Fort Weyr - Th'ero and Velokraeth's Weyr
…Accessible from the ledge outside, two large wooden double doors lead into the wide and spacious living area. Raised like a natural formed dias, a tiny foyer opens up just steps past those doors, gradually and subtly inclining down into the rough semicircular shape of the room. Along the same wall of the doors but further in is a large stone hearth and in front of it lies a very large and well woven rug. Placed on top is a low, dark wood table and behind it is a long, deep cushioned and equally dark leather couch. Thick pillows rest at each end and there is a matching chair to go with the set though it rests to the side and facing back towards the doors. Shelves have been carved into the wall, little recessed pockets that allow for a variety of items to be placed, though most commonly used for glow baskets. The smoothed wall curves at the right handed side, extending out to create a semi-partition, an illusion that the room is in fact made of two pieces.
Tucked away in this hollow is the kitchenette, visible either from approaching it as one walks towards the back of the weyr or through the mock arch window carved at shoulder height into the rock wall extension. There are ample cabinets and counter space, all made with good stone though they are worn a bit by age…

A day like any other in Xanadu, and a day that has yet to start in Fort. For the northern Weyr, dawn has passed and the hour edges into mid-morning. Wingriders go about their duties, weyrfolk about their tasks and a Weyrleader is lingering for once in his weyr for a late breakfast with his weyrmate. Kyzen has just been sent to his lessons with the Harpers and Velokraeth is out on the ledge and sprawled in the autumn sunlight to enjoy the last of the warmth before winter truly settles in. "… are you going out to the cotholds again today, Wingmate?" Th'ero asks as he pushes back his chair and begins to gather their dishes. "Any idea of which ones or have things caught up on their preparation for the winter?" He's made it to the kitchenette, the dishes just set down when everything changes. Out on the ledge, Velokraeth voices a startled warble that can be heard within the weyr as the pale bronze lurches to his feet, eyes whirling in the colour of alarm… and a breath later he is rising up onto his haunches, wings flaring open to keep his balance as he begins to keen and rapidly is echoed by others as the news hits like a crushing wave. Seryth, Xanadu's Senior queen, is gone. Lost. Back inside the weyr, Th'ero's eyes have widened in shock, mouth slack as he staggers to grip the edge of the counter, his skin crawling and his ears ringing with the keening cries, paralyzed by them as he struggles to keep his mind shut off from being overwhelmed.

Kimmila leans back in her chair and stretches, fingers laced behind her head and tipping the seat onto two legs. "Mmm. Most of them do, and the ones that don't, are the usual ones that don't want our help. They'll su-" She doesn't get through it though, as Th'ero and Velokraeth are suddenly acting so strangely. She pushes to her feet, eyes wide, quick steps to Th'ero's side and her first guess (fear) is, "Kayeth?" Varmiroth rises as well, surging to his feet with his wings spread, his mind reaching out to his ledgemate's with a silent question. Who? He can not reach that far, he does not know who, only that it's not in Fort.

If it had been Kayeth, Th'ero's reaction would have been ten times as worse and Fort Weyr would be drowning in grief. Not that they aren't now, as the dragons continue to keen and mourn a loss of their own but the pain and grief is almost muffled by distance. To lose a queen, especially one as strong as Seryth to an untimely death is shocking and terrible and unfathomable. Th'ero can only shake his head to Kimmila's question and blindly reach for her as she approaches, his fingers brushing against her and then clutching at her. She's swept into a fierce embrace and he will hold her to him like that until the keening ebbs. Outside, Velokraeth lowers himself down, his keening now tapering to sad groans and rumbles, his eyes whirling grey in sorrow and grief. Varmiroth will learn from him who it is, echoed by so many others. Kayeth would know, as would the other Fortian queens and through them all, Fort will know. Seryth is gone.

Kimmila reaches back for Th'ero, folding herself against him and wrapping her arms tightly around his body. Tight, firm, alive. "No," she whispers, softly, eyes wide in shock and surprise. Not Thea. /Thea/. No… Burying her face against Th'ero's tunic, she doesn't try to hold back her tears, sharing in the weyr's - in Pern's - grief. Varmiroth joins in the keening, wiings fanning the air.

Th'ero holds Kimmila to him, his head resting against hers and with her will he let silent tears slip through, his chest rising and falling in shuddered breaths as he works through the grief and shock, magnified by Velokraeth and the hundreds of Fortian dragons echoing it through the walls and of his own sadness. Knowing that Thea has likely gone with Seryth and the Weyrwoman he had known and respected for all these Turns is now lost. When the Weyr quiets and the keening voices drift away, the silence is almost worse. Th'ero shudders against Kimmila and gradually begins to pull himself together. He has to, having no choice but to face the droves of weyrfolk and riders who will be coming soon for answers and he knows, as Weyrleader, he has to be collected and calm. Reassuring. Strong. For now though, he lets some of his emotions seep through and he kisses the top of Kimmila's head before resting his cheek against her hair. "… can't believe… of all riders…"

Kimmila holds him tightly, giving support as she takes it. "I know," she whispers softly. "Kiena? Is she okay?" She's weyrsecond, right? "And…isn't she dating…um…" That one rider. Thea's son. "Shards," she shudders, shaking her head and holding him tight. "I wonder how. How…she was so young…"

Th'ero hadn't even begun to think of his sister or Mur'dah for that matter and he swears under his breath as he has Velokraeth bespeak Ujinath. So his answer to Kimmila is delayed, though he will continue to hold her to him, his hands stroking her back in a soothing, comforting way that is half for her and half for him. Under his hands, she feels warm and whole and safe and he uses that as his anchor. "Kiena is not alright but Ujinath won't tell Velokraeth anything further, aside from that she is occupied." Weyrsecond business or personal business or both. "Mur'dah. Yes, she's dating Mur'dah…" And the brownrider just lost more than anyone, a mother and a Weyrwoman. "… I'm not sure how. The dragons only know it was Seryth who has passed. We won't know the answers." Not until Xanadu makes an official announcement. "Not yet."

Kimmila looks up at him, reaching up to touch his cheek. "I wonder how…" Little does she know it was so similar to Wiyaneth's accident. That /she/ almost lost her mother in the same way, all those turns ago. She doesn't know that yet, but when she finds out it will be a haunting blow and she will feel so bad for the children Thea left behind. "Is there anything we can do?"

Th'ero tilts his head into Kimmila's touch, his expression still tense and full of sorrow. "It must have been an accident of some sort. A fluke…" he mutters with a sigh. How else would an experienced rider like Thea meet such an untimely end? Neither does he make the connection to Wiyaneth's accident and if it does, he'll wisely not bring it up to Kimmila. That'd just be cruel. "I… I'm not sure, Wingmate. Xanadu must be in chaos right now. Perhaps… Perhaps we will wait. For news. Official — and then we send our condolences." Likely in person. Th'ero's not about to send letters and nothing else. Doesn't seem right! But then… what DOES the Leadership do in a circumstance like this?

Kimmila nods. "Condolences…yes. Maybe…gifts? I don't know, is that weird? Nyalle would know what's proper in this sort of situation." Perhaps Nyalle in the records at this very mment seeking ettiquette records.

Th'ero sighs again and hugs her tightly to his body, as if to seek reassurance once more. His head is already so full and still ringing with the shock of the news. It all feels so surreal! "Don't know," he mutters gruffly as he rests his cheek against hers. Then he stiffens. Nyalle! The Weyrwoman. He should probably go seek her out… and yet he can't seem to bring himself to part from Kimmila. It's as though he's gone back in time and become that nervous and so young Weyrleader so many Turns ago and does not want to go out there to face what is awaiting him. To act strong and calm, to reassure even though all he has at his disposal are vague answers at best.

Kimmila slides her hands against his chest, seeking that spot to rub gently. She doesn't push him to go. She could care less what the rest of the weyr is doing right now. She just leans against him and shifts so her hand can keep rubbing his chest.

Th'ero won't go and won't move from her side. Not right away, not then. Instead he leans into her touch, pressing against her hand as his arms remain looped around her and his head held close to hers. This is what he needs now. To anchor and ground himself and only through her does he achieve it and far swifter (and healthier) than if he were to just sit in a dark corner somewhere and brood. He is quiet for a long, long time before he speaks up again and in a quiet voice. "… things like this frighten me." he admits and it's just another thing that Kimmila has with him that others don't. He is open to her and he does not hesitate to share his fears with her.

Kimmila closes her eyes and waits with him, letting his embrace and the feel of him calm her as well. "Me too," she admits softly. "Even without Thread…" What they do is dangerous. "It's a reminder to take nothing for granted…"

Th'ero shudders. "I cannot even fathom the grief and suffering they endured during Threadfall and those earlier times." he whispers. For the dragons to keen and sorrow and loss to always be present anytime Thread would fall over their range of territory. Death always hanging over their heads every time they rose to fly. Now, not so much, but a dragon rider still faces risks. They are not immortal. "You're right, love. We should never take anything for granted." And if he acts fiercely protective of her and their children over the next few days or sevendays well… Kimmila will know why.

Kimmila will know why, and she will likely do the same. In fact, "Can we have a family dinner tonight?" she asks softly. "Here? Just us and the kids? Maybe…maybe Mom and Dad?"

Th'ero blinks and then frowns. Tonight? It's so sudden and yet… he finds himself wanting that very same thing. Desiring it. "Of course we can. I… I don't think there will be much in the way of work today." Important stuff, yes. But all the other things can wait a day. "Us and the kids. Elara and Ar'tomus? I wonder if I should not extend an invite to Kenali and Garan…" But from his tone, he likely assumes his father will be busy and he is doubtful about his mother.

"It can wait," Kimmila says, as if reading his thoughts. "An invite to your parents would be nice as well, I can go fetch them if they wish to join us. Is your mother strong enough to travel?" If not, maybe they go visit there sometime soon.

Th'ero looks fit to protest for a moment and then only sags against her again. She's right and he knows it. It can wait. "Kenali is well enough to travel." he confirms, kissing her hair and then her lips. "If they can come and while you go fetch them… I may briefly speak with Nyalle. We should go out, Wingmate, and reassure the Weyr." Important Thing. "And then… then we make the evening ours. Family. Us." Though the 'us' will be for the night, when everyone is gone.

Kimmila nods, "I can do that," she says quietly, leaning up to return his kiss. "The weyr needs to see you right now. You /and/ Nyalle. It'll be good for everyone." They don't need to see her, is what she is implying. She can go run the errands.

Th'ero catches what she is implying and his hold on her tightens, almost fierce-like, for a short span of time. She's always been at his side during times like these! It seems so strange for him, even now, to consider sending her off while he and Nyalle step up to their roles as Fort's Leadership. Yet… it's the necessary thing, isn't it? "I know," he murmurs. He doesn't have to like this, right? "You'll be safe?"

Kimmila nods, "Of course," she whispers softly, a low spoken promise. "I'll go get them and then get our food, then the kids. I'll have Varmiroth call when we're ready for you."

So much to do, so little time. Th'ero doesn't want this peace and quiet with Kimmila to end, to have to face the crowds outside but it has to be done. Even as she lists off where she is going to go and what she is going to do, he slips further and further into his guarded masks. Less the man, more the Weyrleader. His arms slip from around her and he stands to full height, shoulders squared and his expression kept at his usual stoic neutrality. Not directed to her, but in preparedness for what he has to do. "I love you." he whispers and for a moment the facade shifts to show the truer side of him. The side that is hers.

Kimmila watches him draw himself up and she can't help but smile a bit in pride to see him as Weyrleader. Though she treasures the part of him that is /hers/. It's also…not sure what the right word is but it's good for her to see him put on those masks. The selfish part of her likes seeing him guarded around others. "I love you too," she whispers, rising onto her tiptoes to offer him another kiss. "We'll be off, then. And back soon."

There's probably a term for it, somewhere. Th'ero is certainly guarded now or at least will be after sharing another kiss with her. "Clear skies, Wingmate." he murmurs and will follow her out onto the ledge. Watch as she mounts up Varmiroth's straps and the two of them fly away and he will continue to look up even after they've vanished Between. Only a soft whuffle from Velokraeth draws him from his thoughts and he will turn to his pale bronze lifemate to comfort him. Only then will he go and seek out Nyalle and proceed to the next step and the next to follow that.