Youth

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.


Depending on who one speaks to, there are those who say that Elixyvette doesn’t sleep and others who say that she doesn’t eat. There are also those who suggest she doesn’t eat or sleep, but surely they must be some degree of incorrect. At any rate, tonight she certainly isn’t sleeping and is likely breaking curfew when she takes quiet steps into the stands and wanders along them until she finds a seat that she deems to be the one she wishes to settle in. Shedding her footwear, she draws her knees up and wraps one arm around them, propping her chin on her knees as she stares down at queen and eggs, seemingly not too focused on any on shell in particular. Her free hand lifts to clamp around whatever it is strung onto one of the silver chains around her neck, her grip white-knuckled.

Sleep is overrated, especially when it tends to happen randomly during those long stretches of day when Celimoth demands her rider’s presence to be constant. Kadesh has a chair with pillows on the sands but at times it gets too hot even for the Junior, so she’ll compromise to move to the galleries where it’s a little bit cooler. Not much, since heat rises, but enough to where it isn’t stifling. Kadesh reaches up as she slowly makes her way into the galleries, picking a row at random to turn down while her fingertips busy themselves by pulling her long black hair into a messy bun, keeping her neck free to any draft that might find it’s way here. She yawns heavily, loudly, as her honey hued eyes adjust to what little light is here. Once settled, the weyrwoman notices another figure so she quietly makes her way behind them, taking a seat. “It’s so peaceful at this hour, isn’t?”

Making herself smaller will only make her appear childish or simply make it all the more obvious that she’s aware that she probably shouldn’t be here, so Elixvyette does the opposite and slowly drops her feet to the floor, though she doesn’t relinquish her grip on her necklace. “…They’re all but the same age as my children, some of them,” she says quietly, apropos of nothing. “The other Candidates. In the barracks. It makes me feel… like I don’t belong; that I should be looking after them, not one of them.” She tilts her head slightly. “And they swap secrets at night when they think no-one can hear them. How anyone could not hear them is beyond me…” Amber eyes fall closed as she takes a deep breath and exhales slowly before she turns to look back and up at Kadesh. “I’m sorry,” she tells her, not sorry enough to make it sound like more than a matter of manners. “The amount of time I’ve ever had a room to myself totals less than two months, but I never thought I’d end up in a place like apprentice halls again.” Her lips tug to once side. “They’re excitable and so sure this is what they want. I need… quiet.”

“Sometimes,” Kadesh drawls as she leans back in her seat, arms crossed over her chest while she lounges with feet up on the seat before her and beside Elixyvette. “I prefer when Candidates are a little older. When they’re so young and they impress, that’s a little nerve wracking. That tiny being you took in whose voice hasn’t even cracked yet could potentially impress bronze, win a Senior flight, and turn everything into chaos. I’ve woken up to some young ones and that was not a pleasant experience.” The weyrwoman stretches her arms out over her head, grumbling a bit at her age and the tension made noticeable by it. “You must be hearing much of your youth you were hoping to leave behind surrounded by the youngin’s, too, huh? My children both impressed blues. One is undecided on what he wants to do. Their dragons would often let slip some bad and embarrassing moments to Celimoth and that girl can’t keep a secret.”

“…I can’t imagine a fourteen turn old in-charge of a Weyr,” Elixyvette replies with a fair heaping of dread to colour those words. “Sometimes, to check that they’ve understood what they’ve learned, I’ve had apprentices teach their peers – and some of them don’t have the maturity to handle that, let alone be actually responsible for so many more people.” Turning back to the Sands, she scrubs her free hand through her hair, fingers catching in uneven curls. “I didn’t… I was never like them. I had studies and expectations and I had to excel, or…” She shakes her head. “My father brought my children to visit the other day and he spoke to me like I was an errant student. He mocked me for all of this. In-front of them.” There’s a pained edge there, beyond humiliation and cut deep to shame, hurt and betrayal.

“It’s happened before. I think it was Fort Weyr, though, it might’ve been Ista. Newly graduated Weyrling catches the Senior Queen and was essentially Weyrleader. Knot defaulted back to the previous on account of his age but he remained on as a assistant to the Weyrleader so he could see what would happen if he did catch at a more matured age. Could either inspire the youngers to work harder or encourage them to conveniently have an errand elseweyr when the Senior glows.” Kadesh merely shrugs, her eyes still staring ahead at the eggs on the sands with a heavy sigh. To think there could be more of them. “Well. I’m not here to compare redfruit to redfruit, but I’m going to tell you this. Regardless of your relationship with that man, you never let him disrespect you in front of your children. Ever. They’re going to grow up regardless if you impress or not. The shape of their view of their mother is going to form whether you’re there or not. It’s not going to be easy, but you always stand your ground. What’s he going to do if you impress, graduate, and swoop in on a dragon to pick up your kids? Go toe to toe with a lifemate of his own?”

“…And if I don’t, and I go back to the Hall, where more people share his views and I’m a laughing stock for playing at something that children a decade and more my junior dream of…?” Elixyvette exhales sharply and murmurs another apology, as if she must censor herself at every turn. “I don’t know why he has such a hold on me,” she admits, her voice a little rough. “Him and my Dad. I mean, the fact that they must have stared down people’s perceptions would make you think they’d be more capable of compassion and not so fixated on ensuring I don’t put a foot wrong.” Her lips twist in a tiny, bitter smile. “I can argue a case for anyone but myself.” Thus reminded of her purpose in life, she straightens and lets go of her necklace, folding her hands in her lap. “I’m sure you don’t need someone having a minor existential crisis cluttering up the air in here. Maybe it’s not good for the eggs?”

“I can guarantee you a large portion of the hall are Dragonriders that wouldn’t take their profession being made a mockery of too lightly. It’s an honor not generally extended to every fit and viable candidate, the dragons are the one’s who do the choosing for reasons known only to them and maybe their rider’s if they’re lucky.” Kadesh reaches up, letting fingertips slide along a length of long black hair having escaped it’s restraint, twisting it idly around her fingers while she glances over to Elixyvette in thought. “The Eggs don’t mind, it’s good for them to get a little taste of everything. They’re like children that sponge up everything around them with a fresh outlook and can hold their own. You, my dear, are no longer a child. You’re not your father’s child anymore. You’re a woman grown and you’re mine and my concern until your dragon breaks shell or you’re the last woman standing. If he wants to challenge me on that, I strongly encourage it. It’s been awhile since I infuriated someone out of entertainment. R’en and Ila’den aren’t so much fun anymore to provoke. They know me all too well.” Kadesh giggles quietly, returning her gaze to the eggs. “So far, every single one of Celi’s get is a very… unique. No, unique is too kind of a word. They’re… indescribably surreal.”

“And another large portion of them are just like my family, who see crafting as the only option and are apt to consider a person exchanging the likelihood of a Master’s knot for a white-threaded one and a chance to be foolish, especially after they’ve spent so much time and funds on them.” Elixyvette delivers her understanding – or her experience – of the world not in an argumentative tone, but matter of fact, blinkered to the extent that other possibilities are not permitted to be entertained – or hoped for. “…At least if you and my father were to get into an argument, I could mediate,” she utters dryly. “Perhaps Celimoth would like to have a word as well.” She can’t mean it, surely? “All I know… is that it’s very easy to lose yourself along the way, between people’s expectations and your own. I don’t know that any of the minds down there will find enough left.” That practical, factual manner of speaking is maintained, not a bit of self-pity to be heard. “I can wish for them to find who and what they want. That will be enough.” For sure, it is enough for now, as she drops her feet back into her shoes and stands, turning to face Kadesh and watch her for a long moment before providing a simple, if quiet, “Thank you.” With that, she takes her leave, likely off to not-sleep elsewhere. Somewhere she won’t be seen, hopefully.


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