In Session

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.

Summer did not go easily into the gentle night. It fought like a mother to try and maintain a hold on the Weyr. One morning it's all leggings and fluffy boots, and by midday, you can be in a swimsuit and at the beach. This makes dressing HARD if you're anyone but Evi on this fine fall morning. Walking into the infirmary, she's dressed from head to toe in sky blue, a pleated jumper that hooks at her shoulders with cottony suspenders over a white shirt. Settling in a chair, she waits for Ajral with a fidget, tapping her toes and crossing and recrossing her legs. More than once, she stares at the door, finally crossing her arms defensively and looking every bit the pouting child. She doesn't want to be here, but here she is. Even making this appointment took months, walking in, walking out, asking for a bandaid, asking for a tea for her cycle, asking for everything but what she really needed. So she's here, and she hates it.

Everyone hates Ajral. Wait — not exactly, scratch that, try again: just about everyone hates seeing Ajral, from the wingriders forced to by administration to the children forced to by their parents to … people who know they need help and just have to get around to doing it themselves? That one is uncommon. It is not quite rare. But it is definitely uncommon, and so Ajral has a momentary pause when she discovers she's not scheduled to see someone who has been referred by someone else. At least it doesn't look like it from the note! So she looks in a good mood — all in the lack of tension in her neck and shoulders, since her face is always the same polite mild friendliness — when she appears to claim Evi. "Hey," she says, addressing a familiar face, "Come on back. Apologies for my office." It's not one. It's just a cordoned-off area with thicker dividers that are as soundproof as possible. It was that or a closet.

Growing up sucks, all the dishes, toilet paper, schedules, and the overall lack of time to wallow in self-pity or loathing. Evi does not hate Ajral; she simply does not enjoy this process of talking about the one thing she's avoided for four months now. You can point in any direction and say THAT is the way to go, but sometimes there's far more power in staying. Stiffly she jerks upward, quietly following with a sharp dip of the chin, walking around the dividers and shrugging with a mousey chirp, "Um, it's fine. I um, it'll be totally fine. I'm sure, yes." Finding a chair, she stands behind it, leaning over the back and crossing ankles to squeeze tightly, eyes flickering around. "Um. So. I uh. Where do I um, start? What, do I talk? Oh, I'm being terribly rude. Hi Journeyman Ajral, it's um, well." She can't say she ever wished to see her in this capacity, but here she is. "I did something— um, really bad." Only avoiding crying by staring at the wood grain of the desk, refusing to blink, fingers digging into the poor chair in front of her. Maybe she KILLED SOMEONE. Ok, probably not.

While analysis isn't Ajral's favorite method — she doesn't think it works, because it doesn't — there's nothing wrong with just letting the patient talk! So she lets Evi talk until she has talked herself to the point she wants to get to. At least the chairs aren't as bad as the waiting room ones, and if Ajral takes notes, it's impossible to tell: she isn't right now. She is instead sitting, watching Evi settle however the greenrider choses to do so. She does have flowers in vases in her little section, though, so it's a bit cheerier than the regular infirmary vibe. "You can say whatever you want however you want to do it; everyone's a little different," is the only guidance she offers before simply nodding and taking that in stride. Even if she HAD killed someone that wouldn't have been Ajral's first time hearing it! (Whether or not it's true is variable.) "I'm thinking that whatever it is seems to be eating at you, hm?"

There's a thin slant to Evi's body; in the moments that she is still, it's easy to see the darker circles that cosmetics haven't entirely erased shadowing under her eyes. Bottom lip rolls in, and teeth find it easily, nibbling away at the remaining skin in direct defiance of any healing attempts her body is making. The words are acknowledged only by a flash of huge brown-green eyes making momentary contact and finding a corner in the ceiling. Freezing, she stands stark still, breathing in shallow, hitched gasps that are preventing the full mental breakdown she's been avoiding. Nope, nope, nope. She will not do this, not now, not here, not ever, NO. Carrying feelings at first feels like carrying a little weight, but ask any mother you'll learn how heavy even the lightest burden can become over time. "I… had someone. And, I, I made him leave." Not elaborating as the words are pulled from deep within her soul. "He, I, you see, Uh." Whining with a long, painful uhhmmmmm there's silence. "He loved me. And, and now, he won't even look at me. Two and a half turns, and I can't sleep in our room, or be in my weyr, or look at his things, and he's moved on, and he's better and fine. I did it, I told him to leave, I did it. All of this feeling is punishment. It's how it's supposed to be, but uh- I can't keep doing this." FInally on eye gives out, a streak of water drawing a line from eyelashes to chin, left to fall where it pleases.

It is a good thing Ajral doesn't know who they're talking about in this moment, though she would never react outwardly either way, but it would indeed change her interpretation a little. Because she does know how the other person is taking this, as it turns out (only in that he is apparently living in Firm Denial Land, sorry Lyu) but in this moment it doesn't matter and nothing outside this 'room' matters one iota. "Did you love him?" is cautious, because Ajral can tell what the answer is, but technically Evi hasn't said it … and maybe getting it out will help. Or maybe she'll punch Ajral in the face (not likely). The other questions line up in order in her mind, but wait, possibly never to be gotten to.

Getting Evi to hit you takes a TON of work like you'd have to invest serious hours into that endeavor. Unaware of how well Ajral knows Lyubomir, and not particularly caring because this is her mental breakdown time and space. Walking around the chair, she begins to pace, arms wrapped tightly to splint the wound that's eaten a hole in the middle of her body, that sucking ache that keeps her sleeping on the couch with a 4-month-old infant. The one that has her using Neifeth's closet to avoid smelling him, the one that has her wearing his jacket at night. Who knew a person could do this kind of damage? Falling in love is for the birds' kids. "I think so. But-but-but," Losing momentum she can't find breath for words, "he wanted to give up everything for me." Squeaking it out and allowing her fallen face to meet Ajral's, "I had, so much less, to give. I never deserved him. So, can you um, give me like… a tea, or an herb, and it'll stop hurting?" She wants this better because grief like this has left a giant chasm in her whole life.

It doesn't matter; he is irrelevant, he is the subject and the cause but is currently as important to Ajral as any other minor detail. She's taking in everything about Evi's frame, how she moves and how she looks, and keeping her face an almost impassive compassionate, allowing a couple of slow-motion nods. "So — yes," is that first conclusion, "I can give you something that can help you recover — make it easier to sleep and lift the worst of the impact on how you're thinking — but it's not a cure by any means. For emotional trauma chemicals can only be an aid. Was that why you asked him to go, so he didn't give something up? It was more a sacrifice than an argument?"

The yes catches her off guard, Evi was partially joking about that, but the offer acts as a balm. The promise of being able to keep a meal down without the grief eating through her appetite like thread through a herdbeast. "We'd- gone… to the healer hall. We- we'd been, we had, we." Stuck, she stops and squeaks, "I um, had, miscarriages. And, they don't think anything can be done… He didn't want anything. He was dumb, he only wanted me, and I didn't want to be the reason that ten turns from now he didn't have a child, or a dragon, or be a Master Builder like he deserves." Finding a corner by a divider, she pressed up against it, "I love him." Giving up on avoiding it the silver lines down ivory cheeks cut a path that winds until they meet under the greenrider's chin and leave tiny spots on the pristine white shirt beneath. "I uh, have never loved a person, before, like um-" A blush, staring up at the ceiling. "He'll never forgive me, and I know I don't deserve it, and I hope he impresses but, where does that leave me?"

The carefully used balms of correctly-tinctured plants to just ever so slightly change the brain: Ajral's specialty. She won't say no to someone clearly in need of it; she may not know about the child, but the lack of eating and sleeping is somewhat apparent. "That may not be dumb," she says, matter-of-fact. Also filed in the back of her mind: probably a current candidate, which could be really awkward, but she won't think of it further. Her own candidacy goes unmentioned. "It may be that you're more important than children or dragons; many people do make those choices. But right now the more important thing is you aren't comfortable with him not taking chances because of that, and so you're not in the same place at the moment. This may mean," cautious, she doesn't know, but she's also pretty sure Evi is not a dangerous stalker, "That in future you can work things out, especially if he's standing and Impresses? That gives you a lot of time to become different people and yet maybe still fit together. But the future isn't now — I just urge you to not think you don't deserve forgiveness. In a rational mindset he may realize that you only meant the best. It sounds like it to me." The best may not have been right, but it was the best that she meant, and Ajral can see that plain as day. "Though the future isn't now, and I cannot put a bandage around an emotional wound and set it to heal the same way. Some will take time. I do think a tea will help a bit, but you'll also need to put effort into moving forward. It sounds impossible, and you're thinking I must be nuts, telling you that you have to try to move on when that's what you've been doing, but let's … break it down and make it more concrete. What about life is different now, besides the grief?"

Evi is a creature of motion. Since the moment she met Ajral over 4 and a half turns ago, she's all impulsive wiggles. She's not a teenage girl anymore; having hit her 20th turn day a few sevens past, she's 7 flights into a lifetime of complicated greenriding hormonal surges, an established wingrider. The baby is gone, replaced by someone far more complicated in some ways. Still, the cessation of movement, body stuff, and head cocked to examine the dividers' texture, chin on shoulder, even blinking comes less often. "It was- the… It was bad." Admitting what happened is a bit farther out. It won't happen this session as she's not relived that night yet with anyone. "Um, I, I have a foster son. We, he was supposed to be ours, together. Uh, he used to.." A blush, the memory pulling her lips up with a brightness that you'd think had gone extinct, "He used to make us, dinner, and, he was, um, warm, and um- um- he.. smelled like, the woods, and, leather. His uh, toolbelt. i miss it, by the door, and his boots, and his hair. It's- I come home, and he's everywhere, and he's in my dreams, and sometimes I want to share something, and I almost write him a note, and then I remember that it's been four months, two sevendays and five days since we last spoke." Obviously, moving on might be a bit hard. "I uh- almost moved, to Ierne." Because running away seems like a super decent option, "If um- I stay, busy, when we're working, or out, it's better." HEY she's not started a heavy drinking problem yet EITHER. Snaps for Evi.

Ajral has indeed seen this one grow up, and that's part of why seeing her in so much pain stings. Even if she's bad at letting people close — even if after all this time knowing so many people she'd only take proverbial bullets for Rhodelia and Ki'lian, because she is terrible at letting people know her — she does still care and she does still take notice. And the recounting of all this pain does hurt, but Ajral is that kind of person with that kind of empathy: she absorbs it to herself, but she doesn't show any sign of being bothered. Only compassion, light as a feather but everpresent. "Definitely don't move," is her first suggestion. It's not firm, it's just matter-of-fact. "You have other friends and other connections here, and I'm not sure Neith," does she know her dragon's real name, is this just politeness? "Would be fond of leaving where is her home. Though traveling is something I would've recommended but you've a young child and probably want them to have stability — but writing notes, that's not a bad strategy, I think the direction could use some adjustment though." A little smile, here, more friend-to-friend but also with Expert Suggestion weight. "Perhaps keep a journal, instead. Don't keep the idea attached to addressing someone not receiving. Because you most certainly care for him, but you do not need him to be you. Filling your life with the other things that matter, that's what you need, and if the grief sneaks in, write it down. But work, though not to excess. Spend time with friends, if you can. Are you feeling like having a child in your life is a good thing now?" This question is even more cautious. She doesn't want to suggest that Evi's not a fit mother, but if the foster child is young enough, maybe it would be better to not have the burden — or it could be that the child is what's keeping her going and needs to be the focus of emotional recovery.

In the same way, though different as the million and 10 things that go on in Evi's mind mean that unless she's hyper-focusing, she seems not care. She's seen Ajral grow, get older, the woman nearly 10 turns her senior still the person she slept next to for four months during the worst turn of her whole life. That matters. It's easier to tell all of this to her, even if they never managed closeness due to the paths diverged when Neifeth broke shell. Releasing the tension in her neck, she's running out of emotional energy, head gently resting on the divider, body sinking even as she keeps the vice grip around her own shoulders. Hold on, hold on, hold on. "Nei likes her home." Quiet, simple, allowing that while absorbing and sorting, mental processes slowing as the pain takes up large portions of her taxed executive functions. The journal idea gets a subtle bob; all of the words out have her losing momentum, body locking up as she tires. "He's, I'd of moved, if not for him. Lyu wanted him, too. I wish." A sigh, sinking further and gasping as the name finds her lips, frees itself, "Izzy is-." Speechless to explain it, a hand goes out, making a wave to somehow express how all-encompassing her son is now. "Thank you for- listening." Softening a gaze for the mindhealer, blinking long and settling back into her skin. Shared pain is lessened; shared joy, increased — thus do we refute entropy.

"I always listen," Ajral says gently, and it's with a soft tone that belies more than just professionalism, for once — she remembers that scared little girl, though it feels far away, so many Candidacies and knot changes and travels. And the woman she has become does matter to her, the same way everyone who ever trusts her matters, and the same way that anyone who ever considered her a friend can continue to — a lapse of time and a forced distance may change things, but they don't erase them, and that is why she adds, "And I do care." Because in this case, Evi isn't a stranger, and so she cared as soon as she saw who she would be speaking to, rather than having to forge caring. Thankfully, most of Xanadu's problems are ones she can care about. The people ones, anyway. The fact that she has now given Ajral enough information to realize she has befriended this disconnected lover? That will play at her, too, but confidentiality — is. "It sounds like you have building blocks to do well, but you're being drowned by pain, and so while I often tell people no to that same question I really do think a medicine will help. Be careful not to overuse it. Only to sleep or when," now she is actually writing something down for the first time, all of a sudden, but it's just the same instructions she's orally giving, "you're utterly overwhelmed. It may make your dragon feel a bit strange and sleepy too. If that happens, please let me know, it's — just important to know," she is not making Evi do the study for her any more than she did Kael, but one must collect data. "Not more than two doses a day for sure, and I would prefer less than that, and you'll need to come back in a month from now — " Oh, and that could be strange. If she's Impressed, will she still be able to do this follow-up? Ajral won't entertain the idea that the answer might be no.

Frozen in posture, unable to do much beyond listen though a shiver runs through her body from some unvoiced memory or emotion. Between tiny jerks of her head, chin dipping the slightest bit to show she's still with Ajral, she glazes over to reach out and brush against Neifeth. The cotton candy wonderland of dark sequined forest press in, brushing Ajral as well because the dragon doesn't always CARE. Rude. But maybe, a small gift, the jewel covered world of towering violet trees, grass of softest peach fuzz that somehow smells edible. Nei's mind offers various wonders, offering them to Ajral but not forcing it if the healer does not wish to see. With a sudden jerk, the instructions have Evi fumbling in skirt pockets, nearly dropping the fluffy pink notepad that matches the grass in her lifemate's mind shockingly accurately. HRM. "Um, I have a baby. I can't be, to asleep. Can I take very small amounts? Or um, should I get a sitter?" She is the primary caretaker of an infant and takes it seriously. "I'll um, ok." Writing everything down, she starts to slowly back away, "A month. Ok." Deciding that's acceptable, suddenly unsure how to leave. Yet once she's allowed to, she'll slip away to hide, to recover because this took more than she thought it would.

This is — okay. It is unexpected. But it is okay; it may even be good, it is definitely better than just fine. Ajral has grown used to draconic intrusions, though they are mostly Inasyth, others don't bother her either — and she allows her mental peace and personal zen garden to mesh with Neifeth's. She's not pushing backward, either, but simply doing the curious poking-around as far as she can politely wander, and an unspoken concept of appreciation that the non-rider hopes she's conveying properly. Egg touchings may or may not have taught her anything. "Yes — six ounces should only be mildly sedating," is Ajral's more helpful information, once she's gotten her concentration back. "I'll have some sent to you when I'm done mixing it, and will include all that. And know that you can come back sooner. Whenever you like. The longest is a month — two weeks might be wiser — simply keep me posted with how you're doing whenever you feel up to it — " But she is allowed to leave, because Ajral says also, "I don't want to push too hard or too far." And so she will be sure Evi gets that medication, with careful and detailed instruction: she will include a note that if she feels completely exhausted and overwhelmed, a sitter might help just for the night to get good rest, and to come ask for her whenever it's needed, warranted, or just strikes the whim.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License