Seal the Deal

Who: Aerishani, O’rlen, Amorenth, Roreliuth
When: Month 13, 200 AT
Where: Weyrlady’s Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Following the Hatching, what to do about a Lady Holder’s Impression and gifts from her would-be in-laws.

Following the hatching of her daughter – their daughter, hers and Roreliuth’s – Amorenth has been almost unbearably smug, her pride in Honshu’s newest queen evident both as a mother and in a more calculating fashion, despite it being well known that she’s taken little to no interest in her eggs until the day of their hatching. Since dragonets spilled from shells, she’s taken up residence on her ledge to watch over the Weyrhold and let her pleasure in the event (never mind all those blues and greens) drift over her home, ensuring the celebrations will undoubtedly go on long into the night. It’s late into that night that Aerishani finally excuses herself from the feast and dancing and exchanging pleasantries with Holders and the families of new riders, slipping from the living cavern and across the bowl to ascend the stairs to her ledge and meet her queen in the darkness. A silent exchange, a hand against hide, then she moves down another set of stairs into the weyr proper, carrying a small bundle snugly against her.

Roreliuth has been a most attentive sire when it came to watching the eggs — and the shelling of the dragonets has only amplified his interest. He lets Amorenth dote on their gold daughter, he nudges and noses each green and blue pair as they exit the Sands to their new lives. He perches himself up on the watchrider’s ledge, his focus on guarding the Weyrhold from any who may come that are not welcome. O’rlen’s surprised by Roreliuth’s behavior but makes no mention of it as he takes on the celebrations with an easy laugh and a ready handshake for all who have attended. He doesn’t leave at Aerishani’s side, having been stuck in a conversation with his old Master for the last few hours. He finally makes his excuses and leaves the celebrations, his path cut quick through the darkness to avoid running into any who might catch him for more conversation. He heads into his home, drifting past Amorenth with a small salute, before he seeks out Aerishani. He comes up behind her, arms warm and firm as he slides them about her middle and tugs her close against him. “Success,” he murmurs as he presses a kiss to her neck. “You and Amorenth should be very proud. A gold! A good omen.”

Aerishani hasn’t quite got as far as setting down her little burden when O’rlen slides his arms around her, though she leans back against him when he tugs her close and allows a tiny, tired smile to surface. “No matter what Amorenth might claim in the weeks to come, she wasn’t the only one to bring her into the world. And Roreliuth cared for her more before any of even knew what colour she was.” Carefully, she turns herself around and lifts up onto tiptoe to seek out a kiss, deterred from making it anything more than a quick, chaste thing by the wobble of whatever it is that she’s holding. “Here,” she says, lifting the bundle’s outer wrapping to reveal two smaller parcels enveloped in soft hide. “A gift from one of our Holders… Awkwardly, he was hoping his son would marry Lady Silverfield, but he understands that //we’re// not to blame for that…” She makes to hand O’rlen the one of the egg-shaped parcels marked as ‘for the Weyrlord’ just as it gives another, sharper wobble.

“I suppose we’ll have to have many meetings coming up since Lady Silverfield has somehow managed to achieve an Impression today,” O’rlen admits with a smile. “It was stressful to watch the little one wander around. I’m thankful //someone// was able to claim her.” He shakes his head and looks to the egg-shaped parcels with a laugh. “Truly? He’s gifted us firelizard eggs on the Hatching?” He takes the one that’s marked for him and hugs it to him to keep from dropping it as it wobbles. “We’d best find something to feed them,” he tells Aerishani as he clutches the parcel and heads into the kitchen. There’s the discarded meal they were eating when the signal for the Hatching hit and he looks back to Aerishani. “Leftovers?” He doesn’t seem to have much time as the egg shudders in his grasp. He sets it down on the kitchen table and reaches for his plate from earlier. He begins to strip pieces of meat off of the ribbone he had been eating.

“I don’t really mind how many meetings we have to go through with or without her; I’ll take a living green over what are likely going to be painful conversations any day,” Aerishani replies, sliding a quick look down to the egg she’s left with as it gives a shudder to echo its clutchmate, dislodging some of the wrapping around it. “I dread to think what side of Amorenth we’d be dealing with if we’d lost her.” Despite Amorenth’s seeming lack of interest in her smaller sons and daughters. Following after O’rlen, she gets the last of the wrapping away from the egg and lets the soft hide fall to the floor, remarking, “He can’t have thought it’s usually weyrfolk who gift eggs. It’s a nice gesture, whatever they are, and probably best we take them and don’t injure him more than Lady Silverfield’s Impression has.” She settles her egg down in the bread basket between their plates and selects a piece of wherry from her own, letting the egg rattle around between bread crusts.

“Let’s be thankful we didn’t have to deal with that. I don’t see why she can’t remain Lady Silverfield anyway. She can hire a Steward while she trains. She can split her time between here and there when they’re grown. Maybe we can extend our boundaries?” O’rlen’s tired and seems to be sharing every thought that enters his head. He looks to the firelizard eggs and mimics Aerishani’s unwrapping of his egg and sets it down next to hers. “We can tell him that times change and we’re going to start making changes to Pern,” O’rlen huffs as he looks at the rattling eggs. “It’s time we stopped being bound by old traditions. The dragon’s choose. That’s the end of it.” He blinks and looks as the two eggs crack in unison. “Twins?” he jokes, looking to Aerishani with a wide smile.

“For the same reasons we’re not allowed to marry,” Aerishani says bluntly, only to flush crimson as her phrasing catches up with her, a quiet cough given before she clarifies, “I mean that, you know, riders aren’t allowed to marry. Centuries old politics that make even less sense with Thread gone.” Distracted from rambling further by the cracking of shells, she looks down as a bronze spills from O’rlen’s egg and a gold slowly eases herself free from her own, hungry creeling taking precedent over any interest they might have in each other. “I guess he really wants us on-side,” she breathes, arching a brow. “Either that, or he thought we’d not take less than the colours that claimed us.” She offers the little queen a scrap of meat, absently licking the remnants of gravy from her finger once the meat is snatched away.

“Wasn’t it always because we couldn’t own land or something?” O’rlen asks, far from a Harper in the practice of law or knowledge of history. He looks sideways at Aerishani, noting her flush and the cough that follows. He looks like he’s about to ask her something only he’s stopped by the cracking of shells. He whistles lowly at the appearance of the gold and the following of a bronze earns a rough laugh from him. “That or he was trying to seal the deal with Lady Silverfield by giving her a gold and his son a bronze?” He begins to shove food at the bronze who appears ravenous enough to nip at fingers that aren’t feeding him fast enough. “At least we’ve a matching pair.” He continues to shove food at the bronze as he eases back towards that other conversation they were having. “Is that something you regret not being able to do? Marry?” he asks her, keeping his gaze on the bronze rather than give away his intention in asking the question.

“From what I can understand of it, we can’t own land because we’re not classed as Holders, because we’re riders and we would have had to live in a Weyr while Thread was falling,” Aerishani says slowly, carefully feeding the gold bite after tiny bite. “I mean, Lady Silverfield’s children – if she ever has any – could inherit as long as they didn’t Impress. What legal reasoning there is for riders be able to marry other riders, I don’t know. I assume people argue that flights would ruin a marriage. But if we were allowed to marry non-riders… people with land… that’s a different story and potentially dangerous for Holders. The law would have us be riders or Holders… not both. But that might now depend on how hard Lady Silverfield intends to fight.” That she goes on for so long may well be to buy her time as she considers the question put to her about marriage, to which she eventually gives an awkward shrug of one shoulder and likewise keeps her gaze on her new friend, coaxing her nearer and nearer. “I regret that I’m kept from explicitly binding myself to another in the same way a Holder might because of concerns about land and because it might look that I would favour a partner over my dragon. My devotion to Amorenth is implicit and doesn’t need to be overt, but what feelings I have for anyone else will never be recognised as as legitimate as a marriage, and while I don’t need my feelings to be explicitly understood by anyone, that they can’t be formally acknowledged suggests they can only be perceived as second-rate and breakable.” She’s never sounded more like a Harper in the months since Amorenth flew.

O’rlen is quieter than he normally is, not interrupting nor seeking to nudge Aerishani’s conversation in one way or another. In the time she has spoken, he’s managed to coax his bronze from the table to the crook of his arm. He continues to shove meat into the hungry gullet until it seems the creature has finally been sated enough to be lulled into slumber. “We will have to be prepared to stand beside Lady SIlverfield,” he opens up to the conversation in a thoughtful drawl. “Because it will impact many things for this Weyrhold.” He lifts his gaze to hers then, moving to capture her hand in his. “And the rest… we will make the changes we want to see in this world. Amorenth has proven herself as have you.” He grins lopsidedly at her. “I may still have lots to prove, but I think the population will be eased into comfort finally. It’s clear we are in good hands.” He leans forward, wanting to capture a chaste kiss. “What are you going to name her?” he asks, looking to the little queen.

“If she’s permitted to keep her title and her Hold, it’s not just Honshu that it’ll mean things for,” Aerishani murmurs, gently looking over the little gold while she can keep her distracted with food and not have to worry about waking her, inspecting wings and paws by delivering tiny nudges to encourage her to lift limbs and flex spars. “In any case, there should be no objection to her descendants holding, provided they can prove competency. I hear most of her bloodline has been wiped out, so… as awful as it sounds, that may work in her favour if she wishes to Hold.” She surrenders to O’rlen the hand that isn’t tending to the young queen, who abruptly launches herself at her skirts and goes tumbling into one of their voluminous pockets, prompting a long stare from Aerishani. “Amorenth has proven she can clutch queens. It’s… too early to say that I’ve proven myself at all.” Mindful of the firelizard in her pocket, she answers that kiss in kind and noses against the bronzerider’s cheek. “…Maybe Arsinoe? There are lots of names of Earth’s ancient queens in the AIVAS archives. What about him?”

“We will let her and her green,” O’rlen’s eyes go unfocused as Roreliuth reminds him of the name of his daughter, “Yukijiath,” he winks at Aerishani, “learn about each other before we fuss over such details. She can have her Steward or someone run in her stead while she trains. We’ll figure the rest out once they’ve been allowed to settle as a pair.” His eyes are still fading in and out of focus, which gives him reason to laugh softly and grab for her hip to pull her against his side. He’s careful not to squish the gold that’s tumbled into her pocket. “Roreliuth is full of opinions tonight on how best to allow //his// daughter’s partner to be handled.” He kisses Aerishani’s cheek. “Let’s oil our two gifts and go to bed. I’m too tired to do more than hold you,” he’s laughing again, “which is rather odd to say since I’ve rarely gone so long without feeling you,” he teasingly taps her rear. “A name for the bronze? Oh, I don’t know. We never really named the animals we tended for.” He looks bemused as he glances down at the bronze that’s still tucked into the crook of his arm. “Maybe a name will come to me tomorrow.” He nudges her towards their bathing chambers where oil can be found and applied to the firelizards. O’rlen’s barely able to shuck off of his boots and pants before exhaustion tugs on him. He’ll draw Aerishani down into the bed with him where he’ll spoon her all night, his nose tucked against her neck. The details of naming his bronze and figuring out their latest class of weyrlings will have to wait until the morning.

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