask for the juice and a waitress to order a drink. She's back shortly with a small glass, the straw already inserted in a yellowish and sweet-scented juice, setting it in front of him before she reseats herself. "I hope you like pineapple."

Jethaniel has already heard and ignored advice from one healer today. He may continue to do so. Darsce's concern, he does not ignore. "I will consider it," he says to the matter of the cart. That part is serious, but it's followed by a smile. "I suppose not." He will simply have to find a different opportunity to wrap himself around her. While she is gone, he closes his eyes for a moment, considering what remains of his day and what he is required to accomplish this afternoon, then opens them again for the sounds of Darsce's return, smiling up to her. Pineapple? "Ideally, with rum." This is, however, not an ideal situation, and as such, he tears the packet and pours the fellis in, stirring with the straw to mix the medicine. The resulting drink will be rather more potent than the fruity concoctions for which the juice was likely intended. It will also be significantly less pleasant-tasting, but Jethaniel does not make any objections to that fact as he begins to sip.

Has he? Tsk! Though, Darsce probably couldn't blame him. She isn't so very compliant as a patient herself. She will be happy to help provide him other opportunities to wrap himself around her, but preferably in private! She smirks about the rum, which is absent from his drink. Hers, when it comes, is also sans alcohol since she's still on the clock. Just a tall glass of semi-frozen juice and yogurt. Speaking of work, she eyes his fellis-juice sipping and asks curiously, "Are you…going back to work? Or will you be resting?" Asked because she knows how he feels about fellis-brain.

Jethaniel continues to sip his fellis-juice - which is a healer-approved treatment for his current state, thus proving that he does not always ignore their advice - then lowers it at Darsce's question, frowning slightly. "I… may take the afternoon off," he admits, with sufficient promptness that it may be considered an additional indicator of his fatigue. The fellis reduces the pain, but increases his tiredness… as well as reducing his mental focus and cognitive abilities. He sets down the cup of juice to reach over and brush his fingers to the back of hers, then smiles wryly. "I will likely benefit from sleep." His hand returns to the cup, giving the contents another stir before sipping again.

Selective listening works! Not that the healers will agree, but it works for Darsce as long as Jethaniel isn't damaging himself. She's restraining the impulse to nudge a chair closer, then duck under the table and stick his foot up on the seat. She's likely dreading laying eyes on his ankle, sure to have sustained some swelling after the workout it’s gotten this afternoon. That brush to the back of her hand draws a smile, easing the tight concern that's lurked, visible as her smirk had faded. Her face - it must be odd, the smiles coming then going too quickly. Apparently ignoring the busy cafe, she's pulled her chair close enough to his side to appear that she's having an intimate conversation with him as she sips her smoothie-drink but that's partly because she wishes to shield him from prying eyes. "You might, yes," she says relaxing further against him. She will sip her drink and gladly take whatever time he needs for that fellis to work.

Ah, but a recursive application of selective listening can resolve the issue wherein the healers disapprove of the selectivity of the listening. It's quite effective, so long as it is appropriately balanced with that avoidance of personal harm. Jethaniel has not properly kept that balance today; the effects are somewhat more difficult to ignore than the statements made by healers - though even Jethaniel has not yet seen the effects. He merely feels them. What he sees is the concern on Darsce's face, and as he finishes the fellis, his hand returns to her. He has a preference for her to be smiling, and so the gentle caress of his fingers against hers comes with a rueful smile of his own, an attempt to, if not hide his pain - for his head's turned toward her, tilted down slightly so that she, at least, can see the tension it causes (and he can see her) - at least attempt to assure her that it is (relatively) insignificant. Admittedly, if it were actually insignificant, he never would have requested her to bring him that medicine; Jethaniel's scale of personal pain may require some recalibration to bring it into accordance with generally accepted reality. The fellis, as it takes effect, brings a softening of his features and a slight slowing of his breathing, external signs of the change to his internal sensations, until Jethaniel lets out a slow breath. "I am ready when you are." Perhaps she wants another moment to enjoy her drink? The fellis will last for some time yet - the rest of the afternoon. Jethaniel is (now) in no hurry. If he had been anything like this lackadaisical regarding his progression in his physical therapy and graduated exertion program, he would not find it necessary to have this compensatory delay. Jethaniel should, perhaps, have more patience with himself.

Darsce knew the moment she got that note requesting her to bring fellis that there was nothing insignificant about the pain he's feeling. And yet, she can't sputter at him, berate or fret because she's not his mother. There is also the fact that pain can be an effective tutor and so she remains silent, sipping her drink, observing the fellis-wrought changes in him until she's at least hopeful it will suffice to get him where he can rest and put that ankle up. He doesn't need to speak twice; she has no wish to linger here. So when Jethaniel speaks, she replies promptly, "Let's go." Her drink is pushed away, her rising appears leisurely and if she's holding her breath? Well, she's probably going to be doing that intermittently all the way back…to wherever. She's not leaving him to walk back by himself whether he needs her help or not.

Jethaniel appears, when it comes to pain, to be a somewhat indifferent student. If he were a more apt pupil, he might have learned his lesson when he first crossed the ice on this injury. He evidently did not, and as such, has been provided with a further demonstration. Perhaps this time, he will remember the causal relationship. His own rise to his feet is far less graceful than Darsce's. He pushes back his chair and places his feet into position. That change - given the fellis - does not cause him pain to any externally observable degree. He braces his hand against the table, and visibly prepares himself with an indrawn breath before pushing himself to his feet. The preparation is insufficient to keep him from wincing, but having already (efficiently) inhaled, he does prevent himself from gasping. He is not immediately capable of presenting a smile to Darsce, but he waits until he has done so before reaching for his cane. He is capable of supporting sufficient weight on his ankle to stand. He takes a step toward the stairs, followed by another. His ankle continues to support sufficient weight for him to move, though his limp is significantly more pronounced than it was this morning, and while he does not wince, his face occasionally tenses with the conscious effort to not do so. He is, however, capable of motion on his own and does not, strictly speaking, require Darsce's presence. He will, nevertheless, be very glad to have her.

As Jethaniel limps along, Darsce's smiles of encouragement are pained ones. She can only imagine how he's feeling and it hurts her to see him in pain. He may be standing and moving without her assistance, but if he so much as sways, she'll be hooking an arm around his waist. She moves to the side his cane isn't so she doesn't inadvertently get tangled in it, and walks with an adjusted pace beside him to the door, which the hostess opens for them. Darsce waits upon the landing, dubiously eyeing the long spiral staircase down while the door swings shut behind them. "Let me go first," she says. Because if he tumbles, she'd rather he fell into her than bounced all the way to the bottom. She can position herself to be one step ahead of him after gauging his pace on the way from their table.

The other participants of Jethaniel's business meeting, if they are still present, at least do not act such as to draw his attention to them. He is, admittedly, not paying much attention to anything other than his forward motion, and even with the fellis, his breathing is somewhat accelerated by the time he reaches that door. Once out on the landing - with the door shut behind them - he takes in a deep and somewhat ragged breath. He is also regarding the stairs. At least in this direction, gravity will be assisting him? The total kinetic energy required will be reduced, as it involves an overall reduction in potential energy. Admittedly, the energy possessed by Jethaniel is, while a renewable resource, not an infinite one; he has already used a great deal of it, and the cost per unit exertion has a tendency to increase sharply after a certain point. Jethaniel does have alternatives. He could, for instance, request a stretcher team. He is not, however, willing to invoke those alternatives, and so he simply frowns at the stairs and takes a moment to prepare himself for the descent. Darsce's proposal brings his gaze to her, and he nods. "Very well." This is not a description of how he actually descends the stairs. He uses the cane in one hand, his other on the rail, and applies nontrivial force through both as he lowers his injured leg by one step at a time, following it with the good one. The thumps are occasionally audible. So are his winces, or more accurately, the inhalations and grunts that can accompany them. At least, being ahead of him, Darsce cannot see his face, and the sounds of the beach may somewhat muffle the audible component of his pain.

And Jethaniel cannot see the dismayed twist to Darsce's face or the lip caught between her teeth as they go down those stairs. She is attuned to his rough breathing, his grunts enough that she doesn't need to see his face to know he's in pain. Jethaniel is the captain of his fate in this endeavor. If he wishes for a healer team, she'll gladly go get them for him but she'll acquiesce to his dignity until then without fussing over him. She'll pause several times without being asked just to give him time to breathe and rest. Stardust? She's expecting a distressed green firelizard to pop in any moment and blame her for her person's pain.

And yet, despite not seeing it, Jethaniel is aware of Darsce's concern. It is perhaps not quite so insistent as his own pain, but he is nevertheless conscious of it. He also continues, as a general fact, to be conscious, and at no point tumbles down the stairs. This is avantageous, though if he did, he might no longer be aware of the pain. It is a somewhat attractive prospect. Were Jethaniel currently possessed the attention to appreciate it, he would find a significantly more attractive prospect in the view of Darsce he has as she leads the way down these stairs, but a disproportionate amount of his attention is required to simply continue in motion. Stardust is currently burrowed down in Darsce's bed, because firelizard thoughts aren't quite catching on to the fact that her being there won't make Jethaniel arrive any faster. He's thinking it so intently! And eventually, after an interminable period - made slower when he leans in against the rail as less impaired people hurry past - he reaches the bottom, and closes his eyes as he leans back against the trunk of the tree. He's here. Now there's just a hike across the Weyr - does Darsce have any afternoon meetings? If so, she might want to reschedule them, given Jethaniel's current pace. He takes a few panting breaths, feeling the throb of his pulse despite the fellis, and swallows. "You… mentioned a cart." He does not open his eyes.

Darsce finds herself okay with the not tumbling down the stairs. Not simply because that would wind up being both of them, but because she doesn't want Jethaniel tumbling down them. Her main focus is getting him safely to the bottom, rather than his focus being on her bottom. Her thoughts are, apprehensively moving across the beach, the meadow, the clearing and she's doubtful the trek is possible, let alone wise. Meetings? She isn't worried about them, not a thought given to her responsibilities either. There's no way she's leaving him to see to them. So they reach the bottom and she turns around to him, finally seeing his face. "You should sit down," she says uneasily. Before he passes out? About the cart, "Yeah, I did, buuuut it won't make it down the stairs from the cliff or across the sand." What's option number three?

Ah." The cart is infeasible. This is sensical; Jethaniel acknowledges this fact, and that his intended surrender is not actually possible. He opens his eyes to regard the expanse of sand before him, though he does not move from where he is, leaned back against the trunk of the tree. In this position, his weight can primarily rest on his shoulders and the more functional of his legs. His gaze travels from the sandy beach to Darsce, and he gives his head a slight shake. "If I sit down, I will have to stand." Standing up presents a challenge, even from a chair. He does not wish to investigate the degree of challenge it will present if he seats himself on the sand or those steps. He will instead, lean against this tree and attempt to regulate his breathing. This is, now that he is not in motion, possible. The fellis, given the lack of weight on his leg, once more provides a distancing of those sensations. "I will continue momentarily." Until he passes out in the attempt? …perhaps.

The cart is infeasible down here; at the top of the cliff to traverse the broad expanse of the meadow and then the clearing, it would save him at least some wear and tear on that poor ankle. Darsce murmurs concerned acknowledgement to Jethaniel's preference for standing. She saw him rise from the table, after all. Still, she's trying not to think he'll pass out and go toppling over and so remains close by his side, reflexes alert to grab him if he slumps. As the seconds tick by, she's feeling more worried and it's not something she's very good at hiding. Her face is tight with it, iceblue eyes wide, remain on his face. How is he going to use his cane in the soft sand? She doesn't even… Options, options - there ought to be more of them. She considers them aloud, "The sand is more packed down by the water. You can to put your arm around my shoulders and lean on me. I can go to the woodcraft shop and get the cart when we get to the top, I can run to the infirmary now and have them come with a stretcher… Or I could find Mur'dah and a cargo net." None of the options allow much room for dignity.

Given wear and tear on that ankle, the healer may yet advise a temporary return to the wheelchair. Given Jethaniel, he may yet ignore that recommendation. He is, now that he is not putting weight on that ankle, doing somewhat better; there is a visible relaxation to his face, though not to the extent such that a downward slump seems imminent. This is good; were he not capable of ignoring the pain while dosed on fellis and not actively aggravating the situation, the situation would be far more problematic. He glances to the water's edge, then tracks to where the cliff stairs begin, and nods slightly to that portion of Darsce's assessment. He quirks one corner of his mouth for the prospect of leaning on her, nods once again to the idea of the cart - then frowns for the stretcher, that expression lingering for Mur'dah and his cargo net. His gaze settles on the stairs - they are not excessively far, by any reasonable measure - and considers for a moment. Unfortunately, the measure of Jethaniel's current range is not a reasonable one. "Level motion is easier," he postulates. It is most notably made easier by the significant decrease in the lurching sensation which makes him feel he may enter an unontrolled downward motion. The sand is a complicating factor, but - as he discovered on the way out - if he lets the cane sink into it deeply, he may obtain support in exchange for a hunched posture and extra effort applied to the process of placing and removing that cane between each step. If Jethaniel possessed infinite stores of effort… but he does not, and so he lowers his head slightly. "I believe I can make it to the top of the cliff, if you will assist me. I will attempt to not require a piggaback." Or otherwise place an excessive amount of his weight on her, but by expressing it as such, he may provide a faint smile to accompany it and minimize the situation. "Once there…" The smile does not persist. "I expect the cart is advisable." It is at least trivially more dignified than a stretcher, and has less potential for vertigo than a dragon.

And Darsce will support Jethaniel in whatever decision he chooses regarding that wheelchair. For now though, her inclination would be the stretcher. Mur'dah and the cargo net would simply make the trip quicker to get him lying down. She does not say that though. Instead, she nods, albeit reluctantly, for his decision to walk. "Whenever you're ready," she says and then she'll hover awkwardly, unsure of whether he want's her support for that hunched crossing of the sand or not. She'll allow him to steer his course - whether that's to the firm, wet sand by the water's edge, or the more direct route to the foot of the stairs. Somewhere along the way, she'll snag a child to run to the woodshop and ask for that cart. The plan is to have it waiting when they make it to the top. They might be there before dinnertime?

Darsce does not say that, and while Jethaniel sees the worry in her expression, his cognitive function is somewhat impaired. As such, his decision-making may not be optimal; a desire to avoid concerning Darsce by preventing her from seeing him on a stretcher is one of the facts influencing his decision to walk. He does, at least, reach to place his arm around her, leaning over to brush his lips softly to her cheek before beginning to move, arm still around her for support - though he is hesitant to place any large proportion of his weight on her. This means that for much of the trip, she is merely a point of stability, and occasionally, when he stumbles, he lurches against her more heavily than he intends. He is correct that the level surface is easier; were his ankle not already highly displeased, he would be able to cross it moderately effectively, but at present, the joint is only somewhat weightbearing. He'll get to the stairs. He'll even get up them, with a slow lurch that drags his injured leg behind and has him leaning against the cliff's side as he goes. Once at the top… he'll hope for that cart, because he will not have the energy to do otherwise.

Oh, how the things left unsaid can muddy the waters of communication! Truth be told, his decision to tough it out and push himself to walk causes greater distress than would seeing him on a stretcher. Darsce presents her cheek to that brush of lips willingly, leaning in as his arm drapes about her shoulders. Her arm encircles his waist in return and she will try, perhaps vainly, to get him to lean on her more. Providing stability is better than nothing; she does it gladly. His stumbles will find her arm tightening, muted sounds of sympathy rising in her throat each time he lurches into her. She's no athlete, but she keeps fit and doing that does require a daily workout. Her body is toned and resilient; she could do more than she is allowed. Nevertheless, she uses encouraging words during the trek across the sands and up those stairs. Once ascended, they'll find that the child has faithfully run the requested errand, and as it was given as a request from both headwoman and steward, a light ox-drawn cart awaits them at the top. The back tailgate section is dropped so they may both ease up to sit casually facing backwards with legs dangling for that lift back to the clearing. It's not such an odd thing that it draws stares; perhaps most people assume the cart was going their way and they've hopped a ride. Whatever the case, the clearing is reached and they'll be let off where Jethaniel prefers - in front of the infirmary, the crafter's quarters or the cavern entrance. Darsce will not abandon him regardless of choice and she will owe half of her next restday to the Weyr, for she's going to see that he is made comfortable and cared for, not leaving his side for the rest of the day, save to get him more ice, fellis and a dinner tray.

Perhaps Jethaniel would, given that full awareness, change his mind concerning his mode of transport, but Darsce's worry is not the only consideration. There are the eyes of others around the Weyr, and while his passage is unlikely to be entirely unremarked, the speculations concerning him leaning against Darsce may simply conclude that it is, in fact, his restday and hers. This hypothesis of enjoyment may persist as long as they do not observe the expressions on their faces. Over the course of that walk, the amount which Jethaniel leans on Darsce increases. The change is not entirely intentional, but it is present. He manages polite gratitude to the cart's driver, and rests his arm around Darsce for the ride, tensing when the cart goes over a bump. The ride is, however, assuredly better than walking that distance would have been. The infirmary is considered only briefly, promptly dismissed as an alternative. Depending on the healer, he would either be informed of things he already knows, or actively impeded in his recovery. He will save that lecture for his next scheduled appointment. The crafters complex is given more earnest consideration; he could sleep beneath his own stars tonight. However, at that juncture, a bump in the path provides compelling evidence that, if he does so, he may not be capable of leaving that room in the near future, and it would be significantly more inconvenient to Darsce. As such, the cart is directed to the caverns. Jethaniel's dismount will be a careful one, and he will not protest what support Darsce offers, his head tilted down along the limpingly slow way back to her room.

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