Worries by the Waterfall

Occurs during I Can't Stop the Rain

Xanadu Weyr - Deep Forest Waterfall


"How could I have possibly missed this?" Anyone who frequently travels the deep woods between Xanadu Weyr and the mountains to the west might ask themselves that question upon stumbling onto this place for the first time. A waterfall, easily a hundred feet tall, dominates the immediate area, commanding attention. Like something from a storybook, it stands before you, flanked on either side by sentinel trees and mountain brush mired in stone-spotted soil. Water cascades over a beaten rock face at its peak, flowing down in a white-capped torrent to crash into a small, crystal clear pond below.

Not content to remain where it is, the pond appears to have carved a great trench into the earth, through which a stream now flows, traveling further west towards a massive rock wall in the distance. The stream bisects the area, and a narrow point some 30 feet away from the pond itself makes for an easy jump to the other side. The shore around the pond's immediate edge appears to be mostly soil and large slabs of rock, but that gives way to a grass field after only a few feet, a touch that gives the entire area an idyllic feel. The air is fresh and clean with the bite of cool mountain water and the tang of forest life. It is alive, this place.

It's absurdly late in the night now, being about two - maybe three - hours after the entire ordeal of rescuing Thea. Only an hour or so after Thea and Tenebrous left the infirmary, and Phylicia's hands bandaged lightly. While M'nol went to either ready his report, or give it, Phy had slipped out with a brief note explaining where she went, and why. But now the teenage girl appears randomly from behind the waterfall, following a near non-existant trail out towards the pond, and she just sinks with no grace onto one of the large slabs of rock at the pond's edge, staring up at the beautifully flowing waterfall.

Only a few moments after Phy re-emerges from the waterfall, M'nol appears in the sky atop his great brown. The pair land quietly and M'nol makes his way to Phy's form, sliding down beside her, "I left D'had a note with my report. I had to. How are you three holding up?" He blushes a little and holds out a small package, "Also, I got you these. They're real rider's gloves. Best wherhide you can get from the storage caverns."

Phylicia keeps her eyes on the waterfall, even though she knows M'nol is coming up along side of her. As he slides down next to her, an arm curls out to wrap around one of his, if he'll let her. "I don't know." She answers truthfully, one hand carefully wrapping around the package and resting it in her lap. "Thank you.." She says softly this time, not making eye contact just now, still staring at the waterfall. "Though it'll be a few days 'fore I wear 'em." Comes a weak chuckle. She's likely completely passed the exhaustion stage by now, which will catch up later with a vengence.

M'nol counters her embrace with one of his own, wrapping her up in a tight bear-hug. For a few moments he's silent. He's not really /crying/ per se, but a few spots of wetness find their way to his cheeks. Finally, he asks quietly, "What happened and how can I help?"

Phylicia's lungs protest the initial surprise of the bear-hug with a small 'hrk!' She somehow manages to make herself smaller, so the slightly taller girl can rest more comfortably against M'nol, digging her head into chest as she stares at her lap. She's trying not to cry, which is noticable by the clenching of her jaw. "I can't read him." She says at first. "He's so, so…" She pauses for an extremely long moment, searching for the right way to describe it. "withdrawn," she finally pinpoints a word which might describe Fetch, "that I just seem to say all the wrong things." Which result in just a few arguements, or at least semi-heated exchanges. "He makes it so sharding hard to /learn/!" Tenebrous wanted wailing females? That last sentance could be what the other healer was looking for.

M'nol hugs her as tightly as he can without suffocating her completely. He wasn't an expert, but he could see it was what she wanted and that was all that mattered for the moment. After another few moments of contemplative silence he speaks even more quietly, "You know him better than I, I think… and you're smart, you'll learn what not to say. I… I want you to be happy and this, well, it's not happy. But sometimes we need to… oh shards I can't find the words." He rocks her gently for a few more moments, "You learn every time he reprimands. You're already a different person than you were when you left to meet him."

Phylicia has started the same not-crying that M'nol has, tears slowly dripping down her cheeks without sobbing though there is an occasional sniffle involved. "It's a bit extreme out here." She supplies, trying to head off any concern for her slightly changing personality. "If you don't learn the first time, you might not get a second or a third chance." Thea is infact, lucky she's geting another chance after falling like that. Phy's arms stop sitting limply in her lap and wrap around M'nol in turn, squeezing has good comforting properties, and it's letting a lot of her frustration leak out of her. "I knew that going into all this."

M'nol nods, another plop of dampness sliding down from his chin, "Learning how to deal with your teacher is different than the learning that keeps you alive out here." He holds her tight to him, muttering quietly, "You're strong. More than strong enough to deal with this." He's still rocking gently, one hand having moved to cradle the back of her head, "And you know that if you're ever in serious danger Faraeth and I'll be here in an instant."

Phylicia laughs shakily. "/I'm/ strong?" She asks of his chest, her tone dubious. "I'm not strong." She corrects him then, her head shaking slightly as she continues to clutch at him. "Thank you for that." Her voice whispers, changing the subject to something slightly (and only slightly) less distressing. "I don't know what I would've done without you there to help."

M'nol chuckles softly, "You are, just not physically. Emotionally you're strong. It's part of why I love you." He continues to cradle her in his arms, letting her work off all of her harder emotions, the ones she hadn't been able to let out before. "You would have done what you had to. But I'll always be there for you."

Phylicia lapses into silence, unable - or maybe unwilling right now - to find anything does doesn't sound either exceedingly corny or just plain stupid. Sometimes a grateful silence is just the best thing as she stays imbedded in M'nol's hold and chest until she finally calms down enough to pull her head back, daring eye contact now though hers are a rimmed lightly with red. "Thank you… again, sweety." She chortles lightly squeezing him tightly.

M'nol continues to hold her to him in her silence. When she pulls back he smiles, "You're welcome, Phy." then he leans in, kissing her gently, "I… I have duties again soon, but I'll be through as often as I can." He doesn't look happy to have to leave, but even Faraeth was beginning to show some impatience.

Phylicia returns the kiss gladly and sweetly. "Go." She says, unwrapping her arm and twisting herself back so he could move if he wanted to. "One of his requests /was/ no visitors, but.." She trails off. "When I think they're not going to kill themselves from neglect somehow, I'll slip back to the weyr." And then she watches as he stands up and leaves, the large brown launching into the sky leaving her to resume her waterfall staring, melancholy thoughts running through her head.

Phylicia finally has enough of sitting out in the dark twilight, getting wet from the waterfall's mist and stands up, heading back towards the cave.

Rejoin the log I Can't Stop the Rain

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