Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 13, 2015 12:38:23 GMT -8
76.13.24 | Mid-morning | The crèche
T’kar strode through the hall, twisting his heels against the stone as he went. He knew he shouldn’t, knew that it was as good as waving a sign around saying “I’m angry”, but his willpower was being expended on restraining his firelizards and his dragon, and he really didn’t have any extra energy to worry about little things like whether he was twisting his heels against the floor of the passageway. He paused for a second. He knew that he was far to close to the edge to just procede to the meeting, he needed to relax, he needed…
Turning, he strode off once more, making for the crèche by shortest distance. Finally, he reached the door and, opening it, slipped inside. Yes, the women running it got annoyed with his firelizards, but he — they — needed to just see his children. Despite how annoying they could be, he knew that seeing them would help him unwind.
She knew that it probably wasn't the best idea to stretch herself so thin. As it was, between training and duties and making sure that her wherhandlers were doing what they were supposed to, Dalonia only got a handful of hours to sleep each night at most. Those were usually cut into by Dalosk or the flitts or this or that problem or just a general incapability to sleep. But after spending that first few weeks with her children, she'd had a compulsive need to make sure they were alright before she could sleep.
At first all she'd done was poke her head into the creche before she returned to her quarters to sleep, just to set her eyes on the twins. But as they grew older and she grew more and more attached--though she'd never admit it--she lingered longer. The creche workers had tried to interact with her at first but when it resulted in her leaving abruptly or leveling one of her trademark looks of promised death on them, they kept their distance. Stories were still told about how she and her wher had come back from the rescue mission to retrieve the weyrlings covered in blood.
The woman who nursed the twins had been wary of leaving them alone with their mother because of stories like that, but when Dalonia surprised them by seeming to be almost too scared to touch them, they gave her space. Currently, said woman was in the corner of the room while Dalonia was on the floor with the twins. Avonia was sat in the woman's lap, utterly fascinated by her own feet while Vakaral was being teased with the end of his mother's braid. The expression on Dalonia's face was one of ease and damn close to contentment. Even if only the creche mother knew, the senior wherhandler loved her children, even if the thought of being their true mother scared her more than facing down a rabid wild feline with a stick for a weapon.
Thief and Pest were curled up nearby, the later asleep and the former entirely alert. It was the little brown that warned Dalonia of T'kar's presence when the door opened and she instantly tensed. Vakaral took her moment of distraction to grab hold of her braid with both chubby hands and yank it towards him. Dalonia's gentle expression hardened and she pointedly ignored the dragonrider for the moment.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 13, 2015 13:55:31 GMT -8
T’kar pulled up, startled into freezing for a second. It had been some time since he’d seen Dalonia around the kids, and the sight was actually enough to surprise him out of the simmering anger that had been agitating his firelizards. Of course, there was a little bit of annoyance there under the surprise. He’d come here because he wanted to watch or interact with the kids, not to find someone else already doing so. He stayed put for a couple seconds, then shrugged and walked over. He had been planning on informing Dalonia, after all, although he’d intended to catch her after she slept, he supposed this would work as well. Besides, they did look kind of cute.
“Vakaral, you shouldn’t pull your mother’s hair,” he said lightly, grinning as he came up beside Dalonia. Pulling his belt off, he offered the leather end of it to Vakaral as a substitute for Dalonia’s braid.
Something inside her twisted at T'kar's words. SHe barely suppressed the wince. Was that the sort of thing that normal parents said? Never once in the ten months that the twins had been alive had Dalonia referred to herself as their mother out loud. It wasn't because she didn't want them to know that they were hers, or that she didn't want to claim them as her own. It had more to do with the fact that she considered herself to be probably the worst candidate for mother on the whole of Pern. What did she know about love and nurturing? Her whole life had been pain and fear and anger.
If her mother hadn't died and her father hadn't been a worthless drunk...there were still her brothers. No, she was no mother. Her face became that blank mask as T'kar approached and got his son to trade her braid for his belt. She wanted to escape. To simply get up and walk away and not see him with the children; her children...his children. Never their children. Not for the first time she wondered if it wouldn't just be best to leave them alone entirely. They didn't need her in their lives. She was hard and rough and violent. Her mind was so messed up that sometimes she didn't even realize it until she saw other people react.
Wordlessly, she move Vakaral from her lap and scooped up Avonia as she stood. She'd just hand the girl back to the creche mother and T'kar could have his son and she'd leave. She needed to go sleep. It wasn't like she was running away.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 13, 2015 14:41:33 GMT -8
T’kar watched Dalonia scoop Avonia and stand. Sighing, he straightened, though he left his belt captive to Vakaral. He’d already learned that trying to take it would probably result in a screaming fit, and the last time he’d caused one of those it had spread around the whole crèche.
“Dalonia, I just wanted to ask if you could spend some time in this evening’s practice drilling the ‘end of practice’ routine. There was a bit of an incident this morning between a couple each WherHandlers and guards and one of my riders, and since I don’t have the combined ground training for another seven days…” his voice trailed off as Vakaral made a determined attempt to pull himself up using T’kar boot.
Disconnecting the kid’s grip, he offered a hand instead.
What he’s not saying is the stupid rider, K’rad of Midnight Belegurth, attacked him. Ancalanath growled, speaking directly to Dalonia for the first time in a very long time.
Dalonia had taken a step towards the creche mother when T'kar spoke. She tensed, expecting some awkward conversation or for him to mention her playing with the children. But it was shop talk. She nearly sighed in relief. She could handle that far more easily than she could anything that even approached being emotionally based. Though once she heard what he had to say, Dalonia slowly turned, her brow furrowed. Avonia was chewing on her own fist, content and oblivious to the sudden shift in the air.
Moving closer now, unaware of the fact that she'd settled Avonia on her hip with the ease of any mother or that she swayed slightly. She opened her mouth to speak when a voice sounded in her head. Ancalanath. She hadn't heard his voice in several months and what he said caused her pale eyes to flash with rage. Even with Avonia on one hip, her other hand went to the hilt of one of her knives. Whoever this K'rad was...he'd attacked T'kar. The fact that he'd been attacked by some of her people was almost irrelevant now. Growling, she looked over the dragonrider and couldn't seem to see anything serious. "Where is he?" Oh she would discipline her people without question, but this K'rad...
The wherhandler didn't look the least bit appeased. There was no excuse to attack T'kar--and the irony of that vehement thought was completely lost on her--she didn't care how injured the man had been. The surly lizard seemed to be of the same opinion. In fact, he seemed to think that the man had known exactly who he was attacking. Though when he revealed that K'rad's dragon had wanted to attack T'kar...She didn't know what T'kar was saying to his beast and she didn't particularly care. She'd faced down Ancalanath once upon a time; going after some out of line Midnight and putting it in its place wasn't out of the realm of possibility at the moment if her expression was anything to go by.
"Yer lizard don't seem to agree." Dalonia said with a scowl. Avonia was finally picking up on the shift in Dalonia's mood and made an uncertain noise which was ignored."So he's in the infirmary then?"
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 13, 2015 16:16:55 GMT -8
T’kar’s nostrils flared as he sucked in a breath. It was an expression that Dalonia would probably have no trouble recognizing, and one that indicated that his control was starting to slip. Of course, the red-orange eyes of the four firelizards hovering above him were also something of an indication of his emotional state.
“Yes, he’s in the infirmary,” T’kar answered, completely unaware that K’rad nearly hadn’t gone. He glanced around. “Look, I think we should probably take this conversation out of here,” he suggested. “Because if Avonia gets upset we’re going to think Ancalanath’s roar was quiet.”
The last thing Dalonia wanted was the children getting upset. She didn't know the first thing about comforting children. She'd never been comforted as a child so how would she be expected to know? She'd learned fast as a child that crying only ever made things worse for her so she'd stopped. "Agreed." The woman said matter of factly and then waved over the woman that was in the corner. She plucked Avonia from Dalonia's arms. The wherhandler frowned momentarily then with a mental summons, Thief took up his perch on Dalonia's shoulder in a flash and hissed when, even after so many months of trying to condition him otherwise, Pest tried to latch onto his human's shirt.
Moving towards the door, no kisses or farewells given to the children, Dalonia waited for T'kar to relinquish Vakaral to the creche woman and once that was done, she slipped out into the corridor. She was tired and more than ready for bed and now this mess. Two separate issues as far as she was concerned. First a few of the guards and her wherhandlers had stepped out of line during training it sounded like. Then there was their victim who had unwisely attacked T'kar. It would take a great deal of convincing to keep Dalonia from paying a little visit to that rider. No man, woman or beast threatened her--she cut off the thought abruptly and scowled. Her what? Her nothing. He wasn't even Weyrleader anymore though she'd be damned if she had to put up with yet another arrogant insufferable dragonrider in addition to T'kar.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 13, 2015 16:51:46 GMT -8
T’kar did kiss Vakaral and Avonia goodbye, but he departed swiftly, for all that. Dalonia was not waiting long. Of course, it was made easier by the fact that he abandoned the belt — the third such sacrifice so far.
“Do you really think you need to get involved between me and my own wingrider?” T’kar asked, voice carefully controlled, as soon as they were safely on the far side of the door.
When T'kar finally joined her in the hall, the strange thought coupled with his words only seemed to increase her agitation. Mainly because she really had no right to get involved aside from disciplining her own people and seeing to it that the guards involved were also taken care of. The fact that he was possibly right was aggravating and still even moreso was the simmering anger that someone had gone after him and she hadn't been there. What if K'rad had had a knife like that crazed candidate? She growled and turned away from T'kar, needing to move.
"Fine, coddle him for all I care! Pat him on the head but don't bother telling me the next time the mutt bites." Dalonia could no longer tell if she was more upset about someone daring to attack a dragonrider under her protection or the strange feelings the attack was stirring up. Strange, almost possessive feelings similar and yet entirely different to the way she felt about Dalosk and his little Citrine shadow, Misk.
Post by Ghost of Fire (Fëanáro) on Jan 14, 2015 7:53:28 GMT -8
T’kar growled. Absolutely insufferable woman! Why was it that any possible attempt at a conversation with her ended this way? Did she sit down and study the ways in which she could be the most infuriating?
“Since you’ve so graciously extended your permission, I believe I’ll just go do that,” T’kar said. Turning, he stalked off down the corridor, towards the formal meeting hall. He would dearly have loved to add some comment about the fact that she had better remember to deal with her people, but even in his current frame of mind he knew that would be going too far.
A stray thought recalled what else K’rad had been involved with, and T’kar grimaced. The rider was a nuisance at times, and the dragon… He still couldn’t believe the boy had managed to get through his entire Weyrling period without learning firestone drills, though Igen had finally confirmed that he had been one of theirs, transferred due to “excess numbers” which T’kar knew full well probably meant that Igen’s leadership had taken one look at the dragon’s hide and ordered them gone.
You know, that could explain why he’s got such good combat reflexes. He probably didn’t enjoy living at Igen very much. Now that he thought of it, that probably also explained the dragon’s occasional of attitude. It didn’t excuse it, not really, but it probably explained it.