In which Reina is feisty and Maire blocks the door
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.
You can go: Inner Ward <SE>, Past the Partition <NE>
Haft enters the infirmary, looking around as though searching for someone.
Reina lies in her bed, appearing to be only half conscious, moving only to cough harsh, wracking coughs before falling back into her stupor. Her breathing is labored, and every now and then, she drinks liquid from a steaming mug resting on the bedside table.
Haft glances over at the coughing, surprised to see his Captain asleep on a chair near the girl. He keeps his voice low. “Oh, uh, excuse me, but have you seen Kairyn by any chance?”
Reina turns her head, bloodshot eyes gazing up at the new man. “Nay,” she says hoarsely. “The last time I saw her, she was dragging her cousin away from me because she herself does not like me and therefore Maire is not permitted to be near me. Are you hurt? Best speak with Adrian. He would not be as like to poison you. I’m Reina, by the way. What’s your name? I do not think I’ve seen you around here before.”
Haft frowns. “Mistress Kairyn is a healer. Why on earth would she poison anybody?”
Reina shakes her head. “She was not acting like much of a healer the other day,” she says. “But perhaps you are right. If she likes you, I am certain she would take very good care of you indeed.”
Haft’s frown turns into a proper scowl. “You’re the new one training to be a guard,” he says. “You know an accusation of that sort from a guard is a serious matter?”
Reina sighs, burying her head in her pillow. “Forget I said anything,” she says wearily. “Pamper the princess if you must. I am in no mood for the scolding. If you are lucky, I will die soon enough from this blasted illness anyway and neither of you will have to worry about my irritable sick temper.”
Haft looks to Garian again, as if wondering if he’s heard this fit of pique. “What’s the healer done you find so deeply offensive?”
Reina sighs, turning her head nd coughing harshly into a handkerchief. “I just told you. Doesnt’ matter. Ugh… ow.”
Haft watches her, apparently unimpressed. “If it doesn’t matter, don’t bring it up to total strangers who may or may not possess discretion. To answer your question, my name is Haft and I am a member of the guard.”
“A right ball of sunshine, aren’t you?” the girl asks wearily.
Haft says, “So they say.”
Reina smiles a bit. “Aye, I hear that a lot myself.” She coughs again. “Apologies, Haft, I am not usually so unpleasant. I merely feel like death. How did you hurt your arm?”
Haft looks surprised, but nods his acceptance of the apology. “Kicked by a frightened horse in the course of my duties.”
“Ouch,” Reina murmurs. “That sounds like it hurt.”
Haft says, “It did rather, but at least it’s not broken, and no one else was injured.”
Reina nods, closing her eyes wearily. “Well, I have not seen her. I would point you in the directions of the kitchen. Her cousin works there. Maybe she can tell you,” she slurrs sleepily.
Haft asks, “I suppose the question can wait…what’s the Captain here for? He sick too?”
“Nay. He is here for me,” she murmurs. “I asked him to stay, and he agreed. He is just tired. He is very busy, even now. He runs to take care of what he must, then returns.” She smiles fondly over at Garian.Maire eases the door to the infirmary open, and she peers inside. Her eyes land on Reina, and a man she does not recognize. She pauses before entering, taking stock before interupting.
Haft’s lips twitch. “Better let him rest then. Excuse me.” He turns to head for the door, only to realize they are being observed.
Maire freezes, staring at the man. Her brows rise on her forehead, and her eyes narrow ever slightly as she flicks her gaze between Reina and him.
As Reina’s eyes are closed, she is missing this little interlude.Maire enters the infirmary, her eyes trained on the man, she leans on the door, blocking his exit. Her eyes bear a silent question.
Haft frowns. “Pardon me.”
Maire takes a little step forward, her expression caught between interest, and concern. She looks to Reina, then back to the man. “I have never seen you before, who are you?” she asks directly.
“He’s Haft, like the thing you make with wood,” Reina interjects without opening her eyes.
Maire’s eyes drift to Reina and she hears her words. She looks back to the man, a brow raised in question.
Haft twitches unintentionally at Reina’s analysis of his name. He meets Maire’s gaze evenly. “I might ask you the same question.”
Maire straightens a little, and says, “I am Maire, I work in the kitchens.” her tone is steady, but her eyes look like she is still unsure.
Haft asks, “Haft, of the guard. You started recently, I believe?”
Maire’s face relaxes and she blows out a little breath. She nods, “Well met, sir.” she says. “And yes, about two months ago I arrived.”
Haft asks, “I see. And…do you usually stand around blocking doors?”
Maire blinks once, but then holds a steady gaze. “Not usually, no.” she says with a little smile. She raises a brow. “How do you know Reina?” she asks.
“I don’t. We just met,” he says flatly.
Reina tries to muffle a new coughing fit in her pillow so as not to disturb the awkward conversation going on between the two grownups.
Reina tries to muffle a new coughing fit in her pillow, presumably so as not to disturb the awkward conversation going on between the two grownups.
Maire tips her head, eyeing the sling. “Ah, so you are here as a patient as well.” she says, understanding dawning on her face.
Haft says, “I was looking for Kairyn.” He squints thoughtfully. “Your…cousin?””
Maire pulls her braid over her shoulder and nods, “She is likely out gathering plants. Was there something you needed?”
Haft says, “A question about the tea she gave me. Nothing that can’t wait.”
Maire gestures, palm upward. “I am familiar with a few of her remedies, if you are in need of something, I could prepare something for you?” she smiles a little.
Haft looks doubtful. “I’ll wait until I can find her, thank you.”
Maire’s brows rise, almost imperceptibly. “If you’re certain.”
Haft asks, “Quite. So, where do you hail from?”You feel a little hungry.Maire smiles, “From Lancelyn Green, all my life…” she says, “…well, until recently of course.”You feel a little hungry.
Haft asks, “Interesting. And what brought you to Anvard?”
Maire inclines her head, “A change of scenery, and a chance to start out on my own.” she eyes Haft.
Haft tilts his head. “Something wrong with the scenery in Lancelyn Green?”
Maire’s lips tug toward a smile, her dimple appearing in her cheek. “No, I just had never been outside of it before.”
Haft asks, “And what do you think? Of Anvard?”
Reina rolls over, ignoring the two grownups as boring and curling up beneath her blankets with another cough.
Maire’s face changes, and becomes neutral. “It is a welcome change of scenery. There is much to see here.” she pauses before quietly adding, “And much more going on.” her last words are barely above a whisper.
Haft asks, “Going on?”
Maire’s face remains stoic, and then she shrugs, flicking an imaginary thread from her sleeve. “Well, yes, with nobles about and people to meet. There’s nothing like that in Lancelyn Green.” she says.
Reina snorts with poorly suppressed amusement. “You mean, kidnappings and runaways and prisoners and all the other things every grownup here knows about but won’t talk about.”
Haft observes, “There are nobles in Lancelyn Green. People too, or so I–” He turns to glance over his shoulder at Reina.
Maire blinks at Reina’s words, and slips her hands in the folds of her skirts. She says, “Well, I did not see them in nearly the same capacity as I have since arriving in Anvard. I did not get out much, and my siblings and cousins were my only friends growing up. Its been a pleasant change meeting new people.”
Haft says, “Castle life is rarely dull, that’s true.”
Maire shifts her stance a little, and her fingers fiddle with the ends of her braid where it falls to her waist. “Quite so.” After a moment she asks, “How is it I have not seen you around before today?”
Haft lifts his good shoulder. “I’ve been in Narnia for the past few months.”
Reina closes her eyes, falling into a light doze while the grownups speak of grownup things.
Maire’s brows rise, then her expression changes, a light shade of pink crossing her cheeks. “You must have arrived with Lord Peridan and Lady Avery.” she takes a little step backwards.
Haft says, “Must have.” He notes the backward step. “Letting me out now?”
Maire blinks at Haft, her eyes widen. She takes another step back, but she keeps her voice steady. “If you wanted to leave, sir, you should have said so.” she raises a brow, but her cheeks flame despite the challenging tone to her voice.
Haft asks, “I said ‘pardon me’. Does that mean something else in Lancelyn Green?”
Maire’s lips form a perfect ‘o’ and she says, “Right.” she clears her throat. “I apologize.” she says, lamely.
Haft shrugs his good shoulder, stepping past her and out of the infirmary.