Fort Weyr - Central Infirmary
This room looks fairly similar to most other infirmaries, with it's faint scent of antiseptic and an eerie quiet that goes along with convalescence. Rows of cots line both walls, each separated by a privacy screen. Breaking the line of cots along the outside wall is a entrance to the dragonhealing section of the infirmary. The far end of the oval room is filled with metal cabinets that hold the tools of the Weyrhealers trade, as well as a desk from which the healer can supervise his domain. Upon one wall rests a thick 'chart' containing the information on all patients within the infirmary.


Laurali,
Rayathess told me you're sick. Are you okay? How are you feeling? Do you need me? I can leave Stonehaven and come to the Weyr if you do. And I would. Just give me the word and I will.
I love you. Please get better.
Ezra

Snow and more snow. Winter is gradually burying the Weyr in snow and it's only a wonder how bad it is up higher near the mountains. Ezra's letter to Laurali never received an immediate response, but one arrived not long ago. Written short and in a very shaky hand as though the mere effort of writing might have been too much. It reads:

Ezra,
I'm sorry I broke the promise. I'm recovering. Not infectious. Don't need to come but come if you wish to.
Laurali

It'll be delivered by her bronze, Frostbite and when Ezra arrives in the Weyr and enters the infirmary, he'll be brought to the recovery "ward" and pointed to which curtained section is Laurali's cot. He'll be made to wash in redwort too and offered a mask. Precautions, even when the worst of the illness seems to be ebbing.

Ezra did not enjoy waiting for her reply, and when he received it, he took his leave of Stonehaven, leaving someone else in charge in his stead. Walking a distance from the cothold he met a dragon and thus contaminated himself, and flew to the weyr. He washes, he changes, he puts on a mask, he does whatever they ask him to do before making his way back to Laurali's cot, gently touching his fingers to the curtain. "Laurali?"

For those reasons the Healers will permit him to visit, with a stern word not to exhaust her too much. The Infirmary reeks of redwort and other disinfectants and the underlying smell of sickness. It's not as bad in Laurali's little spot and when he calls her name, he will hear her stir weakly under the covers. She's pale, even for her complexion and looks to have lost a bit of weight. She's not feverish though and is quite lucid. "Ezra!" she whispers. "You came…" The next words come out raspy and in the next breath she is coughing, careful to keep her face covered. By the time it passes, she's sunk back against her pillows, exhausted by the fit but gradually recovering. "… why?" she breathes. "You risk yourself…"

Ezra slips inside the curtains and closes them behind himself, approaching her bedside, worried and drawn. Her cough has him wincing as he approaches, sitting down in a chair at her bedside. "Because…" Why? He shrugs, glancing around, frowning. "I didn't want you here alone."

Laurali's smile is weak but genuine and she will lift her hand up from under the covers and try to touch his arm. At this point, she figures if he's to catch the illness, he'll catch it regardless if she keeps to herself or not. "Sweet of you," she says breathlessly again and in a raspy voice. Coughing again but in a much milder fit, she'll gesture to a pitcher of water next to the bed. There's an empty glass. "I'll be fine, you know. Looks… worse than it is." Sounds worse too. "It's not the illness itself that kills."

"Oh?" Ezra asks, moving to pour her a glass of water and offering it to her, his eyes studying her face and frowning at what he sees. "What is it then?"

Laurali pushes herself up to her elbows, reaching for the glass. Her hand shakes and by the time she's taken a small sip she already has to lay down again. She'll turn on her side, curled but facing him, her eyes turned up to his. "Secondary infections are the killers. Pneumonia, things like that. Heart and lung issues — stuff usually only a concern in the old or very young. What makes the illness dangerous is how fast it spread. That's all." she explains but it leaves her winded and her eyes drift closed.

"Ah," Ezra says softly, setting the glass aside when she's done with it. "Well you look awful," he whispers, scooting closer so he can rest a hand on her arm, on her side…anything. "And you won't get any of those secondary things?"

"Gee, thanks. Didn't think I'd look my best while ill or anyone would, for that matter," Laurali mutters with just a hint of sarcasm and her eyes open just enough to peer up at him. She will rest her hand over his when he touches her arm and her next answer is slower in being spoken. "No, I shouldn't. I'm healthy — at least in that respect. Strong. So long as I let myself recover from this and don't weaken…"

Ezra gives her arm a squeeze. "You need to let yourself recover. Don't let them make you go back to work before you're ready…" He scoots closer, resting his chin on her bedside, exhaling softly as he watches her. He smiles, blushing a little bit. "You know what I mean," he murmurs, brushing her hair away from her face.

Laurali laughs weak and hoarsely, which only sends her into another fit of coughing and some feeble hand waving for that glass of water again. Soothed, she relaxes and sinks back against her pillow. "You think I could fool Healers into letting me work? I'm liable to be sent back to Stonehaven first thing… If you'll even have me back…" she whispers. What does she mean by that? Laurali will smile to him when he rests his chin on the bedside and her eyes close again at the touch of his fingers. "I know. I feel pretty awful too."

Ezra frowns. "What do you mean by that?" he asks quietly. "Of course I'll have you back. That's your home." He caresses her cheek gently. "You just rest now, okay? That's what you need to do. Rest."

"I'm a risk, aren't I? I could bring it home and infect your people…" Laurali murmurs and it could be her exhaustion making her forget that every illness has an incubation period and that she is likely passed the infectious stage by now. She tilts her cheek into his caressing and she sighs, sounding so young with the next words she murmurs. "I just want to go home." Forget the resting part!

Ezra frowns a little bit. "Is that possible? Even when you're not sick anymore? Maybe we need to stay here for a while… Don't worry about it, Laurali. We'll figure it out." He gives her shoulder a gentle squeeze. "It's okay. I'm here, you just rest…"

Laurali's brows knit and she seems confused. "I… I don't know? I can't travel right now, anyways." she murmurs hoarsely but it's clear she's lost her thread of thought. His reassurance has her smiling though and sighing, relaxed but exhausted. "Uh huh. What else can I do? I'm glad you're here, Ezra… You didn't have to…" Her expression falls, memory returning through her fogged mind. "I'm sorry I broke our promise."

Ezra gently strokes her arm. "Don't worry about it," he whispers. "We'll figure it out. Right now all you have to do is rest." He smiles gently. "Of course I'm here. You rest. Don't worry, it was a stupid promise anyway…"

"Not stupid!" Laurali protests weakly, her eyes bright as she looks up at him. "I meant it! I really did…" Is she crying? Yes, yes she is. Quiet tears, half exhaustion, half frustration and just plain old venting. She's sick, she hates being sick and feels stuck and trapped. Unable to Heal, unable to go home and then there's the guilt. Crying is a bad idea, as it stuffs her up and her sniffling brings on coughing.

Ezra shhhhs softly. "Laurali, it's fine. It's fine, relax. It's all fine, I'm not mad, I promise. I just want you to rest, okay? That's your duty right now."

Laurali sniffles and coughs, gasping a bit to catch her breath. Eventually her tears subside, her body too weak and exhausted to support crying for long. "You're not mad?" she mumbles, looking miserable as she tries to reach out to him with her hand again.

Ezra shakes his head, quickly taking her hand in his, giving it a firm squeeze. "No. No, Laurali, I'm not mad. I'm just worried about you. So please, just rest, okay?"

Laurali nods her head slightly and already her eyes are growing heavy as she squeezes back. Her grip feels so weak compared to his, but her hand will stay linked with his all the same. "Rest… yes… I'll rest…" she mumbles with a low and weary sigh. Her eyes have closed now and her body is beginning to go slack. "I love you." The last words she manages to speak, nothing more than an exhaled breath but audible and unmistakable before she drops into a light and uneasy slumber.