Worth Loving

Who: Arlet, Rori, Akanyth, Inaskashath
When: Month 1, 203 AT
Where: Honshu Weyrhold
What: Inaskashath has found someone who knows Kyramith.

On this summer afternoon, Akanyth and Arlet have selected one of the highest ledges in the semi-circle that’s Honshu’s bowl wall upon which to sunbathe. Or, in Arlet’s case, to read. While Akanyth sprawls across the wide ledge as the sun spills over it, she uses his body to protect herself from the sharper edge of the breeze at such an altitude, taking shelter on a blanket in the shade that he casts. She sits leaning back against his chest, book propped on her legs, a flask of cold tea lost somewhere in the folds of that blanket. Akanyth himself keeps his eyes closed, only one wing angled to catch the sun, the other tucked tight to keep from falling over Arlet.

Inaskashath comes from Between in a whoosh of happy trillings to Honshu, her joy in returning home a bright bask of sunshine she drapes over those minds she touches. She notices Akanyth on the wall and though she may not seek his company out, Rori does want to seek Arlet out. Golden scarred hide dips and swings through the air until she’s landed a respectful distance from Akanyth. Rori strips herself of her riding gear, shoving them in the pack she keeps tied to the upper part of Inaskashath’s straps. She doesn’t bother to fix her windswept hair or fuss with her appearance at all as she hurries herself down her gold’s outstretched arm. “She’s done it!” Rori crows, excitement flushing her sunburned cheeks an even brighter shade of pink. “She’s actually done it!” she dashes to Arlet and drops down on her knees in front of the brownrider, moving to push that book away so she can have Arlet’s full attention. “She found a dragon named Kyramith.”

At least Akanyth waits until Rori has reached Arlet before he shifts, at first easing himself away slowly, then all at once, until he can slip over the edge of his chosen ledge and down a level or two to find the one that actually belongs to him, unwilling to acknowledge Inaskashath at all. He doesn’t linger on his ledge, but vanishes inside into the shadows, leaving Arlet momentarily staring at the spot where he was with a forlorn expression that she quickly plasters over for Rori. Faced with the reality of there actually being a Kyramith in this time, she finds that she can’t do anything but reach for Rori’s hands and hold on, too scared to learn more and without Akanyth’s support to assist her. Perhaps a full minute passes where she just looks down at their hands and tries to work her way past unwanted feelings and back to words. “…Did you see her?” she eventually rasps, swallowing hard.

“No,” Rori’s contrite in that as she moves to capture Arlet’s fingers within her grasp. “Inaskashath was reaching out and chatting as she’s tempted to do when we’re out on various tasks. We were flying over Silverfield Hold when she reached out to Maozheth there. You know, Lady Zinovia’s partner’s blue? I forget her name and Inaskashath only calls her ‘Maozheth’s’, anyway,” the goldrider is nearly breathless in her delivery of the news, still high off actually accomplishing the promise she had offered to Arlet. “Maozheth //met// her. He said she’s much like Amorenth. Doesn’t socialize. But his rider met her. She //met// her rider!” She gleefully grabs forward to wrap her arms about Arlet’s body in a fierce hug. “You timed it right, Arlet! They //are// here!” Inaskashath watches Akyanth go in mute silence, her tendrils of sun and light withdrawn from him as the coldness of steel replaces what mental space touches at the brown.

“You mean… All I have to do is go to Silverfield Hold and talk with Lady Silverfield’s consort… and I could find her?” It can’t be a true question, for it seems a logical progression, yet Arlet threads it all together entirely thinking out loud in the moment before Rori hugs her. She has to brace herself to ensure that the two of them don’t fall backwards onto the blanket beneath them with no Akanyth to keep her balanced, but she holds onto her tightly and finally lets a smile surface, one that she hides in the crook of Rori’s neck. Silence reclaims her for a little while, during which she does nothing but keep her arms snugly around her while her heart goes just a bit too fast, and ultimately there’s no telling just what prompts her to speak as she does or even if she knows she’s going to say it, but, “I love you,” falls from Arlet’s lips absolutely out of nowhere. If it’s in error, she doesn’t take it back, though nor does she dare look up at Rori.

Rori blinks, grasping how //easy// it all seems now that they’ve located the reality of Arlet’s mother being present in this time – and her dragon’s name. “You’re right,” she says brightly, “all you do have to do is go talk to Maozheth’s rider!” she tilts herself back from the hug to grin at her and then collapses forward again to enthusiastically squeeze Arlet again. The comfort of the hug keeps Rori’s arms warm about Aret, letting the brownrider hold on to her as long as she wishes. “I love you too,” Rori gushes, squeezing her and then releasing Arlet’s shoulders with sudden inspiration. “Should we go now?” she wonders, eyes widening as she smiles brightly at Arlet. Then she shakes her head and blushes, trying to calm her enthusiasm. “Forgive me. I’m sure you’d want to go on your own.” That Arlet has said ‘I love you’ and Rori has returned it isn’t something that’s registered with the young goldrider, her excitement blowing through words that’ll have her mulling over late at night once she replays this moment in her mind.

Arlet shakes her head a little, insisting, “No, I don’t want to go alone,” before she has the time to process anything else, though she watches Rori for an instant before she must decide not to address those other words that they’ve said. “But I just… I need time to think… about what I want to ask. And what to do next. I don’t know how old she would be now, or if she has another family… or what she does.” She keeps her hands clasped at Rori’s elbows, unwilling to let her go completely. “Or how old she expects me to be. And I bet she won’t be expecting Akanyth.” Shaking her head, she goes on, “I know that… as you say, she wouldn’t have left a path to find her if she didn’t want me to, but what if she thinks I’m awful? What if I think //she’s// awful? I have to be prepared for that, even if it’s just knowing I’m //not// prepared.”

“That’s the risk of family,” Rori tells Arlet in full seriousness, the brightness of her earlier announcement dimmed as she looks frankly at the brownrider. “Sometimes they are awful. Sometimes //we// are awful. But there’s Blood between you. You can’t ignore it. It binds you and brings you back.” She leans forward, kissing Arlet’s cheek. “Come,” she tells her as she carefully extracts herself from Arlet’s fingers. “Inaskashath is going to take us down. We’ll go and fetch some food and tea. Then we’ll talk about what we’ll do when we go to Silverfield.” She waits until Arlet is beside her before she hugs her once more. “It’ll work out. She wouldn’t have done all she did if she didn’t already know you were special and worth claiming.” She walks Arlet to Inaskashath and shoos her up the scarred shoulder of her queen. Rori waits until Arlet is tucked snugly in front of her, arms wrapped around her middle, before bidding Inaskashath to take them down to the ground. Once her queen is settled and they can disembark, Rori clasps Arlet tighter and whispers in the brownrider’s ear, “You are worth loving.”

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