Weyrsecond 2, Holder 0

Cold Stone Hold Main Courtyard


The bones of Pern herself have been pulled from the bosom of the planet and now rest against her spine, stacked by man and beast to defend against an era not long enough gone. Built into the side of one of the many mountains in the region, Cold Stone Hold stands as both a grim reminder and as a place of hope, proof of humanity's costly victory over the Thread menace.

High stone barriers serve as walls around the main hold, owing wood for a single gate alone at its main entrance. What buildings there are rise up out of the ground like the tips of great, stony fingers, structures built entirely of rock. Yet, despite the seemingly rough-hewn appearance, a more subtle artistry exists within the hold proper. Walls are arrow-straight in places and artfully curved in others. Cottages and small villas might all be mounds of boulder and pebble, yet each has its own distinct similarities. Over fifteen families live within the sheltering walls of Cold Stone, their houses and other structures gathered around a larger, central keep that bears the standards of the Lord and Lady holders themselves.

Around you, the quiet hustle of a hold's daily life can be heard, and while the hold lacks some of the more modern touches seen in the south, its inhabitants do not seem to have noticed at all. The air is thick and crisp, laden with the smells of stone and earth, freshly baked bread. Cold stone with a warm, beating heart.

Spring may have come to the lowlands, but here in the mountains of Cold Stone Hold, winter still grips the land. Craggy and tumbled peaks are still blanketed with a thick layer of snow, touched to a ruddy garnet glow by the setting sun. The hold itself is quiet with few out and about, for the evening chores are finished and the windows aglow with warm firelight. Folks are preparing for dinner or already eating their meal in the cots surrounding the main hold. Back at Xanadu one seriously worried Junior paces in front of the Weyrbarn, watching D'had harness Siebith. She is silent save for one question, "You… could find no one to go with you?" Not begging him to go along, not begging him not to go. But in the ice-green of her eyes those questions are there nonetheless.

D'had gives on final tuck to the last of the buckles on the straps before turning back to Thea. He steps away from the blue then, moving towards her to rest hands on her shoulders. "Babe," he starts, pausing a second after the word is said. "It'll be fine." Might not solve anything, but he's certain nothing terrible will happen either. "Don't worry," he adds, leaving a kiss on her forehead before turning back to Siebith and swinging easily into place.

Thea's eyes close briefly as his lips touch her forehead and her arms reach for him, but he's already away and they drop to her sides instead. She steps back as he's swinging up. "D'you have your belt knife at least?" She's not so sure nothing terrible will happen and there are hold guards. Don't worry. As if she won't be doing just that anyway! She leans back against Seryth and the gold croons comfortingly, angling her head to eye Siebith with yellow-tinges amongst the green. "Constant contact. Remember!"

D'had pats his thigh where the knife is almost constantly attached. Yes, he has that. His reply to the other note is far more sarcastic, at least in tone. "Yes ma'am," he says throwing in salute, "Constant contact." With that Siebith leaves a rumble of what might be considered assurance for Seryth before launching into the sky. A few strong beats of blue wings find the pair high above the weyr and blinking out only to appear above Cold Stone Hold seconds later.

That sarcastic answer has strained lips quirking in a tiny smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes as Thea watches the pair lift off and keeps her eyes upon them until they wink out. When they are gone, she turns to lean her forehead on Seryth and give vent to a brief burst of sobs. When she catches her breath, she grits out to the young queen, "Tell him (meaning Siebith) if Thadan does anything to him I'll be coming and will have you tear though the walls if I have to!" Her agitated pacing resumes. Up in Cold Stone Hold, darkness cloaks the valleys in purple, the ebbing sunset relinquishing the peaks to moonlight. There is no welcome waiting for a lone dragonrider appearing above the hold, although he's quite likely been spotted and announced by the watchman to the office where Holder Thadan works late.

D'had wasn't exactly expected so neither is having anyone waiting to greet him expected. The blue dives the majority of the space, pulling up to turn a few lazy circles above the hold before touching down. « He says you are to stay at Xanadu, » Siebith relays in return, choppy waves floating in the background. The Weyrsecond hops down only a moment after the blue's paws touch ground and he's stalking towards the main entrance of the hold proper.

Back in Xanadu Thea stops mid-stride as Seryth relays that message. "I- I, oh, Seryth!" Her hands clench tightly as she wrestles with her given word and her heart. She cannot reply for a moment or two, merely breathes roughly. Finally, she grudgingly says, "Tell him I remain as asked." Her pacing resumes and as she passes the queen a hand brushes the gold hide for comfort and calming. "Oh, Donn, I wish you'd taken some others with you!" He cannot hear her, but it somehow makes her feel better to speak as if he can. Seryth relays the message with an added one of her own, « I can always come without her if you want to smash buildings together. » As if it's some sort of draconic date for godzilla-like fun.

D'had heads for the door, letting himself in if there's no one there to stop him. If there is its a simple statement that he's there to see the holder with no mention what its about or where he's from. He can't see her of course, but if he could perhaps he might not have gone. Waves crash on the shore of Siebith's mind in a sort of laughter when he replies to Seryth in an ever loud voice, « That could be fun! » But alas, smashing buildings would likely be frowned upon.

That door is attended by a surprised attendant, who merely steps back to let the Rider pass, having taken but one glance at his face and nodded to his words. He's not fast enough to lead the way to the office, but does trail rather anxiously behind him, stammering to his back that he'll be happy to announce him to the Holder. Since there has been no commotion, Holder Thadan remains behind that closed office door. Back in Xanadu Thea paces, murmuring to herself or perhaps to Seryth. Waiting. So not her thing.

"Not necessary," D'had brushes off that offer from the attendant though he does manage to get a reminder of which way said office is when he pauses at an intersection of corridors. Finding the right door he doesn't give the curtesy of a knock before throwing open the door with a touch more force than might be truly necessary, steps heavy as he enters.

And Thadan is there behind that imposing desk, then same way as he was the last time. Door crashing open without a knock first has him lifting his head, but only after he's finished scrawling the last line in the ledger he's writing in. His face is haughtily cool, eyes doing a slow up-down of the approaching D'had, lingering on his right shoulder, openly noting whether that ranking knot is still upon his shoulder, the look plainly telling that he expects it not to be and amazed that it still is. "Dragonman. Why are you here?" Uncurious, is the tone and more than a hint that his visit is considered an invasion.

There's a letter in D'had's hand that Thaden has seen before and it's slammed down onto the desk, his hand remaining on top of it. "What is this about?" he demands, composure far less than it was the last time they spoke now that a certain young lady isn't around to see.

Thadan doesn't seem surprised or concerned at all to see that note back in his presence. Cocky and supremely confident, he leans back in his chair, lazily lifting his eyes up to the Weyrsecond's face, pinning him with a cold stare. "The… truth?" Lips curl derisively was he appears to enjoy the anger he sees there. "Hurts, doesn't it?"

"The truth," D'had repeats, nearly growling the words, "does, but not me. I could care less what you think of me. But she is your daughter." And damnit that should mean something to him even if he is a self absorbed pompous son of a bitch.

"Not anymore!" These are the first words that Thadan speaks with any passion at all and it is merely adamant rather than heated. Cold eyes narrow slightly as he calculates the measure of the man before his desk, unmoving in his laid-back posture. "She's got herself knocked -up." His lips curl once again with disdain as he shrugs his unconcern. "She and that lazy brother of hers." A hand flicks them away as unimportant. "Living with a bunch of immoral dragonfolk." His tone is cutting. His head tilts, a curious smile plays upon his lips, "She ask you to come and plead for a cut for the bastard of hers?"

D'had snorts. "Someday you're going to wake up and not have any family left and that's only gonna be your own damn fault." He's mad, that much is clear by his expression and the way he's leaning on the desk even if he's keeping his tone in relative check. "She was as good as married before that," he points out not that its going to make any difference - that argument has already been had. "But no," he continues with a shake of her head. "She didn't ask. She wants nothing from you." Sharply worded.

Thadan merely chuckles mockingly, "As good as married was she?" He remains comfortably seated, ignoring the looming Weyrsecond. He lifts a hand, studying his nails for a moment, "Tell me Dragonman," the title all but spat out, "Didn't her queen rise some months ago?" Steely eyes lift to his, "I am aware what happens between riders when a flight is won." There is on his face disgust and certainly no quarter given for understanding. Only a hard calculating look as he goads the bluerider further, "Your blue wasn't the one who caught, was he?" A look of feigned pity is bestowed upon the man leaning on his desk.

D'had glares harder if that's at all possible. "Only thing we're missing is the harper's babble." Or so it is as it stands in his mind. "She did," the bluerider replies, nearly faltering as that point is brought up and he makes the connection of just where the holder might be going with it. "He wasn't, but I know enough to know that flights are flights." Beat. "Has your wife seen this?" a nod given to indicate the letter that's still in the middle of the desk.

Back in Xanadu Seryth's cool and soothing touch remain linked to Siebith's mind, her presence picking up on nuances that Siebith can catch from his rider, although she can make little sense of them unless he verbalizes what he's being told. Nevertheless, this is passed on to Thea, who still paces by her in the late evening there. A whisper of gentle rain drifts to the blue, « Mine wants to know if there's anything she can help with. She frets. » In cold Stone Hold Thadan notes that falter of D'had's and chuckles malevolently, "So you aren't sure it's even yours." He's obviously pleased to say this. He drops his eyes to that note with careless unconcern and rather than answering directly he causally comments, "See that smudge there?" A buffed fingernail taps a brownish smear on one corner, satisfaction ripples in his next words, "That is her blood. She's seen the last communication from that whore that she'll ever see." And with that he stands, "This interview is over, I'm late to my dinner. Your curiosity is, no doubt, satisfied, yes?" A lazy brow lifts.

Frustration runs a thread through any thoughts the blue relays. « Things are as expected. » Siebith replies with all the supposed confidence of his rider. Meanwhile, if looks could kill Thaden wouldn't be a problem any longer. "It is mine," he returns, tone cut and short - firm and certain. A glance turns down as the holder points, but his sharp gaze returns to the other man soon enough. "Where is she?"

From Xanadu Seryth's sweetness rains upon that frustration, « She tells me to say her love waits for yours. » In cold Stone Hold Thadan merely laughs at the claim, shaking his head as if the rider is clinging to wishes than reality. Deliberately goading, "You can't be certain." A superior smile touches his mouth as he steps around his desk, "You see why she cannot lay claim to this hold." In his biased opinion, anyway. The question about his wife is returned with a stony glare, "That is something I will not tell you." His chin juts stubbornly, "You'd best leave before I have you thrown out, Dragonman."

Thaden should count himself lucky that D'had hasn't come over that desk between them yet. "I can and I am. As for your hold, she wants nothing of it. You no longer matter." Not that he particularly thinks that will make a difference to the man. "This," he continues, snatching the letter up as he straightens. "Wasn't meant for you. Now. Your wife?"

Thadan snaps. Quite suddenly and without warning his cool superiority is dropped as he lunges for that note - or rather the wrist of the hand that holds it. He rasps, "/My/ wife obeys my directives! As all do in my hold." His heavy steps around that last corner of that desk across the carpeted stone do not hesitate as he reaches…

D'had is quick on his feet, but the reach being less than expected he's not quite quick enough to avoid Thaden's hold of his wrist. "And I only wanna talk to her, so what that has ta do with where she is.." is beyond him. That grab for him does have him watching a bit more closely however.

Thadan's fingers clamp around D'had's wrist, but oddly he doesn't yank that note out of his hand. "You won't be seeing her, so consequently, you won't be talking to her," He growls as he attempts to twist the arm attached to the rider's wrist behind his back. Back in Xanadu Thea stands with her head bowed beside Seryth, one hand resting on the recumbent queen's shoulder. Trying to understand a jumble of emotions passed along and failing.

D'had isn't so easily moved and while Thaden holds his wrist drops the letter to grasp hold of his. "If you're smart you'll let go and leave me five minutes with my wife's mother." Carefully worded for while he and Thea aren't technically married, wife seems likely to hold more weight with the holder than the term weyrmate.

Thadan's neck is turning red, suffusing his face as he attempts to move the younger man's arm and fails. He grates, "I'm through trying to talk sense into you, Dragonman." His other hand swings wildly towards the rider; he's not a trained fighter, but not unwilling to brawl and has a time or two in his youth.

D'had finally succeeded in some reaction other than smugness from the man. So he promised Thea he'd be okay.. he's wanted to hit her father since the last time he was at the hold so since he started it… "Good," he says sharply, turning his free hand to a fist that's headed for Thaden though he doesn't quite manage to duck the holder's throw completely.

Thadan's armswing is uncoordinated and engaged in a time-wasting arc, so it is D'had's fist that makes contact first, the holder's head rocks back as knuckles contact his nose. His fingers loosen their grip on the Weyrsecond's wrist, but now he is enraged, being challenged in his own hold. He steps forward to attempt to close on the taller man. Not a sound escapes his lips, so there are no running footsteps outside in the corridor. Back in Xanadu, Thea whispers something to Seryth, who passes it along with mist curling her query, « How does he fare? »

D'had smirks, seemingly satisfied with that contact though he's still very much on edge waiting for what comes next. What he doesn't do is back down. "I asked a reasonable favor." Siebith's thoughts are always loud, always overly confident and they remain so when he touches in with Seryth, « He is ahead. » Whatever that might mean…

Thadan doesn't talk so much as grunts, his arm still on that inswing towards D'had's head, although it has lost some of the strength behind it. "Favor…" pant, "declined." He attempts to clinch the rider, ignoring the trickle of blood that comes from his broken nose. In Xanadu, too quickly to be passed from rider to dragon, as if the rain laughs in a clear pond through sunshine, « But of course he is! He has mine. » This comes with the flavor of the queen's own thought, before there is a pause in that contact, a breath of spruce and snow fills the perplexed words passed along, « She says to do what you have to do. With no regrets. »

« He does! And he has! » Siebith returns, foam washing against darkened ocean shores. "Stubborn old cripple. Got more than ya deserved and threw it away," D'had spits the words ending with a snort. While he ducks that swing with his other hand still out of commission as it were, Thadan's swing connects with his shoulder.

"Cripple, eh?" Thadan snorts, tasting his own blood with it and is momentarily confused, but the words penetrate his red haze and he lets go of D'had's wrist, the hand reaches for the rider's throat while the hand that made contact with his shoulder slides up in an attempt to join it. "You'll wish you hadn't come to Cold Stone-" He's trying to pin the man to the wall. Back in Xanadu Seryth's anxious query comes after another pause and is obviously passed from her rider, « Then he is coming back now, yes? »

D'had takes a step back. He was trying to avoid physical confrontation for Thea's sake, but well… things don't always go as planned. Hands lift in an attempt to pry the older man's hands away. "I hope you're as miserable as you make her," he gets in between grunts and death glares. "You know she even thought a tryin' t' bargin wit ya," he continues, speech dropping back into dialog of his seafarer past when speech is possible. "Givin' up our son t' you. Somethin' bout havin' the heir you want. But you wouldn't have him no way. Not that bastard, that's what ya think 'e is don't ya." Shadows loom across choppy waves that crash over rocks as Siebith finds an answer, « Soon. » One ominous word, a low growl emitting from him back at the hold.

That step back has Thadan losing his balance for a moment, perhaps the moment D'had needs? The holder's face contorts with righteous indignation, pushing harder, not gaining the grip he's seeking for D'had's hands manage to keep him from it, "There wouldn't -be- a bastard if not for you dragonmen!" He's beyond reason, likely always has been. "Would have been my son here, not following his sister to that blasted Weyr and her here with the holder next valley-" He's panting with his exertion, the word coming through gritted teeth. He's not giving up just yet.

D'had snorts, slipping back a few steps more in that moment the holder looses balance. The door is a bit to one side however so it's wall that he finds behind him, not having turned his back to the man just yet. "Somehow think he woulda left anyway," he returns still glaring daggers. "Wonder yer wife stayed long as she has."

These words do not help Thadan's mindset, no. He lunges forward with a muted roar, once again attempting to pin D'had to that wall behind him, his hands inching closer to the man's throat. "Thea would have been back with those contracts from the South if not for-" he nearly spits the words, "-thieving Search! Tharen would never have left with her here! I know those two, conniving, scheming - the pair of them!" Turns of resentment spews from the man as his eyes snap fire at the Weyrsecond, "If not for you, she'd have seen my offer and stayed and her brother-!"

D'had laughs. Flat out laughs at all that. What exactly he finds amusing with it all with the older man lunging for him is hard to say. Maybe he doesn't see him as much of threat? "She coulda said no ta search. /You/ coulda. Ya didn't and ya lost!" And that, in his mind, is what makes Thadan so mad about it all. "Ain't no schemin' a hers."

That laughter irks Thadan further and his attempt to gain a hold on D'had's neck nearly succeeds with the burst of fresh anger that surges through him. His fingers just brush it, reaching to encircle if he can. "She didn't ask me." His rage is not giving him a very clear head, no. "They always did align themselves against me. Subtle, but I saw." He is perspiring heavily now, unused to the physical exertion needed for this struggle "You. If not for you." A low, eerie laugh accompanies that. "So fortunate you came tonight, Dragonman. When I kill you, she will come back and never leave."

"Maybe, if you weren't so stuck on yourself," D'had suggests cynically. "Gave a damn bout what they wanted." He's spent enough time with Thea to get the idea that their father cares little about anything other than what he gets out of the deal. Just a suggestion though as hands reach for the holder's wrists in attempt to keep from being strangled. Threats though. Those don't sit well with him, or the blue outside who's made it his prerogative with those few words to resettle with his muzzle as close to the main door of the hold as he can, growling menacingly. "Do -not- threaten me holder," D'had spits towards him, pulling harder at his grip.

Back in Xanadu, Seryth's growls echo Siebith's a second before Thea grasps the agitation in the emotions of both dragons. The hand on the golden hide trembles, but there is nothing more than the chaotic tumble in the queen's mind. Nevermind that she shouldn't go Between. "I'm going to him!" She doesn't wait for Seryth to roll from her side, she simply grabs the straps and hauls herself up, snapping those buckles. "Let's go!" In Cold Stone Hold, Thadan doesn't reply, other than to assure the man with a small, prematurely satisfied smile, "It is no threat." He strains harder…

« Stay! » is the order from Siebith to Seryth, D'had anger rolling over into the word as well, a storm brewing on the horizon of the blue's mind. D'had chokes as his access to air is lessened, but he isn't without his own brawling experience. Below the belt, in the stomach, wherever his knee lands its bound to hurt. One hand remains on the holder's wrist doing what he can to keep him from squeezing much harder, the other moving to pull his knife, unsheathing it with a swift flick of the wrist.

« He needs me! » The words are Thea's but they ring through Seryth's contact to Siebith, all of the weyrwoman's longing and fear in the answering thunder of stormclouds. Seryth has rolled and crouched ready to spring, but at that one word, she remains immobile, whether Thea wills it or not. "Let's GO!!!" The weyrwoman's desperate cry echoes to the sky, heedless whether she awakens others sleeping nearby. In Cold Stone Hold Thadan was not expecting the knee, or simply not thinking. D'had's knee lands in his groin and the hands around the rider's neck slip entirely as he drops his hands to his knees, bracing himself upright, gasping.

And that is exactly what the Weyrsecond was hoping for. His free hand reaches for the other man's neck, much as he'd just done to him. But rather than apply further pressure he swings him around, which likely leads to head being knocked against the wall as they trade places. "You," D'had says, voice low and threatening. Knife held tightly as he makes certain it's seen even by Thadan. "Will NOT contact her again and you will NOT interfere between her and her mother or by Faranth there will be blood on my hands." That said he lets go, shoving the man back towards the ground before stalking out. « He needs you at home, » Siebith replies, storm clouds still growing over rising ocean waves though the words are overly loud as always there's an attempt at soothing to them.

In Cold Stone hold's corridor light footsteps sound, unhurried, unalarmed. "Thadan, you dinner grows cold-" Lady Rensea steps into that half-open door just as the Weyrsecond is stepping out. Her clear green eyes, so like those of her children's flicker over the man, noting the leathers and knot, recognizing the rider for who he is, then move past him to blink at Thadan where he leans against the wall. A soft intake of breath, surprised but respectful, "Weyrsecond. You're welcome to join us." Questioning, unsure what has happened as she takes in the blood on Thadan's face and the knife in D'had's hand. Back in Xanadu, Thea listens to Seryth's relay, bows her head and blows out a long, worried breath then unclips her harness and reluctantly slides off the queen.

It takes a moment after brushing past the woman for D'had to reply, "I'll not be staying Lady," voice still gruff if slightly more civil as dark eyes find the woman and note who she is, even if he doesn't rightly remember her name. Knife is tucked back into its sheath, hopefully there's no longer a need for that. "You're well?" an afterthought of question, waiting for a reply before he continues awkwardly. "Your daughter. She is.." not quite sure the wording to use, "with child." Just to make sure that she does indeed know despite Thadan's assurances that she saw the letter, a letter which is nodded towards where it rests on the desk complete with the holder's reply. "She wrote you. You ever wanta visit, sure someone from the Reaches will oblige a ride. Good day." The last a bit snippish still and he strides off, down the hall heading back to the waiting blue.

Lady Rensea listens gravely, nodding to answer that question of her wellbeing, "Accustomed to-" A nod towards the still-gasping Thadan, who offers no protest to the conversation. The Lady nods again to the news of Thea, this time a warm smile crinkles the corners of her ice-green eyes, her soft reply carries the joy she still finds in this news, "Thank you, Weyrsecond. Please tell her and my son that I will come soon." This to his back as he heads down the hall and she is turning to attend to Thadan. Things go better for her if she does… Back in Xanadu Thea resumes her pacing, ignoring the soothing croon from Seryth, who informs Siebith, « She waits. » And indeed, the Junior keeps her eyes to that dark sky as if she could hasten the reappearance of the pair from Between.

Greeting and goodbye both taken care of swiftly D'had once again finds himself outside. He swings into place upon Siebith's ridges and the blue is springing to the sky even as he's still pulling a strap into place. It's at the lowest level safe to between that they blink into the darkness after a short note of his coming back to Seryth. The trip between isn't nearly long enough to calm the Weyrsecond, but he doesn't stay away any longer, still brooding as he slides back to the ground once the blue has touched down outside their weyrbarn.

It's really too dark to see that return in the skies, but Thea knows the instant they are back, for Seryth informs her it is so. There is a long breath let out that she didn't know she was holding. Still tense, she barely waits until the blue touches down before running over, impatient to see for herself if D'had is alright. Seryth touches Siebith's neck with her muzzle, a welcome rumble for him as if to say to all, 'he -said- it would be fine and it was' before curling up. The young queen seems satisfied now that the man is back that her rider will calm. Thea isn't calm yet, however, no. She is right there as D'had slides down and in spite of the darkness and the rising breezes that have been stirring the dead leaves on the ground, she's trying to see if he's alright, leaning to peer closely at him, "Siebith was so angry…"

D'had's breath is still heavy with anger as his feet touch down, darkness still in his eyes though a smile of assurance attempts to pull through to slightly lift one corner of his lips. Siebith returns Seryth's greeting with rumble of his own, padding over to curl beside the queen, resting his head on her. While muscles are still tense with energy and anger the Weyrsecond himself isn't really any worse for wear though a ring of bruising is likely to come to the surface around the base of his neck sooner or later if it hasn't already begun to show. One hand rests lightly to either side of Thea's head, turning her chin down to press a kiss to top edge of her forehead. "Your mother sends her love," he informs, voice still rough, before he moves towards the door.

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.

Thea notes that anger with that same grave manner her mother showed back in cold Stone Hold. As he's tipping her head, her hands are seeking him in the darkness, feeling for lumps, broken bones or blood-soaked clothing. Who knows what these males can do to each other when they're angry? Finding nothing, arms encircle him, but her embrace short-lived as he turns toward the weyrbarn. She leaves one arm around him, leans her head against his shoulder and falls into step with him. It's too dark outside to see those marks around his neck, but once inside with the lights she's tilting a scrutinizing look at his face, looking for bruises. The purple-red, angry-looking marks stand out immediately and there's no mistaking that they are finger-shaped. Her gasp, "What has he done to you?!" Distraught, she turns to the door as if- and perhaps it's not conscious thought -she might go have it out with Thadan herself.

D'had has little interest in hugging at the moment, though he doesn't deter her from it other than pushing through the door and heading for the kitchenette to find a bottle of some of that whiskey from D'son. A good sized shot is taken directly from the bottle and it's left to sit back on the counter. "I'm fine!" he snaps without meaning to, reaching for her arm to keep her from leaving.

Thea is halted with a blink, realizing she's tried to leave but not quite why or where she was going. She turns back, sucking in her breath at those snapped words, not knowing whether the ire in them is directed at her. She doesn't protest the whiskey, noting that the way he drinks it belies those two words that he is fine. He isn't and she knows it, but she doesn't debate that with him nor does she try to hug him again. She just watches, taking in his anger. Tears spring to her eyes as they flicker over those marks on his neck. Quiet for a long time, she finally asks, "Tell me what happened?" She will wait for him to reach for her. Pressing her lips together, she waits to hear what her once-father said to turn him away from her…

D'had takes a deep breath. No, that ire isn't for her, its a remainder from his visit with the Cold Stone Holder. Those tears soften him however, he won't be having any of that and as he reaches her he envelopes her in his arms standing there silent for a moment simply holding her. Another kiss to her forehead and he leads her to the couch, pulling her down to his lap once he's seated and holding her close still. There's a bit of a wince as he moves his shoulder just right. "He's still not happy you left, or about your brother, but I think we have an understanding."

Thea doesn't speak, her only movement to be drawn willingly into the place she's always longing to be anyway. She rests her forehead on his shoulder, her arms encircle her weyrmate without hesitation or resentment. There's no pouting from her, only deep concern. When they are on that couch and she is drawn onto his lap, she curls into him. And no, that wince isn't missed, but she leaves it for later, nodding at his words. "I don't think he'll ever be happy about that, much less reconcile to it," she tells him. "Understanding though? What might that be?" She eyes those bruises about his neck, biting her lower lip as one finger gently traces them.

"He's not gonna bother you, he's not gonna come between you and your ma," D'had replies leaving out any details on how and why. "She said she'll visit soon," he adds in afterthought, remembering that request the woman had. A deep breath follows, beginning to relax, if only slightly, as he sinks into the couch.

Thea's lips flicker in a sweetly sad smile. "Will he not." Not a question; she believes him, still tracing those bruises with gentle fingers. Oh, it hasn't escaped her notice that he's leaving out an awful lot. How he was able to wrest such an agreement from Thadan is beyond her. She leans to touch her lips lightly to those marks. If he looks like this… From his neck she murmurs, "How did Thadan fare?" A slight smile quirks her mouth, "Seryth told me Siebith said you were ahead."

"Wouldn't be in his best interest," D'had replies, resting his head atop her's and burying his nose in her hair the sweet scent calming him a bit more. At least he's not shaking with rage any longer. "Think he broke his nose. Doubt he'll be havin' any more kids…" Regardless of any other factors such as age.

Thea turns her head, snuggling it into the hollow of his good shoulder, trying to hide the grin at the phrasing D'had uses. "I don't suppose more kids are a very good idea for him anyway," she decides with a hint of something besides the humor he can hear in those words. She is silent for a good while, allowing the man to calm, her arms once again encircle him, fingers make soothing movements where he is not pressed up against the couch - might be his lower back. "I'm not sending our child there then." And yes, she said 'our' he can confirm that if he wants to.

Hey, being kicked in the groin is a touchy subject for any guy, even if he was doing the kicking. He'll leave out the death threat he left her father with, though likely she's the reason there's no blood on his knife already. That too, the child she's carrying, is a bit of a touchy subject for D'had at the moment as well and he tenses a touch again at her mention of it. "Seryth flew not that long ago…" he starts a moment later. A comment, perhaps a hint of question though its not worded as such.

Thea’s fingers catch that sudden tension, but it is those words that have her jerking upright. Unaware of perhaps of all D'had has been through this night for her. She knows the intractable man who ruled her life for so long and can guess at much - it didn't go down easy for Thadan. Ice-green eyes search those dark ones, noting the questioning in the statement. "Thadan must have said something, Donn. You never mentioned the flight the other night when I told you about the babe." So yes, she wants to know where this thought has come from. "What else did he say to you? Let's have it in the open." Her eyes snap a cold fire meant for Thadan, not her weyrmate.

D'had says "He tried to make it my fault, that you and your brother aren't there. Dragonriders immoral," Nothing new or unsurprising really there. "Ya wouldn'ta left if not for search. You hadn't left your brother wouldn'ta. Two of you are plotting against him," he continues to explain trying to blow it off with a shrug. "He's just paranoid babe." D'had explains, not wanting to argue not telling her, but still leaving out a few choice things. "But yeah.. he mentioned her flight…" Beat. "Ya know it don't matter to me." It does on some level, but still… "One a Asher's wasn't mine, but still think a her like she is.""

Thea just shakes her head, rolling her eyes at those accusations of Thadan's. If that's all, his paranoia and grudge against the weyrs, she can deal, her face seems to say, but that last… "That's low, even for him," her lips form a flat, unhappy line for a moment as she watches his face carefully, watching the nuances there that tell her so much as he speaks of it not mattering. "Donn." His name said in gentle reassurance as her hands lift to cup his face, meeting his eyes, "You were too angry to realize that the flight was eight and a half months ago?" She pats her still-flat belly. "Do I look like I'm about to have a babe in two sevendays?" There's a softly teasing smile there for him as her eyes look deeply into his so that he may know she is without a doubt telling him it is so, "I didn't miss until four months after that flight. The babe is yours." It matters to her! And she allows him to see that as well.

D'had closes his eyes, hugging her perhaps a bit too tightly for a moment, dipping his head to rest his chin on her shoulder, nose and mouth resting in that curve between neck and shoulder. That assurance is a relief. He was certain if only to say that Thadan was wrong, but to have the facts cleared up in his head … it helps. "He just.." he mutters. That man just pushes him the wrong way and yes, he was too angry at the time to sort things through.

Thea's hands release D'had's face, her arms slide past his head to enfold his neck, carefully mindful of those bruises while one hand slides up to hold the back of his head cradled to her shoulder. She takes a few shallow breaths until that tight embrace of his relaxes enough for her to breathe again. She can read him well enough by now to know he's relieved. "Yeah, I know how he is. He knew how to get to Tharen, too." She coughs slightly, "We used to be able to sort of gang up on him and deflect a little of all that. Once we shooed the beasts from their pens and chased ’em all over the mountains before actually trying to catch them. Took us days and he was fuming." So Thadan might have a point about that scheming… She murmurs into his ear, brushing it with her lips as she does so, "I told you the other night you are the father of the babe I carry." Reassuring only, not chiding. She indeed knows how Thadan can be! "I'm surprised you didn't kill him. Holders duel over far more trivial things."

D'had chuckles, quietly and almost a bit forced yet, for that story. While he's relaxed on the issue of parentage, there's still a good remainder of anger and stress from that meeting with her father. "Next time he won't be so lucky," he replies, voice low, almost a growl as the words slip unchecked.

The fingers of Thea's hand run lightly through the dark hair on the back of D'had's head for a few moments after is near-growl. Comforting if she can, without peppering him with demanding questions, she waits for a time before she murmurs quietly, "Did… he try-?" Once again she tilts a look at those bruises around the base of his neck and in spite of trying to soothe him, she begins to tense.

D'had is silent for those few moments, breathing deep (hopefully calming) breaths face still tucked up against her. "I'm okay babe," he replies. He's not going to say it. By her reaction she knows without it. "I'm here. Told ya I an't goin' anywhere," he continues trying to assure her as he holds her.

The arms that hold him know and tremble. "Could have ended so differently," Thea mutters in response to that. Reaction for her is just setting in as he calms. She rests her head on the top of his, her dark hair tumbles around his face, but she's heedless of that. "You risked a lot going there for me, Donn." She falls silent once again, but this time it is because she cannot speak, not because she doesn't wish to. She swallows a few times, then chokes slightly as she adds, "I… don't think you should ever do it again."

D'had links his fingers together as his arms are still wrapped tightly around her. "No," It could have, but he's not going there. "He might say it, but he don't care enough." That's his theory anyway. "If I go again," since she brought it up, "One of us won't be leaving and it won't be me. Didn't want you not to see your Ma again cause of him though, and he don't have the right ta treat you like he did." In otherwords, yes, he did have to go.

Thea winces at that statement. "Donn. I appreciate what you did. I really, really do. It means so much that you would do that. I know my ma is grateful too." Her arms tighten around him before she pulls back to to meet his eyes, "Don't blame you one bit for that sentiment, Donn. I think Tharen and I both felt like killing him ourselves at times, but… I'd hate for you to kill someone because of me." Or at all, if he can read the expression on her face. "You are the one person he's not been able to control, you know that?" She searches his eyes to see if he can understand what she is trying to say, "If there ever is a next time, he will be ready. And he won't fight fair."

"You're the reason he got away with a broken nose," D'had replies. This is the conversation he was trying to avoid. "Wouldn't wanna do that to you. I ain't going again, not if I don't need to. Your Ma's gonna get a ride down from Reaches. Said she'd visit soon." A change of topic. "I know he won't. But I'm here now and he's not gonna bother you no more. Smile for me?"

And so Thea does as she always does. She pushes her concern deep inside were she thinks he cannot see, allowing the man his retreat. She nods about her mother, whispering a heartfelt, "Thank you" with lips that tremble as they smile for him through the tears in her eyes and curls into him once again. He is here now. And now is all she really has.

D'had lifts his head, turning dark eyes on her and pulling a touch of a smile to his own lips for that attempt. "No tears.." that just makes him feel bad, smile falling. "What's wrong sweetheart?" She might think he can't see it tucked away, and sometimes he can't, but today.. today there are other signs and he knows what's happened all too well.

"I… can't lose you." Thea whispers, shaking her head. "I cannot go through another hour like I just did, waiting and not really knowing if you're alright." He said no tears and really she does try to stop them, but speaking of her fear causes them to spill and trace down the curve of her cheeks. "I'm sorry," she says it with a laugh that catches in her throat, "I'm not doing a very good job at helping you calm down, am I?" Clear green eyes meet those dark ones without trying to hide then. "I love you for what you did. I think you are brave and wonderful and honorable and good." She gives a funny little laugh, "Don't you dare ever do it again!" She tries, tries hard to make light of it.

"I know babe, I know," D'had replies, giving her a squeeze. One hand lifts, thumb turning to wipe away those tears. He'll not tell her one thing her father said, that he'll keep to himself. "I'll never leave you long as I can help it," he assures, leaving a kiss on her forehead and then ducking to leave a second on her stomach. He looks up with a bit of a sheepish grin for her at that laughter.

Thea knows things happen, knows there are things people cannot help, but she doesn't press it. She takes his reassurance, eyes closing as his thumb brushes her cheeks, the last of those tears glittering on the tips of her lashes as she does so. Ice green eyes open and meet his once more and there is absolute trust in them. "I know you won't." She meets his grin with a tremulous smile, unsure whether he understood the plea behind that joke, flat as it was, but decides to leave it, unwilling to tie him to a promise he might not be able to keep. And knowing Thadan… Instead all she says is, "It's been quite an evening. I think we both need some rest."

"Right then," D'had agrees. "Some rest sounds good." One arm slips around behind her, the other under her knees and he lifts her up to carry her to the bedroom. Its a careful slide through the doorway so as not to hit her head or feet on the frame and then she's deposited on the bed.

Thea can't help but laugh a little bit as she's carried, and although she eyes that shoulder he'd been favoring, she declines to fuss over it. However, she does reach for a small jar of numbweed kept in the nightstand beside the bed. "Allow me?" She's patiently waiting for him to remove his shirt so she can apply it, although should he put up any argument that jar is wavered and a wheedling tone used and her logic to follow, "You'll sleep better." And that whiskey he took might help too?

D'had rubs his shoulder once he's set her down. A face is made for that jar, a bit of a frown. Logic wins over though and he strips his shirt, tossing it to the side and setting down on the edge of the bed for her to attend to his injuries. "Promise me you won't go back there."

Thea ducks to hide a tiny smile at that frown of his, lips twitch is all, really. "I have to wonder," she moves to kneel beside him on the bed when he does sit down, "what sort of grief you'd give the healers should you ever be badly injured enough to need their attention." She dips some of the numbweed from the jar, works it into the bruise on his shoulder, trying and failing to keep from frowning as she eyes the mark there. She blinks at that sudden question of his, finger still briefly on his skin as she sucks in a breath. "Not… go back." Her eyes lift to his and she gives him a steady look, "Why?"

D'had chuckles, trying to hide the wince that comes with her working the numbweed into his shoulder. "Hopefully that won't ever happen," he replies. As for her question he shakes his head, "Just promise me. Won't neither of us go back there."

Thea remains silent, dipping her fingers back in that jar, focusing on the purple bruises about his neck as she dabs the stuff on them with fingers that are featherlight. "You really think he's that dangerous." Not really a question before she slowly adds, "You think he'd hurt us-" one of her hands lifts to cover her stomach, "-to get at you." Again not a question, but she lifts her eyes to him. She is seeking his judgment here.

"He.." D'had hesitates to tell her what was said. "Asked him if your Ma saw the letter. Said that was her blood on it." It didn't make him feel good, particularly when he wouldn't then tell him where the woman was or let him see her. "And…" he starts, shaking his head and leaving it at that.

Thea's eyes scan D'had's face, reading the truth there as slow realization dawns in hers. "Her blood." Her eyes harden and her legs swing off the bed and she rises in one swift movement. She's aiming for the door and if D'had knows her, he can guess where she's headed. And once again, she's not thinking.

"Damnit! I knew I shouldn't have said anything," D'had says as he jumps to his feet, reaching after her. "Promise me," he nearly demands. "You said it, he won't play fair."

That reach succeeds in contacting Thea's arm and she finds herself brought up short and turned to face D'had. For a long few ragged breaths she says nothing, a wild tumult of indecision rages in her eyes. "Donn…" Her voice cracks on his name.

"He thought you asked me to plead your case for the baby," D'had tries, having been avoiding the part that follows all night. "And when I wasn't he thought getting rid of me would bring you back to stay. Don't go. Please." He's pleading now. "Send a message for her first at least. Don't just go."

Thea gasps at this news, her eyes darkening as the color drains from her face. It's with a small moan in the back of her throat that she sinks back onto the bed, turning to curl on her side. Shock will do funny things to a person and the next words that Thea speaks perhaps will make little sense to D'had. "Thadan is why I go to the Yokohama whenever I can." Odd that she makes no comment about that promise he wants, but she hasn't forgotten.

"Please," D'had repeats, confusion crossing his expression at her reply. No, it doesn't make any sense to him at all. "Why you go…" he echoes trying to put two and two together, but still drawing a blank. "I'm sorry," he quickly adds, wrapping arms around her and wishing he could take back what he's already said. "I'm sorry. You shouldn't have to go through this. Not now, not ever."

Thea turns on the bed as D'had wraps his arms around her. She curls into him, nodding, trying to explain, "He never let us look at the stars. Was a waste of time to him. We worked… or did lessons or slept. No time for stargazing and no hold Harper to teach us about the stars." Dazed eyes seek his, "I can't get enough of them, Donn. That's why I took you up there." So Thadan's grip was complete. She is lost for a moment, sidetracked she muses, "I should take Tharen up there some time." His apology brings her back to the here and now and her arms tighten pulling him to her if she can, "It's not your fault that he's lost his mind." She pulls back enough to meet his gaze once more, "I won't go back there, I promise." She frowns slightly, "Unless you go. You're not going back without me. No ever."

"Shh.." D'had tries to comfort best he can, a hand moving to brush her hair back from her face. "You like the stars, you'll like the boat then," he offers with a smile. "I know it's not, but ain't your fault either and you the one had to live with it."

"The boat. Really looking forward to that." There's the beginning of a smile working it's way on Thea's mouth, but her hands clench on D'had's back, her eyes intent upon his face, and it fades, "I promise I won't go back, Donn. I want to hear you say you won't either!" Almost feverish, her eyes glitter back at him, fear strong in them. No wonder he didn't want to tell her!

"Good." A simple return as he hugs her back. "Won't go back," D'had repeats. "Not less I have to." That stipulation may or may not make her feel better. "Love you babe," he says, offering up a smile. "Don't know what I'd do without ya."

Only after that second assurance does Thea relax, allowing him to slip by with that stipulation. "I love you too, Donn." The fear slowly fades from her eyes and she answers his smile with one of her own. Shock and the wash of several strong emotions over the evening have taken their toll along with carrying a babe, she's suddenly exhausted. Cuddling in to him, too tired to slip out of that soft sundress she's wearing, she yawns. "You need rest, love."

"So do you," D'had replies, laying down with her still in his arms, one hand lightly rubbing up and down her back. She didn't need all that, that much he knows, but not telling her would keep her worrying and so.. "Go to sleep," he whispers softly, forehead resting against hers as his eyes close. As for him, a good night's sleep won't be in the cards tonight.

Thea keeps her arms around D'had as well. It's not the first time she's done so and likely won't be the last. Her eyes remain on his as he touches his forehead to hers, but soon enough hers flutter closed in that heavy sleep that comes after upheaval has totally drained a person. She's only able to do so because the man next to her has gained her trust and shares his strength; she is secure in it. If every now and then during the night she twitches or moans it's also likely he knows why. Outside in the night the winds rise and the flames grow unseen. Tomorrow the Weyrsecond is going to heartily wish he had been able to sleep…

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