Fairly or Not At All

Who: Aerishani, C’aol, Amorenth, Daeserath
When: Month 9, 200 AT
What: There are things Aerishani needs to say.

It’s been a month since the electrical fire has stolen much from Honshu and the efforts have been focused on recovery – of people, of things – of regrouping, grieving. But now it is time to get organized and move on, or so C’aol thinks. He’s recently wrenched control of the Weyrleadership from the indecisive Wingleaders, for who would be the obvious choice but the Weyrsecond in the first place? Daeserath has been a heavy influence on the other bronzes and browns around him. His grip of the other males is iron tight and he’s aggressive enough that most leave him alone. Today the pair have taken themselves outside to allow Daeserath to sun and C’aol to make his presence felt. He’s standing straight and focused at his bronze’s side as the pair watch the coming and goings of the world around them outside the WeyrHold.

Some new queenriders might not immediately understand when their lifemate is soon to rise and let the signs drag on for days without noticing, but there is so little chance of anyone //not// noticing the deep glow that has begun to possess Amorenth’s hide that Aerishani has known almost from the very instant that something in her queen has changed. That, and the younger of Honshu’s golds has gone and draped herself across the ledge that was her late dam’s in a manner both claiming and unrepentant. It will be hers soon enough. Everything. Before Amorenth’s state can begin to affect her too badly, there is one thing that Aerishani must do, and so, when she finds C’aol and Daeserath, she moves to stand at the former’s side, silent, her hands clasped before her.

C’aol is not the sort to initiate conversation simply to hear his own voice, or bridge silences that are presented to him. He’s comfortable enough with himself to give a smile to Aerishani and a nod of his head in greeting. Daeserath’s attention shifts towards that ledge and the queen who has claimed it, a ripple of icy cold sent out towards her. “Amorenth will rise,” C’aol decides to say after a push from Daeserath that leaves him little choice but to begin a conversation with the younger woman beside him. “Are you ready?” he asks, leveling his icy blue eyes on her. “The WeyrHold is in need of the stability we will give them as a solid pair.” We. Us. To the bronze pair, it’s already been decided their Weyrleadership is a given. Not arrogance so much as ingrained belief of what is //right//.

“I am aware.” Aerishani slides a long look to the queen who completely disregards Daeserath, Amorenth’s interest only engaged so far as it is //not//, a distance put there and reinforced with a wall of silver that does not invite further contact. “It won’t be like this, C’aol,” she tells the Weyrsecond, not confrontational, but firm in her belief. “If it’s you. I won’t let it be this way. We’re mediators. We serve. This isn’t Fort, no matter what anyone thinks I’ll let Honshu become. Daeserath will release his hold over the other males or I will do everything in my power to make sure it //isn’t// you.” Jaw set, she lifts her gaze to C’aol’s. “You win fairly or not at all.”

Daeserath is not unused to that wall of silver – he does not retreat. He waits outside of it, cold metal and steel, as he keeps his gaze locked on the golden hide of Amorenth. C’aol looks down at Aerishani with a cant of his head to show he’s listening to her words. He’s a man who has been trained since birth to keep his emotions to himself and so no flash of anything disrupts his cool features. A nod is given to her as he angles his gaze towards Daeserath. “I have no belief that you are going to try and shape Honshu into Fort. But we are not a Weyr, we’re a WeyrHold, and that comes with some limitations you have only begun to feel here. Do not mistake our //control// as something to be disliked. This WeyrHold has been struggling for years. It’s time to shape it.” He looks back to her, calculatingly, as he lets his gaze sweep up and down her body in a very masculine way. “I’ll win fairly. I don’t see how such things can be cheated. Do you know how it could be so?” His hand flicks briefly at his side as his fingers flex and release.

“No.” No, she doesn’t know, or…? “No.” Again. “Don’t you see? That’s why you’ve – we’ve – struggled. Limitations. I didn’t want anyone to die and I didn’t want //this//, but this is an opportunity. To be better.” Aerishani smoothes an imaginary fleck of dirt away from her skirts. “Honshu’s future will be decided by me and Amorenth each time she rises, even if the decision isn’t truly ours. I won’t have a Weyrleader who commands through fear and an iron fist. I’m not beneath dismissing that Weyrleader if he attempts to shape a world that //he// wants and isn’t in the best interest of the people.” Squaring her shoulders, she states, “I intend to honour the outcome of Amorenth’s flight,” only to swallow hard and add, “Whatever it means for me.” However: “But if my Weyrleader cannot honour our people and only his own interests, I will take action.”

Daeserath rumbles lowly, the vibrations of sound rippling out from his chest to resonate against the hand that C’aol rests on his bronze’s shoulder. The bronze is not one to be soothed, so the gesture is meant to stop him from further action. C’aol’s answer to Aerishani is as non-emotional as he can be, his eyes sharp and his frown clear on his face. “It is the lack of true leadership that has been the problem here for years. Y’ser did not need to die, nor did Phyllipa. I worked with Y’ser directly in an attempt to make changes. He was too loose with his crafters, with his wingleaders. They need //direction//, a purpose. Have I not proven to all that I can get this WeyrHold in order? That I can calm our people? I have sacrificed greatly for our people.” His eyes sharpen as he takes a step towards her, his tone lowering as his hand moves to grasp her wrist. “Is it fear of me as a person? The taste of me is souring to you? I may not be the ideal romantic partner, but I am strong. I am needed. Do not deny that.”

“A purpose without chains,” Aerishani insists, diverted from what more she might have said as C’aol steps towards her, balance shifting as she rocks back on her heels as though to step back and away, only to have that prevented too when he finds that hold on her wrist. “I can’t afford to fear anyone,” she says, matter of fact, leaving the matter of whether she does or not aside. “And what use have I for romance?” //That// sounds more pained, her voice strained despite the fact that she refuses to let any indication of hurt reach her eyes. “Not one of you wanted to play your part and make sure only Amorenth is maiden without a few drinks in you. Romance? What’s romantic about it at all?” She winces, pulling her arm back and out of his grip as realisation dawns that she’s said too much. “It will be what it will be. You or another. A leader, not a dictator.”

“Not a dictator,” C’aol replies with a musing tone, as he //allows// her to take back her arm. He lifts a hand to rub briefly at his jaw, giving an upward glance towards Daeserath. “A leader, shaped by his Weyrwoman, to be better.” He offers her a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “As history would have it, yes?” He shifts slightly, moving his arms to fold in front of him. Not surly, but standoffish, as he looks to Aerishani once more. “If this is indeed to be your maiden moment, it would be best if you found a man who you’d enjoy, and have him first. Your Weyrlingmasters should’ve taught you that,” he clucks a tongue, “or the Weyrwoman should’ve. You’ve been a part of a Weyr for enough time to know better than to trust draconic lust to handle such… delicate things.”

“Don’t worry, C’aol,” is forcibly bright and somehow not too far from dry at the same time, “I was taught and I’ve had men whom I’ve not enjoyed in the slightest, so you needn’t worry about me bleeding beneath you or expecting it to be sweet.” Aerishani’s smile is tight and not too far from predatory as elements of Amorenth’s changing mood begin to filter their way through into her own consciousness. It seems it’s on that point that she’ll leave him, turning to head back the way she came, her warning delivered. “If it’s you,” she calls back over one shoulder, though she doesn’t look back a second time.

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