Who's Sorry Now?

Xanadu Weyr - Star Stones

Looming up above the weyr stand the spindly spires called the Starstones. Jagged grays and brown are stately, if a bit dull and uniform. These rocks have stood for as long as records stretch, being used by millions of dragons across time and space to come home, or to herald the coming of Thread by the circular hole drilled there by the first people of Pern. As the Red Star creeps across the sky, an enemy still very real, if perhaps just a memory now, to line up with the circle and sing of the Pass' beginning.

There is room here for a few dragons to land although there is no shelter for man or beast. It is a magnificent prospect out over the weyr and across the lake, the sky often occupied by dragons and firelizards, many flitting in and out of *between*.

It's one of those hushed nights - the kind that one considers idyllic, if not a little warm for the early state of spring. Nothing moves near the Star Stones, nothing dares, but the subtle click of nighttime insects, the whirrs and chirps of firelizards, and muffled sounds of weyr life below are their own lullaby. It's one that Sigam, in particular, is enjoying, arms pillowing his head as he gazes up towards the endlessly open sky. He moves only to breathe, or to edge away from the pinching claws of his firelizards as they rearrange themselves on his person, but otherwise he seems content to give the stars above the utmost scrutiny, and that is all.

The sound of wings slowly flapping in the distance might be heard on such a still night. A large creature afar off lifts from the Weyr into the dark sky, reaching for altitude. The sound fades and one might assume the dragon has gone *Between* on some errand. Moments stretch, the stillness returns to the night. Then there is a rush of wind and the screet of claws at the end of the 'stones as a dragon glides to a landing. A bit of glowlight gleams off of a golden hide, the clink of buckles being undone bounces metallic sound from rock. There is the sound of leather creaking, the glowlight does an odd drop-swing out over the empty space, arcing around and in front of the dragon until it is back over the walkway to the 'stones, then the tap of booted feet landing. The Rider waits, watching as the dragon drops off to a silent glide back towards the Weyr before turning and walking carefully towards the spires, glowlight held aloft to light the way.

Exhale. Of course the silence wouldn't last forever, Sigam thinks to himself before shifting to prop his elbows under him, dislodging a very sleepy Koenig. Cal and Saoirse cling to their respective shoulders, eyes whirling slow but alert to the sound of a nearby dragon. There's nothing to be seen - great spires stand between them - but the clinks, shifts, and bootfalls are all the Dragonhealer needs; someone's definitely coming. Yet… he doesn't feel like getting up. So maybe he won't. His white shirt is a beacon in the starlight (or, glowlight, he notes as it draws nearer), but if they're here to be alone, there's plenty of space… and if they're here to talk, they can deal with his laziness. This firmly in his mind, the man slumps back to the ground, nudging Ko back into the wedge between his elbow and side. For now, he remains quiet.

Thea walks the length of the walkway, rounds the corner to the backside of the spires… and nearly steps on a body. She recoils in a rather violent fit of startledom that flighty blondes everywhere would be so proud of. Her leather soles slip on the stone as she jumps backward and she's fighting for balance, the glowlight hand flails, creating a wild sweeping of light and shadow to wash and ebb over the prone figure. Whatever words pour from her mouth in those bare few seconds, likely she'll never remember. The lip of the stones is just under one of her feet and to keep from pitching over the edge, she throws herself forward, landing on her hands and knees at the feet of whoever is up here. In the process she loses both the glowlight (which skitters unharmed to bump against the upright spire) and a long, rolled document of some sort that she'd been carrying under one arm. Finally still, her breath coming in ragged gasps too quickly for her to speak, but the dim light of the glow allow her eyes to glare their message at the person. Just wait until she can speak!

Sigam's not so shy about the words he uses - they're definitely loud, and definitely of the sailor variety as he attempts to A: getoutoftheway, and B: keep the startled ninny (whoever they were) from falling over the edge. His feet suck up under him while his arms reach out, firelizards springing aloft willy-nilly in flight and then- Well, at least they had the sense to fall forwards, his panicked brain thinks as he rolls to his knees, ignoring the bouncing accessories as he breathes, "Shards, I'm sorry, I didn't think I was that in the way. Are you alright?" The Dragonhealer can hardly speak himself, thanks to the vigorous tattoo of his heart in his chest, but the words are there long before he recognizes her. Then: "Thea?" Awwww, shit, his face reads, turning from concerned to a crumpled wince. He doesn't draw away, but the man shrinks visibly, shoulders hunching even as his week-old gold settles, hissing unhappily, back to his shoulder. Where Cal and Ko have gone, he doesn't know, nor does he care - he's too busy feeling sheepish. If he wasn't in the dog house before, he has to be now!

"You blasted fool! Couldn't sing out to let a person know-" Blink. There's her name and a voice she recognizes. "Sigam?" She's caught her breath and her wits, apparently, enough that her voice carries her displeasure in finding it is the dragonhealer. Thea's eyes narrow as she tries to see in the dim light, still flashing her ire in tiny sparks of gold caught by the tossed glow. "I'm fine." The words are quietly spoken, clipped and cool. She reaches for that glow, hauls herself to her feet, steps past him, stoops to pick up that rolled paper and mutters, "Sorry to invade your peace, I'm going now." And she turns to head past the man, bracing a hand on the spire as she slips past muttering, "Your eggs will be fine, just come ba- Yes! Seryyyyyyth…." That last is a hiss through clenched teeth.

Sigam hangs his head and falls quiet, lower lip slipping between his teeth so he can worry and bite at it. Thoroughly chagrined, the Dragonhealer scoots back to allow her more space to collect her things, bracing his spine against a 'stone even as he draws his knees to his chest. A worrisome coo comes from Saoirse as she braces her knobbed head against his cheek, but Sig doesn't seem to be in the mood for being comforted. He just nods to Thea's 'fine,' and stares blankly, unblinkingly off into the distance. "Do you really hate me that much?" He doesn't know what made him finally speak up - maybe it was the hiss, or the niggling uneasiness of having a friend so visibly upset by his mere presense - but his teeth clack together audibly at the end, almost as if he'd meant to think the words rather than say them out loud. Too late now. Slowly, very reluctantly, mahogany-lit eyes pull up to regard Thea before dropping again, arms tucking around his shins.

Thea starts to head back around the spires, a growled argument with Seryth raging in both the head and her muttered undertone when Sigam speaks. The words cause her to pause right there with her hand still on that stone, head down and faced away from him. For a long moment she doesn't answer, then quietly, tiredly, "I don't hate you, Sigam." The night remains quiet and still. No dragon wings flapping towards the 'stones. Thea sighs, turns and folds herself to sit, placing that glow beside her. "Seryth won't come. She says she just got comfortable." There's a bit of sulk in the words as she turns her head away, eyes cast out over the dark waters of the lake, "Sorry, you're stuck with me for awhile."

"You have a funny way of showing your affection then." Sigam's eyes have decided that anywhere but Thea is a good place to look, so they fix themselves back up and out at the stars, which are somehow less charming than before. Resting his chin sullenly in the concave of his knees, the Dragonhealer seems content to let that silence draw on and on indefinitely. It's only the marmalade gold that tilts her whorling eyes up to Thea as the weyrwoman speaks. "Seems to be more of an issue the other way around - I certainly don't mind you being here." The words come out choppy and muffled from the vicinity of his wrists, but at least he talks again, gaze flickering between hard and soft as though he can't decide if he should be affronted or sad. In the end, he settles for neither, and goes back to a neutral blank slate. "How is Seryth?"

"Affection isn't-" Thea stops, presses her lips together and exhales a long, slow breath, wilting back against the stone she's sitting in front of. She too fall silent, a glance at the dragonhealer from cool eyes that flicker over the tiny gold and back to him slides off into the distance again returns when he speaks and it's a doubtful sound that she makes in her throat to the words 'don't mind you being here', her mouth opens to say something, "Sure you don-" then changes it to a flat, "She's fine." A small puff of wind ruffled the thin tunic and trous she's wearing for Sands-sitting and she curls up just a bit, used to the heat now, the air is cooler than she'd anticipated. A side-long look at the dragonhealer is fleeting before she stares at the stone in front of her booted feet.

All the halting of words and the flickering glances sets Sigam to wincing, and it's all he can do to keep his mind from filling in the blanks with ugly, twisted words that Thea wouldn't actually say. "Good," is his terse response as to Seryth's well-being, and though there is a hint of sincerity there, it's mostly a clipped, frustrated heat. A deafening brand of silence hangs for a moment before, suddenly, it's too much to bear. Arms jerk down, legs fall, and eyes bore directly into her face. "Look, I'm not even sure what I did wrong anymore, but I'm sharding sorry, okay? If it was something I said, I take it back, and if it's something I did, well-" His unplanned train of thought finally runs out, and he ends with a lame shrug and a noise that is definitely a whine. The Dragonhealer's chin rolls down to almost touch his chest again before he says in a near-whisper, "If you want me to go, I can leave."

Thea's head turns towards Sigam at his first terse word, her eyes still remote when the 'healer glares at her and she is able to listen, neither flinching nor exploding back at him. She is still through it all, but after that offer to leave of his, she pauses, rolls forward to crawl a step past him, peers down over the edge thoughtfully before scooting back to her place. "Long ways down," she offers reasonably before adding sweetly, "Don't jump on my account." She regards him with a level stare, her mouth still in that flat, unhappy line she'd worn the other day. "I think, it's likely more a case of you'd rather I left." Quietly stated, the words without any emotion in them at all.

Normally, Sigam might have laughed at the goldrider's actions, but tonight he rolls his eyes and returns his contemptuous gaze to the single star that seems to be the receiver of his attentions tonight. Poor thing. "How do you think I got up here?," he asks, voice dry. "And, if I didn't jump for Triss, I won't jump for you," he adds after a second's hesitation, flicking his gaze down to eye her pointedly. Then it's back to his glowy orb in the sky, unable to handle the expression on her face for long. "If /I/ wanted you gone, I would have /said/ so," he grumbles, implying that she should definitely do the same for him - he was quickly growing tired of this cat-and-mouse kind of game.

Thea tilts her chin at Sigam, her pale eyes flash fire as she tosses out, "You flew of course-" Then she bites back the sarcastic words with an indrawn hiss, wincing at the tone and expression on Sigam's face. She turns her head away once more, blinking rapidly. "You already told me to butt out of your life." It comes out in a reluctant whisper, her hands lace together in her lap and all her cool, haughty facade crumbles leaving only sad resignation. "I didn't mean to be such a bad friend to you."

"Oh, yes, just fluttered my little wings," Sigam ripostes, eyes a flat, if not incredulous stare while his fingers waggle ridiculously at his sides. The slight frown on his face deepens in increments as he tries to figure out what the goldrider is on about now. Out of his life…? Oh. Right. "I do believe I said 'butt out of my problem,' not my life. And that wasn't aimed entirely at you regardless. Mostly at M'nol and that nosy-ass healer." Exhasperation's showing in his voice, but at least the Dragonhealer's turbulent eyes have calmed into something more rational in the face of her sadness. "Thea, you haven't been a bad friend. And I don't… blame you for wanting to keep the peace between K'avu and I, but you have to understand that that's something that just isn't going to happen. We can't go around pretending it's gonna be flowers and pixie dust, yanno?" He twinkles his fingers again, making a sorry attempt at smiling. It doesn't quite reach his eyes.

Thea listens silently as Sigam speaks, her head lowers as she examines her own hands carefully. Finally she nods, but her words are not an agreement to what he has said, "I do not care whether you have peace with K'avu or not." She flashes an unreadable look up at him and his twinkling fingers, snorting a soundless and mirthless laugh through her nose. She drops her head once more. "You really don't understand at all." There's a pause and she adds, "Regardless, you are right. There's no reason I should have thought I had the right to keep a friend from making a possible mistake. I won't do it again."

Sigam frowns a bit, but leans forwards to rest his elbows on his knees. "Well, maybe if you'd explain it instead of trying to make me grasp the things you're leaving unsaid, we wouldn't have this miscommunication problem, would we." It isn't a question, but it isn't scathing either. Instead it's just… tired, like his eyes and the drooping line of his shoulders. "I'm not a mind-reader, and I didn't grow up with a sixth sense as to what women want." Again, he tries to joke, and again he fails, exhaling in a low sigh. "If you wanted that, why didn't you say as much? Could've been really simple. 'Sigam, don't do it.' I probably would have listened. Instead it's inference this, interpret that. It makes me dizzy, Thee. I'm sorry." Up go his knees again, and away go his eyes, voice trailing quieter and quieter until it fades off at the end.

"I'm trying to, but doing it badly, I guess." Thea answers from underneath her hair. At the rest of his words, her head lifts and she's giving Sigam her Most Puzzled Look of the Turn. "I'm not… I wasn't…" her voice trails off and for a long moment she doesn't say anything. Finally, "Alright I'll explain. I don't expect you to mindread. I was trying to make you think when I asked you if you should fight a kid four Turns younger than you, Sigam. Not trying to tell you what to do. You are a 'healer the 'do no harm' thing and all that." She waves a hand in the vague direction of the Annex. "And you threw it back in my face in front of everyone!" There's a wobble to her voice now and she sucks in a breath, almost withdraws into silence. Instead she admits with a mutter, "Felt like being slapped and I was hurt so…" She bites her lower lip, "I was butting out."

Sigam affects his best patient look while she gathers her thoughts, eyes still an empty echo of their usual vigor, but his features are school to politeness. Yet, a brow slowly arches when she finally speaks again, and by the end, even he doesn't know what emotion he's got smeared all over his face. "I wasn't in a thinking mood, first off," he says after a moment of stunned silence, finger raising. "In case you couldn't tell. Second, I was very much off duty, and I am very much human. I can't be perfect all the time or I'd be sharding miserable. You'd like me even less if I were always miserable…" He trails off, drops the fingers, and seems at an utter loss for words before he says, "And- I didn't mean to hurt you. I threw a lot back at everyone. It wasn't a good time to look for rationality on my part." The Dragonhealer looks uncomfortably off to one side so far that he nearly buries his nose in Saoirse's oil-scented hide. "I said I was sorry. I meant it. I don't know what else I can do to make it up to you short of groveling."

Thea listens with a bit of a stunned silence of her own to all the points Sigam makes, "Okay." It is all Thea can think to say, but it really comes out as a whisper. "No groveling, that's not-" She blinks back the tears that form in her eyes, "You asked me to explain. I did." Her lips are trembling now. "I'm sorry! I was wrong is what I meant. You are what you are. We have different outlooks. I shouldn't have said anything that day." She looks so confused, "And now I have ruined our friendship, I guess."

Sigam sighs great big, pinches the bridge of his nose, and then rolls cautiously to his feet, knees still bent. The orange-gold on his shoulder lifts off, churrs to him, and settles back into the warm spot he's left behind. The Dragonhealer awkwardly waddle-walks the few feet over to Thea, drops to his knees, and peers at her solemnly. "I know you were explaining, but I didn't feel as if you completely understood me at first. There are times when I'm not the best person, but it doesn't mean I stop caring - about you or anyone else." His head tilts sideways a bit. "And you definitely haven't ruined our friendship. Don't give yourself that much credit." He manages a lopsided smile, arms tilting out a little bit. "Hug?"

Thea watches Sigam's awkward movements numbly. She returns his gaze somberly, "I don't think I understand you at all, let alone completely." It's a humble admission, "And I can't but be honest when I say I don't agree with some of your choices but," She holds up one finger to stay another explanation, "I can accept you as you are, my friend." She tries to smile and cannot quite manage it. "Though I suppose there may be times I watch you suffer for some of them, I know better now than to say anything." She eyes that headtilt, the arms then his eyes, "If I haven't ruined it then why do I feel so awful?" To his question she just nods miserably.

Lips hike up over Sigam's teeth a little more genuinely this time. "My reasoning's very weird, definitely not meant for everybody," he agrees before returning to a quieter facial expression. "I appreciate that, though. It's hard finding people that have your back but aren't gonna try and coddle you through life, too. As for suffering, I welcome it sometimes. Masochist," he says, pointing to his chest with a small smirk. Then he scoots a bit closer and leans in to tuck his arms around her, cheek resting lightly against the side of her head. "I'd wager it's because you take too much on yourself, Thee. You have all of your own problems to take care of and then you're worrying about someone else, too - me, this time. It can't be good for you." He shakes his head gently, knowing what he said was just awkwardly put, but he didn't know how to say it any clearer. "Just… don't feel bad."

Thea half-laughs, half-sobs at the masochist comment and smirk, "Stoppit." He's got her giggle-snorting and crying at the same time. As his arms come 'round her, she returns the hug with a gentle one of her own, drops her head to his shoulder and for a few breaths she just allows herself to cry, then swallows the tears, forcing it all down. "It's what I do, I can't help it. My job. and when I care about people…" It comes out muffled from somewhere near his shoulder, "and it always seems to get them mad. R'owan… you…" She lifts her head to meet his eyes, "I can't stop being me." There's a shrug to the inevitability of that. "But I can keep silent. Had Turns of practice at that. I'll be fine." It comes out a tinge bitterly, but she changes the subject, "Your poor face seems to attract all kind of impacts…fists…bottles. The colors were quite… eye-catching." Smirk.

"But I'm not doing anything," Sigam chuckles, brusquely nuzzling her hair like he's done with his sisters so many times in an attempt to make them giggle. "Nope, nuffin' at all." He sighs and calms a little as the hysterical laughter turns into tears, one hand shifting to massage her back in what he hopes are soothing circles. "I understand. It's hard not to look out for the well-being of others, but I guess there's times we have to be crazy nutters. Kill things. Cook outdoors." His teasing's as gentle as his smile as he pulls back a bit to look her in the eye. "I guess I put that badly. I don't /want/ you to stop being you. Or for you to be silent. There's just… times your advice won't be heeded." An hand shifts, looking as though it's about to reach up and touch her cheek perhaps, but then Sigam halts half-way and lets it drop to his knee. "Oh, you think so? I'm almost sorry the bruises're fading, then," he half-purrs, allowing the subject change with a coy look of his own. "But I can't be that glamorous all the time. No one would pay any attention to their work." Hair flick. What a ham.

"Ack!" Thea winces away from the nuzzling with a hand-slappy batting feebly in the general direction of Sigam's nose. She purposely misses, of course, "That tickles." Her hand lifts to rub furiously at the side of her head to disperse the feeling. Her lips form a rueful smile and she's gently pulling back as she quips, "Didn't kill K'avu, but perhaps the two of you had a cookout afterwards?" As to heeding advice, she just nods, adding dryly, "I'll keep that in mind." The sound of wings herald's the arrival of Seryth, who lands on the 'stones with a soft croon, that seems to say, 'time to head down.' The weyrwoman rises, a mischievous light twinkles in both eye and voice, "D'you need a ride down or are you gonna use those teeny little wings of yours?"

Sigam scrunches that nose but does let up, a corner of his mouth quirking. "It's supposed to. Used to do that to Esi all the time." He nods, pushing himself to his feet too, extending one arm in a gesture towards Saoirse. She takes her cue and wings over, crawling up from his wrist with her awkward hobble. "Ah ha, no, not quite. He uh… was feeling a little under the weather. You should ask him about it sometime." The fact that Sigam is deviously amused should hint that it's something that reflects badly on the greenrider in question, but. Psh. "You do that." Glancing over, Sig raises an arm in greeting towards the gold before giving Thea a grin. "As much fun as flapping about is, a ride would be nice if Seryth wouldn't mind."

“Poor thing. Sounds like she has a Tharen in her life.” Thea’s only half-serious with the commiseration. The laugh in those words fades to dry as she utters her next words, “I could ask K’avu, but I doubt he’d even answer me. He’s not inclined to do anything but sulk and glower in my presence.” As to his ride down she offers a cheeky, “Tempting as it is to leave you to find your way down, I suppose I’ll get a bad reputation leaving non-riders on the Starstones all the time. Rhasmir kept it quiet, but I’m not so sure you would suffer so meekly.”

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