Bubbly Bribery

The pungent aroma of the healing arts permeates this large cavern. Large wooden doors roll back and forth across the rectangular hewn entrance, allowing in larger occupants when needed, and keeping the weather at bay the rest of the time. The cavern is divided into several areas, about a third of the room subdivided by curtains into beds for human patients. In the central region there are four areas set up to handle the most critical of dragon patients. A cabinet on one side of each area houses critical components and a small cot next to it looks to serve the human half of the dragonpair. On the far side away from the patients a training work area is set up for the healers. Shelving holds numerous books, scrolls and charts which look frequently referenced. Desks provide a few moments respite to Masters and Journeymen, catching up on the days records and patient paperwork, while the nearby tables look more practical for the work of healing and testing one's skill. A smaller doorway looks to lead back to a small storage room for the healing supplies which must be kept close at hand at all times. Only the most critical stay here for any length, patients are sent back to their home beds and weyrs as soon as possible and visited by the healers until they are fully recovered.

Mohria has sat outside the infirmary the whole time they were working on him, patching him up. Sitting and fidgeting, she turned the flute over and over in her fingers, but never once did she bring it to her lips even though she's dying to hear the tone of it. Finally, a Healer took pity on her and poked his head out, saying Firmin was resting and awake, and could see visitors. Hastily she rose, and walked into the infirmary, approaching the curtained off bed where he rests. "Firmin?"

"I'm here," Firmin replies wearily. "'Parrantly I'll be here a few days. They're wantin't'make sure I'm not goin't'try anythin' that'll open it up 'gain 'fore it can heal." He turns his head on the pillow, those deep blue eyes staring at her once more, still seeming to have some sort of disbelief in them.

Mohria pushes aside the curtain and slips in, making sure it closes behind her. Clutching the flute case in one hand, she lets her eyes travel over his face and then to his shoulder and back as she takes a slow step forward. "I'm sorry," she whispers, rocking to a stop again. Sorry for what?

Firmin is apparently going to wait to find out, as he uses his good arm to push himself up on the bed, against the pillows so that he can be closer to an eye level with her. There's a little wince, and a puffy weariness about his eyes.

Mohria takes another step forward, and then another, and then the last few in a rush before she sinks into the chair by his bedside. "I'm sorry," she says again, hurt in her eyes. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

Firmin closes his eyes and leans his head back, letting his hand reach for hers where she sits next to the bed. "I know," he murmurs quietly. There's a span of silence before he finally admits, "it was horrible, y'know."

Mohria scoots a little closer, resting the flute (with her hand still covering it) on the edge of his bed. "When you hurt your shoulder?" she asks quietly.

Firmin furrows his brow as he opens his eyes to look at her. "Thinkin' y'were dead," he clarifies. "I can handle th'shoulder. I'll have t'do my Journeyman sail all over again. I hardly think that gettin' y'r boat caught up on rocks is goin't'lead t'walkin' th'tables."

Mohria dips her head down, staring at her hand over the flute. "I'm sorry," she says softly. "When…when Dad died, I just…I couldn't go back. I just couldn't. Face her, see everything…without him. I just couldn't do it." She takes a few short breaths and then lets them out slowly. Then she smirks, though it's faint. "Probably not, no."

"But a message, Moh," F'min can't help bursting out. "I understand y'couldn't come back, but…" he subsides, and almost grins. "No," he agrees. "'T was a great voyage up until that wave came along."

Mohria hangs her head, so low until it almost touches the flute. She sighs, shoulders trembling. "I /know/," she argues back, lifting her head a moment later to look at him, her eyes filled with pain. "I know but I was /dead/ inside, Firmin! Can't you…can you even imagine how I was feeling?"

"Yeah. I can," Firmin says dully. "It's how I felt when I rang th'bell." He leans his head back and closes his eyes.

Mohria sighs, shaking her head. "Thanks for doing that for me," she whispers, her voice soft. But she's touched, as her fingers slide over the flute. "You've been carrying this with you?" she asks, glancing up at him with her brows furrowed.

Firmin nods, his eyes still closed. "It was what I had, t'remind me o'y'," he replies, not daring to open his eyes. His arm crosses over his chest, his fingers not quite reaching his shoulder.

Mohria's breath catches softly, and she reaches out to try and lay gentle fingers against his arm. "I'm sorry," she whispers, voice cracking. "It was too painful. But I should've…done something. I'm sorry, Firmin." Taking another slow breath, she lets it out softly. "Forgive me?"

His fingers are slow to cross his body and cover hers. "If y'could find me a bubbly pie somewhere in this weyr, I think I could find a way t'forgive y'," Firmin allows, the corners of his mouth twitching.

Mohria snorts, and she gives his arm a gentle thwap after pulling her hand back from beneath his. She'd hit him harder, but he's injured. "You're so sentimental," she says dryly, pushing to her feet. "I'll be right back, with bubblies to spare."

Firmin is glad of his injury for that one small moment, and he fidgets to a more comfortable position, which is next to impossible. "Ah, bubblies t'spare, I may even call y'm'best friend again," he adds, raising an eyebrow over a wickedly twinkling eye.

Mohria stares at him, hurt flickering in her eyes before she turns and stomps off. Stupid man. /Stupid/ man. But still, she goes to find him bubblies.

Firmin watches Mohria leave and sighs. The grin fades, as does the twinkle in his eye, and he tucks his chin, looking down towards his arm where she touched him.

Mohria is gone for about fifteen minutes, and when she returns she doesn't look like she has anything. "Had to sneak them in here," she murmurs, pulling carefully wrapped bubblies from both of her pockets and setting them by his good hand with a fleeting glance to his face. "That one's apple, and those are berry."

There's a fleeting look of disappointment in Firmin's eyes when Mohria appears to return empty handed. But when she pulls them out, his face lights up. "Y'know berry's m'favorite. Y'r th'best friend a poor, banged up apprentice could ever have," he vows as he reaches for the apple one first. "Always save th'best f'r last."

Mohria nods, "I know," she says, sitting down and watching him. Her smile is hesitant, but there's no denying the hope in her eyes. "You mean it?" she asks softly. "Have you forgiven me?"

Firmin stops mid-bite and looks over at Mohria. He lowers the bubbly, chews and swallows carefully. "'Course I fergive y'Moh. Yer my best friend. Life was… dull… without y'around." He pauses and looks at the bubbly. "I s'pose y'r gonna stay here, though."

Mohria looks relieved, her shoulders drooping and her hand slowly covering the flute again. "Thank you," she whispers. "I missed you so much. I've just…I didn't feel like me." She takes a slow breath and then winces, nodding. "Yeah. I can't imagine being back in Tillek…I'm a stablehand here and it's nice."

Firmin nods, and he looks away when she affirms her intention to stay at the weyr. He takes another bite of the bubbly, before he nods to the flute she's still holding. "I did make that fer y't'play," he mentions mildly, although he seems quite intent on the pie he's devouring.

Mohria turns it over in her hands. "I haven't played since," and she falters, but forces herself to push through. For once she has someone she can't play avoidance with. "Since Daddy's death. Since I left Tillek." She turns it over again and glances at him with a little smile. "I'm probably terrible."

Firmin shrugs his good shoulder, his mouth full. "Never know 'til y'try. Gotta get back int'it sometime." He shoves the final bit of apple bubbly in his mouth, and picks up one of the berry ones.

Mohria twirls the flute and then wets her lips, lifting it to her lips. She takes a slow breath and is surprised to find herself nervous, of all things. But she pushes through it, closing her eyes and playing the first low note. Slowly she works the flute through its paces, up and down the scale as she listens to its tones. The only time she pulls it from her lips is to whisper, "It's got a beautiful voice, Firmin," in awe, and then she's back to playing. Eyes closed, she softly plays a Tillek sailing song, settling into it perhaps without even knowing what she's paying exactly.

Firmin nods as she compliments the tone of the flute, already halfway through the second bubbly. He's making sure not to watch her overtly, glancing out of the corner of his eye from time to time instead, so that he doesn't make her more nervous. As she moves into a Tillek song, he slows, finishing the second bubbly, then crosses his good arm over his bad, and leans his head back, closing his eyes.

Mohria finishes that first song and shifts into a second, a soft little melody that she composed turns ago. Swaying easily through the music, she fumbles a little bit but doesn't seem to care as she pushes on. When that song is done she lowers the flute, her cheeks colored a bit. "Not too bad," she murmurs.

Firmin smiles sleepily at her assessment, the last bubbly pie still sitting on the bed next to him. "I always liked that one," he admits, shifting deeper down into the pillows.

Mohria smiles. "Thanks," she says softly. "Want to save that for later?" she asks, nodding to the remaining pie. "Do you need sleep? I could go…"

Firmin mumbles and turns a little to the side, then manages to open his eyes for a moment and look towards Mohria. "Y'll come back?" he asks, a tinge of anxiety creeping into his voice.

Mohria reaches out for her friend's arm, resting her fingers firmly on it. "I will," she whispers, guilt in her eyes. "As long as you'll promise you won't go back to Tillek without seeing me again."

Firmin shakes his head. "No'much chance o'that," he slurs wearily. "They're keepin' me here at least another couple days." He pauses, his eyes closing again. "Not like I would… anyways…"

Mohria nods, wincing at the (what she took as an) implied insult. "I'll come back," she promises, giving his arm a squeeze before she steps back, clutching her flute to her chest. She just stares at him for a moment too. Creepy?

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