A Shoulder

Xanadu Weyr - Thea's Weyr

This clearing is sheltered by a thick canopy of trees, which seems supported at its centre by an immense, wild-growing fellis tree. Hanging from one of its high branches is a swing, made up of two ropes and a seat of softwood and leather. The grass is tall here and interrupted in places by clusters of white and blue alyssum. Alyssum covers the indentation of the wallow, remaining hardy despite being continually crushed. The constant sound of herdbeast in their pens can be heard close-by, though its source is invisible through the foliage.

The cottage itself is made of white softwood, like birch, though creeping vines cover all four of its walls from the outside and even encircle the brown-shuttered windows and matching door. The interior floor and walls are raw wood that has been sanded and lacquered to make them smooth and, for the most part, the inside is quite spacious. The bedroom area is plain, an ornately carved wardrobe providing the only real decoration, and at the rear of the cottage a brown lattice has been built into the doorway to a makeshift kitchen, where a breakfast nook has been carved into the wall, along with short counters. On one counter, a circle has been cut out and fixed with a clay-fired bowl with a nearby matching pitcher.

It's still winter, on the day that Stormhaven virtually got evacuated. Only now the sun has long since set, cloaking the entire Weyr in darkness. This doesn't seem to stop Phylicia from tracking down exactly which weyr is Thea's however. She's dressed in her fly-away blouse outfit, though over that is the coat she got from Tenebrous as she huddles slightly against the cold, rapping gloved knuckles against the weyrwoman's door hoping she isn't asleep. "Thea?" Comes her tentative voice. Unlike others, she's not going to just barge in.

It's a sleepy-eyed Thea that opens the door, dressed in a hastily-donned robe, her hair mussed. So it's looking pretty much like she just woke up. Behind her, coals still glow in the fireplace bathing the room in a soft orange glow. For a moment she blinks rather dazedly at Phylicia, before her sleepy-voiced, "Hi. Is… everything all right? Tenebrous?" There's faint alarm in her tone and worry in her eyes. The cold air around her bare feet is a reminder. "Come in, come in! It's freezing." She steps back to allow Phylicia to enter, closing the door behind her and gesturing toward the small table. "Want some tea?"

Phylicia at least doesn't have the over-night satchel she had packed up with her, but her face is still slightly splotchy from too much crying in one day and her eyes look red. "Ten's fine." She says her usually light tone not so light as she steps into Thea's weyr, letting the door close. "Or as fine as he gets." Her good humor that she had when she slipped away from M'nol is quickly slipping away from her as she nods silently to the offer of tea. At this point in time, she wouldn't care if it was tea with fellis in it. It's warm and it might work at soothing her a little bit. "Please." And then the fact Thea's in a robe hits her. "I didn't wake you, did I?" Well, not that she'd leave now that Thea is awake.

The cottage is empty save for Thea, who sighs out a breath of relief she doesn't know she was holding gives Phylicia a concerned look for her tone. The light in the cottage is too dim for her to see the girl's face clearly, but her posture is telling that there is something wrong. "Yeah. The fellis for my headaches kicked in. Been sleeping since this afternoon." She moves to the fireplace, carefully adding two logs, which catch almost immediately. While there, she grabs the kettle she keeps hanging over the coals and heads for the kitchenette. Cups and tea tin are snagged with her free hand, the cupboard door is shut with her elbow before she steps back to that table. "Chamomile okay?" The firelight grows and she's able to see her friend's face, her voice is gentle as she asks, "Wanna talk about it?"

"Maybe with a touch of willow, if you still have any?" Phylicia sheds her coat and gently sets it by the door yet out of the way. The tea itself will help mostly with her aching head, but some willow bark couldn't hurt. "Sorry." She says, for waking the weyrwoman. Phy has at least brushed her hair since her long soaking bath earlier today, so as she runs her hand through it, it just falls back naturally. "I.. I think so. I don't … really know what to do." At least it doesn't look like she'll dissolve into tears this time. Or at least not yet. And Thea might be relieved, by Phy doesn't press at all about the headache or her sleep schedule, or anything else healer-y. She's just here.

Thea places the mugs and tea tin onto the table, pours the hot water, then sets the kettle to one side, returning to the cupboard for another tin. She's back and sliding into one of the chairs, offering the tin to the healer. "There's willosalic, mint and rosemary in this one." She waves away the apology, "I've been sleeping too much. Need some awake time." Her smile is wan and she abruptly admits, "I… miss being at the cave." Which doesn't really say all her thoughts… She flickers a glance at her friend, noting the signs of crying now that the logs are snapping merrily and spreading the scent of applewood smoke to mingle with the aromatic tea. "I can listen," she offers as she selects chamomile to steep in her cup. "Tell me about it."

Phylicia sniffs the container carefully before deciding which tea she'll use. Putting some of the willosalic into her own cup she then slides into one of the remaining chairs, brushing the offending bangs out of her face again. "I kind of miss it too, but.." She pauses and sighs. "I wanted to see M'nol." She wanted to relax a little more, not that the cave wasn't relaxing at times. She stares at the steeping herbs for a few seconds before she inhales. Part of her is wishing for a stirring stick to poke at the tea with, something to keep her hands occupied. "But it didn't go so smoothly." She's trying to keep her detachment with her because she /really/ doesn't want to start crying again. Her head hurts enough. "I got back, just after dawn. And he… he was already waiting. I'm not sure how much he's slept recently."

"It didn't hmm? Trouble then?" Thea immerses the bag in her cup, then snaps her fingers. "Forgot the sweetener!" She's up and heading back to rummage in her cupboard, turning her head over her shoulder, "Is he… upset you're off with Tenebrous learning botany?" The obvious guess. She turns back to shift contents in the cupboard muttering, "It was right here…" Then she observes aloud, "His girl off in the forests alone with an attractive man. He might be jealous?" She doesn't find the tin she's looking for, so turns. "Oh, shells. It's already on the table!" On her way back, she selects two spoons from a drawer and offers one to Phylicia as she slides back into her chair.

Phylicia actually snorts softly as she takes one of the spoons and dips it into the sweetner, adding a small amount to her tea before stirring it in and prodding at the little bag of herbs, shaking her head. "I'd almost prefer he was jealous of Ten. Not that there's anything to be jealous /of/." She has eyes in her head, plus she still -at least technically- has a sweety. One hand waves as she gives a weak laugh which sounds more like a huff of air as the moisture in her eyes increases. "Sometime while we were at the cave, he was delivering a message to Ista." And apparently got side tracked at the pub. Deciding her tea has stepped long enough, she takes a sip of the tea and exhales. "And .. it gets messy. Neither Faraeth /or/ M'nol can remember what happened besides the fact there was a flight near by." Oh, that's a great place to leave off as she picks up the cup and takes a few more careful sips.

"Well, boys think differently, you know?" Thea grins at the snort, but doesn't comment to that. Her own cup gets some attention as she removes the spent tea bag, adds the sweetness and stirs. She's leaning on her elbow and listening carefully to Phylicia then. "Ah.. flight. Hmm. Those can be… inconvenient, but he is a rider?" Her tone says she doesn't see the problem, "Faraeth chase, did he?" Her own mug is lifted, sipped from before she lowers it to peer at her friend carefully. "You know riders can't exactly control the… desire that the dragon emits to his rider, right? You sort of… get lost to it. Well, there's no 'sort of' about it. It's… totally overwhelming."

Phylicia's head droops slightly as she sets the cup back down. "I don't know if Faraeth actually chased or not." She replies with a sigh before continuing on. "I would've been okay if he ended up with another rider." Or, more okay than this. "But he ended up in bed with some wench who wasn't!" A slight anger makes her cheeks flush, her lips drawing into a tight line for a few moments as she shoves her temper back down. "Then apparently, he goes running around getting bloodwork done because he can't remember and finding ways to.. to.. soften me to the news." In all actuality it might have been the way it was delivered rather than one or two of the deeds done. And a few single tears role down her cheeks before she wipes them away in an annoyed fashion, though that's all there seems to be. "Now he wants to take me on a little vacation somewhere, when I'm crashing in Ten's room here tonight. I-I just can't sleep next to him right now, Thea." Her voice had been fairly neutral in the telling until recently in the conversation. "And I don't know how to handle this whole … thing."

"Might wanna ask him if Faraeth chased," Thea suggests gently. "That would make a big difference, you know." Then there is confusion on her face, "Bloodwork? Whatever for?" Phylicia's next words have her nodding in support. "You know, things like this take some time to sort through and while I understand you not being able to sleep next to him, getting away alone together will give you two some time to talk without being… interrupted. You can stay in separate rooms, even." She lifts her mug and sips thoughtfully. "It's never easy, with relationships, but getting all the facts is important." Her eyes shift thoughtfully towards the fire, "If he's been thoughtless, well… you'll need to let him know firmly that you cannot tolerate it again. If staying away from him for awhile gets the message across…" She shrugs.

Phylicia doesn't know what she wanted to hear, but she's pretty sure the words 'its never easy' were in the grouping of didn't-want-to-hear. "'Nol didn't like the fact he couldn't remember anything." She explains, one hand moving to rub her forehead. The few stray tears tonight have her head pounding even harder. "He had the results tonight… results being that he and the girl did have something in their system." But it still just seems wrong to her on some level. Even with the flight, even with the drug, something seems off. But she lifts her own cup again, taking another set of sips. "I think I know why you don't see rider/non-rider pairs often." She groans to herself, thinking of the headache she's going through right now. And then a question comes from out of the blue. "Is it wrong that I don't entirely want to talk to him about it? H-he was crying like it'd kill him when he told me."

"Phylicia." Thea's calm tone breaks into the girl's thoughts, "There are always unscrupulous gals around waiting to take advantage of flight urges. So they found something. They know who the girl is? She can be brought on charges of assault." She shrugs, dismissing the subject. Her tone hardens, "Regardless, each rider has been through training to control long enough to do what's appropriate. Like go home to their partner if they lose. Rider/nonrider pairs work. They do," She assures her friend. "Not wrong that you don't wanna talk yet, or even if you don't wanna hear about it ever. Might give it some time? And, it might be best if you chalk this one up to experience learned and move ahead."

Thea's tone makes Phylicia's head jerk back up so she can look at the weyrwoman, her friend. "If he knows her name, he didn't share it." She says, doing the same and dismissing the other girl from her thoughts. She's not sure if the hardening of Thea's tone was directed at her or not, and her shoulders hunch slightly as she looks into the eternal depths (ah huh?) of her tea before she raises it to her lips for another sip. "Time…?" She murmurs softly before shaking her head. "Not sure I could. I-" She pauses to set down the cup, hands still curled around it for some of its warmth. "I missed him. When I was helping you and Ten in the cave." It's really just as well she wasn't planning on becoming a hermit with Ten. "He wants a way to prove to me that he's true to me." And she shakes her head, an extremely faint and sad smile pulling at the left side of her lips. "But I don't want it that way. Anything I'd say'd be … greedy. Selfish." Not that those two emotions don't have their slot in life, but not here. "It doesn't feel right."

Thea notices that hunching of shoulders and reaches a gentle hand across the table to pat the girl's arm, "Not you, Phy. M'nol. He's had the training and should not have hung around afterwards. He knows what goes down." She withdraws her arm to lift and sip her tea, silent for a few moments, mulling things over. The fire makes contented snap-crackle noises, one of the logs breaks apart with a quiet chink sound as it falls through the grate. "By time, I meant just not re-hash the event. It will only keep it fresh." Her shoulders rise and fall as she shrugs, "He should restore your trust, Phy." She nods to the 'doesn't feel right' and adds, "Then let him chose his own way to do that in his own time. Don't let him put it on you to say how."

Phylicia's shoulders relax and she unwraps one hand from the cup to shove her bangs out of her face again. Her face is looking a little less stressed out finally even if there are once again a few unshed tears sitting on her lower lid, which she tries to blink away. The snapping log deters her attention for a little while as she stares at the flames as they lick at the logs. She's finally starting to droop, and it's frankly a wonder she's been up as long as she has especially with the strain put on her. But nerves do tend to keep a person away. "Ten lent me his room here, at the Weyr." She says from nowhere.

Thea lowers her mug and lifts her arm from the table to cup her chin, watching the fire as well. Peaceful, that. A few times her gaze wanders towards Phylicia and, noting the tears in her eyes, she stands, pads to her dresser and removes something, then returns to the table, pausing beside her chair, bends to give her a one-armed hug and offers her what is in her hand. It is a plain white man's handkerchief that has tiny words reading 'Love always, Thea' embroidered in tiny letters in one corner. "A friend loaned me this once when I needed to cry." She waits for a moment then slides back into her chair, lifting her mug once more. The comment about the healer and a room has her tilting her head, "He did huh?"

Phylicia looks at the handkerchief for a moment as she's pulled into a hug, but by no means does she resist the hug while it lasts. Instead, she takes the square clothing, blotting her eyes with it as she sniffles. "I said I wasn't going to do this again, but thanks." She tries for a chuckle which comes out as a sniffle again instead. "My head already feels like there's a drummer living in it." She continues to blot at her eyes as she focuses on taking deep breaths, which gets her calmed down soon enough. She's had her own hysterics already. "He found me earlier." And she made his shoulder damp. "He said I could go there if things didn't go well." She pauses. "Not that it didn't. Completely. But I couldn't stay." Yesyes, they've been over that fact already. A few more deep breathes are taken, before she's able to wrap a hand around her cup again, taking another sip.

Thea nods, listening. "Sometimes you just have to cry yourself out. I think I cried every day for a turn and a half after my Kav left." She nods at the handkerchief, "That was his." She sips her tea again, thoughtfully, "You know, sometimes time apart can help you think things through, help the other to know the matter is serious, let both of you know what it's like to be without the other." She clears her throat, "Help you decide if you want to really be alone, know if you could bear it. Or, more importantly, see what it is that you miss about the other." She pauses then adds, "For what it's worth, I don't blame you for not being able to sleep beside him right now." Then she chuckles with a faintly wicked tone, "Want me to try to talk to him for you?"

Phylicia blots her face when its needed. At least she's not sobbing which might just explode her head. And there's new respect for the handkerchief since she's heard snippets about Thea's past. Enough to vaguely know who Kav is. "I do want to be with him." She says before she stops to think. "Or, at least. Most of him. He's so incredibly sweet." There's a pause and she exhales, only sounding minorly ragged. "But I think he's more emotional than a girl, sometimes and how right would 'stop crying, please' sound from your girlfriend?" And come on, what girl doesn't occasionally like to be swept off her feet? Figuratively and literally. Though it requires a strong man to do either. There. There's a touch of humor finally to her.

Thea smiles, "Well, sweet's okay I guess for some, I guess. I prefer the stronger types, myself. Confident, decisive, masculine and gentle-tough." Thea shrugs, "Too much soft and they might as well be girls, you know? But that's me." She drains the last of her tea, lowering the mug and pushing it to one side. "He's still young, Phy. Give him time to grow into the man he will be. Believe the best of him, hope for him, be patient." She yawns, her hand belatedly making its way to cover her mouth. The chamomile is working. "So, you mind if I go talk a little sense into him?"

Watching Thea yawn prompts one from Phylicia as well, though she's a little quicker to put a hand to her mouth. Her jaw actaully pops a little bit from the force of the yawn and she shakes her head after. "If.. if you think it'd help." She says after a few moments of thought. The girl has completely missed any malice or mischieviousness that might have been in the weyrwoman's voice. But she smiles wanly, finishing off her tea. "I do hope." She says softly. "And I can try to be patient." And she's yawning again, using both hands to cover her mouth this time. "And I think we need to sleep?"

"Patience takes practice. And often it is suffering that teaches us to be so." Thea's tone suggests that she knows Phylicia is suffering just a bit. She's nodding her own weary agreement. "Sleep's a good thing." She resists the urge to grin wolfishly at the mention a talk with the brownrider might help, merely smiling an appropriately faint one instead, "It couldn't hurt," she replies. But it might? If her eyes drift over to that crossbow by the mantelpiece, it's total coincidence, right?

Phylicia stands up from her seat and quickly crosses the space until she can wrap her arms around Thea in a full hug. It's moments like this where people probably realize she's still just a young teenager herself. "Thank you." She murmurs softly before pulling away and sleepily rubbing at her eyes this time. Ten more minutes and she can pass out. "Sleep well, Thea." And she's picking up her coat and putting it back on, hiding her head in the large hood for a bit of extra warmth. No, she really didn't notice Thea eyeing up her crossbow. At all.

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