The Truth

Half Moon Bay Weyr - East Bowl
The eastern end of the crater that forms the Weyr. The cliffs rise to the east, north and south of you, small openings in the face are individual weyrs of dragons and their riders. To the north is the large ledge and cave mouth of the Queen's weyr, with a wide ramp and stairs made by skilled stone masons providing access to the bowl floor. To the east is the Weyrling training area and the barracks, where young riders and dragons learn to work together.

It’s been roughly forty-eight hours since the hatching that brought Elixyvette – now Xyvette – Nehehkath, and while much of that time has been with either both or one or the other of them sleeping, now the young, tawny brown has sat himself outside the barracks, blinking a little blearily into the afternoon light as he waits for her to return. He’s only recently woken, and with Xyvette in the living cavern eating an actual meal for once, he looks across the bowl and waits, patient and not, the only thing that gives him away a faint pawing at the ground. Soon enough, she emerges from across the way, carrying a cloth wrapped bundle of something that turns out to be enough food to count for at least two meals. When she makes it back to her new lifemate, she eases herself down before him and settles the food between them, shoving a sandwich into her face at the same time that she offers him a lick of a biscuit.

BOOM! Maurth is in the sky above the bowl, his roar of greeting meant for all to hear. He's a presence to behold- is he not? SLAM! His body careens down to outside those weyrling barracks, leaving plumes of disturbed earth rolling up and away from his body. He turns his angular head towards the woman his rider claims, his penetrating gaze resting on her and then moving on to the young one in front of her. From his known arrogance, and grand entrance, his demeanor is far more subdued as he reaches out towards that brown’s mind. Licks of arrogance drip from his tone, even if he is trying to have restraint. « Hello. I am Maurth. Yours is mine and mine is yours. We should be friends, I suppose. Maybe more when you are older. I'm a good friend. You'll thank me for my friendship. You'll see. » L’mal is all smiles for Xyvette, pride there in his gaze as he beholds her before the brown. “Lixy, look at you. I'm so happy for you.”

Nehehkath inches back a step even as he leans to claim that offered biscuit, crunching down on it thoughtfully as he regards first Maurth, then L’mal before he turns his attention back to the blue. « Nehehkath, » he provides seemingly as a matter of course, not so different from his rider there. « Wishing to be thanked for friendship is a little strange, is it not? Suggests less interest in the friendship and more in… attention. » It’s a concept he rolls between them in the form of a chunk of asteroid, batting it here and there as he considers it from all angles. « I hope you will be a good friend all the same. » Xyvette peers up at L’mal, for several moments unable to do anything but keep eating that sandwich as if she’s not had a meal in years. “I’m starving,” she tells him, gaze edged with a hint of concern. “Am I meant to be starving? He says he’s not hungry and… half the time I can smell food and I need to eat.”

Maurth’s laughter is a loud, raucous sound of tropical birds cackling in a rainforest. « Look at you! Already smart and prepared to battle wits. I like it, kid. I really do. You’ll go places. With me by your side, you’ll be a top brown in no time. » He chortles, whuffling to himself as he moves to flop down ungracefully near Xyvette’s back. L’mal rubs at his necck with a sheepish grin for his dragon’s behavior. “I’m sure yours will end up explaining how… Maurth truly is. Hopefully you still like him, arrogance and all,” he jests as he walks by his blue to punch a blue shoulder companionably. He considers Xyvette’s question without a smile, glancing between her and Nehehkath. “I’m not sure. But it’s not as if you can’t stand to eat. Maybe… all the stress that’s kept you from food has gone with him with you.” He moves to sit beside her, keeping a respectful distance from her as he loops his hands over his knees and peers at Nehehkath. “What’re you like, little one? I’m L’mal. You already met my idiot.” Maurth snorts and moves to flop on his side, sprawling with a huge sigh. « //Humans/. Puh. »

The volume of Maurth’s voice makes Nehehkath outright start this time, bolting back without leaving the reach of Xyvette’s arms, for fingertips brush his nearest shoulder to calm him. « She is who I need at my side, » he declares, matter of fact about it, rather than possessive. However, it’s easy for him to concede, « For now, » unwilling to be inadvertently rude at this juncture. “It’s okay,” Xyvette murmurs to him, hand still soothing at his shoulder. “He’s just… enthusiastic.” As her brown’s focus moves to L’mal, so does hers, “Nehehkath,” supplied quietly, as if to say his name too loud is to unmake him. “He’s clever,” she shares, no small measure of pride there. “But every day is new at the moment and some things are a bit overwhelming without some study.” Overwhelming, but not worrying enough to stop her from crunching down on another biscuit. “I guess you did bring me luck,” she says with a tiny smile, bandaged hand lifting to brush at one of the foxes on her necklace. « Luck had nothing to do with it, » Nehehkath interjects, if solely for Maurth. “He knows… who you are.”

Maurth has no outward regret for scaring the young brown and he makes no comment of it at all to the brown. A shift of movement settles around Maurth’s hide, a ripple of an itch as it shivers down his neck and makes him twitch a wing. L’mal watches his blue until some semblance of control is established between the two of them. He looks back to Xyvette, giving her his full and serious attention. “It will be a challenging time. Growing together. Working through being a Weyrling. It will shape you.” He smiles at her, trying to hide a flicker of emotion in his gaze by looking at Maurth. “I became myself when Maurth and me found each other.” He looks back to Nehehkath with a flash of pride in his gaze as Maurth shares with him what the brown stated. “It will be a wonderful time for you both. Try and enjoy every minute of it. Even when it is hard.” He looks indulgent as he watches her eat, relieved to see her eating without him bringing her to task to eat. “Is it okay he knows who I am? Some dragons do get… fussy over that.” Maurth’s not laughing even though the hint of it to his mental mind of tangled jungles and the hoots of monkeys in the distance. « That’s the attitude, kid. I like it. I do. »

“He’s not foolish enough to believe that I would abandon or neglect him in favour of another,” Xyvette states, watching Nehehkath as she shares that belief with L’mal. “When he found me, he spoke of coexisting, not conquering. What he wants is important, but so is what I want. You and me will have our time, but this is his. He knows.” Another biscuit vanishes while she offers her brown a stray piece of salad from the now consumed sandwich to sniff. “That is… if you’ll still like who I am by the time there can be a you and me again.” She doesn’t shy away from observing L’mal’s reaction to those words, her eyes narrowed a little. “I don’t know how things will be. There are things you will have to learn about my children and my craft… and you may well not like all of them. How Nehehkath feels about the other fragments of my life will colour much of what comes next.” And, even if she is a little apprehensive about it, she is unapologetic.

L’mal has no startled reaction to Exyvette’s words nor does he look upset. He has been a dragonrider for nearly a decade and that has shaped him more than any time he spent as a Harper. “You needn't concern yourself about my liking you, or judging you, or being impatient waiting for you. This time is important. Maurth and me are here if you have need of us, or we can go and be at Ierne until you call. You set the boundaries of your needs.” His brows furrow at her mention of children and craft, prompting him to ask, “What more is there to know of that?”

“Only that—“ Xyvette may have meant to say something about the long hours her work will inevitably draw her back to, combined with duty to her brown, but it’s that same brown who has known her secrets since he found her who idly muses, « There is the matter of their son. If he chooses to become a Harper, he will sometimes need her support, as yours did before him. » Xyvette’s memories are Nehehkath’s memories now, after all. She might be too good at concealing her feelings from others, but what with too many feelings running around in her head since Impression, she cannot hide her fear and horror as she stares at her lifemate, features paling. « Family is important, » he tells both her and Maurth, standing his ground even now aware of his misstep. « What’s another to love the boy? »

Maurth pushes himself up from his sprawl, body tensing as his head whips around to focus on the young brown and then to his rider. The palms and oasis of his mind bend to the mighty blow of a coming storm, a hurricane looming on the distance as Maurth draws conclusions from things that Nehehkath shares with him. L’mal lifts a hand in Maurth’s direction, stalling that hurricane’s momentum and letting it fall as soon as it started. Maurth’s mind is the silence of the eye of a storm, an eerie calm. « We would love the boy if we were permitted to know him » the blue doesn’t mince his words, eyes swirling with his agitation. L’mal says nothing, looking only at his blue, letting the knowledge fall over him without comment. He closes his eyes and clenches his hands a few times. He steps to the side, reaching for Xyvette’s hand. Still - no words come. What could he say?

Mistake made. Error. In the back of his mind, one of the consoles of that space station of Nehekath’s erupts into sparks, a flat, computerised voice beginning to babbling static-shot and incomprehensible warnings, spilling out beyond his rider to anyone in the immediate vicinity. He darts back again, eyes whirling yellow, leaving Xyvette to lunge across the distance created and throw her arms around his neck, pressing herself close in a rather undignified manner. “No, of course it seems like the obvious thing,” she tells him, before she realises that she’s speaking aloud and closes her eyes to try and keep the conversation between the two of them. Only once the yellow has begun to fade from his gaze does she lift a hand away from hide to surrender to L’mal. Even as she speaks, it’s into Nehehkath’s neck. “…When I found out, you were gone. I had to marry or I would have bound you into a life you hated, ruined my reputation and had my son looked down on as born out of wedlock. I’ve given him everything before myself. Him and his sister. Everything.”

Maurth hisses at L’mal, wings flaring and then he pushes himself into the sky. He beelines for the distant clouds, meaning to lose himself to the wind over the ocean. L’mal gives Xyvette’s hand a squeeze and turns once Maurth has cleared the area. He takes the hand he was holding and places it on Nehehkath’s hide. “Let’s not talk of it further,” he tells Xyvette. “Maurth has already upset Nehehkath. He shouldn’t have reacted as he had.” He forces a smile forward, one that can’t quite reach his eyes. “You did what you had to do. I know you did right by your son.” Hers, not his, as was stated to him. “Nehehkath, ignore Maurth. He is loud and sometimes doesn’t know how to hold his feelings in. You take care of Xyvette, hear? She needs you as you need her.” He reaches forward, cupping Xyvette’s cheek briefly before he leans in to kiss it chastely. “I’ve got to go find Maurth. Send one of your firelizards, or have Nehehkath call us, when you need me. I’ll be waiting as I always have waited - for you.” He leaves then, whether appropriate or not, to hold on to the idea that he has a son out there.

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