Who

Xanthee, Kyara

What

Kyara catches up with Xanthee in the living cavern, baby in tow.

When

It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the eighth month of the fifteenth turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Living Cavern, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 01 Dec 2018 07:00

 

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"It's challenging, and a heavier responsibility than I've ever had to bear."


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Living Cavern

Brightly lit by a regimented march of strung glow-globes, Igen's busy living caverns are cut of the same exotic limestone design that frequents the bazaar without. Tapestries line the tops of the walls, one for each of Igen's wings, past and present; beneath them, skybroom tables litter the floors in scattered profusion. Some of the wicker chairs have seen better days, but most of the worst offenders have long-ago been replaced. The seemingly random placement of furniture, however, at closer inspection yields a sort of cross-shape of negative space. The northernmost walls and nooks of the caverns are owned by the kitchen's buffet, food-laden thrice daily in regimented shifts by busy bakers from the curtained southern entrance to the kitchens. To the east is a large arch leading outside; westerly lies the large doors leading down into the bowels of the weyr itself.


With graduation approaching at break-neck speed, Xanthee is trying to make the most of her last days as a weyrling, and making sure that the fall scheduled that afternoon over the Igen River Valley, one of her last leading the Weyrling Wing, goes as smoothly as she can hope. She's still mildly shaken by the first major injury that happened under her leadership, but she's been pushing through alright. Set up in a quiet corner of the Living Caverns with maps and the most recent weather reports, the greenling is multi-tasking by carb loading at the same time, munching on a meatroll before reaching for a tall glass of water to wash it down with. She's taking the first half of the Fall with her wing this time and still has to inspect her and Liowyth's gear and all the other tiny things needed in preparation, so she is making do with an earlier lunch than most.

There's a fair amount of coming and going between the living cavern and inner caverns at the moment, what with the sandstorm blowing through at the moment and such. A certain copper-haired greenrider slips in from that direction in the midst of a small cluster of cavern workers, a small, sleepy bundled swaddled loosely in a light blanket and resting in the crook of her left arm as she makes her way over to the food. It's a small, simple plate she gathers up - cheese and fruit, mostly, plus her own glass of water. When she turns and peers around for a favorable spot to sit, she spies Xanthee immersing herself in a familiar amalgam of maps and reports and can't help but smile knowingly. Baby and food in tow, she picks her way over to the greenling's table. "Mind if we join you, wingleader?"

Her neck pops in protest as Xanthee looks up when adressed, having been so engrossed in what she had been doing, she didn't even notice the greenrider's approach with her bundle. But now that is registered, the girl's smile breaks into a beaming smile, "Mind? Never! Especially when you bring such enchanting company with you." She sits up from her chair a little bit to peer at the little guy or gal, her whole expression lighting up. "I'm sorry I haven't kept in better touch, I didn't even hear if you had a boy or a girl," she says apologetically before settling back in her seat and making room on the table for Kyara and her food, leaning forward on her elbows to peer at the little one raptly.

Kyara just shakes her head to Xanthee's apologies, chuckling a little bit as she sets down her foot, then settles into the chair at Xanthee's left. "I was in the position you are once. I know how it can be," the greenrider assures the weyrling. "And aye, he is enchanting company. His name is Rhylar." She leans closer and pulls back the blanket a little so that Xanthee can have a clearer view. The baby boy sleeps, smacking his lips unconsciously a little bit as some part of his drowsing mind senses being shifted about. Kyara gingerly strokes the downy hair capping his head, dark sandy blond touched faintly with her red. "That's what R'xim named him. I've never gotten so little sleep…but he's more worth it than I can properly say."

"Awwwww little Rhylar! That's perfect, I love it. And pass on my congratulations to the proud papa too," Xanthee replies as she leans over for a better look when the older greenrider pulls back the blanket. The way those little lips smack together completely melts Xan's heart as she silently curses her plans to wait a few Turns yet before starting a family with Mal, cause the baby fever is real! Finally pulling herself back so she can go after her half-eaten meatroll, chewing thoughtfully as she listens to Kyara speak. Once clear to do so, Xan chuckles softly at Kyara's last with a shake of her head, "Oh I bet! Motherhood definitely suits you Kyara. I'm so happy for you." She says, sincerity writ clearly on her features.

"I will," Kyara answers Xanthee's first, though somewhat distractedly. Babies are distracting. So is watching other people get distracted by babies. And she, of course, is completely besotted with her son, so it's only natural that others ought to be too, of course! "Thank you, Xanthee," she answers the younger woman's last, grinning gently. "You can hold him if you like, though I know you're in the midst. Speaking of…" She peers momentarily at a nearby map. "How are you finding it? Leading the weyrling wing."

How can Xanthee say no to the offer of getting to hold the infant? She can't. Holding up a finger to indicate she needs a moment, she finishes chewing the last of her meatroll while grabbing a nearby napkin to clean off her fingers. Once that's done, she gets out of her seat and comes around, holding her arms out in a much practiced way thanks to her little brother Maize. "Never too busy to get a chance at holding such a precious little guy," the greenling croons softly before her smile fades just slightly at the greenrider's last query. "It's challenging, and a heavier responsibility than I've ever had to bear," she answers honestly.

Kyara transfers Rhylar over to Xanthee's arms with steady care, making certain he isn't jostled out of his nap. He makes a soft little baby grumble with the move, a pudgy fist lifting to swipe across his eye and bumping into his nose before dropping back down. Then he settles again with a sigh. The greenrider nods slowly and sympathetically to Xanthee's reply, giving a little sigh of her own. "Yet you were given the knot because you've made it clear you can handle a challenge and more responsibility. And I believe they gave it rightly," she assures the greenling with a smile and a squeeze to her shoulder. "It won't be forever, and you'll be that much more prepared when you join the wings in earnest. More aware, more sympathetic to what your own wingleader has to deal with and more able to point such things out to your wingmates as needed. Have you decided what wing you'd like to end up on, or are you still thinking on it?"

Xanthee is care itself as she waits patiently for Kyara to settle the babe in her arms, not bothered by however long it takes. When she finally straightens, her emerald eyes are locked on that little face, biting down on her lower lip to keep from squeeing when he rubs his little eye with an impossibly tiny fist. Her eyes brighten as she's completely held in thrall by the babe for several long moments before finally, she tears her gaze away to look back at Kyara with a look of surprise for the hand on her shoulder, but also a little pride when her mentor compliments her so, a light blush blooming over the bridge of her nose. "I know, and I've done my best to prove that they chose rightly as well," she replies as she moves back to her chair to sit down, extra slowly and with care not to jostle the precious package she's holding. Once settled comfortably, she turns her attention back to Kyara, "Definitely not forever, graduation is just around the corner. I still can't believe all that time has passed, it's like only yesterday Liowyth was racing towards me on those Sands." She shakes her head just a tiny bit to show her disbelief. The question about wing choice is given a considered hum before she shrugs minutely, "It may sound silly, but I think we have a shot at Whirlwind, and I think I would love that. I already know and respect the Wingleader, as well as know a couple of people in it." then her smile curls a little secretly as she turns her attention back to the babe, not able to keep her eyes off him for long, "I know they don't take a lot of greens into their ranks, but with Liowyth being as big as she is, I think we could really shine there."

"It's one of those things that manages to feel like forever and no time at all, all at once," Kyara observes with nostalgic amusement. Then Xanthee is answering with her wing choice, and the older greenrider can't help but smile proudly. "It doesn't sound silly at all. Liareth and I went there when we graduated, and I think you'd be well prepared for it. So I might be just a little smug to hear you say that. Carrying on and all." She takes a few good sips from her glass and pops some apple and cheese into her mouth at the same time. "I heard you got a lakeside weyr," she notes with a sly bit of a smirk. "I take it getting back together with your handsome Miner has gone well."

"Was it really?" Xanthee exclaims with delight, "Well, it's not my choice to make though, but we'll see. I was asking H'rik about what it was like a little while ago, so he knows I'm interested at least." Nothing more to do about it and wait to see where she will be tapped. Shifting slightly to very gently re-adjust her grip on the child, she moves carefully not to disturb him, eyes watching little face for any sign of waking. Kyara's last though has her sweeping a sly grin in the older woman's direction. "You heard right. A feat in itself for a weyrling, but I have my ways," she says coyly with a soft giggle. "Gone well would be an understatement. There were a couple of things that came up at first that needed sorting, but, it's already home with him there."

Kyara nods to Xanthee's first, grinning. "True enough. Though interest can go quite a long way on its own," she notes. Amber eyes drift down to study her son once more. Rhylar is still quiet, thank Faranth, though she suspects he will be for some time if care continues to be taken. Her smile for the greenling's last is gently amused. "I'm sure there were. Months apart, and now blending different lives…but the strongest connections survive such things." She eats a little more and sighs, her expression turning thoughtful. "I haven't known many couples made up of anything other than two dragonriders here. Those I do know…I've always had the impression that those are some of the deepest devotions of all. Carrying a strength to be admired and strived for." She blinks and focuses on the younger greenrider once more, her smile lopsided. "I think you have something rare there, Xanthee." And it makes the romantically-inclined Harper in her sigh happily.

"And it's things I never expected being an issue as well," Xanthee comments briefly before dropping the subjects as she tilts her head to listen to Kyara talk about rider/non-rider relationships. She keeps forgetting her mentor used to be a Harper, but the woman's way with words are definitely hitting a chord with Xanthee, her heart swelling slightly in her chest as she nods in total agreement. "I definitely do. Have something beyond precious to me in that Miner-mine. He just keeps surprising me with how he takes it all in stride, and never wavers in his resolve." a happy sign escapes her as she takes another peek at the sleeping babe, maybe imagining one with slightly darker features for the briefest of moments.

More fruit and cheese get cleared away, and Kyara smiles wider at Xanthee's sigh. "If you ever need anything, just let me know. With your current position, or for anything else, Xanthee," she tells the weyrling softly. The she straightens a little bit, stretching with a little groan. "Much as I do love most of this motherhood thing, I am eager to get back to being part of a wing myself," she confesses. "And getting my aim back and strength back and whatnot. There's a good deal that gets set aside. Still completely worth it, but that doesn't mean you don't want those things back at some point."

"Thanks, I really appreciate that," Xanthee responds to Kyara's very kind offer with a bob of her head. She smiles at the woman as she watches her stretch, sly smile peeking out at her words. "I bet. It's gotta be a balancing act, trying to fit parenthood into the life of a rider. That's why we're waiting some before we even think making one of these little darlings," she devolves into cooing baby talk as she looks down once more at the babe in her arms. "I want to be well settled and seasoned some before I interupt our lives in that way. It wouldn't be fair to Liowyth to restrict after so soon joining the regular ranks. We need the time to grow as riders before adding another complication to the mix." Her sage words are convincing enough, but her resolve is being seriously tested with the warm weight of the bundle in her arms.

"There's never going to be a time that seems perfect for a baby, I think," Kyara opines, sitting back. "I was ready for him when I learned I was pregnant, but there was still a large part of me trying to list out all the reasons why the time wasn't right. I do think it was a good idea, waiting until I was older. And as a rider…" She pauses a moment to sort through how to put her next point, her expression waxing slightly melancholy. "It takes a while to learn how your body works in tandem with flighting Thread and betweening. It's… I wouldn't want you to have to go through learning that you lost one because of what our lifestyle entails, Xanthee." By her tone and the earnestness in her eyes, it's something she knows about firsthand. "You're right, you do need the time, for Liowyth's sake for certain, and your own. By the time you do feel settled and seasoned, you'll be ready. Though…" Her smile quirks back to fullness, slightly impish at the edges. "You have the advantage of being in love already. It took me a while. Readiness might be something you and Malosim find earlier than you otherwise might."

"Well, yeah, I know that," Xanthee replies with with a little chuckle, kept soft not to bother the infant. "But right now is not even close. And we both know and accept that." That might be Xan giving herself a much needed reminder as to why they are waiting. Then Kyara slips into more serious topics and an icy feeling runs down the girl's spine as she nods gravely. They've just had their classes on mating flights, as well as dealing with any lingering reminders of such flights if herbs prove inneffective, so this subject matter was greatly discussed. Swallowing past a lump in her throat, Xan manages a subdued smile. "I can't imagine that kind of loss. That's certainly one of the driving forces behind waiting. Besides, Mal and I are both strong and healthy, we have plenty of time yet. I mean, I'm only turning 20 in a few months. I sometimes feel a lot older than that."

To Xanthee's last, Kyara chuckles ruefully. "Dragonriding tends to do that," she says with a slight drawl. "Or just the circumstances of life, sometimes." Her snack consumed, she takes a moment to finish off her water. "I've got to find something to keep me from going stir crazy until the storm blows out," the older greenrider sighs. "Maybe I'll go do a little upkeep on the old instruments in the archives. Write a letter or two. Which means I'll have to relieve you of my son, unfortunately." She smirks at Xanthee with that, shifting to make it easier to take Rhylar back.

"Do you really have to?" Xanthee asks regretfully even though she knows there's still much to do before the Fall, made much trickier with the storm over the Weyr. Getting up from her seat, she carries the babe back to his mother and takes care in placing him back into her arms, making sure to support his little head until she finally steps back. "What a little darling you've got there, Kyara. An absolute doll," She gushes before turning to start ordering her hides and records together, getting ready for her own exit here shortly, "And I have to make sure the to-do list I need to accomplish before fall hasn't grown a couple items since I last looked."

Kyara nods, her smile apologetic before Xanthee returns Rhylar to her arms. There's a little bit of fussing over getting moved yet again, but his nap is a stubborn thing, and he's quickly back to stillness. "Thank you, Xanthee. Maybe next time he'll be a little more…awake for you." Amusement colors the greenrider's features as she rises, this time cradling her son against her shoulder. "Just keeping breathing and trusting, wingleader," she tells Xanthee with a wink. "I'll see you after the Fall." And with that, Kyara makes her way back into the deeper warrens of the Weyr to lay her son back to sleep and then figure out how else to occupy herself.

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