Raining Contentment (A Vignette)

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.

She fell asleep here. Right here in his arms. Right here on their couch amongst a plethora of firelizards and tunnelcats. She’s done this often, falling asleep no matter what the time of day. Her body needs a lot of time to recover, it seems. Recovery from growing another human being inside of it. It’s still weird when he thinks about it, the intricacies of human development. But along with weird, another word has emerged from the murkiness of uncertainty: Wonderful.

Ka'el doesn’t mind the fact that she’s asleep here on their couch while a mid-afternoon spring rain shower patters upon the windowpane. In actuality, he enjoys the feeling of her weight against his front, back to chest. She’s heavier than she used to be. He can feel the difference in weight as she inhales and exhales in slumber. His arms are looped around her. Hands have discarded the manual he was reading, and the papers she was studying are scattered both on her lap and on the floor to be picked up later. There’s always work and there will always be work, even in these comfortable times. But even that he doesn’t mind. In fact, as he lounges back against the arm of their sofa with his weyrmate nestled against him, he realizes there are a great many things that he doesn’t quite mind anymore.

Some things really just don’t matter when looking at the big picture.

But this woman here? She matters much to him. She matters far more than he could have imagined a person could matter to another person. He finds himself smirking as thoughts turn to the past. Those awkward teenage turns in which everything was so simple, yet complicated at the same time. A dance he didn’t want to go to. A fight he never meant to have. Adventures around the Weyr. Dangers faced and conquered. He’s always claimed that he’s lived such a simple life, but he really hasn’t, has he? But fortunately, those complex twists and turns that the road of life has led him on has shaped him into a well-rounded young man. Hopefully. There’s still a lot of learning to do. Many trails to overcome. Failures to learn from. Successes to celebrate. A future to wonder about.

And he won’t be alone.

Life has guaranteed him companionship. Kanekith, his proud lifemate. Always there. Always opinionated. Always pushing him to be greater than what he thought he could be. Life has promised him companionship. Soriana, who he loves even in all of her aggravating moments of stubbornness. The girl he fell in love with many turns ago who now he can’t successfully imagine life without. The mother of his child. A child who he has fallen in love with without having meant to.

He aimed to be cautious. He didn’t intend on getting attached to the idea. He was supposed to remain distant, yet supportive. Besides, this child wasn’t something they .. planned. It isn’t even anything that Soriana herself wanted. But it’s here, or at least it will be, in a few .. weeks? Another month? He’s not sure. What is sure of is that as his hands now slip beneath the loose fabric of her too-large shirt, one of his own shirts, he can feel distinct movements inside. Someone’s in there. His girl or his boy, itching to come out and meet the fabulous world of Pern. A world of dragons and adventure. Of happiness and friendship. Of firelizards and pets to sneak home. Of trouble to learn and grow from, like his or her father himself has done. Ka’el isn’t sure when he started looking forward to this new little person. Maybe it was the first unexpected moment he felt the tiny flutter beneath his palms. Maybe it was after he snuck into the nursery to practice how to hold a squirmy, tiny young body properly. Or perhaps it was the first time that, after mentioning the baby, Soriana didn’t have that look on her face. That usual look of uncertainty. Dread almost.

Maybe it was then that he allowed himself to fully embrace this idea of fatherhood, as scary as it may be. He’s going to be someone’s … dad. One day, a child will call him Da. Or maybe Daddy. Or Dad. Or..Papa. Or…who knows. But it will be a term that he owns with pride, and already he’s vowed to not let his child down as he himself has been by his own father. He will be better.

“I promise,” he murmurs, hands roaming the curve of her stomach from bottom, to top, resting just below her chest. “I promise I won’t let you down. I swear.” Just who he’s speaking to, Soriana or her stomach, is unclear, but does it really matter? His lips press against the dark tresses of his weyrmate. Kissing. Kissing again. Soft and lingering brushes peppered here and there. From somewhere, he can hear the soft refrain of a dragon’s hum. A low baritone. The pull of a violin. Kanekith is happy too, feeling his rider’s contentment and thus content as well. The mind he is bonded with has gone to many places unknown to Kanekith. Wondering about things he doesn’t quite understand. But they’ll learn, together. He’s confident of that, and as he lays in the barn watching the rain fall outside of it, he plays a song of serenity that only his rider can hear.

The tunnelcats are asleep. Their firelizards, all four of them, have found perches or nooks to nestle in to snooze the day away while toys and remnants of nibbled treats lay scattered as evidence that they were once active creatures. A deep breath taken gently inflates his chest, and it’s released slowly as he allows his eyes to slip closed. His grip around Soriana grows tighter for a moment before relaxing. The rain will continue to fall for a while longer, washing away the worries of yesterday and making room for the hope of today. The sound of it begins to lull him to sleep. They can finish their work later. They can wonder about their future another time. For now, in this moment of contentment, there’s nothing to do but rest and revel in the present as the rain patters down, drumming a rhythm for Kanekith’s lullaby.

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