(1310-09-14) An Angel of Mercy
Summary: The angel is Kushiel. Definitely Kushiel.
RL Date: 13/10/2018 - 14/10/2018
Related: None
emmanuelle irene 

Irene’s Bedchamber — The Dome of the Lady

Lady Irene d'Eresse has fallen ill on the first day of autumn and excused herself from the services to the duchess Armandine as a lady-in-waiting till getting better. By the young lady's request she has been moved to stay at d'Eresse Residence in the noble district since she wanted to be closer to her family. The young woman was checked by the town's healer and a simple cold has been announced as her current condition. It took less than two days to push a fever away and it seemed that she is getting better when suddenly a pain started to torture a young soul every time she smiled, laughed or even breathed.

A few more days have past and her condition grew worse. The fever came back together with a wet coughing. The pain in her lungs started to increase. Especially after that childish escape to watch Sword Duel where a lord Cyriel Charlot carried her favor and achieved a hard victory. When her condition reached the worst, a young lady had to be moved back to the palace by the order of the duchess herself. After all, she was a devoted and hard working lady-in-waiting for a couple of months by now. The d'Eresse Mansion was quite empty at the time and nobody but a few servants were there to watch Irene over.

So after almost two weeks of feeling weak and completely useless, Irene finds herself laying in a warm and super comfortable bed of her chambers at the palace. Her chambers are quite bright and full of various fresh flowers. A vase on the sill, a vase on the table and a couple on the floor. There are some paintings as well representing wide horizons on the walls as well. Her bed is covered in pillows and a young petite lady who has barely eaten for the past twelve days can be barely found between them.

Currently, her eyes a closed. Her breathing is slow and heavy. A notebook with leather covers and some pencils is laying at the side table untouched.

A civilised person at least knocks before entering the chamber of a young lady, especially one so favoured by the sovereign duchesse of Eisande — a civilised person might even, one supposes, wait to hear an answer from within. But now a woman Irene hasn't set eyes on in her life barges in with the air of one who owns the place (that is, the palace), kicks the door shut behind her with a booted and spurred foot, and deposits a large black leather satchel directly upon Irene's closed sketchbook without so much as a how d'you do, my lady.

This apparition in black buckskin breeches and a silk shirt the colour of the midnight sky, her throat gleaming with silver maille and her ice blue eyes darkly hooded, looms above Irene where she lies and declares in a low drawl: "Good, you're awake." Or perhaps, heard through fever-dreams, it's a growl.

There is no need for words to be spoken. When a stranger rushes into the young lady's room with a gust of wind and the sound of a suddenly opened door echoes in the room, Irene jumps to sit up. Eyes wide. Wide eyes stare at the woman with a mild fear being awakened unexpectedly. "Excuse me…" She tries to stop the woman but then a long wave of coughs interrupts her. After a moment, taking a breath, Irene looks at her sketchbook and then back at the woman. "I am sorry, but I am currently ill and I do not work. May you find other ladies in waiting if you are in the need of assistance or a word with the duchess?.."

Whilst Irene is occupied with her coughing — an activity which does tend to demand the cougher's full attention — the dark woman turns away and snaps open the brass catches on her satchel. In the midst of looking through it she casts a weary glance back at the patient: "Child, who do you suppose sent me?" she drawls. "She is…" A fastidious inhalation. "Dissatisfied with your progress under the care of her other chirurgeon. Now that I see you I can fathom why." It's lucky for the other chirurgeon that he's not present: if he were, all the more delicate portions of his anatomy would be shriveling in response to the well-honed sarcasm in the dark woman's voice. She's wearing gloves, of fine black leather, each fastened at the wrist by a golden key: staring down at Irene with her full mouth slightly pursed, she slips each key out of its buttonhole and commences slowly stripping off her gloves.

A servant comes in then with a can of hot water in one hand and fresh towels draped over her arm; she curtseys deeply to the dark woman's back, and then hurries to arrange these things upon Irene's washstand.

"Oooh…" Irene exhales. "You must be a new healer the duchess has sent to me? I tried to tell her that I will get better on my own and I do not need anyone else. I was told it's a simple cold. Not contagious. You see, I was in the rain and weather was not that mild. Simple sneeze, cough and fever!" She explains watching the servant and then looking back at the woman. Lady's eyes focus on those gloves for a bit. She slides to sit up more properly and lean against the back of the bed. Her hands drag a couple of more pillows around herself as if she would be creating a fort in order to have protection from who appears to be a bit too harsh of a healer. "I… What are you planning to do?"

“That will depend.” Emmanuelle Shahrizai, for of course it is she possessed of that ominous dark bag and those gloves which lock with golden keys, drops the latter next to the former and commences folding up her sleeves. The first thing she plans to do, of course, is to wash her hands with the hot water and the fresh cake of soap just delivered for her. “I’m surprised they can’t hear the fluid in your lungs all the way from the tourney grounds,” she grumbles over the washstand. “A fool can always find other fools, but you won’t fool me, my child. Did you make up your mind all at once to let yourself sicken and die, or did the idea recommend itself to you gradually? Are you in love?” she inquires pityingly. “No, don’t tell me — I don’t want to know.”

Irene was ready to part her lips and answer the questions but then Emmanuelle cuts her off quite quickly. The young lady frowns not used to such a one-way interaction. The patient shakes her head, sighs and makes a brave decision to speak up anyway, "Yes." Her eyes widen. "No." She wrinkles her forehead. "What I mean, is that I had to go to the tournament ground because lord Cyriel Charlot has been participating in the sword play and he carried my favor. I had to support him and, for your interest, he won!" Irene states proudly. She leans back more comfortably into a large pillow. She also folds her hands on her lap. "He also carried me home after the tournament and made sure I would wake up in my bed. Yes, I fell asleep in the carriage because my fever raised."

Drying her hands — fine, well-kept hands, with perfect nails filed to rather pointed ovals — Emmanuelle turns back to the patient's bedside and her waiting black bag. "Very well, little imbecile," she directs Irene wearily, "open your mouth and poke out your tongue. You," she adds, flicking a glance at the maid, who has not only opened the curtains wide but lit several fresh candles, "hurry up." And, with a candle in one hand and some long slender implement in the other, the chirurgeon launches her investigation. The long slender implement is to keep the girl's tongue quiescent whilst Emmanuelle looks down her throat — but it could certainly play a starring role in a nightmare or two, in its time off.

"I am not…" Irene tried to protest but then just waved it off with a shake of her head. There is no point. This woman has a strong undefeatable personality. So, she just obediently opens her mouth and sticks the tongue out. "Aaaaa…" she kinda drawls and patiently waits. Her eyes are closed at the moment. A smell of herbal tea mixed with the cinnamon and apples leave her sore throat. It seems that she is burning down there from the bright red color of the back of her mouth. Her breathing is heavy and those wrinkles on her forehead speak of potential pain or struggle to breath.

When Emmanuelle comes so close Irene in turn is greeted by the scent of a sharply spicy cologne, masculine rather than feminine, with certain warm and resinous notes at its heart which mingle well with beeswax and burning.

She holds the candle just so to peer into that reddened throat; then, having put down the long slender implement for which she has no more immediate use, she lifts Irene's eyelids one by one with competent and impersonal fingertips. Her own cold blue eyes, suddenly so near, provide a formidable view whilst giving nothing away. She runs her hand over Irene's forehead, touches both her cheeks, her throat, the back of her neck, all in the same brisk manner, feeling the heat and the clamminess of her skin. "Give me your hand," she orders next.

Irene does not interfere when she is looked over. A young lady simply extends her hand and waits, studying the healer intensively.

What Irene sees is a finely-boned, lean yet discreetly muscular woman forty years of age or perhaps a little more, whose garments speak to a lady-in-waiting's eye of severe taste funded by a great deal of gold, who walks and speaks and takes hold of people's hands with an innate assumption of her own power. Her fingertips find the vein on the inside of Irene's wrist without seeming to seek it — she waits as a rule till her patients have had a couple of minutes to calm down and accustom themselves to her presence, before performing this little test — and then she's silent for a time, counting the beats of Irene's heart.

Her features may seem uncannily familiar, depending how much notice the girl has paid to the portraits of the late duchesse de Mereliot she has no doubt had occasion to see in the Dome of the Lady. Emmanuelle takes after both her parents. Never more so than when she appears as an Eisandine healer in Kusheline guise.

She lets go of that dainty wrist, and takes up one of Irene's protective pillows and tosses it away. "Turn your back to me," she directs: an instruction which, coming from her, has been known to drive pulses wild all by itself.

Irene stares into woman's eyes when she takes time to count the heartbeat of a young lady. The heartbeat is slow. Very slow. Slower than it's supposed to be. Most likely because d'Eresse lady was sleeping and a fever takes quite a lot of energy from her.

When she is asked to turn back to the healer, the patient pushes her blanket away and rolls to kneel on the bed. Then she turns around and waits one more time. Though, this time she asks, "I would love to get some sleep. I believe that a good sleep will resolve my is-…" And a wave of coughing interrupts a young woman. Irene's hands helplessly search for a napkin between the pillows. The second she finds it, she brings it to her lips. After a long minute of coughing, Irene quickly folds the napkin and tucks it behind the largest pillow. Her hands shake a bit.

This is fortuitous enough, as listening to Irene's cough was the very purpose of re-arranging her. Emmanuelle leans in and presses her ear to the girl's back, first to the left of her spine and then to the right, focusing all her attention upon those soggy and labouring lungs. Her hand keeps a gentle but firm grip on the girl's shoulder — there may even be a kind of comfort in it.

But that business with the napkin cannot possibly be allowed to stand.

Before Irene can settle against her pillows again Emmanuelle plucks away that largest and most concealing one, to expose the napkin and whatever else may be in the girl's secret stash. Her eyes bore coolly into Irene's; her tone will brook no argument or disobedience. "You'll give that to me," she states quietly.

Whatever Emmanuelle hears pressing her ear to the back of a young lady, it's not what will lead to good conclusions. As if to add to it, she will find that the napkin hidden under the pillow has not only yellow and green liquid spit out from the patient's throat but it also has some deep red almost brown spots. "This started to happen two days ago…" Irene drawls turning her look away. "Do you think this can be healed? I do not want to be this useless weakling for the rest of my life and I do not like the pain here…" The girl taps her chest.

Emmanuelle turns the napkin over in her hands, making an inventory of the stains, expressionless. Then she drops the napkin neatly on top of the towel upon which she dried her hands, to keep it from dirtying anything else.

"What you have, many die of who don't enjoy your advantages," she explains coolly. "The very advantages I'm told you prefer to disregard. I hear you don't eat the excellent food prepared for you in the duchesse's kitchens, and carried three times each day up the stairs to you by the duchesse's servants. I hear," and that mocking sarcasm creeps back into her voice, "you don't like to take medicine. That must change. You're young, and I understand you were healthy enough before the chill moved into your lungs — you have a good chance if you follow my instructions." Abruptly she snaps her fingers and points. "You."

The maid, who had seized upon the soiled linens as an excuse to creep from the chamber, hesitates upon the threshold, turns back, and falls into another floor-sweeping curtsey with her hands still full of napkin and towels.

Emmanuelle addresses the unfortunate domestic without quite turning to her, for she has one eye always upon Irene. "I recall from my last sojourn in Marsilikos that you are not entirely without intelligence or initiative," she drawls. "You will sleep in the lady Irene's chamber until she is well again, and see that she does as she's told. If I am not pleased with her progress I will beat you till you bleed tears of blood." Having delivered herself of this tender and sincere promise, her gaze shifts fully to Irene. "You are responsible now for her health as well as your own. I hope that will give you cause to reflect."

Lady Irene d'Eresse lowers her gaze down and nervously twitches the corner of her blanket when an older women scolds her. There is nothing what can be said in this moment to make the situation better. Lady-in-waiting to the duchess Armandine simply nods agreeing with all mistakes she has done. Though, what follows next, makes the young lady's eyes grow wide in an absolute honest fear. "There is no need! I will do everything what you will tell me to! Please, no need to speak like that with her…" Irene looks at the maid, "What is your name? Please, do not think that this woman is going to fulfill her threats. I will be of my best behaviour for the sake of yours and my own safety!" Her eyes then find Emmanuelle again. Irene's shoulders raise up a bit and she brings a pillow forward to hug it and hold as a shield. She is obviously afraid of the older women but also tries to show some childish authority, "You shall not speak to her like that. Better tell me the instructions."

Behind Emmanuelle's implacable back the maid, white-faced and curtseying yet again, looks up to meet Irene's eyes and gives a little shake of her head to advise against this sort of defense. She seems to feel it's pointless.

The chirurgeon herself merely raises bold dark eyebrows at Irene and steps round the end of the bed to the washstand again, to give her hands another good scrub with soap and water now that she's had them all over the patient. She sounds in faintly better humour, now. "I will order your meals and you will eat what you're given. A great deal of soup, and Anthelme's superb beef bouillon — that will give you the strength to fight your fever. You must drink as much water as you can swallow, or lemonade sweetened with honey if you prefer it, or that herbal tea you like so much. I don't stipulate, provided you're conscientious."

She shakes droplets of water from her fingertips and avails herself of another clean towel, dropping it straight into the waiting maid's hands once her hands are dry enough for her satisfaction. "You won't sleep well anyway for the next couple of nights so it will do you no harm to keep getting up to piss," she pronounces as she begins to draw folded parchment packets from her black bag. They bear the seal of a well-regarded herbalist in the City of Elua. Her orders grow more technical, treating of infusions and inhalations, precise quantities and temperatures and frequencies. The two alarmed young women hanging upon her words are about to have a busy time of it, the maid especially.

"I understand. I will do as you say," Irene simply agrees. It is hard to notice if she understood every word said to her by the former Mandrake woman, but the tone was more than enough for Irene to simply know that she has to agree. This encouragement by the servant adds more to it, and the lady simply gives up. Though, she must know and she asks the most important questions, "Is my condition contagious or I can be visited by friends and family members?"

“Some catch it, some don’t. Don’t cough on anyone,” advises Emmanuelle, “and you should avoid committing any accidental murders…” She looks about her and seizes upon a small chair, heavy enough to stay where it’s put, not so cushioned as to invite an occupant to settle in for a long cosy chat. She shifts it to a conversational angle three feet from the bed. “One visitor at a time, seated here,” she decrees, patting the back of the chosen chair, “for no longer than twenty minutes, no more than three times a day. You require rest more than entertainment. I’ll look in on you later.” She snaps shut the clasps of her black leather bag, and takes it up in one hand and her gloves in the other, departing with no more courtesies than she arrived.

But then she pauses on the threshold, one booted foot already in the corridor, and lifts her gloves in a dismissive gesture that encompasses all the floral tributes offered by Irene d’Eresse’s nearest and dearest in her time of illness. “And get rid of all those flowers.”

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