Winds of Change

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
A long and roughly oblong cavern, about a third of the space is open, used for classes or chores as required. The rest of the space is filled with couches of varying sizes, all with plenty of space between them. Some couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings while the largest ones at the back are for the older weyrlings.

The storm that now blusters through Xanadu seemingly came out of nowhere. One moment, it's a relatively calm autumn day with patchy clouds and a normal chill. And the next, thick grey masses blew in from the north, bringing with it high winds and pouring rain! For newly fledged fliers, it was startling to say the least! But experienced AWLMs have guided a small practice group down and they are now coming in for shelter. Ka'el is one of them, still upon Kanekith's back, both dripping wet from rain. All dragons seem well, if now just a little shaken by the turbulent wind. Kanekith is riled up, excited and irritated that they were guided inside. « But why? It was not difficult for me. I could have stayed. We could have flown together! » To which Ka'el snorts. "Right. And be blown all the way to Fort." The wet duo make their way towards Kanekith's couch.

Mur'dah was not one of the ones to be out flying today - not with his lifemate at any rate. The pair were down by the feeding pens and Kalsuoth had just taken down a buck when the storm came in. Of course it didn't bother the brown in the least as he enjoyed his meal, though Mur'dah squelched off ahead into the dry barracks. So as Ka'el arrives, Mur'dah is stripping out of his sopping wet clothes and Kalsuoth is nowhere to be seen.

Neither flying or out in the feeding grounds today it seems that the dripping wet and sandy blue riding pair darting into the barracks were down at the beach. « I am no longer clean. » Xeosoth is complaining quite loudly. M'kal shakes his head to send droplets flying.

As is pretty normal for Marel and her lifemate, the two of them stick side by side as they pad back through the barracks, girl at dragon's shoulder, the former's gaze just unfocused enough to betray some inner, unheard conversation between the pair. Not a word; not a murmur or look at anyone else, until they reach Marel's cot and the bubble of their own little world bursts and they're back in the room with everyone else. Isyriath gives not a moment of complaint for the weather, nor the fact that they've been drawn down from the skies, and in-fact looks rather pleased to get to settle down in the relative warmth, watching his rider flop down onto her cot, lean over its side and start to try and wring the water from hair that she has refused to cut this whole time. "We could keep the cat!" she blurts out, apropos of nothing, this realisation bringing a bright smile to her features.

Ka'el languidly dismounts from Kanekith, a lengthy process when one has a bronze his size, and when his boots finally reach the floor he gives his arms a shake and combs fingers through his hair. He continues to speak to his dragon while undoing lengths of wet straps that will need drying once Kanekith himself is toweled off. Unbuckle this. Untie that. His eyes shift to Xeosoth just as Kanekith looks his way. « You are not, » he agrees with a rumble. Stating facts! His specialty. Ka'el grins towards the bluerider. "Sandy look. I dig it, M'kal," he says, stifling a snicker as he sagely nods before eyeing Mur'dah, his grin slowly being replaced by a curious look. But before he can question him…cat! Marel's random announcement steals his attention, and the other brownrider is eyed…quizzically. "…Hooray! Congratulations! I always knew this was to happen!" he says with exaggerated cheer. Then. "Uh…what cat?"

Mur'dah grabs a towel to dry himself off with before he starts pulling on clean, fresh (dry!) clothes. Glancing around, he nods to his clutchmates before looking curiously at Marel. "What, those cats? The…ones?" he asks, shooting Ka'el a pointed look. "Where are they now anyway?" he asks his twin, tugging fingers through his short hair. "Haven't even thought of them in ages." He glances to the door, but still no Kalsuoth.

"The cat - one of /those/ cats - that I found when we were Candidates," Marel burbles animatedly, grabbing a thin length of leather from beneath her pillow to tie her hair up and away from her face in a messy, tangled knot, braids all undone. "When we have our weyr or whatever it turns out to be called - we could keep the cat. They've been living in the stables. The calico one adores me." Or is it that she adores the calico one? Isyriath dips his nose to investigate scruffy knot that his girl's hair has become, angling his shoulders to make it easier for the little rivulets of whatever that drip down his wingsails to slide over hide and to the floor. It prompts Marel to eye the floor - the puddle both she and her lifemate have created - and mutter, "Should get a mop."

Oh, those cats! .. Wait a second. Ka'el blinks. "You're still keepin' up with those felines? Wow, that's .. that's good!" Granted he hadn't given them any thought after Marel initially snuck them in, but then again, he wasn't the one who found them. Or wanted to keep one. With the last of Kanekith's lengthy straps undone, he carries the bundle to hang them for drying before pulling several towels off of a rack to carry back. "We?" he echoes the pronoun upon reaching his bronze's side, dropping the towels to the floor and keeping one in hand to start toweling off his dragon's legs. He glances from boy twin to girl twin. "Are…were you guys planin' on livin' together?" He keeps his eyes on Marel at the next, "I think Mur'dah has other plans."

Mur'dah blinks a bit, sitting on the edge of his cot to pull on his boots. "I might take one," he says, looking between the other two. "That was always what I thought the plan was anyway. But you don't have to take one if you don't want to," he's quick to say to Ka'el. And then the teen blinks and frowns. "What other plans?" He's not aware of his own plans?

It's a (bad?) habit picked up over the months since Impression, one that Marel may well only just realise that she's adopted, given the slightly stricken look that she slides between Ka'el and Mur'dah as she slowly eases out of her jacket and picks up a spare blanket from the end of her bed to wrap around her shoulders in its place. "Oh…" she says softly. "I mean… me and Isyriath. Us. We." Whereas, so often in the past, 'us', to her, has been Marel and Muir (now Mur'dah). And just to avoid that potentially awkward moment, she quickly blurts out, "You're welcome to keep one. Both of you are," as she slips away from her cot and from the immediate vicinity to go and retrieve that mop, temporarily absenting herself from the room.

Ka'el moves from one foreleg to the next, rubbing the soft fabric of the towel to dry off his dragon, and before he gets to his rear legs, he has to change towels for a drier one. But he puases in his work to consider Mur'dah with a very vague tilt of his head. "Maybe I misheard but…m'pretty sure I didn't. I thought you said you weren't getting a weyr? That you were gonna live here?" A gesture is made to the barracks as a whole. "Which is better than what I figured you meant, which was diggin' a hole or making a shelter out of leaves or something. Many leaves." Though the absent Kalsuoth my be a smallish brown, he's still a brown. He glances to the entrance of the barracks where the rain falls in sheets now before looking to Marel again. "Oh. That makes more sense," he says at the clarification of 'we'. "Though uh, I'm not much've a … feline type. But thanks! And oh hey, if you're gonna mop….maaaybe you'll feel up to moppin' over here too?" Please please with begging eyes that he tries to send her way before she disappears.

Mur'dah blinks at his twin, and he nods. He knew who she was referring to when she said 'we'. Even though things have changed. He's well aware of the changes. Then he looks at Ka'el and his brows sink, expression falling as he snorts, pushing to his feet and grabbing another mop to help out. Anything to keep from sitting. "Of course I'm getting a weyr," he mutters. Swish, swish, swish goes the mop back and forth. He glances briefly at his twin. "Where's yours gonna be?" And then he forces himself to look back at Ka'el, in the interest of mending their damaged friendship. "I just…don't…want one. But I have to have one. Not going to dig a hole and not staying /here/ when everyone /else/ is gone."

When Marel returns, mop in-tow, with her bedraggled hair and blanket-cape, she looks remarkably similar to the witch-figure archetype, though Isyriath's snort must be purely due to the vaguely comical nature of her appearance. As she gets to mopping up her own footprints and around her lifemate, she supposes, "Maybe the forest. Or the meadow," with quiet thoughtfulness. "I don't really mind, as long as it's…" Her silence and distant look say much for the delusions of the sort of space she hopes to get and be Lady of her own rooms. "…Comfy," is the word she settles for, turning to brandish her mop at Ka'el. "Do your own mopping, boy," she teases with feigned sternness. "Real men mop."

Kanekith shifts away from the drippy wet area and lays under Ka'el's quiet instruction so that the towel can reach higher places at his side and neck. "But why?" says Ka'el incredulously to Mur'dah, fixing him with a 'you're surely insane' sort of expression on his face. "It's like, the beacon symbol of bein' a rider, for one. Independence, secondly. Havin' my own bedspace felt like a lot to ask for when I was younger. An' all through apprenticeship, I wondered what it'd be like to not share a room with ten other people. And through Candidacy. And now." He pauses in his drying efforts, grinning at his imagined future bachelor pad. His very own place! "Why wouldn't you want that?" He blinks himself out of his daydream in time enough to fully appreciate Marel's getup. He stifles a snicker then, with as straight a face as he can manage, nods to her. "Lookin' good there, Marel." His mouth twitches, nearly giving up a grin. But, what's this? She won't mop for him? "Aw, c'mon pleeease? Don't real women always stand behind their men? Well.." he gestures to himself, "Man-friend, right here."

Mur'dah is a real man now? Oh goodie, he's waited for so long. He mops towards the entrance and a moment later it's clear why, as Kalsuoth skitters in happily from the rain, the brown in high spirits with sheets of water pouring off of his dark hide. Blood still sticks to the underside of his jaw, but that'll wait as Mur'dah works on cleaning up after the dragon as he waddles towards his couch with a happy rumble of greeting. "The forest? The meadow?" Clearly not the clear answer he was hoping for from his twin as he watches her for a moment. Then he looks back at Ka'el and his expression is briefly pained. It's swift, fleeting, but it's there. He wrestles with himself for a moment, and a low rumble from Kalsuoth as the dragon nestles into his couch as Mur'dah sighing. "I've never been by myself," he mutters, perhaps too low to be heard.

Marel ducks her head, offering no more clarification for Mur'dah than, "I don't know. I wouldn't mind either," in gentle, quiet tones, shying away from offering specifics with the guilt in her gaze directed towards the floor. "You won't be by yourself," she tries to reassure him, well-used to picking up his mutters and murmurs by now. "You'll have Kalsuoth. And we'll all still be around." She doesn't manage to look directly at him or Ka'el, her reassurances somewhat empty; nice platitudes to cover… her own fears? When she /does/ look up, she tells Ka'el, "/I/ look fantastic. Don't lie to me," so totally, totally deadpan. Almost. "Real women are the ones in-front of the men, fighting the battles that they won't. We fight enough battles for you men already. Do your own mopping." And so she leans across to hand her mop over to him. Get to it!

A few towels are tossed across Kanekith's back before the bronze is given an affectionate neckrub. Oiling soon! Ka'el himself should probably change out of wet clothing, but now there's mopping to do. Mopping that he's not able to con Marel into doing for him. Sigh! "Fiiiine," he relents, moving over to take the mop from her. "Ms. Fantastic," he murmurs with a smirk before getting to it. Mop, mop, swish, mop! The bigger the dragon, the bigger the mess. His eyes stray to Mur'dah again, indeed not catching his too quiet words. "Well, I'm lookin' forward to it," he proclaims. "I found a couch I like. I mean, it's awesome. I don't know why anyone tossed it. It just needs some extra pillows. I'm going to go back to the storage room…sometime, see if I can find a bed. I need a bed, and not a cot-sized one either. I'm sick've cots. No room at all. I want a huge one. One where I can roll over three times and still not fall off." Apparently someone has no qualms about living alone!

Mur'dah shakes his head firmly, leaning his mop against an empty couch. He looks between the two of them and then just shakes his head. "I'm going to go get some food," he finally mutters. Never mind he /just/ changed and got dry. No, suddenly the barracks are too closed in for him. Ironic perhaps that he doesn't want to be alone, so he leaves. And back into the pouring rain he goes, hands shoved deep into his pockets. Kalsuoth rumbles softly, but he doesn't go after his rider. No, he rests his head across his forepaws and closes his eyes, joining his lifemate in another way.

"That's more like it," Marel declares to Ka'el, smugness overplayed for maximum effect. Her cheer only last so long however, with her twin's response and departure, which leaves her deflated and to sink down onto the end of her cot, Isyriath leaning right into her to offer silent comfort that doesn't need true acknowledgement. "…I don't know what to say anymore," she utters quietly, confession spoken to her knees. "Am I…" She glances up at Ka'el, hesitant. "Am I doing it wrong? You've got siblings…"

Ka'el watches Mur'dah go with a frown he doesn't bother trying to mask, and he pauses his mopping efforts. But, with a vague shake of his head, he starts up again, getting the last of the wetness before leaning the mop against the wall and moving to change out of his own wet clothes. But all he manages to get off are his riding leathers before his eyes shift to Marel again. Brows furrow. "That's not it. Trust me, it isn't anything you've done or are doin' wrong. He's been…weird." Bootless Ka'el moves over to stand near her cot, Kanekith watching, yet not following. "He reminds me of Kinden, one've my brothers. We get along less often than we don't, but we're brothers and I know he'll be there if worse comes to worse. Mur'dah's just goin' through a thing. It'll pass."

"…I know," Marel agrees, or makes herself agree, staring down at her knees again. "I can't seem to get through to him anymore. It used to be that it sometimes felt like I knew what he was thinking and now…" She lifts a hand, reaching back for Isyriath's muzzle without needing to look to know exactly where she plants her hand down against caramel-brown hide. "I feel bad for being happy when he's not; for wanting a weyr and to be… me. Not 'Marel and Muir' or 'Thea's daughter', but me. Us. Not all the time, but…" She shakes her head, apologising under her breath. "I know he's been… off with you too. Bet you'll be more than glad to be out of here, right?"

"That's not somethin' you should be feelin' bad for. It's normal to want those sort've things. We should be happy. I mean … our dragons are flyin', they can hunt, we're gettin' weyrs sometime.." Thunder rolls outside as the rain continues to pour. "I don't know what his deal is, but whatever it is, it'll pass. In the meantime, you worry about yourself. You're doin' all you can for him, and if he doesn't want to listen or always walks away, that's not your problem. He has to give a little if anything is going to be fixed." It's great advice that Ka'el himself should be taking, and maybe one of these days he'll realize this himself. For now, he plops down on the floor, apparently not wanting to dampen her cot with his clothes, and smirks up at her. "I can't wait to get out of here. Lovely as all this is? I won't miss bein' told I think I'm better than everyone and am too full of myself." Blue eyes roll briefly. "Or the scowls or under-the-breath words. You'll visit me, won't you? With a mop in hand?"

Marel automatically reaches out to rest a hand on the bronzerider's shoulder, leaning - slumping, rather, energy seeming to leave her all at once - down to press a chaste kiss to the top of his head. "I'll visit you," she promises, low-voiced, hand kept resting right where it is in lieu of a proper hug. "But you're doing your own mopping," she warns, nudging at him with one of her feet. "And you're not going to turn into a hermit, are you? Away from all of us. You need to stop beating yourself up about everything. I don't want you to… get your own place and think that that's that and then we're just the people you see 'at work'."

Poor Marel. It must be difficult having to worry about a sibling. Though Ka'el misses his, he's glad that there is separation between himself and his brothers. She's given an encouraging smile as her hand comes to his shoulder, and the look lingers after the given kiss and promise. "Good, though I think the mopping clause is probably gonna be up for changing by the time we get our weyrs." His smirk grows to a grin now, and at her question he shakes his head. "Hermit? Nah. As much as Kanekith likes it bein' just me and him, he likes showin' off just as much, and he'll need an audience. Plus, even though you deny me cleaning services, I like you. And M'kal. And K'asin. And the rest of them, mostly. Besides, if I stay away too long, the lot of you would start going through withdrawls, and that'll be good for no one," he says, look turning grim as if this was a serious hazard!

"I'm not cleaning your weyr," Marel warns, nudging at him again. "Ever. You're older and meant to be more responsible anyway - you should be telling me to remember to clean my own weyr and keep house." Of the names given of those he likes, she agrees to, "I like M'kal," quite without noticing that she's lingered on his name and not addressed the others, until she does notice and her cheeks stain an embarrassing shade of scarlet. "I mean, as much as any other," she hastily tries to amend, voice steady as she can make it. "And I'd hate to suffer from a lack of Ka'el. I might not make it through to my next turnday without you." Though she teases, there's an obvious, genuine affection there, lingering in her small smile as she stands, still with that blanket round her shoulders. "I should go… find Mur'dah. Keep mopping, caveman."

Uh huh. Did Ka'el notice? Perhaps, if that vaguely lifted brow and amused half smirk is any indication of noticing blushing cheeks and the single name that seemed to instigate it. "Uh huh.." is his answer to her, his smirk growing broader now the longer that he listens to and watches her. As she rises though and speaks of seeking her sibling, he looks to the exit again. "I wouldn't bother. At least, not right now," he advises, rising as well. "Plus, it's raining like crazy out there. I'd at least wait til it lets up." He lifts his arms, stretching them over his head while yawning. "Mopping. Oog. .. Which means 'yeah sure I'll get it done' in caveman." Plus drying his riding straps. Plus changing his own clothes. Plus oiling Kanekith. A weyrling's work is never done. Whatever Marel decides to do, he gives her a wavea and smile before heading back to his own cot to get back to his endless work.

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