Cleaning out a weyr

Ista Weyr - Xe'ter and Romth's Ledge
The jungles of Ista spread out in verdant greenery against the darkness of the beach just beyond, the thick canopy of trees dense to the point that the ground itself is all but impossible to discern, save where pathways lead deeper into the dense growth. Just past this, Ista's ocean is another clear shock of colour - blue, green, and silvery-grey flowing together. The outer wall of the great weyr bowl rises from the ground in jagged sharpness, pock marks upon the stone indicating, from a distance, the ledges of dragons that have been built deep into the rocky precipice.
To the west, just below, away from the solidity of the weyr bowl's wall, the great cove upon which the weyr is situated spreads out in a splash of dark sand, and beyond, the crystalline waters of the tropical isle. The view is breathtaking, a brilliant conglomeration of colour between the darkness of the volcanic rock that makes the weyr walls, the green of the forest, the black of glittering sand, and then that blue, spreading as far as the eye can see towards the horizon.

It's restday…just a few days after the surprise down at Xanadu. But Romth wasn't exactly quiet, on his return to the Weyr of his hatching, announcing to anyone who'd listen that he'd caught the Senior at the Southern Weyr. He was a bit more … sedate, when he bespoke Usi, sending his greetings and affections…and a request through to Ryni, to come up to the ledge that was once his.

Ryni almost didn't go, but, as usual, Usislykith knows what's best for her and it's a few moments longer than strictly necessary when the green's claws scrabble against the ledge. "We would have been here a while ago if you hadn't forgotten where his ledge is, Usi." The green gives a grumble that clearly implies it's not her fault and she doesn't deserve to be scolded. Ryni didn't bother to put straps on the green and it only takes her a moment to slide down and move further into the weyr, "Xe? You here?"

Xe'ter's voice comes from deeper inside, where a glowbasket's been set up so he has more than just natural light to see by. Not that there's a lot IN the weyr. He's always been a bit spartan and not given to excess stuff. He's got a couple of Romth's cargo packs in there, and he's putting his strictly personal belonging in. There's an almost too quick, "Yeah, Ry, I'm in here…come on in." Romth, for his part, rumbles with familial happiness at Usilykith, reaching his big head out to whuffle at the green with genuine delight. Oooh, look what he did! He caught himself a GOLD. A big 'un!

Usislykith is much more accepting than Ryni of this. Of course, that might be because she simply doesn't understand, too. She sidles right up to Romth with a happy croooooon and rubs her head against his neck. Ryni lingers on the ledge glowering at the pair of dragons for a moment before she snaps at the green, "Because it means he's going away!" She turns and practically stomps further into the weyr, "He certainly seems proud of himself. How are you?"

Xe'ter stands up a little slowly, as if he were afraid of that reaction…but he doesn't cave when he turns his pale blue eyes towards the greenrider, "Proud? Surprised is more like it. Give me a few months and the Weyr not falling apart and I'll let you know if I'm proud or not." There is an almost steely guardedness to it, though. He's long had that touchy bit…about egoes being tied up around a dragon's mating habits. "I was hoping you'd come up, though. So we could…talk." He's actually got some poise under there! "About us…and Ryxeter."

Ryni snorts from her place in the doorway, one hand coming up to… wait, no, Qeen is conspicuous by her absence. Smart firelizard, that. "Turns, Xe. It'll be turns. I don't… Ryx is too young to commute." She just sort of tips until she's leaning against the wall and sighs, "The dragon flies, the rider complies. Why don't you start."

Xe'ter pauses in his packing for a moment, and then finally turns to look at the greenrider again. "Start with what, Ry? I was busily making a delivery over there, on my usual route. She rose, he followed. I was surprised…I wasn't in denial. And Ryx is not too young to commute. Others do it. Even Chanian's welcome to come visit; not reason he shouldn't be able to go where his brother goes."

"That's not what I mean, Xe. You wanted to talk, you start." Ryni's clearly trying not to be upset, but nothing ever goes as planned on that one. "And I hate Xanadu, Xe. If I never go there again, I'll die a happy little greenrider."

Xe'ter's brow quirks just a little, "Then it sounds like I'm not going to do any good to talk then. You keep going on about how I need to grow up…you want to know what wakes you up real fast? Waking up in a strange weyr with some goldrider who treats her blueriding weyrmate like he was her Lord and Master, and he's going on like a lunatic…because he's not grown up enough about the fact that you do what your dragon demands. Or waking up to realize you're in charge of the wings of a Weyr…when you've been flat out told repeatedly that you're not good enough and they're not sure why you Impressed a bronze. Or that you're holdbred and too hung up and uptight to be worthy of your dragon. You knwo what, Ryni? I thought you were my best friend. I thought you'd be proud of me. You know what I think about Ista? A bunch of drunken sots who constantly shove their responsibilities off on anyone else. Who whine constantly when fate's put them in the plummest spot on Pern. Good weather, rarely any troubles…fine. If that's how you want to be, you can be that way. Xanadu's got it's troubles…I'll happily concede that. Xanadu's got BIG troubles. They're still short on food. There's flooding and half the populations of the holds are bloody well living in the Hatching Cavern galleries and the Living Caverns. There hasn't been a crop in two Turns. That's problems, Ryni. Screw interpersonal whernuggets. I'm really disappointed. I really am." There's a gravitas there…a sort of…weightiness. "I think I was really wrong about you Ryni, all this time. You just wanted me in the furs. You don't care a runner's tailhairs about ME."

Ryni is too stunned to speak at first, just /staring/ at him. She doesn't even blink for the first beat or two. She opens her mouth to speak, but it just works soundlessly the first few times before she manages to choke out, "Xe…" She swallows, but it doesn't really help, so she swallows again, "Xe… that's got nothing to do with it. I'm the one person who's always believed in you. Give me that much. You'll make a great Weyrleader, I just… I /can't/ go to Xanadu for you. Anywhere else on Pern, but not there." Her jaw tightens and it's all she can do not to just turn and storm back out at that last comment, "Don't. Xe. Just… don't. Don't get wherry-arsed with me because Xanadu's Weyrwoman is just as spineless now as she was eight turns ago. If I rode gold, Ista'd be different, but I don't. I ride Usi. But don't for one second think I don't care about you. Or Ryx. We'll figure something out. I won't keep you from our son or vice versa, I just can't move my life to Xanadu."

Xe'ter is still riled, though Romth is remarkably calm about the whole thing. He turns away a moment, his jaw still set tight. But whatever passes between dragon and rider goes only as a shadow, more felt than seen as it ripples through the weyr and across the ledge. Romth is never…quiet…completely. He takes a breath, and then gathers himself back up, "I wasn't asking you to move to Xanadu, Ry. I just wanted to know you were alright with me wanting to help raise my son. I'm proud of Romth…he's going to sire other dragons. I'd've been proud if he caught the oldest, most toothless gold on Pern for that. Or that imbicile gold at Igen. But I'm not proud of myself YET. It's just…a fresh start for me. At a place where the Weyrwoman doesn't think I'm an idiot. Only problem I've had so /far/ is one brownrider who's just out of weyrlinghood himself…I think he Impressed with that P'rel." He takes another breath, "And D'had." And it doesn't sound like Xe'ter's real impressed wtih the Weyrsecond he inherited, so far!

"Faranth, Xe. I'd be disappointed if you were willing to just up and walk away from him. You're a good dad. One of the best." Ryni looks over her shoulder at the dragons out on the ledge. Usislykith is, at least, oblivious enough not to have issues. "What did you expect me to do, Xe? Throw a fit? Carry Ryx off somewhere and tell you you couldn't see him just because Romth caught a senior queen? We'll have to figure something out for timing, but I'd never do that."

Xe'ter takes another breath, "I didn't expect you to come in here all frowny face at me." He sighs, "I think this'll be good for me, Ry. I do. And I think it'll be good for Ryxeter and Chanian too…I know he doesn't really think of me much as a stepfather, but he's a great kid. I'd be more than happy to have him over at Xanadu for visits. Well…maybe once the weather's cleared up a little. They've got some spots that look pretty good for fishing…and they've got a racetrack with runners and everything." He takes another breath, calmer, and looks up again, "I just wanted to know you'd be proud of me…you know? I know I haven't done well here…I've been the bottom of the heap since Weyrlinghood and I know it. I don't drink enough, I don't bed enough women, I don't shirk my duties enough."

Ryni just frowns at him, "Xe? What'd you expect? You, Sig, and I are the only ones who do any actual work. And you're my best friend. Of course you going away upsets me. Doesn't mean I'm not proud of you. Shards, Xe. Chani's fonder of you than you realize. Take the boys ever couple of sevendays, certainly makes my life a little easier much as I'd miss 'em."

Xe'ter brightens up a little, though. "Really? I have a nice weyrbarn…right down near the water. I mean…I'd watch them so they don't float away. It's up on a ridge, so it won't flood…and if you wanted to visit." He knows, you hate Xanadu. He knows, "It's far enough away, you wouldn't really see anyone you didn't have to. I'll even take em to meet the whers…they're sort of fascinating creatures, whers." But there's a not so well supressed happiness there. Heh. If he wasn't quite so sedate, he might do a little victory dance. Romth, though, chuffs outside, snuggled up against Usi for old-time's sake, the cool shade of his thoughtstream washing again, over anything with intelligence enough to recieve it. No words, just a smugness and 'I told you so' sort of feeling. "I'm scared to death. This is a whole freakin' WEYR to deal with…"

The faintest hint of a smile appears on Ryni's lips, "I'm glad you're happy, Xe… I just don't know if I /could/ go there. There are… a lot of bad memories. But we'll see." She glances back at the dragons as Usislykith continues to cozy up to Romth as if there's nothing wrong at all, "Usi'll be sad if Romth doesn't visit her sometimes."

Xe'ter frowns a moment, then notes, "You know…best way to get rid of bad memories is to build new ones that are better…stronger." But that's as far as he goes, tucking away a small box, with that painting of himself as a younger man, standing next to his fosterer and his goofy looking 'cousin'. That's really the last of HIS things. "My weyrbarn's always open to you…though Romth isn't so happy. He'd prefer a more traditional cave, I think…" Too bad for Romth! "But it's not that far out. Bout a mile from the main clearing."

Ryni shakes her head slightly, "It was made very clear to Chaton and I that our help was not wanted once. And I couldn't live somewhere so cold. I've never lived anywhere but Ista. Never." Usislykith nuzzles her face against Romth with a slight croon. "I'll visit, though. Don't know exactly when, but I will."

Xe'ter says matter of factly, "Live and Pern change, Ryni. Sometimes, it means you have to change too. I'm not gonna hold Ista being Ista against it…even if I wasn't so happy here. And who knows. I may be back sooner than I realize. I can't say 'never'…because I don't know. Sort of like standing on those Sands, waiting for Romth. I didn't know…" He half smiles, "And all I'm offerin' is a place to visit anyway. I don't think I'm the weyrmating kind. Romth's a handful enough." Yeah, that'd be a smugness from the bronze, as only a bronze can be smug: the epitome of male pattern arrogance. "But…tell ya what. I'll come get Ryx and Chanian for Ryx's turnday…after you've had em for the day. I'll take 'em fishing or something."

Ryni knows how much stuff he has and that he's nearing the end of his packing. It's slow, but she pushes herself up off the wall and moves across the room to him, "And soem things don't. But we'll figure it out. Ryx' turnday is only a couple of sevendays away. I think he'd like that. One turn. I can't believe how big he's gotten. Xe, I…" She frowns and gives up on the words thing, going in for the hug instead. Squuiiiiish.

But he's already turned, as if he'd anticipated the hug. Or…really just wanted it. Bad. He SNUGS back, tight, and then says softly, "Thanks…for not hating me for what I said. I'm sorry…I was really angry." Even if he wasn't yelling…sometimes, stupid things can come out of anyone's mouth. And he's pretty good at it. "I know it's not true. And you're a great mom…and I think Ista's a great place for them to grow up…till they're old enough to drink, anyway, and then we should probably talk about it."

Ryni doesn't let go. This is her Xe, shard it all. "It's not like I've never said anything I regretted, Xe. But I've always… honestly? By the time they're twelve the boys can make their own decisions. I said it when Chani was born and I meant it. I'm not making either of them do anything when it comes to craft or where they want to live. My father made it very plain I was going to be a good herder's wife and pop out babies. I'm not putting that kind of pressure on my kids."

Xe'ter laughs a little, "And Da said I was going to grow up and marry the woman he picked and run the Hold…and I made my own decision, no matter how…uh." Yeah. "Ill prepared I was. But you know. Some things…I don't mind a drink any less than the next person…but I don't want to see them spend their lives drunk, you know? It'd be like lettin' em have as much fellis as they wanted. But then…I think we're smart enough between the two of us to set the right example. Alcohol's for fun, not for livin'."

Ryni chuckles softly, "Parents who try to make decisions for their kids always end up going wrong. It's not like everyone in Ista's a drunkard, just Cen, really. It just seems worse because she's Senior, you know?" We won't discuss how much Ryni used to drink. "We'll just have to make sure they understand taht it's dangerous getting sloshed."

Xe'ter nods; he hasn't let go either! "Aye, that's all I mean." But he'd probably disagree…he just chooses not to press the point. "Still. I should get back. I'll be here for Ryx's turnday." He looks sheepish; he knew it was SOON, he was just off by a day or two. Men. "Think he wants any thing?" And then less sly, "Anything you want for him? I've got some marks stashed back for the occasion."

Ryni shakes her head slightly, "He's not even walking, Xe. He'll just be happy to have his daddy there. If you see something you want to get for him, by all means, do, but don't worry about it if you don't."

Xe'ter nods a little, and then half-smiles, "How about his mother?" He's not talking a turnday present. "I mean…you went to all the hard work…congratulations, you've raised two sons to a Turn?"

Ryni tightens her squeeze on him, "At least this time I had his daddy to help, right? I know Ryx is better off for it. Don't worry about me, Usi keeps me well taken care of."

Xe'ter chuckles, "Yeah, but Usi doesn't buy you 'congratulations' gifts, either." He snugs back, as if to say 'if you don't tell me, I'll bring you something anyway'. "Alright. I should get back…if you need ANYTHING, have Usi call to Romth. He'll listen for her. And I'll be back for Ryx." For the turndaying, that is. "Shards…how'd he get to be a Turn old?"

Ryni will just let him decide on a gift on hs own. "I know, Xe. And I will. The hard part'll be making her remember who Romth is." She looks at the dragons again, "She's going to miss him. As to age… well, you see, once you pop 'em ou they keep getting older whether you like it or not. Chani's already six and a half."

Xe'ter laughs a little, "Then I'll make sure Romth reminds her a lot. He's self important." Romth just makes a grunt of agreement. What do you mean 'self'? He's just Important! More Important now!

Xe'ter bends, and grabs his bags, "I'll see you Ry…chin up. At best, you can say, "I knew him when….'…and at worst you can say, "I knew him when…and he was an idiot."

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