Getting to Know You

Xanadu Weyr - Forest
The trees grow thickly here, avians nesting in their branches and flitting about after insects. Flowers sprout up and speckle the ground between, the green of small plants and their blooms of bright saffron and cheeky rose that creep all the way up to the bases of the trees and adorn the fallen leaves and mulch of the forest floor. Those trees rise upward in their aged magnificence, gargantuan limbs casting often welcome shade, the general atmosphere and scent of the path is one of freshness and wild abandon.

A path winds its leisurely way through the trees, wide enough for wagons to pass. As it goes through into the forest, a number of other trails branch away, both more and less traveled. Many of them lead to private weyrs, but there's a few more trodden paths - notable among them a road to the feeding grounds, set against the western slopes.

The forest grows wilder the further north one goes, deep growth and ancient places, and the road does not extend far in that direction, instead turning toward the meadow. Just before it emerges, a trail veers off to the Firelizard Theatre.

Mid-afternoon doesn't find too much traffic going to and from the forest paths and one can blame it on the weather still being on the colder side of things. Won't stop some from venturing out and no doubt the Theatre has seen its fair share of youngsters today. Kiena doesn't come from there today but from the deeper forests to the north of all places, stepping out from the shadows and whistling a tune to herself (and not very well, either). She's dressed comfortably against the weather, her hair more or less tied back but ever the mess as she walks along, not truly paying attention to where she is going. Ujinath is no where to be seen for once, no doubt skulking about in preparation to snare his latest victim to turn Candidate.

No, there's not much traffic at the moment along the forest paths but there is a visitor at one of the cottages. One where a certain Xanadu Weyrwoman once resided. A visitor so to speak that is. Whether or not the cottage is occupied or not now doesn't seem to matter as the man bends to leave something on the swing hanging in the tree outside before stepping back to the path. The young woman could easily have gone unnoticed in the shadow of the woods if it weren't for that whistling. Its the sound that draws D'had's attention offering a silent nod of greeting.

If she'd been paying more attention, Kiena would've clued in to which cottage he was visiting and been instantly curious and probably a hint of suspicion. Old habits die hard but when she does finally catch sight of D'had, her whistling ends mid-note and rather than give him a curt nod and be on her way, there's a sheepish half-smile. "Afternoon." she says and perhaps then she would have gone on. She even takes a few steps before pausing and glancing back over her shoulders, brows furrowed in a ponderous way. Huh. "Do I know you?" It's asked in a curious way, not so much accusatory.

"Afternoon," D'had replies, lips curling in a somewhat lopsided smile though it doesn't reach his eyes. He's headed on until she stops and the question is asked causing him to pause as well. Turning back to look at the woman abit closer he shakes his head, "No… I don't think so. Not that I wouldn't want to." Because lets face it, Donn's always been a lady's man.

Kiena's brows lift for the answer she receives and it brings a low, slightly gruff laugh. Like she hasn't heard that one before! "Eh, well… you might regret knowing me depending who you talk to." she mutters but a smirk follows, showing she's teasing. Kind of. While she has mellowed out over the Turns, the bluerider does have her quirks — namely a temper. Now would be the time to depart but not for Kiena. No, she steps back towards D'had. Not unsettling at all, is it? "Funny though. You look familiar. Vaguely." Don't mind her doing a once over (or two) before shrugging. "I'm Kiena." Ring any bells? When in doubt, try names.

D'had hmms, thinking on the name she gives. Nope, not ringing any bells. He chuckles, "Must have one of those faces," D'had replies witha shrug. He wouldn't be surprised if he did look familiar to her, she wouldn't be the first to say so since he returned to Xanadu and she's likely not to be the last. "D'had," he offers his own name next.

Nothing rings for him, but it does quite clearly for Kiena. She blinks, even seems — surprised, to say the least? "You're D'had!" Half question, half exclamation. Probably not what he was expecting and there's a slight wince from the bluerider. Ugh, here she goes again, fumbling over her words. "No wonder. I mean… Shard it." She's not making sense, is she? She scrubs a hand along her jaw, her usual quirk when fidgeting before running it back over the wild mess that is her hair. So… how to not make this awkward? She could just blurt out 'hey, I'm weyrmated to your son but never met you before!' but no. Instead she goes for the oh-so stupid: "What're you doing here?" And instantly regrets it, no doubt, but… too late.

"Yes…." the older bluerider replies slowly, gaze narrowing at the woman just a bit, not certain how he should feel about that reaction. And no, she's not making any sense whatsoever. He just looks at her for a second longer after that question is asked before he shrugs a shoulder. "Visiting a friend," he makes the reply as simple as possible. Really, what does it matter to her?

Kiena's not about to pry because, well, it IS none of her business what he's doing or where he's going. An apology of a sorts is given with a crooked smirk and she might not quite look him in the eye after blundering like that. That is, not until she pulls herself together, pinches the bridge of her nose and sighs. "Listen," she begins, lowering her hands as she gestures with them to emphasize her point, "That was stupid of me." No, really? Shall she restart? "I thought you looked familiar but of course we'd never met. But… Your Mur'dah's father." No question there. She's still not making full sense of anything right now. "I know, err… knew of you."

D'had wasn't quite sure if that answer was going to fly on its own of if he was going to be requested to explain further. Thankful for the latter option. Quirking a brow at least he's sticking around to listen to her babble. "Yeah.." it takes a second for the name to register not being used to the name change quite yet. He's not so sure how the young brownrider feels about the answer, but he confirms he is his father. "Well sweets take it ya know him then." Mur'dah that is.

Kiena does babble. Chalk that up on the long list of 'habits' she carries. She's no idea either that D'had would not be familiar with the name change. If anything, she's focused for a moment on the pet name. "Sweets?" Her nose wrinkles a bit at that, followed by a slight huff. Another time perhaps she would have joked about there being nothing sweet about her but… now is not a good time. "Ah, yeah, I know him… quite well, actually." Now there's a hint of amusement but she keeps her features set in a more sober, serious manner. "I'm his weyrmate."

What? This is perfectly normal D'had behavior except for the fact that she doesn't know him. He shrugs at the question of his name for her. "Yeah?" his comment fills in the gap between her actually and weyrmate. And..? "Oh." Just one word. Likely not what she was looking for. He's silent for a moment then, reaching up to scratch the back of his neck. "Yeah, he mentioned you.." Just not her name, not that he'd likely remembered it anyway. This isn't awkward at all. Nope!

Kiena doesn't know it as normal behaviour from him but she'll clue in fast enough. If there's one thing that make her bristle sometimes though, it's pet names. His reaction is… not entirely surprising though she seems to expect more. When nothing comes of it, other than confirming that Mur'dah mentioned her, there is plenty of awkward to go around. Well, this is going splendid! "Ahh, figured so." So they've talked! Good. Maybe? Kiena at least doesn't blurt THAT out loud but her questioning look probably gives her thoughts away. So… "You normally this short spoken?" Though her arms cross over her chest, it's meant to be a teasing remark. Something, anything, to try and ease back that weird awkwardness. Of course, she has questions but holds her tongue on those. Most, if not all, are not her business to ask.

She'll get used to pet names quick enough - hopefully. That or it will be one of the things she hates about her weyrmate's father. "Suppose so," D'had replies. No, he never was a man of many words - not when one or two will do. "Used to drive his Ma crazy somedays," he admits. "So…" he starts letting a breath out. "You have a boy?" There goes the extent of his knowledge on his son's family.

Kiena can adapt. It just takes her awhile and she may just grit her teeth over any further names tossed her way since this is D'had and last thing she needs to do is be at his throat. Because that'd be FUN to explain to Mur'dah! There's a dry chuckle, "With the pet names or the few words?" she drawls and then… he's asking questions now! One that she can answer easily and no, she doesn't call him on his lack of knowledge. "Keruthien. We tend to call him Thien for short…" Anyone want to guess the inspiration for that? And that's the extent of her talking — for a span of a few seconds. "He's three and a bit now."

D'had chuckles, a hint of awkwardness finding its way through in that sound. "Both I suppose," he replies, rubbing his neck again. As for the boy, he ducks his head in a nod. "That's what he'd said," Mur'dah. About all he said, but it was something. "They're both doin' good?" His son, and hers. "Ya seem like a nice girl."

There's awkwardness all around! Welcome to the club? Kiena nods her head now too when he confirms again that Mur'dah brought up their son. No surprise. She does quirk a brow though when D'had asks after their well being. "Mur'dah's doing good. Better," she admits with a faint grimace. "Did he… mention Kalsuoth?" No mention of Thea, not yet. It hangs there, somewhere, but she's not about to go dragging that up so soon. "Thien is as healthy and happy as a boy can be. Grows like a weed. Harasses his sisters." Wait, what? There's a shrug and then a snort and the first hint of a vague grin. "Not all the time. I make exceptions." But if they're going to say pleasantries… "…you're not half bad yourself, D'had." Not that she really knows him.

"Better?" That's the question that comes of Kiena's reply, that look of hers doesn't exactly help matters. D'had's narrows his eyes the woman just a bit like he might be able to get more information that way. "Knew he impressed, yeah," he did know that. A bit of a smirk touches the man's lips as she brings up her own son. "Sisters?" Blink. Those were not mentioned.

Uh oh. "Maybe that'd be something he can talk to you about." Kiena answers back, her eyes narrowing as well but more in suspicion for the look she receives. What? She nods, arms crossed over her chest. "Yeah. Twin sisters. They're not Mur'dah's and they were born before I met him. It's… mhm. A long story." And from her tone, not one she's about to get into with him. But that does explain why they weren't mentioned prior to now.

D'had nods, "Right," he agrees. Perhaps better to ask Mur'dah about that. Hopefully they'll get to talk again soon and he can ask. "Ah," a second nod follows her clarification on her girls. "I understand," he replies, reaching out a hand to gently pat her shoulder. He has his own stories, her can understand. "So then, how 'bout we start with ya telling me about you?" Since clearly their mutual connection of Mur'dah is not exactly an easy topic of discussion it seems.

Kiena appreciates that he understands and doesn't pry further. What she doesn't appreciate is the sudden touch! It visibly startles her and she'll tense, only to then relax but gives him a warning look. Which is quickly replaced by a thoughtful one and a half-smile that is close to mischievous. "Only if you tell me something about you. Fair deal?" She doesn't speak more on Mur'dah because she's uncertain of how much he'd want his father to know — if anything. Not her place. Instead they'll play a different game. One hand lifts and gestures to him. His turn! "What do you want to know?"

Its not a long touch, but a touch none the less. D'had moves his hand away quickly enough noting her reaction. "I suppose," he's clearly not sure how he likes that deal, but he'll soon find out she she starts asking questions. "Walk with me?" Because you know, statnding here in the path is a little awkward in itself. "Starters, were ya from?" Start with the easy ones.

Kiena doesn't bite… usually. He may find the deal is harmless in the end but it'll depend on his questions! She nods to his suggestion and gestures for him to lead. She'll follow and match whichever pace he sets. "Small cothold on the Emerald Isles, far north of Half Moon Bay Weyr. Fisher folks." she answers readily enough and followed with another shrug. "Impressed in Half Moon Bay too." Two answers for one! She smirks, "And you?" Where's he from?

Its a slow, meandering pace he sets. Nowhere to go really, no real need to get there. Just the need to move. D'had nods at her answer. An answer that sparks another question, "Anywhere near Torince?" He's been around awhile and been quite a few places in his days. "Me?" he starts as she turns the question back to him, "I'm from the ocean."

"How—yes… near Torince Hold." Kiena's eyes narrow again and there is suspicion there. She's become so used to people not knowing the land, not that far west. There are plenty of reasons for her to be jumpy, but he'd not know of them. Her steps don't falter though and soon enough she's looking ahead rather than pinning him under her stare. "Heh. That's a new one," she huffs, slightly amused even though she was given a vague answer. "Seacrafter?" she ventures to guess.

D'had chuckles, "No," he replies with a shake of his head. "Traders. Parents are from Nerat, but I was born on the ship." Hence his answer. And already she might know more about him now that his son. "Brothers? Sisters?" That's his next question to the girl as they continue their stroll down the woodland trails.

Kiena nods her head. So it does make sense! And she has no idea that this knowledge isn't something widely known. She continues to follow him and his next question is met with another one of her smirks. "Two brothers." No names given, unless that's his next question. There's a lull as she debates over what question to ask him next. "You Impress here?"

D'had bobs his head for her answer. "Brothers," and sister one could suppose, "They're the ones know ya best," he says turning a wink to her. Or perhaps in his experience its true. A shake of his head follows as he tucks his thumbs in pockets. "Nah, impressed up in Telgar."

Kiena's reaction is not the text-book type. She laughs, but there's very little mirth in it. "Unless you're too busy trying to rip each others throats out." she remarks dryly, smirking at him and almost rolling her eyes when he winks. His experience with siblings must vary compared to hers. Moving on! "Telgar? Huh. What made you decide to transfer from there to here?" Is that a not-so easy question?

D'had chuckles, "Well there's that," he agrees easily enough. Even the siblings that get along the best have their squabbles. "That…" the aging rider replies with a touch of hesitation, "We'll its a long story," he says lifting the hand opposite her to his neck, looking down at the path for along moment. "Short version, transferred to Irene with my weyrmate and when we split I transferred here."

Kiena knows what 'long story' can entail and so she, again, doesn't push for further clarification. There's an understanding look given, along with a quick half-smile. "Needed a change, huh? I get that. Did something similar. Had a weyrmate. Burned many bridges. Led to me transferring here. Don't regret it… not all of it, anyways." She chuckles dryly. "Besides. Forges are much better here than they were in Half Moon."

Well long stories are what they are. At least she doesn't know most of the players in that one. D'had nods, "Somethin' like that," he agrees to the need for a change. "Suppose sometimes it takes burning a bridge to build a new one…" he adds, falling silent then as his gaze turns away from the rider at his side back to the path out in front of them. A light chuckle following her commentary on the forges. "Smith then, hmm?"

Kiena shrugs her shoulders. "Guess so," she agrees but reluctantly. During the silence, she'll steal another sidelong glance at him. Wondering, perhaps. There's plenty of questions rolling about in that head of hers but they go unvoiced. Why ruin what is now turning out to be a decently neutral talk? "Mhm! Senior Apprentice. Going to try for my Journeyman soon. Been at it shardin' long enough." Twice as long as most!

D'had walks along in silence for awhile longer, though he does nod acknowledgement to her reply. There's plenty of questions that could be asked, the thing is should they be asked. He's a few of his own he's not asking. "Sure you'll do great," he replies then, turning a glance her way. "He makes you happy?"

Kiena stares at him again for his vote of confidence and is puzzled by it, but takes it in the end. Why not? "Thanks." That next question? Her brows knit together and her answer is swift and sharper than she intends. "Of course he does. Very happy!" Another stretch of silence and she exhales heavily, looking away and easing up on the defensiveness. "Best thing that happened to me. Long story." Go figure. "Short of it… he's a good man. Good rider."

Perhaps there should be more of a reaction for her answer but there's only a nod from D'had. And then a long pause. "Good," he says simply. Long stories they've determined are… long stories.

Kiena might have been bracing for a reaction but when nothing happens, she's both relieved and further confused. The lingering look she gives says as much, along with an unspoken 'you don't know much of your son, do you?'. It's clear as day on her features before she looks away. Those long stories are just that. Long, not entirely happy and so very twisted in on themselves it would take a long, long evening to get through it all. Plus a lot of it ties into Mur'dah and even Thea and she's not about to tread there yet. "I should go." No explanation given but there's plenty of reasons. Her steps slow and then stop.

His gaze turned skyward its doubtful he sees the look on her face. The look on his perhaps confirms her unspoken suspicions. He used to, but now… "Should get goin' myself," D'had agrees, "Sweeps comin' up." Stopping as she does he turns back to face her. "Glad he makes ya happy. Lean on each other and make the big decisions together." Words of wisdom? With that he flashes another smirk of a smile her way, "But was nice meeting ya sugar." before he's headed on his way.

"We have. We do," Kiena answers in a low murmur to his words of wisdom. Oh, if he only knew! He might, some day. Not now, however as she begins to turn away from him, heading back down the path they came. Home, perhaps, lays in that direction. She'll pause and scoff for the use of THAT name. Ugh. Yet there's a half smile and a shake of her head. "Yeah, it was." Surprisingly. She's even surprised herself. Then she too slips away, not about to add anything further to that farewell. She figures their paths will cross again soon enough in one form or another.

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