Fort Hold - Second Landing

The spiral staircase ends at this landing. The hallways here are narrow, carpeted, and quieter than the rest of the hold. Heading to the left are the offices and rooms of the hold's staff, to the right are the residential areas, and straight ahead are the offices and rooms for the posted crafters. A large wooden door to the left side of the crafters archway marks the entrance to the office of the Lord Holder.

Patter patter patter patterOOF. "Lyri. You really ought to be more careful." Papers rustle from around the corner, Vyxtam and a piteously sniffling Lyriva eventually emerging from the residential hall. "For as smart as you are, you sure do find ways to hurt yourself." Expression one of warring concern (either for the girl, her clothing, or the now-wrinkled papers hastily tucked under one arm), the young man leads his sister down the hall by one hand. "And one of these times, I might be away and won't be able to pick you up again." Ah, there's the issue. A deep, worried crease appears right between Vyx's eyebrows, illuminating what concerns him most: the girl. He isn't paying all that much attention to his surroundings, but he does stop mid-landing, kneeling down to drop and reshuffle anatomy guides and notes he evidently intended to study somewhere in the hold. Lyri just stands next to him and sniffles, maintaining her injured silence for now.

"Cielyn! Don't run!" Kairhys calls after the girl, but of course she doesn't listen, darting up the stairs leading from the grandhall to the resident quarters. Of course she pauses when she gets to the top and sees the two people already there. Pale green eyes widen considerably before she backs up a step right into her older brother. Kai is panting himself, having chased the young girl seemingly all over creation from the way he's breathing so heavy, placing his hands briefly on her shoulders as she back sup into him and scowling some. "Ya know…" he starts and then just sighs, walking her ahead several feet away from the top of the stairs, before he steps off to the side and plants his hands on his knees. "…seriously. Don't run. You could of…" The berating from her big brother is quelled as he just now notices that the girl is staring down the hallway. "TAM!" she exclaims all at once, and is once again running. Down the hallway, and long skinny arms are thrown around his waist. Kairyhs blinks once and rights himself, now spotting both the healer apprentice and his little sister. He pauses there, just taking the sixteen turn old in, his expression tightly guarded.

"Now… What have we learned?" Papers shuffled and realigned, Vyxtam had just reached to fix Lyriva's rumpled hair when rushed footsteps draw both of their attentions. Tam's worried expression turns pleasantly vague, held politely in place by a small smile. "Hello, we were just leav…ing." Somewhere between Cielyn and the boy she's backed into, recognition flares in his blue eyes, gaze switching from one to the other until the girl runs towards him. "Ciely-oof!" Luckily, papers are dropped to one side before they can get scattered again, Vyxtam stunned for only an instant before he gives a light hug in return. "Look at how much you've grown! I barely recognized you." Lyri watches on, blue eyes huge, visibly processing the goings-on before she extends her arms for Cielyn too. Allowing the nine-year-old to let go, if she so wished, Vyxtam angles a much more genuine smile at Kairhys than the first. "Though I could say the same about you." Formalities bred deep within bids that a hand be extended for shaking, regardless of the guarded expression. "Mom still likes to call you 'Little Kai'. I shouldn't have believed her."

Cielyn squeezes Vyxtam hard, hugging him with all the strength her tiny frame will allow before upturning her face and simply beaming upwards at the healer. "When did you get back! Kai didn't say anything about a visit." An accusing glare is sent back over one shoulder before she gives the object of her temporary affection another fierce hug. "I grew alot this turn! Mom says I might be even taller than her someday!" Not that this was some great accomplishment. As Kailynn was a tiny little thing, barely five foot two. Kairhys holds his hands up defensively for the glare he received, then allows his brown eyes to wander back to his childhood friend. The fourteen turn old was very tall already at five foot eleven, towering over his much shorter parents. He glances to the extended hand, just looking at it for a few moments before he proceeds to close the distance and instead of shaking, bumps his fist against the back of the apprentice's hand. "A lot can happen in two turns." he says, flickering a look at Lyriva as Cielyn finally lets go of Vxytam and gives the other girl a warm hug as well. Not that she didn't see her everyday, but she liked her so why not.

Vyxtam receives the rib-squeezing with good-natured patience, eyes avid as he listens to Cielyn's accusations and excited report about her height. "Ah, it's not his fault. My teacher ended up being sick, so I have an extra day off." The irony of a Healer being sick isn't lost on him, if the small sidewise smile curving one corner of his lips is anything to judge by, but it happens. "Taller than her?" Tam pretends to scrutinize her, eyes squinting dramatically before he nods. "Indeed, you might! Your mother seems a lot taller when she's feeling scary, though." That last bit is admitted in a staged whisper, head rotating as though checking to make sure the woman wasn't going to appear over his shoulder. Lyriva, more so desiring to share in something her brother had, finally cheers up with Cielyn's hug, pulling away with a beaming smile on her face. "Thank you," she squeaks. Vyxtam smiles for the handshake-turned-fistbump, curling his fingers together to reciprocate the gesture. "Don't I know it. A lot /has/ happened, it seems, and I'm sure there's more to come." Tam follows his gaze briefly before finally taking a good look at Kairhys. "At least they seem to have treated you well." It's just as much of a question as it is a statement, head tilted at a politely curious angle.

"You should visit more often Tam! Kai misses you A LOT!" Cielyn betrays, smiling and smoothing out Lyriva's ruffled hair with a tsking sound after releasing the girl out of her embrace. "I did to! Probably a lot more than /HIM/." Another accusing glare before taking one of Lyri's hands in hers and drawing her away from the boys as they start to reconnect after two long turns of separation. "Mom's only scary when she doesn't get her way. That's what daddy says." This is cheerfully revealed, which earns her a schooling look from her elder brother. The little girl stands up to it, standing up a little bit taller and even lifting her chin upwards. She wasn't about to be intimidated by the teenager no, which revealed quite easily how much she had grown up in the last couple of turns. She used to worship the ground that Kai walked on. The younger holder slides his hands into the back pockets of his pants after the fistbumping, leaning back some against the heel of his feet. "Yeah," he murmurs about things yet to come, glancing off to the side for a second towards his sister before the weight of the other boy's gaze brings his attention once more back to Vyxtam. The long look he receives, brings a hint of color to otherwise pale cheeks. Eyes divert elsewhere, perhaps the railing over there. "Finally decided on a craft. Dad kinda told me to decide or he was gunna make me help him in the stables." There is a crinkle of nose for this. The boy still didn't like horses. One had startled him when it reared after being bitten by an insect, he was so scared he climbed a tree and fell out of it. Breaking his arm. There's a twitch about then.

"Does he really?" Oblivious to a fault, Vyxtam laughs quietly for Cielyn's comment. "Well, we shall see. These are important years for me in school." Fingers twitch slightly when the girl fixes his sister's hair, some part of him wanting to help… but he ignores it and turns to face Kairhys instead. "My daddy says my mommy is scary /all/ the time," he can hear Lyriva informing Cielyn as they move away, but it's lucky Vyxtam keeps his back turned. The nine-turn-old's defiant chin-lift would have sent him into a fit of snickers that would have been neither appropriate for a young man, nor healthy for any of the prides involved. Instead, the edges of Tam's mouth pull back, one part understanding and one part grimace for the idea of Kairhys working in the stables. "I'm glad you escaped that, one way or the other. Runners leave large 'messes' in their wake, besides, so that is for the best." Well, at least he tries to make light of that spot of childhood trauma. "Which craft finally caught your eye?"

Cielyn opens her mouth again as she turns away from the other little girl who quite suddenly triggered her need to primp and fluff, but a single look from her brother that promised repercussions quells any further comment. Satisfied that he'd finally shut his sister up at least on that particular topic, Kairhys looks to Lyriva when she pipes up with her own two marks worth, finding himself grinning despite himself. "Take care that doesn't get back to your mom Lyri." he warns the child good-naturedly before once again Vyxtam becomes the focus of his attention again. There's a sigh then, for the talk of stables, and an appreciative softening of his features for the understanding of his reluctance to join his father at his workplace. "You and me both. I got enough messes to deal with without literally stepping in them left and right." he mutters, brown eyes making their way back to the healer's face and settling there. "Weavers. They encourage creativity and design. Seemed the wisest choice." He sounds so much older just then, matured greatly perhaps from the little boy who used to follow Tam around like a puppy.

Lyriva focuses a stare upon Kairhys, one of those unsettling sorts she's been known to do in her recent learning years. "Mother knows," is her simple answer, stated as solemn fact with just a hint of dimple in her chubby cheeks. "She says that so long as I mind my manners about it, she doesn't care what I hear." Which, knowing Lyri, is a lot. Vyxtam rolls his eyes for the uncanny sixling, air escaping from his nose in laughter at Kairhys' response. "Yes, one certainly prefers the figurative to the literal. Frankly, I don't understand why he thinks you'd /like/ that kind of work anyways, but…" He shrugs. "Dads." His, after all, had pushed him towards working at the age of /ten/. Tam returns the look for a time, perhaps contemplating whether or not he thinks Kai suits the weavers (or vice versa). Then he nods. "I can see how that would work out for you both. Do they treat you well? Lodgings, postings, commissions and the like?" The questions roll out a tad protectively, some small part of Tam still accustomed to looking after Kai's interests, but it is indeed a grown-up level of conversation, the realization of which probably won't hit Vyxtam until later.

Kairhys twitches a few times under that unwavering stare given to him by Lyriva, just there around the eyes, almost a nervous tick. It wasn't that he was overwhelmed by female infulence at home, it was all rather even actually. But it might very well be Ceilyn starting to come into her own as the woman that she'll someday be that has the boy already on the defensive. "My mistake, I apologize Lyri." he says with a respectful half bow towards the six turn old. With a sister like Ciel, he'd probably learned real quick who was the one in charge, and it wasn't him. At least most of the time. "He didn't," he tells Tam, sliding his hands back into his back pockets after deferring to the superiority of the healer's little sister, or rather giving the girl the impression that he was. "It was more of a threat. He knows I don't like runners. Half the time he wishes I was like you, made a point of making sure I knew it to. Oh, Vyxtam went to craft at ten and you were still fooling around and blah blah blah." he frowns some at this, though shoulders are shrugged. He looks away a second after the healer's eyes meet his, glancing off towards Ciel and Lyri as his own sibling seems content to ignore the boys and play with the younger girl's hair. "Yeah, it's the whole nine yards, course I'm moving to the hall next sevenday, and won't be back for a couple of turns."

Lyriva's gaze lingers a moment longer than is socially acceptable… and then she blinks and smiles, returning Kairhys' bow with a little curtsey. "No worries, mister Kairhys." Vyxtam does have to clear his throat this time in order to keep himself from laughing, but alas, a fist in front of his mouth is a poor disguise for a smile. Poor Kai. "Ah, I see." Sympathy enters Tam's tone, a slight purse of his lips illustrating just what he thought of a father's idle threat. By the time Kairhys finishes his next couple of sentences though, the Healer's lips have almost disappeared. "That's unfair." Despite having quite the heavy leash on his emotions, Vyxtam's distaste shows, that crease coming back between his brows. "I went to craft because- Well, not entirely because I wanted to, but I stayed because I liked it. If I had a choice…" His eyes linger back towards the sisters as well, a visible struggle going on in his expression between accepting what was, liking what he is, and pondering what could have been. "Well, I would have been a better big brother, for one. I'm sorry the comparison was drawn. He shouldn't've done that." Fingers twitch again, as though tempted to make some sort of comforting gesture, but some part of his mind didn't know which to make. Hugs, at the gangly teenage stage, were awkward, and fistbumps seemed to informal and uncaring… so he settled for looking apologetic, if not supportive. "That's positive though, isn't it? I mean… a couple of turns is quite some time, but… There's so much out there, Kai." A big smile actually shows teeth this time, some of Tam-the-kid shining through. "So many places to see and things to learn. It's worth it."

There is a dubious look spared to Lyriva for her stare, and it even makes the fourteen turn old weaver to be to shift uncomfortably from one foot to the other. When she dismisses his apology despite the curtsy, he leans somewhat closer to Vyxtam just as he used to when he was younger. In that conspiring way that boys and girls do in regard to one another. "Your sister is seriously intense, man." he mutters before stepping away, leaning back instead on the railing with his backside, his hands on either side of his hips behind him, fingers curled over. There is shrug from the younger boy, putting on a good show of being completely unbothered and unemotional at the moment for the things that had transpired, but then again Kai was at that age. As for the girls, he looks their way and once again his features soften. "You did a good job," he murmurs, eyes hooding some before he finds the floor most interesting indeed. "You always did worry too much." Something he'd been hiding drifts across his face, but he stiffens soon there after and it once more vanishes. Brown eyes shift back to take in the words and the big goofy smile of his childhood friend. His jaw suddenly clenches, the color on his cheeks darkening considerably. The smile is not returned, and a silence falls over them as Kairhys isn't even looking at Vyxtam anymore, a breath is taken and slowly released, the color fading and his muscles relaxing. "That remains to be seen." finally comes out, weight moved from one foot to the other.

"You're telling me." Vyxtam raises a conspiratorial eyebrow over at Kairhys. "She's been like this ever since she learned how to talk. It's… uncanny, sometimes," he whispers. Even though she's turned away, Lyri chirps a sing-song, "I hear you!" Cue affectionate eyeroll. When Kai steps back to find a seat on the banister, Tam takes the opposite wall, leaning his shoulder blades against it comfortably. "I appreciate that," he says, eying Lyriva again as the little girl talks about something quietly with Cielyn. "And no, I worry just the right amount." His look his borderline playful when it returns to Kairhys, that apparently being something he's stuck to through the turns. Vyxtam isn't quite inept enough not to notice the change in his friend's posture and expression, his own schooling itself carefully back to blank in confusion. "I suppose it does." He pauses, mouth open, but not knowing what to say to fix the situation… it eventually closes again with a frustrated exhale. Time for a change of subject. "Anyways, we were heading to the courtyard. I have some studying to do, and Lyri wanted fresh air. You're both welcome to join us."

Kairhys startles as Lyri chimes in even with the two of the them whispering about her, instantly looking in the girl's direction. "That is seriously creepy." he mutters at Vyxtam, for his sister's near super human type hearing. Which of course gets him a death glare from his own sibling and the boy at least has the mind to look apologetic, Cielyn seems satisfied with the intimidation of her elder brother and goes back to the quiet conversation with Lyriva. "No problem, man." he says, glancing briefly at the healer before again he finds something far more interesting way over there in the distance, and his weight shifts again. "You don't need to worry about me at least. I'm good. Ciel is good and we're looking after Lyri." Thought this would not be the case soon, as Kai was leaving to take his own first steps into adulthood very soon, though the boy makes a point of not mentioning that. As if to put his friend's mind at ease. Shoulders bunch up when that look of confusion is so obvious on Tam's face, a flash of guilt over otherwise neutral as possible features. "Yeah okay." he murmurs, some apology slipping into his tone despite an attempt to sound nonchalant.

"She won't ever hear you if you tell her it's time to do chores or clean our rooms, though," Vyxtam says in sotto voice, loud enough this time for Lyriva to hear without effort. Predictably, she ignores him. Lips quirk for Cielyn's death glare, but Tam tries not to add fuel to the fire there. "Mmh. I'm still going worry anyways. You're leaving next sevenday, Ciel's nearing that age, Lyri's always getting herself in trouble… And I can't be here to help with any of it." A single, airy laugh is somewhat self-deprecating, still thinking of these things despite Kairhys' valiant attempt. "But I guess that's life. At least I'm posted close." Hands rub over his face in an uncharacteristic gesture, but when he eventually pulls them away, a little more of the usual high-society Vyxtam is back. Giving a slight shake of his head for the apologetic tone, Tam stoops to retrieve his abandoned papers and tilts his head towards the stairs. "Shall we?"

Brows lift as Kairhys listens, his gaze back on Vyxtam as he speaks, if only to flutter over towards the girls when he's finished. Sure enough, ignored. Even Cielyn seems to have lost her uncanny ability to eavesdrop over long distances despite the volume of whats been spoken. He opens his mouth, perhaps to say something to this effect but a heated glare over her shoulder has the future weaver think better of it. Mouth closed again, a sort of snorty sound emits from the young man, his friend now drawing him back to their conversation. He nods his head as his eyes drop to the carpet beneath their feet, perhaps admiring the pattern even if he'd lived in Fort Hold since birth. "I won't be close. I probably won't see you again for a long time." he says softly, sounding for a second truly upset about this prospect, but his chin lifts up in an echoing gesture of his sister's and he lets whatever else that might of followed fall away. Not even bothering to pursue that train of thought. "Sure." Dropping this instead, and jerking his head the way of the sisters. "We're heading outside, that means you Ciel." The girl beams and waves, "Kay! We'll be down soon. I want to fix Lyriva's hair before anyone sees it like this!"

Vyxtam smirks ever-so-slightly. "Aren't we just so lucky to be gifted with such wonderful sisters?" His voice is one part sarcastic, one part truthful, but it still makes Lyriva look their way with a 'thhbt' of her tongue. "/So/ ladylike. What would mother say." It's an idle threat: Lyri doesn't even answer, and Tam immediately turns back to Kairhys, expression dimming. "I know. It'll be a while, but… hey! Given enough time, you could get posted back here, and me too, and it'd be like old times!" He smiles for that, but it's as much of a tease as it is a suggestion. "Though, with all of Pern at our feet, we could go anywhere instead. Either way, if we're meant to, we'll meet again." Well, it's an attempt at encouragement at least, if a clueless one. Papers jostled into one arm, he heads for the stairs. "Thank you, Cielyn. If you need anything, you know where to find us." This last bit is added for Lyri, who rolls her eyes dramatically and chirps a thank-you for Ciel as well.

Kairhys pushes himself up off the railing and pauses before following on after Vyxtam, just a sort of lingering glance towards his nine turn old sister. She waves them both off of course, seeming altogether put out by the fact she's being bothered, even if she flashes Tam a brilliant shinning smile and a nod for his words. The weaver-to-be's brows crinkle and he makes for the stairs. The girls may not even make it outside, considering that Cielyn is already discussing clothing and accessories as if Lyriva was her own living doll to play with as she liked. Kai doesn't look quite so optimistic when it comes to postings and meeting up again sometime later, rubbing the lobe of one ear in a worrying fashion and really he is acting quite distracted over all. He barely even notices as they reach the base of the staircase a woman carrying a basket filled with balls of colorful yarn coming up. He nearly knocks her offer and flushes darkly as he apologizes over and over again, putting a few stray skeins that fell back on top and then jogs to catch up with his friend. Only once out of the earshot of little girls, does Kairhys speak again. "Ciel got sick again this winter." he murmurs softly, hands already sliding into the front pockets of his trousers.

Vyxtam wasn't rude enough to not wait, paused in the entrance of the courtyard with a vague smile on his lips. When Kairhys finally catches up, his mouth opens to issue some sort of joke, but Kai beats him to the punch with that information. Teeth audibly click shut, lips pursing again before he speaks, "I know. Lyri doesn't miss much, and there's little she doesn't share with me. Mom and dad must have talked about it." There's a stiffness about his shoulders now, a frustration with the situation. "How bad was it this time? And what did they do for her?" They're barely within the yard, but Vyxtam stops to face Kairhys, worry-crease back between his brows.

Kairhys nods his head, eyes dropping to the stone of the courtyard. "It was pretty bad." His tone does little to hide the concern and worry there, even if his expression manages to stay smooth and neutral. "There wasn't much they could do. They still have no idea what's been causing it. You know as well as I that she's been like this since she was a baby. But…" he pauses when Vyxtam does, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "It get worse every time it happens. It's so, frustrating. Not being able to do anything about it." This wasn't anything Kai hadn't said before, but he had no talent for healing and the like. Another reason for the frustration. Of course, when his good friend did join up, the hugging had been mighty, even from the then eight turn old. "I hope at least you get posted close when you reach journeyman. Having someone I trust that knows her and what her symptoms are, maybe you'll find something they keep missing." Now there is a clear look of irritation on the fourteen turn old's face, as well as a bit of fear. He's scared for Cielyn, he really is. "Sometimes I think they aren't even trying all that hard. Maybe if she was the Lord Holder's daughter or something rather than the daughter of a cobbler and a stable hand."

Vyxtam looks about as frustrated as Kairhys feels, curled hands clenched and shoulders riding even higher than before with tension. "It /has/ to be something they're missing," he says, seizing upon Kai's words. "Diagnoses… are hard to pin down sometimes. Common coughs and fevers mutate, which is why humans get them almost yearly anyways, but sometimes things like this can, too… That, or else the sickness triggers some other problem, and that something else hides." Fingers brush back through his hair, setting it all askance on one side. "It's frustrating on both sides. Nnh. When I am actually allowed to get my hands on records and actually /practice/, well… you know I'll try." Some of Tam's usual formality sneaks back into his person, as though remembering who he is with a few quick flicks to put his hair back in place. "I don't think it's that though, necessarily. We see everyone in our infirmary - Lord Holders to the very drudges. Something's eluding them." It is, perhaps, the naivete of the young, but there's hope there, too. Hope that it won't be to late by the time they do? Perhaps.

Kairhys stands there and listens, slightly hunched over himself. "I don't know anything about healing, or any of that stuff. I just want my sister to get better and not get worse." There's a pause and he glances around, watching some children chasing each other around the courtyard, laughing and having a good time. Other people were out and about as well, considering the fine weather this time of turn, chatting softly or milling about their every day routine. Above the sky was clear with only a few fluffy white clouds drifting by lazily. Avians were chirping at one another, and some of the hold's dogs were flopped out under the shade of thickly canopied trees. As for the weaver-to-be, he shrugs occasionally now and then as if only half listening, but towards the end he sighs and moves off towards the far end of the courtyard. "Come on, man." he says, the whole conversation which he had triggered obviously souring his already questionable mood. Once their over to one of the more secluded areas, a grove of thick bushes and wide trunked trees. Within is a picnic table, a quiet place to sit and read or talk about things.

"I'm just… trying to explain. The human body is a compact little space, but there's plenty of room for things to hide. It's just a matter of finding them, then." Vyxtam follows along when Kairhys beckons, taking a brief moment to let the day's ambiance bolster him. Papers are promptly deposited on the picnic table, his friend's sour mood taken in for a long moment before he speaks again, quietly this time, without the authority that goes along with education or status. "Look… I know that all you want is the best for her, but in being her big brother, you're giving her the best /you/ can. She can see, through you, that no matter what, life has to go on, and all you can do is enjoy it." His smile is small, but true, none of that hoighty-toighty polite stuff. "Or, she can see that all there is is unjust fairness and frustration, and never really learn to fight her battles… though, judging by the way she sasses you to and fro, that's certainly not going to be the case," he says cajolingly, smile turning from sincere to one of jest, hoping to lighten the mood a little.

Kairhys drops down into a seat across from Vyxtam heavily, though there is little movement of the table considering his slight weight. He folds one arm over the top, the other propped up by the elbow to that he can drop his chin into the upturned palm, fingers curling against it. "I'm not going to act like what going on with her isn't bothering me. She'd know something was up. I do my best not to talk about when she's well, and I still with her when she's sick." he says, brown eyes settling on the other boy, a frown pulling down the corner of his lips. He opens his mouth to interrupt at one point, around the time that it probably seems that Tam is telling him to buck up and deal with it rather than being angry, but as the healer apprentice goes on he falls silent instead, glancing elsewhere. "She's never had a problem telling me exactly what's on her mind. She gets that I'm pissed, and she knows it's not at her." He pauses there and his eyes dart back across the table. There is no return smile. He simply looks at his friend, long and hard, studying his face or perhaps his expression before he sighs again. Heavily. "Anyway, enough about the depressing dung. How you liking the Healer Craft?" As he asks this, he drops the hand from his face, folding it beside the other.

"I never said to," Vyxtam replies and, sensing a bit of an impasse, lets the rest of it go. Eyes drop from from Kai's during his prolonged stare, instead watching his own fingers fiddle with scratches and nicks inflicted on the table's surface over the turns. "I like it well enough, most days, but the technical jargon… yikes." He rakes through his notes for an example, holding up a sheet of nothing but rows of definitions written in the boy's refined handwriting. "If you ever suffer from insomnia, inform me and I'll lend you this. It'll bore you to sleep in minutes." In this, at least, Tam is still a lazy teenager, defiant in the face of 'pointless' work. "I mean… I understand that there's a purpose to everything, but I know the muscles and bones and veins by sight. I don't intend to become a teacher in order to ever have to relate this back to another human being, so-" he flicks the paper down and sighs, head shaking. "Other than that, it's marvelous. Rewarding, on the occasions I'm allowed to work with a journeyman." A speculative look enters his eyes. "Why weavers, by the by? I always thought you'd end up one of those artist-Harpers."

The tension in Kairhys shoulders eases some with the dropping of the topic if his sister and her illness, though his eyes remain on Vyxtam long after the healer has dropped his gaze to study his own fingers and table. When the notes are held up though, the younger boy's interest seems to have wavered, drawn by the laughter of the children playing in the courtyard. It's the rustling of paper that draws his attention back and he tilts his head some as he peers over the careful handwriting. He scans the page for a few seconds before he makes a face, crinkling his nose. "Ugh. Don't envy you there." he says, shaking his head. There's a ghost of a smile for the possible cure for insomnia, or perhaps it was that hint of the friend he missed in the the adult the older boy was becoming. "Maybe it's kinda like, the harper lessons we had. We had to learn our letters and figures even if there were no plans to use it later. Like Barda…remember her? She was married off the day she turned sixteen. I ran into her the other day, she's only twenty and has like five kids or something. All she does is take care of that trader's son and their kids." There is a frown for this, "Or Taphrin, he went to work with his father at the smithcraft. Or Faathi, she works in the kitchens now, doing dishes." Another sigh, before he hmmms? And then he jaw sets again, eyes hooding and flickering off towards the courtyard barely visible through the foliage of the bushes. "I don't think it really matters where I go, as long as I do. At least with the weavers I might be able to design some tapestries or clothing that someone might want to buy. Dad said it was impractical to live on art alone."

"Hmm. I suppose." Vyxtam leans back a bit as Kairhys takes them on a trip down memory lane, nodding his head to show that perhaps the boy was right: one had to learn the basics first. "I can't… imagine having kids right now, honestly. I know it's expected sometimes, to provide enough children for bloodlines and the like, but…" He shudders lightly and pushes the thought aside. "It's mad, to think of it that way, but you're right. Shells, how far we've all gone from the days of harper lessons." The boy shakes his head in mild wonder, perusing Kai's face for a moment when the boy turns away. "It always matters. There's little sense in going where you won't be happy." It's Tam's turn to look away, staring off into the middle distance. "At least the weavers can help you use your talent to your advantage. Your dad might have a point, but it would have been a crying shame if it had gone to waste."

When Kairhys had mentioned one of their classmates growing up and having children of her own, there wasn't much more then a flicker of melancholy across his features. Perhaps feeling sorry for the girl's plight. However, when Vyxtam begins to speak about his own children yet to be born the muscles of the younger boy's neck flash with the movement of his head, jaw clenching for but a moment before a hard look comes over his eyes. He's quiet for a while, his gaze fixed to the children in the courtyard, darting in and out of sight with a bright red ball bouncing and rolling before them. "I…don't think I'm gunna have any kids." he mutters at some point, long after the topic has moved on to their harper lessons and the matter of Kai's artistic talents. It was quiet, really, barely above a whisper. Whether or not Tam could of heard it above the frolicking of the little ones, or the avians chirping is debatable. Happiness though, seems to have been caught and kept, for the weaver-to-be's eyes do once more slide over to the older boy. "Promise me that no matter what happens, you'll watch after Cielyn." It's said seriously and with conviction, as if the answer meant more to him than anything.

If Tam noticed the long silence without comment, he doesn't show it, content to chatter on. If anything, learning bedside manner has only exacerbated this tendency. He fixes him with a politely puzzled look for that eventual, very quiet remark, and then gives Kai an amused smile. "You don't know that yet, and neither do I. But shells, that's decades into the future. Certainly nothing to burden ourselves about now, so don't be scared," he says, completely misinterpreting Kairhys' use of whispering. Blink. "Of course I'll watch over her. The crafthall's only a short way's away, so I'll visit as often as I can." Picking up on the social cue, Vyxtam is just as serious, nodding slowly. "Lyri'll let me know if I'm needed more than that."

Kairhys actually shoots the poor healer a withering look for the amusement that he gets from his whispered comment, staring at him long and hard as if he knew all the younger boy's secrets and was now laughing at him. The cluelessness apparently no excuse in his adolescent mind. "You don't know a lot of stuff!" he shares flatly, palms slapped onto the picnic table and he shoves himself to his feet, head bowed and shoulders hunched. He holds this position for several heartbeats before he's maneuvering long legs around the bench and making to take his leave. Though before he exits the secluded grove, he hesitates, stopping in his tracks only long enough to say, "Thank you for looking after Cielyn. I owe you one." he tosses back, his voice suddenly thick and shoulders trembling ever so slightly. He doesn't look back after leaving the table, he just pushes himself through the bushes and disappears out of sight to the left, headed towards the forest.

All Vyxtam can manage to do is startle and then stare when the younger boy noisily shoves himself to his feet, mouth hanging slightly ajar in surprise. His jaw eventually mobilizes, but his vocal cords are still feeling rather non-cooperative, causing his mouth to open and shut several times. Too soon, Kairhys has plunged off into the bushes, leaving a still-astounded and now slightly offended Vyxtam in his wake. "You're welcome," he says into the silence a moment or two later, blinking repeatedly before gathering up his papers and heading back into the hold proper. Confused? Yes. Concerned? Definitely, but he wasn't going to force Kai to talk to him. Perhaps, with some time, he'd come around again.

'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.