Hannah, Neve


Rider or Crafter or Candlestickmaker, each must follow their own nature.


It is noon of the twenty-eighth day of the first month of the third turn of the 12th pass. It is the eighty-eighth day of Summer and 32 degrees. It's really damn cold out.


Hold Infirmary, Southern Barrier Hold

OOC Date


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Hold Infirmary

It is a hardy space for a hardy hold, settled off the crafters nook and the Miner's hub: a good spot for certain, for the plethora of minor and major injuries that steadily flow out of the depths of the mineshafts deeper within. Not as large as an infirmary that one would find in, say, a weyr, it is nonetheless serviceable, with a single appropriated slab and several curtained, individual examination stations. A simple warming tissane is always to be found at the large hearth burning cheerfully next to the small waiting room, soothing to the throat and nerves.

The day is irrelevant and the time is meaningless for one who's life has patterned down to a series of sleeps. Two sleeps and food comes. Another baby sleep and a healer comes to help her to relieve herself. Long sleeps and more food comes. It is a pattern that turns time into an elastic band of short interruptions of a dreamlike quality that leaves Hannah adrift in a sea of sights and sounds and colors that have very little connection points. Awakening from a dream is more like the dreamer slipping into a different dream that's become reality. Long, pale lashes flutter open as details are absorbed first: the crisp bedcovers, the weave of the pillow seen through the myopic lense of one smushed eye into the plushness of such a thing, and the glass of water that beckons from a distance, sweat dripping down the side. The arm that's slung over a pillow that braces her weight to keep her from having to lay on her back shifts, the fingers twitching. Fellis slowly releases its grip on her mind, the fog-inducing fingers of cotton-like buffering leaves her breathing uneven. It is better, these days, as the healing continues. Better is such a relative term, though Hannah is not on death's door at any rate. But one does not have to be on death's door to be miserable and this misery is palpable in the tear that slips from an eye that doesn't want to wake up yet. Still, life carries on and the woman's life force is strong: strong enough to fight and so with that mindset, she stirs and tries to push herself up a little. Perhaps, even, trying to reach for the glass of water.

Neve's days, since V'dean's visit, have enjoyed a less dreamy quality. She has refused fellis at every turn and this puts rest, true and proper rest, well beyond her reach. When her shoulder and face aren't screaming at her, they're itching, and though she knows this to be a good sign, that's poor consolation when lying in a cot staring at a desolate grey ceiling. The only advantage this self-imposed denial brings is the loss of fuzziness. Her mind is clear of everything but stress, and stress is something she has lived with daily for as long as she can remember. It is, in its way, an old and comfortable friend. It leaves room for awareness of other things, such as the sound of a body shifting beneath sheets in the curtain-created nook one spot over. That's a sounds the journeyman would recognize anywhere and it leaves to her own stirring, though the process from shifting from prone to upright takes time. Feet into slippers, robe hung like a cape from her shoulders and left arm supported in a sling to remove weight stress from her shoulder- sadly there's nothing to be done for that face, it remains on view- she's finally in a position to shuffle invalid-style over to Hannah's makeshift dwelling. The curtain is twitched aside juuuust enough that the unmarred side of her face might peek through. "…Weyrwoman?"

The tall glass of water is but a dream, floating so far away as to be on the moon for all that Hannah can muster the energy to get to it. It is not all injury related, but the drag of painkillers that suffuses the limbs with a lassitude that's hard to shake. Tongue rasps over dry lips as the shift of her arm has the nightgown slipping off the point of a shoulder that's showing too much bone rather than the rounded smoothness of a healthy weight. A steady diet of water and fellis with the occasional food that stays down has lead to a weight loss that gives a protrusion of bones that does not lend itself well to a comfortable appearance. Still, none of these things are permanent (Ardstelle could easily return the woman to a healthy weight, after all) but they are all the little bits and pieces of Hannah that reach for the water. With each passing moment, clarity does come so that by the time Neve has appeared, the Weyrwoman is half turned and looking at the healer with wide, somewhat vacant emerald green eyes. "Neve." The fact that she ca see the woman eases one of the clenched fists in her chest. "You're okay." A breathed sigh of relief that seems to further steal energy. Perhaps she hasn't yet believed it to be true.

A brief period of readjustment allows Neve- once acknowledged- to slip into the little alcove with her chin low and her head positioned in such a way that the worst damage is hidden. There is some swelling still on her nose but that's a small cut in comparison to the ruin of her cheek. That she keeps tilted from the goldrider's foggy gaze. And with fellis to assist, it's no great challenge. Knowing full well what it is that Hannah was focused on, she pads to the little table beside the cot and reaches for the glass with her good hand. Healer tasks. They soothe, in their own way. "Yes," she confirms quietly, voice only slightly blurred due to minimal lip movement. But that's immaterial next to other concerns, such as, "Someone should be in here. To keep an eye on you. I'll have a word with the apprentices. Here. Do you need help? Drinking?" Because the glass is positioned near crusty lips, though the angle required is awkward what with trying to keep half of her face away.

Hannah is not as sharp as would normally be, and thus Neve's initial hiding of her features doesn't really go noticed. It is only when the glass floats like (Neve) magic towards her and that question posed that the goldrider's dulled gaze is turned towards Neve. "Please," she whispers, the painfully slow drag of breath through the lungs still evident. Though breathing is easier — day by day does the mending occur. "Someone… was… here." Breaths inbetween words force a labored cadence to her voice, though its soon aided by the sweet relief of water as Hannah also helps tilt the glass up to drink, hand shaking. Energy spent, she relaxes into the pillow and lets her eyes closed. "Your… standing… strange." It is the sentence strung together through the fellis-haze of a mind slowly clearing from the effects. "How badly… hurt?" The last incurs a small coughing fit, a hint of wet rattle only at the end and only at the deepest of coughs. The sharpening look on what she can see of Neve indicates that the goldrider isn't asking after herself but after the Healer.

"Not so badly as you." Neve does not approve of the sound of that cough, see. But without access to Hannah's records, without conference with the healers actually assigned to the woman, there's little she can do. Unless one counts "overlooking" the observation on how she's standing. To solve that issue, Neve shuffles around a bit before easing herself down to sit on cot's edge. Right side still towards Hannah? Of course. But that is also the glass-holding side, which makes it natural enough- she might become thirsty again, after all. "And I'm healing. No permanent damage. No cut nerves, no large vessels severed, no infection. Some bone bruising. Scars." Her head bows to study the shimmy of water cradled in glass, cradled in fingers. "I grieve for your rider, ma'am," she murmurs and this is not purely a diversionary tactic- she was awake, after all, when the howl for the lost bronzerider went up.

"I'm … fine…" Hannah postulates this, with surprising force for one so weak. It is as if by saying it and believing it, that she can make it true. Neve's posture is lost on Hannah but only because of the dullness of fellis — and only for now. Her fingers close about the glass again, angling for another long drift of water that cools the throat and wets the parched lips. Each drink, each movement sends the woman further into the clarity of the mind — but also the hell of pain. "No permanent… damage." Finally, the goldrider has reached a point where energy is shored up enough to try pushing herself up to a sitting position. "I had a d…ream… where I heard you … talking. With… someone. Strange… dream. But then … the walls moved and it was the same… nightmare over… again." It's a struggle: to speak, to move and yet she attempts both. But the mention of the rider has Hannah's too-bony elbows trembling as a remembered wave of pain sweeps through her frail body. "I… thank you… so hard. Who…?" It is the large tortured eyes that finally seek Neve's face, brows tilted in. In this moment, with fellis making her actions rash, the woman looks vulnerable and confused. "Why… would anyone… do this?"

If anything was going to get Neve to actually look face on at Hannah, it would be that effort to sit. Were she in better condition herself, she'd no doubt move to help with the shifting about but all she can do is watch- and there is some relief, in being able to observe with critical eyes for the pulls and hesitations that show deeper damage, things to observe, things to track. A clinician's response, and blessed distraction from the rest. Hannah is not fine. She sees, but she does not comment. "V'dean visited," she says absently. That's the easier answer to give. More difficult- and marked as such by a hitching sigh- is a low, "I think…I think one of the riders said it was…a bronzerider. L'iri? L'ri? I'm sorry, ma'am." Her head bows again, though not as quickly as it might have. What is vanity, faced with this? Her fingers toy idly with the edge of her robe. "Sometimes…ah. When…at the Hall…there were…patients. With illnesses of the mind. Sometimes a person…they can…they can come to like hurting others. It is…control. And power. I'm…you would have to speak with Xieli. She would know better. But…"

"V'dean," Hannah breathes the bluerider's name in a soft outrush of breath. "He is kind." At least his kindness is what sticks out in the shade of her memory. The inner strength she clings to is sourced from the pale queen who digs her talons into the very bones of the Hold and mountain itself. Curled, possessive. Red-eyed and wrathful. "Helped… me." The battle for breath is a war that slowly getting won, one day at a time. The sharp green eyes see the small, visible parts of Neve's face that bear the marks of a mad-man and that it breaks Hannah's too-soft hard is easily visible for everything that causes a hitch in emotion, a stirring of deeply held sentiment is echoed in her breathing. Etched in the draw of her shoulders, the curl of her chest and the sharp press of small bones against skin that's lost too much weight. Even the ridiculous pink bows at the wrist and neck of her nightgown do little to take away this stark reality. Sympathy is a warm thing given, but dignity is a gift in the lack of immediate draw of attention to such marks. "Unforgiveable…" What this madman has done to her people. The struggle against the tidal wave of anger and impotence that lurks within an inability to do anything other than lie useless in a bed is cut stark on her face. In the glisten of tears in her eyes.

Kind is perhaps not the word that Neve would have used. However, in her world, one does not argue with Weyrwomen, even much diminished specimens not wearing their knots. Possibly even especially then. There are few enough happier subjects for these infirmary-bound women. So, let V'dean be kind. It is some sort of kindness, to save a person's life. "He has been very helpful, yes," she murmurs allowance, voice all but inaudible as she shifts to replace the glass back on the cotside table. As she settles, chin aimed at chest once more, her hand lifts to ghost over her marred cheek- the itching, it is making itself felt. Before a touch is allowed, she forces that hand back to its former position, and this time there is deliberation in the way she toys with the folds of the robe. Anything to keep her fingers otherwise occupied. It's something to look at as well, while Hannah's eyes sparkle brighter. Dignity returned in full- dignity, and perhaps a touch of shame for what she is moved to say next. "When…when it is safe to do so, ma'am. I was…I wondered if. Perhaps you might ask Master Varden. If I may return to the Weyr."

Hannah's eyes stray from Neve's face - not because of the healer's cuts but because of her own desire to cough and to once again struggle to sit up. She manages a half-lean, half-collapse against the bulk of pillows set to aid in shifting positions, panting a little and only whimpering once. Withdrawal of the effects of fellis means that pain begins to send its clarion call throughout her body, radiating from the wound in her back, set off more to one side than not. It is not a huge thing, this wound, and could almost be innocuous but for the knick to the lung. "Of course, Neve," the gasp of breath causes the eyes to half-lid, the irises disappearing in the half-roll of the eyes within the shelter of their sockets. "You should… go home… when you can. The Hold… not safe. Master Varden… would under…stand." Finally, finally, Hannah is in a little more comfortable position. The days that have passed into a series of sleeps strung on the string of time like glassy beads have left the woman getting tired of the bed but without the energy to do anything about it. Still, day-by-day, improvements come. "I will… have Bailey… ensure…" The thought is left partially completed, but the sentiment is there. The smile, wan but warm, curves her lips as once again her eyes train on Neve. "Until this person… caught… " She shakes her head, "Not safe. Go… home… to the weyr, Neve."

Limitations or no, when Hannah struggles to get herself up higher on the pillows, Neve shifts to her feet and reaches to help. Poorly, it's true, with just the one hand free and her own invalid's awkwardness to cope with. More than anything, it affords the other woman a closer view of the winding and stitched laceration that strokes across the healer's cheek- closer than Hannah may want, come to that. "Shhh," is reflexive, harkening back to a time when it was her place to encourage rest, convalescence, no need to speak right now, just relax. But it's a hollow effort, her usual bedside warmth sapped and soon enough she is sagging onto the edge of the cot again. It's guilt that weighs down her shoulders, the shame of someone who lived and who now wants to creep away. But shame and guilt are as constant to her as worry and she swallows them down easily, nodding acknowledgement of Hannah's permission, of her encouragement of the request. "When it's safe to travel. When you can travel. This is…this is no fit place, Weyrwoman. Not for civilized folk. It…it just isn't."

The help is appreciated, given with the stretch of a wan smile curled about pale and dry lips. Hannah, once relaxed, takes a moment to reclaim her breath with the cessation of movement. It is not Neve's face that causes the gentle frown to bow her lips, but the other woman's shame that she tries to hide behind the mask of a healer. "It is not shameful … to want to leave… to where it is safer…" she whispers, weakly reaching for that hand that sought to give her aid and if she's able to, she'll give it a weak squeeze. "When it's safe… you go ahead… don't wait on me…" Hannah may be hedging, turning her head into the pillow, namely to attempt to shift her hips and shoulders to get more comfortable. But perhaps, there are more things that hold the woman to the Hold than just the injury that keeps her from moving. "Please, I would wan..t … you safe"

Squeezing is allowed but not returned, as Neve is somewhat distracted by trying to give Hannah the most dubious of looks by side-eyeing her. It's none too effective but transmits her thoughts well enough- the other woman shouldn't remain either. But who is going to countermand a woman of her rank? A Weyrleader, perhaps. A Healermaster, in the case of medical emergency, possibly. And Neve hasn't either one of those in her pocket. If she had pockets. All that she can do is sigh- hedging seen, hedging recognized and hedging reluctantly accepted. "When I'm cleared for travel, yes. I should…you should have some tea." Some of that special fellis tea, is what she means. Her hand curls about, reversing position to finally, belatedly, return a light press of fingers before she releases to stand. "I'll find the apprentice and have them bring some. Do you think you could eat something? There's broth. Bread."

"I think it is time for tea." Hannah's spot of wakefulness is drawing to a close for the angry flare of upset nerves is becoming too distracting to think on. While Hannah, herself, may be hedging, there will be those that quite possibly might take that well in hand, and see both women back to the weyr with all due haste. "Thank you, Neve… glad… you're here." It's a soft smile, a quiet sound as the weyrwoman truly is grateful for Neve's familiar face and gentle demeanor. "Maybe…" And she will try when the food comes, but likely will only manage a bit before the grip of sleep will once again settle her in the warm, dark embrace of a drugged sleep. But not before she murmurs to the healer, "Take… care of yourself… be careful… get where it's safe… Promise me." Because Hannah cares — and it is her way to care too much at times. However, one cannot go against one's nature.

Something is murmured- it might be a promise- before Neve shuffles back towards the curtain. Slippers. They immediately reduce one's dignity quotient to negligible levels, and she hadn't much to begin with. "They'll be here with the tea soon. And some broth. You need to eat." A pause. "You need to try to eat more," comes as last healering addendum. Proving that yes, it's impossible to go against one's nature, even at the most dire of times.

Hannah nods her head and manages a weak look, but already her energy for talking is getting worn to nothing. It is not rudeness that she intends to portray but a weariness that brings a melting into the pillows that surround her small form. The broth will be eaten — or tried — in a good faith effort, but the fellis will drag her back to slumber to allow the healing to continue. And so, another sleep commences to fuzz the edges of reality and bring the dreamer back to the dreams.

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