Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.
Many days find Mur'dah down at the beach, and this is no exception. With the summer heat beating down, the brownrider is stripped to his swim shorts and moving about just off shore, while Kalsuoth naps in the shade further down the beach.
Out in the distance a blue dives beneath the waves, fishing perhaps by the look of it if anyone is paying close attention. Closer in, D'had makes his way down the beach, bare feet padding across tide line waves washing up over his feet now and again. He too wears swim trunks, a shirt covers his upper half though its left unbuttoned.
Kalsuoth alerts Mur'dah to the man's arrival, and the young rider treads water as he squints towards the shore. "Hey," he calls, licking his lips.
D'had turns at the call, lifting a hand to shade his eyes against the sun for a moment. "Hey," he calls back towards the younger man.
Mur'dah hesitates, and then swims closer to shore for ease of conversation. "Out for a swim?" Lame. He's dressed for it, what else would he be doing down here?
"Was," D'had confirms, evidenced by his still wet hair though he's clearly not swimming at the moment. Clearly open conversation between father and son is still something they're going to have to work on. There's a pause before the bluerider offers, "Ran into yer weyrmate the other day…" Its an attempt at least.
Mur'dah nods. "Yeah, she mentioned that…"
D'had nods in return. She did? Not terribly surprised by the fact it would seem, but then why wouldn't she have. Though what she said could either help or hurt him here. "She seems like a good girl." Because yeah, what else is there to say really.
Mur'dah nods, pushing hair out of his face as he stands in the shallows. "She is. Real good. I love her." N'stuff.
D'had chuckles quietly at the boy's reply. "Good," his own commentary on it all, a lopsided smile touching his lips. He hesitates a moment, brown eyes flicking towards the deeper water before looking back to his son. "Said you were doin' better…?" Obviously not certain what was meant by that and looking for clarification if he'll give it.
Mur'dah looks confused for a moment, and then a glance to Kalsuoth clarifies. "Oh, yeah. Kalsuoth had a bad wing injury not too long ago. He's healed now though, so we can get back to transport."
D'had ahs, nodding for the information provided. "Good, good," he replies for the brown being healed now. He doesn't pry any further on that topic however. Not yet anyway.
Mur'dah nods again, fingers through his hair. "So…what've you been up to these last few…you know." Since mom died.
D'had lets out a breath at the question. "Telgar," he offers in answer. No, not much detail in that single word, but it does explain where he went. Really though, what does a man say to that? Realizing what I dick I was? Trying to get over your mom? Giving my kids space?
Mur'dah ahs. "Is it nice there? You like it?"
D'had shrugs, lifting a hand to rub the back of his neck. "Its alright." Not much of an answer really. "Cold," he offers a few long seconds later, trying to expand upon the first before adding, "Was where I impressed." Beat. "Ain't home though," he concludes trying to avoid eye contact with the younger man.
Mur'dah nods a little bit, looking down at the water lapping against his knees. "And…home is…?"
D'had ventures a glance towards the brownrider before turning his gaze back out towards the waves with a shake of his head. "Ain't sure anymore," he admits after a moment of silence. "Used ta be it was here." He shrugs then looking back to Mur'dah, "So… Nice weather. Huh?" Lame!
Mur'dah nods. "Yeah. Hot." there's a pause. "Used to be?"
The point of asking after the weather was to avoid further conversation along those lines. D'had failed there, but then he should have expected it not to work. It wouldn't have worked with the boy's mother either. "Yeah," he confirms, "used ta be. When you weren't so tall."
Mur'dah smirks a little bit. "Why'd you leave?" That's out before he can stop it, and his utter avoidance of eye contact proves it.
D'had blinks, the look that crosses his features however briefly is one of surprise, uncertainty. Its hard to categorize, but clearly the question is one he wasn't ready to answer yet. He doesn't avoid it though. "After…" Why did he leave? "After yer ma…" After she died. How to explain it to the child he left. He shakes his head, a breath escaping in a sigh as he too avoids eye contact. "Didn't want you and your sisters to see me like that anymore." Perhaps not a good, or right answer but then in this there likely isn't one of those. There's only there reason he did.
Mur'dah nods a bit, listening even though he's not looking. "Was hard. Seeing you like that," he murmurs. "Almost…was easier…not seeing you…" Harsh.
Harsh perhaps, but at least that he was in a way expecting even if he does cringe hearing it from his son's lips. "I didn't want you to," D'had offers in an awkward not quite apology. But then its not something an apology can fix and he seems to know that at least.
Still, an apology would be nice. But Mur'dah won't ask for one. "Yeah," he says with a little shrug.
D'had looks back to the young man. Feelings, talking about them. That's not something he does well. Not something he likes doing, but… here goes nothing. "I'm sorry. I know there ain't nothin' I can say as'll fix it, but for what I did to you and your sister, to your ma, I'm sorry son." Sorry was never a word that came easily to him, but its said now and the man turns with a slight shake of his head perhaps intending to continue down the beach - expecting to be dismissed.
Mur'dah glances up sharply, surprised at the sorry. Overjoyed at the 'son'. "I'm sorry too."
D'had blinks, the sorry from the boy a shock as he turns back towards him with a quick shake of his head. "No," perhaps a bit more sharp in that single word than he intended. His voice softening as he adds, "There ain't nothin' for you to be sorry for."
Mur'dah frowns, shaking his head again. "Yeah there is. I gave up on you, Dad." For his own protection, but still.
"Can't nobody blame you for giving up on an old fool," D'had replies. One that had given up on himself no less.
Mur'dah shrugs a bit. Not much he can say to that, right?
"Ain't nothin' for you to be sorry for," D'had repeats. "Wish things'd been different," he offers in an attempt to break the silence. "Don't make the same mistakes as me. You be there for that weyrmate of yours and those kids."
Mur'dah nods. To all of it. "Yeah," he says quietly. "I will be."
D'had nods, "Good," he replies, swallowing once its said. "And you forgive yourself for giving up on me." Since that's obviously something Mur'dah had concerned himself with given he was apologizing for it only moments ago. Perhaps telling of his father's own feelings.
Mur'dah shrugs his shoulder a bit. "In time…"
"Come'ere?" Its a request, D'had motioning to the side in indication for the brownrider to join him on the beach.
Mur'dah feels like a child for a moment, at that request, as he trudges through the water up onto the beach.
D'had can only look at the man in front of him and sigh. "Now," he starts clasping a hand on either of his son's shoulders. "You say it." Even if he won't do it himself. Shaking his head he sighs, "When'd you go and grow up on me kid."
Mur'dah tilts his head as he looks (down?) at his father. "Say what?" Then there's a little smirk. "While you were…" Drunk. "Busy with other things."
Down indeed, not by much but the boy is taller than his father. "That its not your fault I was drunk." If Mur'dah won't say it he will. There's plenty of other things he won't say, but that he will.
Mur'dah frowns. "But…" It kind of was?
D'had narrows his gaze just a bit, confusion setting in for that pseudo protest from the younger rider. "But what?" a gentle prompt to continue the thought.
Mur'dah shrugs a muscular shoulder. "It kind of was? Ours or Mom's fault, anyway…"
D'had shakes his head. "Wasn't your fault," he replies, "Wasn't yours, or your sister's." Their mother's… well their father certainly isn't going to say that. "Or your ma's." If there's a bit of hesitation there? Well, he'll deny it all the same if asked again.
Mur'dah frowns. "What…what did happen, Dad? I thought…" He clears his throat. "She loved you," he says, but he has to stop because his voice cracks.
A frown flickers on D'had's face as well for that question. His hands slipping from Mur'dah's shoulders, thumbs hooking into his pockets instead as his gaze shifts back to the water behind the other rider. That's a story he was hoping to be able to avoid, even if a part of him knew they'd ask. D'had swallows hard at the comment of love. "I never stopped loving your ma," he replies, head slowly shaking. And if his eyes look damp, well that's just an illusion.
Mur'dah nods a little bit. Pressing his lips together, there's more he'd like to say, to ask, but now isn't the time.
D'had takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly. What did happen? How does he tell that story without telling the boy his mother wasn't perfect? How does he tell a story he drank to try and forget? "Shoulda been me…"
He might be surprised at Mur'dah's reactions. "What should have been?"
"Instead of her… goin' between," D'had replies, a shake of his head following before he finally turns his head back to Mur'dah. "You just keep her in there," he taps the boy's chest over his heart with one finger. "And remember how much she loved you and your sister."
Mur'dah winces at those words from his father. Perhaps they hit a little too close to home for comfort. He gathers himself. "Well she did and you didn't so you've got to do the best you can since you're still here." He shifts slightly away from his father's touch, turning his head to look out at the sea. Give him a minute.
D'had just… well he just looks back out over the water. He's right, he knows that.
Mur'dah says, "So… Nice weather. Huh?"
"Yeah," D'had agrees in a breath. At least he's not trying to avoid Mur'dah in order to avoid that conversation, just the conversation itself.
Mur'dah nods. "Yeah." there's a long pause. "So. I should go."
D'had shakes his head. "I ain't so good at telling stories," he says, casting a sidelong glance towards his son to gauge his reaction, "Your uncle's better at that."
Mur'dah tilts his head at his father. "Stories?"
"Ya asked what happened," D'had replies with a light shrug of a shoulder. That's a story isn't it?
Mur'dah blinks, a little confused. "So I should ask my uncle?"
"Might tell it better," D'had replies, but then he shakes his head. Just because he doesn't want to tell it doesn't mean he should push it off to his brother, or hers. "We let your granddad come between us," D'had tries to explain. Yes, start by blaming it on the a third party, even if he is still family. Besides, no one will ever catch him saying anything nice about the former Cold Stone holder other than that he was Thea's father.