Uncle (Or Not)

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary
The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

Though Isyriath is soaring high above the Weyr as afternoon threatens to become evening, his rider is not with him, but currently occupies a bed in the Infirmary. The brownrider isn't occupying the bed thanks to any obvious injury, but more… has claimed the bed as a perch while she processes the information that her very recent appointment with one of Xanadu's Healers has left her in possession of. Marel sits hunched over, idly weaving and curling her fingers together in her lap, and seems in no hurry to rush out the door and to the outside world.

Mur'dah is here for a different reason, his first aid kit hanging from one shoulder as the newly re-knotted Comet rider walks in to ask for it to be refilled. "Yeah, just low on the usual things. Bandages, tin of numbweed, whatever usually goes in," he says to the Healer on duty with a grin.

Marel looks up when she hears her brother's voice, but she doesn't try to make herself scarce or anything like that. Whatever she's just heard from the Healers might have stolen her voice away altogether for a time, since she doesn't find the simple words with which to call out to her twin, nor can she trust her legs to support her, should she attempt to make her way over to him. She watches Mur'dah, green eyes tracking his progress, all while attempting to keep her expression even and impassive.

Mur'dah hands his first aid pack off to the Healer who promises to stock it, and then he looks around the infirmary. Green eyes find his sister, and he's making his way over with a quick once-over and a look of concern. "Hey, you alright?" No gushing wounds, no broken bones, and Isyriath isn't alerting the weyr, so…Mur'dah isn't /too/ worried.

"In… a manner of speaking," Marel says slowly, her voice hoarse with the effort of forming the words and forcing them out. Since her legs aren't going to do her any good right now, she lets her boots drop to the floor and folds her legs beneath her, though not without a wince as she manipulates her bad leg into more than it really wants to do anymore. "It's… Isyriath won a flight a few sevens ago… and now all signs point to…" She gives an uneasy shrug, waiting to see if Mur'dah gets to the answer before she has to provide it. "Baby."

Mur'dah slides onto the bed beside her, posture easy and relaxed, though he does wince a bit for her wince and her bad leg. Mur'dah doesn't get the answer until she provides it, and when she does his brows lift in surprise. "Baby?" Baby. Is this a happy moment? She doesn't look happy. "Are…you…what are you going to do?" Weyrbred, he knows the options, as he holds his hands against the edge of the cot and leans forward a bit, head turning to watch his twin, searching her expression, trying to read what has become so unfamiliar to him.

Marel presses her lips firmly together in an effort to not let the wrong words escape, or let free the tears that are beginning to pool in icy-green eyes. "…I don't know," she eventually manages, tightly. "It's not M'kal's," obviously, "and who knows whether he'll want anything to do with me, if I keep it. I don't even know if its father wants it. Or if I do." She looks back down into her lap, knotting her fingers together all the more tightly. "I mean… it doesn't really hurt anyone if I don't keep it, does it?" Except her, which is plain enough from the misery edging into her expression.

Mur'dah sighs softly, grimacing at the weight on her shoulders, and he reaches out to gently rest a hand between them, on her back. "I don't think M'kal is the kind of guy to dump you because you have a flight baby," he murmurs softly, in defense of their clutchmate. "Who is the father?" His hand stays against her back unless she shrugs him off. "It's…really what you want, Mare. If you want a child or if you don't. You're the one impacted the most."

"…The look on his face when I've mentioned kids…" Marel murmurs, shaking her head. "I don't think he's ready. Someday, yes, but someday isn't now. He's not even twenty yet, and he's a Wingsecond, and—" Her breath hitches and she falls silent, until she can supply the ultimate, already acknowledged, issue: "And it's not even his. I can't ask him to be happy about someone else's kid, or to raise someone else's child when it should be our first." As for who the father is, she remains stubbornly uncommunicative about that element of the problem. "…I don't want the whole of our family going on at him. He didn't do anything wrong."

Mur'dah shakes his head quickly. "No, I won't. We won't. There's nothing…it's a flight baby, it's not like…" Cough. "I'm just curious. Not like I'm going to go get in his face over a flight." He's quiet a moment. "You wouldn't have to raise it. I mean, we're riders. Riders foster, usually…" The two of them being rare exceptions to that rule.

"How could I give it to someone else to raise, when I know what it's like to have a proper home and mother and father?" Marel asks him, sliding a long look across to Mur'dah. "Even if it only had me, how could I be that selfish, to have been raised by our mother and not bother to let it know what it's like to have your blood want you and care for you?" Then she does begin to crumple, her features twisting in a last ditch attempt to keep tears from falling, to no avail. "How would Mama feel about it, watching me give up a baby when she wouldn't?"

Mur'dah sighs softly, sliding his arm around her shoulders in an attempt to pull her against his side. "Marel," he says softly, "you /would/ be giving it a proper home and mother and father. It's the most unselfish act a parent could do. Have…you should talk to Kiena. She fosters her girls, and they are happy. They have their foster family, that stability, /and/ they have their mother." As for what their mother would think, Mur'dah can't even begin to guess. So he doesn't. "It's doing what's best for the child. If you want to keep it."

"But not with me!" Marel exclaims, tucking herself in against her twin's side. "…If I— Then I want to keep it. I want to be its mother. But if that comes at the cost of losing everything else…" She closes her eyes and finally stops knotting her fingers together, leaving her hands to curl limply in her lap. "I thought I'd be happy, whenever I had the chance to have children. This isn't… Whatever this is, it isn't happy." She swallows hard and clenches her jaw, then murmurs, "…It would have been simpler if I'd gone Between without knowing."

Mur'dah curls his arm around her, protecting her against…nothing. "Because it's a surprise," he says softly. "Maybe in a few days… It's just a shock right now." He's quiet a moment, resting his head on top of hers and hugging her against his side. "I think you should talk to M'kal. And maybe Mom. But," he sits up, trying to catch her gaze, his expression serious, "/I/ will support you no matter what you choose, okay? If I'm an uncle or not, I'll support you 100%."

Marel goes to loop both arms around Mur'dah's shoulders and just hold on, hiding her face in against his nearest shoulder. That she cries is more obvious from the shaking of her own shoulders and the curl of her body than any sounds that she makes. "So… if it doesn't have a father," if neither its biological father, nor M'kal will accept the child, "it'll have an uncle?" she sniffs, once she can lift her head again.

Mur'dah curls his other arm around her, shifting a bit on the bed to better embrace his twin. "Oh, Mare," he whispers, his heart breaking a bit. "Of course it will. Of course." Is it the right thing to keep the child? He has his doubts but it's not his decision. He's support, nothing more.

Little by little, Marel regains her composure, or enough of it to not look like such a wreck of a girl and something more like the composed brownrider that she's become. Unhooking a hand from her brother's shoulder, she passes it over her face to try and scrub away more evidence of her tears, then asks, in a halting fashion, "…Will you walk me home? I don't… want to go on my own."

Mur'dah loosens his hold a bit, watching her with concern. He's quick to nod. "Of course I will." He glances around, seeing the Healer setting his newly restocked first aid kit on the front desk. "I'm back in Comet," he says, figuring that news is simple enough to share.

Marel sniffs again, claiming, "Weyrlings are awkward," in response to Mur'dah's news of his transfer back to his former wing. "I'd rather be in a wing any day." Slowly, she uncurls and puts her hands to manipulating her bad leg when it won't co-operate as easily as the other, then begins to slip down from the bed and back into her boots. "…You didn't… The weyrlings, they weren't really what you wanted, were they?"

Mur'dah slides off the bed as well, holding out a hand in a silent offer to help, if she needs it. "I'm glad I gave it a try, but it wasn't for me." There's a shrug. No shame there. "Is this a secret?" he asks, nodding at her stomach.

Once she's managed to tie her laces more securely, Marel straights and gives a single, slow nod. "M'kal doesn't know," which is obvious enough from the conversation they've had, "or Mama, or… anyone, except Ka'el." She takes a deep breath. "I don't want them knowing yet. Not until… I don't know. Just not yet. If I go Between, then there's nothing to tell, really, so…" Her shrug is awkward and stiff.

Mur'dah looks a bit startled. "Ka'el knows?" Before him? Huh. "I'll keep the secret then," he says quietly, walking forward to grab his kit and sling it over his shoulder, waiting for her to join him. He hesitates, and then shares his own (kind of not really) secret. "I've started dating someone…"

"I… had to ask him some things," Marel says quietly, knotting her arms across her chest, the news she's received seemingly something that's made her uncomfortable in her own skin. Her steps are slow, as though she could give her tears more time to dry, though she's soon by Mur'dah's side, all awkward girl and not so much a woman. "…You're about as obvious as a proddy queen," she tells him, trying to smile.

Mur'dah nods, draping his arm over his sister's shoulders. "I know, but still, wanted you to hear it from me," he says, giving her a warm and slightly sheepish smile.

"Well, then I'm happy for you," she says quietly and earnestly, resting her head on her twin's shoulder again. And whereas she can't be happy for herself - not yet anyway - Marel can be happy for him, which will have to be enough, for now. It's enough to see her to her door without breaking down again, anyway, and what happens in the hours to come, armed with what she now knows, is anyone's guess.

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