This chamber is a little wedge-shaped room, completely unremarkable but very clean. It’s small, with room for a bed and a little table and a wardrobe, but not much else. There is a narrow window of thick, slightly warped glass in the curving outer wall with a pleasant view of the castle pastures: rolling green, with a glimpse of the lake and waterfall beyond.
Several herb-packets and bottles share space on the top shelf of the wardrobe with a pair of unusual gloves, and a rather battered leather satchel hangs over the back of the chair.
Reina taps tentatively on Lanisen’s door, glancing over her shoulder as she does so. “Lanny? It’s Reina. May I come in? I won’t stay long,” a small voice calls.
There is silence from Lanisen’s room for a moment. Then the lock clicks, and the door opens a little, enough for him to look out.
Reina glances surreptitiously over her shoulder, then gives him a tentative smile. “May I come in?” She holds up a sheet of paper. “I think we’re long overdue for a game, don’t you?” She gazes at his face, but her expression does not change at the sight of his fading bruises. She does not seem uncomfortable or pitying in the least, or so she hopes.
Lanisen says, “Um.” He glances behind her into the corridor, hesitating, then opens the door a little wider and steps aside so she can come in.
Reina slips in quickly, taking several quick steps away from him when she is in and motioning for him to close the door.
Lanisen does so, and stands awkwardly. He rubs his elbow and doesn’t seem to know where to look.
Reina wanders over to the window, gazing out over the pastures, giving him his space and not speaking.
Lanisen finally goes to sit on the edge of his bed, leaving her the chair.
Reina turns, seeing this. “I have an idea,” she says, grabbing the chair and dragging it across the room so that they are as far apart as possible. “Tic-tac-toe usually requires people to be close together in order to write. But how about we do this.” She draws the board with swift strokes of her pencil, making it large enough to encompass the entire page. Then she holds it up. “You can go first. Just point to where you want your X, and I’ll put it there for you. Besides,” she says. “I’m too lazy to drag this chair across the room again. all that exertion may just do something positive to me.”
Lanisen shifts a little, and glances uncomfortably at the door. “It’s all right,” he says. “I got a table.”
Reina says nothing, just walks over and places the sheet of paper on the table. She retrieves the chair, setting it at one end, though still attempting not to crowd him. “Ready to lose to a child?” she asks playfully. “Then I’ll leave,” she promises. “I am aware this is very sudden of me.”
Lanisen looks at the tic-tac-toe board.
Reina places two fingers on the charcoal pencil, rolling it across the table. “You first.”
Lanisen hesitates, then puts an X in the lower left hand corner.
Reina sighs with affected pity and marks the middle box with an O.
Lanisen picks up the pencil silently and marks an X in the top right corner.
Reina marks an O in the top middle box.
Lanisen puts an X in the bottom middle.
Reina pouts and grabs the pencil, putting an O in the top left box.
Lanisen glances at her in some surprise.
Reina looks up at him, seeming slightly distracted, but then focusing on him. “Hmmm?”
Lanisen marks the lower right box and sets down the pencil.
Reina picks up the pencil and makes to mark the bottom right box for a 3 across, then blinks. “Oh, you see?” she says. “that is just not right.”
Lanisen smiles faintly, but says nothing.
Reina stands. “Thank you for the game, Lanisen,” she says softly. “I did promise I would leave now. Sleep well, and perhaps we will meet again some day when you are feeling up to it.”
Lanisen nods slightly. He stands up again to open the door for her.
Reina ducks out, making it a point not to touch him and waves, heading toward the inner ward.
There is a firm knock on the door.
The captain’s voice is quiet, “May I have a word with you, Squire?”
After a short pause, the lock clicks and the door opens a little, enough that Lanisen can look out.
Garian stands at attention, hands behind his back. He looks tired and there is concern on his face. “I have news for you, sir.”
Lanisen takes in Garian’s expression. His mouth opens slightly, and his expression flickers with fear.
Garian speaks softly, “Squire Megren and Sir Colin are bring treated by Adrian with the aide of Maire in the Infirmary. Both have received injuries in apprehending the man who has caused you so much grief. We have him in the cells and if I have my way, he shall remain there a very long time. Both Megren and Colin should be fine, but Adrian may want to keep them just to make sure they’re comfortable. I wanted to let you know so you could see them. I can make arrangements so its just Colin and Megren when you visit if you wish.”
Garian says, “I wanted to inform you as soon as I could.”
Reina steps in just in time to hear the last words, then stops, no longer needed for that particular uncomfortable message.
Lanisen stares at Garian, trying to process all this. He draws a sudden, urgent breath and leaves his room fully, barely remembering to shut the door behind him, and limps for the ward.
The infirmary of Anvard is a long, bright room, a little over half the length of the Great Hall. It is shaped oddly, the northeast and southwest walls curving inward to accommodate the towers on either side. A partition that faces the door out to the inner ward bisects the room, separating the front area where the castle healers work from the back.
Three windows on either side of the door in the southeast wall let in a good amount of sunlight, especially in the late morning, and their sills are cluttered with the pots of several frequently used plants. To the left of the door stands a large cabinet, and bundles of herbs in various stages of drying hang from the ceiling. There is a long oak worktable to the right of the door, and a desk in the east corner is piled high with half-completed notes and books and other useful documents.
Megren’s distracted gaze follows Reina and then falls on Sir Colin.
Megren closes her eyes every time Sir Colin makes a noise.
Darrin guides Colin up gently.
Tyren rubs at the bridge of his nose, and lets out a breath as he slips out of the infirmary.
Colin turns with Darrin’s assistance to sit upright on the cot, slowly trying to open his red eyes.
Maire nods to Darrin, “Thank you.” She puts a hand on Colin’s face. “Try not to blink, sir. We don’t want that getting further into your eyes.” her tone is gentle, but firm.
Adrian leans in to examine Colin’s eyes closely, then gives the maid a nod. “Good, that’s enough for now. Sir Colin, just leave your eyes closed. We’re going to flush it again after I see to your wound.” He then goes about gathering what he needs to suture the cut in the knight’s neck.
Lanisen slips in the door, white and anxious, and stops there. He searches the room for his friends with frightened eyes.
Colin obeys the healer.
Darrin steps back a bit to allow Adrian more room, and he moves the hand still on Colin’s shoulder down to take Colin’s hand. He finally takes a moment to look around the room, gaze settling on Megren.
Megren sits on the end of a physician’s table toward the back of the room. She doesn’t have any visible injuries, but looks a little dazed, and keeps shutting her eyes at loud noises. Perhaps just as notably, she doesn’t notice Lanisen enter the room.
Maire repositions herself, watching Adrian, awaiting his instructions.
Adrian moves to Colin’s side and begins to take care of the wound on his neck. He has Colin lay back and turn his head to the side slightly. He sets about removing the glue slowly and putting in one stitch at a time. Colin remains perfectly still.
Lanisen finds Colin first, and begins making his way toward him immediately. He is so fully focused on him that he does not notice Maire’s presence. His eyes fix on the cut in his neck with horror. “Sir?” he asks once he is near enough, breathless.
Colin jolts at the sound of Lanisen’s voice. “Lanny?” He says insistantly, causing Adrian to make a frustrated noise. “Almost done, hold /still/.”
Darrin squeezes Colin’s hand and steps aside to make room for Lanisen, speaking quietly to him.
Darrin mumbles “He’ll be all right, Lanisen, I think we got the bleeding stopped in time and Adrian’s going to fix him up.”, to Lanisen.
Darrin mumbles “He’ll be … right, Lanisen, I … … … … … … in time … … … to … him …”, to Lanisen.
Megren leans forward and puts her head in her hands.
Maire takes a small step back, enough for the men to have their space, but still close enough to assist Adrian in his ministrations.
Colin behaves until Adrian finishes. The second the healer moves away he sits up.
Lanisen draws an unsteady breath, reaching toward Colin’s red eyes before pulling his hand back. “What happened, what happened, what’s–”
Reina hurries through the door, something partially concealed inside her tunic. Hurrying over to Megren, she speaks quietly to her.
Reina mumbles “… … … healer … Is … … I found … … … a bowl outside … … they … … innocent, left … … … … food … not … left … … … … berries … notorious … looking innocent … being … from … … yes, … … … … be … … terribly sorry. I suggested … … examine … in … … … compromised, and Captain Garian asked … I would bring them to …”, to Megren.
Megren stares at Reina, attempting to process this.
Colin reaches a hand out unseeingly. “Lanisen?” he says pleadingly.
Lanisen catches his hand immediately. “I’m here, I– what happened, what’s wrong with–” He glances around desperately for somebody to ask.
Colin looks very relieved and pulls Lanisen closer into a bear hug, wrapping his arms tightly around him and saying something into his ear.
Megren mumbles “… probably… I don’t know … … …”, to Reina.
Colin mumbles “We got him. We got him we got him.”, to Lanisen.
Colin mumbles “… … him. We … him … got …”, to Lanisen.
Darrin tells Lanisen in a low tone, “We got Aaron, but he got Colin in the eyes with some pepper and managed to wound him as well. He’s going to be okay.”
Reina bites her lip, then nods. “I will hold onto them then until I see her. They are probably perfectly harmless, but if not…”
Megren nods like eight times.
Lanisen looks startled, but he goes willingly to Colin and wraps his arms tightly around him in return, saying nothing.
Noting the distraction, Reina steps up to her friend, hugging her tightly with one arm. “Stay strong,” she murmurs. “Lavender tea works wonders. Help you sleep, when you go.”
Colin draws a shuddery breath and turns him loose, now finally looking a hundred times better and much calmer.
Megren smiles and hugs her back, kissing her cheek. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Maire takes a step closer, hating to break up the moment between this circle of friends. “Pardon me, sirs, but let me take one more look at those eyes.” she leans in, placing a hand on either side of Colin’s face, angling it toward her so she can see.
Colin is a little startled but is so used to doing what’s he’s told at this point he does so.
Reina nods and, knowing she can do nothing to help here and not wishing to crowd, she heads out, wrapping the bowl in her hands in a fold of her tunic.
Megren looks a little lost when the girl departs again.
Lanisen goes tense and still as he realizes just who is examining Colin. He stares at Maire with dark wary eyes, caught somewhere between ‘run’ and ‘fight’.
Maire offers a smile, a half teasing tone to her voice. “Well, they are still blue-green, never fear.” She grimaces, glad Colin cannot see her face. She tsks, “These eyes will need another flushing come the morning, sir.” She gives Lanisen a sideways glance, her expression open and semi-apologetic. She seems as if she wants to say something, but decides against it for the time being.
Darrin seems to think Colin is in good enough hands at this point, because he turns away before he can see the wary expression on Lanisen’s face, and heads for Megren.
Colin gives her a nod. “At least they aren’t purple….I’ll be here.” he quips, then lays back on the cot.
Megren is resting her forehead in her fingertips again by the time Sir Darrin gets to her.
Darrin touches her shoulder gently.
Maire laughs, “Just a little red for now, but don’t rub them.” her tone is firm. She looks to Lanisen and says, “Make sure he keeps those eyes closed.” her words are gentle, as if conveying that she is a friend. She rests a hand on Colin’s shoulder. “If needed, I can be here to assist. Get some rest.” she nods to the group before making her way to the door.
Lanisen doesn’t move a muscle. He keeps contact with Colin, his fingertips resting lightly on his friend’s arm, and watches Maire as she departs.
Colin reaches his hand up for Lanisen’s arm to give it a squeeze. “Hey, Lanny….let’s go bear hunting tomorrow.”
Lanisen chokes out an unsteady laugh. He looks back at Colin, again surveying his red eyes and the cut on his neck. “He– pepper?”
Megren startles at the touch, and then she frowns at her own startlement before she recovers to see who it is and offer him a self-conscious smile.
Darrin smooths back some hair from her face with impossibly gentle fingers and looks pained by the bruise already forming on her forehead and the glassy look to her eyes.
Darrin mumbles something incomprehensible to Megren.
Megren looks off to the side like she thinks this is a bit much, but replies in kind.
Megren mumbles something incomprehensible to Darrin.
Colin nods a little. “I’m never eating pepper again…” He informs his squire.
Darrin drops his hand and instead leans against the table next to her. “You okay?”
Lanisen asks, “What do you need, do you need anything?” He glances around the infirmary searchingly, and his eyes land on Megren.
Megren mumbles “Feels … … heart’s in … …”, to Darrin.
Colin’s voice is quiet. “No, I’m g-I’m good.”
Darrin makes a grumbling sort of noise, less violent than a growl, more sigh.
Megren mumbles “… I should have seen … … should … … … … …”, to Darrin.
Lanisen takes a small breath. “Can–” He swallows. “Meg’s, I’m gonna, I’ll be right back, are you okay if I–”
Darrin mumbles “… … … fault. I … recognize him, and … wasn’t fast enough to stop … either.”, to Megren.
Darrin sounds guilty. Again.
Megren shakes her head a couple times.
Darrin scolds lightly, a hint of laughter in his voice. “Don’t do that. That probably hurts.”
Megren wrinkles her nose at him.
Colin nods and turns Lanisen loose. “Yeah, go, go. I’m fine.”
Darrin quirks a half smile at her.
Lanisen grips his arm, unwilling to release him even so, and says, “I’ll be right back, I promise.” He hesitates, then turns to approach Megren, scanning her face and posture anxiously as he nears.
Megren finally sees Lanisen once he starts approaching her and hops off the table to shorten his trip.
Lanisen’s breath catches and he picks up his pace in case she falls, reaching automatically toward her.
Colin gives a little nod and stays still on his cot.
Darrin looks a little out of place.
Megren doesn’t seem to lilt or show any other particularly concerning signs, though her movement brings her into brighter light, and she squints in it.
Megren mumbles “Hi. Hey. Did you– did Reina– you weren’t supposed to come in here–?”, to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “Hi. Hey. Did you– … … you weren’t … … … in …”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen’s eyes fix on the mark on her forehead. He lowers his arms and shakes his head.
Lanisen mumbles “Reina– no, no, the captain, he said you’re– you were hurt…””, to Megren.
Lanisen mumbles “… … … … captain, he said … … were …”, to Megren.
Megren shakes her head, and this does put her off kilter a little.
Megren mumbles “I’m fine. Sir Colin– I didn’t want you to– did you hear about Aaron?”, to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “… fine. … Colin– I … want you to– did … … … Aaron?”, to Lanisen.
Megren hurries to correct herself.
Megren mumbles “That we caught Aaron, did you hear about Aaron? That we found Aaron.”, to Lanisen.
Megren mumbles “… … caught Aaron, did you … … Aaron? … … … Aaron.”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen reaches out quickly and puts a supporting hand under her elbow. His eyes dart up to the forming bruise again.
Lanisen mumbles “I know, he told me, Colin too– Meg, you oughta, you should sit down…”, to Megren.
Lanisen mumbles “… know, he told … … … Meg, … oughta, you … … …”, to Megren.
Darrin straightens, his fingers twitching spasmodically at his sides, though he doesn’t step towards Megren and Lanisen just yet.
Megren turns toward the table and Sir Darrin obediently, looking like she’s fighting between trying to minimize the issue so that people won’t fuss and trying to take care of herself, so that people don’t fuss.
Colin shifts on his cot and turns his head in the direction of their voices. “Megren?”
Lanisen glances at Darrin, his face full of questioning worry.
Megren moves to sit beside Sir Darrin again, making a face. “Hello, Sir,” she replies to Sir Colin.
Colin says, “Meg..I’m sorry.”
Colin says, “I’m sorry you got hurt.”
Megren says, “I’m– I’m fine, really, just kind of– I’d be up to the mess already, just Adrian said he wanted to watch me for the night.” She rubs at the top of her head restlessly. “It’s not… I should’ve seen it coming, anyway. That’s– thank you, Sir.”
Colin protests quietly, “No…no that’s not..it’s not your fault. If it wasn’t for me…I’m sorry.”
Lanisen begins to back away, returning to Colin’s side. He touches Colin’s shoulder when he is near enough to let him know where he is.
Megren’s head lists to the side like she would like to protest this but doesn’t really have the energy to. She looks a little confused by Lanisen not following her, but she doesn’t speak to this either.
Darrin shuffles and then there is conveniently a shoulder under Megren’s head.
Megren sinks against it gratefully.
Colin goes still once more after placing a hand over his eyes.
Lanisen seems unwilling to break contact again. He reaches out with his other hand and drags a chair closer, then settles himself into it at an angle where he can easily see both Megren and Colin.
Darrin lifts a hand, hesitates, then starts rubbing Megren’s back. “You sure you wouldn’t be more comfortable in a cot?”
Colin appears to have fallen asleep. His hand slowly drifts down from his face to fall to the side.
Megren closes her eyes. Silence for a moment, and then, “No.”
Lanisen glances occasionally over at them, anxious and uncertain. He finally squirms into a reasonably comfortable position in the chair and goes quiet, staring at Colin’s hurt neck without really seeing it.