Terms in Writing

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.

Evening arrives clear, cool and very much spring-like and mercifully without any rain for once. Most folk are just finishing up with their business or duties in hopes of snagging an early dinner or at least beat the rush. Predictably, one bluerider won't be worrying herself over such things. In fact, gossip in the forges or at least among some of the smiths is that Kiena was confronted again about being too overeager in her work. Yet rather than try to stand off against the Journeyman, she submitted without a fight and even requested if she could take time away in the near future. So baffling was it that it left the man scratching his head, but there was no argument for the bluerider's sudden turn in behaviour. She's reported to her shifts, done her duties but she's oddly subdued. Distracted, others would mutter and her temper has been shorter of late too. Kiena is in her weyr now, going about her own business and not at all expecting company as she moves about. Ujinath is in his wallow, the cerulean blue coiled in a way that his head is facing the outside and pretends to sleep when truthfully he is keeping watch while he rests.

The pre-evening skies are peppered with dragon forms as Galaxy riders make their sweeps. With them is Ka'el, who feels more at ease while in the air than on the ground, doing work that's familiar, yet in a sense, a little different than before. He flies not because he's following a schedule he's no longer a part of, but instead because he's taking note. Watching in ways he hasn't watched formations before. But those formations are now breaking as riders split off. Some done for the day. Some heading for dinner. While others continue to sweep. Kanekith comes to a land upon the coastal road, and Ka'el dismounts not long after, pausing long enough to check and loosen the straps on his lifemate who proudly bugles their arrival. "Quiet," says he, though it's in a sort of distracted tone. "You don't need to announce us whenever we land somewhere." It's becoming an annoying habit. Another minute or so passes before he's through and moves along the road, pulling off riding goggles and loosening his jacket. He bypasses a cottage that's set off a ways, though his eyes turn and linger that way for a moment before he looks forward to approach another, less visited home. *KNOCK-KNOCK!* He raps his knuckles upon the wood door, hopefully loud enough to be heard from any far off room.

The weyr isn't tucked so far back that that bugle from Kanekith goes unheard. Ujinath is alert then, his head lifting from where it rested on his crossed forelegs as his whirling eyes peer towards the road, a deep and throaty rumbling rising from his chest to his throat. Kiena pauses in the kitchenette, her head tilting a bit to the side and her gaze distracted as she mutters to herself. "… doesn't concern us." Never say never? Ujinath snorts from his wallow. By now he can spy Ka'el approaching and the blue offers no verbal greeting, save to haul himself out of the covered space. Head lowered, he will peer at the Weyrleader as he prowls on by and there is only one guess as to where he's going. No doubt the blue is going to go park himself by the road and lurk there. It's hard to say if he'd keep Kanekith company if the bronze has lingered as the blue isn't exactly known to be sociable. At all. At the knock on the door, Kiena starts a bit and frowning, calls out loud enough to be heard. "Come in! Door's unlocked."

"Hey there, Ujinath." The blue receives a greeting from Ka'el as he departs for the road, and he smiles a little to the now-familiar dragon, watching him. Kanekith watches him too out there by the road, for the blue is getting closer to him. Not that he's ever been concerned with any blue save one. If this one means no trouble, then there shall be no trouble! He settles himself on the ground, a vague brush of a greeting sent as an autumn chill to the mind offered to Ujinath. A contrast to the warmth of spring. Ka'el looks forward again, to the door, just before he hears the shout from behind it. No doubt she knows its him (what with Ujinath…unless she's suddenly turned a new sociable leaf!). With a half smirk, the young Weyrleader does just as she asks. He comes in! As much as he's flown over this particular area of Xanadu and learned the different shapes and rooftops of weyrs, he's never actually been inside this one before. And so while it's a greeting that lingers on his tongue, waiting to be said, what actually does slip out is a low, "Whoa…" as he takes a gander around the place. The door is shut behind him without him turning around to do so. There's a slide! He already knew she had one because she told him, but still .. now he can see it! And seeing is believing. "This is one wicked weyr."

There will be no trouble. Ujinath will just settle himself nearby and at the vague brush of greeting from Kanekith, the blue answers the autumn chill with the warmth and scents of summer breeze over an endless rolling field of tall grass. Just a hint but it's a start. Kiena has been informed by her lifemate just who came to visit, hence her call for him to enter. It still doesn't keep her from peering at him in surprise (and wariness) when she does step out from the kitchenette. Dressed casually, her hair is tied back in a loose ponytail, not that it keeps it at bay. Ka'el's reaction to her weyr brings a snort, followed by a smirk. "Told you so?" she drawls as she lingers by the small nook. With a jerk of her chin, she indicates the rope swing and then flicks her fingers towards the trampoline. "Definitely have options for getting down from the upper level. In fact, the rope swing aligns with the trampoline if timed right. Have to admit I've not been brave or stupid enough to attempt it." That aside, she gives the bronzerider a lingering look and then frowns. Should she salute? Too late now. "So… to what do I owe this visit? Ujinath told me he heard Kanekith. Everything alright?"

"Yeah, you did," Ka'el agrees at the 'told you so'. He tilts his head up a bit to peer up at the spiraling staircase to the upper level. Then to the rope swing, and over to the trampoline as she gestures to it. His brows raise at the prospect of swinging from stairs to trampoline. Where she says its stupid, he thinks it's totally awesome! "In all your time here, you haven't tried it even once?" he says incredulously. "Shards, what are you waiting for? M'sure it's perfectly safe." Probably. He grins, using his eyes to make a mental map of the swing and just what point would be the optimal point of release to land on the tramp for maximum bounce! Yeah. He's got it all figured out! Unfortunately, rope swinging probably wouldn't help his attempt at being seen as more mature and capable to fill the role that's been given to him. Meh. Another time, maybe. He meanders towards her, still looking around as one tends to do when in a new environment. If he's expecting a salute from her, he doesn't look too put out for not getting one. "Everything's alright," he confirms. "When I landed, I figured I could come up with some lame excuse as to why I'm here. Some official somethin' or another. But truth is," he shrugs a shoulder, "I just wanted to visit. See how you're doing."

The other oddity goes unmentioned but it's tucked away and hidden in the loft and Kiena isn't about to bring it up in conversation quite yet. Ka'el's remark on her lack of trying the swing has her scoffing, rolling her eyes a bit as she leans against the archway of the nook and kitchenette. "Oh, I've used the rope swing! Just haven't bothered trying the two and two together. What am I waitin' for? Nothing. Just don't want to mess it up and have to explain how I injured myself to the Healers." Shrugging, she flicks a hand again towards the odd (but so awesome!) setup. "You try it! And if you manage to come out unscathed, I'll applaud your skill." Apparently, she's not about to judge if he does go ahead and use the rope swing. Who's to witness it here but her? And unless she's a grudge against Ka'el (which she doesn't), she isn't about to go blabbing all over Xanadu about how he had one small moment of youthful fun. Leaving him to explore, her eyes only follow as she quietly pushes back to her feet and her arms come to cross loosely over her chest. "Ahh, well then…" Uh. "… you hungry? Thirsty?" Hostess she is not. "I'm fine." she goes on to add, a little too swiftly. Liar, liar! Ujinath tattles by tensing where he rests by the road, tail flicking in mild irritation and just plain looking unsettled.

Ha! She only need tell him once! Try it? Well yes he should! Grinning, Ka'el begins to make his way towards the staircase. Is he really going to climb up to the top, swing, and risk breaking a leg just to try out a pretty awesome trick? Well … is he a nineteen turn old male whose mind at this age tells him that he is invincible and anything dangerous is at worth trying at least once? Of course he's going to really try! He's reached the staircase by the time she offers refreshments, to which he assures he's fine, no thank you. He only gets up two steps before he pauses, focused on something other than her. Kanekith, out there on the road, is an extra set of eyes. Or in this case, an extra sense that's cluing him in that things aren't quiet kosher with his blue companion . A brow is quirked and he turns to peer at the woman. Rope swing, or Kiena? Well that's an easy choice. The two steps that he took are retracted, and he heads towards the kitchenette, where she lingers. "You aren't really, are you?" he asks with faintly lifted brows. "Tell me." It's not spoken as a command. Instead, the phrase is encouragingly gentle.

Who'd pass up the chance to use that rope swing? It could have been a one-time offer! Or… something. Kiena will shrug when he politely declines the offer of refreshment, making no move to go seek some for herself either. She's focused anyhow on watching the Weyrleader climb the stairs and possibly go ahead with an un-Weyrleader like behaviour. Then he stops and she tilts her head, eyes narrowing slightly. She is just about to ask if he's lost his courage or some other witty remark when he's stepping down and heading her way. Immediately, she takes a few steps to the side and begins to move back into the living area of her weyr. "I'm fine." Kiena stresses again, eyes flashing. Gentle will not work, she's stubborn. "I've not even asked you how you are." she drawls with a smirk. "How've you been coping?" Lets turn the tables, shall we?

Ka'el lightly arches a brow. "Yeah?" he says at her insistence that she's fine, looking and sounding rather unconvinced. That lifted-brow remains so as he watches her, and he snorts through his nose. "Not from what Kanekith's gettin' from Ujinath you're not," he points out, looking at her with an expectant expression that shifts to exasperation as the question is turned back to him. "This is what honesty sounds like: I'm handling it. It isn't the easiest thing in the world, wakin' up next to your friend's mother and realizin' that suddenly now you're in charge of all the Wings and the people in them. What you do that changes how they work or who has a leadership position won't effect just the rider an' their dragon, but the whole dynamic of the Wing, not to mention the Weyr itself. It isn't easy to swallow the fact that any mistake I make or small thing I fail to see in the wordin' of some .. document that I sign is not just my mistake to bear anymore." He shakes his head. "I'm not fine. It's a lot've shardin' pressure for someone who didn't even ask for it. But I'm handling it." His brows lift, both of them this time, and he gives her a pointed look. "Honesty. Your turn."

Kiena's brows lift slightly and her eyes slide away as she hastily confirms what Ka'el tells her of Ujinath's mood and behaviour. It's the truth and her eyes close for a moment, mouth drawing back into a grim line. Damn it! The poor blue is just looking out for his rider, if in a very aloof and odd manner. When her eyes open again, they immediately lock on the Weyrleader, though technically more bronzerider now. He's not yet pulled rank on her yet, so the bluerider considers the field even. If they were outside, she'd defer to him out of respect. This, however, is her turf… on his turf. Ka'el's honest reply is met with silence though Kiena IS listening and closely at that and her expression shifts. She doesn't say it, but her eyes show that apology: she's sorry she asked. "It's a lot of stress too." she mutters. Duh! Most oblivious statement ever! "I don't envy your position. Don't know why some crave it, either." That may have been an attempt in sympathy on her part or just some awkward fumbling. Her turn now and she narrows her eyes at his pointed look. "Honestly? No, I'm not alright. But that's nothing new." she mutters and taking a few more steps back her hands grip at her arms as they cross in front of her again. Silence then. Is that it? Kiena takes a few breaths, mouth set and grim. No, she's not done. "I wrote to Zi'on, said I wanted to talk. He came here." Jerk of her head to indicate in the very room they're in now. "I didn't go well. Was already in a pissy enough mood that I seem to be stuck as an Apprentice…" Surprise, surprise? "Some hurtful things were said. I challenged him for my—our girls. Extended visits. He said no and we fought. Pretty much made me feel like I was a horrible person. Maybe I am. Satisfied now?"

Stress? Ka'el snerks. "Right. That too," he confirms as if shocked he didn't think of that himself. Ha! He's felt stress…since the moment his eyes opened in the guest weyr. But that will get better, right? Maybe. Hopefully. Or maybe Stress is one of those things that comes with the job and one never really gets rid of it. Thea certainly seems to have ten thousand things on her plate at one time. Whether or not Kiena means her words the be sympathetic, Ka'el takes them that way and he shakes his head. "The same ones who crave flights, probably," he murmurs before shrugging, dismissing this topic for a new: Her. She's not alright. Well duh. He waits patiently for her to continue on, and his head begins to slightly cant to one side when the silent stretches on. But finally… His mouth pulls down as she does continue, speaking of the Western weyrleader's visit. His apparent answer. Is he satisfied? "Yes and no," he answers, arms crossing as he mulls over her news, his brows lowering and staying that way a while. "How could he possibly say no?" He pauses, shakes his head, and rewards the question, "How does he have any right to say no? They're your children. You hardly see them as it is," And he's only gauging from how often he's seen them on Xanadu since she's lived here, "and you're their mother. What right does he have to tell you no? Weyrleader or not, it's not right." And now, it is Ka'el's issue. "Don't tell me you're taking his words for anything more than what they're worth, which is nothing. I don't waste my time with horrible people." A beat. "Unless horrible people are mistreating my riders." Yes. His riders. Brows are still lowered. Wheels still turning. "As for your rank. What's keeping you? Do you need time for your exams?"

Kiena lips curl into a grimace, "Who'd crave flights?" Not her and she suspects Ka'el does not either. As for his stress, she'd only be shooting in the dark as to whether or not it'd lessen for him. Again, she is only a bluerider and what little she knows she's gleamed from listening or figured out on those rare visits she pays to Fort Weyr where her Weyrleader brother resides. A brow quirks up. Yes and no? Kiena shrugs her shoulders and her arms uncross long enough for her to sweep them out in a helpless gesture. "Apparently he does have the right, since according to him I showed no interest in them before. Which is the truth." Not entirely. She may be good at bluffing with that, but she'll flinch for Ka'el's next words and any chance of lying is gone. Kiena is taking some of the words thrown at her that night seriously. Too much of it. "It was an argument. Nothing more." she says in a stiff and low voice in regards to any 'mistreatment'. Another backwards step and she sinks down on that couch, perched on the very edge and tense. As for the issue of her craft, she can only shake her head. "I do want to progress! I've been trying to sort it out how…" So? She doesn't seem to have anything more to add on it and falls quiet again.

Ka'el doesn't look happy, though whether it's from what she's saying or what she's doing is difficult to tell. He moves from where he is, still somewhat lingering in the kitchenette area, and heads closer to her couch perch, stopping a mere foot or so away. His crossed arms fall to his sides. "For all of the things you've said to me, all've the things you've done or I've watched you do, I never once took you as the type to play at bein' meek for anyone. Anyone, Kiena. What are you afraid of? They're your children. They're just as much yours as they're his. It's obvious you want them. You want to be their mother, else you never would've asked him to step foot in here. There isn't a person alive you should fight harder for than the two've them, and you can fight harder. I know you can. Weyrleader or not, he will listen to you." He can see her tenseness, mostly in the face, but that doesn't keep him from continuing or cause him to back away. What's she going to do? Hit him? .. Well, she might. But hey, he's a high ranking official now! Consequences abound! or something. "I don't pretend to know everything about you, Kiena. I don't. But I know enough to feel that your mistake is thinkin' that you've to do this alone. You're not alone. Tell me what you need and I'll help you to get it. Tell me what I can do to help you have your daughters more. I'm the Weyrleader! Shardit, I can do things." At least, he can a heck of a lot more than before! And as for her advancement in her craft? Well, that conversation has fallen to the wayside for now.

Kiena looks up at Ka'el when he stops a mere foot or so away, head tilting so that her blue eyes peer up from beneath a few loose strands of her hair. Her expression hardens as she bristles a bit at the word 'meek' used to describe her or her current behaviour. Meek? She scoffs, looking away. Afraid? Yes, she is. He at least hit that mark. Some of the fight returns to her though and she glares up at him now, Weyrleader or not. "You don't think for a second I won't fight for them? I already have started one! I stood my ground against Zi'on, twisted his arm until he more or less agreed to my terms! Oh, he listened, Ka'el but not before making sure I remembered just how much I screwed up the first time!" she says, voice not quite rising but neither is it exactly calm. Flustered more like it! She won't hit Ka'el. He's done nothing to deserve that, save to point out the truths Kiena either refuses to acknowledge or just hasn't seen. That and she's not so stupid as to hit a Weyrleader and may be the only reason why Zi'on escaped as he did unscathed. "I know I'm not alone." she admits quietly, some of that spark going out of her eyes as her temper ebbs back and she's no longer glaring and just eying him. Watching, waiting. "Yes, you are the Weyrleader. You can do things, but your focus is on the Weyr. Not just one bluerider and I ain't about to ask for favours. No offence, though I do take what you say seriously." she drawls slowly and then takes a slow breath before lifting a hand up to scrub wearily at her face before running it back through her hair. "But if you must know, I need to find a foster family. A good, reliable one that'd be willin' to take two twin toddlers. One that won't mind my odd schedules. Mur'dah has offered his help too when I go to get the girls." Yet she seems to hesitate there, conflicted. There's obvious happiness there but she's… concerned? Yes, that seems to be the closest emotion to pinpoint as it crosses her features.

He agreed to her terms? … More or less. Ka'el doesn't question the meaning of 'more or less' at this time. No, he'll just focus on the 'he agreed to her terms' part, which isn't what it sounded like was going to happen when she first started speaking. But even though that may be cause for celebration, his frowned look fails to lessen as she continues. It's likely that the frown isn't exactly meant for her. Or maybe it's just one of those 'deeply in thought' looks that automatically makes a frown. Whatever the case, it lingers, shadowing his face. "My focus is on the Wings. On the riders of the Wings," he says. "You're a rider, and so my focus is on you." If the Weyrleadership doesn't look out for its people, then who will? Though Ka'el may not be thinking on that grand of a scale right now, his heart is obviously in the right place. He wishes to help his friend. "If you want me to get technical, I could twist this so that in the end, it all comes back to effect the weyr, but … simple truth is usually best." He nods slightly at the mentioning of Mur'dah's help, but his mind is distracted again at something else she's said. A foster family. He nods again, this time a more decisive gesture. "I want you to send me your terms," he says, voice not exactly commanding, though sounding slightly more authoritative than a casual conversational tone. "The terms that you spoke to him, I want to see in writing. Also, I want you to write what your typical schedule looks like. I can check it myself," yay Weyrleader privileges, "but you'd know the intricate details better than me, including your rest days. Also," he continues, "Your rank. It may require extra duties, or not, depending, so factor that in as well just in case." He pauses, looking thoughtful. "In fact. I'll look in on the details of that now," he says decisively, glancing to the door before looking back at her in earnest. "There'll be no loopholes for him to weasel through. No reason that he can give to say you're unfit or unprepared." Now, he smiles a little. "Foster families aren't my forte, but I've resources to use, and I plan on using them." Tonight, apparently! He's already starting to turn for the door. "Have the list to me as soon as you can, please. I'll be in touch with ya soon."

It almost didn't happen. If Kiena had given in, let her guilt over the past and whatever tiny shred of feeling she had left for Zi'on come into play, it wouldn't have gone as it did. Not this time though, this time she stuck it out and won. Though she doesn't feel as victorious as she ought. Her head tilts as he frowns and she listens, tries to absorb his logic on the terms of where her problems factor in to all of it. She's thinking in terms of the Weyr, not on terms of friendship. Eventually that will sink in. Right now… she's too busy gaping at him when he lays out his terms or at least uses a more authoritative tone on her. Looking ready to protest, she bites it back in the end and scowls. "Alright." she agrees and then with a sigh her scowl eases and her shoulders drop a bit. "Alright. I'll try to get all of that to you by tomorrow or the day after." She does not miss the look towards the door and pushing to her feet, she will stand there awkwardly for a moment, watching him and her expression difficult to read. Not exactly closed off, but she's so mixed right now it's hard for her to focus on just one. At least she does manage to look somewhat grateful for all of Ka'el's help — now that she's beginning to accept it for what it is. When he turns for the door, Kiena will follow and open it for him, leaning a bit against it as she adds hesitantly. "Thanks… Ka'el. Maybe next time you can actually try the rope swing theory you have. Rather than me dump more work on you."

Ka'el definitely is going to need some help. With all the pull he claims he has, he certainly doesn't know just which way to pull. Or with how much effort. And in which direction. Luckily, he has guidance. This Weyrleading thing, as grandiose of a project is is, is not always a solitary task. He nods as she agrees to have those papers to him soon, looking satisfied by that. He steps through the doorway as its opened for him, the sky darker now than what it was when he first arrived. The first specks of stars begin to shine through. "I appreciate that. An' I will look some information on Xanadu's fosters." There ought to be some sort of record of them, right? Hopefully! He slows, lingering just outside her door with his eyes remaining upon her. His expression, creased with thinking, softens at the sound of his name, as usual, without the fanciness of a Weyrleader's title. "Hey, I've to get used to the work somehow. Rather it be this than some pointless paperwork," he remarks before glancing past her to her rope swing. He chuckles. "Ellie and Ezzie can teach me," he says, eyes flicking to her. "M'sure they'll be pros at it before long." Like when they're twelve. "Good evenin' to you, Kiena. Lock up when I'm gone. S'gettin' dark." Once S&R always S&R apparently! A small smile follows before he heads back down the road to mount up on Kanekith.

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