Tonight and Tomorrow

Xanadu Weyr - Luraoth's Menagerie
Before being cleared to make space for the training field, this expanse of land had been a farm. Fence posts still mark out small pastures or tracts of cropland that have long been left to go fallow and become little more than grassy patches of wildflowers. The path from the coastal road weaves between scattered fruit trees left over from an orchard, offering some measure of shade along the walk.

A huge barn with large doors that swing easily are moved by a mechanism with the sound of clinking chains and the chugging of a generator. Within, what must have once been storage space and the home for farm animals has been transformed into a place fit for a dragon. A huge stone makes up the center of the largest chamber, with heating or cooling with the flick of a tail. There are other stones set about in three other dragon-sized nooks, clearly set there for the comfort of guests or patients.

A set of metal stairs as well as a freight elevator around the side of the building allow easy access to a loft area that has largely been left untouched from the time this place was a farm. There's plenty of room for storage, but also room for any number of animals that may come to live here. One corner has been clearly dedicated as 'tunnelcat territory' with a bunch of little platforms, ramps, tunnels, and toys.

It's time to be home. Outside, it's cold. Frigid. Autumn is slowly giving way to winter, and it's becoming more noticeable as the days go on. The sun has set and dinner is being had. For some, dinner comes in the form of drinks. Frothy, cold drinks. Hard drinks. Fizzy drinks. Tall drinks. Short drinks. Ka'el has had one drink, enjoyed in the semi-privacy of his own office amongst a handful of friends. Not coworkers or officemates. Friends. Friends made before even Candidacy and kept through Weyrleadership. Friends that he can trust to have a drink with and chat with about things that men tend to chat about, which is usually a lot of pointless things important only to them. But now, after unwinding with his friends and filing papers away for tomorrow, it's time to be home. And he is home. But he's not … inside of his home. He's just off the porch, only slightly bundled from the cold with a long trench coat jacket worn over his office wear. Kanekith watches his rider, looking out from the barn with swirling eyes and twitching tail. Ka'el rubs the palms of his hands together, inhales a breath, exhales that same breath, then steps up on to the porch. And to the door! And there he pauses, looking at the doorframe. The doorknob. His tongue slides between his lips, and his head is shaken just slightly afterwards. He steps back down the porch and back onto the grass, hands clasping behind his back. Another tailtwitch from Kanekith, who otherwise keeps himself quiet. Outwardly anyway.

Overhead, the sky is strewn with scattered clouds in the darkness. There are glimpses of the stars past them, here and there. It's like cloud-watching, except the patterns are more in where the clouds aren't. They're an amorphous shape, only barely illumined by the reflected light from the Weyr. The stars… the stars are brighter, tonight. The clouds just hide them, moving along with a wind high in the heavens that's present near the ground as a source of added chill, swaying the branches of trees and bearing a scent of cold that warns that winter… is coming.

« Your mind moves oddly tonight. » Kanekith's voice is miffed, a description that rarely ever fits his tone. Confused as opposed to curious. His muzzle can be seen poking out from the barn, resting on the ground. « I can make no sense from it. » Ka'el is on the move again, though he's not exactly sure where he's going. Away from home, even though it is time to be home. His dragonmate is right. His thoughts are in a weird place and try as he might, he's having a difficult time reining them in. Eyes lift up to the sky, zeroing in on a patch of open sky between the shifting clouds above as he fills his lungs with a deep inhale of the crisp air. « You ignore me. » Exhale, again, but it's a heavy one this time, forced out through the mouth. "I'm not ignoring you." His mind sparks. A flame ignited somewhere within the depths of his thoughts. Flickering to life, demanding his attention. Kanekith's flame grows like kindling taking to the logs of a home's hearth. Warm and bright. « Then, you ignore your own self tonight. Why? » Lips are wet again, and Ka'el pauses, yards away from his home which he now looks back to. "I just need a minute, Kanekith." A minute. Twelve. Thirty. Sixty. Maybe another drink should've been had. Another task started instead of returning here with his mind running rampant. He looks skyward again. "Just a minute, that's all."

And time at home is a rare enough thing to be treasured. There's things to occupy all of Ka'el's days, papers and meetings - businesslike ones and, more rarely than he might want, those meetings with friends. The casual times, the times to relax, and… the times that bring such strange moods. Why? …heh. All the reasons are as much food for thought as the rest. They turn on themselves, questions becoming answers becoming other questions. The cold of the near-winter air, the cool light of the stars half-veiled by clouds… they permit thoughts, in a way that the work of the office or the bustle of the caverns don't. In a way that the comforts of home push aside, but Ka'el's not home. He's getting further from it instead of nearer, drawing away from company to be with those thoughts. The ones that come in darkness.

One minute. Sixty seconds. He can count them in the stars. One. Two. Three…Some fade from view as dark clouds slip past, and Ka'el's eyes shift from sky to ground as his fingers rake back through his hair. "This is stupid…" murmured to himself. To the grass. To Kanekith. The bronze agrees with a snort that kicks up a small cloud of dust near the nostrils. « I have said that, more than once. » Ka'el turns around again, facing home and back turned to the road which his boots were leading him to. The winding road to lead him away and back to the offices and the papers that are always there to tend to. But instead now, he retraces his steps. Back towards the barn and past, to the home which sits quietly, waiting for him as patiently as it always has since the day he claimed it as his home too. Not just a place to visit or spend the night. Home. And what makes this building so different than the building he abandoned in the forest is not the shape or the make, but instead the person who he shares it with. She may be in there. She may not be. Finding the answer to that is as simple as pressing Kanekith to press Luraoth. Or..even simpler, to go inside, pushing past whatever it is that's keeping him outside. Up the porch for the second time. His boots gently clunk against the steps, clunk against the wooden floorboards of the porch. Stop at the door. The fingers of one hand lightly twitch against his side as again he finds himself staring at the doorknob for stretched seconds. His gaze rise with his chin, and his hand finds the door soon after. It's time to be home despite what the mind and body may be telling him. The doorknob is turned, and he steps inside, bringing his silent battles in with him. But at least… he's home.

He could keep counting. The seconds staring at the stars. At the grass. At the doorknob, the metal burnished and not nearly so bright as the stars. Ka'el could count… all the things he has to worry about. All the questions he has. All the troubled thoughts. Or he could open the door, and find inside… Darkness. He's home. The house is dark. There's no cheery fire crackling on the hearth, no candles or electrics to light his way. It's warmer than outside - which wouldn't take much; just being closed off from the wind that blows in the open doorway would make it warmer than outside. But it's a pleasant enough temperature, save for that wind in the door, just dark and… not empty. There's furniture - some of it even from that weyr in the woods. There's firelizards draped on their usual perches. There's… no Soriana. Not in this room. She's in the house - she's at home - but she's not out in the living room to wait for him. Instead, she's tucked away in the bedroom, half-hidden under a blanket - because even with the relative warmth in the air inside, the chill in that outside demands some form of covers - and asleep. Her hair's a tangle on the pillow, her body curled on its side. Her breathing, slow and even, like the sound of the wind against the walls.

It's dark inside, and with the darkness, a fractional amount of tightness loosens in his chest. Firelizards doze. Alloy. Toral. Queen bee Haruhi. The scuttling sound of Inkfoot is missing. Claws upon the floor that'd indicate the slow approach of an investigating tunnelcat coming to face the home intruder. Fearless Inkfoot. But there is no body on the couch reading over papers. Or leaned on the table, scribbling away at something or another. No sign of Soriana at all. … Well. That's not entirely true. There are signs of her all over the place. The silhouette of a cup left on the tabletop. Papers indeed brought home in a pile on the couch. His eyes glimpse over these as he heads further in, stopping to pull off his boots and set them in the kitchen. He peels off his jacket and drapes it over the back of a kitchen chair before moving on socked-feet to the bedroom. Quietly. She's in here. He can't see her.. not quite, but he knows. He knows as he pulls off his shirt that she's nestled beneath the covers on her side of their bed. He knows as he slips out of his trousers, that there is a spot for him next to her. And he knows, as he quietly climbs in to join her, that he's grateful that she is asleep and he doesn't have to explain himself. He won't have to explain why tonight conversations are brief and touches light. He gets to skip the awkwardness of a kiss to the cheek opposed to the lips and dodge what might be questioning looks. He has a chance to file his thoughts and shut them away for now. He needs a secretary for his mind. Kanekith is of no help. But despite all of that, he does watch her, smile slightly, if not a bit wistfully, and touch his lips to her cheek in a kiss goodnight. His fingers do graze against her hair, slightly upon her ear, then pulls away as he settles his head down upon his pillow. Eyes close. He's been spared tonight. Tomorrow is a new day.

There's the sound of breathing. There's the faint loom of… a shape not quite seen, but known as a pattern of shadow against shadow. Darkness mingled with darkness, but this darkness is Soriana. This darkness is warm, not cold like outside. This darkness… she doesn't stir, not really. Her chest rises and falls, her eyes… remain shut. Even when Ka'el's lips brush her cheek, she doesn't wake. She sleeps soundly, even if his thoughts are troubled. There's no solidarity to it; no tossing and turning just because he does. Soriana is warm and comfortable - all the more so as she shifts toward him, drawn in by the well his body makes against the bed. Drawn in by the warmth… no, perhaps not. He's not too much of that, after that time spent out in the cold, kept there by winter's dark thoughts. Still, Soriana presses toward him, untroubled by his restless mind… tonight. Unaware of it, tonight. She sleeps. Tomorrow… she'll wake, to a cold, clear day with the sky bright because that wind swept away the clouds. The clouding of Ka'el's thoughts… oh, that's another matter entirely, but tomorrow is a new day. Perhaps things will be different.

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