Fathers, Brothers, and Dragon's Things

Western Weyr - Public Stables
You enter into the stables where you see nothing but rows and rows of stalls filled with well kept horses that belong to the Western Weyr inhabitants.

It's just barely a smidgen past the lunch hour. The candidates have been sent off to attend to their chores. Keelyra is on stable duty and yet… has not traded it away today. Likely that's due to the particular nature of her stable duty. Milking and collecting eggs. As a kitchen aide (when not a candidate, obviously), these are tasks she has attended to before. The teen is just finishing milking and with full bucket, has sent it off with another candidate. She stands in the entrance to the stables now, considering baskets. Likely for their egg-wielding capabilities.

On account of the fact that Kilarden got landed with infirmary duties, the afternoon break offered was a chance to get away that couldn't come soon enough. He'd high-tailed it out of the confined space in record timing, racing to breathe in air that didn't carry the lingering scent of illness, or the medicines to cure it. His first stop along the way had been to the living caverns, where he'd retrieved a small basket and acquired a small amount of food. His next had been to a resident nanny, where his kid sister had been picked up for a chance to spend some quality time with her older brother. Spoiled the small child is, and she'd demanded to be taken to see the runners - a creature she'd yet to lay eyes on before. It's for this reason that Kilarden arrives on scene with a dark haired girl on his shoulders and a basket on his arm. "Oo, lookit 'em, Kilarden," Kiltara says, clearly delighted if the doe-eyed stare of awe is anything to go by. Kil merely chuckles, using one arm to heft the girl up and deposit her safely onto the ground. It's Keelyra that is noticed next, followed closely thereafter by the knot on her shoulder depicting her as a candidate. "Hello," Kilarden says, smiling cordially as he waits to be noticed. "We're not intruding, are we?"

Snapped out of reverie of egg basket contemplation, Keelyra blinks at the brother-sister duo. She smiles a bit at the small girl, before gaze lifts to Kilarden proper. Mild recognition drifts through gaze, but lately seems focused on that knot he wears. "I don't see how," she says with a swift smirk. "I think the Stables are public domain." Har har! She finally reaches out and snags a basket. "I just need to collect eggs." From the squawking hens roosted up in the place.

"Shouldn't you be taking lunch?" Kilarden inquires, setting his own basket full of delicious food on the ground at his feet. Kiltara returns the smile that Keelyra gives without an ounce of shy, waving both hands in a rather erratic fashion before racing over to stand along-side the older girl. "You can eat with us," she says, excited as she bounces on her heels. And when the little sibling offers, Kilarden has no choice but to cave. He motions toward the basket as he finds himself a spot on the ground that seems relatively safe for sitting. "You are more than welcome if you like. I'm Kilarden, and the wiggly little creeton at your side is my sister, Kiltara." Still, Kiltara seems more interested in the prospect of collecting eggs than she does in dining, and so she asks, "Can I help you?"

"I helped out in the kitchens a bit before lunch," Keelyra explains, grinning at the younger girl. A born and raised weyrbrat, small children don't phase her at all. "So I got to eat my fill before it went out to the caverns." She gestures towards the basket, watching Kiltara. "Howabout you eat first and after you're done, we'll collect some eggs." A pause as she looks between the two, grinning almost wickedly. "Wouldn't want your brother to eat it all, would you?" She meanders over and takes a seat nonetheless. "I'm Keelyra."

"You wouldn't!" Kiltara exclaims, turning on her brother as if Keelyra might have just predicted what was going to happen next. Kilarden brings his arms up into the air, a look of pure innocence on his face as if to say, 'It wasn't me.' Kiltara is the first one to break out into a smile, and while Kilarden returns it, the two laugh before each sibling spares the other a kind of conspirator's smile. "Well met, Keelyra," Kilarden says only once Kiltara has joined them on the floor and began her search through the contents of basket for what, exactly, she would like to eat. "The lot of you girls participating in this candidacy are trouble makers." But he sounds amused, and the amusement carries over into his smile as he collects a stickybun and tears a piece off to pop into his mouth. He's slow to chew, and even slower to swallow, but finally he asks the question of, "Where did they pick you up at?"

"Troublemaker, me?" Keelyra places hand to chest in mock affront, looking to Kiltara with feigned surprise. Her features relax into an easy grin. "I'm born and raised here. My father's dragon actually Searched me." And then her father Searched her brother to keep tabs on her, but that's a different, horrifying story. At least for her. "What about you?"Kiltara is quick to exchange mock surprise, looking to Kilarden with accusing eyes that would flat out call him a liar if she could bury the amusement clouding their depths. "Oh, now you're in on it," Kilarden says, shaking his head at his sister as he reaches over to land a gentle hand on her head and tousel that mess of hair at the top. "Traitor." Kiltara merely bursts into laughter, hugging a piece of food to her chest with delight before she pops it into her mouth and giggles around chews. She even scoots closer to Keelyra, leaning against her with her head tilted back and a wide smile on her lips. "Your father is a dragonrider? That must have been interesting…" Kilarden is actually smiling at the thought of how that entire ordeal must've gone over, but he's clearly too polite to ask, instead attacking the topic of where he was picked up at. "I was in High Reaches Weyr when they snagged me up. I blame Kiltara, actually. She wooed the green dragon and I got landed here for it." Punishment!

"My mother is a rider, too," Keelyra informs Kiltara with a flash of teeth in smile. "It's fun and not fun at the same time. They're always really busy and I spent most of my life living in the lower caverns. I have a room in my dad's weyr now, but… well, not while I'm a candidate." Pale eyes lift to regard Kilarden and she smirks a little. "Well, there musta been something about you, too. I mean, if the dragon smelled something special on /her/, they'd probably just wait until she was old enough." She girl rocks back on her rear, tugging knees up to chest. "I was just gonna ask to Stand, but I walked in while my dad was arguing with his dragon who thought I should be a candidate."

"There must've been a lot of pressure on you to impress. I can't imagine your father /arguing/. Don't weyrs see it as an honor to stand?" Kilarden wouldn't know! If one is lucky enough to chip away at the surface to reveal all the secrets inside, they would understand just why. It's Kiltara that interrupts, brows knitting together as she shifts onto her knees and leans foward. One hand with sticky little fingers finds its way onto Keelyra's knee in an attempt to be able to look the female candidate in the face while supporting her own weight. "What's it like having parents?" she suddenly inquires, voice hushed as if the topic she's in pursuit of might be something sacred to her. Kilarden lowers his eyes, grey studying his sister for only a moment before he looks away from both girls, feigning sudden renewed interest in the piece of food betwixt his hands. The talk of dragons and impressions may have to wait, as surely a little girl's heartbreaking curiosity would take presidence.

About to reply to Kilarden to explain things, Keelyra is brought pause by a hand on her knee. A sticky hand. She's about to tend to that when the question rises. She blinks a few times, brow creasing as she looks from girl to brother. Jaw tightens a bit as she mulls it over. "Uhm, well. When you're a kid or a teenager, sometimes it can suck, I guess. You've got someone telling you what to do, how to act, where to go… Making all your decisions for you, but…" She glances to Kilarden again, before drawing a breath and giving a shrug. "The rest of the time, though… I guess they'd be there to help you out if you get into trouble, or hold you if you're sick or fall and scrape a knee." She gives a lopsided little smile to the girl. "All things I bet your brother here does for you… plus, well, my mom was never really much of a mom. She left the nannies to tend to me and checked in on me sometimes. I only just met my dad a few months ago, so it's kinda new to me."

Kiltara is clinging to every single word, eyes wide, mouth agape. Innocence personified. She only looks back to Kilarden when Keelyra mentions that parents excercise the same kind of tender loving care that her brother surely does. "Isn't it different, though?" she whispers, leaning even closer until the fullness of her weight is resting on the candidate. "I don't think having a Mommy and Daddy is like having a big brother at all." There's a sadness in her tone, but if Kilarden picks up on it, he doesn't react. He finishes off his sticky bun before saying anything at all, but his tone is even, cold. "Parents give you the world, Kiltara, but they take it away. They die, and they leave you to die too." Kiltara withdraws from Keelyra then, suddenly introverted, picking at the food she'd been devouring only moments before. It's Kilarden that's smiling away the sudden tension, clearing his throat as he says, "So why didn't your father want you to impress anyway?" Better the former topic than the recent one, right?

Unable to respond due to the intervention of big brother, Keelyra falls silent, brows furrowed somewhat. Perhaps thinking the whole thing over. Kilarden's bringing back up previous discussions and less… difficult ones brightens the teen's spirits somewhat. "Ahhh… I guess he's overprotective of me." She flushes a bit. "He's scared I'll get mauled or somethin'. He's just waiting for me to mess up so he can take me out of candidacy." Her lips twist in annoyance. "He gave my half-brother a candidate's knot, telling him to keep an eye on me."

Kilarden laughs easily at the thought of overprotectiveness. He knows the feeling well, but the thought of somebody being brought into candidacy just to be a spy is /just/ as amusing for him to think about, if not more so. "Some family you have," he says, "though I would be a liar if I said I probably wouldn't pull the same thing on Kiltara if she was ever asked to stand." Standing? Dragons? Usually the little girl would jump about with glee at the thought, but she sits in her spot, sullen. Kilarden shifts to sit behind the child, pulling her backward into his chest and resting his chin on the top of her head. One of his fingers creeps up to her cheek, poking, prodding, slipping into the corner of her mouth to tug. It seems to irritate the little girl at first, but finally she breaks into a fit of giggles, slapping her brother's hand away and pushing at his face when he presses his lips into the side of her head. "Much better," he murmurs, and then moves again to his previous spot. "So which one is your half-brother, then? I want to know who I'm running to tell when you give me trouble with the rest of these girls."

"I had /just/ met him, too! So had my dad." Keelyra rolls her eyes. "Apparently his mom told him that V'yet's his dad, but he never introduced himself and V'yet didn't know." Her hand does snake out to snatch a sweetroll suddenly. Nope, nothing to see here! She watches the antics between siblings with a brief flare of smirk. It settles into an easy smile as the little girl relaxes into a better mood. "Draval," she says, looking at Kilarden with sudden concern. "You /wouldn't/."

"Oh, but I would," Kilarden says, a wicked grin on his lips. There's evident amusement dripping like honey from his words, but if it's not clear that he's teasing, Kiltara jumps in on the conversation with a, "No he won't, Keelyra! I will tell his biggest, most darkest secret if he does." It's alarming how smug the little girl looks, and Kilarden feigns disbelief as he pokes his sister right in the ribs and sets her squirming with a squeal. "You /are/ a little traitor. Where's this Draval at? I'm getting rid of the both of you before you cause me anymore grief." Pause. Time to get back to the more serious side of things. "Does that happen often with dragonriders? I've heard a lot of stories about surprise children when it comes to them."

"Draval's not very nice," Keelyra says, almost darkly. It's clear this half-brother-she-just-met thing bothers her. There's definitely nothing remotely near the relationship that Kilarden and Kiltara have. The teen is all omfomfnomf for a moment as she practically inhales the sweetroll. Licking her fingers, she gives a small shrug. "Dunno if you've seen any flights," she says, glancing up through eyelashes at Kilarden. "But… the losers sometimes just go and find someone to appease themselves. That's what happened with Draval… With me, he won the flight and my mom ended up grounded soon after."

Kilarden is not slow when it comes to picking up on the mood of others. It's a kind of art he had to learn fast given his own history, and one he had to learn well. When Keelyra's tone makes it clear that she's displeased with the aspect of surprise-brothers, he doesn't push it. Instead he smiles politely, waiting for the subject to change back to his question of flights and children that come thereafter. "I've never seen a flight," Kilarden admits, "I never grew up around dragons. It sounds terrible, though. Does the whole weyr go up in a frenzy?" He's full of questions, but it's to be expected. He's /considerably/ new to these things.

"Not reeeeally. I mean, if they did.. we'd never get anything done." Weyr-life is something Keelyra is happy to discuss. Likely she's done a lot of that, growing up with candidates coming from all over Pern. "There's a green flight almost daily sometimes. At least once a sevenday." She wrinkles her nose, "The gold flights… those are the ones you gotta watch out for. Those can affect everyone." She wiggles her butt in the dirt where she sits a bit. "It's just that the riders of the male dragons can get a little out of hand."

Dragonriding 101 with Keelyra! Fun times! "That often? That's insane," Kilarden murmurs, eyes going straight to Kiltara. "If you ever stand, and then impress, I forbid you from impressing to a green. Or a gold, for that matter, but especially to a green." The child only smiles from around the food she's been shoveling in her mouth, giggling at the faux expression of stern brotherly concern on Kilarden's face. He's looking suddenly weary though, when it's made clear that the riders of the male dragons get antsy when it's time for a rise as well. "On second thought, Kiltara, you're forbidden from impressing at all." Grey eyes go to Keel then, head shaking as he says, "I can /see/ why your Dad was so against you standing now. Isn't there any way out of making oops babies with strangers? I mean, don't the dragons give some kind of warning or something so that you can hide?"

"There's just so /many/ greens that there's a different one rising near every day. Each green rises, I dunno, a few times a Turn." At least in Keelyra's observation. She settles in with arms wrapped about knees again, rolling her eyes at the exchange between siblings again. "Well, I mean. I've heard the Healers talk to new Weyrlings." Of course the girl sneaks in to lessons. Wouldn't anyone? "You can go between to try to avoid getting pregnant and there's stuff you can drink. Just not everyone gets the chance or forgets."

"I might have to sneak into one of those talks," Kilarden says, amused at the thought of trying to fit in with a bunch of weyrlings - or find some place to hide at least. Would the lack of a dragon give him away? "Thank you for all of the information, and I'm sorry for all of the questions. I should probably started headed back to my chores now, though." Kiltara has since finished eating, and when it's clear that their little rendezvous as the stables is coming to an end, she jumps to stand on her feet and flings herself against Keelyra in a hug. "Thank you!" she parrots, just as little hands grab for an empty basket and she moves to join hands with her older brother. Kilarden is already up and on his feet by the time the little one crowds him, but he's offering Keely a genuine smile as he dips his head down once. "I hope to be able to sit and talk with you again sometime, Keelyra. It was an absolute pleasure."

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