Xanadu Weyr – Forest
This broad path that leads from the main clearing into the forest has been designed in such a manner so as to be not only wide enough for wagons to travel through, but also providing ample space for dragons. The path appears only worn in the center though, as most of the traffic moving through this area is that of the two-legged kind. Flowers sprout up and speckle the lush grass with bright saffron and cheeky rose, creeping all the way up to the bases of the trees that rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.
The path winds its way leisurely through the trees, deeper into the forest and a number of less traveled paths branch away from it. Southwest leads to the forest's edge near the base of the tumbled rocks that mark the wilder areas of the forest and the mountains that rise behind Xanadu. West leads to the Firelizard Theater, northeastward the path leads to the feeding grounds while east leads to the meadow where it joins both the road that crosses the bridge over the river leading to the clearing and the the coastal road that leads out of Xanadu bypassing the beach and the Caspian Lake. Here there are secluded spots where one might picnic.
Muir is totally not going to talk to his mom, after falling and scraping his knee. Toootally not. Nope. Even though he's limping, and sniffling, wiping his nose on the sleeve of his jacket with the tatters of his pant leg dangling and showing off the wound within. Not that it's deep, but it's one of those skin scrapes that /hurt/. Limping towards his mother's cottage, he tries to think up some other reason for being here. Other than the obvious 'I have a boo boo make it better Mom.'
His mother is just now stepping from the path to her cottage, hands thrust deep in the pockets of her full-length fur coat, chin tucked down inside the collar as she shuffles through the ankle-deep snow. Sunset is close at hand and that means dinner is being served in the caverns, which is probably where she's headed. But here comes Muir and her green eyes light up with pleasure, glad to see him. But what is this? "Muir, what did you do, slip on the ice?" She can see his pants are torn, but that's about it from this distance. She steps closer.
Muir takes a shaky breath and begins to say his rehearsed line, but he can't do it. One inkling of his mother's concern and the boy crumbles, just a tad. Sniff. SNIFF. "Yeah," he mutters pathetically, stopping and holding up his knee. "I fell on the ice and landed on the gravel and it hurts." And it's dirty, with bits of stone still jammed into his flesh where he couldn't bring himself to pull them out. He doesn't even bother with coming up with another excuse for being there. His shiny eyes and trembling chin give it away too much. He got hurt, so he came to Mom.
Thea might chuckle or smile ordinarily but for those full eyes and trembling chin. "C'mere," she says gently, offering him an arm to tuck under. "I can look at it in the infirmary or in the cottage. Which would you prefer?" It isn't all that far to either place and though the healers might hover, they'll leave her be as long as she does it right. She's had plenty of practice fixing boo boos after all.
Muir leans against her and even though he's walked all this way on his own, as soon as he has her to lean against he lifts his hurt leg and begins to hop with it held off the ground. "In the cottage," he mumbles, wiping at his face with his sleeve again. "Don't want anyone else laughin' at me."
Thea tsks. With his mama tiger there to snarl at them? "As if anyone would dare!" Her arm closes 'round her son's shoulder and she tucks him in snuggled, one-armed hug if not actually supporting him. He's probably got to hunch over a bit just to fit under her arm and Thea is not a short woman. She turns them around and starts back the way she came, down that footpath towards the cottage. "I'll bet you were running to see your uncle Tharen and Rensea," she continues easily. "You knew they got in sometime after lunch?" she probably imagines the boy has some sort of uncanny radar that would sense such a thing.
Muir hunches, and he does not mind one bit. "They'd laugh later," he says with quiet confidence. He knows. He's laughed at kids when /their/ parents left. At her words about his uncle and grandmother, he perks up and sniffs mightily. Here, sinus cavities, keep that snot. "They're here?" That can only mean one thing. "The hatching is real close isn't it?" he whispers, his heart suddenly pounding in his chest.
"So they would," agrees Thea easily. She remembers it happening to her too, once upon a time. "Any day now," she replies about the eggs then adds, "They're staying in the guest cottage closer in towards the clearing until they do. Thadan… did not come with them." Has the irate old man ever been to Xanadu? Probably not. And so their footsteps squeak in the snow as they draw up to the cottage, she reaches a gloved hand to grasp the doorknob, pulls it open and draws her son inside. Dropping her arm, she sheds her heavy coat, tosses it onto the couch, strips off her gloves and throws them atop it. She then nods to one of the chairs by the table alcove. "Sit and I'll get my kit, hmm?"
Muir frowns, and his muttered, 'good' holds some of the venom he feels towards Thadan. Still. He takes a deep breath and hobbles over to the chair and sits down, the wood squeaking slightly beneath his lanky frame. "I'll go visit them after this. Maybe we can all have dinner together?" he asks hopefully. He watches her move about and while he doesn't say thank you, it's in his eyes. "Some kids' parents can't come to the hatching," he says suddenly.
Thea would echo Muir's sentiment, but she's trying to be a good example, lalala. Thadan being here would just serve to make them all tense, so she too, is relieved. Her kit is snagged from one of the kitchen cupboards, a small clean washcloth from a drawer and the kettle of water from the hearth before she makes her way back to him. These are placed on the tabletop with a small dish of sandsoap and a small basin. "We can," she says of dinner while pulling a chair close to so she can sit while tending to his scrape. She hands him the basin as she reached for his leg, tucking it across her lap as she did when he was a little boy, "Hold this under your leg," she tells him needlessly - he knows the drill. Seagreen eyes lift to him then and she acknowledges his comment evenly, "Yes, that's true, some can't. Mine weren't." It's a subtle prompt to continue the thought if he wants to.
Muir knows the drill, yes. Countless scrapes and scratches were tended in this way - some against his will, even. He's quiet for a moment, grimacing when she begins to touch his knee. "Think dad'll be there?" he asks, very, very quietly. Trying to hide his hope.
Thea nods, about his father. Oh he'll be there. Just what his state of sobriety will be, she can't say, doesn't voice it. Her compressed lips the only thing that gives away her own private pain on the man's deterioration. She takes the cloth, holds it over his scrape and slowly pours the still-warm water onto it, soaking it and wetting his scrape, then dips the cloth into the dry sandsoap. She bends to her task, thick lashes hiding the expression in her eyes as she gently scrubs at the scrape. This might sting, but also the foaming action is loosening the imbedded dirt and most of the small bits of gravel. "He knows you were Searched. I sent him a note telling him. And Seryth will check in with Siebith, who will, I'm sure, kick his rider down the coastal road all the way to the arena if he has to." Her voice is very dry, a cover for her own emotions likely.
Muir hisses and then whimpers ever so softly when she begins to work, and his scrape starts to sting in protest. The boy nods at his mother's words, and then hesitantly reaches out to touch her shoulder. "I'm glad my family is here," he says quietly. "I'm…I'm lucky, for that." He doesn't have to ask if she'll be there. There's no doubt for him that she will be.
Warm water is poured over the soapy area rinsing the soap, blood and grit into the basin Muir holds underneath. "You are," Thea says calmly of being fortunate while taking up the towel and blotting the wet area to dry it. Her tweezers remove the few bits of gravel left and she deftly swabs cooling numbweed atop that, fanning it to dry slightly before patting a small, self-sticking bandage to his knee. "I'd wager your father cares v-" She's in the process of easing his leg to the floor when she freezes, her head turned to the wall facing the distant clearing. It's a momentary inaction that grips her before she's reaching to tug him up as she gasps, "The eggs! Go get your robe on. Hurry! Run!" She's already headed for her coat and gloves. She'll be running too but he'll outpace her easily.
Will he? He's wounded. But Muir finds his strength somewhere as he springs to his feet, suddenly looking rather pale. Then he grabs his mother into a tight, almost fierce embrace. "I love you," he whispers, before he's turning and bolting for the exit, feet pounding their way towards the barracks.
Thea resists the impulse to cling and ask if he’s sure he wants to go through with this. Though her arms do clasp her son to her and she whispers, “I love you too!” into his ear, hers allow him to slip out after that brief contact and she’s pushing him to get going. Go before I give in and beg you to reconsider! Learning to let go is a painful thing, but she does it. He and his sister are growing up. Life choices might be regretted or they might be enjoyed and savored but they will make them, not her. She grabs her coat, shrugs into it as she follows him out to go and watch them do just that.