Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forests
The wooded areas closer to Xanadu Weyr represent a compromise between man and mother nature, but to the north and west, no such arrangements have been made. The deep woods between the Weyr and the mountains are less traveled, the wider paths fit for man and beast less present. The noises of mankind are barely audible here, brief ghosts on the wind, and the quiet thrum of forest life presses in on all sides. The snapping of a twig, a bird's cry, the low cadence of insects; all of these things seem louder. Closer. The deeper one moves into the trees, the more it becomes obvious that one passes through nature only at her allowance.
The cover of trees is more severe in this area of the wood and only occasional shafts of sunlight lance down through the canopy, the sky visible in brief patches. A rough path has been blazed back towards the Weyr. It does not appear to be a heavily frequented path, but the few who have chosen to pass through this area appear to use it more than other avenues available. Only the very foolish or the very experienced would ever wander far from the path.
Warmer weather is upon the Weyr and many are enjoying it while they can. Out here, this deep in the forests, it's hard to tell exactly what time of day it is — just that there's still plenty of sunlight to see the meagre and not-well travelled paths by. Few souls are out this way and nature has a true hold here. Among the natural sounds comes a faint, intermitted 'thok' sound. Too quiet to be someone chopping wood, but loud enough to draw attention should anyone be curious enough to investigate. Caution may be advised too, as the sound comes from Kiena using an old deadfall tree as target practice. The bluerider stands several feet away, an arrow notched to her bow but she has it pointed down. Waiting. With a steady breath, she lifts the bow and draws the string back and lets loose. Thok! One more to join the few already peppering the tree. Poor tree. What'd it do to her?
D'had doesn't make it this far into the forest all too often. At least he hasn't recently. What brings him this far? Who's to say, perhaps nothing more than a leisurely stroll in which he lost track of just how far he was going. Whatever the reason its the sound that pulls his attention back to the present and draws his steps towards the sound. Ducking under a low hanging branch, the crackle of dry leaves or the crack of a twig could easily signal the presence of another.
Such sounds are good for signalling one's presence but a call or some-such would have been just as effective. Kiena starts at that crackle and snap, her bow raised again with arrow in place though now the tip of it isn't pointed at that dead-fall tree but towards the brush where she's picked up that intrusive noise. "Who's there?" she calls gruffly as she keeps her bow held at ready but has yet to draw the arrow back. The bluerider is no fool. She knows this deep in the woods there is the uncommon chance of an animal coming by that could do her harm and an even more rare chance of a never do-well who'd have the audacity to try anything so close (and yet not) to the Weyr's perimeter. So long as D'had doesn't try to sneak up on her, he should avoid becoming a human-sized pin cushion.
Had he known what the sound was from (which perhaps he SHOULD have recognized given his late weyrmate's preference for the crossbow) he might have called out instead of simply investigating. "D'had," the question from Kiena sees the bluerider raising his hands to show no ill intent as the trees break enough for him to come into view. Having only met the girl once the voice on its own isn't yet recognized.
Kiena lowers her bow the moment he calls his name. "D'had?" she echoes back, brows knit but there's enough surprise lacing her tone. He doesn't need to raise his hands as she figures he means no ill will. Not because she trusts him but more because she doubts that's his motive or reason for wandering this far. The arrow is slipped back with the rest and she'll hold the now 'harmless' bow at her side. "What're you doing out this far?" she asks next while peering at him. Curious or suspicious? Might be both.
D'had raises a brow as his hands drop. Yeah, that's him. "Takin' a walk," he answers easily. The short answer could have been enough if not for the look he's getting from the woman and away or not she still has sharp objects in her possession. "Must not'a realized how far I'd gotten." Not that he couldn't ask her the same question.
Kiena's good with a bow but not that good! By the time she'd get another arrow readied and have her bow aimed he could get to cover. Luckily for him, she has no interest in using a living human for her practice today. Visibly she relaxes when he gives her a plausible enough reason. "Forest'll do that to you. Don't pay attention and you find yourself half way from where you thought you were." Suspicion has eased and now she's just curious and yet indifferent enough that she'll turn his back to him, shouldering her bow and tromping over to that dead-fall tree to fetch the arrows sticking out from its trunk. "Might wanna call out earlier next time." Or maybe she shouldn't practice in the middle of a forest?
D'had nods his agreement with her comment on the forest, leaning back against a nearby tree as she goes to fetch her arrows. "I'll keep that in mind," he replies. Note to self… "So what brings you out here anyway?" he finally asks the question back. There are certainly better places for target practice closer to the weyr.
"Seclusion." Kiena answers without pause, silent thereafter only because she's focusing on wrenching those arrows free and not damage them if she can help it. She gets to the third before her muttered swearing is followed with her tossing away a now damaged and useless arrow shaft. Pocketing the arrowhead, she'll glance back over her shoulder. "Sometimes I like to be alone. Forests are good for that. Quiet, few people. Can just focus." Relax. Find peace. Whichever!
D'had ahs, nodding to her back at that first answer. "I can head off," he offers, pushing off the tree behind him half expecting that she'll agree that might be best. "Understand," he replies as she explains further.
Kiena quirks a brow and then snorts, "Nah. Unless my company is that offensive?" she drawls and though her mouth only quirks into a vague smirk, she's teasing him. A slight jab at the scenario, given he's the one intruding on her and not vice versa. She returns to where she kept her stash of arrows, slinging that quiver over her back and essentially cleaning up her 'mess'. "Probably time I took a break." she mutters before taking a seat on a low rock. Not the most comfortable of spots but she's not complaining. She peers up at him, "So. Mur'dah told me he said you could visit with Thien, if you wanted." Truth? Maybe she should have started with a 'how're you?' but that's generally not her way with things.
D'had chuckles, "Nah," he replies to her self jab. "Have a hard time seein' anyone think your company offensive sweetheart," the man adds, moving to take a seat on the ground or another nearby rock so he's more on her level. "Yeah.." he returns with a nod. Maybe she should have, but then they might have been stuck on 'nice weather, huh'. "Told 'im I'd like to, but you ain't gotta tell 'im who I am if you don't want to."
Kiena scoffs and with a dry chuckle of her own she'll shake her head, "That's only because you don't know me yet." Another counter for his teasing comment. She's not one to just chat idly — not all the time. Her brows knit, thoughtful but uncertain. That wasn't entirely the answer she was expecting. "Why not? You're all he has… well. As far as grandparents. Here, anyways."
"Yeah, well. Hope to," D'had counters. He would like to get to know her better. "Yeah," he says, a hint of a sigh in his voice for the word. "That's what he said," being Mur'dah of course. "Just that I'd understand if ya didn't. Like his sister said, can't trust I'll be there later." He shrugs. Certainly he hopes to be there but Marel had a valid point in that given their history.
Kiena doesn't answer to his 'hopes' of getting to know her. It'd be easy enough, with the right questions and if he keeps crossing paths with her. There's the fact too that his son happens to be her weyrmate. He's bound to find out some details where their pasts overlap. Her eyes narrow and her mouth draws to a thin line, clearly not liking what is implied. Granted, she's known for assuming wrong and overreacting. "You thinking on disappearing again?" she asks bluntly.
"No," D'had's reply is short, but in this case at least that single word is enough to convey the answer. He's not planning on going anywhere, unless perhaps they all decide to run him off. "I know I messed up in the past sweetheart," he adds, lifting a hand to run it through his hair. "But I wanna try ta make things right."
Kiena relaxes again for his reply, even if it's short. Her lips twitch again but this time it's in another short lived smirk. She huffs, "Yeah, I know." About him wanting to make it right, not that he messed up — or perhaps she does mean both. "Who hasn't fucked up at least once in their lives?" Let's not give a show of hands. Kiena's all too familiar with screwing things up. She nods, "Guess you're going about it in a good way. Mur'dah seemed… well, he's not against the idea of letting you see Thien. Neither am I."
D'had can get behind that statement. A bit of a chuckle leaving his lips for that rhetorical question of hers. "Guess I'm just lucky I ran into him." Beat. "And you." Because Faranth knows how he might have approached them otherwise. He's not even sure of that. The man is silent for awhile before speaking again, "He asked what happened the other day…" Yes, he's spoke to his son again since their first chance meeting on his return.
Kiena quirks a brow, "And me?" How does she fit into this? Clearly she hasn't grasped that. She does, however, add: "He's a good man." Another beat and then quietly. "And I don't think he hates you, D'had." Her head tilts and she seems… amused. "Heh. Figured as much. What'd you tell him?" As for the two of them having another talk, there's no surprise there. She wants to ask the same things — what happened, what was said but she bites her tongue.
"And you," D'had confirms sending one of those lopsided smiles her way. She's his son's werymate, she's part of the family like it or not. "I'm glad," that she sees Mur'dah as a good man. "And thanks?" he's not quite sure on how the boy feels about him but her confidence in it helps though that smile fades well enough. "Don't know that I really answered," he replies after a breath. What'd he tell him? What could he tell him? He's not a man who's good at talking about anything much less feelings. How to explain why he did what he did to his children he's not exactly sure, but it seems the tiniest bit easier when he's not having to look them in the eye. A breath and he tries to explain: "You two love each other," he's assuming only partly given they're weyrmates and Mur'dah told him he loved her.
Kiena just dips her head in a silent acknowledgement (if even that) to his sort-of 'thanks' to her earlier comment. She doesn't pressure him. If D'had doesn't want to speak or share, she won't pry it out of him. There's a near burst of laughter for when he states the obvious but she bites that back too and just exhales, mouth quirked in a vague half-smile. "We do," she confirms. Not that he needed it. "We've been through a fair bit together. He's… been there for me through some of my crap. Didn't have to, but he did."
Don't distract him or you'll never hear the story! D'had cracks a bit of a smile for her sharing that they'd been through some things together too. "Glad he was," he replies. It means all the bad he's done didn't rub off, hopefully. As to what happened, welcome to What Would You Do. "So ya love each other," they've established that. "Say he got a letter from conclave sayin' you have to give up your son to someone you know ain't no good. And say he sent him without telling you.." The man shakes his head, clearing thoughts perhaps. "He was just… gone. And you never got a say in it and you couldn't go after 'im cause if you did either you or the one they sent 'im to weren't comin' out. Wouldn't want 'im to see that." The man shakes his head as he stands, aiming to duck out it would seem.
Kiena keeps silent enough to hear a bit of a story! What would she do? Hard to say, as she's still trying to absorb what he's just shared with her. Part of her is defensive, age old habits picking up a threat when there is none. "Not sure I follow?" she says, a touch curtly. As he stands, so does she. If he hopes to duck out after that cryptic mess, he's got another thing coming! "What're you getting at? This about Mur'dah and you or is this about Thien?"
See and that's where knowing her better might help. Then again, knowing her better might make it that much harder to try and share. D'had just shakes his head, back still to her as he doesn't turn back. "That's what happened," he says bluntly perhaps realizing she's not going to let him just walk away without more of an explanation. "And they sent the girls too." So Kiena, what would you do?
Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Kiena's not about to talk to his back or chase him along that way, so she'll try to get ahead of him and cut him off. Stalling that exit, if there ever was one to begin with. She frowns up at him, maybe more of a scowl now as she pieces things together. Though her expression hardly changes, her tone is sincere. "I'm sorry." That that ever happened. What would she do? For that she snorts, lifting a hand up to run it through her hair, making all the more of a mess of it. "I don't know all that happened between you. It was kind of just… not talked of." What would she do? Why, she'd probably go storming in and claim her children and damn everyone else straight Between if they tried to stop her. Kiena's not known for calm rational thought — at least not when she was young and even now, older, she has her moments.
"Ain't your fault in any way," D'had replies, resting a hand lightly on the young woman's shoulder at her sorry. How could it have been? They didn't even know her then. "Its a long story," he says then, letting his hand drop away. "But that's the short of it." His children were sent away and he couldn't stop it. "Ask him about it, hmm?" A suggestion, not that she has to, but then he is side-stepping her to head off on his way.
Kiena eyes that hand of his when it comes to rest on her shoulder but she doesn't dodge or try to shake it off. It's clear that it makes her a touch uncomfortable but for what reasons… well, with her it there can be plenty of reasons. She sighs and then chews at her lower lip as she glances away. "Yeah. I get that." Story of her life and it's often a phrase she uses. Ask Mur'dah? She just nods. "I might." Is her quiet answer and she'll watch him side-step her from the corner of her eyes. No farewells this time but despite the silence the terms of which they part are good. Leaving him to wander away, Kiena will roll her shoulders and then slip her bow free. Back to practice! She has some thoughts to mull through.