Almost Normal

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.


What an unusual morning! At least, not in the sense of the weather. That is normal at least for the late winter, not-quite spring day. What makes it odd is that Jajen is up and about, bundled against the slight chill still clinging to the air. She's following another much smaller bundled form that goes toddling along the shore, well away from the still (mostly) frozen water. Just some mother-daughter time, nothing to see here! Iaverulth is curled up nearby, not seeming to mind the cold as her eyes follow the pair.

From out of the forests beyond Ha'ze steps. His cheeks are red, giving hint that he's been out here for a while. There's a bow over his shoulder and arrows behind his back. No dead animals though, so his hunting didn't go all that well. When Jaze sees him her voice calls out, "Daddy Daddy!" and she takes off towards him. Whatever storm hung over Ha'ze's head disappears and he gets down on one knee to take the little girl up into his arms. She squees when he twirls her around and settles her on a hip.

Jajen doesn't even attempt to stop or call Jaze back. She's long since 'mellowed' out a bit towards Ha'ze's growing relationship with their daughter. Seems only fitting? "You're up and out early," she murmurs with a half-smirk as she approaches the bronzerider, pausing long enough to straighten Jaze's hood as it slipped back from her twirl with her father. She then reaches up and pokes at the bow at Ha'ze's back. "Mhm. No luck?"

Gloved hands aren't the best for tickling, but Ha'ze is going to try it anyway. It's enough to make the little girl wiggle and shout, "Stop daddy! Stop!" Before Jaze can wiggle herself out of his hands Ha'ze baps the little girl on the nose and lets her go. She'll promptly go to find some snow that hasn't quite melted yet and begin to put together a snowball. (Kids come prewired to know how to make those.) A small smile follows the girl before it fades. "Went looking for Abigail." That faded smile hints that it didn't go well.

Jajen will watch their daughter wander off too, not the least bit concerned as Jaze doesn't wander far and there's a bonus of having a maternal gold dragon nearby. Iaverulth is always happy to play nurse-maid! At least with Jaze. Other kids? … not so much. "Jays. You are a glutton for punishment, aren't you?" Jajen grimaces as she jabs a little at Ha'ze but she'll promptly sober less she barb him too much. "… how bad?"

"I figured she deserved to hear face to face that Mr'az thinks she is a traitor. Didn't quite let me get to that part of things through." Haze's arms cross on his chest and he takes no offense at Jajen's words. Instead he's shaking his head slowly. "He's more insane than we thought."

Jajen frowns and there's no teasing or humour in her voice now. She's dead serious, peering up at Ha'ze with a difficult to read expression. "Why'd she rip you apart for doing her a favour? She's a fool not to listen, if there's a lick of truth to it. Anyone with sense knows Mr'az is unstable!" This she says quietly, voice lowered so that only he can overhear. Not that anyone is hovering close to them at this hour on the lake shore. Maybe she just wants an excuse to stand closer to him? "Oh? You've spoken with him…?"

"We didn't get the chance." Ha'ze pulls his bow off his shoulder and begins to take the sring off. Hunting done for today. "She was too busy being pissed off that I never wrote. Yeah." To her question about speaking to Mr'az. His voice lowers just like hers. Some dragons have keen hearing. "He thinks Th'ero, Kimmila, Abigail, and a few others are ploting against them. Wants me to keep an eye on them. Figut out their plans."

"That you… didn't write? She knows you were exiled, right?" Jajen scoffs. "And not exactly thrilled about it. Don't think I'd know anyone who'd be sunshine and happiness at being booted that way." Yeah, pardon her as she lays the sarcasm a bit thick. She's got very little love for Abigail. Stepping in closer, she'll attempt to slip into Ha'ze's personal space unless he protests or moves away. It's all for show (or is it?). Some dragons have keen hearing. Some have keen sight too. Nothing unusual about them getting a wee bit personal, right, if the rumours are true? Jajen absorbs those names, while she'll glance away to keep tabs on Jaze. Satisfied the girl is content to keep playing, the goldrider focuses back on Ha'ze. "So he's paranoid as fuck. Great. And you agreed to be his puppet? What'd you get out that deal?"

"Heh. She's not who I thought she was." Ha'ze slips an arm aroun Jajen and pulls her close. There are probably already rumors about the two of them, and that's perfectly okay. It gives them a reason to talk without crazy Mr'az thinking twice about it. "Nothing much." Because Ha'ze is smarter than to tell Jajen that her new digs are his doing. Nope. "Now I have a front row see to seeing the weyr burn down. Maybe I'll even screw with him a little bit."

Jajen's brows knit at first but then she smirks and shrugs, "People change." She'll follow Ha'ze's lead and lean in close once he puts his arm around her. If she ever finds out that her new weyr is his doing… well, it's not like she'll be MAD or something! Okay, she'll be a little mad because she'll feel she owes him. And she hates owing people. Laughing low in her throat, she'll give him a playful smack to the chest… which really is ineffective given gloves and thick jackets. "You're terrible!" But she LIKES the idea if her mischievous grin says anything. "Just make sure you don't get your own ass burned. If you ask me, something needs to happen. Everyone's just dancing around things when it's so painfully obvious he's terrible."

"Yeah. They do." Rather than allow that smack to go unanswered Ha'ze grabs it and pulls Jajen up against him and he's just going to kiss that smile of hers before she answers. When he breaks it off he looks down on her, thoughtful. "I think we could do it. You and me? Push him over that edge. Since he seems to trust me. Th'ero deserves to have a little pain back for what he's done."

Jajen wasn't expecting to be kissed but there's no protest. She does give him a look though afterwards, a silent hint perhaps, that if he's wanting more or at least company for later she's actually amiable to the idea. Her brows lift and she laughs again, "What do you want me to do? Seduce him?" Been there, tried that (with Th'ero — it did not go well, obviously, but she was also proddy, m'kay?). "He trusts you? Really." Huh, now that she didn't see coming! As for the ex-Weyrleader, Jajen scoffs but the look she gives Ha'ze may actually edge towards concern. "Y'know half the Weyr is still loyal to him, right? Not that I don't think he has some stuff coming to him. Just be sure if Mr'az hangs, you don't end up next to him, yeah?"

They'll have to leave Jaze with the nannies. Which can totally be rearranged. The way Ha'ze pulls her closer against him is a silent signal that it will be arranged. "Which is why you're going to have to help me. We deserve something for how everything has gone down." Exile, their names getting pulled through the mud, yadayada. "If we play both sides…" Ha'ze is not the master plotter here, he's more direct.

Jajen is better with playing both sides. She's not great at it but she may know enough to keep their necks out of the worst of it when the fall comes. When he pulls her closer, the goldrider shamelessly nestles into his body, turned in a way that he gets as much contact as possible but also so she can keep half an eye on their daughter. Jaze has now moved her play in the snow closer to Iaverulth. Oh yes, it'll be back to the nannies for her (which thankfully the girl doesn't mind). "I'll help. Mostly because Mr'az unnerves me to no end and even I think he needs to go, even though we're in debt to him for our freedom!" she mutters, glancing up again at Ha'ze. "So what do you want me to do? I'm not on speaking terms with most of the riders and they're more than happy to tell me where to go than to give me the time of day."

Good, because Ha'ze would probably lose his temper and screw everything up. He wants something back, and Jajen is more likely to know how to make it happen. "Just tell me what kind of things I should say. And then back them up with you talk to your greenriders and such. I think Mr'az is close enough to the edge that if I tell him, and then the gossip reaches him… that he'll tip. There are probably some that believe in the gold choice, so we could make Th'ero look bad doing it." His lips dip down to her jawline, working around her scarf. It makes it easy for him to whisper at her as well catch a feel.

"Easy enough. Watch who you need to watch for awhile, see if there's not something going on even if it's just a shadow of a rumour. Play on it, see how Mr'az reacts. If he seems keen, it means you struck something. If he's as paranoid as you said, he's bound to believe anything you tell him — so long as it has the feel of being solid. Doubt he'll think twice on digging for the truth." Jajen admits quietly, knowing full well that Mr'az is more action where Th'ero was cautious. That much she has gathered from her little "chats" with her grenadiers and other dissatisfied folks. "Mhm. Guess for once Fort's traditionalist flair will work in our favour?" Jajen muses but her humour may be more directed to Ha'ze's rather distracting move. She tilts her head, allowing him what he seeks and if he's not careful, he'll find that her hands know just where to subtly and discreetly roam to likewise return the favour. Just for a few moments, before Jajen is chuckling, "Might be best if we… continue this privately? The nannies can take Jaze for now."

Th'ero royally screwed up when he put Jajen and Ha'ze in a position to get close. They both have a moral compass that swings far enough from north to want terrible terrible things to happen to those who wrong them. Or did someone forget that Ha'ze let Ustrr burn and felt zero regret for it? Her hands very much catch Ha'ze's attention and what started at just an excuse to hide what they were talking about is going to become very real. At this rate Ha'ze won't be able/ to stray because he'll be getting enough right here kthanks. "Why don't you go change and I'll drop Jaze off?" That's totally a hint, a chance for Jajen to go test out some of those outfits Ha'ze probably //saw but never got to try out on the island. "I'll bring some wine." And then they can plot more and everyone will think they're just being rabbits.

Maybe things weren't meant to last as long as they did, that Th'ero hadn't meant for Ha'ze to remain exiled for so long. Jajen was a different story. It'll be a mistake he'll regret — and probably does. Though these days, it's hard to find the bronzerider. He stays WELL away from Mr'az. Jajen doesn't hide her smugness when Ha'ze catches on and truthfully, he'll get as much as he wants if he asks (or at least is this receptive!). She may stray, but not if he's wanting to play so regularly. But that's all it is… and a bit of companionship. "My weyr then?" she almost purrs at him with a wry grin. She got the hint, but she needs to know where to go. Unless Ha'ze wants her in HIS weyr in one of those outfits. Let everyone think what they want. It's a good enough cover! Granted, they are being rabbits (and Jajen could totally get pregnant again too, ha!). "Let me see our daughter first." Then she'll go. Calling to Jaze, Jajen will scoop her up and give her usual parting speech. They've got this routine down pat, only she's then foisted over to Ha'ze. Here you go!

One thing that people can't deny between the two of them is that for all their problems… they're not actually terrible parents. Neither of them spoil the little girl too much, and she has about as much love as she could possibly get. And t hey would both probably stab someone in cold blood who came near her. (Older boys beware.) She might even grow up more or less well adjusted. "I'll come to yours. Then Iaverulth can go cuddle with Kainaesyth." Which is about as much privacy as riders get from their dragons." Catching up Jaze Ha'ze tosses her lightly into the air to the girl's delighted squeels and carries her off towards the weyr.

No, they're not terrible parents at all. That's there one saving grace? Jajen would do anything to protect Jaze. Something she demonstrated when she broke her exile long enough to hunt Ha'ze down when he had the gall to take their child back to Fort… Back when neither were seeing eye to eye. "I'll see you there, then. You might want to bring a bit of food too." Jajen muses as she turns to walk away and to where Iaverulth is waiting. Up they go to their ledge, though the gold will linger there only until Kainaesyth has settled on his ledge and then she'll join him. One part of the promise kept and Ha'ze won't be disappointed either, when he does join Jajen in her weyr.


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