An Informative Morning

Western Weyr - Lagoon
The Weyr lagoon is wide and deep enough for ships to sail into and dock. The water is crystal clear and reflects the blue of the sky in its color, causing the living things below the surface to stand out clearly, yet have a blue tint to them. There is a huge natural arch which spans the entrance to the lagoon from the ocean beyound. The docks have lower platforms that one can climb out onto.


In between wing exercises and paperwork, Rou'x still has to make time to tend to her lifemate - and right now, in the lull of a mid-morning summer day, she's out in the water with Indianath, scrubbing at him as best as she can in the waist-deep water. And it's no easy feat, either; she's already got a baby belly on her that looks as if she's swallowed a beach ball, and it's on display despite her attempts to hide it under a knee-length vest, which simply clings to her curves now that it's wet. Indianath watches her carefully as she starts working on his upper foreleg.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Suldith! The small bronze goes diving into the water, but mush further out, where it's deep enough for him to swim. His rider is fiddling with things on the beach before coming out into the shallows. Zi'on looks fairly normal, he's put on the bit of weight he lost during him and Kiena's fight, and since it's been warm enough to swim everyday he's been sticking to it. The bronzer has someone else with him though, a little tanned person with a mop of curly dark hair on his head. He's got a tiny version of his father's swim trunks on and a life vest. And he makes a B-line right towards Indy as soon as they hit the water. "DWAGOOOOON!" It's Ezio of course, Zi'on's oldest son. "Ezio, no touching!"

The little perrson is of mild curiosity to Indianath, who lowers his head, looks at Ezio with one whirling eye, then snorts and looks back at Rou'x. She's /far/ more interesting to him than a tot is! Rou'x herself turns to look at Ezio with a look that's akin to worry; but she takes the distraction as a welcome break to lean back against the freshly-scrubbed hide of her lifemate. "Yeah," she says awkwardly in response to the kid, looking at Zi'on with an expression that reads 'help me out here'. "He's a dragon."

Ezio flaps his arms around once he's close enough to Indy, probably to try and get the brown's attention. Some tiny tots might be scared of a big brown dragon, but not Ezio obviously. He's been around Suldith and Miraneith his whole life, and seems to love dragons the way a little prince of the weyr ought to. "Say hello, Ezio. To Rou and Indy. Be polite." There's a squeak from the toddler as a wave rushes at him and lifts his feet from the sand. "Hi Woo! Hi Indy! Watch, I c'n swim!" Ezio puffs his cheeks out and then sticks his face into the water, kicking around with his legs for a moment before lifting his head back out of the water. He beams up at the rider. Yes, that is 'swimming'. Zi'on just chuckles and grabs hold if Ezio's life vest to pull him around in the deeper water.

Rou'x is /awkward/. When Ezio starts flapping she rests her hands over her significantly-sized belly, looking from the kid up to Indianath, then to Zi'on, then back to her dragon. The brown gets a little shake of her head to supplement whatever mental conversation is going on between them, then Indy lowers his head to breath a soft gust of warm air over the little one and his dad. "Sir," Rou'x ventures, readjusting her sodden wet vest to try and hide that which cannot be hidden, "That's your little one, ain't it? One've 'em?"

Areia might not have a dragon to bathe, but she does have two firelizards who love water. The runner caretaker seems to have a rare day off - or at least, a morning off. The two flits are gliding above her, seeming, for once, to be getting along or at least ignoring each other. Arei has a note pad under one arm and a pencil tucked above her ear. As the riders come into view, she waves. "Hey guys!" She half-yells, hoping they're close enough to hear.

Ezio squeals and giggles at the warm air. It tickles! Or something. Zi'on lets his son go, but remains close to him as he propels his little self around in the water, half-walking half-swimming in the shallows. "This is my oldest, Ezio. Enka and I's son. Also, stop calling me sir when we're not in a meeting. You'll make the other riders scared of me." Zi'on looks towards the shore as he hears someone yelling to them. He spots Areia and gives her a wave. "Hey there!" Then he looks back up to Rou. "Kiena went in for her check up."

"/Zi'on/." Rou'x corrects herself with a nod of her head to the Weyrleader. Areia's distraction is met with a grin and a wave - a welcoming wave, inviting the woman in to where the brownrider's waistdeep in the water, and Zi… well, he's towering over her, no matter where the water reaches on him. The nugget of information he shares with her causes her brows to raise. "Oh yeah? Little Ezio there gonna get him a brother or sister sometime soon, then?"

The mention of Kiena has Areia's ears practically stretching towards Zi'on. The woman considers for a moment, then drops her items well away from the water and slips out of her shirt, reveaing a modest swim suit top. Still in her shorts, she wades into the shallows. "Hi, Ezio." She greets the child with a smile. "Having fun?"

Ezio is having a grand old time, paddling between the grown ups and towards the big brown he doesn't know. He's giggling away. "How far along are you then, Rou?" Something that goes up to Rou's waist only goes up to Zi'on's thighs. The bronzer nods to Rou's question. "It would seem that way! At least, another one. He's already got a brother. Ezsrian. He's still too young to take out swimming though. Kiena isn't very happy about it, though." The toddler, who looks like a miniature Zi'on, minus the height and the body hair and add a curly mop on his head, waves to Areia. "Hii! I'm swimmin'!"

When Areia gets to them, Rou'x gives her a welcoming bob of her head, even if she doesn't look entirely chuffed. She looks tired, and she leans back against a foreleg thoughtfully extended by Indianath. As she leans, she rests her hands on her belly, rubbing over it idly. The news about Kiena has her shaking her head sympathetically. "I know how she's feelin', Zi'on. She gonna stick it out though, or do a long hop between?" Rou's not entirely cold as she says it, but more removed, stating it in a factual sort of way. "If I hadn't've had them stitches -" the scars from which are still prevalent as a rosy, jagged stripe across her thigh, "I reckon I would't've been lookin' like this right now. An' I'm five months, now. Round about."

Areia looks incredulous. "Kiena's pregnant? Faranth, am I the only one who isn't? I'm starting to feel left out!" She can't help but mention with a frown. "Not that I… ah, nevermind." The woman waves a hand idly before turning to the paddling boy. "I see that. You swim pretty good, eh?"

Ezio remains blissfully unawares of the implications of the grown ups talk. He's too busy splashing about to take notice of what they're talking about. Zi'on frowns to Rou. "It's too late for that. It would be dangerous at this point. We have an idea of how far along she is, and she's nearly to the second trimester." And it would hurt Zi'on's feelings right now if she were to try and between the baby away. Now that he's emotionally invested in it. He chuckles to Areia. "Well, we could fix that. Though it would be better to wait a bit probably. Unless you want a kid now. You're welcome to look after mine if their foster parents don't mind." Ezio nods and grins to Areia, 'swimming' around her. It's more like kicking and paddling as best he can, but it's a start. Plus he's having fun, so Zi'on doesn't mind.

"Don' do it, Areia. Y'don't want it, trust me." Rou'x rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "Well. I say that, but y'know, Kee's all happy-glee about it. It sorta suits her… n' I reckon Enka's —" Whatever the wingleader was about to say she cuts short, looking at Zi'on and shaking her head in realisation. "/Shit/, Zi - you're gonna have /two/ more littl'uns poppin' out about the same time? Bloody fog n' fire." Indianath rumbles, yawning and stretching out his wings, which casts a shadow over the four of them. "Y'know… KeeKee said summat about our Bakergirl bein' a bit… /glowier/, if y'know what I mean?"

Is it the sunlight, or does Areia pale a bit? "Me? Oh, no no." She holds up her hands to ward off any baby-vibes. "I'll be the odd one out in this circumstance. Although he's cute." Ezio is motioned to. "But not cute enough. And two? Really? How are you going to keep up with that!? And… and…" Rou gets a stare. "Elsia? Oh, no, not her too!" She groans with quite a bit of exaggeration.

Zi'on chuckles. "Don't listen to her, Areia. Rou just doesn't know how fun it is to be a parent. That said, you should wait until you want it. Not until it happens to you. It'll take me nine more months probably to get Kiena out of her funk." He blinks at Rou and tilts her head. "Eh? What about Enka? Wait, what? Enka is pregnant, too?" He laughs. "Surely that one isn't mine though. She's been sleeping with that bluerider now for ages. They might even be weyrmated, I see the blue on her ledge all the time." Stare. "Elsia, too?! That one is -definitely- not mine! No more babies! I'm putting an edict out! All girls who aren't pregnant must between once a week!" Zi'on grins and muses up his son's hair. He's cute! The ladies already love him.

Well, hasn't Rou'x just put her foot in it? Her eyes widen when it's very clear the Weyrwoman's still not spoken to Zi'on, and she blushes a bit. "Y'din't hear that from me! She were meant t' tell ya… she /said/ she were goin' t' tell ya - so don't you say nothin' about me lettin' slip, yeah?" The brownrider frowns down at her hands, where her fingers are splayed out over her belly. "I don't know f' sure if it's true about Elsia, but I heard she's lookin'… y'know. /Well/. Like… that glow? I dunno, though. I ain't see her m'self, so I can only say what others've told me." She shrugs, stroking her hand over her bump. "I ain't havin' no more after this'un comes."

Areia looks back and forth between the two riders with a sort of horrified, but interested, expression. There's not much else to do. Then, one of the other stablehands shows up on the dock, waving. Areia heaves a sigh, frowning. "I'm needed, apparently." She explains. "Rou'x, take care of yourself… Zi'on…" She chuckles a bit. "Good luck. And bye, little Ezio! Keep on swimming." Farewells done, she starts to head back to shore.

What gave it away, Zi'on's gaping look? Or the way the color has drained from his face? The bronzer frowns. "Not tell her? Rou, the weyrwoman is pregnant. Are you saying she's been telling people it's mine, too? Oh Faranth. I have to talk to her! What if Kiena finds out second hand? She'll be furious! I won't mention you though, don't worry. I'll just say I heard it through the grapevine." Zi'on peers at Rou. "Oh. So maybe not a baby glow. So maybe she just got laid or something, or is in love with someone?" Less scary than an Elsia baby floating about, too. There's a wave as Areia takes off. The bronzer leans over to reel Ezio back in as he starts to wander too far. "No? What's to say the next one won't be an accident, as well?"

Rou'x waves Areia off, then turns to face Zi'on. "Think've the /timin'/, Zi - when did Suldith catch Miraneith? Y'mean you ain't see her belly yet? She's already showin'!" Probably not as much as Rou'x currently is, though - it's hard to mistake the wide-hipped woman's rounded belly for anything /but/ a babymaking-bump. "Just tell her you've been doin' a bit've maths, n' she'll say it's mebbe yours. I don't reckon she's all that sure, since you ain't the only one she's hooked up with." The brownrider shrugs, standing up straight and pressing her hands to her hips. "After this'un's here, I'm takin' my stuff every damned day n' long hops between every damned sevenday t'be sure it ain't happenin' to me no more."

Zi'on frowns to Rou. "I don't know. I don't have it marked down in my calendar. Even if I did, these things hardly seem like an exact science. How can she be sure if she was sleeping with that bluerider right afterwards?" This wasn't Enka's first rodeo, either. The weyrwoman was probably more savvy about hiding a baby bump from the father-who-does-not-know. He sighs a bit. He blinks at Rou and covers Ezio's ears, his brow furrowing. "Hey now! Watch your language, Rou. My boy is here. Trying to keep his mouth clean for at least a little while. I don't know why you stuck it out with this one, honestly. If you don't want it that bad. At least do him or her a favor and give them up straight away. Best they think their mother didn't have time for them than to think their mother didn't want them at all." Clearly something has touched a nerve with the bronzer! He lifts his son out of the water and starts heading back to shore.

"What'd I say?" Rou'x cocks her hip to the side, frowning at the reprimand. She wades after the Weyrleader, Indianath following her. "I'm doin' it for /Ir'e/… cos /he's/ worth it f'me, Zi'on. An' like I said, it were comin' up too late by the time I /could/ do summat… did I say summat t'make you /mad/?" The brownrider speeds up, lengthening her stride to try and catch up with Zi's longer one. "He's goin' to his father when he gets here, Ir'e'll look after him n' be a damned /good/ dad, I know it. Just like I know I ain't gonna be Pern's best mum - I love my job, sir, I wanna do my job rather'n spend time raisin' kids."

Zi'on frowns to Rou. "I see. So then you don't have any plans to raise him. That's at least a relief." The bronzer stops to look at the brownrider. "You don't have to raise them. But you ought to love them. This sort of attitude just rubs me the wrong way. I don't want to discuss this any more." Ezio looks a bit confused. Swim time over? "Come on Ezio, you're starting to wrinkle." Once they're out of the water, Zi'on pops his son's life vest off and wraps a towel around him. It's big enough to look like a blanket on the toddler. When Zi'on wraps a towel around himself it looks more like a wash cloth.

Rou'x's towel is a little further down the beach, so she ignores it for the time being, opting to stand there dripping on the sand with her oversized vest clinging to her curvy form and transclucent enough to show her bikini beneath. "I din't say I weren't gonna love him." She says it slowly, looking down at her bump with her lower lip pouted out. "I din't say that. Babies ain't my thing, n' I don't think that's /bad/, not at all. It ain't like he's gonna go unloved anyways, cos he'll have Ir'e, n' Kee, n' probably my sister, too. She's more mom-ish than I'll ever been, Zi'on… don't be angry wi' me about it."

"Well that's what it sounds like, honestly. Which is sort of hurtful, Rou. That's not the rider I know. Just be careful the way you go on about things. Especially to people who are about to become new parents. Anyways, being a parent is what you make of it. If you go in thinking you'll hate it, you will." Zi'on squats down next to Ezio and musses up the toddler's hair. "Right buddy? Suldith is coming out of the water, why don't you go give him a hug?" The bronze is in fact passing overhead, and lands a bit away from them. The bronzer takes the towel his son was using and moves over to drape it around Rou's shoulders. "I'm not mad. I'm just worried that Kiena might feel the same way about the baby she's about to have. And I would like us to be something of a family."

Indianath lounges half in, half out of the water, while Rou'x clings to the towel wrapped around her shoulders, hugging it to tightly to her. "I can't say how I'll feel when ihe comes, cos there ain't no way I can see that far ahead n' the way I'm feelin' changes every day. Mebbe you're meant t' be a dad, but I ain't ready at all, not for alongside, Zi'on. It… it terrifies me. More'n flyin' into a storm to snag someone off've a ship or somethin'. This littl'un in here," she strokes her belly, sighing, "scares me more'n anythin' I know."

Zi'on loops his arms around Rou's neck from behind, and gives her shoulders a squeeze. He turns his head to smile at her. "Trust me, I know the feeling. It is scary. And when they're so tiny it's also scary. When you're afraid something might happen to them, or when they cry too much, or not enough. Or the first time you hear them cough or see a runny nose. But trust me, it's worth it." He points out at Ezio, who is giving Suldith's muzzle a hug and giggling as the bronze give him a nose-bump that nearly knocks him over. "And you'll do fine. What could possibly go wrong, anyways?" He gives Rou's shoulder's a squeeze. "Anyways, we should head back, Ezio's had enough sun for today, I think."

Rou'x leans shamelessly back against Zi'on, wrapping her arms over her belly as she listens to him. "Everythin'. Everythin' can go wrong." She bites down on her lip, turning to face him. The towel around her shoulders is pulled gently off and pressed into the Weyrleader's hands, and she shakes her head at him. "The whole world could go wrong, Zi. The whole world could go /right/. I ain't gotta clue, n' waitin' t' find out is drivin' me mad." She sighs, giving Zi's forearm a gentle pat. "Y' always make me feel a bit better, y'know that? Don't matter how I'm feelin', butcha somehow manage t'make it better. Thank you." Indianath rumbles at her, getting to his feet to shake off, before heading back into the water. "He wants me to try'n finish off scrubbin' him down."

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