Who

Renalde, T'ral

What

Renalde and T'ral catch up for the first time since… ever.

When

It is night of the seventh day of the second month of the second turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Southern Mountains

OOC Date

 

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Administrative Offices

Renalde's domain. It's spotless. Duh.

It is the thirty-seventh day of Summer and 21 degrees. It's cold and dark out.


What an apt description. This is Renalde's domain, and as such, no one else has been allowed to do anything in this office which hasn't been run past the perfectionist headman first. Much of the work he has done himself when the ice hold draws in on itself and hides from the freezing cold outside. There is warmth in this room, as a fire burns cheerfully, the smoke somehow sent up and out. This evening though, it is a different scene. A large comfortable chair rests before that fire and Renalde is not moving. His broken leg is stretched out before him and he seems to be actually resting for once. For all he has not broken fifty yet, a particular weight of age seems to rest upon the man, as his chest rises and falls, though without the rhythm which would suggest sleep.

Bootheels click a rapid tattoo on the stone floor of the hall, falling silent where there are carpet runners to keep the chill from radiating up into the carefully warmed air. Those footfalls stop abruptly at the threshhold to Renalde's domain and a crisp knock sounds upon the doorjamb announcing a presence. "Sir, may I come in?" T'ral is looking down at his boots, bone deep propriety requiring that he not cross into the Headman's domain even with sight until bidden. Old habits die hard.

Renalde is slow to move when that voice drifts in. He shifts in his seat, attempting to move from his slight slouch, and moving that broken leg from where it is propped up. "T'ral. Yes, come on in." Reaching outwards Renalde's hands seek the cruches he had forced the healers to give over, despite their objections to him moving around so soon after the break at his age. "I had not expected to see you." His back is to the bluerider, while he awkwardly attempts to stand.

T'ral's head comes up at the summons and the bluerider hustles Renalde-ward as he starts to rise, "No, no. Stay put." He puts a hand on Renalde's shoulder to press him back into the chair, or, if Renalde is determined to stand, quickly move it to Renalde's elbow to help him up. He blanches slightly at the sight of his indefatigable father seeming washed out. Wilted. Old. Barely a pause, T'ral's eyes flicker with a quickly hidden tightness at 'not expected,' "I only just heard." He clears his throat, "What happened?"

That slight pressure on his shoulder is enough. Renalde sinks back down into the soft chair, a slight sigh escaping from his lips. He has refused the fellis offered him by the healers, and the numbweed has worn off long before. The stubborn man knows he should attend the healer's orders, but for the moment their offices are far away through the cold and this place is warm. "I would offer you refreshment, but I have long since used that which I had." A hand gestures towards the chair. "If you would humor me, I would rather see you ask we speak, there is a chair behind the desk."

Relief at that compliance smoothes T'ral's worried features. He straightens, looking out the door with eyes narrowed, angrily speculative. Still looking out into the hall, T'ral asks, terse, "Who is in charge of your care?" It was possible that Renalde was a cooperative patient. Possible. But unlikely in the extreme. T'ral came by it honestly. So who could blame whoever the poor wretch was for leaving the Headman high and dry? T'ral could. Dark eyes flick to Renalde, intent. Whatever the answer, on his way to snag the chair, T'ral leans out into the hall, fingers to lips, lets fly with a shrill whistled blast. Hey! He saw that head poke into the hall, "You. Yes you," his voice isn't angry perse, "What's your name?" A beat, "Denna? Denna, please bring a pitcher of water and," T'ral leans back into the room, head turned to call over his shoulder, "What else?"

A rather bemused expression crosses Renalde's face as T'ral steps into his typical role of brisk efficiency. Perhaps he has indulged in the fellis after all? (No) Rather, the bemusement stays in his voice, "Tea." Something calming. Shifting Renalde winces slightly, and lifts his leg back up onto it's rest.

T'ral leans back out into the hall, "And tea. Thank you Denna." T'ral inclines his head at the woman and, out of Renalde's sight, gets the chair from behind the desk and puts it down next to his father, facing the hearth. He notes that Renalde has put his leg back up. Good. The chairs situated thusly, they could see each other if they wanted to, but could look at the much more compelling flames if the notion struck. T'ral folds himself into the chair, hands folded over his belly, and looking at Renalde, eyebrows askew in a curious mix of concern and expectancy.

"I supose it was too much to think that the Candidates would stay quiet." Renalde shakes his head slightly and draws in a deep breath. "It was foolishness on my part. A bit of ice which slipped under my boot and sent me to the ground. Do be careful if you ever explore the cave at the foot of the glacier." Renalde falls silent again, as his eyes do turn away from those flames to settle on the bluerider.

T'ral goggles at Renalde, unable to contain a laugh, "Uh, yes. Too much. Candidates are sieves." Sorry Niyati. Wait. T'ral's brows come down, "Did you instruct them not to tell me?" Ominous. He listens closely at Renalde's simple description and glib warning. "Were you wearing cleats?" Hadn't Kultir mentioned something about that…?

Dryness infuses Renalde's voice when he replies to T'ral. "Perhaps if the thought had occurred to me. However, at the moment, I was quite beyond my ability to tell the candidates anything beyond instructing the riders to gather them back to the hold proper. I would rather Bailey did not have reason to chide my care for them." His shoulders rise and then fall in a deep breath. "No. My boots were built for these fields, but not for the ice. I was… foolish."

T'ral lips go flat, twitching, and he fixes a look on his father. Vaguely amused. He sobers, "Does Bailey know?" T'ral's brows go up. It wouldn't be long before she did. And she'd be STEAMED not to have been apprised of the Headman's injury. "Shall I tell her, Sir?" And take the brunt of the volatile goldrider's ire on the chin. Or… ear. Wherever the swing happened to land. A polite clearing of the throat at the door. Denna has arrived with refreshments. T'ral stands, tugging his jacket straight and going to take the tray. He lets that admission of foolishness go RIGHT BY without comment. It's still bouncing around in his head. It… it's just bouncing around and around, not taking purchase. CANNOT COMPUTE.

"I need to pay my respects to the new weyrwoman. I am sure the riders have aprised Bailey of the situation, and that it is well in hand." Except for the fact that the never-knocked-down Headman is feeling more than a little flattened at the moment. "I am glad you have come T'ral. I had… a matter I wish to discuss with you." Renalde does not turn to face T'ral, it would require quite a bit more movement and pain then Renalde's pride would allow him to engage in.

Foolish. T'ral's father had admitted to foolishness. THERE. The thought finally found purchase. T'ral's eyes widen an- too late. They've moved on. "Those repsects will have to wait until you're mended." No Betweening With Broken Bones, sayeth Dragonhealer (trainee) T'ral. "How long did the healers say?" He senses more than sees the Headman's flatness. And then… that. T'ral's brow furrows in puzzlement, worry. He looks at his father's face, hollows pronounced and shifting, stark, in the warm light of the fire as he puts the tray on a low table between them. He pours tea for the both of them, swallowing. Handing over a cup, handle spun towards Renalde. T'ral takes his own cup and sits, inhaling the tea steam as he waits, eyes darting from the flames briefly to his father's face. Back to the flames.

Renalde's elegant fingers wrap around the mug, feeling the heat radiating through it and into his palms. He is silent while T'ral sits. "The healers have given an estimate of several sevens before they will consider evaluating to see how well it is healing. As for waiting," Renalde raises an eyebrow at his son, "Ardestlle will require my assistance, even laid up with this, to organize the post hatching. After Weyrwoman Bailey's eggs hatch however, I intend to resign my post at the Weyr." He'll just leave it there, watching T'ral calmly.

"Promise me you won't make your staff and caretakers crazy? Please?" Not that T'ral would be any better. Boredom during his own convalescence had lead to DISTINCT ocean-spanning mischief. Sometimes, like now, the amnesia is a blessing. T'ral doesn't remember that Renalde had said he'd go back to Benden when he retired. And that's doubly good, because Renalde didn't say RETIRED, did he? His shock is nearly a flinch, mouth hanging open a moment, shutting. Brow furrowing, "But… Resigning? Why?"

A small smile twitches onto Renalde's lips before Renalde tucks it away again to sip at the tea in the mug. "I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities. As I always have." But as for T'ral's second double take, Renalde falls silent. Finally, that mug is held in his hands as he stares into the fire. "I came to Southern because it was a challenge to be overcome. The Lower Caverns were in disarray as the worst of the North came South. I was tasked to organize the chaos, and I would like to think I have done just that. However, the challenge has long since faded, and I have come to a realization that I find little joy in the post. Coming Southern to this hold has reminded me of what hold life has to offer, and I find myself wishing to return to it. Perhaps it is arrogance, but I wish to see the Ice Fields succeed beyond the expectations and I know that the weyr is in good hands. One of my brother's children has expressed an interest in coming South, and I believe he would be a good fit to assist my replacement."

T'ral's own lips twitch with a smile tucked away. The tea's cooled enough to sip and he does so, looking into the flames. "That…" T'ral pauses, sucking in a breath, a cool rush over tea-warmed tongue and throat, "That makes sense. But… here. It's so bitterly cold. Beautiful, but…" T'ral blows out that inhalation, cheeks puffing briefly. "Well, if anyone can turn this lump of coal into a diamond, it's you." T'ral has not yet come to appreciate the splendors of the Ice Fields. His eyes cut sideways HARD, "Please tell me it's not Valan?" T'ral's least favorite cousin.

"T'ral." Renalde pauses, not willing to allow this moment to become the one in which he becomes hasty in speaking. Shifting, with a slight grimace of pain, Renalde sets his mug down. "I have spent a majority of my adult life caring for riders and their needs. I have allowed my heart to become frozen, and only here in this frozen expanse have I begun to feel a change. It is time for me to cease to hold myself aloof and begin to actually live as Tara would have wished." A pause, as Renalde picks up the mug again. "My brother did not say which. Just assured me that they had expressed an interest and would be an asset."

T'ral just blinks. He's pretty sure he didn't hear that right. He hazards a look at Renalde, resisting the urge to poke the man to see if he'll disappear into smoke. An illusion. His jaw muscles bunch, "I, uh, I thought that," freezing over, "just sorta happened after," he swallows again, eyes cutting back the flames. Safer flames, "After mother died." What did riders have to do with it? Whatever cousin it is… pfffft. Who cares? Tectonic shifts happening.

"I care… a great deal T'ral. Every injury sustained by a rider weighs upon my mind. Without your mother's indomitable good humor…" Renalde allows his voice to trail off, as he brings the mug to his lips and takes a deep drink. "Your injury in particular has… awakened me to the realization that the weyr is not the place for me to seek further joy. AS the weyr and hold will always be linked I will, of course, be available to consult and give advice, but it is time for the day to day to move to another."

T'ral's brow furrows again. Gonna have a couple new lines across it after this visit. He nods. Flying half a Fall and then high-tailing it to the Dragon Infirmary with a pit of dread eating at his stomach to see who came in and how hurt they were was the worst part of the job. And those interminable moments of bleak anticipation. Interminable. Because it wasn't a matter of if. Just… who. He bled with every rider and dragon. So, T'ral's well acquainted with Renalde's care. Though… not completely, he didn't have a son up there. T'ral's eyes tighten, voice flat, "Little danger of that happening again." Freakish coincidences during a Fall. As an assistant weyrlingmaster wouldn't be flying Thread any more.

This is the point at which prehold Renalde would rise and disappear into the ether. However, with a bum leg and admissions on the line, Renalde will do no such thing. Rather, he will drink the last of his tea. "I realize I have not been the father you would have wished." By a long shot. "But I am proud of what you have come despite me and my opinions. You have come into your own T'ral, and I can wish you nothing but luck. I would hope that my leaving the weyr might also… ease some of the wall which I have built in my sorrows." Renalde falls silent, his eyes upon the flickering flames. There is no ice in his eyes tonight, and his tone is simple. One of a man speaking to another. "I could think of no better to entrust the most vulnerable riders to then yourself. For, perhaps it is my vanity speaking again, I believe you will care for them beyond simple duty."

T'ral pops up to refill Renadle's tea unless the Headman waves him off. He pauses, poised with the pot in hand, "Uh, well, I don't remember a good deal of it, so… let's call it a wash," watery, the smile he turns, not meeting Renalde's eyes, instead focusing very carefully on putting that teapot just so on the tray. Not quite right. There. No. Shift. There. T'ral shrugs, taking his seat, "I imagine we'll see each other as much as we do now." Which is to say, not much. That last has T'ral falling as much as sitting in his seat. Woof. T'ral's foot taps rapidly and he looks determinedly at the flames, swallowing once. Twice. Tonguing the inside of his cheek. Voice quiet, hoarse, "I come by it honestly, Sir."

There are a whole pile of FEELS within this room right now, and Renalde is tired. More tired then perhaps he has ever been before. He struggles to his feet, hands reaching for those cruches to aid him in the endevor. "Please do not mention my plans to anyone else. I wished you to be the first to know, and I will inform the weyrwoman of my intentions personally."

FEELS are tiring. Exhausting. T'ral sniffs, dashing a hand across his nose before springing upright. No struggle here. He snags the crutches and steadies Renalde's arm as the older man settles onto them, hand settling lightly between Renalde's shoulder blades. "Of course, Sir. Thank you." Still hoarse.

T'ral will find his arm gripped lightly by Renalde, as the headman needed the extra support. It has been a long day, and the effects are clearly written. "Will you walk with me as far as the atrium, T'ral?" What? Renalde probably knows EXACTLY how steady he is on his feet, and isn't looking to fall and break something else. "It is past time for me to seek my bed."

"Yes, Sir," voice returning to normal, T'ral's bright carrying tenor with resonant undertones. A strange alloy of sad-shot happiness limns T'ral's thoughts as he watches his father make his unsteady way down the passage. Hands folded behind his back, T'ral walks along with his father in silence, taking in the structure of the new Hold in a way he hadn't before. The bitter cold pushed back and the austere, refined bones of the place a setting for the gem it would become. Maybe there was something … beautiful here. "Sleep well, Sir." Allowing Renalde his pride, T'ral turns and walks off to see to his Candidates, bootheels ringing on the stone. He doesn't look back.

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