The Bump Society

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

Hello, late afternoon pre-dinner rush! The kitchens staff are setting up for the evening meal, scurrying back and forth with platters and the like, filling up the soon-to-be bountiful buffet table. Getting in the way is Rou'x, though she's trying, at least, to be polite about it… the only reason she's getting away with stealing bits from the dinner spread before it's ready is because she's got that pitiful 'I'm a house, leave me alone' look every time someone tries to tell her to stop. This is a brownrider with some serious pregnancy munchies, and a serious babybump to match.

Her day has been spent out in the galleries, keeping Miraneith company, which is probably as much fun as watching paint dry on a damp day. Oh, except for the requisite check-up from the Healers, which she's just been to. And the goldrider's looking rather cross and grumpy as a result. "Need a bath, shard it," she mutters, and were she in any condition to do so, she'd even stomp. Except she isn't, and her gait has something of the typical waddle of those women in the family way. Which, she is. "Sharding healers." Grumpy emotional Weyrwoman here, gang way!

Food. Definitely need the food. Keely is trying to get in before the rush, but she's really having no luck of it. The teen has been off oiling her lifemate and she's rubbing her hands at her hips in that way one does where even though they've washed their hands, they still have that slick, eugh feeling to them. She spots Rou'x and pale eyes widen as she sidles over to the brownrider. "R'oooooux, darling… didja grab some for me?"

"Weyrwoman." Rou'x gives Enka a polite nod of her head, before swatting off more kitchen-worker hands as she reaches for another hefty scoop of roasted tubers to pile them onto her plate. They're accompanied by two more scoops of the same, then a healthy ladleful of gravy. She frowns at Keely, looks down at her plate, then frowns at the bluerider again. "Nope."

"Wingleader," Enka inclines her head in acknowledgement of the brownrider's nod, snagging a plate for herself and glaring daggers at any of the kitchen workers who might be inclined to 'assist' her. Too back, suckups, the Weyrwoman's still got two good hands and is perfectly capable of serving herself. "You're eating well," she observes, regarding Rou'x's plate for a moment before ladling out a generous spoonful of tasty goodies for herself. And roast wherry. Mustn't forget the roast wherry. "There's plenty more," the older woman half turns towards Keely. "And I think there's bubbly pies for dessert."

Keely gives Rou'x a pouty face in response. Awww, she has to start from scratch on gathering food! While she's clearly pregnant, it's not in a boat kind of way. She just has the cute little baby bump going on. D'awww. The young woman starts loading things on a plate. There's a definite focus on proteins and carbs. Not much leafy greens or the like happening at all. Her expression brightens at Enka's words. "Mmm… I hadn't thought of bubblies. Awesome."

Rou'x forgot the wherry! She helps herself to a few hearty slices, then exhales heavily at the two similarly-knocked up women. "I'm hungry all the damn time right now, y'know? Can't get enough've /anything/… 'specially tubers. Faranth, I wanna eat'em all damned /day/." Hence the mini-mountain on her plate. Pouty-face or not, Kee is given a tilt of Rou's head to indicate which table they're going to sit at. "You wanna come join us fellow bumps, Weyrwoman? Just s'long's we don't sit n' talk all that baby shit. I ain't interested in that."

Enka's plate contains wherry more than anything else. There's some greens though, buried under the slabs of meat, and a good sized scoop of mashed tubers. "Should carry a bag of snacks around with you," Enka suggests wryly, looking sideways at the brownrider's mountain of mashed tubers. "Although I'm not sure if you'd /want/ to eat cold mashed tubers all the time." Keely gets a bit of a grin then. "Mmmhmm, very good bubblies, I heard." Rou'x invitation has the goldrider smiling a little. "Well, I'd rather /not/ talk about that anyway, although I'd be glad to join you."

"Snacks, oh…" Keely blinks a few times in a bit of surprise. "I hadn't even thought of that. Thank you!" She's got her plate filled and has roped some poor kitchen lad who still remembers her into filling a glass with some juice so she doesn't have to set the plate down. There's a smirk for Rou'x. "I'm not /that/ bad, am I?"

"Nah, I wouldn't wanna carry 'em about wi' me if they were all /mashed/." Rou'x looks at them on Enka's plate, shaking her head as if the sight of them is offensive in some way. "Don't like 'em mashed so much right now. They gotta be /roasted/…" She taps of the non-gravy-soaked ones on her plate, which makes a hollow sort of sound. "Like these 'uns. Roasted n' crispy on th' outside, but fluffy-soft inside and /covered/ in gravy n' salt." The brownrider reaches for Kee's hand to give it a squeeze, then leans over to kiss her cheek. "Y'are sometimes, doll. Didja go for your check-up? I think I put you in the first batch've riders, right? Whaddabout you, Enka? Did Zi'on speak t'you about it?"

"I see," Enka quirks a brow at Rou'x headshake, "mashed ones 'aint too bad. But I could see how them roasted ones might be tasty." She does shrug then, gesturing them over to one of the vacant tables where they could all sit down, and rest their feet. "Was like that with the twins," she admits to Keely, "always had to be carryin' somethin' around to eat. So if it helps you to have snacks, it's worth tryin'" Of course, she was doing the proverbial eating for three, so it's not hard to see why after all." The goldrider apparently does need assistance after all, because once she's down in the chair, there'll be not getting her up for a while, and thus she beckons a server lass over with a request for a big glass of citron juice. "Not really," Enka admits to Rou'x question. "We've been a little out of touch, since I've been babysittin' Mir out in the galleries, and he's … doin' whatever he's doin'. Heard about it though, and did get my check-up." That occasions a scowl, the goldrider stabbing at a slice of wherry meat with her fork.

"Sorry," Keely says softly, frowning a bit. Her eyes take on a slightly distant look and she blinks as they head for a table, sliding into a chair. It's not quite the flopping motion it used to be, the bluerider having found herself needing to be a bit more measured in her movements now. "My check-up? Yeah, I needed to go in and have things checked out anyway, so I just folded it in."

Rou'x bumps up as close to Keely's side as she can comfortably manage - close enough to almost touch, but not too close to make eating difficult. "Speakin' of eggs n' the Sands… d'you think Orraeloth will clutch soon? Indy's gonna be a /daddy/!" That idea excites Rou more than the thought of her own babybump does, if the enthusiasm in her tone is anything to go by. "Shiiiit, we're gonna have full barracks soon, ain't we? /Three/ clutches of weyrlings! S'ol'll be washed off his feet wi' bein' busy, don'tcha think? An' the others too, o'course."

"I've told and told and told Liora to keep askin' Orraeloth how she's feelin'." Enka sounds rather exasperated at that, rolling her eyes before she pokes the forkful of wherry meat into her mouth and chews, washing it all down with a swig of juice. "But you know Liora. I half think Orraeloth is just goin' to go to the sands without her. I've tried to get Mir to clear out some of the sands, but she's refusin'. Won't even tell me how big her clutch is. Damned dragon." Another forkful of wherry meat is skewered by the Weyrwoman's fork. "But it'll be soon, and by the time Shadhavarth clutches, Mir'll be off the sands. Won't make the barracks any less crowded though."

"What will you do when Orraeloth goes in there?" Keely inquires, tilting her head a bit. "I glance at the Sands the other day and… there's no way another dragon could get around in there without risking stomping on something." She makes a slight face at the thought. "You gonna be able to sort that out?" Well, they have to at this point, really.

"I've been tryin' to talk t' Indy about it, but he ain't interested in the eggs at all. I just get a sorta question back from him, asking if he really knocked her up." Like dragon, like rider? Rou'x's no better about her own bump situation. "Y'know, I din't think about there not bein' any space out there. How's Miraneith gonna cope wi' that? Does she share well? An' I suppose y'can't say nothin' about what Orraeloth'll do, since it's her first n' all… but mebbe Liora'll be able t' keep her outta the way a bit?"

Enka studies the slice of wherry on her fork for a moment, contemplating Keely's question. "I'll make Mir move." the goldrider replies matter of factly. "Mir's got all those mounds and hummocks, although where she managed to find the time to build them, I'd never know. But there aint that many eggs out there, and I'll find out where she's got 'em buried if I have to dig around for them myself." She shrugs, glancing at Rou. "Probably just as well that Indy's not too interested in it." she admits. "With Mir and Suldith on the sands, could get a little tight once Orraeloth goes out there. Mir's shared before, but as a junior to a senior, never been out there at the same time as a junior gold since we've been here. As long as I can get at least a corner for Orraeloth, Liora can keep her there and everythin' should be fine."

"This is Orraeloth's first, right? Or have I missed one?" Keely frowns a bit as she tries to remember. "Are we sure it'll even be, y'know, more than just a couple eggs?" She doesn't know how these things work! Some meat is stuffed into gaping maw and the bluerider chews. Once mouth is clear again, she gives a brief, sly smirk to Rou'x. "You'd go nuts sand sitting if Indy decided he wanted to be duitiful as a clutchdad."

"Hey!" Keely's comment about there only being a couple of eggs offends Rou, and she flicks the bluerider's arm. "You sayin' Indy ain't got it in him to power up more'n a couple've eggs? He's a fuckin' /stud/, my Indy is." Grumpily, she spears herself another potato, nibbling on the crispy edges of it. "I'd hate bein' on the sands though, yeah. An' with /Liora/, too? I'd be sneakin' over t'sit with you 'n Zi'on, Enka. Least we know she ain't pregnant, anyway. Liora, I mean. Couldja even /imagine/ that?"

"Aye," Enka agrees with a nod at Keely's words. "Her first, was actually surprised she'd gone up, since Mir and I had been watchin' her so intently. But I guess with the both of us breedin' we were sleepin' too much and she slipped our leash." There's nothing the goldrider can do about it now. "I doubt it'd be a very big clutch. Mir's smallest was seven, but since the flight was so long, I don't know how big hers is now. Orraeloth's can't be much more than a few eggs. No offense to Indy, but it was an awful flight. Her gorgin' and all." Rou gets a grin. "Probably aint his fault, that'd likely lie with the dam." Sure, Enka's really protective of Mir's golden daughters — or at least, she might be if Liora wasn't such a moron. "If Liora got prengnat, I don't even wanna know how she managed that. Or who'd screw her." The weyrwoman glances around. "Bet it was S'chez." Yeah, take that, suck up.

"Oh Rou'x," Keely says, eyes widening a bit. She wiggles in a bit to press a kiss to the brownrider's cheek. "It ain't nothin' on Indy at all! I bet he's great. It's just… yeah, like Enka said. It'd be all Orraeloth's fault. Really he oughta caught… well, mebbe someday he'll get to be dad of a big clutch." The thought of Indy having won the more recent gold flight is not a thing Kee wants to consider AT ALL.

"Yeah. It's all Orraeloth's fault… you'll see when he cautches Bennueth." Because Rou'x is certain that he will! "He /shoulda/ caught Shadhavarth… he /woulda/ done, if he hadn't've got all damned muddled in them stupid clouds." She shakes her head, slouching down a little. "You'll see, anyways. He'll prove his tiddlers've got what it takes." Snorting softly, she waggles a potato at Enka. "What'd Zi'on say, when he found out about you n' your bump, then? He's gonna have enough kids t' make his own wing, soon enough."

Enka has been cleaning her plate with the rapid pace of the eating-for-two, the goldrider finishing off her roast wherry and starting in on the mashed tubers. "It's that blasted Liora, lettin' her gold feed. I told her and I told her and I told her. Blood only. Could have been a disaster if Indy hadn't swooped in to save the day." She scoops up some mashed tubers. "And Indy'll do better next time, I'm sure." she smiles a little at Rou. "Just keep tellin' him he's goin' to catch Bennueth and he probably will." The wagging potato is regarded. "Uh …" the goldrider reaches for her juice, taking a long sip to forestall answering the question directly. "Based off the last time, I've been kind of warmin' him up to the news." she manages a wry smile.

"He doesn't know?" Keely asks of Enka, expression shifting a bit towards the uneasy. "He's… gonna react less well iff'n ya wait too long. Especially if he hears from someone else." She does glance at Rou'x, eying the brownrider. "This ain't 'cause ya want into the Junior's pants, issit?" Rea is quite the catch!

"Wait… you din't /tell/ him yet? An' he's not figured it out?" Rou'x frowns down at her potatoes, confused… and conflicted, too. She knows something they don't know… and she can't say it! "I'd tell him pretty soon if I were you, y'know? Cos I reckon he might wanna hear about it sooner, rather'n later." The brownrider nods her head, filling her mouth with another roastie, so as not to have to answer Keely properly… though the bluerider does get a cheeky little wink. Maybe she's hit the nail on the head?

"I aint sleepin' alone though," Enka remarks, "L'nan's been tellin' me I ought to tell Zi'on because we aint really sure about the timin'." The goldrider scoops up another spoonful of tubers. "Could be Lair's, but I'm guessin' with the timin', it could just as easily be Zi's. And well, tryin' to track him down is so hard. He's always off doin' stuff, and I have my work, and then there's the egg sittin'." she frowns. "I'll tell him soon as I can." Which at this rate will be just before the baby's born.

"Then just say, hey Zi'on, I'm pregnant and it could be yours," Keely says with a slight smirk. "He'll deal with it." Or not, who knows. She just wants to be there for the fireworks. "Shame there ain't no way of knowing for sure. Bet it's why a lotta weyrbrats grow up without knowin' their dads."

"Huh." Rou'x slumps a bit, wrinkling her nose. "It's your choice, I guess, but I'd've been tellin' him by now. Then again, I can't believe he ain't even guessed… or mebbe he has? Mebbe he just ain't let slip to no-one that he thinks he mighta knocked you up - mebbe Kiena'll get pissed if he says summat." She snorts, nibbling on some wherry. "You ain't gonna get pissed off if in the unlikely situation that I end up wi' a flight baby, are ya, Kee?"

Enka bites at her lip. "Could be he's put it together now, counted on his fingers and all, and is just keepin' quiet. Specially since he went back for a second helpin'," oh the look on the goldrider's face is just naughty, really. "And doesn't want to tell Kiena." the goldrider pushes her plate back, propping her elbow on the table and dropping her chin onto it. "I'll tell him the next time I see him. Or try and get him to come to the office or somethin'."

"Sometimes I think someone oughta talk to Kiena… This ain't like Zi'on, bein' all whipped like this." Whipped, sure, but afraid? Not so much. "She's gotta understand that flights happen an' all." Keely picks up her juice and takes a long drink, glancing to Rou'x. "Depends on the rider, I guess. Were ya plannin' on more babies? I'd've expected you to religiously take the stuff after this."

Rou'x snorts at Keely. "I ain't never havin' no more. It were a hypotheti-whatsit question." She shakes her head, leaning forward on one elbow. "D'you like it, Enka? Havin' babies n' all? I reckon so far this'un in here's been nothin' but trouble so far, n' he can go trouble his da all he wants once he's out." The 'in here' part is accompanied by her rubbing her tummy. "He loves Kiena, Kee. He ain't gonna go messin' it up - didja /see/ him when they were fightin'? He were a proper scruff n' everythin', now he looks almost back t' normal."

"I visited 'im," Enka comments, "he was lookin' like one of those wild felines on the Southern Continent. All shaggy and unkempt. Poor guy." Enka's got quite a lot of affection for her Weyrleader after all. They've got a kid together, and they work together and whatnot. "But he seems better, the little I've seen of him. Push comes to shove, I'll have a talk with Kiena, but I don't think it'd be necessary." she chuckles softly, grinning at Rou. "It's … different." she admits. "My first was a flight baby, and I wasn't much older than the two of you." Younger actually, but only by a bit. "And then the twins." The weyrwoman manages a cheery smile. "I never thought I'd end up with kids, but I've sort of liked havin' 'em. Course, they get fostered off pretty quick since I can't take care of a Weyr, a queen dragon and a kid for too long."

"He loves her, but at this rate… what's she gonna do the next time Miraneith goes up? Expect him to keep Suldith grounded and give up being Weyrleader just to avoid the risk of him sleeping with someone?" Keely gives a little shrug, "It just… it ain't /him/ anymore. Last few times I seen him, he's just… like some shell of himself. Like he's giving up everything just to be whatever she wants." There's a little shudder. "It ain't natural."

"I don't reckon I'll ever like havin' 'em. This'un's gonna be my first n' my last, 'cos I'd rather be spendin' time with my wing than nursin' a tot in my weyr." Rou'x frowns, then shrugs. "Zi'on'll be fine. If that's what he's gotta do for love, then that's what he's gotta do, right? You've gotta make /some/ sacrifices…" The brownrider looks meaningfully at Keely. She /did/ give up space in her weyr for the girl, after all! "You ain't pissed off then that I slept with Al'vyn th' other day, when Indy caught his green? 'S'not like I'm gonna get /knocked up/ or anythin'."

"Might be harder for you anyway, with goin' between so often and all." Enka observes, "seems like sometimes, even breedin' queens got breedin' riders, seein' as we rarely go between after the flight, and sometimes even takin' the stuff isn't always fool proof." Which is how Ezio came about, see. "Well, Kiena's got to be willin' to sacrifice in the name of love too, and not gettin' worked up over flights … shells, my 'mate's got a blue. Not like Inizituth's goin' to be even able to catch Mir in flight." The goldrider trails off, glancing out towards the bowl. "Listen, I gotta get back, Mir's sayin' she needs me."

There's a nod to Enka. "Like she said… Kiena needs to be willing to make sacrifices too an' I don't think she is." Not that Keely really knows- the other bluerider has been rather absent from her point of view. All she's seen is poor abused Zi'on! Rou'x's question brings about a furrowed brow. "Not pissed off… I'd just hope, ahh… I dunno. That y'don't start trying to sleep with people yer interested in when he loses. That's when I'd start to worry, I guess." She glances to Enka and smiles to the goldrider. "Make sure ya tell him soon. He deserves to know!" Then her eyes unfocus a bit and she blinks a little, "Geim's wantin' a bath. Guess I should go round up some of the candidates we got about and get their help."

"I reckon I'll be prescribin' myself a dose've between as /well/ as the green stuff, just t'be sure. Least I'm sleepin' wi' you though, Kee, right? We ain't gonna get each other pregnant in a hurry." Rou'x snorts, bumping gently off the bluerider. When Enka starts her goodbye, the wingleader nods her head, giving her a salute of sorts. It's half-assed, whatever it is. "Sure thing, Weyrwoman. Nice chattin' with ya." And Keely's going, too? Rou gives her lover a pouty-lipped look, then shrugs. "See you in my weyr, tonight? I gotta give you a turnday present too, y'know." She's far from done with her mountain of food, and isn't about to give it up easily!

Enka's chair scrapes backwards as Enka rises to her feet, slowly of course. "I'll do that, Keely," she tilts her fingers in a brief wave. "And it was nice seein' you too, Rou'x. And spendin' some time speakin' with you." Mostly about not-babies, with some of the spawnwage stuff thrown in. "Bye." And off she waddles.

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