Zyriden (And Men Making Babies)

Xanadu Weyr - Infirmary
The infirmary here is intended for human care. It is regularly scrubbed spotless and smells of disinfectant, redwort and other herbs that are - if sometimes strong - preferable to the scents of sickness. Cots are lined up against one wall, with a set of curtains that can be pulled to give some privacy to the occupants of the cots if they so desire. They're mostly used for examinations of patients and the treatment of mild injuries that won't require long term care; near the back are some more private areas with folding dividers.
There's a number of cabinets that stand off against another wall, instruments and medications stored against when they will be needed, and a back room holds those supplies seldom required.
A desk with chair is set just off of the doorway to the caverns, meant for the healer to sit and catch up on record keeping after a long day's work or await patients. If things get too busy, the patients can do the waiting on a set of uncomfortable chairs set nearby. The other doorway comes directly from the clearing, wide enough for a team to carry a stretcher through.

SO THAT JUST HAPPENED. Risali popped out a baby on the beach, rested for a half day, and went right back to work — mostly because Bethari was taking time out to deal with her own pregnancy, to tend Risabeth after her flight with Aedeluth and try to ensure that at least one of their babies stuck. But HERE WE ARE NOW, summer sweeping through with another storm and Risali taking cover here, maybe skirting duties, maybe recovering from BUTTING HEADS WITH S'VAN OVER SETTING A DANCE FLOOR ON FIRE AT MONACO BAY — it doesn't matter. What matters is that Risali has commandeered her child and a bed, has perched herself up near the pillows and pulled up her legs to sit cross-legged while she traces the nose of a little face who rests in the crook of her arm. MAKE NO MISTAKE, Zyriden decided to come into the world a little too early, but not so early as to be sickly and in need of constant assistance. It's more a concern to make sure he gains weight, to make sure that he's healthy enough and eating enough to go home with Risali where she will raise him until he's old enough to between. So HERE IS YOUR SET, BAE: Risa, in her leathers, with her unruly, loose-curling hair down for once, rocking as she hums to Zyriden, watching him watch her as fingers trace and delineate and commit him to memory. He might be R'hyn's son, but he's her son too, and DAMN IF SHE'S NOT GOING TO CHERISH WHAT LITTLE TIME SHE HAS WITH HIM. Maybe that's why there's interruptions between the humming too, soft little words of, "Hi, baby. I'm your Mommy. Hi," whispered before she starts humming again.

What R'hyn's been up to in the meantime, aside from very artfully dodging a very pregnant Risali, is entirely up to the imagination. It's probably for the best that he wasn't there to bear witness to dance floors being set ablaze (for no doubt his more pyromaniac-minded daughter would have gleed at the opportunity to dance about it, wild and fey), or to children being birthed upon blankets of highly questionable origin (mostly for the sake of the apoplexy that would have resulted from him or his goldriding best friend both); it all might have been a little too much. This peace, this quiet, this general lack of chaos for once, in some aspect of his life suits him just fine. As he's been taught through nearly a decade spent at Ila'den's side, some moments are meant to just be observed, and so he does, long stride slowing to quiet steps as he enters the infirmary, something around the edges of blue-grey eyes going soft and edged all at once. There's still traces of guilt, of awkwardness, flickers of memories of hands and mouths being places they shouldn't have, but it's not enough to overwhelm the enormity of the result, of this, a scene he stops to watch, shoulder pressed to a wall, feet crossing at ankles, gaze fixed and steady as though willing his mind to preserve it forever. It seems, for a moment, as though this might be where he remains, content to let seconds turn to minutes to an eternity, but eventually he shakes himself free of personal ponderances and moves forwards to interrupt the quiet moment between mother and child. "Thank Faranth he got your looks," is murmured by way of greeting as he eases to sit on the edge of the cot with no permission asked, big body lined with hesitation, eyes flicking from Risali to Zyriden and back before seeming to reach a decision. Inwards he leans, the better to see him too, to watch her fingers trace, one hand moving of its own volition to press the pad of his thumb gently into the arch of one tiny, tiny foot. Air is taken into lungs as though there might be more to say, but whatever it is, it goes unspoken for now, exhaled with a slow lowering of shoulders, gaze riveted, mesmerized.

We all know what R'hyn's been up to in the meantime and RISALI DOESN'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT, OKAY. GROSS. (WINK WONK) JKJKJK (half JK). It's unimportant because ILAMUSE GET OUT OF HERE THAT'S WHY. AHEM. It's unimportant because what's important right now, right this second is this: that quiet moment of observation, the bonds forming between mother and child and father, that inseparable something that — even though Risali knows Zyriden isn't hers to keep (and not because she doesn't want him, but because she knows that he will find more than she can give him with R'hyn, and Ila'den, and Citayla) - cements, and imprints, and marks you forever. It's not until R'hyn is approaching that she looks up, those hackles already on the rise, the tiny goldrider bristling and… deflating when he settles on the cot, when soft words earn hushed laughter and, despite her own hesitation, Risali leans forward to press shoulders together, to meet R'hyn halfway so that he can have a better look at Zyriden when she drags the tip of one finger down little lips that part instinctively, on the hunt for food. "Here," she finally breathes, pressing closer just enough to hand him over, mindful of little heads and big bodies before she leans back. A beat, as Risali stares at her son, and then lifts her attention to stare at R'hyn. And maybe those memories are there for her too, those flashes of hands, and words, and teeth, and quasi-violence that have her looking away, back down to Zyriden, reaching out to press one finger into a tiny grasp. "He looks like you, I think. Minus all the ugly parts - thank Faranth." BUT SHE IS JOKING. There is mischief in that hint of laughter on her lips, in the scrunch of her nose and the flicker of eyes in his direction before she focuses back in on that little bundle of baby boy that they made together. Risali's lips falter, her breath leaving on an exhale that comes with emotion, that bespeaks a sudden heaviness that she's probably been struggling with since she found out he was pregnant. "He's perfect, R'hyn. Everything about him is perfect." AND STUBBORN. LIKE HIS DAD. BECAUSE HE CAME OUT WHEN HE WANTED ON A SEX BLANKET AND DIDN'T WAIT FOR HELP. LIKE HIS DAD. Who maybe didn't come out on a sex blanket BUT THE REST APPLIES.

LISTEN, R'hyn does or is done by other things other than Ila'den, alright! Life sees fit to try and screw him around a few corners on the regular, for example, but that's neither here nor there; what is here is the source of his focus, blue-greys fastened on little toes as they curl inwards, creating soft wrinkles that he traces with the tips of calloused fingers. Risali's lack of fight, her shift to lean against him is met with a grateful glance, steadily-increasing lines at the corners of his eyes deepening with a swift scrunch of lids, but the gesture lasts as long as his look, which is to say, not long at all. Amusement rushes out of it to be replaced with something quiet and emotional, moved not quite to tears but moved nevertheless as Zyriden's tiny form is passed into his arms. He takes equal care, what might once have been awkward jagged moves smoothed over with turns of experience, settling his son - his son - against his chest with an ease that speaks to practice. The rest of him seems to curl around him, long legs pulling up onto the cot, shoulders curving in, fringes dangling almost low enough to touch blankets as R'hyn simply embraces Zyriden's tiny form for a long moment before seeming to compose himself. "Mmm," gets murmured thickly to her mischievous observation, embracing the much-needed levity with a brief laugh of his own. "I don't know. I think I gave him my nose," he notes as though he almost regrets it, hand lifting to settle over Risali's, thumb brushing combined knuckles once, twice, before continuing on to trace the lines of a blunted baby nose. "Poor sucker." But he doesn't mean it, not even a little bit, doesn't feel anything at all but that distinct parental pride that comes with having made something like this, made a life, no matter how small the role. Risali's lips falter and his eyes slide closed, unwilling or perhaps unable to trust himself with a proper response to that. Instead he nods a slow, unsteady nod that quickens to emphasize his agreement because yes he's perfect and yes he's stubborn, as stubborn as Rynmuse's notion that he clearly didn't come out on a sex blanket, ayooo. "He is," the bronzerider manages after a moment, shoulder pressing harder to hers in a need to share the full extent of this brief, beautiful moment with her. "Thank you." For keeping him. For having him. For so many little things he hasn't dared voice, despite hearing them second-hand, or supposing them for himself, or simply deducing and making assumptions based on any one of a number of things that there simply aren't words for. There's only this, only this tiny person, only this bundle of infinite potential and Faranth, but it's enough.

WHAT IS THEIR NAME? ILA'DEN HAS WORDS FOR THEM. Or highfives. Or they're his daughter but SHUT UP, ILAMUSE, THIS IS NOT YOUR MOMENT. This is Risali and R'hyn's moment; this is Zyriden's moment. This is a moment for hands, and thumbs, and quiet touches that mean so much more than what they say on the surface. These are moments for Risali to watch R'hyn, to be as observant as she is present, to soak up the sight of Zyriden loved and safe and protected outside of her own arms - outside of the arms of the only other two people she trusts. So Risali doesn't pull away from thumbs that find knuckles to communicate something Risali and R'hyn both will probably never give voice to; no, Risali catches at R'hyn's wrist for a fraction of that contact, to squeeze in a way that says she knows and she feels it too even as soft laughter escapes her, even as humor vies for dominance on her features and wins. "Your nose is the least of his worries," comes on a whisper. And then even whispers are too much. Looks, and touch, and anything other than that nod to reiterate that she agrees, that Zyriden is perfect is too much because her throat is tight, and any other attempts to agree might end with catastrophic results - for her vision and her sanity both. So Risali takes a deep breath instead, swallows down air and forces a laugh and manages a shaky, breathy, "Thank you." And maybe she wants to say something else, maybe there's something that needs to be said because the goldrider is looking from their son to R'hyn, grey eyes jumping between grey-blue when lips part and - that privacy curtains is pulled back, REVEALING ONE ILA'DEN who has enough good sense to look from his daughter, to his weyrmate, to his grandson-baby and sense all of that feel-good tension. And break it. "Normally I would say, 'If that's what you want, baby,' but in this case, I think things might get a little awkward." AND YEP. THERE GOES RISA'S NOSE, scrunching in DISGUST as she looks up to her father and back to R'hyn, all to the tune of her father's husky laughter because if anybody on the planet knows how to ruin a moment, it's Ila'den. "I'll… leave you three alone," Risali offers, stiff and formal, shifting to get to her feet and pause just long enough to hug Ila'den on her way out to Faranth only knows where. That means it's Ila'den's eye tracking her progress, Ila'den who waits a beat, two, three, before pulling the curtain closed and crossed the small gap to that bed where he sits. And watches. "Congratulations, husband," comes finally, soft as one too-big hand reaches out to curl gentle along the top of skull, to smooth down the hair that might not be considered full, but is certainly a far cry from being sparse. "To both of you." Though whether he means Risali or Zyriden, that's up for interpretation.

Early evening finds the infirmary in a lull, relative quiet broken only by the soft sussurous of voices and healers at work and the dull rumble of thunder from the world without. Risali is just making her exit, breezing past privacy curtains left open to brave the storm outside, leaving a pair of bronzeriders perched on the edge of a cot that seems far too small in comparison to their sizes. One is too-tall, the other too-broad, the combined effect likely to create a sense of claustrophobia if R'hyn weren't content to swing his feet down off the bed, the better to scoot closer to Ila'den's form. Blue-grey eyes track Risali's departure, watching her go with an inscrutable expression before he focuses on the bronzer at his side, features softening into a quiet sideways smile. There are no words offered in response to that congratulations, not yet - instead he leans to share the tiny bundle of days-old baby with the older man, watching fingers smooth fine baby hair before issuing soft laughter. "And to you," he finally says, though he doesn't expound on the many significant ways this could be an exciting moment for Ila'den. Instead he blinks, peers down at the damp slowly seeping into his shirt sleeve, and makes a playful face up at the bronzerider. "Though noone will be congratulating you if the puddles you dripped in here cause an accident," comes as a gentle accusation, spoken with a distracted air as his gaze drops back down to Zyriden to just… look. "I keep waiting for it to get less significant. It never does." A look is flicked up at Ila, fleeting at best but no less suffused with warmth before finally he clears his throat and whisks his gaze out towards the weyr beyond, watching the door as though expecting something. "Did you leave the rest at home?"

There are some that may compare her to a whirlwind, but Taeli has forever been an outcast child from a people whom she both desperately loves and cannot stomach (literally), so perhaps that's why she's creeping around the infirmary as she is currently. The young hunter lass looks AMAZINGLY guilty-faced, holding a bleeding hand cradled to her chest, a baby gold firelizard tucked between the offendingly leaking appendage and Tae's slim chest. It's dripping. She's leaving a trail. Legit this girlchild could not be more effing obvious, but the way she comes poking around the corner is both inquisitive and visibly ready to cringe backward at the first sign of an authority figure. Luckily, it's just Ila'den and R'hyn! Haha..aha.. ah.. hem. She all but manifests before them (blood-drip) and then freezes in place (nother blood-drip) but her eyes — after rigidly assessing the pair of dudes — drop to the baby and her whole damn face changes. Typical freakin' teenaged girl. Did she just freakin' coo?! (yeah they're gonna need to clean that up). Niko-the-firelizard struggles, her head swinging up and over to see wtf all the fuss is about, her eyes whirling FASTER and BRIGHTER and OH MY GOD IT'S A BABY. Then uh, Taeli, uh, she kinda figures out that uh, she probably doesn't need to, uh, be here… (drip-splatter) "But how's that even POSSIBLE," she blurts out before she can even think of silencing her uber-holder little mouth.

There's a low rumble of sound in Ila'den's chest, a cross between contentment, and amusement, and something much more clever, something that turns to husky laughter that never quite makes it past his lips as congratulations reach his ears and his weyrmate comes closer. "Aye, thank you," comes husky, pitched low on a rasp - but not because Ila'den is trying to seduce R'hyn right here, on this here infirmary bed, where he has every reason in the world to strip out of leathers because he is soaking wet and wet means sick and sick means hypothermia and hypothermia means death and what better way to combat cold death than by shared body heat (which is exactly what he would tell a healer if he was stripping down to seduce R'hyn right here, on this here infirmary bed, soaking wet, because he's rude but also thankfully he has manners sometimes (and okay there's a baby and that complicates things)), but because that's just his voice. RUN ON SENTENCES, HOOOOOO! As for thanks to puddles and the potential hazard they pose in the wake of Ila's thoughtlessness, Ila'den smiles that wolfish smile, the kind that implicates dark things, that predicates a predators sighting prey and knowing just how to catch it. Instead of commenting, he rumbles a rough, "Thank you," as he pitches that too-big body forward, as the hand on Zyriden's head shifts to cradle to back of R'hyn's as he pulls him forward to press lips against his temple. And this is how he is when tiny, bleeding huntresses find their way into the purview of a wolf and an over-sized puppy dog. Without moving, those dark brows raise as that lone remaining grey eye fixes on Taeli, settles on her hand, and raises slowly back up to focus on the owner of that much-wounded hand. DON'T WORRY, TAELI. The unruly hair and the eyepatch might SCREAM dangerdangerdanger, but it's only half true (jk, he's a teddy bear). It's her question that has Ila'den shifting away from R'hyn, that sees amusement curling his lips and showing too many teeth as Ila'den offers a raspy, "Well you see, little bird, when a Mommy and a Daddy love each other very much…" Is he bringing up his hands to make them do ILLICIT THINGS? R'hyn, stop him. SOMEBODY STOP HIM BEFORE THIS GOES ANY FURTHER.

It's entirely possible, after nearly ten turns of getting on, that R'hyn can read illicit thoughts that come and go behind his weyrmate's gaze, can see the cogs of 'no really, mister guard, sir, it was for his own safety, it's not public indecency if it's legit' despite any and all insistence that it's just the tone of his voice. Mmhmm. JUST. A dangerous brand of amusement flickers through blue-grey eyes, shoulders going square as though intimating a distinct willingness to rise to the implied challenge in that wolfish smile, but… alas. There is a time and a place for everything, and the kiss pressed to his temple takes every ounce of bluster out of the bronzer, any lingering anxiety fading as he leans carefully into the gesture, a low noise rising in his throat to acknowledge the thanks. Alas, anything he might have drummed up in response is lost as blue-grey eyes catch and seize on the approach of a very-much-bleeding young woman who seems entirely-too-little concerned with the status of her hand. "I… You…," he starts, stops, eyes her even as she assesses them, returning the scrutiny with equal levels of inquisitiveness (with an extra dash of dubiousness in the form of a sideways glance at Ila because does she know she's bleeding? Should someone tell her?!) before saying, "You should probably get that looked at." Unfortunately for R'hyn, he says it at the same time she spies Zyriden, the majority of it lost to Taeli's coo and ensuing question and NOPE. He's noping right on out of that one, eyes assuming the vapid lack of focus that implies he knows exactly what hell is chuggalugging her way and isn't even slightly going to stop it. Up come Ila's hands, and only then does R'hyn flick his eyes towards the poor young holder girl, staring her dead in the eyes as though to say, 'well you did ask' as lips press together tightly in an attempt to hold back laughter. "Ila that isn't even physically possible," gets said at length, mostly to give Taeli some form of mercy, arms shifting to hold Zyriden a little less possessively, and a little more so the huntress can see him properly if she so pleases. His voice wobbles, betraying bone-deep amusement, the Half Moon weyrleader having to clear his throat once, twice before he can trust himself to ask, "But seriously, are you alright?"

Taeli is a pretty sparse individual in build and … probably brains, really, but that's neither here nor there, the other alliterative word is blood, because she's leaving it all on the floor. Slowly. The death of a thousand drops. Her eyes go big as saucers as Ila'den starts on his HAND GESTURES, but that slowly morphs into an angled-eyebrow frown of minute vexation that not even the presence of an adorable freakin' newborn can take away. "But you guys are two daddys," she says POINTEDLY, looking first at Ila'den and then at R'hyn and then back again. "I don't think it's the same when it's two daddies," she lifts her nonbloody hand to scratch her chin in uber-mystified far-off thought, but then she's having to grip Niko harder to prevent the SPAZTASTIC little thing from bursting from her grip. The huntress inches a little closer, a shuffled step at a time, craning her attention back on Zyriden with those dopey-ass eyes that children-oriented young women get when presented with a cute wrinkly-faced jellybean that will indubitably grow up to be yet another asshole. "He's so cute," she gushes in a STAGE WHISPER to R'hyn, her eyes getting big all over again and the diminutive girl hunkering her shoulders together as if to make herself even smaller, looking over one shoulder with a WEATHER EYE OUT. But then. "But seriously," with a speed that starts slow and then CRANKS ON UP, "How does that even work? I mean I haven't even thought about it, it's not like it's something that they really are okay with back home, and oh, I mean, OH! I don't mean, like, they don't… They don't really know what they're doing, you know? Because they're just fishermen, they don't know nothing about nothing, but I just… how does it work with two daddies again?" she asks Ila'den, attentive and ready for her lesson, sir.

I mean, there are subtle nuances and things to be read in inflection and tone when one is as well-versed in Ilanese as R'hyn is, and so it isn't exactly fair to say that it's not just his tone of voice. BECAUSE IT IS, Y'ALL. It's just accented with an extra hint of growl here, or a curl of unchecked burr there, or a hint of something dark and hard and dangerous to incite that very reaction in his weyrmate - one that Ila'den can't possibly appreciate to its fullest extent because there is a smol girl staring at their baby, and she is bleeding. Everywhere. And while Ila'den is a simple man of simple pleasures, even he can be distracted from carnal collusion by injured kind-of-children (and okay, that tiny, cute, newborn baby boy in Heryn's arms). "Impossible is only a word that unimaginative men use when they mean improbable, Heryn." Still, Ila focuses on Taeli's questions, the hands hard at work to do VERY LEWD ACTIONS grabbing one of the sheets on that cot and - yes, very rudely - starting to tear it into strips while he answers. "His name is Zyriden, and it works because one of us is actually a woman." Did he just POINT AT RYN LOWKEY WITH ONE HAND? He did, because he's rude, and there's even a conspirator's smile to go with it as that too-big body shifts and the unruly man in his leathers, without his knot, and sporting an eye-patch like some honest-to-Faranth fairytale villain given life catches Taeli's hand gently between his callus own. "But actually what happens is that there is still a mommy, and sometimes, little bird, dragonflights make very unexpected people do very unexpected things with very expected consequences." He checks for any debris, and then very carefully wraps up her wound - not enough to dismiss the help of a healer, but certainly enough to stop her from bleeding everywhere and leaving a DNA trail in her wake. "And nine months later," he ties it off, pushing her hand back towards her chest before letting go, "the lives of everybody involved get changed irrevocably." Which might be more comforting if Ila'den didn't have such a raspy, growly voice BUT HE WORKS WITH WHAT HE'S GOT, OKAY. "Now you go get that looked at, and maybe ask those nice healers a thing or two about anatomy and how it works, and I'm going to fetch my weyrmate, take him somewhere nice and quiet, and prove to him that anything is possible." WHICH IS WHY HE IS GAINING BOOTED FEET, and STALKING TOWARDS BABY-WIELDING WEYRLEADERS, and hauling R'hyn up in a princess carry because he's the rudest human (but at least it's not over his shoulder this time). "Take care, little bird." And there he goes, to find a healer to give babies back to (HE CAN'T LEAVE YET), and then shouldering open doors to weather to storm without letting his Very Manly Weyrmate put his feet on the ground. RIP RYN. YOU CHOSE THIS LIFE.

There is a CINEMATIC MOVIE currently playing out in Taeli's expressions and reactions, but — just like a movie — it's too long for one person to summarize succinctly and with any genuine worth in under three minutes. Fuck you awful trailers that spoil all the goddamned endings. The pertinent facts: she looks more interested in the size difference of Ila'den's hands over her own than terrified, and 110% low-key intense side-staring at R'hyn to try to figure out covertly if he is, y'know, IN FACT A WOMAN. But she follows along, confusion written on her fair brow, and watches them leave from her little spot. She looks around, looks down at the little baby gold in her hands, and then up at the ceiling. "Still don't know how that works with two daddies," she announces to the world, before turning and happily skipping out on seeing a healer, 'cause HELLO she got a bandage, FROM A PIRATE DUDE NO LESS, she's got to go tell her fam that some eye-patch dude is probably going to be terrorizing their fleet at any given moment. Like a two year old. But a really advanced one.

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