Bailey, El'ai


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It is midmorning of the fourth day of the second month of the first turn of the 12th pass.


Galleries, Southern Weyr

OOC Date


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Cobblestones sweep as far as the eye can see, a unique feature to the lower section of the bowl — but necessary, perhaps, as the stepped western bowl drains off into this high-trafficked area. The shallow bowl is bounded by craggy-black bowlwall with entrances pockmarked - and some boarded over in an effort to prevent entry from un-renovated caverns. Directly south, the wall neatly crumbles away to roll southerly into rollicking fields of soft hills; a glance of the stables can be seen through the gap, nestled against the entrance bridge that spans westward.

It is the seventy-ninth day of Autumn and 76 degrees. The autumn rain drums the weyr pleasantly throughout the night.

Timor: 1_m12.jpg
Belior: 1_m8.jpg

-- On Pern --
It is 9:35 AM where you are.
It is midmorning of the fourth day of the second month of the first turn of the 12th pass.
In Igen:
It is the thirty-fourth day of Winter and 44 degrees. It is a bright, sunny day.
In Southern:
It is the thirty-fourth day of Summer and 89 degrees. It is a beautiful, sunny day marred by the overwhelming humidity.

It's finally, finally getting a little bearable in here. It's under triple digits! Bailey can dig it. The goldrider is seated in a half-lotus on the first row by the rail, watching the eggs down there with a stoic expression. She has both wrist resting gently on her knees, palm-up, and every so often her eyes will close to presumably focus on her breathing. Maybe Khalyssrielth is making her have indigestion. It wouldn't be the first time.

On quiet footsteps, El'ai slips into the Galleries glancing down to where his sister's gold rests around her clutch. Her rock still earns amusement from the young bronzerider, but the rock doesn't take center stage. Bailey does. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he hesitates only a moment before heading down towards his sister. "Bailey." So different does the boy's voice sound, for life has finally given unto him the cup of bitterness from which to sip. It's not only bitterness, but bewilderness mingled with an excitement tempered by so many other conflicting emotions. His flight win isn't what he says first — let's face it, he knows she knows if only because Sekhaenkath is irrevocably Khalyssrielth's son — insead, he says, "It didn't go well." Shoulders slump a little as his forceful plop completely erodes Bailey's zen.
Bailey has a rock. Don't tell Lendai. But the rock doesn't make for a very accessible Bailey, sometimes. And sometimes Bailey wants to be around people. The redhead flinches just a little; not at her name, but the sound of it in El'ai's voice. She opens her eyes as he takes a seat, looks before her for a long moment before glancing at him out the very corners of her eyes, not turning her head. "They never do," she finally chooses to say, worlds of regret in the softly-uttered words.

Silence fills the space between them, like a void filling with all the things El'ai could say. That he doesn't rush to fill the silence with inane chatter or brightly colored words that float like bubbles of happiness says a lot about his state of mind. He chews through everything that's left unsaid in such a simple statement, slowly relaxing — by degrees — in Bailey's presence. Sprawled out as he is, he's a collection of lanky limbs and still-youthful hope tempered by what growing up means. "She called me a puppy." Quiet admission is rife with embarrassment, but his expression gives little away as the boy is slowly learning to keep his cards close to his chest. If Br'er were here now, the expression he holds might be reminiscent enough of the long-distant female ancestor to be recognized. If watered-down. "Sekhaenkath — we — caught." Again, the stillness disturbed by words that say so little but hold so much more.

Bailey closes her eyes again, concentrating on that breathing in the silence that fills the air about them. It's quiet in the galleries, an off-hour for such pursuits, and it suits the moment wholly. There's a moment after his admission of Tuli's perjorative, and it's obvious his sister absorbs it for a moment before replying. "You won't be one much longer, El'ai." That regret has not yet cleared from her voice. "Growing up sucks." It's rueful, the comment, perhaps touched by a hint of complex emotion from the woman who never got to be a girl for long. She leans to bump El'ai's shoulder with hers, affectionately. "He comes from good stock. I knew it would not take him long once he put his mind to it." A DARKNESS underlines that last sentence in blood spilt-by-moonlight, a predatory ruthlessness that is made all the more terrifying by how devoid it is of any such thing as compassion to the target therein; they are both as distant ancestors, in this peculiar twisting of the cards of Fate.

Fated roles reversed, El'ai could do no less than a Rhaeyn of the past would have done for that which was hers: he bumps his sister's shoulder, murmuring in a tone that holds the purity of good that knows the bounds of what's necessary, coating the darkness in sweet necter'd honey, "He waited for me, but it was always there. Just wait, Bailey. When their queen clutches, those eggs will be part ours." He turns his head to look at Bailey, a hint of being tempered into steel against's life's hardships, "The gold may carry the eggs, but she could not have them without the bronze." Slinging an arm around his sister, he leans his head onto her shoulder; once again succoring that darkness, "They'll be sorry one day, when they realize that the puppy has teeth." A quiet whisper, laden with promise.

The juxtaposition of old-to-new is fractured by Bailey's unique … Baileyness, her nose-wrinkle of mock-dismay. "El'ai, I don't know if I want Igen to be part-ours. You know how it stinks. Middens." She gives an indelicate shudder and then grins over at him, rapscallion and rebellious as she forever will embody. She shifts to wrap her arm around him protectively, perhaps her last chance of really feeling as if she can shelter him from the world in her lean embrace; the redhead props her chin up on the fluffy pillow of his dark hair. "They will be, bronzerider," she roughly returns to the last, her voice a little thicker than before.

"Eeeew. No. I don't want their stanky selves either," El'ai, too, retains his own unique El'ai-ness that will soon be transformed from baby-El'ai to adult-El'ai, but for now the slight plaintive whine to his voice is wholly youthful boy. A sigh breathed in, held, then slowly let loose is the embodiment of pushing away his troubles. A less charged silence follows; the comforting cushion of companionable moments a buffer against the world. The silence of the galleries aids in this feeling of comforting solitude, the muted sounds of the weyr more of a dim buzz than any intrusion. "You know, Bailey," he starts, in the soft tone of confession — this too, lacks the childish wonder once so often present in his voice — "I never thought of myself as — as a bronzerider. I thought of Sekhaenkath as a friend I found on the sands. His color was no more important than my hair color. It was him… that was important." Another pause as El'ai muddles through the subtleties of the world. "But it is important, isn't it?"

Bailey cards her fingers absently through El'ai's hair, arranging it around the obstacle of her chin neatly enough for even Br'er's fastidious standards. It's an excuse to touch him, now in that mercurial stage where soon a man will replace her baby brother, now when such things may yet be tolerated. "I know you didn't, El'ai. But Sekhaenkath is a bronze, and a strong one. He is," her voices shades back to that nearly-eternal wryness, "His mother's son in some ways." Very different and yet… "It will be for some people. It will be if you find yourself leading a weyr. And," she hesitates, perhaps unsure if he'll follow her on this last, but out with it she comes: "It will be if you let it define you."

It is tolerated for now, though byt his time next turn? El'ai is quiet. So, very, very quiet during his sister's words of wisdom. If any can get El'ai to think, it is Bailey. "I think he's been sheathing his claws until I've grown up," he finally admits in response to Sekhaenkath being definitively of Khalyssrielth. Still, it's the last of what she says that weighs the most. "I don't want it to define me like it does the others. I want it to be a tool that will help me affect change. Like how those weyrs treated you." Ambition runs in the bloodline between them, a rich vein of power that yields progressive ideas. "If I can do that, then it will mean something but it won't define me." He pauses, though. Still a boy, uncertainty clouds the vision of a hazy future. "I think that makes sense." What he does get out of this is a simple, salient fact: "They can't just call me names. Not anymore."

The's a murmur of assent in regards to Sekhanekath's sheathing-of-claws; Bailey finally squeezes him once more about the shoulders and then straightens to her pose of previous, re-orienting and re-centering. It is, perhaps, a bit more difficult. "Oh, El'ai. Do what you can, but don't let them break you. When you try to change things," Bailey searches around for words, "Sometimes when they don't change, it changes you. I think you have the way of it, but don't let them have all of you. You have to hold back that bit of yourself that is for you," she reaches out and touches him briefly over the breastbone, "For you/." The sorrows of growing up disappear, however, at Bailey's brief grin. "No, they can't."

As El'ai straightens up, that softness of childhood-remembered fades away. Adult siblings facing adult problems; this causes the boy to draw his legs up into a lazy slouch held in suspension with his arms wrapped around his knees. "I'm beginning to find out," the bronzerider comments, exposing further self-discovery, "That I may not be so easy to break. Sekhaenkath chose me for a reason. I think it is //they
that should be careful not to break on me." He sits at the juxtaposition of far-seeing and clouded judgements, uncertainties cast upon an unseen shore. The grin that tugs on the boy's lips is wolfish, toothy, and holds an entirely indefinable cast to it. "Is that," the rock — to change the subject, "her way of annoying Talicanitath?" The midnight-dark velveteeen approval lurks within those true-blue eyes of his.

Bailey glances over at him, too jaded for any reply that won't spoil the moment. So she holds her tongue and her peace and gazes out over the eggs… and the rock. "It may be," Bailey returns, her lips twitching upwards. "It may just be. But that would be telling." She ducks her head with a light laugh. "I hate being Sandsbound," she states aloud — not the FIRST time she's necessarily said it. Almost glumly: "And here I'd half-hoped she'd gone infertile from Igen." Hahahaha. True love, that's Bailey.

El'ai will learn the hard ways of the world, but for now, this lesson was enough. It is enough that he is learning to hold himself apart, a new separation existing in the carefully crafted words that don't chase themselves out of his mouth. Bailey's lesson has been heard, at any rate. "Will I have to stay in Igen the entire time?" Never having been even remotely afraid of being sandsbound, this new uncertainty crops it's ugly head. "Never leaving like you and Khalyssrielth? Or can I … come home sometimes?" He pauses, chews his bottom lip. "I hope Sekhaenkath knows more of what to do than I do. I will not play the idiot over there." So he vows, so he vows. The rock? Just earns a secretive, feline smile.

"Well, that depends," Bailey replies, slanting a look downwards. "Depends on Elicheritath, if she's a clingy queen or not." Bailey doesn't know — isn't that familiar with the oldtimer pair to begin with. "If she demands Sekhaenkath's attentions constantly, you could end up in Igen for a while. But I would imagine you could break away even if she's a pushy one, from time to time. And once she's done, I'll come visit." She slants her chin at Khalyssrielth below.

The tea of bitterness is slowly getting strained out of El'ai's immediate outlook, because that first note of excitement isn't entirely squashed down when he speaks next, "It's our first, so I think I want to be there. We have a stake in it." Excitement and pride, too. Masculine pride so recently battered by an ill-fated flight aftermath. "It's a fine clutch, Bailey. I'm glad she's not barren," yes, he slants a look at his sister. "It makes our positions so much better if she's not." This thought is something vocalized for the first time — the realization of an anchorless world they live in. "Especially with Thread falling."

"If she was infertile, she could chew firestone and we could fight Thread." Bailey's pragmatic. Then, with a little darker than normal humor she shows around her brother: "Well, that's on the supposition that we'll actually have firestone to chew…." She snorts afterwards, and then AGAIN with a chuffed half-laugh that can only mean she's responding to something internally. "You should be there. You'll be representing Southern and Southern's interests." She shoots him an arch look askance.

"Mmmmm. But someday you might be senior here," El'ai, too, is learning the ways of pragmatism, but inherting a view of the long-game here. If he's startled at the news, it only shows in the barest flicker of his eyes before turning his gaze back to the sands, his sister's gold and the clutch. "I will do us proud, Bailey. And I will show them that I am not… that young." He is, still, in that awkward age of being a boy caught between childhood and manhood. And so he chews his lip and finally allows the boyish exhuberance to spring free. "Come on, Bailey. Let's get out of this sauna, tell Khalyssrielth that I'm taking you away. Let's go cool off in those jungle pools." Doesn't that sound SO MUCH BETTER? "I will tell you all about the flight." And the humiliation of it, yes, but also the fun aspects. The flying, the blooding, but not here. Something more rests beneath the surface of such a simple request, but it's not for the walls to hear.

Bailey gives something of a snort at the idea of being senior. But she glances over at him, softly amused at his vow to show them his experienced age — not amused at him, per-se, but just the entire circumstances that drive him into saying such a remark. "Fine, fine. I could use to get out of here." She slips her bare feet from the bench and reaches down to grab her sandals and waterskin. "After you, O Victor Of The Sandy Weyr." Her eyes laugh up at him — Faranth, when did he get so tall? — and she gestures for him to proceed her towards the exit. "Forget the flight, tell me how Tuli was!" Like he has ANY possible benchmark of THAT. But Bailey is Bailey and therefore requires the occaisional raunchy crack — even when it's against her poor brother.

The last words the hallowed Gallery walls hear is, "BONY," before the pair of the slip out of the quiet muffled cavern, out into the bright sunshine and real world. The walls hold onto the whispered confessions, jaded views, storing them, soaking them into the stone where countless others have done the same as the two siblings. In a hundred turns, four hundred turns, they will be dust, but their sentiment may yet linger for as long as this mountain stands, seeped into the very stone of Southern.
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