I. Don't. Dance.

Xanadu Weyr - Siebith's Weyrbarn

Covered in rough, weathered wood, aged by the weather and the sun, the irregular grayed clapboards outside of this weyrbarn lend the place has a rustic, masculine charm. White shutters and window boxes overflowing with brightly-hued tangles of flowers on the lower windows and flowering vines twine about the supports for the porch overhang add a feminine touch, softening the stark stone steps leading to it.

The worn stone floor of Siebith's area is just inside the large sliding door. The living area of the weyrbarn has an open, airy layout gives the utilitarian, bachelor-like plain white-washed walls and simple hardwood floors a sense of wide open spaces. A sturdy mahogany-toned table with chairs that somehow manage to match despite their variety accent the earthy, wooden tones of the kitchenette. The same dark reddish hues are in the door at the far side of the barn, as well as in the low-slung coffee table in front of the plush, worn couch. Dusky sea-blue rugs are scattered here and there. Dark golden curtains hang on either side of the many windows and partition off the loft up above, led to by a black wrought iron set of ladder-like stairs. Lilies arranged in glass vases on the tables provide a crisp of white counterpoint to the dark wood tones.

A new addition, the bedroom has walls of the same plain white, but the floors are made of newer wood, still shiny with polish. A four-poster bed of the same red mahogany takes up the most of one wall of the small space, a blue-and-cream linen coverlet spread on the wide mattress. A set of wooden bureaus take up the bulk of the wall opposite while another wall has been painted upon in the very center with a seascape mural, its crisp blue waters and sandy shores. The final wall is graced by a feminine-looking writing desk stacked with papers and bedecked with knick-knacks. Over the bed, a set of stained-glass windows allows golden-brown light mingled with white whorls and blue haze to shine into the room with the rising of the sun, though both panes are able to be unlocked and swung wide to accept lake breezes.

The summer at Xanadu has flown by with all the extra drills and sweeps G'ene has maintained, Search and Rescue riders filling in to help Western Weyr with their rescue efforts after all the rain and subsequent flooding there, organizing and transporting supplies to assist with their sudden influx of refugees. There has been little time for anything else for the past month but eat and sleep, at least for Thea. She's been down in the store rooms helping go through things to see what surplus they had they could send. Muir and Marella have, consequently, been most of their waking moments, in the company of the nannies - or with N'shen if he's free to help entertain them. Presently it is that blessed hour of the evening when the twins are settled in the loft, asleep and peace has descended on the weyrbarn and though weary, Thea hasn't forgotten the nannies complaints about the fractious twins, not has Muir allowed her to. So it is that she finds the time at last to do something about it. She's sitting on the couch going through a box of leather strips, a half-frown of concern on her face.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for him, D'had has missed the putting to bed of the twins this evening having spent much of it in the office finishing things there after having flown some of those extra drills with G'ene earlier in the day. Such is the life of the Weyrsecond. So it is that he enters the weyrbarn only to find sitting with that box. "What'cha workin' on?" he inquires only half paying attention as he walks past to hang his riding jacket on the peg by the stairs. Backtracking to the couch it catches the concern in her expression as he leans to steal a kiss. "Somethin' wrong?"

Thea is not so preoccupied that she doesn't hear that door open, but more likely Seryth had something to do with the fact that she's not caught by surprise when D'had enters. She pauses, strap in hand to lean back and rest her back while tracking her weyrmate's progress through the room, the troubled expression in the ice green warms with a smile for him, though there's more than a touch of fatigue on her smile of welcome. "Riding harnesses for the twins," she answers readily enough, though that brings her concern back in full. "I just…" She pauses to return his his kiss, trying to catch and hold his eyes, "want to be sure and make them correctly so-" Her fingers move restlessly on that strap as she watches him, "you'll feel better about taking them up." Because what is set aside looks like she's set on making two sets.

D'had takes the side of the couch that's not filled with straps to settle into and kicks his feet up onto the table. He reaches to curl an arm around her shoulders and pull her closer beside him. "You've always done a good job with your straps, I've no doubt you'll do fine with these. 'Sides if ya need help can always check with the leatherworkers."

Thea can take a break in strap sorting without regret; she's seen little enough of D'had this past month as it is, so each stolen moment is treasured. She moves easily enough, curling her sockfeet under her as she settles into his side, her chin propped on his shoulder as she regards him in silence for a moment. "I can have them inspect the finished straps, sure. But you, ah… " She's puzzled, "Would trust me to make the set you'll be using then?" Weyrling training. It was drilled into them the most careful work was done by the riders doing the using of them.

"I trust you to take care of 'em," D'had replies. Of course he says nothing of using them himself either. There's a smile for her all the same as she snuggles in beside him. "Hope they went to bed alright? Sorry I wasn't home sooner." He had business to attend to, but that doesn't mean he wanted to be there instead of here. "Hopefully this'll all be over soon."

Of course he doesn't. And Thea notices that, too. "Donn. I can't do this by myself," her voice is resolute. Two wriggly-active twins a-dragonback all by herself, augh! She bends her head to study the strap she's holding, her hair tumbles forward hiding her face. Silent for a span until she nods in answer to his question and statement both. Under his arm he'll feel her shoulders tensing as she struggles with her thoughts.

D'had never said anything about expecting her to do it alone either, but then again she certainly knows him well enough by now. At least Seryth is plenty large to handle the three of them, not that she'd want to have both of them at once at this age. "You're doin' just fine with those straps." That he already said. "When they're finished we'll figure it out." If only to give him more time to figure it all out himself.

Thea certainly does know him well enough by now and it is this knowledge that prompts her to toss the strap casually back into the box instead of pushing him to talk about it now. Instead, she drops her head onto his shoulder and murmurs something unintelligible, the tense line of her shoulders gives way to a sag of defeat. "Sure we will," she sighs without enthusiasm.

"It's been a long day," comes D'had's segway into something other than the discussion of the twins first dragonride. "You must be tired. Hmm? Can't work every day, so how bout we take 'em to the beach tomorrow before summer's over."

There's no point in forcing him to discuss something he doesn't want to discuss; if there's one thing Thea has learned from living with D'had, it's that. So she nods from where her head is on his shoulder, a bit of a grin under her hair. The beach. Where, no doubt dragons will be coming and going, gliding overhead for Muir to shriek at and go crazy running after them. Let D'had see how unmanageable he gets when he can't get on them. Let him see the three-hour tantrum the boy throws, Marella's empathy that brings his sister to tears so they howl in stereo that she and the nannies deal with daily. "Alright." If it's not enthusiastic? Well, she knows how not-restful beach day will be.

D'had chuckles, reaching to catch a finger under her chin. "I'll be fun," he replies. Of course he probably wouldn't be saying that if he knew what she did about their son. "For now though, nice just sittin' with ya once."

He's probably not used to one-word answers from her, but it's not pique that has Thea so tongue-tied. When his finger lifts her chin, the woman has an Madonna half-smile on her lips, though her eyes carry a hint of unease as she meets his eyes. Tomorrow will not be easy and she's not looking forward to seeing him endure it - if he does. "It has been a long time," she agrees readily enough, her eyes warming. It could be an afterthought that prompts her to say after a beat, "There's a gather at Balen hold this seven if you'd like to do something other than… sit with me."

Hold? Gather? She wants him to go to one of those? "Well… if you want to go.." D'had replies. "Sure." Beat. Yeah, he's not quite sure, but he's not saying no either. "Sure," he repeats a good bit more confident that its not such a bad idea on the second go round. "You want to go, we'll go."

Thea does want to go! "We haven't been to one… ever… together." A thought that has just now occurred to her, actually. It's enough to get her mind off the disastrous plans for tomorrow and even sidetracked from her intent to begin making those harnesses, something D'had might pick up on from the sudden enthusiastic bubbling she does, eyes a-twinkle with anticipation. "We can see the local handcrafted things (*cough*shop*cough*), eat things we haven't tried before, listen to the Harpers, dance…"

D'had nods, "Should be some good deals over that way." It's not the shopping he has a problem with. He'll haggle, no doubt about that. You can take the guy off the boat but you can't take the trader out of the guy? It’s something else that has him pausing mid-thought. "I don't dance."

And this should surprise Thea how, exactly? She saw his response on that long-ago afternoon when she roped Satoris into dance lessons with the then-Candidates. We'll not mention she slid down Seryth's oily neck, landed on a fish right before that, shall we? Her response is a knowing grin hastily stifled, a glimmer of laughter in her eyes, but her face is as straight as can be when she leans in and lands a light kiss to the tip of his nose. "Yet." Then she smiiiiiles.

D'had just shakes his head. He knows better than to argue about that issue right now. He's too tired to win. "We'll see about that," he agrees to disagree. "And deal with 'dancing' when it gets to that point." Maybe then he'll have better excuses for not. Like being drunk perhaps?

Hahah! That's what HE thinks - deal with it when it gets to that point. But argue? Oh no. Thea's done enough of that with him to know she can't win. Instead, she slips to her feet without a word and heads for the kitchenette, finds two glasses and rummages for the wine she keeps there, pausing mid-pour of one to ask him, "Something different? A bit of D'son's good stuff maybe?"

D'had chuckles, watching in confusion for a moment while she walks off. What? Oh. "No," he replies to that question with a shake of his head, "What ya got is just fine."

It's the best way, really. Painless, even. It's good wine, heady stuff. They've had a long day. Shoot. They've had a long -summer- even. So Thea doesn't stop at half-glass, either. She fills them, the cork squeaking a protest when its replaced that has her giving the bottle a long, considering look. Hrmm. With a shrug, she tucks it under her arm, then gathers the glasses carefully and heads back to D'had to offer him his. When she's got a hand free, she offers it to him, a lighthearted invitation follows, "Come for a walk with me? The stars are out…"

D'had hmms, almost asking 'what' before comprehension hits and he shifts to take hold of the glass she hands him. Moving to his feet he rounds the end of the couch to follow her towards the door. "Was a nice night," he agrees, "But they're gonna be alright?" A nod towards the loft to indicate the twins.

Was? Thea does a double-take at that phrasing, pausing mid-step as she heads for the door. Her glance flickers up loft-wards and she nods. "They're sound asleep. Shep is watching them. He'll let me know the moment one of them stirs. Besides, I ran them in the meadow after dinner-" a soft laugh interrupts this, "-they were chasing a green's tail and she gave them a workout." She offers her hand palm up. "Relax?" And if he'll join her, she slips out into the velvet-warm night and leads the way to the meadow, sipping her wine along the way.

Was, as in it was when he was out earlier. "Ah," D'had nods at her explanation, trailing a longer glance towards the loft before he turns to hold the door for her and follows on out into the summer night. "Only," he agrees to relax, "If you do too. Hmm?"

If Thea could read his mind… nowait. That wouldn't be fair, now would it? "I will," she promises him with a sweet smile. And slipping her arm in his, she leans her head against his shoulder as they wend their way up the coastal road and into the silent meadow. Rather than fill the silence with chatter, she's quiet, enjoying the night, the company, her wine. If need be the glasses are refilled with that bottle she has under her arm. The sweet scent of fresh-mown grass greets them as they enter the empty meadow. When they are in the center, she turns to face D'had, one hand silently asking if he will give her his glass.

If Thea could read his might they would have a lot fewer misunderstandings, but no it wouldn't exactly be fair. D'had is content to walk in silence, tilting his head against hers for a moment while she leans against his shoulder. "Hmm?" he questions, giving her a quizzical look even as he offers over that glass.

Oh true! But poor D'had. He'd never avoid- well. It wouldn't be fair. When Thea has his glass, she places it with hers and the bottle on the ground by a hummock of grass. Back in front of D'had with a soft laugh low in her throat she gives her weyrmate a sweeping curtsey and invites, "Dance with me?" She's relaxed, he ought to be, the stars twinkle overhead and nocturnal insects provide the music. And there's no one to see the Weyrsecond who doesn't dance- dance?

D'had watches curiously as she takes and sets down their glasses. It’s when she returns to him with that question that he only stares. "I. Don't. Dance." he replies separating each word as if it might make the statement that much clearer. He did say it before after all. Right?

He did. Thea makes puppy eyes though. And she's trying not to feel rebuffed, "Can you try, though, Donn? It's not hard. I'll show you how." Her voice is coaxing as she adds, "It's almost like a hug. Not so hard…" She offers him her hands, "Please?" He said relax. Being churlish is going to help this how?

D'had can't deal with those puppy eyes. He really can't say no to them, which is something Marella has certainly already learned as well. "… okay …" he replies uncertainly and he takes her hands. See, he really can't dance.

Thea smiles sweetly. She really has no idea why he doesn't dance (or hasn’t?) Well at least she doesn't laugh at him as she guides both of his hands to her waist and lifts her to his shoulders. Tilting her face to look up at him, she talks him through a few simple steps, to one side, backstepping for him to follow, to the other side in graceful swooping steps. See, no twirling - yet.

D'had is clearly not as confident in his dancing abilities as she is. Proven by the few steps on her toes in the process. Step. Wince. "Sorry." Repeat.

It's a few moments of this before Thea pauses, stopping more for his discomfiture than hers, though perhaps he can't know that as she gazes up at him with a fond smile. There's rich humor coloring her tone she lets him know, "I had to partner Tharen when we were learning, so you've got him beat by a mile." In more ways than one! And that he's been willing to loosen up and give this a try? Has not hurt his prospects for… other things if he's not too tired. As for that gather… she tells him with bright encouragement, "You did just fine. We can dance now when the harpers play." Oh yay?

D'had chuckles. "Sure that was fun," he comments on her learning with her brother. "I ain't any good either though." Loosen up is a long shot, but giving in to letting her make him attempt to learn to dance… well she did manage that. As for dancing when harpers play, that earns her a skeptical look. "Well see…" which might as well mean no.

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