One Month At A Time

Xanadu Weyr - Dragon's Rest Farm
In contrast to the gigantic barn is the smaller homestead. The structure is a small two-level cottage, complete with a covered porch that sweeps around the exterior. The wooden slats of the house seem freshly painted, as if this old place has been brought back to life by careful hands. A chair-swing sways beneath the shade of the porch, moving with the slightest breeze off the sea. Inside, the quaint space has been decked out with the comforts one might expect. Fluffy rugs cover hardwood floors, and finely carved furniture dominates most of the spaces. A few things here and there seem older, heirlooms that now have a new place to call home.

Everything within the cottage is comfortable, rather than elaborate. Though it may have once been empty, there is now a warm, welcoming feel to the place. Many large windows and sliding doors look out upon both the training field and across the road, a view of the beach and the sea beyond. Even on the hottest days, these can be opened to let in air and leave the rooms cool and comfortable. Set back a ways from many of the other Weyrbarns along the roadway, there is plenty of room for those who need a bit of space and privacy. There is plenty of space, leaving room to grow, to learn, to expand, and most of all… it is a warm, safe place to come home to when the day's tasks are done.

It's starting to snow. Little tiny flakes that get pushed around in the light breeze like bits of confetti tossed at a parade. And so, obviously, it's cold. Cold enough for that precipitation to come down as snow on an already slick ground. Cold enough for jackets and hats to be worn by the weyrbrats who play outside, scraping the ground as if the few centimeters of tiny fluff that has fallen is enough to make a snowman out of. It isn't. But that isn't reason enough for them not to try. Ka'el has never really enjoyed this type of weather. He'll probably never be a fan of cold. But he does like tthose comfortable moments that come with winter. Holed up in his weyr. Blankets for warmth. Apple cider. Stew. Those days will come. Maybe they're already here. He has no idea what the Caverns are serving, and he's not approaching them. He and Kanekith had already made their trip away. Already returned. Already put it behind them. That was a day ago. Since that day, he's been his usual busy self, if not just slightly busier because of it. Early mornings. Late nights. Today was supposed to be a rest day, but some catch up was needed. But now, late afternoon with the flurry of snow, he's called it a day and heads home alongside Xanadu's number one firelizard, Alloy, who prefers sliding to flying down the path that leads home. His bronze body glitters with flecks of ice that spark up as claws rake against patches of frozen ground, and Ka'el smirks a little each time. Chirp, chirrup! Sliiiiiide!

Already, the first of the winter-related accidents have hit the dragon-infirmary. Or, well, actually it was that the poor guy hit a tree because he flubbed his landing, but he ended up in the infirmary because of it. At least the snow's pretty. Little flakes, drifting around, tossed by the breezes. They're decorative! And fun for all (or at least some) ages. Kids and firelizards alike! But after all the snowy day (or, uh, a flurry or two of it), there's home to be headed to, the warmth of a fire (because yes, there's one flickering in the hearth) and good company… or at least Soriana, sitting under a blanket on the couch. Which… does that really count as properly appreciating the fire? She's got this wool in the way of it. And she's not even really looking at it, instead just leaned back and… not looking at the report draped over the couch, either. What sort of productive workday and/or leisurely rest day is this? For shame!

Alloy skiiiiiiids all the way home! The bronze flits up the porch steps and pauses at the door. Rar! Chirrup! CHATTER! .. In other words: HURRY THE HECK UP IT'S COLD OUTSIDE! Ka'el's bombarded with blurred images of the mind. Flames. A comfortable perch. Snoozing amongst warm blankets. Firelizard treats of meatscraps! "Alright, alright, for Faranth's sake, I'm comin'," says the Weyrleader who is in no immediate hurry to run home. The roads are hazardous! He could slip and fall and have an unfortunate accident! He pauses long enough to peek in the barn. No Kanekith, but that's unsurprising. A quick check tells him that his mighty bronze is on the starstones with the watchdragon, personally keeping tabs to make sure the job is being done correctly. Plus he's the dominant bronze here. This is HIS weyr! Darn right he should be up there keeping watch on those Betweening visitors. Ka'el's happy to let Kanekith do his thing, as it keeps the bronze satisfied and feeling useful. The door opens, and Alloy darts inside with barely a hello to anyone or thing as he makes a beeline for the hearth. Rolling his eyes, Ka'el closes the door and begins the process of removing his boots and snow-flaked jacket. It's waaaaaarm in here. Feels goooood. And Sori's home! His tongue slides between cold lips as he hangs his jacket up and detaches the knot from his shoulder to hang alongside it. "Is today a rest day for you?" You'd think he'd know his own weyrmate's schedule, right?

…there's someone at the door. More exactly, somefirelizard at the door. Soriana can hear him! She… okay, so maybe she should go let the poor freezing creature in so he doesn't have to …uh… pop between and get even colder in order to come inside. It's probably hazardous and stuff, because he's wet from sliding on the ice. Or something. But… letting in that firelizard would involve unwrapping herself from that blanket and leaving that fire. That nice warm fire that a cold firelizard would love to come share! Shells, that a cold firelizard would love to take all of and never mind the humans! But he can't. Not unless he dares the cold of between or… Soriana gets up. She's not getting the full frozen-firelizard set of demands, but she can still hear the squeaks. They're enough to make her nudge the blanket down a little. …okay, a little more. And at this rate, she might yet have let Alloy in before he turned into a flitsicle overnight, but fortunately for poor chilled firelizards that certainly didn't bring this on themselves by sliding along the ice, Ka'el is there to open the door! Luraoth's certainly not going to do it, because she's tucked away in her barn dreaming of summer's warmth. Soriana… she woulda done it! Honest! She just… doesn't. The blanket's still over her lap as she looks up to Ka'el's entry, smiling for him - if not the cold air that wants to come in after him. Firelizards welcome! Frigid breezes can stay out on the porch. "Hey," she says, then shrugs. "Not really." And yet she's here. In the house. Not in her office. And while she's got a few papers, she doesn't really look to have a full day's worth of work with her. There's a brief tug of her lips, almost opening as her eyes drift down, then she looks up at Ka'el again and smiles. "You're home early." So apparently she doesn't know her weyrmate's schedule either, or she'd know he should have been home the whole day.

Betweening? Pft. Alloy is a lizard of status now. Doors should open at his command and will! He should want for nothing! And… well he's inside now, so it's all good. The mini bronze shakes himself off and makes a process of finding the perfect spot to lounge by the fire. This spot right here is too rough. This spot, far too smooth. This spot here has a slight slope to it. And that spot over there… Well, you get the idea. Ka'el latches the door, as is his custom (whereas Soriana leaves doors unlocked for thieves and murders to help themselves! … because Xanadu is so known for its abundance of thieves and murderers, see..), and eventually is undressed enough from his exterior gear of jackets and knots and boots and such that he heads further into their home. He approaches her first. Unsurprising, considering she's his weyrmate and this is one of their rare 'at home during the day together' moments. He leans down to press a kiss to her cheek, chaste and brief, which is not as unsurprising, before leaning up and moving on towards the kitchen. He's off duty. Time for a drink! "Home early, ha. Should't've left in the first place," he says, the sound of the opening refridgeration unit a clue as to where he is. "But I had to catch up on time lost goin' to Western. Caught up now though, so I guess leaving was worth it." Heh, but is he ever really 'caught up'? Right now there's already probably sheets of paper being placed in his inbox for review. Meetings being scheduled. Being 'caught up' is a fantasy! He returns with a bottled drink and seats himself in one of the smaller cushioned seats, leaving the sofa for her lounging leisure. He sits back, takes a swallow of his drink, and allows his body some time to warm up. "Might go in later. Try to stay ahead." And brave the cold and flurries and patches of ice instead of keeping himself defrosted. "Ista's senior Weyrwoman mentioned wanting a gather. Forgot to toss that to Thea. See what she thinks about it. Have you met her?"

Soriana hasn't been murdered in her sleep even once! So, you see, there's nothing at all to worry about. She'll be fine. And if she does get mysteriously slain, then she'll know better. That, or Ka'el will get to avenge her death in dramatic fashion. Either way, it works! …or… something like, anyway. She tilts her head up to brush her lips in turn to… mmh, chin, apparently. Because that's what's in range in the moments when her lips are aimed at him. Good enough? …but hey, drinks are important after long (short) days. "Oh," she says as he reports from the kitchen, and draws her legs up onto the couch, curling an arm around them and getting the blanket… "Not all of it's that important," she says with a little shrug, looking aside to where Alloy's finding himself the comfortable fireside place. "I mean… there'll always be something." An empty inbox attracts work! And gaps in the schedule… ha, there's no such thing as gaps in the schedule. Just things that haven't yet been filled in by the meetings that will surely find them. Soriana looks up from firelizard into the fire, then returns her gaze to Ka'el. "…Cenlia?" She knows the name, at least, and she thinks about it a moment before she shakes her head. "Not really. At a hatching, once." Which barely even counts. It was an Istan hatching, so while Soriana remembers, she wouldn't be surprised if Cenlia… has no clue whatsoever. "Gather'd be nice. One… there?" Does Xanadu even have any party-throwing budget left?

Ka'el's chin is awesome. Why wouldn't Soriana want to kiss it? Lips are totally overrated. Who wants lips when they can have chin? And Ka'el's even the shaving sort, thus for now it's not even a whiskery sort of chin. Just a vague sort of stubble, which hints that he needs to shave again to keep that clean-cut Weyrleader look he has going. Alloy has finally found that Perfect Spot he's been searching for. On a carpet near, but not too near the fire, he curls up into a firelizard ball of comfort, tail wrapped around himself. Purr! … If only firelizards could purr! But they can't, and thus he makes some other sound of pleasure that resonates in his lizard chest happily. Warm and home! Ka'el smirks at Alloy's vibes, his eyes also turning to acknowledge his little lizard friend. Soriana's right. There's always something. He should be like Alloy and enjoy the time while he has the time (kind of) to take it. No one is hunting him down. No dragonriders are calling out for him. He's free! To .. stare at Soriana from afar. His gaze returns to her as she speaks of Cenlia, nodding at the name he learned…or rather, re-learned the day he actually met the Istan Weyrwoman. "She's … not like any Weyrwoman I've met before," he says, fingers drumming against the side of his bottle. "Not a senior, anyway. She seemed fun. Mentioned a beach party on Ista because their beaches are wicked." First-hand experience! "Though we just had a gather…but it wasn't really for everyone.." He shrugs. "We'll see, I guess. I want to know what her other Weyrwoman and Weyrleader is like. If they're anything like her, it'll be a shardin blast I bet."

Afar-staring is… how these things go? Apparently. Soriana's turned enough to stare (well, look) back at Ka'el. Even if there's also the occasional glance to the firelizard radiating comfort from the hearth. She can't feel it in her mind, but she can still get the sense that this, right here, is very much a happy firelizard. Because… warm! Like… "Ista does have some pretty good beaches," Soriana admits. Not that she's conducted a full survey or anything, but the ones she has seen… are good ones. And the weyrwomen she's seen… hey, wait. Soriana's a weyrwoman! A junior one, admittedly, but… she glances away to the fire again. "Winter gather's… well, it's harder." If they do it here, but… Ista! With those expanses of beach. Why stay in the cold, curled up by a fire, when you could be lounging on sun-warmed sands drinking fruity things and listening to the sound of the waves? …really, it's a wonder half the dragonriders of Pern don't migrate with the seasons. And… Soriana's thoughts drift like the white fluffy crowds over that beach, a faint frown creasing her brow before she shakes it away as she looks back to Ka'el. "Yeah. We'll see."

The only sucky thing about afar-staring is that it's done from …afar. Hence its name. Ka'el does have company with his bottle though, but the cold bubbly liquid that glides down his throat really isn't much company. So it's a good thing Soriana is here! Even though he's seated himself over here instead of over there with her, making her 'here-at-a-distance', which isn't exactly the same. But… well.. He lets his thoughts shift to beach gathers. Lounging on the sands with a cold drink in hand. Letting the waves reach at his toes. Surfing.. That sparks a memory. "She spoke of surfing.." Real ocean waves! "I think it'd be fun to learn how and try over there, but I don't know a lot about Ista's leadership. Thea probably would and could give more intel. Though…really, from what I gather, we've no issue with them." As far as he knows anyway, and what's blatant sometimes isn't always the truth. Just like his causual sitting at a distance thing. Seems okay. But is that true? He figits a little, catching the faint turn of her expression but not questioning her. He looks back to the fire again, shifts in his chair… then eventually gives up and stands up, leaviing his half-finished drink behind as he crosses the room to instead settle himself nearer to her, right on that same sofa. Aw. He should've brought that drink. It'd give him something to do with his hands. What he does do with them is grasp at the edge of her blanket to lift it up and lay it over him to. Share the warmth! The body heat! Without the actual … body. "Would you go, if it happened?"

Soriana never would have guessed that was the reason for afar-staring to be named like that! She thought it had something to do with… uh… afas. Which are… small fuzzy creatures with six limbs and fluffy tails, and are definitely an actual thing and not just an invention. Nope. They're as real as surfing! "…probably would be." Fun, that is! That's why people do it, right? To have fun, not to… fall down in the waves and make splashes. Not that falling into water can't be fun, but usually people like to do it on purpose and call it diving. "I don't think we've any problems with Ista," she adds, but it's with a slight frown. There was… "Not now, anyway." That trouble Thea mentioned was surely long past - a different Weyrwoman, a different situation. Nothing for them to worry about now. It's all beach parties and fun! …and sitting at a distance. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. Not as such. Soriana tilts her head a little as Ka'el approaches, offering him a smile that's… just a little uncertain. Or maybe he's imagining that. There's certainly warmth to be had under her blanket! And enough blanket that he can steal some without… actually touching her. "Yeah," she says to his question, then looks down. "Probably." Unless, of course, she didn't? "I…" She shuts her mouth again. Opens it again. "If I could."

Ha! If Thea's story was about Ista's current senior, he would've had a rather rough time on his unplanned drop in! Lucky for Ka'el, Weyrwomen seniors sometime change, and Cenlia was not… the Xanadu hater, refusal of Xanadu help person that Thea mentioned before. If she was…he'd be rethinking this whole 'surfing with Ista' thing he has going on in his mind. It'd possibly play out more as a 'Sabotage on Ista' type of party. And those types…are no fun. Now snugged beneath the blanket, Ka'el relaxes back against the cushions, body turned slightly to face her while his head rests against the top of the back cushion. Eyes are on her…everything. They're on her eyes and they way they downcast themselves to her lap. Or the blanket. Or whatever it is that she's looking her. They turn to her lashes that become more apparent when her eyes are turned down like that. He considers her cheekss, which are good for kissing, but not as wonderfully good as her lips. Lips that he hasn't kissed today. And kissed just briefly once yesterday. But not at all the day that he left. Inhale. Slow and silent exhale. A blink brings his eyes back to hers. "If you weren't held back by something? Theawouldn't schedule something for you if she knew you wanted to go. Unless it was like, a life or death situation. Faranth knows she wouldn't stay long. She'd probably want a Xanadu representative who represents with a little more class than I do," he mildly jokes with a slight grin.

Some of Soriana's everything is still hidden under the blanket, so… maybe that's what she's looking at. Then again, maybe not. It's really not that exciting of a blanket. Comfortable, yes. Exciting… no. Not really. Not like surfing and parties and… visits to Western? …maybe. Not like surfing and parties and… kissing. That can be exciting! Not so much the cheek-kissing part, not unless you're really into cheeks. Which, well, someone could be, but… lips are better. When they're kissed. They curve slightly for Ka'el's tease about being classy - not that she's heard any complaints about how he comports himself, but maybe people just figure they shouldn't complain to one weyrmate about another. It's good advice, usually. One can expect weyrmates to stick together! …until they don't. But if one's at a party, then the other one… probably won't be far behind. Unless… "Yeah." Yeah what? "I could get off." Unless a dragon crashed into a tree and suddenly she had to… but that's not very likely. "I just…" She's explaining this to her blanket, apparently. Her unexciting but comfortable blanket that… oh hey. She's looking up again. At Ka'el, even. "I think…" She does! She has all sorts of thoughts. Big thoughts. Little thoughts. Fuzzy thoughts. Slinky thoughts. Easy thoughts! And… "I… think'm'pregnant." All that not saying it, and now it comes out as a single compound smashed together word without any room for breathing. Also she looks down again.

She could get off. Good! Because he'd want her there with him, despite all of his .. distant non-distance. Just like he wanted her with him at the Xanadu races, but life didn't really coordinate its plans with them. What were they angry about before? … Oh yeah, that flight. That curvy woman who he barely remembers and probably has seen in passing a handful of times but hadn't recognized. And then the explosion. Life didn't seem it necessary for them to be together at that party. Not til the end of it at which things resolved and weyrmates acted like weyrmates instead of distant acquaintances. He played a good role at the Candidate/Weyrling mixer and gave her space and mingled with others while she danced with a man. And he wasn't even jealous! How about that for progress? He did other things even though the only thing he wanted to do was dance with her and be at her side. He plucks a bit of fuzz from the blanket, half smiling at her… halfway only because… she's not looking at him. She's been looking down a lot. Maybe his thoughts have bled from his mind, to Kanekith, to Luraoth's, to hers, and she's gotten some inflated version of what's been going on in his head? And it's not making her happy. And maybe he should go back and give her space, like he did at that dance, though this time it's not due to decorum but due to… pregnant. .. Waitwhat? His thoughts come to a screeching halt at that word alone, and he blinks once, then stares owlishly at her as if blinking has becoming a thing of the past. She thinks she's pregnant? … With a camelid? It's almost funny how the noise of one's own thoughts can suddenly cease and all that's left is an echoing silence in the brain. Is he thinking? Can he think? What's going on up there? Stunned silence, that's what this is. Because he's not sure that he heard her correctly. The words sounded so … laughable. Soriana thinks she's pregnant? Soriana, the anti-child? Very slowly, words begin to trickle back into his brain, dropping like droplets of leaden rain, not at all like the airy flakes of playful snow that swirls outside. "Wh-…" A pause to wet his lips. He's not slouched against those cushions anymore. "Why…do you think..that?" That laughable, ridiculous, ludicrous thought?

…Soriana couldn't very well make excuses and dance with Ka'el if he wasn't there, now could she? But that's not the point. That was… a social event, with mingling and socializing and dancing (and them dancing, even if it only came at the end - what is it with them and the end of social events?) and… that's… not what's going on in her head today. Or the past sevenday or… she's sort of been odd lately, hasn't she? There was that morning when Kei'lan visited, the one where she hadn't really gotten out of bed. She's been eating funny. Not going for some meals, avoiding other things for no good reason. Not that she has to justify what she eats, but there hasn't really been a justification for it. Because she hasn't had one. She looks down at that blanket again. It's really still not exciting. She knows this. She's eyed it enough, today. "…because…" she tells it. "It's… been… two months." She doesn't say since what. Girl stuff! The stuff that's… supposed to happen once per month. Except. It… hasn't. Soriana steals a glance up at Ka'el. What does he… okay, he thinks stunned. That's… a pretty decent thing to think. It's… well. It doesn't really… help. But she can't blame him for it. "…I… should go see a healer. I guess." See if… this is a thing, or it's some stupid laughable… non-thing. That isn't.

Wait, don't answer yet Sori. He still needs some time for his brain to catch up and process what you said! Pregnant. It's a word that came up before. At the dance even! About … Mur'dah and camelids. And now here it is again, about him and Soriana. Pregnant.. Pregnant, what in the shards?? Who in the universe thinks that they… them of all the people in the entire universe that ever was, could handle a child? A tiny human being that needs grown adults to care for it and raise it. Grown, mature adults who know what in the shards they're doing or..better yet, expected a baby to be a .. thing in their lives. Ka'el needs time to digest all this, but he asked a question and of course she's answering it, so he's scrambling to keep up…slow as the words are to come. Two months since…? Oh. Since that. He knows girl stuff despite having grown up in a home of boys. He's never had to think about girl stuff before because…well, he just hasn't! But now. He swallows, throat dry. Too dry. That drink of his is too far away, and right now he wishes he had twelve of them to guzzle. He glances down to her blanket that covers…well, what? What hasn't he been seeing? It's .. laughable, almost. The irony! Soriana has been acting strangely, yes. He's noticed even if he hasn't qustioned her about it. So what that certain foods suddenly don't appeal to her? So she's been in bed a lot, who cares? He'd like to be in bed too most of the time! With her. But the irony is that he hasn't been with her. Not today. Not yesterday. Not even this seven. And last? Intimate times have been few and far inbetween with the mask of busyness as an excuse. Late nights. Early mornings. Tired bodies and minds. Overnight shifts with Galaxy. Excuses. Excuses. And why? Well… it certainly isn't because he was afraid of any babies. Babies have never been on his mind. Til.. now. He rubs the back of his neck. And rubs it. And rubs it harder. The look on his face is nearly pained. Is pained. What is he supposed to do? He looks uncharacteristically pale. "Should.. Do you want me to go with you? To.. to the uh.. the healer?" The magical healer that will do magical things that will magically tell them .. things.

It's not like Soriana went and… well, okay, there's no cosmic baby store, but if there was, she certainly wouldn't have gone inside! She'd have turned and gone the other direction, to the… totally cosmic surfing store. Or someplace else, it doesn't matter, except now this… the universe has no clue what it's doing. Actually, the universe doesn't care. Just like camelids and… all it takes is once. Not even a 'now' thing, even though she's… saying it… now. Now is when she's… when she's noticed enough to guess. But it's a two months ago thing. Some autumn night, or day, or morning, or… something. She doesn't know. It's not like she looks different. But then, she wouldn't yet, would she? Babies… take time to grow. A runner takes ten months. A camelid… she has no idea. A human takes nine. More or less. Soriana has never given it that much thought, because why would she? She'd care if she wanted babies. If she was one of those women lurking around the nursery, crooning at infants not her own and pining after the day when… uh… "Shit." That's not what one of those women would say. It's what Soriana says, lifting her knees up. Curling her arms around them. Lowering her head to them, because there's the stunned look on Ka'el's face, the one that's morphing into… she doesn't even know what. Something. Something that… that surely goes with how busy he's been lately. With all the… whatever it is, and emotions that seem to have lost their anchor swing to tell her that this is… that this is going to wreck everything. Why this? Why her? Why… babies? She hears Ka'el's question, head still lowered. He could come with her, to the magical healer who will diagnose her with babies. An infection that… will run a nine-month course, and is followed by a lifetime of… baby. Kid. Adult, someday. Because that's what these things do. Unless. "Do you want…" she trails off to the blanket. Does he want to come? Yeah, that's one question. It's a good one. He could just be offering from… a sense of duty. A feeling like he should, even if he's too busy.

Ka'el isn't sure what his face is doing himself. Emotions are spiraling out of control, and he's not even making the attempt at reining them in. For what? What's calm control going to do? That won't change the fact that Soriana is … no. May be pregnant. Maybe she's not! Maybe two months have passed and she just didn't … notice her girl time happening? .. -.- No, calm control won't change the truth that inside of her, something is growing into a someone. Slowly, but surely. For two months now, quietly embedding itself into its nine-month home, preparing to make his or her debut to two utterly shocked and unprepared…parents. She says shit. He says fuck. In his head. Out loud? He's not sure. But it's said in response to her, and he looks at her with that utterly lost expression on his face. "I'm sorry." For? Two small words that could be apologizing for a myriad of things. Sorry that he got her pregnant? Faranth knows she didn't impregnate herself, and everyone knows that children definitely aren't things Soriana has ever voiced wanting. Or perhaps he's sorry for not reacting like…a joyous father to be? Sorry that a life that she never wanted is now going to be hers? Forced upon her…by him? Sorry that …. Oh shards/… they're having a //baby?? His thoughts keep jumping, and it's a miracle that he hasn't crawled out of his own skin. In fact, he's kept very still, shock only betrayed by his face and the lack of color to the face. He's not sure what she's asking him. Does he want .. what? To go? This baby? One question is far easier to answer than the other. "I… I'll go." Does he want to? What's his alternative? Abandon her? Move back into his weyr and pretend none of this is happening at all? His hand finally falls away from his neck, rubbed red with his anxiety. "Yeah. .. Yes. I want.. to go." He swallows a dry swallow. Keeping calm might not change anything, but it definitely might help matters. For the both of them. He desperately grasps for it. "Do you n-.. need anything? I'm … I'm gonna.. I need to walk a little… Just a little." He needs some sharding air! "If that's okay."

What is this Soriana doesn't even. She doesn't even know what it is she's… not even-ing. For? That's two months from now. No, wait. Other for. Sorry for what… but Soriana doesn't ask that, even if she does peek up for another look at Ka'el's face. This one doesn't explain things either. Not that… it'd be pretty unreasonable of her to expect that it would. She only just figured this out herself, and she's had two months of signals to stare at. She's springing it on him with no warning. What sort of reaction does she sharding expect? There's no sweeping her off her feet and making things make sense again. That's… she nods, faintly. Sure he's sorry. But. "…s'okay." It's a quiet murmur. To… whatever it is he's sorry for. She doesn't even know. She… does it matter? None of this is the schemes she pulls together for her life. The plans to be a dragonhealer. The work as junior weyrwoman. What does this… how does this change things? Does it… hah, of course it does, it's bound to change everything in ways she hasn't even thought of. In ways she's… deliberately avoided thinking of, because she never thought… never planned… and Luraoth's no help either, just purring (not that dragons purr, any more than firelizards) with thoughts of sun-warmed fields. Her egg thoughts, but Luraoth isn't the one who… Ka'el… will go? Soriana's thoughts jump to - but wait. No. The healer. He's talking about going to the healer with her. "…okay." She's repeating herself, but maybe if she says it often enough it will be. The word okay. Things will be okay. Shards, will they? How can anything be… this is the sort of thing that changes lives. That makes everything… that people are… does she need something? Shells yes. She needs to not be wondering about this and worrying about this and thinking about this. She needs someone to make it all okay, but she can't have that. So she must not actually need it, because she's sharding well going to deal with… this. (If she has to. But it could still be a dream, right?) So. Does she need anything Ka'el can give? Soriana looks up at him for a moment, swallows. She shakes her head. "I'll… be okay." No she won't. But she'll sit here and think over the same thoughts that don't go anywhere new until they do. Or until she falls asleep. Or until he gets back. Or… something.

Ka'el is definitely coming back. There should be no fear that he will walk out of that door, never to be seen again. But … also, there was no fear that Soriana would end up with child, either. So maybe fear, at least in doses, is a healthy thing to carry around, for if he had been, maybe he'd've felt more prepared for this news. Maybe, if in the back of his mind there was a voice telling him to be careful. Be mindful. This could happen… then maybe, he wouldn't need to escape. Maybe, the walls wouldn't feel as if they're closing in on him as they do now, hence his need to depart this place for the frigid air outside. He rises, finally on the move and the blanket falls away from his lap. He moves nearer to her and reaches a hand for her, fingers grazing her hair, palm attempting to press gently against her cheek. It will be okay, won't it? Maybe. But fear tells him that there's always that chance that it might not be. It might not be okay at all because this a big thing. Yes, a life-changing thing…to two lives that have already been drastically changed so many times before. What if this change is too big for them? What if this one thing is the thing that breaks them? He needs to walk. The walls are getting closer. Tighter. It feels suffocatingly hot in here. His hand falls away from her now with the promise of, "I'll be back," before he steps away. Steps back into his boots. Grabs his jacket. Departs without putting it on, leaving Alloy behind to chirp? in confusion. Away. Ka'el goes away and he knows not where he'll end up, nor does he care. The frosty air feels good against his skin. He feels less claustrophobic, but no less afraid. No less guilty. He did this. He made this thing that will forever change her life and alter her plans. She had plans! Long before Kale came into her life, she had plans for herself. To go away and study for turns and return to Xanadu a Grade-Whatever Dragonhealer. Even now, she had those plans. Stalled, sure, but still doable. But now … can she still have that life? Now, he has to walk and breathe and not panic. Now, he has to gather up everything that's been shattered with those four words. I think I'm pregnant. Now, he has to prepare himself for whatever lies in wait in the next days, sevens, bracing for the moment he fears will come. The moment where she realizes that so many plans of hers have been wrecked because of him, and how much she truly does hate him for it.

Soriana leans lightly into that hand. Not much, but her direction's toward, not away. Inviting the touch, for the moment it lingers. It's just a moment, because then… he's leaving. He'll be back. "Okay." It's her answer to everything, because if she says it often enough it becomes true, right? Okay okay okay. It'll become true, or it'll lose all meaning. She'll forget what okay is, because the world will be… different. It's cold outside. Those kids are still trying to make a snowman. Frosty the… but the snowman won't come alive, no matter what the story says. That's just a lie. Not like how two people can make a life without even meaning to. A life that changes two lives. A life that… who knows. A moment. Nine months. A life. And the snow falls down and covers everything, and the Weyr becomes a new place.

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