Xanadu Weyr - Nature Gone Wild Weyrbarn
The victim of one of the major storms to pass through the Weyr this past turn or so, this weyrbarn stands amidst the majestic trees of the forest like a testament to rebuilding and carrying on. Though it used to be little more than a shack, with a lot of hard work and effort, this structure has been returned to its former magnificence. Broad boarded dark wood walls rise two stories to a slate roof, a stone chimney rising up along the right wall crafted from smooth river stones. Windows with shutters often stand open, glass panes also propped up to invite breezes, or closed and latched to keep out the weather.
A smaller human sized door is nestled within the larger dragon sized one, and walking in you are treated to the vastness of space. Much of it given to Kalsuoth's couch on the left side of the building, the worn stone comfortable and perfectly sized for the brown. The human part has been built up from nothing, with fresh wooden floors laid and new furniture brought in. The walls are left to their natural wood, though many of the cabinets have a fresh coat of blue paint, and fabric accents also hold hints of blue and green to soften all that brown from the natural wood. A sitting area on the right side is reached up a few steps, nestled near to the fireplace. Beyond, the open floorplan boasts a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as a spacious bathroom with a wide, deep tub. A spiral staircase leads to the top floor, where there are two bedrooms - only one currently in use - and an office.
Just the kind of fixer-upper Thea would recommend for her son, if indeed she had anything to do with assigning the dwelling. It builds character, right?
NOTE: Slightly mature themes ahead!
What was supposed to be a typical evening turned awry fast. Late fall and the bite of winter can be felt. Chilly rain falls from a grey sky that is growing darker as evening sets in. It's bleak and raw, the wind blows from the east. Inside the weyr though, it's cozy and warm. Kiena had set a fire in the hearth with dinner simmering away in a pot while she waited on Mur'dah to return. She had dozed off however, only to be woken up when he came home soaked to the bone. What was meant to be done in kindness was taken entirely wrong by Kiena (no surprise there) and led to some emotions running high — namely her temper. Poor Mur'dah. It took Kiena a long time to come around and see reason and after much patience and talk… her mood shifted again. This time to HIS benefit! Which sees them now cuddled on the couch and Kiena in a much better mood…
Mur'dah slips his arms around her body, hugging her close to him with a low moan. "Kiena…I love you so much. So, so much," he murmurs, a hand sliding down to rub her belly gently. "And I love this little one too. Already…"
"I love you too," Kiena whispers, her eyes drifting closed as he hugs her close and she returns it as best she can, nuzzling against his shoulder and neck. Her smile widens when he rubs her belly and she laughs quietly. "Already? You don't even know if it's a daughter or son…" she teases him.
Mur'dah chuckles. "Does it matter?" he asks lightly, grinning down at her and brushing hair away from her face.
Kiena's smile turns into a grin and she looks up at him. "No, it doesn't." she chuckles and settles comfortably against him. Quiet for a spell, when she speaks again it's in a soft voice. "I think I may have come across a possible name?"
Mur'dah continues to gently caress her skin. "Oh?" he asks, his voice low. Curious, yes, but also sated and relaxed.
"Keruthien," Kiena murmurs as her eyes drift closed and her smile remains relaxed as she savours and enjoys his continued caressing. She will, however, open her eyes to look up at him to gauge his reaction. "I know… traditionally names should start with yours. I just could not get anything to work with Muir or Mur… Not unless we're having a little girl. Keruthien… is a good boys name. Can call him Keru or Thien for short and… he's plenty to chose from if he ever Impresses…" Geez, talk about planning ahead?
Mur'dah's nose wrinkles and he nods. "Yeah, my name is not…very forgiving. I like it. Keruthien…Keru…Thien…I like that one a lot." Then he grins. "K'ien, Th'ien, Ke'thi…yeah. There's a lot there to work with."
Kiena leans up to gently kiss his cheek. "Your name is fine and suits you perfectly. Your child will still have elements of yours." And that's all that matters in the end! She smiles broadly and looks relieved when he seems to take to it so well. "Then we'll keep that one for a boy?"
Mur'dah nods. "Yes! I like that one a lot. It…it fits. It's got everything in there I wanted."
Kiena quirks a brow, "Does it?" Really? She seems surprised that she lucked out and after scrapping so many names, the ONE she decides on is one he likes too. What luck! "Keruthien it is then," she murmurs, looking down as she rubs her hand along her belly.
Mur'dah smiles. "Agreed," he murmurs, kissing her hair softly. "So do you think it is a boy?"
"I've no clue," Kiena admits with a low chuckle and another smile for his kiss to her hair. "I had no idea the first time and I wound up with twin girls. So it could be… another girl? A boy? Both?" Her nose wrinkles a bit. "Shards, I hope not twins again… Healer's say they don't seem to think so…"
Mur'dah winces. "Both? That's…ugh. I hope it's only one," he says, running his hand over her belly. "Is there one type you're hoping for?"
Kiena laughs and grins up at him. "And if it's two? Or even three? What then?" she teases him and subsides into quiet chuckling. "Mhm… I am hoping for a son."
Mur'dah laughs. "If it's two we'll have Keru and Thien." Easy! "Three? Uh…" He grins. "It's not three." Nuzzling her hair, his hand continues to gently brush her belly. "It'd be nice, to have a son…"
Kiena snorts and rolls her eyes but she doesn't argue it. That's actually a stroke of genius if she ever did pop out twins! "And how do you know?" she teases him about the possibility of triplets. At his nuzzle, she smiles and relaxes further under his touch. "I thought so too and I'd be… very happy to be the mother to your first born son and child."
Mur'dah shrugs, looking at her belly. "Don't seem big enough for three. Hardly big enough for two…" He smiles lovingly at her, his eyes gentle. "Me too, little bird."
"I wasn't that big either with the girls," Kiena informs him and its just his luck that she seems flattered by his comment on her "size" rather than insulted. "Then we can hope its a boy, but I will love our child even if its a little girl." Kissing him, she will settle down against his body and fall silent for a moment until she speaks up, thoughtful and almost a bit hesitant. "… Mur'dah? I've been thinking on a few things…"
Mur'dah smiles. "Of course! I will too. I already love your two girls…" He trails off and gives her a curious look, even though his nerves spike a bit. "What?"
Poor Mur'dah! Kiena's putting him through his paces tonight. "I know you do. You've always been wonderful with them and they adore you," she whispers, nibbling at his neck and then gently resting her hand against his chest in a calming manner. "… well… I guess most important is is when it's time, y'know, for the baby? I want to have it here. Not on the couch but… y'know. Here." Somewhere. "With Healers." Duh. "A midwife or something…"
Mur'dah blinks a bit, looking around his - their - weyrbarn. "Here? In…in our weyr? Not in the infirmary?" He doesn't seem thrilled with that idea, he seems more concerned.
"It's how it's done in the smaller holds," Kiena explains patiently, realizing that he'd be concerned and probably expecting it! "I know… it's not ideal but in my head it makes no difference. Only that I am home and not… out in the infirmary where everyone can hear…" Which is one issue of many. "… It's winter time too, Mur'dah. If I'm right in calculating, our child will be born in the heart of winter. What if there's a storm or its too icy?"
Mur'dah shifts. "I…well. I mean it's your decision but…" His brows furrow. "Healers would still be here?"
Kiena shakes her head and gives him a playful nudge to his chest with the palm of her hand. "It is your decision too, Mur'dah! I need to know your thoughts and opinions on this, even if they go against my own." Healers? She snorts, almost scoffing, "As much as I dislike them, yeah… I'll — I'll start looking at midwives. Dunno if Kera is trained for overseeing births…" Uh?
Mur'dah blinks. "Kera? Um. No. I want someone…uh. Better. She's..yeah. No. Senior Journeyman at /least/, preferably a Master…"
Kiena tilts her head and has to bite her lower lip to keep from laughing. It's bad enough the giggling creeps into her words as she stifles back her amusement. "A Master, eh? I meant that Kera'd likely be assisting though usually a midwife is more than enough. It's what they do after all…"
Mur'dah frowns at her laughter. No laughing! This is serious! "I think it'd be way too odd having Kera here. But if you want her…sure. But. I want the best."
Kiena is being serious! Kind of. She's just… attacked by a sudden fit of the giggles which resurface again when he points out how odd it'd be if Kera was there. She has to clap her hand over her mouth and it takes her a few breaths to calm herself. "Eh… maybe you're right. Too… personal. So what makes the "best" for you then? Experience? Bedside manner?"
Mur'dah nods. "Experience. Lots of experience. And bedside manner too, yes. Someone you're comfortable with, someone I want in our home. Someone highly recommended."
Kiena can't help it and rolls her eyes a bit. Jays, she's going to need a notepad! "Alright… alright, I think that's possible… You wanting to be here then when I speak to a few midwives? See if one, uh… matches your tastes?" Her mouth twitches again with her withheld amusement. Don't laugh, don't laugh…
Mur'dah nods. "Of course. I should prepare a list of questions we can ask them…"
Kiena's resolve breaks and she bursts out into another fit of giggling that is so strong that she can't even talk but the look she gives him, aside from being amused, is loving. It'll last almost a minute before she's calmed herself down, wiping at her eyes. "If I didn't…know better…" she says between chuckled breaths. "…you're having the baby and not me…"
Mur'dah blinks, surprised at her laughter. But he's stubborn about this, expression setting. "You'll be having the baby and I'll be making sure things run smoothly. This is stuff we should figure out ahead of time, because I can't imagine in the moment you're going to want to make these decisions."
If there's anything more a mood killer, it's when your partner doesn't join in on the laughter. Kiena's amusement fizzles out when he remains so serious and almost to the point that she looks ashamed for her outburst. "Well… no. I mean, that's why I brought it up? I just… wanted to be sure you were okay with it being here in our weyr first. The rest is — well…" Of course she'd work it out!
Mur'dah nods. "I am okay with it as long as Healers are here as well." Yeah, he's kind of serious about it. It's her health! The baby's! He couldn't bear to lose her. Not now.
"Mur'dah," Kiena's voice is soft and she reaches up to cup his cheek. She's serious now too as she looks up at him, no trace of humour in her eyes or voice. "Of course there will be Healers here and a very well trained midwife. Do you think I would settle for any less?"
Mur'dah shakes his head slowly, but there's a spark of worry in his eyes. "I just…I want you to be safe," he says quietly.
Kiena smiles softly but her voice speaks in a soothing and reassuring tone. "I'll be safe, Mur'dah. It'll be alright," she murmurs and perhaps half of that is said to convince herself too! "This is how it's done in the Holds. I know what to expect this time too…" Not that she's anymore thrilled about it.
Mur'dah slides his hand against her face, his touch gentle, his expression deep and mixed. "Okay," he says quietly. He's not completely convinced. There is a lot of worry there. Between is safe too. Flying to a home hold is safe too. Safety…means nothing.
Kiena tilts into his gentle touch and she's not blind to that deep and mixed expression. "Not okay," she counters with a small frown. "It bothers you, doesn't it? Why?" she asks softly as she rubs her hand along his chest.
Mur'dah exhales softly, closing his eyes and leaning into her touch, his head tilted forward. "I just…I can't lose you," he whispers. "Thinking…about the /birth/. I'm…I'm scared."
That makes two of them! Kiena shifts to sit up a little more to be on level with his head. Resting her forehead to his, her hand will also caress up along his neck. "You won't lose me, Mur'dah," she whispers. There's a chance though that things could go horribly wrong, but she's trying to hold her confidence in check too. "It's okay to be scared, but I'm tough. If I can birth twins before I'm even eighteen Turns, I think I can handle this?"
Mur'dah slips both arms around her body and hugs her /tight/ to him, his face buried against her neck. "I love you, Kiena," he whispers. "You're…you're all I've got left…"
Kiena grunts both in delight and surprise when he hugs her so tightly to him and her expression softens as her fingers reach to stroke through his hair. "I love you too, Mur'dah." she whispers back, only to startle at his next words. "You've your sisters though? Your family…" she reminds him gently as she kisses the top of his head and hugs him close.
Mur'dah just shrugs. He and Marel are distant, he and Darsce…are as they've always been. He hasn't been back to Cold Stone since his mother's death. His father is still a drunk. He's rebuilding what he lost with Kiena.
Kiena takes his silence to mean that her reminder was probably not the best one to point out and the smile she gives him is a little sad. "You won't lose me," she promises. "Alright? There's risks with births but they're not common. And I had no issues with the girls." Aside from them being twins. Resting her head back to his shoulder, she will take one of his hands and gently place it on the curve of her belly. "It won't be long now. Just a little over two months to go… and it'll be over."
Mur'dah presses his hand gently against her belly and exhales, taking a slow breath to calm himself. "I love you," he whispers softly.
"I love you too," Kiena murmurs back and leans forwards to try and kiss him gently and tenderly. As she leans back, she will look at him searchingly. "Are you alright? … you sure you're okay with this?"
Mur'dah kisses her back and smiles, brushing hands through her hair. "Of course I am," he whispers. "Of course, and I'm excited. I'm just…scared at the same time too."
Kiena chuckles softly and leans into his touch. "That's normal," she tells him and then sighs softly, reaching down to gently rub her hand along her belly. She grimaces a bit, "Ugh, he's moving around in there again…" Uncomfortable, she shifts against Mur'dah and with an apologetic look she moves to sit with her back against the couch. Stretching out with her feet in front of her, she exhales, both her hands now resting against her stomach.
Mur'dah loosens his hold so she can move, but he still presses close, almost hovering over her. "Do you need anything?"
"I'm fine!" Kiena's quick to tell him, giving him a look for how close he comes to hovering over her. "I'm alright," she says again in a gentler tone and smiles. "I think though… that we should eat? I did spend some time making that stew." Which is now probably cold but she's not going to complain.
Oh yeah, the food. "I'm sure it's delicious," he says, quick to stand and hasten to the kitchen to prepare them both bowls of the stew. Cold? He doesn't care.
Kiena blinks at his abruptness and the way he hastens ingot he kitchens and she can't help but laugh, "I'm sure it is — I made it!" she teases him. "Fresh bread there too, lover, if you'd be kind?" And bring it. Bring it ALL! Her appetite is back and she waits eagerly for him to return with their meal.
Mur'dah grabs the bread and some butter too off the counter, carrying it all over a bit precariously to set it down on the klah table in front of the couch. "This looks delicious, thank you," he says, offering her a kiss before he stops getting in the way of her mouth and the food.
Kiena sets upon the food after returning his kiss in her typical ravenous fashion. Despite that, she eats neatly — not that it matters if she spills as she's not wearing any clothing. After her third slice of bread, she brushes a few crumbs away and then settles back against the couch with a quiet groan of sated hunger. MUCH better! "… I've also been thinking…" she begins to tell him, pausing as she looks over to gauge his reaction. Oh great. What NOW?
Mur'dah darts her a worried look at that. Uh-oh? He hastily swallows. "Yes?"
"I'll try for my Journeyman knot after the baby is born," Kiena goes on to say and smiles. Can he breath easy now? That sounds like GOOD news! Only, with her, there is always a catch! "If they'll allow it. Took forever just to get to Senior Apprentice and then I wasn't really able to progress much as Weyrsecond. But… it couldn't hurt to try?" Right?
Mur'dah exhales. Good. This /is/ good news. "I think that's wonderful! And they'll allow it. I mean, can't riders go as high as Senior Journeyman? They have to let you progress. You'll have the time, the energy…you should do it."
Kiena isn't always full of bad and depressing news! She brightens considerably with his reaction, taking confidence from his words. "Yeah, Craftriders can go that high. Time and energy isn't the problem. It's my skill. I started late in the Craft and well… you know a rider's devotion is to their dragon first so Crafting has always been second — or third, fourth in my case. Guess… Maybe you're right. Maybe I ought to do schematic sketches or at least read up on theory while I'm otherwise incapable of Smithing…" Prepare herself.
Mur'dah shakes his head firmly. "You have the skill. The potential, at least, and you have the desire to learn the techniques. I'm sure you'll do it."
Kiena smiles and ducks her head down, almost sheepish, as she sets her empty bowl aside. "Thanks, Mur'dah." she murmurs, casting him a fond sidelong glance. Settling herself comfortably, she will rest her head against the back of the couch, her eyes closed as she lapses into silence for a moment. "… there's another thing I've been rattling around in my head…" Jays, is she ever going to stop? Probably not. Poor Mur'dah.
Mur'dah was just about to stand, wondering if she also made dessert, but when she says that he settles back against the couch with an inward sigh. "Yes?"
Oh, there's dessert! She made a pudding and it's in the ice box. Knowing her too, she'll make a quip about how there's pudding AND pie but they both know that the 'pie'… is code for something else entirely. "Ever consider…" she begins, then hesitates as she carefully picks her words. "… not that I'm saying it will happen or have to but… Ever wonder what it'd be like to be an independent rider? Y'know. No Weyr or whatever."
Mur'dah looks surprised at that, turning to watch her. "Are you unhappy here?" He's totally not answering her question.
Kiena starts as well when he turns to look at her and doesn't answer her question but instead throws a very difficult one right at her. How's she supposed to answer that? Her mouth works silently for a moment and she blinks, frowning. "I — well… yes and no? No, because this is where you are and my girls and I am fond of the Smith's I work with… There's Kera too… That makes me all happy" So her weyrmate, her daughters, her comrades at work and her friend are the happiness she has. "But beyond that… Dunno. There's just been so much… sadness and hurt too. And loss."
Mur'dah nods, looking around his weyrbarn. The weyrbarn he built himself. "I know what you mean," he says quietly. "No, I've never thought about it. But. Doesn't mean I /won't/ think about it…"
Kiena catches him looking around the weyrbarn and her gaze does the same. She forgot that this was his. Built himself. "It wouldn't be easy," she admits and shifts closer to his side. "And I'll stress that this is just a thought. Something that… just popped into my head while I was here." Bored out of her mind and with nothing else to do but think. "A 'what if'. Always been — kind of fascinated by the Independent riders." she admits shyly and then sighs. "To be your own person! No Leaders, though I hear Ierne Weyrhold has a.. a WeyrLord? I think?" Now how cool is THAT. "But they're voted in. Not ruled by flight. Riders can have their own business and trade. It's just… tempting because of the freedom it promises. But there's always a catch. Bet it's a doozy too."
Mur'dah slips his arm around her shoulders without hesitation. He nods, silent as he listens. "Do you know what the catch is?" he asks quietly. "What would your business be? Smithing?" And what would he do? He's only ever done /this/. Born and raised here, and his one trip outside the weyr didn't go so well.
Kiena shakes her head and snuggles close against his side and under his arm. "Nope. Not a shardin' clue. If I could still fly and go Between, I'd ask around Ierne but I'd have to imaging there's a downside to it. Nothing is ever perfect," she mutters and then chuckles. "What else do you think I'd do? Smithing, yeah. You could probably still do transport and courier work. Always a need for it." Which means the pay would be good? Sensing she may sound made up in her mind, Kiena tilts her head up to brush her lips against his cheek. "All just thoughts, Mur'dah. I'm not going to go rogue overnight or anything like that…"
Mur'dah nods. "Maybe I'll ask around, if I see anyone from there on my duties," he says quietly. Then he smiles, turning to kiss her hair in return. "All just thoughts," he echoes. He doesn't seem worried, but his eyes travel over his weyrbarn again.
Kiena smiles up at him fondly and lovingly, tilting her head a bit so she can meet his gaze when he isn't surveying his — their — weyrbarn. "If you don't run into one… maybe once the baby is born and weaned… we can go on a trip there? I've never actually been. I just keep hearing about it."
Mur'dah smiles. "Okay," he agrees, bending to softly kiss her lips. "It's a plan. I've been a few times but never /been/. Just making deliveries." Hardly counts.
Kiena returns his kiss and then tilts her head curiously, "I'm not sure I get what you mean? Oh…" Then it dawns on her! "Just strictly for work? You've… really never explored anywhere else?"
Mur'dah shrugs. "Sometimes I have down time before deliveries and I'll wander, but with Ierne it's always been a touch and go type of visit."
"Really? Is it just because of the type of delivery?" Kiena asks curiously and may only be realizing now how little she ever asks him about his work. She certainly seems intrigued now!
Mur'dah nods, "Yeah, well. I've got a pretty tight schedule to keep and I don't usually have the time to just hang out. Unless something is built in while I'm waiting for someone to bring me something, I've got to move on to the next. Can't keep someone waiting elsewhere because I want to go shopping."
Kiena chuckles softly. "Okay, I get your point." she drawls, grinning up at him. She does, however, snicker at the end. "Shopping? Is that all you would do if you had the chance to explore a new place?"
Mur'dah waves a hand. "Shopping, wandering exploring, you know. Whatever."
Kiena laughs and playfully bats at his hand when he waves it. "Uh huh. You make it seem so uninteresting!" she teases him and then yawns mightily. All that emotional turmoil, their make-up romp and then a heavy dinner has her sleepy. "Bed?" she mumbles. Looks like dessert is waiting until breakfast. In the morning.
Mur'dah doesn't even know there's dessert, so he won't miss it. "Bed," he agrees, rising and then gently helping her to her feet.
Then he'll find out about it in the morning! Kiena smiles and takes his hand as she pushes to her feet. Grabbing her robe, she'll slip it on but loosely, not bothering to tie the sash too tight. "When's your next shift?" she'll ask sleepily and he better stick close to her as she navigates those stairs. By the time she's reached the top she's exhausted and fighting off another yawn.
Mur'dah has to really think about that, and then he grins. "Tomorrow around noon." He can sleep in! If she lets him. Up the stairs he leads her, and into the bedroom where they'll settle into their bed for the night, Mur'dah making sure she's comfortable before he drifts off.
Nope. There will be no sleeping in for him! Kiena will settle comfortably for now and be asleep before he's drifted off but it won't last. She'll have one of her restless nights and though she'll try not to, she's bound to wake him up not long after dawn. At least she'll be apologetic? And make it up to him in ways that need no further explanation. He'll get his dessert, alright and a little extra too before he has to head off to his duties. Kiena will keep her promise, if it ever was one, and stay busy. First thing to do? Check in with the Smithcrafters!