Waking Up Weyrleaders

Guest Weyr

Rustic and simple, this cottage sits at the edge of the forest near the feeding grounds. The decor is spartan with a wide, comfortable bed and a couch, table and chairs and small kitchenette. Kept stocked with food and drink, the bed freshened with sheets and coverlets after each use by the weyrstaff, it's nothing more than a place to give riders a bit of privacy should they need it.

After a highly energetic, playful and upbeat flight at the crack of dawn 2688.4.13 …

Winter's chill has gripped the Weyr with ice, still cold enough from the ice storm a week ago that most of it still hasn't melted. Seryth is oblivious to it at the moment, curled fast asleep, entwined as much as she can with Inimeth outside the Guest Weyr where she's been since her early dawn rising to her fourth mating flight. Inside the cabin standing at the edge of the Feeding Grounds, the fire has burned low, a bed of orange coals that gives little heat to the room. Thea is deeply asleep as well, sprawled with little regard to the chill air in the cabin, perhaps warmed enough by another. Sleeping, yes, although apparently troubled by some uneasy dreams as her dark brows twitch, a slight sound of distress escapes her lips.

Early as the flight was, D'son was caught off-guard by it, not being on dawn duty today, but rather, sound asleep in his bed at home. Inimeth launched himself into the proceedings with energetic eagerness and bright-minded enthusiasm, wooing Seryth with visions of sun on green leaves and them spiraling through a wind-borne dance of air currents. His tail lingers around hers now, one great polished bronze wing draped protectively over his queen, drowsing contentedly, but not fully asleep any more. So too is D'son awake, lying on his side with his head propped up on one hand, watching Thea sleep with an ineffably fond expression on his face, though the uneasiness of the new Weyrwoman seems to concern him somewhat. The once-again Weyrleader is curled close to Seryth's rider, he drew the covers carefully up over them both not too long after his mind settled back into his brain and his skin became his own again after melding so fully with Inimeth. Thea's brows twitch and D'son's hand lifts, rises to trace her forehead gently, soothingly. "Shhh …" he murmurs softly, as though he'd like to ensure that she sleeps well without troubling dreams.

Seryth has expended so much energy while wheeling though the frigid Xanadu skies dancing amongst her partners with a gaity shared with all who followed that she's utterly drained by it, replete, satisfied, but exhausted nevertheless. The queen's ebullience has ebbed from Thea while she was sleeping, the lax, almost giddy mood that overtook her with the gold's rising has faded and perhaps it is this sense of loss that settles upon her now as she mumbles, "Where are you?" The words have damp lashes quivering and fluttering open, sleep-hazed eyes of ice-green searching the room before settling on D'son. The confusion is slow to clear and when it does, she closes them again. "It wasn't supposed to be Seryth!"

Of all the things Thea could say, that's probably not at all what D'son expected. His hand moves to brush back Thea's hair then slowly, carefully shifts his arm to slide around her. "Right here," Dels answers quietly, mistaking that mumble as being directed toward him. He draws a breath and lets it out. "Hey … it'll be okay, Thea," he tries to reassure, maybe pushing aside concerns of his own for the time being.

Thea is silent in the wake of that reassurance, neither correcting nor confirming who she was seeking, simply nods and opens her eyes again. Her body remains relaxed, perhaps deliberately so, but her eyes wear a haunted expression, mingled with the desire to believe her friend as they meet his. "Can you really know that, D'son?" He may be pushing aside his concerns, but she is aware of them. Well, he'd said the girl was Weyrbred knows the, but still. She knows the hectic pace the Weyr's leaders live by. "You're stuck in the Diplomacy Wing and D'had-"

"Yeah, actually I can," D'son says after a slight pause, arm tightening a little around Thea, meaning to comfort. "Mostly because you're not Niva and I know you're not going to yell at me and threaten to throw mugs at my head if I don't get out in two minutes," he tries for a little bit of humor there, the corner of his mouth tugging upward slightly. "There's a lot worse things could happen than being stuck on diplomacy duty. At least I know the ropes this time." He starts to lean down to drop a kiss to Thea's cheek then hesitates. "D'had … what?" he asks quietly. "Should I be expecting him to come punch me out?"

Thea's eyes never waver from D'son's. She's expecting deep words of wisdom here and so when he mentions mugs and yelling, she actually laughs aloud. It seems the most natural thing to accept the comfort he's giving and so she does, unsurprised perhaps by the intended kiss to her cheek. "You were telling me you wanted out of it though." As for her weyrmate punching out his Weyrleader, "No, I don't think so?" Although she does give that door a glance as if to be sure. Her major concern with the man is muttered, "He just… despises Weyrwomen."

Grinning, D'son seems pleased he got Thea to laugh and completes that abortive motion, lips brushed lightly to her cheek. "I did," he says candidly, "but given the new job, I think the whole 'in charge' thing kind of balances it all out," Dels says laughingly and seeks to draw Thea a bit closer still, maybe not really thinking about it. What Thea says about D'had though, gives him pause and his brows lift slowly. "But … he doesn't despise you and you've been a goldrider the whole time he's known you. Or do you mean he just doesn't deal well with women in authority?"

"Oh really? Some things you'd like to do differently this time 'round?" Thea is still pretty much in the same position she'd awoken in, her arms still loosely about the man and seems to just realize this at the slight pressure of D'son's arms drawing her, for her fingers twitch and she manages to keep from tensing, leaning forward to rest her forehead on one of his shoulders in a gesture of weary, well, not quite resignation, acceptance maybe. Quietly, "Weyrwomen with a capital W. He just… doesn't like them. And I'm really not sure exactly why, either. You know, I'm not really sure if he does either."

"I think that maybe this time around, I might actually be able to be the Weyrleader instead of Niva's sidekick, what do you think?" D'son queries in turn, a hint of humor in his voice, though it's a serious enough statement otherwise. Dels stills at the twitch of fingers against his skin though one hand travels up along Thea's back, again soothing in nature when her forehead dips to his shoulder. "Honestly, Thea, I think the less I say about D'had's … quirks, is probably the better. He's your weyrmate. He loves you and you love him. Just … I'm here for you if you need an ear about any of this. And if you need me to handle things more than I did when I was Niva's Weyrleader, I can. I know what I'm doing this time."

From underneath the tumble of dark hair, her voice slightly muffled when she replies from where her forehead still rests, "I think," and it's a measure of her trust in him that Thea hasn't started her withdrawal already, "that I have a lot of adjusting to do and you-" here her head shifts and she grins at him. "-are your own man. I've read a lot of old records." She nods about D'had, but says nothing further on that subject. Instead, her hands flatten on his back and she leans to give him an earnest look, "Without a doubt I will, D'son. I have great respect for Niva, even if I didn't often agree with her."

"Comes with the territory," D'son says quietly of adjusting. "We'll figure it out though, Thea, I promise. Starting with when we walk out of here together, backs straight and chins up," the new Weyrleader adds with an encouring kind of smile. All those turns of diplomacy really do seem to have taught him a thing or two since the last time around. Even so, Thea's palms flattening against his back sends his eyes dipping closed and his own hands still in place for as long as it takes to draw a few steadying breaths. "Sorry," he apologizes wryly when he's collected himself a bit. "You're um … still pretty intoxicating right now," he confesses, though he hasn't made a single move on her.

"I've long been thinking-" Thea stops and no, she really shouldn't be surprised but she is. Her eyes flicker almost as if she'd look downwards but she manages to keep them on D'son's face while he's taking those breaths. His dragon just flew hers and here she's been rattling on about her own concerns! She bites her lip, then breathes, "I- oh I'm sorry D'son. I- uh…" Where most women would be flattered to hear this, she's trying hard not to pull away. "I haven't been very considerate."
That first interrupted sentence gets set aside for the moment as D'son's expression registers puzzled surprise at Thea's apology. "Shells, Thea, you don't have to apologize. I'm fine, really. Just um … you know, don't get offended if —" he kind of tilts his chin downward to indicate the obvious. He exhales long and slow and smiles down at her. "It'll pass. So tell me what you've been thinking about, okay? And I'll count sheep in the back of my head."

A slow smile tweaks Thea's lips, in spite of the fact that trying -really- hard not to; the thing just will not be denied. She manages not to laugh at counting sheep, though. Ignoring her pink cheeks, she shakes her head, "Not offended at all. I just…" Clearing her throat, she demurs, "We can talk about that in the office ah, tomorrow." She eases her arms from about him, hands meeting at his chest and again she's with the earnest appeal, "I'm here for you, too, D'son. And you know how I am. If I disappoint, it's not intentional."

"Sure, sure," D'son agrees, expression caught oddly between disappointment and relief when Thea's arms withdraw and her hands touch down at his chest instead. "I'd like to think that we're good enough friends that if either one of us disappoints, we can work it out," Dels says thoughtfully and draws one hand upward to cover one of hers. "Just try not to clam up if things are bothering you, okay? I'm not your weyrmate, I'm your friend and your fellow leader, so you know, if we've got problems we have to figure out ways to sort them out. For the Weyr, not just ourselves or the people closest to us."

Thea's hands turn, fingers curling round his. Gently, "I meant here, now. I-" with a murmured curse that she likely shouldn't know she leans forward and kisses him, seeking to convey affection for his understanding, apology for her lack and regret for what she must do. Lifting her mouth from his, she remains close when she says, "Promise I won't ever clam up. And we will figure them out for Pern as well if we are able." So saying, eyes begging him to understand, she begins her withdrawal. "I can't stay, but I can send for Ame?"

"/Oh/," D'son clues in, again looks surprised for a moment or two, but gets duly interrupted by that kiss. For a moment, Dels teeters on the brink, hands tightening on Thea's, caught off-guard. As she draws back his eyes go all unfocused and he has to breathe deep again, flustered and a little pink in the cheeks this time himself. "Okay," he tells Thea maybe not quite all there, then more firmly: "Okay," as he actually processes what she just said. "Good. No clamming allowed," Dels adds, brows drawing together in mock-threatening fashion. Safer to cling to humor whole-heartedly right now. He does kiss Thea's forehead though one more time as she draws away. "Neither can I," is his stalwart reply. "I'll turn around so you can get dressed, but I'll be right behind you. I need to get in a quick washup and then see if I can find G'ene to have a quick chat and Inimeth can reach to Ilaydith for me."

There are times when one feels the dichotomy of the heart and the knowledge that there are needs beyond their ken and experience. Thea has, just for the first time known this and the conflict shows on her face as she reaches a hand to cup his cheek with her palm before she slips from the bed. "I… thanks D'son." And so it goes. She dresses without the frantic haste and self-consciousness that marked her first three flights, takes her leave without the panic that previously marked her exit her walk back home is one spent in thoughtful contemplation. Seryth is unmoving, unless it's to curl closer to Inimeth when Thea passes.

D'son has only a smile to offer and a brief press of fingers to the back of Thea's hand. As promised, when he sits up and swings his legs over the side of the bed, he keeps his back politely turned while Xanadu's new Weyrwoman is putting herself back together and he busies himself with sorting out whether or not that's one of his socks on the floor there or some poor lost garment from someone else's flight. Aha. It's his. Hey, progress towards getting un-naked! When he's reasonably sure that Thea's decent, Dels turns his head and offers a quiet: "See you later, Thea," then waits until she's exited before rising to splash some cold water on his face, find the rest of his clothes and head on out himself with a purposeful stride to first clean up, then locate the former Weyrleader to take care of some business and finally, find Amelia for a very necessary conversation. Inimeth sticks his nose out briefly to nuzzle at his rider affectionately when D'son goes by, the gesture returned by a passing caress before the bronze cuddles around Seryth happily.

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