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.

The hatching is over and the new weyrling pairs have been escorted from the sands, leaving them empty and shard-strewn and both clutchparents and their riders free to return to their perspective homes. Seryth has fed and Thea has made a brief appearance at the feast but now she is here in front of the weyrbarn. She's barefoot, wearing old, oil-spotted shirt and short-shorts in spite of the chill wind of early winter that blows off the lake and just finishing oiling Seryth's neck, standing on one of the gold's forelegs to reach. Every now and then she lifts the hand holding the sponge to swipe at her eyes with the back of her wrist then resumes her task.

D'had was out the door for the hatching only a few minutes after Thea was for the hatching. He was in the stands and the following feast, he didn't stay terribly long but given he's the Weyrsecond it was nearly impossible for him to skip out on it as a whole. But returning back to the weyrbarn he finds Seryth and Thea. "Things seemed ta go well from where I was," he comments turning a lopsided smile up towards the junior.

Thea gives a final swipe and hops down, turning as D'had speaks. It's only then that her face can be seen and it's clear she's been crying. She simply nods in reply. Behind her Seryth curls up, content. Fed and oiled, happy to be free of the sands and back home with her friend Siebith, the young queen has no complaints. Her rider, leans back against her shoulder and tries, she really does to return that smile her weyrmate has for her, but she can't manage to pull it off.

D'had's smile turns to a frown. Not a full frown, but there's certainly the look of one tugging at his features. He steps forward to reach one hand towards her hip and the other to slide under and around the opposite shoulder and pull her to him. "Hey now," he starts, hand on her back giving a bit of a rub. "What's wrong?"

Thea still has that oil-soaked sponge in one hand when she opens her arms to him, stepping into that embrace. Her damp cheek against his has an icy chill to it, but she doesn't seem to notice it herself. He might though. "Nothing-" her voice cracks, "-everything! Oh, I don't know." As always, she's so helpful. Unusually restless, she's never so in his arms, but this morning she is. She drops her chin to his shoulder, eyes unfocused out over the lake, the waters blurred by fresh tears, which are blinked away. "Just…" She makes a strangled noise, then sighs. "I really don't know." Isn't he fortunate she wasn't this way for the nine months she carried his twins?

"Thea.." D'had starts when she says its nothing. He knows better. Tears are never nothing. He continues rubbing her back in that comforting way as he holds her close, not making any move to pull free from her returned embrace, at least not just yet. "Hatchin's over now…"

Normally the rare use of her name by him would draw some sort of reaction from Thea. But it doesn't today. Her chin moves on his shoulder as she nods her head. "Yeah, I know. They're a handsome clutch." Uttered dully, her words lack her usual inflection. "It was harder keeping her calm this time." And that mental effort has taken it's toll, apparently combining with the chill breeze of early winter and the summer clothes she's wearing, she begins to tremble just a little. "My friend Phylicia impressed. And Natishen, too." She lifts her head to give him a bit of a smile. She is glad, really.

D'had nods, making a sound of understanding and subtle agreement. "I saw," he adds at the mention of the pair of candidates turned weyrlings. "Why don't we head in," he suggests, "No point standin' out here ta get stared at." Well one never knows who might wander by what with most everyone up and about already given the early time of the hatching. It has nothing to do with the fact that it just might be cold for her and her current dress.

Thea turns her head to give the road a blink and note that there's no one on it, but she shrugs and turns back to him. "Right. Besides, it's cold out here and I'm finished with her." She tilts her dark head towards the sleepy Seryth. Yes, so she did note the cold, either she didn't care or wanted to leech the last bit of the sweltering heat of the sands from her bones. Overdid it in the process, but don't try and get her to admit that. She drops her arms from around his waist and tosses that sponge in the empty bucket; she'll get that later.

D'had nods. That he'll agree with and not argue further as he turns to lead the way inside, an arm still around her waist. Once inside however he's reaching to snag the blanket that hangs on the back of the couch and drape it over her shoulders. "Now, you eat anything after?" Because knowing her she might not have.

Thea wipes her hands on the rag hanging at her waist as he's leading her inside, attention taken with cleaning the oil from her fingers. When they enter the weyrbarn Rensea is on one of the rugs with the twins, who are busy pushing themselves along on their bellies on the hardwood floors, not really getting very far, but trying. Thea looks up as the blanket is settled around her shoulders, one hand lifts to push the dark hair hanging in her eyes back over her shoulder, leaving an oil sheen on it. "Uhhh, nooooo…." reluctant admission there. "Was too busy congratulating the new weyrlings and their families." She shrugs slightly, "Wasn't really hungry anyway."

D'had chuckles. "Figures," he comments at Thea's admittance of not having gotten anything. A nod sent towards the woman on the floor with the babies and one of his smiles for them as well. "How bout somethin' then? Hmm?" As if to say 'before you forget any longer'.

"No." The word comes out irritably and the junior winces, flashing D'had an apologetic look as she steps to scoop up Marella. "Still not hungry," she mutters as she carries the babe to the couch and tucks her head under her chin, cuddling her close. Muir's head turns at the sound of familiar voices, a crow of delight issues from his open-mouthed grin as he spies his daddy exposing two slivers of white teeth in his lower gums. He's not pushing fast enough, but hey daddy! Watch my new trick! The boy begins rolling in the weyrsecond's direction. Rensea doesn't say a word, merely smiles at the pair and pushes to her feet, heading into the kitchenette.

D'had rolls his eyes. Not the reaction he should give of course, but it’s what comes when she gives that reply. "Can't not eat anything," he retorts, a touch of irritation in his own voice until that noise from Muir catches his attention, bringing that smirking smile of his back as he stoops to scoop up the boy.

Thea misses the eyeroll since she's walking away, but given her current mood it's likely she wouldn't much care. As she settles the blanket around herself and Marella, she curls her legs under, tucking the blanket under to warm her cold legs and feet. "I know…" it's said with a soft sigh into the silky waves of dark hair beginning to lengthen on Marella's head - it barely reaches her tiny ears, but much better than her nearly bald head that was. Marella is content to cheer on her brother with a gurgle and a bounce from mommy's lap while Muir chuckles with glee at being snagged by his favorite person in the whole world. How does he greet his daddy? Why by reaching with fingers to pry open that smirk if he can. Whatcha got in there?

D'had just shakes his head at the boy, nibbling fingertips that try to get into his mouth. Aww look, he's really getting into that daddy thing here lately isn't he. The Weyrsecond sinks down onto the other end of the opposite end of the couch from Thea, tossing her and their daughter a grin around the boy's fingers. "My two favorite girls," he teases.

Muir is intent on getting beyond lips, leaning to eye them at close range as if the study with reveal the secrets of unlocking them. Two hands are better than one, and thus the other joins it, curling round top while the other pulls on the bottom. He's got his daddy's tenacity. Or would that be Thea's will to torment? Thea flashes D'had a look and a headshake over Marella's head and just tsks. She knows he has four, or five favorites if you count Hali. unusually quiet, she turns on the couch to face him, stretching her legs out to poke both feet, cold toes and all at him. Oooh! Warm arm! This will do nicely. Her icy toes curl around his forearm.

"Faranth your feet are cold!" D'had all but yelps - he's far to manly for all that though really. Though they are cold and he does twitch at the touch. Of course talking doesn't help him keep little fingers out of his mouth and free hands are hard to come by with holding a wiggly Muir, but he manages to pull the boy back down to his lap for the moment at least. "Maybe we need ta go somewhere warmer, hmm?"

Thea leans her head sideways against the back of that couch, his yelp -almost- drawing a smile from her tired face. "You're warm," she notes and yes that's said a little smugly. She slides her toes down to wriggle them between his stomach and his arm and hopefully warm both sides. Muir twists as he's lowered, straining to keep his quest into his daddy mouth, that glimpse of teeth intriguing - he won't forget he saw those! Alas, defeated he leans back against D'had and amuses himself with his own foot, pulling himself into a baby pretzel to get it onto his mouth. Marella lunges forward from the waist wanting over there too. From the kitchen Rensea calls quietly, "If you go while I'm still here, can leave them with me." Thea sends her mother a mild look. Someone's going to have a hard time heading back to Cold Stone Hold. D'had is next and she levels a look at him without her usual enthusiasm, idly, "Think so?" There's just no energy to her this morning.

D'had chuckles, whether at baby in lap or mother-in-law in the kitchen… maybe both. "Thanks," sent towards the latter along with one of his grins. Then it's back to Thea, that grin falling noticeable as his dark gaze settles on her though at least he's not complaining about her cold feet still. "Need a break babe, spent how much time on the sands? Both of ya." Yes, he's including Seryth there too.

Thea retains her grasp on Marella's waist even though the babe is trying her hardest to join brother and wreak some havoc on daddy. Her little arms wave in time to her bouncing-lean not at all discouraged that she's not getting anywhere. Sparkling sea green eyes are fixed upon her daddy's face and her face is lit with pure joy. Thea stoically watches Muir nibble his toe-snack immune to Marella's tactic. "I forget how long," is exhaled in a long blown-out breath. Listless as she is, she does meet his concerned gaze, noting the frown, his words rousing her to thought. "Can't remember when we last got away together alone." She really can't! Her brow wrinkles slightly, "When was that?"

"No idea," D'had replies with a shake of his head. She should know better than to ask a question like that of him. "Been a good while," he adds. "Was thinkin' if your ma don't mind watchin' 'em," which obviously she doesn't being that she already offered to. There's a smile for the woman there, and quickly enough he's back to meeting Thea's gaze, a glance down towards Marella as well. "Could take a day or two out to that island…" A thought anyway.

She should, but today she's all out of sorts as he can tell. Thea's head moves against the back of that couch as she nods agreement. It has been a long time! Rensea is on her way across the room, returning the Weyrsecond's smile graciously as she bends to gather the energetic Marella up in her arms. For once Thea allows the babe to slip through her arms without protest. She considers the island. "You want to go?" She's not saying no, just there's no gleam of anticipation there at the moment. Muir there on daddy's lap has fallen asleep with his big toe in his mouth, both small hands curled 'round his foot and his leg still jackknifed. Someone's going to have tingly leg if he's not adjusted. Thea makes no move to do so, although her eyes rest on the lad briefly. Raising them back to D'had's dark ones, she shrugs, "Sure."

"Thought you might like to," D'had replies, watching as Marella is picked up by her grandmother. "Might be nice ta get out of here, she," a nod of his head towards the door and outside where Seryth rests, "could stretch her wings and that." It was a thought he'd had, but her lack of enthusiasm has him second guessing his offer. "Don't have ta go now. Could wait til tomorrow or something.."

Thea shifts, withdrawing her toes from under his arm carefully so as not to jostle Muir. Her toes have been warmed to perfection and thus her legs curl back under her. The mention of Seryth needing to fly has Thea wincing with a bit of a guilty look, "Hadn't even thought to ask her if she wanted to before I oiled her." She makes an effort to shake off the weight of fatigue. "Let's go now, before they find something for me to do." They being the folks in the office. She slips off the couch, leaning as she offers to take Muir from him by opening her arms silently. The look on his face stirs her to brush a kiss across his cheek, "I do want to go. I'm just tired, Donn. In here." She lifts one finger to her forehead.

D'had nods, lips twitching into a smirking smile for her at that kiss as he lets her take the boy. Once he's out of his lap Donn shifts himself to stand. "Its okay babe," he assures, leaving his own kiss on her forehead where that finger of hers rested a second ago. "Can go whenever your ready. Least," and here he turns a glance towards Rensea," if your ma don't mind…"

Thea pauses there in front of him cradling Muir in her arms, or at the very least, her movements lack enough energy to be quick, so she's still there when he rises. She has a faint smile in return for him as he leaves that kiss on her forehead. "Don't need much." Yes, packing for where there's no one else takes all of five minutes. From the rocking chair over by those sling beds, Rensea nods agreement to their plans. She's perfectly content with her grandchildren, perhaps wishing to put off leaving for a few days longer. Muir is carried to his bed with toe still in mouth and placed in as-is. There's to be no tempting fate by waking him.

D'had nods again, "Well then, I'll be here when you're ready." Apparently he's thought about this and had things ready for when the eggs hatched. Not that he has all that much to pack himself anyway. "Just got to get a few things together. Go pack and change?"

Change? Thea looks down at herself. What? He doesn't like the skimpy shorts and thin sleeveless shirt she's wearing? Almost more like herself she's got a barely-there smirk for him as if almost might be going to dare and defy that request. But she doesn't. Her bag is added to his in a matter of minutes. But she's not changed yet. Instead she's got a set of clean clothes and a basket of bathing items. "Going to wash this oil and sweat from the sands. Be back soon." And soon ends up being more like a half hour, but when she's back, she's clean, her damp hair now oil-free and she's in riding leathers. Ready to go and having given him time, if he needs it to pack additional surprises. She could really use some!

D'had has no problem with what she's wearing. He's rather appreciative of it but for the winter chill in the outside air. And really it's not so perfect for going between either. "I'll be here," he comments as she's on her way out. That time does give him what he needs to pack any surprises, likely with some input from her mother on what she might like best. By the time Thea returns all his things are already packed on Siebith so its unlikely she might find any hints of surprises to come.

Sneaky, sneaky man! Thea has no clue. But that's rather par for the course for her most times. She's a little slower to get Seryth harnessed than she usually is and her bag is strapped on, she's quick enough to mount, perhaps some of the idea of getting away from the crush and business of the Weyr finally giving her some impetus. Once they're airborne, Seryth does indeed stretch her wings giving Siebith a cheerful warble. He can lead the way between to the island since he knows the coordinates better than she does, fly circles around her or whatever he wants. She's just happy to be in the sky and free.


Lost Island - Sugar Beach

Palm trees shade the fine-grained, pristine white sand, making them cool to the touch even when Rukbat is at its peak. Gentle waves from the sheltered bay lap the sand at water’s edge. Crystal clear at the shoreline, the waters deepen to aqua then a rich azure in the cove’s center. Further out, rolling billows break with a muted roar upon a reef of smooth volcanic rock that protects the cove, keeping the waters tranquil.%r %r On either side the sand stretches to curve out of sight, flanked on one side by thick jungle, the other by the sea. Someone has tied a woven rope hammock wide enough for two in the shade of the palm trees and just a few steps from a rock fire pit. Nearby there is a path that disappears into the undergrowth.

D'had is slow circles up into the sky this time around for Siebith once Seryth and Thea are read, leaving time for the gold to stretch her wings before the jump between. Coordinates are shared and seconds later they're in the warmer skies above that island they've visited before. Lazy circles bring the blue down to the sandy beach as well, no divebombing today it seems.

Thea throws Siebith a quizzical glance or two both before the jump and after coming out from Between, but remains silent for the time being. Seryth beats her wings strongly, ascending higher than necessary catching a thermal and gliding before dropping to climb yet again, repeating this maneuver a few times before indicating to the blue that she is ready to go. Once over tropical waters, the gold tilts a wing to descend on a long curve, glides to the beach and touches down with a pleased croon. Thea dismounts and busies herself with removing Seryth's riding straps, looping them over her shoulders and heading to the tree line to stow them. Passing near D'had she asks, "Sedate flying today, hmm?"

"Didn't wanna rush her," D'had replies with a nod towards the gold. Circling certainly helps slow Siebith down, so there is that. On the ground however, rider sets to unloading the few packs attached to the blue's straps, and then removing the straps themselves. Siebith is for the water once he's free.

"Ahh." Thea's concern for the blue abates, "I was worried about him for a moment there." Seryth heads into the water with a pleased chuff, wings lifted until she's out far enough to float then simply left spread out on the water limply, allowing the warm water to relax muscles grown unused to flight. A low-hanging branch makes a good place to loop those straps and hang her flight jacket. She slides the strap of her bag over one shoulder, tilts her head to look at D'had. "Where to?" Since, well… there a whole island.

Straps find a place beside hers where they're out of the way and off the sand and then bags are tossed over a shoulder as well. "Was thinkin' the falls?" a bit of a question on the end there in case she might like another place. "Little shade up there," as opposed to the blazing sun of the beach.

Thea shrugs almost indifferently though the choice is a wise one as she's already sweating in spite of loosing the jacket and her sleeveless shirt beneath. Wearing her flight trous and boots does not help matters. She nods with a bit of a smile for him, "Yeah, let's." Adjusting the strap on her shoulder she heads for the path, moving slowly enough for him to walk beside her.


Lost Island - Jungle Path

Thickly-growing palms cast this cinder path in perpetual gloom as it winds through verdant tropical growth, passing under massive vine-shrouded tree trunks and twisting between huge moss-covered boulders.

As you move deeper into the island's interior, the brightness of the beach dims, the calls of birds and the hum of insects replace the sound of the surf. Rukbat's light reaches the jungle floor only in isolated golden shafts that pierce the dense foliage above. Jasmine, frangipani and orchids bloom in the near twilight perfuming the vegetation-redolent air with a sweet, heady scent.

D'had falls into step beside her on the path up to the falls. Its not a terribly long walk, but its a nice one particularly with the slow pace they take giving plenty of time to take in the scenery. "Everything alright?" he ventures to ask after a few moments.

When he moves beside her, Thea offers one of her hands if he has one free. She hasn't forgotten him! For several paces she is quiet, only the sound to be heard is the gravel crunching beneath their feet and the fading surf behind them taken over by the sound of birds and insects in the thick trees overhead. The junior loses herself in the tranquility of the place, inhaling the floral scents and drinking in the stillness, eyes drifting to golden sunbeams piercing the canopy, following them down to see what they spotlight.

D'had's question rouses her from her thoughts and she tilts him a look, trying for reassurance, she smiles. "Yeeees… and no." Ahead the sound of the falls grows louder and the trees give way to the clearing.

D'had's hand finds hers when it's offered, fingers linking between hers with a light squeeze. "Hard bein' away like that, huh?" He guesses as to the reason behind her withdrawl, taking a half step closer to bump shoulders with her once or twice as they continue the walk.

Thea's fingers twine with his, a small sigh escapes her lips they settle where they fit so well. The serious expression on her face lightens with that shoulder bump and she bumps him back, a quiet smile curving her lips as she regards him . More relaxed as the island begins to work its magic, "Yeaaaaah." The admission is breathed out with a long sigh. "Was harder than I ever thought it would be, Donn. I missed you and the twins so." Her eyes drift past him to a flowering vine draped across the path ahead, a tiny wrinkle forms on her brow, "And I worried about you, with M'gaal being there." She shrugs it off. She knows that's past.

"Was hard without you too," D'had replies, "Your ma helped, but…" Helping take care of the twins and their own mother being there are very different. "We all missed you too," he adds. There's a shrug for the mention of M'gaal. What's done is done, what's over over. "Come on, just up here." Though she should know the path as well as he does, and the sound of the falls is quite clear.


Lost Island - Misty Falls

The jungle opens to a wide clearing that reveals a high, broad lip of rock over which water cascades in a thin sheet falling into a clear, wide pool that appears deep enough for swimming. The sound of the drops hitting the surface of the pool is musical and soothing to the ears. Almost level banks are thickly-carpeted with rich emerald moss shaded by giant ferns that cluster in graceful arcs, perpetually be-jeweled with beads from the mist given off by the falls.

Behind the falls there appears to be a ledge that allows one to pass behind the sheet of water and remain dry. The path skirts the clearing and continues on up towards the peak.

Yes, done. Though it does explain why she's allowed herself to become so strained. She nods, "Was good seeing her, though I'm wondering if Tharen was ready for her to go on home already." She giggles softly at something she doesn't give voice to. Her eyes are on that vine as they approach and her words contain a note of hope, "I'm sorry things are this way with Seryth and all, but I guess we'll make it somehow." She reaches with one hand to pluck a blossom from that vine, sticks it over one ear, the pale shell-pink contrasting with the shine of her dark hair. She glimmers a silent laugh at him for her girlish impulse as she follows him into the clearing.

D'had returns a smirk for that girlishness, a light squeeze of her hand following before he drops it upon entering the clearing. There he's dropping his bags, pulling a blanket from near the top of one it's spread on the ground making a comfortable place to sit which he does, reaching a hand to pull her down beside him.

While he's dropping bags and pulling out that blanket, Thea wriggles out of her boots and flight pants, having come prepared by wearing a pair of shorts underneath. This time, they're a better pair, not oil-stained or beat up, but just as short. She flops down beside him on that blanket when pulled, a light laugh for his impulsiveness. This getting away - it is helping, yes. That steady rush of water over the falls is relaxing, which certainly doesn't hurt either.

Once she's seated he's working on the same, boots and flight pants beneath with he's dressed with a pair of swim trunks. "See," D'had starts, glancing back at her while he sets his boots to the side of the blanket, "Missed that." Her laughter. "Wanna get the rest out?" he asks, nodding towards the bag which the blanket came from as he goes about tugging off pants.

"Oh did you?" The smile that follows is somewhat chagrined. "Has it been such a long time?" It may have been! At his request, Thea is curling her legs under her to push to her knees, stretching to pull the bag he's indicated closer. Reaching in she begins pulling items out, setting them on the blanket, feeling inside until she's sure it is empty, then tosses the bag to the edge of the blanket. When that's done, she sprawls on her back, an arm behind her head and her eyes on the sky unfocused in that peaceful hazed sort of way. "When they're older we must bring them here."

There's not much left in there, but if he doesn't have to get everything unpacked so be it. A few containers that likely hold food, but what is still hidden by covers. He leans over to pull of said covers. One contains a variety of fruits already cut up (likely by the kitchen staff) and ready to eat. The other some pre-made sandwiches. "There should be one more.." he comments, "Check that front pocket?" he suggests and when she does she'll find a hand-sized white box tied with a gold ribbon more likely tied by Hali or someone else than himself. "Should," he agrees to bringing the twins here. "Sometime soon maybe, pool'd," he nods towards that which the falls runs into, "make a good place for swimmin' lessons."

More? Cue puzzled look on Thea's face. Surely the bag was empty? She ahhs when he mentions that pocket, levers herself up on one elbow, rolls to her side and scoots over to snag the now-empty bag with one finger, drawing it over. She eyes the glass-clear pool askance. "Swimming lessons?" There's a little apprehension from this mountain girl and a dark brow raised. "That's turns and turns away, isn't it?" She has no idea at what age sea traders learn to swim. She lifts the flap on the bag, reaches in and draws out the box, blinking at it in stunned surprise. "What's this for?" She just holds it on the flat of her palm, raising sea green eyes to him. A gift? This is a first!

"Sure," D'had replies, "Ma says we learned ta swim before we could walk." Can't hurt anything to let them in the water, its not as if they won't be right there with them. "Bet they'd like the water, gonna be to cold at Xanadu for awhile now." With winter rolling in and all. A smirk of amusement touches his lips at her confusion. "Thought you deserved somethin', no go ahead an' open it."

Upon opening the box reveals a oval shaped locket with a dragon design on the front. The chain attached is the same pale gold as the pendant itself, a similar hue to that of her own lifemate. Inside the locket are two tiny harper drawn sketches, one of Muir and one of Marella and their smiling, chubby little baby faces.

Thea blanches visibly. "B-before they could walk?" The box is forgotten momentarily as she stares at him openmouthed. His words do little to allay her maternal fears of certain drowning. "But… we'd hang onto them, right?" No just tossing them? "How do you teach a babe to swim anyway?" Because teaching this babe doesn't count. She could talk and follow instructions. Yeah, all that is on her very confused face. His suggestion is followed slowly, after a lingering glance - he's not off the hook yet with those swimming lessons! She tugs at that gold ribbon, lifting the lid and when opened there's a quick indrawn breath and that gold ribbon flutters to the blanket. "Oh!" She sits up, curls her legs to sit cross-legged, lifting the locket and pops it open, noting the pictures inside. Still rather stunned but appreciative, she breathes, "Donn. It's beautiful! When… how… why…?" Still, she gives him a radiant smile and then… promptly pounces him without warning in a tackle-hug!

"Maybe not swim," D'had corrects himself. "But used ta the water, born an' raised on a boat babe." More water than anything around out there. It only makes sense. "Course we'd hang onto 'em." Then she's opening his little gift and he's waiting for that reaction which earns a smile and then a startled 'oof' when he's pounced. "When ya were on the sands, an' cause ya deserve somethin' nice an' I ain't gotten ya nothin' in awhile. Ma said I missed your turnday.." he goes on to admit. "From all three of us, me an' the twins."

Thea hrms at that explanation, visibly relieved at his assurance they'd hang onto the twins while in the pool. "Okaaaay…" Reluctant, but really - he was very good when teaching her. She still has the box, after pouncing him, although she's got her arms around his neck with her hand over the opening of that box to keep the locket from falling out. She leans her forehead against his while he's telling her when and why, her eyes looking deep into his. "Thank you," breathed out softly, heartfelt. "I love you, Donn." She presses a kiss to his lips, then leans back, offering the box to him. "Help me put it on?"

D'had laughs, that deep amused chuckle of his while a smirk curls one corner of his lips. He'd return a hug, but his hands are busy propping them both up after her pounce, but he does return that kiss. Once she's leaning back he reaches for the box as she offers it over to him. "Course," he replies resting the box on his lap as he takes the necklace from within. "Love you too."

Thea slides her arms from around his neck, turns her back to him, lifting the heavy fall of dark hair from the back of her neck so he can see what he'd doing. Facing away from him, the pool is there and she eyes it thoughtfully. Teach them to swim before they can walk? This has her saying, "They'll be walking within the next three or four months you know. At least my ma says most babies do." Fair warning D'had… time to corral them is coming!

D'had chuckles, "I heard," he comments. Likely having been warned by her mother more than once in the last few weeks that the woman has been staying with them. "Don't know what we're gonna do then…" He doesn't know what he's going to do at any rate. Two of them starting to walk at the same time.. ee.

Oh, yes, he would have heard, wouldn't he? Thea waits until he's placed the locket over her head and fastened it, turns to smile, laughter dancing in her eyes. Teasingly, "Get lots of exercise chasing them? Maybe you should practice now while you can." She makes as if to jump up and start running.

D'had reaches to try and grab her before she can do that. "I'd rather relax while I can," he teases back, the locket having been clasped in place. "Take advantage while I can…"

He might note how hard Thea tries to get away - she doesn't even leave the blanket! Thusly grabbed, she laughs. "I suppose that's wise, for there's little time after they're walking. Might have the crafters build a pen or something." Yay babies and all their stuff! "They're going to be too big for those hammock slings soon, too." As for taking advantage… she laughs, teasing him, "That what this is all about?" One eye flutters in a wink at him. Why not? He's given her enough over the past few turns.

D'had chuckles, leaning forward to steal a kiss from her. "Might be," he teases, "But suppose you're right. Need ta start thinkin' bout gettin' some things for them to grow into again." Beat. "Ya know, might still have some things Marella could use." Being that he's already raised two girls. "Can take care of all that when we get back though. Feelin' better?"

Playful, Thea pretends to try and evade that kiss he's aiming for, allowing him to end up wherever he can, all the while she's laughing quietly. "Hmm, nice planning. I can't scream for help here." She looks thoughtful at the mention of him having girl things. "After all this time? But, yeah, you know… if ah," suddenly awkward, "their mother doesn't mind." She has no idea, really. She nods agreement, leaving their cares back at the Weyr, giving him a sparkle as she answers, "Yes. Just… needed this. Still tired, but yes. Better."

D'had is a tightwad on most things. Hence his sleeping on the couch for so long. "Youngest is seven, eight.. something in there," he comments with a shake of his head. He could be off by a turn or two there, but who's really counting? "Can check." Doesn't hurt to check now does it? There's another kiss at her answer and he leans back aiming to pull her with him. "Tired will work itself out, feelin' better is good though."

Thea nods. "That's Darsce." She looks dubious when he says he'll ask. Squirming a bit, "Uhhh, really don't have to bother her. I am a weaver, you know. Can make most of what they need." And there's no mention of asking Cold Stone Hold for anything there. She is easily pulled with him, relaxing against him as he goes back. "Better is wonderful. For awhile… I couldn't find me. Just too pressured."

D'had shifts to make himself comfortable as he looks up, turning his eyes towards her as he makes space for her to snuggle into his shoulder. "Like I said, glad things are better," he says with a hint of a smile. "Meant the other one though," he adds about the girls. "E…" Pause. "Evee." So he had to think a good bit on that, but he got it.

Thea's half-smile turns to chagrin as she blinks at the correction. "Oh yes! I forgot about that one! And you did mention her to me, too." See how badly she's needed this getaway? She snuggles down beside him, resting her head on his shoulder and wraps an arm loosely across his stomach. "You know her better than I do." There's a shrug then, perhaps not wanting to dwell too long on the man's former weyrmate. Into the peace of rushing water and birdsong she murmurs, "Ma told Tharen and I about Thadan last night. He's… failing, it seems."

D'had doesn't mind leaving off that conversation where it is. He'll take care of checking in on baby things from his ex. "We'll get it taken care of," he replies, falling silent and nuzzling his face into her hair. That murmur has him picking up to get a better look at her. "Maybe we should all go with her then..?"

Thea smiles for that nuzzling in spite of the somber note that was in her voice when she just spoke. Feeling his head move, she tilts her head to meet his eyes, seeking to reassure him. "His mind, not his health. But then, you already knew that." Her faint smile is more wry than anything else. "And probably better if we didn't go just now." She shrugs, "She just wanted us to know he'll likely not be managing Cold Stone for very much longer." Perhaps this news might have had something to do with her former mood, although the telling of it to him seems to bring her some comfort. "I think she'll be alright."

D'had ahhs, nodding and settling back. "Well.. when you want to, we'll go," he replies, an assurance of sorts. "Sorry about your da though.." Really he is, for her sake and her mother's, not her father's. "And I'm sure your ma'll do just fine."

Thea snuggles her head back where it was, "Thanks." The arm she has draped across him gives a light squeeze. "There will likely come a time when he's forgotten who we are, so maybe it will be safer, you know?" She nods after a few minutes, "She's a strong woman. She'll be finding someone to take over management when it is time." Thea doesn't sound worried, although there's a note of uncertainty in her voice that he may pick up on. She falls silent then, not really in the mood to chatter his ear off, allowing the hum of insects, the rush of the falls to further leech out the stress that's accumulated over the past weeks.

D'had hmms. "It'll all work out" he replies. "Maybe once that happens he might be able to meet the twins." Her father that is. When he looses it enough not to try an kill any of them for visiting. "And yeah, your ma's a good woman." Everything will work itself out, but for now he's content enough to let conversation drop and simply lay there. There's food in the form of sandwiches and fruit whenever they're hungry and other than that just simple relaxing.

And when all is said and done, the few days spent with D'had there on that nameless island does much to restore Thea's energy and equilibrium so that when they do return to the Weyr, she is ready to head back to work and allow her mother to return to Cold Stone Hold. Her promise of return visits to Xanadu may do little to prevent the poor Weyrsecond's coming trial as the twins become more mobile, but… yay nannies?

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