'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

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.

Following the eventful hatching, Kazulen is — naturally enough — left in the tender loving care of the healers, shuffled off to the infirmary. Someone somewhere off in the corner may have gotten slightly mauled; that's not him, though. Oh, no. He's a victim of his own pride, with a side order of learning just how bad an idea it is for bare, tender flesh to meet superheated sand. At least the numbweed lets him ignore the assaults on his skin (both burns and rubbed-raw spots); it gives him all the more time to mope glumly about his crushed and destroyed hopes and dreams. Woe is him. Lots, and lots, and lots of woe.

Zapallie has no particular reason to be here, having not been injured in the Hatching (obviously). And of course, she didn't see anyone she knew get mauled, but then again, it's not always clear from the stands. She's got to make sure! Or something. She makes her way in and looks around, and spots Kazulen, sauntering that way.

Bustle bustle bustle, go the healers. Kazulen … lies there, staring off into inner-space, glum, like a particularly depressed log.

Zapallie has come! To break him from his manic depressive behavior! Or…make it worse. You know, either is good, right? "Have you been admitted for catatonia, or ugliness?"

What? Oh. Kazulen blinks a few times, focusing in on her, and manages something that looks sort of like the ghost of the roadkill of a smile after it had been left out for the weather for a few sevendays. "Oh. Hey, Zap. Nice to see you, too. Be careful, they might grab you next." He gets points for an attempt at a joke, right? Maybe two of them?

Zapallie mms thoughtfully. "Is it a pretty boy, or an ugly girl? Nobody knows!" Then unceremoniously she scoots her butt onto the bed beside his knee and starts gently nudging herself on, trying to make room without hurting him. "So what're you in for, kid? Bruised ego?"

Kazulen promptly winces out of her way, although he doesn't really seem to be objecting per se. "That, and the sandblasting, I guess."

"Baby," replies Zapallie promptly. "You probably would have Impressed green anyway, like Khy. Guess he's out of the closet now."

"I really thought that second bronze was mine," Kazulen grumps. (He's whining.) "And while I'm afraid to speculate on the subject of Khy's closets, I promise that mine isn't big enough to hold me."

"Well… maybe a blue then," decides Zapallie cheerfully. "I'm glad you didn't Impress," she adds. "You should be, too. Just think of all the girls you can make out with now. Actually… you want a drink? I will totally run to the tavern and bring you a bottle of anything you want. Let's /celebrate/."

"But I was always going to," Kazulen explains, his reticence equaled only by his earnest misery. "That's the thing. I'm already twenty! I've been standing for Hatching after Hatching and this time, this time, I was just so certain that my dragon was out there —" He groans, smothering it in the pillow for a moment, before lifting his head just enough to be intelligible: "A drink'd be great. Something strong."

Zapallie knows just how to fix a guy, see? "Oh boo hoo, twenty. I haven't been searched again, not since that first time. Think how /I/ feel. You know every single one of my friends was on those sands? You, Edani, Abigail, Borodin, Inyri, Khyonai… it was hard to be happy for everyone. And now, well.. hey, at least I still have you and Borodin to pester. I'm not going to see the rest of them for months." It's all about her, you see! "Now. Pick your poison."

"Whatever is strong and comes in a large bottle is fine," Kazulen mutters, peevish and bitter. Probably it's a good idea not to pick a drink that's bitter. "Anyway, are you going to make out with both of us, now, to remind us that we're not stuck with further celibacy? Because if not, I'm actually in pretty much the same boat as before I got Searched."

Zapallie looks him up and down for a moment. "Making out with Borodin is a given. You… Hm. I might know somebody… How do you feel about redheads?" She lifts a finger and rises off the bed. "Think on it, I'll be right back." She turns to waltz out, presumably to go get something sweet and burning and strong.

"NOT HOTARU!" Kazulen screeches after her, at the top of his lungs. This, of course, means that he's immediately scolded and lectured by the healers for the entire duration of however long Zapallie is gone. That may have been her intention; he wouldn't put it past her!

Zapallie has finished gagging when she gets back, holding a bottle of something darkly amber colored. "Hotaru? Kaz, would I do you like that? I can't stand that freaky little… ew." Any healer who's about to object to her getting their patient exceedingly drunk, well… she'd be more than happy to take Kaz out from under their noses for awhile!

Kazulen, now somewhat more meek, gives Zapallie a fervently grateful look with big puppy-dog eyes for good measure. "See, I knew there was a reason I liked you so much," he tells her solemnly. "I just wanted to make sure, is all, because she didn't Impress either, and there was all the fuss about her boyfriends… You know? Anyway. The less I have to think about anyone kissing her, the better. Other than that, I like redheads fine."

Zapallie snorts and lifts an eyebrow. "You like me? News to me." She opens the bottle and takes a swig, shrugs in an appreciative way, and passes it over to him. "She's a trader, so who knows where she is now. I met her when I was wandering, you know, before I came here. But I imagine if I sent one of my firelizards to her, see what she says."

"You're trailing off and forgetting to get to the sinister point of your sentence, there," Kazulen points out helpfully, taking the bottle off her hands before she can appreciate any more of it. His nose wrinkles once he's downed a gullet's-full; that's the only sign of the burn. Apparently, they teach guards how to hold their liquor at Fort.

"No sinister point. She's cute. I'm just not exactly a match-maker. Honestly, I'd have you in a dark corner before you could say 'Hello' but… Borodin. Can't do that to him. So, I can see if she'll come, but I can't make you like each other." Zapallie chuckles and watches him drink. "There you go! See, perks of being a guard again."

"So you're saying that I'm not allowed in dark corners so long as Borodin is around, but full daylight is fine?" Kazulen's maybe already feeling the effects of the booze; then again, he never did get lunch. Ever. And he had a pretty light breakfast, for that matter. Also, painkillers.

Zapallie gives him a strange look. "That didn't even make sense," she tells him. Hey, that's 100 proof rum she brought him. Girl doesn't mess around. "I know you haven't had a drink in like, four months, but I didn't expect you to be so much of a light weight."

"Eh. No food," Kazulen explains, demonstratively waving about the hand that doesn't have a death-grip on the bottle. Glug, glug. "Also apparently it's a really bad idea to sit down your naked parts on the Hatching Sands." Whoops. There went those filters.

Zapallie squints at Kazulen, looks down at him. "Which naked parts?" she asks curiously. "What do you want to eat? I suppose if you get alcohol poisoning, at least we're already here. I definitely won't make out with you if you puke. For the record."

"No, nonono, that's totally fair," Kaz agrees. "And the bits that are sensitive so it's not like I'm going to be doing much of anything fun with them anyway, at least not until we're sure we've gotten all the bits of sand out of the blisters, you know?" He's forgetting part of the question.

"You blistered your dick?" asks Zapallie incredulously. Then she snorts. "I'll tell Tjara she needn't hurry, then." Always the charmer. "Now, food?" she prods again.

"Really just my balls." Deadpan. Rhymes with 'bedpan', which Kazulen will probably be using for a while anyway. "And I don't really feel like feasting." Awkward. "They'll probably feed me once I wake up with a hangover, anyway."

Zapallie rolls her eyes. "You're just a bucket of cheer." She reaches for the bottle, stubborn enough to wrestle it away if he won't surrender it easily. "Which is better than a bucket of piss and vomit, which will come before you wake up hung over."

"Fine!" Kazulen scowls, petulantly, and gives up the bottle after a token fight. He's already got four or five drinks' worth burning away inside him, anyway! "Feed me, then!"

Zapallie leeeeans in until she can smell the alcohol on his breath, until her eyelashes can brush his cheek when she murmurs in his ear, "Next time… wear your undershorts." And then she leans back and rises for a second time to go find him something to eat.