Passing in the Night

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.

Many days have passed since Stormhaven saw itself the center of activity. The fires of her hidden cave do not burn brightly and the signs of frequent draconian and humanoid passage have begun to fade with time and the steady march of the season. One thing remains the same, however, and that is its sole inhabitant. Bundled warmly in his long coat and a pair of hide gloves, Tenebrous works over by the edge of the clearing that leads to the rock wall, gathering a few loose pieces of brush that still have dried vegetation attached to them.

From above a dragon appears, announcing his presence to that sole inhabitant. Its a soft bugle so as not to disturb the otherwise silence of the area. The blue's drop to the clearing is far less dare-devilish style than usual, in fact it's a slow landing that fits better to the average landing.

Tenebrous glances up from the work he's doing, face unreadable from within that hood. The dragon, however, is quite recognizable, as is his rider. Blue Siebeth has something of a reputation, after all, and even far-found Tenebrous knows his name. In the fading light of the afternoon, he simply raises a hand in wordless salute, waiting for the man to land.

Siebith lands in the clearing, D'had slipping to the ground. He pauses a second, tugging his jacket before he strides towards where the healer waits. "You're here," he notes, but then - where else should he have expected to find him.

Tenebrous shrugs quietly at D'had's statement, moving back to his work with absent behavior. "The forest is my chosen port of call, as it were, Weyrsecond. Though she is not mine to own, I do spent most of my time in her arms." He smiles slightly, stripping a few dried leaves from a branch and peering at them closely. "I would be a poor fetch indeed if I did not know my subject material."

D'had nods. Right. That simple, silent acknowledgement of his explanation all that's needed. "I hate to disturb you here," he offers next, a hand lifting to rub the back of his head.

Tenebrous shakes his head. "It's not much of a disturbance. Though in reality, you're lucky that you caught me." He jerks his chin towards a large pack that lays against a tree, rigged for running with buckles and straps. "Now that I am no longer needed her with any urgency, I must make a trip to the north. I have patients at Rubicon River that have requested my assistance again after my last stint there. I was planning on leaving tomorrow morning." He finishes whatever he was doing, brushing his hands off, and turns to face the other man. "What can I do for you?

"I just.." D'had starts awkwardly. "Thanks." There. He said it even if it was rather bluntly said. Its followed by a long pause, perhaps more awkward to him than anyone else. "I could," a hand waves in the direction of the blue to indicate a ride, "give ya a ride out there if ya like. No trouble."

Tenebrous raises an eyebrow. "While your thanks are appreciated, rider, I'm not exactly sure what you're thanking me for." D'had's offer gets another chuckle. "I do appreciate the offer, but not only do I think I wouldn't be a very good passenger, Xanadu's Weyrsecond has better things to do than ferry the odd healer around."

D'had's expression falls in a subtle frown from its previously neutral state. "Takin' care of her," he clarifies with a nod in the general direction of the weyr. "Things ta do, but wouldn't take that long. 'Sides, least I could do."

A quiet hush in the air is the only warning of a gold firelizard's sudden appearance from *between*, her wings flapping rapidly. She's squawking loudly as she zips over to Tenebrous' quickly outstretched hand, and only repeated littanies of, "Be still, little one, be still! I'm fine!" The flit makes an annoyed little sniffle, wrapping herself around Tenebrous' arm with hasty abandon. With a sigh, Tenebrous turns back to D'had. "Yuo'll have to forgive my friend here. I'm afraid she's a bit excitable." He nods once to D'had's explination and murmurs, "I mean no disrespect when I say this, rider, but I hope you understand that I did not offer to take on the Weyrwoman as an outpatient because of anyone other than myself. I'm a healer, and Stormhaven is a unique place for my patients to recover. I cared for her because it's what I do. Pardon me, what *we* do. My apprentice was at least as responsible for her care as I." Then he frowns and sniffs the air. "That's…strange," he murmurs, raising his flit-covered arm up to eye-level. "I thought I sent you to the Infirmary, miss," he offers quietly. "Why do you smell like…women?"

D'had blinks, eyeing the little gold while Tenebrous sets to calming her. "Meant before that too," he replies after that explanation is given. "If you," he starts, hesitating and then going on to add, "or your apprentice. If either of ya need anythin' let me know." Even though its meant to be an offer, it comes out as more of a 'do this'. "I'll do my best ta make it happen." He's still eyeing the firelizard however, "Somethin' wrong?"

Tenebrous frowns again. "Cila, slow down and…" Then he gives the flit a little shake. "Reconciliation!" The little gold hiccups once and stills herself, looking up at her bonded with crystaline eyes. Tenebrous inhales again, scenting something, and then closes his eyes. "Balls and branches, can I have no peace…" He opens his eyes then. "Why do you smell like *her*, Cila? I told you to go to the Infirmary, not sight-seeing…" He shakes his head again, looking at D'had. "She's very young, and I've been trying to train her to bring me thinks from the Infirmary stores, honestly. It would be more useful than running back to the Weyr on my own in a pinch." He gives the flit a level look. "She appears to have gone on walkabout, though." He smiles a little, despite the flit's apparant lack of obedience. "She's…actually a remarkable companion. She was a gift from my … best friend. And a dragonhealer." He smiles almost wistfully. "They just…came by here several nights ago with her."

D'had ahhs, nodding and rubbing the back of his neck once again. "Sounds like some friend," he comments, with a touch of a smirk creeping to his lips in his bemusement. "Think about it though, you need anythin' let me know."

Tenebrous nods slowly, his eyes tracing over the gold's features. He brings his other hand up to gently rub her headknobs, and the creature purrs in contentedness. "Oh yes," he murmurs to himself. "I care for her a great deal. She's been very kind to me." Then he blinks and looks back at D'had with an even face. "I appreciate the offer, rider. My apprentice has been complaining about hard floors in Stormhaven's cave, so I may ask about medical cots in the future. But for now, nothing. Have a safe flight home, sir."

"Have a safe trip healer," D'had replies, inclining his head to Tenebrous. "And good luck with the training," another slight nod goes towards the young firelizard before he turns to head back to where Siebith waits. He pauses a moment, turning back, "I'll check into those cots for ya," he adds, climbing up onto the blue and tossing a salute back towards the healer prior to taking off.

Tenebrous raises a flit-laden hand in wordless salute to the man before turning back to his own work. The sun sets on another Pernese day, and as she always has, Stormhaven reflects it in her waterfall, a blaze of golden sunfire on her surface. And when the sheen has passed, Tenebrous is nowhere to be seen.

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