Who

Linny, D'ren

What

D'ren and Linny fought in the past. D'ren and Linny fight in the future. No one should be surprised.

When

It is evening of the twenty-second day of the tenth month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Dustbowl Cantina, Igen Weyr

OOC Date

 

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Dustbowl Cantina

To enter the Dustbowl Cantina is to descend: the heart of the ancient tavern lies half underground, at the foot of ancient steps, insulated from summer heat and winter cold by the volcanic rock surrounding it. A windowless place well-lit by glows, it is homey, even cozy, with a certain bijou charm - but for the deep gouges worn in wooden table and solid stone, some clearly lingering evidence of boisterous brawling. The wall behind the well-polished bar, though, remains free from scars or graffiti, as does the door into the small kitchen, and the stairwell up into the owner's quarters: the barkeep and his staff reign, and they guard their territory well. After all, only a fool angers the source of the booze.


D'ren is in Igen again, having brought Linden for another visit with his mother. They usually manage about once a sevenday, but as of yet D'ren hasn't stayed with the two of them, giving them time to do their thing while he wanders thoughtfully around Igen. Now, he's waiting for Linden to be done, sitting at the bar in the Cantina and nursing a slightly dusty ale. The sandstorms are a new one for the 30-something bronzerider.

It may not be a happy sight, then, for D'ren to see Linny enter the Cantina, sauntering up to him like it's no big deal for her to be there. Except she knows that it is, and so before she even greets him, she puts her hands up defensively. "He fell asleep. He's in my weyr, and Kaelidyth is watching him." See? She is a responsible mother. All she has to do is give a nod to the bartender, and he's off fetching her her favorite whiskey, evident that she's spent some time and marks in here. "How was your day?" she asks as she invites herself to take a seat next to D'ren.

D'ren does look a bit surprised, but his first assumption is that he's off playing with Roslin. Her explination makes sense too though, and he nods with a fond smile. "Yeah, he was up early this morning finishing a last-minute report for his Harper class." He rolls his eyes. "That boy is the king of procrastination."

"Don't know where he got that from. I know it's not from me," Linny replies as she shoulder-nudges the bronzerider with a little grin, but then she turns serious, putting an elbow on the bar so she can place her head in her hand as she looks over at him. "Let him spend the night. Don't try to load him up on Aik and go home. Let him stay here, and I can bring him to Ista in the morning. Or you're more than welcome to stay, too, if that's easier." Her whiskey arrives, then, but her attention stays on D'ren while they work out just what to do with their sleeping son.

D'ren chuckles. "Not from me either," he drawls with a slow smile. "He can spend the night if he wants to, doesn't matter to me." As for him staying, he shrugs a shoulder. "I was offered a guest weyr by your newest goldrider, Mayte. She's rather talkative isn't she?"

When talk turns to the youngest goldrider, Linny just has a roll of her eyes, taking her elbow off of the bar and wrapping her hands around the whiskey tumbler. "She's…something. I'm trying to teach her the ways of being a goldrider. To be a good one. Like what Rhaeyn did for me when I was a weyrling. Trying to teach her that being a weyrwoman doesn't make her better than anyone else. Teaching her about what we do. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's not sinking in, like I'm not doing a good job of conveying what I mean." Lips purse for a moment and then she shrugs, finally going in for a sip of her whiskey. "But it's hard to tell someone what I do when I've been doing it for…Faranth, eighteen Turns now? We're so old."

D'ren tilts his head a bit. "You think she does think she's better than everyone? She didn't seem that way to me. She seemed really…friendly." In an awkward sort of way. He snorts. "We're not old," he mutters, sipping his ale.

"No, I'm not saying that. I just don't want her to go out there thinking that just because she impressed gold that she's automatically superior to everyone else. You know of the goldriders out there who think they're the best simply because of their lifemate's color." And don't make Linny name names. "Oh, shut up. We are old. Roslin's almost sixteen. Sixteen! I…I guess that just makes me old, huh?" The cons of starting a family early in life. "I'm sort of hoping I'll be able to stick around here for awhile. Maybe finally pick a Weyr to stay at instead of bouncing around. Roslin's here, and I don't mind it here. It's not High Reaches, but…it's growing on me."

D'ren shakes his head slowly. "But…I don't think she is going to go out there and do that. Least not from what I saw of her in the baths. I don't think that's her style." He eyes her, and then smirks a little bit. "Is it? I can't get used to all the dust and the dryness." He really is an Istan boy, born and bred.

Linny shrugs when it comes to the topic of Mayte, opting instead to sip at her whiskey, since it's damn fine whiskey. "Oh, trust me. Igen is better than some of the other Weyrs I've helped. Damn Nowtimers and their ideas and beliefs. Igen's not so bad. Plus, Roslin's getting to the age where perhaps I need to be around to keep an eye on her." There's a look shared with D'ren, surely he knows just what she means. Boys.

D'ren frowns a little bit, nodding his head. "I know what you mean," he murmurs. "It's…odd not seeing girls on fighting dragons, in Ista. Not as often as here, to be sure…" He's quiet a moment, then shrugs. "The structure is nice," he admits. He returns her look. "Is she interested in them?"

"It's not her being interested in them that I'm worried about. It's them being interested in her. And maybe if I can strike fear into them to, I don't know, not knock up the little goldrider's daughter, then we'll be okay." So as much as she just talked about goldriders not thinking they are better than anyone else, Linny wants to use her rank to terrify teenage boys. It makes perfect sense, right? "She's beautiful, and I can't imagine the boys don't look at her. Now I know how N'ano felt when you and I started dating all those Turns ago." And having 'relations'.

D'ren lifts a brow. "But is she interested? I mean it takes two. Not like a boy looking at her will get her pregnant, she has to participate in it too. Have you talked to her about it? Told her not to?" Not that it'd help, if Roslin is anything like her mother. Then he smiles a bit. "I was honorable," he murmurs.

"No, I haven't talked to her about that! What am I supposed to say? Don't be like me and start having sex at fifteen and get pregnant by seventeen?" Linny wrinkles her forehead up as she looks at him before drinking more of that whiskey. But then the goldrider's look turns more serious, and after a sigh, she says, "I just don't know what to say to her, honestly. This is where my own mother not being a part of my life has really left me helpless. I don't know what a mother does in these types of situations, because I never had a mother to tell me what to do or what not to do."

D'ren nods, "Yes. Exactly that. Why haven't you talked to her about it?" he says with a frown. Which he quickly eases. Roslin is not his daughter. "I've talked to Linden. Lots. He's probably sick of hearing it by now." Then he rolls his eyes a bit. "That's an excuse you're telling yourself, Linny. You sit her down and you say what you want to say. Tell her to be safe, tell her to take her 'stuff, take her to the Healers for a checkup if she hasn't already started going."

Ugh. "Yeah, you're right. You're right, you're right." Whiskey forgotten, Linny reaches hands up to scrub at her face, tugging somewhat at the skin as hands slide down her face while she groans. "I'll talk to her tomorrow about it." And hopefully tomorrow's not too late for that talk. "I know she knows about sex. I just don't want to have to lecture her not to have it. Because while my father was telling me not to have sex, I was off having it." There's an eyebrow waggle for D'ren there, since…well, he was there. "I want to go back to having babies so I don't have to deal with this teenager crap." Since babies are oh so cute and don't have sex.

D'ren shrugs. "Better she hears it than nothing, though. Because if she doesn't hear it from you she'll just blame you down the line, like you blame your own mother, for not being there. You can't make her do - or not do - anything. All you can do is talk to her and hope she listens." Her brow waggle has him smiling a bit, and then his brows furrow. "How many kids do you have now? You want more?"

"Yes, but that's different. Lzi abandoned me at birth. I loved Roslin from the very second I knew I was pregnant." Linny has to pause to take a breath to stop herself from getting worked up, always upset when there are comparisons done between herself and her mother. But then there's that question, and the goldrider starts to feel like her mother. "Three. And…yes. Sometimes. There are times when it's nice to have them all grown and on their own. But there are other times that…I miss having a baby. It's been so many Turns since I've had one." And thankfully, she's still young enough to be able to have the option open to her. "You can't tell me you don't want another one."

D'ren sips his ale. "But she doesn't know that. All she knows is what you do with her. Forget Lzi. Be the mother to Roslin you always wanted Lzi to be for you." There's a pause. "Three?" Does he know this? But then he winces, shaking his head firmly. "No. I don't want another one."

"Why do you have to be so damn smart?" is all Linny has to say to him for all of his advice, but at least she does so with a little smirk on her lips. With that matter resolved, she can finally go back to her whiskey. "Really? I remember when we were younger, you always talked like you wanted a ton of kids. What happened?" Of course, Linny can guess what happened, but they've got the time to rehash old things, so why not?

D'ren shrugs a bit, staring at his ale. "Lost too many I guess. And it's Thread. Not sure I want to bring a lot of kids into this. Into a place their father could die at any time. Was safer, back in our time."

"That doesn't seem to stop them from having babies," Linny points out, nudging him once again with a shoulder gently. "And what if I was offering to have your baby, hmm? What would you say then?" Not that she is offering, judging by the amused look and raised brows that take over her face as she look at him expectantly. And while she waits, she'll continue with that whiskey, because it's yummy.

D'ren rocks at her nudge and then looks down at his ale, then back to her. "I don't want more children," he says, quiet but firm. So it's not just her at least?

A defensive hand is raised at his answer, a silent sign that she wasn't trying to get him all riled up with her question. "Fair enough." But then there's something else Linny feels the need to comment on, though this is certainly more of a sensitive subject, causing her to flick her gaze between tumbler and bronzerider. "I miss you. But the old you. I don't know if it's all the Turns putting up with me, or if you still have resentment for me jumping forward and not telling you, but sometimes I feel like I don't know you anymore. And it makes me sad."

D'ren lifts his brows a bit, watching her as she watches her whiskey. "Who is the old me?" he asks, and he sounds genuinely curious. Not sarcastic. "What do you miss?" As for resentment…he just nods. He does.

"The D'ren you used to be. Not Darden, but…just not this man who is bitter at the world. Because you are." Or at least that's Linny's impression of him at the moment. "You can be mad at me if you want to be. What's done is done, and I can't take it back. And if you don't want to be in my life because you hate me for what I did, then that's your decision. But you're sitting here, all brooding looks and giving off this air like you hate being here. It's not very becoming. And you know I love you." Linny will add that in for good measure, just in case he forgot. "But you make it really hard for me to love you sometimes."

D'ren lifts his brows as he looks over at her. "I'm hardly bitter at the world," he says, shifting his mug against the bar top. "But I'm sorry if I'm not…as open as I used to be, as optimistic and as eager. Thread will do that to a person. So will jumping forward in time and losing a lot of people you cared about." Or thinking you did. Then he looks at her with a frown. "If it's hard, then why do you still love me?"

"You just told me that I can't spend my life being mad at Lzi for what she did to me. That I should be the mother Lzi wasn't. Why can't you take your own advice? You can't spend your whole life being angry at what has happened to you, because guess what? Everyone has had bad shit happen to them. Some worse than others. But it's how you deal with it and cope with it that makes you a better person." With a smirk, she's quick to add, "I guess that makes me a bad person for holding onto my resentment for Lzi for so long." At his question, that really makes Linny go serious, tongue peeking out to wet her lips, toying with exactly how to word her answer. But then there's no way getting around it— "Probably for the same reason you love me. Because if I don't love you, who will? And if you don't love me, then who will? Through all of these Turns, we still have each other, for better or for worse. We really are like an old married couple."

D'ren glances at her again. "You're lecturing me," he points out, sipping his ale. "And I can be angry if I want to be angry," he adds a bit flatly. "For as long as I want to be angry. But I'm not about to go blaming you for me not doing something with Linden, like you were with Lzi and Roslin." Then his frown deepens. "You implying I'm not capable of having someone else love me? Not that I want it," he adds, pulling at his ale and finishing it, considering ordering another as he looks at his empty mug. "Well," he finally says, "I didn't have you for a few turns."

"No, I'm not saying that. I'm sure you could make any woman out there fall in love with you. But love consistently. Unconditional. I've only found that with you and only felt that with you." But when he brings up the past again, and Linny not being a part of their lives for the past few Turns, it gets a loud sigh out of her. "Faranth, D'ren, what do I have to do to make that up to you? When will you stop beating me over the head with it? I'm here now." A finger angrily and loudly taps against the bartop as dark eyes glare at him. "It doesn't matter what happened before, you have me now. You're so caught up in the past that you can't live in the present."

D'ren frowns deeply at her. "You knew! You knew we were here, we were safe. You didn't have to go through anything. We grieved for you," he snaps, angry now. "When we came forward and you didn't - or didn't tell us you did - it was as if you'd died and we treated it as such. We grieved, we healed, we moved on! I was a single fucking parent." He lets that hang for a moment. "I've only known you've been back for, what…a month? Two? Faranth, that's not enough time to get used to someone coming back from the dead, Linny!”

"But I wasn't dead!" Linny's not about to admit that she's wrong in attacking D'ren the way she is. She's already apologized for keeping the fact that she came forward a secret, and so she's not about to have to do it again. "And I get that you didn't know that, but you act as if it's horrible that I'm here. If you thought I was dead, if you grieved for me, then you should be so thankful that I am, in fact, here and well and alive! Not yelling at me." But she can yell. Linny's allowed. "I'm trying to make it up to you, aren't I? I love spending time with Linden, I love getting to see you. It's not as if I want you both to continue living your lives without me."

D'ren shakes his head firmly, "It doesn't matter that you weren't dead, Linny, we thought you were. Look outside of yourself for once. Think about how it felt for us. I can't just switch it off. I'd healed without you, and now you're back? You can't just…" He gestures at his chest, "can't just fit back in when there's not a space anymore. Not the space there used to be." He doesn't know how to explain it. "I'm glad you're here and I'm glad Linden gets to see his mother."

Something within his words hits Linny, evident by the fact that her face goes smooth, somber, and any lingering traces of anger are completely gone. The tumbler of whiskey is lifted and thrown back to be swallowed like a shot, and then there's a nod towards the bartender along with a head tilt towards D'ren. Put his drinks on her tab. Now, calmly, and softly, the goldrider says, "I should be getting back to Linden. You are welcome to spend the night in my weyr with us, if you want. Otherwise, I'll have him ready for you in the morning." And then the petite woman is sliding off of the stool.

D'ren turns a bit to watch her stand. "I thought he was asleep."

"He is. I should be there in case he wakes up. I wouldn't want him to think his mother abandoned him again." While Linny says the words to hurt D'ren, they instead appear to pain her, if only because she knows how much truth there is to that statement, and before she can make a scene and become all emotional, the goldrider ducks her head and heads towards the exit.

D'ren just frowns, watching her make her exit. When she's gone, the bronzerider turns back to lean against the bar, tapping his fingers against it. Then he's pushing up, putting down his payment despite her signal it'd be on her tab, and he makes his way out too. Not to try and catch her. To go to his bronze's side down by the lake. The water calls to him.

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