THE Knot

Xanadu Weyr - Dreamweaver's Haven
Long ago there was a ship that plied the oceans in search of far off treasures, bringing her crew to lands unseen and adventures unforetold. Faithfully she rode the storms, birdlike she skimmed the glassy seas and majestically returned to port, proudly bearing her cargo and the lives entrusted to her. Time, however, is the enemy of all wooden hulls and the Dreamweaver's was no exception. Rather than see her rot to pieces, upon his retirement her captain took her and lovingly prepared her final resting place - a hull-shaped stone-limned cradle on the cliffs of Xanadu's coast overlooking her beloved home waters - the Sea of Azov. And there he made his home until *Between* called for him. Here, in the shadow of the lighthouse weyr that stands sentinel just beyond, she dreams.
The gangplank has long ago been replaced with a stone ramp, the masts, save for the centermost one and spars are gone but the shape is unmistakably that of a ship. The prow points towards the Weyr, the captain's cabin jutting out over the cliff. The gleaming teak deck serves as both porch and outdoor living space, finished in a weather-proof substance that preserves it. On the different deck levels, groups of rustic weather-proof furniture and potted plants are shaded by white sailcloth awnings.
Inside and below, the massive cargo hull serves as the dragon's living space, accessed on the downhill side through a yawning side hatch that can be closed by an ingenious pulley-lever system. Tightly-fitted ballast stones mortared to the inside curve of the hull form the couch. The Dreamweaver's levels are many, with mysterious rooms to explore, among them a galley complete with electric range and cooler, a dining hall with tables in place to host a good array of guests, a small library chock full of dusty, leather bound books, and a shadowy storage room filled with forgotten trunks - treasures the captain, having no heirs, never did manage to dispose of.

It's turned kind of ominous outside — clouds rolling in, thunder growling in the distance, but that's never bothered Zan'ri much. Still absent Rymrth, the rider's ambled down from the Weyr proper, limping only a little. The stiffness comes in his torso, but it isn't bad enough that he can't carry a bag with a flat bottom along beside him. Climbing up to the deck is a little more difficult, and the whistling rider does it without grace, but he manages anyhow. Knocking is for losers; Zan comes in like a hurricane, flinging the door open and brandishing the bag like a weapon. "I've come with food!" He booms, whether the weyr's occupant is nearby or not, starting off down through the Dreamweaver with heavy steps. Somebody's nice and considerate. "Cheese bread! With porcine belly, even. C'mon!" Stomp stomp stomp.

Luckily for Esiae and her poor nerves, she isn't in the immediate vicinity of Zan's whirlwind entrance. Sarima, on the other hand, screeees and has one of those fits that animals have when they want to FLEE and ATTACK and BE THREATENING and BE SMALL at the same time, the one where limbs go in literally four different directions and they skitter in a circle before finally, she flashes between. Esiae's head eventually pops up from one of the ladders leading into the weyr's depths. "Shells, man, what'd you do? Sari is pissed," the goldrider drawls with a grin, eyes lighting up as she spies the flat-bottomed bag he's carrying. "Oh, the food thing was real? Great. 'Cause I've got… shells, gimme a hand, will ya?" And really, it's a damn wonder she's made it as far up the latter as she has. One arm is stiffly bandaged from palm to mid-forearm, and is being used to press at least three bottles of alcohol to her person while her good hand clings to the bars of the ladder. She is also just a biiit tipsy and suspiciously utterly knotless, but shh.

Poor Sarima. Zan doesn't do much but laugh uproariously, lurching down halfway to try and placate the poor little firelizard before she disappears. "Come back, Sarima!" He tries, voice uneven with laughter, but alas. "Shells if I know," He greets Esi, looking vaguely harangued and lifting up the bag. "Maybe she didn't want the food?" It's offered in complete awareness that it's a ridiculous suggestion (the bread smells of cheese and bacon, honestly who wouldn't want it?), but Zan doesn't really seem to have any other ideas. The liquor bottles are taken in with slowly-widening eyes, and worry replaces amusement with a furrow between his brows. "Was the flight that bad? Shells." He frowns a possibly slightly exaggerated frown, dropping the bag on a convenient table and hunching over to grab away the bottles and set them just next to the table. And if he upsy-daisies the poor tipsy goldrider before she tries it herself, well. "You alright, there, glowbasket?" Smile. And, a peace-offering: "I brought pie, too."

Sarima's a big ol' bucket of NOPE though and likely won't venture out again until the man leaves, so that's a lost cause. Alas. Esiae doesn't seem too worried about it though, laughing for the man's ridiculous implication and rolling her eyes. "Ah yes, the bottomless stomach flees from the sight of food, mmhmm. And if you believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you. You're an awful liar," she says, but her grin doesn't dampen one bit. Well. It doesn't until he asks about the flight, and really, the question is far too innocent. Brown eyes squint warily up at him, good humor gone so she can give him a hard squinty look to see if he's being an ass or not, even allowing herself to be picked up without a fuss so she can better search his face. "You don't know?," she asks, having determined his innocence, not even batting an eye at the glowbasket comment, which ought to be his fir— well, second or third clue, really. "Pie. And cheesy bread with porcine on. But you don't know?" Hoboy. Hysterics incoming.

"It was a longshot," Zan admits, grinning lopsidedly, and squinting down the hatch to see if the pesky 'lizard's down there. Poor little thing. "Whatever. Lies are for amateurs anyhow." He waggles his head sassily, the sass there right up until she doesn't even kick up a fuss about being manhandled and catered to for either the little tipsy bit or the bum wrist. Her searching look doesn't go unnoticed; balanced on his heels, Zan frowns again, head canting to the side just a little like a curious canine. "I don't know?" The rider repeats, frown deepening. "What's wrong?" Captain Oblivious most likely hasn't noticed a damn thing all day, except maybe the fact that Rymrth's radio silent, but yanno. It's only dawning on him now, and okay. Maybe he's panicking a little, but only a little, glancing around slowly. "What happened?" A beat. "Hadn't seen ya, thought you'd need the pick-me-up. Y'know, 'Congratulations! Not proddy any more'. What's wrong?" The too-bright smile for the explanation drops immediately, and the rider goes back to eyeing the hall like it might explain what's gone awry.

"Ohh boy." This was… not what Esiae expected, that much is clear by her sudden frown, made more dramatic by tipsy dramatics. "This is… It's… You might want to sit down." A beat, and a glance of her own around the hallway, which is rather lacking in seating implements. "Not here. Let's eat in the living area," she says, pulling away and regathering her alcohol before wobbling that-a-ways. Once there, she sets all but one of the bottles on the table, keeping one and uncorking it with her teeth before taking a long draught. "Okay, okay." Commence pacing. "So, the flight, right? No big deal. Wasn't like it was the first time, and certainly have had worse ones but… I got home and… there was a box." This is not the best point to stop the story, but she does, the goldrider zoning off into the distance while still pacing. Zan miiight have to bring her back to Pern at this rate.

Zan'ri is possibly all for tipsy dramatics, or maybe he's just terrified that something else awful has happened, could go either way really. "Sit down?" At least six question marks are implied by the stress in his tone, but Zan's docile when he gathers the food back up and follows, frowning massively. It's impressive, that Esi's still managing three individual glass bottles and toothy uncorking, and no. He's not sitting down. Esi's pacing, and drinking, and wouldn't it just be their luck if she fell and busted her head open? "Okay." Zan parrots, but does hold still, turning his head owl-like to watch the pacing. "The flight." He agrees, and listens, nodding and frowning dutifully; and relaxing just a little. At least there's that. "Okay, good. Good. Not that bad." A beat. "A box." And this time it isn't so much a repeat as maybe a question, one that ain't getting answered just, uh, yet. Esi's too busy staring into space and pacing some more. Zan inches forward, planting a hand on the shoulder not attached to the injured wrist and making a valiant attempt at holding the goldrider still and maybe even making eye contact. Brave fellow. "There was a box. Tell me there wasn't a baby in it. I thought the Stork was slower." Oh, for Faranth's sake.

"Worse." Okay. Esiae has a flair for the dramatic. That's been established. But the wide-eyed, alarmed look she flicks up into Zan'ri's face when he finally stops her and asks her if it was a baby speaks volumes. "Worse than a baby." And at this point, he knows how bad that is, what with a little-girl-version of Zan running around the weyr, likely barfing up pickled eggs as they speak. "There was a knot. But Zan," she continues before he can say anything, her be-braced arm coming up to grip his shoulder right back as best as she can. "Not just a knot. THE knot." Her eyes widen even further, were that possible, encouraging him to put two and two together.

The combined power of their flair for dramatics is probably burning a hole somewhere in the bowl just about now. TERROR. "Worse?" Zan actually, honest-to-Faranth gasps, taking in the wide-eyed look with one of his own. "Worse than a baby." You can practically smell the pickled barf from here, and honestly, Zan looks a little like he might like to sit down. Or start suggesting exit strategies, since if it's WORSE than a brat, it definitely calls for them. You and I grab some provisions, highjack one of those rowboats…and then we…row back to Spain like there's no manana! "A knot. Esi." That's a 'don't continue that' if there ever was one, but no. No, she does, arm coming up to grip his shoulder in a terribly dramatic scene for something that actually is awful, bless her. "The knot. THE knot." Yep, he looks a little faint. Maybe he ought to have taken that seat. Instead, he gurgles a little somewhere in his throat and makes big, pleading eyes. "Not…that knot? y'know. That one?"

It's like a goddamn Spanish soap opera in here. Esiae nods numbly, not quite moved to tears, but her lower lip definitely wibbles just a bit. "So much worse," she confirms with the gravity of someone about to say they have cancer or something, not that they just got the promotion of a lifetime - literally. She knows that I've Got a Plan look when she sees it, but really, is there any weyr far enough away to escape this? "Yes. That knot. The last knot. The only other knot I could possibly get and a shardin' note sayin' "Congrats, the dude that won the flight is your new weyrleader." Who does that?! Faranth only knows who I could'a ended up with." Up goes the bottle so she can chug hard on it before passing it over to him, since he looks like he might faint if she doesn't. "Told ya you should've sat down." Because she's not entirely above ribbing him, apparently, even though both hands are raking back through her hair with a low groan.

Zan's processing, is all. It might as well be cancer, for all the responsibility and lack of life outside of it all, eating away at a person like Esi. And okay, maybe the slight reddening of his eyes and the suspicious brightness is overboard, but he bucks up and sniffs only a little. It ain't of pride, either. Promotion, schmamotion. "That not." He mumbles, still parroting, when she starts talking again — and then frowns. "A note? A NOTE?" And if his chest swells a little in rage, well, at least they're not in public. "What kind of," And the rider's voice has a note of hysteria to it, but then Esi's continuing, and that gravity sets in too, and he groans. "Ah, Faranth." The bottle is upended as soon as it hits his fingers, several glugs down the gullet before he can say anything else, or pitch a tantrum. Somebody (probably him, actually) is likely gonna need to go get some more soon, with them both chugging like they're still young and spry. "You were right." Zan nods seriously, then tugs on an elbow gently, trying to reach a chair. Somewhere more horizontal, anyways. "Shit. Faranth. She couldn't have given you some sharding *warning*?" Pause. "Shells." Articulated, this one.

"Don't even start," Esiae says with a directed squint for that sniffle, a peculiar gleam to her eyes as well, but she swallows it down, settling for sarcastic hysterics instead. "But yeah, a note. And I mean, she had to vacate the weyr the day beforehand just in case, you know? We all do. But she hasn't been back since, so I think she planned it you know? And the more I think on it, the more I realize it ain't a bad way out. Just skip out and come back when things have settled." Mic drop, in other words. "But shells it was… It's just…" Screechy pterodactyl noises make it out from between her hands as he leads her towards a wide, squashy chair. "And I mean… If she had asked me, would I even have said yes?! Ugh!" Head thrown back, she just stands there, staring at the ceiling before spinning into the seat and scootching to make enough room for him. "Been running over and over it in my head and it's all just a mess."

Zan'ri makes a grumpy, sniffly noise in the back of his throat, frowning fiercely. He's not. He's NOT, shut your mouth. "Yeah. Safe'n all." Zan agrees, still frowning, listening. He digests the agreeableness for a long minute, molars grinding just a little beneath the days-old scruff that is at odds with the wide-eyed worried look. "S'not a bad way out, so long as it ain't somebody skipping out and leavin' you." Glaring spectacularly at a bookshelf, he patpats at the side of the poor Weyrwoman's head, stroking awkwardly like she's an angry cat about to have a fit. Maybe she is, with those screechy noises and stiff refusal to sit in favor of staring into space. "I dunno. It's a cracked ol' shardin' egg, and she should have asked. Or at least left it up to Sony and the others." Zan sighs, squeezing his way into the chair too and kind of. Hovering. Like retroactive protective hovering might actually work. "'Course it's a mess. Sprung it on ya, now. Shells. So, that's this." He tips his chin to the bottles and smiles wryly. "Not been at it for very long, then. Still got time yet." Smiiiiiile! Obviously, telling the brand new Weyrwoman to get shitfaced is a great plan. Best influence.

'Angry cat' really does about sum Esi up. She doesn't really speak again until Zan'ri settles hoveringly into the seat next to her, and even then it's only to grumble a low line of swearwords as she shifts so she can sprawl across him and the chair both. If she had a tail, it'd be flicking unhappily. "I know. I know she should'a asked, or at least I think so, but like… It happened, yeah? I keep tellin' myself that, keep reachin' for the zen, but then reachin' for the zen turned into reaching for a bottle and… yeah. That turned into this," she says, laughing wryly at the liquor perched on the coffee table. She tugs the open bottle back from him and downs a healthy amount from it (best. influence. ever!) before passing it back, grimacing around the burn before thudding her head backwards. "Nah. Only just started a bit ago when the 'shit what do I do now' thoughts started caving in again." And, as if that reminded her, there go the hands and the screeching, though it's a little quieter this time. "What am I gonna doooo." Poor Zan. Poor, POOR Zan.

Zan'ri doesn't appear to notice the fact that he's acting as at least part of the chair, immediately setting to a soothing kind of head-petting. He even breaks out the scritching, nice and calming. Poor distressed kitty-Esi. "Shells." That's all he's really got for the 'it happened', staring dazedly at the warm ceiling for a minute and contemplating. "Zen's too far off. S'off with Innes, wherever the shardin' shit she is." Zan grumbles, making a face at a particular bit of decorative scrolling above a doorway. Damn scrolling. "Not the worst plan y'ever had. Remember the wherry chicks in the quicksand?" It's a wry attempt at humor at best — and dark, to boot, given the near-drowning of it all — but Zan still cranes his head so Esi can see the grin as he gives up the bottle. Yeah, he's totally the best influence. "Perfectly shardin' reasonable. Anybody'd drink. I'd drink." That's a surprise, right. Sure. The patting doesn't stop as the poor rider goes back to screeching, and he doesn't even make a face, just takes a drink and pats. "Well, here's the plan," His attempt at a devious tone needs lots of work, but there IS an attempt? "We grab some supplies. Then we sneak out, in the middle of the night, and take off to somewhere else. Not forever. Just while ya need to think. Eh? M'I good or am I good?"

Esiae snorts for the idea that the zen is off with Innes, chuckling a sardonic little chuckle before saying, "Ain't that the truth." She, too, stares at the ceiling, but it's the planking that gets her attention over the scrolling, eyes boring into it as though maybe she could set the ceiling on fire and then it'd cave in and maybe if she was burned up enough she could esca— "Hey! I never said that'n was a good idea. I just said it was an idea. That's usually when you speak up 'n try to dissuade me from making poor choices," she says as though trying to put that back on him, even though the memory has her laughing quietly and shaking her head up at the bronzerider. "Shards, but we were dumb." Were, or are? Hmm. "Ha! Shells. If you become weyrleader someday, I will bring you the drink," Esi teases, sighing and finally decompressing enough to lean into the pats. His plan has her perking up though, eyes bright with interest. "Can we? Right now I mean. I think they'd miss me come morning, but ain't nobody gonna come knocking for me tonight, I made sure of it. We can go somewhere - anywhere but here. If it's outside've Xanadu, Sony'll let me go myself if it's with you and Rymrth." He did suggest it!

"Is." Zan grumbles, and maybe if they kept glaring at the woodwork it'd spontaneously light up, but alas. Or maybe good for the Dreamweaver, actually, and for Esi too, bless. "An idea, good idea, what's the difference?" The rider sniffs, sticking up his chin and waggling it pretentiously. Like that makes their past selves any less insane, from time to time. "Nah, was a great idea, 'til the tide started comin' back." He sighs, wistfully, and waggles the somewhat emtpy bottle contemplatively. "We were not." He's got their past selves' back, whether or not they were actually completely stupid (they were). The deadpan delivery breaks off quickly into a rueful grin, though, and another waggle of the bottle. More liquor. The idea of becoming a Weyrleader prompts another gulp of the booze, and a twitching eye. "Perish th' thought, Esi." The giggle is a little strained, but thankfully she's actually game for terrible ideas, and Zan'ri is always up for going through with them. Almost always. This is not one of the times he'll back out, obviously. The rider considers for a long moment, then grins, eyes lighting up with something that's not quite mirth; maybe back to the dark humor. "Let's go visit the old caves. Only we'll have food. An' I'll bring the liquor. Got some brandy stashed for a rainy day. C'mon, it'll be fun." That's…one word?

Esi wrinkles her nose up at him with a grin for his pretention, but she doesn't argue the point. It's past, anyways, and wasn't the first nor last time they'd do a Dumb Thing. "True, damn that tide," she drawls instead, giggling just a bit. "We really were, though, Zan. We tried to take the Quinto for a sail. That was dumb," she says, brows tilting up at him. There's a slight wince for making him eyetic, but it's too late to take it back. Instead, she takes a turn at the wistful, heaving a heavy sigh. "Man. Was a day once I thought I'd actually be the one sailing on that ship for the rest of my life. Never in a million turns did I think we'd end up here. Not complainin', but… Shells." She leans her head a bit so it rests against him, a tacit 'glad I still have you' sort of gesture before his talk of the old caves brings a spark of defiant humor to her eyes. "Yeah. Shells yeah. We'll have food, and Ry, and shells, if it's peach brandy I'll about kiss ya," the goldrider drawls, rolling to her feet. "I'll pack an overnight back 'n tell Sony. Meetcha outside in ten?" Beam!

Faranth knows that's true — this isn't the most sane decision they've made, is it. "Guess we really oughta have known better." Zan'ri admits mournfully, pursing his lips in a dramatic pout. The reminder of their grand attempt at piracy gets a whimsical kind of grin, teeth flashing as he leans back to eye the ceiling for a moment. "Aw, that wasn't so bad. We would'a gotten further if it weren't for them meddlin' uncles." SIGH. Clearly, Zan's got some rosy glasses for memory. The heavy sigh brings him back from memory, and the sympathetic crumple of his face is quick. The patting is abandoned in favor of squeezing the rider's shoulders just shy of too-rough, his own sigh more a huff of air. "I know. You would'a made a great Captain, too, c'mon. Well, s'pose Sony saw the Bossypants in you. Just misdirected it." It's a weak attempt at humor at best, and Zan knows it, bopping heads with about as much gentleness as he can usually manage — not much — and resting sideways. Apparently, the mad lets-revisit-terrible-times idea goes over well; Zan's grin widens as he sits further up, eyebrows creeping up. "Yeah, Ry too! For fire! Without rubbin' blisters in." Nosewrinkle. "Is there any other shardin' kind of brandy?" He huffs, following the to-feet just. You know. In case the drink's caught up at some point. Doesn't seem to have yet, so the rider grins broader and nods, collecting the bottles. "You got it." And he's off! At least he's not wobbly.

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