The Aftermath of A Messy Flight (Backlog!)

Xanadu Weyr - Guest Weyr
Rustic and simple, this one-roomed cottage sits at the edge of the forest near the feeding grounds. The decor is spartan with a wide, comfortable bed and a couch, table and chairs and small kitchenette. Kept stocked with food and drink, the bed freshened with sheets and coverlets after each use by the weyrstaff, it's nothing more than a place to give riders participating in mating flights a bit of privacy when they need it.

Leirith blooded, and Garouth was nowhere to be seen. Leirith rose in a thunder across the skies, and Garouth was… late. He was late to the flight, but he came. Off tumbled a D'lei, with a wince that - well, who would notice that momentary expression. Forward he strode, as Garouth leapt to the skies again, swept through the flight of chasers as if jumping from one slipstream to the next - all the way to Leirith. D'lei - well, in the midst of flight-lust, who's to notice that his stumbling wasn't just about his eagerness as he pressed to Risali? There's little noticing, amid that rush of emotions, and even less arguing - just a sweep of passion and energy and sexual recoil exploding together until passing out.

Which D'lei is still doing, collapsed back against the bed. The disarrayment is usual, given the circumstances. The level of grime on him is not… at least, not given that they did make it inside the flight cottage. The blood is definitely not. It's more than a sharp nip's worth, streaked through the sheets like a bad impressionist painting and pooling in a jagged streak across his body that's flecked with a shade brighter and deeper than the half-dried spatter elsewhere. His chest still moves, beneath that red-marked streak, though it's not entirely easy - a tension, even while unconscious, that's echoed in the curl of his fingers that grasp the sheet.

To say that Risali's relief was not damn near tangible when Garouth showed up with D'lei would be a lie, but to say that she was mentally present enough to note the wrongness of that grimace, to heed those subtle warnings to be found in his stumbling, certainly would be. Risali's focus was influenced too heavily by Leirith and sabotaged by her own emotions, by that over-abundance of joy that came from Leirith or Risali or both when bronze and gold caught and went spiraling down, when Risali's own haste to press against D'lei, to sate her need for him and her need of him overrode those tiny fragments of thought that said something wasn't right and perhaps now wasn't the time to go fumbling towards ecstasy. But she doesn't remember. The thoughts were pulled from her mind as surely as they persist in their absence today, those holes and fragments of memories, that soreness and ache of a body used in vigor bleeding back in ambiguity and vague detail, enough to ensure that waking up is as disorienting now as it ever is after a flight. But when has Risali ever been good at sitting still? NEVER. So while that still, small voice whispers don't look, then you don't have to know (because it might not be one of the two people she already wakes up next every morning), she looks anyway. Maybe Risali should have guessed when shifting hands settled on something wet and dismissed it as something curious; perhaps that red should have registered when grey eyes came open to stare at the sheets in preparation of the reveal but her groggy, slowly broadening awareness was narrowed down to who. But now she sees it, now she sees grime, and red, and that temporary relief is stamped out by panic. Panic because this is happening, panic because that frantic part of her brain that can't remember can't piece together lapses in memory well enough to tell her if she did this or not. "Faranth," comes strangled as Risali jerks upright, as that inability to think momentarily leaves her trying to process and then moving. Moving to kneel over him, to debate if this is a wound that needs pressure or - "Dashiel." It's worth a shot, right? And maybe her voice is fragmented because she is crying, and she is pressing at the edges of red streaks to see if more blood comes even while a frantic thought goes out to Leirith to get her Fioreyla and make her get her ass here now. "Dash, you have to wake up." YES, she can see that he is breathing, but she wasn't trained for any of this. Still, she looks for something clean(er) to press just in case. WHICH MIGHT BE THE WRONG THING TO DO BUT SHE DOESN'T KNOW, AND HE IS BLEEDING, AND THERE IS NOBODY HERE TO TELL HER OTHERWISE OKAY. No really, this is a nightmare, and one that's probably gonna plague her for a while.

D'lei draws in a little hitch of pained breath as Risali shifts, because that means that the bed shifts - and he shifts against it, and that whole thing of motion and things moving against him is not his idea of fun right now. The sheet sticks a little, but there's a glimpse of wound - a slash that starts beneath his armpit and goes diagonal across his rib, cross-hatched with pink streaks. A few stitches valiantly try to hold the line and keep that crusted brown of wound shut, but the flesh is re-torn where many of them have burst beneath exertions… though at least the blood is seeping more than gushing. Dash makes a soft whimper, a complaint that hasn't exactly risen to the layer of consciousness - because that's hard, that takes energy - and stirs with the attempt to reach it. It's an exertion that he is not very successful at - but one that reverberates through the mindlike to wake Garouth from his exhaustion of racing from a late start to win a flight without even blooding… but at least he's not wounded. He stirs, sitting upright with a sharp motion and a roar that flings sharp hail pellets of message to the healers - the ones that work with Galaxy, the ones that he's used to summoning (if not for this).

DAMN IT, DASH. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS. Risali's probably not helping given that her vision keeps going blurry, but she works through it, takes in injuries that she doesn't know how to deal with, frantically presses Leirith to reach out even though the queen is already trying to rouse a call for the healer. And thank Faranth for Garouth, who joins in on summoning other healers, whose ability to jump is greater than one tiny redhead's. BUT LISTEN, OKAY. Risali breathes out an unstable, "Okay, Dash. It's okay," when he whimpers, even though she doesn't know if it is (and maybe it's half to reassure herself too). Then she gives in to that very human urge to yell for help. "HELP. I NEED HELP." Not at D'lei, but in the hopes that people outside (of which there are none) will hear, interrupting with intervals of half-remembered reassurances for the Weyrleader. BUT WAIT. Perhaps the call to the outside world had some use, because in through the door walks Fire and probably a few of those Galaxy riders, the timid-looking Journeyman taking in blood and Risali, and instantly losing that lack of confidence that plagues her every move. This is her haven, this is what she knows, and Fioreyla moves to pull on gloves as she goes, to push away Risali's hands so that she can look at the wound and then turn to give soft orders to the other healers who've joined her. But then violet eyes flicker towards Risali, assess her for a moment before looking back to the more critical patient. "You should go." And there it is, those hackles that are on a shorter leash because this is D'lei and, "I'm not leaving," comes with an anger that helps her to focus on not being what she is now: panicked, unsure, terrified. But Fire doesn't even flinch, checking vitals and poking gently around wounds as she works. "You just had a baby," comes soft, lacking that usual stammer because she is focused. And that catches Risali off guard, has confusion crossing her face that allows Fire to amend with, "I am assuming you haven't been cleared for sex yet, which means you should probably go see a healer too, since there is a risk of infection." AND RISALI STARES, torn between several emotions and ending on a gritted, "I'm staying." Fire pauses then, violet eyes coming up to meet grey and for one, two, three heartbeats there is silence, but Fire ends it with a soft-but-firm (for her), "Then get out of the way." AND SO IT GOES. The healers doing their healery-ish, Risali telling D'lei that she's here before moving to make room for the healers, to find something to cover herself with while she settles in a corner of the room and… waits. Waits until the bustle and the whispers die down, wait until the bandages are in place and instructions of regularly changing bandages are issued with medication. And then Risali will crawl back into that bed, back into blood-stained sheets so that she can grab D'lei's hand in hers and lay with him, mindful of injuries, but unable to walk away. AND NOW IT IS UP TO YOU, MY DEAREST DASH, as to how far we fastforward this or IF YOU EVEN WANT TO CONTINUE.

"D'ngahh," says D'lei, and other things of approximately equal coherency as those healers with their practiced hands assess, and dress, and make him make pained noises at the same time as they give him things for pain. Somewhere along the interminable forever of Fire's very efficient response, a shadowed bulwark settles itself - the weight of Garouth like a large dog behind, making his presence known without offering himself for communication. He's here, which means his rider is here… but he has no attention left for more than that. By the end of it, the sheets are still blood-stained but D'lei's breathing is easier, his body less tensed. And Risali is there, and his fingers curl back to hers and Dash… sleeps, now, instead of merely being unconscious. It's a couple hours before he stirs - long enough for the first crush of fellis to wear off his mind and a portion of exhaustion to ease itself with drugged sleep. His breathing changes again, quickening as he eases toward consciousness, and… "Nngh." It's not significantly more coherent than his previous mutterings, but it has more intonation of word than pain, and it comes with an opening of his eyes that - blink, blink - focus on where, and - "R'sah." Don't do Fellis, kids. It makes you sound like a toddler all over again!

POOR DASH. And while D'lei suffers under the evil necessity of practiced hands, Risali finds comfort in that shadowed presence, doesn't try to communicate even if Leirith is there too - still a thrum of sound and high energy, but muted, cheer dappled with concern, tempered by that realization that sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing. Risali doesn't sleep after she climbs into that bed; she stares at bloodied sheets, and wracks her brain for answers that don't come because she can't remember, but there are pieces of a puzzle revealed despite the panic of then that she can go over now: torn stitches, grime, things that become quickly unimportant because the moment that D'lei's breathing changes, Risali is jerking up as if anticipating the worst. But it's just D'lei waking up, Risali grabbing his hand tighter as he massacres her name (IT WAS SUPER CUTE OMG) with the help of one Fellis-addled mind (NARCOTICS, WOOO), "I'm here, Dash," she whispers, fighting back emotion and forcing herself to be strong because she can fall apart later, when he doesn't need her. For now she brings fingers to run through his hair, pushes a kiss to his brow regardless of her PROBABLY NEEDING TO AT LEAST CLEAN HIM A LITTLE (MAKE YOURSELF USEFUL, RISA) as she asks, "What do you need?" Water? Food? Fellis? THAT TOTALLY-GONNA-HAPPEN SPONGE BATH? She's ready to move.

Dashiel tightens his fingers against Risali's, a squeeze there as she speaks. He clears his throat - then does it again, with a wry and crooked smile for the second one because seriously, how is it supposed to be this hard? It's not like he exerted himself and then passed ou- oh, wait, that's just what he did. "Hey." It's almost real words now! Stick with this one-syllable thing, Dash, it's working better for you. "'mh… glad y'r here." Okay, so maybe it's not exactly a detailed set of medical directives, but he does what he wants… and he does it with a smile, even if it is rather on the dazed side and comes with a closing of his eyes for a moment. It's one of those things where the fellis might drag him down to sleep again… but it doesn't not this time, and he opens them again and pushes the focus to Risa. "D'y… a drink?" Now he's leaving whole words out. HE TALK GUD, OK???

"Hi," Risali whispers back, fingers coming up to trace that crooked smile and maybe commit it to memory because it's the first time today that she's felt any sense of things are going to be okay. It's D'lei's next fumble over words that have Risali huffing out a soft sound of laughter, something that carries too much emotion and so leads into a brief pause before she forces out, "Idiot." But there is a lot of weight to that one word, uttered with the utmost affection to curb the inherent cruelty of it: it's an, 'I love you,' and an, 'Of course I'm here.' It's an, 'I'm glad you're okay,' even while it's a, 'Rest, I know you're in pain.' It's one of those little idiosyncrasies Risali applies: communication through touch, affection buried in gentle insults. "Somebody had to sit here to make sure you kept breathing. J'en almost won, you know." A beat, and another laugh even if it's weak because she is trying to JOKE, OKAY. "Can you imagine? I'd have had to find a way to drown him, and then who would help me hide the body?" SEE. HIS CONTINUED LIVING IS VERY IMPORTANT. But then she's knitting brows, trying to piece together those missing words to make a sentence and then bringing Dash's knuckles to her lips, to kiss them before she moves from the bed, to pour water into a glass from a waiting pitcher and to bring it back to set on the stand - not because she is going to make him grab it, but because she should probably help him sit up. "I'm going to assume you were asking me for a drink and not offering me one, because it's much too soon for you to be making a pass at me, bronzerider." SEE? TRYING FOR HUMOR. And figuring out how she's supposed to do this. "I'm not sure what to do, Dash." A simple, quiet admittance, but not because she is trying to run away. Because she is trying to pick his Fellis-riddled brain for some medical advice. "I don't think you should sit up though. A straw, maybe?"

There's a little more tension beneath D'lei's smile than usual, but it's still there - that same familiar shape, recommitted in to memory over its past references. And a laugh - followed by a wince - and then a deeper breath to convince those muscles to relax again instead of doing that painful tense. "'d be too much… J'en's type." It's half grin, half grimace, with maybe just a bit too much in the way of tooth - but it's not important, because there are no corpses to be hidden today and Risali is, in fact, here. Dash's expressions shifts back from that smile to that drawn expression as pain and fellis fight it out and he spends his attention more on simply being here and listening rather than talking. Because right now, talking is hard, which is why he doesn't even have a sharp rejoinder about the directionality of that drink. Nothing about those fine sterilizing alcohols, or a why-not-both turned into a suggestion about mouth-to-mouth as a form for a kiss, or… any of it; just a sideways tug of not-quite-synched smile. Just water for him, thanks - but how's he going to get it? The idea of sitting up is not exactly the most appealing to him, either, so… "Straw… works."

And Risali has so many questions, but none important enough to coax D'lei into conversation when simply breathing appears to tax the body and the mind - and definitely not before he's ready. So while tension is noted, while it is traced with the gentle application of fingertips as if to say something she can't give voice to just yet, it goes unremarked upon. And now Risali is laughing, but moving to get water because SOMETIMES SHE CAN BE REASONABLE and stopping when a straw is confirmed as a good idea. There's a very real anxiety that sweeps across Risali's expression, brows knitting in, grey eyes saying too much and then nothing because she is willing herself to be calm and to move. "Okay," she answers softly. MAYBE SHE THOUGHT ABOUT LEAVING FOR A SECOND AND THEN REMEMBERED SHE HAD A LOUD ASS DRAGON EAGER TO GIVE ORDERS (that's exactly what happened). And while Leirith finds unwilling victims to bring new sheets, and cloths, and sweet sand, and water, and a basin, and fresh clothes, Risali goes about stripping the bed of ruined laundry; of finding discarded and potentially ruined clothes to send away with that mess, and then to open the door when all of her much needed things come in the arms of one very confused healer. TRADESIES, AND LOOK AT ALL THIS NEAT STUFF RISA NOW HAS. At least she is smart enough not to make the bed yet. It would just get dirty again. BUT, WAH-LAH: STRAW IN WATER, and Risa is shifting to sit beside D'lei right on the edge of the bed to hold that glass for him and adjust that straw. "I am just taking liberties with interpretation here, but I'm pretty sure there is something about Xanadu Weyr that's J'en's type." LOOK AT HER LOOK. IT'S YOU, D'LEI. THAT'S HER IMPLICATION. And another stab at humor. But then it softens and fades. "Thank you," comes softly, because he came back even when he shouldn't have, and she's seeking out his hand with her free one to hold tight and communicate just that.

Without Risali to focus on, that pull of fellis and fatigue drags D'lei down into dazed - half-asleep, in a drugged way that he rouses from enough to take water, to hydrate his throat and provide some of those fluids that the healers insist are so important. "'s always something," he answers her, with an implication that's kind of just gone rogue because making sense and complex logic are the enemies of fellis… but affection is not, and the squeeze of his fingers back to hers - the entwining of them to keep that hold - is at a level of understanding that needs neither logic nor words. It simply is, and his hand remains so as - the most urgent needs satisfied - he falls back to sleep. THE HEALING SORT, HOPEFULLY. And so he rests, and further conversation - at least, the sort involving words - will have to wait.

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