People Change

Xanadu Weyr - Beach


The unerring range of subdued white rises and falls in a multitude of sandy dunes, creating an endless amount of tiny valleys constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of a dragon. Smoothing out as it slopes gently to the edge of the deep blue water, the sand darkens and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect. The beach itself is set along a low cliff - the height lessoning as one heads eastwards, blocking a portion of the beach from direct access.

The wide wide stretch of water opens up to the east, the far distant shore way beyond the horizon and the beach curves ever so slowly round to east and west, distant arms of land embracing the wind-ruffled Caspian Lake. East leads up to the mouth of the Rubicon River, where the protecting cliff is merely an arms length higher then the sand, and beyond that, a winding road leading out of Xanadu's territory. Westwards, the beach narrows as the cliff swings out, leaving a path wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to the sheltered cove designated the Weyrling Beach. However, cut in the cliff face to the north are a variety of rough, wide staircases, providing access to the clearing and to the meadow.

Its a week or so shy of two months having passed from the forest fire that put both Phylicia and her former-mentor in the infirmary. The rains have also stopped a week prior, and things are still drying out around Xanadu. Puddles still exist and the water levels are still high, but for once even with the sogginess, the sun is just starting on it's downward decent into nighttime. There was a note left on the table in their shared weyr though Phylicia at least hasn't been staying there often, since the stairs tended to tax her. 'Meet me on the beach, after you've eaten something.' And so the young woman sits on a small piles of blankets, a decent ways away from the new level of the water, with another randomly wrapped around her shoulders. Not that it's extremely cold or anything. Her face is quiet and thoughtful as she looks out over the water.

M'nol had had to resist running to the beach the moment he'd seen the note. The lack of Phy in his evenings had compounded the harshness of his workload with the continuing clean up and his worry for her. Still, he had forced himself to eat as she had requested before making his way quickly to the beach, not running, but definitely quick. When he sees her sitting there, blankets and all, his first concerns is that the sand would irritate her skin, but he pushes that from his mind as he senses her… not distress… but certainly something was off. Moving calmly to her side and trying not to kick up too much dust, he murmurs, "Phy? Is everything alright, love?"

Phylicia's burns have long since healed, leaving only a few patches of roughened skin. No. The only reason the healers haven't formally discharged her from their care yet is due to a clinging cough. Even her voice has been sounding better of late, though she drinks a bit more than the average person tends to. She pats the blanket next to her in an invitation to sit down, though she doesn't offer to let him under the blanket that she has around her shoulders. Though all of a sudden, there's a minorly pained expression on her face which she tries to force to a smile. "Yes, and yet no." She says, even sounding a bit indecisive. She licks her lips, wondering how to continue.

M'nol settles down next to her, a deeply concerned look on his face. Eyes squinting some as he turns towards her some while sitting, one hand extending to rest wherever she'll let it, "Speak to me?" It's both a question and a request. He's been worried about her for ages, and not just physically, and seeing her like this brings back all of those fears from when it was first revealed that Tenebrous had lost himself.

Phylicia was - and still is - planning on talking to him, thus the whole reason for calling him down. Her brow creases for a moment after catching a glance at his face, and she bites her lower lip before continuing. "I.. had a talk with Tenebrous a few days ago." And in those few days, she's spent an awful lot of what spare time she has staring into space. "And something I said… is still sticking with me." She's not trying to be vague on purpose, honest. "I said…" She pauses and sucks in a gentle enough breath, before finally turning to look at M'nol, something akin to regret yet not written in her eyes. "I said that I wanted him." She doesn't rush the words, waiting for their meaning to sink into M'nol's brain. Well, at least she's not avoiding the subject.

M'nol blinks twice, his mouth hanging a little slack for a moment. Then he shakes his head violently. Reboot. "Phy… I…" Definitely stunned. He's silent for a few more moments, his body stiffening, "I… he had a girl… at Ista… and I…" He sighs softly, "Phy, I still love you… I can't just… /not/… and…" He slumps a little, the stiffness of shock replaced some by the lax of defeat, "Is there… is there anything I can do?"

"I know he had a girl." Phylicia murmurs as she draws up her knees, resting her chin upon them. Looking hurts too much, so it's best to just look elsewhere. "Don't think that I don't care for you still, M'nol." Dispite the fact she isn't actively looking at him, instead stealing sideways glances, her voice is still momentarily heated before she collects herself again. "I… I still care for you. But I've come to care for him too." She blinks. This sounded so much better in her head.

M'nol nods sadly. For all he feels much the same way she does, he can't seem to look away from her. His shoulders are still slumped, looking very much like a beaten canine, "I… I don't understand… no, I think I do… I just… I /don't/." Yeah, sentences, definitely not his strong suit at this moment. "I… Phy… I care for him too… probably not the same way, but I do… I think a lot of us do…" He sighs, "What… what does this mean for me? for us?" His voice wavers on the 'us', almost as if he was afraid to say it.

Phylicia reaches for one of his hands on impulse. That one where he wasn't sure where to rest it, and gives it a hard squeeze though not a painful one. "It means.." She says licking her lips again. "It means that I probably shouldn't live with you anymore." She squeezes his hand again, and rushes forward now. "Craftmaster Fraille is going to pull me back to the Hall for evaluation and possible re-posting after I'm finally discharged anyways. And I don't know where she'll put me or how long I'll be gone." He may or may not have known that fact by now. And ever since Fraille's promotion, the crone has been causing an awful fuss with most people in the craft. She lets out a ragged breath, finally looking at him again. "I'm sorry, 'Nol. And don't even /think/ that I'd avoid you, if I'm allowed back. I still want to know you." Possible awkwardness and all.

M'nol's hand shakes in hers and he nods slowly, "I knew… I knew you were being called back again…" He takes a deep ragged breath, tears beginning to prick at his eyes, "And… and you haven't really lived with me since…" Since his mistake at Ista, "for a while… between the stairs and our different shifts… and…" Another deep ragged breath, "Phy… I don't want to lose you just because there's someone else, too… I don't… You're… my everything… I." He sighs, his breath coming out half like a sob, "I still want you… and want to be with you… even if I can't be with you all the time and you don't want to be just with me… I." Another half-sob, "I'd do almost anything to keep you in my life… share you… visit you anywhere on Pern…"

There's a little voice in the back of Phylicia's head, scolding her with 'and this is why apprentices DON'T have relationships!'. The healer-girl winces, tucking her forehead against her knees. "What else am I supposed to do?" She asks, not entirely expecting an answer. "It's tell you now and spare you a little more pain, or tell you later on and break you." And it's obvious that breaking him is not what she wants to do. "I don't want out of your life. I just … want… a different spot in it?" She's willing herself not to cry. She decided on this. She did! But then she's looking at him like he grew a second head. "Share… me…?" Even she doesn't know quite what to make of that.

M'nol takes another deep breath, trying to calm himself, but it doesn't really work. His hand is still shaking in hers, his whole body is, even, "I… I don't know… I just… I /need/ you…" The unused hand comes up to wipe at his tear stained cheeks, "I… Oh, Phy… I've made so many mistakes… We were friends first and we can be friends again… I just… give me a chance? Not to win you back but don't… don't close the door on us until you're sure of him… or whoever else it might be… know that I'm here…"

Phylicia is still staring, at least for a few more moments. With his teary and shaken state, she's fighting not to get pulled down with him, but then his words penetrate and she just stares a little more, though now her lip twitches minorly upwards. "Idiot." She says fondly enough, finally shifting her position to kneel and face him. "What part of 'I don't want out of your life' did you not understand?" She asks, squeezing that shaking hand again. She just doesn't quite grasp the concept of sharing. Call her Hold-bred. "We'll still be friends." She assures him, actually leaning forward to touch her forehead to his, if he'll let her. "And I'll miss you while I'm gone… but I need to do this. You'll be fine.." And it's almost like she's checking to make sure of this last fact.

M'nol lets her touch her forehead to his despite the fact that he's completely brain-addled. If she'll let him, he wraps his arms around her and squeezes hard, possibly too hard, but this is a hard thing for him to do as well, then he pulls back, looking into her eyes with his own deeply tear-stained ones, "Go. Do what you have to do. Find what you have to find. And, most importantly, prove you're the best sharding healer on all of Pern and that Tene taught you well." Faraeth's brassy bugle cuts through the darkening sky and the brown appears, seeming to snarl as he lands. The silk and velvet far from gentle as he exclaims to all around, « You promised! » Morl is on his feet instantly, rushing to Faraeth's side, for once him calming the brown and not the other way around. It takes a few moments for Faraeth's eyes to return to green-blue, though flecks of red-orange still appear in them from time to time as he stares at Phy. M'nol comes back about half-way, "Phy… I have to go… I think… I think we've said all there is to say. You.. you know how to get in touch with me… and know that I'm here for you… if you need me…" The tears are still there, for all his attempts to wipe them aside, then he turns, mounting Faraeth smoothly enough despite his condition, and the pair make their way off to, well, somewhere. It's not the direction of their weyr, though. But it can be sure that for the first time since Phy's return to Xanadu, the pair is sleeping together in the same wallow.

Phylicia's lungs squeak in faint protest at the death-grip-hug, which manages to leave her breathless for a moment. She has a moment to grab a single breath of air, before a snarling Faraeth has her clutching at her temples, crouched in on herself partially in fear, but mostly in pain. She's not used to hearing voices in her head, and the brown really isn't being particularily gentle. "I'm sorry!" She cries out, meant only for the dragon. But she doesn't mind as she rubs carefully at her temples that M'nol is off soothing his dragon. It beats becoming a bite-sized snack. But that was all it took to take her inner strength down for the time being. She doesn't verbally respond to M'nol and instead, lifts one hand in an exagurated wave to acknowledge what he said, even as he's mounting his dragon only to head somewhere else. It takes her a few minutes to gather herself to work around the raging headache she has, but eventually she picks up and shakes out the blankets so she can fold them up and return them where she got them from, walking slowly back to the Weyr, her face back in its pensive mask.

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