Too Much to Ask?

Xanadu Weyr - Child's Dream Weyr
Someone in the recent past must have lived here who had a love of children, for the place has been lovingly designed with the young at heart in mind. While the cottage is not large, the rooms are spacious, the place constructed with an open floor plan. Large windows allow light to flood the area, while inside shutters may be closed for privacy. The dragon space is slightly concave, slate laid to protect the floors from sharp claws. The rest of the flooring is polished hardwood. A simple kitchenette, dining area that juts out over the water below in a breakfast nook sort of room and denim-covered stuffed couches and chairs complete the casual living room.

The draw for young ones comes with the spiral staircase that leads to a loft bedroom, also flooded with light in the triangular window in the peak of the ceiling, under which is a circular-shaped waterbed Tiny pinpoint lights imbedded in the ceiling form 'stars' when the main lights are extinguished. Encircling the spiral staircase is a slide - a fast and fun way to get back downstairs. Affixed from the stout beam that runs the length of the peaked ceiling is a thick rope swing that if you time it just right when you let go, drops you onto a sunken trampoline in one of the living room corners. For those… rainy days.

Spring has settled on Xanadu and the weather is cool, a good breeze blowing through the Weyr and keeping the clouds from gathering in the skies. It's just past the dinner hour and most folk are turning in for the day and winding down. Out on the coastal road, in one particularly odd furnished weyr, it's the same for one bluerider too. For once, Kiena isn't working away at the forges until the moons are well up. Ujinath is curled up in his wallow and deep asleep, which means that any visitor is liable to get right to the door so long as they do nothing unusual to rouse the blue. Inside, Kiena goes about her business and not at all like someone who is expecting company. She's freshly washed and her still damp hair has been twisted over her shoulder and she wears her lay-about clothes, just an old tunic that hangs low off her shoulders and a pair of slim fitting pants. Really, she should be on her guard, for a day or so ago she wrote a letter. Well, actually it was a bare few words: 'We need to talk.' And then her name. More of a note really, if even that and it was dropped off by firelizard to Zi'on. She probably expects him to write back and ask when. Silly girl, you think she'd know better by now!

Zi'on could use some cooler weather after a long hot summer at Western. And springtime at Xanadu was a pleasant temperature. Not wintery cold and not summery hot. Zi'on though has his own distractions, but he's able to finally slip away from his duties to head out to the southern weyr. The note had thrown the bronzer off guard. He hadn't expected to hear from Kiena, and wasn't even sure the note was for him. Also the lack of scathing comments led him to believe it might have been a forgery written by someone who wanted to see him murdered. Writing back and forth would only prolong things, so instead Zi'on has decided to drop in on her! Rude, like always. At least he comes armed with the letter when he knocks on her door.

Kiena looks up from where she had crouched by her bookshelf, having selected something to read which she now tucks up under an arm at the sound of the knock at her door. She scowls but by the time she wanders over it's smoothed back to a light frown and half smile as she reaches down to open it. No doubt she's expecting someone else entirely or anyone else than Zi'on. For a moment she can only stand there, staring and blinking before darting a look at Ujinath. Oh right, he's asleep. Just when it seems like she might blow him off and send him packing, she steps aside and gestures for him to enter. "I see you haven't dropped your bad habits. Couldn't even send a firelizard or something?" she drawls, lingering behind to nudge the door shut once he's in.

Zi'on would not have been surprised to be sent packing really. Though he does step inside when motioned. "Bad habits? You invited me. Or so I thought… Unless you didn't send this?" He produces the letter from his breast pocket. Besides I'm busy and this is the only time I could spare." He grins to her. "Also, you've never complained before." He moves inside after wiping his feet. "So did you want to talk or not? I heard you bumped into Idrissa the other day, but I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it." He doesn't move to sit, since he hasn't been invited. And might be thrown out at any point.

Kiena eyes the "letter" Zi'on pulls out his breast pocket and promptly snorts. "Yeah, I sent it. Still doesn't explain why you didn't send a warning ahead of time. What if I wasn't home?" she points out with a smirk before waving a hand dismissively. They could probably argue over this for hours and the bluerider isn't in the mood. "How'd you hear of that? She tell you?" Somehow she doesn't sound quite surprised by that but in answer to his question, Kiena merely points to the couch set in the middle of the living area space. "Obviously I want to talk. Guess I'll keep it brief then since you're so busy," There's the sarcasm! "You want anything? Drink, food?" She asks, pausing by the entrance to the small kitchen to peer at him curiously, expression neutral to start until her mouth quirks into a twisted smirk. "None of it's poisoned. Fresh out of that."

Zi'on raises a brow at her. "Then I would go home." He leaves the argument at that. "Yes. Well, indirectly." He motions to Ujinath, meaning he heard through the dragon grapevine. He moves over to the motioned seat, sitting down and shoving the letter back into the pocket it came from. "No rush. I have allll night." He raises a brow at her. "Do I need a drink for this talk?" He laughs. "Or poison? Anyways, I'll have whatever you're having. Even if it's nothing." He stretches out a bit. "So how have you been? Have you seen Th'ero lately? I keep meaning to go visit him."

Kiena makes some low sound of understanding in her throat. Right, the dragon grapevine! She forgets these things. "You just told me you were busy," she fires back at him as she steps into the small nook that is her personal kitchen. "And you might? Depends on if we can both act like civilized adults. I know I can." Sort of? She returns with two bottles of what appears to be a pale ale and hands one to him before promptly taking a seat on a large and oversized, overstuffed pillow-cushion that she drags across the floor so she can face him. Flop. "I've been fine. Working in the forges on my Smithing, caring for Ujinath and picking up the odd shift with sweeps now and again. No, I've not seen my brother and that is nothing new. Not surprised he hasn't visited you either." she remarks while taking a slow sip of her ale, eyes never quite leaving Zi'on. "How've you been?" she asks and yet her expression seems on the cautious side. Does she want to know?

Zi'on raises a brow at her. "But I'm free tonight. That's why I'm here." He watches her as she moves to the kitchen. "You know I'm not very good at that. But I'll try." He takes the offered ale bottle and pops the top off before taking a long drink. "Are you afraid to sit next to me? I haven't started biting." He nods about what she's been up to. "No new news then? Surely you've walked the tables by now, no? Have you seen the girls recently?" There's a shrug. "I guess we've both been busy. Unless there's something else I ought to know about?" He raises a brow to her. Then he shrugs. "I've been alright. Taking care of the weyr. Doing some tech work on the side. Trying to be a father."

"I'm not sitting next to you cause I don't want you getting any ideas in that head of yours," Kiena remarks dryly and settles herself a little deeper into the cushion she's claimed as a 'chair'. As for her rank in her Craft, her expression turns a bit bitter. "No, I haven't. Been working my ass off too and all that's earned me is being kicked out for overworkin' So either they're doing it as a test or I've gone and messed up. Somehow." She shrugs as well and takes a longer sip of her drink. "I brought the girls here back in the winter… They liked it. There's a playground for the little ones." Now she quirks a brow at him and peers. "Not… that I know of? Weyrleaders are often busy. Ain't that just the way of things?" she drawls and then tilts her head as she listens, the last of them bringing a faint grimace. She pauses then, uncertain before finally steeling her resolve and pushing forwards. "So. Idrissa told me to talk to you or… that you wanted to talk to me. Not sure about what but…" She leaves it open for him to take over then. Anything he wants off his chest?

Zi'on raises a brow at Kiena. "What sorts of ideas? Clearly you've already thought of them." The bronzer furrows his brow at the mention of Kiena being kicked out. "What? They've kicked you out of the craft? For working too much? That doesn't make any sense. Want me to have a word with the mastersmith?" He takes a sip of his drink as well. "The girls are cute. They're gonna be trouble when they're older." He shrugs to her. "I suppose. But I always could find the time before." He watches her face twist up, then looks down into his drink for a while. "Eh… Sort of I suppose. I mean… we never really officially ended anything. Between us, I mean. Never really knew how you felt. Or really thought about how I felt. It's not really fair to Idrissa."

Kiena just stares at Zi'on for a moment and then smirks, "Because I know you?" she retorts and looks down again. Maybe she doesn't know him anymore? She blinks and then scoffs, "No! I'm still a Smith. They just kick me out saying I've done enough in one day and to go eat or take a break… ya know? I'm a good Apprentice but apparently too eager. Or something. Shardin' frustrating!" she mutters and downs more of her drink. Which may be a mistake as his answer soon has her choking on it and coughing into the back of her hand, she just gives him a baffled and shocked look. Mouth working silently, it takes her a moment for her brain to catch up. "Never… Shards, Zi'on! I transferred half way across the planet and that wasn't hint enough? I figured you had moved on and when I heard you were sniffin' after Idrissa I figured that that was it and I was fine with it!"

Zi'on grins. "True. You do know me. Probably better than I know me." The bronzer breathes a sigh of relief. "Ooh.. Whew. Okay. Well then you probably have. I can't imagine breathing in all that soot is good for you for long periods. And eating is good. Tomorrow is another day." He raises a brow at her. "Oh, right. I forgot that you moved away to get away from me. Anyways, if you're fine with it then that's fine. Nothing to talk about then." He sets the beer down wherever he can and gets to his feet. "Unless there's something else you want to discuss, I'll go ahead and let myself out."

"Thanks for your concern though that I had been kicked out…" Kiena murmurs. See? She does pay attention! Rolling her eyes then, she flops back a bit on the pillow-cushion. "Yeah, yeah. I know! I just get carried away." she drawls and in the next instant she is sitting up, posture tense and stiff and her eyes narrowed, flashing with a spark of anger. "Sit down Zi'on and grow a pair!" she growls, pointing with a finger to indicate that she's not done yet. "You've clearly moved on to another girl! I don't get what's got your pants in a bunch. So that's all you wanted to come to talk to me about?" Glaring now, she smirks. "Yeah, there was something else I wanted to discuss."

Zi'on raises a brow at her. "You've always been something of a workaholic." There's a frown from him. "Why? I have a pair. It's just that I was under the impression it wasn't really me you moved away from. But now that I'm aware, it makes things a lot easier on me. Now I don't have to worry about still loving you, because it doesn't matter." The bronzer crosses his arms and glares down at her. He doesn't seem much in the mood to sit down again. "What is it, then?"

Kiena grimaces, "And there's nothing wrong with that!" she mutters defensively and she does not balk when he glares down at her, glaring right back. At least until something he says stings and her expression falls. For a moment she looks hurt, which maybe is fair and maybe isn't but if Zi'on had been aiming to do it, he struck good and clean. "Doesn't matter, huh? Fine. I get it." she says flatly, slipping behind her guarded masks. Shields up! Pushing to her feet, she sets her beer aside and crosses her arms as she lifts her chin and stares at him in open defiance. "I want the girls. Not permanently but more often. Half a Turn, maybe at a time instead of just comin' to collect them for a day every few months." She lifts a single hand defensively, her eyes locked on his. "And don't you dare think this is me tryin' to take 'em from you for good or whatever else you might work up. Alright?"

Zi'on looks at her. "Not so long as you don't work yourself to death." Zi'on was hurt, so he was aiming to hurt Kiena right back. "Apparently it doesn't matter. It's not like you've shown me any interest." Zi'on looks back at her, his brow furrowed. "No." He says, plainly. "The girls are fostered with a good family, and they're too young to just be shoved down to the caverns. How are you going to look after them and attend to your craft and your duties? No one is saying you can't visit them, or take them out for a week or days at a time, but I don't understand the sudden interest in raising them yourself. Even if it is half the time. It seemed before you couldn't wait to get rid of them."

"And you suddenly care whether or not I do work myself to death?" Kiena fires back at him, bristling. She is hurt now and no amount of shielding on her part is going to keep him from digging in. She expected him to say no and while her cheeks flare hotly, she locks her jaw and stands her ground — for now. "I'm not shoving them in the caverns! I could find them a good family here! See that they're taken care of when I can't be there. And I'd try! Isn't that what matters?" She has no answer for him for the rest because it's true. She couldn't wait to be away from them but she was so young… and she's not about to go dredging through that again. "Then try to understand that maybe now I want to try to be more of a mother! And I can't do that a day or sevenday here and there!"

Jab, jab. They seem to be good at hurting one another. "I've always cared! How can you even say that? I'm not the one who ran off to Xanadu." Zi'on's brows stay furrowed, but he doesn't seem to be flying off the handle about the girls. Though he's also not budging. "Why would you separate them from the family they're used to at Western? To save you a few trips between? It's not that easy, you know, finding a foster family. Especially one looking to take twins. And toddlers on top of that." The bronzer grows quiet for a while in thought. "You find a family to foster them and we can talk about it again. And I -will- still be visiting them. My kids are the only family I can keep hold of it seems."

Kiena is in a fighting mood now and she glares at him angrily. "You've an awful funny way of showing it, Zi'on! You say you care in one breath and then turn around and say something completely opposite!" He may not be flying off the handles, but she might yet. She digs her heels in though and though her arms have come down to rest tight against her sides, she's hardly moved. "I'm not separating them! If I wanted to, it'd be done by now and you'd have NO access to them at all! But I'm not aimin' to be cruel like that." She snorts, "This isn't for me and don't try to pin it on me either! So that's it then? I just find 'em a family?" Rolling her eyes, she makes a frustrated sound before glaring back again. "For the last time, I told you already that you could! Just like I come to Western to see 'em! They're mine too, damn it, Zi'on! And the only family I have left! I can't undo what I've done and I am happy here in Xanadu but I don't see why I should be barred from having my girls more often. I'm trying to fix that at least!"

Zi'on seems to bring Kiena's fighting mood out of her. "-I've- an awful funny way of showing it? You're the one acting like you're doing me a favor by letting me see my own children! Anyways, I don't think it's very reasonable to think you'll come into my weyr and kidnap my kids. I might not have too much pull around, but over my own children, I think I'd have some." He peers at her. "It isn't for you? How is that, exactly? How is this for the girls? It can't just be any family. It has to be a good family. With experience and a good record." He grunts. "No one is barring you from having them. I just don't see the need to take them from their family. Or from Western." The bronzer just stands there with his arms crosses over his chest, frowning and looking stern.

"I would never do such a thing!" Kiena hisses at him, blue eyes bright with anger now and cheeks flushed. She's mad now and rankled and when that happens the bluerider doesn't exactly think clearly. Her head is starting to hurt and Ujinath is waking up, the blue catching on to some of his rider's upset. "I know what a good foster family would need! Do you think I'd just trust them to anyone?" she fires back, grimacing. Now she's starting to pace in short, tight circuits back and forth in front of Zi'on. "I'm not taking them! I'm asking for extended visits! Condensed! Rather than spread out over time!" She gestures with her hands, trying to convey her point and the idea she's formulated in her head. Planned out or thought she had planned out well enough.

"Well it seems like part of this is just to hurt me and take my girls from me! I don't know how else to feel about it! First you tell me you want to get away from me, then you want to take our kids. Why don't you just tell me you hate me and wish I was dead and gone?" Zi'on raises his hands in defeat. "But you've never found a foster family before. And it's not extended visits. It's uprooting them from their current home and current family and putting them someplace else with people they don't know in a place they've hardly been. Look me in the face and tell me this has nothing to do with getting even with me for some reason."

Kiena stares at him, dumbfounded. "It was never about that! So maybe I picked my words poorly but you know me and how I muddle that up! And I'm sorry I didn't make it clearer that I wanted to 'get away from you' if that's how YOU want to put it!" That last bit stings and badly, and she flinches back as though he's struck her. "I won't say that because it's not true." she whispers angrily and blinking back the tears that surface in her eyes, she lifts her gaze to match his. Face to face. "It has nothing to do with getting even with you." Kiena repeats, lips drawing back into a tight line. Ujinath is awake now and his eyes whirl at a rapid and concerned pace from his wallow. "It has to do with me wanting to try and be a mother to the girls and I can't do that sporadically. I want to setup a good foster family for them here for the extended time they spend here. A month maybe here and there if you won't let me have them longer or split it evenly half and half. Is that too much to ask, Zi'on?"

Zi'on frowns at her. "I don't know why you let this string along as long as you did. Or why you even bothered to ask if you just want me out of your life. If you want the girls, -fine-. Take them. Find a new foster family for them here. It's not fair to them to have two families to deal with. I'll make myself scarce so you don't have to worry about being near me. You can tell the girls I'm a bastard and teach them to hate me." He heads towards the door. "Anything else you want from me? My weyr? My dragon? The shirt off my back? You want my heart, too? Because you'll find it on the bottom of your shoes."

"How did I string you along? Zi'on, you've been seen with another woman for Faranth's sake and you're making it seem as though there was something still between us! We ended long ago and I don't know where that ended up muddled." Kiena exclaims and her voice is raising now. She's reaching her limit, frustrated and hurt and confused. Anger flares again and her shoulders tends, chin lifted as she just glares at him. "I'm not like you and make untrue off hand comments like that! I am not going to turn the girls against you! You're their father and I respect that. I always have!" As he goes for the door, Kiena hangs back and does not try to stop him though it's clear she's fighting with herself and struggling. In the end, she stands her ground. "There is really nothing more I want from you, Zi'on," she says in a voice that's suddenly cold and quiet. "Just go and be happy with Idrissa as you should be. Let me go, as you should have done Turns ago. You'll see the girls and for their sakes I hope we can at least be civil in front of them."

"You're right. We ended a lot longer ago than I realized." Zi'on says rather coldly. "Good." He says about her not wanting anything else. Then his voice just loses all the fight it had. "Then we go our separate ways. Idrissa and I isn't a long term thing. It's not fair for me to tie another girl down into a weyrmating they don't really want. The girls will probably be better off without me in their lives, so go ahead and take them and I'll just stay out of your way." The bronzer shoves the door open and trudges out of it.

Kiena just watches him go, speechless in the sudden anger and hurt that sweeps through her. Normally she'd be spitting venomous words by now, if not all out screaming at him (hello neighbors! want some drama?) but the bluerider just stands there in silence. It's minutes after he's gone and the door has been left open before she moves stiffly to close it. Turning and leaning to press her back to the door she finally finds her voice. "What have I done…?" she whispers to no one, save for Ujinath who croons from his wallow as she sinks to the floor. The tears come next, no matter how hard she tries to fight against it and with her knees hugged to her chest she cries. From the wallow, Ujinath quietly slips out into the nighttime air to sit or prowl sentinel and guardian like along the coastal road.

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