Linden, D'ren, Roslin

OOC Date



Evening in Keroon, and D'ren has returned from another ride with the Seekers. Dressed in dusty, loose clothes, he looks more trader than dragonrider as he knocks and then enters his parents' rooms. Pulling his dusty fedora off his head he tosses it onto the couch and looks around. "Mother? Father?" he calls, looking around the room. "In here, dear!" his mother calls, just as Aiden steps out of the bedroom with a huge bouquet of flowers. "Your, erm, Linny was here," he hastily corrects. D'ren blinks in surprise and looks around. "She was? Is she still here?" Aiden shakes his head as he walks past, heading out to get the flowers some water. "No, she left, but the kids are here." D'ren has a moment of hesitation, frowning, before he grins and strides towards the bedroom. "Petal? Son?"

Her squeal can be heard before she can be seen, but Roslin races out of Gran's room with that look a child has on Christmas morning when they open the present they've been asking for all year long. Arms are thrown wide open as her little legs carry her as fast as they possibly can. "DAAAAAADDDDEEEEEEEEE!" Although the little girl took special care that day to dress up nice for D'ren, wearing her prettiest dress, making sure her hair was perfectly combed and curly, the only thing that matters to her is her step-father, lips back in a huge beaming smile as she races toward him.

D'ren can't ignore the tears that spring to his eyes when he crouches, opening his arms for the little girl. The scents of the desert, runners and fresh air surround him as he scoops her up into his arms and stands, hugging her tightly against his chest, "Ooof, Roslin! I missed you /so/ much," he whispers to her as he hugs her. Eyes stay closed for a moment as he gives her one of his best Darden-hugs, the entire focus of his being on /her/, but then he's opening his eyes and looking past her to make sure he's not ignoring Linden. Instead, he sees his mother standing there with a smile on her face and a gentle finger to her lips. She mouths 'he's sleeping', and D'ren nods, focus shifting back to Roslin. "You look so /pretty/!"

Roslin clings to him, squeezing his neck with all of the might that she has, and it seems that despite her young age, she, too, is emotional at the reunion. "I mist'ed you, Daddy," she whispers, but then being so close to him, she gets a whiff of him, and she's pulling back, nose wrinkled. "Daddy, you smell." At least he doesn't smell like the Daddy she remembers. But when he brings attention to her dress, the little girl breaks out into a big smile, shaking her hips to cause the skirt of her dress to twirl around her legs. "Is my fav'wit."

D'ren crouches and sets her down so she can swish her skirt and he grins. "That's beautiful! I can tell it's your favorite." Lifting his arm to his nose he takes a whiff, and laughs. "I wasn't expecting you! Do you want me to go get cleaned up?"

Roslin immediately throws her arms around D'ren's neck again, clinging to him, and in that same instant that she yells out "NOOO!" But knowing that she'll be reprimanded by either her Daddy, Gran, or Pop, because Linden is sleeping, she buries her face in the crook of his neck, shaking her head. "No, Daddy. I dun wantchoo to evah weave me /again/," she tells him, and for how young she is, there's a certain amount of fierceness in her tone.

D'ren stands, smiling into the little girl's hair. "Alright," he says soothingly. "Let's go for a walk, then, and let Linden sleep, okay?" He leans back to catch her eye, smiling at her as he tilts to one side to pick up his hat. "I'll show you Keroon!" He glances at his mother to make sure it's okay that he leaves Linden with her, and the woman - still frail but healing - nods.

Roslin nods, anything that keeps her with her Daddy she's thrilled for, and then she's turning her body to wave at the woman. "Bye-bye Gran!" The little girl blows a kiss to her before her focus is back on D'ren, that big smile of hers returning. "Mommy bwought her some f'owers. I hewped pick dem an' Winden did, too, buh it was Mommy's idea." Something that the little girl is obviously proud of, that she was able to help.

D'ren grins as he plops his fedora back onto his head and carries the girl out into the hallway. "Really? I saw Pop taking them to get water for them. They were beautiful! It was so nice of you all to bring her flowers. I'm sure they made her happy." Walking down the hallway he starts to head for the exit. "Tell me what's been happening? What have you been doing the last few sevendays?"

"We'w," Roslin starts out, thinking back on what's happened since her Poppa's been gone, and at the same time, she gets comfortable in her arms, loosening her grip around his neck now that she's sure he's not going to leave her. "Nuffin' much. Mommy took me to da beach one day, all by mysef! No Winden!" Which means it was a Very Important Day to the girl. "An' Mommy been wetting us sweep in bed wiff her. She say she won'wee and sad, but dat Winden and me make her fee'w bettur!"

D'ren walks outside and starts heading to the stables by default. Glancing up, he gives Aikuonath a narrow look for not telling him that Linny had been here, but the small bronze just rumbles softly. D'ren's eyes look back to Roslin, and he nods. "That's good that you and mommy got some time together, just the two of you. And you're such a good girl for making mommy feel better." He gives her a squeeze and a kiss on the forehead before he sets her down so he can haul open the heavy stable door.

"Whe'w we goin'?" Roslin questions him, once she's set down on the ground. She wants to stay close to him, hesitantly reaching out her hand for him to hold, since it's been engrained into her that she needs to hold someone's hand if she's walking. But then she's also curiously glancing into the stable to see what might be inside, even as there's some anxiously hedging towards D'ren, the fear of the unknown taking over inside her.

D'ren pulls open the door and then takes her hand, grinning down at her. "This is the stable! I want you to meet the mare I've been riding for the last few sevendays." Inside the cool, dark area, D'ren pushes the door shut once more and takes Roslin's hand again, eyes scanning the stable. From inside one of the stalls a boy's head peers over the partition. "Hey, D'ren," Rudy says with a smile. D'ren touches a finger to the brim of his hat. "Rudy. This is my daughter, Roslin." Bending, he scoops up the girl and walks her towards the fourteen turn old so she can say hello.

Roslin walks beside him, stumbling and tripping a lot of the way, due to the fact that she's got a rubberneck, looking all around at the inside of the stables. When there's an introduction made, luckily D'ren picks her up, since she immediately goes shy, resting her head against his shoulder and giving Rudy a shy grin. Being coy. But since manners have also been beaten (not literally) into her, she at least has the grace enough to say, "Hiiii."

Rudy inclines his head to the little girl with a soft-spoken, 'Ma'am. You going out agian, D'ren?" D'ren shrugs, "Don't know. Roslin, you feel like going for a ride? Or do you want to stay here?" He shifts the little girl on his hip, smiling.

Roslin overcomes her shyness enough to pick up her head so she can look up at him. "You take me fo' a wide?" She's used to riding on dragons, but riding on a runner? That's something new and exciting, and that look is so obvious on her face, head nodding so hard that her curls bounce. "Yeah! Wanna go fo' a wide!" But then, just to make sure there will be no funny business, she jabs a finger into his chest. "Daddy, /you/ take me." Rudy gets eyed; he apparently can't be trusted not to steal her away from her Daddy.

D'ren laughs, nodding. "Of course I'll take you, Petal," he reassures the girl. "Might see you out there," he tells the teen, who nods his head and goes back to grooming his runner. D'ren walks down the aisle to his dapple grey mare's stall, and she pokes her nose over the half door to wicker happily at him. "Palm flat," D'ren reminds, placing a slice of dried redfruit in the girl's palm. "Let her lip it up off of your hand."

For a moment, Roslin is hesitant, making a whiny sort of sound at the thought of having to do something new and scary, but if D'ren is telling her to do it, then it must be okay. Though the motion of her hand is jerky out towards the mare, at least she gets that part about keeping her palm flat right as she extend her arm out to the runner. She keeps a tight hold to D'ren during all of this, just in case.

The mare (still unnamed) gently lips the redfruit off the girl's palm, whickering softly at her and then sniffing her curls with soft, warm breaths. D'ren grins, watching Roslin's interaction and keeping both arms around the little girl.

Although the mare's intentions are good, and despite the fact that Roslin is comfortable around large dragons, she squeals loudly at the sniffing, clinging desperately to D'ren as she attempts to get as far away from the mare as possible. Instantly, she starts crying, more scared than anything else. "NO!" But it's impossible to tell if she's directing that to the mare or to D'ren.

D'ren steps quickly away from the mare, making soft sounds to Roslin. "Shhh, it's okay, Petal, she's just smelling you. Just like canines and kitties. It's okay," he says, hiding his smile as he brushes his hand gently through her hair. "You're okay."

Roslin shifts her weight to make sure that she's as far away from the mare as possible, pressed tightly against D'ren as she continues to sob and whimper against him. But as is so often the truth with females, now that she's crying, she's got /other/ stuff that she's upset about, too. "I wan'choo t'come /home/, Daddy. We miss you, and you make Mommy cwy. You hafta come home, Daddy! You hafto!"

D'ren blinks at the girl in surprise at her mood swing. "I'm coming back to High Reaches," he says softly, "but I'm not living with Mommy anymore. I'll be in my own weyr."

"Noooo!" comes out as another wail, causing Roslin to cling to him tighter. "Come /home/. Dat's not home. Wiff Mommy is home. HOME!" But the little girl stops all attempts at conversation now, simply crying against him. Hopefully he doesn't mind that his clothing will now gain some snot and tears.

D'ren doesn't mind. He walks over to a bale of hay and sets down gently, cradling her against his chest and resting his cheek on the top of her hair. "I'm here," he whispers softly, rocking the little girl. He doesn't look up when Rudy peers over the half door in surprise, and then quietly goes back to grooming.

It takes awhile for Roslin to cry herself out of her fit, but it does eventually happen, leaving her weak and quiet against D'ren's body. She's very much awake, but now, more than ever, she knows how important it is to enjoy the time that she has with him. Like she does with her own, real father.

D'ren holds her close against his warm body, rubbing her back and even playing with her hair a little bit. Trying a Linny-soothing technique on the girl? You betcha. "I love you, Petal," he says quietly. "Never doubt that, okay? No matter where I am, I'm thinking of you and Linden and I love you both with my /whole/ heart."

Like Linny, Roslin is a sucker for hair-touching, and she certainly seems to be calm, content in his arms. She says nothing for a long moment, and when she speaks, it's softly. "I wuv you, too. Wet's go back an' see Gran an' Pop. Dey pwob'abwy miss us."

D'ren nods, agreeing that runner riding isn't quite in the cards for tonight. "Alright," he agrees, standing. He nods his thanks to Rudy when the teen opens the door for them so he doesn't have to put Roslin down. Carrying her still, he walks back to the Hold, his smile fixed but his eyes shadowed beneath the brim of his hat.

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