Picking up the Pieces (Vignette)

Seelie Court (Evi's weyr)
//At first sight, even from the outside, this weyr is big. Off a long and twisty path, tucked close to the ridge between where the forest meets the meadow. The rock looming overhead provides security. Externally the walls are a mix of wood and stone, the front marked by a large teal wooden door with two yellow flowering plants framing it. The sides of the weyr have trellis's pushed up against the walls, and creeping vines enclose the wall-sized bay windows that wrap around the structure of the dwelling and make up the entire front-facing second story. A purple painted stone path leads back to a dragonsized door of bright violet, round and ginormous compared to human doors, made of hard solid wood with mechanical pistons that allow for smooth opening and closing.

Inside it's clear, this place was meant to be lived in by more than a few people, it's enormous. Much larger than a dwelling occupied by a lone greenrider. There's an ample kitchen, a grand wooden dining table with enough matching chairs for 8 people. Beyond that a den, soft lilac chairs are surrounded by shelves meant for books that look out onto the side garden full of seasonal flowers and avian feeders. Adjacent to the den is a left spiraling wooden staircase. The rear portion holds a gigantic couch, softly covered in soft fabrics of every color and embroidered with intricate floral and vine patterns. There's a closet the size of an average bedroom, twenty hooks line the walls, straps of varying colors and embellishments as well as oil, cloths, and anything necessary for dragon care lays on the shelves. Further in is another living room, a sofa of bright coral, and two matching comfortable chairs surround a table covered in the hide of a herdbeast dyed neon pink. Rugs are scattered throughout the entire dwelling, soft and fluffy, and houseplants sit near every window.//


Somewhere over Fort Weyr, a dark striped figment hovers high over the colossal bowl in the bitter winter cold. Dawn was several hours off, and the chill was at it's deepest. The perfect time to leave thought Evi to Neifeth.

The dragon could not agree more as her rider waved to the watch rider, and she prepared for the visual that would take them home.

For the 8th time, the young greenrider checks to make sure her precious cargo is secured, the bundle tied to her body, and tucked under her jacket to share body heat as well as the thick flying gear she had wrapped around him.

Even after the assurance of I'rly and two healers, she was nervous, and if she lost her nerve now, the three of them would probably not get home until the little ones turnday. That would please her, she realized, to never face the new normal she agreed to adopt.

Neifeth sends a tendril of pink mist into her rider's mind, prodding gently for the image of home; the smell of sweet bread, humid foliage, and nutty oils rides a wave of assertive rose-tinted comfort. «Go.» A command, the push her rider needs to act.

Without further hesitation, she pictures the southern coastal Weyr, adjusting the image for the time of day and the moons' position before sending the finished product to Neifeth. She's long since outgrown the need to count, could feel the slight tension ripple through her green before they were suddenly nowhere.

Black, blacker, blackest, she thought to herself, holding onto baby Izzy as he took his first trip *Between* It could have been 4 seconds, but more likely 8 before they appear over the dark, warm summer Meadow and are instantly overdressed. "Welcome home, Izzy." She whispers down, unzipping her riding jacket to reveal the sleeping boy. Still asleep, she notes, with a measure of pride that lights a soft smile on her lips.

Without prompting the green circles and lands, talons finding soft grass. Evi had been back, of course, for duty and to perform household chores and check on her cats, but that was different from now. Now she had a baby and needed a routine; she had no Ibby to keep her company. For the first time in two and a half turns, she was alone.

Dismounting carefully, she goes through the motions of stripping straps off and allows her dragon to open the side door into the fae-struck weyr. Walking in, she stares around at the bright curtains of teal and yellow, moving them aside to make room for Nei. Fussing, avoiding looking around.

If ever there was a time to feel it all, it's now. She had not let herself fall apart, could scarcely afford it with a new baby. But now, staring up at the home they had built together, she felt the cracks spreading in the dam she'd built of her own stubborn pride. Disaster only a breath away. Unwrapping the baby, she cradles him tightly, looking at the firelizard houses hung with care on the opposite wall. There's too many of them now, they used to be the perfect number and now there are too many.

Unable to blink, she avoids the torrent of tears by staring forward and walking with a mild stomp; anger would help, if only she could be angry. But at who?

Herself. She did this. She did this to all of them. The thought made her want to vomit, stomach in knots and tangles even a seacrafter might find tricky.

Neifeth snorts, and Evi shakes her head harshly, braids smacking her cheeks. "You can hush; I have to think."

Delaying the inevitable was not helping anyone, even as her mind raced through every piece of him that remained here. Precious fragments of a life that had carried a promise of forever. The table he had fixed once, the chair where he ate breakfast, the kitchen counter where they'd first kissed. All of it whispered the history created in the space, whispered of the countless dinners spent together. He was everywhere.

That thought did it, cracks opened up, and the dam burst as salty tears clung to her eyelashes and sobs ripped through her chest. He was gone.

Turning from the dining room, she walked up the stairs, looking away from his office underneath them, opening the white door that didn't creak because he changed the hinges the summer they met.

Looking at the brightly painted cat ramps, her mind filled with the days and weeks they spent painting them. The living room full of places they had once been a we.

A light meow echoes down the hall, a questioning kitty 'hello? Is someone home?' she answers with a wet sob, throat catching with a keen, "Yes babycat, mamas here. Come on, babies, come see me, sweets."

Surrounded by felines of varying furless goblin-like appearance, the night is less scary, and as the lights are flicked on, the home breathes back to life. The shadows are long, and each step down the hallway toward their room feels heavier.

Opening the door, the vast sea of space overwhelms the senses, and the stream of tears becomes a river, sobs returning like thunder in a storm, the scent of him strong and unyielding.

There's no sharding way she's sleeping in that giant bed with this tiny baby all alone, opting for the smaller nursery; there's a restlessness oozing off her that stirs the slumbering little. His face tightens with a squirm, mouth forming a cherubic O before bright blue eyes open to observe the new surroundings.

"Shh, shh, hi baby, hiii, I know." Shit, shards, fuck, damn it. She was sure she was ready for this, but suddenly in the lonely darkness of early morning, she was far more terrified than she ever was raising Neifeth.

Any thought she had of leaning into her own self-pity vanishes, sucked dry by the unfocused gaze of her new charge. He needs her, and if only that thought sustains her for a bit, that will have to be enough.

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