Xylaihl, L'ton, and Baby Names

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in it's own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as are the walls where numerous tapestries hang to provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt, leveled carefully but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area, however, is the one near the Kitchens where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. Its plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr and equally plain that on such occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are appropriated from all the other areas.

A big fireplace is set into the wall near the Kitchens as well, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, a big archway the largest and that leading outside. Shallow stairs to the west lead to the offices and administration area while tunnels to the east lead to the infirmary, kitchen and resident's quarters. Southwards, a sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs and southwest is a wide tunnel, carefully roped off to avoid accidents.

Xylaihl is sitting in the caverns alone, though she's by no means the only person here - many have taken shelter here recently. She's usually dressed in simple leathers, she's often popping between as a transport rider, but these past few months have seen a change. She's wearing a long dress, dyed forest green, though she still wears her riding jacket. The reason for this change of clothing is becoming more and more evident every day, as she has less than three months to go before the birth of her youngest child. For now, she's sitting, alone, in the crowded caverns.

L'ton ducks into the caverns hurriedly, his jacket having been pulled off and umbrella'd over his head - trying to offer some protection from the rain - though its lowered as he reaches the relative dryness of the caverns. Picking a new path, to avoid walking through the puddles left by others, he starts to head one way, before his path is diverted up on seeing Xylaihl by herself. And its at her table that his jacket is put across a chair, and he tilts his head. "Mind if'n Ah join ya, miss?" He offers lightheartedly, with a grin.

Xylaihl blinks as she's spoken to, and stirs herself from thought, smiling up at L'ton. "Ah, of course, take a seat." she nods, glancing to his jacket briefly. "Frightful weather. I wouldn't be here if I could help it." she rests a hand on her growing stomach and chuckles softly. "Never thought I'd be /here/ again." But something about the tone of her voice, 'here' doesn't mean Xanadu, it's pregnancy she didn't think she'd see again. She seems to be in a good mood today, thoughtful, distracted, but smiling, and laughing.

L'ton takes a chair next to Xylaihl, leaning back in it some. "Ah'm not sure which is worse - the rains here, or the droughts in Igen. Least there my papers stay dry when Ah'm running around." He shakes his head a bit more, giving her half a smile. "Ah'm sorry ya can't go somewhere, ta escape it…" And from the expression on his face, he really is. "Ya've been doing okay, though?"

Xylaihl shakes her head, glancing out towards the clearing. "To tell the truth, Xvetaoth is more upset about the rains than I. She's such a fussy dragon, hates to get even the slightest bit muddy." The rider smiles fondly for her dragon's eccentricities. "I think I'd rather the rain than a drought, myself." she admits, then grins cheekily at L'ton. "Why, anyone would think it was your fault I can't travel." she jokes. "I'm doing as well as can be expected. Bored out of my head on paperwork, but that's it, really." she shrugs. It's not her first pregnancy, after all. "The baby is fine, growing rapidly. The healers assure me It's just the /one/ baby, but it'll be a big … one. Still, we're both healthy, according to the healers."

"Dhonzayth keeps hoping that we aren't really coming here - says there's no where fer him ta get warm, with it like this. And that we gotsa stay at Ista, whether Ah like it er not." L'ton shakes his head a bit, wrinkling his nose. "Yer not laid up in bed, at least, that's gotta be a sign its just the one." For which this man is thankful - visiting bedridden riders gets rather tedious, and it can be difficult not to flaunt one's own freedom of movement. "Is there anything Ah can do, ta help ya pass the time?"

Xylaihl laughs, and shakes her head, "I'm free to move around, and glad of it, though at the rate the little one is growing… I'm not exactly looking forward to finally meeting him or her." she shifts in her seat, and shakes her head. "But, that's months away." she adds with a hint of forced cheer. Must remain positive. She does think on what L'ton could do, finally nodding, and answering with, "Well, I could use some company, a distraction, someone to talk to. Someone with more to talk about than the weather, perhaps." she smiles, then adds, "I barely know anything about you. Isn't it funny? Turns ago, before I impressed, I never dreamed I'd wind up with a man I did not know completely, perhaps a foolish dream, but then, I also thought I'd be married to that man. Now, though, I'm lucky if I can recall half the names of the riders Xvetaoth has 'introduced' me to." That's interesting phrasing to refer to flights. "Most interesting of all is that I just … accept this. It is how it is, and there's nothing wrong with it. Some days, though… Silly dreams, Xvetaoth wouldn't share me, and I wouldn't share her." she finishes, then blushes, realising she's rambled on and said far more than she meant to.

"Ya'll do fine, Ah know ya will. And if'n ya want meh here, yer Xvetaoth can just ask Dhonzayth, and Ah'll be here in a flash." He promises hurriedly, with a smile, leaning back in his chair again, and watching, nodding slowly. "Well, what do ya want ta know?" Fingertips grab the edge of the table, to keep him steady, giving her a bit of a smile. "Without Dhonzayth, Ah'd have been at the family hold, still. Married, Ah'm sure, with a bunch of lil's, herding sheep. And more sheep." Fine times, ain't it? "Ah'd never trade Dhonzayth for anything.." Not to mention the women he meets!

Xylaihl tilts her head, thoughtfully. What /does/ she want to know? She hmms, and seems lost for words at first. Finally, she dredges up a memory, and smiles. "What's /your/ favourite colour?" she recalls that L'ton had asked her this after the flight, and her answer of course was green. Though, not neon green like Xvetaoth, or forest green like her dress, but emerald green. As for where she'd be without Xvetaoth, well, "Well, I was born in a nice little farmhold, and I wouldn't mind living out the rest of my days there, but, once searched, I'd probably continue to stand until I was too old. I think I'd be a lower caverns worker by now. Probably a nanny, probably married with a couple of children, probably pregnant." she laughs.

"Blue." L'ton replies hurriedly, with a smile. "Bright blue." He shakes his head, and leans back. "Ah sometimes sneak back, ta see people. And Ah'm glad Ah'm not there no more. Ah mean.. they dun even wanna let meh come visit. Cause they think that Ah'll make 'em wanna go ta the weyr, and that we're all bad, there." Though, it doesn't that there is certainly an expanding Shipton group at Ista Weyr. "Then at least now ya have Xvetaoth, and ya can normally go wherever ya want!"

Xylaihl shakes her head slowly, "Oh, my family are only too happy to come to Xanadu, though it's a lot easier when I can take them here and back on Xvetaoth, it's just not worth making the trip, especially not in the rain, especially not with raids. Someone has to protect the farm." she sighs, and admits, "I had hoped my sister could be here… But that's just silly holdbred dreams again. I'd hoped that seeing the baby would … make her want one. My brother and I are riders, dragons tend to spook the animals, so the farm passes to her. None of my children care to take up farming, and it'd be sad to see it leave the family." She shrugs, then notes optimistically, "Well, maybe the little one here will grow up to be a great farmer." It could happen!

"Ah can go get her, ya know. Rains er not. Ah mean…" L'ton shrugs. "Its the least that Ah can do, fer ya…" A pause and he shrugs. "Yer lucky, though. Ah'm glad Ah've got mah cousins, and sometimes Ah miss 'em.. But then Ah realize Ah dun always. They tried ta take mah daughter from meh, and hide her, cause they didn't want meh ta take her back ta Ista. And mah Sris, she's as good a mom as can be." Despite everything L'ton puts her through. "And, 'e may, 'e may! There ain't nuthin' wrong with being a farmer."

Xylaihl blinks, and hadn't really considered someone /else/ doing the legwork. She's just so used to popping between, as a transport rider, that she occasionally forgets that other people can do that too. If she'd really wanted her sister here that badly, well, her brother is a rider. Still… "Oh, you'd do that?" she smiles, and then blushes. "Oh, but, I'm keeping you from your family." Though technically not, as there's a future son just waiting to be born here. "Why don't we see if the rain stops, first. If it stays dry for long enough, she could get here herself." It's gotta stop soon, right? She frowns, then changes the subject, with a cheerful — perhaps overly so — tone. "So, baby names!" Well, might as well get that sorted… "I'm thinking … something with an X."

L'ton is used to being told where to go, who to see, and when to be there. So, truly, running and picking up people isn't that much different than normal, when its his duty. "Ah dun mind, its not like it could take that much time ta do it, ya know.." He offers with a smile, ruffling his hair with a hand absently. "Ah, its all right, dun ya worry. Ah'd likely be about here fer something else, ta." And he relaxes, gaze starting to drift around him, before its pulled back to her as she cheerfully states that she's thinking something with an X. "An X?" He pauses for a moment, looking at her. "Ah.. Ah was thinking, perhaps ya could come up with something with a Z?"

Xylaihl blinks. She's never had the X knocked back before. Though, truthfully, she's never bothered to learn the names of most flight winners, so she never had any fathers to argue with her. Though X is such an odd letter, she'd probably have been argued with if there was anyone around to do it. "I, ah, Z?" she frowns slightly, then asks curiously, "What is L'ton short for, anyway?" She holds back from listing X names for now, seeming willing to make some sort of compromise. "I… like X names. Xvetaoth. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?" Uh, not really, not at first, anyway. Maybe after twenty-five turns it does, but…

L'ton has been lucky, so far. Most of the women have relented almost immediately at the request for a Z name, and the others have given in, even if they strung him along for a while first. "Aye, Z.." And L'ton turns a bit red. "Pallaton… It ain't fer mah name its… A family thing." And, Dhonzayth has a Z in it, does that count? "It is different.." He agrees quickly, not wanting to burn any bridges.

"Well… I suppose… It wouldn't be unprecedented, my mother and my sister have names beginning with Z, Zanya and Zhaila…" she begins, thoughtfully. "But, I mean, the poor kid will be different from my others, Xaspia, Xezzara, Xalansho, X'hil, Xyala, Xaliyan…" Well, he would be 'different' from the other set with an X name. Nevermind that those names, and Xylaihl, and Xvetaoth, are pronounced with more or less a Z sound, similar enough that it could be explained away as a Z with an accent. "I, er, do you have any suggestions, more than just a letter?" She seems willing to think about it, at least. That's a good sign.

"See, its in yer family too." L'ton offers with a hopeful tone to his voice. "Mah family.. each generation, all is a letter. There's mah cousin Pi and Ah, and then Ah've got a Zip, and a Zee, and a nephew Zh'ae.." He probably couldn't list them all if he tried. He sits and considers possible names, fingers tapping on the table top as he does so. "Zylon, maybe? Or Zylton, or.. Zalai…" He tries hard to think, chewing on his lip in between each offered suggestion.

Xylaihl hmms, and thinks about it. "I… I just… don't know…" she shakes her head, and shifts in her seat, not quite as comfortable as it used to be, though she knows this will be nothing compared to two months from now. "I … kind of like Zylon, but maybe… Xylan?" she suggests hopefully. "For a boy. Zalai is fine for a girl, I suppose…" There, a boy name and a girl name, hopefully satisfying both parents? Of course, once the child is born, well, it can only have one of those names. "Or… Or, you know how riders can change their names, right?" Right. "Maybe… We give the kid a name, X or Z, and … and … let them change it later?" Though, they're likely not going to want to, it's who they've been known as all their life, after all. But it's a step in the right direction.

L'ton pulls another chair between them from the next table, should Xylaihl care to shift and prop her feet up. Or something. "Ah mean, we could do Zxylan?" He offers, taking careful note to pronounce the effectively double 'z' sound, with an amused grin on his face. "Ah mean, it is kinda weird, but it could be okay.." He tries to think of something, hmming softly.

Xylaihl smiles at the offer of a chair for her feet, and accepts, plopping her feet onto the chair. She's still trying to think of a solution to the name problem, though she seems to have half of it already. "Hmm… Xzylan?" she tests, putting the slightly-not-a-Z Z sound first. But she shakes her head, with a chuckle. "Little too weird, even for me." Back to the drawing board… The thing about riders and names and such, is there more to that? Hmm… "Well, we … it's almost as weird as that, but, we could give the kid two names. Xylan and Zylon, or Xalai and Zalai?" she suggests, adding, "And let the child choose which when they're old enough."

"That's… yeah, no." L'ton offers after a consideration of Xzylan. "Ah.. yeah." He shakes his head hurriedly, before tilting his head at Xylaihl. "So, fer ya it would be Xylan, and fer meh, Zylan?" There is only a slight difference in the names as he says them, and he considers this carefully. "Ah suppose Ah could deal with that…" And, who knows what the child will decide, in the long run.

Xylaihl nods, then grins cheekily, "Who's to say if, if it's a boy, named Xylan and Zylan, that he won't impress, and go to Y'lan, or something." the greenrider notes, with a chuckle. But she shakes her head, glancing to her growing stomach. "I just hope we only need one name. Well, two, but you know what I mean." Though it should be easier to decide on a second name set now that they've picked a first.

"Ah was happy 'nuff ta get rid of mah P, when Ah Impressed.." So, he's got no qualms with it turning into a Y name. "Y'lan's actually not bad, fer a rider.." And L'ton gets distracted from the task at hand, before shaking his head to look back at her with a smile. "Well, if'n the healers says its only one, is prolly only one, right?" THough, the healers did mess that one up for Vesvesris.

Xylaihl smiles, then grins, back to her good mood now that the name thing is more or less sorted. "But hey, if it's twins, we could get Xylan and Zylan." she points out. It's probably a good thing that the healers are right in this case, much as Xylaihl has her doubts. "It's quite a thought, to think I could have another future rider in here. I… never expected… I mean, their fathers have all been riders, I'm a rider, my brother is a rider, but it's something else entirely to say my son is a rider." She assumes all the fathers were riders, anyway. Could be some random guy snuck in and decided to try his luck, she wouldn't've noticed, nor cared, until about nine months later.

"Ah'm really hoping that mah Zip, she gets Searched. But, ya, it'd be weird ta say mah daughter, she's a rider." And then he pauses, shaking his head. "Ah can't believe she's nearly old enough, ta stand fer Search.." And he smiles at her, giving her a bit of a nod. "Ah'm sure 'e'll be happy, whatever is in teh future."

Xylaihl shakes her head, glancing to her belly yet again. "It's hard to imagine I once had a bronzerider … here." she places her hand over her stomach now, then jokes, "Usually, they're a little further down." she laughs, then tilts her head at L'ton, "So, what's the life of a bronzerider really like? Do you really have a girl in every Weyr? Is that standard, do you get a list on graduation? 'Well, you impressed bronze, here is your list of girls.'" She's joking, of course.

L'ton chuckles, with little shame, shaking his head. "Well, one than the other.." He comments with amusement. At the question of multiple girls, he blushes a bit shaking his head. "Ah.. Ah wouldn't say that. Ah mean, Ah do have ones Ah gotta visit, all over. But.. not like that." Even if he does his best to lure anything female to him.

Xylaihl grins, noting, "Before I impressed, I'd never have said half the things I've said." she notes, with some amusement. "Ah, flights, I assume?" she asks, with a wry smile. "I suppose it's easier for me. For one, I don't have to go anywhere. But I do have this tendency to wake up beside people I've never met, and I seem to have children just fine, myself." she shakes her head, and glances in the general direction of the clearing, idly brushing a bit of hair off of her jacket. "Xvetaoth is the cause of the madness, and Xvetaoth keeps me sane. Of course flights have become more or less routine over the turns. Xvetaoth leads the dragons on a merry chase, I and a selection of my closest complete strangers head back to my weyr, Xvetaoth fumbles, gets caught, and so on."

"Aye, flights… Dhonzayth, he just seems ta know. And he'll be there.. And Ah'm there.." And he shakes his head some, though he doesn't seem to regret it too much. "And even sometimes when he dun catch, Ah find myself caught up. He's the madness." L'ton quickly states, shaking his head. "Ah dun even wanna think about how many strangers Ah've woken up next ta…" Sometimes its best kept to the back of his mind - less the scary ones overshadow the good ones. "At least ya always win?" He teases.

Xylaihl snickers, and must cede that point. "Always. Though I don't always wake up beside the rider of the catching dragon. There's not much shortage of willing partners during a flight, I've found, and … I'm not particularly fussy then, either." she does blush at that, a little of that holdbred girl peeking through the greenrider's eyes, for just a moment. "But, I can't imagine a flight without a partner, win or lose. Funny, when I was a weyrling, I'd hoped all my flights would be … like that. It was quite the scary prospect. But after the first few turns, well, you adjust. You have to.

L'ton chuckles. "Ah think Ah'd prefer that, ta waking up with the awful hangover that's the alternative.." L'ton shakes his head hurriedly. "There's not a problem with that, ya know. Some people get uppity, but really… its okay. Tis a good thing." Because then there are random babies, and babies are fun?

Xylaihl chuckles. "Well, I suppose. I'd just … a part of me would rather be /me/, not some flight version of me. More in control of my actions. A tiny part. I'd put up with twice as many flights for Xvetaoth." a pause, and the greenrider suddenly stands, walks over to the clearing exit, and shouts "No, that was NOT a challenge!" then walks back and calmly sits down, settling her feet on the other chair again. "But… Well, this will be my seventh child. I'm just one greenrider, though thankfully the oldest four are more or less self-sufficient now, and the fifth will be before this one is out of nappies." So, kids old enough to babysit? Win!

"Ah suppose Ah can understand that. Though, at least ya know that it's not.. /really/ ya.. if something happens." L'ton shrugs slightly, hiding a laugh as Xylaihl reacts to Xvetoath, shaking his head as she rejoins him, smiling broadly. "Ah would say that's a fairly good thing." And then, he wrinkles his nose, shaking his head. "Seems Ah've forgotten about an Igen meeting, and they're looking fer Dhonzyath. If'n ya'll excuse me…" He gets to his feet and retrieves his jacket before giving her a soft pat on a shoulder. "Do let meh know, if'n Ah can do anything fer ya. Or get anyone."

Xylaihl nods, glancing out towards the clearing. "I'll have Xvetaoth pass the message along." she nods. "Healers say it'll be another two and a half months." she adds, just in case Xvetaoth 'forgets' to pass along that particular message. Xvetaoth /is/ the jealous type after all, even when there's no reason to be, and she's not sure she wants the healer /and/ L'ton fussing over her rider. "Hey, Igen, you should dry quickly, then." she notes, with a little wave. But she's not standing, she just got comfy again.

L'ton gives her shoulder another quiet pat. "Ah'll be seeing ya, then.." And then with a final glance at her, he's hurrying out to Dhonzayth, pulling his jacket up over his head for what protection it offers.

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