Weird, Weird Babies

Disclaimer: some angst and touching on adult themes.

Xanadu Weyr - Tejra's Room
Tejra's quarters at Xanadu Weyr are in shape and size, unremarkable. A pair of connected bubbled caverns meant to be used as a smaller entry that leads to a wider living space behind, but in this case, the Journeywoman's choice for furniture arrangement is counter to everything the space implies. One is hardly in the door before they are knees to the edge of a full size bed that ill-fits in this small, foyer space where surely no bed was ever meant to be. Across the space tucked in the other corner is a desk and book case, cramped but functional while a narrow walkway between the two spaces leads to the second spacious chamber that is… empty.

Well, no, that's not quite true. This space has generous lighting in tracks around the room in recessed nooks, a switch fitted to the wall at the entry. The only other objects in the room are tools of Tejra's craft. There are thin rush mats folded carefully on a small lofted frame against one wall and a bar running the length of one wall, an obviously new addition. On the opposite wall are a pair of massive armoires, which eat up more space than is truly ideal, but there's little that can be done about that. There are a few worn and faded scarves draped on those pieces of furniture, perhaps to add a little color to the room. Ultimately, it lacks something, having an unfinished feel, despite the few items spread around that would assist her in the upkeep of her craft that assure any visitor that Tejra definitely lives in her unusually arranged space. At least there's plenty of space to dance.//

Note: this log follows: the most recent egg touching.

Storms can brew anywhere, even in the Craft Complex Library. It took little more than a glance from Tej to read Averil's face as one in the making, even if others might never guess. A quick hand signal to her fellow journeyman and a word to the assistant on duty found the redhead slipping away from her duty day, a thing not wholly a comfortable fit any longer, but something she's managing for now in the few sevens that have passed since her return to Xanadu. One arm is curled around Averil's shoulders on the swiftly stepped path to Tejra's nearby door, pausing only long enough to unlock and let them enter, and re-lock on the other side before she's turning into the smaller Harper, pale eyes perhaps a little piercing as she seeks cause or reason or maybe just whether or not she has to hunt down a certain BeastCrafter and— well, she doesn't get quite that far in planning before her hands are cupping Averil's face, fingertips stroking his cheeks. "Tell me, darling." If he needs, she's prepared to gather him into a tight embrace there in the narrow space between closed-door and the foot of the bed that absolutely still does not belong in this antechamber to the proper room behind it, and yet is beginning to seem quite natural in the cramped space.

Averil has gotten very good at holding it together in public. While there are times, like when he is startled, that he overreacts, they are few and far between. Emotion being weakness is something that Avi has learned from a very young age. Still, there are people who just know when something is off, Tejra is one of them. His beastcrafter is the other. He welcomes the arm around his shoulders, though, brows lofting to keep tears from spilling before they are neatly locked away in a space that he knows is safe. The moment that key turns though, they spilling over onto his cheeks, the presence of moisture on his cheeks inspiring an annoyed huff and a swipe of one arm over his face. It should be noted that, under any other circumstances, this is point where Avi would insist that he is fine. He's not fine, though, and lieing to Tejra is not something he is willing to do. "I /shouldn't/ be a candidate." The words are whispered, though, the content clearly something he is absolutely certain one should never say outloud. "Ugh." Exhaling a breath, he shakes his head and brushes his tongue over his lips, swallowing tightly while staring pointedly at the floor. "I'm pretty sure more then a few of the eggs agree with me." He's trying to hold it together, though, that much is clear from the slow clench and release of his hands into fists.

Tejra can be successfully lied to by many people; she is not unique in this way. Averil, however, whose name she counts among the stars important to her whenever she's at some sort of remove, would be at a distinct disadvantage if he tried. Sometimes, she'll let a lie go, if ever he feels the need to tell it, but she probably wouldn't this one. It really saves them a lot of time, and probably some teeth baring on Tejra's part, that he does not try. Her eyes, nevertheless, narrow at the words coming out of his mouth and her lips purse in distinct displeasure. Before anything, she does tug him into that tight, tight embrace, holding him for at least a fifteen count before she's just as roughly pressing him back away so she can catch up his face again in her hands. "Those dragons aren't even born yet." She sounds annoyed, but not with him, of course. "And once they are, they'll be babies, sweetling. Weird, weird babies." She probably doesn't mean Leirith and Xermiltoth's in particular, but could she be blamed if she did? She's wiping the tears away now. "Being a candidate is your choice, not theirs. And anyway, if your lifemate is out there on the sands now, it's just one of them. The rest are just dragons you'll have to deal with as long as you're weyrlings," or longer. "Letting some eggs deter you would be like letting one bad critique stop you from painting, and where would the world be without your gift?" CLEARLY, NO WHERE IT SHOULD EVER BE, IN LIFE ACCORDING TO TEJ. (FITE HER.) She makes a soft 'tch' noise that is all affection. "Come on, let's sit and you can tell me what those bullies said." Or made him feel; she chooses the words because Tiny Tej once used similar to try to pick apart the idiocies of young, much more human, idiots in the long ago. She reaches for one of Averil's hands, meaning to tug him toward where they can slide onto the side of the bed as one of the only comfortable places to sit in the whole space.

Maybe, /MAYBE/ once upon a time, Averil made the attempt to get something over on Tejra… Maybe. Assuming that did happen, it was assuredly something small (huge to him) and unimportant in the grand scheme. And, he most assuredly learned his lesson quickly. As it stands, while he /is/ listening, it's the hug that he really wants and the hug that he is more then willing to take for that full fifteen count. Still, he doesn't speak until they are sitting down and he has twisted and squirmed his way around until he is right up in her space and leaning. "I know they are babies," he sighs. "Shiloh said the same thing. Not in those words, but. Well.. It was the same thing. And I get that," he adds as he glances up her face. "I do. But some of them were.." Trailing off, he exhales a breath, his head giving a tiny shake of distress. He's fighting tears hard, hard enough that the strain has his jaw aching and his nostrils flairing. Verbalizing what has him upset is hard, though, complicated by the fact that there are some memories that he just doesn't poke at. Ever. "One of them really wanted to hurt me," he whispers in hushed tones. "It was.." Again, he shakes his head, his lips pressing in a thin line that has them turning white with the force. "I was /surrounded/ Tejra." Crowds? Never comfortable for Avi. Being purposely trapped? Massive trigger. He brushes it away with a flick of his wrist, his chin tilting up and a forced smile put in place as he notes in blythe tones. "We /all/ know I'm not cut out to be a dragonrider."

Avi's blithe statement is met immediately with a snort of derision. "Only those little liars inside your head say so," and, you know, possibly others who may or may not be betting on impressions, but they're not here to inject any of their doubt, if they have any. Tej has none and she's the one who's gathered that leaning candidate into her arms, one leg sliding along behind so that he's more or less in her lap without being in her lap. These things need to come first because they bring buoyancy if not levity to the darkness that is bound to surround the rest. She holds him all the tighter now, because he's safe here; whatever wants to get to Avi has to, for the moment, go through Tej. She understands the significance of being surrounded in Averil's world and it prompts a press of a kiss to his temple. "They're babies," she repeats because although she's said it, Shiloh's apparently said it, it doesn't seem to be sinking in the way she means it to. "They're babies with minds that wander into a strange world that they have so limited knowledge of." Her hand comes up to stroke those light locks in a way meant to be wholly comforting. "People have a lot of reactions to fear, sweetling, I can't imagine it's any less to those dragons. Some do well with limited knowledge, and others don't. I don't know what you felt," she couldn't, but briefly her tone sounds shadowed, pale eyes seeing nothing as they gaze at some indeterminate point, but perhaps there's enough there to say the redhead whose failed to impress time and again but touched many an egg in the process has had some experiences of her own that might relate, "but you can't know why the mind in the egg did what it did. I'm sorry you went through it, though. Feeling what you're feeling when you've every right to feel it doesn't make you any less likely to be what some dragon is looking for." Forgive her hiccuped breath and hard swallow, like she might be telling herself as much as Averil, but there's no tears nor threat of them from Tej. "Were any of them good experiences?" She hazards, not to deter her friend from speaking more of the one that so affected him, but because it always helps to balance dark with light and Tej does have a particular passion for toying with the balance of things.

Averil wants to cry. He wants to dissolve into tears until there is nothing left, no small part of him that could ever be hurt, again. It's a feeling he's had many times in his life and one that he pushes away now just as he has a thousand times in the past. He's listening, though, snuggling in tightly against the safety of Tejra's physical being. If nothing else, he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is just as safe here as he is with Shiloh. He's not /sure/ he deserves that comfort, mind you, but he is no less inclined to welcome it despite the uncertainty. "They're scared, I imagine," he whispers. "I get that. Stranger people, completely other then yourself just suddenly appearing in your world?" He doesn't blame the babies for reacting in potentially unpleasant ways. That doesn't mean that those reactions are any less impactful, though. It's the hiccuped breath that has him twisting around to wrap his arms around her and tuck his face into her throat. And, for a moment, he just holds her back before sighing and resting his head on her shoulder. "A lot of them," he admits quietly. "There was one that all wide open spaces and snow and calm and cozy little cottage that reminded of Shy." That one had been impossibly comforting in ways that make him smile gently. "There was one, though," he notes as he raises his head and brushes his hair off his face. "I swear it was Ru'ien, even if I know that /that/ is impossible. We had a tea party and chatted for what felt like hours and hours." That one? That one he was impossibly fond of. "You know, the kind of chatting that says everything but is never, ever invasive?"

"I've heard tell of those sorts of conversations," Tej practically purrs in a way that is meant to add humor because conversations with the redhead rarely manage to not be invasive somehow, except under circumstances that don't apply here. Her fingers pet through Averil's hair, thoughtfully silent some moments after that. He didn't say it, of course, but did he need to? She has touched eggs enough that the remark, "I know it doesn't help with what you feel to know they might not have known what they were about," might be as much about her own thoughts on the subject as what she might guess of some of his. "Those ones sound nice," she murmurs, keeping any envy from her voice — if she feels any, and that's a point she's declined to address directly; either she hasn't been asked to stand for this clutch or has quietly declined for her own reasons. "I wonder if Rock would like to know his twin is in one of those eggs," she remarks bemusedly of the greenrider in question, shifting a little in response to the other harper's earlier repositioning. "I'm learning…" she says very slowly, as if feeling her way, as if deciding with every new word if she wants to share this — if she should, "that each egg is a little like picking up a new book. You never know what will be between one cover and the other, but as long as you touch, you're along for the ride." Red brows draw up just a little as pale eyes study Averil's face. Does that help him? To think of it in the terms that are helping her?

The fact that it does help is clear when Avi raises his head enough to meet her eyes. For a long moment, he just regards her before leaning in to kiss her cheek. "I love you, I hope you know that." It is the sigh that comes with his head lowering back to her shoulder that denotes a subtle relaxation of tense muscles. "I didn't hate the ones that were darker," he admits. "My favorite was probably the darkest of all the ones I have touched so far." It was being surrounded with menacing intent that had touched a raw nerve for Avi. "That one was.. well, kind of sexual," he admits with a light clearing of his throat. "Or it was for me, at least." He's more then aware of the fact that most people probably wouldn't have taken it the same way. "It was weirdly erotic and violent, but I think really it was mostly scared and lonely." Which he completely understands and sympathizes with. Still, he falls silent for a long moment, pale grey eyes slanting up to her face as he watches her with quiet concern. "We don't have to talk about any of this you know." That he's pretty certain that she does know that? That there is absolutely nothing he could do to make Tejra about a topic she doesn't want to talk about? It's there in his face, but he's still extending the thought. "I think," he adds as an aside. "That Ru'ien would be very amused." At knowing he has a twin on the sands. "Course, it could just be me."

Tej's lips curve gently at the words that come in the wake of the kiss to her cheek. "Of course," has enough depth to it that, though it's rare for the older Harper to summon those words that have such range of meaning but always means utter acceptance for Avi, the return of them is there without her having to trot out the big four letters. She does know, and trusts, of course, that he knows, too. "You? Liking something a little dark? A little twisted? A little sketchy?" She affects a tone of disbelief, overdone, playful. "I never would have guessed." That's deadpan and she's ruffling his hair. "The things that comfort us most don't have to be the obvious for them to still do what they do. Maybe for someone else that favorite of yours was as terrifying as your least was to you." Still, she pets his hair another moment before letting it settle and shifting to get to her feet. The flash of a 'I'm-fine' enigmatic smile that might as easily be telling the truth as concealing that which is not is tossed at him over her shoulder as she moves over to the desk at the far end of the small antechamber to the dance space behind. What she will offer is a brisk, "There won't stop being eggs or hatchings just because there's been no dragon waiting for me at any of them yet. We might as well talk about them." She does not say that she might be trying to set an example in case Averil's lifemate isn't out there this time, but maybe she is. "So, later today, how about we take a trip to the galleries and you can point out these different eggs for me," she offers. Even with eggs there, and even with it being summer, the sweltering toasty heat of the galleries is one of Tej's favorite places to lounge. She goes fishing in a drawer of her desk and comes up with a small box which she breezes back over with, sliding open the lid and proffering spun sugar sweets to her friend. "Is there anything else you want to tell me now?" Here, where it's private, she means, because if he's not done, then neither is she, even if perhaps the one who took over for her in the library might be growing restless.

Averil can't help laughing at her teasing, the sound quiet and warm and far more relaxed then he would have thought possible. He's watching her, though, the adoration in his gaze tempered by the belief she is not as fine as she insists. He is not pressing, though, Tejra will tell him what she wants him to know in her own time. Instead, he sits up as she stands, his chin dipping in a quiet nod at the suggestion. "I'd like that," he admits. Plucking a sweet from the box, he pops it in his mouth without a second thought, his head giving a faint shake. "Not right now," he admits as he gets to his feet. "And I should be getting back to my studio." He has commissions he wants to finish just in case things get more busy in the future. "You might have to bang on my door," he points out. "When you are wanting to go to the gallery." But that is usually the case when he gets to working. Still, he's stepping in to hug her again before slipping, the contact more something he /needs/ then anything else.

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