Ariele, Ibrahim


Ariele's ended up with a black eye. Ibrahim to the rescue!


It is noon of the sixteenth day of the third month of the fourteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Infirmary, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 11 Jun 2018 23:00


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"My vanity is delighted to hear it."



Sterile and scoured, the surfaces of the infirmary, well-tended and beloved by the complement of Healers due a weyr of Southern's size. Soothing tissane simmers at the large hearth, while comfortable chairs circle that particular feature in a waiting-room of sorts. Tables of dull-gleaming oldtimer metal lie as examining slabs, neatly lined in rows with pull-curtains enabling full privacy as needed. A low wall separates the southern half of the room from the rest, and those practicing the apothecary's trade can be seen compounding medicines under the watchful eye of the posted Master.

It's noon, and the infirmary is — for once — devoid of patients. For the apprentices, this can only mean one thing: cleaning and restocking under those watching Journeymen and Masters, to set the place to rights yet again. They are exacting taskmasters, insisting on things being just so before the younglings can go and eat and be young. Responsibilities must be instilled! One person, it seems, is given some leeway, however: Ibrahim is not required to do any such menial tasks, for his expertise has long since been established, no matter how unorthodox. He's pretty much allowed to do what he wants, for it's known he's strict in the upkeep of the apothecary, and the place has never been so well tended as when the man gets in one of his herb-gathering moods. Take now, for instance: he's just finished weeding out the bad herbs and replacing them with freshly prepared. Brushing the crumbs from his hands into the appropriate receptacle, he'll wash his hands clean and sigh, content with the state of the apothecary at last.

In order to approach Ibrahim, Ariele must have had to pass any number of qualified healers and their apprentices. Somehow, however, perhaps thanks to her determined, purposeful stride, she has bypassed their concerned approaches in order to take herself directly to the apothecary. She has one hand lifted to cover her eye, and what's visible of her face is black with firestone dust. "I'm hoping," she says, burred alto wry and resigned and perhaps a little relieved, too, as she identifies the herbalist, "You have an excellent recipe for a poultice to put upon a steadily blackening eye? Hello, Ibrahim."

Now that is an interesting request! Ibrahim will turn to face Ariele, taking in her dust-blackened face and covering hand with raised eyebrows and deep concern. "Turns out, I do. Sit yourself down, Ariele, and we'll get this seen to right away." He pauses, thoughtful, then yanks closed the curtain on those prying eyes, certain that the woman really doesn't want half the Infirmary staff all up in her face and speculating as to what exactly happened. While Ariele gets herself together, he'll start getting things ready to treat her face — including a gentle cleanser to get the dirt off. "May I ask what happened?" He asks, mild.

Ariele sits, withdrawing that hand from her face with what may be mild embarrassment, though she's clearly doing her best to keep her expression even— perhaps even wryly amused (if so, she's failing at that last). It doesn't look like her eye is going to be too badly bruised, but there's certainly some evidence of darkness beneath dirt and so-very-pale skin. "I promise no one has been trying to beat me," she says, seriously. "I was supervising some candidates stacking firestone and… well, you know what children can be like." Give them something messy and throwable and… yes, they'll throw it. "I'd rather not walk about the Weyr looking like I've been punched in the face."

Ibrahim does know, and rolls his eyes skyward for the conclusion that's just foregone: children are jerks sometimes, even when they don't mean to be! A clean cloth is dipped into cool water and soap, and offered to the woman with a sympathetic grin. "Ah, yes, the temptation to make a mess is too much to resist for the young." Says he who is hardly older than many of the candidates himself. "Mmm… we will have to employ a bit of subterfudge to hide the bruising, I think. We shall see, once the dust is removed, however." He has an idea as to how to do that, fortunately! Once Ariele has the cloth, he'll turn to pull down a very small vial, containing a fragrant poultice of arnica and olive oil. "I think this will help disguise the bruising as well as heal it."

Surely Ariele and Ibrahim were both always too dignified in their own ways to engage in such childish games! Surely. At least the grin Ibrahim offers encourages one in return from the assistant headwoman, who accepts the damp cloth and promptly begins to scrub at her face. "Thank you." There'll probably still be some streaks of black when she's done, but it's certainly a significant improvement. "I'll probably put them all to work washing dragons this afternoon, if they've any energy left. At least that will leave them all clean— and I'm probably not likely to drown in the process. I'll take 'disguise'. Better for it than any cosmetic powder I could attempt to employ."

Oh, indeed! Ibrahim was born with the solemn dignity suitable to a healer; ignore those occasional rumors of pranks so recently pulled by this slim young man. Now that her face is sufficiently clean, he will nod to himself, certain that she will need no real cosmetic artifice. "The bigger the dragon, the better, I think." He wrinkles his nose playfully at her. Gentle fingers aim to lightly press the area, should Ariele sit still for it, all the better to be sure there are no broken bones to contend with. "Ah, yes, the cosmetics — I'd advise against it, for the time being. There are no abrasions, but it should be monitord for any troublesome changes. Although it will darken a bit before it clears." As black eyes do when healing. "Children. Do spare me — so little sense for so long." He's all too recently come from a babysitting stint, and is more convinced than ever that non-wildling children need a good deal less coddling and more discipline.

Indeed. Ariele is a good patient, able to sit still despite the faint wrinkle of her brow that suggests her face is tender— and no wonder, really, even if the damage is minor. "No cosmetics," she promises, faithfully, with the twist of her mouth suggesting faint amusement. "I'm not scarred forever? My vanity might not survive, you seen." Beat. "There's a reason I never worked in the nurseries," she adds, then. "I'm sure my feeling that weyr children have too much freedom might not go well. Different cultures, I suppose. I don't mind being seen as the harridan now, though: the unruly ones need to learn to take orders sooner or later, after all."

Ibrahim had expected as much; after all, her face did have an unfortunate meeting with rocks. "Ah, no. Your beauty remains quite intact." His smile suggests wry humor at her sally. The rest of the dust is cleared — what can he say, Ibrahim's rather a fanatic about a clean surface to apply poultices to — and the first bit spread, so, so gently. Is there a hint of numbweed in that mix? Likely, though the usual nauseating stench of the stuff is well-buried beneath more pleasant herbs. "Mm, it would not, I believe. 'They're only children' runs the adage. However, children can do damage when given too much freedom, for they lack the maturity to self-regulate." Case in point: they thought throwing rocks indiscriminately was all fun and games until someone got hurt. "Yes. Best to instill obedience now, lest they grow up and be impossible. And so many want dragons. If they cannot control themselves, how can they effectively guide young draconic minds?" He wants to know, handing her the now-sealed vial. "Apply this as needed for the next seven days, then we'll see." It will likely be gone by then, but any excuse, right? Right!

Dryly; "My vanity is delighted to hear it." Clutching her hands in her lap, her nails digging ever so lightly into soft palms, there's a pretty good chance that Ariele is ticklish but too strong-willed to pull away from Ibrahim's fingers (and the poultice itself). "Mmm," she agrees, grey eyes watching the wildling as he works. "I suppose weyrlinghood is a time for them both to grow up: dragon and rider. Or so I imagine." There's a faint relaxing of her shoulders as the application of the poultice is finished. Taking the vial between her fingers, she twists her mouth up into a genuine smile. "Thank you. That feels better already. I'll come and find you, if there's any change." By rights, she should probably excuse herself, now, but she lingers. "How are you, anyway? Since we last spoke."

Ibrahim notices that she's ticklish, and withdraws his hand quickly, if reluctantly, just to keep from prolonging the torture. "I imagine; I would hope, however, that the human half is steady enough to counteract the presence of an infant in the mind. Young dragons have no real-world experience, right?" He's all too happy to have Ariele linger, settling onto a stool near enough to her so that a conversation may be held without being overheard. "Me? I am well." Again, that quirky little smile, dimples flashing briefly. "Working here, spending my free time amid the gardens, or the jungle." Avoiding all the excitement of the new clutch and the questions regarding his not being among the candidates.

Ariele's expression is briefly one of embarrassed gratitude: being ticklish is so undignified. And awkward. "Right," she agrees. "One assumes that, in some cases, it's a trial-by-fire kind of overnight aging process, though to be honest I've no idea." Despite standing as many times as she did, clearly Ariele has not kept close ties with her former peers after they went their different ways, some to the barracks and some to the caverns. His dimples - or maybe it's just the smile - make her smile in return. "I'm pleased to hear it. I've practiced my swimming a few times, I'm pleased to report."

Dignity. It must be maintained! Ibrahim tilts his head, considering that line of reasoning. "I suppose that's true, as well. One really can't be prepared for the melding of minds, can one." While he has some contact with riders, he's never actually put these questions to them. You may be sure, he shall ask, sooner or later; his curiosity rivals the wild felines prowling outside the Weyr even now. "Ah, good! And have you seen any improvement in that area?" Because, yanno, he'll find a way to… assist, if needed. His mother insists the boy is part fish, with his affinity to water.

By contrast, Ariele's not a natural in the water, though she's improving. It's this she comments on, now half-sitting on one hand as if to prevent it from reaching up and touching her face. Who knew she could be so fidgety? The other gestures: so-so. "I… think so. A little. The deeper water scares me, though, so I'm sticking very much to the shallows and mostly focusing on floating. But I'm more confident in knowing that I can kick, or use my arms, and that I'm not just going to sink to the bottom unless I let myself. Until I forget, of course, and then it's terribly undignified." The admission is wry.

"Exactly so." Ibrahm nods approval. "Stick to the shallows until you've learned to do more than float. I'd be forced to come and save you." Her fidgety movements, too, are noticed: perhaps she's hungry, and aching to get out of the Infirmary? He shall be the most helpful herbalist ever, then! "Shall we discuss the finer points of swimming over lunch? I hear there's herdbeast roast today, and I know the cooks have been convinced to use some of the spices I recommended." Standing, he offers Ariele his arm in gallant courtesy.

Perhaps she is! Certainly, there's genuine pleasure in Ariele's smile as she accepts that arm, tucking her little vial of poultice into a convenient pocket (because women's clothes on Pern have got to be better at this, right?) as she does so. "I'd be delighted," she says. "The more often you repeat the basics to me, the more likely it is I'll actually remember when it comes to it. One day it's all going to come together, I'm sure of it." But first: lunch.

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