N'shen's World - Gone Wonky

Xanadu Weyr - Kiddie Playground

A path of colorfully painted slabs of stone cheerfully invites the weyr's youngest residents and their caretakers to partake in the multitude of activities in this elaborate playground. The pathways here are comprised of a thick cushioning layer of dark brown mulch branching off towards distinct sections. Log roll edging with a pale green-brown finish provided an accent to divide wide stretches of well tended grass from long rounded abstract shapes filled with fragrant wild flowers. More edging boarders the back walls made of tall square shaped hedges with the occasional draping of a flowering bush.

Immediately to the left is a enormous teaching garden filled with most of the herbs and the edible plants that can be found on Pern. Each is clearly labeled with their name and use thanks to posts sliced at an angle at their top, the large blocked text easy to read behind square panels of glass screwed directly into the wood. To the right A twelve foot long, seven foot high 'rock' climbing wall with large protrusions and holes designed with young hands and feet in mind. Farther back from here is a section dedicated specifically to a impressive swing set, constructed of heavy pressure treated lumber and includes exactly six swings along each side forming a wide 'vee'. No more than six feet from the swing set is the record setting oak tree discovered when this place was created, and upon it a fixed robe ladder leads up to an amazing tree house. It has a wide porch, and roof build directly into the tree itself. Inside children will delight in the amount of play space, and the range of games to be found. Peg boards, wooden kitchen items, and even a place to sneak away to color or draw with a breathtaking few of the gardens and playground. Just past the tree house is a hedge maze that a small child may lose themselves in, but is short enough to enable an adult to easily guide the little one out again should they get lost.

The center of the playground is likely its drawing attraction. A huge brightly colored play structure With seven different types of climbing components (including monkey bars), six platforms, two slides and several hand manipulated activities including cranks, large interlocking gears that actually work and a pop flip puzzle with amusing cartoon characters.

Springtime here in the South, creeping in on soft feet, bringing with it warmer temperatures and brilliant, cloudless skies. Such is today, though it seems N'shen does not notice the beauty surrounding him. Perched on a swing, idly kicking his feet against the ground to send himself spinning randomly, his expression is pensive and weighty. He's alone - most of the children of the Weyr are in classes with the harpers, or otherwise occupied with their parents or nannies. Only this young man, no longer properly a child, though still lacking the status of adult, seems to be taking advantage of this single, perfect day.

Uncharacteristically not in the office at this time of day is one Junior Weyrwoman and Weyrsecond with a pair of energetic toddlers crossing the space to enter the playground. The pair appear a little more rested than in previous days, taking some (of late) rare time together. It's clear the boy has had enough of being held by the hand and having that play area in sight, twists his wrist in the grip of his parent to be free, his squeal of impatience echoing across the area, "Imma goOOooo!!!" The little girl seems content to be carried, her chortles of glee might be for the sudden outing or it just might be the young man she recognizes with a sing-song, "Nash-ee!"

D'had holds tight to the boy's hand despite his protests. No need for him dashing off to who knows where just yet. Someone's certain to have to chase him at least once today anyway. The girl's sing-song finds his eyes lifting from the boy beside him to the one on the swing, a nod of greeting given should he look their way.

The squeels of children impede on N'shen's gloomy thoughts, and his name causes the young bronzerider's head to jerk up. That instinct that somehow skipped his mother is honed sharp within - green eyes immediately flash to his young sibling, and a smile tugs reluctantly at his lips. He does not, however, rise from the swing to greet his family, though one hand releases the chain to raise in greeting, neither urging them closer nor warding them off. Indeed, he seems content to watch the progress of his parents and the twins, resting his head against one of the supporting chains as the swing continues to twist idly with minute movements of his feet.

Muir, predictably starts to fuss, fighting that grip that holds him from such bounty before him - that colorful play structure with all the bars and platforms to climb on, the manipulative-type activities he can't wait to get his hands on. Thea's in the middle of commenting to D'had, "I wonder if you were like that when-" the squeal of Marella has her following the toddler's gaze to her brother, noting the melancholy of his posture in that instant, her greeting is a simple, "Hi Nash." And since his sister is wriggling to be set down, she complies and it is to the swings that little legs take the girl running to beam her joy to the world up into N'shen's face.

D'had finally lets Muir go when they've a few feet away from the swing that N'shen occupies. The less space for him to be distracted in the better. A brow raises at that question of Thea's, but he doesn't comment, instead letting her give her greeting before offering one of his own. "How ya doin'?" but the look accompanying the question says they can talk about that later if he'd rather.

It would take a stouter heart and blacker mood to resist Marella's sunshine, and melancholy though N'shen may be, this is his sister, and his love for her outweighs any pensive thoughts. The smile that curves his lips is more genuine as the girl runs towards him, and he straightens up on the swing, planting his feet as he leans forward, holding out both arms to scoop her up. "There's my girl," he murmurs. "Aren't you, love?" Even as his attention is given over to his female sibling, his eyes flicker, briefly, in response to Thea's hello and D'had's amazingly wordy greeting. "How'm I doing? That's a good question." Might as well drop the bombshell now. "Taozyuth's going to be a father. Sire. Whatever."

Yeah, well, D'had probably doesn't remember, but if Thea ever gets the chance to ask his mother, you can bet she will do it. She follows Marella, arriving a few steps behind her daughter and seats herself on the swing beside N'shen, sensitive enough not to pepper him with questions, giving him a gentle smile in place of words. Muir finds himself free, but the swings are not where he wanted to go - he's got a one-track mind, apparently. His attempt to turn and head for the play area is slow enough to be intercepted, however. Marella chortles as she's scooped up, reaching both hands to pat N'shen's cheeks, telling him serenely, "I'm love you." Either echoing him or expressing her sentiments. Bombs away and Thea blinks, darting a glance at D'had then back to N'shen. One doesn't often find the Junior at a loss for words, enjoy it while you can!

D'had isn't leaving, or isn't planning on it just yet, but he does take a few steps off after Muir, snagging the collar of the boy's shirt and holding him back. "I heard," he notes in reply to that bombshell. Its not as if gold flights are something easily overlooked. That might explain his wordy greeting too. At least he's not asking about feelings and all that fluffy girl stuff though. Right? Right.

Somehow, Nash isn't surprised at D'had's words, though it might be hard to tell, because as he takes Marella into his arms, he presses his face against her hair, holding her tightly - not constrictively so, but enough to keep her from sliding off his lap. "I'm love you too," he murmurs, to answer her first, before he twists his neck slightly, one sharp green eye peering out at his parents. "I was at Fort delivering messages," he explains, for Thea's benefit, if not his father's. "Zuhth rose - Tao chased. And caught. Not his first chase," he adds wryly, "but his first catch, to be certain. He wants to be there once she clutches - I just hope we don't make a nuisance of ourselves."

Someone had her mind on other things, catching up on a sleepless night being one of them, so this is certainly news to Thea. Apparently Seryth didn't fill her in on the dragon-chatter and neither did D'had by the look of reproach she flicks him. The subject is awkward for her, and while some might make ribald comments, this just isn't her way and he's like her very own son. Still. His first flight. Concern laces the question, to N'shen, "You're alright? Where-?" But then he's saying. Marella is quietly busy winding little fingers in her brother's fuzzy hair while Muir is having an absolute fit. Above the din, Thea assures, "You won't," while lifting her arms in a silent offering to take Muir from D'had.

What? D'had was supposed to know Seryth didn't say anything? He raises a brow for that look Thea gives him, but doesn’t comment on it. "You'll figure it out," he notes to N'shen. "Jus' don't be afraid ta ask if ya got questions." Which is about as close to an offer of assistance as he's going to get from his father. As for Muir, he was just ignoring the boy's complaints, but when Thea reaches for him, the Weyrsecond stoops to scoop him up and hand him over.

"I dunno about that," Nash remarks wryly to Thea, wincing slightly as Marella tugs a bit too hard, though all he does is tilt his head closer to her, to ease the strain on his hair. "I imagine having a fifteen-turn old hanging around could get fairly cumbersome for a woman of Neyuni's… ah, experience. I just hope that Taozyuth can keep his enthusiasm for his impending offspring to a dull roar." Someone's been reading again - his vocabulary has made a marked improvement. "Still," he adds thoughtfully. "Taozyuth-spawn. Seryth grand-babies," he adds, grinning at his step-mother, though there's still a hint of melancholy deep in those rich green eyes. "At least I don't likely have to worry about being a father myself - I imagine Neyuni's already taking steps to ensure that won't happen." And his relief is plain.

Maybe he might have by Thea’s utter lack of comment upon such a momentous milestone in their son's (for lack of a better term) development? But then, neither of them have ever been in this sort of situation before, and thus the look is mild, at best and she doesn't say anything either. Instead she gives her weyrmate an approving smile for those words to N'shen while taking the flailing Muir upon her lap, folding her arms over the boy to include the chain in the crook of her elbows and pushing back to start the swing going. As she passes N'shen, she tosses him a sympathetic look but seeks to reassure him with, "Hatching's are so hectic, I doubt she'll have time to be encumbered." Her grin about grand-babies echoes his own and on her next pass she notes with a flash of mischief directed the Weyrsecond's way, "I think D'had wouldn't mind waiting becoming a grandpa for a few more turns."

D'had coughs, nearly choking at their commentary. Yeah… he doesn't need to be a grandfather any time soon. Just because he started early, even without draconic influence, doesn't mean his children have to. Kay. Thanks. Clears his throat. Yeah, that didn't happen. "It'll work out," he says again.

"Well, he'll have those turns to wait, at least from me," N'shen replies, rather firmly, though given the way he holds his sister, he might not be so upset as all that once he does finally procreate. As if thinking of the girl himself, he shifts Marella on his lap and idly plays with the edges of her hair as he peers at both riders, lips quirking wryly. "Well. We'll see how it goes," he remarks, somewhat dubiously. "I can't tell Taozyuth he can't be there to help watch over his clutch, I just hope I can keep him out of Zuhth's way - and I can stay out of Neyuni's. Does mean I won't be around as often," he adds softly, "but if you need me to watch the kids or something, just call. We'll make time."

Thea's laugh, is certainly not for that choke-cough of D'had's - really! It could be for that odd angle to N'shen's head that Marella's finger-twining has pulled it to, Muir's joyful yelling of, "Up!" as his little fingers curl 'round the chain and he bounces in her lap, spurring her to swing higher for him. But she can't quite keep that look of dismay from crossing her features when he mentions leaving. "Oh." Yes, some bronzes prefer to clutch-sit, but not all of them do so and this was the last thought on her mind. To D'had, "We can visit him, can't we?" He knows the strained diplomatic relations between Fort and Xanadu.

D'had nods, "Yeah.." he replies. "Could work that out," he replies to Thea's question about visiting. He's just going to keep ignoring the idea of N'shen having children of his own for now. A smirk of a smile pulls at his lips for the twins and their antics. As for the bronzerider, "You'll do fine."

Choosing to take reassurance from D'had's repeated words rather than dismissing them as a general catch-all phrase, N'shen nods quietly at his father - the movement slight, so as not to pull his hair from his sister's grasp. "I wouldn't object to a visit," he replies, "though I hope I won't be spending all of my time there. I still have duties here, and I doubt the Weyrleader would be pleased to have me dithering at Fort when I could be… running messages." His frustration at that particular task is plain, though he has yet to reach an age where he can take on the duties of a full rider. "Tao can make due with regular check-ins. I didn't get the impression Zuhth was one of those queens who demands the clutch-sire be present full-time."

"If we can get Niva to go for it, might be time to pay a diplomatic visit to Fort," is Thea's comment to D'had from the top of the arc and it's on the way down that Muir hiccups, his complexion beginning to look a little pale, although his mother can't see it. Marella finally lets go her brother's fascinating hair to clap at them on the way by, her pale eyes a-twinkle. That looks like fun! "Ro- R'wani was a messenger, did he tell you, Nash?"
"Ain't nothin' wrong with deliverin' messages," D'had comments, adding on to Thea's note about the current weyrleader. "Once you're not grounded, I'd think she'd go for it," Because yes, he's certain that he'll be set for flight again before she is.

"No, I can't say I've ever sat down and chatted with him," Nash replies dryly. "I just don't want to spend my whole life running messages for other people. Tao and I have - other interests." Which, given his speculative look, may not mesh up quite well. "I'd like Search and Rescue someday, but Tao - he wants me to be Weyrlingmaster." Something, it seems, the young bronzerider isn't that discinlined towards, if the glitter in his green eyes is any indication. "Either way, though, I still have another turn before I can even be placed in a wing, much less start training towards one or the other." Wait - what? "Grounded? Who's grounded?"

Muir erps. It's this little heave that alerts Thea the boy has had enough with the swinging motion and applies feet to ground, dragging them to a stop, whereupon the child is offered back to his father. "You should, you'd like him," notes Thea of the Weyrleader with a stare at D'had for letting that little tidbit slip. "He's grounded too," she tells N'shen sweetly, tilting her head towards the boy's father. And yes, she heard what he said about his and Taozyuth's ambitions, for she goes on to ask, "How would you like a practice run at S&R?" Niva may have grounded her, but she never said she couldn't recruit for D'had.

Oh, so he gets the boy back now. Thanks Thea, seems to be the look he shoots her, but he hefts Muir over into one arm all the same. That look he'd given her narrows when she adds that he's been grounded as well. Damn woman! That look lightens as he looks back to N'shen. "Good things ta shoot for. Carryin' messages, that's good for gettin' ta know places. Always helps when it comes to search and rescue."

"That's what they said when I was assigned the duty," N'shen mutters. "Personally, I think it's just a way to avoid having to do the work themselves." As his father would likely be one of those sending him on message runs, he shoots the bluerider a guilty look. "What kind of practice run?" Eyes sliding from D'had to Thea, his expression makes a similar transition - from slightly shame-faced to - wait, is that suspicion? Indeed, the look seems to say 'what do you plan to get me into, this time?'. Still, he's clearly willing to listen, if not necessarily with the same blind enthusiasm as he had turns before.

Why yes. Yes he does and it has nothing to do with the fact that the Muir may upchuck. It's coincidence, really! Marella seems to want a swing, her hands pulling at the stationary chain of N'shen's and it seems Thea's intent is, "You want me to take her, Nash?" D'had speaks and she nods support of his comments even as she gives the young bronzerider a sympathetic wink and a look of pure innocence. "Not me, him-" her head indicating the boy's father and telling him breezily, "-he's putting together a team to help search for the Vega Run." Assuming he's heard about his missing as-yet-unmet extended family.

Well lets hope Muir doesn't. D'had cuts a glare towards the weyrwoman when she mentions him. "I'm not getting him into this," he replies, the tone of his voice clear enough in meaning. He wasn't going to ask his son to fly those sweeps for him. "Galaxy is on."

"I have her," Nash replies quietly, and pushes with his feet, setting the swing in slow back-and-forth motion as he reaches out to grip the chain in one hand, keeping tight grip on his sister with the other. His eyes go consideringly to his father for a long time, but he has yet to reach that age where D'had's refusal of his help would be insulting. Instead, he simply inclines his head in respect of the bluerider's wishes, adding, in an attempt to appease Thea, "I think the Vega Run is better served by those with more experience - and time. Of which mine will be limited before too long," he reminds her gently.

Thea stares back into that glare of D'had's, surprised. "I thought you were still putting the team together. Since it's -his- family too, I thought he'd like riding with you." She stands and approaches her weyrmate, reaching a conciliatory hand towards him. He's angry with her and she can't bear that. "I'm sorry, Donn." N'shen's comments are given some thought and then she murmurs, "I guess it wouldn't be allowed anyway with you not tapped into a wing yet anyway."

"I'm grounded, remember," D'had returns a touch more sharply that he truly meant to. "Maybe when I'm back out there," he adds, including them both in the apologetic glance that follows. "It’s alright babe," he says quietly, reaching his free hand for that one Thea stretches towards him and give it a light squeeze.

N'shen doesn't get involved in his parents' minor spat. Like all good children, he finds something else to focus on as D'had and Thea talk - namely, keeping his little sister entertained. Slowly, the swing moves in higher arcs - never quite high enough to scare, but enough that his feet no longer drag on the ground, despite the fact that he's outstripped most of the boys his age in inches by now.

Thankfully these things seem to be short-lived, even though they're both temperamental at times, they appear to be a devoted couple. Thea squeezes back, her own half-smile smile up at him apologetic in return when she murmurs, "Maybe he could." She turns to watch the swinging and gleefully sing-songing Marella. "Would you like that, N'shen, if it works out?" It's really asked in curiosity, for she has no authority over the wings. Muir, amazingly enough, has fallen asleep on his daddy's arm and without losing his lunch on the man.

D'had's hand leaves Thea's, resting instead on Muir's back, shifting him slightly so that his arm isn't falling asleep anymore. "Couple days," he notes to both. He's certain by then he'll be allowed back in the air by the Weyrwoman. "We'll go look. Maybe after that vacation, hmm?"

"We'll see." Nash makes no promises - after all, he's not exactly in control of his own destiny at this point in his life. Instead, he seems content to rock back and forth on the swing, his baby sister in his lap and his parents nearby with his sleeping brother. Hey! Family time is good time - even when the whole world's gone wonky with groundings and gold flights.

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