C'lyn glanced up when P'neil informed him that his brown was awake and looked toward the injured dragon. He smiled a bit and turned his attention back to the Weyrleader, beginning to wrap his ribs carefully. "Oh, I'm sure he won't thank me when he isn't allowed to leave the Healing Cavern. I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep him there for several seven days, possibly longer. I need to be able to keep a close eye on his his wing is progressing and since the Cavern is on the ground we won't have to worry about him hurting himself getting to your weyr," C'lyn explained as he finished the wrapping of the injured man's ribs.
He sat back on his heels and sighed softly, shaking his head. "I know neither one of you look forward to the prospect, but its the only way to insure that he keeps the wing still enough to allow the membrane to grow properly," he explained.
Greylith crooned soothingly to the brown before looking toward where Alabanth and Gaylen were helping the injured gold. C'lyn glanced that way as well, but he needed to get the weyrleader and his brown settled first. His stood and offered a hand up to P'neil, offering to help the man to a cot in the Infirmary.
M'kel wasn't the most familiar with being gentle or soothing, but he certainly did try to grip Crown's wrist as loosely as possible. Thus, he was quite surprised by the rebuke he received, in the form or not only an outburst but a punch to the face. The bronzerider was so dazed by the unexpectedness of the blow, if not the blow itself, that he didn't bother to block the second hit either, before his other hand released the numbweed jar and shot up to catch the girl's swinging arm. His other hand had instinctively tightened on Crown's other wrist, as she tried to pull that injured hand free, and he pulled her closer by both wrists now.
"Crown, stop it!" he snapped, patience dissipating as it was replaced by frustration. His old Threadscore was smarting unpleasantly where she had struck him on the cheek. What was wrong with the girl?! It didn't make any sense. Her dragon was injured, she was injured, so why was she resisting aid? Obviously he was only trying to help, with the jar of numbweed that now lay shattered at his feet, and Gaylen too -
It was then that Ezelth began to panic once again, thrashing in a mirror image of her rider and knocking the older Healer from her stool. M'kel's grip tightened on Crown's wrists unconsciously as his eyes widened in horror, watching the bluerider fall, but a blue snout dipped in just in time to neatly catch his rider. M'kel was awash with relief, and a little impressed by the older blue's still-quick reflexes, but the situation was quickly deteriorating. Ezelth needed that injury tended, or she might suffer permanent loss of strength in that leg, and Crown needed to calm down.
As frustrated as the bronzerider was, however, he was as taken aback as Gaylen by Crown's admission of guilt. Now that he thought about it, of course, M'kel could perfectly understand such a feeling. In the last Threadfall, the bronzerider had been far more upset by Tirenth's pain than his own, and he still went out of his way to make the bronze's life easier out of a lingering need for forgiveness. But Crown hadn't even wanted to Impress this gold, rejected her even, so it was quite a change to see her so worked up by Ezelth's suffering.
Despite himself and his desire to stay angry, as he would have done quite easily even a Turn before, M'kel showed surprising maturity and made an effort to cool his frustration, speaking to Crown in a calm voice. "Well, you're just going to make her hurt herself more if you don't calm down."
Mine! Tirenth chided, turning whirling eyes reproachfully on his rider.
M'kel gritted his teeth and then tried again. "I know it hurts. It hurts more than anything on Pern to feel her suffering. You want to help her, don't you? To ease that pain? Because the best thing you can do, then, is let me help you. She feels your pain, just as you feel hers, and if I can get some numbweed on that hand, it'll be a little less for both of you to bear."
His voice growing softer now, eyes flashing with compassion, M'kel added, "And you deserve to be taken care of just as much as she does."
Tirenth had reached out immediately at the gold's plea, nuzzling her neck gently. Yours is scared for you. She loves you so much and fears you have been hurt so badly because of her. A rider never wants to be tended before her dragon is safe. They are stubborn that way. But please let the Healer help you, and mine will help yours. You don't need to be afraid anymore; we will protect you. The bronze looked at the gold rather expectantly now, eyes whirling with concern and a touch of hope. He knew how long Ezelth had been waiting for proof of her rider's love. Maybe both of them had failed to realize the significance of this moment, but he hadn't, and now Ezelth would realize it, too.
It was now that Crown began to realize, even more, that this was truly all of her fault. If she had been a better lifemate, then Ezelth wouldn't have such a hard time with this, and she would be able to separate their emotions. But they hadn't been a pair to share emotions ever, and now they didn't understand how to properly separate it out.
Her blows landed - with surprising accuracy. But even as they did, M'kel was yelling at her, catching her hands and tightening his grip. 'Crown, stop it!' She flinched back, throwing her head to the side as if the rebuke had slapped her across the face. And as she did that, she saw Ezelth kick out as well, and she watched Gaylen start the decent down. It was Her's horror that snapped Ezelth from her throes of panic, and she froze - re-pulling some of the bandages off. Her snake-like neck whipped around, peering at Gaylen with worry and pain in her eyes. Mine! I am sorry! I did not mean to hurt Albanath's! Worried now about the old Healer, she tucked her head down and tried to focus on something - Tirenth, Alabanth. Please tell her I am sorry.
'Clau-- Crown.' The young girl kept her struggling up, even as she promised Ezelth she would apologize. When M'kel released her, she would! But Gaylen was speaking, and she listened, her fighting growing softer. Her weak throes weren't as harsh - she didn't have the energy to fight for much longer. 'Blame Thread, not yourself. Remember that Thread has always been the danger, and is why dragons even exist on Pern. Your lovely Ezelth will heal, she will be alright. She will heal faster, better, with your love and support, my dear. Be ... present ... for her. It's not your fault.'
Thread? And then M'kel chimed in, with some of the most important words that could be spoken. 'Well, you're just going to make her hurt herself more if you don't calm down.' She froze then, her eyes flying up to meet his own as she flinched. She was hurting Ezelth? He spoke again, and she only tugged now, forgetting her fighting as she listened with wide eyes. 'I know it hurts. It hurts more than anything on Pern to feel her suffering. You want to help her, don't you? To ease that pain? Because the best thing you can do, then, is let me help you. She feels your pain, just as you feel hers, and if I can get some numbweed on that hand, it'll be a little less for both of you to bear.' She was hurting her Ezelth. The fighting stopped - her hands hung loosely at her side. 'And you deserve to be taken care of just as much as she does.'
Yours is scared for you. She loves you so much and fears you have been hurt so badly because of her. A rider never wants to be tended before her dragon is safe. They are stubborn that way. But please let the Healer help you, and mine will help yours. You don't need to be afraid anymore; we will protect you. Tirenth had reached out, and the young Queen fell into that protection gratefully. She needed his help, and with his conformation she stopped her badgering on Her's mind, as much. She waited, as Tirenth said - Her's would talk to her... She hoped.
The girl, meanwhile, was dealing with one problem at a time. As M'kel spoke his last words, she broke down completely, taking a staggering step forward and breaking down in full flooded tears - right on M'kel's shirt. Through her sobs she offered her hand, and spoke. "I'm sorry... I bled all over you!" Yes, ladies and gentleman. That was what she cried about first. She bled all over M'kel. "Ezelth say's she's sorry, Gaylen..." Letting him tend her hand, the girl quieted, her tears silent now as she clung to M'kel (I know, weird right? XD) and spoke to her dragon. Ezelth?
The gold stirred, mindvoice tight with pain. Yes, Mine? For once no rebuke came for claiming - Crown only continued speaking. I'm sorry you got hurt, my darling. The gold finally quieted, calming as she let the numbweed take full effect and Her's was calm as well. It is not your fault. I would have been much more upset if you were hurt. The girl ignored the last statement and quieted - Ezelth calmed down as well. Until she happened to blink up at Tirenth, who was looking at her as though she was forgetting something. Drugged as she was, it took the bright Queen only a few seconds to realize what it was. But Ezelth wasn't one to shout and trumpet it. Instead, through her pain whirled eyes, joy broke through. Mine loves me, doesn't she Tirenth? The Gold settled back down, letting Gaylen finish her leg. Of course she does.
Gaylen's breath, which she hadn't even realized she'd been holding, escaped in an audible exhale as the gold dragon began to settle. Though the healer had no clue as to the specifics of the conversation, the nature of it was mostly apparent, as Crown began to relax ... or at least "untense" somewhat ... as well.
When the girl began to weep, however, Gaylen suppressed the urge to smile. Tears were good at such a time, after all ... they meant an acceptance of emotion, and even frightening emotions were better dealt with when acknowledged with respect.
Alabanth crooned softly to Ezelth, sending not word-thought, but supportive feelings, respect, acceptance, encouragement her way.
Gaylen took the healer's liberty to stroke the damaged golden leg gently, softly, and responded, "Tell your noble Ezelth that there is nothing to forgive, dear," she said, and rued that she could not catch the girl's gaze at that moment. Eye contact always helped to convey sincerity, but she was sure that the connection between dragons would do just as well.
The wound had begun to ooze ichor again, but close examination brought the relief that it was not the major bleed that had come undone. Gaylen returned to applying pressure and packing to the lesser vessels that had been disturbed, and soon the bleeding had once again been staunched.
She replaced the bandaging, renewed medications, and, with the help of several extremely nervous-looking drudges, wrapped the limb firmly.
Done. And she was pleased with the job, for once cleaned up and patched, the leg looked like it would heal very well.
Sweat spattered as Gaylen hopped from the lower step of the pedestal and after washing her hands elbow-high in the cool, clean water, she splashed some on her face as well. She rounded the large golden form who now lay quietly, and finally caught full sight of the Junior Queenrider. It was a relief to see that the injured hand was also being carefully tended.
"It looks good," she said softly. "Nice and clean, and the sutures held up very well. Young dragons have amazing healing ability -- I believe strongly that Ezelth will be just fine, after the leg has had time to mend."
They finally seemed to get through to her, for Crown's struggling ceased, and the girl fell still. She was actually looking up at him, as if she was listening to him (Crown? Really?), and her wide eyes were full of hurt and fear now, with the earlier anger gone. It was a tough lesson to learn, that M'kel knew, for it was every rider's first instinct to blame themselves if their dragon was injured. But an even more difficult lesson was that of controlling the emotional bond between rider and dragon; if not careful, they could act as mirrors of each other, amplifying fear and fury until they both lost control.
Now, Crown's hands were limp at her sides, Ezelth was quieting, and Gaylen was setting back to work. M'kel only then realized how tightly he was still gripping the girl's wrists, and he released his grasp quickly. It seemed he had been holding onto her for more than just the desire to calm her; he was worried about the girl, shard her, and he needed her to be safe.
Much more gently now, he took her injured hand again, watching her face as he did so. When she didn't react, M'kel began slathering the numbweed on once more. Luckily, these Threadscores were much more superficial than Ezelth's. They would sting, for sure, but they wouldn't need the same kind of medical attention. As the bronzerider proceeded to wrap her hand in a thin white bandage, he was surprised to find the girl clinging to him tears streaming down her face.
"You think I haven't been bled on before?" the bronzerider guffawed. He reached up unconsciously with his free hand to brush at his Threadscore, before returning to his work. "Now if you let loose your bladder, that might be a different matter..."
Mine! Tirenth chimed in, always quick to restrain his rider's free tongue.
M'kel grinned slightly, then softened his smile at the sight of Crown's tear-streaked face. "You really are okay, both of you," he told her gently. Then, the young man did a very uncharacteristic thing. The hand tended to (well, the best it could be done for a man with no Healing experience...), M'kel gathered Crown into a careful hug.
Tirenth was still focusing mostly on Ezelth at this point, though he gave his rider an approving mental nod at that, and he raised whirling eyes full of shared pleasure at the gold's realization. Yes, she truly does. She loves you more than she loves herself, I think.