Normally I'd Cook Breakfast

Guest Weyr

Rustic and simple, this cottage sits at the edge of the forest near the feeding grounds. The decor is spartan with a wide, comfortable bed and a couch, table and chairs and small kitchenette. Kept stocked with food and drink, the bed freshened with sheets and coverlets after each use by the weyrstaff, it's nothing more than a place to give riders a bit of privacy should they need it.

It is dark, middle of the night dark and quiet in Xanadu save for one small lamp glowing in the corner of the guest weyr that someone, probably the housekeepers left on and forgot to turn off (certainly unnoticed by the pair using the place now). Thea sleeps, deeply and profoundly entwined with in bedsheets and pillows and… another body. Her cheek rests on the man's shoulder, thick dark hair is tumbled over her face effectively shutting out the light allowing for just a bit more shuteye than she might ordinarily get with a light to bother her. Something, though, causes her to stir and she squirms in her sleep, moans then cries out. The name she mumbles is incoherent, her arms tighten about the man next to her, but her eyes remain closed; still dreaming.

He is not one that sleeps deeply, partly by virtue of his lifemate's constant presence and, partly, by whatever terrible nightmares have a tendency to grip him. It isn't nightmares that pull him from his slumber but, rather, that moan and cry, sounds that pluck at his dreaming in a disconcerting way. M'gaal cracks an eye open, blearily blinking sleep away while the events of the night start to fall into place and cement themselves in the fore of his mind. He's loathe to move lest it disturb her, but a hand eventually comes up to move one of hers from the scars that it settles on — scars that run from shoulders and over chest, the purest sign of just how possessive his bronze was and likely still is. "Shh," is low, soothing; an attempt to ensure she remains within her slumbering.

"Where are you?" The words are full of anguish, of longing to know. That male-voiced hush from the man is enough to pop that bubble of sleep for Thea, but she's certainly very groggy still. "Mmm, Donn?" She turns her head, shifting to get a more comfortable spot as her fingers twitch on the scars he's moving her hand from. Most likely if she were more aware, she'd feel such scars under her fingertips, but in that post-flight and dream hazed just-awake that she is now, they remain unnoticed. She must have opened her eyes underneath that cloak of hair and some seen some bit of light, for she asks with a voice still sleep-furred, "What time is it?" She lifts her head, the hand he was moving pulls away to sweep her hair back. Tears glitter on dark lashes edging ice-green eyes as she regards him stupidly for a long pause and her words are as intelligent. "You're… not Donn."

That's a decidedly failed attempt at keeping her sleeping. M'gaal's grimace goes unseen, tilted as it is to the ceiling of the guest weyr. His hand is gone from hers the moment it's placed further up and away, coming up only to drag through his hair. He's silent throughout her queries, wordless and still until she lifts her head; his tilts just enough to regard her from the corner of his eye. There's just a rueful contortion of his mouth for her words with an answering, "No, I'm not." It's a gentle extrication process that he starts, attempting to ease himself away from her and to the edge of the bed; it's not that it's not comfortable but, perhaps, something a bit more sensitive at work. "As for time- I should probably go."

"M'gaal." Blink. The surprise and confusion in Thea's eyes clears in seconds, "Ahh. Seryth." That one word explains it all and it's mildly enough said. She doesn't cling, nor does she shrink away, although she does pat around for that sheet to pull up. There, better. A finger lifts to rub at one of her eyes, coming away damp and is frowned at absently for a beat. His comment has her glancing towards the windows, noting the darkness there. "It's the middle of the night." Back to him, she shakes her head, "This isn't my place. You can stay, I'll go." And she's rolling towards her side of the bed to peek at the floor. Her clothes must be around here somewhere…

Confirmation is just a noise vaguely shaped into a 'yes', made while he folds over and reaches under the bed for something or another. It's a lucky grab that comes up with his trousers and he's quick to sort out which way they're supposed to go — and he can only hope they're right-side out. "Can't sleep here," is M'gaal's reply, tossed absently out there and without a look back; better to hide the deep furrowing of his brow that way. "No more my place than yours, weyrwoman. Normally, I'd offer to cook something but-" is trailed off, leaving her to fill in the gap. The trousers are given a shake, and a squint to make sure they're right and then he's pulling them on with brisk efficiency, one leg at a time.

Thea's back is to M'gaal, but her movements are unhurried as she reaches for a crumpled pile of clothing, her movement pauses at the tone of that 'yes'. Concern knits her brow as she turns to glance at him for a second. But he's leaning over the bed fishing for his clothes. She resumes her quest, pulls that pile to her and lifts, beginning to sort through the garments. Well, that's not hers. She holds it out behind her, offering it to him, "Your shirt." Her loose shift of a sundress is pulled on overhead and she rises, shaking it down, one hand vainly attempting to smooth the wrinkles out of it. Affording the man his privacy, she keeps her eyes on the floor as she begins the search for her sandals. Ah! There's one there, over by the door. "Why not? It's for guests." She snags the one, turns to search for the other, letting the thing dangle from her fingers, sending a quick, confused glance at M'gaal. "Normally?" Mind, she doesn't say she's hungry, but, "And so this is not… normal." Perplexed. "Are ya alright?" It's only polite to ask, not that she could have hurt /him/.

"Just can't. Can't explain it any more than that." M'gaal's hand arcs back to catch the shirt with only enough of a backwards look to confirm the location of it so he can snag it. It's not pulled on yet, however, not with something else that needs to be fished out from under the bed. "Sandal," it's dangled out there at arm's reach for her to take. He's not even giving half a thought to his boots; they're around somewhere. Yes, he's all sorts of scars if she looks, though he's far beyond the stage of being self-conscious about them. "No, no. No. Normal for a flight, but, ah-" he digs for words and eventually comes up with "-usually, when a woman wakes up saying another man's name, offers to cook aren't taken /quite/ in the light they're meant in." His smile is a tilted thing, not exactly pained … but also not sitting completely right.

"I see." Thea really doesn't see, but she's not going to push the man. She releases her hold on that shirt when she feels fingers meeting hers through the material, her fruitless search for that other sandal bringing her steps back towards the bed and the coverlet on the floor. She's busy lifting that to peer underneath. His singular use of the word 'sandal' has her glancing up. "Oh. Thanks!" She leans to take it from him, pauses with her eyes on those scars. She doesn't ask about them at the moment, for her attention is on M'gaal's words. For a moment she freezes. Name. The look on her face is one of trepidation and she pleads, "Tell me I didn't say Kav." A slow smile curves her lips at the rest of his commentary, "Ahh, -that- kind of normal." Impish, she adds, "Not that I'd know that other kind of normal, but." Perhaps seeking to dispel his obvious unease, she says lightly, "You could cook for me anyway and I won't take it in any sort of light, how's that?" She adds hastily, "Unless you really need to get going."

"No, no. Not Kav," he reassures with a low laugh, finally moving to stand once the sandal is retrieved. M'gaal pulls the shirt on a moment later, like as not interpreting her freezing as an adverse reaction toward seeing him as he is. "Donn. You had, ah-" he motions up to her face, though he's mindful to keep from getting close to touching her "-tears in your eyes. Not generally a good sign." There it goes. Hands pulled through his hair and her next words heard, his smile finally rights itself. "Normal's relative, any more. But some are more normal than normal; others … not so much." A sidelong look is given to the kitchen, some internal audit made before he slants that look her way again. "Not sure what they keep in here. It could be pretty awful," he warns, brows lifting a little.

Thea blows out a breath of relief, before, "Wait, what? Who else would I have-?" Then he's telling her, "Oh Donn. Good." The mention of tears doesn't seem to surprise her; she felt them herself. "Used to do that a lot in the beginning," she tells him matter-of-factly. She watches him curiously, almost says something, changes it to, "Do dragonriders even have a normal?" Rhetorical, really, before she thinks to ask, "Or are you talking pre-impression here?" She moves to the couch to don her sandals, absently, "They're used so frequently, these guest weyrs. I think they keep them up fairly well, but you never know." Her lips quirk into a tiny grin, "There could be something in there only your brother in law could make palatable."

He makes some noise of understanding, the kind that's inarticulate but still speaks clearly to the purpose. "Took a while to get accustomed to him, too. This-" he motions to the weyr as a whole, though the gesture seems to encompass the act that necessitates it "-is my new 'normal' with him. Though Seryth's the first gold he's tangled with … but Faranth knows he's tried every time he caught wind of any rising dragon." To her questions, rhetorical and not, he just shrugs, heading over to poke his nose into the contents of the kitchen. "Either way. It's why normal's relative; my normal isn't your normal and your normal isn't the normal of, say, some random greenrider at another Weyr entirely." Poke, poke; doors are opened and closed, with him appraising the contents. "Possibly. The man can make a meal out of a boot and still have it taste good. My only real talent is with open fire and meat. Lots of cooking outdoors at Ierne."

"Oh, the crying hasn't anything to do with life after impressing Seryth," Thea hastens to explain. "She's… my refuge." She doesn't go into it other than that, instead, "The first gold? No kidding." Happy for Zaqalekhth, is obviously in her tone. Sandals on, Thea rises to walk towards where he's poking around in those cupboards, staying out of the way for the time being. There's a little table and two chairs and that is where she heads, slipping into a seat, listening intently until he is finished she says quietly, "I've pretty much learned to accept that my normal changes from time to time and not always by my choice." She inhales, "Probably true for everyone, though not all have learned that yet." She quirks a grin then, "Sounds like home. My da refused to use electricity. For anything."

To which there's only an 'mmm' and a nod, leaving that where it is for now. M'gaal makes a face at whatever he's finding; either nothing looks good or… well, it might indeed be a job for Dumuzi to make sense of whatever's there. "Ayuh. He's caught more greens than I can count on both hands and feet, but golds? Not a one. He usually burns himself out too fast to make it to the end of things." It might not be humorous at all to the bronze, but Mergie can't help but laugh a little for the thought. "Ahh, of course, of course. If things didn't change, we wouldn't know we were, ah-" his tone falters, just a bit, though he finishes the thought with "-alive." Eventually, a few things are dredged out of the cabinets — some fruit, sweetener, some kind of granola-like mixture of things — and he sets to work on the fruit with a knife. "So, it's not /cooking/ exactly, but I hope it suffices," he adds over his shoulder. "Ah, see, I like the electricity, I do; but there's just something to the fire that makes it exciting — and the food tastes better, too."

Thea plants an elbow on the table, resting her chin on her hand. "Well, the numerical odds are in his favor for greens anyway," she says before adding brightly, "I hope he's pleased. I've found some aren't." It's matter-of-factly said. She blinks at his summary of life, noting that falter of his with a slightly raised brow, lets it pass. "I used to have a friend who said we bleed to know we're alive. And I can't agree with either philosophy. I'm good without bloodshed and upheaval." Speaking of bloodshed, she finally thinks to ask, "What happened to you-" her hands make up down motions from her shoulders to her waist. "If you don't mind me asking." She eyes that mixture he's got. "You, ah, want some help with that?"

"He's insufferable right now." Spoken with affection, that; even if it's the long-suffering kind. "But, for him, it's kind of-" there's a vague motion made with his non-knife-wielding-hand "-like eating a huge meal when you're starving. The problem is, he's always starving." M'gaal pauses in the midst of what he's doing, then goes to probe in another cabinet for- ah ha! Cheese. Yet, throughout it all, whatever he's doing remains mostly hidden behind his form. "Ah, that- I don't know about bleeding. But you have to have some change; if nothing changes, then what's there to live for?" The cheese is plunked on the counter and he half-turns, just enough to catch the motion. The turn of his mouth is a strange one, as any recollection of pain tends to be. "Zaqalekhth was just a little … enthusiastic about claiming me as his. It, ah- doesn't look as bad as it did, some turns ago." As for the food? "Nah, I'm fine on this end. But if you want to get a couple of bowls and plates …?"

"Is he?" Thea breathes a light laugh, "Seryth is sound asleep." She sort of snorts a soft whoosh at his phrasing, "He's a male." That explains it, right? "What else to live for? Friendship, peace, joy, love, serenity, a good book, the sunshine…" She says it as if those things are rare commodities to be treasured. "Good change is, yeah, good. But change is not always good." She nods when he explains the scars, the movement of her head gentle and her expression not at all put off by them, "I've seen worse." She rises, searching the cupboards for dishes and begins setting the table. Over her shoulder, just thought of, "Did you bring Malaakh with you on your visit?"

"He's pretty awful," is said without a bat of an eye or any apology whatsoever; Zaq is Zaq. "He's awake, but he's not one to sleep much, either. Sleep means he's not doing something." At the words 'he's a male', M'gaal has to stop to laugh, head hanging a bit. "Not all males are like that," is pointed out, perhaps unnecessarily. There's silence for a while, filled with the sounds of a few more things being cut up. Then: "A new book is change, a new friend is change, and some changes are good even if they look bad at first," he counters with a chuckle, another knife being put to work now. No more chopping sounds, just … slicing? Or something. "Those are all good things to live for, though. Things to enjoy that most don't or don't know how to enjoy until it's too late." A nod of his head indicates understanding and acknowledgement, "Ayuh. There's worse to be had. I got lucky." Slice, slice, twist. "Ah, no. I was here on a delivery, one of the straps cracked, and I was, ah, in a word, stranded. Was trying to get some leather to patch up the straps when everything went sideways." A glance over his shoulder is given. "I'll bring him up, though."

Thea shakes her head in an exaggerated show of sympathy, "Poor you. Does he keep you awake too?" Forks clink as she places them beside plates and bowls. "There's a few out there - not many, mind you - able to be satiated, I'm sure," she snickers as she heads back to the cupboards to hunt down mugs. "Want some klah? This place has a unit, brews up fast." She waggles a mug - as if that might help him answer. "True, there's little changes that are wonderful and big ones too, M'gaal. I've known-" She swallows, "-someone who couldn't rest when they didn't come often enough." She turns away swiftly to rummage for ground klahbark and filters, not waiting for his answer and it's with her head behind a cupboard door that she continues, "The things that bring change are often unpredictable, aren't they? For me it was a bale of wool." There's a series of thumps and clanks as jars and boxes are moved and she emerges with the items triumphant. "Mine are two months old now," she tells him when he mentions bringing his son to visit. "Where does the time go?"

"Always. Used to be a deep sleeper … not any more." But, in the end, it's a small sacrifice to suffer — implied, if not said. M'gaal mulls her words over, if only to add, "And then there are a small few, a very small few, who aren't hungry to start with." Shoulders lift and drop and he continues whatever fine work he's doing. The cheese cubes are absently heaped on a platter he'd retrieved earlier, fingers working deftly to arrange them; cheddar alternating with some light, white cheese in a chessboard pattern. But of the fruit? The fate of that fine food has yet to be seen. There's a tip of his head in her direction and another chuckle, a slight nod preceding, "Klah's always good; the darker, the better." No words for that next bit, though none are perhaps needed; he's content, for now, to wander onto the next. "Always unpredictable. For me- ah, I couldn't pinpoint it to one thing. Two, perhaps. But that might be a bit of a stretch, even then. As for time- it just goes and goes and goes some more. Hard to believe the boy's almost two turns; the first turn,
though, that's always the strangest. So much happens; you won't even recognize them in six months." There's a pause, then a sidelong look is shot to her — er, the cabinet door, rather: "Are there any skewers over in one of those drawers? Didn't think to look earlier."

Thea laughs silently, with a slight headshake to emphasize her bafflement with that, "I suppose there are. Those of which do not savor their sustenance when they have it then." She still chuckling as she takes that filter and the klahbark to the unit and begins setting it up, measuring out the powder, making it on the strong side. Ice-green eyes lift to blink at him, "Strangest? I'm finding it wonderful. I can't stop looking at them." She snickers a little, "Though Donn thinks they're made of glass or something. And y'know, all of them get better looking as they age. Dunno why folks always say babies are cute." She carefully pours in the correct amount of water, flips a switch. "My da is an idiot for not trying these things," she says before embarking on her hunt for his skewers. Drawers open, then click shut. "You, ah, really don't have to get fancy for my sake, y'know."

"It's not quite like /that/," M'gaal begins, but leaves it there, as he's still working and that seems to require a lot of focus. Ah, but there it is, the topic of children. "Strange for me, then. Just seeing him go from a little … loaf to a walking, talking little person is both amazing and strange, all at once." He can't resist the smile that's sneaking onto his face, so he makes no effort to try, shoulders unconsciously squaring up a little. "Babies are cute, but so's a loaf of bread, if you think about it. But, it's true, they look a lot better when they age." A few handfuls of cut fruit are dumped in the bowl with thin layers of sweetener between, but a heap of other bits are kept out of sight in another bowl, perhaps transferred there when she was busy with the klah. "Enh. They're convenient, but the klah never comes out /right/, to me. Might just be that technology and I don't agree." To that last, a soft laugh. "It's not fancy by my standards." And those are the standards that matter, no?

Thea grins over at M'gaal, "I wouldn't know, being a woman." Mine are- lessee, Marella's lithe and Muireadhach is getting… chunky. I think he's gonna be a strong lad." She returns her attention to that drawer, "I'm just glad they don't have squished faces anymore. And sleep at night." There's a rattle-bang as she shifts stuff around in that drawer, then an ah-ha. "Your skewers, m'Lord!" And she produces them with a flourish, curtseying as she offers them to him. "Well, there's a certain comfort a fire in the hearth brings that an appliance does not. And I must confess I find the old way much simpler and reliable." She heads for the klahpot, reaches for a mug. "My da just… well, never would even hear of the new ways at all. He's missing out."

"Good, good. As long as they're healthy and happy, that's what matters most in the end. Sounds like they're definitely both." Something about the squished faces comment sets him to laugh again, "Honestly, when Malaakh was born, I could've sworn he was a tunnelsnake. A lumpy little one, but for all the mess and the squalling and flailing-" Well, that might not have been the best thing to recall, really, for the abrupt distance in his eyes. It's quickly dismissed, though he's just as quick to sober until those skewers are produced. "Ah, a hundred thanks to you, m'Lady!" They're taken up, examined, and then he cocks a thumb back to the table. "I'll get mine in a moment; this is almost done. Ah, well. Some of the new ways are convenient, I can't take that from them — but some are just a little too much for some of us."

"They are," Thea is obviously happy to say that. She relinquishes the skewers with a graceful inclination of her head, then returns to that klahpot. M'gaal gets a funny sort of look as she's pouring herself a mug when he mentions his son's birth. Well, it's more the abrupt change in his facial expression, but she says nothing for the moment. "We weren't expecting two of them. I wasn't sure D'had was going to pull out of shock for awhile there." Perhaps striving for lightness there as she stirs sweetener, then cream into her klah, sips to test it and finds it satisfactory. She wanders to the table and sits, "Hmm, were you also brought up doing things the old ways? My old weyr had none of the new-fangled things, but now… well, I haven't burned the new place down yet, but it's a very real possibility that I may one day."

"Ah-ha. See, if I were Bitran, I'd bet it was that Citri-whatsis that A'shar made," M'gaal quips, canting a look back to her. Any funny looks are either not noticed or- well, that might be the only option, given how focused his attention is on the task at hand. The end result is revealed soon enough — the cheese cubes on a tray, and a rather simple bowl of lightly sweetened and cut fruit with a smattering of skewered fruit 'flowers'. Nothing hugely elaborate given the time and tools, but they're recognizable as /being/ flowers and that's a step in the right direction. "Something like that, though I'm not sure if it's just because of my upbringing at Honshu or the work I did at Igen. Either way, it's just easier to trust a thing I can make, rather than one that I can't."

Thea has a mouthful of klah when M'gaal makes that comment and she spurts little brown droplets, although she manages to retain most of the mouthful. Her napkin comes into play as she dabs at first her lips then the table right in front of her. "Ya think so?" Clearly she doesn't believe it, but says, "Good thing I didn't have the Double Double Mega Fruit Special." Or whatever the name of that myriad-of-fruit blend was called. "I'd have given
birth to a litter." Or a herd or a hoard. Or something. She applauds when she sees his handiwork. "That's very pretty, but I hardly deserve all that, cryin' on you and all." She rises as he approaches, "Let me get your klah at least."

Everything's set out on the table carefully, though he remains standing when he's done. "Stranger things /have/ happened," M'gaal chuckles. "It's as good a thing to blame as any, if blame's to be placed." Pause. "Though, I'll have to ask just /where/ he comes up with those names." Or, perhaps, it's a thing best not ventured. He taps his fingers lightly on the table once before withdrawing, his gaze slanted off to the mugs already. "I'd argue you deserve it for the crying," he replies, a corner of his mouth turning slightly. There's a motion for her to sit down again — a request more than a demand, really — with an amiable, "No, no, no, it's fine. Just get yours first.

"Well, I totally blame D'had, not the fruit juice." Thea snickers quietly for a moment, then takes a breath before answering him. "Well," she says thoughtfully, "The words are from an ancient tongue known to his people." She says them the way her weyrmate surely must have taught her, "Mar-el-a means Shining Sea and Mur-ah-da means Lord of the Sea." She smiles slightly, "They're, ah, sea traders, guess that's fairly obvious." She sits back down reluctantly, lifting her mug to show him she's already gotten herself some klah, then frowns, setting that mug back down. "Y'know… I really ought to go check on them. D'had' gets a little… flustered when having to… deal with them alone." She rises reluctantly, eyeing all that pretty food, eyes lifting to his. "I'm so sorry," she murmurs clearly trying not to panic (new mother and all that), turns and hurries out the door.

"Probably a safer place to put marks," Mer chuckles, then tilts his head a little for the explanation of the names. "Really? That's- ah. I hadn't thought the Ancients had another language," not that it's totally unbelievable; he's more pleasantly surprised than skeptical. "Those names are very well suited, then." He rubs a little at the back of his neck, halfway between the table and the klah when something else yanks and yanks /hard/ at his mind. "I, ah. No, no. Go. They need their mother." And, despite the fact that she's hurrying, he threatens with a shooing motion of his own. Only once she's gone does he reach for the counter, shoulders slumping, and eyes sliding shut. A quavering breath is taken, released, and he's still for a long time after.

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