Furud is sitting in an ornate chair, staring intently at a smoky black stone as if his life depended on it.
Merope is still vaguely towelling her hair as she enters.
Merope "Furud! Hey."
Merope "Heh, this place is a maze, right?"
Merope looks distinctly uncomfortable. She reaches a hand under her blouse round to her back and prods experimentally. There's a hiss as she draws breath in through her teeth.
Furud looks up, dropping the stone, which hovers for the slightest of moments before falling. "Oh, hey Merope," he says tiredly. "You think? ... oh yeah, this is your first time here huh."
Merope climbs gingerly into a chair. "Just took my most painful shower ever."
Furud smiles a little, leaning down to scoop up the stone. "You're lucky you never played football."
Merope frowns. "Yeah..."
Merope is still wincing a lot and pulling at her blouse. "Agh... I need to... dress this or soemthing, now it's clean.."
Furud rubs the back of his neck a little, and nods. "Tai's got practically his own nurse's office in one of the closets... I can get something for you." He stands, leaning shakily against the arm of the chair for a moment before walking down the hall.
Merope "Oh.... thanks..."
Furud comes back several minutes later with an armload of bandages and antiseptic and such. "No problem... now turn around so I can get a good look at it."
Merope "No, it's okay, I'm sure I can manage..."
Furud "You're going to bandage your back by yourself? I'd like to see that." He drops the pile onto a side table.
Merope "...I can... reach round?" Merope looks distinctly pensive.
Furud snorts. "Go for it." He crosses his arms and leans back against the wall.
Merope gives him a look, and then sorts through the pile until she finds an antispetic wipe. She opens it up. "Sorry, I forgot to ask how you were feeling? After the... the thing."
Merope extracts the wipe and tries to reach around under her blouse.
Merope "Agh..." She dabs at herself awkwardly, carefully, looking at Furud.
Furud watches her almost casually, though he tenses a little at her question. "I'm fine... I'm just glad it didn't get worse."
Merope "I guess it was a good thing.. agh... we had Cassie, huh?" She smiles, weakly.
Furud nods. "I hear you went all Superwoman and saved her."
Merope pauses a second, looks away. "...yeah."
Merope returns her attention to the pile of first aid equipment. "I guess I need some gauze or something and then maybe some tape to hold it down with... it's a pretty big area though..." She's still trying to wipe her back; it's getting harder now she;'s trying to move nearer to her shoulderbaldes, where the worst of the damage is.
Furud "Are you SURE you don't want any help?" he asks smugly.
Merope gives him a glare. "Yes."
Merope fiddles with a largish roll of sterile gauze, pointedly.
Furud sighs and turns his back on her. "Okay I'm not looking anymore."
Merope looks up at him, and then starts undoing buttons from her navel upward on hte blouse. after about three of them, she lifts the blouse up at the back and tries looking over her shoulder.
Furud peeks over his shoulder for a moment
Merope With a little more freedom now, she continues dabbing at the injury with the wipe - no bleeding any more, and all the dirt and grit gone, but a large red, inflamed area still remains.
Merope has her back turned to Furud and doesn't see him peek.
Merope "I don't know where everyone else got to". She's addressing the air in front of her, her back and head now turned away from him. "I saw Altair before I showered..."
Furud frowns a little at the state of her back, clenching his fists. Then he looks away again. "Is he okay?"
Merope She draws breath sharply again, the antispetic still stinging. "Ahhh... yeah. He seemed... full of life."
Merope "I don't know where Maia and Heka and Antares have got to, though."
Furud "He always is... life and fire." He runs his hand through his hair. "I need to talk to Antares... I haven't seen her since we got here."
Merope "I guess we all needed a little time alone."
Merope fumbles with some gauze, trying to insert it up her blouse towards her shoulders.
Furud frowns. "Yeah I guess. But sometimes we don't need to be alone." He turns around and crosses the short distance between them, his fingers brushing against hers as he takes the gauze from her. "Don't argue, just let me help."
Merope "...thank you."
Merope "It's mostly near the top..."
Merope She waves vaguely toward her shoulderblades, still covered by the partially raised blouse, her back still to him.
Merope "I can't really reach.."
Furud smiles a little. "You're welcome, Mero." His fingers brush the edge of her shirt a moment, before he lifts up the bottom a little further, carefully. "It doesn't look TOO bad," he says softly.
Merope "It's just... uncomfortable having clothes over it. I just need it covered, let it heal..."
Merope keeps her head to the front, her voice speeding up a little.
Merope "I, uh... the bra strap was too uncomfotable, so..."
Furud "Calm down, hon. I won't touch you anywhere you don't want." He unrolls the gauze, covering the wound tenderly if somewhat inexpertly.
Merope "No, I just meant, I mean, I'm not wearing... and I thought you might wonder why since you can see that I'm not and um...."
Merope "The band was just pressing against my back and it hurt..."
Furud pauses, lifting his hand to touch her hair but withdraws before he does. "Thanks...for letting me know, then." He smiles to himself, and rips off a piece of skin tape, sticking the gauze down. "I'm sorry you're hurt.... but at least it was doing something good."
Merope "I... I really had no idea I could fly that way."
Furud "I knew you could, if you focused." He smooths down the bandage over the worst of the wounds, and starts on a smaller one. "What did it feel like?"
Furud "Flying made you... sad?"
Merope "Yes. No."
Merope "...it was..."
Furud waits patiently for her to go on, ripping off another piece of tape with his teeth.
Merope "Something... left me... like a weight."
Merope "But I couldn't tell if I was being freed from something or... losing it."
Furud strokes his fingers through his hair, "Oh, Mero. It's... both. I used to think it was better to be free, but I'm not sure anymore."
Merope "I smashed through a window and I didn;t even feel it..."
Merope "I felt so... beautifully numb."
Merope "Just... just music."
Furud "Like you were made of light and music?"
Merope "...I just cried, and cried... I held Cassie to me and I cried and my tears were cold against my face and I.... I'm not sure how far I flew."
Furud "Shhhh, it's okay," He pulls her shirt down over the bandages carefully, and continues stroking her hair soothingly. "You saved her, we're here, safe."
Merope turns, tears in her eyes, and buries herself in Furud's arms.
Furud holds her, making sure not to touch her wounds. "It will be okay, we'll be okay," he keeps murmuring to her, resting his head on hers, and trying to believe it himself.
Merope holds Furud for a long moment, then breathes, trying to steady herself.
Merope She withdraws from him, slowly.
Merope looks away. "Sorry."
Merope She holds back a tear. "It's... I'm alright."
Merope "Thank you. For the bandaging."
Furud "It's okay," he says quietly, letting her go. He reaches up to rub his eye - must have gotten something in it. "I'll always be here for you, if you need me."
Merope "I know."
Merope "I always come back to you."
Merope looks suddenly startled.
Merope "I mean..."
Merope stands up suddenly. "I.. I should..."
Merope fiddles with her blouse, doing it back up again. "I'm... going to go and check on Cassie."
Furud digs in his pocket. "I'll uh. Just look at this stone some more then."
Merope "Okay. You do that."
Merope pauses. "I'm glad you're alright."
Furud "I'm glad you are too," he says distantly.
Merope smiles and heads out to the corridoor.
Merope Once outside, she leans against the wall, closing her eyes, doing up the last button of her blouse as she does so, her breathing still a little heavy.
Merope runs a hand through her hair, and goes to find the kitchen.