After she woke up and washed, Adri returned to her writing, not liking the weather outside.
I left off with Fingwen teaching me signs for communicating.
I soon saw what she'd meant earlier about 'practical', since the first things she taught me to sign were 'I'm thirsty' and 'I need to pee.' As the afternoon wore on, and I'd learned it was afternoon, she got me signing a lot more things, and I started being able to ask some questions, though it took a bit, since she had to keep guessing what I meant, and teaching me new signs.
During that, she tried to teach me letters, so as I could spell things for her, and she didn't get why I was looking so blank-like at her. It took her a while to realise that I couldn't read, and didn't even know what spelling was. She got another of those grim looks out the window, then turned back to me. 'Child, you have been badly mistreated. We shall have to do what we can about that, as well as seeing to your physical recovery.'
I didn't ken what she was on about until later, and she was almost scaring me, but trusting her won out. She was being too good to me for anything else, no matter what that look on her face meant for someone else.
During all that time. of course, I finally did have to pee. The less said about the use of what she called a bedpan, the better. I did find out she'd been one of the ones cleaning up after me when I was out of it, though, and I got awful embarrassed about it. Not because I had no control while out of it, neither. It was because she was an elf-lady, and I was just street scut. It was likely just as well I couldn't sign that to her, though.
It was getting dark, and another elf-lady came with a big dinner tray. I wasn't sure how she could carry so much, but I've learnt since how strong elves are. Anyways, she was introduced as Norien, and they had dinner and did their best to get me to eat. I did, some, but I wasn't very hungry, and was feeling pretty bad about how they had to feed me. They got enough into me to get Fingwen satisfied, if not happy about it, and then asked if I wanted a bath.
I about fell apart. I started crying, and managed to sign 'I not be out', which I reckon got understood. The words, I mean, not what I was thinking – I just didn't have the words to sign better with yet. Norien was real confused by how I reacted, but Fingwen wiped away the worst of the tears and asked, 'Are you saying you want not to have a bath?' I had to answer 'no' to that one, and that was good enough for them, no matter how awful I felt about scut like me getting bathed by the likes of them. It just wasn't right for such ladies to be doing for me. I reckon Fingwen understood that about me, though, and that was why she asked me the way she did.
While I was moping, they got a tub from somewhere, and some copper pots, and got a fire going. A fair amount of water got fetched, some of it heated, and they got me out of the clothes I was in and got me into the tub. That got me distracted from feeling it all wasn't right, since I got to see where I'd been run through – leastways on the front. There was two, maybe three kinds of stitching holding a nasty red line together. Well, on the skin, it didn't look like it still needed holding together. That was pretty strange to me. But I knew I'd been run through, so I figured that stitching was part of something keeping me together on the insides.
Once again, I found I didn't have the signs for what I wanted to ask, but I tried. I signed 'How?', stretched my arms out far as I could – which wasn't much, even floating in the water – and 'day'.
They both figured out what I meant about the same time, and kinda talked over each other with 'How long has it been?' and 'How many days?'. I nodded, and Fingwen told me it was the fifty-ninth day since I got run through. She then made me learn the signs for what I asked, but that was how we'd been doing things all day, so I didn't mind.
I thought on that some while they finished with me, and got me dried off and dressed me up again. They propped me up in the bed, and Fingwen started doing something with my hair. I reckoned she was mostly just brushing it out, which of course I never did, since I never had a brush. She found a looking-glass and showed me what she'd done. What I saw made me cry all over again, though I did think to sign my thanks to her. She made my hair look real nice, even putting it up in ribbons, but of course that me feel like I was putting on airs or something. But I saw the scars on my face, and the ones on my cheeks especially.
I'd had some small ones afore, but these were new, and took over my whole face. I reckoned they'd each gone to the bone when I got them, and it had to be in that same fight with the goblins. They were healed pretty good, but then, I'd been in the care of the elves for just about two months. I shouldn't have lived from that gut-wound, so having the other scars be so far along made sense to me. I hadn't ever been pretty, unless you like scrawny girls with barely any curves, a beak that I could chisel with, and too big of a mouth. But now, nobody'd even see my blue eyes, which were likely my best feature, on account of those scars. Just snow-blonde hair, a scarred-up face, and a body what couldn't make up its mind between being a girl or a crow-scare.
I should have mentioned before – I kept starting to hurt, and they kept giving me some kind of tea to help with that. I reckon what was in the tea was also what made me so muzzy-headed. It sure made me cry easier than, well, than ever. But I was feeling awful safe with them, too, and maybe that had something to do with how easy I was crying. Anyways, since I'd signed a thank-you, they were satisfied that I was just being emotional at them again, and they held me some.
I tried to distract myself by asking about where I was. That got funny while they figured out they hadn't taught me the sign for 'where' yet, and fixed that. That was when I learned I was in Imladris. Being the ignorant gutter-snipe I was, it took a long time before I knew that be the same place as Rivendell, so now people look at me funny, because I'm always saying Imladris for that place. Of course, it was found by the elves, and first named in their tongue, so I just feel better about sticking with calling it Imladris, even though Rivendell is a perfectly good translation.
Still wanting to distract myself, I then mimed some sewing, and pointed to my tummy, and signed 'who?'. Writing about it that way is getting old, so from here on out, assume we worked out what I meant and they taught me more signing. Anyways, I asked who had done the stitching on me, and I got a real shock.
Of course, anybody reading this what knows anything about our travel route and such has already been laughing at me, because if I was in the high pass, and woke up with elves taking care of me, it's pretty obvious. You knew I was in Imladris long before I said it, and you're way ahead of me on this one, too. But I didn't know anything yet then, so when they told me Lord Elrond himself had run the job, I just kind of gibbered. I didn't know anything about who he was, exactly, but that was a name out of legend, what even I heard of before, and put me solid back in the wondering how I could still be living.
And no, that doesn't mean he did the whole job himself. I'm sure keeping me alive was an interesting challenge of sorts, but I'm not that important. I'm told he did some of the work himself, probably the trickiest bits, but it was mostly other healers getting their hands messy.
Well, like I said, I gibbered. That meant I was hurting my throat, and when I didn't shush right away, Fingwen did... something. I still don't understand what, but, she touched my brow and I just... went away. Like falling asleep, excepting I never fell asleep that fast. Just awake, and then not, faster than a snuffed candle-flame.
'Well, tha's another sheet filled, an' I oughta go get food an' exercise, anyways. I sure could use more o' tha' magic of 'ers these las' few nights, though.' She sighed and cleaned up, dressed, and went out into town.