Icy Morning, Klah and Conversation

Xanadu Weyr – Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.
The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.
A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.
Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

It's barely the crack of dawn in Xanadu, with late winter bringing a bitter cold and an icy rain that has fallen during the night which has frozen everywhere making walking treacherous… and dragon-landings dangerous. In fact, freezing rain is -still- falling. The Weyr is going to awake to an ice storm, isn't that lovely? Dressed in flight leathers and looking like she hasn't slept all night, Thea enters the Caverns and heads straight for the klah-pot while rubbing her butt and muttering about ice under her breath.

Looking a big bedraggled around the edges, D'son sits off to one side of the cavern, hands wrapped around a mug of steaming liquid that is most likely klah and looking like he's holding onto the heat for dear life. Out early? Coming in from something? Hard to say, but the bronzerider's been out in the weather and has the look of someone recovering just now. Thea's mutters lift his head, gaze tracking the goldrider and he calls over to her: "Hey Thea."

D'had is still muttering to himself about something or other as he makes his way into the caverns, not from outside, but from further within the corridors. Given that Thea is coming in from one direction and he from another and there are no young children about chances are that he's just deposited them with the nannies. It's D'son's call to Thea that brings the bluerider's dark gaze to the goldrider as his path leads him to meet the other two at the klah pot.

Thea's drooping lids lift at that hail, head turns while her hands reaching for both klah pot and mug automatically while she's blearily blinking towards the spot where the voice is coming from. Over her shoulder there's a sleepy smile for the bronzerider, "Morning D'son." She's careful enough to focus on her pouring but D'had's muttering, easily heard since the caverns are still relatively empty, draws her gaze. One look at his face and she uhohs under her breath. "I thought, uh, you'd all still be asleep." Oops?

"You look like you need a day's worth of sleep," D'son says sympathetically and lifts his klah mug in toast toward D'had. "Morning D'had." Then it's bottom's up with his cup. The need for hot liquid is dire.

D'had glares just a second longer at Thea before he replies. "I swear they know when you leave." Apparently it wasn't too long after she slipped out that the twins back to make sure he was up as well. Reaching for the pot when it's his turn he fills a mug, nodding reply to the bronzerider, "Mornin'." And it would seem he's just as thrilled with it as the rest of them.

"I feel like I could sleep all day-," Thea starts to reply to D'son, wincing as her eyes flicker back D'had's way and she meets that glare. With a little gulp, she asks with ice-green eyes widening a tich, and yes, the junior is looking mighty guilty, "They woke you up late last night?" Because that's when she left. She gives her weyrmate a wide berth snags a plate and piles several pasties on it. Stepping over D'son's way, she hesitates before sitting. "Mind some company? Even if it's… could be better," she amends wryly.

D'son shoots a little look between D'had and Thea, perhaps not understanding the source of that glare terribly well. "Nope, don't mind at all," D'son says with a shake of his head. "Just don't try to take my klah," he notes, trying to make light. "I need it to get warm again."

Pushing fingers through his hair D'had shrugs. "Was dark out," which means he's not exactly sure. "Couple hours ago at least." He's managed though and a shrug is given. "Least they're having a good morning, though me slippin' on the ice was funny," he explains as he helps himself to a seat beside the junior. "But how's yours been goin'? Aside from cold," he inquires of D'son.

To D'son first, there's a little chuckle, "Duly noted. It's colder than Between out there." And keeping her tone apologetic, "I'm sorry they woke you, D'had. I was sure I'd get back before they woke." Thea's got her hands full and since she's busy setting that plate and her mug on the table, she hooks her toe around a chairleg, pulls it out. She eases herself down, grimacing and shifting uncomfortably at her bottom meets the seat. "You both made it safely here?" Green eyes flicker between the both of them.
"Already too long for this early," D'son says candidly. "Had some early duties," the bronzerider explains and tips his mug up again for another sip. "Safely, yes. But not without getting soaked."

"Agreed," D'had replies to D'son's first comment before noding to his own weyrmate. "We're all fine," he assures. He might not be happy about being up so early or having been woken up being pounced by a pair of four turn olds, but at least he's dealing with it. "You alright?" he turns the question back on Thea.

Thea is sympathetic, "That's difficult on a morning like this, D'son. I hope it was somewhere warm at least. Though it was worse for me coming back from Ista-" Oops! She gives D'had a sidelong look, lifts her mug with both hands and takes a quick sip. Cat's out of the bag now. Perhaps a tad too brightly, "Who wants pastry? Anyone?" She pushes that plate with the tip of her forefinger to the center where they can all reach it. And to further distract them, she answers D'had with a smirk, "I think I broke my tush falling on the ice. Might need some attention."

"No," D'son says with a little sigh. "Not warm," he notes with a wry turn of his lips. He eyeballs Thea again at the too-bright but takes a pastry, only detaching one hand from his mug to do so. Her remark to D'had ducks D'son's head downward, shoulders shaking with silent laughter.

D'had isn't in the mood for arguing it seems, that or the mention of Ista is completely lost on him. Reaching for one of those pastries he replies to her last comment only after his first bite is taken, "Then," he says around it, "Ya should head over ta the healers and take care of yourself, less you wanna head to the office…"

Thea half-grins at D'son while he's laughing. "Where did you have to go?" D'had's response earns him a kick under the table. "No healers!" Thea growls on the back end of a pout that he's ignoring her flirting tease.

"Honshu," D'son answers with a little shrug, resurfacing from laughter and his gaze slides toward D'had briefly, a hint of a puzzled expression on his face. He covers it though by biting into pastry and munching with appetite.

Pastry is followed by a drink from his mug of klah. It’s only then that the mention of Ista sinks in and D'had turns towards Thea. "Now what's this about Ista?" the place clearly not in good standing with him. No, he's not trying to ignore D'son, he just has seemingly larger issues to take care of first.

Oh shoot. He did hear her. Withdrawing her foot back to her own space after that kick to his shin, Thea shifts uncomfortably in her chair. "I took a trip to Ista last night." Then adding in a rush and a little defiant tilt to her chin, she says honestly, "And I'm sorry I didn't wake you, but you'd have said no." D'son gets an apologetic look for having to hear this but all she says to him is, "Will you be able to get some rest later?"

"What's wrong with Ista?" D'son asks curiously, between bites of pastry. "I mean, other than stuff that happened a long time ago," the bronzerider points out, looking between the other two again.

D'had snorts into his klah mug. "It's Ista," he replies for D'son's benefit, though its less than an answer, but then again to give more of one he would have to remember why he doesn't care for the big island weyr. "And all that stuff that happened a long time ago," because that should be enough to explain it all. Right? As for Thea, "You still haven't said why…" Hint hint.

Thea reaches for a pasty, more out of needing something to do than actually wanting one from the halfhearted nibble she takes out of it. "Niva doesn't like her staff going there," Thea answers D'son slowly. "And it annoys Ysa." At least that's her take on the situation. But she went anyway, go figure. Flickering an uncertain look at D'had, nevertheless a quirky smile tugs at her lips for that snorted answer of his. Classic. He's not glowering or growling, so she relaxes. "To watch a hatching," she says simply.

"Mm. Home," D'son says mildly, being that both he and Inimeth are from the island weyr originally. Then breaks off another piece of pastry. "She hasn't made any fuss about me visiting my family lately," the bronzerider says with a little shrug. "And see, going to hatchings, it's good diplomacy," is his take.

"Well at least there was a reason," D'had mutters. "Couldn'ta just told me that could ya." Annoyed, but they'll both live and get over it soon enough. "Diplomacy," the bluerider will agree with that much of the situation. "Still coulda said somethin'. Least ya made it back safe." For now he'll be content with that much.

"You aren't staff," Thea points out reasonably to D'son. With a short laugh, "Diplomacy, yeah I wish! I avoided Ysa so I wouldn't upset her." Setting down her pastry on the table in front of her, she picks idly at the nuts sticking out from the browned crust while she mulls something over. A troubled look knits her brows, "Though, come to think of it, Niva hasn't made a fuss about much of anything for awhile now." D'had gets a perplexed look, "I guess I was just too tired to think straight and too preoccupied with whether you'd be angry. But I had to go. The clutchsire's rider is one of my best friends."

"Meant Ysa, not Niva," D'son notes and finishes off his pastry. "It shows good faith though, good intentions," the bronzerider says with a faint hint of frustration in his voice. Thea's remarks about Niva see a careful neutralizing of his expression.

D'had shrugs. He's not getting into the question of who does what on that front. "You two get warmed up," he comments as he pushes to his feet and finishes off his klah. "I've got some paperwork to catch up on," he explains leaving mug on the table. Which anyone who knows him should know he's probably been putting it off for days and it's due this afternoon.

Thea is mid-swallow of another bite of that pastry she's taken when D'son clarifies. She coughs, reaching for her mug to help wash it down, sets it back on the table. She picks up on the bronzerider's tone, flickers a glance at him in time to see the neutrality. Chagrinned, a faint flush creeps across her cheeks. "Oh. I see." She drops her eyes to the tabletop focusing on her hands. After a tiny pause, she says quietly, "I'm sorry you two. I'm just worried… things are…." She shrugs miserably, nodding mutely at D'had, a droop to her shoulders. She's annoyed him and she hates doing that.

"Good luck with the papers," Dels tells D'had sincerely. "Hope they go smoothly." His mouth curls up in a wry grin then looks across the table at Thea, brows lifting. "Things are what?" he prompts gently.

Thea's eyes follow D'had's progress from the room, shifting back to D'son when her weyrmate steps through the hall door. "Oh, difficult, D'son," she admits with a tired sigh that turns into a chuckle. "Though that's nothing new is it? I don't know why it's getting to me now." Her eyes crinkle at the corner as she says that and she elaborates further, "You know Mianyi’s on an extended leave and Zevida hasn't been the same since Avaeth's injury. So the work load has increased." She makes light of her mood with, "Probably nothing a good spring thaw won't fix."

"Yeaaaah kinda looks that way," D'son remarks and brushes his fingers free of crumbs. "Let me know if I can help with anything Thea. I might not be staff anymore, but I'm still on diplomacy duty," the bronzerider says quietly.

The offer earns D'son a grateful look. "Nothing I can do to change cross-Weyr diplomacy," she replies carefully not mentioning place names but the frustration she's feeling tinges her words now. "But I've been on hold duty since we started firestone practice." Not getting into that ill-fated meeting, she coughs gently and adds with a twinkle, "Ill let you know if something comes up, shall I?"

"Sure, can help you out with the visits if you need it," D'son says with a little nod and lifts up his mug, finishes off the contents. "Or letters and so on," the bronzerider says with a grin. "Though I'll admit that I'd rather be getting back into search and rescue."

Thea, in the meantime has gone back to playing with her food. With a fingernail she prods at a particularly stubborn nut, prising it from where it's embedded in her pastry while D'son speaks. She peers up at him a little baffled. "Oh. Would you?" Her brow wrinkles slightly, "Have you put in a request then? I mean, because you can, but I guess you already know that. I can't think why you'd be denied."

"Not yet, I was still at 'thinking about it', but I think it's been long enough on the talk circuit," D'son says with a touch of amusement in his voice. "Or maybe just the crafters wing, focus on smithing. It could make for more regular hours which … would work well for me and Amie."

Trying to hide her dismay and for the most part succeeding, Thea nods at this news, eyes dropping to the unfinished klah in her mug. "I'm sure someone will step up in your place." With more interest, she grins back up at him, "Amie, huh? You're settling in your old age D'son." Because he's soooo old at half a turn younger than she is.

"Hopefully someone who's more into it," Dels says candidly, then smiles. "Of course, Amie," is his take on things. "I was settled before, Thea. I want to be settled again and she …" he trails off, face lighting up. "I love her, very much."

This is one of those days where Thea can't say anything right it seems and the reflection of that sentiment shows on her face as she sobers, the teasing twinkle in her eyes fading. "Of course you were," she agrees quietly, brows twitching just slightly. She notes his expression, smiles gently, "Well, I'm happy for you both, D'son. The diplomacy Wing really is better for someone who's into it." The deck is stacked against that right now, but she doesn't say that. Instead, "I like Amie."

A little grin curls up the corners of D'son's mouth and he reaches across the table, meaning to give Thea's hand a squeeze. "Sorry, it's hard to tease me about that. It's not … well how things turned out with that part of my life is not something I'm terribly proud of." He beams though as she states approval of Amelia. "She's …" he gestures helplessly, colors faintly and looks down at his empty mug and the crumbs he left on the table. "Wonderful," the bronzerider murmurs softly.

Thea's fingers twitch and then return that gesture, squeezing briefly before letting go. "I see. Then I shall not." Oh she smiles back at him, but there's a shadowed confusion in the depths of her green eyes as she notes, "People change though the seasons of their life." She lifts one shoulder in a slight shrug as if she would wipe out her blunder. "That season is over for you and another has begun." It's hard to keep the smile from broadening at his happiness. "Yeah, I know how that feels."

"It's still not something I look back on with pride," Dels says with a little shrug. "But the past is the past and the present is good and the future is looking bright."

Thea nods, still absorbing this new D'son, apparently. "I'm glad it is," she says briskly. "The future is all we really ever have. Yesterday's gone already, see?" She braces a hand on her chin, eyeing him with a little grin. "So you two are making some big plans then?" She could use some good news if he wants to share says her encouraging expression.

"Not just yet," D'son says with a shake of his head. "But probably in the next few months," the bronzerider says with a little grin. "So um … what's up with D'had?"

Thea's lips curl into another smile. "Well, I hope all goes as you both hope, then." Her expression falls just a bit and she blows out a breath. "Oh the glaring when he first came in? My guess is that the twins did the usual and snuck into his bed to have their usual morning disagreement." Her tone is rich with self-directed irony, "He usually prods me to get up and deal with them, but as we know, I was not there to do it."

"Thanks, Thea," D'son replies with an answering smile that slowly fades. "So … he was glaring at you for that?" The bronzerider looks somewhat taken aback.

Thea's eyes slide over to that closed door to the offices where her weyrmate went and she simply nods quiet acceptance of that. "He ah, gets grouchy when he hasn't had enough sleep." Back to D'son, she assures him, "He's over it quickly enough, will have forgotten it by lunch. He's a good man, D'son. His strength is there for me when I need it. I never doubt he loves me and the twins. He just… doesn't um," she searches for the right words, finding them, "Express it the way everyone else does."

"And he takes it out on you?" D'son says dubiously, lifts a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "Ah shells, it's not my business Thea, I'm sorry. It just — sometimes the way he treats you …" He shakes his head and reaches for another pastry from the plate. "How are the twins, anyway?"

"Well, no he has an equal opportunity glare," Thea says with rich amusement making light of it. "Niva will get some too." Okay, she's going to stay out here and avoid witnessing that. "You know D'had. He gets grouchy about stuff, but inside he's a softie. Sometimes I think he doesn't know what to do with his feelings of vulnerability." A wistful smile touches her lips, but she answers brightly enough, "They're doing well. Four turns old and learning their letters and ballads. Marella loves fingerpainting and Muir is… active. All boy. Nuts about dragons and climbing."

"Mm," is D'son's non-commital reply. He might not be convinced actually. He perks up though as she talks about the kids. "I hope … well I know Amie wants kids. I hope I'll have a family in the next few turns too," the bronzerider confesses with a wistful note in his voice.

With another glance at that door, Thea easily enough allows the subject to shift to one they can agree on. Her eyes brighten, "Do you both want a bunch of them?" And then curious, she tilts her head and has to ask, "Don't you have any of your own yet?" And the expression on her face is without a trace of tease. She's simply interested.

"We both want kids," D'son relates with a nod. "We haven't really talked about how many yet." The bronzerider shakes his head slowly to and fro. "No. I've been careful."

Thea ahs, "You can start out things without complications, that's great, D'son." But she's puzzled about something and being holdbred the question that follows is perhaps not so much of a surprise, "How on Pern can you 'be careful' when it comes to Flights? I mean, it's pretty much out of your control at that point." Oh yes. Miss Thea has come a long way to be able to discuss Flights 101 without batting an eye since that time in the office.

"Not … that much out of your control," D'son replies, brows lifting. "And well … Aisling, she used to take something, so it's not just on the guy," Dels says matter-of-factly. "Anyway, I just always have a bottle of the stuff along with me in case Inimeth decides to chase."

Thea's brows lifts. "No kidding and you have the presence of mind at the point of catching to use it?" Obviously she has never planned in advance. "I, ahhh… you know I never have done that because I've had it drilled into me from the folks back home," she flickers a glance up at him that is full of conflicted feelings, "that you're interfering with nature." She laughs a little. "And then with all the Betweening, I just haven't worried about it I guess."

"Better to prevent than abort, right?" is D'son's view on the matter. "And uh, yeah, usually just enough um … self-control. It doesn't really matter if you spill it after all," he points out. "Just kind of splash and go. I mean, I'm not uh — well I'm not perfect. I've skipped it sometimes. Been lucky I guess." Pause. "Plus you know, at least half the greens' riders are guys."

"I- oh! No, I could never abort knowingly. No." Thea shudders. Some things in a person's upbringing are ingrained. "I'm pretty caught up in Seryth. But then, everyone is different I guess." There's not a flicker of an eyelash at green's riders being males, however. She has learned to accept the ways of dragonriders for the most part. "I guess that lessens your odds if Amelia cares about such things?" She says kindly. "These days, we can all do with fewer complications in life." Her klah is eyed, lifted and drained. "I should get in there I suppose." She sounds like she's dreading it, but is resolute when she rises.

"All the more reason for the guy to pay attention," is D'son's take on Thea being caught up in Seryth. He doesn't quite seem to understand the comment about Amelia though, a puzzled look sent Thea's way. It fades though as he nods. "Yeah, less complicated is good." He pushes back his chair, reaches for her empty mug to pile up with his. "I'll clear for you. And um … get some rest too, okay?"

Perhaps catching that puzzlement of his, Thea elaborates, "Less chances of having Flight babies with the male-riding greens? Some weyrmates don't welcome the ties and… shells! I talk too much D'son. Forgive me." She's putting her foot in her mouth repeatedly today. As for her mug, "Thanks, I really ought to get in there." With a grateful smile over her shoulder, she takes her leave, dragging her feet the whole way. At least when she opens the door to the administration Hallway, there are no raised voices?

"I'm sure we can work it out, Amelia's weyrbred," D'son says with a little grin. "If .. you know, the issue comes up." He pushes to his feet and waves after Thea as she goes, collects the mugs and plates to clean up. Then he pulls his jacket back on and tugs his collar up against the rain outside.

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