Sienna, F'dan


As he comes to the end of his punishment, F'dan goes to ask Sienna for advice — that will almost inevitably lead to more punishment.


It is afternoon of the sixth day of the sixth month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Weyrling training grounds

OOC Date


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Weyrling training grounds

Here, a wide and spacious field, devoid of all but more of the glare of ubiquitous, fine white sand of Igen: not even a blade of grass dares lift its head against centuries of clumsy draconic antics. To one side, ever-present firestone bins are set, kept supplied by many a hand, while agenothree tanks line the curving angle just outside the barracks, primed and ready for use. Very often, a glimpse of classes in session or dragonets at play may be caught under the open sky under the watchful eye of diligent Weyrlingmasters and older dragons.

Afternoon towards the end of F’dan’s tenure as W’rin’s assistant, and he’s finally found a candlemark free of drills or administrative work. With Linny and R’xim both well on the way to health F’dan no longer spends his free time in the infirmary, but it’s still a surprise to see him in the Weyrling training grounds. With no dragonets the space is empty and quiet, but F’dan strides in with purpose. He is looking for someone. Who? Sienna of course, and Kadanth — who suddenly seems amicably inclined towards Kehemath, unusual in a bronze with habitual gold tunnelvision — said that she was nearby.

Kehemath is lounging just outside the barracks entrance, talons digging slowly into the ground. She lifts her head as F’dan approaches, rumbling softly to him before swinging her head towards the entrance just as Sienna steps through. The AWLM is dressed in working clothes, a loose tunic and trousers, work boots, with her knot on her shoulder and her curls wrestled back into a runnertail. “F’dan,” she says with a wide and warm smile as she spots him, stopping in the entrance. “How are you?”

F’dan gives Kehemath a polite nod. He might be a monster towards other humans, but dragons have always brought out the best in him. When Sienna emerges she’s treated to a rare sight: a full-on genuine F’dan smile without a hint of guile or any ulterior motive. He’s simply happy to see her. “Sienna. I’m well, thanks. The Weyrleader is working me like a canine, but I’m surviving.” A quick look back and forth before he faces her again. “Which is kind of why I’m here. Do you have a moment?”

Sienna chuckles, amused as she lifts a hand to brush curls away from her face. “You’re his assistant now, right?” she asks, gesturing a moment later. “Of course! Always have time for you. Come on in, I was just working in the office, getting some files ready.” The barracks are cool and dark, and Sienna leads him into the Weyrlingmaster’s office, which at the moment is a mess of files and stacks, hides and records. She moves files from one of the chairs facing the desk, motioning for him to have a seat if he’d like, while she takes the other guest chair.

"Yup," F'dan acknowledges with a nod, following Sienna into the office with a wary look around. The last time he was in a place like this was over fifteen turns ago, and nine times out of ten involved a fair amount of shouting. Q'lia didn't take weyrlings into his office to show them how much he cared: affection was limited to far less formal rooms. F’dan sits down in the offered seat, giving her a nod of thanks before leaning forward so his forearms rest on his knees, hands steepled. "It's, uh, actually not in an official capacity. I just wanted some advice." He obviously doesn't do this a lot, because he has a face like he's pulling teeth.

Sienna’s brows lift slightly, and then with a smile she pulls off her knot and sets it on the desk, leaning back in her chair with one ankle on the opposite knee. “Sure thing, F’dan, what’s going on?” Her fingers lace, resting across the slight curve of her belly.

There's a long, long pause as F'dan wonders if he has lost his sharding mind. What is he doing? He's inches from getting up and making an excuse — what's the Pernese equivalent of leaving the oven on? — before he finally speaks again. "I don't really want to talk to you in your capacity as W'rin's weyrmate, if you know what I mean. Just as Sienna." By which he presumably means: don't tell!

Sienna nods her head slightly, with a little smile. “I understand.” Not that talking to her as W’rin’s weyrmate does anything anyway. “But…you need to understand too that if he /asks/ me about something, I tell him the truth. I won’t lie to him for any reason. But I won’t offer up anything, if you want me to keep it to myself.”

F'dan nods. "Understood. I'm not asking you to lie to your weyrleader." He looks back down to his hands for a moment, interlacing and separating his fingers over and over again. "When W'rin gave me this punishment, I didn't know what it was for. I mean, I knew that weyrwoman Mayte told him that I wanted to ride for another Weyr. I just couldn't remember saying anything like that." Another long pause. "But I did. A few sevendays after I first arrived. Shards, it's what —" a wave of his hand as he thinks — "half a turn ago? But yeah, I told Mayte that High Reaches and Benden flew stronger wings than Igen." Hazel eyes look up to catch with Sienna's, his face suddenly very calm. "I meant it, and it's true. I still believe it. I sure as crackdust shouldn't have said it to Mayte. But I want to tell W'rin." It's unclear what he's asking for exactly, or even if he's asking at all. It sounds a lot like he's made a decision.

Sienna listens quietly, her only real movements being to nod, and then tuck wayward curls behind her ear again when the motion of her head has them falling free. “Igen…” she says slowly, “well,” she corrects herself a moment later, “there is always room for improvement. In every weyr. Looking at how far Igen has /come/ is a point of pride, but yes, I’m sure there are other weyrs that are better in this moment. We still have a ways to go. But we are improving.” She tilts her head a bit. “You want to tell W’rin to what end? You think he doesn’t know?”

For once F'dan isn't aware of how pretty Sienna is or how she comes so close to fitting his Ideal Good Woman dreams; instead he's far more fixated on his own thoughts, the delicate weighing and balancing of possibilities going on inside of him. His feet swing slowly on the floor, weight rocking from heel to toe and back again, and the fingers that drop to drum on his knees are ragnailed. "W'rin's more than smart enough to know that," he says with a quick shake of his head. "I want to tell him because I have ideas. I rode at Reaches for eighteen turns. I know how they do what they do." He leans back as if to relax but doesn't quite manage it, weight moving forward again, shoulders tense. "And also because I did it. I sat in there and told my Weyrleader that I didn't when I did. And I deserve to get bollocked for it. Excuse my Bitran."

Sienna watches him, her head tilted a bit as she listens - truly listens - to what he says. “So what’s holding you back? If you have knowledge, if you have ideas, then they should be shared. W’rin is a very smart man. I wouldn’t tell him this in /public/, mind, but…” She smiles. “I was pleased when he made you his assistant. I knew you’d do well in it. I know you’ve got a lot of skill and a lot of knowledge that we might not have here, for various reasons. I wondered…” But she trails off with a slight shake of her head and another smile. “Why do you hesitate?” Back to the original topic.

Despite his evident agitation F'dan smiles at that, the warm grin back again. He likes Sienna: she's in the magical zone where she has little utility value to his ambitions and is lovely. The cold-hearted beast in him sleeps and, for a while, he's a relatively normal person. "Thank you." No false modesty, just a compliment received. Her question though receives a bitter laugh. "Because I'm still human and I'm a little too fond of my own skin to want W'rin to rip a piece off me. 'Yeah, Weyrleader, I just wanted to let you know that Reaches flies five wings that could compete with the best of our Weyr, and their senior weyrlings could give Oasis a run for its money. By the way, I can fix that.'" He shakes his head. "Have you seen that man angry? He looked like he was going to make my skull into an ornamental ale tankard last time." Unnoticed even by F'dan there it goes, the first time that Igen is us.

Sienna laughs. “He’s not a monster. And yes, I have seen him angry.” Amused, she leans forward. “Have you heard the story of how W’rin and I first met? Really met?” It matters to her reply, promise.

F'dan shakes his head. "No? I thought Valiuth had caught Kehemath."

Sienna chuckles, shaking her head. “Valiuth never chases greens, he’s never even tried to catch Kehemath. Honestly…” she smirks a bit, “I don’t think he could.” Oooooh. A challenge. “When W'rin and the other riders brought us forward in time, I was put into Sandblast. The wings have been restructured since then, but Sandblast was…the worst wing of the weyr. The riders that didn't care, couldn't fly, had issues…that's where I was put." She frowns. Clearly that stung her pride a bit. "He wasn't Weyrleader then. He was Wingleader of Whirlwind. So one rainy night I'd had enough of Sandblast's wingleader's incompetence, and I flew up to W'rin's ledge and walked in on him." Thankfully he was alone with his beloved charts. "Barged on in, and demanded he move me to Whirlwind because I knew his wing was the best in the weyr." She smiles a bit wryly. "To my surprise, he didn't throw me out. He agreed to give me a chance, to see how I flew and then decide. He's got a temper, yes, but it's because he's /passionate/ about the health of this weyr. While others wanted to just get rid of all female riders, he had the foresight and the intelligence to look at how we were as /riders/ and /then/ decide.

F'dan, if you go to him and tell him you can help make Igen better, I wouldn't dream that he'd get upset at you, as long as you didn't approach it from an 'Igen sucks' direction, or call him out in public."

Normally people tell stories about their own lives and F'dan has to hide boredom (with varying degrees of success) but this couldn't possibly be more interesting to him. Sienna's story is officially pertinent to his interests, and the agitated bouncing of his feet stops as he just stops and listens. Inside his head cogs turn, an update made to the ledgers marked 'W'rin' and 'Sienna'. F’dan has a fiendish ability to remember facts when they're of interest to him. Of interest or useful. Whichever one of those Sienna's story falls into, there's a pause when she's done as if he's processing that. Only eventually does one corner of his mouth quirk into the faintest hint of a smile. "Right." Another pause. "I guess I'd better get cracking then. I hope you know it's you who I'll come crying to if he puts me on a month of extra drills." It's a joke, but a gentle one.

Sienna laughs, light and easy, grinning at him. “So noted. But honestly, F’dan, I think he’ll welcome your ideas. At least hearing them.” She doesn’t know what his ideas are, so she can’t begin to judge if W’rin will take them or not. “He wouldn’t make just anyone his assistant, you know. Extra drills or…usually running hard PT with him in the mornings is his punishment of choice. Assistant…” She trails off with a little grin. “That was a new one.” As far as she can remember at any rate. There’s another brief pause. “Did Kehemath and Kadanth go hunting together not long back?”

F'dan lets out a heavy breath of relief. “Tell me about it. I thought I was going to become intimately acquainted with every inch of the Bowl after running laps around it for a sevenday.” To the mention of their lifemates F'dan tilts his head, eyes momentarily unfocusing before they fix back on Sienna, a frown tugging at his forehead. “Yes. Not that Kadanth was planning on telling me apparently.” Another second of a vague look before he asks: “does Kehemath hunt? I thought only Kadanth and Kczyslawborth did that.” And Kczyslawborth's hunting is… well, something else. Something a lot more disturbing even for a man used to his lifemate's bloodlust.

Sienna chuckles. “It’s what W’rin does.” She smiles at his unfocused look, and then laughs. “He keeps secrets too, huh?” Then her smile turns wry, and she nods. “Oh yes. As often as she can, be it in the pens or in the wild…but of course she prefers the wilds. She didn’t tell me in so many words but she was dreaming about it and I saw. She enjoyed it. She doesn’t have a hunting partner. None of the other dragons she’s met seem to…get it.”

F'dan is at once listening to Sienna and sharing thoughts with Kadanth: the memory of chasing and of killing, the savage grace of Kehemath's movements. It's hard to square the gentle woman here with the killer in the canyon – but it's the other half of her, two sides of the same coin. A man who believes so rigidly in hierarchy could do nothing other than believe equally as strongly that the dragon reveals the rider. Sienna's given a momentary searching look, as bright as a spotlight over dark land. “Kadanth tells me exactly what he wants to and no more. Being the same doesn't mean that we share everything.” A little frown. “He's not normally interested in greens, though. Only even chases them once in a blue moon. Kehemath…” But Kadanth is interested now, his mind trying to relay some strange image to F'dan of what looks like a canine coming out of the woods.

One is wild, one is controlled. They both draw things out in the other, and they both soothe needs in the other. Two sides of the same coin, yes, but also two facets of the same sculpture, like a drawing that tricks the eye and changes depending on if you look at the black or the white. For Kehemath, Sienna is stability in chaos, love and gentleness, acceptance and consistency. For Sienna, Kehemath is freedom, an allowance to let go and go with the baser urges, to go with instinct rather than rational thought. She smiles a bit at his scrutiny. “I’ve often wondered why she chose me,” she admits. “In the end, I think it’s because she knew I would accept her as she is and not judge her for her oddities. We struggled in Weyrlinghood, coming to terms with each other.” She smiles. “Kehemath rarely speaks to me. It’s all pictures, images, emotions. It takes a bit of deciphering but I thought I saw Kadanth in her dreams, flying overhead when I last dreamwalked with her.” She chuckles, tilting her head and giving him a curious look. “He’s interested?” she guesses, her smile fond. “She is different than most.”

“Interested?” F'dan either considers that or asks Kadanth. It's hard to tell which in the tilt of his head, the moment that his lower lip is drawn between his teeth. “He's definitely aware of her. Until greens are in the air I can't tell if he wants them that way. Faranth only knows if he's aware himself.” That and it rarely makes much difference: Kadanth is simply too big to compete with blues and browns in agility. “The only thing that ruffles him normally is a gold going proddy. Sets him off for sevendays.” That seems to set him thinking of something, because he goes as if to leave before settling back for one more moment. “I should get going, but – Kaelidyth. Do you understand what happened?” Not something he's been able to get much information about from Linny, and it's a subject close to his heart to say the least. One of the biggest benefits of basically living in a goldrider's weyr is Kadanth's closeness to Kaelidyth.

Sienna nods. “Kehemath hasn’t risen in a long time…” There’s a slight frown of concern for that, but it passes. “Oh? Before the gold rises or after?” As for Kaelidyth, Sienna pauses. “I’m not /sure/, I’ve never spoken to Linny about it and barely know her, but what I think might have happened is she started to go proddy but something stopped her. Maybe she sensed another queen about to start, and wanted to wait rather than compete. Or maybe threadfall threw off her cycles. I’m not sure though, I’ve never seen it happen before and couldn’t find anything in my records about it. Maybe she didn’t really go proddy but just started to get more…amorous for a time. Maybe Linny’s…habits set her into a brief mood. So. I don’t know.” She gives him a reassuring smile. “But I’m sure she’s fine. Healthy. I don’t think she’s gone infertile.”

“Before,” F'dan replies. “After he gets over it quickly. But when they're proddy…” In the back of his own mind Kadanth shifts, some strange and threatening force shifting in the forests. It waits, and it prepares, and it is darker and less comprehensible by far than F'dan will ever be. A little shake as F'dan draws himself back into his own mind, closing his link with his lifemate to a low whisper. “You're right, I'm sure,” he says with a nod about Linny. “We need those dragons. To miss out on thirty replacements for the wings…” It's a disaster, and one that's officially beyond his pay grade to consider – but F'dan has always had a leadership frame of mind. For better and often for worse. A shift and he pushes to his feet, giving Sienna a little smile. “I should go. The Weyrleader will want me again.” A hand is extended in a surprisingly friendly gesture, albeit a masculine one. He can hardly hug the W'rin's missus. “Thank you, Sienna.”

Sienna rises when he does, extending her hand for a squeeze that is somewhere between soft and firm. “I hope I helped. Come talk to me any time, F’dan, I enjoy our conversations. I know you’re going to do great things. Good luck with W’rin, not that you’ll need it.”

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