The Heavy Weight of Worry

Xanadu Weyr - Siebith's Weyrbarn

Covered in rough, weathered wood, aged by the weather and the sun, the irregular grayed clapboards outside of this weyrbarn lend the place has a rustic, masculine charm. White shutters and window boxes overflowing with brightly-hued tangles of flowers on the lower windows and flowering vines twine about the supports for the porch overhang add a feminine touch, softening the stark stone steps leading to it.

The worn stone floor of Siebith's area is just inside the large sliding door. The living area of the weyrbarn has an open, airy layout gives the utilitarian, bachelor-like plain white-washed walls and simple hardwood floors a sense of wide open spaces. A sturdy mahogany-toned table with chairs that somehow manage to match despite their variety accent the earthy, wooden tones of the kitchenette. The same dark reddish hues are in the door at the far side of the barn, as well as in the low-slung coffee table in front of the plush, worn couch. Dusky sea-blue rugs are scattered here and there. Dark golden curtains hang on either side of the many windows and partition off the loft up above, led to by a black wrought iron set of ladder-like stairs. Lilies arranged in glass vases on the tables provide a crisp of white counterpoint to the dark wood tones.

A new addition, the bedroom has walls of the same plain white, but the floors are made of newer wood, still shiny with polish. A four-poster bed of the same red mahogany takes up the most of one wall of the small space, a blue-and-cream linen coverlet spread on the wide mattress. A set of wooden bureaus take up the bulk of the wall opposite while another wall has been painted upon in the very center with a seascape mural, its crisp blue waters and sandy shores. The final wall is graced by a feminine-looking writing desk stacked with papers and bedecked with knick-knacks. Over the bed, a set of stained-glass windows allows golden-brown light mingled with white whorls and blue haze to shine into the room with the rising of the sun, though both panes are able to be unlocked and swung wide to accept lake breezes.

It's been a month. A month since D'had announced that the Vega Run… and his family were missing. A month of fruitless searching. A month of sheer exhaustion and worry… and near silence from the man who says little to begin with. Thea has managed in this time to maintain what she hopes is a comforting presence, help with what little she can and be there for him. And she waits. Waits for him to share with her what's on his mind. To let her share the burden with him. It hasn't been easy. Sleep comes harder and less often, her appetite grows less. She's slowly losing weight, not a lot, but it's inevitable that she does. This night is like many others: She awakes to lie there, keeping as still as she can so as not to awaken man beside her until she can no longer do it and so slips from the bed into the darkened weyrbarn to pace the living space and think.

D'had has had his fair share of not sleeping and eating as well and it's been wearing on him slowly but surely. Tonight is one such night. Laying awake he stares up at the ceiling. That is until she slips from beside him and into the main living space. He waits a long moment to see if she's returning shortly before he moves to follow her.

Thea moves slowly on her circuit of the room in the pitch black, well on the other side of the room from where the twins lie on their bed pallets, but there's that low table in front of the couch that has attacked D'had numerous times and she's not risking the same fate. Back and forth a few times until she pauses by a window to lean her forehead against the cool pane of glass with her eyes on the stars that twinkle hard diamond points above the frozen mantle of snow of Xanadu's winter.

D'had isn't sure just where in the space she is for a moment, or if she's even still inside for that matter. That is until he happens to spot the Thea-like shadow over the window cast by star and moonlight. "Couldn't sleep?" he asks the rhetorical question lowly as he comes up behind her.

Thea's breath of a sigh has fogged the glass in front of her face so the stars blur. At the voice behind her she jumps, startled. Lifting her forehead from the windowpane, she half-turns, like a guilty child caught out of bed by her parent, "I slept. Just couldn't stay that way." Careful not to sound fretful, "I didn't mean to wake you."

A quirk of amusement tugs at the corner or D'had's lips for that start of hers. A subtle expression likely hidden by the darkness of the room. "You didn't," he replies with a shake of his head, reaching to snake an arm around her waist and aiming to pull her closer. "You should take a vacation," he suggests. Not that he's saying she's working too hard, oh no. "Take the twins, your mother…" Something.

Thea is easily pulled to him, her arms lifting to his shoulders as she leans in, resting her forehead against his and he can feel her icy brow when she does. "You couldn't sl-" She starts to ask but then he's making that suggestion and she rears back a bit from him. "A vacation." She canNOT believe he just said that. Oh she says it quietly, but there's ice in the echo. That bit of starlight from the window flashes in her eyes, "Just go off and enjoy myself while you-" She bites the words off and eyes him, lips pressed together hiding the tremble that starts there.

D'had is clearly tired, that much she's sure to know. Able to feel perhaps in the weight of his arms, the heaviness of his forehead against hers. "It'd help me. Knowing you're alright." He sighs, shaking his head slightly. "You don't have to." He's not going to make her it would seem. It was just a thought. "So now.. how come you're awake?"

"But I am alright," Thea assures him, maybe not understanding his meaning. The reassurance is given almost without thought before what he's said sinks in. "How would that help, exactly?" Her ire melts and she leans back to peer at him closely in the dark, hands linking behind his neck, "All this-" One hand flutters back there before it returns to its place. "-looking and not finding anything. You-" She struggles for the words through a suddenly tight throat, eyes closing to keep tears from spilling.

D'had nods once. "I'm sorry babe," he apologizes, shifting to drop his head to her shoulder. "I shouldn'ta brought you into all this. Least I know what family is here is safe." He's torn between her and his children, and being out there searching for the rest of it. "I'll be fine."

Finding her voice past that lump, "And why shouldn't you have?" Thea is indignant, her eyes fly open in the dark, but it's hard to see him clearly. "They're my family now, too!" Her arms tighten about him and when his head drops to her shoulder, one hand cradles the back of it. Quietly, "Please don't ever think of shielding me from things like this." A long soft breath out as she just holds him, giving what comfort she can, "We're safe with you," she almost croons it before resuming her troubled silence once more. Finally, "Donn? It's been a month. Tell me what you think could have happened?" She knows. Oh, how she knows he's kept those to himself.

"You're right," D'had relents. He could argue the point, but tonight.. he's just not. "I'll try to remember," he replies, a light touch of tease in his words there. "You are," he agrees. "Safe here. And don't worry, we'll find them." He's quiet then for a long while. "You remember on the island…?"

He could argue that they're not her family too? Ouch! She would never suggest that he think of Thadan as his family, but Rensea did enough mothering of the bluerider while here to perhaps fit the bill. Teasing brings a gentle smile to Thea's lips, unseen in the dark and then his question causes her some confusion. It's been awhile and what that has to do with this situation eludes her. He was pretty closed-lipped about what he saw when he went off on his own. "Yeeeeees…"

Argue the point of why he shouldn't have brought her into it that is. As for what it is, or rather what he thinks it is. There's an answer, even if it's slow in coming. "Raiders," D'had finally replies with that single word, turning his face downward.

And that would have gone over equally as well. For a long moment after that singular word Thea is silent, only a sharp intake of breath marks her reaction to that disclosure. "It was a raider ship that washed up on our island?" She slowly adds one and one in her head, "You've been thinking they're responsible this whole time," she questions lowly. "And never said anything? Why?" There's a painful wince at that thought. Then she reaches gentle hands placing them on either side of his head, tries to lift it so she can at least make the attempt to see into his dark eyes in the dim light.

D'had nods. It was raiders that washed up on the island, to that much he'll agree. "Not the whole time, not them." Not those raiders, but raiders yes. "I didn't want you to worry," he replies with his usual line of thought. She shouldn't even have to ask anymore, yet she does. One day, one day there might be a different answer.

Or one day she may give up asking in despair… It seems Thea’s not successful in getting him to lift his head and within that circle of his arms she stiffens, begins to withdraw without saying a word. The starlight might catch a sparkle on her face but she doesn't berate him, although a strangled sound in the back of her throat can be heard in the darkness. It could be distress, it could be a growl.

"I know," D'had replies, finally lifting his gaze in attempt to meet hers. "I don't need to keep it myself." He pauses, shaking his head and leans to rest it on her shoulder once again. "I'm sorry babe. I'm still learnin' on that."

Thea stops that half-step back with a smothered sigh, blinks the tears back as she bends to listen to his quiet admission. "What makes it worse is knowing you're hurting and not letting me share the burden, Donn. It's far worse than worrying, don't you see?" Thea's hand lifts to move through the hair on the back of her head; comforting. She stands so for a time until finally, reluctantly she asks, "So raiders. That would be better than if it were a storm, yes? The ship would be intact." Grasping at straws, maybe…

D'had shakes his head, pulling back to look at her though the darkness. "Maybe," he agrees that far. "Hard ta say, depends what they wanted." He pauses, shaking his head again. "I'm sorry babe, we'll get through this together. We'll find it. We'll find them." Confident, if only in trying to convince himself it's truth.

"Stop apologizing, will you?" Thea asks with a gruff tone, lays her head against the top of his where it rests on her shoulder. Her fingers make slow, regular movements, her attempt to soothe the man until he lifts his head to look at her. "I know we will," she says to both of his assurances, pleading quietly, "I think it's time you got some help in your search. Surely raiders using a ship will leave a trail. Ask for volunteers… talk to the sea holds…"

D'had nods. "I'll think about it." It might not be the answer she's looking for, but its a start. "They're my family Thea…" he adds after a moment longer. "I'm just happy I have you."

Thea struggles with this 'I'll think about it'. "I know, Donn. They're your family…" She's not following his reluctance to get help. "We're here…" She's floundering here, trying again to see his expression in the dark. "What do you think they'd want besides a ship?" She doesn't know raiders at all, but she saw some of them lose a ship.

When D'had meets her gaze his dark eyes, if it can be seen in the dark of the night, are filled with a mixture of emotion. Exhaustion, fear, worry.. "Cargo.. the ship.. it doesn't always matter. Ransom. Sometimes they don't care about the people on board." And that's what he's worried about most it would seem.

There's just enough starlight coming in from that window for Thea to catch a bit of those emotions in his eyes and she meets it with understanding dawning in hers. "No." It's a whisper from lips gone white. Then more firmly, "We'll do what we have to do. We'll find them, Donn. Maybe it wasn't raiders. Maybe the wave that caught the other ship hit them and swept them somewhere and they're just making repairs somewhere…" She's babbling now, her words tripping over themselves in her haste to get them out, get him to think of another option.

"I know," D'had replies. He'll do everything he can. That much should already be clear. He lifts his head from her shoulder to steal a kiss. "You should get some sleep. Come on," he continues, giving her a gentle prod back towards their bed as he untangles one arm from her waist so they can walk. "They'll," a nod towards the twin's pallets, "be up soon enough." And he can use all the precious little sleep he gets.

Lips on hers interrupts her stream of words and Thea hushes, calming - at least outwardly as she allows him to turn her towards the bedroom. She is tired and it's true the twins will be up soon. He'll do all he can, but perhaps she'll be doing a little something too. After all, she's just heard something that adds urgency to the matter. And she's not the most patient of people. Uh oh.

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