Cuts And Wounds


Ahnika.jpg Jonavan.jpg Lorayit.jpg

Date: Oct. 31, 2010
Location: Infirmary, EW
Synopsis: While Jaya and Max are away, Lo stops by under the pretense of getting some numbweed for an injured friend. He meets Ahnika as 'Pheenie' and Jonavan as a result.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Lorayit

Evening has the infirmary bathed in the light of several strategically-placed glows. One section near the back is kept dark for the patients resting there, though the light of one illuminates through the curtain slung round the bed. Not everyone's asleep then, neither patients nor healer, with the latter at his post on a tall stool pulled up to the counters. At this makeshift desk, Jonavan has several papers spread out before him, but mostly he just stares into space, his mouth set in a faint frown.

The night brings in very strange folks, and so this one finds the Weyr gardener making his silent appearance. He pauses on the threshold, the infirmary being foreign territory to him since he's avoided the place since he's moved here. Maybe he has a thing against healers? In either case, he's clearly not expecting anyone 'official' to be there at this time of night, and it's evident he's in search of something - or someone. Imagine his being taken aback at seeing Jonavan there at the counters, pausing and taking a step closer to the shadows as he wonders if he's been seen or not. For now, he's certainly not making his presence known.

Uncrowded and quiet. This is true, and one of the reasons Ahnika sticks to her appointments in the evenings, as late as she can stand it really, knowing that she will have to slip in here unnoticed at dawn or just before dawn, as well. Tonight, however, Ahnika is well distracted with thoughts of her Gather dress being repurchased and returned to her, left with that sweet little note from her beau. It may be enough sweetness to make others gag, but it's just right for the redhead. Distracted as she is, and wanting to get back to the barracks quickly to give her time to work on another letter to Max before she falls asleep, she scampers into the Infirmary, heading right for the usual spot she's found the night-Healer without even looking, and as such totally misses the fact that there's a man there in her way. With a grunter "Oof!" She slams into the back of him, and tall as she is, she has to grab onto the back of his arm to keep herself from falling completely. "Oh! Pardon me!" It's said with emphasis, though her voice is kept at a hushed level so as not to wake any patients. Being as how her attention is most immediately fixed on the man she bumped into, she doesn't spy out Jonavan yet.

Jonavan only sits facing the entrance out of obligation rather than any desire to be friendly and welcoming. Movement caught in the corner of his eye, Lorayit's noticed but it takes a minute for the healer to gather himself enough to do anything about it. One foot touches the ground as he half-stands, about to ask what Lorayit's business is here. However, when Ahnika barrels into the other man, Jonavan replaces his foot in the rung of the stool and keeps quiet, first waiting to see how that situation resolves itself.

Lorayit was too occupied with scooping the place out that when he feels something knock into him from behind, he has to stumble forward to regain his balance. So much for being stealthy, right? The healer present will likely hear them now, he thinks, so the gardener’s shooting an uncharacteristically dark look over his shoulder at what – or who – had given his presence away and grabbed his arm in the process. “Excuse yourself,” comes the drawl of a faint Reachian accent, the man’s blue eyes falling first on Ahnika’s red hair rather than her face. Just as quickly, that dark look is replaced with something more easy and genial, a complete contrast as his other hand goes out to make sure she’s upright alright. “Late night patient?” is his form of greeting, is gaze then going towards a watching Jonavan and causing him to nod his head in wordless greeting to him. Might as well be friendly, now that he was caught, and he’ll help guide Ahnika further into the room if she allows it – being the ‘country boy’ gentleman that he is.

Once her balance is regained completely, Ahnika's brows furrow a little to the initial comment, more because she's not sure she heard it right and it doesn't make sense to the redhead inexperienced with such things than any anger at him. Especially as just a moment later he's offering to help steady her and lead her farther in, though as his hand brushes her injured arm (unbeknownst to him) she sucks in a breath through gritted teeth and pulls it away before blanching a little and muttering something under her breath. One an exhaled breath meant to soothe the smarting within, Ahnika nods, finally looking into Lo's face and offering a friendly smile of her own, "Yes, you could say so. Follow-up appointment of sorts," she lifts the injured arm and rolls up the sleeve to reveal the bandage, and puts a hand up to forestall any apologies, "I'm well enough, though, now." Her voice remains at a hushed level, though still attempts to be audible, and she looks past Lo toward Jonavan. With a little sigh and then a chuckle, she waves off Lo's assistance into helping her farther in, and simply says, "I'm just here for follow-up, please go ahead of me, Sir. You were here first." And as she has continued to try to maintain the weyrlingmasters being ignorant of her injuries, she is knotless at present.

As someone altogether uncivil, Jonavan hears Lorayit's immediate response to Ahnika as something he might perhaps say himself. What's interesting then is the shift towards congeniality, which in contrast is something Jonavan would never do. He gives the gardener the slightest of nods in return as he slides off his seat and goes to meet the two. "No, she's just come to keep me company." The suggestion in that is self-evident; he gives Ahnika a dirty look when she rolls up her sleeve. "Oh, now you've spoiled it. What can I do for you?" The last is addressed to Lorayit.

“Injured, eh?” Lo steps back to allow Ahnika to precede him, his eyes narrowing slightly. Knotless doesn’t tell him much, but the blonde man moves on ahead of her since she allows it. Blue eyes falling on Jonavan as he approaches, “I’m, ah, here to collect up a small pot of numbweed for a friend of mine,” he’s sliding in the lie easily, his expression friendly despite the dark looks of earlier. Jonavan does get his scrutiny, however, as he speaks, moving ahead and turning slightly to keep Ahnika within his sights. “But I can wait and let the little lady go first,” he adds, a hand lifting in Ahni’s direction. “I’m not the one hurt, and there’s no rush for me.” He doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, anyway – choosing to stand to the side and watch the two as he tries to match what he sees of the weyrling with what he knows from his runner thief. And suddenly, as an after-thought, “Name’s Lo,” he adds this to the healer in particular, feeling the need to introduce himself. “I manage the gardens here.” This last perhaps falls on Ahnika since his eyes flick in her direction.

"Spoiled what? You hate me and would never want me to keep you company. What's to spoil?" Ahnika naively shoots right back to Jonavan, though for accusing someone of hating her, she's not exactly broken up about it. Neither, apparently, does she get satire. She lapses silent as Jonavan's attention turns to Lo, and she seems ready to give the two their privacy when Lo prompts with his first, and she nods, offering a tight smile for the admission, "Yes, just a cut," though she leaves it at that as he goes to close the brief distance more with Jonavan. If she finds it odd that Lo wants to keep her in his sights, she doesn't say or do anything, more than likely thinking the man just doesn't want to be rude, knowing her. And so she continues her way farther in to the nearest cot, which puts her closer to the men, though she politely keeps her attention away so that it doesn't appear like she's eavesdropping or anything. And since she believes the introduction was meant for Jonavan and not herself, she chooses not to supply either of her names at this juncture. The fact that Lo mentions being a gardener does get a curious glance from Ahni, but if she is making any leaps between 'gardener' and 'farmer' there's nothing to indicate it in her expression.

"Jonavan," says the healer in kind and leaves off any information about his own position, considering it self-evident. He doesn't object to making people wait, especially when it's pointless and avoidable, so he nods once for Lo. "Right then, take a seat and I'll get her started." He jerks a nod towards Ahnika, rolling his eyes when she fails to pick up on the jibe. "Nevermind." He manages to package quite a lot of disparagement in the two syllables. "What happened to your friend?" Jonavan, addressing the gardener again, moves past and head for the counter where there's a sink so he can wash his hands.

Take a seat, Lo does. “Well met, Jonavan,” he gives in pleasantries, seeming quite content in remaining there until the healer asks after his ‘friend.’ “Got into it with a knife,” he explains, settling his hands over his stomach as he comfortably leans back. “Grazed his hand. Promised him I would swing by here and see what I could pick up.” Beat. “Did the same happen to you?” Blue eyes turn to Ahnika, the question meant to be friendly on the surface and subtle – though, really, how can one be subtle when asking after a wound to someone you don’t know? “Nasty opponents, knives,” he adds as an aside to them, shaking his head at the inevitability of them all. “They can really get you in trouble.” Off-handed that sounds, the gardener now returning to checking out what he can of the infirmary from where he sits and appearing to not find interest in neither healer nor weyrling. As far as he was concerned, he was just making small talk while he waits.

Ahnika may not be the quickest in streetwise rhetoric, but she can understand tone, as such Jonavan's 'nevermind' earns him her sticking her tongue out at his back and crossing her eyes when he heads to the counter, regardless if Lo sees this or not. And then her expression smoothes once more to be calm and reasonable before Jonavan can catch it, hopefully. Yeah, real mature there, Ahni. But she sobers quickly enough when Lo talks of someone getting hurt with a knife and the redhead frowns a little, "A knife fight in the gardens?" Or so her mind leaps to such a conclusion. Apparently she was paying attention to Lo giving his profession, and eaves-dropping generally, after all. "Does the Headwoman know?" Her tone suggests she does not approve of knife-fights, but it is in a concerned vein. "Who? Me?" the question actually has her a little unsettled, unprepared for it as she was, so she gives a sort of stammering false start before saying, "Ah, I, um, was just messing around in the beast caverns and got hurt." Though the length of the bandage on her arm (let alone on her chest) might suggest it wasn't just a matter of running and tripping on something and stabbing herself. And the matter of the fact that she is a terrible liar (though it's not exactly a lie as much as an attempt to deflect) has likely all but made her story all the more unbelievable. She tries a nervous smile, "Stupid me, eh?" And then quickly slides her grey-eyed gaze away from Lo. That's a tell if ever there was one.

A knife fight breaking out isn't Jonavan's concern; treating it is. "Redwort's what you want, keeps off infection." Glancing back towards the other two present, he doesn't give a sign of seeing the redheaded girl's expression, though Jonavan very nearly smiles. He dries his hands and moves to collect the things set aside for Ahnika; the healer on duty was clearly expecting her, because alongside the gauze there's a pot containing a solution of water and disinfectant, still hot enough to steam when the lid is lifted slightly. On the heels of Ahnika's dubious explanation, he interjects in a jaunty tone, "Right, get your top off!" Mercifully, Jonavan reaches to close the curtains around the redhead's cot to deflect any prying eyes.

“Not the gardens, no,” Lorayit corrects, amusement playing in his features as he regards the redhead near him. “Not exactly a fight either, in the sense of the word. Is that what happened to you?” Question for question, the man maintaining light inquiry in his tone to mask his suspicions. Mentioning the Headwoman draws that easiness from his face along with a twitch of his lips, like he had just smelled something sour before he briefly shakes his head. “Just a man not knowing how to cut rope,” is his excuse, blithe in its nature. “Indira need not trouble herself in knowing the intricacies of us men.” Sour much? Or maybe those in the room are only imagining that they heard the glimmers of that sort of tone. If it was there, it was gone in an instant. “Redwort, then,” Lo turns to answer Jonavan then, not seeming to start at the fact that he was wrong in his choice of remedies. “He said something about numbweed, but I’m not very knowledgeable about remedies. The stables?” he’s back on Ahni, brows lifting briefly at her obvious embellishment. Blue eyes graze up and down her now as if looking for the very injuries that Jinnet had mentioned to him. “How long ago did you, ah, get hurt?” He’s not showing any indication on whether or not he believes her, keeping his face straight even through the healer’s announcement for her to take off her top. Well, almost. His lips do twitch in amusement. He is a man, after all.

With a little exasperated sigh, Ahnika starts tugging her tunic up off and over her head as Jonavan pulls the curtain around them. Then she turns to lie back on the cot more properly to let him work. But it's what Lo says that keeps her engaged in that conversation even if she can't see him anymore. "Oh, well, that's good then. Not a fight," she says, hesitating before saying, "Me? Fighting? I don't know the first thing about fighting," and very true. Too bad it's not exactly answering his question and he's probably seeing that. Choosing to let her silence answer for his clarification on the stables, Ahnika instead merely says, "Oh a few sevens ago," honestly. Such things are easy to check on, after all, and she doesn't see a lot of point in lying about it. Of course, she's not good with spy-stuff either. But for good measure, that is to prevent anyone from getting word otherwise as to a redhead being in the infirmary at this hour with cuts deep enough to need regular work, apparently, she attempts to head off any future trouble by the weyrlingmasters and offers, "I'm Pheenie, by the by."

"Is rope that hard to cut?" Jonavan takes any opportunity for derision, even when it's directed at someone he doesn't know and who isn't present (and is probably fictitious). The sentiment carries easily through the curtain. "If it's a deep cut, he can have a bit of numbweed too to go on over." He is apparently feeling generous. The healer works efficiently, and after checking for signs of further infection, carefully lays the hot compresses over Ahnika's wounds. His hands still when she provides a pseudonym, however, and behind the privacy of the curtains the healer looks at her directly with a lightly mocking smile. 'Paranoid,' he mouths.

“I see.” I see? That’s the best Lo could come up with, the gardener not being able to see Ahnika since there’s a curtain separating them. Perhaps it’s just as well neither she nor Jonavan can see his face, for the man’s staring really hard towards ‘Pheenie’s’ direction as if he could see right through the curtain. At least the ‘I see’ sounds bland – almost bored, even. It was confirmation enough, in either case. “Never was a fan of stablework myself,” he decides to say then carefully, making the deliberate assumption that she was one of Max’s stablehands. “Had a runner shit on my bag once, and that pretty much was the start and end of my career as a beast handler back up north.” And then, as if being polite suddenly occurs to him, “A certain pleasure, Pheenie,” he adds, perhaps the smile being heard in his voice. Then he addresses the healer, his tone for the man a bit more genial as he answers him. “I call him ‘slippy fingers’,” he drawls wryly on ropes being hard to cut. “Honestly, I should have offered to cut the rope myself, but he kept on insisting that he had a steady hand. Serves him right, if you ask me.” Beat. “I’d appreciate both if you can swing it, Jonavan,” he adds on the remedies gratefully, the words sounding sincere despite the fact that the man’s lying through his teeth. “Really don’t need a whiner on my hands. Makes having him around for cards and drinks at night tedious.”

Ahnika seems only vaguely interested in watching Jonavan work, having seen the task completed far too regularly either by himself or by others, lately. She's more interested in seeing how her injuries are looking, herself, than she is in the treatment for them, and as such she lapses quiet while Jonavan speaks, but with his mouthing the word 'paranoid' with that lightly mocking smile, her grey eyes go a little wide, either she is afraid he'll say something, or she is wondering how he found out it wasn't her real name since that's all she's ever given those who are keeping record of her injuries. Maybe Max told him? She frowns at the thought. Did she tell him? Well, now she is distractedly trying to go over the times she's encountered Jonavan, not at all thinking that it may have actually been Jaya who told him. As such, she answers Lo earnestly, "Oh, I don't work in the stables," without even thinking, and then it hits her and she screws her face up at her own forthrightness. "Thank you," she says then, to his 'certain pleasure' and then happily lapses silent for the two men to talk about injuries and rope-cutting and treatment, leaving her to kick herself internally.

As Lorayit keeps talking, Jonavan's patience starts to wear thin. He's not one for small-talk in the best of times, and he's been in a bad mood for the last few days running - which Ahnika might've picked up on during her infirmary visits. "Fascinating," the healer mutters, tiring of the conversation. Finishing with Ahnika, he leaves her bedside without further indication of how he's gathered that the name she's using is a fake and emerges from behind the screen. "Get you that stuff," he tells the gardener, and walks towards the back to do just that.

“You don’t?” That gets Lo’s attention, but the echo is maintained lightly at best. There’s no curiosity – at least, not on the surface. “My mistake. I had thought…” he deliberately lets that trail, not planning to follow it up with anything as he straightens up from his lean once Jonavan emerges. Lorayit finishes on the small talk then once the healer tells him he was getting the supplies, the gardener nodding appreciatively as he gets to his feet. “I’ll take my leave of you once I do,” he says, announcing his departure once the stuff is gotten for him. “Thank you.” To Ahnika, “Hope you heal, Pheenie,” he sends, showing a note of fatigue in his voice. “Check out the gardens sometime, if you’ve the time to.” It could mean something, or, he’s just being friendly. After all, the statement is directed to them both as for him being polite.

Ahnika knows that mutter, even if she doesn't know how he got her real name, and so she rolls her eyes a little and closes them at the end of the roll as Jonavan slips back out to take care of Lorayit's needs. She might have followed up Lo's initial query with clarification that would have undoubtedly been a fabrication, but as he lets his second bit trail off, Ahnika chooses silence. Maybe he'll think she's fallen asleep. And then he's making his farewell to her and she feels compelled to respond, "Thank you." The last has her opening her eyes once more, blinking a little, and then reclosing them, chalking it up to polite invitation. "I should do that some time. Thank you. Hope your friend feels better." And then she settles in for more wound-cleansing and rebandaging for the next candlemark or so, however long it takes, considering Jonavan's sour mood.

Jonavan chooses to interpret the invitation as being for Ahnika only and as such makes no response to what could be considered a gesture of friendship. It only takes him a few minutes to dole out the redwort and numbweed in sufficient doses and returns with one in either hand. "There you are," he tells Lo before turning away, apparently thinking his duty done. Ahnika's quite right in thinking that Jonavan's going to let her lie there far longer than the fifteen or twenty minutes necessary, effectively leaving her for someone else to deal with as his shift ends.

Taking the remedies gingerly, “There I am,” Lorayit tacks on behind Jonavan’s, settling both little pots securely in both hands before he looks up at him and gives him his nod in thanks. “Gratitude, Jonavan. I will see you again.” That might have some ominous slant to it, but it’s far too couched in casualness to be considered anything but. Once the healer turns away, so does he, heading out into the night without any further words or gestures of a farewell that the healer likely wouldn’t see.

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