Echoes of the Past

Lost Island - Sugar Beach

Palm trees shade the fine-grained, pristine white sand, making them cool to the touch even when Rukbat is at its peak. Gentle waves from the sheltered bay lap the sand at water's edge. Crystal clear at the shoreline, the waters deepen to aqua then a rich azure in the cove's center. Further out, rolling billows break with a muted roar upon a reef of smooth volcanic rock that protects the cove, keeping the waters of the cove tranquil.

On either side the sand stretches to curve out of sight, flanked on one side by thick jungle, the other by the sea. Someone has tied a woven rope hammock wide enough for two in the shade of the palm trees and just a few steps from a rock fire pit. Nearby there is a path that disappears into the undergrowth.

The evening has stretched for those at the campfire until eyes have grown heavy enough to sleep - at least for some. The someone still awake can no longer lie still in the shared hammock and not wanting to awaken the other, slips out to move with carefully silent steps in the blackness leaving the others to their rest.

Early, early morning on the nameless island finds the sky a velvet darkness lit dimly by a sprinkling of stars overhead. In their waning phases, twin slivers of Belior and Timor hang just over the horizon, the currents stirring a faint sliver path to point a finger at a lone figure that walks the beach. Soft tropical breezes stir the sundress Thea went to sleep in, moonlight washing the emerald green material to jade, enough to stand out on the sugar-fine white sands and be spotted. It's a large jumble of rocks that form a natural jetty that she heads for to sit and pull knees up under her chin, settle the long dress comfortably around her, arms wrapping loosely around legs and chin propped on knees. Sea green eyes drift to the waters of the cove. Contemplative.

D'had might have stirred when she got up, but her leaving didn't wake him. Not just yet. Its not long before her absence is noticed however and finding Thea no longer in camp he takes the path towards the beach. Where jungle meets sand he waits, leaning over against one of the trees there. He watches in silence for awhile before pushing off and heading on down the beach. "Couldn't sleep?" he questions softly as he comes up behind her.

Sand muffles D'had's approaching footsteps, the hiss of waves joining in, so that when the voice speaks behind her, Thea squeaks, startling. Her movement has her half-uncurling to tilt her head back, her heavy hair falling from her shoulders to swing while she blinks up at him from this semi-upside down point of view. He's given a long, sober look before she finally answers quietly, "No." Then she straightens - her neck is cramping. "I didn't mean to wake you," she says as she returns her gaze to the silvered waters of the cove.

"It's alright," D'had assures, taking a few more steps to come up beside her and half settle on the rock next to hers. Leaning back he props hands on the stone to stare out at the moonlit waters. Quiet. Silence between them. "Nice night.." he notes.

Thea once again has curled back up, her chin has found her knees once more. She allows the silence to stretch until he breaks it. Turning to rest the side of her cheek on her knees where her chin was, she regards him somberly. Moonlight casts her eyes in shadow, but the pale curve of her cheek, the serious line of her mouth is plainly visible. "Is it." Not really a question and yet it hangs there as her gaze wanders his face almost idly.

D'had's dark eyes remain fixed on the rolling waves of the water. He can see her out of the corner of his eye, her form at least not so much on the detail there. "Yeah," he replies after a moment longer. "Peaceful." Pause. "Any reason?" he asks, the question most likely relating to her inability to sleep.

Thea remains motionless, watching him. He may not be aware of her mood, but he can't mistake her voice, can he? She's content to let the silence just hang, her form contains none of the tension or animation of someone full of something to say. Nor does she answer him right away when he asks that question. "Yes," her singular answer is paired with the movement of her head as it turns back to the sea. Waves whisper along the shoreline in the space of time it takes her to form the words, "The… island."

D'had finally spares a glance over at her when she looks back out to the waves. Its a cursory glance, one that can be done with little movement of his head. Then back to the silvery waters. Another round of silence, only the sounds of the island. "Yeah?" The one word easily asking 'what about the island?'.

His glance might catch the troubled look Thea is giving the dark waters. The junior, for her part is unaware of his glance. Finally she says, "You said it was special." She swallows, keeping her face averted, eyes lifting to follow the moonlit trail to where Belior is now dipping its sharp edge into the sea. She waits, leaving her comment to hang.

D'had leaves that comment hang as well. Dark eyes focus back on the water, waves lapping against the shore in rolling succession. "Yeah," this time the word is simple agreement. Another pause. "Yeah," the word is repeated, but this time there's a little more explanation to go with it, though no answers. "Lots of memories." Which is saying quite a lot really. "Some clearer than others."

A long span of time follows those words, Thea's lips part, but whatever she wants to say to that dies while she remains in her silent contemplation of the current-stirred waters. She tries once more, but fails. Moonlight catches a bright sparkle as a single tear escapes from her eye; a falling star that leaves a shining path before it winks off the edge of her jawline. "Of course." It's a bitter whisper.

D'had closes his eyes for a moment. "Remember when I brought you here," he replies, turning another sidelong glance her way. Its then that he catches that expression of hers. For a second or three he's not sure what to say, but in the end he pushes off the rock with his hands, turning to step closer and settle back beside her. An arm aims to snake around behind her, hand seeking to rest on her shoulder.

"I remember," Thea answer dully as his arm comes 'round her. Oh, she doesn't resist, but there's no response this time, her frame is not stiff it's quite the opposite. There's defeat in every bone of her body. "I could ask you why, but I think I already know." Bitterness creeps into the words in spite of the dull tone.

"I should have told you.." D'had returns, that under tone of defeat in his tone as well. Deep breath. In. Out. "Didn't want to ruin it for you." Beat. "If you could have seen your face when you first saw it…" He shakes his head, giving her shoulder a light squeeze before he shifts back to his feet and takes a few steps towards the tide. "This place… It brought us together. Didn't it…" A touch of uncertainty there, but its how he sees it all the same. Silence. "I'm sorry Thea."

Thea lets him go. "You…brought…me…here." Lowly the statement is made before, "Here, where we first-" it is choked off. She rises then in one swift movement and steps towards him, passes a pace or two, heedless of the hem of her dress as her feet step into the water at the cove's edge. There, she turns back to face him with eyes wide and full of reproach. "She died here and we made love upon the beach!" Her hand gestures to the well-remembered spot without looking at it, her eyes remain on him. "Why? How could you do that?" All of the words are barely above a whisper.

"I'm sorry…" D'had repeats, his gaze dropping from the horizon line to the line of water that meets the sand at his feet. A shake of his head and he cringes at her admonishment. No, perhaps he shouldn't have brought her here, but he did. "Wanted it ta be special for somethin' else. For someone else."

She's standing in front of him and he won't look at her and this pains her, "It was- IS special. And yes, it did bring us together. It meant so much that you shared it with me…" Thea murmurs. "…and no one else. The night you brought me here, I asked you why you shared it with me." She draws a breath, "You never answered." He cringes and she can't bear that. She steps closer, ducks so her eyes can search his, "I have to know, Donn." Pleading now, "Tell me." Her voice cracks, "Was it Tailea you held in your arms that night?" Her pride is discarded in favor of knowing the truth and the look she gives him is poignant; he'd better not hedge this one or keep her at arm's length when he answers. And the answer had better not be diffident but decisive.

Eyes closed and there might just be a hint of a tear in the corners, though given the low light they may be invisible. "No," D'had replies after a long silence. "No," he repeats, shaking his head, "It was you. And I just told you why." A hint of a smile, that smirk of his, touches one corner of his lips as he lifts dark eyes to meet hers finally. "Wanted it to still be special."

And he retreats behind his eyelids. At least that's how Thea sees it. She straightens, turns to walk away. There's a splashing sound as her feet move. His answer has her letting out the breath she'd been holding, turning back to him. Catching the expression in his eyes at last, in spite of that smirk he wears, she winces. Humbly, "I meant that night. You were being all cocky and could-care-less when I asked, you shrugged it off. Like it wasn't important." Her voice carries an odd note. Questions, they are there in her eyes and given the chance, she'll ask them, but this one first: "Donn? Why do you always run from me?" And he does, if to put distance between them or avoid looking at her. She makes no move to close that space now. That is his doing and she does not chase.

"Suppose I was tryin' ta fool myself," D'had replies of that night. Trying not to think about the bad of the past and focus on the what could be of the future. "Wasn't the right time?" Maybe that was the reason. Or maybe he just wanted to avoid her knowing that part of his history with the place and just let it be theirs. The question that follows, that takes a bit more thought and yet less at the same time. The answer is there, but the words aren't. "I love you," he finally replies. And somehow, of all the things to be scared of, he's afraid of that.

Thea mulls this over, a slow nod follows. Her voice is as quiet as ever when she finally says, "Alright, I can accept that you felt that way." So he's keeping his distance? Trying not to let it show on her face how deeply this hurts, she drops her head, allowing her hair to tumble forward and hide her expression. Words. They're so important at times, she can't read his mind and all she can tell is he isn't answering anything she's asking. Silent for a long time after he says he loves her, she makes no reply. She's thinking hard. "That's why you run?"

"I…" D'had starts, hesitating on the reply, not sure how to answer. Maybe not wanting to admit it. "Maybe?" It’s the best answer he has as to that why. Watching, yet he can't take that one step that would lead him out into the water towards her. "Thea," he starts after a pause, dark eyes lifting once again from the sand to look back to her, eyes almost pleading. "I don't want to lose you."

Thea remains immobile after that 'maybe'. Nothing moves save for the slump of her shoulders. She's defeated. Her name spoken draws her head up in time to catch his pleading look, but she's confused by it. Her lips part, but anything she'd say, words - they just stick in her throat as she returns that look he's giving her with a despairing one of her own. "I can't…" The rest is choked off.

"You aren't her," D'had tries again. "I know that." Beat. "I don't want you to be. I love -you-, Thea. And I don't want to lose you too." And that right there. That's why he keeps his distance. "If anything ever happened to you…" he just shakes his head, leaving the rest of it unsaid. "I'm sorry."

Thea is trying her best to understand, she really is. Some of the pain in her eyes leaves when he says that. "You don't know how much that means to hear that," she murmurs before returning to her miserable silence once again and when she does, her eyes fill with tears. Happens when she hold things in. Finally she blurts out, "I can't promise nothing will ever happen to me! I can't take this!" The distance, the self-protection he's doing. "You don't trust me with your heart? So you're pushing me out!" She turns blindly away and that direction happens to be out towards the deeper waters of the cove.

"I know," D'had replies. He knows she can't promise that, his own pain and confusion in all of it finding its way into his voice. "You don't have to," he doesn't need that, doesn't want that, but one thought ends and another begins in the same instant. "I do." He trusts her with that. "I just… I'm trying," he continues, finally breaking out of whatever was holding him just short of the water's edge. Wading out he comes up behind her aiming to reach for her hand. "I'm sorry," he whispers in apology.

Thea's hand is caught and for a moment she almost tugs it out of his grip. She stops stumbling through the water, but doesn't turn back, "I know you're trying, Donn. I forgive you, I'm not mad. I just can't take the distance-" He's killing her. She tries to explain. "My da-" she swallows hard, can't finish. He's met her cold father. He knows.

D'had is ready to let her go if she does pull away. It’s just a light touch of fingers. But that comment, that has him clasping her hand. A light tug in attempt to turn her towards him. "I'm not him, babe. You know that. I promise I'll do everything I can, everything you want, not to be that."

And that may just be part of the problem. To let her go too easily. "Just-" Thea turns to face him at that tug, lifts moon-silvered eyes to his, "He… didn't want Tharen and I to love him. Pushed us away as children." Her mouth trembles, lashes sweep down then back up as she searches his eyes. Something about the way he'd hesitated in entering the water clicks and she begins, "You never swim here-"

"I'm not him," D'had repeats, the look that he's somehow failed remaining. "If I ever start acting like that with the twins.." he shakes his head slightly, "You tell me. I don't want to be him." Beat. "Same goes for you, you tell me." He doesn't always see it happening. ".. Just once," he replies to that last question of hers. "With you."

Thea listens intently, her head tilted to one side while she watches him keenly. She remains rooted where she stands, but the fingers of her hand squeeze his gently, "I'm telling you." The breath she takes is a shaky one, "Fear… " Her eyes drop to their joined hands, the space that still separates them and back up to him, "…can isolate a person." His recall of the swimming lesson has her nodding, "I remember. But never before or since. Why's that?"

D'had doesn't say anything to that just yet, but there is a hint of a smile for her as he takes one more step towards her. Arms shift to encirle her waist, hands clasping loosely behind her back. "Thanks," he replies a moment later. For telling him. As for the question of swimming or not, "I think you know." She figured out the rest already.

Thea remains motionless for a beat after his arms are around her, then her arms slide 'round him, her forehead drops to his chest with a gentle thud of weariness. He'll be the death of her yet, if he doesn't stop this! Muffled from under her hair, "You're… welcome." Silent for a time, perhaps not wanting to say it, she finally nods then lifts her head and turns it to stare at the dark waters of the cove. "I'm sorry," she breathes to the currents shimmering in the last bit of remaining moonlight.

D'had drops his chin, tilting his head just so to rest his cheek against her head on his shoulder. "It'll work out," he returns with a sigh. Silence for a moment and then he goes on. "Not your fault babe. It was a long time ago. Shouldn't let it get to me anymore, but when you almost…" A shake of his head. When something else almost happened the last time he tried. It’s hard to overlook that.

Thea's arms tighten about him, "I was telling -her- sorry," the words barely audible above the gentle whisper of waves on sand. "And I am, for her loss." She draws a long breath, relaxing into his strength, thoughtful for a long moment. "That's why you didn't dive in when Seryth dragged me out there." Finally understanding so much more. "Why you didn't even want to swim on the West beach in the surf." Her head moves underneath his cheek as she tips her head back to see his face though she leaves it on his shoulder, "How… can you bear to come back here then?"

D'had mmms, nodding slightly at her reply. There's nothing to say on that, no words that sound right, but he did hear her and that he acknowledges. "Yeah.." A simple answer, there's not so much more to say after all. The other receives more though. "It’s quiet. There's good memories here too. Maybe… maybe we can make more." They've already started. "And I don't think she'd .. want it to be abandoned."

"We can and I don't think she would either, but I wish I'd known," Thea murmurs lifting her head. "I'd never have asked you to teach me to swim, I'd have let go her tail…" Too late for all that now, of course and so she doesn't go on. Instead, her gaze lifts past his shoulder to the pale glimmer of sand on the shore. "It makes me sad to think of you coming out here… alone all those turns." Something is suddenly recalled and her eyes return to him. "-This- is the island you came to that night you first kissed me?"

D'had shakes his head again. "Glad you asked." He'd rather know she know how, but no, those things can't be changed now. "Its okay, not your fault." A silent sigh, lift and drop of shoulders with the breath and then he lifts his head from hers. "Yeah."

She half-expected him to say no, he didn't come here that particular night. Thea's trying to read his face, but with one moon below the horizon and the other half so, she's having some difficulty so leans closer to see. Frowning slightly, "Tell me…" her voice trails off, then finishes in a rush, so used to have one-word answers from him, "…you had a few bad days after that as I recall, so much so that you needed quite a bit of whiskey to help you through them. What happened when you came here?"

"That's not important," D'had replies simply. "Not anymore." She's likely not going to accept that answer. He's expecting her to, but knows better and gives a little more. "Let’s just say letting go of the past isn't always easy." Still not the answer she's likely looking for, but it’s what he's willing to give.

"I thought so too, until I gave you that map," Thea disagrees softly, trying not to be discomfited at his unwillingness to answer. Letting go of the past? She thought he had, but now isn't so sure. "Something about seeing this place in print bothers you, Donn." She drops her head back to his shoulder while the waters of the cove lap gently about their calves. "I keep triggering something and if I don't know how to avoid that…" She shrugs in a bit of helpless frustration.

One hand lifts from her waist so that fingers can run through the ends of her hair. "I dunno babe. Just…" D'had starts. "Different seein' it that way I guess." Beat. "Like havin' it in here. Don't need ta see it everyday in a picture. But… thank you. 'Preciate ya takin' time ta look for it." That said as he pulls her into a quick hug. Then it’s half a step back to turn a subtle hint of that smirk of his down to her.

Thea stifles a sigh. Ever will it be that she's left without knowing his heart. She returns his hug with a listlessness unlike her usual. "You're welcome," is muffled from where his shoulder meets his neck before he pulls back. She can't return his smile, however, when she lifts her eyes to meet his, there's a pensive, "Donn, I wish…" She leaves it to trail off.

Far out across the dark sea there is a muted rushing sound like the breakers that roar ashore when the winds are right. But the sea is like glass, the air is still. Glinting in the remaining moon's light, a dark line on the horizon rises…

It might not look it, but there's something out there. Something that could cause trouble for this conversation. "You wish..?" D'had prompts, trailing of to await her answer only to be distracted by that distant sound. Dark eyes lift from his weyrmate's face and out towards the water. Its only a second later that one more word is spoken, cutting off whatever answer she might have. "Run!" and with that he's grabbing her hand to drag her with him lest she protest.

"I wish you could talk to me about these things-" Thea starts the answer almost reluctantly, understanding in her voice as to her mate's quiet nature, but there's a longing in her tone to connect with him. She's not aware of any difference in sounds, unused to the sea as she is so when his cry to run is heard, it catches her totally unaware. "Wh-?" is all she gets out as he begins pulling her and she's stumbling after him, while looking over her shoulder in astonished puzzlement.

Faster, much faster than thought possible a wave, too large to be a normal incoming swell, sweeps, tumbling over the reef that normally shelters the cove. It races across the cove, rising a bit as it approaches the beach, overtaking the stumbling pair. White foam surges as the unusual wave breaks, tumbling up the shore to hiss and bubble into the trunks of the trees at the jungle's edge before it retreats with a sigh and a sucking sound, leaving the sand oddly sculpted in it's wake.

D'had does his best to keep hold of Thea's hand as that wave sweeps over them, but the ocean has a strength all its own. One that's not so easily fought with. The water sweeps them back and despite his effort his grasp slips. Up? Down? Which way is which? Its hard to tell tossed and turned by the wave's retreat back to the sea, but it doesn't seem to matter in his search for what's lost.

For a few moments everything boils with white-foamed churning. Hands joined and clenched in desperation are ripped apart while all is a tumbled, roaring and sand-stirred chaos. The wave's retreat is a strong pull of currents headed out to sea, fraught with turbulence and unpredictability. Thea has learned how to swim, but not in something like this. Knocked off her feet by the incoming surge, she's swept out with the unnatural tidal pull, managing to surface in the middle of the cove and draw a vital breath and utter a weak cry before once more she is sucked under in that current headed for the reef and the open sea beyond.

D'had surfaces for a breath. Turned around at least there's land nearby to show which way to go. He manages to catch a part of that cry of hers before she's pulled back under. Turning and diving again he's searching, closer to where she was last. Hopefully close enough. Reaching.

Flailing hands make contact with his, but Thea can't see a thing in the murk and the darkness doesn't help a bit. She flinches away or is tumbled away by the strong current, drawn down towards an opening in the bottom of the reef that acts much like a sink drain. She's not had time or the presence of mind to sight for land, her concentration on getting much-needed air. D'had might recognize the touch of human warmth when he reaches. In the dark waters passing him goes one harness, then another, zipping out to sea before they can be snagged. In the distance, cries of distress by dragons a-wing, having launched just prior to the wave.

D'had reaches, almost has hold before the current separates them again. Air. That might be nice, but that brushing touch has him pushing on. At least the current is somewhat on his side now, drawing him deeper after Thea. Somewhere above Siebith is right alongside Seryth, searching the darkness.

Thea is trying to swim, although not sure which way is up now, kicking as strongly as she can, arms sweeping forward. It's not working. Finally, confused and exhausted, she gives herself up to the current and in so doing is swept upwards briefly enough to bump into D'had, her hair entangling his face. She doesn't grab him and pull him down, there's simply no strength left to do so.

Chance has them meeting beneath the waves, but he'll take that as it is. Hand grabbing for her arm, pulling her towards the surface and finally pushing her upward, doing what he can to make sure she makes it above the rolling surf despite his own burning lungs. If he can just get her to the surface…

When they break the surface, there is no movement from Thea and she's not breathing. He'll have to be able to do what he can to get them to shore somehow. Above them Seryth stays, however limp and bluish the pallor of Thea's face is, her rider is alive. The sea heaves a little and settles, an uneasy calm, strangely foreboding. The sky reflects none of the upheaval below, stars continue to sparkle down as the last sliver of Belior slips below the horizon.

D'had finally reaches the surface himself, gasping for a breath. Adrenaline however is a sometimes wonderful thing, allowing him to push on through fatigue and panic. There's no words, but the glance he spares for the goldrider as he struggles to pull her ashore is clearly one of worry. Siebith circles above, dropping lower and finally snatching the pair from the water as if they were fish (albeit much more carefully) and bringing them to shore. There Donn lies Thea on the beach, and it’s a good thing he's had more than a few turns of search and rescue training. At least he knows what to do even. Still trying to catch his own breath as he shares what he can manage to get with her. There's only so much he can do before his own will to survive wanes and his head drops to the sand beside her, breath shallow as lungs try to adjust to fresh air again and body gives in to fatigue.

Thea is limp in Siebith's grasp, unaware. Legs, arms and dark hair dangle limply on the short hop to the sodden beach. Once on the beach, she remains unmoving, her chest rises with the breaths D'had supplies but there is no response after that. For a long moment she is still and Seryth croons lowly, anxiously from where she has crouched just far enough away to give the pair some room. Finally dark lashes twitch and the weyrwoman draws a long rasping breath.

Shallow breaths give a slight rise and fall to D'had's chest as he lies beside her, face half in the sand. Fighting the currents of the ocean is anything but easy. It shouldn't be any sort of surprise that he's exhausted, especially considering how oxygen deprived he was.

Thea shudders after that one breath, turns her head, which ends up being away from D'had and coughs up some water, fights to breathe normally, her eyes finally flutter open and the stars are blinked up at in confusion for a few moments. Memory comes rushing back and she panics, her croaking cry barely heard as it rasps in the silence, "Donn!" Her elbows dig into the sand as she levers herself up to look wildly down the stretch of sand that faces the cove only to find him beside her. Stark fear washes over her face as she bends to nudge his face off of the sand, his breaths so shallow she's not even sure he's breathing. But if Siebith is still here…

Siebith is close, muzzle resting on forepaws as he watches, worry whirling in those faceted eyes. Tail flicking slowly back and forth in the sand, anxious and far too still given his usual energy. D'had is still but for that slight movement of breath, head turning as she nudges him, but there's no reply to that all but silent cry of hers.

Thea notes the barely-there rise and fall of D'had's breathing and while though still weak and shaky herself, manages to push on his shoulders and roll him off of his front. Her aim that he'll be able to breathe easier and get his face away from the sand before he inhales some. The effort taxes what strength she has, though, and she collapses afterward on her side, her head thumps on the sand beside his. One hand lifts, tenderly brushing sand grains from his cheek while helpless tears well in her eyes, her whispered plea, "Don't die on me, Donn. Don't do it." She coughs softly, draws another shallow breath, "Don't leave me alone. I can't lose you, either."

Her pleas are met with silence. The quite rush and retreat of waves at their feet, the rustle of leaves on the trees where the beach ends and the jungle begins. Silence. Siebith shifts his feet. Those few minutes might well seem far longer before finally there's a sputtering cough from D'had.

His prolonged silence causes Thea no small distress. She pushes on the sand to rise, her intent to climb aboard Seryth and fetch a healer, going soaking wet through *Between* both ways is given not a flicker of thought. She's too weak to get up and thus drops her head back to the sand for a moment. He's breathing, but too shallowly, she knows this. He could be slowly dying, she has no idea. She wasn't conscious to see him breathe for her, but she has heard the healers talk of it and recalls this now. Awkwardly, she pushes up on her elbows and knees and tries her best. She probably doesn't do it right. Is she hindering more than helping? Her tears are falling on his face…

She might not be doing it right, and that might not help. Hindering? Hard to say. A cough, and then another, a bit of water trickles from the corner of D'had's mouth. Then there's a single word. His voice a strangled whisper, "Thea.." Eyes still closed, but his hand tries to reach across the beach to where she was.

Thea hasn't really enough lung power to share much, but she's not letting him go without a fight. She lifts her mouth when he coughs, wobbling there as that trickle of water runs down his cheek. She's made herself dizzy and lest she pass out and fall on top of him, she drops her head on his chest. She thinks the better of that right away. Weight won't help him breathe, so she curls up beside him, just breathing. "I'm here, Donn." She manages to croak the words, reaches to touch his hand searching hand with light fingers. "I'm right here."

Her hand meets his and D'had curls his fingers around and between hers. He's not planning on letting go even if his grasp is less than it might normally be. Another cough and eyes finally open, slowly. His free hand lifts after another moment, aiming for her cheek. "Ya okay?" he asks, voice still shaky.

Her head is back next to his on the sand, but she's watching his face when his eyes open. A smothered back sob of relief passes her lips when he does so. Fingers twine with his and for once her grasp is stronger than his, a fact not lost on her. When his hand finds her cheek, she cups the back of his, pressing it to her face, then turns and kisses his palm. Her reply is a hoarse, "Yes, thanks to you and Siebith." Seryth having filled her in on the details. Silence before a softly groaned, "Donn…" Her eyes are noting the pallor of his skin, his weakness. "You almost killed yourself for me."

D'had offers up a hint of his usual smile. One corner twitching upward for a second. "I'd do it again…" he admits. He might be pushing to get up on other occasions, but being that she's still lying beside him he seems content enough to stay where he is. That or maybe he's just not ready to move yet.

"You shouldn't have risked it," Thea goes on, a mild rebuke that might surprise him. She has to stop to take a breath before she continues, "We could've both died. Then who would the twins have?" The thought and perhaps fatigue setting in has her shuddering. He's not moving and her worry grows. Fear etches her words, "Are you gonna be alright?" Since he's been through something similar before and she hasn't.

"The weyr," D'had replies, adding a second later, words strained as he tries to talk. "My family. Your mother." The twins certainly wouldn't have been alone without their parents, but that's not the point she's trying to make and he knows it. "Wouldn't be any good for 'em without you," and she should realize that. A hint of a smile again as his thumb lightly rubs her cheek where it rests. "I'll be fine."

The Weyr. For some reason this makes Thea frown. Having been hold-raised perhaps has something to do with it. She nods about family. Yes there are plenty of options should they ever need it. But, "You… wouldn't be?" This troubles her deeply, "Please tell me you wouldn't go back…" to what he was before her. "They wouldn't be enough?" She takes a deep breath, which starts her coughing again. She curls closer to him, one arm lifted to place across his stomach, the movement gingerly done so as not to hurt him. She's cold, so he must be too?

D'had is cold too. Deeper waters are enough the suck the heat from anyone and there's no sun out to warm them just yet either. "I'd try," he attempts to assure, words still low. "For them. But without you… Wouldn't be the same." He can't promise he wouldn't make those same mistakes if he lost her, but he can say he'd try. The hand on her cheek slides back to brush dark locks over her ear. A hint of a smile and then he lets his eyes close, trying for a deeper breath.

Thea can feel how chilled his skin is and so presses closer for her sake as well as his. His assurance will have to do for now, nothing she could do in any case. "We should move," she murmurs when his eyes close. "Get back to the fire, get into dry clothes. Drink something hot." She's not Search and Rescue, but well familiar with hypothermia being from the mountains. A thought occurs to her then and her eyes flare open wide. "What was that anyway?" That strange wave. "Could there be more coming?" That thought ought to be enough to spur them to higher ground.

The hand that brushes through her hair slides back to rest on her shoulder. "A little longer," D'had replies, words choked before another cough hits him. Its that request for more time, like when a mother wakes a child so they aren't late for lessons and they plead for 'just five more minutes'. As for her question, his eyes are still closed when he rolls his head from side to side just enough to be considered a shake, "Hard to say."

Thea should protest. She should prod and slap and shout or something to get him off the beach for daylight is a few hours away at best and there is little warmth to be had here. She knows this, yet her own strength is not what it ought to be. "I'm afraid…" This comes out as a gentle sigh while her own lids grow heavy. She's not shivering anymore, which fact if she were aware of would trouble her more than the thought of another wave.

D'had's lips twitch, a quirk of a smile in one corner. Hand awkwardly patting the shoulder on which it rests. "Alright," he replies, "Lets go…" Then again agreeing to go and actually getting up to follow that steep path back up to the falls are two very different things.

"Yeah," Thea murmurs with her eyes still closed, lifting her head only to scoot closer and replace it on his shoulder and snuggle down as if making herself more comfortable for the night back home in their own bed. Slight smile upon her lips, she mutters a phrase he's heard on a long-ago rainy night after their first near-drowning, "One never knows what lies buried in the ocean's depths."

She said they should move. He's finally agreed and yet neither of them are moving to do so. "You're not gettin' up…" D'had notes the obvious as she snuggles in. Eyes still closed he coughs, head turning slightly away from her so he'll hopefully not do so in her face.

"Mmm…" Thea's voice is barely audible, the words slightly slurred. "Warm here." Though if he's still holding her hand it is ice cold. She doesn't open her eyes to answer nor does she say anything more, just draws a long shallow breath, turning her face into his shoulder a bit more to burrow in. After another silence, "Pull the covers up?"

Warm? That does cause Donn some question. Eyes cracking open to peer over at her for a second. "You're freezing." Or that could just be him.. Another pause as he shifts to push an elbow down to try and prop himself up. "Come on, we should go."

Now Thea protests, irritably at that. "Nngh." Her head moves when he does, that convenient shoulder-pillow jostling her head as he props himself up. If possible, she curls smaller, one leg lifts to twine with one of his, the arm she has thrown over his stomach tightens. "S'my day off." Pause. "Yours too."

"I know…" D'had agrees with that one statement as he pushes himself up with the other arm now disentangled from her. Trying to sit up while she's trying to stay there. "We're on the beach." he notes, "Ain't home." Something's wrong, but what he hasn't quite figured out.

"You're dreaming." Thea growls softly when he moves again, shifts her head off of his shoulder and back onto the sand. Her arm is withdrawn, hand patting the damp sand searching. Mumbled, "Where's m'pillow?" All the while her eyes stay closed and really she doesn't do more than a few weak pats for the search before her arm curled up to tuck her hand under her chin.

"Ain't," D'had replies gruffly. Eyes narrowed he turns a look towards her before he tries getting to his feet. It takes longer than it should, and he's still shaky when he does stand, but somehow he manages. The next task could prove more difficult though, bending back down to try and get her up.

Thea mutters at the movement beside her, curling smaller when the little warmth, if it could be called that, he was sharing with her is withdrawn. Her other hand joins its mate under her chin, a subconscious move seeking warmth. Her face turns into the wet sand just a bit, soaked hair sliding to cover her face, "Don't wake the twins."

Continues in Rogue Wave

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