Fort Area - Butterdell Cothold
This small cothold is, surprise, a dairy cothold surrounded by fields that back up to lush forests upon which all their milk bovines can graze. It's a productive cothold if a small one, housing less than 20 people total in its various stone walled buildings and rooms. Rooms are cozy and comfortable, the furnishings rustic and the people polite.

Several days have passed since Rayathess arrived grievously injured to Butterdell Cothold and the events that followed from it resulting in the manhunt for Hazelon. During much of this time, the Sr. Apprentice Harper has been in an out of a weakened state of awareness, awake only for short periods of time before slipping back into unconsciousness. His wounds, while still serious, are mending under the careful work and eye of the Healers in his charge, including the cothold’s own Journeyman, the visiting Journeyman Sarah and her Sr. Apprentice Laurali. It’s Laurali who is in the room that is still designated as “Rayathess’s” right now, though his stay has far extended one of a visiting guest. Having just finished with changing the bandages, the young girl is tidying up but also muttering to the oldest Stonehaven. “… I don’t care how bored you are already, Rayathess. We’ll try to get some of your work but as far as moving goes, that’s Sarah’s decision and she’s limited you to what I’ve already explained. Beg all you want, I’m not budging…”

Rayathess snorts and then grumbles as he settles back against the pillows propping him up into a sitting position. “… not begging…” he sulks, which just earns him and eye roll from Laurali. “Then quit with your moping.” she mutters, only to soften her tone in the next breath. “Ezra will be back soon. Try to be in good spirits, at least for him?” Rayathess sighs and nods his head, giving her a look that implies no promises on his behavior but for now he is compliant and will wait on his younger brother’s return, occasionally stirring up conversation with Laurali (or teasing her, which is more than likely) to pass the time.

Ezra returns looking stormy, stomping into the room and closing the door firmly behind him. “Well, they caught him,” he says, shrugging out of his jacket and draping it over the back of a chair. Clomping over to the little table he scans its offerings before grabbing a glass of water and a meatroll, taking a big bite out of it. “Th’ero kicked me out of the brig when I dared confront him about it though. He looks like hell.” His snort and angry expression suggest that he thinks he deserves it - and more, possibly. He turns, glancing from Laurali to Rayathess and at seeing his brother awake, his posture visibly changes. He relaxes, his posture changing, shoulders slumping as he looks at his brother. “You’re awake,” he says with a warm smile, stepping to his brother’s bedside. “How are you feeling?” He glances at Laurali too, to see the Healer’s opinion of all this.

Speak of the devil and he arrives? Laurali looks up from her work as Ezra storms in, her brows knitting together in concern only to smooth as her expression shifts to a startled one. “Already?” she breathes, only to press her mouth into a firm line and that frown returns, almost to a scowl. “What did you do?” she asks, after hearing that tidbit about Th’ero. That certainly has Rayathess’ attention and he snorts, smirking crookedly. “Taking on a Weyrleader’s temper? Since when are you so brazen?” he mutters to his brother, giving him a questionning look. He’ll glance between him and Laurali too, especially when the young Healer looks conflicted by Ezra’s report but he figures her worries concern Lyreh. Ezra keeps saying ‘him’, so Rayathess scratches that as the cause. “Yeah, I’m awake.” Rayathess turns his attention back to his brother, his questions waylaid in answering him first. He grimaces, “And I’m fine, aside from a few aches and utter boredom. Was trying to discuss terms with Laurali but no dice.” Shifting against the pillows, he settles again, levelling Ezra with another look, his eyes far clearer and focused than they have been in days. He still looks weak and tired, but nothing like he was before. Laurali only nods to Ezra, to confirm that Rayathess’ recovery is on track and says nothing, since it’s obvious he wishes to speak. “Who’s this ‘he’ you keep mentioning?” Clearly, Rayathess has missed something.

Ezra flops down into the chair at Rayathess’ bedside, gulping at the water and scowling. “I went in to confront him. Question him. Might’ve grabbed his tunic.” He shrugs, dismissing it. He was justified! Turning, he looks at his brother, studying him for a moment. He /does/ look better, and that comes as even more of a relief. “Hazelon,” he says, scowling again. “He’s at the Weyr, they just captured him and brought him into the cells. He looks awful, but.” Who cares. “Th’ero kicked me out though. I told them to call me when Hazelon was ready to talk.” He slouches, frowning, sipping his water and eating his meatroll.

Laurali mutters something like a disgruntled oath under her breath when Ezra admits to accosting Hazelon and getting kicked out by Th’ero as a result. If she had been alone with the heir, she’d have likely said a few words on it. Instead she can only be silent, though in the next span of minutes she’ll be focused on something else entirely. Rayathess is quiet too while his brother explains and it takes a moment for everything to click into place. “Hazelon?” He frowns, his eyes flickering with guilt. He’d forgotten about the youth until now, but his mind had been preoccupied. The words captured and cell follow and Rayathess’ frown deepens. “…why is he…?” And then it dawns on him and his expression clears to one of shock, which to Ezra and Laurali, could be taken the wrong way. Surely this is Rayathess’ delayed reaction to the betrayal, right? Wrong. “Why is Hazelon under arrest!?” Rayathess exclaims, struggling to sit up again as he stares at both of them, eyes wide and looking almost alarmed at this bit of news. A far cry from what they likely expected as a reaction.

Ezra shoves himself to his feet, just as alarmed. “Because he shot you, Raya,” he says, quietly and calmly, trying to put a hand against his brother’s shoulder. “Don’t reopen your wounds, relax. He’s at the weyr and they’re getting him some medical attention before they start questioning him. Don’t worry, he’ll be brought to justice.” He’ll see to that personally if he has to. “They’re still looking for the others, too…he didn’t act alone.”

Rayathess doesn’t lay back down when Ezra puts his hand to his shoulder. He pushes back, though it’s hardly enough to even off balance his younger brother as he’s still too weak. Which is unsettling, especially to Rayathess when he realizes just how little of his usual strength he has left to him. It won’t stop him though and he’ll reach out to grab a fistful of Ezra’s shirt, gripping as hard as he can in his state. “Forget me!” he goes on to say, cheeks already flushed and his breathing elevated. He’s far beyond concerned now and edging into a near to panicked state. “Hazelon isn’t the one you want! He didn’t have anything to do with this! How do you know… and what do you mean brought to justice? Shards, they’re putting him to trial!?” All while Rayathess reacts to Ezra’s news, Laurali hovers close by and at her side is some of the tea she’d been preparing for him and left to cool. With all the commotion, it’s unlikely Rayathess will notice her sleight of hand over the drink. A little additional ingredient? Oh, you bet there is.

Ezra shifts his weight swiftly when Rayathess pushes back, and then grabs his tunic. To say he’s startled is an understatement. “Rayathess, I saw him fire an arrow at you,” he says firmly, frowning, eyes flashing with concern. He glances at Laurali - help? - and then looks back at his brother. “Of course they are, he tried to kill you. Him and the others,” he says softly. “Raya. Brother, /please/. Relax! You’re going to hurt yourself!”

“How!?” Rayathess asks, almost demanding it, of Ezra as his eyes search his brother’s. Clearly, he was never aware of the firelizards — at least not of Cala. “How do you know he aimed at me and not the others firing? I never saw him! Lyreh’s bow was aimed into the trees!” So she’s innocent in this too? Not quite, but Rayathess is focused more on Hazelon and his current fate. “Relax? How can I relax?” He’s pushing against Ezra again, testing his brother’s willingness to force him down as he begins to shove back the furs and blankets. He’s trying to stand, which brings Laurali around to try and deter him, only to be warned off by a look and a nudge of his arm. “You’re… they’ll condemn the wrong person in this! Don’t you see?” Can’t they understand? Not that Rayathess is making any sense right now and only making them concerned in their own ways with his refusal to calm down. Laurali catches Ezra’s gaze and shakes her head subtly. There’s nothing she can do, unless Rayathess lays back and she can get something into him. Pern has syringes but they’re fickle things. Which she’d be using on him, he were calmer, especially with Rayathess’ next statement. “I have to go to the Weyr! Now… before they go too far into things and the Hold and Hall set the trial.”

“Cala,” Ezra says, leaning against his brother, trying to use his grip on his tunic to force him back, even as his other hand is pushing firmly against his good shoulder. “Rayathess, /please/.” He’s begging now, worry in his eyes and a bit more than that. “Lay down, /calm/ down.” He pauses for a moment, focused on getting his brother to lay down again, /pushing/ at him and holding him if he has to. “They’re not going to have the trial today. Hazelon couldn’t even speak, they got a Healer for him, I’m sure they’ll let him heal before anything else happens. You’re not going to the weyr!”

Rayathess goes still and stares at Ezra and for a moment that seems enough to distract him and he’ll start to be guided back onto the bed. “Cala? Your firelizard? That’s the only proof you have?” Ouch. It’s the truth though and as more details are given to him, he’ll struggle anew against his brother, too focused and driven by whatever guilt ridden need is fueling him. “I have to!” he exclaims again, his voice rising enough now that it’s likely drawing attention from outside the door. Laurali has already begun to try and slip towards it, but she won’t have to go far. There’s a quiet knock and she answers, allowing Sarah to slip inside as she hastily fills her in. The Journeyman Healer frowns heavily, eyeing Rayathess sternly though she doesn’t intervene quite yet. He ignores both the Healers anyways, focused on Ezra and his efforts to convince him. “Ezra, I have to go! He’s not to blame, he was only there because I forced him into going! If they haven’t started interrogating him yet, now’s my chance and a letter won’t suffice!” It would, it totally would, but Rayathess wants to be there, in person, to challenge any doubts. “My injuries have closed, haven’t they?” NOW Rayathess focuses on the Healers, his eyes bright with determination and his jaw set stubbornly. Laurali just stares at him, then up at Sarah, whose expression is difficult to read since she’s focused on some task she’s trying to keep hidden. “They have. Barely. Between would not endanger you, but getting you to a dragon and mounted up would put considerable strain…”

“..but I COULD do it, is what you’re saying!” Rayathess counters, not even letting the Healer finished before he takes that as clearance. Sarah begins to protest, looking a touch ruffled now by his behavior. “I said no such thing! As urgent as this is, I think you best listen to your brother AND our advice…”

Ouch indeed, and Ezra visibly flinches. “I saw it!” he protests. “What proof do /you/ have?” He’s hurt, stung, surprised…why doesn’t his brother believe him? He’s taking Hazelon’s side over /his/? That cuts deep. Ezra still pushes though, forcing him back against the pillows. “You’re not going to the weyr!” he says again, swallowing thickly. “Is he feverish?” he asks Laurali. Please tell him this is just some fever-driven panic, and not actually his brother. He nods to Sarah, and looks back at Rayathess. “I’m not putting you in danger for /him/, Raya!”

Rayathess will have a lot of apologizing to do later to his brother. He goes to protest again, to fire something back in his defense but he has nothing. He doesn’t have any proof, aside from the belief that Hazelon wouldn’t fire on him and that’s not anything to stand on. Not that it’ll stop him from trying. “I’m NOT feverish!” he exclaims in frustration and his claim is confirmed by both Laurali and Sarah, who nod their heads to Ezra. He’s not sick and so all of this really is his brother acting in his right senses, even if he’s coming off as completely delusional! “And I’m not going to let him face trial and exile and deal with that guilt!” Rayathess fires back at Ezra, trying to meet his eyes, to get his brother to understand why he has to go. Why it can’t just be done by letters. “I’m going to the Weyr, Ezra.” he states in a lowered tone, each word spoken clear and firmly. With or without him or his help, is what it implies. He remains poised on the edge of the bed still, with his arm braced against his brother as they’re caught in a sort of standoff.

… which gives the Healers ample time to work while they’re distracted (more importantly, Rayathess is distracted). Sarah finishes with whatever it was she was preparing and there’s a quick motion of her hand, hidden, passing something to Laurali. “Rayathess, you have to listen to reason here. You’re weak and still recovering. Putting too much strain on yourself now can set you back for sevendays.” Sarah begins to explain, her voice calming, while Laurali steps forwards. She pretends to reach to check for his vitals, which Rayathess glares at her at first but submits to, with his attention drawn back to Sarah and Ezra. They’re the one’s keeping him here, after all! Suddenly he twitches and jerks, grunting in surprise and then prying his arm free of Laurali’s grip. She still has the makeshift and small needlethorn tipped syringe like item in her hand, now emptied. Her expression is blank to Rayathess, but when she looks sidelong to Ezra, her eyes are conflicted but apologetic. Rayathess, however, is livid and rendered speechless by it, even as his skin darkens with his anger.

Ezra pushes back against his brother, stuck in that standoff and frowning sharply, hurt and stubborn. He says nothing, he just grits his teeth and continues to push, keeping Rayathess in that bed. When Laurali gives him a shot, even Ezra looks surprised, then relieved, and then guilty. “Right now you’re going to rest,” he hisses to his brother, pleading in his eyes. “I’m not letting you endanger yourself for him. I’m NOT.” Hissed though his voice may be, it is firm and steely. Maybe tomorrow, maybe a letter…but not right now. NO.

Rayathess will continue to struggle against Ezra, but not for very much longer. His temper is in full swing though, his eyes bright with it and his mouth drawn back in a twisted smirk as he scowls. “I’m not going to let an innocent person go to trial either!” he counters in an exasperated and growled voice. Potentially innocent. If he’d calm down, he’d be better at explaining himself but he’s worked himself up into a frenzy — or close to it. “You don’t understand, he had nothing to gain by murdering me…” Rayathess begins, only to falter and shake his head a bit. Whatever it is he was injected with, it’s working its way slowly into his system and he fights it. Stubborn to the last moment! He keeps his gaze level with Ezra for several seconds and then flicks them to Laurali, his hold on his brother already beginning to go slack. “You’d know, wouldn’t you? You know how it is, how it works… And I can tell you don’t fully believe it!” he tells her, which has the Healer startling and looking away, pretending to be busy while Sarah does the same and turns a bit “deaf”. Rayathess can only swear under his breath as he begins to lose the battle against the sedative and he sinks back against the bed, propped up at first by his arms but soon even that is too much and he sort of sags awkwardly. It’s a bit disturbing to watch, given it’s clear that while he’s losing control of his body, he’s aware of it and powerless to stop it and his expressions are clear enough to show his emotions before his mind is muddled too.

It’s hard to watch. Very hard, and Ezra has to grit his teeth to not look away from his brother in shame and guilt. It’s good. He /needs/ this. He needs to calm down before he hurts himself or does something terrible and reckless. When Rayathess finally sags, so does Ezra, flopping into his chair again and putting his face in his hands. “What did he mean by that last bit?” he asks, his voice muffled against his palms as he sits at his brother’s bedside, wrestling with himself and his own emotions. This is just too much. Rayathess taking Hazelon’s side over his own…that cut deep. And he’s questioning himself too. But he KNOWS what he saw. He knows it.

Rayathess is still muttering things under his breath even as the last of the sedative takes over, protesting straight into unconsciousness. It is for the best, even if it’s difficult to witness or handle. In his state, he’d not calm down and just keep pushing and pushing until he either gained what it is he was after or… well, this. It’s not a fix to the situation either. Sarah and Laurali likely know this but they hold their tongues for now. Sarah will check on Rayathess, then gently reposition him on the bed and readjust the furs, giving a few instructions to Laurali before she’s excusing herself again and slipping out the door. Which leaves Laurali in the room with Ezra and for a long stretch, there is only an uncomfortable silence until the quiet sound of her foot steps and the whisper of her skirts and apron herald her approach, well before her hand comes to rest against Ezra’s shoulder. “He seems to think I am on his side,” she murmurs quietly, her eyes watching him carefully and with clear concern. “But I’m not. You saw what you saw and I don’t think you’d lie about it and you don’t seem to have doubts about what Cala showed you. So I believe you.” But? Laurali sighs, “… but I believe Rayathess as well, at least to have some doubt since what he says could be truth too. What would Hazelon gain?”

Ezra rubs his face firmly and looks up, his eyes red but dry. “I saw through Cala. I saw Hazelon fire an arrow at Rayathess,” he whispers. “I don’t know what Hazelon would gain from it. I don’t /know/, but I know what I saw.” Frustrated, he pushes to his feet and stalks around the room, ending up banging his balled up fist against the stone wall. The side of it, not the knuckles, but he hits it firmly and grits his teeth, leaning forward with his forehead against his fist. “He’s not going to let it go. And we can’t just keep drugging him… He’s going to be furious when he wakes up, Laurali,” he mutters, eyes closed firmly. “I know it was the right thing but…” He hits the wall again. “How could he believe him and not me?” That hurt. Badly.

“I know,” Laurali murmurs, still frowning as she can see how red Ezra’s eyes have become. She’ll step back when he pushes to his feet, her eyes following him as he stalks the room and then jumps a bit when he bangs his fist against the wall. Grimacing, she’ll approach him cautiously, in case he’s gearing up for something more. When he leans forwards, Laurali will step to his side, one hand reaching to press against his arm, the other sliding up against his back in a gentle but steady pressure. Supportive and comforting, but not quite an embrace. If anyone saw them, it would look almost as if Laurali were trying to silently guide him away from the wall and back to a chair or his own cot on the opposite side of the room. “Of course I know how he’ll be,” she sighs sadly. No, they won’t be drugging him again. That was a one time deal and Rayathess is likely to be very difficult with Laurali now, suspicious of her every move. When Ezra hits the wall again, she makes a low soothing sound. Easy. “Ezra… It might not be as you think. Something got him spooked and riled up and we know how he is. It’s probably some big complicated mess and he’s gone and twisted things in his head. It’s not that he doesn’t believe you, he’s just… I dunno. To me it sounded like he was trying to make amends. Like it was his fault Hazelon’s facing trial. Which makes no sense, but…” She only shrugs. Until Rayathess wakes up again, they may have no answers.

Ezra is stiff beneath her touch, his head resting against his balled up fist. “He’s going to want to go to the weyr when he wakes up,” he says, lifting his head to look down at her, his face a mask of worry and fear and exhaustion. “What are we going to do?”

“We’ll try to reason with him,” Laurali states in a level voice, gentle and calming, even as her hand begins to slowly caress in a soothing way along his back in small circular motions. She is not expecting him to relax, but she’s going to try her hardest at it! Bad enough she had one Stonehaven drugged, she’s not about to fail Ezra too and leave him in the state he’s in. “And if he continues to be difficult we have a few options. Restraining him,” Which judging by the look she gives Ezra is NOT the one she’d wish to see. It’d only make Rayathess all the angrier. “Not restraining him, but locking that door…” From the outside presumably. Also a bad idea, given he’s then in a prison himself and a far fancier one than Hazelon’s sad little cell. “… or we let him go and get it over with. He’d have to be helped the entire way and it’ll strain him but if he’s bound and determined and likely to do himself harm if kept here… What choice do we have?”

Ezra sighs, shaking his head. He winces at the thought of restraining him. “He’d just fight it and hurt himself all the more,” he murmurs. “/Why/ is he so worked up about this??” He grits his teeth, clenching his jaw firmly. “He’d just rage if we locked him in here, and hurt himself…” He sighs. “Stupid, stubborn man. He’s going to get to go isn’t he. Because he’ll kill himself if he doesn’t. Why is Hazelon so important?” He’s angry. Angry and hurt and lost and confused at this situation, just trying to be a good brother and do well by his big brother.

Laurali can only shake her head, having no answers for Ezra. Just more questions and he has enough on his mind already. “Sarah has to permit it but in light of what will happen if we don’t… she’s liable to grant it, even if it poses such a risk.” she murmurs and she can sense and see that anger in him and the hurt and confusion. Her hand stops in its caressing to press against his lower back again and she will try to take one of his hands in hers, squeezing tightly but also gently tugging him. Drawing him away from that wall and towards his cot, if he’ll follow her. “Maybe you can ask him that when he wakes up. If he’s going to be a stubborn, insensitive jerk then you play hard ball against him. He has to give you something, in order to go… or something like that. Answers or promises…” she suggests softly.

Ezra sighs, but he lets her lead him towards his cot, giving her a frown when they go there instead of to Rayathess’ bedside. “Damn straight I’m going to ask him,” he mutters under his breath. “I’ll sit on him if I have to, until he talks to me and tells me why this is so important. Why he’s willing to risk himself for /him/. Why he won’t listen to me…”

Laurali will pause when they get close to the cot and Ezra frowns at her and then she ducks her head and draws him to his brother’s bedside instead and to his chair. Stepping back, she’ll remain at his side, but standing next to him as she shakes her head and smirks. “Maybe you’ll get his answers then, if you play at his games. He gets nothing unless he gives in return. It’s how it was in the camps, you know. Nothing came for free, there was always a cost.” she says in a quieter voice. She’s not talking marks, either.

Ezra sits down in his chair, leaning against his brother’s bed and automatically reaching for his hand, twining his fingers through his brother’s and squeezing it tightly. “I can’t lose him, Laurali,” he says quietly. “I can’t. And he can’t lose me either. We’ve lost too much…” He looks up to her, his eyes tired. “I can’t do this without him. So for him to be willing to risk that…for /him/…” He sighs, lowering his head to rest his forehead against Rayathess’ hand. “I should sleep,” he murmurs. “So should you. If he wants to go…we’ll need to be alert.”

“You won’t lose him, Ezra. Neither of you will lose each other. If Sarah had the slightest doubt that Rayathess was strong enough for this foolishness, she’d not have even mentioned Between. He’d remain here, no questions and no matter how much he hated it.” Laurali murmurs and when he looks up at her with his tired eyes, she will reach out and stroke her fingers through his hair and continue to do so, trying to give him some comfort. “When he wakes up, you’ll talk to him and maybe you’ll make him see reason. Maybe he’ll settle for writing a letter.” Her fingers will move to his shoulder when he leans forwards and her expression slips to one of concern and worry for him. She snorts softly when he mentions her sleeping, but she won’t argue it. “Want me to bring you a pillow?” she asks him instead, assuming he wants to stay by Rayathess’ side for the night.

Ezra finally closes his eyes and leans his head into her touches, exhaling softly. “I will talk to him,” he promises. The offer of a pillow has him nodding, giving her a small smile. “Please.”

omg my kids are crazy in creative writing club. It’s okay! <3

Laurali will continue to stroke his hair for a few more seconds and then carefully she leans down to briefly press her lips to his forehead before stepping back, her fingers brushing against his shoulder as she moves away. Smiling back, she will get him his pillow and a warm blanket, arranging them as she offers them to him. It’s no bed, but at least he’ll be somewhat comfortable? “Try to sleep.” Laurali murmurs. “If you need anything, I or Sarah will be right here.”

Ezra settles in and then squints up at her. “Are /you/ getting enough rest? And Sarah?” He is finally concerned about someone other than Rayathess and himself.

Laurali looks down at him, blinking in surprise for a moment at his sudden concern for her and for Sarah. She’ll smile softly and chuckle just the same, reaching out again to lightly touch his shoulder. “We’re fine, Ezra. We take shifts and rest when we can.”

Ezra nods. “Okay.” He won’t question it, he believes her and he’s too tired to do more. Worn through, more emotionally and physically. He closes his eyes, and he sleeps.

They’ll have a chance to talk later, perhaps, when things are calmer and there isn’t the constant worry of Rayathess’ well being and health hovering over their heads. Laurali will smile softly and stay by Ezra’s side until he drifts asleep. Taking the blanket in hand, she’ll make sure it’s tucked snuggly over his shoulders and makes him as comfortable as possible on that chair. She has her own little tasks to occupy the silent minutes that tick by, until Sarah comes to relieve her and she will go away, elsewhere in the hold, to try and catch a few candlemarks of sleep.

By the time morning comes, Sarah and Laurali have traded shifts again and she brings with her a small breakfast tray, quickly eating her half and leaving the larger portion for both Ezra and Rayathess, even though she knows neither of them are likely to eat it. Stupid boys. And though she’s loathe to do it, she will have to wake Ezra up first. “Ezra…?” Laurali whispers softly, reaching out to touch his arm. “You have to wake up now. I need to change Rayathess’ bandages and get him to eat…” So he’ll have to move back.

Ezra sleeps…and sleeps. And he’ll need the sleep too. He’ll wake with a start, sitting up and looking around, before blinking blearily at Laurali. “Oh.” Right. He’s still here. And Rayathess… he looks at his brother with a frown. “Are you going to wake him?” he asks quietly.

“Yes, I’ll have to wake him.” Laurali murmurs and it almost sounds like a warning. She’s not looking forwards to having to face Rayathess, or be the one to tend to him after she was the one who sneakily injected him the following night. “Are you alright?” she asks Ezra, giving him a concerned look. “I brought you some breakfast. Some of that’s your brothers too but… help yourself. Not got around to making any klah yet.” She seems to enjoy to talk, while she unpacks the supplies she needs and prepares them.

Ezra gets to his feet and stretches a bit, setting the blanket down on the chair. “I’m alright.” He looks at the food and takes some toast to eat quickly. “Want me to wake him?” he asks, glancing worriedly at Laurali, then to his brother.

Laurali gives him a lingering look, as if to check for herself that he’s alright despite what he tells her. She won’t pry though, especially not with him going for some toast and actually eating and not leaving her to argue with him over that. “I can do it,” she says softly, offering him a brief smile and not the least bit ruffled that he offered his help. She’ll do it, regardless, since Rayathess is likely to be in a sour mood no matter who wakes him up. Gesturing for Ezra to eat more of the food, Laurali will begin to wake up Rayathess after steeling herself for what’s to come. Turning back the blanket past his shoulders, she’ll start by gently touch his shoulders and then firmly, not quite shaking him. It’s slow to work, as Rayathess’ head is likely foggy from the sedatives, but he wakes with a bit of a start, drops back asleep and then is reluctantly drawn back to consciousness again, turning to sit up groggily and stifling a bit of a groan.. “…it’s morning?” he drawls thickly and hoarsely and Laurali only nods, handing him some (not drugged!) water. He takes it without protest, draining half of it before his thoughts kick into gear and he remembers. Rayathess’ eyes narrow as he glares at Laurali, who only stares back at him and he looks at the rest of his unfinished water and tries to hand it back. She snorts and nudges it towards him. “It’s not drugged, it’s water.” she mutters and then rolls her eyes when he continues to scowl at her. “Ezra saw me prepare it.”

Ezra just has the toast for now, moving to his brother's other side. "It's just water, Raya," he murmurs, "I promise." He takes his seat again, watching his brother. "How are you feeling?"

Rayathess looks at the water glass in his hand again, as if doubtful, but his need for it outweighs his foolish suspicions and he drains the last of it before stretching carefully to set it aside. At least he has some of his mobility back? Even if he grimaces while doing it. "Hungover." he states flatly, giving Laurali another sidelong glare. She only sniffs and goes about her work. "Side effect." she mutters. Serves him right for acting the way he did! He brought it on himself and he's grouchy right from the start. "You?" he asks, only to flinch and jerk his shoulder away when Laurali tries to touch the bandages. "Raya…" she warns, her expression turning as stern as her voice. Stop acting like a child!

Ezra snorts. "I'm fine," he says. "Let her look at your wounds, Raya. They need to be rebandaged. And you need to talk, if you've any hope of getting to Fort." It's an offer. But on /his/ terms.

Rayathess was about to start glowering at Laurali as she continues to insist at getting to his shoulder when Ezra lays down his offer. His head turns slowly and he's so taken aback by his brother's bluntness that Laurali is able to sneak in and start changing the dressing and he hardly blinks an eye at it. Distractions, for the win! Good timing, Ezra. "… so those are your only terms? I talk and you'll allow them to convey me to the Weyr?" he says slowly, as if sensing some hidden clauses. It can't be that simple, can it?

Ezra continues to stare levelly at his brother. "If you can talk me into it," he says a bit flatly. "Use that Harper training," he adds, voice a bit dry. "I need to know why it's so important you go."

Rayathess's eyes narrow further at Ezra, his mouth drawing back into a grim line. "Because I owe it to Hazelon to at least speak up for his involvement in all of this… mess. I convinced him to go. He didn't want to, Ezra, I had to bribe him. Would a teenager bent on my murder go through so much trouble? He was alone with me for a long time in those woods. Armed. He could have shot me then, when my back was turned to him, but he never did. Why wait? My firelizards had gone ahead to scout, Cervena came to you. He'd have had no witnesses. I know Cala showed you that he shot AT me and I can't deny that. I can't… but I also can't deny why I remember. I COULD write a letter but now it's not likely to reach them in time! So I have to go, Ezra! I know I can make the trip. Not alone… but with help, I can."

Ezra opens his mouth and snaps it shut, scowling. "He shot at you, Rayathess. Maybe he didn't have the guts to murder you himself, but when the opporutunity presented itself, he took it, and then ran off with those renegades." Sorry, Lyreh. You're a renegade now. "Not reach them in time? With firelizards? It'd be /faster/ than it'd be to get you on a dragon…"

Rayathess starts and just stares at his brother, then darts a look over his shoulder to Laurali, who has long since patched up his shoulder again. Her grimace and the flicker of hurt in her eyes (yes, she is hurt over Lyreh, despite what she claims otherwise) confirms it and he swears, heatedly, under his breath. "I didn't know about the renegades and neither did he! We were only supposed to meet with Lyreh. If there's anyone who is guilty in this it is HER, Ezra." He'll pretend he doesn't see Laurali freeze either, before she continues checking on his wounded leg. Rayathess snorts, already growing restless and impatient. "It's not just a matter of speed, either! I NEED to be there in person. I want to say my piece and also here what HE has to say on it. Not second hand either or later, when all is said and done." It'll be too late by then.

Ezra scowls at him. "Why does he even matter?" he snaps, angry and frustrated. "Why is he worth risking your life and your health over? Why can't you just…just stay /safe/?" he demands, running a hand through his hair.

"Because I know what it's like!" Rayathess snaps back at Ezra, feeding off of his brother's anger and frustration and starting to sit up in the bed, causing Laurali to hiss a warning and objection under her breath as his abrupt movements almost have her messing up his new dressing on his knee. He tries to remain still after that, but he's riled again, his eyes flashing as they zero in on his brother. Trying, desperately now, for him to just understand. "I know what it's like to be scared and alone and locked in a cell with no one on your side." And in Rayathess' case, he was bound to the chair he was sitting in too. Surely Ezra remembers that day? Being led into the little windowless room and there was his brother, hardly recognizable and yet trussed up like some dangerous criminal, still bruised and injured and dirtied, having been thrown in there, fresh from the downfall of Gold Hill Hold. "Exhausted, sick and hurting, with everyone looking at you like your the lowest scum to breathe before you can even begin to explain yourself. I'm not saying his innocent in what he's done, but I'm not about to abandon him to this when I'm the one responsible for him being there to start!"

Ezra flinches. He remembers…he remembers going to try and see his brother when he was first brought to the weyr. Trying to see him, but the guard turned him away. They went to Th'ero…and were turned away there too. Ezra had to wait. But now…now he knows what it was like for his brother, and he flinches back from the thought. "I was on your side," he whispers, looking down at his brother's hand against the bed. "I'm always on your side." He looks up, green eyes intense as they seek his elder brother's.

Rayathess will lift his hand up and try to grasp Ezra's arm or at least his hand, his eyes lifting to meet those of his brother too. "I know," he tells him and it's the truth. It's there in his eyes and in his voice. He's not lying. "I know you are and I'm on your side too, Ezra. But you understand now, right? Hazelon has no one and up until this… this mess he was happy with the life he had. I ruined that for him and he has no one there to stand for him. Just as Laurali didn't and Faranth knows how many of the others." Laurali starts a bit at being dragged into it again, but she only grits her teeth and goes back to her work. Gee, thanks Rayathess for poking THAT old wound.

Ezra looks down at his brother, squeezing his hand firmly. "I just don't want you risking yourself…" For him. That's unsaid. "I don't want you hurt." Too late? He glances at Laurali and gives her a look that's sympathetic. he's sorry. Still sorry he didn't stand up for her or befriend her. He was too hurt, too scared.

"I'm not," Rayathess protests but in a calmer voice. "I'm not risking myself, Ezra. I feel like I can do this. It might weaken me but… I am okay with that chance. But if I thought I'd die? Shards, no. I'd not be so selfish." As for being hurt, well, he can only chuckle dryly and smirk. Too late. Laurali will finish with the last of Rayathess bandages, looking up just in time to see the sympathetic look Ezra is giving her. She gives him a tiny smile, her head still bent to her task but even with such a small gesture, it's obvious that she still holds some hurt over it but does not blame him. He had his own demons to battle and she her own.

Ezra sighs. "I saw him shoot at you, brother," he says quietly. "I'll be going with you. I'm with you the whole time. You're not alone with him." Understand? He eyes his brother, pale eyes pleading with him to give him /this/ at least. Ezra's brain is screaming at him to say no. To just say NO, but…he's going to do it anyway. Because his brother needs it.

Rayathess grimaces, "I know and I do believe you. Just… we have to get all the facts before we judge, alright?" he says just as quietly, but his eyes turn sidelong to where Laurali is working, her back turned to them both as she cleans up. He sighs then and his eyes close briefly, swallowing thickly before he looks up at his brother again and then frowns. "Why wouldn't I take you with me? Of course you're going with me!" he scoffs. "Just as soon as I'm given clearance. Then we'll go?"

Ezra nods. "You're never alone with him." On that condition, he will go. He'll hate it, but he'll go. Better than any of the alternatives.

Rayathess nods his head, "No. I won't even go in the cell. I just need to see him and state my piece." He promises, aware now of how much he is asking for and he regrets it. Deep down, he regrets it and there is a lot weighing heavily on his conscious. He's hoping that by trying to clear Hazelon's name, some of it will lessen. Little does he know, it'll only make it worse… For now though, he will sink back against the bed and conserve his strength while Laurali goes off to speak to Sarah. "Thank you, Ezra." he says softly. "… and I'm sorry." For being a stubborn jerk. For hurting him.

Ezra exhales softly, squeezing his brother's hand. "I know." What else can he say? There's a lot of damage done by this. And they can't begin to mend yet because it's not over. Not by a long shot..

Rayathess squeezes his brother's hand in return and will wait quietly, drifting into a light doze at times while things are arranged. There is a lot of damage done, but he'll do his best to mend things after this. Anything. It'll sober him considerably to hear the anger from Hazelon, to finally see what had lurked hidden and that out there, there are men and women who hate him for what he's done. He always assumed some disagreed, it always lingered in the back of his head, but it was so easy to ignore it and push it aside. It won't be, after that.