Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

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.

Life has been kinda crazy these past few months with the blizzard, people getting buried, some cottages wrecked, organizing repairs and seeing to the displaced… before that the goldflight and resulting fallout, and even before THAT the knife to hand and surgery for her weyrmate. It it's really a wonder Thea is able to have any sort of organization at all lately, much less form coherent thought. She's looked tired of late, really needs a vacation - but with paths cut through the deep snow pack enough to permit people to traverse the Weyr and function, things at least seem to be settling back to normal. Tonight as the dinner hour approaches, the weyrwoman is here cooking up something tasty, trying not to look frazzled and totally failing while the twins both sit reading on the couch. While they're all dressed in clean clothes, they're certainly wearing nothing fancy, but it's pretty clear someone is expected for the table set with an extra plate.

D'had has had his fair share of all those events of recent months as well. Coming in from outdoors this evening he slips out of his jacket and pulls snow covered boots from his feet leaving them just out of the way of the door to dry. "Evenin' babe," he says, patting each of the twins on the head as he passes is his silent hello to them as he crosses the space to hang said jacket on its hook. All this before he comes up behind her to lean a kiss to her cheek, "Ya look tired." At least he notices that.

What ought to be noticeable is the lack of explosive movement out of the twins at his arrival. Highly unusual, that he doesn't get pounced by the both of them competing for his attention. But no, they wriggle as their heads are patted and remain glued to the spot, although both pairs of eyes move to the door expectantly. Thea mms at the kiss, leaning back against D'had, "I am SO ready for that vacation," she agrees to that observation. Sizzling on the stove are some thick steaks, bottles of ale sitting on the counter uncapped. Nice smells, pleasant sounds and into this she notes absently, "Oh I meant to mention-" A knock at the door interrupts her thought and she's so busy with what she's doing, she says instead, "Can you get that?"

Ers'lan is on the otherside of the door, looking over his shoulder as if he half expected something or someone to jump out at him. He's wearing his *between* jacket, having likely just got off his shift, his breath misting in the cold air as he waits on the cottage threshold. Boots crunch in the snow crusted pathway as he shifts there, anxiously waiting for this moment that he has been able to push off for a time now. Procrastinating likely and busy enough like the rest of them.

D'had narrows his eyes at her, a questioning look on his face. Forgot to mention? "Sure," he agrees to get the door. When he does open it he has to keep in mind that little ears are listening. Swearing does not follow, but Ers'lan gets a look of narrowed eyes as well - his is not one of question though, not as much as it is a 'what the hell are you doing here?' look. It does follow in a single word, "You," a low growl of recognition and irritation.

Right behind Ers'lan is Darsce. They totally came separately but then, her father doesn't know that, does he? And she might have been sneaking after the brownrider, or at least matching his footfalls so he wouldn't notice. Or it could be coincidence! Regardless, she's right there to witness that growl of her father's and yet she manages to neither squeak nor grin. "Hey everyone!" It's her breezy greeting into the charged atmosphere, slipping past the rider to brush a kiss to D'had's cheek. "Evening Daddy Darling! Hey Thea, where do you want these?" Meaning the armful of flowers she's got.

Family dinner means … family. And Natali is part of the family. And given that she lives right next door with N'shen, the greenrider was dawdling a bit. There's no rush really, so why not take her time. But then, eventually, she's got to head over, just a short little walk which brings her to the door not long after Ers'lan and Darsce get there. Uh oh. Confrontation the doorstep. Or maybe not, Nat taking the lead from Darsce. "Hello," the young woman will squeak by the brownrider with a murmured 'sorry-coming-through' (although her 'squeezing' days are not long to be curtailed soon enough). "Nash is coming," is her explaination. "I think. He might have gotten held up." Which explains why she was there alone.

Ers'lan lifts his chin up as the door opens, his head having been slightly turned to the side to peer over the round of his shoulder. Where he was expecting Thea, he finds D'had. There's a grizzled sneer at D'had when the former weyrsecond gives him -that- challenging eye. Ers'lan takes a step back at the growl that recognizes the brownrider for being the one that laid a smooch on Darsce - little did the brownrider know exactly what caused the brawl to follow that. Blissfully ignorant of the relationship, only knowing the girl he kissed attacked him afterward with a cloth napkin! Go figure. Backing another step off the front, he puts his hands up, as if expressing there being no intent to do harm. His first words are very proper, professional save for the sea farring accent, "Aye. Thea be invitin me fer dinner, as part of our … arrangement." …. Then there's that -girl- suddenly behind him, his eyes widening as he hasn't seen her since the day in the tavern. Right there in front of D'had. His eyes flash between the two, trying to come up with something of an excuse that it wasn't as it seemed and that he didn't arrive with Darsce. However, when she pops in a 'Daddy' darling, Lan's eyebrows shoot high. His jaw dropping as the realization strikes him harder than a fist to the jaw. "Daddy…?" his eyes flicker between the two, speechless. Lan shuffles out of the way of Natali too when she appears. "Uh…" the man looks overwhelmed and shuffling a foot back as if he had second thoughts of being there. Not his family. Awkward much Lan? Why yes, thanks for asking!

The door opening is the twins’ cue and they tumble off that couch, racing to get to the door before the other. The growl draws them up short, however. Into the brief silence, after noting just who is getting the glare, Muir pokes a finger at D'had's belt as if wondering why the man is still wearing it. Marella pipes up sweetly, "You can't spank the company papa." Twins. Same wavelength. Gotta love it. Thea actually facepalms at, well everything but greets the women with a semi-breathless, "Hi, vase under the sink, Darsce. Natali, can you watch the steaks?" And she's hurrying to the door to curl a (hopefully) restraining arm around one of her weyrmate's, offering him a sing-songed, "It's Weyr business, Donn." Then a, "Hello Ers'lan." After a quickly-flickered wary sidelong look to the man beside her, "Come on in. Dinner's all ready."

D'had has no problem with letting the girls pass around him and into the weyrbarn, Ers'lan on the other hand… well he's still glaring daggers at him. He does take a split second break from that however to shoot each of the girls a smile as they pass by him. A "Hi sweetheart," for Darsce and a simple nod for Natali. For Marella's comment he just shakes his head, giving her and her brother a wave of his hand, "Go help the girls," meaning Darsce and Natali, and also getting them out of the way. Thea's arrival at his side has him turning to her at her explanation. "He is not welcome in my house," he states, words made very clear.

Darsce has laid the flowers on the countertop and is fishing for the vase with the one-track mind of a person who needs to get back to the entertainment - or at least face the show so she doesn't miss a thing. Filling the vase with half her attention on not overflowing it and half over her shoulder at what's happening back there at the door, she flickers Natali a glance glimmering with amusement and a half-smirked, "And I thought Ierne was happening." The vase and flowers are carted to the table where she begins placing one stem at a time into it, all the while listening in to the people there at the door, which she is now closer to at least.

Natali's ease past brownrider and bluerider alike are met with little resistance, Natali flashing a wry grin at Thea when the goldrider asks her to check on the steaks. "Sure, at least I don't get green just looking at them." Watching cooking meat, definitely not a problem for her. "Well, isn't that cute," Natali flicks her gaze towards Marella, lips twitching into a cheery little smile. "Come on over," she invites the younger girl right on over. "Help me watch these." It'll at least get her away from the possible trouble brewing at the doorway. Darsce gets a chuckle of laughter. "I can't say I've ever been at Ierne for very long so I can't deny or verify anything, but this has been home for Turns now, and Xanadu /always/ has something happening."

Ers'lan hasn't made a step -toward- the door since D'had opened it. His face looks beyond to note the twins there - was one of them the kid he lifted up by a leg once? Ahh, but even their faces don't put a mark on his stone expression, his gaze returning to regard the nutty family. Nutty to him because he's never been part of one! He does blurt out honestly after D'had turns an aside to Thea to explain that the brownrider wasn't welcome, "Reckon I did narh know she be yer daughter. Ya should've said somethin…" There's a brief look to Thea as he states plainly, not willing to fight his way in for dinner or anything like that, "Reckon I best be off ma'am. Thank ya fer the invite." He's flipping his collar of his jacket up to brace against the wind and the walk home, pivoting in his spot, taking a few steps away. Just keep walking, just keep walking…

Marella turns on one foot, twirling around a few times as if uncertain whether to go or stay, but that tone means business - she's heard it before! Muir, however, stays right there, making a face at the 'go help the girls' comment and a snort that sounds an awful lot like his father's. Marella heads for the inner weyrbarn with an uncertain step before Natali's invitation has her speeding up and stepping to the counter beside the greenrider where she rises on tiptoes to watch. "Does 'Shen like it in the kitchen too?" Really, she's just commenting on the cheerful look on Natali's face. Thea tsks at D'had under her breath and mutters with a tiny eyeroll, "Yeah, yeah, I know. It's…important though." And as Esa'lan turns to go, she reaches out and snags his jacket sleeve to keep him from getting away, all the while giving her weyrmate her best, 'bear-with-me' sort of look.

"Fine," D'had relents with that look Thea gives him. Yes, he can be a pushover despite popular belief. He'll go along with it, but that doesn't mean he'll like it. A look down meets with his youngest son, "Go sit down," he tells him. "We'll be right there." Once the boy is on his way the bluerider looks back to the brownrider. "Don't give me a reason ta kick ya out," because he will if he can at all validate it to his weyrmate.

Ers'lan feels the tug on his jacket, looking back over his uplifted collar that hides his mouth from view to see Thea's fingers snagging the back part of his sleeve, enough of a grab to make him take pause. His hands are stuffed into his jacket by this point, having had made peace with the idea that he wasn't going to be invited in further by D'had, regardless of Thea's intention. His jaw rolls to the side, contemplating the situation further as he pivots his body so that his side is facing them with the sleeve Thea snagged closest, with an inquiring eye shot toward D'had. As D'had makes the decision to allow it, Lan doesn't look relieved… not in the least. There's actually a cringe of discomfort as D'had allows it. He was happy to not be allowed in and for an excuse out of it. Ers'lan looks back down the path, toward his freedom, then back toward the couple and their lively family. Mustering up some with an intake of breath, he steps up toward the door, walking passed D'had with a faint distrust in his eyes for the other man, muttering in a whisper in passing, "Wish ya already had one." Now, into the bright world belonging to Thea's family. Gulp.

Of Ierne, "You don't? We should go shopping sometime, Natali!" Darsce is able to both wax enthusiastic about one of her favorite past times and keep an eye on the standoff over by the door with the skill only the young possess. If Thea gets a raised-browed look of admiration for winning that round? The surprise is totally genuine. The expression is hastily wiped off her face as her father sends her half-brother heading in. She pushes the vase to the center of the table, inches it first to one side, then the other - miniscule adjustments to perfect the placement. That done, she's skipping on over to link arms with her father. "You can sit by me," she tells Ers'lan cheerfully with too-bright eyes and a warm smile. What's she up to? Giving her father's arm a bit of a squeeze, she adds coaxingly, "At least there's no golds glowing?" Who's ignoring the 1000 pound gorilla in the room. Certainly not her!

"I don't," Natali's reply to Darsce is quite point blank. Just a simple statement really. "I'd like to go shopping, I'm going to need some new clothes for a while, maybe you can offer some fashion advice." Not that the greenrider herself is exactly unskilled in the selection of clothing, but, it's a girl thing. Always turning to others for advice and verification, that kind of thing. Marella gets a soft laugh, and a smile. "We haven't got a kitchen, lovey," she answers the girl. "Probably because we're right next door." So always a chance to pop in for a bite to eat, see.

Thea sends Ers'lan a significant look perhaps meant to be a silent, 'See? Compromise!' It's part of family life, but no, she says nothing other than a firm, "He won't," to D'had while giving Muir a gentle push to help the reluctant lad get started towards the table. And when it's clear the ex-sailor isn't going to flee, she releases her finger-hold on his sleeve, flashing Darsce a quizzical look. She says nothing to the girl, however, merely leads the way towards the table, gesturing for them to have a seat while she strides into the kitchenette to relieve Natali over there. Reaching for a platter, she piles the sizzling, browned steaks onto it and nods to those opened ale bottles. "Natali, can you get those, please?" Yes! Anesthetize the men, please! Opening the oven door, she grabs a bowl of fluffy whipped potatoes from there, closes it with her hip and heads on out to the table. This may not be the lesson she was looking for!

Darsce wouldn't get that from her father or anything would she? "No," D'had replies to her, "there's not." Which is a good thing. As for Ers'an's muttering, he doesn't comment, though Darsce does receive a look for her offer of sitting next to the brownrider. That could go poorly, but for now he'll bite his tongue on that as he makes sure his children are settled into their seats before taking his own to wait for Natali and Thea to bring dinner to the table.

The brownrider hedges to the side not to block anyone else from coming in, watching from the entrance way the commotion and the vibrant atmosphere of the family. Despite there being a reluctance and a guarded eye cast to D'had, he does eventually lower down to unstrap his boots. Pulling them off, he looks for a spot to shuck off his jacket, moving to hang it on the available spot. As he's rounding back to regard the center of the cottage, Darsce's invitation to sit next to her has him hesitating to move into the cottage. Dig his grave deeper why don't ya Darsce - or so says his gaze that follows her skipping way toward her father and that persuasive chiming tone of hers. Of course he's cautious of what he does, completely awkward and under the judgemental gaze of Daddy Dearest! Hah! Never in a day would one suspect Lan of being out of place in any situation, but here he is, lips sealed and minding his manners as he goes to take a seat - timid about it too! "I could use a drink…" he finally grumps down into his plate. As bad as meeting the in-laws this! Oh look, Thea's on her game! Relief is in sight. Liquid courage is on its way!

"For awhile?" Darsce gives Natali a pointedly curious stare from over there by the table before the implication sinks in. Smirksmirksmirk. With and airy and enthusiastic, "Oh sure! I'd be happy to." Fashion advice - right down her alley! And she's being very careful NOT to grin outright at her father (soon to be a grandfather) at the moment. She pulls out a seat next to Ers'lan and chatters about nothing really, reaching to pass the guest food when it arrives and see that he's got plenty on his plate. Putting him at ease, or fattening him for the slaughter?

Liquid courage, say you, Ers'lan? Well never fear, for here some of it comes. "I sure can, Thea." Natali moves away from the steaks, and reaches for the opened ale bottles, cradling a bottle each carefully between her hands, a quick dash out into the main room to offer them in the direction of the menfolk, before meandering back in for another round. Which will equally be offered in turn again, just in case those first bottles happened to be polished off extra quickly. It's either that, or Natali really /is/ trying to anesthetize them with booze. In which case, it'll take a few rounds. For a while indeed! Sounds like Darsce might have twigged onto something here. "I'd be glad for it," Natali gives the other young woman a grin before she takes her own seat. "Next free day I have, Sicealth and I can take you."

Thea is doing an admirable job keeping her expression from showing that it’s slowly dawned on her as those first moments have passed since that growled 'he's not welcome in my house' exactly which wingleader D’had had meant by his oh so (not) enlightening ‘that wingleader’ he’d had the fist fight with. Glances from D'had to Darsce to Ers'lan from pale green eyes have this 'damn' sort of look though it's hastily squelched as she busies herself setting out food and making sure the twins are settled. They're adding to the cheerful chaos with chatter of their own but for the most part, they're chowing down. If those bottles get a concerned look from the Weyrwoman, why yes, it's completely unfeigned. Inhibitions lifted could bring that careful control the males are clinging to by their fingernails crumbling down and since she's so preoccupied with that, she totally misses Natali's comment and Darsce's catching it. Oh bother!

Ers'lan accepts the bottle of ale with a curt headbob of thanks, his eyes moving toward Darsce as the food starts to get shoved in his direction, passed as it is, but he has to waylay his drinking habits to take samples of whatever comes under his nose. Steak and potatoes, with ale? A good start. The brownrider keeps his eye, peripheral at most times, on Darsce. She was a wild card and with D'had so close he wasn't going to fall into any of his regular antics. Not the right time and place for it. Yet, there she is, piling on more food than he could probably handle, smack onto his plate. He considers her with a speculative gaze, clearly amused but trying to hide it. So he remains relatively quiet, with a few mutters of 'yes' or 'no' to any question that is asked in his direction, not at all conversational, more so just taking in the scene and the sound of a big family. It was a lot to soak in!

Natali offers a cheery smile in Ers'lan's direction for a moment as the bottles are offered forwards, settling into her own seat and setting to her own meal with something akin to a vengeance. Food is food, and the greenrider's eating for two now. Ale for herself is forsaken, quite readily, Natali's attention focusing on her plate for the time being, but straying around the table in casual speculation. Can't talk — eating. That's her excuse for the moment as to why she won't comment further.

Darsce is too cheerful by half, the girl is. But she's behaving for the time being - she's no dummy and Daddy Darling is sitting right there, after all. She might notice the wingleader's expression and her sweetly chirped, "Eat up Sailor! This could be your last meal," is meant to be reassuring. Isn't it? Isn't it??? Or kill him with kindness? Take your pick.

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