Warmer by the Fire

Fort Weyr - Living Cavern
This cavern, having been created by bubbles in the volcanic flow of this extinct volcano, has a breathtaking ceiling — a vast dome that arches high above the heads of the weyrfolk that scurry around beneath it. A hollow echo can be heard from loud enough noises, and the chatterings of various firelizards are consequently multiplied into a chaotic babble. All in all, the living cavern is a loud place.
Tables are scattered around the room, apparently in no particular order. Over to one side near the kitchens, two medium sized serving tables are constantly spread with snacks, klah, and other goodies. The tables look worn, yet perfectly fitted to the atmosphere of the caverns. In the 'corners' of the cavern, smaller two and four place tables are set up for more private talks or just a less chaotic atmosphere in which to eat.


In the days after the avalanche that covered Fort Hold, the Weyr did not stop. Riders arrived, riders left, Healers from all over Pern converged on the Weyr to either tend to the injured that had been transported here, or to catch a ride to the Hall itself. Dragons and riders assisted Smiths and Woodcrafters and Stonemasons in digging out the Hold, painstakingly checking each and every wall, every room, every roof to declare it sound before either making repairs or moving on to the next. And despite the camaraderie the Weyr has felt, there is still a sadness in the air for the dead and the injured, especially for children who lost parents and are now orphaned. Thankfully that is a very small number. Through it all, Nyalle has been busy. Hardly sleeping, the Senior has been divided between the needs of the Weyr and the needs of her brooding lifemate, and sometimes Kayeth would refuse to let her leave the galleries. The strain is starting to tell as she walks wearily inside from the bowl, brushing mud from her skirts as the Weyr begins to thaw with the first sevenday of nice, warm weather sending everything to mush and mud, rising the levels of the streams and rivers and causing /other/ issues. Sitting heavily in the first chair she can find, she signals to a drudge who hastens to bring her some tea. "No," she corrects, shaking her head. "Klah."

Unable to go help at the Hold itself, Anique was here helping out as she could. Indeed she was kept busy in those days after the avalanche struck in aiding the Headwoman when and where she could. Amongst the good feelings of working together there is the sadness that lingers as lost loved ones are remembered. Of the small number of children orphaned by the tragedy is one young girl of about 2 turns. The sweet faced blond haired child has attached herself to Anique of all people, the one who isn't too crazy about children. Perhaps its the pregnancy or maybe it's just those big blue eyes that she can't turn away from. Today the pair are curled up together on a couch at the hearth sharing a bit of warm drink. Anique is in the middle of a knitting project, perhaps a blanket from the looks and the young girl is simply swinging her legs cheerfully and talking about the fun day she had in the tunnels of Fort Weyr.

The sound of Nyalle's words turns Anique's head and she half gets up herself as she sees the young woman trudging in. "Weyrwoman." she says, setting down half of the knitting to give a hasty salute. "Can I get you anything?"

Nyalle glances up at Anique's greeting, her eyes studying the woman for a moment, before they flick down to the child. She knows her, of course. Nyalle feels like she knows /everyone/ by this point, as she's spent so much time walking and talking with those affected. "No, no, I'm fine," she says, returning the salute with a smile. "But thank you. Mind if I join you?" Mug of klah now in hand, the goldrider rises and walks slowly to the couch, including the girl in that question. "Would you mind?" she asks the child, not wanting to startle her.

Shyly the young girl's gaze slides from Nyalle's shoulder to look for a knot before skimming the Weyrwoman's face. Quietly her head shakes to show she doesn't mind. Anique's also giving a negative. "Not at all Werywoman. It's much warmer here by the fireplace." murmurs the pregnant Greenrider.

Nyalle settles down in a chair by the couch, smiling gently. "Thank you. And how are you doing, Anique? Holding up just fine? How far along are you now?" she asks as she takes a sip of her klah, barely managing to contain a grimace. She needs it, but that doesn't mean she has to like it.

Is that a look of longing that Anique is giving that klah mug that brings the fainted hint of a grimace to Nyalle's expression? Quite possibly! For the pregnancy the healers informed her to cut down or out that drink she enjoys so much. Ah well! Soon though she'l be able to partake once more. "I'm about 5 months along. Think they told me on my last visit that i'm about halfway through!" something to look forward too. "I'll most likely foster." she admits with a faint shrug. One hand lightly runs through the blond hair of the young girl nearly glued to her side.

Nyalle nods, "Well, obviously," she says with a surprised glance at the greenrider's belly, and then her face. "Riders don't have time to care for children." She looks at the blonde girl again with another gentle smile. "Are you liking the Weyr?" she asks quietly, trying to coax her into the conversation.

Anique gives a small shrug. For all that she's adapted fairly well to living at the Weyr some things are still very new to the hold bred woman. Fostering is one. "My parents were both busy with their work and they always found time for my brother and me." she remarks lightly. "Still though a rider is quite different situation." she does agree to that.

Winding both her arms through one of Anique's, which makes it hard for her to continue the for now forgotten knitting project, the blond haired child gives a shy smile to Nyallle. "It's so big!" says she with big wide eyes. "I miss my mommy and daddy." she adds with a small frown.

Nyalle shakes her head slowly. "Riders are different," she says, gentle but rather firm on that. "Children need to be first, and they never will be first when it comes to a rider." Shifting her attention to the girl, Nyalle's heart thuds slightly painfully at her words. "I know you do," she murmurs. What else can you say to that?

Anique gives a nod. "Certainly." is agreed. Casting a sad look down at the young child she swallow back frown. "You are very pretty lady." continues the young girl as if she didn't just say something to heartbreakingly sad. "I'm Cynthia." her name is given with a bit of a lisp in pronunciation.

Nyalle blushes slightly, clearing her throat and shaking her head. "That is very kind of you to say, Cynthia, thank you. You are pretty too. Have you been down to the stores and seen all the clothes we have down there?"

Cynthia's eyes widen a bit more and she leans in over Anique's pregnant lap with one hand resting lightly on the belly of the green rider. "There are rooms of clothing?" she asks in small amazement. "Are there any pink clothing?" she asks suddenly. "Pink and green are my favorite colors ever."

Nyalle's smile widens and she glances at Anique, and then back to the girl. "There are all sorts of clothes, for all sorts of people. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find pink. And green."

This brings a smile to Cynthia's face as she looks expectantly to Anique. "Can we go look soon Ani? Oh please please?" she doesn't have to wait long for an answer as Anique smiles fondly at the young girl. "Of course we can hon. We'll do soon." she pormises.

Nyalle sips her klah and settles back into her chair. "Excellent," she murmurs. "I'm glad the stores are getting some use. Good to cycle things out from time to time." With the child there, Nyalle doesn't wish to talk about the avalanche, so she just sits for a moment, thoughts casting about for something to say.

Anique shifts young Cynthia a bit so that she can resume the knitting she had started. "I saw So'l the other day." she remarks casually perhaps also in search of a new subject to discuss that's not of the avalanche. "He is so proud this his bronze is a clutch daddy." she smiles in fondness of her fellow clutch mate.

Nyalle smiles faintly, sipping her klah and nodding. "Yes, he certainly seems proud. Good for him and for Sharuth. It's good for the Weyrs to have connections like those. It will be good to have him back in Fort though."

"Indeed it will be good for him to be back home at Fort." agrees Anique with a nod. She falls silent for a few moments, eyes on the blanket she's creating slowly on her lap.

Nyalle pushes to her feet with a small smile. "I'll let you two get back to things. I need to get back to work. Nice to see you again, Cynthia. Clear skies, Anique."

Anique bobs her head politely. "Clear skies Weyrwoman."


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