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Setting Up A Friend (I'des/Cremsden)


Laura Walker
 

I...Hi.” I’des greeted the Healer. “I’m here for my scar check, make sure I’m not dying.” he added. 


“Oh, you’re definitely dying, just hopefully in a way that will take at least fifty turns to reach the end point.” Cremsden was in a good mood today, and gestured to his office. “Come on in and take a seat.”


There was a one-winged blue firelizard already curled up on the desk. He raised his head long enough to peer at the bronzerider.


I’des tossed out a jaunty salute as he followed Cremsden in and sat where indicated, brightening at the sight of the firelizard, though he didn’t reach out to try and touch. “He’s cute! What happened to his wing, though? Lot smaller than my wherpup.” he chatted. “I’m I’des, of bronze Sunstreath. Nice to meet you.” 


“His name’s Bitey. I wouldn’t touch unless he invites you to,” Cremsden warned automatically. “He’s got strong ideas on how to enforce personal space. Wing got taken by Thread so he moved in with me.”


Bitey laid his head back on the desk but kept a watchful eye on I’des.


“Sure.” I’des responded, kept his distance but gave the blue flit a little wave. “Hi, little guy.” A brief look of confusion, before he shrugged it off. “I thought you couldn’t Impress flits as adults.” 


“You can’t, or at least I didn’t,” Cremsden confirmed. “He’s not mine as such he just.. lives with me.” In fact, it might be more correct to say Cremsden belonged to Bitey. “Right. How have you been feeling?”


“Good, actually. I don’t feel half as tender as I used to, even if my scars kind of itch.” I’des admitted. “Sunstreath fusses more than I do, though, and I’ve been taking it easy- I help the Weyrwoman with her paperwork and stuff right now.” 


A pause, and a quick grin at the Healer. “Honestly, I’ve been sort of bored. I miss flying Thread- or just a nice long flight.” 


“Yeah. The itching is a thing.” Cremsden looked rueful, half-gesturing to the thick scar tissue around one ear-lobe. “I know, believe me. It’ll go off in time though.”


“Got anything to make it stop itching?” I’des asked, hopefully. “I mean, I could just jump in a vat of numbweed, but I don’t think that’s Healer-recommended.” 


Sunstreath snorted, from where he was sprawled out on one of the warm rocks on the Rim. ((You itch worse than I do. Tell the Healer, or I stay up here.)) 


I’des sighed. “Sunstreath said to tell you that I itch worse than he does.”


Cremsden shrugged. “I’ve got friends who threaten to kick me when I scratch,” he offered. “And one who does actually hit me with a stick. I can give you some dilute numbweed to take it down a level but mostly it’s time.”


I’des sighed. “I can take the dilute numbweed?” he asked, after a moment. “And I don’t have a weyrmate who’ll kick me if I scratch. Just me, my wher, and my dragon.” 


“Well. He also nips if he thinks I’m misbehaving,” Cremsden admitted, nodding to the firelizard. “But I’d maybe not try that with a wher. Ask your dragon perhaps. You mind taking your shirt off?”


“I thought you’d never ask.” I’des teased, playfully. “And nah, Nuffink is a good boy. Plus I think he’d take my hand off if he nipped, and the Wherhall says not to allow any kind of biting.” He paused a moment, to obediently tug his shirt off.

“I’m not as handsome as I once was, oops. But at least it gives me character?” 


“You’ve still got internal organs and they still work. Count yourself lucky.” Cremsden washed his hands quickly with redwort before he came to take a look. “Hm hm hm. Yes, those look to be healing nicely. No redness or inflammation.” He reached to trace one gently. “And no heat. Excellent. How have you been feeling in yourself?”


I’des blinked, twitched a little at the touch. “....You know, if you wanted to get all handsy, you coulda just asked?” he teased again, before letting out a long sigh. “Little bit tired at the end of the day, kind of worried that my stamina’s all gone.” he admitted. “I mean, I was laid out flat for over a month, and I still haven’t done drills, or flown Fall. Sunstreath and me are going to get fat.” 


“Stamina will build back up slowly,” Cremsden reassured. “Don’t worry about taking a lot of long naps right now. Your body is using a lot of energy just to try and heal up right; you might not feel like you’re doing anything but it’s working as hard as it can just to set you back to normal.” It was a reassuring Healer tone, soothing by habit. “When you’re ready we’ll ease you back in slowly, and you’ll still probably start napping all over again. You able to keep up with taking care of-- Sunstreath, is it?”

I’des let out another long sigh. “...I’m bored though. Bored and itchy. It’s like I’m a Weyrling all over again, but I can’t even do fun stuff.” he responded. “And yes. I’m I’des, and my dragon’s bronze Sunstreath.” 


“Well, at least we’re not barring you from drinking and sex this round?” Cremsden suggested, smiling at his exasperation. “Really though, I know, it’s annoying. Try to view it as a holiday if you can.”


“I can drink again?” I’des brightened immediately. “So… I don’t have to keep Sunny out of greenflights anymore?” he added. “Because getting him to back down is a pain and a half.” 


“Mmm.” Cremsden ran an assessing eye over the scars again. “That depends. How badly do you usually get scratched up in greenflights?” Some people tended more towards rough flights than others. “You might be better starting when you’re fully in your own mind first.”


“Sunstreath doesn’t chase often- he prefers golds.” I’des responded. “We’ve won a few greens before though- never a gold yet.” He paused. “...I can do that. Or only let him fly if I know the green’s rider is gentler.” 


“You do that. Take it easy for a bit; nothing to stop you enjoying yourself but try not to get hurt,” Cremsden advised. “You can start taking a few trips out of the Weyr as well as long as you stick to flying straight. And if you do get in trouble, get your lad to shout for help rather than trying to get back.”


“...Vacation. Right.” I’des sighed. “At least I won’t be as bored- and hey, I can start working more with Nuffink again. Poor boy’s been cooped up too long.”


“Surely you’ve got a few friends with rest-days you can convince to come for a day out?” Cremsden suggested. “Have fun for a time.” Not that he’d taken that advice. He’d gone straight back to the office as soon as allowed. But Healers were different.

“Maybe.” I’des shrugged. “I’ll have the big lug ask around.” 


“Don’t act too thrilled,” Cremsden said drily. “Here, you mind if I check your pulse while you’re here?”

“Sure.” I’des shrugged. “And come back in if my scars start hurting, right?” 


“Mmhm.” Cremsden reached to take I’des’ wrist between his fingers. “Hurting, or if they’re hot to the touch, or if you feel hot and shivery, or if they start looking inflamed. Or anything else that just seems off to be honest.”


“You got it.” I’des responded, and offered the Healer a wink. 


Cremsden smiled at him distractedly but was busy counting the pulse for a moment. Job done, he reached to write it down. “Good enough.”


“Do I come back and see you, if that happens? I certainly wouldn’t mind.” I’des responded. 


((Flirt.)) Sunstreath huffed. 


“Mm, yes. You’ll need to come back anyway.” Cremsden was jotting down notes quickly as he spoke, eyes on the paper rather than I’des. “You’ll need someone to sign off that you can try drills and again that you’re good to be in the air in Fall.”


“....Fine.” I’des sighed. “When’s that?” 


“Give it a couple of sevendays I’d say.” Cremsden looked up again at the sigh. “Sorry. I know it’s slow but an infection there isn’t worth thinking about.”


“Not your fault.” I’des responded, with an attempt at a grin. “Think this is the slowest pace I’ve lived, like, ever.” 


“I know the feeling.” Cremsden reached to touch his ear absent-mindedly. “Still. You’ll heal.”


“You tried to bandage me once.” I’des blurted, suddenly. 


Cremsden raised his head from his notes and looked at him. His blank expression said he had no memory of this. “I..did?” It seemed entirely possible he’d forgotten a patient somehow, though why this was important.


“You did!” I’des confirmed. “Woke me up, talking about whers… I think you were sick. I was half asleep- I was just recently hurt, and it was night time, cause Sunstreath was sound asleep.” 


“..Ah.” Cremsden looked a little sheepish. His hand crept up towards his ear again but Bitey had been watching from the desk, suddenly less sleepy and more alert. He made an annoyed muttering sort of noise and Cremsden hastily removed his hand. “Yes yes, sorry.” That apology seemed aimed at the firelizard rather than I’des. 


“Sorry about that,” he said more directly to I’des. “I hope I didn’t manage to do any damage?”


“Nah, you’re fine.” I’des assured him. “I think I was more confused than anything else. And that other Healer- that one with green Elphith- came and got you before you could do more than confuse us both.” 


“Cuylar!” Cremsden grinned at that, looking faintly relieved. “Yes, Cuylar would. I think he ended up spending a few days basically babysitting me, bless him.”


I’des grinned back. “Good. We need our Healers. I don’t think Sunstreath and Elphith get along though.” he added, reflectively. “Both strong personalities.” 


“Oh, I’m honour-bound to take Elphith’s side in any argument,” Cremsden said jokingly, relaxing again now it was clear no damage had been done. “Mostly because she actually likes me.”


I’des’ grin relaxed as well. “Good on you. Sunstreath’s a proud son of a wherry.” he added. “I’m not sure what happened, by the time I was aware enough Sunstreath had forgotten the details, but I think the big lug started it.” 


((Did not.)) Sunstreath huffed. 


Oh.” And a vaguely remembered gossip session suddenly rang bells and Cremsden glanced at the name at the top of the notes again, refreshing his memory as to the name. “Oh. You’re I’des,” he said as though that suddenly just made sense. “Right. Yes. He might have mentioned you.” In a very specific way, and his gaze was suddenly slightly more assessing. 


“....Yeah… that’s me.” I’des responded, suddenly wary. “I’des of bronze Sunstreath.” 


“Nothing bad, don’t worry,” Cremsden said hastily. “Just-- mentioned you two were getting on well.” He was still looking I’des up and down consideringly. “You know, he’s not been taking enough time off lately. If you’re needing a way to occupy free time you could convince him to come with you on a beach trip or something. Do him good.”


“Really?” I’des perked up a little. “I’ll have to track him down in a bit.” A pause, another glance over Cremsden. “You could always come too, if you want.” 


Cremsden laughed at that. “I’ve got a small baby and very little free time I’m afraid,” he said cheerfully. “But Cuylar’s shift finishes in about three hours if you were wanting to catch him.”


“...Could always creche it?” I’des suggested, uncertainly, but then let the subject go. “I’ll keep that in mind.” 


“I don’t like the creche.” That was very firm. “Not more than absolutely needed in any case. Besides, I actually like him, wailing and all.” He smiled again. “Do the pair of you good though.”


I was creche raised.” I’des’ turn to frown, slightly. “And I got a bronze out of it. Creches aren’t bad.” A slight pause. “I could use some distraction, get some wind under our wings. Sunstreath’s going to get fat, lazing around.”

((Hey.)) 


“Yes? Just a..personal dislike.” And Cremsden’s smile was polite now, but he wasn’t apologising for the statement. “Bad experiences at another Weyr. Don’t let me put you off if you have kids.”


“Kids?” I’des’ expression scrunched slightly. “I don’t really… go for interacting with anyone under Candidate age. What do I even say?? And no, I don’t have or want any of my own. Maybe a weyrmate. Someday. But kids? Nah.” 


Cremsden laughed. “I won’t bother trying to convince you how much you can enjoy them when you’re not using a Creche then. But do approach Cuylar. Do you both good.” He stood up to see the other man out.


I’des grinned. “I’ll definitely do that.” he responded. “Put in a good word for me?” He rose, nodded a farewell to Cremsden, and trotted out. 




--

Blackadder: I mean, what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I'm* the people who do all the work.