On the Mend?

Xanadu Weyr – Infirmary


The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

The rain continues outside as it has for several days now, while the lake and the river rises. Folks who need to do so relocate to higher ground, wherever it can be found. From the sopping wet outside, Thea enters the Infirmary, as she has done every day since she heard her best friend had been caught in the fire, heading with quiet step towards the cot that Phylicia rests upon. Today Thea's face is particularly weary, but arranged in a hopeful expression as she seeks out her friend.

It's been nine days, and the rain hasn't let up. On the upside, Phylicia is actually awake and sitting up on her bed, leaning against the wall with her pillow padding her back against its surface. Physically speaking, the senior apprentice doesn't look as raw or pained as she did the last time Thea had stopped in but emotionally speaking the girl looks dead, or at least drained to the point where sitting is all she would like to do. With a mug in her hands, she obediently takes a sip every few moments, but if her eyes focus on anything, it isn't anything that has a pulse to it. While still in an infirmary gown, a portion of the bandages haven't been re-wrapped, since while the skin is pink and raw-looking, it has healed enough not to need constant coverage.

As Thea draws near Phylicia's cot, the somber shadows in her green eyes lift and her step quickens a bit. "Phy." The quietly spoken greeting carries a lilting gladness, "You are awake!" Then it is that the junior takes in the expression on her friend's face and she sucks in a breath of dismay. "Phy?" Uncertainty laces the one-word query as she seats herself beside the cot. Since the young healer doesn't seem to be moving, she adds gently, "It's Thea."

"You just did…" Are the three hoarse words Phylicia gets out while turning her head to look dully at what she had assumed was her Attending. But the hoarseness of her voice isn't due to her emotional shortage; it's due to all the smoke and heat she inhaled when stuck in the forest. But it's Thea and that gets a blink of momentary confusion from Phy as her overloaded brain tries to parse the information now sitting beside her. "I'm awake." She rasps in confirmation, though whether she's aware is another question.

Thea sighs softly at the vague response her greeting draws, wincing at the rough-sounding voice in that reply, "Yes, you are awake, Phy. I've been in to see you, but you've always been sedated…" She notes that confusion, pain flickers in her eyes, but she stifles it. She hesitates, then asks carefully, "What happened out there?" One hand lifts to indicate the forests beyond.

Phylicia gives her head a slight shake one hand going to her neck to rub at her itching skin, since her face is finally in peel-mode, which leaves her dry and wanting to scratch. She gets one good rub in and comes away with a small patch of the dead skin before she manages to stop, turning an increasingly annoyed look at that patch of skin as she reaches over to put it with other such patches she's taken off that way recently, so someone else can dispose of them neatly. "Stupidity." Phylicia grumbles in her gravelly voice, the annoyance flaring for a heartbeat into anger directed at herself before it drains right back out of her, putting her back into that pit of dreariness. But chocolate eyes raise finally to look at Thea. "Been off the heavy sedatives for a day or two." She's still speaking as efficiently as she can though, sparing herself the scratchy pain of speaking, which prompts another sip from her cup.

Thea tries not to watch that patch of skin that Phylicia has in her fingers. Tries not to follow it with her eyes as it is placed with the others and fails. It is the grumbled word that has the weyrwoman's eyes returning to the girl's face, noting the self-directed anger and her lips opening to protest it, but the argument dies before it is born. "What were you doing out in the woods anyway, Phy?" No blame in her tone, nothing but simple curiosity, "Surely not harvesting dead plants?"

Phylicia's cheeks would likely radiate heat if they weren't doing so already from the peeling burns, with the look of both embarrassment and that self-anger start creeping back to her face. "Wasn't thinking. Well. Not 'bout where I was walking." So her feet just followed the path they were used to taking, and she hadn't remembered hearing any warnings to stay clear of the forest. It's such a silly reason especially for the damage that resulted from it, but there's the whole of it. Or the general outline at least. "Was too far in… when I realized…" When she smelled the smoke and started to reverse herself.

Thea remains quiet, her hands rest lightly in her lap as she nods gravely to this. She doesn't look too happy about that anger her friend has for herself, but for now she doesn't dispute it. "It happens." She points out, "You know I've done the same. Or you, M'nol and Tenebrous wouldn't have had to pull me from that ravine last winter." She shifts on the chair, hesitating before asking, "Do you know how you got out?"

"But…" Phylicia protests weakly. That was Thea, this is her. She's been in that forest for close to a turn, and it's obvious the girl feels she should have known better. There's no way she could of, but right now she's a little past logic as her head jerks in a nod. "Tenebrous pulled me out…" She knows this, because the man's scorched coat is sitting on a low shelf of her bedside table, courtesy of Fraille. And her hands tighten into fits on the bedsheets underneath her. "D-did they tell you he lost his memory because of it?" And there's most of the source of her self-hatred. The burns in time she could deal with. The memory loss digs at her, painfully so.

Thea shakes her head at Phylicia, not trying to talk her into or out of anything, merely continuing, "I grew up in the forests of Cold Stone hold and I should have had the wherewithal to be more sure-footed." Her nod about Tenebrous pulling her out turns into a headshake of denial and a sucked in breath, "Lost his memory? No." She blinks in surprise, "Fraille mentioned a concussion, though." She studies the girl's face carefully, "Phylicia. He took a blow to the head. You're a healer. You know that the memory loss can be temporary. Be hopeful." A gentle chiding only.

Phylicia falls into a momentary silence as she looks at the mug in her hands, knowing full well this one contains just a hint of peppermint to help keep her airways open when she starts getting tense, but also contains whatever it is that helps with her throat. She seems lost in the remaining liquid, though in a moment she downs the remaining liquid, setting the cup on the beside table. "Fraille-" And for a moment she gives way to a small fit of coughing, her throat irritated with the use its seen without any warning. "Fraille told me last night. Formally terminated my mentorship with him." And there's pain in those words, but from the gauge of things, she's more hurt by the fact she hurt him even in a roundabout way of being rescued. But it seems the girl is going to be in a sour mood still. "Hope hurts, Thea. There's a real possibility it won't come back."

Thea waits patiently, unruffled by this long silence of Phylicia's. When the girl is finished speaking, she makes a soft sound of disagreement deep in her throat, "Fraille has been and always will be a pessimist. Always giving the worst outlook on things." She pauses to cant her head thoughtfully to one side, "I think it's a healery-ploy. See, when you expect the worst, then things are better, the healer cannot be blamed for misleading one with an overly rosy prediction." She waits until the coughing stop and when those painful words of hers are uttered, Thea reaches a hand to place it on the blanket where it covers the girl's thigh, "Oh, Phy, I'm sorry to hear that. I really am." She remains silent before breathing a very soft, "Oh, I think despair hurts far worse, my friend. I know. I've been there twice."

Phylicia winces slightly as Thea's hand manages to find one of the burns that hasn't fully healed yet under the blanket, where a hot metal buckle was searing her through her pants. But the hand on her thigh does more than just make Phylicia wince; it makes her eyes moisten. "It's safer that way… not promising what you may not be able to give…" She coughs feebly, trying to hold back a larger coughing fit she really doesn't want to give into as she leans further back into the wall, blinking her eyes rapidly to disperse the tears. Crying is all well and good … one one's lungs are able to support the action. "I didn't mean for him to get hurt." And there's that barely covered hurt again.

Thea's eyes flash from Phylicia's eyes to her thigh and immediately she lifts her hand, but only a by a hair. She keeps it there for the thought somehow reaching out to her friend. "I wish I could give you a hug," she murmurs. Ice green eyes echo Phylicia's tears, but the weyrwoman doesn't attempt to keep them at bay, merely ignores them as they trace down her cheeks. "Oh, Phy. Safe is all well and good when it is someone else's hope you're messing with. But yours… well, you are the captain of it, not some playin'-it-safe Healer." Phylicia's next words have her nodding and it's with a sigh that she agrees sadly, "Neither did I." And that is perhaps the only time she'll ever hear Thea refer to what happened in the cave. "I think he's strong enough to come through. Seen him go through an awful lot in the past turn. And if it helps, CraftMaster Fraille says he's blaming himself for you getting hurt."

Thea's sentiments draw a weak chuckle from Phylicia as the girl digs fingernails into her palms, using the small distraction of pain to divert her from the tears before she starts coughing again, and can't stop like she did the night prior. "A-alot of people are saying that." M'nol every single time he catches her awake being one of them. The middle part gets glazed over by the girl, partially because she doesn't want to think on it at the moment, and partially because Thea's following words have her blinking. "Craftmaster? Don't you just mean Master?" She's paled a bit under her remaining burns, looking at the junior and friend.

Thea nods about the hugs. "Yeah, I can imagine so." She winces for that coughing fit, head turning for that healer, who gets a lift of the brows. She grins at the blinking, "Yeah, the Hall has called her to take the helm. I guess CraftMaster Alric decided to step down for whatever reason. Now the fate of Pern's health rests in her claws." A wry chuckle follows that. "Ironic no?" She rises, standing by the bed, "I need to get back to manning the emergency radio, Phy. The wings are out flying the flood zones. My break is over." She turns and steps away before turning back, looks the girl straight in the eye and says, "He'd tell you that you are Live Ammo and to do it right, Phy." A gentle smile and a chin-tilt are her wordless parting to keep her chin up.

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