Fort Weyr - Star Stones
The landing area for dragons here on the Stones has been warn smooth from Turns and Turns of watching - waiting for the Red Star to show itself in the position that would mean Thread was on the way. These days though, it's not uncommon to see the Stones dotted with flowers - a reminder that the threat no longer exists. The Finger Rock and Eye Rock stand as silent testaments to the success of Pern's people.
From this vantage point - in good weather - you can see clear across the Bowl to the shimmering lake.

Spring is turning into summer at last and the rains have finally let up, allowing the Weyr to dry out over a series of warmer days. Though it's early morning, the winds are already warm and the sky holds promise of a clear and sunny day. No one but the Watchrider are on the Star Stones but that soon changes. Th'ero takes the long way up, navigating the stone-cut steps with the ease of familiarity. Now that there is no ice, snow or water to make the trek as dangerous, he'll make the trip. The view of the Weyr below is worth it but it guarantees some form of privacy.

Hopefully he wasn't counting on /true/ privacy, because Kimmila makes the trek not long after him, a bottle of chilled wine clutched in one hand. It's late enough for wine, right? "Wingmate."

It's evening somewhere in the world, isn't it? And Th'ero wasn't looking for a full escape. Just away from certain prying eyes, so Kimmila's arrival is both very much wanted and expected. "Wingmate," he murmurs as he turns to her, offering to take the wine but also draw her into his embrace. "Thanks for joining me here."

Kimmila hands him the wine and slides in beside him. "Any time," she teases lightly. Because it's mostly true. Stifling a yawn, she peers across the weyr. "It's quiet." Too

Th'ero chuckles softly and will follow her gaze out over the Weyr. His sigh says it all… he agrees with her. Carefully, he leads them both closer to the Finger Rock and Eye Rock, choosing to rest there though he's careful not to crush any of the flowers left by others. "It is. Velokraeth tells me that the other bronzes and some of the browns are restless too and not from their riders." Which can only mean one thing. Someone's gold is close… or will it be golds?

Kimmila purses her lips. "Who do you think it is?" she asks, casting her gaze towards the rim, where Kayeth rests.

"Not sure. One of the juniors, that much I know." Th'ero murmurs and gives Kimmila a lingering look. Sorry, it's not the gold she's likely hoping for. Shifting, he'll set the wine bottle down somewhere safe, so that he can use the hand to slip it inside of his jacket. It may be closer to summer but it's still a bit cool up here. "I've the most recent letter from our son," he says quietly, offering her the rolled papers. Something he could have done anywhere but perhaps he doesn't want those prying eyes and ears listening in on his private family matters. "He seems happy enough." Which Kimmila could easy read, if she can make out much in Kyzen's still childish scrawl. At least it's getting better? The boy goes on about his time as a Candidate, how he has made a few friends but most of the others treat him nice enough (though indifferently but he doesn't know the word for it). There was a bad sand storm they helped clean up afterwards and one Candidate got them a reward from it by installing special tubs in the quarters. Ones that had jets — he's not sure he likes them much. They tickle. And the letter goes on and on, including a rambling description of his first egg touching and how he has two favourites even though they really confuse him. Throughout it all though and maybe in the last lines, there's a hint of homesickness there. Poor kid.

Kimmila scans the letters and hands them back without much remark. If they were in private - true private - she would have read them, but since she knows they'll just make her cry, up here she skims and then reaches for the wine.

Th'ero takes the letters back and frowns when Kimmila doesn't comment. He thought it would be a welcomed thing, before he speaks of other not-so pleasant things. When he sees her reach for the wine, he will uncork it and offer it to her first. "They say the Hatching will be soon, Wingmate." Is she ready for either outcome?

Kimmila sighs heavily, sipping the wine and then just holding on to it for a few moments. "Okay…"

Th'ero reaches out to rest his hand over hers as she holds on to that bottle. "Kimmila. You have to talk about it… Not keep it held up." he murmurs softly as he lowers his head close to hers. "We're alone here."

Kimmila shakes her head, dropping it further down. "I'm not ready to let him go, Wingmate. He's so /young/. I feel like I've hardly spent any time with him at all…"
"I know," Th'ero keep his voice low and soft and his presence and body close. Comforting, without stifling her. "He's always going to be your son, Wingmate. You know that, right? It is not like he will forget you or his home." He speaks like he is expecting their son to not come home from Igen. Leave it to him to think of both sides.

Kimmila sighs, leaning into him. "I know, but…I don't want to share."

Th'ero can't help it, he has to chuckle faintly. "You don't want to share your son?" he murmurs and gently tries to take the bottle of wine from her to have a sip himself.

Kimmila nods. "Yes." That's exactly it.

"Why do you think you'd be sharing him?" Th'ero wants a little more of an explanation and after he's finished with the wine, he hands her to bottle again, placing it firmly in her hands. Then his fingers gently caress her cheek and under her chin, trying to lift her face up so that she can't evade him entirely.

Kimmila frowns a little bit when he doesn't get it, sipping deeply of the wine. "If he impresses, Th'ero. If he impresses."

Th'ero does get it, at least that much. His brows knit, more in concern than annoyance when she frowns at him. "I know. Would you have felt the same though if he stood a chance of Impressing here? Or is it that Igen might claim him?"

Kimmila sighs again, drinking deeply of the wine. "Yes. I'm not ready to lose him to a dragon. Or to another weyr. It's selfish wingmate but he's so young and I missed so much and that's what I feel."

Th'ero uses his hand to gently still hers so that she can't get too much of the wine, too fast. He doesn't want her drunk even before breakfast! "And there's nothing wrong with the way you feel, love. I hope you know that? But I want you to know too that this day was bound to come…"

Kimmila nods, letting him pull at the wine. Whatever, she doesn't care. "I'm not ready."

Th'ero sets the bottle aside and sighs softly, trying to reach for her now to draw her against his side again. "No, I don't think either of us are, are we?" he admits. "I don't want to see you torn over this, love." She knows how much it bothers him to see her upset, right? And even he knows this isn't something he can help with — not entirely.

No, it's just something she has to get over and get past. Or else hope he doesn't Impress, which leaves her with so much guilt she's not sure which is worse. "We'll go to the hatching, right?"

It's a double edged sword, isn't it? Th'ero has had to battle the same demons and even he isn't quite sure where he sits or exactly how he feels. "Of course we will go. Nothing will keep me from seeing our son during that special moment. No matter what the outcome is."

Kimmila nods. "Good." Because she has to be there. Either way…she has to be there, even if she's secretly hoping they'll be returning to Fort together, as a family, with Kyzen tucked in front of her on Varmiroth and her arms tight around his little body.

Th'ero would like to see their son return home too and he'll hug her close to his side as if to comfort her (or both of them). Yet he's prepared for the other scenario too that sees them the proud parents of a new rider pair but returning home empty handed. Before they can both slip into a melancholy silence, he changes the subject again. "So. Who's gold are you going to bet on rising first?"

Kimmila snorts. "It's Fort. It has to be Jajen's, right?"

Th'ero does laugh, rather dryly, at that. He'll reach for that wine and take a long draught of it before handing it back to her. "I was going to say that my marks are on Iaverulth. She's been too long without a flight and now is in a Weyr? If not her, I'd say Kouzevelth, as she's about due though I wouldn't be surprised if Rhenesath goes."

Kimmila shakes her head. "I'll bet it's Iaverulth. Finally back in a weyr, with restless males? She'll take advantage of that."

Th'ero snorts, "Probably. At least we can be assured that of the bronzes, there's one who will likely catch her." he mutters and no, he's NOT talking about Velokraeth.

Kimmila smirks. "Well good for Ha'ze. Maybe he'll get another child out of it."

Th'ero laughs again but a little less dryly. "Perhaps, though I doubt Jajen will be pleased with that outcome. You said you spoke with her not long ago?" he asks, remembering she had brought it up but hadn't had the chance to pry more about it. Or they weren't in a safe spot to do so.

Kimmila nods. "Yeah, I did. Surprisingly we didn't throw anything at each other. She…was like a person."

Th'ero quirks a brow and gives Kimmila a long, long look. "She's always been a person, Wingmate. Often a right pain in the ass but she was always a person. So she's changed then? Matured?"

Kimmila shakes her head. "You know what I mean." Hopefully. "Yeah, she has. We had an actual conversation.

Th'ero does and yet doesn't and he'll tilt his head, expecting her to explain further. He'll prompt her again too, while offering that wine bottle. Shall they finish it off? "About what? I didn't think you two would have much in common to discuss?" Just a gentle tease.

Kimmila smirks. "About how much we hate Mr'az? She wants to go back to the island. I tried to get her to use Mr'az's belief that she's loyal to him against him, bt I don't think she was interested. She's…not much for intrigue, I guess."

"Intrigue and subtlety has never been Jajen's strongest talent, Wingmate. I'd not count her out yet though." Th'ero is going to mull over that for a bit, that's for sure. He exhales heavily, "Something will happen soon. It's just a matter of when and by whom."

Kimmila huffs. "Not soon enough for me, wingmate. It's about time you were Weyrleader again…"

Th'ero shakes his head and though he smiles, it's obvious what his answer will be. "Patience. We have to be patient." There's a moment of silence as he lifts his head and scans around the Star Stones but the area is still clear. "I looked more into that man Rayathess' reports mentioned. That Vikary fellow? The one tied to Jajen. What little I could dig up doesn't match." Which never bodes well.

Kimmila frowns. "So you think it's a dead end? She didn't say anything about him when we were talking…"

"No, not a dead end. The opposite." Th'ero corrects her with a grimace and then snorts, "I doubt she would. Either she is covering for him or had no idea Vikary was two-faced. From what little I gleamed, he's vanished and has been gone for a long time now. She probably assumes he left her — or whatever is the equivalent to their relationship."

Kimmila arches a brow. "Wonder if she's vindictive enough to want to go after him…"

Th'ero smirks, "That depends on how much she cared for him or however this relationship was. Casual? More?" They don't know the details. If they did, they'd know that Jajen would (and will) go after him when all is said and done. The goldrider is actually innocent in that part.

Kimmila shrugs. "Not a clue, but if we could use her to get to him…or at least send her out to find him. I'll bet she'd enjoy that."

Th'ero blinks and then laughs gruffly, "Shards, Wingmate. You've a sharp and wicked mind, sometimes." And oh, how he loves her for it! "Mr'az doesn't know of Vikary and I can't trust Jajen… A lot of the records leading to this Vikary are out of my reach but I know which ones would be needed. Perhaps if we talked to Inri or Thys…" But even they are likely under a close eye.

Kimmila frowns. "What about D'ani?"

"D'ani will be watched too, Wingmate. You know how Mr'az already distrusts him. I worry that if we include them too, they'll suffer." Th'ero mutters, though he knows full well they would all want to help.

Kimmila exhales heavily. "Well…so, what, then? We just sit around and do nothing?"

Th'ero is getting real tired of hearing that. "What else do we do?" he lamely replies.

Kimmila eyes her weyrmate, eyes narrowing slightly. "We do something. What's the worst he can do? Kick us out of the weyr? Soon as he's replaced we'll come back, if Nyalle even lets him kick us out in the first place. Let's do something."

Th'ero sighs and scrubs his hand along his jaw, an old habit of his when he's struggling to decide. Even he can't stomach this idleness anymore and he'll nod. "Fine. Alright. I'll pass word along to D'ani. You speak to your Wingriders, see if any of them know of this Vikary or any ties concerning him to the south and the north. I'll ask Abigail if she or someone she knows has picked up recent activity along the southern ports on our territory." Is that a start?

Kimmila's eyes light up, finally, at the prospect of action. "Perfect."

Th'ero nods, "Then it's settled. We'll see who this Vikary fellow is and how deep the web goes. Thank Faranth I was wise enough to take some of the reports and records from that office…" Sneaky, dirty, terrible tactic but he has no regrets about it.

Kimmila smirks. "Yes. That was a wise move, wingmate. Very wise. They're safe, I assume?" As in, not in their weyr in plain sight where Mr'az could easily find them.
Th'ero scoffs, "Do you think I'm a fool?" He claims, pretending to sound hurt. "They're in the safest place I know of." Which means they're hidden away in their cottage in Keroon.

Kimmila grins. "Excellent," she says, leaning up to kiss him, swift and firm, life back in her with this plan of action.

Is that what it would take? Th'ero chuckles as he returns her kiss, drawing her close. "Want to go to Keroon now?" To check on those reports! Of course. That's… the only reason.

Kimmila nods. "Yes," she says eagerly, moving towards the stairs.

Th'ero stands and quickly follows after her. Though he'll be careful that they both don't go tumbling down those stairs in their haste! A quick trip to their ledge and then it's off to Keroon! Screw duty, screw the riders supposedly following them. It's early enough they'll slip the radar! HA!

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