That's Why

Xanadu Weyr - Hali's and Darsce's Room

This is one of the many windowless, standard shared rooms hewn from the same rock edifice that also forms the living caverns. The walls have been painted a sheer olive green, the color so light it's barely discernible while white-painted ceiling, doors and trim brighten the small room, large enough to squeeze two single cots and a dresser in. It comes with a six-foot high niche carved in one wall that serves as a closet, hinged wooden double doors fold open to allow access to the clothing hanging within and shut to disguise the chaos that reigns after having been riffled through. In one corner there's an oval, antique-brass-framed, full-length mirror, while in the other an ivory-colored overstuffed easy-chair is situated. Serving to cushion bare feet from chill stone is a pretty tapestry rug that reaches nearly to the perimeters of the room, the floral and leaf motif mostly dark olive with touches of gold, fuschia, peacock-blue and smoky-toned purple.
If kept neat, this would be a sophisticated and stylishly feminine-looking abode. Alas, while Hali's bed is made, teal and fushia pillows on her gold bedspread neatly arranged and her side of the room clutter-free, Darsce's side looks like a bomb went off in it. Coverlets are usually left rumpled and thrown back, pillows scattered anywhere BUT on the bed, piles of clothing discarded there instead as well as heaped on the chair and floor while searching for the perfect outfit for the day - the rug is usually but barely glimpsed underneath the carpet of cast-off clothing. The nearest half of the nightstand between the two beds is cluttered with hairbrush, nail polish, make up, jewelry, bottles of perfume, an empty klah mug or two and who knows what else. C'est la vie!

It's been several days since Darsce taught the class on mating flights in the Tavern and she has, since then, been scarce. Any knocks to her room door have gone unanswered and Hali, if asked, says either she's sleeping or not around. She could have gone to Ierne and remained for a project. It wouldn't be unusual, for her work often takes her there. Today marks the seventh day, it's midmorning and still there's been no Darsce seen about, not even tanning on the beach in the warmth of the spring sun.

Mur'dah has been trying to locate his sister since he chased after her after the lesson. Today is no different, as he makes his rounds to the places he knows she frequents during some of his time off. And, again, he knocks on the door, though the slump to his shoulders betrays his lack of confidence that she'll be inside - or answer.

It's going to take more than a few quiet knocks to get that door to open. So if he's persistent, he'll hear a dull thump from inside the room, then a groan and some swearing, thankfully muffled by the door. Which opens after some delay about two inches to reveal a rumple-haired, cranky-looking Darsce in her nightgown. She's peering out, but not seeing anything because her eyes won't quite focus and besides, they're shut to slits to keep the light out. Her hand half-covers her one-word, yawned-more-than-spoken greeting to whoever it is, "Whut?" Don't they know better than to wake her before noon?

Mur'dah hears the swaring. Oh good, Darsce is in residence. Persistent, stubborn teen that he is, Mur'dah does keep knocking away until the door is opened. And the sight of the usually so well put together Darsce so rumpled and disheveled throws him. "Uh."

Darsce knows that voice! One eye cracks open a tich wider and she mumbles, "Oh, it's you. Hi Squirt. Did you bring klah?" Her head thunks against the doorjamb as she yawns again. What? Does he think she sleeps with makeup on? Bed is not a black-tie event! She smirks, "I'm alone, if that's what you're wondering." She's always alone - she shares a room with her sister, but that's besides the point.

Mur'dah doesn't even protest the nickname, he's just so glad he found her finally. "Uh, no. I can go get some though if you want?" he offers. "I, uh. I wasn't wondering that. Should I wonder that if I come visit?" Nose wrinkle. Too much to think about. He can no longer just drop in on any of his sisters…this is bad.

Darsce's hand darts out, her forefinger flicks his bangs and then it's gone -zip! Like a snake's tongue. "You should always wonder," she drawls whether it's true or not. Hey, she's got an image to uphold! "Grab me a mug, while I get dressed, will you?" Through that two-inch cracked door she blows him a little kiss, then flutters her fingers. Kthksbai. Don't dawdle! She's got that irritating big sister thing down.

Mur'dah grits his teeth at the finger flick. She's lucky he's worried about her, otherwise he'd be doing the irritating little brother thing and…trying to be irritating. Put trundlebugs in her room or something. He does dart off, and he's gone for a bit longer than he should be. But when he returns, it's clear why. Either he thinks it'll help, or he's feeling a bit guilty for not showing up with klah to /begin/ with (though in his defense she hasn't been answering her door in a sevenday) but he returns with a wooden tray. Upon which is a pitcher of klah, two mugs, cream, sugar, and some assorted pastries ranging from sweet to savory. He has to tap the door with his foot this time, staring down at the tray and hoping he didn't forget anything.

This time when the door opens Darsce's barefoot, still sans makeup, one hand running a brush though her silver-blond hair but at least she's dressed. The ghostly mirage of her lacy camisole peeps through the powder blue material of her sleeveless shirt and she's wearing shortshorts that their Da would be grunting something disapproving about. She steps back to let him and that tray in, shuts the door after him and kicks a few discarded items of clothes out of tripping-danger so he can navigate safely. She pads over to her bed - which she hasn't made - and one hand flips the coverlet to a semblance of smooth (it's relative though!). Then she reaches to sweep the heap of clothes off the stuffed chair and onto the floor so he's got somewhere to sit. Her bedside dresser is too cluttered, so his knees will have to serve as their table. He doesn't mind, does he? She flops casually to sit on her bed, reaches for the pot of klah even before he's fully settled and pours for both of them.

Mur'dah grins when he sees the state of his room. "Does living in disarray run in the family? Wait, no. Never mind. Have you seen Marel's weyr? It's…pristine." Has she seen /his/ weyr? He doesn't protest being the table, taking the mug when it's offered and adding both sweetener and cream. "I came to ask you the same thing," he says studying her before he gives a little smile, "though I wouldn't call you Squirt. Are you okay?"

Her hairbrushing temporarily suspended, Darsce is clinging to the mug with both hands. It's her lifeline to sanity, her lover, her primal need all in one at the moment. "Mhmm," she answers midsip, eyes closed in pleasure. Klaaaaah! Lifting her head she eyes him lazily with half-lidded eyes. It… doesn't have nearly the same effect without mascara. "You've never seen Asher's Weyr, have you?" That's where she picked up (or didn't) her housekeeping skills. This doesn't explain why Hali's side of the room is pin-neat; they both had the same mother. "Not yet," she says of Marel's weyr. "I heard about yours though." Silvery brows quirk and a knowing smile curls the corners of her lips. Okay, yes, she heard about more than his weyr. "Did you? That's sweet, nothing's up." She buries her nose in her klah mug once more, lids that had lowered flick back up at his final question then her eyes slide away all while that mug remains in place. "Never better," she claims.

Mur'dah snorts, looking down and blushing a bit. "It's a disaster," he mutters. "But it's getting there. Slowly. I almost have all the plants cleared out from the inside. Now I just need to fund the materials somehow. Let me know if you have any modeling work." He did that for her once, right? Then he eyes her. "That's bullshit," he says with a frown. "What happened after the lesson? Ka'el was a total dick to you. He said he'd apologize, by the way, so… but still. Why were you teaching that lesson?"

Well, yes. It is that too. He cleared the vegetation? Darsce looks disappointed. Surely not all of it? "You didn't happen to save me a few of those mushrooms?" she asks him cheekily with a sly smile curving her lips. A smile which is gone in a flash at the mention of Ka'el replaced by utter boredom. "Did he?" One hand leaves her mug, a flick of polished nails consigns the bronze weyrling to insignificance. She shrugs, silent after his last two questions lifting the mug once more to take a heartening sip, then lowers it to her lap, head bent and eyes affixed to the dark pool undulating therein. She answers the what first, "I went to see papa. He was drunk, passed out on the couch. So I took his whiskey." Her eyes drift to the corner. "All of it." If he follow her line of sight he'll see D'had's stash, about two dozen, all still sealed but one, which is about half-empty.

Mur'dah blinks a few times, looking at her…uncertain if she's serious or not. "Uh…there might still be some growing. But…I really wouldn't want to /give/ any to you." If she wanted to go get some on her own, well. He can't exactly lock his weyr right now. Following her gesture, he blinks in surprise. "You…" he says softly, clearly stunned. "Let's dump it," he says an instant later, shifting as if he's going to get up, though he's still playing the part of table. Tables don't stand up real well. "Why?"

"I could steal them," says Darsce with a perky flare of rebellion, but now she is clearly teasing. She shakes her head, snorting a muttered, "Nah, they'd be worse than the whiskey was, I'm sure." She's back to sipping her friend, the klah. His comment draws a brief frown, not necessarily of disagreement, perhaps a thoughtful one instead. Then he's shifting and the idea of breakfast on the floor has her leaning forward to pin his shoulder with one elegant forefinger and pushing him firmly back into his seat. "Later." Sip. "Maybe." It's expensive whiskey! Back to her klah, midsip, from inside the cup, "Why what? Why'd I take his whiskey? So he couldn't drink it. Duh."

Mur'dah frowns. "You drank some? But…" Didn't they agree whiskey was bad? "Well, yeah, but…he'll just go get more," he says, a sadness pulling him down until he's almost slumped in the chair, eying his klah. Shaking his head, he sighs. "Sometimes I wonder if he'd have started drinking if Marel and I hadn't gone. Or if we'd come home. Somehow. Instead of staying there. If I weren't named heir…"

"Maybe he'll take the hint," snorts Darsce cynically of their father's imbibing ways. She doubts it. "I left papa a reminder," she says one shoulder shrugging, the line of her mouth softening to a melancholy that matches his. "Who knows; he was happier with your mom. He should go make up with her." She reaches for the klah pot, pours herself another mug, wiggles it invitingly. Want some more? Reaching for a pastry, she scoots back until she can lean against the wall. "So yeah, I drank some. It was nasty."

"I doubt it," Mur'dah mutters. "What did you leave?" The teen then sighs, sipping his klah and holding out the mug for more with a nod of silent thanks. "He was. He should. But I don't think he will. Not even sure if she'd take him back at this point," he admits. Then he wrinkles his nose. "Yeah, it is. I tried it once. Used…used to want to be just like him." Alas, no longer. It's hard for kids to see their heroes are not all they thought they were.

"A lemon tart. He knows they're my favorite," says Darce promptly as she pours his klah and sets the pot where it won't tip over. She nods somberly at his confession, "I remember you took his boots once and clumped around in them until you got bored, then you filled them with earthworms so he could take you fishing. He got dressed in the dark next morning and found them when he put his feet into them." She grins, "Wish I'd been there to see it." She's less flippant now, more relaxed, iceblue eyes watch him over her pastry as she pauses it before biting, "So… are you going to be okay with the flights thing?"

Mur'dah nods, and then he laughs. "Oh yeah, I got in so much trouble…but we did go fishing," he says, smile distant and fond, before it just turns sad. Lifting his brown eyes, he studies her for a moment. "The lesson? Or the…the actual flight?" he asks.

Darsce's mouth is full of pastry. She could think while chewing, but des she? Nope! "Well… both!" she says with a soft spray of crumbs, swallows hastily before she chokes when she laughs, "Oops!" Brushing the flakes from her shirt, she adds, "I didn't mean to embarrass you or anything. Were you? Or were you mad?" She pauses her tidying to look at him in unfeigned concern. She cares about that, but she will assert, "I taught it correctly. I checked the lesson plan on the computers right before." Her slim fingers wave all that away as inconsequential, like she was legit in the first place.

Mur'dah shakes his head a bit. "I was…confused as to why you were teaching it," he admits honestly. "And really? That's..that's all there was to the lesson? That's it?" He frowns a bit. "I'm scared," he admits, glancing at her as if waiting - or daring - her to laugh about it.

Darsce nods, unsurprised by his comment. "I know." She pinchpicks nuts one by one out of her pastry, popping them into her mouth, a slight frown on her lips. Still she doesn't say why she did it even though by now they surely know she snuck the knot she'd worn. Her eyes lift to his when he asks about the lesson, "Well, yeaaah," says she slowly, honestly surprised he's asked. That's really all there was! "What more did you want? I mean, some of it is definitely going to be in-field training, lab class if you will." She shrugs. There's not one hint of laughter about him being scared. "That's why," she says very, very softly with none of the cavalier veneer she usually armors herself with.

Mur'dah shrugs, "I…I don't know. More…detail…I guess?" But he's blushing even as he admits it. "How it really feels? I mean, I went and talked to some riders after, but…I would've thought the lesson would've had that in it too." Then he blinks. "Because I'm scared?" She did it for him?

Instead of Squirt Darsce says, "Mur'dah… have you ever seen your mother proddy?" She knows damn well he has! She's sweetly reasonable because she knows he's seen plenty of proddy riders. And perhaps maleriders intent on having her. "It's different for every one of them. How could any lesson be detailed enough for any of you? But you had the right idea for Ka'el about talking to riders with specific questions." Leaning back once more, she draws a breath, maybe wishing she could take back the 'that's why'. She nods silently, eyes locked with his. She looks very young and vulnerable when she says, "Because I know how it feels to be scared of flights." Even though she doesn't have a dragon. And no one can debate that.

Mur'dah blushes and grimaces at the same time, looking away and nodding. "I guess…yeah," he murmurs. Her reasons make sense! Or rather the lesson's author's reasoning makes sense, for leaving it so broad. "When were you scared?" he asks, glancing at her. It's not a defensive question, or a 'you don't have a dragon, why would you be scared' question. It's genuine, and soft spoken. He's a bit vulnerable too, if his look to make sure the door is still closed is any indication.

"Every time," Darsce whispers. Then she blinks rapidly, half-lifts her mug only to scowl into it. She is not going to cry, dammit! She hasn't ever talked about the turns when she was very young living in Ierne but now she says, "Asher- my mama would act weird and…kittenish and Da would glower and take us somewhere far away. And they'd fight for days afterwards. Or not talk. Or he wouldn't come back for a seven. Or he would come home looking rakish and smug and smelling of perfume and Mama would scream and throw crockery at him. He left us when I was around ten turns old." That's the 'enough to wreck their relationship' she'd meant the other night. So she blurts out a very delayed answer to his 'why?' he'd asked awhile ago, "Because flights suck for everyone but the dragons and I wanted to give my friends a break from all those grinning, leering AWLMs who would make snide remarks and smirk while you guys squirmed and the mindhealers made notes. So a nice dinner with drinks where you could say anything you wanted and none of them could write, 'emotionally fragile' in your dossiers."

Mur'dah shifts, even though he's still playing table. He shifts enough to reach out, offering her his hand. "That's awful," he says quietly. "That's really nice of you, Dars. Really, really nice. Thoughtful and…and." Other mushy stuff the teen just can't bring himself to elaborate on. "Thanks. I'm sorry it went so…badly." He hesitates a moment and then blurts out, "Ka'el says flights don't matter. That even if I haven't, uh, been with a girl before my first flight, that won't really count 'cuz I won't remember most of it anyway. But Marel's gonna ask M'kal if he'll, you know…" UGH, bad images, "because she doesn't want a flight to be /her/ first. I don't know what to do." Oh, the angst.

Those turns are past and Darsce's more than happy they are. She accepts her brother's thanks with a little more of her normal flippancy, feigning reaching for his extended hand only to tickle his palm with her fingertips before a swift move sees his bangs flicked once again. But she appreciates his sentiment, really she does. She leans back against the wall, casual once more, listens to him and then maybe-possibly understands enough to point out, "Flights are for the dragons. If you remember that, and whoever your special lady is remembers that, you'll be fine. The beforehand practice is… uh… practical in nature, not for… sentimental reasons." She boggles at him when he mentions Marel but not for the reason he might think. "I'd say definitely don't go do Marel," she drawls wickedly. And then she ducks, expecting a well-deserved swat.

Mur'dah rolls his eyes when she rebuffs his attempts at being sentimental and actually caring, but he knows the thought is appreciated at least. Nodding thoughtfully, he looks down at the tray in his lap and then looks sharply up at her. So sharply his neck pops and sends that white hot heat down his spine, making him gape until it subsides. "I…you…" he stammers, getting all bent out of shape even though he /knows/ she's joking. "Would you?" he finally blurts. And then, because /that/ could be taken the wrong way, he hastily clarifies. "If you were a rider and you weren't, uh, experienced, would you find someone first?"

"Would I do Marel? Heck no, I don't swing that way," Darsce, still drawling and still obviously not serious. Maybe this is how she deals? She stops smirking to give his question serious consideration. "Me personally? I…don't know." She shrugs and admits, "Probably not. It's probably best but it's damn awkward." But he's a guy asking the rhetorical question and, not that she knows herself, but she's heard they're performance-driven. "I'm pretty sure nature will take it's course when the time comes, Squirt." And then she sniggers. Poor Mur'dah. At least she didn’t pat him on the head?

Mur'dah gives her a glare. She's making it harder for him to talk about this stupid topic. And after all her effort in trying to make the lesson low-key, too. Jeez. Sisters. He squirms a bit. "Yeah…put it in a go to town. That's what Da would say…" he mutters, frowning at the whiskey bottles. "Can I have one of those?" he asks suddenly. Then he looks back at her. "You wouldn't? Well…but. I mean, if you know of any girls you think might want to go out with me…I apparently /suck/ at picking dates for myself. I'm going to ask N'shen too, if I can. Seems stupid to bug the Weyrleader with that though."

Darsce rolls her eyes about what their Da would say. Thanks, that's a picture she could do without! He wouldn't use that many words. He'd say, 'Just do it.' "You're overthinking it," she says idly. Her eyes shift over to the bottles and she shrugs, "Help yourself." At least he's not going prohibition on her? She's not going to drink them - she's probably going to resale them. "Sure, I know plenty of girls in Ierne who would eat you up. You wouldn't even have to pose the awkward question." And then of course she's rolling her eyes again when he mentions bothering the Weyrleader, "Gah. He's your brother, first goofy!" She's up, stuffing her feet into sandals, reaching a hand for that tray and gesturing to the stash of whiskey bottles. "C'mon Chick-Magnet, grab one and let's go ask Nash to barhop with you in Ierne." It works better if she's not his accomplice on this venture.

Mur'dah just shrugs a bit, looking a little sheepish. "Yeah, I know, but…" But? He doesn't think this is important enough? Letting her take the tray he stands, and takes a whiskey bottle, cradling it in his hand against his arm. Then he'll follow her out, trying not to look /too/ excited at the idea of bar-hopping with his big brother. This is /exactly/ what he needs. Or so he thinks.

Oh it is! N'shen is a Chick-Magnet too, even if he is all devoted to Natali and will probably keep the girls at arm’s length. At least that way there's more for Mur'dah?

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License