A Welcome Goes Both Ways

Fort Weyr - Lake Shore
This lake shares many features common to mountain lakes — a brilliant blue jewel nestled amongst the rocks. The waters are crystal clear, and the north shore slopes gently before abruptly falling away into the depths. This lake does have one significant differentiating feature, however. The south shore of the lake is a tumbled mass of rubble, rock and earth of an ancient rockslide smoothed only by the elements in the intervening years. This rubble, as well as the rather sheer east and west faces, makes for the north shore to be the only one easily accessible.

Springs arrival is noted by the disappearing lake ice. As it melts it breaks up into smaller icy bergs. These bob randomly throughout the choppy waters, slowly disappearing as the temperatures rise. They also frequently provide sport and entertainment for the bathing dragons. The emerging shoreline is inviting, though the water remains chilly for their human counterparts. As spring draws nearer to summer, the waters begin to feel quite invigorating with Rukbat's growing shine.


The sun is a little ways off from rising, the Weyr is mostly quiet. There are signs of life, of course as some people begin their days while others remain in a slumber. The wild pair, or really: the wild woman and her refined lifemate are two who are up at such an hour. Dtirae is in the lake, wearing a makeshift outfit that could pass as swim clothes. Fingers are in black locks, attempting some form of cleaning around all the knots. Zuvaleyuth, however, is floating out on the water in a manner that screams she is utterly content, and pleased.

Kimmila and Varmiroth appear from between high above the lake, the powder blue dragon circling down to land on the shore, rumbling a bit in surprise at the sight of Zuvaleyuth. Well then. Kimmila swings down to dismount, squinting into the pre-dawn air. "Dei?"

Dtirae's head turns at the sound of her name, fingers still caught up in tangled hair. "Oh! Kimm—Ila." Fingers attempt to sort out some of the knots, only seeming to twist them in more thoroughly. "Sorry. I wasn't expecting… Anyone." Grey eyes dart uncomfortably, looking about before resettling on the other woman.

Kimmila stands beside Varmiroth's shoulder, peering at the goldrider in the water. "So you've finally come back then, huh?" Kimm asks, her arms slowly crossing over her chest as she watches. Welcome home?

It would appear that Thys is an early morning jogger, as that's what she's out doing at present, running at a leisurely pace around the lake shore. From above Rhenesath appears, her dusky brown-gold hide gleaming gently in the pre-dawn light. She cluck-croons a greeting to Zuvaleyth in the water and Varmiroth on the shore as she comes down into the lake, while Thys draws up level with the bluerider and unfamiliar goldrider. "Kimmila… ma'am." She dips her head at Dtirae, though she's not long in piecing together who she is, especially not when she overhears Kimmila's comment. "Goldrider Dtirae. Welcome back."

"Yes." Dtirae returns to the bluerider, the uncomfortable look slowly shifting into a frown. Fingers continue to work at the knots, managing to get some semblance of order before she simply gives in and wrings it out and twists it into a makeshift bun. Her hair is tied up, only by itself. Zuvaleyuth shifts in order to look to the unfamiliar gold, giving a gentle croon in greeting before resuming her leisurely float. The goldrider's attention is shifting to the arriving Thys, giving the younger woman a slight nod in greeting. "Thank you, weyrwoman." Her tone is polite while, her posture tenses just a fraction. She's moving to close some of the distance, however. She still lingers at the frays, looking between both women.

Kimmila turns her head as Thys approaches, the bluerider's expression a little closed off. "Morning, Thys," she greets quietly, offering the young goldrider a little smile. Then she looks back to Dtirae. "This is Thys, Rhenesath's from our most recent clutch." She shifts her weight a bit. "So why'd you decide to come back?"

"Sorry, I should have remembered my manners - but yes. Thank you, Kimmila. Thys, Rhenesath's, and still a weyrling for the time being, though nearly out of it." She grins, slipping her hands into the pockets of her running pants. Out in the water, Rhenesath begins a gentle splashing as she bathes, though she keeps respectfully far enough away from Zuvaleyuth to avoid disturbing her float. There's silence from Thys when Kimmila asks her question, her dark eyes fixed on the bluerider as she speaks, before looking to Dtirae. She's curious, and won't interrupt.

"Well met, Thys. And, congratulations." Dtirae inclines her head again while her arms come to fold across her chest and she levels Kimmila with a look. "Zuvaleyuth was homesick. I was homesick. And, the settlement didn't need me as frequently as they once did." Simple enough. Grey eyes shift back to Thys and offer a slight smile. "It's fine. I've been mostly without manners for awhile." Though, she's shifting back towards Kimmila. "Do you have a problem with my return?"

Oh, that question. Kimmila snorts a bit. "I still have a problem with your leaving, Dtirae. But," she waves a hand, "we did just fine without you, so I suppose it's all water under the bridge now." She glances at Thys, watching the young goldrider for a moment. "When will you be graduating?"

Thys dips her head and smiles at the congratulations. "Thank you, ma'am. Some mornings it's still a shock when I wake up." The question to Kimmila visibly confuses the young goldrider, though she refrains from commenting until the bluerider's spoken back. "It must be nice to be able to come home. Do you plan on settling in entirely - returning properly?" To Kimm, she gives a gentle shrug of her shoulders. "I have a little extra to catch up on still, since I fell a tad behind when I came down ill. It shouldn't be long, though. Hopefully within a sevenday!"

"And, I don't expect you not to have a problem with it. I still have a problem with it." The leaving. But, she does not elaborate. "You did fine. You always did fine. With or without me. You and Th'ero." Dtirae does not shrug, but instead, looks to the younger goldrider with a smile that is understanding. A touch more gentle than the first one. "Understandable." Her gaze drifts to her lifemate and she gives a nod in affirmation. "It is nice. Especially—" The statement dies there but she continues easily. "I have spoken with Nyalle. A knot is in commission, a weyr is being prepared and I'll be starting my duties today."

Thys is far more diplomatic than Kimmila is, which is a good thing as the bluerider continues to frown. "Yeah. We did." She glances skyward as it begins to lighten. "Best of luck with your final tests, Thys. Dtirae, welcome back." It's sincere, despite the lingering issues Kimmila has with the goldrider. With that, she and Varmiroth turn and head back towards the bowl.

"Well then, I'll look forward to seeing you in the morning meetings," Thys says with a whole deal more warmth than Kimmila has. In fact, the bluerider's reaction has Thys frowning slightly, teeth pressed into her bottom lip as she watches her go. "I'm sorry," she apologises needlessly to Dtirae. "I… don't fully understand that, but something tells me you may have expected it?"

"Thank you, Kimmila." Dtirae's expression remains neutral as she watches the bluerider depart. Grey eyes linger in her direction before settling on Thys again. "It should be… Interesting, to say the least." The apology is waved off from a hand tucked beneath her arm. "She's never really liked me. Especially when I do things against tradition or what was expected. Or when I made fun of Th'ero too much." She offers another smile to the younger woman, "but, yes. I expected it. And I expect many more to respond just like her. I did not come with the expectation to be welcomed warmly. I did not come with the expectation of anything. Zuvaleyuth is happy and that is what matters to me."

Thys rocks on the balls of her feet gently, listening to Dtirae quietly. "I can imagine being Senior is hard like that; there's always going to be someone whose feathers you'll ruffle with your decisions. And… Th'ero was your Weyrleader, if I'm remembering my history right? There's been so many names to learn lately that they occasionally get muddled up in here." A fingertip gently taps her temple. "If you don't mind me asking, ma'am, what made you leave?"

"Of course. But, I can't say every decision I made was a smart one. I was scared a lot of the time. Worried that I'd mess up. And then I'd be so worried about messing up, I'd cause further problems. I never stopped wanting what was best for the Weyr. I closed myself off to other people and focused on being Weyrwoman." Dtirae hums softly, shifting on her feet as if she isn't used to standing in one spot for so long. "Th'ero was my Weyrleader. I'm pleased he still is. He's… Got a good head. Don't tell him I told you that." She's only teasing, of course, from the tone of her voice. "I left because… Because I was fragile. Because I was weak. And afraid. I felt I could never do anything right. I ruined things between myself and my few friends. I didn't feel like I could breathe and I picked the coward's way out while still being loyal to my home. But, it was abrupt. I could have done more… But I didn't. And I was selfish." Grey eyes shift from her lifemate and settle again on the younger woman, her posture shifting from being on guard to a more relaxed stance. "It's not always so hard. I took on too much, and didn't share enough. I didn't talk about the things that bothered me."

"I'm sure you made what decision you thought was right at the time - right for you, for Zuvaleyuth, and perhaps even the Weyr, too." With her hands clasped lightly in front of her now, Thys nods. "And doing what was right at the time would have been your duty even if it was selfish, so…" She shrugs her shoulders softly, writing it off as that. "Th'ero and Nyalle are doing well, in my somewhat limited Weyr experience. I like them, anyway, and perhaps, with you now here, and Inri and myself, we can make sure that work is evenly split so no-one has to end up feeling like you did."

"It was right at the time. I… Don't regret my choice. But, I still will apologize for it. Because I could have handled it better. I do know that the Weyr is better off for my decision. I would not have been a good Senior continuing at the pace I was at." Dtirae smiles a touch wider, "exactly. I'm glad you understand." At least a few do. And, that seems to be enough for her. "Nyalle seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I had a brief time working with her. I trust Th'ero with the Weyr entirely." So, she had less worries departing with him as Weyrleader still — though there was no guarantee that he'd have remained. "It is not the duty of what the Weyr requires for maintenance that causes the burdens, however…"

"Well yes, I can imagine there's considerably more that would weigh on someone's mind, but by sharing the work that should, hopefully, keep that from becoming an issue so we can focus on other aspects of our lives?" Thys grins, somewhat hopefully. "You know, one of my clutchmates said to me that I shouldn't be committed to the Weyr, but that I ought to be committed to myself. And while I don't necessarily agree with him, I can't help but wonder to what degree it's possible to split the focus. How important is my personal life versus the wellbeing of the Weyr? Did you have that same sort of problem, Dtirae - ma'am?"

"Yes. Good point. I have no doubt that the three of us will be able to manage it. And the Headwoman, of course, will be there to help. And the assistants. There is a network of those who are able to help with that." Dtirae's head tilts as she listens to the other, somewhat animalistic in nature, the gesture. "Mm. I can't understand a mindset of not being committed to the Weyr. I was born in Fort, I understood my duty to the Weyr as a child and grew up with the intent of dedicating myself to the Weyr and assisting how I could. But, I think this mindset was… Ultimately what caused me the most stress. There's a balance. Your lifemate comes first, before all else. The Weyr should come second, but you should not neglect having friends and socializing. Which is what I neglected." Again, there is fidgeting from the woman, a touch anxious. "Everyone's balance is different, though."

"Oh, but I agree with placing things in that order; Rhenesath, the Weyr, and then my personal life. He really doesn't understand it, but then he's not in a position to have to." Thys shrugs, running fingers through her messy crop of brown hair. "Balance, like you said, is different for everyone. I'mn not Weyrbred - Craftbred, actually - but I get it. And weirdly enough, it feels sort of… natural. But then, Rhen is very maternal, so perhaps some of that's rubbed off on me." She looks over her shoulder to where her dragon's now sunning herself on the edge of the lake, drying off her brown-gold hide. Then, back to Dtirae, she adds: "Actually, ma'am, if you don't mind I'm going to have to go. I'm in need of a shower before I turn up for the meeting this morning."

"Not everyone gets it." Dtirae agrees, and then nods in understanding to the younger woman's statements. "They rub off on you a lot." She does not elaborate further, her gaze looking towards the brown-gold and then back to Thys. "Of course. I should prepare." A gesture to the knot of hair. "It was… Nice talking to you." She inclines her head politely, in a sort of farewell before she's heading back into the Weyr, and to the guest weyrs. Zuvaleyuth, on the other hand, remains floating and content, in no rush to move or depart. She's home.


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