Door to Door Delivery

Xanadu Weyr - Domicile of Discernment

On the outside, this cottage is fairly unremarkable. It's of moderate size, though it's clearly not the home of a rider - there's no wallow, nor is there any means for even the smallest of greens to enter. It's set in the meadow, amidst the gentle roll of the terrain toward the ridge, but any adornment by flowers or ornamental plants is purely incidental. The exterior is painted white, and the roof-shingles are brown. There's a small wooden stoop, centered along the longer side - three wide steps leading up to a doorway framed by windows.
Once inside, the main room of this cottage is bright and airy, made so by a high arched ceiling and large windows that take advantage of their northern exposure, with gauzy drapes and pale golden oak sills. Overhead, there's more of that oak in the form of exposed beams, the ceiling between them painted a soft cerulean. During the day, there is likely sufficient illumination from those windows, but for night-time, there are recessed lights hidden within the beams that diffuse against the ceiling. The walls are white with a sponged speckling of the same blue from overhead, and underfoot is more of that oak.
The house has a central column of yellow fieldstone, with a fireplace facing into the room and a half-flight of stairs to either side - one leading up, the other down. Above the fireplace is an oakwood mantel, and while it may provide warmth, under most circumstances, the radiant heating system beneath the floorboards is likely to more effective. The fireplace may, however, provide a pleasant flickering warmth, and as such, a sofa and a pair of armchairs are arranged in front of it. The sofa's a velvety blue-grey, accented with a pair of red pillows, and the armchairs are brown leather - suitable for company but selected primarily for comfort.
There's a kitchen tucked off to one side, near the upward staircase. It's small, but well equipped, with granite countertops and a brushed steel cold-box and stove. There's an oblong wooden table with chairs set around it, and even some plants in small terracotta pots on the windowsill, as the presence of fresh herbs is useful when cooking.

The suggestion provided to attempt to place an infant on a schedule is perhaps intended more as an aspiration than a serious endeavor. Certainly, there do exist patterns to Dariel's desires, but the intervals between do not seem to follow any particular algorithm. Admittedly, there does not yet exist a large pool of data to attempt to derive such an algorithm; it is plausible that it is simply… complex. If so, given the manner in which Dariel is arranging for his parents to not sleep through the night, it is perhaps unsurprising that they have not yet determined that pattern. It is, at present, day; not quite noon, though not far off from it. Jethaniel is in the kitchen, preparing a pot of klah. He has not - yet - made that instead of formula (or vice versa). It is, however, not inconcievable that such will occur; they are the two most frequent actions he has done in the kitchen these past few days.

Has Darsce even made it into the kitchen? It's doubtful, unless it's been to stumble dazedly in, lured by the scent of klah, which she hasn't even the focus to make these days. Exhaustion has been slow to release its hold on her; she's done little for the past few days but eat, blearily tend to their son and try to sleep. She's never far from Dariel whether she's awake or asleep. And her sleep seems to happen shortly after the infant drifts off only to be interrupted by either his needs or her anxiety because he's not making his needs known. It matters not whether Jethaniel's taking a turn feeding their son or if she's going to nurse him, there's her motherclock jangling her awake regardless to check on him, reassure herself that he's breathing (if he's not crying), isn't feverish, is still dry and clean before sinking into oblivion once more, only to repeat the cycle somewhere down the line. By now the rocking chair has been moved from that baby room to theirs and is situated… however they've managed to find room for it. There are times where she does not crawl back into bed, but eases the sleeping child from his cradle and just holds him while rocking him gently, regarding him in quiet wonder. The cottage could use dusting, the floors might need a shine, but things aren't too bad, save for the laundry, which has piled up in the hamper. At least the dirty diapers aren't left to stink up the inside - no, they've been dropped from her two-fingered carry to the bathroom window and land (hopefully) in the bucket below. Outside. Drawing insects.

The fact that Jethaniel has had more sleep than Darsce is not to be taken to mean that he has had any great quantity thereof, merely that the bar set by her quantity of rest is sufficiently low that even his naps may clear it. When not acquiring rest, he has done his best to obviate the need for her to go any great (or even trivial) distance, bringing her meals (occasionally even hot ones) and klah as well as that rocking chair and whatever else she (or Dariel) require. There have been bottles and diapers, the occasional visit to his office that consists of a triage of tasks and the answering of urgent ones followed by a return to their cottage bearing food suitable for adult humans and whatever else has been found necessary or potentially useful. The klah begins to heat; the situation upstairs, according to Jethaniel's tilted head to listen, remains calm, and so he turns to the cupboards to assess whether they possess anything which might pass for a meal… which is the juncture at which there is a knock on the door.

Those meals and klah have been ever so appreciated, the thanks given more in smiles and kisses than wordy effusions. Darsce… lacks coherency these days y'see. Numb, dazed, she's content that he's there to tangle when he is able and the time passes in a blur of fatigue and bliss (what a combination, eh?) Whoever stands down there knocking at their door, it's unfortunate that this is the exact moment of yet another diaper-drop. The upstairs window is jerked open, a feminine hand with the unpleasant load pinched at arm's length extends over that bucket and with a flash of pink nails (worn slightly at the tips) opens and… bombs awaaaaaay! SPLOT! The aim is thankfully accurate, even if the timing is not. Not that Darsce even waits to see if she made two points, nope! She's done the changing thing and now soap and water are sought, first from the sink for a vigorous scrubbing of her hands and now, by the sounds from the pipes in the walls, from the tub. She's feeling up to a bath and a shampoo is quite overdue. Dariel, now dry, is apparently content, for there are no sounds of fussing floating down to Jethaniel. As the knocking continues, Darsce, clad in her bathrobe, eases her aching body down the stairs with the intent to hopefully sneak a mug of klah back up with her while she soaks. She's almost to the bottom, but obviously isn't going to make it to let whomever it is in before they give up and decide no one's home.

There should be someone collecting hazard pay for collecting those diapers, but the arrangement thereof is… among the many things which, in the blur of the past few days, may or may not have been achieved. Jethaniel has ascertained that his latest exterior forays have resulted in both bread and preserves, which means it is possible to construct something not entirely unlike a meal without the necessity of another departure. It is, further, a form of sustenance suitable for consumption with klah… not that he has been overly concerned with the proprieties of their food lately. The klah is making burbling sounds, the tub is filling, and the door is… providing resonance to conduct the intentionality of someone on the other side. While there do exist variations in knocks, they are seldom sufficient to provide detailed data concerning the person enacting them, merely the presence thereof and - via tempo and volume - a proxy for the urgency of the request. This one is firm but not overly rapid, and is followed by silence which may mean that the person presenting it has departed, but is more likely to mean that they are - for at least some period - waiting for the door to be answered. Jethaniel's gaze goes to the door, then to the stairs to observe Darsce. He smiles to her, albeit wearily. Given, however, the rate of her progress, it seems likely that any plan which would involve significant interaction with her prior to answering the door would result in the door not, in fact, being answered. This is not necessarily problematic, depending on the nature of the unknown at the door, but it is nevertheless likely that the door should be answered. For one thing, if it is not, whoever is there may choose to knock more loudly… and Dariel is currently not fussing, a state which Jethaniel would like to maintain. Therefore, after that smile to Darsce, he turns to cross toward the door, opening it slightly to ascertain who may be present and requesting the attention of those within. "Ah," he says, and opens the door further. "Hello, mother."

That certainly is Jessa, there on the doorstep in a jacket that doesn't quite fit right and her hair just a bit windblown. She looks glad to see him, though. Maybe even a bit overly glad to see him. So she did actually get to where she was supposed to be. Good. Not that she was worried, but good! "Jethan," she says, lifting the arm that's not carrying a satchel to offer a hug before her eyes dart to take in the rest of the cottage.

Yeaaahno. Darsce has totally forgotten to pre-arrange (ah that pre-planning lack of skills rears its ugly head once more) for diaper service. The laundresses are going to want to strangle her because other than whisk them off of Dariel, she's barely touched the things. No rinsing, no wringing (are you kidding?! Gak!) She'll remember to send for the laundry pick up when the growing pile out there is brought to her attention - or when she emerges from the cottage and notices the growing…ah…environmental changes outside their door. Speaking of the door, she smiles back to Jethaniel but doesn't expect him to delay in seeing to it. She doesn't expect the few insects that buzz on in when its opened, nor does she expect her mother in law. Oops? Her eyes also dart to the cottage; she'd hoped to make a better first impression as Jethaniel's wife. Ohwell! At least she isn't wearing one of her see-through shifts or… nothing. She descends the last two steps and moves slowly to the door to Jethaniel's side. Her smile might be worn, but her "Hi Mom," is breezy and overly-bright. Cheeky? Oh you betcha! But that way maybe Jessa won't notice the tumble of baby care items on the low table by the couch and the dust-bunny under it?

Jethaniel reciprocates the gesture suggested by his mother, then steps back to permit her entry. When he looks back it is not to the cottage in general but to Darsce specifically, and when he finds her approaching his side, he repeats that smile. The entrance of those insects is not intentional, but is perhaps somewhat unavoidable given the growing density thereof in the proximal exterior environment. He does, however, close the door once Jessa is inside… and as he turns back from doing so, he notices that the klah requires removal from the heat source, and so… he departs (albeit not far) in order to do so.
Had Darsce been more proactive about seeking to have Jessa arrive here, she might have had more control over those first impressions. There were, however, a variety of impediments to that, and so this impression is the one which is actually being made. Jessa's gaze - whether before or after seeing the state of the place - returns to Darsce. Her eyebrows lift slightly, and the corners of her mouth do the same on a small delay. "Hello, Darsce."

Aaaand since Darsce has neglected to be proactive, she'll deal - Darsce-style - with the results. After her greeting she smiles up at her husband and in so doing notices the trio of insects making their way past his head and on up towards the ceiling. Eep! Iceblue eyes widen, track them for a few seconds but she stifles her reaction because Jessa's there. "I hope you had a good flight," she says sweetly with a faintly wicked smile before continuing, "Dariel's asleep, but you're welcome to go on up. His cradle's in our room." Whiiiich is likely in some disarray also. The bed is definitely not made and the overflowing hamper is there as well as that childcare pamphlet and a couple of how-to babycare books, which lie open upon one of the dresser tops, which also likely need dusting. "Or would you like some klah first?" She tilts her head towards where Jethaniel has gone. There's probably a better way to hostess; she for example takes neither Jessa's bag nor her jacket because, eh, casual Iernian that she is, she's belting her bathrobe. Meanwhile the faucet to the tub is still running…

"Can't rightly imagine how people put up with doing that every day," Jessa mutters concerning that flight, and gives her head a shake as if she's tossing it aside. It's not like it could make her hair any worse than the flight already has! "But, I'm here now and in one piece. I suppose it'll do." She snorts faintly, then casts a glance at the stairs. Up there, huh? A grandson… and, potentially, a view of her son and his wife's personal life. Her eyes return to Darsce. "And what about you?" she asks, though she doesn't particularly wait for the answer before crossing the room toward that babycare-cluttered table, pushing a few things aside to set down her bag and then glancing back to Darsce. "Have you slept?" Jessa takes off her jacket, folding it over and then placing it on the back of the couch."

"They're crazy enough to want a dragon in their head; flying's nothing after that," Darsce says flippantly though she regards Jessa through her lashes as she says it, then seeing the woman is alright, she exhales a breath, relaxing slightly. Frazzled grandmother isn't the best for Dariel, true, but neither does she want to be responsible for damaging Jethaniel's mother. Upstairs Dariel sleeps peacefully amidst the clutter that is his parent's room - a place Jessa may investigate freely, for Darsce has nothing to hide. Or so she thinks at this point. Stuffed somewhere in Darsce's drawers there's a pair of snakeskin thong underwear - designed for a male. Darsce apparently procrastinated sending those back to Asher (oops again). Mostly there is disorganization but only a few day's worth of that. The lack of things might be more telling than what is there: no harper's sketches of Darsce's mother or father adorn the walls or dressers. In the kitchen there is little evidence that cooking occurs. To answer Jessa, which happens over her shoulder as she pads towards the kitchen for klah, since her question about klah has gone unanswered, "Uh…a little?" She has slept. How much or how well, even she couldn't say at this point. Reaching Jethaniel, she wraps her arms about him, rises on tiptoes and hisses barely audibly in his ear, "How do I talk to your mother?" Flailing already, yep. But she's not going to allow his mother to know it if she can help it. Meanwhile, a drip lands on the floor underneath that bathroom with a distinct plop.

Jessa snorts slightly to Darsce's rejoinder, and it's not until she's partway to the table that the words actually seem to connect enough that she looks back to Darsce, studying her for a moment. Isn't Darsce the one who's deprived of sleep and brainless? Ah, but Jessa's just had a whirlwind introduction to dragon flight, they must have blown away. "Mm," she says to Darsce's sleep, and nods. She takes a moment to look through the bag and pulls out a squared box. While she does, Jethaniel is partially turning toward Darsce, putting one arm around her and lowering his head in order to… hear an urgent question. He blinks. "Ah…" In theory, the answer would be that she may speak via the usual mechanisms for producing sound; the use of palate and tongue to shape expelled air according to phonemes established by a shared language. That is, however, unlikely to be what Darsce is actually seeking with her inquiry… but Jethaniel, while familiar with his mother, is perhaps not the best suited to facilitate the construction of an easy discourse. Even were he capable of so doing, there is not time for such guidance, because Jessa has found what she's seeking - a squarish box - and is bringing it over toward the kitchen with a faint smile. "Some muffins to go with the klah," she says. There do, after all, exist nutrients beyond those found in the caffeinated beverages being… not actually poured at the current moment, which may be why Jessa's brow furrows slightly at the liquidy sound of a plop. "…do you hear something?"

It doesn't take brains for Darsce to think that anyone willingly joined to a dragon is some sorta crazy. She just returns the look Jessa gives her with a blank 'whut?' since she has no idea what the woman's thinking there. Jessa's first dragon flight was it? Thankfully it wasn't on Siebith! How the riders deal with it on a daily basis? Cra-zy. That's how. She's gone to Jethaniel while Jessa has rummaged, asked her question only to stifle a sputter at the lack of help she receives. With a sigh, she sinks to the flat of her feet. Turning within his arms as his mother approaches with the muffins, she tries a smile. "Oh that's-" she begins only to tilt her head at Jessa's question, expecting to hear Dariel's wailing floating down the stairs but instead into the waiting silence is a burble-hiss from the klahpot nearby, followed by the plip of water hitting the floor of the other room. Her eyes widen. "Oh sh- ah…" A look is flicked at Jessa, "-shower!" she finishes, abruptly slips from Jethaniel's arms and hastens without grace for the stairs. Those'll be ascended faster than she descended but not at all lightly and with a face twisted in discomfort. The sound of water draining from the tub might be heard. Depending. Do mother and son talk? The linen closet will later be found with the door ajar, empty… the bathroom floor dried, the pile of soiled things in that bucket outside buried beneath a pile of sodden towels. Darsce? Will be back for klah… eventually. Maybe…

Jethaniel's arms remain around Darsce as she turns, providing that at least even if he has no useful information regarding speaking with his mother. He does not tend to direct his own conversations with her, merely… determine to what extent he is willing to communicate; as such, he is ill-suited to advise Darsce. He nevertheless remains with her… until she departs in an expeditious manner, which has him taking a step and a half after her with a concerned expression. He does not, however, pursue her all the way up the stairs with his feet… merely his eyes. Jethaniel listens for sounds from Darsce as well as Dariel, but as they are both quiet (save for those sounds of water), he lingers to have klah and one of those muffins. Jessa purses her lips at Darsce's flight, but says nothing. She'll be saying a few things to Jethaniel, but whatever those are, they apparently include some tactical questions such as 'where is the laundry room?' - because, after she makes a trip to the caverns, that bucket and pile of linens (which may at least have squashed some bugs?) will be taken away to the laundry. There'll be some things straightened up downstairs - quite possibly being put in places that seemed sensible but where they'll not be found for months - and eventually, Dariel will waken from his nap or Jessa will break down and go up to see him. Either way, she'll eventually be up there, sitting in the rocking chair with her grandson… and despite her cleaning downstairs, there's no evidence that she's done anything of the sort up there.

Those arms are appreciated and very much so, even though Darsce is busy flailing inwardly; she'll likely seek them on numerous occasions while his mother is visiting, perhaps at times near tears. Not much communication between mother and son? Oh dear, she's going to have to do most of the talking isn't she? Or listening, maybe. That could be… disastrous. After the tub is partially drained and the bathroom floor is mopped she has her bath (though not the looong soak she'd planned) while downstairs klah is had by her husband and tidying is had by her mother-in-law. She's in there a good stretch of time regardless, all the while with an ear out for Dariel. She emerges in due time, hair damp and brushed, clad in clean loungewear and slippers. She tosses her bathrobe on the rumpled bed and turns to peek at the cradle. Only then does she notice it's empty. As she turns to head back downstairs, her eyes encounter Jessa and Dariel in the rocker, is startled into a jump-squeak, which is hastily strangled for Dariel's sake. Well, she did tell Jessa she could come up, but in her fatigue, she's muddle-brain forgotten. She approaches, eyes dropping to the babe of their own accord - half an hour… an hour - whatever its been, she missed him! One forefinger traces his cheek and she asks her, "So what do you think?" Of her grandson, presumably but it leaves room for the woman to answer in other ways.

Jessa seems relaxed, quiet in what she's doing. The chair's moving a little, but the rate of the rocking might just as easily be attributed to wind… until, that is, she's actually seen. Darsce's beginning of a squeak has Jessa looking, not at her daughter-in-law, but at her grandson, her fingers giving a gentle pat as if to say - without any particular words - that everything's still okay. Jessa's eyes lift to Darsce again, observing the new mother as her attention is drawn down to her son. "Mmmmh," she says, and her gaze lowers as well. "I can't entirely decide which of you he resembles." Her lips quirk, more so on one side than the other.

Darsce's finger leaves Dariel's cheek, the soft smile that had unknowingly found its way to her mouth changes to weary amusement. This is not what she'd expected to hear! "Perhaps when he's older…" She says as if to console the woman. She shrugs right afterwards; it matters not to her who he looks more like because, "He's his own person and he's perfect." At least before she's managed to mar that by spoiling him anyway! She turns and drifts towards the bed, but not to sleep in it. The tidying she does is without energy - the covers tweaked and smoothed, pillows plumped, her robe hung. Jessa doesn't say much more than Jethaniel these days and she wracks her brain, finally coming up with, "Thanks for making the trip…" Not that she believes for one moment Jessa came for her benefit.

Jessa mms as Darsce explains, with a twitch of one shoulder that might be more of a shrug if she weren't holding the infant. "Always the question of who they're going to turn into, isn't there?" she murmurs, and looks down at Dariel again with a small smile, rocking for a little while Darsce cleans until she hehs. "Suppose one doesn't ever really get to stop asking that." Her eyes lift, looking to Darsce as the younger woman speaks. "Mm. I'll be getting a room in the dormitories. You have a few for rent, I'd assume?" Xanadu may not be the vacation spot that Cove Hold is, but still, there's bound to be other visitors of various sorts.

Darsce's hand pauses while closing the wardrobe door and she blinks over at Jessa. "Is there?" Huh. Who knew? She closes the door firmly with a small click, "Anyway, he has plenty of time for that. Right now I'm just enjoying him as he is." If no one else is. "I'm going to-" her sentence is left unfinished as Jessa speaks -again not what she'd thought to hear. Slowly, "Well, yes, we have quite a few but… we have a spare room here. If you'd prefer not to stay with us, I can arrange a room for you, but you don't need to pay rent!" She draws a breath, trying to keep her composure. "You are our guest." One finger swipes idly at the dust she's just noticed on one of the dresser tops; she frowns at it.

"Hmm. I'd have thought you'd be glad," Jessa says, her eyes back on the wall behind Darsce as she says it. "More time to enjoy him as he is and do things your way without having me in it." She exhales a little puff of breath, then looks down to Dariel. There's a subtle upward curve of her lips as she does. "He's a lovely boy. Seems happy, too…" Her eyes lift, drifting toward Darsce. "I expect you've something to do with that."

Whatever having a guest entails, Darsce'll figure that out as she goes along. Somewhat baffled by now, Darsce actually peeks over her shoulder to see what Jessa's looking at. Perhaps she's expecting to find one of those insects perched on the wall. "I…" Bite your tongue Darsce! Bite! It! "Whatever my way is, I have no idea yet," she says with a faint edge of sarcasm. "He's my first. It's (she may regret this later) partly why we invited you." Really, she's thanked the woman for coming, offered her home. While not expecting warmth she'd thought Jessa capable of manners. She takes a step towards the door, her intent to get her delayed mug of klah and find Jethaniel in that order when her mother in law speaks again. She stops, blinks, mouth opens to answer when her tired brain turns the comment around this way and that. Children have the capacity to remain ever so in their parent's eyes. Is she meaning Jethaniel… or Dariel? Darsce sinks to sit on the edge of the bed. "Is he?" she hazards with a blank look at her sleeping son. "How can you tell? Because all he does is cry when he's awake."

"I wouldn't expect you to have an idea," Jessa says, and one shoulder lifts slightly, then lowers. "Nobody does, the first time." Babies are another thing that get figured out as their parents go along? Jessa's gaze lowers to Dariel. "I do thank you for the invite." She frowns slightly, quiet a bit as she sets the chair to a slow rock again, then looks up to Darsce as she asks that question. "He smiles in his sleep."

"You're welcome, Jessa." No cheek this time. And then…ohhhh. She's slow! While Jethaniel might smile in his sleep (she does try to keep him happy), Jessa wouldn't be there to see that. "He…does?" She rises and bends to peek back at her son. Well what d'ya know? Her mouth forms a crooked half-grin. Sheepishly, "I'm usually asleep when he is." The other times, she's been half-awake. Still, she hadn't noticed it before and so as she straightens she considers aloud, "He must be happy Grandma's here." Her stomach growls at the same time she stifles a yawn. "I'll be back. You may let me know where you'd prefer to stay and I'll have the room readied." It's another thing she should have already done but pre-planning! She heads down to gather her klah - and her wits - in the kitchen where she flops in a chair and buries her face in her hands with her elbows on either side of her mug with a small groan. Eventually she'll even drink it. Hopefully it will help.

Jessa smiles faintly, and nods. Half-awake is most likely an achievement, given the circumstances! As for herself… she hmfs slightly, but it's followed by a smile. "As he should be." What kid doesn't like to see their grandmother? All of the maternal tendencies, none of the need to deal with the consequences of spoiling them. Admittedly, Dariel is likely somewhat young to actually understand that on any level, but the general principle remains. Jessa nods. "You get something to eat. We'll talk later." Which is what Darsce said, only now it's Jessa saying it. She stays in that chair once Darsce is gone, rocking a little and both getting to know her newest grandson and gathering herself after that flight in. Dragon people really are crazy, aren't they?

Downstairs, Jethaniel has chosen to take advantage of this time to glance through some of the papers which - if not urgently requiring his attention - would at least appreciate having some portion of it. It is Darsce's groan that brings his attention from that; the sound of footsteps is one he is acclimated to ignore, but the noises which express her emotional state are ones to which he has been sensitized. He looks up, then sets the papers aside once more and crosses over to her, stepping in behind her quietly and reaching his hands to brush gently along her shoulders and rest there.

Darsce's groan is definitely caused by her emotions - and ones she can't articulate. However, feeling Jethaniel's hands upon her shoulders, she decides to give it a try. Lifting her head, tipping it back so she can see him (albeit upside down), she drops her hands to the tabletop. "Your mother…" she begins, only to trail off with a sigh that sets her bangs fluttering in self-directed frustration. She tries again, "I was sure your mother didn't like me when we met at Cove Hold? But now I'm not so sure. I…" she barks a small laugh, "I think she's actually being nice to me?" Without looking down, her fingers curl around her klah mug as she muses, "…not that she's ever been not nice…exactly." She might actually drink some in a moment and clear her muddled brain. Her head tips further back with a small defeated thump against him. She's not doing a very good job explaining, and she knows it. "She seemed to imply that Dariel had better turn out like you but then… she said I'm making him happy." Her eyes close, "I'm so confused!" Understatement!

Jethaniel's hands continue to move slowly, a gentle caress over Darsce's shoulders. He steps closer to her as he listens, a warm presence behind her for her to rest her head against, both percussively and thereafter, as he listens. "I would not expect her necessarily averse… per se. She is…" His mouth twitches as if trying on words before selecting those which seem most appropriate. "…particular in certain of her desiderata." One corner of his mouth tugs to the side wryly. "And inclined to express her opinions regardless of whether they might be considered politic." Which might, in fact, be something she has somewhat in common with Darsce, though the manifestations differ… and the combination thereof may tend to be somewhat… explosive. "She would likely make her disapproval known, were it present." His hands slip forward, resting along the curve of Darsce's collarbone to hold her lightly to him.

Darsce's eyes remain on the upside down Jethaniel, noting the wry way his mouth moves, the timbre of his voice and the pauses taken perhaps more than the words. Her tired brain takes some time to decipher those. She usually has no problem with comprehending him, but lack of sleep has her a bit foggy-headed. Silence stretches, then as things click in her mind, her expression slides to unconvinced, then further into bewildered. Does he not remember how awry their visit to Cove Hold went when he introduced her to his mother? "She's never… said anything specifically to me but she made it clear before that I don't…meet her objectives for you." That sure felt like disapproval to her! Females know how to get at other females without uttering a word. They do it with fake smiles, bland looks that go past a person rather than at, frowns - something Darsce read as censure at the time. So perhaps the past is coloring the present, a possibility she acknowledges with a semi-doubtful, "Maybe now that we're married and have a child, she's…um, reconciled to the idea." It's the best she can do on lack of sleep. She mutters, "I'll try to be nice to her." By not pushing the woman's buttons, for a start.

Jethaniel's lips twitch, a half-frowned tug as Darsce explains the reasons for her considerations of Jessa, and then he lowers them to brush to the top of her head. "I do not know." This may be added to the list of such domains; despite frequent exposure to his family, particularly in his formative years, they remain more difficult to comprehend than chemical reactions or physical systems. "If… there exists a problem, I can attempt a resolution." Note the use of 'attempt'; the success of Jethaniel's intervention would be by no means certain, but he is willing to attempt one. "She did come to our invitation." Whether for the invite itself, the reason for it being made, or some particular subset of the family is perhaps ambiguous, but Jessa is assuredly here - just up those stairs. Jethaniel's own attempts at comprehension - and explanation - end with a return to the start. Not of Darsce and Jessa's interaction, the abruptly-ended trip to Cove Hold, but to… "I do not know."

"I don't know either," Darsce says on the heels of a smile that kiss to her hair generates. Her family was so messed up, she'd have no way to really evaluate his. Under his hands her shoulders rise and fall. She won't likely dredge the up details of that visit to Cove Hold again. Quietly, with earnest appreciation, "I don't think that'll be necessary, but thank you." Her mouth pulls to one side as she considers that Jessa did indeed come, then she nods, "She did; I am glad. And I can see that she loves you and Dairel." Her eyes drop from his, "Besides, if there is a problem, I should try to work it out with her myself." Stuffing her own insecurity back down, she drops her head to sip the now-tepid klah. She needs it!

Jethaniel nods. "I will be here," he answers to that probable lack of need for his intervention. True to those words, he remains where he is, standing behind Darsce. His hands squeeze her shoulders gently at his wife's assertion's regarding his mother's valences, his head remaining lowered to observe Darsce, though he does not make a verbal reply. He might once more reiterate his presence, given her desire to work out potential problems, but he does not, merely remaing there without comment. His hands caress outward as she reaches for that klah, following the line of her shoulders while removing themselves from the vicinity of those parts of her which will be used to drink it. The lack of warmth may be less than optimal regarding the flavor, but it will at least be conducive to efficiency in the consumption of that needed beverage.

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