Take me Away!

Xanadu Weyr - Coastal Road

This coastal road runs parallel with the edge of beach that stretches endlessly beside the Caspian Lake. From coast to inland the dunes of the beach grow smaller and smaller until they eventually peter out into nothing but small moguls in the sand. The path is eventually seen to be blocked by a river that reaches the lake just south of the point where the road turns west and crosses a grassy meadow towards a sturdy wooden bridge that can be seen in the distance.

Late spring brings green to Xanadu once more, warmth and lengthening days see crops in the ground, Gather's scheduled and more folks on the roads. There's been more visitors of late passing though Xanadu, many of them restless and fearful after the raids in the surrounding areas. The weyrstaff have had their hands full with meetings and soothing tempers and concerns, settling guests and seeing them on their way. Vacations have been curtailed for nearly three months now and longer for Thea, since Seryth had been egg-heavy, then brooding. Finally, however, a three-day leave of absence has been arranged for both the Junior and the Weyrsecond, nannies secured for the children and this time Thea has done the arranging as to where, keeping it a secret for now. She's packed their carrysacks and sits on the porch waiting and ready. Seryth is harnessed and eager to fly. Now where IS that man of hers?

D'had is.. well he's not there yet even though he was supposed to be there some time ago. Just a minute or so longer however and Siebith appears above, circling lower to land outside their weyr. "Sorry," D'had apologizes as he drops to the ground off the blue's back. "Wingleaders," he adds that one word in explanation.

Thea is a patient sort, so she's not upset, although she is quite looking forward to this getaway. She's been sitting there on the porch, chin propped in hands, elbows on knees, all dressed for riding save her jacket, just enjoying the breezes off the lake and the view of the horizon. Humdedum. When Siebith shows up overhead, Seryth is immediately aware and thus Thea is too, so that by the time the pair land, she has risen, bags in hand, offering his over and leaning in to greet him with a kiss to the cheek. "Still grouching about G'ene's changes, are they?" She's sympathetic to his having to deal with them, but there's also that air of suppressed excitement about her and a 'can we go' dance to the ice green gaze awaiting his reply.

D'had nods. ‘Unfortunately’ hanging as the silent reply. "Yeah," he returns as he takes his bag from her in exchange for a kiss to her cheek. "Can't exactly blame them on all'a it though, but the next three days.. Those aren't for them. They're all yours." So yes, they can go. The sooner the better.

Thea has no argument with leaving, though as she leans her cheek into that kiss of his, she makes a hmm of agreement. "G'ene seems pretty driven," is her noncommittal reply. "But at least the hungover wingriders and absenteeism has dropped?" But she's completely willing to leave all their stresses behind and so without further delay, flashes him a brilliant smile, whirls to head over for Seryth, making haste to mount, secure her bag and urge the queen up into the sky. When they are aloft, the coordinates are shared and they pop *Between*

They emerge three beats later somewhere in a remote mountain valley over a long, narrow lake shimmering the same startling azure hue as the sky, reflecting the sharp peaks that rise above deep forests painted in Autumn's golds and oranges and vivid reds. Thea directs Seryth down to skim the lake and the queen tilts one wing, flashing golden in the early morning sunlight to a gliding touchdown on a small pebbled beach. Where has she taken them? Well, that's for D'had to ask.

D'had nods, moving back to secure his bag and mount back up after which Siebith launches into the sky. The coordinates shared and the pair follow the queen and her rider between. Where exactly they are now D'had doesn't particularly care so long as he doesn't have to deal with G'ene or any related complaints. He does ask however, once they've landed alongside Seryth. "Reaches I'm guessing..?"

Thea wastes not a moment unclipping herself, slips her arm through the carrysack's loops, shouldering the bag back out of the way and dismounts with her usual swing-round (she's going to break her neck one of these days) to land with a crunch on the gravelly shore. She beams at D'had as she begins undoing Seryth's harness without further ado. "Your guess is correct! We're on Cold Stone Hold land here." Clinking of harness buckles ring out in the quiet, her attention is on undoing the queen's breast strap, but she peeks up under her lashes to see his response to that, given they're now not so very far from… a certain holder.

D'had mutters to himself at her clarification as to where in Reaches they are. No, the reminder of her father is not a good one, but he doesn't comment on that. "Almost as pretty as you," he teases as he follows suit and dismounts to release Siebith from his straps.

Thea ducks her head to hide a smile for that muttering of his. It wouldn't do to let him see that she's amused by that. "He's two mountain ranges away and isn't even aware we've here," she reassures him while walking backwards and hauling the gold's straps off. Seryth is now free and her choice is to lift off into the clear skies, her trill enticing Siebith to fly with her and show her his fancy tricks while soaring about those sharp peaks that hang above the lake. Once the straps are coiled, there's a shed to store them in and she will wait for D'had to finish with his before stepping to him and tucking her hand in the crook of his arm. As she guides him towards a footpath, she casts an uncertain smile for that teasing of his, "You sure you don't mind coming here?"

D'had nods, finishing the process of removing those straps and dropping them off for storage where Thea directs. Siebith is more than happy to leap back into the air and show off for Seryth. As for the Weyrsecond, he puts a hand over hers as she links arms with him. "No, don't mind," he replies, "Long as he stays two mountain ranges away."

"He will," is Thea's grave promise, her free hand reaching to rest atop his while she leans her head against his shoulder as they walk. The path curves around a thicket of red maples, passes though a small clearing and towards a rustic cabin that can be just glimpsed back under the trees at the forest's edge. To further explain, "The stock has been brought down to the lower paddocks in readiness for winter. So this herder's cottage is empty and there's no one for miles to see dragons in the sky. No one will be up here until spring." She steps onto the porch while drawing a big lungful of that mountain air in, savoring the scent of pine and crisp fall leaves. "I’ve just missed the place so."

D'had chuckles quietly. "I can imagine you would. Know how I miss the sea from time ta time." And they live fairly close. "Ya don't need ta stay away on my account." So long as he doesn't have to deal with her father. That would cause north and south conflicts.

Thea's reaction to that is a sudden shudder that he'll feel with her arm linked in his. "No!" With forced lightness, she adds more quietly, "I promised you I wouldn't go back there, remember? He's… not right in the head." And he knows what her father tried to do the day she did, after which the twins were born, so she leaves that unsaid. Withdrawing the hand she'd rested on top of his, she reaches for the knob, but remains motionless, head down, caught in a sudden recollection if the strained look on her face is anything to go by.

D'had shakes his head, "Ain't gonna keep ya from here, promise or no. I just don't want ya near him, and judgin' by that reaction ya ain't wantin' ta be that anyway." There's nothing to worry about then. He knows all too well what happened that day though. "Somethin' wrong?"

Thea lifts her head to smile faintly up at him. It takes her a few tries, "He… It's just… It hits me hard sometimes is all." She lets out a long breath, slips her hand out of his arm, leaves go of the knob while unconsciously rubbing her hands together. "If I didn't have you… and the twins…" And speaking of them, draws her to turn back to that stunning lake and gesture towards the proud mountains where a blue and gold chase one another in a weaving dance about the peaks. "Because of him, they're missing half their heritage." Really, she oughtn't to keep him out on the porch like this.

"They gonna be any worse off for it?" D'had questions gently, resting his hands on her shoulders in reassurance. "Babe, I know I can't understand. He's your da, an' I know it can't be easy. I dunno how ta fix it though." Which is a lot for him, admitting that.

"I'm… not sure?" And this is a lot for Miss 'I'm Fine' to admit as she leans to press her cheek against one of those hands that rest on her shoulders in a silent gesture of appreciation for both his support and that admission. Turning to him, she slips her arms about his waist, giving him that smile he's always wanting. "You shouldn't think I want you to fix it; I don't. You're there. It's enough." And lest they get bogged down in the might-have-beens, she reaches past him, turns the knob and pushes the door open revealing the one room habitation, the sweet scent of cedarwood, the faint tang of woodsmoke greets them.

"It'll be alright," D'had does his best to assure, pressing a kiss to her forehead when she smiles up at him. When she opens the door however she might be surprised to be finding herself being scooped up by the bluerider and carried inside. "Very nice," he observes.

"My mother had it made up for us- ACK!!!" Thea finds herself scooped up unexpectedly, her arms reflexively making a grab 'round his neck, although there's no fear of being dropped and her laughter rings out, well-pleased with this little surprise and lighthearted once more. The cottage is very nice indeed - polished wood floors gleam, the bed in the corner has been made up with fresh linens and colorful patchwork quilts, the crisp curtains hang dust-free, tempting foodstuffs, specialty items from the High Reaches have been left on a study table by the woodstove. There's a small, scuffed leather-bound couch reminiscent of the one he's got back home. It's got that comfortable, lived-in feel to it.

D'had chuckles. "Well when ya write her next ya tell 'er thanks," he teases, stealing a kiss as he crosses the space to the bed. There he 'drops' her. Gently of course, dropped even so. "Hope ya don't have too many plans while we're here." Grin.

"Of course, wh- mmph." Is as far as Thea gets with that answer as lips on hers interrupt and thus her reply is an enthusiastic return of that kiss instead of words. And since she's busy being sidetracked (she's long ago seen this cottage anyway), her eyes closed enjoying that kiss he's stealing, she's not paying attention to where he's going with her and thus - again - is surprised when he drops her. She squeaks, flails and lands with a flump on her back, sinking into those quilts and a disarray of tumbled hair in her eyes. Levering herself up on one elbow while blowing at the stuff to get it out of her eyes, she twinkles up at him, "I was planning on making you chase me?" Grin riiiight back.

"Well you shoulda thought of that before you let me catch you," D'had teases as he stands over her. "Shouldn't ya?" Amusement clear on his face. Between her squeals and flailing and teasing what's not laugh worthy.

Thea pretends to give this serious and sober consideration, her head tilts to one side as she peers up at him between strands of dark hair that partially block her field of vision. She can't quite keep a straight face and finally at his phrasing, a smirk curls the lips she's trying so hard to keep straight and she drawls, "Let you. At least you’ve got that right. But I think there's something you should know-" Her eyes glint mischief, which will be his only warning before she launches an attack, half-springing to snag him 'round the neck and pull him down with her if she can. "I conspired with the cupcakes to do it," she laughs this secret into his ear, obviously taking license with his comment. By all means, laugh worthy.

D'had grins. "Well I have to let you think you're in charge every once in awhile," he teases only moments before that 'attack' comes. Of course it does make it easier and perhaps a bit more expected being that he's leaning to catch her up about the same time. It should be a good vacation in bed if nothing else.

Thea will manage to get him out of it, if only for brief snatches of time for meals and walks in those golden woods or beside the tranquil lake, taking the time to simply enjoy being with him and strengthening their bond as well as their friendship. She'll talk about nothing other than trivial things, often allowing the silence between them to stretch comfortably and companionably while curling close to his side, whether it's sitting on a boulder to watch the sun set over those crags or relaxing on that leather couch in the evenings before the open door of that wood stove with a crackling fire burning. The nights… well they're… satisfyingly uninterrupted by the patter of three turn old feet and the curious questions of, "What are you doin' Mommy and Daddy?"

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