An Admission

Fort Weyr - Dragon Infirmary

This huge cavern of smooth stone arches upwards to a rounded ceiling, high enough for even the largest of Golds to fit comfortably. Along the walls of the cavern are many carved out and worn smooth couches for injured dragons to rest on, most with a cot alongside for the dragon's rider to sleep.
Tables line the other walls, movable so they can be taken to the dragon instead of making the dragon come to it. Bolts of cloth, thread, needles and cabinet after cabinet of remedies and equipment take up the rest of the space. Two huge double doors lead out to the Center Bowl.


Spending the night in the infirmary, even under ideal circumstances (ideal being defined as asleep, perhaps also drugged) is unpleasant. In less than ideal circumstances? The experience leaves much to be desired. D'ani has spent such a night (neither asleep nor drugged) here, at Dremkoth's side, staring at the wall when the dragonhealers weren't checking on his lifemate. He could have used a drink or three last night but nope, the healers hadn't anything on hand and he wouldn't leave to find one. Dawn finds him leaning against the bronze's shoulder on the side opposite of impact, awake but almost blearily so, with a five o'clock shadow to his jaw, brown hair having been raked through, left standing at awkward angles and a somber line to his mouth. That wall is so damn boring, and yet… still being stared at.

That does make Inri's impulse to bring wine places useful, then, doesn't it? Normally for 'sitting in the infirmary dully' she'd have brought beer, because beer is a good drink for being lazy — but she has a bottle of Lemos red, instead, because it's a gift. Her "You look terrible" to D'ani is said affectionately, and also quietly enough that she doesn't startle him coming out of nowhere. "I brought you a 'sorry you got beat up and soaked in my flight again' present." Of course, she's already starting to look at the wall too, because … he's so intent there must be something there, right?

D'ani's heard that a few times throughout the night from various and sundry dragonhealers. So he grunts without turning his head - only belatedly recognizing the voice as- "Inri!" He's, heh, startled anyway, not by her but by who she is. He's turned his head from the spot, which incidentally is a water-stained mark left by rain leaking through the crack in the stone wall (it's reaaaally boring, unless you play that game Figure The Shape), towards her and simultaneously pushes up to stand, wincing because he's stiff. "I thought you'd still be- Uh. Hello awkward! "Did…were…" Deep breath, D'ani! He tries again, "How are you?" Oh and there's wine, which he takes absently, befuddled as her words sink in. He blinks owlishly at her, "I got wet?" He must have been… preoccupied. By now his shirt has dried, stiff and wrinkled, not that he cares about that. He frowns though and says quietly, "Inri. It's not your fault the boys played rough." The… dragon boys. Hopefully- no he won't go there.

Inri changed her clothes, at least, so she is no longer looking like she got poured on. She's also slept (she woke up early), and eaten. Hopefully he has, too, even if he hasn't managed to deal with not wearing wet clothes any longer. "Everyone got wet. It was pouring. Which I'm sure didn't surprise anyone." It didn't surprise her, that's for sure. "I'm fine, though, I was more concerned about you. Him, and Icosuth, they're both okay?" The frown is met with a gentle smile, and she invites herself to sit. He can tell her to leave if he'd rather.

D'ani hasn't done any of the above. His morning routine=Fail. He listens to Inri, but he's also watching her and she does indeed seem okay. To this he breathes again, relieved and the line of his shoulders relax somewhat. "In retrospect, no, it doesn't surprise me," he says, able to chuckle rustily. He half-turns to the sleeping Dremkoth and gestures to him with the wine bottle. "Neither one crashed and burned. They're bruised, sore and have a few stitches, but ought to recover just fine." Until the next goldflight when they bounce off each other again? She sits and he, sleep-deprived stupid, stands there and smiles at her lopsidedly. How long? Several long ticks and then he shakes himself to ask with a lift of that wine bottle, "Don't happen to have anything to open this with on you?" Because she might? As for glasses…

Hopefully not; that, or it's not Kouzevelth's flight. Which Inri won't let herself think about, because even when she is gravid Kouzevelth can be just territorial enough she'd rather not openly consider sharing chasers. If there's one thing the perpetual booze-bringer is good for, it's openers — that she does have, pulling one out of her shoulder bag with a small smile. "I do! I … do not have anything to drink it in, but if you wanted to open it now I have a plan as far as that goes." She glances over her shoulder in the direction of the other infirmary, the one for humans. "Not the most glamorous, but it'll do. I hope your night hasn't been too terrible." Her hand lifts as if to ruffle his hair for half a second, but … can't reach.

All these queens and claiming their suitors as theirs! And Dremkoth smugly certain each time one rises that he'll be the one. D'ani smilingly hands the bottle back to her, eyeing that look of hers towards the human infirmary. "If it's bedpans, I'll pass. We can share…" he pantomimes lifting the bottle, sipping and passing to her with grin. Sure, they clean the receptacles but no, just no. He does wait to hear her not-glamorous idea, a slow, ironic loft of one dark brow follows her light comment. Not terrible? He's having wine for breakfast, if that tells her anything. The hand aiming for his hair is intercepted, though his eyes never leave hers. "It wasn't too bad until Dremkoth fell asleep," he tells her gravely. Then he had plenty of time to think. His mouth tugs to one side and he shakes his head, gently squeezes her hand then uses it to turn her towards the infirmary. "Glasses, not glamorous, Ma'am, if you please, that have been used for harmless things."

If Inri finds out there's been no actual breakfast for breakfast she'll be even more critical. She got her breakfast by way of the goldriders' meeting. But as of right then, she hasn't asked and has made the assumption that the dragonhealers on duty paid attention. She'll scold them later. "Cups, actually," is what she says with just the slightest hint of glint in her eyes, "They have plastic cups. I don't think there'll be any glasses. But it's better than bedpans." She returns the hand-squeeze, then steps off to the door to see what dish-stealing she can do.

When D'ani finds out they have to attend dawn meetings, he'll poke at Nyalle to sleep in a little, Geez! That woman is a workaholic! There are no tray of used dishes sitting on the small stand waiting to be picked up, but that's neither here nor there. There is, however, plenty of time yet for breakfast to arrive. "Plastic cups will suffice," D'ani says with a wink, pleased by that glint he's seeing in response to his teasing. When Inri returns, she'll find him sitting on the edge of Dremkoth's couch, the bronze still soundly asleep, emitting quiet groans on each exhale. The weyrsecond will rise, and silently invite her to sit before easing back down beside her. "So…" Searching for something reasonable to say, "…there'll be a clutch soon…" Duh, D'ani, ya think?

It's not quite that early! It's just prompt, and includes at least tea if not also food — which was enough for Inri, who sure wasn't going to linger in the guest weyr at all. Especially not since it was inhabited by rabbits. But most of Fort's goldriders are workaholics. "A cup for you, sir," she says with a grin, offering one over and keeping the second for herself. Dremkoth's paw gets a gentle pat; it can't be firm enough to wake up a creature that large, but maybe it'll register subconsciously. "Yes. Unfortunately. I mean, that sounds horrible; I love clutches, I hate being hot."

Inhabited by rabbits?! She'll tell him about those yes? Because that'll cheer him up immensely, knowing they helped her depart sooner rather than later. He may even start raising them to sprinkle about those very guest weyrs next time Kouzevelth rises, just in case! The toe nearest the Inri-pat twitches, perhaps a subconscious response, while Dremkoth himself slumbers on. "They've dosed him," D'ani notes idly while pouring first her cup, then his nearly to the top. "I'll bring you ice cream with your paperwork," he promises lightly, lifting his cup to her. "To baby dragons, conceived in the sky, ripened on the sands, handed over to novices to fly, we hope, safely." No names, S'ai, but he's thinking of you!

Oh, yes. Once Inri is done looking delighted by the offers of ice cream as she clinks — taps? — her plastic cup o' wine to his and takes a sip. "Well, at least he's feeling no pain," she says with the kind of sigh that is more release-of-air than emotional sigh. "And this wine is actually as good as I was hoping, even if I'm not sure it makes too good a morning drink. And you don't have to bring me anything, but you can stop by as much as you'd like to with as many cold things as you can come up with." Oh, and work. That's okay too. "I hope you got better sleep than I did, I was rudely awakened by finding what happened to a bunch of those rabbits."

"He's been slathered with numbweed too," D'ani says, though likely she can smell the pungency of that herself. "Nothing will please me more than to comb the planet in search of cold things and bring them to you," he promises grandly. He takes a mouthful of his wine, appreciates it with a nod and swallows. "It's perfect," he assures her, even though whiskey might've been his first choice for this particular morning, he's not so inclined to drink that now that she's here and sharing the rabbit story. "How rudely?" he quips with a smirk, then ducks in mock avoidance of a swat.

It's definitely not the kind of smell that goes with breakfast — maybe Inri can forgive the dragonhealers for not thinking to offer any. "Oh, scratching. At like — ridiculously early still dark out o'clock. I can say I appreciate that one thing about Br'enn winning, he's a hunter and was able to handle the rabbit thing." The rabbits technically were let free to roam around the rest of the Weyr, but at least they were outside. "Figure out where the sound was coming from and get 'em outside. I'd thought maybe it was something poisonous at first. No, first I thought it was in my head and I'd gotten completely flight-addled. As far as the cold things, I am holding you to that." He's not the clutchfather, it's not technically his problem, but Inri sincerely does not mind the volunteering one bit.

That early, eh? "Rabbits, now my favorite mammal," D'ani says with another lift of his cup in a silent toast to the creatures. Of Br'enn he says nothing, but he does take a rather larger swallow of wine than necessary. "I can't imagine you addled from anything, Inri," he says seriously - and there's a glint of admiration in his brown eyes for that as he continues, "No matter what life throws at you, you're always fine." A tiny pause, "Aren't you?" He's not clutchfather, but he is her friend. Neither are what prompts the offer of cold things being dragged to her from the ends of Pern. "It's one thing I know you'll need that I can give," he says then drains his cup.

Right now, he is also her favorite person ever, though it's not like he's ever far from that place in the pecking order of Inri's friends. "I at least always seem fine. I tend to always be calm. I am actually capable of being upset," she says with a tiny laugh, "it's just something I try to do as privately as possible." She also doesn't at present have a reason to be upset; the last time she was really upset was probably when settling into the knowledge that unless something horrible happened, she would never be Senior. Not being ready right then didn't mean wanting to be passed over for good. She's since come to terms with it; life is life, and Nyalle may be younger, but she's good. It would've been worse if Inri hadn't liked her. "I don't generally like to dump my emotions on other people. Not negative or uncertain ones, anyway." That's the end of her wine, too. How strange.

And D'ani holds a half-full bottle of wine, how convenient! He refills both cups, hers first then his own. "You don't have to seem fine around me if you ever aren't," he offers quietly. Someday perhaps they'll talk about how Dtirae left and Nyalle came to Fort Weyr; it's something that's been on his mind for awhile. "I get that," he says of not dumping on people. "Just don't shatter from holding things in, yeah?" It's said lightly, but oh, his eyes are keen as he watches her. "I would be very sad if you broke into little pieces."

There's ample time — like when Inri is trapped on the sands for weeks on end. Not much of a risk of eavesdroppers there, and anyone who knows her well knows she's usually game for just about any conversation topic. With a pronounced nod in thanks for the refill, she replies: "I think I would be, too. Can't do much in little pieces. Kouzevelth's usually pretty good to burden, so I don't need to stress anyone else — but next time the sands make me want to cry, I'll make you come give me a hug. It does get lonely. And hot." She isn't even trying to lighten a serious topic — hot is a major problem for a Breakwater native, and it does actually sometimes make her cry.

"You do realize in saying that you're tempting me to not actually find those cold things to bring you while you're on the sands, right?" D'ani's smiling as he says it, but his brown eyes are not. His wine is lifted to his mouth - it's really a fine vintage; he should appreciate it more slowly than he is, but it's been a rough evening, followed by a difficult night. So while he's not gulping it, he is taking it by the mouthfuls, rather than sipping. He lapses into silence after his half-serious comment, listening to her, simply enjoying her company. Beside him Dremkoth slumbers on, if somewhat fitfully, at least he's not uncomfortable enough to be wakeful. "Any time you need anything, I'm so there," he says roughly and immediately afterwards scrubs his face with a palm, ending with raking it back though his hair. Blame the wine, blame the lost flight, blame…well…him. Ah well.

Poor Dremkoth is definitely getting a hug when he wakes up. Possibly even some affection from Kouzevelth, though who knows if he'll take it. "So you want me to cry," Inri teases, but it's teasing, and then she can't resist joining in to ruffle at his hair a little, too. "Or you'd rather just have excuses to give me hugs. You can give me hugs without excuses, just, not if you're giving off ridiculous amounts of heat. And join my pillow fort on the sands. With ice cream."

Dremkoth? Will lap up any and all displays of affection, the vain bronze. Dropping his hand from his hair, D'ani regards her for a moment before exhaling quietly. A slow smile tugs at his mouth, "As long as you come cryin' to me?" D'ani teases back, then shakes his head. "Excuses? No, but if you're handing them out…" he trails off, his smile a touch wolfish. "I'll hug blocks of ice first? Nevermind the pillowfort. I'll build you an igloo, how's that?" Nevermind it'd melt before the thing ever got started. Kouzevelth won't mind steamed eggs, will she? Aaaand then he's getting his hair ruffled like a little boy would, which might explain what happens next. He leans over and kisses her. A gentleman ought to apologize, but D'ani, when he lifts his head, grins instead and says cheekily, "Thanks for the wine?"

"You are welcome," Inri replies definitively, bright-eyed; and sort of returns the favor, though her kiss is closed-lipped, quick and light: more acknowledgement than its own statement. That, and making it clear he doesn't need to apologize. "You can have all the wine you want if what I get are kisses and igloos." Evidently she's content with the contact, though she should probably try actually talking about it and not brushing it off as a casual no big deal this time. Like she did after the other flight. It seems she's even considered that, because what she does instead is use his shoulder as a pillow — something she seems to have decided was an implied offer — and then actually grows enough of a spine to ask, or rather declare, "That was not your usual casual flirting. You are not a usual casual flirter," she clarifies, because just because she is and he's often a recipient doesn't mean anything.

It may be a chaste kiss, but it's from Inri and thus awesome! D'ani wasn't about to apologize. Even if Inri had erupted he'd have told her the same thing he tells her now, "You're correct; I am not a casual flirter and that wasn't casual flirting." Perhaps it's easier talking to the top of Inri's head, perhaps the contact is simply enjoyed, for the shoulder pillowing her head relaxes, though first he shifts his arm and curls it easily about her shoulder to tuck her companionably to his side while they recline against Dremkoth. "I've wanted to do that since we were weyrlings," he admits quietly. "And yet I didn't because… I've wanted to be the friend you needed. It's…why things didn't work out with Dtirae." He coughs, adding ruefully, "My fault, not hers. But still." He should probably use more words, explain better but he's a guy and there's an Inri pillowed against him.

To be completely fair, it isn't as if Inri explains things much. Inri tends to just do things, and it is possible that's why she's been single as long as she's been living at Fort and all of her friends have paired off around her. "She's going to hate me," is actually the first thing out of Inri's mouth as she sags slightly more against Dremkoth and D'ani's side. "Dei is. Because she's my friend." She was one of her best friends, at one point, and that's a friendship Inri's dedicated to repairing. "I actually — I mean, I always thought you were attractive, and I obviously love you," it's just been 'as a friend, probably' for a long time, "but first I didn't want to upset Ezra at all, because I also love him. And then you were with Dei, so I decided I would be happy for you both, because I had no reason at all not to be, I had no claim on you or anything. So I was also sad for both of you when you split up, I didn't realize I was part of it." Inri stretches slightly, finally cants her head up just enough to meet his eyes with a small smile. "To risk overcomplicating everything and making me feel like even worse of a friend to Dtirae — did you want me to? Have a claim on you, I mean."

D'ani opens his mouth to refute that Dtirae will harbor ill-feelings, then thinks the better of it and instead allows Inri to speak uninterrupted, though at one point his mouth pulls into a lop-sided and rather foolishly-pleased smile directed down to, well, the top of her head, "You…do?" If it was obvious she felt anything for him other than friendship, he missed it. The rush of words is heard and nodded to in dazed fashion; he should address the complexities of past relationships, but his brain is stuck on 'I obviously love you' and so by the time stream of words ends with that question, he's on the same page. He's already looking down at her when she peeks up at him, his smile broadens slowly and he's silent long enough to perhaps make her squirm, though that's not is intention,. He draws a deep breath and drawls, "Honey, you've had a claim on me for a long time now, it's just a matter of you knowing what to do with it." His brown eyes are warm with affection as they meets hers. If she can read? They say 'yes'.

"Well. I mean. I love most of my friends, the ones I've had so long you may as well be family —" Inri shakes her head again, laughing at herself now that she's collected herself — silence can frighten her at the calmest of times. Of course she wouldn't know what to do with attentions she didn't register, and she's terrible at picking the right words for the right occasion sometimes. Never be too casual about your connections to people: you end up in Inri's position. "Which is me embarrassing both of us, I think, over multiple uses of the word," she rejoinders, cautious and considering in what she says, "I haven't thought about whether or not I am, or could be, in love with you. Because it simply hadn't come up, I wasn't aware it was an option. I’m now certain I could be, if it were, but. Made a mistake once of falling for someone without knowing how they felt first, and it was probably the best mistake I ever made because it brought me here, but it was also probably the dumbest thing I've ever done." She still looks content, even happy; the memory isn't damaging her, and any creases across her face are still mostly concern for Dremkoth. "So with that out of the way —" Inri taps D'ani on the nose, once, lightly. "You should ask me out." While Inri often behaves like a worldly woman with no compunctions about anything ever, she was still Hold raised, and she's aware that the bronzerider is even more traditional than she can be.

Of course she loves all of her friends! D'ani's aware of Inri's casual, easy-going nature; it's one of the qualities that he likes best about her. He chuckles, patiently enduring that nose tap. "I'm not embarrassed, but I am too tired to follow all of that." Then hastily, lest she re-word, "I think I've got the gist of it, though." He leans his head back against Dremkoth's side and closes his eyes, hmming to himself, feigning indecision whether to actually do the asking or not, then relents with a crooked grin and cracks one eyelid to peer down at her. "So, Inri, I'm sans transportation right now and may be for awhile, but if you'll take us to Ierne, I'd love to buy you dinner." And then his hand leaves her shoulder to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear while he adds, "In fact, I'd like to take you out on a regular basis, if you'd be up for that." Beware! This could mean anything: out in a field, out in the rain, out…ter space…

With most people, outer space wouldn't really be a concern, but having met Dremkoth, Inri should probably be a little bit concerned about that eventuality. She isn't. "If you sleep first," she teases, though that would have him sleeping in the middle of the day — or at least midmorning. But considering he probably hasn't, she has no real qualms about demanding that. "Have a good rest, maybe eat some breakfast — do I need to scold the healers to feed you? I'm sure Mirinda hasn't been in yet to know you're here, she's usually more reliable than letting people starve — rest some more, and Zel and I will be happy to spend the evening in Ierne." Provided D'ani looks better rested. Otherwise, she'll have to scold first.

Their date will have to wait two or three days. "I won't be leaving this big lug's side for a few days, but I will sleep," D'ani assures Inri while scrubbing a hand over his tired and unshaven face -indeed, he looks exhausted enough to nod off sitting right where he is, while sitting leaned up against his dragon's side. As for scolding the healers, "You might? But I'd suggest bribing them instead to brings me something better than porridge," he smiles, indulgent of her fussing. He's pleased enough with the promise of dinner with her that he'll let her go, brushing a kiss to the top of her head and removing his arm from her shoulders in order to release her to go about her day. As for him, he's going to fall into the simple canvas cot beside Dremkoth's couch and sleep like the dead regardless of the busy infirmary and the comings and goings of large draconic bodies - at least until his own bronze grows restless enough to rouse him.


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