Xanadu Weyr - Thea's Weyr

This clearing is sheltered by a thick canopy of trees, which seems supported at its centre by an immense, wild-growing fellis tree. Hanging from one of its high branches is a swing, made up of two ropes and a seat of softwood and leather. The grass is tall here and interrupted in places by clusters of white and blue alyssum. Alyssum covers the indentation of the wallow, remaining hardy despite being continually crushed. The constant sound of herdbeast in their pens can be heard close-by, though its source is invisible through the foliage.

The cottage itself is made of white softwood, like birch, though creeping vines cover all four of its walls from the outside and even encircle the brown-shuttered windows and matching door. The interior floor and walls are raw wood that has been sanded and lacquered to make them smooth and, for the most part, the inside is quite spacious. The bedroom area is plain, an ornately carved wardrobe providing the only real decoration, and at the rear of the cottage a brown lattice has been built into the doorway to a makeshift kitchen, where a breakfast nook has been carved into the wall, along with short counters. On one counter, a circle has been cut out and fixed with a clay-fired bowl with a nearby matching pitcher.

Late afternoon sunshine casts the clearing in front of Thea's former weyr in shadow from the huge fellis tree and the forest beyond while insects and aviansong provide a quiet peace to an otherwise desolate-looking place. The cottage windows are still shuttered and the door is closed. All is quiet within and nothing moves without save Seryth as she breathes where she's lying in the last patch of sun left, which happens to be right in front of the door.

And thus its a large golden dragon that D'had has to face in order to reach the door and the woman inside. While Siebith didn't contact Seryth prior to D'had heading out in search of Thea, he did do enough to locate the queen and that's how the Weyrsecond finds himself there.

Approaching footsteps have those lids opening lazily to reveal muted eyes tinged with some yellows. Seryth recognizes Siebith's, but then she already knew he’d be here sooner or later, didn't she? The queen's lids close and she turns her head to one side without making a sound so that he may pass and reach the door, which remains closed, although there is no lock set. It's debatable whether she has even announced his arrival.

D'had turns a wary eye after the gold's movements, uncertain of just how she might react to him as he passes given that Thea is here rather than home. He knocks, but he doesn't wait outside and risk the chance of being locked out. "Babe?" he calls quietly least she have the twins asleep, poking his head through the half open door before letting himself in.

There is not a sound in reply when he opens that door but he'll notice the frame that holds those empty sling-hammocks propped over by the hearth; someone must have entered the weyrbarn and carried it here for her. Several bags of clothing sit unpacked on the floor here and there. Muir and Marella are not in sight, but there on the stripped mattress of the bed they used to share here, is Thea, sound asleep. She's lying curled up on her side, hugging a pillow with her hair tumbled all over the place and the blanket has fallen off onto the floor. She's had, by all appearances, restless sleep before exhaustion claimed her.

D'had casts a slow glance around the space, dark gaze finally settling on her sleeping form. He frowns, but heads towards her, stooping to pick up the blanket from the floor. He does his best not to wake her, reaching to spread said blanket over her, turning it back a bit at her shoulders and leaning to press a kiss to her cheek before turning towards the kitchen in search of klah and a pot to make it in if one can still be found.

Thea mmms in her sleep when D'had kisses her cheek, dark lashes quiver against curve of her pale cheeks, but otherwise she doesn't stir even when he covers her back up. The old klah pot is likely still there, along with all of the dishes. There's a bag of supplies on the counter, still packed and a small bed of coals in the fireplace. Thea's old weyr - no power, so it's back to the old-fashioned way of doing things.

D'had is much better with the old-fashioned way of things than the electric. Usually. It works though. Pot is found, supplies unpacked enough to find the klah. The pot is made and put on the coals to heat and in the meantime he settles down in one of the kitchen chairs.

There must have been some sound, quiet as he's trying to be. Or some inner disquiet, for Thea moans softly and her eyes flutter open, sweep around the place with confusion, then remembrance as to why she is here. Pained, they close again before she sees D'had and quiet weeping resumes.

D'had isn't exactly good at being quiet about it, no, but he was trying his best. Sound from the bed has him turning her way and then, quiet as it might be, he does catch a sound that hints at her tears. He moves from the chair, slipping over to her once again. He hesitates, reaching over to rest a hand on her shoulder as he settles beside her, gently rubbing her back as that hand slides off of her shoulder. "Hey."

The way she's crying, quiet and hopeless, stops immediately when that hand touches her shoulder. She doesn't startle, however, because, well D'had's spoken so quietly and she's just touched Seryth's mind, who has let her know he has come. With her face still in her pillow, the words muffled, "No. Nonono."

"I'm sorry.." D'had starts, unsure of what else he might say to make things right. Particularly since he's not so sure what he did that made her leave. His hand keeps on with it's gentle reassurance. "I love you.."

Thea curls tighter into that pillow at first, but then his words are too much. She remains curled, but shifts her head back on the bed to meet his eyes. "I know." It's all she can manage as her eyes threaten to overflow again. "You should go now," the words are sighed out as her lid close over the pain. She can't keep looking at him.

D'had shakes his head. No, he's not going anywhere unless she's going to throw him out. "I can't." Beat. "Just.. tell me what I did so I can try and fix it. Was the flight wasn't it?" It’s the only thing he can think of and considering how the previous one went…

"Yes," Thea's answer is whispered as her expressive brows twitch over eyes still closed. She doesn't argue whether he goes or stays, but she does continue, "There is no fix." From underneath her dark lashes more tears escape.

D'had takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "I'm sorry," he says again, but when she suggests that there's nothing he can do things start falling apart. "There must be something. Just tell me. Anything." He just can't loose her like that. And crying? Crying is never good, and so not a fair card to play. "Don't cry, please, just don't cry."

Thea's eyes open, blinking up at him. "I know you are." She tries to stop the tears, she does. But she's a woman and one that doesn't numb her emotions with alcohol so they continue, each one making a silent, slow trek down her face. "I don't know the answer, Donn." The look on his face, it's heartbreaking and enough that she lifts her arms, opens them to him.

D'had lowers himself to those open arms, resting his chin over her shoulder and returning a loose embrace. "Don't cry," he says again, his words whispered, pleading almost. "I don't want to know who it was. It'll be better next time. I'll be better next time." Promises.

"You don't know him anyway, Donn. He's not from Xanadu." Thea's arms wrap around him, her hands moving on his back gently. "You can't make me those kind of promises, Donn." Her voice is tired, resigned. "You had far too much to drink… I understand why, but… what you said, what you did - I cannot bear it again." She draws a deep breath, "Maybe it's too much for you, too." That breath is held as she waits for his answer.

"Couldn't lay there and think about it," D'had replies. An excuse for why he drank so much, perhaps. A good excuse, not so much. "I know, I know," he continues after a long bout of silence. "Just a flight, doesn't mean nothin." But it does mean something. It means something to him. "Just can't think about you bein' with someone else. Was on the other side of it for a long time."

Thea's arms tighten just a bit, "I know it's hard for you, and I'm so sorry Donn, that I go when Seryth rises. I just… can't not. It's beyond my control." But wait - it sinks in that they are talking about two different sides here. She pulls back and peers at his eyes, "Can't you do something about it then? Lock me in, take me away on Siebith. Something?"

D'had is not going to cry. He's a man damnit! No tears. "I know," he replies, words a bit on the rough side even though he's trying for sympathetic. "Would if I could." But its not as if he's always up on how close her lifemate is to rising. He's not good at remembering her signs from one flight to the next.

"If Siebith can't tell you Seryth’s rising-" and he ought to be picking the chatter up when the time comes? "-then we are stuck, I'm afraid," Thea says with quiet resignation. "That's why I am here." Her voice grows more sad, if possible, a glance going towards those empty sling-hammocks. "You'll have peace and quiet again. You can sleep and you won't have to think about… flights."

D'had shakes his head, still buried for the most part in her shoulder. "Would still think about it. … About you." It wouldn't be peace and quiet. It'd just be a different kind of noise. But wait, "What'd you… Sie." Queue mental facepalm. Why. Why hadn't they thought of that before? Why hadn't HE thought of that before?? "Maybe.. No, that might work." he continues to work it through in his head, pulling back from her shoulder just a bit.

Hope is a wonderful thing. It colors tomorrow in something else than grey, anyway. Thea allows him his hope. "Not quite fair to the rider, though," she points out. So maybe now isn't such a great time to mention that. "You know no matter what happens with these flights that you are the only one I come home to, your arms are the only ones I chose to be in. If that doesn't trump flights, I don't know what does. Can't you think of that instead?"

"I know," D'had sighs. It was one of his reservations, but he was just not mentioning that one. "And I know. Is why I'm so stupid for it." He really does feel bad for feeling the way he does about the whole thing. Its not fair to her. He listens to what she has to say at least, nodding when she's done, "Can try…"

"You're not stupid for having human feelings." She leans to place her cheek against the side of his head where it's resting on her shoulder, "All I ask is that you don't push me away like you did last night, Donn. Welcome me back, I'm yours." Her words are gentle but firm. "Next time, Muir and Marella will be just over two turns old. They'll be frightened. I was frightened." She leaves a light kiss on his ear, "I'll help you any way I can."

"I'm sorry," D'had apologizes yet again as it's all he can think to say. He shouldn't have let it get to him. He shouldn't have gone out to drink. He shouldn't have drank that much when he did. "Never again," he'll at least try to stick to that promise. "Its along time off," he agrees, "And," like she said, "I'll have them then.." Not that they aren't there now. But really two turns is a lot different than two months.

"Donn." she's leaning back to place both hands on either side of his head, lifting it to look him in the face if he'll allow it, "I'm not angry, but if it helps, I forgive you." She smiles into his eyes, "My ma taught me that love is being willing to be the strength when the other is weak, it's accepting what it can't change, believing in the other. I know I need your strength, your trust. and you need mine. We can do that for each other, yes?"

D'had lets her turn his face to hers, a quiet, not quite smile given over in return. "Don't know what I'd do without you," he replies. If she were any less understanding and compassionate they would have broken up long ago. "Your Ma's a great woman," though how she's put up with her father for so long he has no idea.

"She puts her philosophy into practice," Thea says simply of her mother, not having to tell him that giving 100 percent if need be and for as long as needed is part of that. Silent then for a time, she adds quietly, "They must be so hard for you." Her flights. Pleading, aching for that look on his face, "Tell me what I can do to help you?" They've talked about what he can do for her already.

D'had sighs, nodding slowly as he pulls her to him, sitting up. "Just what you're doin' babe," he replies to her question. "Forgiving me when I'm an idiot…." That's all he really needs. They both already know he will act like one.

Thea curls into him, drawn up when he sits, her head finding the spot between his shoulder and neck. "You're not an idiot," she protests. He may disagree, but she's going to make her feelings clear on that one! She allows her gaze to drift across the room at all the unpacked things sitting on the floor. Her voice is carefully neutral as she asks, "Shall I stay here with Muir and Marcella until they are a few turns old so you can get some sleep?"

D'had will completely agree that he's not an idiot. He does have tendency to act like one at times though. For that next question she earns a laugh. A chuckle of amusement that's much more like himself. "Now why would I want that?" Sleep would be nice, but… "What would I do for that long without you? Hmm?"

For once there is no answering laughter at his teasing and Thea doesn't answer, either. Her head remains where it is, but he might feel her stiffen. Finally two words and they're spoken in that remote tone he likely doesn't recall from last night, "Without… me?" She's taking him literally and there are three of them staying in this cottage.

D'had was taking her literally. But then he might have meant differently than how she took things, too. There are, after all, other places to miss her… "No," he replies pressing a kiss to her temple. "Come home. Or I'll come here. Wherever you want to be. Together."

Thea lifts her head at that, looking him straight in the eye, "You sure?" It might be suddenly clear that there are other things behind her fleeing the weyrbarn than just the flight repercussions. She drops her head, "You've been so unhappy since they've been born, Donn." All she's seen is his discomfort and annoyance with them, so… "I need to see you loving on them, they need you to do it, too." She draws a shaky breath, "They really are wonderful when they're not crying."

"I'm sure," D'had replies readily enough. "Not unhappy," he tries to explain once what she's trying to say sinks in. "Just tired." He's never slept all that well to begin with. "I do love 'em babe." He's just really not the baby type. "Maybe when they're older.." And not so breakable.

"It's been hard wondering if I'd made a horrible mistake," Thea admits, lifting her head to give him an uncertain smile. "Marella sleeps through, it's Muir who's fussing." An impish light dances in her eyes as she teases, "Think he takes after you in more ways than just looks. He's often grouchy."

"Ain't a mistake," D'had assures, "Just a change." And changes take getting used to. For some it takes longer than others. He might have other children, but he wasn't that involved with them as babies. He managed to get around that then. He chuckles at her comparison between him and his son, "Well… Could be worse?"

The sparkle returns to Thea's eyes at both the reassurance and the comment on Muir, "Let's not even think about that yet." So nice that it'll be some turns yet before he's getting himself smacked by girls! D'had has said he's sure and Thea believes him, apparently for she brushes a light kiss on his rough cheek, "There isn't anywhere else I want to be but with you. Let's go home." And home isn't this place anymore. "Besides, Seryth misses Siebith." So saying, she rises and when they've taken the still-unpacked stuff and left, the cottage is left behind to roll its eyes in wry amusement over the departing couple, contemplate the follies of human relationships and breathe a sigh of relief to be left in peace. It might even pity that poor weyrbarn couch a wee bit.

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