Mau sighed. She was walking the halls after having been at the weyrbowl. That had been something of a mistake. Hammer followed, unsure what had his master in a jumble. To the outside, it hadn’t seemed like a bad thing. There had been a woman with her son, which was normal, right? Except it got Mau thinking. Thinking about family and all of it. But yikes, she just didn’t know. She just had so much to think about. Well, she would have to talk to Holt about it. That was clearly what she should do. Didn’t stop her sulking about the lower caverns for a bit.
She had to admit, it would probably be a bit embarrassing to discuss. Since he might have an inkling of some of her fears but she didn’t like admitting she might have some. Not that Quimyenth’s flight hadn’t made it clear that she had some. Hammer watched her sulk for a bit before mentally pumping herself up. She could do this! Go find Holt, talk it out, and she would feel better! With that enthusiasm she made the trip back to their weyr to talk. It was a short trip, it seemed, so she could keep herself pumped up and ready to talk.
Holt had breakfasted, put on clothes far too warm of for the southern heat and been at work in the early morning. The warmer clothes were much nicer once he and Korith were in the air and hopping around between. They made three deliveries, one to Ice Stone, one to Fort, and one to Telgar. That last one had looked rather important. But he was a nondescript Blue Rider and was easily allowed in and out of places without hassle or challenge. Korith enjoyed the anonymity. Their morning deliveries out of the way, they were back in their weyr waiting either for a last minute package that was late going out or afternoon wing practice, whichever came first.
Holt idled on the corner of the bed in the room, a stack of papers on the floor next to him. A small stack, but still a bother to be had. Package forms, from whom, to whom, where and when and so on. They had just been finished, not that there was much to write. Holt was glad for that. He'd turn them in on his way to practice.
So since he had nothing better to be doing he was glad to see Mau in the same boat, or so he hoped. His face brightened and he scooted the papers further under the bed with a shift of his foot.
Her question caught him completely by surprise. He looked up to see she looked what could only be described as uncomfortable. "Uh, sure. Everything alright?"
Mau almost stumbled at the first hurdle, that being Holt looking concerned. Oh dear, she looked bad, didn’t she? Stay positive girl!
“Nothing’s wrong, at least, not anything big. Or, not anything like an emergency.” Mau paused, and then pouted. “Sorry. That came out all wrong.” Hammer watched his master, hovering protectively. She might not entirely know what was what, but she would be okay. He was sure. She was just a little flustered. Or scared. One or the other.
She wasn’t quite calm, so she figured that she better get settled. Since she was tempted to, she decided to sit next to Holt. If she was going to be all embarrassing and nonsense, might as well be right next to him. So she went and sat next to him, so if she wanted she could grab his hand or something. She didn’t, but she liked having the option. She wasn’t about to be distracted though.
“I’ve just been worried lately. About things.” Way to be specific. She took a breath and tried, really tried to get it all out so that she wouldn’t freak him out by being vague. “I was thinking, since I saw some kids out in the bowl. I always wanted kids, I mean back when I thought I was going to get married to some merchant boy or whatever, but I am not… Well I’m not sure if I would make a good mother. I mean if I had kids.” Her nose scrunched up as she made a face. “Sorry if this is kinda out of nowhere.” It didn’t seem out of nowhere for her, but she hadn’t exactly been talking about it.
Relieved that it wasn't 'like an emergency', Holt relaxed and waited while Mau found the words she wanted. That was all there was to it.
The mother thing did strike him as out of nowhere but that was the last thing he'd admit to. And that this was something she had always wanted. He didn't know. He was fine with things as they were, changing any of it had never come to mind. He felt his dad would tell him to speak carefully here, but the feeling didn't impart any specific words. What help. "Why would you say that?" he asked. All he could do was his best.
Mau let out a long sigh. She was in her head, she could feel it more than say it. But she had to verbalize. Holt wasn’t like Qui, half in her mind and able to nod when gibberish came out. So she had to be precise.
“I always feel like tomorrow I could pack my bags and be off for somewhere else. The idea of sitting in once place for most of my life is…foreign, I guess. I like Rainbow Mists, I like everywhere I’ve been, really. I like everyone here. I don’t want to leave you. Sometimes though it just feels like any moment I could and that scares me.” Her voice trailed off at the end and she turned to Holt. “I’d say that would be pretty horrible if I did that to a kid.”
It hadn't come up so much since Quimyenth's Flight. That urge of theirs to be on the move. Here it was again. And he could manage that. But 'leave you', even if it was meant as a reassurance. He felt a pain in his chest as she said it. He sat there, wanting to say what he thought she wanted to hear. But instead he just sat there. She knew how she felt, but he didn't even have that. He felt a stabilizing nudge in the corner of his thoughts. Korith.
"You know, you're not the only one with two feet and a bag."
Despite the pause she didn’t feel so jittery when Holt took a moment to answer. Maybe a little. But Holt was really thinking about things, and that was something she appreciated dearly. When he spoke again she smiled a little. Her hand reached for his, fingers seeking fingers to get tangled up in. Her head rested on his shoulder, she could get some reassurance from being this close to Holt.
“You are too good to me, you know?” It was true in her mind. She did love him for it. “I don’t want to ask you to do that, because I don’t want to do it myself. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the sentiment.” She let the pause linger for a while, just wanting to be next to Holt for a while.
Holt turned his wrist to let Mau gather up his fingers. He turned his head into her hair and let his breathes come slowly in and slowly out. True, he liked it well enough at Rainbow Mists to not want to move, he was content with things as they were. But more true was his dedication to this young woman sitting next to him. He'd let everything else change before he lost this.
He left a kiss on the side of her head and leaned back to look at her face. "Feel better?"
She could feel his breathing, warm and rhythmic. It was nice. It was nicer when he kissed her. She looked up when he spoke, looking at his face as he looked at hers. She thought about it.
“It certainly feels better than not having said it.” She had to admit that much. There were still a few things nagging at her though. She debated with herself, it was rather nice sitting in a comfortable silence with Holt sitting next to her. Oh but it nagged. Mau spoke up again.
“Not sure what that means for the parent concern.” It might have been kicked off by the kids in the bowl, but with her in and out of the Aerie so much, she’d seen her fair share of mothers. Both the good sort of visits and the not so good. But she’d noticed them. It was certainly better than focusing on how she had to sit still. She was out now though, and barring some scars, had healed up nicely.
“I guess there is plenty of time to worry about it later though.” She leaned her head on his shoulder, feeling much more relaxed. Sometimes it was just nice to talk and have someone you loved listen.
Worry about it later. Was an option. He didn't so much like the idea that the little wrinkle between her eyebrows would stay there longer. He rubbed the back of her hand with his thumb. "I'm glad you told me," he said, eyes staring past the wall. There were people on Pern that traveled, and some of them had families too. If those people could do, then they could do it, if Mau's feet grew wings and carried them off. He hoped that they'd be drawn back here eventually if that happened, but, perhaps they'd find a new, quieter paradise.
"There are families that travel," he said, loosening his hand from hers and replacing his arm around her waist. He leaned to catch the top of her ear against his lips. "We could be one of those, if we needed to be."
It was soothing, Holt’s thumb rubbing the back of her hand. Sitting and talking, it was nice. During the conversation though he let go, only to put his arm around her waist. For a moment she had be unhappy but the change was ultimately a good one. Holt really knew how to calm her down. With his arm wrapped around her and her leaning into his body, she felt all wrapped up in warmth. Add that to his words and she had to say, he was good at comforting her.
“Yeah, that’s true.” She wasn’t sure why she was scared of the idea, she’d grown up on the road. Maybe it was the dragonrider thing, the whole part where families were different. But she was used to being in Holds, and so was Holt. Maybe it was okay, not so scary if they had the same ideas. She let herself not be so scared, less distressed. With Holt, life was a little simpler, and a little more complicated all in one. But he brought out the simple pleasure when she needed it.
She turned slightly, moving away just so she could come back and gave him a kiss. “Thank you. I feel a lot better.” A warm smile spread over her face, just a little crooked. The Future was still the future, but it seemed just like any other day now, not a scary, uncertain thing.