There Will Be Scars


Ahnika.jpg Jonavan.jpg

Date: 10/26/10
Location: EW: Infirmary
Synopsis: Ahnika returns to the Infirmary to have her wounds redressed, encountering Jonavan there. The two get into it a little and before it's all said and done, there's biting sarcasm, tears, redwort, and pus. Yay!
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Ahnika

The infirmary is quiet, with a few glows uncovered at the entrance to light the way in but otherwise dark. Quiet, but not empty; a few cots are curtained off at the far end for privacy for a few weyr residents deemed in need of overnight supervision. Jonavan's staked out a cot halfway down, feet up, and reads in the light of a glow, trying not to doze off.

Ahnika knew something wasn’t quite healing right with her wounds, not that she’s entirely surprised, having to be a bit stingy with the numbweed and redwort and whatever other ointments or powders that may have been given to her on account of fear of discovery. As it was, going around in the summer with long-sleeved tunics was hard enough to explain. And so she waited until it seemed everyone in the barracks, but Jhath of course, was well asleep, and leaving her lifemate to doze on her couch, Ahnika made her way in the late, late night to the Infirmary, hoping that there’d just be a few apprentices on at this hour. She had foregone her weyrling knot again, of course, and blinks at the darkened infirmary, seeking movement of any kind to suggest someone in attendance. So, she’s a good ways in before she spots Jonavan on the cot and frowns. She doesn’t interrupt him though, moving further in. There’s got to be an apprentice about somewhere, right?

There is an apprentice, but he and Jonavan are taking it in turns to stay up, and it's the apprentice's turn for a nap. Movement out of the corner of his eye alerts Jonavan, who lays his reading down without delay and swings his legs over the edge of the cot. "You alright there?" he calls out quietly to Ahnika, not immediately recognising her in the dim light.

There first comes a little mutter as Ahnika spots the sleeping apprentice and she turns to leave again and just try again another night when Jonavan’s call stops her. With her good arm, she rubs the back of her neck and then sighs, and clears her throat, speaking more audibly without actually being loud enough to wake anyone, “I’m well enough, thank you. Just …” she lowers that hand from her neck, “I think … something’s wrong with … an old wound.” Two old wounds, really. “Thought I’d have it looked over. But,” she eyes the exit, “I can just come back tomorrow night.”

Nearing, the healer stoops to uncover a glow and identifies the weyrling. "Oh, you mean the old wound you got while you were being an idiot?" Somewhere along the line, Jonavan heard about what Ahnika's got up to since their last encounter. "No, sit down - let's have a look." He points Ahnika at one of the cots lest she think to make further excuses and dash for the exit.

Ahnika glowers at him and draws herself up a little, and making herself sound a little too imperious for her turns and station, “If sacrificing myself for a little cut and sparing someone else getting hurt because a certain Healer couldn’t keep his mouth shut and allowed me to use fellis is being an idiot, then I’ll gladly take the title.” She starts to cross her arms over her chest to give him a hard look, and then when that smarts SO much, she winces and drops her arms back to her sides. Ahni’s grey eyes find the cot he indicates and she seems to hesitate before sighing and making her way over to the cot. Luckily, as women her age go, she’s tall and willowy and so doesn’t need a lot of upper body strength to sit up on the edge of the cot, else it would have been considerably more painful.

Jonavan lifts an eyebrow at her, unconvinced - and not particularly impressed. "No one kept you from doing anything," is his response, along with a more sardonic addition whose humour he doesn't expect her to get: "You're your own woman." With that he draws up a stool, rolls up his sleeves and walks away to wash his hands thoroughly at the station by the entrance. Once that's done, he settles on the stool he'd already pulled over. "Alright, what's the matter?"

Ahnika frowns again, but this time doesn’t respond to his comment, mostly because it’d been a long day and she was tired and couldn’t really think of a comeback to that. Either comments, really. And while some holderbred young women might be shy about such things, Ahnika pulls her long-sleeved tunic up over her head without so much as a by-your-leave while he is settling back down on the stool. Her right forearm is covered in a bandage, and her torso has a sort of awkwardly wrapped bandage to attempt at covering a long slice that begins above her bosom and ends a little past where her ribcage would be. “My arm hurts more, but I think both may have gotten infected,” she states simply and much more calmly than the way she was speaking a moment ago.

As soon as Ahnika starts to disrobe, Jonavan half-stands and reaches out to draw the curtains for her privacy. Turning back to look at her, his regard is purely clinical, as is the frown. "What have you been doing?" he asks while reaching out to begin removing the bandage; his hands are much more gentle than his usual acerbic tongue. "And how have you been treating it? This is from a knife?" He presumes the last, and glances up to meet Ahnika's eyes to check.

Ahnika is actually soothed by the cooler, clinical regard and ‘business’-like manner and seems to show it. A more comforting and sympathetic manner probably would have made her feel more awkward. Despite the tone, Ahnika actually seems to understand the purpose to the question and there’s no bite as she restates the infrequent pattern of treatment with redwort and numbweed, giving herself sponge-baths in lieu of the bathing caverns and risk the bandages being seen by someone who’d recognize her. “I have been taking it a little easier on the physical training, or trying to, not doing the extra push-ups or chin-ups or sit-ups I sometimes do. But … I think some of the stitches on the arm came out. It’s a little hard to see,” especially when she has to wait to be alone to actually look, and that’s nigh impossible in the barracks. There’s a little pause and she actually looks away with his last question, “No, some kind of tool used on the runner’s hooves, I think. Not a knife.” And obviously not a clean instrument of any kind.

"I see." And with the bandage now removed, Jonavan can indeed get a good look at the injury Ahnika's sustained. He doesn't touch, hands now dirtied by the bandage, instead leaning in a little for close inspection. "I take it you haven't told anyone?" Jonavan sits back and asks a further question before he'll go to wake up the apprentice and send him off to boil water. "Have you felt like you're running a fever?" It doesn't look quite that bad, but the question's still pertinent.

The redhead chews her lip and shakes her head, still not meeting his eyes for some reason, “I can’t.” The second question causes her to blink a few times and Ahnika looks back at him, “Uh, no, I don’t think so. If I did it was very low … hard to say for certain since I’ve been wearing warmer clothing … with …” she gestures a little to the arm injury, making it apparent that short-sleeves wouldn’t work to keep things secret. “Are you going to turn me in?” She asks softly, grey eyes seeking his once more.

Jonavan sits back down once the apprentice has been sent off on his errand, unable to do anything more for the moment. "You can't?" he repeats in a tone that suggests that he does not particularly approve of that answer. "Why, what will they do to you?" He eyes her carefully, looking for signs of a flush; he doesn't see anything to cause concern. "Not as long as you come in here three times daily to be checked on and have your bandages changed once we sort you out now," Jonavan answers her latter question, pausing for a half-second before continuing, "since you seem incapable of taking care of it yourself."

Ahnika takes a breath and exhales, “Right, I can’t. Why do you think I’m trying to keep it a secret? If the weyrlingmasters knew, I’d be in some serious trouble.” Because being raked over with a runner-tool, leaving wounds that are now infected isn’t serious enough. “The only people who know are who were here the middle of the night when it happened, and I told them my name was Pheenie, and … three others who haven’t told, and now yourself.” Of course, she must be tired if she is trusting Jonavan with this much information considering how he blabbed to Jaya last time, “Oh, and the guy who did it, of course, wherever he is.” If Max, Zen, or Waine told anyone, she has no idea. No flushing about her to indicate a fever. In fact, she’s probably getting goosebumps with the exposure … among other things going on there. But she’s distracted, too, and so she just simply waits patiently for the apprentice to get back so that he can clean her wounds and take care of things. Despite the barb at the end of his statement about returning, Ahnika seems more flabbergasted than insulted. Wide-eyed, her mouth flaps a few times before speech finally makes its way past her lips, “Three times a day? You can’t be serious.”

Jonavan's already heard about Ahnika's injuries so the gossip channels are in operation, at least among certain parts of the Weyr, but he doesn't feel the need to fill her in on that. "Yes, three times a day," he confirms sharply. Contradicting his recommendations seems to be a thing with Ahnika. "Do you want it to get worse and develop blood poisoning? If you'd kept it properly clean and steralised to begin with, you wouldn't have got the infection. I want to make sure it doesn't get any worse." He sounds slightly deprecating, like Ahnika should know this; while that could be a cause for discomfort, at least there's nothing untoward in his professional demeanor. The man bounces his knee a little while waiting for the apprentice to return and, while passing time, he gives the weyrling a critical look. "You probably should get in trouble," Jonavan says objectively. "I'm sure your weyrlingmasters would have all sorts of things to say about recklessly endangering yourself."

Contradicting pretty much all Healer’s “recommendations” is actually a thing for Ahnika, though few would know this and none know the full reason behind it, including Ahnika, who does her best not to think on or dwell about the past, a past she can’t change. With Jonavan’s sharp confirmation the redhead goes very still except for her mouth, which sort of hangs open a little in silent stammering fashion while her hands grip the sheets of the cot. Her grey eyes are fixed on the Journeyman for a long time and then she looks away, backing down, it would seem, from this particular fight. Perhaps if Jhath had been awake, she’d have felt a little more backbone … “Fine. Three times a day. I’ll come in the morning and at night, but during the day, you or …” she looks at him again, this time seeming to actually take him in with her gaze, “… someone capable from the Infirmary needs to come out and meet me somewhere discreet.” She seems amenable enough, right? Well, that’s until his last. She’ll take admonishment from Max, or Indira, or even Zen, but this guy? She’ll take only so much. “Hey, I wasn’t reckless it was a calculated, strategic mission,” Mission Impossible more like, “to right a terrible wrong,” both at the time and in the future. “It had risks, yes,” she continues, “and I took them. I’m no coward. I won’t back down from a tough challenge just because there are risks, and I’ll take my licks and I’ll learn from them and I’ll get better.” She turns her head again, “Next time …” next time?

"You're not taking your licks." Jonavan meets the weyrling's statement head on and certainly doesn't back away from further criticism. "Otherwise you wouldn't be so scared of your superiors finding out. I imagine they would think it reckless too." Ahnika's stipulation for midday earns a nod after a pause to think about it. "I'll do it, or can ask Cheusia for you if you prefer." It's Jonavan's concession to the fact that the weyrling might prefer a female healer attending, offered offhand as if it has barely crossed his mind that she's taken her top off in front of him. "I would think it's easy enough to pop in when you take your meal though. It'll be more of what we'll do now - a hot compress with redwort for disinfectant, then re-bandage. Check that the infection hasn't spread. You'll probably want to avoid white shirts." A reference to the redwort.

For whatever reason, his first statement actually springs moisture to her eyes and she glares at him through the tears, which so far go unshed, growling out with emphasis that does not translate into volume (presumably out of consideration for the other patients), “You don’t know sharding shit about me! Or what licks I’ve taken or what licks I’ve not taken. So get off your fucking high runner and quit pretending you do!” Judge not lest ye be judged? Or something. Ahni’s not exactly eloquent here, and let’s be honest, she’s a teen and a little melodramatic at times (like these). “Fuck this!” She growls again and hops off the cot, turning and grabbing her tunic up, apparently meaning to leave. And that’s when he makes his concession and she stops, keeping her bare back to him for now and staring at the tunic in her hands. The suggestion of Cheusia doing it doesn’t exactly make her any happier, though with her face turned away from him he may not see it.

Jonavan, on the other hand, is not a teenager, and Ahnika's emotional display doesn't prompt him to respond in kind. Instead, he just leans back and rolls his eyes towards the shadowy ceiling with a sigh. "Sit down." The order sounds a bit tired and annoyed, like he's had enough of Ahnika for tonight. "I don't care if you want another healer or not, but I am going to make sure you're alright for tonight." Physically that is; her emotional state is another matter entirely.

It’s really a good thing Ahnika’s back is turned when he rolls his eyes, else she might have grabbed an ear for it, but she’s tired and he’s tired and she’s distraught and feeling even crappier than she was before and he’s probably wanting a drink or something right about now, she figures, and so she exhales a long-held breath that shudders a little and finally she’s sniffling and getting back up on the cot. She won’t look at him though, pretty much just anywhere but him for the moment. After another sniffle, she merely says, “Thank you.” To his making sure she’s alright for tonight that is. See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? Sheesh. Maybe see if Jonavan has a valium or something the like?

It's a good thing she didn't try; Jonavan would hardly have taken kindly to such a gesture. It's likely that he's going to break into the fellis for himself later. Just as good as valium. He keeps his gaze trained up for a long moment, gathering patience that is already short, and doesn't answer directly. "Next time I ask that apprentice to do things I'm going to light a fire under his ass." Footsteps announce that the boy he's finding fault with for slowness has finally returned, and Jonavan jumps up to intercept him. "Stay here," he tells Ahnika, like she's going to go somewhere.

There’s another sniffle and Ahnika wipes at first one eye and then the other with her bare hand, but quiet and brooding otherwise, and still not looking at Jonavan. Awkward silence reigns for those few moments, well, near silence considering her sniffling, and then the Healer comments on the apprentice, which draws her attention not to Jonavan, but in the direction of the apprentice’s departure, even if the curtain is drawn and she can’t see anything. When he rises and tells her to stay there, she simply nods mutely, and still doesn’t look at him.

Jonavan leaves Ahnika alone long enough to prepare a disinfectant solution, which may give her some time to collect herself. He comes back with the hot compresses he'd alerted her to, saying, "Tell me if this is too hot." It's meant to be as hot as she can stand it, and when she's ready he'll apply one to her arm and the other to the gash along her torso. "Are your hands clean? If you lie down, you can just hold the one on your arm in place and the other will just stay put by itself." he notes, watching for her range of movement.

Indeed, it is a lot easier to get control of oneself, at least for Ahnika, if one is alone. And so as he departs and leaves her there, she uses the time to try and get herself together. When he returns, her eyes are a little puffy and red and glossy, but the tears have stopped and the only sniffles are from the congestion naturally caused from the waterworks being turned on. She sucks in a sharp breath as the hot compress is applied to each wound but doesn’t scream or yell or anything, and after the initial shock of it, she shakes her head, murmuring, “Hot, but not too hot,” still keeping her eyes averted. She lies back as suggested, but halts before holding the one on her arm, “Well, clean … but not washed with redwort or anything.” Her range of movement is okay, about the only things she’s a little more tender with or careful about her arm, which was the worst of her injuries.

"You should be okay," Jonavan judges; the compresses are, after all, soaked in a mixture of redwort and hot water. "Just hold the compress. Don't go rubbing your fingers in your wound." He'll leave her there for a good long while, long enough to get bored and the compresses lose their heat. With the skin thus softened, he can inspect the wounds further, one at a time, using a pair of sterilised tweezers to pry back the edges of the wound and carefully begin cleaning it with swabs. There's little room for modesty. "Alright?" he checks once at the beginning, glancing up to meet Ahnika's gaze. The apprentice, meanwhile, is sent off for a second batch of hot water, quicker this time.

Ahnika mutely complies with the instructions, nodding, and if he leaves her there to ‘soak’ for longer than fifteen minutes, she very well likely dozes off (it’s been a long day, a long few days, really, and it is late enough as it is). But when he returns, she stirs again and nods to his question, her grey eyes darting to his briefly when he glances up, and then look away again. Oddly enough, she’s not squeamish over his working on the now softened flesh. If anything, she seems rather intrigued and curious about it. After a long moment, she softly offers this admission, “I wanted to be a Healer when I was little, you know,” said as if she were well into her turns a lot more than she was, “More than anything.”

Jonavan doesn't maintain eye contact beyond that quick glance, focusing on the task at hand. What stitches are left he takes out as part of the process of thoroughly cleansing the gashes. The slight frown on his face is that of concentration. "What stopped you?" he obliges Ahnika in asking.

Ahnika is more focused on what he’s doing, as if trying to learn from sheer observation, and it’s possible she gets a little something out of the experience, though probably not as much as someone else. “I was raised by a Healer, so even before I was old enough for the Hall, she would let me help her some at the cothold, try and pick up a few things, but …” she hesitates, and then says, “I just didn’t pick things up well enough. Clearly it wasn’t what I was meant to do. I have Jhath now.” There’s no regret in her tone there. Jhath is much better than a Healer knot in her mind any day. Then she attempts to change the subject, despite that she was the one to bring it up, “What made you decide on the craft?”

"Wasn't a decision. Just who I am." Jonavan is a bit short in his response, perhaps trying to maintain some distance rather than falling into confessional conversation. Nevertheless, he does let slip out, "It's in my family." He straightens, evidently finished with this stage. "It's not too bad," he tells Ahnika at this point. "If you see any streaking around it though, like lines coming out, that's a bad sign; you tell someone immediately. We'll soak it again now to make sure it's fully disinfected, then dry and bandage it, which is exactly what you'll come in here for three times a day. I've taken your stitches out because I don't want it closing up while there's signs of infection."

His first response earns a look from her, more curious than challenging for the evasion. But Ahnika is soon looking away again and back at the wound cleaning and cutting. She takes his second comment in silence, seeming to let it stand as it is, and considering how little he gave and begrudgingly (in her mind), she won’t press for more. She nods a little to his commentary on her prognosis and what to look for, and treatment, but it’s his last statement that gets a frown from her. “So, they’ll be a scar?” She sighs then, letting her head fall back against the pillow, “Well, it’s not like I’ll be wearing my gather dress ever again to worry about it showing, I guess. There’s a silver lining at least.” And despite her words, she seems to be genuinely trying look at it in a good light, not being facetious or anything. She follows with another “Thank you,” softly spoken, and closes her eyes. Might as well get comfortable if she will be there awhile for another soak.

Jonavan ignores Ahnika's curiosity and doesn't offer any further insights, guarding his privacy. "Probably," he admits to the question of scarring. "But the ointment I'll put on when I dress it again has aloe in it, which will help prevent scarring." The comment on her gather dress earns a look, and he almost lets it pass without comment. Almost. "Well, your boyfriend seems to think the sun shines out your ass, so you doesn't sound like you have to worry about scaring him away with freakish scars." He stands then, with a gruff "You're welcome," and moves to fetch the second set of compresses for the night.

Ahnika seems to relax a little more into the cot mattress and pillow as he talks of the ointment, but the comment about her boyfriend has her opening her eyes and looking at him once more, visibly startled and then she narrows her eyes at him. There’s a frown shortly after and then she opens her mouth to speak, but he’s standing then and moves away and she just closes her mouth and watches him go, a million different questions running through that head of hers.

Jonavan, hardly known for his bedside manner, is largely immune to looks like the one Ahnika gives him, and in any case he's out of range before long. Before long, he's back with the compresses and arranges them silently. Before making to go for a second time, he gives the weyrling a quick once-over to check that she's settled and mutters, "Back in awhile."

When Jonavan returns and arranges those compresses, Ahnika is quiet at first, letting him work uninterrupted, but when he makes to leave again, she looks up at his face, “No, wait. What were you saying before? My boyfriend? Who did you speak to?” Because considering she’s been getting her wounds tended to under the name Pheenie, this could have some really serious ramifications. Then she licks her lips a moment and drops her voice, “It could be important.” Bitran spies and all that.

"Has anyone ever told you that you're paranoid?" Jonavan glances back and puts his time to use as he stays a minute to talk to Ahnika, gathering up the waste items used and discarded in the process of cleaning her injuries. "Relax," he says, sarcastic. "I ran into what's his name, Max, and we had a chat." More or less. He pauses and looks at Ahnika with exaggerated expectancy. "Can I go now?"

Ahnika will purse her lips a little at the paranoid statement, but let it go for now because she really needs to know if Jinnet is coming to the infirmary and looking for her, or worse, his handler. Despite his suggestion to relax, she doesn’t, at least not until he says the name ‘Max’ and then she relaxes, but frowns softly, knowing that can’t have really gone too well. “Sorry. He can be … overprotective at times.” Pot. Kettle. Black? She nearly got herself killed in the name of trying to protect Max. “For what it’s worth, I don’t think he’s going to try and make any trouble for you. He was probably just following up on trying to find out why Jaya never told him what you told her.” She sounds genuinely apologetic. Not that she’s a huge fan of Jonavan, but she doesn’t exactly want to squelch a potential contact for the black market in the future, either.

"No," Jonavan responds to the remark on Max's protectiveness, drawing the syllable out with continuing sarcasm. As for the why: the healer brushes that off without comment and instead says, "Fascinating as your boyfriend and love life are, I think I'll go wash all the things that have come into contact with your pus." The implication being that that's far preferable. "See ya." And the healer draws the curtains shut behind him, leaving Ahnika alone until it's time to bandage her up and send her off into the night.

Closing Credit Theme Music: Beatles - "Help"

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