Tatakai

Who: Zinovia, Akemi, Yukijiath, Maozheth
When: Month 9, 201 AT
Where: Zinovia and Akemi’s Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: A new bodyguard.


Though trained in how to jump Between and able to fly straight for long enough to do so, Zinovia and Yukijiath have yet to make any visits to Silverfield, yet today they’ve been absent from the Weyrhold for long enough that it would be easy to assume that they’ve absented themselves to take a trip ‘home’. When they finally return to Honshu, darkness has begun to settle over the peaks and fields of its territory, though no quiet return can be made, for Phoenix is fussing at Zinovia even as the Lady greenrider climbs down from straps and pulls them free of her lifemate, making a one-handed job of it to keep an eye on something she bears in a small, padded satchel – at which Phoenix keeps nosing and chirping. Heading inside from the ledge of their weyr, Zinovia calls, “Akemi?”

“I’m here,” Akemi calls back, making her appearance from around the corner – she’s dressed for bed already, exhaustion touching at her eyes and flushing her cheeks. “Maozheth had too much fun in the sky today,” she comments, stretching her arms over her head and then she loosens them to her side with a curious look to Phoenix. She pads closer to Zinovia, moving to gently wrap an arm around the greenrider to escort her further into their weyr. “What’s got Phoenix so chirpy?” she queries, moving to seat herself on their couch and encourage Zinovia to join her. Maozheth is drowsing on the ledge but wakes enough to reach towards Yukijiath. << Cuddle me >> he calls to her with little flecks of sparks. << I’m tired. >>

Yukijiath turns a curious eye towards the weyr, drawn by Phoenix’s continued insistence on getting to whatever it is that’s in that bag, yet, ultimately, she turns away, her path deviating from her rider’s so that she can sit herself down at Maozheth’s side and ever so neatly curl herself around him, making tiny adjustments until they fit just right. << Sleep, >> she gently encourages, casting a soft blanket of sky and smoke and stars over him. Zinovia tilts her head to nose at Akemi’s jaw, following her down onto the couch as she carefully slips the bag from her shoulder and unclasps it, reaching into its fur-lined depths to draw out a large firelizard egg with a faint gold sheen – one that Phoenix sweeps forward to brush with an outstretched wing. “She’s for you,” she explains, proffering the egg cradled between her palms. “I mean, she should be a she. And she should be here soon, the way Phoenix has been going on.”

Akemi’s brows shift slightly upwards to register her surprise as she carefully takes the egg into her palms and examines it. She brushes her thumb up and down over the side of it, drawn back to the time she first touched Maozheth’s egg. She smiles at Zinovia, a flash of happiness, before her lips descend towards more neutral lines. “Are you sure? Perhaps Phoenix wants to have a daughter to boss around,” she tells Zinovia with a inclination of her head towards the attentive gold. She focuses down on the egg again as she feels the tiny vibrations begin within it. “Should I get food ready?” she asks, moving to shift the egg back into Zinovia’s care.

“Of course I’m sure. They’ll have plenty of daughters to boss around, between them.” Zinovia mirrors Akemi’s smile back at her for a half-moment before she holds out her hands to temporarily accept the egg back, keeping it within Phoenix’s range of sight without letting her too near as to interfere. “It must be something instinctive, like the dragons humming when their eggs hatch,” she remarks, for though the half-grown queen doesn’t make quite the same sound as her bigger cousins, she still picks up a low purring noise every now and then. “There should be some scraps of meat in the fridge. I don’t think she’ll mind sharing.”

Akemi disappears back towards their kitchen area, taking her time to rummage through the fridge for possible enticing elements for the hatchling. She returns to the couch and holds out a piece of meat to Phoenix. “She needs to know she’s not going to be replaced,” she tells Zinovia with a small smile. She kneels down on the ground near Zinovia’s lap, her items laid out on the small table kept to the side of the couch. She waits quietly as the egg begins to shimmy and shake. “Does it remind you of Yukijiath’s hatching?” she asks the greenrider, chancing a glance up at her partner. “To witness this tiny hatching? Maozheth is too sleepy to want to talk to me about it. He says it isn’t the same. He’s bigger.”

Phoenix desists in trying to mother the shaking egg for long enough to pad neatly over to Akemi and delicately take the offered meat from her fingers, a birdlike bob given her just as she turns and leaps up to Zinovia’s shoulder, looping herself across her neck. “I think it feels the same in a lot of ways,” Zinovia says slowly, drawing her hands back from the shell so as not to risk being the first one to make contact with the baby queen. “I mean, I love and respect Phoenix. I don’t feel like she’s ‘just’ a pet, but then I don’t feel that way about Slate either.” For the whippet still finds her side when things threaten to overwhelm her. “She’s part of me, like Yukijiath, if in a different way. It’s all about scale, I suppose.”

Akemi’s answer is silenced by the sudden shuddering splitting of the egg. Out tumbles a gangly little gold, the color a rich russet that runs closer to the bronze spectrum of coloration than that of a paler queen. She squalls her indignation at being flopped out into the cold and turns red eyes on Akemi. She launches herself at the bluerider and Akemi falls to grappling the claws and teeth off of her arm before she can shove the right food at the queen. Eventually the ruckus is contained and enough food has been shoved at the gold that she lays on Akemi’s lap and huff-snarls a complaint when the bluerider tries to shift. “What is this creature?” she asks, looking up startled at Zinovia and including Phoenix in her wide-eyed gaze. Her arm is bleeding from the gold’s savaging of her flesh – nothing but superficial wounds, but blood pools down her fingertips all the same.

Zinovia might think better of Phoenix, but instinct is instinct and, upon finding herself with the reality of another, younger queen in her territory (and not simply a nice, shiny egg), the elder, fiery queen snarls a complaint of her own down at the newly-hatched gold, pulling on the threads of command gifted her colour to lean on Akemi’s new ‘friend’ and exert her authority as senior at to be listened to. Cursing, Zinovia jumps to her feet and heads across the room to their bed, where she bends down and scrabbles beneath it to retrieve the box of healing supplies she keeps stashed there. “I had no idea she was going to be violent,” she swears, shaking her head. “I’m so sorry. If the bond’s not secure, you could see if she’ll take herself wild? I can find another egg. One with better manners.”

The ill-mannered little gold is cowed into compliance by the weight of Phoenix’s command, she blinks her yellow-red hued gaze at the senior gold and goes still in Akemi’s lap as the food and command sates her into sleep. Akemi looks at Zinovia in confusion. “Let her go wild? Because she tried to eat my arm?” She actually bursts out into a laugh – something she rarely falls into as the absurdity of the entire episode draws it out of her. “No, no. Phoenix will keep her in line and Maozheth too. We can’t give up on her so soon! How unfair would that be?” She snicker-snorts as she holds out her bloodied arm towards Zinovia. “She tried to eat my arm. Imagine what she’s going to do when she’s older. Think she’ll try and eat someone? Maybe she’ll become our protector.” She giggles again. “A little gold bodyguard for my fiance.” She sobers finally, her humor dissipating into a contented silence as she watches Zinovia tend her wounds.

“No, because I meant her to be someone to keep you safe, not hurt you,” Zinovia attempts to explain, guilt and frustration vying for control of her features as she gently takes hold of Akemi’s arm to get a closer look at the wounds inflicted. “This is probably going to sting,” she warns, carefully dripping alcohol from a tiny bottle onto a clean square of cloth, bites and scratches dabbed at to ensure they’re clean before she goes any further. “I’m sorry,” she says again, guilt beginning to settle into quiet anger with herself. “I don’t mean that she’s disposable, but I got you hurt, even if it’s a little hurt.” She can’t quite look up at Akemi as she speaks, focusing too much on applying a layer of padding to soak up any blood, which she slowly binds around the bluerider’s arm and ties not terribly tightly. “It’s just so you don’t bleed all over yourself. You should be able to take it off when we’re sure it’s stopped – it’ll need air, anyway.”

“I’m laughing,” Akemi sobers enough to reach for Zinovia, trying to stall the other woman from fussing too much at her arm. “And you’re upset. It’s just a wound, Zinovia,” she tells her, waiting until her eyes can make contact with the greenrider’s. She’s as stoic a patient as she is in most things, not a flicker of pain or discomfort mark her face as she watches Zinovia tend to her wound. “Now I look like I’ve done battle,” she teases, trying her best to lighten the mood of the moment. She lifts her arm to inspect the bandage and then glances down at the golden creature sleeping in her lap. “Is that what I should call her?” she wonders, “Tatakai? Battle,” she muses, running a finger down along the gold’s neck that earns her a half-hearted and very sleepy snarl. “We’ll see where she fits in.” She glances up at Zinovia, her mind catching on to a possibility. “Is it fear of her manners once we return to Silverfield? I’ll pay for training to make sure she doesn’t hurt any Holders.”

“No,” Zinovia says again, Phoenix nudging at her fingers in search of scritches (or some bandage to play with). “I don’t mind if she hurts anyone else; I mind that she hurt you.” She gently curls her palms in at Phoenix’s sides, soothing idle fingers along her ribs in a motion that seems to settle her need for attention. “The holders at Silverfield are used to having animals in close quarters. Most of them having working animals and pets of their own and they’ve not all got impeccable manners.” She smirks. “The holders and the animals.” Following her own queen’s gaze, she peers at Akemi’s, head tilting slightly as she considers her proposed name. “Tatakai sounds strong. It suits her.” A hand drifts away from Phoenix to let fingertips wander along one of Akemi’s braids. “Maybe you should oil her while she’s docile? I think I just want to curl up in bed tonight. I got some wine on my way back – it’s //blue// and bubbly.”

“If you don’t mind fetching me the oil. I’m worries that if I move she’ll wake and we’ll start the attack all over again. Once I oil her, I’ll lay her on the couch and we can flee to bed,” Akemi tells Zinovia with a small smile. She does as she’s told Zinovia she would – the oil used to the gold’s hide put on with deft quick strokes and then she scoops the creature up and slides her on the warm spot of the couch that her body vacates. Full and oiled, Tatakai does not blink awake from the movement – to Akemi’s relief. She reaches for Zinovia’s hand and tugs her into a hug once she’s free of the creature. “To bed then,” she tells Zinovia with a kiss to the greenrider’s cheek. Bed is where they go – for blue bubbly and idle conversation before sleep takes hold and draws them all to silence.

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