There were things that Nayale loved about her home, and there were things that she hated, much like any girl of five turns. She lay upon the cool stone outcropping of her father’s ledge, arms threaded beneath her neck to give it support, and stared up at the sky. Thick billows of clouds slugged along the sky, dark and ominous. But for as much as she disliked storms, that period of time where the clouds consumed the sky was one of her favorite times. Great puffs that twisted into fanciful creatures that only belonged in Naya’s active imagination galloped across the sky.

And what was in the sky at the moment? It was a cross between a dragon and a herdbeast. A great lumbering beast with long swooping wings that scraped across the sky in powerful thrusts. “Herdgon!” Naya squeals, kicking her feet about as she reaches over to tug at her twin’s arm.

The boy looks almost bored, or perhaps he had fallen asleep since the last time that she prodded at him. Lazy gaze is slow to focus upon his sister’s jovial face. “What in shells name is a Herdgon?”

Nayale’s blue eyes go wide and glossy as her mouth drops open. “You’re not allowed to curse, Nyek! Mommy says it’s bad and Daddy agrees.” But her huffiness dies down rather quickly as the cloud once more catches her attention. “Don’t you -see- it Nyek? It’s half-dragon and half-herdbeast.” She traces the wings with a dip of her finger tip. Her face is bright once more as she turns to look at him again, urging him with her eyes to see just what it is she does.

“I think you’ve gotten it wrong, Naya. It’s not a Herdgon, it’s a dragon eating a herdbeast. Don’t you see its guts spilling all over the sky?”

The girl squeals in horror, reaching her hands up to clamp them over her eyes. “Stoooop.” She nearly wails, throwing her arms and legs about as Nyekal gets this smug smile on his tiny child lips.

“Nyekal!” Nalae’s voice cuts through Nayale’s cry like a knife through a bubbly. “Stop torturing your sister!”

Naya’s tantrum is cut short as she slowly lifts her hands to peek over at her brother, snickering at her sibling getting scolded and she gets a tongue stuck out at the laughter.

Once her hands are lifted away from her face so that she can stare up at the clouds she only gets a few moments before the sky seems to open up and rain devours the two once dry, children. A crack of thunder ripples through the sky and Nayale nearly jumps into the air before crawling and stumbling her way back into the weyr. Nyekal is much slower in his entrance and soaked to the bone by the time he’s fully inside again.

Nalae is currently sitting on the floor, her carving tools still wobbling from when they clattered to the floor moments before. Her hands cover her face as she sobs noiselessly, body shaking after each breath.

Nayale stands, dripping, her own eyes brimming with tears at the sight of her mother. And yet her face grows stubborn and blond brows furrow as she runs into her and her brother’s room. A minute passes before she returns, clutching the tattered remnants of a multi-colored stuffed dragon. Perhaps the stuffed toy was once blue, a beautiful navy, and yet now it’s hardly sky blue with an assorted square patches in every color of the rainbow. Naya shuffles forward, hugging her dragon close before sliding over to her mother’s side. “Momma, don’t cry.” A fragile smile attempts to creep up her face, but it wavers as her lip starts to quiver. “Look, I brought you Stuffith. He’ll make you happy, just like he makes me.” She thrusts the dragon in front of her mother and reaches out to lay a small hand on the older woman’s forearm.

Nalae’s body goes still and hands pull away, scrubbing at her eyes before she reaches down and takes the proffered toy. The nearly threadbare dragon gets a gentle pet before she tugs her daughter into a hug and places a kiss upon her curly blond head. “Thank you, Naya. Thank you.”

It’s only then that the tears that Nayale had been holding drip down her face and she presses herself against her mother’s chest. “You shouldn’t cry. It makes me sad.”

Stuffith’s soft muzzle presses against Nayale’s cheek, “And you crying makes me and Stuffith sad. It looks like you need him more than I do.” Her mother smiles and it doesn’t take long before that smile to catch and alight upon her own cheeks.

“Naya’s such a big baby!” Nyekal nearly sings, the cadence of his voice swings back and forth.

“Nyek!” And Stuffith goes flying across the room only to land noiselessly and completely miss its target. Nyekal just giggles and disappears into their room.

Why did brothers have to be such -brats-?