Western Weyr - Open Market

The sweeping canopy of the lush, green tropics gives way in this place to a massive clearing, spanning what must be a great many acres in a bustling, hubbub of noise, color, and activity. Rich golden-red terra cotta bricks line the marketplace grounds, providing a clean, bright place to walk and a level ground to set up shop on. The central part of the marketplace is an open bazaar, where people come to set up temporary shops in tents, out of carts and wagons, and some right on the ground with their wares laid out for anyone to see. The centralmost point of the open market is a massive, marble fountain rising up into a spire from who's top runs a cascade of water down the sides, gurgling over the intricate, mounted sculptures of all manners of Pernese creatures from dragons to whers to runners and all large and small, down into a large pool where silvery-white dolphins of stone leap and play.The smells of rich foods and sweet pastries and exotic tropical fruits competes with the less tantilizing scents of fresh caught fish and livestock for sale and those waiting patiently beside their owners carts or pastured in the temporary pens while their owners do some shopping. The colors of goods and the vivid swaths of tents and canvas wagons makes the place alive with brilliance, and at most all hours of the day there is a flurry of activity to behold.

It's a rest day for the Weyr, which, of course, means that Archipelago aren't training. And that in turn means that Rou'x isn't caught up in anything… other than doing Keely's bidding, that is. She wasn't exactly enthusiastic when the bluerider suggested they enjoy the late morning sun with a wander around the market in search of baby things, but she gave in to it - for /practical/ reasons, of course. She was even less enthusiastic when she found that /none/ of her shorts would fit her ever-expanding waistline, meaning she had to pull out the one solitary sundress she has in her possession. Now, in amongst the stalls, she's got her best grumpy face on and is clinging tightly to Keely's hand, letting the bluerider lead her wherever she wants and occasionally grunting a comment or two.

Keely's slim frame means that baby bump? Totally obvious. Well, more or less. She's wearing some loose-fitting grey slacks and a billowy blue tunic at the moment. Only when they lie flat as she's still is that curve at her belly obvious. She squeezes Rou'x's hand gently as they approach a weaver's stall. "If you don't find any clothes or blankets you like, we could just pick out some nice fabric and have it custom made."

"Mmhrm." Rou'x's reply is absent, but she does squeeze her bluerider's hand gently to show that she is, in fact, listening. And she attempts to be interested, by running her fingers over a bolt of powdery blue fabric, feeling it between her fingertips, then doing the same with something that's got a spotted print. "I reckon some've this might look good as cushions in my weyr. D'you think so? Big, /huge/ cushions, the type we can just… nestle into. You n' me."

"Mmmm," Keely considers, reaching out to touch some of the same fabrics. "Cushions might be nice. Especially once our feet get all swolled up an' such." She grins briefly at Rou'x, looking back to the fabrics. "I've been trying to get more pillows for my new bed, too."

Rou'x picks a bolt of deep purple fabric, that's soft and silky. A matching one in a dark bronze is dragged out alongside it, and she grins, tapping them. "These two. I want cushions outta these two. /Beanbags/, mebbe? Mebbe beanbags /and/ cushions." She grins at Keely, winking at her. "You don't gotta buy more pillows, KeeKee. Y'can just use mine."

"I got that big nice bed," Keely points out to Rou'x, bumping hips with the brownrider. "Unless yer offerin' y'bring yer pillows by?" She reaches out to finger the purple and bronze fabrics. "Mmm… Pillows, yeah, but… mebbe this is too soft for bein' on the floor? I dunno though. I bet they've got ways of making it stronger."

Frowning thoughtfully, Rou'x nods in agreement. "Mebbe it'll be too soft, yeah. Mebbe I can get a carpet, or summat? A nice rug'd be alright, wouldn't it? I just… I want things t'be softer." She shrugs, abandoning the fabrics to wrap an arm gently around Keely, giving her a squeeze. "I meant y'can use my /pillows/," she whispers in the blueriders ear, stressing that word as she bumps her chest meaningfully against her.

"Ooh, a rug would be nice. Mebbe we could visit Igen an- or, uh, I guess ask around." That whole betweening being a no-no thing. Keely blushes fiercely when she gets Rou'x's meaning and pokes the brownrider gently in the belly. "What about when ya ain't there?"

The poke makes her giggle, and Rou'x shies away, swatting playfully at her lover. "Then you'll just hafta come find me when you need a nap, won'tcha?" Laughing still, she turns her attention back to the Weaver and picks out another bolt of much sturdier, khaki-coloured fabric to start ordering a couple more pairs of shorts… with expandable waistlines. "Hey, KeeKee?" She looks over her shoulder as she's led to the side to be measured. "What d'you want for your turnday?"

There's a brief smirk from Keely. "I'm sure once yer swolled up y'won't want me using your breasts to doze off on." She glances back as Rou'x goes about picking out fabrics, sidling along the table until she spots some blankets. Baby-sized ones at that. She begins going through them, brushing fingers over the fabric. The question draws a blank expression and she blinks. "Oh… It's about that time, ain't it."

"Uh-huh." When she sees her measurements being jotted down on paper, Rou'x winces. She takes a copy of them for herself, then hands over the commission cost before rejoining Keely… and the baby blankets. "You won't fit under one've them, doll, even if y'are small." Not that Keely's especially tiny or anything. The brownrider frowns at one, then runs her fingers over it. "It's real soft, ain't it?"

"Ain't for me," Keely says to Rou'x, sticking out her tongue a bit at the other woman. "Healer said blankets're one of the most important things… Said ya need a handful of 'em, too. Fer when some get dirty." Let's not think what will make them dirty right now though.

Rou'x winrkles her nose, picking up a yellow blanket and flicking it out, then holding it up to look at it. "I don't get half've what these things're for. D'you know anything about… stuff?" She just can't bring herself to say it as it is! "It all just seems t'be a whole lotta mess and marks."

"Mmm? Oh, th'actual… birthing." Keely wrinkles her nose at that and gives a little shrug, plucking up a pale blue blanket. Almost Geimhreath-blue! "Naw.. I just know th'basics of care from when they'd make me help in the nursery down in the caverns. Blankets, lots of outfits, stuff like that."

/Birthing/. That word makes Rou'x quickly fold up the blanket and step back to look at more grown up things, with her hands firmly shoved down into her pockets. And then there's the word /nursery/, too. She squirms, then steps away to the far, faaar end of the stall, where it's all rugged fabrics and leather - nothing baby-suitable here! She paws through a book of leather samples, stopping at a couple she likes to inquire about them - to distract herself.

Keely watches Rou'x flee, brow furrowing a little. She exhales slowly, considering how to move forward. "Rou'x," she murmurs, grabbing up the couple of blankets she likes, as well as a few little onesie-style outfits that looked good. "Y'gotta think 'bout it eventually."

Rou'x shakes her head. "No I don't." Keely's given a sideways glance as she sniffs, pushing the leather samples book away and quickly changing the subject - or at least the focus of it, anyway, as she nods at the soft stuff in her lover's arms. "D'you want me to get them for ya? Then we can go f' lunch, or somethin'. Faranth, I am /gaggin'/ for a damn drink - I know, I /know/ I can't have one, but… wouldn'tcha just /kill/ f' some rum or summat?"

"Y'don't gotta buy stuff for me," Keely says to Rou'x with a small smile, handing things off to the vendor to be wrapped up and bagged for her. "Mmm, lunch would be good. I'm /so/ craving some fruit juice lately." The question however draws her to chew on her lip a bit. "Uhm… naw, not really. But I wasn't much of a drinker t'begin with."

"Y'make me sound like a real boozer," Rou'x laughs, slipping her hand into Keely's once the transaction's completed, leading the way across the market. "Where d'you wanna go? The Alibi, or the Barnacle? You choose, doll, I don't mind either way." She squeezes the bluerider's hand. "I reckon I might have myself a toasted sandwich or somethin'. I want summat that's all /oozy/."

"Least y'ain't feelin' all sick no more," Keely says with a smile, squeezing Rou'x's hand. The bag is slung in the crook of her elbow. "Mmm… Howabout the Alibi? I think they've usually got more sweet stuff, y'know?"

"At least I ain't feelin' sick no more," Rou'x agrees, with a soft smile. It's true; she's feeling almost back to normal, even if she's got the distinct feeling that she's rather… house-like. "The Alibi sounds perfect. Y'know… I reckon I could also prob'ly eat my way through a /mountain/ of icecream. What d'you say? With fudge toppin' on it? An' loadsa fruit, too.."

Keely giggles slightly, considering the notion. "Ain't sure about a mountain… But I'll certainly try." She tugs at Rou'x slightly, shifting to aim for the Alibi. "We could even skip the proper lunch-time foods and go straight to dessert."

Rou'x laughs, swinging their joined hands between them - purposefully bumping them lightly off Keely's hip and butt as she does so. "I /really/ do fancy that cheese, but you can go n' start on whatever you want, doll, yeah? Let's just order a whole loada sweet shit, whatever we fancy, and spend the rest've the day ploughin' through it like a coupla porcines."

"Well I ain't so keen on cheese right now, so I'll just start with some fruit… Or make a good dent in that ice cream." Keely grins, leaning in to bump shoulders with Rou'x. "Sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon though."

"Course it'll be lovely. How can it not be, when it's you n' me spendin' time t'gether?" Rou'x bumps right back, laughing. "Ain't nothin' better than spendin' time with ya, KeeKee. Plus, I gotta enjoy you while I can, right? You're gonna be off wi' your littl'un once it's here, aren'tcha? I won't get t' see ya so much."

Keely flushes slightly, but gives a little smile. "I like spendin' time with you too," she says softly, leaning in towards the brownrider slightly. "Mm… Well you'll be busy too, unless yer plannin' on givin' 'em to Ir'e? I'm figurin' we'll work out somethin'… He's sour he won't get th'kid all th'time, but… I'll figure somethin'. Mebbe we can convince Zi'on t'let us build a huge weyr for all of us. Like, connected weyrs or somethin'."

"Ir'e can have it whenever he wants. I ain't a mum, Kee, n' I don't know if I fancy livin' in a bit ass weyr wi' Rhab n' Ir'e." After all, she's still not made that big step with Keely, yet! And she's possessive about her space. "Soon's I can after it's here, I'm goin' /right/ back t'trainin' Archipelago, Kee. I don't wanna be leavin' the wing at /all/."

"He'll like that," Keely tells Rou'x with a small smile. "See, it'd work… He /really/ wants t'be a dad an'… Rhab's willing to help him, I think. Then y'can go back to runnin' yer wing without worrying about a baby." Her free hand shifts to rub at her belly a bit. "I dunno how we'll work it out yet, but… I dun wanna give it up completely."

Rou'x shrugs her shoulder gently. "I'm only doin' this to try n' make up with Ir'e, Keely. It's still not summat I'm sure I actually /want/, y'know? An' more often than not I'm wonderin' what in thread's name I'm /doin'/, cos I ain't got a damned /clue/." She shakes her head, singling out a table for them, now that they've made it into the Alibi. "If Ir'e's gonna take him off my hands, good. If he's gonna be a happy dad, good. But me? I just wanna do my job, KeeKee. I'm meant t'be a rider, I reckon, not a parent."

"Mmm…" Keely considers a little, settling into a seat once they've found their table. She sets her bag of purchases down beside her. "Y'think a person can't be both? Or issat just you?"

"I think /I/ can't be both." Rou'x's smile is a little sad, as is the gentle shrug of her shoulders. "I jus' don't feel I'm wired up proper t'be a mum. Shouldn't I be feelin' some sorta gushy stuff over bein' knocked up? I'm sure I shouldn't be jus' thinkin' it's a damned nuisance that I wanna get away from."

"My mother wasn't much one for it either," Keely admits quietly. "Draval an' I were raised by the caverns staff." She gives a little shrug, "Everyone reacts different, I guess… I never thought I would be, but… I just find it kinda charming now."

"It /suits/ you." Rou'x waves over a waiter, reeling off a list of goodies that proves she wasn't joking about loading up on the junk. "You've kinda got a… a /glow/. Y'look happy, KeeKee. You're little bump is dead cute, too. I just… I just look like I'm gettin' wider. I don't reckon I need extra weight around that part've me." It's probably the only time Rou'x's ever made any hint of being self-conscious about her heavy lower half, and she quickly shrugs it off. "Can't be too bad bein' raised by the lower caverns though, right? You n' Ir'e turned out alright, din'tcha?"

There's another little blush and Keely rubs her hands over her belly. "Saw m'self in a mirror… I look so strange. All… unbalanced. You'll look, well… not like y'got a big ball strapped to yer belly." She grins a little, leaning back in the chair. "Hmm? Well… I s'ppose. Y'just… y'get lost in the mix. Yer lucky if anyone besides your friends knows your name. Y'get group Turndays instead of yer own." Which may explain her having forgotten hers was coming up. "I… guess it might explain how Ir'e can be so… closed and Zi'on is so attention-hungry sometimes." Herself as well, but she likely doesn't realize that. "Everyone seems to be one or the other afterwards. Y'either really really want people to notice an' remember you, or y'just get used to fading into the background."

"An' d'you reckon growin' up on a farm where everyone's too busy tryin' t'work is much different?" Rou'x wraps her fingers around her glass of juice when it arrives, drawing it towards her. "Ok, so there weren't as many of us as there'll be here, but my folks were busy workin' for their livin', n' we were all left to th' aunties n' whoever else had time t' care for us."

"Least y'had yer family around. Yer brother still cares about ya, yeah? Mine…" Keely wrinkles her nose a bit. "Mine's just /nosy/. Rarely seems like he actually cares, he just wants t'know /everything/…" She exhales at length, picking at a spot on the table. "I know most everyone can be in a big group or feel lost in th'mix, but… I ain't seen more than a few moments of my mom in Turns. She didn't even show up to the graduation. Ir'e doesn't even know his folks."

Rou'x reaches across the table to knot her fingers in with Keely's. "Mine weren't there either - no even Seaux, n' he had no excuse not t'be. Xeau bein' here's worryin' the heck outta me, cos she don't know I'm…" The brownrider pauses, then looks down at their joined hands. "She don't know I've gotta girlfriend, Kee. My folks'd flip out if they knew, Keely. They're already gonna be pissed off that I'm knocked up… I think it were Zi'on who let that slip to her, n' she went n' told 'em." Rou'x shakes her head, sighing. "I ain't bothered about family. I'm more bothered about the people I care about, n' that's you right now. An' Ir'e to an extent… n' the wing, of course."

"Ah, see… Y'do have more t'think about. Iff'n y'/really/ weren't bothered, y'wouldn't care what yer family knew." Keely grins a little, squeezing Rou'x's hand. "We're all gonna be a family inna way… Me, you, Ir'e… We gotta figure that out somehow."

"Keely…" Interruption by FOOD! A huge tray is unloaded between them, filling the table with deliciousness. It also makes it difficult to keep holding hands, so Rou withdraws hers after a squeeze. Whatever she was going to say is forgotten as she tucks into a grilled cheese sandwich. "We're only gonna be as much of a family as we wanna be, Kee. You n' him can look after the babies, if y'want. Mebbe even Seleaux'll help. She likes 'em, I think. But I don't reckon it needs no more sortin' out than that."

"You… gettin' used to yer sister being around then?" Keely asks, shifting back a bit as she arranges her food. There's a brief look of being overwhelmed as she tries to decide what to go for first. "I think… I'd hafta properly meet her an' all, plus… wouldn't it bring about wonderin' from her about us?"

Rou'x swallows a mouthful of her sandwich, then shrugs. "I dunno. I'm mean, I'm busy. I'm not specially makin' time just t'see her nor nothin', n' we've not really bumped into each other so much… but then again, I ain't really been down in the caverns much recently. So I guess she's here, but it don't really bother me none." Juice is sipped, another mouthful of sandwich disappears. "I'll introduce ya, if y' want. She's alright, I guess."

"Yer not mean… y'just dunno how t'handle a sibling. I don't either." Keely's been putting off Draval for a while now. She doesn't want to get into debunking rumors and going into /feelings/. "Mebbe y'ought to introduce us… Be better t'do it now than risk her getting upset over it later." Since that's how family seems to work. The bluerider settles in then, aiming to get into some of that delicious food. Before certain things get cold and other things get warm.

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