Oh how sudden things go awry and utterly sideways! Not that events have been the greatest of late in Fort Weyr and some have been feeling the pressure of the continuing mess among the Holds and Halls. When Kayeth chose this day of all the days to rise, some breathed a sigh of relief. Th'ero met it with his usual attitude while he joined the other bronzeriders and brown riders all converging down on wherever Nyalle has gone to. It began like any flight, almost routine. The chasers were many, some well in their prime and seasoned and others fairly young and untried. They all flew well, Velokraeth among them and many thought it would be the pale bronze who would snare the fiery autumn gold. After all, he's not failed in over a decade in securing the senior gold. Yet all in a blink of an eye, everything changed and shocked even the rider who's bronze succeeded in overthrowing Velokraeth. It was Zhirazoth who twined with Kayeth, snaring her in a daring tactic that left the older bronze veering sharply away to avoid a collision. Down below, Th'ero is too stunned to even move, jarred both by the loss of the flight and then the realization of what it means. Vaguely he's aware of Mr'az stealing Nyalle away and of the other riders giving him equally as shocked looks as they slink away. It's not until Velokraeth is gliding down to his ledge that Th'ero moves, taking great strides to his weyr and the privacy within and away from prying eyes.

His weyr…but not for long. Within, Kimmila was spending her time in the bath, as usual, but when he returns she meets him, dripping, in the doorway to the bathroom, just staring at him in shock, surprise and sadness. Her eyes flick briefly around the weyr, and then, guilty, flick back to him.

It won't be his weyr, will it? Later that will irritate Th'ero that he has to leave it behind as well but for now his mind is reeling with far more important matters. Namely the loss of his position… and how terrible the timing could be. He meets Kimmila's gaze, his own features a twisted mix of emotions that is quickly set to stone and unreadable. How long that will last is anyone's guess but it allows him to function. He moves to her and not caring that she's dripping wet, snares her into his arms. The words he whispers, half muffled against her hair are probably not one's she expected to hear. Or maybe she does? "We need to leave." It's not so much a case of being a sore loser (okay, maybe a little) but he needs to get away to think. The Weyr will be distracted for awhile with the flight aftermath. Th'ero doesn't wish to deal with anyone's questions or sympathy (if any) right now.

Kimmila embraces him fiercely, breathing in his scent. His words might surprise her, but they make sense and she doesn't argue. "Yes," she agrees quietly, moving away and quickly into their (former) bedroom to hastily dry off and change clothes. Mr'az wouldn't kick them out so soon, would he? She feels safe in leaving their things here for the time being. Hopefully the new Weyrleader (gag) isn't the vindictive sort.

No, Mr'az won't evict them immediately. He's… occupied at the moment and no doubt will have to work through the shock himself later. He's not about to go parading it about either and demand that Th'ero vacate his home of several Turns that very day. Watching Kimmila leave, he will follow after a moment and start gathering a few crucial items. Namely a change of clothes, his flight gear, his daggers and short sword. Everything else will wait. It's as he's pausing by the door that he realizes that he still has the Weyrleader's knot pinned to his shoulder. By some effort, his movements sluggish, he removes it and stares at it. He's taken it off before but never in a sense of finality. Eventually he leaves it on the table by the couch, in plain sight. If Mr'az wants it right away, he came come and damn well find it himself.

Kimmila dresses herself and adds her dagger by habit, pulling her hair back into a quick braid. Not knowing his plans she doesn't grab a change of clothes, simply walking out into the living room. Seeing his knot there she frowns, and then looks to him. "Where are we going?"

Th'ero looks up from where he had paused by the door, lost in his thoughts (and possibly Velokraeth's too). He blinks and can only stare blankly at Kimmila for a moment. Where are they going? "Away from here," he mutters with a grimace as he takes a steadying breath. Deciding. "Keroon." No one knows to look for them there.

Kimmila nods. "Okay. Go on, I need to go get my things." He probably wants to leave as quickly as possible and it's going to take her at least ten minutes to pack a bag and get what she needs. Plus send a note to Tlazio.

Oh right, their children! Th'ero… had completely forgotten about them. He'll feel guilty for that later but right now Kimmila has it right. He DOES want to get out of Fort Weyr as fast as possible. Probably unwise given Velokraeth's exhausted state but the pale bronze doesn't complain (much) when his straps are slipped onto his hide. Trusting Kimmila will follow, Th'ero mounts up without further word and coaxes the bronze back into the skies, barely making the safe clearance mark for Between before he vanishes. She'll find them in Keroon, the bronze already curled up in a sun filled field and Th'ero already inside their cottage. Thankfully he's just sitting on the edge of the bed and hasn't gone into a fit and ransacked the place.

Kimmila packs a bag and on her way out to the ledge she takes Th'ero's knot. If Mr'az wants it right away too bad, he'll have to commission a new one because this one is Th'ero's and Kimm isn't ready to let it go. She tucks it into the bottom of her bag and she and Varmiroth follow them to Keroon, the blue joining the bronze while Kimmila enters the cottage and moves to Th'ero's side. "Wingmate…"

Later, Th'ero may very well appreciate that Kimmila took his knot back. He's not thinking clearly and when she steps into that bedroom of theirs in their home away from home, he looks up at her with conflict written clear as day across his features. Reaching for her, he exhales heavily. "… it was bound to happen, some day." He just didn't think it'd be so soon!

Kimmila reaches back for him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and pulling him to her, bending her body over his. She doesn't say anything because inside she is in complete denial and rebellion, and shouting 'no it wasn't!' probalby won't help things.

Th'ero draws her too him, holding her close and tight against his body as he rests his head against her shoulder. If she voiced her rebellion, he would likely join her. He's suffering through the same turmoil and denial. After a lengthy pause of silence, he suddenly growls low under his breath. "Mr'az! Of all the bronzeriders to take over, it'd have to be him. Why not D'ani or any of the others?" Ones he trusted or knew were fully capable of taking the mantle from him. It's not that he outrightly dislikes Mr'az but he never could trust him and there was just something about the man that put him ill at ease.

Kimmila shakes her head as she grits her teeth. "I don't know. Nyalle's preference? Kayeth's? Zhirazoth's trickery?" she mutters, frustration in her tone. "I'd have preferred D'ani, if anyone…Mr'az doesn't know a damn thing."

"Doubt it was Nyalle's preference." Th'ero mutters darkly and Kimmila may find herself pinned to the bed in the next instance as he moves. Frustration is taking hold, but it's awakening in him other desires. He lost the flight and his mind is still a muddled mess but he'll still seek comfort in one of the more primal ways he knows how. "It was trickery. Damn foolish but it worked." The bastard! As for Mr'az not knowing a thing, Th'ero scoffs as he hovers above her a moment before sinking down to nuzzle roughly at her neck. "He'll have to learn and fast." No sympathy there. Not even in the knowledge that HE started out so fresh and untried himself.

Despite it being in Fort's best interests for the two of them to /help/ Mr'az, Kimmila is in a similar place right now. Screw him. Her arms wrap tightly around Th'ero's shoulders as she lifts her chin to his nuzzling, squirming beneath him.

Give it time, Th'ero will calm down enough to rational thought to realize that he just can't up and leave Mr'az to flounder. It'd not be right for the Weyr to have an inexperienced Weyrleader bumbling through everything. Yet who knows how Mr'az may be? Th'ero's focus is gradually shifting away from all of that and focusing more on Kimmila, especially when she begins to squirm. He growls and his hands work impatiently at her clothes. Shall they indulge? What other way to work out some of the frustration.

Yes. Yes, they shall and Kimmila is as enthusiastic a partner as ever, choosing to temporarily ignore their changing circumstances. Here, everything is right in the world.

Enthusiasm is something Th'ero can easily lose himself in and somewhere deep in his mind he is forever thankful he has Kimmila at his side, ever so faithful. It'd be a far more crushing blow to have to weather this alone. He'll match her energy, drowning himself in their shared passions and pleasure until the both of them are spent and exhausted. Thankfully their cottage is quite private! Sinking back into the bed, Th'ero pulls her close to his side as he catches his breath.

Kimmila snuggles in close to him, resting her head on his shoulder and her hand across his chest. "Well…" she finally says softly, but she leaves the sentence incomplete. What is there to say?

"At least one thing won't change." Th'ero finds something to say and it may be the sappiest thing he's said in a long, long time. But there's only Kimmila to overhear it and the soft spoken, "I love you." that follows. The world could go down in flames (and it sort of has, in one perspective) but none of that matters. So long as he has her, he feels some comfort.

Kimmila leans up to kiss him softly. "Never," she whispers. "I love you too."

Th'ero is quiet for a long stretch of time. Eventually, he sighs. "I guess we'll have to return at some point. It just… It bothers me, Wingmate. Yet I always knew this could happen." Never did he expect himself to feel quite like this. He's disappointed or maybe more than just that.

Kimmila nods, sitting up and running fingers through her hair. "It bothers me too," she admits softly. "A lot. /You/ are Fort's Weyrleader…" And she has reaped the benefits of that. What if Mr'az makes her join a 'real' wing?

Then Mr'az will learn not to cross Kimmila. Let that be his first lesson! Th'ero shakes his head, still resting on his back on the bed and his eyes turned up towards the ceiling. "I was Fort's Weyrleader." Stupid traditions. "Maybe… it was overdue that this happened. With all that has been plaguing Fort — maybe I never noticed the Weyr's favour slipping?" Nonsense.

Kimmila frowns at him. "The weyr's favor didn't slip. This is a fluke. An accident. Kayeth favoring Zhirazoth over the weyr's wishes."

Th'ero frowns right back and doesn't seem convinced. Forgive him for wallowing in some self pity for a few moments? "Don't know if I've ever heard of a 'fluke' being recorded in the history of Leadership flights." he counters sourly. "Kayeth has never favoured Zhirazoth before." So why now?

Kimmila will. "Well, it was her mistake." Yeah. In the privacy of their Keroon cottage Kimmila can totally talk smack about the Senior gold and her choice.

That's part of the reason why Th'ero brought them here. So they could vent and rant in peace and quiet and return to Fort Weyr looking sane and calm. Won't that throw people for a loop? "What if he proves to be capable?" What then?

Kimmila frowns. What then indeed? She has to take a slow breath for that question. "Then…we finally start building our ranch." They have talked about it a lot after all.

Th'ero has to take another lengthy silent pause to absorb that. "Yes, we could move on with that." Though truthfully he has every intention of having Velokraeth challenge Zhirazoth the next time Kayeth rises. Kimmila would figure as much, right?

Kimmila isn't sure how he feels about it. "Okay. You don't sound very excited."

Th'ero sighs again and tilts his head to look over at her. "It's not that I'm not excited about that," he explains with a grimace. "It's hard for me to feel much of any excitement right now. I keep thinking of the Weyr and how I'm… not its Weyrleader anymore. What do I do? Do I stay in Phoenix and try to help Mr'az through this mess? Do we go to Thunderbird?" What does he do?

Kimmila shrugs, kissing his cheek softly. "I don't know, Wingmate. Whatever you want to do, I guess? You finally have a choice…"

"If I could have my choice, I'd challenge Mr'az." Th'ero remarks darkly and it's hard to pinpoint whether or not he's actually serious or joking.

Kimmila lifts a brow and turns to look at him, clearly trying to figure out if he's joking or not.

Sorry, but it won't be that easy! At least not at first. Th'ero isn't quite done yet and his further grumbling may yield a few more clues. "I've always wondered how it all came about that a flight determines the next Leaders. Not just for the bronzeriders. It baffled me and… still does. Even though I — was," Yeah, that still sounds strange. "Weyrleader. Shards, I was the least likely rider to BE Weyrleader when Velokraeth first caught Zuhth! How was it Weyr preference then? I was an outsider, a young nobody."

Kimmila shakes her head. "I've never understood it either. Perhaps it made a difference in the times of thread. But even then…I don't know. It seems so random." Of course it does now, when they're on the losing end of things.

Funny how he questions it now? Th'ero exhales heavily and slowly pushes himself up and slides to the end of the bed. He runs his hand through his hair but doesn't seem to be in too good a mood despite their passionate session moments before. "Guess there's nothing TO do but just accept the change. For whatever reason it came about…"

Kimmila shifts to kneel behind him, running her fingers through his curls. "No, there's nothing we can do…" She pauses. "I'll have to clean my weyr."
Then it hits her. No bath tub. And she shudders, trying to keep her emotions in check.

There's going to be a lot of change. No fancy weyr, no privileges… they're back to being Wingriders under a new Leader and Th'ero's still trying to figure out how he and Mr'az will get along. He's no fool, he knows they often clash. Not as terribly as he would with Ha'ze but they've never really had a reason to get to each others throats. Yet. "I could see if one of the larger ones are available? I don't want Varmiroth crowded off his ledge by Velokraeth."

Kimmila purses her lips. "Perhaps…it /is/ a very small weyr. Maybe a ground weyr…" With a bath… She sighs heavily and flops back onto the bed, closing her eys.

Th'ero glances sidelong to where she flops down. "We'll have to see what will be given to us. Perhaps… we'll be given something decent." It'd be the least thing they could do. A thank you for the Turns of service. Truthfully, they'd be very nice not to kick them out of his current weyr at all, as he suspects Mr'az will be with Nyalle more often than not.

Kimmila would be very doubtful that Zhirazoth would /not/ want to claim the Weyrleader's Weyr and ledge for his own, even if he never uses it. It is /his/ after all. "I hope so," Kimmila murmurs softly.

Of course Zhirazoth is going to claim it, of not just to gloat from the ledge. Th'ero reaches out to gently take her hand, "We'll get through this, Wingmate." he promises her. Or is he saying it for himself too?

Kimmila gives his hand a squeeze. "We will," she murmurs.

Th'ero was going to get up and likely start pacing the room but he fights that urge and slides back onto the bed and up against her side. Rant and rave all he wants, it won't change the outcome. He may as well try and have some peace before they have to return 'home'. "We'll rest for now and return later…" It sounds almost like a suggestion, like he's seeking her approval.

Kimmila nods. "Sure, wingmate. That sounds good. I could use a little rest." Try and re-center.

They both need to recenter before going back to Fort. "I love you," Th'ero whispers to her again as he settles comfortably into the bed and against her body. At least here there is quiet and peace.

Kimmila snuggles back against him. "I love you too," she murmurs.

Th'ero will never get tired of hearing that from her. It will take him awhile to relax enough to even doze and even longer after that to drift into a light and uneasy sleep. Luckily for Kimmila, he won't toss and turn and they may get some rest before Velokraeth informs Th'ero that the "news" back home is starting up again. Meaning the Weyr is recovering from the flight and they best not linger much longer unless they want to add more fuel to the fire of gossip and rumors.

Kimmila knows that's true but she's still reluctant to leave their little haven of silence.

But leave they will as they both know they can't hide from change forever. It'll grate on Th'ero's nerves to return and weather all those stares and pretend not to hear the whispered voices and muttered conversations about him. About everything. But he won't act the sore loser. Done is done and there is nothing he can do to change the course fate has laid out. So he'll grit his teeth and get through the day. Later he will deal with the problem of where he's to be placed in the weyr or better yet… which Wing.

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