Winter - Month 2 of Turn 2716
Half Moon Bay Weyr - Tidal Pools

Up a path from the lagoon sits a plateau of tidal pools. The shallowness of the pools combined with the dark stone they're made up of means that Rukbat beating on the pools in the daytime keeps them warm. The rock has been hewn gently on most of the pools to allow for ledges to sit on while still in the water. The pools allow for a more private, relaxed atmosphere than the beach below. When they are occupied, it is not uncommon to see a waitress or waiter come up from the Tiki Lounge to serve drinks to the occupants.

Though she's been back at the weyr proper for nearly a month, it's hard reconnecting with old friends after a turn of chaos. Still if there's one place Tani can usually be found at the end of the day it's at the tidal pools, hauling up a few more oysters into one of the tidal pools she's been using as a holding pen. There's a small bucket with ice and what looks like Istan beer, one opened from which the diver sips slicking back her hair with her free hand, A glance shifting out to the horizon where a storm moves away from the island.

A turn is a long time. A lot can happen in a turn. People can grow (though Sev didn't. At least not up. Faranth knows he doesn't NEED to, he's already a freakin' giant), and change. Evolve. It's been a long time, but Sev still knows where to go if he's trying to find Tanit. There's a boldness to his movement now, a confidence in the way he walks on sand and stone that speaks to long hours of practice; a hard-won grace that is less… feline-fluidity and more powerful assertion. An awareness of himself and his body and how it performs. He's not clumsy; way less likely to trip over himself than he was the last time they met. But at his core, S'van is the same person he was; with the same half-grin and mischievous grey gaze, and cheerful, easy greeting. "Hey Tanit," as he rounds a bounder and spies the diver; as if he knew all along she'd be there. As if they haven't seen each other in over a Turn. "Catch anything good?"

There is the merest hesitation, just a fraction of an instant as she hears her name, or rather the voice attached. Sea-green eyes focus on the bronzerider, taking in the little details. The confident stride, and perhaps a thousand other little details that are different, and yet at the core it's still the same boy she made friends with all that time ago. She is different too, though perhaps not very. Rounder in places, more feminine and her dive suit is half unzipped revealing the bikini and ink beneath. A sign maybe that she too has gotten more comfortable in her own skin. The smile though, that is the same as ever. "As if I would catch anything that wasn't good. Are you going to eat half as always or did you finally fill that hollow spot and now eat like a normal person?" She teases, perching on the edge of the pool fishing her knife from it's sheath at her thigh.

A sweep of grey eyes, head to feet and back, and a small falter of that smile. Because things change, and sometimes change is frightening. But it's fleeting, and then S'van is back to grinning once more, dropping himself down into a comfortable spot as if he owned the place. That hasn't changed, either. "True. I've been totally deprived while you've been gone; having to settle for less than the best." He settles in, shifting a little before leaning back against a convenient boulder. "Hey. Hey now. I eat like a normal person!" Just… ten of them. "And dragonriding is hard work. I need all the calories I can get."

Tanit laughs. "Then I suppose you don't mind helping shuck these then. passing the knife and a few oysters over while she retrieves another. "So did I miss anything good?" Her knife flashing to part the oyster from a shell, knocking back the first with a satisfied sound.

"Seems a fair price to pay," agrees S'van, leaning forward to accept the knife and the bounty. He considers the blade briefly before getting to work; moving into a practiced rhythm after the first or second shuck of shell happens. "I've missed this," he decides, glancing up briefly to flash Tanit a smile before his eyes go back to his work. No need to risk death or dismemberment with a careless knife-slice. "I did a little diving while you were gone. Nothing extreme, and I didn't get much, but it was fun," for what might have been missed. And then after a short pause and, with eyes distinctly cast on his hands and NOT at Tanit, he tells her, "Sephany had a baby," in that casual voice one uses when the subject is anything BUT casual in nature. Weighted, those words. Unresolved emotions tangled up in the experience they describe. "What about you? Did you get the pod settled?"

Bottle lifted to her lips Tanit just grins in response to being missed. "I have too. Cenrie is great company doesn't get me wrong but - " There's something about friends that feels easier. Anything else she might have said is lost at the mention of Sephany. She might seem a bit paler for the words, or perhaps it's the unresolved emotions. Is it guilt or something else that flushes her expression? "You sound like you aren't too sure how you feel about that. Her having a kid I mean. Is the guy decent at least?" Leaving off talk of home for a while.

Thankfully for Tanit, Sev's absorbed in pretending to be absorbed in the working of knife and the shucking of shells. So he does not see those little signs that might otherwise have warranted further questioning. Her own questions for him, predictable though they may be, still cause the bronzerider to pause and hesitation before answering. "It's complicated," he decides, tossing a half-shell away and lifting the one with the meat to his mouth. A tip back, a swallow. "It's Jae." The father. "It was a goldflight," and the look he flashes her, brief thought it may be, is loaded with implication. Gold flights. We know all about gold flights, don't we? "Seph was staying with us. A gold went up. Leketh chased…" A shake of his head. "She made some poor choices with how she handled it. The pregnancy I mean, but… can't go back. He's a cute kid," he offers. "I visit him. He's fostered at Igen with my mom. Seph went back to Fort to continue her apprenticeship." A huff, and another oyster is pried open. "You and Cenrie still… OK?"

"Well, that would explain why the guy is still alive." Tanit offers lamely, falling into the Rhythm of moving the knife through the shell. More guilt at the mention of goldflights has her washing down the rest of her beer and reaching for another of the bottles. "Sev, whatever choices she made - you can't hold that against her. What she went through, what anyone goes through in that kind of situation. You do the best you know how and try to make the choice that is best for everyone." Mention of Cenrie has the knife slipping. enough to graze skin barely. She lifts the injured finger to her mouth, to stop the red drops. "We aren't together anymore, not the way it used to be." She answers finally, sounding much older with the admission.

More shells, more oysters, though they're placed in a neat and orderly row in the sand beside his leg, rather than immediately consumed. It's not a slow process, but Sev is not hurried. He's not rushing, despite earlier words of deprivation. It's more about the casual act; the familiarity. The simplicity of sitting and talking and putting himself to work at something that brings back countless memories. "I don't," blame Sephany. "Not at all," and he almost sounds startled at the implication. "She was young. She did what she thought was best… but I was shocked. Hurt. Felt a little betrayed… but I forgave her. Of course I did. She's my sister. It's Jae… he's having a hard time with it. It's hard to explain but…" and he just shakes his head. "He's having a hard time with it." And he just leaves it at that, rather than try to delve into the mysterious psyche that is his weyrmate. A glance, and those grey eyes fix on Tanit. "Oh… I'm sorry…" and shells go down, along with the knife, attention firmly on the dolphineer. "Are you alright? I know you really liked him."

"You both are riders Sev, and you know - we both have felt the pull of a gold flight and its consequences." No more eating, just the scrape of the knife against shells. "It could have turned out worse I suppose. If she believed the kid belonged to someone else only to discover that oops. No. It belonged to Jae." Tanit sighs at the question, "No, I'm not. I wish I could lie and say I don't miss him, That I didn't miss waking up next to him every day for the last year." Lips press and part, several times, the act of breathing becoming more an act of starting to speak only to fall silent. "It isn't his fault. Faranth, he went with me to black moon for nearly a turn, my parents adore him. If I could have -" stayed? Been ready? Settled down? Whatever the right words are they don't come. "I asked him to come back here with me, but he went back to Ista. I could have gone with him, Faranth I should have. He stayed with me in Black Moon but when the time came - I didn’t move to Ista for him.”

"I know," agrees the bronzerider. "I just meant… well… I wanted you to understand that it wasn't his fault, either." J'en. No blame there. No blame on Sephany, either. Just no blame at all, if Sev had his way. But people are complicated, and emotions more so. "Ugh, I don't really want to think about Sephany sleeping with anyone else," and he makes a face. One Tanit would recognize, though it was certainly no longer used when discussing them. But Seph really IS his little sister; he's allowed to be uncomfortable with the idea of her being intimate. "There was a boy," an adult, but hey, "at Fort that I heard she'd gotten involved with. I guess it went south, though…" before S'van could gallantly go ruin things for her. But then they're moving on, and Sev is happy to talk about something other than the complicated cluster-fuck that is his sister having his weyrmate's baby. "It's not your fault, either," he offers. But what advice he has? Not much… "I'm sorry," repeated because he is, and he doesn't know what else to say. "At least… it didn't end badly?" he cautions. "And it was good, while it lasted?"

“I don’t get your weyrmate Sev, I will never see him the way you do. That is probably for the best.” She smirks at Sev knowing all too well. “I can think of about six different things I could say that would make you green around the gills, but out of love for our friendship I will refrain.” Of Sephany, Tanit sighs. The strangest expression crosses her face when he says it isn’t her fault either. And for a moment, she can’t help but wonder if he knows. The thought is dismissed when talk moves on to Cenrie. “Well, Jae can say he was right about me or whatever he likes now I suppose.” The last, “Yeah it was almost perfect, the only flaw was me.” Bottle lifted, Tanit downs another swig, shaking her head. “I just - couldn’t stay.” She laughs, then, “Mom is pretty happy though, even though she lost out on the ‘perfect’ son in law, she and dad managed another kid. Twins in fact.” ..

“Good thing he’s mine and not yours then, hm?” quips S’van, mostly in jest. But there’s a bit of tightness in those grey eyes; a bit of tension through his shoulders and the way he sits on the sand. Casual, but not. He moves back into the habit of shelling oysters, if just to give his hands something to do. But he only manages the one before he’s pausing and glancing her way again. “I honestly don’t think he gives a shit,” for Jae’s opinion on Tanit, and what he may say about her. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem to think about him a lot more than he thinks about you.” A shrug of his shoulders, and he tosses an empty shell to the side. “You were with the guy for over a Turn. And just cause it’s over doesn’t mean it was a failure. You’re just… different people living different lives. Nothing wrong with that.” And maybe another oyster was about to get halved, except that he’s once more distracted; this time by announcements of siblings that has him looking… more shocked and apprehensive. “Wow… really?” Pause. Frown. “I thought… I mean you never really said outright but you pretty much insinuated that your mom couldn’t have kids. And now twins?” And then he seems to sort of catch himself, and hastily adds, “Congratulations. To her, I mean.” Awkward.

“I generally only think about Jae in the context of you or Cenrie anymore.” Tanit retorts with a look, that suggest perhaps whatever Sev is implying he shouldn’t imply it. Not that Tanit understands whatever that implication is. “I just - I feel guilty about it S’van. I feel guilty about a lot of things lately.” A sigh before his scrutiny and her realization of the slip has Tanit swallowing hard. “She can’t.” Drawing a breath slowly chewing over what words to say next. “They are fosters but there’s enough of a resemblance that no one would ever ask, sea-green eyes run in her side of the family. They are fosters, but they aren’t to be told. I mean it would hurt wouldn’t it? To know that your birth mother didn’t want you - whatever the reasons might be.” Tanit sighs, “And I think it would hurt Mom too, because she loves them with everything she has.” The knife resumes scraping, Sea-green eyes not lifting or even daring to glance over to S’van.

“Sure,” for thinking about J’en, but S’van just leaves it at that. Implications or lack of them, he’s just going to get back to shucking some oysters (and probably eat one or two) and move right along into the conversation of Tanit’s mom. And kids. And whether or not those kids belong to Tanit’s mom. “Ah,” for the fostering, and there’s a slight nod of his head that is more acknowledgement of her words than necessarily being agreement with them. “It sounds like it worked out well, then. Your mom gets to raise more babies; and I know you said before that she’s always wanted more kids,” a flash of a glance, and a grin. “And they get an amazing mom and dad out of the deal. Win-win, right?” As for not telling them? A drop of his gaze to what his hands (and knife) are doing, and a shrug of his shoulders. “I dunno. I mean, I’ve never thought about it. And I’ve never been in that position, so can’t say if I’d be hurt or not. Fostering Isn't that uncommon around here. Not sure how it is for Black Moon, though. Either way, that’s between your mom and them.” Not him. “How old are they?” asked in polite curiosity.

“If you were in that situation, with one of the riders Aedeluth catches, what would you do?” Tanit asks casually laughing, “You have met my dad, Vesta won't have a boy go near her until she’s Twenty. Vey is growing like a weed, and he will probably be a fucking giant, and if he works with dad he’ll have the muscle to back it. They get to live in paradise with people who will love them. Sounds like a good deal to me.” The scrape of the knife can be heard as she does the mental math, but answers honestly enough. I think about six months give or take? There was a pretty bad storm the night they were born.” The thought brings to mind Cenrie again, and how he’d been there through the whole thing, despite how he hated storms. She pushes over the remaining oysters, no longer hungry. “Fostering isn’t all that uncommon, though the kids are usually island blooded in some way. Usually the offspring of one of the people who wind up not coming back either because they impressed or joined a craft.” Tanit shifts back to rest her chin on her knees, watching the water. “I am sorry things got complicated for you because of what happened with Jae and Seph.” The new vantage makes it easier to see Cenrie’s latest handiwork. Two fish one chasing the other in sunset red and black as they might be viewed from the top. It is small, no larger than a mark, but there.

S’van frowns, head tipped just to the side as he contemplates the hypothetical . “I honestly don’t know?” he admits, serious despite the casual nature of the question. “I suppose it would depend on the other rider, and what her wishes were. There’re a lot of variables there,” which is why he’s just going to be moving right along. “I’m not disputing the choice,” he continues when overprotective father figures and living in paradise are mentioned. There’s a grin playing at the corners of his mouth. “Sounds like a good deal to me, too. Sign me up.” Another shell goes into the pile, the other half lifted to his mouth for consumption of the meat within. “Is it weird, having siblings who are so much younger? I mean, my family’s kinda known for things like that, but there’re at least a few of us scattered between Sephany and Maevenna,” his eldest sister. It’s mostly hypothetical, and he doesn’t expect an answer. Especially when the subject of complications between mate and sister arise. A sigh for that. “It’s just…” and he almost lifts a hand to rub at his eyes, before thinking better of it. “It is what it is, I guess. Seph made a wrong choice, and Jae is pissed for it. I can’t say that I blame him for it, and I know he’ll eventually get over it because…” because Sephany is Sev’s sister, and not getting over it would make things uncomfortable between them. “Eh. Seph has her own issues, too,” which ought to display aptly enough that the blind spot he’d previously had for his favorite sister is starting to… fade. Grey eyes certainly catch that new bit of artwork, but rather than comment there is a renewed interest in the shelling of oysters; perhaps because he knows who would have put it on her and bringing him up again seems unwise.

“Everything about them feels strange.” The dolphineer laughs, “But - in a good way I suppose.” Of Sev taking on the role of overprotective - well, she laughs harder. “Poor girl.” Her chin tips sideways, studying the bronzerider with mention of Sephany. “What mistake would that have been? Being in a weyr during a goldflight?” There’s a slight edge that is protective of the younger woman. “Everybody does, it is the downside to being human, we discover every day that we are not the perfect amazing people we think we are.” She smirks, “So what - are you going to take the big pseudo brother role on for all my family? I’m not quite sure how my father would feel about that - either he’d like to bloody your nose more, or perhaps a little less for that fact.“

A funny expression crosses the bronzrider’s face. “I thought we’d already established that her sleeping with him wasn’t the issue?” Clearly, wrong place, wrong time, is not the bad decision Sev was referring to. “Why would Jae hold that against her? And why would I?” A snort, and he turns back to the working of knife and shells. “I don’t really want to get into it, OK? Because either you’re going to get pissed at Jae, or you’ll get pissed at her, and I just don’t want to deal with either of those things. Go ask Seph. She can decide if she wants to talk about it.” As for taking on the role of big brother? A dry sort of laugh and a quick, “Yeah, no thanks. I think I’ve got enough on my plate. And I seem to be collecting pseudo little-sisters all over the place. Do you know Kelani, the little healer apprentice? Oh no, she’s a journeyman now,” he corrects himself quickly. And she’s not exactly ‘little’ but… when you’re six-feet-five-inches, everyone is little in comparison. “She’s got me training her in self-defense.”

“I can’t think of anything else it could be.” But whatever else she might have said falls short. “Kelani, yeah - I think she had a thing for Kalen?” Because that will totally take the conversation away from danger zones. “It’s not a bad idea to know, but what the hell is she doing that she needs to know that kind of shit? Unless she’s set on being something other than a healer they keep people in the infirmary for that sort of thing.”

S’van is just going to… by pass that final remark on Sephany vs. Weyrmate and move right along into self-defense-training healer-vigilante types. “I don’t think that’s a thing anymore… or even got off the ground in the first place,” but since he DOES NOT WANT TO KNOW, he will just stop right there and answer that next question. “Well, it didn’t really start so much with self-defense as… coordination.” Yes. Sev now teaches people now not to trip over their feet. The irony. “Had to do with some injury she sustained at Monaco… anyways.” A brief side-eye when he continues with, “She’s studying trauma. The self-defense part comes because she wants to help with Search and Rescue, which sometimes does result in dangerous situations. It’s been interesting… teaching someone something.”

“I fail to see the connection, well hand eye coordination maybe, but the rest…” Does not compute. “Well I mean it does look like you're not you know getting tangled up in your own straps and dangling by the ankle so I guess I could understand that? How is the rest of your life going.”

Another funny look, this one complete with arched eyebrow and half-twist to the corner of his mouth. “Really? You don’t see the connection between safety-skills and search and rescue?” Sev asks, attempting to clarify. “Come on, Tanit. You’re a dolphineer. Surely you understand better than most how being in a life-threatening situation can make people act… crazy.” A snort, and a quick catch of the knife in the final oyster, deftly cracking it open. “I’ve been training with Jae for over two Turns now. My days of tripping over things are past.” JUST IGNORE THE BROKEN TOE INCIDENT, OKAY! As for the rest of his life. “I suppose outside of everything else,” which is plenty, “that life is pretty good.” A bit of shell is playfully flicked her direction, falling far, far short of actually touching her (which was the point) before he asks, “And yours?”

“Crazy yes, needing to be able to knock out a grown man crazy no. And let's be honest, when they call me in it’s usually not for the living.” The stuff of nightmares. She’s a dive specialist after all. Still “But if it works it works,” Mention of Jae has her sighing. “You don’t get as many scars as that man has without learning how to stop some of them from ever happening again I suppose.” There’s a distinct frown, but perhaps more for the associations than for Jae himself. “I take it you two are still all over each other?” The tease is lighthearted as she props herself back on her elbows.

“I’m not teaching her to knock out a grown man,” snorts S’van, rolling his eyes. “Just how to keep a grown man from knocking her out, intentionally or otherwise.” As for when they call Tanit in? There’s a grimace of disgust mixed with sympathy. It’s the mention of scars that has all sorts of expressions crossing that face of his, and none of them are very pleasant. Whatever the image brought to mind, it’s enough to distract him from her question. A heart-beat. Two. And then a huff of feigned annoyance. “Rude. He IS my weyrmate. I’m allowed to be all over him.” The knife is cleaned as carefully as possible with a bit of his shirt, which is certainly going to leave a stain, and then offered back. “Careful now. If you tease me about him, I get to tease you about whoever you end up with.” But he is still sensitive to the recent break-up, so his tone is gentle when he says it.

“Fair enough.” Leaving off discussion of Kelani, but the expressions which flicker over Sev’s face are noted. “Of course, and I expect it, if I ever end up with anyone again.” The smile warm despite the topic, “I know that look, what happened with you two?”

“Nothing happened… between us,” prefaces the bronzerider, a strained expression crossing his face. S’van hesitates, glancing between Tanit and the ocean and then back to her before his gaze drops to something safe. Like a rock, or a patch of sand. “Let’s just say… I now know exactly how he got those scars,” and the way he says ‘exactly’ means exactly. Every excruciating detail of how they came to be on his body, and everything that went along with it. It’s a tired sounding word; worn and weary and full of restraint because that’s what Sev has been doing lately; restraining himself from expressing the emotions that this new information has brought forth. “It was…” but he has no words for what it was, because whatever he might say would be inaccurate and inadequate.

The space between them is closed, an arm wrapping around him in a side armed hug, head resting against his shoulder if only because he’s too damn big to rest it anywhere else. Some moments don't need words. So there she stays, listening.

He was doing rather well with this whole ‘repression’ thing. Sev’s practiced at it. Putting his own needs aside while he takes care of someone else’s. Whether wrong or right, that’s simply the way it is. But there’s something about the wrap of that arm, and the lean of that head, that sorta breaks the hold. Hands to face, and while there are no tears, there’s definitely a staggered sort of inhale; an attempt to regroup and maintain a least a little control over the emotions that threaten him. “I knew there was evil in the world, Tanit,” he murmurs in a voice that is rough with restrained emotion. “But I didn’t know… how evil it really was.” But he does now.

The embrace only tightens as the flow of stifled emotions begins to trickle out. Enough to let him know she’s there. Quietly mourning that loss of his innocence, and the horrors visited on the person he loves. “I wish you didn’t have to know Sev.” Tanit admits quietly at last, “I wish that the only monsters in the world were the creatures I see during dives.” Another breath of the familiar tropic air has her whole frame shudder with a heavy sigh. “But, I think that is why there are people like you in the world. The ones who are willing to slay the monsters.” A beat, and she draws a breath as though to add something, but exhales instead perhaps thinking better of it.

"I'd never wanted to kill someone before…" prefaces S'van. "But now I'm really glad he's already dead." Because otherwise Sev might have literally slayed that monster. There's a swing of his arm that hooks around her waist in a return embrace that seeks comfort for himself as well as show appreciate for that solidarity. A few deep breaths and he drops his other hand, though he's distinctly looking toward the sand rather than the dolphineer. "It was worth it though," for learning about those evils. "It's like this huge weight has been lifted from him. I don't think he's ever told anyone what he told me. I wouldn't take it back."

Sea-green eyes focus on the dance of the waves, nodding against his shoulder as Sev speaks of murderous intents and villains already gone. The familiar comfort and solidarity of the embrace releasing a tension she hadn’t quite realized she’d been carrying. “No, no you wouldn’t regret it you are the kind of person who faces the monsters and does their best to keep the victims from becoming monsters in their own eyes. It’s just who you are.” Bare toes dig into the sand, savoring the sensation of the grit, giving her mouth a chance to catch up with her thoughts. “You can’t go through the kind of shit Jae’s been through and not have it twist you up inside. You pack it down, hide it any way you can, pretend that it doesn’t matter but it does.” She exhales slowly, “I doubt he even understands right now how much he needed to get it off his chest, I am glad that you could help him with it.” Her head tilts up, focusing her attention on the line of S’van’s jaw, “But don’t forget to take care of you. If you need someone just to listen to help you shoulder the shit that gets thrown at you, you always know how to find me.” Her smile is soft, slanting crookedly, though likely unseen from the awkward vantage, “I’m not a great person, nor the most dependable, but for you I will always be willing to listen. It is what friends are for right?”

"Just because I'm a dragonrider? That's not really my fault…" well. Except it kinda is. Cause he didn't have to say yes to that white knot. But choices were made, and the consequences (at least one of them) is that surly bronze beast that calls S'van his own. "Guess it's a good thing I didn't come say hi. I mean… I can hold my breath for a while — I've been practicing diving by the way," added as an aside, "But I don't think I'd survive being drowned." He seems perfectly content to let arms remain where they are, settling into his spot as comfortably as possible. "Cenrie's not a dragonrider," noted easily enough. "S'probably why he liked him a whole lot better. But yeah… that sucks," again, for them breaking it off. And Sev is definitely not the one to ask about the minds of men. Does he even know his own mind most of the time? No. Probably not.

"Oh, even better! Good to know it's specifically my dragon's hide that he objects to," but Sev is clearly teasing as there isn't even a hint of malice in that tone of voice, his smile wide and honest. "He's good. Now that we're actually doing Search and Rescue and settled in, he's doing really well. He's still Aede," which means he's still a dick, "but he enjoys being good at his job. And he's really good at it." And so is Sev, even if he won't admit it. "Not forgotten," he assures her. "Dragons might have crap memories, but he's pretty good at plucking things from mine if he thinks his own has gotten fuzzy. Not that he'll admit that," with a snort of amusement for his dragon. "I'm sure he'd be happy for a bath any time you want to give him one." Of Cenrie he says nothing more, but of the island and the Weyr? "I know what you mean. When I first got here, it felt foreign. Nice, cause I was looking to get away from Igen… but it was still weird and new. And then it became home, and I'm not sure when that happened," but it might have had something to do with a 'who', "but even before Impressing Aedeluth, it just felt right."

”Well then, I suppose I should pay bath tribute then.” She falls silent though, as Sev speaks of how Half Moon became home, and it is a sentiment she shares. The two continue talking and eating and catching up well into the evening, making up for lost time.”

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