A Sailing Mishap

Xanadu Weyr - Main Docks

Jutting out from the land are the platforms that make up the main dock of Xanadu Weyr. The extruded plastic makes an odd sound when footsteps echo across it. From this dock, two others protrude taking opposite directions, each for a special purpose.

It is a bright afternoon, a stiff offshore breeze has the azure lake windblown into whitecaps while fluff bits of clouds scud across a blue sky. It's the kind of day one would want to be out on the water - if one knew how to manage a watercraft. Alas Thea doesn't. But that hasn't stopped her from wandering down to the dock anyway, nor has it stopped her from stepping into the small sailing skiff moored there. Perhaps to enjoy the movement of the waves, or seek solace from the daily stresses of Weyrlife, whatever. She has climbed down into the skiff and managed to stretch out on the bottom of the craft, pillow her head on her arms and… fall soundly asleep in the bit of shade, what little there is, of that furled sail.

Ah yes, these types of days are perfect for getting away and finding time to relax. Something that D'had tends to be rather good at. He always gets his work done of course, even if it is last minute. But he's more of the kind of guy who'd rather be doing anything besides paperwork, and today is no exception. His entrance to the docks however is from the water rather than the shore. Siebith isn't so very far off, still floating in the water as Donn hefts himself up onto the end of the dock, drops of water leaving a trail along with wet footprints down the boards.

It's a tired junior that lies in that skiff, up all night with a tense and irritable gold not allowed to curl 'round her eggs. Thea isn't hearing the change in splashing water and bare feet on boards could hardly be enough to wake her. But lying on her back has become uncomfortable and she stirs, curling on her side, one of her feet thump against the inner side of the craft as she does so.

Its not necessarily a sound that might catch everyone's ear. The knock of wood could just as easily bee the skiff against the dock as something within the skiff itself after all. But then while it has been some time since he's spent any great length of time on a ship, the sounds of such are surely something that D'had is familiar with, and as such its a sound that happens to catch his attention. Dark eyes turn towards the small skiff to find something quite unexpected in the form of a sleeping junior weyrwoman. "Hey there sugar," he says loud enough to hopefully have her hear, but at the same time in a tone that's more like 'wake up sleepyhead'.

Thea's subconscious registers a voice, a jarring enough sound given the lull of wind and waves, but she's deeply asleep when he speaks. From underneath her hair, such a convenient sun-shade, she protests being bothered with a muffled growl and an irritable arm-swat. Someone's been wakened by dutiful dragonhealers one time too many in the past few sevendays. "Go 'way!" Not really awake yet. Her arm re-settles, curled back under her chin. But her slumber has been disrupted and after a few moments she turns her head, sweeping her hair from her face to see who is there. Rukbat's glare interferes, her hand comes up to shade her face, "What?" She's blinking, trying to see who is there and it's clear she can't really.

D'had chuckles, the amused sound a quiet rumble in his throat as he turns that half smirk of a smile of his down towards the wakening weyrwoman. "Didn't ever expect to find you somewhere like this sweets," he comments, saying little more as he gives her time to wake.

Thea recognizes that voice, if the nicknames didn't give the man away before that. She can't look into the blazing sun any longer, even with her hand providing the bit of shade across her eyes. She pushes herself up to sit, draws her legs up to wrap her arms around them and leans back against the side of the skiff. "Hi D'had. Uh, I-" It's not often she amuses others. There's a bit of a sheepish look on her face as she tilts a fleeting smile up at him. Her eyes lower, like a guilty child caught stealing cookies, she confesses, "I wanted to know what it was like to sail, but I don't know how." A faint flush ruses to her cheeks, "So I sat here instead. Musta fell asleep."

D'had chuckles all the more for her reply, but its an amused sort certainly not meant to sound as if he's laughing at her. "Well if ya wanted ta sail," he starts, "Why didn't ya just say so?" The question comes as he maneuvers himself to take a seat on the dock, turning feet to be crosslegged rather than let them dangle in the water between dock and skiff.

"There was nobody here to ask?" Thea states the obvious, tilting her head to look at D'had once more through the lashes of her half-closed eyes. The sun proves too bright even then, so she just drops her head to rest on her knees. From underneath her hair she mutters, "I just wanted to know what it was like to be in it while the waves moved it. Came South on a great big ship, only time I've ever been on a boat."

"Could have had Seryth ask Siebith," D'had notes, nodding towards where the blue occupies himself in the water off the end of the dock. "Came south on that one myself, but before that been all over the oceans."

"Oh, does Siebith know how to sail?" Thea asks it sweetly as she lifts her head once again. The corners of her mouth twitch, and yes it's her needling smile. She's awaaaaake! But then D'had is nodding towards something in the water, she must turn to look and there is the blue floating. A quick look back at the Weyrsecond and she's noticing he's been swimming. "Been over all the-?" That sinks in. "Oh." There's a pause, "So, can you sail this thing?" She doesn't know the proper term to call the craft, so she uses no name at all.

D'had gives a glance over the craft for the first time and nods after a moment. Yes, he's ignoring that comment of hers and not making comment on it though it does earn a touch of a smile from him. "Been awhile since I've had anything out but yeah, think I could manage this. Of course…"

Thea remains silent for some time, turning to watch Siebeth float out there, she unwraps one arm from around her legs to drape over the side and waggles a few fingers at him. He's not close enough to offer a pat. She tilts her head once more to squint up at D'had. "So… would you then?" She says it humbly, dropping the tone she uses to annoy him so often. "Unless you're too busy…"

"Well you know.." D'had starts, dark eyes trailing off towards his blue. "Would mean you'd have to spend some time just the two of us." A thought he finds somehow amusing though he does the best he can to keep that out of his voice. "Last I remember you weren't so for that?"

Thea , well she just sits there for a few minutes. Instead of answering she rolls forward to her knees and rises to stand, carefully holding onto the sides of the skiff for balance until she reaches the bow. One hand yanks at the knot holding the craft to the dock. The thing pulls free and she pushes with one hand at the dock, the craft floats a few inches away. "Had a reason for feeling that way," she says tilting her chin stubbornly at him. "Forget I asked." So she's going to try it herself without knowing a thing about sailing. She turns her back on the Weyrsecond while she eyes that mast and boom with the bundled sail. Hmm.

D'had just shakes his head, standing as she reaches to untie that knot. "Didn't say I wouldn't," he reminds, "Just saying…" Well he said it already. A few inches is hardly enough to keep from boarding the craft of course, but he'll leave her too it if she's going to be stubborn. "Good luck though."

Thea turns to shoot a short glare over her shoulder at D'had, "I know." Too proud to explain, she turns to eye that sail, the craft turns slightly with the waves and is now rocking side to side. She grabs the boom, but it is not lashed and thus swings and she loses her balance, ker-splatting in the bottom of the rocking craft. There's a small growl of ire heard as she flails back to her feet, this time holding to the mast. At least it's not moving. But she can't unfurl that sail from there. The offshore breeze catches the craft and although the sail isn't up, it does slowly but steadily move further out into the lake.

D'had follows along the dock as far as he can as the small skiff moves away. "Let me know when you need a hand," he comments, amusement following his words as his lips quirk into that smirking smile of his. Siebith seems relatively uninterested in the scene over all, though he does turn a glance towards the craft.

Thea just ignores D'had for a few moments as she crawls back towards the end of the craft and tries to catch that swinging boom. She finally snags it, this time she stays seated. She wipes angrily at her eyes, turns to look back at the dock. Her lips are pressed into a flat line and she answers irritably, "I asked you once; I won't do it again." She just sits, ignoring the tears that gather to replace the ones she dashed away, studying the way the sail is lashed for a few minutes before reaching to tug at the clasps binding it. The craft continues to drift further out.

"You asked and then you said forget it if memory serves," D'had points out, still standing at the end of the dock. He gives it a moment longer and just shakes his head. "Just hold on," he notes, diving into the water and swimming over being that she's drifted far enough that its not just a simple reach over anymore.

"I know." Thea's using D'had's favorite standby answer, though it comes out in a stubborn way. But then he is in the water and swimming, so she hushes watching somberly as he comes. She moves to be out of his way, at least knows enough to be where her weight can help balance the craft as he pulls himself out of the water.

D'had does just that, hauls himself up from the water and into the boat. At least she had the sense to take one of the smaller ones, which means lower sides that make it far easier for him to get in in such a way. It tips plenty in the process, but once he's in it settles back. "You okay?"

"No." Thea turns to watch the lake, tucking a bit of hair behind one ear without thinking about it. "I just…" She doesn't finish the thought. Instead she sits back in the bottom of the craft, rubs her hands beside her temples for a few moments before glancing at him, "Thanks for coming."

D'had raises a brow at that reply. He's not buying it, but then he's not commenting on it just yet either. "What? You think I'd let you float out to sea?"

"No I didn't." Thea says it quietly as she shakes her head, although she blinks at him with some puzzlement at that raised brow. "If you-" her eyes snap angrily and she falls silent, turning her head away. "Think whatever you like."

"I think," D'had starts, moving to unfurl the sail and secure a line as he talks, "That you try too hard sometimes." He's careful of where Thea is as he goes about the task, attempting not to drip on her too much if possible and of course there's the factor of the boom.

Thea turns back as D'had starts moving; she notes with interest what he does to raise the sail. She doesn't reply right away. Cautiously, "What exactly do you mean by that?" Wary confusion colors her voice. She's not sure she should expect a direct answer from the man. She's got that rebellious tilt to her chin again, but it's unintentional.

D'had focuses more on the work of checking things with the boat than he does to Thea's current expression, lifting a shoulder in a shrug of response to the question she poses. "Means exactly what it sounded like. Know its more of a 'do what I say not what I do' but its alright to ask for help sometimes."

And Thea watches, noting carefully the boat checking. She doesn't seem surprised by his answer. Exactly the kind of answer she thought he'd give, or so says her face. "I know," she says it shortly. Seems she's saying that a lot today. "It's just my way. It gets me through." So maybe not always so easily, but she doesn't voice that. "Can I help with any of that?" Meaning his checking the craft.

D'had got about the reply he was expecting as well. "Check that line there," he replies, pointing towards the one in question. "Make sure its tight, but not overly strained," he suggests, looking over one last check on his part before settling to a seat. "I know sugar, but don't mean ya should. Gets lonely after awhile."

Thea looks to the line he is pointing at, giving it an experimental tweak, causing it to twang. Unsure, she slants a questioning glance his way. "I know." And she does. "Tried it the other way, though." Her eyes cast out towards the horizon, she adds quietly, "It takes a lot out of a person when that 'help' simply disappears." She flashes a look his way, "And hard to ask for help when folks are busy being amused by the asking."

D'had nods slowly. "Suppose I ain't the one to really be talking about all that," he comments dark gaze finding the horizon. "Sit?" its more question than anything as he lightly pats the open seat beside him.

"If you say so." Thea closes her lips firmly on whatever she would have said next and sits on the seat. "So. How do you make this thing go where you want it to?" She wanted to sail, but the look she gives the flapping canvas now can only be described as stony.

"This," D'had notes the handle on which his hand rests, "is the rudder. Push one way, you go one way, other is the other. Just gentle movements." There's a pause then, but when he speaks again its still on that question, leaving anything else unsaid. "Wanna try it?"

Thea looks down at the handle, watching as he moves it, flickering up-down glances to see how it affects the skiff's course in the water. She nods, "All right." She places a hand on the rudder, attempting to move it as he did. She's not moving it much, but too far one way and the sail comes swinging their way. She sees it from the corner of her eye and flinches instinctively, ducking as it nears. The sail flaps limply and the motion of the craft slows. "What did I do wrong?" She's eyeing the sail with a bit of confusion.

D'had feels the movement of their small craft almost before the sail moves and he's jumping to a avoid being hit by the boom and b set it right. "Nothing wrong," he assures in the process, "just a little too much," he adds, finding his place beside Thea once again. One hand moves up to the rudder handle covering her's. "Hold it steady. Little movements when ya need it," he explains as he guides.

Thea notes where D'had pulls the sail to and the craft leaps as the sails fill once more. She keeps her hand steady on the handle, concentrating on how he moves it and on the feel of the skiff's response as it cuts through the water. Cool eyes flick from the sail to the open water before them. As they move the line of her shoulders relaxes and there's a look of delight slowly taking the place of pinched stress from her face. "It's almost like flying.”

"Almost," D'had agrees eyes half closed, drawing in a deep, yet quiet breath and letting it out slowly as if savoring some flavor it carries. That hand slides back, leaving the skiff once again in Thea's control.

Thea holds the handle as steadily as she can, only small movements as D'had had showed her. Their course is taking them straight out from the shore and the waves slowly increase in size. They aren't huge, but they are noticeably larger than they were. She's feeling the skiff climb, then drop into the trough of the waves moreso than before and shoots the Weyrsecond a nervous look. He doesn't look alarmed though, so she shrugs. It must be normal to move this way. "Sailing is a whole different thing than going to a deserted island." She finally answers his question, sort of.

D'had is quiet, but then has he ever been much of a talker? No, not really. "Hmm?" he questions the remark Thea makes, having been listening enough to hear that something was said, but not enough for the words to really sink in or make sense.

Thea makes a small, exasperated sound in her throat at that. "Was referring to your question about me being willing to risk being alone on a boat with you." She shrugs and dismisses her comment with a handflip as unimportant and falls silent, guiding the little boat as it rises and falls with the waves.

"Right, right," D'had repeats coming back to the conversation. Even though his eyes are once again open his gaze remains firmly fixed on the water stretching out in front of them. "You're doin good," he notes a touch awkwardly after another moment passes. "Sure this is your first time?"

Thea flickers a look at the Weyrsecond that can only be defined as confused. D'had, the glib flirt awkward? When does that ever happen? Her attention returns to the course ahead, eyes on those increasing waves just ahead even as she's nodding in answer, her voice cool, "Am I? Thanks. Perhaps you're a good teacher?" Afar out on the horizon a line of grey can be seen.

D'had has his moments much as he might try. Thea just happened to be lucky enough to catch one such occurrence? "Doin fine, only tried ta kill me once," he teases, tossing a wink her way before lips set into a line as he studies the horizon a bit more closely. "Probably about time to turn things around and head in though."

Turn it around? Well, okay. He did say how to steer, so turning around can't be -that- much different, right? Thea pushes the rudder handle sharply and the craft swerves, but an oncoming wave and the set of the sail combine to tip the craft completely on its side. As the mast hits the water, there's a dull snap towards the base. Thea doesn't have time to say anything, she's plunged underwater as the craft flips.

D'had isn't spared from overturning with the rest of the skiff even for all his ocean going skills (which haven't exactly been tested so much lately either). And so into the water he goes. He's quickly popping to the surface however, though not altogether avoiding to overturned vessel. A swat at it however has him finding his bearings and then its a glance in search of Thea.

Thea does not surface - at least not right away. When the water's surface is broken, all that emerges is one hand, flailing at the surface or near the broken mast. The lines float tangled out there and apparently that's what is keeping the junior from surfacing. That grey line on the horizon draws closer rapidly - a fast-moving front. The wind increases, piling those rolling waves higher. It's not a sudden change, but it is a steady one. At least the skiff is still floating, even if it is nearly upside down.

D'had panics. Well its controlled panic given years of riding search and rescue, but its panic none the less as he dives back under to help the junior to the surface. Not that the quickly approaching weather is making his task any easier.

Thea didn't have time to fill her lungs before her inadvertent dive and her struggles with the lines cause her heart to beat rapidly, depleting her oxygen levels faster than normally. The lines have snagged her leg at a level that keeps her nearly an arm-length below the surface. Between tugging at the tangle, she lifts a hand to try and let D'had know where she is, but that hand quickly looses movement. The craft is now rising and falling, jostled as it reaches the crest of the waves and dropping with a dizzying motion into the troughs.

D'had doesn't surface again, having found the well not so little problem of the ropes. This he wasn't ready for having been swimming before and without the usual belt knife that would have made the moment's task that much easier. As it stands however there's no instrument with which to cut the rope and so he's working at freeing Thea's foot without that assistance. The swell of the waves is a hindrance, but he does manage and as soon as the line is free he's pushing the weyrwoman towards the surface.

Thea's head breaks the surface of the water as she is pushed up. She isn't conscious, but her ribcage is smacked by the wave-tossed mast and it's enough to get her coughing and flailing to grab something to remain on the surface even before her eyes open. The clouds are overhead now, bringing with them wind-driven rain.

Siebith wasn't so far away given he was swimming when they'd left the docks, and well he's a dragon, so really he's never that far away. While D'had was working on those ropes, the blue was on his way and so that something for Thea to grab hold of might be the Donn's lifemate as well as any remainder of their small vessel. As for the weyrsecond, he breaks the surface moments after the goldrider. While that beating from the mast might have hurt, well at least the fact that she's coughing and moving are good signs. There's no pause to check however, no question of okay, before he's pulling them both to mount the blue. At least he's a blue, smaller in size than brown, bronze and certainly gold. This helps in mounting without straps, of course the fact that they're in the water and Siebith could actually get below them helps as well, the surge however only hinders.

Thea has grabbed the mast, but it's not a steady enough refuge as the waves cause the skiff to bob and roll, that mast dips under the water with Thea sputtering each time her head breaks the surface, too confused to do much other than to turn her head this way and that looking for D'had. She doesn't see him until his arms encircle her and she is towed over to Siebith and settled onto his back. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," the junior chatters between shuddering breaths. "I'm sorry…" Shock maybe? She can't stop repeating those words.

D'had isn't listening to Thea just now. Getting them situated and Siebith takes off once he's certain his passengers are safely aboard. Safely as can be without straps available at least. D'had leaning just so in attempt to be sure both he and Thea are in place and hopefully shield her from what he can of the pelting rain. Siebith is much more careful about his accent than he might otherwise be, the wind whipping could easily cause more trouble. The blue stays low to the water in attempt to avoid the nastier gusts higher up. Its certainly not the smoothest ride, but they're at least getting out of the storm. Only once they're on the blue's back and in the air does D'had make a singular attempt to soothe the woman, "Shhh."

Thea has the sense to grasp one of Siebith's neckridges as the blue rises from the water. However gentle the ascent, the force it takes to be free of the water has her sliding back and to one side on the wet dragon hide. She's got her eyes closed against the rain, focused on staying upright. She does hush when the Weyrsecond speaks, clenching her jaws to try and stop the shivering.

D'had holds tight to both junior weyrwoman and lifemate for the duration of the flight which is, thankfully, without too much further incident. The tossing of waves just beneath, the pelting of rain, the whip of wind all making for a less than enjoyable ride, but shore is reached and it's not so much beyond that line that Siebith sets down just outside his own shelter, lowering to the ground to allow the pair down as he waits for the door to be opened so that he too can get out of the terrible weather.

Thea would usually kick a leg over the blue's neck and slide down, but it takes too much effort, although she attempts it, it just hurts her bruised ribs too much. She uses a hand to assist her leg over and slides down, grunting at the jarring landing, short though the distance is and she braces a hand on her thigh to catch her breath. She pats Siebith's shoulder, "Thanks, friend." One hand lifts to shield her eyes from the rain, trying to see where D'had is as she's blinking the rain out of her eyes, "Uh, I'm sorry." Oh yes, not to say that. "Thanks." It's a chagrined and humble Thea that says it.

D'had is down to the ground only a second behind Thea, moving towards the door to let them all in and out of the rain. Siebith rumbles what can only be considered a 'you're welcome' to Thea, mentally assuring Seryth that he has made sure the woman is intact. "Come on," D'had is ushering her in and the blue is more than ready to get inside himself. They've already been drown they don't need to be any more wet, protest or not.

Continues in Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

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