Being a Brother

Xanadu Weyr - Observation Level
Dark blue seats form a semi-circle around the sands below, the lowest row separating from the sands themselves by merely a railing. The seats climb upwards, each row a bit higher then the previous, and they are broken up into sections by 3 sets of staircases. Lights are evenly spaced along the outer wall, lighting the seats and the sands easily, though they tend to be dimmed unless a major event is taking place. A large balcony looms overhead, darkening some of the seats, providing a place for observers of the draconic kind to watch without obstructing the view for others.
When one looks over the railing, the oddly hued sand below can be seen easily, the circle-shaped area of the sands spread out to the far walls, the sand itself a unique mixture of red and white grains.

Hour two. It feels a lot like hour one, different in the sense that hour two hurts a heck of a lot more in pangs. The effects of numbweed doesn't last forever, and unfortunately plastering on the stuff in a some-inch thick layer of goo upon the purpley bruise of cracked ribs isn't an option either. And so Ka'el goes through phases of pain and relief as numbweed is applied, worn out, and eventually reapplied after a time. He lays on his back on Soriana's cot, eyes turned up to the ceiling, though his eyes are looking far beyond that. Troubled eyes. Red-veined eyes that reveal weariness of a lack of sleep, even though 'rest' really is his only treatment. He wears a thin tshirt and shorts. No shoes are on his feet, and the heat has a film of sweat on his forehead.

Mur'dah, let's be honest, wasn't sure if he was going to come. Once the dragon gossip of Ka'el's condition reached him, the brownrider was first angry, then sad, and then resigned. So now he's come to see for himself, walking into the galleries empty handed, riding clothes stripped down to the lowest layers of cotton pants and a loose tunic. Approaching the cot upon which Ka'el rests, which Mur'dah procured for Soriana (oh, the irony), the brownrider clears his throat as he nears. Lips pressed thin, he lets his gaze travel over the bronzerider, searching for injuries, both visible and not. "Aren't you glad I got her a cot?" he asks quietly.

It's an irritating thing, not knowing what time of the day it is. Is Ka'el looking through the ceiling at stars or a midday sun? Kanekith is no help. His thoughts are always of shadow. Shadowed sunrises. Sunsets. Inky nights. He could ask the people who come in and out to gawk at the eggs that are now visible. But he doesn't want to talk to them or make eye-contact that may invite questions like "Why are you laying on a cot instead of being a productive citizen?" But of the voices he can ignore and turn into buzznoise, Mur'dah's is too familiar to, and he blinks himself to the present. The numbweed is keeping up, and he's able to sit himself up to sit up with only a vague grimace. "You? Heh, no wonder it's givin' me a pain in the ass." Meant to be funny, and if they were on joking terms, maybe it would be. Possibly he forgot? Trauma does weird things to the mind. "Soriana's..not here…" he says, because why would he think he's here for him?

Mur'dah sits down in a chair near Ka'el's feet, glancing over at him with a faint smirk. And then he snorts. "Right." At least he didn't get pissed off at the joke attempt? "She isn't? Eh. I'm not here to see her," he says, glancing around to confirm that, yes, the goldrider isn't here. Eyes lingering on the bathroom for a moment, he then looks back at Ka'el. "Who was it?" A simple question, quiet. Calm.

He isn't? The eggs then, because coming to see him would be so … so Mur'dah. After their last encounter, so long ago now, Ka'el meant to find the guy. He means to drop by. Meant to (maybe) apologize. But … 'meant to' never did change to 'went to' and the two have coexisted without crossing many of the same paths. Til today, when paths have been crossed intentionally by one. He's quiet. No yelling or accusations this time. Just a quiet pondering of the younger teenager who now sits at his bedside. Sort of. The question brings with it a frown and vague tightening of his eyes. There's a moment of nothing. Hesitation of speaking ill of his family. Revealing too much. But … well, what does it matter now? "My brother."

Mur'dah's expression shifts through a variety of emotions. Confusion, irritation, resignation. Taking a deep breath, the brownrider crosses his arms over his chest and slouches in the chair, staring down at the eggs. There's a long, drawn out silence before he asks in that same calm tone, "Do you want me to take care of it?" An offer, and not lightly given, though expected to be turned down - perhaps in anger - by the injured bronzerider.

"What?" The question is a quiet one from Ka'el. Hushed perhaps of the heavy feel of the weighty offer. Maybe due to shock that such a phrase would come from Mur'dah's mouth and be given towards him. Maybe due to confusion. Not knowing just which way he should take the words. If he's taken them correctly, or grossly twisting them due to his own anger he's not allowing himself to admit. He shifts his weight, pressing against his palms to sit up a little more, strangling a curse as fractured ribs complain at the moment. Numbweed can't numb everything.

Mur'dah turns his head finally to look back at the bronzerider, his brown eyes narrowing at the sight of him struggling and cursing. "Do you want me to take care of it." Statement, now, as he's simply repeating his question. Staring at Ka'el, he then turns his head out to watch the eggs once more, hands clasped between his knees as he leans forward.

That's what he thought. Ka'el settles himself still now, not speaking immediately to instead give himself time to recover from a searing pain that gradually ebbs with his stillness. Does he want him to take care of it? "He's my brother, Mur'dah," he answers, lips down curving. "What could.. I have you do to him? He's my brother…" Words come in chunks and phrases, as breaths too deep hurt. "Besides," he looks to the sands as well, "how could I … ask you to help me with anything?"

"Is he?" Mur'dah's words aren't questioning the blood ties, but deeper ties than that as he turns to stare at Ka'el's midsection, and then flick up to his face, eyes narrowing. "Family doesn't do /that/," he says with a low growl. Likely there's more to this than just Ka'el's issue. Mur'dah has his own family issues, and perhaps Ka'el's brother wears his grandfather's face. Then there's a low snort, turning back to stare at the eggs. Or, more accurately, turning back to /not/ stare at Ka'el. "Well," he finally says, "you don't have to ask." There's bitterness there, a lingering anger, but that's to be dealt with later. This is a pressing matter. More fresh, more urgent.

Two simple words, one profound question. Is he? Do brothers beat each other down in such a sordid way? Would one beat another down with no remorse during or after? No, that's not what brothers do, and Ka'el knows just as well as Mur'dah does, but his smoldering gaze stays on the sands and the eggs upon it. Colorful eggs. Masterpieces waiting to change the lives of their bonded mate. Destined for greatness or tragedy? That's always the unknown. "Maybe.." he answers in quiet agreement. "But.. I still have to be..a brother." Loyal to those undeserving of it other than by blood, unable to extinguish the undeserved love of a younger sibling to elder. Teeth clench quietly, and after a time he looks over at him. "What else could I do Mur'dah?"

Mur'dah shakes his head. "No. You don't." Glancing back at Ka'el, Mur'dah meets his gaze for a brief moment, and then looks away again. Too much eye contact is bad. "Did you do anything?" is his question/answer, since all he knows is Ka'el was hurt. And now he knows by whom. But he doesn't know the why, or the how.

"Hit him?" asks Ka'el. "No." he answers that question. One interpretation of the brownrider's. And then, the other. A far more difficult answer. "I went home… Had to tell them. Y'know. About Kanekith. About … all've it. Everything." His life, and how far he ventured from the path he was supposed to walk so many turns ago. "That went … about how I thought it would." Shattered glass. Pleaded words. An echo of his memories. "Went to a pub, I guess. Don't remember.. goin' there. Kinden must've followed. He…" Ka'el trails, happy that Mur'dah's eyes and his only glimpse and glance for brief moments, for he doesn't like the grieved look he can feel on his face. "He never liked me. Since we were little, he didn't like me. Figure now he has reason to hate me." He wrinkles his nose. "It's not going to happen again. I'm not goin' back home. He doesn't come here. None've them do."

Kinden. Mur'dah has a name, now. He just grunts a bit, hands shifting against each other in agitation where he clasps them. "And?"

"And what more, Mur'dah? He followed me out an' kicked my ass!" His voice echoes slightly, and he's reprimanded by a sharpness in his ribs that has him wincing and shirking back. Not to mention a few observing eyes to glance his way. There are children present, young man! Ka'el grimaces. "Sorry.." It's spoken to Mur'dah, not those eyes. This anger is not due to him, nor is it for him. "Because I'm a shardin' freak… To him. To them. Because I'm less than friggin' human to him. I know what they think've me. It's what I've been told all my life. It's why all've this.." a slow gesture to the arena. The eggs. The gold and bronze pair on the sands. "Has been the best an' worst part've my life. Because havin' this means not havin' them."

Mur'dah shakes his head, holding up a hand. "No, you misunderstand. I'm still waiting for an answer to my question." As for the brief glimpse into Ka'el's past and his inner workings…Mur'dah just nods, but doesn't look over at him. Eye contact, y'know.

"..Which one?" asks Ka'el, brow furrowing a little as he watches him now. Yup. Easier to watch him when he's not being watched. But..even still, his eyes don't linger overly long. There are issues there, still. Issues there, always.

Mur'dah turns to give Ka'el a frank and open look. And this time he stares, while he repeats his question again. "Do you want me to take care of it?" Because he hasn't gotten a clear answer one way or the other.

What could he possibly do? … Much, probably. Mur'dah has influence that Ka'e does not.. Favors to ask. A mother whose reach is far beyond the weyr proper. And who knows what else? He is…was.. an heir, after all. His family rules this place. What would happen to Kinden? Thrown in jail? Captured and tied to have his own ribs kicked and kicked? .. For Ka'el? Yeah right. The world owes him no such favors, and neither does Mur'dah. "No," is his answer. "It's done. Let it be."

Mur'dah is quiet for a long moment before he finally nods. "Alright," he says, and it seems like he's going to do just that - let it be - as he pushes to stand. "Hope you feel better."

Kinden is spared. The snake can rest another day thanks to a brother he disowned so brutally. Ka'el's eyes close momentarily. Given time, this all will be a memory, yes? And they can move forward… but forward is not clear skies in all aspects. "Mur'dah." He opens his eyes as the brown rider speaks his well wishes, meeting his and holding. He has words to say to him. Words he's tried to figure out and find but never could. Even now as he watches him, he knows there are things to say, but why do they evade him so? "Thanks.." And he is genuinely thankful. "And…I'm sorry. For…last time."

Mur'dah turns back to look at the broken bronzerider when he hears his name, watching him for a long moment. Holding that gaze. His expression doesn't shift at the thanks, or the apology, and Mur'dah simply stands there watching Ka'el for one, two, three seconds. Just a /hair/ longer than would be appropriate. Then he turns away again. "Yeah."

What left is there to say? Probably lots, but Ka'el doesn't have the words or will to plead his case. They say talking helps, and it does in situations. It may in theirs. But talking about his family only helped him realize how much he will miss them. The rest of them, for a person only gets one blood family, and he has been severed from his. Wound reopened, he falls into silence, watching him til his eyes fall upon the sheets of the cot when he turns. "See you."

Mur'dah isn't going to comfort him. That's no longer his role, and he just can't put himself out there again. He's not going to beg Ka'el to open up to him any more, not going to offer a shoulder to cry on. There are new boundaries to their relationship, that Mur'dah has set, and ones that he will try to keep - for his own emotional safety - unless something changes. Even though it kills him to walk away. So with another nod, the brownrider leaves, mission accomplished and offer extended. And, in a candlemark's time, another cot arrives for Sori. Despite all that went down, Mur'dah is still stubbornly looking out for her well being - and in a round about way, Ka'el's.

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