And She Says HE’S Acting Strange

Xanadu Weyr - Siebith's Weyrbarn

Covered in rough, weathered wood, aged by the weather and the sun, the irregular grayed clapboards outside of this weyrbarn lend the place has a rustic, masculine charm. White shutters and window boxes overflowing with brightly-hued tangles of flowers on the lower windows and flowering vines twine about the supports for the porch overhang add a feminine touch, softening the stark stone steps leading to it.

The worn stone floor of Siebith's area is just inside the large sliding door. The living area of the weyrbarn has an open, airy layout gives the utilitarian, bachelor-like plain white-washed walls and simple hardwood floors a sense of wide open spaces. A sturdy mahogany-toned table with chairs that somehow manage to match despite their variety accent the earthy, wooden tones of the kitchenette. The same dark reddish hues are in the door at the far side of the barn, as well as in the low-slung coffee table in front of the plush, worn couch. Dusky sea-blue rugs are scattered here and there. Dark golden curtains hang on either side of the many windows and partition off the loft up above, led to by a black wrought iron set of ladder-like stairs. Lilies arranged in glass vases on the tables provide a crisp of white counterpoint to the dark wood tones.

A new addition, the bedroom has walls of the same plain white, but the floors are made of newer wood, still shiny with polish. A four-poster bed of the same red mahogany takes up the most of one wall of the small space, a blue-and-cream linen coverlet spread on the wide mattress. A set of wooden bureaus take up the bulk of the wall opposite while another wall has been painted upon in the very center with a seascape mural, its crisp blue waters and sandy shores. The final wall is graced by a feminine-looking writing desk stacked with papers and bedecked with knick-knacks. Over the bed, a set of stained-glass windows allows golden-brown light mingled with white whorls and blue haze to shine into the room with the rising of the sun, though both panes are able to be unlocked and swung wide to accept lake breezes.

Afternoon and Thea is letting herself into the Weyrbarn, her hair wind-tossed and cheeks pinkened. There's no paperwork in her hands and it's clear she's left the twins in their lessons. Why she's not in the offices? Anyone's guess but if anyone can figure it out it would be D'had. Speaking of which, "Donn?" She's calling his name as she enters the quiet dwelling.

D'had is nowhere to be seen right off, but when she calls his name there's a rustling in the bedroom before he makes an appearance from within. "Finally finished all that paperwork?" he questions, dark eyes giving the woman a once over as he pulls the door closed behind him.

Thea is taking off her jacket when D'had enters. She doesn't answer his question right away, simply tosses the jacket over the back of one chair as she walks towards him. He'll see her fatigue in the shadows under her eyes and the darkened somber color to her normally clear green. "I…" her voice trails off and she simply stops in front of him eyes upon his face. "I thought you'd be with Darsce today," she finally finishes lamely.

"She's got plenty ta do without me," D'had replies of Darsce even as he twines an arm around her waist as she stops in front of him and there may well be a lingering hint of perfume on his shirt. "You ain't been sleepin' again? Or just workin' too hard?" he inquires. He knows that look in her eyes, and while the kiss he leaves on her cheek isn't going to make up for her exhaustion it's meant to be a comfort.

Thea slides her arms around him, eyes unblinking as she tips her head up so she can meets his eyes, accepts that kiss to the cheek. There's both love and concern in her eyes, "But she came to visit with you I thought?" As for his question, her eyes cloud a touch. He knows her and there's no sense lying to him. "I… haven't been sleeping," she admits somewhat sheepishly. Then she leans to rest her forehead on his collarbone. "Haven't you gone and done anythi-" She stops abruptly, stiffens under his arm and remains immobile.

D'had nods. Well she's right there, the girl did come to visit him. "She's spendin' some time with some friends or her sister or something. I forget who she said." Obviously it wasn't anyone he was worried about her spending time with given his answer to that question. "Somethin' on yer mind?" he then asks given she admitted she hasn't been sleeping. But then she's stopping mid-sentence and he's confused again. "Hmm?"

Thea doesn't respond. She simply stands there within the circle of his arm, though he certainly will be able to feel her heartbeat begin to pick up a little. Finally she lifts her head and looks him straight in the eye. "Yes," she says simply, leaving her former question unfinished. There certainly is something on her mind. The expression on her face is a curious mix of denial and confusion, but the question asked is phrased casually enough, "Did you attend a flight today?"

Now who's the one avoiding answers? "Am I supposed ta stop askin' questions now?" So it’s another question, but he's not asking if she wants to talk about yet either. It’s her question that throws him off, "No…" Just where is she going with this? "Sure yer alright? If ya were comin in for a nap or somethin I can let ya."

"No," Thea admits freely, although somewhat distractedly about being alright. And by the looks of her she really isn't. Her face has gone chalk-white. She's answering his questions! Just not in her usual way. She seeks to back away now, firmly keeping a check on what he can surely see is a rising distress. There's a restless movement from outside where Seryth lies, a mental reaching out questioningly to Siebith. As for Thea, her eyes are huge and dark in contrast to her pale face, "I'm not tired," she claims faintly though bloodless lips. "You may ask me anything," she adds in a strained tone.

D'had doesn't quite believe that she's not tired given earlier comments, but he's not going to push the issue either. "Babe…" Now he's worried about her. He's not going to make her stay there at his side, but he is keeping a close eye on her. "You're sure you're alright? Why don't we sit down a minute, hmm?" Before she passes out on him or something? As for Siebith, his waves stretch out to kiss the shore of Seryth's thoughts with her answers - they went to Irene again today.

"I- I should change-" Her former fatigue is still there under a glassy-eyed, unfocused sort of glance 'round the room but she's not looking anything like a person who could drift off into a restful slumber, either. There's an air of distraction in the way she heads for the bedroom, hand reaching for the knob and turning it. "No I’m not alright!" It's almost a cry but she doesn't explain, doesn't ask anything, simply moves to step blindly into their bedroom, intent on getting to her dresser and nothing else. As for Seryth, she finds this interesting. Ierne? She didn't get to go! Boringness! Why did he and his go there?

Because Siebith's said to take him there. That's why. "Change?" That's his question. Change for what!? So confused is D'had. No, wait, she's going in there. She can't do that yet! "Babe," he starts, trying to distract her from going into the bedroom. "Babe, lets talk about this." Whatever 'this' is. When she does reach her dresser there's something not quite right about it - something extra rather. A little, sea green glass bottle sitting right in the middle.

Thea's hand is on the door handle, turning it even as he speaks. She nods without looking at him. Yes she's changing and the pause is miniscule. It's certainly a night-day switch from the way she's always been with him, easily able to talk or confront problems. Instead: "I can't!" That comes out in a desperate-sort of sound, voice breaking as she enters the room to yank open her drawer. The bottle is totally overlooked until it falls inside her drawer. It's in the way and she unthinkingly hands it to him, reaches back into her drawer for a nightdress. Seryth is satisfied with the answer and sidetracked by something else now, rolling off her side to crouch.

D'had follows her, taking the bottle when she hands it over, but unsure what to do with it just at the moment he reaches in front of her to put it back in place. "Why can't ya?" He's so lost in this non-conversation. "Or ya just not wanna?" Irritated, maybe just a little, but more unsure of just what's going on here. "Babe," he tries again, aiming to catch her hands in his to pause her for at least a moment. "What's gotten into ya?" Clearly something's wrong even he can see that much.

Thea's eyes follow that bottle back to the dresser blankly and then with a dawning realization. That's not hers. Distracted, her hands are caught and she turns her gaze back to him. "I want-" Her mind is a tumult of confusion; it's written on her face and he'll be able to see it clearly. She needs to know one thing first: "Wh- why were you not wanting me-" In here, but she cannot make herself finish and thus falters to a stop. Then says lowly, "That's not mine," tipping her head towards the green bottle. Then finishes miserably, "I want to talk to you! I just… don't know how."

D'had sighs, shaking his head as she asks that question. "Wasn't ready for ya to." To be in here that is. "Didn't want ya ta see it yet," he adds, a tilt of his head indicating that little bottle that matches the color of her eyes. "It’s yours," he corrects of her 'its not mine' "was supposed ta be a surprise."

Well it was certainly that. "Oh." It makes sense, says the relaxing of pinched brow, no longer perplexed over that minor confusion. Within his hands her fingers twitch, but Thea doesn't try to pull away. Her distraction, if anything grows. She remains looking at him as if this were the last she'll ever see of him. "It's not my turnday." And so saying her eyes fill with tears. Still, she remains mute regarding what the trouble is.

"Does it have ta be?" D'had asks when she mentions it's not her turnday. He was hoping it would be close at least, darn. She's not saying anything though and that means that Donn has to try and say something more to keep it from being too awkward for him - which just means he's liable to make it that much more awkward. "If ya don't like it can take it back and get a different scent. Or.. somethin’ else completely?"

She's looking him in the eye, telling him the truth, "Nono, it- it's fine. I really l-like it! I thought what spilled on your collar smelled pretty nice-" Now that she thinks about it. The tears, however spill over and trickle down her cheeks but she's trying to smile, failing miserably at it. His explanation seems to have made things worse, not better. Despite her assurance that the gift is fine, she is not. Into the very confused silence reigning in their bedroom, with her eyes still glued to his she chokes out a whispered, "Thank you."

"Sure?" D'had asks, he has to triple check now after the last few minutes since she got home. He gives her hands a light squeeze before releasing them. "Was tryin ta smell it at the shop and it dripped," he chuckles an explanation, lips curling with a reassuring smile. "So now," that she's calmed down some, "What did you wanna talk about?"

She's calmed down? Not really, just sort of resigned as he lets her hands go, sinking further into the numb sort of shock she seems to have descended into. So finally she drops her eyes and takes a deep breath. Might as well get it over with is the sort of squaring of shoulders she does, lifting her chin once more she says, "How about for starters, why you are giving me a goodbye present?" Her eyes are pained, fathomless but she'll face it.

D'had blinks, brows knitting. Confusion the primary emotion on his face when that question is posed. "Who said anythin' bout goodbye?" He certainly didn't. "Can't get ya nothin'? Was supposed to be a turnday present…" He'll go ahead and admit to that. She should know how terrible he is at remembering dates by now. If it's in the right month that's close enough. Right?

Siebith senses that Seryth has had enough of this. Her thunder is a distant rumble of irritation aimed at her rider and the communication is not shared with Thea, « There's something she isn't telling. » There's a pause to get it right, « She's convinced the Healers have given him bad news. »

Seryth senses that Siebith's oceans rumble. « He does not see healers. » he reminds the gold. Or at least D'had doesn't go to see them without reason. « Unless he hasn't told me, they have not told him. » He pauses, the blue waters of his mind turning darker « Have they told yours? »

Siebith senses that Seryth doesn't think so? The queen's efforts to ferret out what is bothering her rider for the past seven have been… unsuccessful for some time now. « That part of her mind is like so: » And she shares with him that clouded black darkness she once shared so long ago while theirs walked the waterfall path. The unseeing way hers walked in before the golden light came.

"You- you can get me presents. It's r-really sweet of you." Thea does know and she doesn't mind at all if he is late. In fact she says so, "Late is not a problem at all, Donn." She can't seem to stop the tears, scrubs at her wet cheek with the heel of one hand while keeping her eyes on his face. There's that rhetorical question. Who said anything about goodbye? "No one," Thea admits miserably. And yet she's looking like he'll simply evaporate right here and now, which explains not a thing. "You've been acting strange lately so… I think you're…" Oh yep, she's jumped to conclusions. Just what those conclusions are? Her lips move, her voice croaks something incoherent.

"Then why you actin' all upset and cryin'?" Donn turns another question to her even as he reaches to pull her to him in that protective embrace of his. "Babe, I ain't goin' nowhere. Ain't been bogged down with paperwork, but…" acting strangely. That he hadn't thought at all. "Can't fix nothin; ifin I dunno what's broken." Stop crying!! He can't deal with it.

Where other women would probably be screaming and throwing crockery, Thea throws… tears. Go figure. She's easily enfolded in his arms, curling her own about him, burying her face in his shoulder. She tries to stop crying but he's going to have a lovely soggy spot on his shirt now. Her apology is muffled, "I'm sorry." She clears her throat, takes a deep breath. He isn't usually one to talk much and although she's well used to this, she voices something that is a departure from even this familiar reticence, "Lately when I ask what you've been doing, how your day went, you're evasive. You don't really seem want to… do anything. And then your shirt smelled like perfume and I thought…" She winces. Poor D'had.

D'had just shakes his head, trying to disguise a low chuckle even has he runs a hand across her back in an attempt to soothe those tears. "Been doin' plenty," he assures, it if can be considered that given the confession she's trying to make. "Been tryin' ta find the right turnday present for ya." Yeah, he's still not quite catching on where she's going with her thought train. "I have ta tell the Weyrleader ya need a break?"

"You've been shopping for my present for the past few sevens?" Thea lifts her head to give him a confused sort of look. Really? Her present was that important? This doesn't seem to reassure her. "So I thought…" She has to make her self say it, deep breath, here goes. She drops her head back to his shoulder and from under her hair, arms tightening around him she says in a rush, "…the healers have said you're on borrowed time. And I thought maybe you're trying to recapture your past lifestyle and leave so I won't feel so bad when you die." How's THAT for a thought train is running on a very confused track? She probably does need a break but she'll be the last one to admit it! Yay stubbornness. She lifts her head, blinking at his last question and sniffs. "No." Yes.

"Past seven, yeah." D'had replies. He's spent more time that he should getting opinions from everyone but her on what that present should be, but he did find something. He's still confused, even as her arms tighten and his hands move to her shoulders to try and push her back enough that he can catch a look at her face again. It’s when she finally admits to where her mind was going that he can't help but laugh. "Told ya already. Ain't goin' nowhere. Not on purpose anyway. If ya knew how many times I almost got myself killed ya'd be sayin the same thing." Yes, he is probably living on borrowed time, but he's not going to fall dead tomorrow as far as he knows.

Siebith senses that Seryth has been listening in to the weyrbarn discussion. And she shares with him her sense of profound disbelief. Really? That's what all this heartache and sleeplessness has been over? She's rolling in her own version of dragon-laughter going from that ready-to-launch crouch to flopping over on her side, chin coming to rest on her blue friend's back. Her rains are warmly affectionate, « You would never let yours be hurt while you are flying him. »

Seryth senses that Siebith streches his neck out to rest on Seryth's forepaws when she lays beside him. « No. » he replies, ocean calming. « We have been hurt, but I would never let it happen. »

Thea remains silent for a long moment, regarding him as though trying to be sure he's telling her the truth. She does believe he wouldn't go anywhere on purpose, he's not aiming to drown in booze and women again and push her away. That much is clear in the slow-relaxation of the tight shoulders under his hands. "So the healers had nothing to do with you handing back your knot? Because Niva…" Yeah, she can't forget how the former Senior wouldn't until it was almost too late.

D'had shakes his head. "They don't," he tries assure her of that. "I'd have to have seen 'em for 'em ta have anything to do with it." And she should know how hard it is to get him to go to the infirmary. "Niva's .. well she's Niva." He can hardly be compared to that crazy old coot. "You know what you're doin' now and ya know I ain't never been big on the papers. Rather be out flyin' an' so would Sie."

Thea mutters under her breath. True, he'd have to have seen the healers to have been given the directive. As to why she thinks he would have? "I try to avoid them. They send one to my office to give me my yearly. And no, they wouldn't tell me anything when I asked. They cited patient-healer confidentiality." Still indignant over that one! "So… what will you be doing with yourself then? Search and Rescue or just… start your own business?" He could charge for thrill-rides maybe? Though it's not so far-fetched for a dragonrider to work their own craft.

D'had chuckles. "They ain't tellin' ya nothin' cause there ain't nothing ta tell." He, apparently, is better at avoiding them than she is. As for what he'll be doing with himself… "Ain't thought about what's next so much. Thought I'd just be done, but getting tired of sittin' around already." He's not good at doing nothing, that will drive him crazy eventually. "Might go back ta Search and Rescue…" He's considering that thought.

Thea levels him a long look. "Well until then, you've enough free time to teach Muir to fish. And sail. And tie knots. And use some of your tools that he's always banging with. And maybe get the twins used to *Between*. Since they've never been." The tears have dried; she's looking much more like her normal self, albeit tired. She'll ignore that as she, apparently is better at doing that than avoiding the healers. "And you can take them to spend some time on ship with your family. You should take Darsce out on the Zephyr, come to think of it." If he doesn't find a way to shut her up, she'll keep going! Is there paper in here? She should start a list… be checkin' it twice… Wait until she thinks of the girly things he can do with Marella!

"And that," D'had replies to that list of things she's rattling off. "Figured least that way one of us had more time ta spend with 'em." Not to say that neither of them spent any time with them before - they spent a lot of it.

"And show Muir how to use his manners since he doesn't seem to want me to show him." The child is a handful, to be sure. Watch out Xanadu! Thea's going to have D'had out trolling with the boy so he can practice them! For now, however, she's got other things on her mind. "I don't have to be back at the office for another hour," she tells him with a hint of her usual imp peeking through. If he's inclined, he can see just how well she wears that perfume!

"Oh?" D'had questions with a grin, moving on from that laundry list of things he can teach the twins now that he's not Weyrsecond. "Well then we best take advantage of that hour with out paper or kids." And that he'll do.

See Thea? Retirement for the weyrmate isn't all bad. In fact, they might just be seeing more of each other than before. If nothing else she'll be taking lunch more often.

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