Secure Insecurities

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary
The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is spotless and smells of disinfectant, cots are lined up against one wall, a curtain can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. A cabinet stands off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed. A couple of curtained off beds are used for examinations of patients and the treatment of minor injuries which won't require long term care. A desk with chair is just off of the doorway for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long days work.

This is ridiculous. The infirmary had been shut down. Literally, no one in or out for about an hour the night before. Now, it's back open to the public, but with guards standing guard at the entrance. Mean faced guards who are taking their duty seriously. Ka'el has been moved to a cot waaay in the back, curtains drawn, and yet another guard standing guard just outside the curtain. Ka'el wishes the world would swallow him up and eat him alive. All of this? Is it necessary? No, it's not, but when a weyrwoman has her mind set on something, there's no changing it. So, the bronze rider sits up in bed, resting back against pillows, dressed in a colorless tunic. A plate of half-eaten food is on a table near his bedside, a mug of water, and an empty seat. Soriana is nowhere to be seen. It's Luraoth's turn to be tended to now which leaves Ka'el to tend to troublesome thoughts. A messenger has sent a note to Mur'dah, though the likelihood of the brownrider actually heeding his call is.. slim, in his opinion. But the attempt has been made regardless.

Mur'dah hesitated, but not for long, after receiving the note. After all, isn't this what he wanted? Ka'el reaching out to him, instead of the other way around? So the brownrider makes his way to the infirmary, holding up the note, smiling, chatting quietly with the guards. Pulling the 'weyrwoman's son, hey, we grew up together, c'mon' card with the Xanadu guards on duty before he's allowed in. He even let them check him for weapons and left his beltknife at the front desk. "Ka'el?" he calls as he approaches that closed curtain, nodding to the guard here as well. "He sent for me," he tells the guard quietly, who hopefully was the same guard on duty when Ka'el sent the message…maybe?

Oh it is the same guard. He'll be here all day. Joy of joys! And said guard eyes Mur'dah as if he hadn't known of him since he was a small thing. He's the last line of defense! If this kid is an imposter… "Let'm through," says Ka'el who heard the familiar teen's voice from behind that curtain. "'Less you want his ma to know you're the reason I got out've bed an' stuck my rib in my lung an' died." .. It's not every (or any) day hat Ka'el gets to call the shots. Even if he's injured, he'll take the opportunity! And so after rolling his eyes, the guard lets Mur'dah pass. Ka'el sighs. "Sorry… shards. You'd think I was a shardin' weyrleader with all this."

Mur'dah pushes the curtain aside and lets it fall back behind him with a gentle swish. "You're important," he says, brown eyes scanning his friend in a quick, brief glance. "How are you doing?" he asks, remaining standing - for the moment at least - hands clasped.

"Not this important," Ka'el says with a wave of a few fingers to the curtain and, likely, the guard who stands behind it. And the guards beyond that one. "Waste've three guards, especially now that…" He trails, words ending and a frown taking their place. He shakes his head a bit, glancing to the bedsheets that cover his legs, then back to Mur'dah. "Didn't think you were gonna come," he admits before glancing to the chair once occupied by a vigilant goldrider. "Sit down, will you? Makin' me nervous standin' there like that.."

Mur'dah shakes his head. "You're a bronzerider of Xanadu," he murmurs in a gentle argument as he steps forward to sit down in the chair. Sori's chair? He leans back a bit, meeting the bronzerider's gaze. "Of course I came," he murmurs.

It is a chair. Soriana likely wouldn't put so much ownership into the thing. Ka'el himself likely isn't putting much sentimental value in it as he would any other of her things. Mur'dah is sitting, and that's what he wanted. He moves a hand to touch gingerly at his side, wincing vaguely. "Four weeks, they say," he says, lowering his hand to the bed. "S'how long I'll be out. Four weeks, then light duty only." He wrinkles his nose after giving the unimportant piece of information. "It'll be back to square one when I'm finally back. Made everything before now a waste've damn time." He angles his chin. "Glad you came."

Mur'dah winces. "Shit," is his sympathetic reply. "That sucks." There's a pause as he pushes fingers through his hair, considering for a moment. "Don't think it was a waste of time. You know you can do it at least. Not like you're really starting over." He glances over at him again, lifting his brow. "Yeah?" Go on.

Yeah.. Maybe not," says Ka'el, voice sounding vaguely distant. The frown on his face returns, though it is a more subdued look than before. "I don't think I ever spoke more'n one word to the Weyrleader before last night. He's … your brother… right?" he asks, watching him, but the question is asked without really expecting the answer. He already knows the answer. "It's sort of funny, then. Your brother's arresting my brother." No, it really isn't terribly funny at all.

"Half brother," Mur'dah murmurs. Then he's looking at Ka'el, sitting up a bit. "I didn't tell anyone," he says firmly, perhaps thinking that's why Ka'el called him here - to chew him out for tattling. "They're going to arrest him then?"

Ka'el shakes his head once. "I know you didn't. They were grillin' me, tryin' to get me to tell who it was. I told them." Still not happy about it, but … N'shen made some rather compelling points, as did Thea. The thought of the weyrwoman does have a memory resurfacing, a question he means to ask, but he stores it for later. "Yeah. Might've already happened, I dunno. I had Kanekith watchin'..askin' the dragons what was happening, but then… I told him to stop. I didn't want to know." He exhales. "Look, Mur'dah, I'm tired've sayin' I'm sorry for shit, but I am. I don't know if you believe me or not, but I'm .. sorry for the crap that's happened. Layin' here, all I can do it think. An' I'm looking back and thinking…I lost my family. I'm losin' my brother. All that, I can't do anything about. It's out of my hands, you know? But, you?" He gingerly lifts a hand to rub at the back of his head. "I can do somethin' about. Or, at least try to."

Mur'dah is good at secrets. He and Kalsuoth both. He grimaces, giving Ka'el a look that's sympathetic, but at the same time…he's glad something is being done. And then he looks surprised. Leaning back a bit in his chair, he fidgets with his hair and then laces fingers over his stomach, watching the bronzerider. He doesn't say if he believes him or not. Instead, he just nods. "I don't want to lose you as a friend." Are they already lost? He shrugs. "So…yeah. Let's…do something."

Ka'el drops his hand again. "Yeah." Do something. The question is, what is there to do? Apparently he has no answer, for silence stretches for long seconds. What can he do that hasn't already been done? They've talked before. Under a tree with beers in hand. It was better…then, the sands happened. Back to square one. Ka'el closes his eyes and exhales a slow breath. "Do you get why I was mad that day on the sands?" he asks, eyes opened again.

Mur'dah glances at him and then away, his shoulders tensing briefly before he forces them to relax. No, Mur'dah. Don't get defensive. He needs to meet Ka'el half way on this one. "Because she let me touch her and she wouldn't let you?" he guesses, not looking at Ka'el. Staring at the guard's silhouette against the curtain. Nice physique.

"Yes," answers Ka'el, "and no. It's not that simple." His mouth twitches and he glances to that shadow of a man that stands guard. But .. eh, shards. He doesn't care if they have a forty something turn old eavesdropper. If he's even doing that. He may just be standing there, doing his job! In any case, Ka'el continues, just a smidge softer than before. "Because I was tryin' so hard to get her to trust me again. She was still … twitchy, with me. Jumpin' whenver I touched her. Tensin' up whenever I got too close. I was doin' everything I could to get her to see that I wasn't that guy from flight day. That's all she saw me as. That guy who hurt her." It's still a sore topic, which he hadn't realized til now as he feels his insides twisting. "And so when I got back an' I saw how she just…let you. Like it was nothin'. And the look on her face, how glad she was… I couldn't get why. Before any of this. Before any of us had dragons or even thought of dragons, she told me about flights and how they were and how riders weren't who they really are when their dragons chased. So I couldn't understand why she could forgive everbody else who's ever flown, but not me. Why she would trust you, but not me." He pauses, head canting slightly. "Do you understand that?"

Mur'dah was following along up until the last part. "Well yeah, but…she doesn't have those…bad associations with me," he says with a small frown - a thoughtful one, as he tries to work this all out. "I'm sure it must have sucked, to walk in, but…" They didn't expect him back so soon "I was just being her friend, Ka'el. I…I don't know why you don't trust /me/." It all comes down to trust.

Bad associations. Ka'el…tenses. But in the back of his mind, he reminds himself that that was the past. .. Not the distant past, but still,l they've gotten past that. If not, Soriana wouldnt've been here by his side. Wouldnt've held his hand. Or cared at all. It's passed. A bit of the tightness eases. A bit. Much of it lingers though at his last statement, and he watches him with a hint of a frown. How honest shall he be? Is honesty worth it, in the end? "I don't trust you .. because I don't trust her with you." The words taste sour in his mouth. "Hear me out.."

Mur'dah lifts his brows, but the brownrider doesn't say anything. He'll hear him out and see if some understanding is to be had.

"I've dated Sori for… four..almost five turns." .. Wow. He has to pause at that. Has it been so long? He's nearly nineteen now. … Shards. Nineteen. "She told me somethin' once," Ka'el continues, "that's stuck with me for turns. I want to shake it because it's been turns since, but I can't because she's never said that any of it has changed. She said…she wouldn't be happy if she saw someone she wanted but couldn't be with. She'd want to, and she would. She said..she'd ask me first but," he rolls his eyes. "That's not the point. The point is, it's been four turns. I'm happy with her. I've always been happy with just her. But it isn't the same for her. I want her to feel as I do. I want her to know that I'm enough. There needn't be anyone else, and I try to show her that every time I'm with her. But…shards, I've fucked that up the past few months, and I'm afraid she'll stop and think 'Shit. I'm not happy' and remember what she said to me and look to somebody who does." Pointed look.

Mur'dah listens closely to Ka'el's words, thoughtful and quiet, his head nodding slightly. "Was…did she mean it…uh." A faint blush touches his cheeks. "Sexually? Or like…a boyfriend?" And he gestures. "So," he says, still slowly as he works things out, "you thought…maybe…because things were weird with you two," understatement, but he's going to let it be an understatement, "and I was being nice to her, that she'd…choose me instead?" He pauses. "And you haven't asked her if it's changed?" Clearly not. Communication…eh. Who needs it, right?

"I don't know," Ka'el answers. "Both, I guess. At the time, neither've us had … you know. Done that. I guess she meant more like.. dating. Dating someone other than me to do the same stuff we were doin' together." Sixteen turn old stuff. Hug and kiss sort of stuff. He watches him as he speaks. Things were weird. Yup, understatement of the turn, but he'll take it. And… His eyes shift from him as he answers. "Yeah." She may opt to be with a less complicated fellow like Mur'dah. "And I'm afraid to ask her," he admits, able to admit only because he's not looking at him. "Because if I ask her and she says it hasn't changed, that she still wants to keep herself open for someone else, I don't know what would happen. And it's been four turns." A lifetime when one is a teenager. "And after four turns, letting her go an' watchin' her do with someone else the things we did together .. I don't know if I could handle it."

Mur'dah nods with a slight grimace. "That'd suck." Another understatement. Yeah, he's not that complicated. "So…" Just to be tooootally clear here, "you're not afraid of me making a move on her. You're afraid of…her making a move on me? Or someone else? Picking…another person." And who wouldn't want to be with Mur'dah, c'mon. He shifts in his chair and sighs. "But is the worrying better than, you know. Knowing? What if you asked her to weyrmate you or something? Make some…official commitment thing?"

"I'm afraid she'll make a move on you, and you'll want it." Or any faceless, nameless guy she may want to fill that unoccupied space on her other side. Because this is Soriana they're talking about. She's hot! Who wouldn't make a move on her if she gave an open invitation to do so? If. If is a hell of a word sometimes. He readjusts himself in his bed, face scrunching in a silent wince as he does so. "Probably not," he answers to the worrying bit. "I'll admit I'm too chickenshit to face whatever the truth is. I thought about…askin' her to be my weyrmate. Couple times," he admits, his smile faint. "But I don't even know what it means, really. I tried askin' Derin once, but he wasn't much help. I wouldn't even know how to go about it. Do I get her something? Should I ask her ma first?" He shakes his head. "Doesn't matter. She'd say no, and plus, she just became a weyrwoman and is stressed out half the time. I don't want to stress her out more." A sigh. "Point is, it all comes down to me. It's not you. Never was you, really. All this insecure shit I've been goin' through made you a target, an' it shouldnt've been like that."

Mur'dah shifts a bit, about to say that no, he wouldn't want it…but it's Sori. He might want it. Honestly he's not sure. So he doesn't say anything one way or the other, not wanting to give reassurances he can't keep. Then he's about to offer his thoughts on weyrmating, but Ka'el talks himself out of that before Mur'dah has a chance to reply, so again he says nothing. He just takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Insecure…" he murmurs with a nod. Yes, that's a great way to describe it. 'Target' also fits.

Silence. Ka'el doesn't particularly like…talking. Especially about himself. Especially about his feelings. Especially to Mur'dah. But, well. There they are, all spilled out. His worries, assumptions, and yes, insecurities, laid out on the table far more bare than anyone has seen them. He can do with them what he likes. "I'm tellin' you this because I wanted you as a friend before. I liked you. I liked havin' you hang with me an' hangin' with you." Leave it to a woman to mess things up, right? "I miss doin' that without it feelin' weird." He pauses, watching him.

Mur'dah takes a deep, slow breath when Ka'el starts talking in the past tense. Then he glances over at the bronzerider. Brief. Very brief. Then away, over there. "I miss it too." And then…more silence. It's really too bad they can't just go get piss drunk, hang on each other, get in a bar fight with some Seacrafters and call it a bonding experience.

"So you forgive me or what?" asks Ka'el. "You asked why I don't trust you. I trust you not to hit on my girl." Mur'dah can get his own! It's far easier to not give in to impulses with someone when you've already got a girlfriend to stay faithful to. Ka'el knows this! "Cuz this can go on forever if you let it. I'm willin' to be over it." Faranth knows there's plenty other things left to weight heavy on both mind and heart.

Mur'dah glances over at Ka'el, watching him for a long moment. Meeting his gaze, if the bronzerider will return the gesture. "You really hurt me," he says quietly. Honest and open about that, at least. "Felt like I didn't matter at all." He felt like dirt. "But yeah, Ka'el. I do. I don't want it to go on." A pause. "You're really over it?" Seems like a lot of insecurities to just 'be over', but Mur'dah is a trusting sort - still.

"What do you want me to do, Mur'dah? The point wasn't to make you feel good about yourself," remarks Ka'el. "I know I hurt you, but I can't make time go backwards or change anything that's happened already. That's why I asked you to come. To … fix what could be an' go on from here." He shrugs, then grimaces soon after. That hurt. Is he really over it? Hell no. "Can try to be," is all he can honestly answer. "If that's not good enough then we're done here. I can't give you more'n that."

Mur'dah shrugs. "Not blow it off," he says, turning to give the bronzerider a level look. They've been over this before. This is one of the main sticking points in their friendship. But he does appreciate the honesty and he nods. "I want to try." Again.

Ka'el closes his eyes, then opens them again at his last statement. "Good. Then we'll try." Back to square one. Again. Though square one is likely better than square negative 10, which is where they were hovering. Will 'trying' mean more of the same thing? Time will tell. Hopefully now. Ka'el may need to face the music and talk to Soriana if he really hopes for things to be different. But .. his brother's likely arrest. His family. Luraoth's eggs. His health and Kanekith's. There are so many other things of more importance. "Talkin' to you wears me out," he says. “I'm gonna take a nap.. Do me a favor? If you come back an' I'm still here, sneak me in food from the caverns? The stuff they serve here is crap."

Mur'dah snorts, pushing to his feet. "Looking at you wears me out." Ahh, male banter. What he means to say is 'I love you and I'm glad we're friends again - for the moment.' "It's good for you," he says with a smirk. "But yeah, I'll do that. Anything else you need in the outside world?"

Ka'el waves his fingers dismissively. Like a king! Or weyrleader. Ha, funny Mur'dah. "If I was a canine, sure," he says of the food, keeping his voice..looow. No need for a healer to hear him! Does he need anything else? "Ale. Bring lots of ale. And cookies. And a pair've socks. It's cold in here. And maybe a blanket, while you're at it."

Mur'dah nods, "I'll get you everything but the ale. You'll have to ask Marel for that." Because he has a feeling his twin would kick his ass if he took Ka'el booze.

Ka'el winces, and this time it has nothing to do with cracked ribs. "Eh. Nevermind the ale then." Marel would kick his ass just for asking! He grins a bit, though there is a sleepy look on his face. Not at all due to the conversation. Moreso due to medicines. "Thanks." For the socks and the blanket and the…everything else. His eyes close, and he begins to doze.

Mur'dah nods again. "Sure thing, Kale." He doesn't know if the bronzerider is awake enough to hear him by that point as he slips out with a 'be right back' signal to the guard. And it doesn't take him long - what with his mad connections and his knowledge of the weyr's kitchens and store caverns - for him to return with a box clearly labeled 'Books for Bored Ka'el's'. But in reality, it contains a blanket, two pairs of socks, cookies, and other snack food that will keep well in a box hidden under the bed from nosy Healer types. He sets it quietly down on the chair, and then leaves again.

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