N'cal, Trek


N'cal has need of a dragonhealer, and Trek happens to be on duty. It offers the possibility for saying things that simply need saying.


It is evening of the first day of the third month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Dragonhealer Yard, Igen Weyr

OOC Date


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Dragonhealer Yard

Painfully elegant, a stubborn brand of cleanliness is retained in the gentle colors of faded murals and various curtains hung from the rusted metal poles meant to shelter injured dragons on spacious couches lining the permanently soot-stained limestone walls. Of a dusty no-color somewhere between brown and gold, the floor extends onward, fading beneath ragged cabinets built to withstand anything from lashing draconic tails to various medicinal spills.

It is the first day of Spring and 67 degrees. It is a clear night.

Spring is here, settling in on the very first day with a blanket of seasonal warmth come quite before its time. Igen Weyr seems to have come alive with the change - people bustling everywhere, trade routes set out upon with aplomb (in spite of the concern about bandits)…dragons going proddy. A bad turn during a chase is what brings N'cal and Iolarth to the dragonhealer's yard this early evening, the sky-hued, avian-like blue grumbling quietly to himself in a way that seems to underscore the glower on N'cal's features that results from his lifemate's shared pain. Iolarth pads into the yard with all the dignity he can muster, his right wing seeming to droop slightly, as N'cal glances about for someone to attend them, a drawn-out sigh given as he settles himself into a state that makes him less prone to snap. Hopefully.

Kanyith is present when the blue pair arrives, and his greeting is a cheerful one. He's been slowly working his way back into fighting form now that his wing is fully healed, though the new membrane is still tight and almost ghostly white, glistening from the abundant about of oil Trek has to rub into it every day. Said rider arrives from the direction of the infirmary a few seconds later, her arms full of supplies. She's rounding the edge of the dragonhealer area where such supplies are kept when she spots N'cal, and her footsteps slow. A quick look from Kanyith toward Iolarth tells her much, so she sets her things on the ground and approaches slowly, hands tucking into the back pockets of her trousers. That is, until she salutes, though it's a last minute effort. "N'cal, sir," she says in a chipper tone, though her eyes are a little wary, dark circles beneath them. She takes in the sky blue's wing position and arches her brow at N'cal. "Love wounds?"

"Trek," N'cal returns with a small smile - a genuine one, coupled with a salute, though he holds out his hand afterward to stave off any more formalities. "No 'sir'-ing necessary, especially not now. Shards," is added quickly, phantom pain causing the tall bluerider to roll his shoulder. "Yes, in a manner of speaking. It's just a mild sprain to his right wing joint, though any level of sprain is most unwelcome right now." Iolarth rumbles a greeting at Kanyith and immediately sets to grumbling over the how and why of his injury and how unfair the flight was. Woe to the passionate, easily-enflamed chaser. "He never learns… At any rate, whatever you can do would be much appreciated."

"There's only so much we can do for a sprain, of course," Trek replies, "but first, let's numb it a bit. Put you both at greater ease." Kanyith is… rather unsympathetic, it might be noted. With his wing like it is, any strenuous flying has been very much off the table, both by Trek's insistence, and his own reluctant admittance. He unfurls that wing briefly, showing off the rather extensive Thread scarring, stretching it as much as the tight hide will allow, then carefully folds it again, all while Trek heads back to the supply cabinets, grabbing a large jar and what looks like small mop. Via Kanyith, she asks Iolarth to settle himself on the ground before she starts slathering the numbweed along the points Kanyith relays to her. Unlike the last few months of her tenure as Arroyo's wingleader, her movements are steady and sure, natural. "I think some dragons prefer talking about their battle scars more than they like the spoils of that battle."

Iolarth, unfortunately, has a tendency to be quite selfish in the candlemark or so after a lost flight…but the older blue does make it a point to shut up about his own misfortunes after a glimpse of Kanyith's wing. And a small, irritable nudge from N'cal. Iolarth crouches down and lays himself out with a heavy sigh, complaining slightly as he shifts his aching wing so that Trek can get at the necessary spots more easily. The pained whirling of his eyes slows as the numbweed is applied, and N'cal himself lets out a long exhale as what is shared across their link dulls considerably. "Thank you," he breathes, and then there's a small crack of his more familiar grin. "Iolarth is one of those, I think. At least for now, considering he's not caught anyone at Igen yet." Now he's able to focus a bit more and turns his attention fully on Trek, noting both the darkness beneath her eyes and the fluidity with which she goes about her tasks. Such a juxtaposition. "How are you, Trek?" he asks quietly, his tone plying for more than a one-word answer, if she'll give it.

"Better," Trek answers, though it doesn't really sound like that's going to be her one-word answer. She's just engrossed in getting a bit more numbweed into all the various spots until Kanyith's mental prodding toward Iolarth brings only the happy absence of pain. "There we go," she says softly as she pats the blue's neck and returns her supplies, returning quickly with a pair of leather gloves which she starts to tug into place. "I still feel like an idiot over how things ended," she finally admits, not quite meeting N'cal's eyes as she starts to run her gloved hands along the usual suspect areas of Iolarth's wing. No longer needing Kanyith so much, now the numbweed is in place, she's going by her own sense of touch and sight now. "How did he manage this?" she asks, when she finds the real culprit, prodding along one of the ligaments with her fingers.

N'cal takes Trek's initial answer with a nod, watching her work before hearing the rest with another sigh. Part of it, though, is from Iolarth's further relief; he is a happy boy now that he can't feel that sprain, and he croons thanks to Kanyith with a request to relay it to his rider. "He, ah…didn't manage a hairpin quite as well as he would've liked, trying to avoid getting caught between the green and a brown. It was that or a collision," he explains, sifting fingers through his hair. "I'm…glad you're doing better. You seem more at ease here." As to the way things ended, N'cal's eyes find the sand, his hands delving into the pockets of his trousers as a subtle nod bobs his head. "How could you have known…" he starts, looking further away and pressing his lips into a thin line. "I'm sorry, Trek." It's almost inaudible - even, but with a slight rasp. Heavy.

"We like to think we're so strong," Trek comments, still studying the location of the sprain, massaging her palm along the enflamed hide and muscles to make sure there are no cramps making things worse. "As riders, we now face death all the time, and that belief in our strength /keeps/ us strong. But when it's built on a shaky foundation, well…" She trails off and glances at N'cal as her hands pause on Iolarth's wing. "Erosion will always win in the end. My foundation crumbled, but I'm learning to rebuild it," she finishes, shrugging. "Don't be sorry. It had to happen." She steps away from the blue and tugs off the gloves, careful not to get the numbweed on her own fingers. "How are you doing, N'cal? And Arroyo? I won't lie. I miss the wing. Mirage is so very different, I feel completely lost in it."

"I'm not so sure it did," N'cal murmurs, the shake of his head more insistent than his tone as he forces his eyes to return to his former wingleader. "If I hadn't shown you those letters…" The wing might not be what it is now. He knows that. He just isn't so sure that the whole scenario couldn't have been something else entirely. "Do you mean to say it was shaky before that?" he wants to know. Not that he thinks it will justify what he allowed her to bear alone any better. When it comes to himself… "I'm well enough," he answers quietly. "I have been worried. About you. Thinking of ways things could have been different. The wing is doing well. K'vvan is back. We have some strong new riders. I…haven't decided who might make good wingseconds yet." And he's feeling the pressure to get that taken care of. Thank goodness for the rotation drills that have been their routine from the outset. "The wing misses you as well. I…" It's uncharacteristic for the normally articulate bluerider to simply trail off, leaving thoughts unfinished, but this one remains so for the moment. As if something might be left shaky for its voicing.

Trek holds the gloves by the cuffs, dangling them off to the side as if they were a couple dead fish, though it looks as if she's just forgotten she's holding them, as she focuses on N'cal's face for several seconds. In the end, she swallows quickly, then turns away, fleeing back to the business at hand with a great deal of hustle and bustle. The gloves need to be set aside for cleaning, you see, and then… then. Well shells. That was it. She rubs her palms together for a moment before reluctantly returning, her eyes focused far more on Iolarth. "He'll need to stay in one of the ground weyrs for a few days. No flying. We'll watch it for swelling and pack it if ice doesn't seem to do enough. He'll need to keep that part up. No sleeping on that side." She finally lets her gaze drift back toward N'cal, shrugging self-consciously. "All right, look. Maybe it was shaky. I don't know. Can't know unless it's tested, and… maybe that was one hell of a test, but…" She trails off, biting her lower lip as she frowns at the ground. "I'm trying to move forward. Day at a time. That sort of thing. Dwelling on what was isn't helping anything," she finishes, looking up again. "Only thing I have left to do is decide whether or not to apologize to… certain people. Don't know if it'd do more harm than good, you know? Keeps me awake at night."

"Oh, sharditall, really?" At little more than simple frustration vents at the need for grounding, and Iolarth grumbles again. Blue-green eyes snap with irritability, and he paces a few steps, shoving both hands through his hair before letting loose a huff, settling himself again. "No, no, it's fine. I'm sorry," he says, taking a few steps in Trek's direction. His hands slide back into his pockets again as he listens. "Maybe it was," he agrees, and his lips curve slightly, "but you're still standing, nevertheless." When she mentions apologizing, he's certain he knows one of whom might be on her list of those to apologize to. "Cha'el would likely hear you," he notes, nodding. "He's a firm man, of course, but not unreasonable." And the person he's thinking of will just go unmentioned for the moment. "Just…don't do anything before you're ready. Steady again."

Trek makes a small sound that could be either agreement or a verbal shrug. "I'm not ready in any case," she says, looking over toward Kanyith, though her own navy blue is dozing again. He does that a lot right now. "Cha'el has enough on his plate right now," she adds a moment later, this time physically shrugging. "W'rin, though…" She worries her lower lip again, then turns back to N'cal. "I think we should give him the letters. Be done with that whole chapter and… let the chips fall where they may. Your name's never entered it, as far as he's concerned, and what else do Ky and I have to lose?"

His name's never entered it. And that is a fact that strikes at the core of the guilt N'cal has been struggling with at various intensities throughout this whole affair. "The moment he has them," the bluerider grates, "what's to stop him from placing another non-chromatic at the head of the wing again?" Trek has a point, however. And getting rid of the blasted evidence would be a welcome weight to shed. "I'd sooner hide them somewhere he's bound to find them eventually. He could still change things…but perhaps he won't take the time. The wing is effective. Surely he sees that by now." There are so many unknowables. "He could lord it over you, humiliate you with it, if he had the mind to," N'cal says, and he reaches out to place his hand on Trek's shoulder, squeezing gently. "I would not see a foundation being rebuilt shaken further, Trek. Let me deal with it. If you think doing something with the letters would be best, I'll figure out a way."

"He no longer has a need to," Trek replies, though her certainty is somewhat lacking. "The point has been made and proven, despite my… fall." She sticks her hands in her front pockets and shrugs again, looking at her feet. "I think it's something I need to do myself. Something between W'rin and me." Though the note of reluctance is strong. "And to be honest, I don't really care anymore what he does or doesn't do to me. About me." She looks up at him again and smiles. "You have enough on your plate, too. Guide Arroyo well, N'cal. If things go well, I'll still be here to patch things when necessary."

"Trek…" N'cal isn't sure precisely what he means to say, trailing off and looking skyward, his lower lip bitten slightly. There's another quiet sigh. Perhaps he's still fighting off the aftereffects of a lost flight a bit, himself. More emotional than usual. "'Fall' seems like such a strong word," he nearly mutters. "Something used in a Harper's story when they talk about tyrannical Lord Holders and evil Craftmasters and such. 'Stumble,' maybe…but I wouldn't say you fell. The point was made and proven by you in spite of that." Another ruffle of hair, and he nods. "You have to do what you feel is right when it comes to you and W'rin, of course." When she smiles at him, he simply looks at her for a long moment. "I never wanted to lead beyond being a 'second," he says quietly. "But I'm trying."

"In the end, that's the best any of us can do," Trek replies quietly, meeting N'cal's gaze. "Do what we must. What needs to be done. What we feel is right. Try to find the closest point where those three intersect." She glances toward Iolarth, then reaches toward him to see if the numbweed is tacky yet. It must be absorbed enough, because she doesn't bother with gloves this time when she places her hands over his sprain. "I'd better head down to cold storage to get some ice for him," she says, getting back to business. "Go find an empty ground weyr and get him settled. When I get back, we can give you a lift to your weyr if you need." She pats the blue's neck a couple times, then smiles at N'cal again. "And don't worry about me. Just keep your head clear." She pats his arm much like she just patted Iolarth's neck, then grabs a bucket on her way out of the area.

Easier said than done, when it comes to N'cal's worry - something he's been doing a lot more of lately, it seems. Even so, he nods at Trek, smiling in return, and watches her leave before turning to Iolarth, who eases back to his feet. "Alright, come on, you," the bluerider says aloud, fond exasperation lacing his tone as he leads the sky-washed blue toward the dimly-lit mouths of the ground weyrs. Time to think about who to give charge of drills to come morning - and then most likely pay a visit to a certain someone who's always been rather good at helping him clear his head. Anything else…can be left for tomorrow.

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