No-Crying Zone

Half Moon Bay Weyr - Galleries
An amphitheater cut of rock with row after row of hard benches to sit on. The galleries have a good view of the sands below and the action that takes place there during every hatching. Despite the times, people still come to see the new pairs formed and place bets on the outcome.

It's late evening and the bog of summer hangs heavy over the weyr, heat and humidity oppressive and unrelenting. The barest brush of a breeze coming off the beach hints that there might be relief yet, but R'hyn is tucked away in the one place that will never reach: the galleries. Abandoning his usual haunt tucked between bleachers, the bronzerider has opted to sit on the floor before the railings instead, arms crossed over a low rung to prop up his chin as he stares down at the dark sands below, lost in thoughts. Chances are good these thoughts are not only his own - Xermiltoth is present, too, great bronze body curled half-in and half-out of the sands. Slow-whirling eyes are visible in the gloom below, tail and toetips visible from the galleries entrance beyond. As if that weren't enough, his mind is wide and loud, not with words but with imagery, gold and diamonds shifting and coalescing in shapes that come and go on a gentle melody. Ovoids. Wings. The sparkle of light on water. Curling waves. Rounded bellies touched by gentle hands. A textbook-esque baby with curled arms and legs. They cycle visibly into the minds of any who venture too close to the sands, unbidden, unwelcome, but perhaps just charming enough to be forgiven.

Still wearing the day's tunic, feet dragging a little, Cita has little to do but follow the diamonds — or the shapes, forming and unforming, flashes of light and babies. Finding Xermiltoth isn't the hard part; that's going to be climbing the stairs. She takes a moment, though, edging around bronzebutt into the entrance to the sands, patting the dragon's side and murmuring something probably-encouraging before she skeedadles. By the time she's climbed to the ledge's level, the healer is heaving dramatic breaths and muttering loudly. "My holding for a breeze. Wherry of a place to hide." She grumbles, shuffling down the rail and throwing herself down next to R'hyn without a lot of grace. The healer tugs off her tunic and rolls up her breeches to her knees, yanking boots off to set by the tunic. Down to bare feet and an undershirt is apparently far enough, though, and Cita huffs. "Xermi's maundering is pretty, tonight." Is her greeting, tired but amused; she tilts her head to peer sidelong, an eyebrow tilting upwards. "How much is his and how much is yours?" Beat around the bush? Why on Pern would she do that.

Eggs. A golden dragon flanked by suitors. The sands before him. Citayzleat. Yes, poor Cita, Xermiltoth broadcasts her arrival long before huffs and puffs can give her away. The harlequinned bronze's head disappears briefly from R'hyn's view as Xermi turns to nuzzle whatever parts of the Healer he can manage, images scattering into playful dazzling diamonds. The big bronze whuffles after her retreating form, aiming to send clothes billowing before he turns back and sprawls out again to resume his contented daydreaming. R'hyn, meanwhile, doesn't dare move to so much as face Citayzleat; he, too, is stripped down to shorts and even then sweat visibly clings to prominent musculature, but he doesn't seem to notice or particularly mind. His crooked smile for Cita's graceless arrival is gentle, gaze warm as he nods once, twice in agreement before focusing back down towards the sprawled dragon. "That's new. Started since he won the flight; said that words weren't entirely enough." And judging by his tone, much of R'hyn agrees, but he also slants a wry look towards Cita that plainly reads, 'can you believe it?!' The mischievous look is brief, fleeting in the face of her brow-tilted question, one that elicits a smile that is likewise beyond the capability of words to appropriately capture. It is brilliant and proud, soft and exuberant, nerve-wracked and thrilled, young and ageless, a million different things that both brightens and softens his features before some measure of bashfulness bids him tilt his face away, try to suppress wicked-stupid happiness as he corrects with a quiet, "Ours." Xermiltoth obliges where R'hyn can't or won't, golden crystals coalescing in Cita's mind: those are Ila'den's hands pressed against a swelled stomach, expression eased into something gentle from its usual wicked wit. That's R'hyn with the baby-imaged book smushed up against his laughing face as he tries to fend off an unfamiliar woman. The images go as quickly as they come, and R'hyn holds his peace when they go, expression still parked somewhere fond as he awaits potential reaction.

Cita watches Xermi below with amusement, propping arms on the rail and chin on her arms to eye the bronze with fond amusement. Even if it is a million degrees in here, well, it's not so bad, is it? R'hyn's nod and smile get a fleeting grin from the healer — here, then gone, replaced by a moue of thoughtful contemplation again. "Words not enough?" Eyebrows climb into messy hairline, as Cita turns a little, canting her head just for effect. She does believe it, but only because here it is, plainly visible for all to see. Literally. Kicking her feet a little and huffing under her breath, the journeyman processes that, wiggling toes in the shimmering drifts of heated air coming off of the sands below. When she looks back up, R'hyn's face is doing things, and Cita watches with curiosity; then he goes bashful and looks away, hiding his face but not near well enough. Cita's grin is very possibly blinding, and the laugh that bubbles up most likely helpless, something nearing the giggle territory. Bashful R'hyn, honestly. But then he says something quietly, and — images, gold and warm, and the healer's breath catches a little. Instead of disappearing, the smile ratchets up, crinkling her eyes nearly closed. "Shells." Swallowing some emotion or other, bringing a hand up to push hair out of her face (and coincidentally, entirely, pass by her eyes), she laughs, clears her throat once. "Your babies are going to be gorgeous." Confidence, here, as the grin fades into a little smile and shaky laugh. Kicking her feet again, Cita huffs, turns the wistful smile on Xermi below. She's quiet for a minute, mulling something over, heels clicking on the smooth stone in regular intervals. It takes her some time to formulate her feeling-words, but when she speaks again, it's with confidence again. "You're both," Beat, eyes cut back down to Xermi. "All three," Better. "Going to be amazing." An adjective stronger than 'good' or even 'great'? Maybe that was what took so long. The healer nods, once, firm. She's sure of that much, at least.

"Mmh," R'hyn confirms, lips quirking up at the corners for head-canted questions, answering even though the question seems ultimately rhetorical, "never thought I'd see the day. If I knew all it'd take was him catching a gold, I'd've visited a lot more weyrs." Not really, though. The words are meant only to tease the bronze out of his reverie, and it works, words of various viciousness in terms of public acceptability written and struck out on the private golden backdrop of his mind before he settles on a very-intelligent, « SHUT UP. » Booming words earn a ripple of laughter from the bronzerider, laughter that takes a particularly hysterical edge for that sunbright grin from Cita. He waits out the images, his own body still save for that warm upwards quirk of his lips, quirks that deepen into true dimples because he can't help returning that smile no matter how hard he tries. Lips split into a brilliant grin, head ducking to press forehead to forearms because no she was definitely only pushing back her hair, stop it, thou rampant sea of emotions, the man making a vague noise towards their children being beautiful that might be agreement or might be proclaiming their doom but don't worry he's got this and— Oh, no, there it goes. Cita speaks into the long pause that ensues and R'hyn loses whatever fragile hold he had on his emotions. Blue-grey eyes lift, no less stellar, no less buoyant despite the silvery shimmer of tears threatening to well over, despite the quivers at the corners of his mouth that try to ruin the grin that he laughs through huffed little exhales that end on a sharp nasal intake of breath. Then: "Cita… I'm gonna be a dad." The words barely make it out before he's shifting to pull her in for a one-armed hug that's probably a little gross but is also probably as much for her good as it is for his as he buries his face against her hair and honest-to-Faranth cries. It isn't the great world-ending weepings of sorrow, but instead the shuddering, shaky breaths of a person containing so much, too much emotion that this is the only way it can spill over, in tiny quakes and thrills that can't decide if they should be laughter or dancing or rooftops-screaming and so they are this, these trembles that move through all of him, are fingers that lace into Citayzleat's hair to keep her there just a second longer as emotion breaks through again in a sharp burst of air that might be a laugh or might be an honest sob before he finally, finally tries to pull himself together. A tremulous inhale drags oxygen back into his lungs, gets breathed back out in a fashion that tries so hard to be 'steadying' before he presses a kiss to the crown of her head, as much thanks as it is apology as he finally lets her go, withdrawing into his own space to smear the heels of his hands against his eyes and attempt to speak through choking little giggles. "Fuck. Sorry. I'm just—" So. Happy. He doesn't have to say it, but it's there in red eyes that blink towards the dark cavern's ceiling, in the ridiculous grin he tries to smudge away into palms that rub over and over his face again until he can finally pull himself together enough to complete a whole sentence. "Thank you. I certainly hope so. Thank Faranth we have Ila'den, yeah?" Aww lookit him try to make jokes as if he doesn't think his weyrmate is the best dad of all time. It's adorable.

Cita may or may not have been wiping tears, there, WHAT'S IT TO YOU. She also may or may not be shoving them back with a massive trashcan lid, stomping furiously and carrying on because THIS IS A NO-CRYING ZONE IS WHAT IT IS. Except there goes Ryn's damn face again, doing things and wibbling, and well. It's only a matter of time, now. Coughing a laugh around a suddenly impossibly tight throat, Cita nods, sharp and decisive. "You are." She agrees, choked, and at least R'hyn has the decency to hide his face in her hair while he cries, because the healer's joining right in. Furiously squeezing one-armed, she sniffs loudly; emitting an utterly undignified noise that might have been meant to be a laugh but comes out garbled and wobbly around all of its edges. She's not going anywhere, either, shuffling a little closer to get a better grip on her attempt to squeeze the life out of Ryn one armed. It's easier to focus, there, than the tears trailing merrily down her face or the hapless hiccups of stop-this-right-sharding-now. It's hard to try and manage a protective hover from the tucked-under spot, but Cita manages, hunching shoulders and wrapping her arm up around the bronzerider's neck. Pat-pat-pat, and then he's letting her go and the healer is pulling on her best (read: truly, utterly terrible) Dignified Face, still kind of hovering Just In Case. It lasts about two seconds before she's grinning, again, laughing a laugh that is at least mostly wobble-free. "Nothing to be sorry for." Cita huffs, and hey, her voice doesn't shake! Score one for Citayzleat. Who is grinning, just as dumbly, down at the dragon below them, swinging her legs like a kid. The swinging slows as the dumb grin settles, goes sneaky and soft in a way that suggests she's getting away with something, here. "Ila's going to cry for sure." Is her conspirator's whisper, sidelong, eyes alight. It's totally not just going to be them doing the crying, y'see. Not that they were crying. WHY WOULD THEY HAVE BEEN. OR WOULD THEY.

It takes R'hyn exactly one forever to trust himself to speak again, whatever composure he'd managed for that singular jest dissolving again with a throat that repeatedly tries to close over words, too many words, too many damnit, no, not again. R'hyn clears his throat and shoves valiantly right past the part where he sheds even more tears, instead leaning to bump his shoulder gently against Cita's with a low, "And you'll make a great aunt." Lest she thought she wasn't going to be part of this. HAH, Cita. HAH. "Ugh. Fuck," R'hyn swears again, letting his head thump against his forearms one last time, speaking from the tucked position with an only slightly-muffed, "Gonna be a dad." Disgusting. It's that slyness that gets him, that finally tilts Heryn's chin so he can watch Citayzleat with one part concern, one part fondness, eyes glittering with so much pleasure at the idea of Ila'den crying that it should almost be illegal, even as he murmurs a quiet, "His face, Cita. His face when that baby kicked his hand…" There's a reason Xermiltoth still has that image, despite foibles of draconic memory; it's one the bronzerider will forever keep folded away in the recesses of his mind. His face is gentle as he thinks said thought, a small frown twitching his brows when he realizes he's thought said thought and then: "Ugh. This is ridiculous. I have to go." The words are abruptly uttered, but Ryn takes his time about the actual doing of it, once again looping his arm around Cita's shoulder to pull the woman to him, content to just pause there a moment, watch as his lazing dragon rumbles low and lets whirling eyes fill with contentment, contentment R'hyn reflects down to his very bones when he finally releases Cita into the wild with a gruff, "See you soon, 'kay?" And off he goes, definitely not to meet Ila'den at the bottom of the stairs, definitely not to have eyes well up again, definitely not to have his face taken between calloused hands, observed, and for once definitely not protest when he's picked up and carried away with his head buried into the bronzerider's neck. No. No crying here. Not for Cita, not for Ila, not for Ryn, not for anybody. And they never ever cried again. THE END.

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