The Truth

Who: Arlet and Rori
When: Month 12, 202 AT
Where: Rori’s Weyr, Honshu Weyrhold
What: Arlet tells Rori where she’s really from.

To say that things have remained uneasy between Arlet and Akanyth is an understatement, but, while she may have played into his poor attitude when he was little, now she lets him sulk only when they’re off the clock, letting him occupy their weyr while she… hasn’t exactly felt the need to relocate from Rori’s bed when night falls. She hasn’t made anything of it, nor has she pushed for or suggested that they should do anything but curl up together beneath blankets and sleep, and if Akanyth has kept on chasing she’s managed to completely conceal its effects on her. It’s late into one night she’s finding sleepless when she rolls over and curls herself around Rori, arms sliding around her middle as she murmurs, “Are you awake?” and, “…Do you want the truth? About me. Why I lied.”

Rori has only encouraged Arlet to stay with her, the weyr that had once felt empty and too spacious having a ‘homey’ feel to it now that she’s entertaining a guest. Rori’s made a big fuss over cooking meals to share with Arlet, showcasing her talent to whip together meals that are often of a higher quality than what is offered by the staff of Honshu. Inaskashath and Rori have made it a purpose to begin visiting all the Weyrs, both Southern and Northern, to ‘introduce’ themselves and to also make subtle attempts to locate the person who hit Arlet. Akanyth can have his space from Inaskashath, she’s not paying him any attention now that there’s some unspoken tension between them. Rori stirs in her sleep, stretching her arms and wriggling her fingers before she shifts and looks at Arlet in the semi-darkness of her bedroom, the only light offered is the muted glow of twinkling lights that she’s hung along her wall. “I’m awake,” she tells her, even if her voice is groggy from sleep. “Tell me,” she acknowledges and falls silent to listen.

Arlet watches Rori for a moment, then tightens her arms around her waist and closes her eyes, needing to hide that bit inside herself to let free what she wants to try and share. “…I wasn’t born here,” she eventually admits, soft-voiced. “I mean not in this time, not… not Honshu. My mother was… is… a weyrwoman.” She sighs. “Tenses are difficult. Who I //thought// was my mother was a weyrwoman. I still think of her as my mother. She raised me – my brother too. She was so frightened of everyone, but if someone hurt you, she’d put them right in their place. I started Standing as soon as I could, though none of the dragons ever looked twice at me. And…” She hesitates and ducks her head down against Rori’s shoulder. “…And I guess she took pity on me and sacrificed her own happiness for mine. Said I wasn’t hers, but I //was// how it mattered. Gave me a letter. And there was this star chart… And here I am. My mother – my real mother – is here somewhere, in this time. A greenrider. Jet and Kyramith, but I can’t find them in any Weyr.” A shoulder twitches. “Anyway… that’s me. That’s why we keep visiting everywhere. I have Akanyth now and… I… I paid my mother back in sadness.”

Rori is quiet as she takes in Arlet’s explanation, her body still and her breathing light as she thinks through what has been shared. “I didn’t believe it to be possible – to jump time,” she breaks through her own silence to say to Arlet, scooting herself back to sit up and rest her head against the headboard of her bed. She reaches for Arlet’s hand, holding it as she looks at the brownrider. “I understand why you go so often and how Akanyth gets his way. Should we ask Inaskashath to look?” she wonders, considering her gold’s sensitivity, “she’s aware enough of others that maybe we can ask her to listen for a certain name? I’m not sure. Maybe Amorenth could have better luck. She’s the strongest gold anyone’s seen.” She brushes her thumb against Arlet’s palm. “Your mother understood you,” she tells her, “she wanted you to have your chance is all I hear. I’m sure she’s not paid back in sadness. She can’t //know// you made it, but I imagine she’s thinking you did and found happiness here.”

Arlet stays where she is, the sheets drawn high around her, though she gives Rori her hand and idly watches the path of her thumb with through an unfocused gaze. “…Maybe they’re dead,” she murmurs, her voice hollow. “Just because I made it, there’s no telling that they did. And then I made my mother feel second best for nothing – only Akanyth isn’t nothing…” She sighs, plainly displeased by her conflicting thoughts. “If they’re at one of the Weyrs that hates us, Amorenth getting involved could just make it worse, I’d think. She doesn’t seem the diplomatic type.” The brownrider blinks a couple of times, trying to quite literally focus and reach some kind of decision. “Inaskashath might have better luck. But even if I find her… there’s no saying that she’ll want me. She didn’t want me when I was little.”

“You had to come here for Akanyth,” Rori’s voice has the certainty it gets when Inaskashath is weighing in on her conversations, “There was no choice but to come for him. Had you not, he’d have been lost to Between.” Rori considers Arlet’s fears and blinks a few times to clear Inaskashath’s enthusiasm from her mind. “They wanted you, they left you a chart to follow. Why else would they do it? We can’t know how or why she gave you to your mother, but that’s a question you can ask her when you find her.” She takes a breath and shakes her head, “It never does any good to worry and what if and wonder and deny, or even try to understand things that aren’t for you to answer.” She lowers herself back down in the bed, moving to snuggle against Arlet. “We’ll look. Inaskashath can be more diplomatic than Amorenth and we have the excuse of her being young. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission, so we’re not going to tell Aerishani or O’rlen what we’re doing.”

“I know,” is an easy agreement that still doesn’t manage to make, “but now everyone else is lost to Between, for me.” Arlet means to present it in a much more factual way than the words escape her, yet she can’t quite conceal the ache that permeates her statement. She waits until Rori has settled again before she winds her arms around her once more and noses along her jaw for a moment or so as if doing so will help her ground herself. “I don’t want to get you into trouble,” she says quietly. “A young brown’s misbehaviour can be better excused than a queen’s… though I don’t think that you or Inaskashath will let this go, will you?” It’s only half a question, really, for she closes her eyes and tugs Rori that bit closer, prepared to try drifting back off again.

“Maybe you can go back,” Rori offers, not knowing what to do but wanting to offer some solutions. She quiets as Arlet cuddles in closer and she wraps herself more snuggly against the brownrider. “We aren’t going to let it go,” she assures Rori, “So don’t bother telling me to stop her. Inaskashath’s too persistent. And it won’t be misbehavior.” She grows quiet then, letting Arlet find sleep once more. In the coming days, Inaskashath and Rori’s absence will be longer than their last few journeys outside the Weyr. That searching thread of Inaskashath’s mind drifitng out like a net as they travel from space to space, calling out a name as they go: << Kyramith? Are you here? >> Rori and Inaskashath keep their search to themselves, not wanting to give Arlet false hope – or to cement the possible reality that her birth mother did not make it to this time.

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