==== October 19, 2013
==== Daren, Donatien, Kalea
==== Daren, Donatien, and Kalea share pleasantries at the Hearth

Who Daren, Donatien, Kalea
What Social Mores in the Nighthearth
When There are 0 turns, 11 months and 9 days until the 12th pass.
Where Nighthearth, Southern Weyr

daren.jpg Dien1.bmp kalea2.jpg


A comfortable nook, this natural extension of the living room is cozily attired with overstuffed chairs and a couple of well-worn loveseats. All have been covered in various shades of green, giving the very incongruous appeal of a miniature forest hidden away inside… a grove of man-made proportion. Fish stews and spicy white-wherry chili are often kept hot on the minor hearths east and west of the main, for those whose hours defy when meals are kept. Ornate, the largest hearth towers high, rich with carving and utilitarian in fashion: it holds court by providing the weyr with rich klah, the air thick with the scent of cinnamon wafting.

Daren is curled up in one of the chairs sideways, his long legs hanging over one arm while his head rests against the back on the other side. There is a slight smile curling his lips as he turns the page of a book cradled against his knees. Every once in a while he will reach down to the floor to pick up a glass to sip from before returning the glass to the spot on the floor where it won't be spilled.

Kalea has finally been released from kitchen duty and looks about half done in. She wanders toward the hearth with a large mug of fruit juice, her pack slung over her shoulder. With a sigh she drops her pack on the floor with a thump and settles into one of the large chairs. “Ahhh yeah,” she murmurs as the pressure is taken off her feet in the act of sitting down. She glances over at Daren with a grin and notes the book propped against the young man’s knees. In an effort not to overly intrude she nods her head in greeting and sips on her juice.

Daren glances up at the words, a little startled but his smile returns when he sees the greenrider settling into another of the chairs. "Hi, Kalea." he says softly, marking the page in his book and swinging his legs down to the floor again. He picks up his glass and sets it on the table nearby. "How are you today?" is asked curiously.

Kalea is impressed by a number of things concerning Daren today. First he’d remembered her name right off and second he appears to be reading a book. Her smile is both proud and friendly as she watches him sit up in his chair. “Hello Daren.” She wipes a sheen of sweat from her brow with the back of her wrist. “I’m doing just fine thanks. A little wore out from my afternoon stint in the kitchens.” She waves her hand as she drops it back toward her lap. “I see you’re reading a book. That’s entirely wonderful! How are you liking it?”

Daren blushes slightly as she gestures toward the book sitting on his lap and nods, hand caressing the cover carefully … almost reverently. "Yes. It's really good." he says with a shy smile and half-lidded glance up at her. "I don't understand it all but … I like the stories." Lifting his head again, he squares his shoulders a bit more and tilts his head curiously at her. "You're still working in the kitchens? When it's this hot?" he asks softly. Not that it bothers him, but he's noticed a lot of people sweating pretty heavy.

Kalea downs a healthy swig of her juice before nodding her head and smiling. “Well the more you read the text around what baffles you, the more clear the meaning of the word you don’t know becomes.” At least that’s the way she approaches reading. “I’m so happy to see you reading.” When he asks after the kitchens she shrugs her shoulders and nods again. “I’m still working in them every afternoon. That is where I’m still assigned.” It isn’t the most comfortable of places to be when you’re pregnant and already suffering from the heat. But there you have it. “When I get too hot and worn out I grab a mug of juice,” she hefts hers with a smile, “and sit down for a bit.”

Daren's smile almost becomes a grin as his green eyes sparkle. "I know. Mel is too. This one even has some pretty big words in it too. The Harper gave it to me this morning." he says, excitement tingeing his voice. Sighing softly, he nods. "Well, at least they let you do that."

Kalea cocks her head and looks at Daren curiously. “Who’s Mel dear?” She hasn’t heard of his friend’s name. Regardless she’s just happy that he’s making friends. “Ahh so you’re in the ‘reading zone’.” She chuckles softly. “That’s what I call it when I find a new book that catches my attention. Because Ryadranth has to keep track of time for me or I’d sit there and read it til it was through.” She doesn’t often get a chance to read books. But on very rare occasion she’ll find one she enjoys perusing of an evening.

Daren rasps a soft laugh and stands up to gather a couple meatrolls for the boy to munch on, hungry despite having had lunch not that long ago … or so he thinks. "Mel is Prymelia. The Trader that adopted me into her clan. She doesn't like to be called Prym …" he says. He ponders her words and then shrugs his shoulders. "I suppose. I have to read so much of it so that I can tell the Harper about what I read tomorrow."

“Adopted eh?” Kalea laughs with delight at that piece of information. “Good for you Daren. The name doesn’t strike me as familiar. But I’ve been kept so busy it’s no wonder really.” She makes a mental note /not/ to call this mystery woman ‘Prym’ should she ever run across her. Lea crosses one foot onto a knee with a sigh. “Are they making you give oral reports? I always hated those.” She can still relate though she’s feeling rather old these days. Hormones most likely.

A soft blush colors his cheeks as he nods and munches on one of his meatrolls. "She's from the Flynn clan. She spends a lot of time in the Library though. He sighs softly and nods. "I don't like them either but … I don't start my writing lessons until next sevenday so I can't write them down."

Kalea huh’s and shrugs her shoulders, “As long as she’s good to you dear. That’s the important thing about family. Even adopted family.” The fact that this girl spends time in the Library is a point in her favor to be sure. Lea likes the idea of Daren finding help with his lessons. “You’ll pick up on writing as easily as you’ve done with the reading I’d wager.” She shifts in the chair and puts a hand to the side of her stomach. “Even when you’ve started writing them down you’ll probably have to recite them and turn them in.” She chuckles ruefully, “Though perhaps not. They my do things differently these days than was done way back in my time.”

Daren grins back at her and nods. "She is good to me. She's been helping me now that I have the big books to read." he says softly. He tucks his book away in the satchel at the side of the chair and munches on the second meatroll. "The Harper said that once I could read, writing would be really easy." He frowns slightly and cocks a head at the greenrider and asks, "Back in your time?"

Kalea hadn’t considered that Daren might not realize. After all most folks can tell by the way she speaks and acts.. So she laughs heartily and nods her head. “Aye Daren. Have you heard about the ‘jump’ from over 400 Turns ago?” She sips her juice and massages the side of her belly where her hand is resting. Somebody in there is kicking her good at the moment. “Ryadranth and I came forward from High Reaches.” Meaning that Kalea while actually still quite young, could be considered /very/ very old.

Daren's jaw simply drops as his eyes widen at her. "Whoa …" he mutters. "Four hundred turns? That is … that's a long, long time, isn't it?" He'd never have known about the whole thing if he'd not been reading something about just that within the past few days.

Kalea watches that amazement dawn in Daren’s expression and giggles. “Over four hundred turns now. Seeing as I’ve been in well ‘this’ time since the jump.” The word ‘this’ even gets a two fingered quotation mark in the air before she lowers her hand again. “And yes it’s a very long time. And a very different world to be honest. I’ve found so many things that were perfectly alright in my day, that aren’t considered acceptable in this time.” Her clothes, her way of thinking, heck even the children growing in her belly. “I look pretty good for four hundred eh?” She is joking of course and chuckles.

Daren is actually stunned speechless until she makes her joke which causes him to laugh hoarsely at the joke. "You do look pretty good for being over four hundred turns old. And pregnant too." His eyes sparkle at her as he sighs, wondering just what that world might have been like to live in.

Kalea pats her belly and nods her head. “I am at that.” She chuckles, “And getting bigger every time I look down.” She gives her head a shake at that and sighs. “It was certainly a lot different. For one thing Reaches was a whole lot colder than it is /here/.” That’s quite a bit of an understatement. Though perhaps she’s a little biased because the heat has been getting to her lately in a way it usually doesn’t. “It took some getting used to being here.”

Daren smiles and nods sympathetically. "I don't feel it as much … maybe because I used to live where it was even hotter." he says softly. He lifts his glass to take another sip and peers at her belly, a slight frown creasing his brow as he gnaws on his lower lip. "Does … does it hurt? I mean … you keep putting your hand on your stomach like it hurts …" He's curious but also a little frightened for her.

Kalea blinks at the idea of somewhere being hotter than it is right here. That’s just pure torture even in one’s own mind. “I can’t even imagine,” she admits. She glances down at her stomach with a smile when he asks if it hurts. “Sometimes,” she admits with a nod of her head. “But right now they’re just having a shoving match or something.” She grins and pats the spot where she keeps getting nudged or kicked. “Want to feel them move? It’s rather interesting.” It turns out she hasn’t minded as much as she’d thought she would folks feeling her stomach as she gets larger by the moon.

Daren blinks at the greenrider and curls his hands around his ribs, hoping he’d not been so forward in actually reaching out to touch the woman. At her offer though, he looks a little more accepting of the idea and nods. "If … if you don't mind?" he asks, his usual reticence returning with his uncertainty on this new foray into 'making decisions'.

Kalea laughs softly and waves her hand at Daren. “C’mere and give me your hand. Feel right here.” She pats the spot on the side of her belly closer to the front this time as the movements are migrating. “If I minded dear, I wouldn’t have offered.” After all it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to volunteer for something she doesn’t want to do now would it? She has gotten used to the natural curiosity of folks and come to generally accept people touching her ever growing middle.

Daren slips out of his chair, smiling shyly as he moves toward her. Once he reaches her side, he drops to one knee and stretches his hand out to rest it lightly on the spot she'd indicated. He frowns slightly as he sits there with his hand on her belly, waiting to feel what she's talking about.

Kalea places her palm against the back of Daren’s hand and slides it slightly forward on her belly. Where he is sure to feel the solid rolling and thump against his fingers. “They’ve been getting more active the bigger they grow.” She lifts her hand from his and allows him to sit there and feel the flutter of live within her as long as he feels comfortable doing. “I’m wagering a guess that they either don’t play well together, or more likely they are vying for room to get comfortable.” Which usually results in her spending at least a good portion of her day uncomfortable. But she doesn’t appear to have a single complaint about it from the soft smile on her lips.

Daren twitches just a bit as she touches his hand with hers but doesn't retreat from what she's allowing him to do. When she slides his hand to a slightly different spot, his frown deepens slightly until he feels a bump against his hand. His eyes widen in surprise and grins in delight. "Wow …" he whispers. "That's a baby? It … it's moving around in there?" Then he realizes what she'd actually said and his eyes widen even more in awe. "You mean … there's two in there?"

Kalea is seated in one of the large wing backed chairs with Daren kneeling in front of her. Don’t worry he’s not proposing! Rather he’s engrossed with feeling the movement of the children growing in her womb. “That’s a baby,” she confirms with a nod and soft laugh. “Yes Daren I’m having twins it turns out.” She shrugs a shoulder and smiles. “My mother was a twin and it runs in my family line pretty far back actually.”

Donatien is a man with a plan. Well, a drink in hand, and that's close, right? He's moving in to the Nighthearth area, grabbing up a bowl of fish-stew and some cheese to go with it, and wanders over to find a seat of his very own: "Does anyone mind if I claim this seat?" he asks, the be-alcoholed hand waving at the wing-back chair across from Kalea. A little nod to Daren at her feet, "Feeling the baby?" he asks. Or was that babies… Was Dien here for that conversation? He looks bemused a moment, but sits down anyway. "I hear it's a wonderful time for a woman." Notice how Dien's not even leaning forward to touch.

Daren starts slightly at the sound of the older man's voice and gently slips his hand out from beneath hers. He slowly stands and returns to his own chair, nodding to the older man. "It was … neat." he says softly. He turns his gaze to Kalea and smiles. "Thank you for letting me feel it. I've never been around a pregnant woman."

Kalea looks up at Donatien’s approach and shakes her head, “I don’t mind at all. Please feel free.” She herself has a mug of juice held out to the side of her chair. Out of the way of being bumped by Daren of course. She swings it back toward her as the young man rises to reclaim his own seat. “You’re very welcome Daren.” She laughs softly and looks askance at his last comment. “Really? Never?” She waves a hand to indicate the Weyr around them. “I imagine you’ll run across one or two of the Cavern women at some point who are carrying themselves.” Granted as far as she’s been made aware of she’s currently the only ‘rider bold enough to be in the family way in this stressful time.

Donatien takes a bite of stew and mmms, "I'm sure I've seen a couple - it won't be long until they're asking for soft, wider shoes…" and Dien is just inscrutable with this news. Daren gets a little smile, "With flights and so on, it's inevitable." Ahem. Not that Donatien's about to start discussing those inevitabilities. A sip of the drink in his hand wets the whistle a little and then the Weaver asks, "Did you get to see the hatching, Daren?" Eyes flick to Kalea, "And yourself, miss?" Even if she's a ma'amly fashion.

Daren shakes his head at Kalea's question as he gathers his own food back into his hands so he can finish the meatrolls. "Never seen a pregnant woman, Kalea." he says, just as Donatien asks about the hatching. He frowns slightly and tilts his head in confusion and shakes his head. "I … I couldn't go." he says, turning red with embarrassment. "There were too many people there and … I got scared. I just stayed in the dorms which was pretty empty."

Kalea shifts in her chair and crosses one booted foot over her knee again. "It is rather inevitable at that," she agrees with a knowing smile and sage nod. She chuckles softly before having a sip of her chilled juice. "I was in attendance," she admits with a nod. "It was interesting as always." Wasn't her first hatching witnessed and surely won't be her last after all. Though they are few and far between it seems. "And it's Kalea, Dien." She chuckles at reminding him, accepting of the fact she'd only met Donatien once some time ago. She can only imagine that the dorms were entirely empty save for one frightened young man and she aww's softly at the fact. "There was nothing to be afraid of Daren. I'm really sorry that you missed it."

Donatien has a mouth full of stew to finish, but he nods at Daren, "It's loud, and busy, and sometimes it can take a long time out there." A bite of cheese is savored for a moment and Kalea gets a grin, "Of course, miss. Kalea." A shake of the bald head and Dien grins a bit in reminiscing, "There will be other hatchings to test your nerve on, young lad. Dragons won't stop flying," an entirely good news item, this close to a Pass.

Daren shrugs in embarrassment as Kalea tells him there was nothing to be afraid of and doesn't look up, his confidence receding as he remembers how he'd felt on Hatching day. "There were just so many people … " he says with a shudder. "I just couldn't go there." He glances up at the older man and smiles a little lopsidedly. "I … might be able to go then. Maybe I just need to get used to more people." He actually looks like he's ready to go insinuate himself into a crowd.

Kalea can agree with all of Donatien’s points about hatchings and so she nods her head. “They’ll never stop flying,” Kalea declares with a grin heavy with confidence. She goes to take a sip of her juice and finds it empty. Pity really and she frowns at the mug. The crossed boot is dropped to the floor but she hesitates to shove herself back to her feet. Debating on whether she’s really thirsty enough to bother with it. She glances at Daren and grins even when the young man blushes. “You’ll get used to the crowds of folks in due time.”

Donatien eyes Daren's expression and chuckles, "Nothing to be ashamed of, not liking crowds," he tells Daren, "There are a lot of people who don't like being in big crowds, though," and Dien pulls a serious, long face, "It's useful being able to control that." Kalea gets a nod, "As well they shouldn't," he agrees, "Something that surprised me was the number of girls on the sands." And that could totally go into a new discussion, but the Weaver notices Kalea's disappointed look, and ahems quietly, "Daren, young man, would you mind getting our young mother friend a refill of her juice which was…" and Dien pauses to let Kalea fill in the blank. Well, he's also presuming it's juice too.

Daren hops up as Donatien asks him to get Kalea a refill of her juice though he waits to fill it so that he knows what to fill it with. He smiles shyly at the older man since he seems to understand how the boy was feeling at the time. While he waits for Kalea's type of juice, the boy manages to fix himself a little snack, a bowl of stew and a pair of yeast rolls.

“Not so surprising to me,” Kalea chimes in on the subject of the number of girls that stood at the Hatching. But then she comes from a completely different time altogether. “It was redfruit actually.” She relinquishes the mug to Daren with a grin. “Thank you I really appreciate it.” Of course she’d been drinking juice as anything resembling alcohol is strictly off limits for quite a while yet.

Donatien is sadly not a new man from an old time and merely raises his eyebrows, "It's unusual to all the weyrs I've previously served, but I hear that Igen Weyr also had some successful girl Candidates at its last Hatching." A little 'who-knows' shrug, "But the dragons do choose." And who is this Weaver to say they're wrong? Daren gets a grin of approval as Dien leans back, sipping his own drink, "Tell me, Kalea, are you needing new shoes?" You know, just in case.

Daren returns quickly as he hears her preferred juice and hands her the mug. He settles back into his chair and returns Donatien's smile just before he digs into his bowl of stew. His head tilts slightly as he frowns from one to the other for a moment, "Why couldn't girls Impress dragons?" he asks hesitantly. He doesn't feel it is his place to interrupt two people who are pretty much his elders.

Kalea scoffs and shrugs her shoulders. “Different time, different set of normal I suppose.” She nods her agreement that the dragons do indeed do their choosing. She arches a brow at Dien when asked about her shoes. “I haven’t really given it any thought. I just squeeze into my boots each day,” she shrugs her shoulders. “Thank you Daren,” she reaches for the offered mug with a thankful smile. She chuckles at Daren’s questions. “In this space of time, women are less preferred as ‘riders for whatever strange reason.”

Being one of the men from these new times, Donatien shrugs, "A lot of people believe that dragonriding is a man's duty because he's stronger and more," the correct word is 'manly', but in deference to Kalea, Dien tries for, "capable." Nice try, man. But his even tone doesn't give away Dien's attitude on the subject, and he follows up on Kalea's shoe comments, "Let me know. In my experience," of dealing with mothers NOT OF HIS MAKING THANK YOU, "Expecting women need wider shoes for a while. And more support in the ankle." And see, Daren's a smart kid; Dien nods approvingly of the procured extra snack, while munching away on his last slice of cheese.

Daren blushes at them both when neither reprimands him and dares a smile and straightening of his shoulders as he sits up a little straighter. He listens to both as he spoons up another couple of bites and tilts his head again. "But … that doesn't make sense to me. Mel can do more stuff than me … she can even write and do math and read maps." he says, puzzlement thick in his tone. He glances from Kalea to Donatien and back again.

Kalea sits there staring at Donatien for several minutes after his rather offensive comment. Just when things could be considered strained, she tosses her head back and lets loose with a belly full of laughter. “And yet women are the ones capable of giving birth.” She’d pay heavy marks to see a man accomplish /that/ particular feat. “When men get hurt you’ve never /seen/ a more sorry sight.” She is still chuckling even as she nods her head at Dien. “I’ll have to venture in one afternoon and see if you have anything that would suit in my size in footwear.” And for perhaps more amusing debate.

Whaaat? Donatien shrugs at Kalea for a moment, "Those are the prevailing opinions of this time." Oh, Dien's caught the taste of this fondue alright, and he turns to Daren, "And so she can. But you can do those as well, with time and effort. Sadly," And ther's a sly look to Kalea, "Women have the market cornered in child-creating." Is that a small tone of relief in Dien's voice? Surely not. "I look forward to your visit, of course. I'm sure I can create something to make the last few months of your pregnancy easier on your feet." If there's a word on Pern for cankles, Dien's not about to use it.

Daren is simply confused, not really understanding the whole conversation now. He chooses to sit and devour his food in silence, glancing back and forth between the two older people. He glances down at his feet and frowns at his own shoes. Once they have finished speaking, he asks, "Do … do you think you might have something that I can wear too?" His voice is very quiet as he tries to hide his shoes under the chair he's sitting in, the splits embarrassing wide now that he really looks at them.

“That they are,” Kalea agrees about the opinions of this time. Opinions she obviously doesn’t share in the least. And she doesn’t even look sorry about that fact. Merely sits there sipping her juice. “I still have a lifemate to care for. So soft soled shoes wouldn’t do all that well for me I’m afraid.” But she’s looking forward to seeing what Donatien might have to offer a pregnant ‘rider. She glances at Daren with a smile and slight shrug. Then looks to Dien for his answer to the young man.

Is there really ever any understanding women? Donatien gives Daren a brothers-in-something grin and allows himself to peer under the chair. "I have something for everyone to wear, if the shoe fits." No hoof, no runner, after all, and he manages to catch sight of the fact that Daren's shoes are at least old enough to need replacing, though perhaps not how quickly, "Do come by sometime, and I'm sure I've got something for you." Kalea gets a nod, "So, still boots, but something that can stretch a little. And breathe," because breathing footwear in Southern? CRUCIAL. Dien is all agreement as he finishes his drink.

Daren scrapes the bottom of his bowl as he finishes inhaling the stew and sopping up the last of the juices with the bread. He nods to the older man in agreement. "I … I might be able to stop by tomorrow or the next day. It depends on my work." he says. He sighs softly as he drains his glass of juice and stands, holding his dirty dishes. "I need to go get my bath so I can go to bed, Kalea … sir." he says softly, gathering his book under his arm and nodding politely to them both.

Kalea is actually looking forward to boots that breathe as the pair she’s wearing came forward with her. She’s not much for replacing her own gear until it falls apart at the seams. “I will see you within the sevenday,” she assures Donatien with a slight nod. She downs the last of her juice and wriggles into a more upright position in her chair. “Have a pleasant evening Daren.” She hefts herself to her own feet and smiles at Donatien. “I’m afraid that I have a ‘lizard to feed and a lifemate to spend time with. Ryadranth is getting impatient waiting for me.” She sets her empty mug on a table with a sigh. “It’s been interesting and pleasant Dien. I’ll see you soon for those boots.”

Donatien smiles and nods contentedly at Kalea, "I await your custom, of course," he says grandly, but fails to rise to see her exit, one hand rubbing on his left knee. "My greetings to your lifemate, and a pleasant night to you as well." He settles back into his seat and sips at his drink, letting the evening crowd and noise fold in around him.

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