Long Hours

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.


Slight backscene to a few days after Fort's forest fire.

Fort's infirmary smells even more of antiseptic cream and aloe than it normally does, in the wake of caring for a lot of minor burns — though much of that went to the dragonhealers, and not to the Healers. Mirinda herself was singed by smattering embers, and so she has three small bandages affixed to the right side of her face, with skin discoloration around them. It certainly hasn't slowed her down any, though it seems she doesn't have any patients except for one person sleeping — she is up at the Weyrhealer's desk, reading through a chart.

Zhirayr skulks in quietly, and just studies Mirinda for a long, long moment before actually saying anything. The Assistant Steward isn't burned, although he's provided no explanations to anyone at all as to why he's sporting much shorter hair than normal; was he even there? He's not saying right now. Instead, he's saying: "You look overworked. When's the last time you rested? Or ate?"

He definitely wasn't there. Mirinda would have noticed, having been the only person on the ground. Which didn't bother her, especially since it didn't last long and dragons kept bringing her supplies as needed. "Did you come to get your head operated upon?" Mirinda teases, giving the hair a funny look. "I ate an hour ago, and I slept for about eight hours last night, thank you, I know how to heal an injury." She also has a little girl who won't sleep unless she does.

Zhirayr hmmphs, unappeased. There's concern in his eyes, though, as he approaches close enough to actually look at her bandaged-and-singed face. "How are you doing, anyway?"

"Oh, not too bad. It's really nothing." It's the kind of really nothing where she is treating it, at least, just that no one was going to see her actually taking time off. "Just need to keep hydrated and remember to clean them. I think a few of the dragons got hit a lot worse than I did, and the entire Weyr could've been worse off. This weather." Heat lightning is something Mirinda has decided she doesn't like.

"I've heard rumors in the kitchens that dragons are going to be put on forest-drenching duty," Zhirayr replies, although his tone makes it clear he's more than a little bit dubious about how likely this is to be actual fact. "Not that that will make anything cooler — it's as hot as the Sands out there, most days," parentheticals the man who always dresses in head-to-toe black, and maybe that is the real reason for the haircut, "but at least things might be slightly less likely to catch on fire. Again."

"It won't stay hot forever, at least," Mirinda sighs, and really — she always thought the Weyr was kind of cold. Even their summers aren't as warm as some places she's been. "How often do you spend time on the Sands, anyway? I'd think in your outfits you would just drop dead." She's not actually looking at him anymore; she's carefully writing a note and continuing to speak, thin-amused smile on her face.

"Technically speaking," Zhirayr points out in a mildly-injured tone of voice, "dark clothing really only makes a temperature difference when it comes to the sun. It's fairly negligible, the rest of the time." Beat. "Besides, I'm used to it." He's not being obvious about trying to read the note, at least.

Can he read upside down? Because at the very least it's upside down, and also Mirinda's handwriting is looopy and curvy and probably not that easy to read upside down even if you normally can. If she noticed, she would be covering it up or hitting him with something, but — she's not noticing. "The Sands aren't really a place where you have to be too concerned about the sun, if I remember correctly." The last time she was there was Kayeth's hatching and she already can't really remember. Wasn't paying too much attention to the geography.

"Well, they're in a cave," certainly sounds amused, as he squints a little. Okay, so if that's an S, and that's an E… Hmm. "So no, not particularly sunny, most of the time. It helps, honestly — can you imagine the sort of injuries that would result if the hatchlings were also sun-blinded while trying to find their lifemates?"

"It has an external facing side," Mirinda remembers that much. "It's just that the top of the cavern is what's preventing the elements from getting in. Otherwise how would dragons be able — anyway, you're right, I doubt the sands get very sunny. I know there's some sun." It makes the sand even sparklier. But not so sparkly you have to wear shades. Her hand keeps moving; she's still writing whatever it is he can't read.

"Do you honestly not actually remember the Sands from the last time you were in the galleries?" he asks, curious, and sliiiiiiiiiiides partway around the table, so the words in her note are sideways, instead of upside-down — but really, he's looking at her face, he swears.

"I remember them, I was just paying more attention to the actual hatching part," Mirinda explains, and then looks up at him. Looks. With a Look. A very flat one. "This is the Weyrhealer's desk," she says in a teasingly sweet tone, "and the only person who belongs behind it is, well, the Weyrhealer or whoever is running the infirmary at the time. Neither of those are you. You go over there."

"I'm not behind it!" Zhirayr points out innocently, pouting just a tiny little bit at her. To be fair, he isn't; to be fair, he's on its side, as in, he's got one hip leaned against it. Hopefully that's isn't a hanging offense.

"You are on the wrong side." Mirinda points, with one neatly manicured (but polish free) and currently not ink stained finger at the other side of the desk, where he had been. "There is a correct side for me and a correct side for you and the two shorter sides are not correct sides, unless you're a canine or a firelizard."

"But what," the assistant steward pushes, "if I wanted to kiss you?" And he looks up at her with what's probably best described as a 'demure eyebrow-wiggle' and almost definitely best not visualized.

Does his hair look mangled because he's drunk? That is sort of the expression Mirinda has on her face, now — wondering if maybe he's mildly intoxicated. "You would not succeed by trying to appeal to do so in my workplace," she says, firmly but at the same time it seems she's trying not to laugh a little.

Zhirayr isn't, actually, drunk, and it's a very neat haircut, Mirinda. Really. "What if I came to your workplace to discuss it with you, in the sense of making a date for the future?" He hasn't actually gone back around to the non-staff side of the table; apparently he still thinks he's a firelizard.

"I think we could discuss it," Mirinda allows, trying to be patient, and that is what her expression is giving away — patience, and the fact that it's only slightly trying, "if you were on the correct side of the desk." She is a stickler for rules. That is a rule. Stop trying to read other people's medical information.

All right, all right, fine, he can tell when he's not wanted, etc etc — Zhirayr scoops up her non-pen-holding hand as he moves around the table, though, and presses a kiss lightly to the back of her knuckles. "Better?"
"Much." The Healer appears far more satisfied than she was a moment or two ago, and at least he didn't try to grab the hand with the pen in it. That would have been exceedingly unfortunate. For Zhirayr's hands. Which would at least have then matched the rest of his body; Mirinda writes in black.

"I'm terribly relieved," comes out quite dryly, but — well, Zhirayr seems to be at least a little bit relieved that she looks happier. Even if now his curiosity will never be sated. Damn. "Along with glad that I don't have ink all over my hands, I suppose. When are you planning to have dinner tonight, anyway?"

Can anyone blame Mirinda for answering, "At dinnertime?" No? Good. It isn't yet dinnertime, it is currently work time — or be distracted by Zhirayr when your only patient is sleeping time. "It is very high quality ink. Not really all that bad for the skin. It wouldn't hurt you, you'd just need to wash it out a little." She has some ink on her hand. Not as much as he would have.

Zhirayr gets a thoughtful look on his face, then. "How thoroughly does it stain fabric?" He may have an actual good reason for asking this; he may not. "I wanted to take you to dinner." He pauses, and thinks about that, and: "Or cook dinner for you, for that matter."

"It's not too bad — I mean it sticks like crazy, but it's fairly easy to wash off again if you use the right things." Which Mirinda apparently isn't elaborating on, so hopefully Nyalle never gets ink from an infirmary fountain pen on any of her clothing. (He'd have to actually ask more specifically.) "And — hm. You could do either, I suppose, if — I don't have kitchen facilities in my rooms, do you?"

"No, but I know where I can get access to some," Zhirayr attempts to wave away. "And what if you wanted it to stain fabric? Are there things — normal laundry things — that it utterly fails to fade with?"

"Like in the Weyr kitchens?" Mirinda wouldn't know if Zhirayr is allowed to just help himself to the Weyr's main kitchen; maybe he is, being upper management and all. It's beyond her. It's not things she's needed to learn. "Yes, soap won't take it out, it's another way. Do you desperately need ink to ruin something?"

"I got sprayed with bleach the last time I had to attend something in the laundry room," is Zhirayr's rather peevish answer. "One of my favorite pairs of trousers needs to be re-dyed, and they're out of black."

Mirinda apparently can't help but laugh, though she is trying to hide it by looking down, putting her arm across her mouth and essentially giggling into it. "I don't … I think the ink would be far too expensive unless it was just a couple of tiny little spots."

Zhirayr lets loose a long and heartfelt sigh of disappointment at that, and doesn't seem to have let go of her hand, actually. Huh. "How wretched," he murmurs. "Those poor pants."

"You have other pairs of pants, I assume." Mirinda really could not tell how many pairs of pants he had, but they were all black, so it was exceedingly difficult to tell how many of them were actually the same pair. "So just wait for there to be more dye available, no?" Back to the writing.

"But they're some of my favorites," Zhirayr insisted, mostly because it was what they'd been talking about and she was back to writing her notes that he wasn't supposed to know about. Hmmph. He let her have her hand back, finally, and started poking around the empty portions of the infirmary — ostensibly to see if all her supplies were up to stock.
Which, actually being part of his job — or at least tangentially part of his job, but the finances were his job — Mirinda let him do, persisting in her paperwork. After a couple of minutes: "See anything not right? Missing or out of place?" And, about thirty seconds after that: "Would you even know if anything were missing or out of place." Absolutely no complaints about someone else doing inventory, only the requirement that they do it correctly.

"Well," Zhirayr answers, after a long moment spent pondering/cogitating/digesting her question, "whoever wrapped these bandages did a terrible job. That, or you have firelizard nesting problems on this shelf."

"I don't think any of the staff have any," Mirinda says after a little bit of consideration. She doesn't, though she'd considered buying one. No one she can recall does either, but she might be off base there. Might. "So we aren't likely to have nesting problems. Would you know how to wrap them?" After all, she has paperwork. And some messy staff.

"Does it need to be anything other than neat and compact?" Zhirayr asks, dubiously.

With a sigh, Mirinda says, "Look at the other ones." They are, after all, right there; if he's not sure what it's meant to look like, find one that doesn't look like it's an enormous mess! If there are any that aren't enormous messes. She closes a chart, moves on to the next.

Zhirayr rolls his eyes at her, not that he's facing her or she's looking at him, and starts to poke through the bandages on the shelf to find some that look right to him. It takes a surprisingly long time, considering how many bandages there are, and the fact that he hasn't actually rolled them in nearly twenty years — and then he stops, a queer look on his face, and calls, "Mirinda? What I was saying, before? Well."

"… if a patient's firelizard laid eggs there I am going to start banning them," is all Mirinda says. Her voice sounds incredibly tired and defeated, and she pointedly doesn't look in that direction, just sighs.

"Well," Zhirayr answered reasonably, carefully poking at the eggs — were they even still alive in there? At least the bandages made some nice insulation, it seemed — "on the other hand, isn't it better for them to be a patient's green's, and not a random firelizard's?"

"I wouldn't even want to know how a wild one got in here." Mirinda sighs again, closes the records, stands up and walks in that general direction, peering into the cabinet around Zhirayr as best she can. "Well. I can't turf out living creatures. I don't know how viable they are; better go ask one of the dragonhealers to take a look at them in the morning, or something along those lines." She did keep meaning to buy one; she was pretty sure she didn't want one of unknown parentage, just in case. Since she was aiming for 'well trained.' But that was no reason to condemn these eggs to death. "Could be some smart green was smart enough to know she'd forget where she put them, found somewhere warm."

"Whether wild or not," Zhirayr agrees, and lets out a little bit of a relieved sigh — "They're still warm, by the way. I'll see if I can't find someone to take a look at them sooner, rather than later — do you have any large baskets around here that aren't in use? We'll use the mangled bandages to cushion the eggs for now, and then once they've been boiled again I can make some candidates re-roll them for you."

"You can just — make candidates do things?" Another thing Mirinda was not paying attention to, before. "I thought that the goldriders were in charge of the candidates and what they had to do." Accurate, but the Steward and Headwoman fall in line there too, and Mirinda … not only doesn't know much about Weyr hierarchy but isn't aware that Zhirayr has been in that job so long he has just as much clout as the actual Steward does. "Because if you can make candidates do things —"

"Of course…?" Zhirayr is surprised, even as he starts packing the horrifically-unwrapped-and-contaminated bandages neatly around the eggs (four of them! must have been a large green). "Senior assistant to the Steward; I'm in line under the Weyrwomen, technically, since I'm hardly part of a fighting wing." Dismissive, that, but then — he's never for even a minute considered becoming a rider, himself. Could he have, if he had? Who knows? Not him. "So, being under the Weyrwoman's oversight and not the Weyrleader's, yes, I can boss around candidates as necessary, although depending on who gave them the orders they're working on at the time I might or might not be able to override them. Why?" Finally he remembers to ask that, and glance at her to raise an eyebrow and see what her reaction and answer are.

"Well, we have somewhat of a dearth of staff in terms of assistant types," Mirinda explains, looking quite pleased, though whether it's with the eggs, Zhirayr or herself — good question. "It's really just a few fully trained Healers, a couple of apprentices. One of them is very young." A fond smile for Kiard, who she mentally files as 'the little one.' "No one who has a lot of time to put to detail work in terms of how the place looks, and there was some reorganization I'd wanted done and never got to. Plus one of our journeymen — isn't the best at organizing anything, so he tends to not try much, which is probably better than ruining things, but. Well." You see where she's going with this.

Zhirayr laughs, shaking his head ruefully. "How many of them did you want?" he asks. "There's probably going to be dozens, by the time things are through — considering the books on Rhenesath's first flight being sometime in the next six months, anyway." Probably. Everyone could hope it didn't take her a few extra years to rise, anyway, unlike some golds.

At least those golds — at least the two most recent — were mother and daughter, so it was almost to be expected. That's not an issue in Kayeth's line, and Mirinda sort of has an inkling of that. It's enough that she doesn't protest despite having heard that Kouzevelth and Zuvaleyuth were both late bloomers. "Not more than three," she says evenly, and then adds, "At a time. They'll be bored."

"Wise of you," Zhirayr approves, still folding and tucking. "To realize the inherent danger in bored candidates lurking about your infirmary, I mean. Especially if your scalpels aren't kept locked away."

Mirinda looks utterly horrified at that question, of course. "They are," she says in a tone that's firm and cool enough to be icy. "I am not an idiot, and neither are my staff. We have young children in here, sometimes." She at least doesn't think of her youngest apprentice as one of those. "I don't like the idea of people loitering. Don't send anyone when there's nothing to be done, though that — is rare."

"I'm more concerned that I'll accidentally send you the odd efficient-and-slightly-manic candidate," Zhirayr admits. "The sort who finishes everything you give them at high speed, effectively, so that you don't need him or her to do it all over again — and then has nothing to do but lurk and get in the way." Because he'd said lurking, not loitering, Mirinda. Loitering is saved for patients' visitors who bring clutch-heavy firelizards to visit.

Apparently. Mirinda just nods, processing. "I suspect to some level it's at random, and that's fine — they have their duty roster, just, yes, please by all means put being in here on it." She certainly had candidates before, but that was when she was exceedingly brand-sparkling-new and not just oblivious. And really, the place has gotten messier since then. "I should actually tend to Sleeping Beauty here," she adds, more softly. The sleeping woman hasn't even registered that there was conversation, thank Faranth for the infirmary's acoustic design.

"I'll meet you in your quarters at seven, then?" Zhirayr suggests, not actually letting go of the idea of the dinner date any more than he's letting go of the basket of bandaged eggs, even if that means he's also feeding her daughter.

Oh, yes, he did ask for a basket; Mirinda just got distracted so quickly by the candidate idea she hadn't stopped to get one. Now she is remembering, and stepping up to a cabinet and standing on her toes to try to get one off of a high shelf. She does reach — barely. "Nice try," is what she's saying, though right now her back is to him and he's getting a good view of her hair more than anything else, "You will meet me at my quarters at seven." Not coming in, buddy. "Am I bringing Taimri?"

"I was going to suggest a picnic," Zhirayr tells her mildly, looking somewhat lower than the back of her head, if she's going to be up on tip-toe like that. "And I was going to bring your basket back, as a result. Yes, by all means, bring Taimri unless you'd rather go to a fancy restaurant, in which case you should probably feed her first and tell me to come by at 8."

The basket hasn't got a handle, so — have fun using it as a picnic basket? It's a basket for holding needlethorns, but an empty one. "Here," Mirinda says, handing it over, "resettle those eggs if you'd like to, and I think we can do that. Her bedtime is usually eight, but she might fall asleep outside and she is getting older, I should probably learn to be a little more permissive for special occasions." Suddenly Zhirayr is a special occasion. Taimri probably argues that anyway.

Zhirayr grins at her, quickly resettling the bandaged eggs in the basket, and tucks it under his arm. "That," he murmurs, leaning closer, "sounds delightful." And he steals a kiss, albeit one that's just on her (non-burned) cheek. "Seven with a picnic, then?" And, as soon as that's confirmed, he leaves — to go figure out what the crap to do with four unclaimed green firelizard eggs, and to pack up a picnic, and to figure out where to take a Weyrhealer and a four-year-old for said picnic, in a hurry. Oh, and to detail some candidates to go detail the infirmary. That too.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License