| 77.02.07 | Clinic waiting room | mid-morning | with Moo and Shazza |
His hand hurt. Kh'sol walked cautiously into the unfamiliar room, cradling his arm against his chest. It seemed so dimly lit compared to the bright day outside. He blinked, trying to clear the view. The room was filled with chairs instead of people. He frowned. His hand smarted. He'd been at weyrling practice. A break between sets in the shade, waiting with his fellow weyrlings. He had been talking with K'ton, and in conversation he'd been given a bit of a friendly shove that turned into a not so friendly fall.
Now his knees were scraped, but worse he'd cut his hand on something sharp. So they'd sent him here to get patched up so he wouldn't bleed all over their equipment.
Eyes adjusting, he noticed someone already there, waiting. They'd probably know the whereabouts and status of the Aerie staff on duty today. He took a seat next to her, though it didn't do much to help his knees. Standing, sitting, they smarted. "Are you waiting too?"
She had long since tempered her distaste toward the idea of physical therapy, but that didn't mean she couldn't be angry at how slow her progress it was going. Stupid Aerie healers and their sharding big birds. They had songs that could heal thread damage, so why couldn't they fix her legs already?! Instead they had her doing stretches and slow motions and barely any walking. Didn't they know a Hatching was coming up again? She had to be able to stand and walk alongside a possible hatchling, after all.
Shazza huffed and snarled and hobbled over to an empty chair, impatient and ready to get this over with. She sat down gracelessly and lay her cane handle against her leg. Their comments from yesterday's session still stuck in her mind. What did they really know about odds, anyway? I probably know more about odds from my time droving in Stormy Plains! I can stand at a Hatching again, no problem!
But those thoughts were getting her nowhere. Well, nowhere fast with her legs. She laughed suddenly, sharply, amused at the idea of her thoughts hobbling away on her legs. It would be a poor show of speed and endurance, for sure.
Shazza settled more comfortably into the chair and began to recite the colors of Rainbow Mists' dragons in her head. It was comforting to think of them, the dragons. There were dragons with disabilities, right? That one Tiger had a scarred wing, and no one thought anything bad of him. Dragons wouldn't judge a person with similar --
"Are you waiting too?"
A loud, unfamiliar voice cut through her thoughts like a knife through butter. Shazza bristled slightly at the intrusion, but felt there wasn't any harm in answering the boy. They always left her side in the end.
"They always keep me waiting, so be ready to sit here a while. It's funny, they always rush you in but there's always someone ahead of you anyway." Her lips twitched in a sarcastic smile, and she turned to look at her seatmate. "What're you in fo--"
She knew that face. She KNEW that face. She would remember that face forever, and remember which dragon belonged to him. Her Brown dragon.
"You..." she exhaled, and it sounded more like a hiss than a breath. Anger began to flood her veins. Her hands balled into fists on her lap, her nails digging into her palms. "What are you doing here?"
The bark of laughter made Kh'sol wince, but we waited for a reply. He must have interrupted some thought or other. Not much else to do in this place...
"hmf, shells," he muttered without much volume. He had hoped they'd see to him right quick, wrap his hand, let him go back to practice. They were learning things with their hands today, not from stuffy books. He was about to launch into such a reply about how his careless 'friend' pushed him into a rock when the conversation hit a rock of its own.
"Uh, I, uh, cut my hand...?" Kh'sol tried to explain, but something didn't feel right.
He showed the face to Ornoth who was now listening in but they both came up blank.
Shells and shards, stay calm, Shazza, she told herself.
She took in a slight breath and tried to concentrate. The background of the Aerie faded away -- it was only Kh'sol's dark, confused eyes on her. She had backed herself into a corner, and realized only too late what she had done.
It's not time yet...especially not here, where help is only a call away. Not here. Not yet.
Out of options, she thought up a lie instead.
"Oh...maybe I was wrong, though you look so familiar..." She narrowed her eyes and leaned closer, as if studying Kh'sol's face. "You don't have the scar...Hmm. You wouldn't happen to be from Southern Hold, would you?"
She fixed her face to have a mask of apologetic concern and waited for his response. But she was certain he could hear her heart beating in the silence, could see the lie she was weaving. He was older than her, after all. Probably smarter. Well...that remained to be seen. After all, it stung that he had forgotten her entirely.
She hadn't forgotten him, or forgotten about his Brown dragon. How could she ever, ever forget what happened? My dragon, really, she corrected herself mentally. He probably distracted him away from me when I wasn't looking.
"I'm sorry, my mistake. You just...looked like someone I once knew. Bad memories. Anyways, what did you cut your hand on?"
Shazza decided to push the conversation forward, and leaned back in her chair with ease, as if her faux pas was nothing more than that. "Let me guess, was it during Weyrling training?" She offered him a small, friendly smile and babbled on like the sixteen-turn-old she (once) was.
Suddenly, the lie began to take on a life of its own, and she could no longer hold it back than she could hold back the tide. The thought was exhilarating.
"You know, you might have seen me around after all. I grew up here, in this Weyr."
Kh'sol stood there, shifting his weight between his feet. The rage had drained from this girl, who still had not told him her name. His shoulders tried to touch his ears but he held them down. They twitched. Several times. What the shells was this woman's problem?
"Uh," he said when she asked him about his hand. She didn't give him time to answer. Another question. Still no space to put words together. No, there was no way he would know her that way. If she had grown up here...wouldn't it be obvious he wasn't from here? Maybe not in such large communities? It didn't add up. His heart gave a lopsided thud. His stomach did an uneasy dance. His hand hurt.
"Uh, you know what? I think I'm just going to go find someone. To uh, take care of my hand. Hurts pretty bad," he took a couple steps back, glancing towards the way further into the Aerie. This frizzy haired girl, maybe he'd caught her on a bad day? Even that forgiving thought didn't sit well with him. He suppressed a shiver. "So, uh, see ya later-, uh, miss?" he took several more steps, hardly waiting for her reply. Rude, probably. At this point he was ready to be okay with that.