Who

D'rak, Dione , Katryma

What

Dione and Katryma learn there are soft spots to D'rak… namely his daughter. Also, Fortian-hatred.

When

It is mid-afternoon of the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Playroom, Southern Weyr

OOC Date

 

d-rak_default.jpg dione_default.jpg katryma_default.jpg

playroom.jpg

Playroom

An open room, the walls coated in fainted colors of whimsy. It's creepier than the others… maybe due to forgotten children's toys that remain half-seen: the side of a doll's face, worn building-blocks scattered.


Timor: moon4.jpg Belior: moon6.jpg

Midmorning finds those not engaged in drills or out on sweeps enjoying a rare hour of downtime. Where most have sought the pleasure to be found in the glorious weather currently gracing the South, there is a certain brownrider who has seen fit to remain indoors, indoors and in the playroom. In a corner where a miniature table and two tiny chairs are set up, D'rak is awkwardly perched on the disc of wood so small he can barely fit an asscheek on it. Pinched between thumb and forefinger, looking ridiculously tiny in comparison to his knuckle scarred hand, is a delicate pink teacup from which he's putting on a good show of sipping from. Across from him is a little girl around the age of six turns old with long curly blonde hair caught up in two runnertails who appears to be lecturing the rider for his table manners in an imperious tone. To one side, stands a stern looking woman with hands clasped before her watching the proceedings with an eagle eye.

There are others in the room watching the scene with some fascination as well. Dione, who had come to check up on a working friend's sniffly child, is perched half-hidden behind a tower of blocks in another corner, red brick still in her hand. It's been that way since she saw the scene unfold; really, who could blame her for the totally gobsmacked expression on her face? She receives admonishment of her own, in the form of a yellow triangle applied directly to the shins, and winces at the tiny stitch of pain before looking back to her building partner. "Sorry, buddy," she apologises to the towheaded, redcheeked little man.

Katryma pops her head through the door, twin braids swinging to the side. Her eyes dart back and forth, her nose wrinkling in annoyance. With a sigh, she slips in quietly. She's almost short enough to blend in with the 'brats and surrepticiously approaches one, leaning in and inquiring in an undertone after spotting the adults about, "Have you seen Liarel anywhere?" Wait, what… once more, her eyes flick over to the tiny table with the tiny girl and tiny teacups and comparatively oversized 'rider. Her hand clamps over her mouth as the teen attempts to contain her laughter, the little boy in front of her giving her a concerned look and quirking a brow.

"First you sip it, then you love it." The little girl's piping voice patiently explains and then she demonstrates exhaling a little sigh of satisfaction after sipping her tea. A line of concentration etched between his brows, D'rak follows suit but when he exhales the required sigh of appreciation, the blonde moppet wags a finger at him. "No, not you. Only me." She states tapping at her narrow chest. "And why not me?" The brownrider will ask studying the child with close interest. "It's complicated." He's told earning himself an exasperated roll of sky blue eyes. While he attempts chagrin, there is no denying the amused twitch of lips or the soft warmth of his gaze. Any spectators to the intimate setting of father and child having tea, are for the time being not noticed by the adult of the pair. Kenia is much more observant and flutters a curious look the way of those children and their minders unfamiliar to her. Briefly Dione and her charge are noted a hesitant little smile appearing and then Katryma catches her notice. At a clearing of throat from the severe woman watching on, little brows stitch into a frown and she quickly glances away.

Aww, cute. Dione, having snuck a peek again, catches the small smile directed her way, and returns one of her own before she settles on the serious business of explaining why a red circle won't balance on a blue brick. It takes some time, creative rearrangement of physics and an impromptu discussion on the reason why the sun is yellow — this being so that flowers know how to be happy — and other meanderings inbetween. Inevitably the game begins to pale for the little boy, who sinks lower and lower against the bartender until he's got his head on her lap for an impromptu nap. It gives her time enough to scan the room and notice the new entrant. Katryma's scanned curiously and nodded to, though no greeting given. Instead, slowly, her fingers lace through boy-fine hair, then slip around to feel at the small forehead's temperature.

Katryma sighs dramatically in that way only teenaged girls are capable of, withdrawing a partially-melted sweet from her pocket and holding it few inches out of the boy's reach. Seeing the little girl looking her way, she gives her a sly grin before turning back to her informant. "C'mon, I haven't got all day. Have you seen Lia or not?" The boy watches her, considering, before nodding. "Where?" she entreats, bending her knees so she's on the same level as the boy. He reaches out for the candy, making a face at her. "Fine." The apprentice drops the sweet into his chubby hands and the child stuffs it into her mouth, chewing enthusicastially. "Where is he?" The boy shrugs, smiling with his mouth full. Katryma sticks her tongue out at him and crosses her arms, "The journeymen'll have my head, you know." Again, she glances around and tiptoes over to Dione, careful not to wake the child on her lap, "I don't suppose you've seen a boy around anywhere… 'bout yea high, scruffy black hair? Answers to the name of 'Liarel'?"

Setting his teacup down on its dainty little saucer, D'rak nudges at the plate of small sandwiches layed out in the middle of the table. "And what about these?" Smack! A little hand slaps at his finger. "Not yet!" Kenia clucks her tongue in disapproval adding a little toss of head. "You have to wait to be offered." Attention slips sideways to the woman watching to ensure she has the right of this. A curt nod confirms the child's statement while hard brown eyes hold harsh judgment for the dragonrider. "Eat your sandwiches, Kenia. The nice rider," not D'rak going by the disapproving look skipped his way, "will be here soon to take us back." Immediately, whatever warmth had existed on the brownrider's face dissolves and the woman is shot an acid look. Jaw clenching his gaze snaps sideways and that's when he catches an eyeful of the redhead with the sleeping child in her lap watching on. Dark eyebrows gather into a scowl and he jerks his head away sending a slash of overlong blonde bangs sliding across his eyes. While he may not be watching and attention has settled back onto Kenia who has quietly taken a triangled sandwich and then slid the plate back his way, the brownrider has heard the name of the child being sought. "In the tent last I saw." A glance goes to Katryma. "With a redheaded kid. They snuck something in there." Broad shoulders shift in a shrug for that. Not his problem.

Dione's hand stills, then resumes its task as Katryma nears her. "No, I have…" There's a pinchlipped frown as D'rak interrupts, but a small shrug of her shoulder. "I have not," she finishes quietly as he falls silent. "But perhaps the tent is a worthy hiding place. Faranth knows I used to adore playing hide and seek." Stroke, stroke, stroke goes her hand, the motions of a limb on autopilot as its owner thinks of other things. In this case, the matter she's thinking of is why D'rak would be here with a child, with a stern duenna looking on. It makes a sad kind of sense. Gravely, should any of them look around, she nods, but there's a tiny little wink for the girl, and a 'blech' expression for the lack of teensy-tiny fairy cakes.
Red braids whip around as D'rak speaks, gathering Katryma's full attention from Dione. "Is that so, sir?" she questions, brow creasing in consertation. "Shards," she hisses as an aside at the brownrider's comment, puffing out her cheeks in frustration. "I don't know all the good hiding places," she admits to the woman with a wry smile. Figuring, in her own way, that the standard payment is in order, and also that it would be inappropriate to give it to the man, she fishes out another sweet and proceeds to the other side of the room, placing it carefully on Kenia's plate, nodding in satisfaction.

Tentative the little smile Dione is awarded with when sky blue eyes meet green across the way and a small hand lifts to give a shy wave. Nibble-nibble-nibble. Dainty little bites are taken of the sandwich as if to suggest that anything less ladylike might find her sharply reprimanded. The gifting of the sweet earns Katryma a wide smile and its quickly snatched up and disappeared into the pocket of her pinafore. Just then, there's a knock at the open door and a dragonrider wearing a Fortian knot fills the doorway and discreetly clears his throat. "Time to go, Kenia. Say goodbye now." Instantly the little girl freezes and darts a look her father's way while he in turn sticks the bluerider with the stink-eye. No love lost there. "Come on, baby," a handkerchief is pulled from a pocket and the sandwiches carefully wrapped in it and handed to the child. "Only twelve more sleeps and then we can visit again." Attempt is made to soothe and stay the girl's wibbling lower lip. Out of her chair and curled into the brownrider's lap in one movement, the blonde poppet winds her arms about his neck. "I don't want to go, papa." Stated loudly with a scowl so similar to her sire's shot the minder's way. Enveloping his daughter in a fierce hug and inhaling the sweet scent of innocence as he stands, D'rak's eyes squeeze shut. "I know, baby. It won't be long now. I'm working on a plan." Said minder pinned with a challenging look. "Don't make promises you can't keep, dragonrider." She cuts back and pries the child loose from his arms.

Dione's expression clouds over, and still she does nothing beyond stare, first at the throat-clearing rider, then the stern nanny. Even she, with no kids of her own, know what a bad idea it is to snatch at a child like that, and her hand stills. Eventually, internal decision made, she gently scoots out from underneath the sick boy and stands. Still, what tactic to pursue, which silly notion to put in place? A myriad small ideas find fruition and die, and finally Dione does nothing but stare. Her gaze flicks to Katryma - Harpers have all the really bendy ideas, right? - and back to the charged situation. There's an abortive swallow, then a clearing of her throat. "Madam," she finally says, wandering closer and addressing the nanny directly. "There's a case of flu going around." Hell, it's Southern, there's always a case of flu going around — to whit, her friend's child. Convenient! "I defer to your opinion, of course, but taking the girl from such a warm place, with a chance of infection, into Between, might not be the wisest of actions, especially as I hear the Fortian weather is much different than down here."

Katryma dances backwards as the scene before her begins to unfold, biting her lip and letting it slip from between her teeth. She catches the bartender's eye as the woman glances her way. The little boy she was speaking to earlier sidles over to her, and, seeing where the other woman is going with her ploy, Katryma leans to the side and whispers something to him, quickly and inconspicuously enough that it's unlikely to be noticed. The little boy's eyes widen and, suddenly, he turns and coughs into the Harper's dress quite convincingly. "Ewww," she comments, drawing her voice back into her throat to imitate congestion.

His daughter pulled from his arms, the scowling brownrider strangely offers little resistance. "Your days are numbered, Lavenia." D'rak grates out rocking forward on his toes in a vaguely threatening manner. Where one might expect the little girl to be struggling she's instead gone very quiet in the minder's arms, the adults observed through lowered lashes. When Dione steps into the fray, Kenia darts a look the pretty redhead's way and then another to her father. "This child," Lavenia's tone carries the frost of Fort with it as she responds to the barmaid's attempt to seek resolution, "was put into my care by the leaders of Fort Weyr. As such, she will be returning with me, right now." D'rak is sent a scathing look. "My sister isn't even a turn Between yet and already you're tramping around with a floozie. I never did understand what she saw in you." Katryma and her young accomplice weighing in with a convincing act sees the graying blonde twitch away with repugnance. "Disgusting!" She declares. "But then what can one expect from such a wild and foul place that digs up dead bodies." With a haughty sniff, the woman turns in a flare of black skirts and with her precious cargo shooting a last beseeching look the way of her father, brushes passed the uneasy bluerider waiting for his passengers. "Don't." D'rak grinds out beneath his breath, lifting a hand to stay any further help either of the two young women might try to come to his aid with while he watches his daughter be carried away. "You'll only make it worse." Barely contained anger isn't directed at either of them but instead at the impossible situation he currently finds himself in.

Dione's misty-mint gaze turns hard at the Fortian woman's rudeness. To be thought the floozie of a man that doesn't even like her, that she barely knows, strikes hard, and for a terrible second she trembles on the edge of saying everything that flies in her way. That's when the hand goes up and she turns, trembling, to stalk back to the corner she came from. There, sinking down on her haunches, she arranges the little body a little bit more warmly, and tucks him in with the small blanket put there for that purpose. She works gently, but there's still a terrible emotional sizzle from her, a fine trembling to body and hands.

As the little blonde is whisked away, Katryma frowns and ruffles her accomplice/double-crossing-informant's hair in thanks. He glares at her, attempts to straighten it, then huffs off again to go play with his watercolors, using spit when he notices that his cup of water is empty. The redheaded girl wrinkles her nose in distaste, at both the noxious Fortian woman and the small boy doing gross boy things. "Well, she's a bucket of sunshine, isn't she?" is quipped, breaking the tense silence. She gives the brownrider an apologetic look.

Other than those few terse words, D'rak is a pillar of edgy silence, lean frame fraught with impotent fury with hands closed into fists. With concerted effort unraveled strands are drawn back under control and his head pivots in Dione's direction. "Apologies." Terse. To Katryma: "Frost bitten bitch." The brownrider spits out the words to contradict the girl's sarcastic comment. A look is then flung the way of the miniature table and stools, the tea party now in neglected ruins. Uttering a thick curse under his breath, the former Fortian stalks out with not a further word said.

The nod that comes from the bartender at the apology is equally tense; with her things in hand she strides out as well, lifting a hand to Katryma in mute goodbye. Faranth help all those that come across her now, it won't go well for them.

The tenseness of D'rak's demeanor spreads to the young Harper's frame as he storms out, the intense bearing in her small shoulders belying her youth. As the adults trail out of the room, Katryma isn't too far on their heels, silent wishing she could've been as brave as Kenia when she'd had as many Turns.

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