Support Systems

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary
The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is regularly scrubbed spotless and smells of disinfectant, redwort and other herbs that are - if sometimes strong - preferable to the scents of sickness. Cots are lined up against one wall, with a set of curtains that can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. They're mostly used for examinations of patients and the treatment of mild injuries that won't require long term care; near the back are some more private areas with folding dividers.
There's a number of cabinets that stand off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed, and a back room holds those supplies seldom required.
A desk with chair is set just off of the doorway to the caverns, meant for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long day's work or await patients. If things get too busy, the patients can do the waiting on a set of uncomfortable chairs set nearby. The other doorway comes directly from the clearing, wide enough for a team to carry a stretcher through.

WELL. That happened. Leirith went bonkers, the world WENT UP IN FLAMES, and chaos ensued. Okay, okay, okay, so it wasn't all so dramatic as that, but there certainly was something amiss, when Xanadu's senior-most (in title only, certainly not in actual age) queen abandoned giddy, bombastic behavior for something almost unsettling coming from one so friendly. There was rage, a change of ever-blues to reds and orange, a scream and repeated command to « FIND HER, FIND HER. » And they did - or maybe she found them. Who found who is not important; what is important is that the healers had forbidden visits once Risali and Nessalyn had been taken into the infirmary, making exceptions only for D'lei and K'vir as they went through routine checks and cleaned those tell-tale abrasions of debris. It's quiet now, Rukbat bleeding life into the weyr and Risali sitting in her bed, staring out of the window. There's a haunted quality to her expression, something so out of place with the goldrider whose bandaged hand sits in her lap beside the other, who's propped herself up on pillows and… seems despondent, really. It's almost as if she's gone catatonic, and for now there's nobody there with her, perhaps tending to paperwork, or to weyr business, or chased away by the goldrider's demands. Leirith is in the hands of dragonhealers, and… well. THIS IS IT, S'VAN. THIS IS WHERE AND HOW YOU CAN FIND HER. Just there, in her bed, alone and staring out at the horizon, toward infinity.

And while Aedeluth might not have headed that call (because he's got a clutch of eggs to protect!) S'van certainly did! There's nothing quite like having the normally effervescent and entirely too cheerful queen going all ANGERY to make one panic. And while he would have taken to those woods, lacking anything in the way of suitable attire (boots? What boots? No boots here… Shirt? Eeeeh. No. That got left, too) and also lacking some key skillsets for this sort of thing (SUCH AS KNOWING WHERE THE FUDGE HE WAS GOING…), is it any surprise that S'van was not among those that found them? No. No surprise at all. What IS surprising is that HE MADE IT BACK without needing his own Search and Rescue team. Somehow, he made it OUT of the woods that he ran into so heedlessly, only a little worse for wear. And then he went immediately to someone for answers that… were probably promptly and unapologetically DENIED to him. CLOSED DOORS! Because that Weyrsecond knot means absolutely NOTHING if it's not HIS WEYR that he's running around in currently. But he is not deterred. Because as a certain tattoo-and-pierced bronzerider in Monaco will attest. S'van is STUBBORN AF. The moment, the second that he can (slash is allowed), he's in there. Moving unerringly for Risali's cot. At least he went and cleaned up a bit (and he's wearing a shirt now so… winning?) But once he actually gets to her bedside, there is hesitation and apprehension, and a whole lot of questions. The first being, "Are you alright?" Which is, really, a pretty dumb-ass question considering how she came in, and that she's still here, and that despondent look to her face. But he asks it regardless, because it is the first and only thing that comes to mind. IS SHE GONNA BREAK IF HE HUGS HER? CAUSE HE WANTS TO HUG HER!

IMPORTANT DETAILS WE FORGOT TO ADD IN OUR FIRST POSE: this morning comes with the hatching of Aede and Risabeth's hatching, and Risali looks torn up. She's a spattering of black and blue, one eye swollen (though not enough to be closed), bruising painting an ugly picture around the bridge of her nose with those tell-tale bits of scrapped skin that usually show up when somebody gets punched. She looks, for all intents and purpose, like she was a victim of violence. And she was, even if Nessalyn arguably greeted more blows than Risali did in the struggle. The point is the first is probably the reason why Risali is blinking owlishly slow to take in S'van and - one, two, three, four - whispering a quiet, lackluster, "Are you?" Okay, she means. Because, "Leirith told me. About the clutch." Another beat as brows knit, as Risa accepts hugs with her arm hooking under S'van's and her good hand splaying somewhere near his shoulderblade, chin rested on his shoulder with a soft sound of discomfort - but not enough to make her draw back or push him away. "I saw Bethari too." Another beat. "You should be with her, S'van. I'm…" Is she okay? "I'm okay." It's breathless, and a lie, and there's too much emotion in her voice that says maybe she's clinging to that hug now so he won't see her cry, but WHO ARE YOU TO DENY AN INJURED PERSON. HMM?

There is at first, a rather tight expression in unconscious return for the question about himself. It is a look that says quite clearly that S'van is NOT OKAY but also NOT GONNA TALK ABOUT IT. Not right now. Not here. Not with Risali on a cot looking like she just got beat the hell up (because she did). So after a moment of pause, of consideration, there's a subtle shake of his head meant to answer or delay the answer, to that question. And then hugging, in which S'van tries very hard not to hold her too tight but also tight enough that it is clear that he is HERE. Even if that part seems obvious. "She…" Bethari. It has another of those tight expressions, but there's a much more obvious dismissal of the assertion with the next shake of his head. "I don't know that she'd want to be near me right now." He's a stranger. Maybe a little less of a stranger, now that they've gone through things together. But still a stranger, really. And besides. RISA NEEDS HIM MORE. Probably. Maybe. "Are you?" It means he doesn't really believe it, but he's also not really ready to contest it. And he'll just stand there. Hugging. Being clung to. Possibly being CRIED ON (this is fine! He's totally fine with tears! And will pretend he SAW AND FELT NOTHING). And while the million-mark question of WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED definitely lingers at the forefront of his head, he WONT'T ASK. Not yet. It is only once she's ready to let him go that Sev will step back, seek out a chair or just steal the cot next to her and pull it over so he can sit. Or lean. Or do something other than stand there vaguely looming. Because when you're a freakin' giant like Sev is… looming seems to be come inevitable, and he wants to avoid it.

THEY'RE JUST A BUNCH OF NOT-TALKING-ABOUT-IT BABIES. But hey, S'van doesn't need to grab a chair or a cot if he doesn't want to, because Risali is very tiny compared to his very big, and she shifts from the center of her cot to one side of it, grey eyes refusing to find him for just a moment because they're wet and that's suspicious, but she does smooth a hand over the sheets, ending the motion in a gentle patpat that invites him to sit, or recline, or do whatever he wants here. And maybe she needs the proximity if nothing else, because she has BEEN THROUGH AN ORDEAL. But she focuses on Bethari, because for as unsafe a topic the junior rider could certainly be given the right circumstances, these circumstances are not them. Those barbed words are forgotten, pushed aside in the wake of things that actually matter more than words meant to cripple in anger, no matter the honesty of emotion behind their delivery. "Maybe," she answers - though it's hard to gauge if she means Bethari or her own wellbeing, and she doesn't elaborate either. She just lapses back into silence, staring ahead at the wall regardless of where S'van ends up, forcing herself to remember how to breathe and to think because Risali might be lost and a little (lot) broken, but she is definitely a fighter. "What about Jae? He's going to be worried."

WHO NEEDS WORDS WHEN YOU CAN JUST BOTTLE IT UP AND PRETEND IT WILL GO AWAY ON ITS OWN? NOT THEM! And Sev will definitely take that offered seat, sliding into that cot and taking up WAY MORE than his fair share of it. Because he's a giant. And because he's a cuddler. There's definitely an arm going around shoulders, at the very least. In the name of comfort! Both his own, and probably hers, too. And 'maybe' seems a pretty good answer to both, and so S'van does not question it. He lets it stand, allowing that perhaps the aforementioned junior would benefit from his presence, but just as welling to bet that she's got supports that are better than him. Like weyrmates. And even if Risali has those also, they're not here right now. And he is. And he's staying till he's booted out. Even when his OWN weyrmate is mentioned, and there's a briefly, but totally obvious look of guilt that passes over his face before he mentions that, "I haven't told him." WHAT DIDN'T HE TELL? Probably about her. Maybe about the clutch. (No, it was definitely that he didn't tell J'en about Risali. Yet.) "It's been…" It's been freaking CRAZY. Top-ten worst twenty-four hours of their lives, no doubt. "Do you want me to tell him? Aede can…" Do that dragon thing. Talk to Leketh. But he'll definitely let her make that call. Because they both know once he does, "He'll be here in a heartbeat."

DEFINITELY NOT THEM. THEY ARE STRONG, INDEPENDENT MEN/WOMEN. THEY AIN'T NEED NO… FEELS. Ahem. When S'van slides into the cot, Risali shifts to press her weight into him, her head finding his shoulder once under the nook of his arm, her injured ankle lifted gingerly so that she can cross her leg over his and turn just slightly so that she's somewhat facing him instead of just tucked in side by side. It's more comfortable this way, okay; there is nothing illicit or inappropriate about the contact, it's just her SOAKING UP S'VAN'S BODY HEAT and keeping the sore parts of her body safe from being jarred. There's a long moment after Monaco's Weyrsecond asks after whether or not he should tell Jae that Risali lapses back into silence, the fingers of her unbandaged hand picking at sheets before she commits to a non-committal shrug. "I know." A stark whisper. "I'm sorry." And there's a lot of weight in that apology: sorry to pull him away from his own sorrows, sorry that he went into the woods looking for her because she heard, sorry that she's taking away from time he could be absorbing his weyrmate instead of sitting here, in her bed with her, letting her be confused and broken. But she manages to check her emotions this time, biting down on a split lip and regretting it but unable to give up the habit. Finally, she says, "I don't… want to burden him, but I think that if you don't tell him why you're staying, he might be hurt." And angry. At both of them. "You should tell him." Because it's the right thing to do for their relationship, right…? PROBABLY. "But you don't have to stay." EVEN IF SHE IS TUCKING IN A LITTLE CLOSER, AND ABSORBING MORE HEAT.

IT'S OKAY. S'van has PLENTY of body heat to spare! Settling, comfortable, legs and arms and such doing things to make it work so that two people (one of them arguably a lot smaller than the other) can fit on ONE cot and have it not be as awkward as it COULD be. There's a sigh. A swipe of Sev's free hand through his hair, and then a quick, "Don't be silly," that is a very gentle chastisement of that 'sorry'. But it's soft. It's kind. It's in understanding, even if Sev doesn't think she ought to apologize because, "This isn't your fault." I MEAN… it might be. He doesn't ACTUALLY know. But he's gonna say it anyways. Because there's no way S'van is gonna accept that her being bruised up and in an infirmary bed is somehow justified in any way. "Not a burden. And yeah, he'll be pissed if we don't tell him." Pissed at both of them. "He'd want to be here." And so he's gonna tell him. Right now, actually, as her grey eyes go misty, and his grey eyes go distant, and they can both just take a moment. "Of course I'm staying. Fuck, Risa. You got… beat up." HE DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BUT HE CAN SEE THE EVIDENCE! "If you think I'm leaving anytime soon…" She's crazy.

That wince that comes on the heels of S'van attempting to absolve her of guilt says that she doesn't agree - that maybe if she was a better person (a better Weyrwoman, a better Weyrmate, a better Mother, a better friend), neither she nor Nessalyn would be in this situation to begin with. But they are, and regardless of who is to blame - two women lost in the woods, or one man foolish enough to try and overpower them for personal gain - somebody is dead, and two are injured. "Isn't it?" comes breathless, choking on emotion that she fights back because she's done enough crying, and because she needs to be strong. But they're back to the safer topic of Jae, and it gives Risali enough time to school herself before she answers, "Good." Because it is good that he's letting the bronzerider know, because they would both be in SO VERY MUCH TROUBLE. SO MUCH OF IT. AND THIS IS THE CORRECT COURSE OF ACTION. But. But maybe… "You should see the other guy." Maybe it started out as an attempt at humor, but it falls painfully short, and suddenly there's a noise half-hysterical rising in Risali's throat as she flinches away from S'van, as she shifts to sit up, to look at her hands, to press unbandaged and banded palm-heels alike into her bruised face with knees coming up to press into her chest because - "I killed him. Faranth, S'van. I killed him." And there it comes, a sob, something tortured and miserable and self-hating, something that can't be smoothed away by kind words and companionable bed-sharing because, "You should go. You should go," means she doesn't think she deserves his help. Or his friendship. Or his concern. And those sobs get worse, more broken, more desperate a keen between each breath until she's turning on the bronzerider at her side. "Go." And now she's screaming. "GET OUT. LEAVE. GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT." And hands are pushing at bulk, desperate, and angry, and so very unlike herself. She'll be okay. She'll learn to cope. But for right now, right now she has to learn how to live with herself first.

Whatever it is that S'van had *assumed* happened in the woods… that was not it. But while he might be all sorts of shocked, he's also pretty damn good about shoving that particular emotion to the side, to be dealt with LATER. Maybe when Risali is not becoming hysterical. PRIORITIES! The first one being: Calm down the Weyrwoman. The second one being GET SOME BACKUP IN HERE. If he wasn't worried he'd hurt her, there's no doubt that he'd be employing that tried and true technique of HOLDING ON AND NOT LETTING GO. But as causing physical pain is a legit thing… Sev does not do that. He lets go. He lets Risali push at him, and scream, and do all the things that might make someone else run for the hills. But this is Sev, and (J'en will totally back me on this here) he hears words like "GO AWAY" and "LEAVE" and just flat out ignores them. Does the opposite of them. He stays. He even stays RIGHT ON THAT DAMN COT and, while he might be at least bracing against some of that shoving and stuff, he's mostly just kinda… an immovable object. "Breathe," because that seems like the? safest(?) thing to tell her to do.

You know who has no idea of anything at all? J'en. All he got was a passed along message that Risali was hurt through two separate dragons, while he was neck deep in flamethrowers and weyrlings. Never in his life had he ever wriggled into his leathers that fast, almost forgetting to inform the creche that he would be late picking up Riley, and he was on dragonback. A moment later above Monaco, and in the next Xanadu. He doesn't even remember Leketh landing or climbing down to the ground, only the burn of his lungs as boots eat ground in tremendous strides. There was no thinking, thinking only brought up worst case sceneries, letting Leketh guide him towards the infirmary. It was good that both bronzes knew him so well that they thought to give visual directions, soon bursting through the infirmary doors and skidding to a screeching halt. Golden eyes wide and brows knotted in concern, panting past parted lips, blood saturated with adrenaline as he scans the room. It takes him all of three seconds to spot S'van and Risali, pushing himself forward in the next. "What the fuck 'appened?" he demands to know, a complex mix of emotion woven throughout his words.

WELL GUESS WHAT, S'VAN. THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED. Risali and Nessalyn STAYED SEXY, and they DIDN'T GET MURDERED. And just for the record, Risali is mostly (physically) fine. It's just the bruising doing what it does best and making things look like they're so much worse than what they really are. Blacks, and purples, and yellows will fade, her ankle will heal, her hand will be just fine, and Risali… well. Risali will make it because she is a fighter, because despite the fact that she will have little to show on the outside for her (and Ness') encounter with a man who made a poor choice and paid the ultimate price, she will have gained much inside. But that is IRRELEVANT to here and now (except to say: DON'T WORRY, S'VAN; HUGS ARE NOT THE END OF THE WORLD), what is relevant is S'van telling her to breathe and J'en showing up just then - a combination of words and coincidences that have Risali going still as healers PEEK IN SUSPICIOUS, CASTING DISAPPROVING EYES ABOUT, LOOKING READY TO KICK EVERYBODY OUT. It's a miserable look that Risali casts from S'van to J'en, and while she maybe stops screaming, she's definitely just CURLING INTO KNEES AND CHEST AGAIN, parting with a half-sobbed, "Just go," as she buries her face. But there's no more smol, ineffectual fists flailing, no more anger, just… this. PATHETIC. TEN POINTS FROM RISALIDOR.

There are definitely bruises. And gingerly movements. And there was wincing. And S'van does not want to cause pain beyond what is already being FELT (and he doesn't KNOW what sort of damage is under those clothes!). But even so, he can't exactly resist getting an arm back in there when smol fists of fury stop assaulting him, and Risali's arms go to hugging her knees instead. It's what Sev does: He hugs. He holds. He holds like he's never going to let GO, because that's how he's learned to handle these sorts of things. And it's WORKED IN THE PAST so… The arrival of J'en is met with a quick glance, but there is no forthcoming answer to the question of 'what happened'. Mostly because S'van DOESN'T KNOW! He knows NOTHING except that, "She says she—" But nope. He's not gonna say that aloud. So Aedeluth gets to say it FOR him, and J'en is once more getting information through two separate dragons to at least bring him up to speed on what S'van knows. Which is, as said, almost nothing. "We're not leaving." Because even if those healers bring their beady, suspicious, disapproving eyes anywhere near him, S'van is NOT LEAVING. At least not until he's sure that someone ELSE will be here, and Risali won't be alone. But here is where S'van is at a loss. He doesn't know what to *say*. He doesn't really know what to *do* except for what he's already doing.

J'en could certainly see the bruises, and he can make a fair guess where they came from. He'd been in his fair share of fights in his youth, but who the fuck would assault a weyrwoman? The raven-haired rider freezes when it occurs to him just who that might be, long since buried memories and the feelings brought to the surface, and all he can do is stand there and stare as his weyrmate wraps his arms around Risali and holds her despite being told quite blatantly to let her go. Of course, J'en couldn't know for sure if that's what's happened here, no one was telling him anything, whether from shock or lack of information. The healers and their peeking disapproval, ignored. It is not without grace that J'en drops down into a crouch beside the cot, making no moves to breach the fetal space that the goldrider had claimed for herself. He hadn't reacted this way, at least not on the outside. The inside was a completely different matter. He'd pull from that place, doing his best to school his expression, to be as calm, cool, and collected as he possibly could be even if he lifts a shaking hand to place somewhere on S'van, it didn't matter where. Back. Leg. Arm. Something. "Risa…" he says, "Was it…someone like Taeski?" J'en keeps his voice as low and steady as he can manage, cryptic even. Golden eyes slide up towards the blood and forest in her hair, assessing her injuries and making calculations. Aedeluth doesn't know, S'van doesn't know, and J'en could only go on that and what he sees.
Something, something is not right. So D'lei's keen senses tell him… though really, his memory of recent events can also do that for him just fine. For one thing, Kyriel stubbed his toe, which required all sorts of love to fix. For another… well. There's Risali here in the infirmary, and she is continuing to not have the best time of that. He's on his way now, not quite in time to hear the screaming but still making his way down the corridor with the help of his recently-acquired cane. He even makes it past the healers without being pounced by them… which, okay, is probably because they're busy looking disapprovingly in at the scene he approaches, but hey. Sometimes you have to take bright sides where you can find them, and sometimes you find a stoic S'van, a wide-eyed J'en, and a sobbing Risali. As D'lei does, as he nudges aside one of those healers to do just the opposite of being kicked out and arrive, with a sweep of amber eyes before they focus in on Risa and a furrow of his brows as he, too, attempts to make sense of things as they currently stand… which is to say, as they curl, and hug, and crouch.

I mean, holding on and never letting go is probably the best thing S'van can do given the situation; there's no words, no trite platitudes that will magically make Risali better. It's probably why she subsides and leans into him, why there's no more fight where there might usually have been a tempest (especially when secrets are passed from one bronzerider to another) because even if she fights it, patient understanding is what she needs. It's not until Jae crouches down to ask questions that Risali doesn't have an answer to that the Weyrwoman finally looks up, blinking tears that come without those desperately broken sounds because somewhere Risali is probably grasping at those parts of herself that make her strong and hastily stringing them back together. "I don't know," comes quiet, honest, because she doesn't know. She doesn't know anything about the man who found her and Nessalyn - not his intention, not his name, not whether or not he had a family, or how old he was, or — no. Those thoughts are dangerous, bringing a desperation back to her expression that's right on the cusps of spilling over into overwhelming feeling when she reaches out to grab J'en's S'van-bound hand (TRIPLE HOLDSIES, FIGHT MEEE) and then spots D'lei. DANG IT, D'LEI. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS. IGNORE HER LIPWIBBLE. You know that moment when you're trying to be super strong, and you're doing a damn good job right up until somebody you love or a total stranger offers you understanding, or shows up right as you needed them and ALL THOSE STRONG THINGS CRUMBLE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF RELIEF? THAT'S RISALI, and while she does a really good job of not dissolving back into hysterics, she's definitely CRYING TEARS SHE'S JUST GOING TO IGNORE. "What does it matter, Jae?" comes without her attention turning back to the inquisitive bronzer. "He's dead." It's a stark truth, and comes with the kind of expression for D'lei that heavily implies self-deprecating things. At least she doesn't voice them. "I don't want to talk about it." SO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE OR SUFFER MORE DISAPPROVAL FROM HEALERS.

Welp. Sev's pretty good at the whole 'HOLD TIGHT AND NEVER LET GO' thing. So, he'll just keep on doing that. And look immensely relieved when J'en joins in, even if it is just in the form of a hand on his something-or-other, and then Risali's hand on his hand. There's a whole lot of touching going on right now, and THIS bronzerider is pretty okay with all of it. Even if he's not really at all okay with the circumstances that have brought it all about. No, something is definitely NOT right. And S'van does not have enough information to assert very sternly that, "it was self-defense," in answer to that 'he's dead' comment. Because there's no other scenario in which S'van could see Risali killing someone. So he's gonna demand that it be THAT ONE, even if he really doesn't know. And then he'll shut up, because he's definitely not qualified to discuss these things, and doesn't want to get tossed out of the infirmary yet. Of course, now there's a D'lei, and Sev is looking kinda, sorta, REALLY relieved to see him. Cane and all (though that definitely gets a bit of a look). Yes. Come join in on the cuddles and comfort happening at the infirmary cot. Before the healers boot them all out. "Then don't," he decides. Because he's NOT a mindhealer, and he's definitely not going to force her to talk about something she's not ready or not able to discuss.

As Risali's eyes meet his own, as heartbreaking and real as that was, J'en merely nods once for her reply. It made sense, who sits down for a nice cup of tea and an introductory chit-chat when they're having their ass handed to them. Apparently, in the middle of the woods? Even if she didn't know who it was, the writing was more or less on the wall. There isn't so much as a twitch when her hand launches and clasps over his own, because fortunately Risali was on that very short list of people that was allowed to touch him without his express permission. All the attention back behind them, alerts J'en that there was someone worth checking, a glance over his shoulder and golden eyes arrive upon D'lei. The cane is noted and then it becomes all about the weyrwoman again, honestly, as it should be. A soft sound emerges as she asks what it matters and the finality of the act in which she participated, whatever it was meant to be tapered off by S'van and his affirmations, bringing about a moment's side-glancing towards his weyrmate. He doesn't know, that thought comes quickly in view of the weyrsecond's profile, but did that matter right now? Looking back to Risali, J'en leans forward some, "Then just listen," he murmurs, hand tightening on S'van, "Yer gunna get through this, I did an' I'm seriously more fucked up than ya ever were. Yer 'ere, with people who love ya…not walkin' naked to no where along the beach in the middle of winter." Ah, yes. Remember that Risali? Good times. "It's gunna be 'ard for a while, ya might 'ave nightmares 'bou it, ya might remember every detail as if it was 'appenin' all over again. Keep remindin' yerself of what's important. Yer 'ere. Leirith is 'ere. Yer kids 'ave their mom. So ya fight for 'em…fight for weyrmates…remember 'ow much they love ya…'ow much S'van and I love ya…and 'ow we'd tear the world apart without ya in it."

D'lei crosses to the cot, his mouth set to a line that is about as solid as Risali's isn't. He steps around without a word said - but with his gaze steady on her even as Jae offers his stream of reassurances that call on the memories made and shared between people - and the experiences that have made those people who they are now. Perhaps that sharing will help - if not now, then later - but D'lei makes no comment on it himself. He stops at the head of the cot, standing there with the padded surface a substitute for the cane, and his hand slides down to nudge aside the tangle of Risali's hair and curl fingers along her cheek. That's when his gaze lifts from hers, once his touch is there instead, and he looks across to see, "S'van," he says as eyes touch there, and then on to, "J'en." He smiles, or at least, his lips curve upward over the grim focus that still in large part defines his face. "How have you two been?" It is not just a polite pleasantry. It is a change of topic, because one of those seems… needed, right now. SO TALK, AND NOT ABOUT DEADS.

Somebody is still dead, yes. But at least that person is not RISALI. Which S'van might have said, if there weren't stern warnings, read loud and clear in that look and the pointed subject change by D'lei, to deter him from it. But his jaw tightens, his expression hardens, and for a moment he looks like he might argue. Only there's J'en, issuing words that are… NOT anything Sev has heard before, and have him casting looks to his weyrmate that border on accusation (certainly there's a shock and a bit of hurt there). Because very clearly, something happened. Something that THREE of the four people are apparently aware of, and privy too, but that S'van is distinctly NOT. But really, who has time for that right now, when as rightfully suggested, the focus ought to be on the weyrwoman in the bed. So Sev lets it go. And he also lets go of Risa. Just a little, at least. Just to provide an 'in' for D'lei, if he wants to swoop in and take over the hugging. He'll make room, too. Scoot-scooting his giant self over to balance precariously on the edge to allow Risali to scoot-scoot her much smaller self over, to make room for D'lei. It WOULD NOT BE THE FIRST TIME THEY WERE ALL IN BED TOGETHER! (Just gotta squeeze Jae on in, and invite K'vir to the party, and we can all relive that one time, in the cottage…). One arm releases the weyrwoman (though the other remains tight) and seeks out his own weyrmate for strength and comfort. And possibly a little bit of balance-support. "Me?" And there's a look that passes over his face, one that is dry, and ironic, and just a little bit sarcastic because it has been one helluva day, what with righteously furious Leiriths and then sad little clutches hatching and just… "Could be better," but really, "Can't complain though. Considering." Considering he's alive, and in one piece. And his weyrmate is alive, and in one piece. And everyone who matters to them is alive, and in one piece (more or less). "Yourself?"

Dark lashes lower for Risali's counter on S'van, dropping with Jae's gaze. Dead. That wasn't any less true then as it was now and his eyes close briefly, maybe re-experiencing that truth for himself from his own encounter just a few turns shy of a decade ago. Eyes opening, he shakes his head minutely, offering the weakness of a smile that's there and gone in but a blink, "Nah, dun worry 'bout that. It was a long time ago, and I ain't alone anymore. But 'ey, ya got one up on meh, ya dun't 'aveto do it like that. Okay?" This was probably the point where someone needed to touch her more and D'lei was totally on top of that, giving J'en the opportunity to check on S'van. What he finds garners an immediate reaction (considering his weyrmate's face was full of boarder-line accusation, a great deal of shock and a dash of hurt thrown in for flavor), looking as if he'd struck and turning away before his resolved entirely crumbled like Risali's had. Just then, all he wanted was to slip behind the mask, his stomach turning over and his limbs running cold from there. If J'en looked uncomfortable and unsettled, that's because he was and as much as his hands twitched in his desire to run and hide, they were all there for the cot-curled goldrider. He startles and inhales sharply when there is suddenly a great migration of shifting going on, Risali and S'van making room so that D'lei could crawl in behind her, wordlessly sliding his arm around the largest of the bronzerider's present and leaning into him. Certainly, they would talk about this later, but as was said this was not the time. Golden eyes lift at the sound of his name, locking in on D'lei, his free hand swiping at his own face, "D'lei…" As much as he would have liked to be the one that was completely all together here, stubbornly avoiding his defensive neutrality had consequences, expelling an ironic sounding snort, "Just fuckin' peachy…" he answers softly in a roughened tone. "Why the cane?" Really, he was grasping as straws here, but he jerks his chin towards the assistive device anyway.

D'lei shifts himself up onto the head of the bed - albeit with a bit of a wince - so he can nudge a butt-cheek onto that surface and increase his proximity (and reduce the amount of weight on his feet). There's a flicker of his lips at S'van's response, a slight lowering of his head and a bit more curve of them for J'en's reply - and question. "Because I had an unpleasant incident," he answers, "and it helps change what muscles are being used while I recover." His lips remain up in that curve that could pass as a smile. "It's been a busy few months, really. Not least because Selene's figured out how to unlatch the door even if we lock it." Yay, chit-chat? Which, yes, he is quite aware is not the headspace that J'en or S'van are in, and yet there are those pleasant nothings anyhow. There's another smile, and then that expression drops. "So, here's the thing." His tone starts pleasant, but that lightness quickly fades as well as he continues. "I appreciate that you two are here trying to comfort Risali, but she's made it pretty clear that she's not interested in that right now. Given that neither of you is qualified as a healer - mind or otherwise - or in a position of authority here, your right to be here is pretty much entirely at her mercy." His gaze is steady, shifting between the two of them to track individual moves, and his face is stony. "So… unless you intend to deliberately violate her agency, I suggest you either ask for her permission and abide by her requests.. or else go."

Scoot, bump. SO MUCH ROOM. Risali is mindful of her ankle, whispering thanks to S'van when he moves, grey eyes finding Jae when he speaks and… there's something there, it's almost a smile, but it's lost in a little too much emotion. "Okay," she agrees, mostly because she understands this is coming from a place of experience, but also because her agreement gives them both the momentary closure to maybe move around. But she's not blind; even in this state, Risali sees those changes in S'van, sees them in J'en, feels them in D'lei. It's been a long night and a long day for all of them, and while the small chat is good, what comes between is maybe… not. Risali's attention jumps to J'en with a grimace when he asks about the cane, and Risali's hand trapped with S'van and J'en's gives them a gentle squeeze before she draws it back and shifts to grab D'lei's. The pad of her thumb rubs over his knuckles, and while the tension probably mounts, Risali takes a moment to decide what she needs. What she needs is for them all to be okay - and so the goldrider is whispering, "S'van, Jae…" A breath. "Thank you. For coming." Because she would have been there for them too. "I'm sorry I'm…" Like this is implied, but she winces, she pauses on a breath hitched on emotion and then forces a laugh that sounds so out of place. And then another, one that sounds slightly hysterical at the end. "I'm okay," comes with a little too much desperation to be true, but she forces herself to say it again, stronger: "I'm okay." Still a little pitchy. "You should take care of each other. I think… you two need to talk anyway. D'lei is here. He'll assure me that I look awful." LOOK AT HER, AIMING FOR HUMOR. She even half-smiles for about three whole seconds. SO SHE WILL BE OKAY. Her next words, at least, are a gentle, "Go. They just wanted to keep me for observation, but I'm okay." AND SHE IS. BUT THAT SUBTEXT: YOU LOVEBIRDS GO BE LOVEBIRDS OKAY. D'lei, you just let her squeeze your hand a little harder.

It has been a really long day. A very emotional, very confusing, very trying twenty-four hours, with a lot of new information, and a lot of information that is still unknown to S'van. But there's a murmured, "You have nothing to apologize for," in return for Risali's 'I'm sorry'. And a faint smile; an echo of an expression that falls far short of what it usually is. Because there are limits, and S'van has definitely reached his. And it's definitely not helped by forced smiles that become no smile at all and subtle (or not so subtle?) threats coming at him. "Right. You could just ask. I'm not as much of a dick as you might think." But he gets it and, really, see previous SUPER LONG DAY comment up above. "I'm going home. Home-home," now that Risabeth and Aedeluth's clutch has hatched, he can finally do that. Talk? There's a brief look for that, but it's fleeting; a flick of his gaze that lands and then averts from Risali. That definitely does not look at J'en, even if he's still touching him. It probably lands on the edge of the bed, or maybe the wall over there. And then it's on his hands, and where he's placing them. And his feet, and where he's putting them as he navigates out of that crushing mess of people to stand, roll his shoulders, and promptly see himself right on out of there. A bed, and probably a bath (maybe in reverse order) is definitely calling his name.

There's another nod for Risali, right on time, when she agrees if only for the sake of some sort of closure to something. Some semblance of control. J'en understood that. Although the answer that D'lei has in response to his inquiry is vague, he didn't need to see Risali's reaction to know not to pursue it further, he wouldn't have anyway. He didn't know the man even remotely as well as he needed to to ask in the first place, but it'd been small talk everyone was after. J'en didn't do small talk because he was horrible at it. This might be why he isn't particularly surprised when, despite the wounded weyrwoman's reassurances that everything was cool, that her present weyrmate makes it crystal clear that that it was not. Without a word, even while D'lei and Risali are talking, he untangles himself and pushes himself to his feet, noting out of the corner of his eye everything that was S'van around the time that he is not looking at him. Jaw hardening, he turns on his heel and walks out, whether or not the voices follow behind him.

D'lei curls his fingers back around Risali's, giving her hand a squeeze in return as he takes it without looking down. His gaze remains on the other bronzeriders, an arch of brows that seems skeptical about S'van's assertion - because while he may not have 'just asked', Risali certainly did - but remains short of actual words. Likely for the best, given that his day has also been… rather excessively long, a fact which surely flavors words both said and heard. But - be that as it may - there are no further ones, and two depart to leave only Risali and D'leo behind… and there are no words even then, D'lei silent as he shifts to a more comfortable position beside Risali and… saying nothing, save with touch and closeness. It's time for rest for … all of them, in various ways, because it has, in fact, been a really long day..

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