Guesswork

Guesswork

Who: Jet and M’tan
When: Month 5, 203 AT
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: Jet goes home and shares news of Arlet with M’tan.


It’s late at night by the time Jet finally returns home after her meeting with Akemi and Akio, various reasons for the delay supplied by Kyramith throughout the day, each of which has been a legitimate issue to be handled – if not quite requiring dealing with on this particular day. Green and rider slink quietly into their respective sleeping quarters, Jet discarding items of clothing in a little heap on the floor in favour of a dark nightgown cast over the back of a chair she locates without stumbling into anything. Finding the edge of the bed without the aid of glows is a touch more difficult, but she does it, inching across it until she finds M’tan and promptly curls up against him with a quiet, content sigh, tension finally beginning to ease its way from her frame.

Sirhyth stirs ahead of M’tan, having stayed awake until Kyramith and Jet both returned home safe. He moves to the green’s side, curving his body against hers, his wng draping over her and tucking her close. << I assume she had a very trying day which means you did as well. I am glad you are home. >> He drapes her in the stillness of night and shadows, the overcast of clouds against a moon. << Sleep, love. >> M’tan’s stirred to wakefulness by Jet’s coming into the bed and he turns, curving arms about her as he hugs her against his chest and sleepily presses his lips to her forehead. “Missed you,” he murmurs, on the edge of falling back asleep. “All’s well?” he asks, prepared to tip back over to his dreams should Jet wish not to speak.

If it were anyone else, Kyramith might insist that all is well and resist the affection and comfort offered her, but safe in the dark with Sirhyth she seeks shelter in the night and shadows, finding sanctuary in the lunar meadow lit by what moonlight dapples through clouds. << We must be strong. All of us. >> It’s her final thought before she succumbs and does as he encourages, drifting to sleep with the warmth of her hide against his. Jet slides her arms around M’tan and just holds on for a moment, dipping her head down to press her forehead over his heart. “…The Weyrleader of Fort. The woman. Brownrider.” She’s usually better with words and it’s not lost on her, a low note of frustration slipping free. “Her name is Arlet. Silverfield’s Consort claims she’s looking for me. If… If it’s //her//, I don’t know how.”

Sirhyth drapes shadowy kisses along that lunar meadow, twinkles of purple and green nightbugs blinking against the grey-green midnight coated grasses. He croons as he tucks Kyramith against his side and drapes his wing over her, waiting until sleep has claimed her before he lets himself drift into the lullabies of dreams. M’tan’s eyes flutter open as Jet tucks in close against him and the words come forward, the cloudiness of sleep blinked away as he sits up enough in bed to remove the clinging webs of sleep that want to drag him back into oblivion. “What?” he asks, moving to lift Jet’s face upwards so he can make eye contact. “Could… could it be true? That our note was found? And… she made it. Here. So soon.” He sucks in a breath and considers a myriad of possibilities. “No one would think to pretend to be your older child in this time. We’ve barely begun to even make a name for ourselves here.” And then, the other reality dawns on him. “They permit a brownriding //woman// to be Weyrleader here?” He whistles, arching a brow and curving a grin at Jet. “If it is your daughter, it would be your blood that’d do such a thing.”

Jet doesn’t fight M’tan when he moves to make her look up, yet it’s still done reluctantly, the darkness of the room that casts her in shadow something that she must be grateful for. “It means I messed up,” she states flatly. “Or her goldrider mother did. Either I put the wrong star chart in the letter or her mother let her go asking at the Starcraft for anything I’d commissioned in the past.” She shakes her head. “It wasn’t meant to be this way. We were meant to be older. Safiye and Khyrisan grown-up, not… little. If it’s really her, there could be less than a decade between us!” There’s a flicker of an attempt to smile at her mate’s remarks, but she can’t quite manage it, the effort one that only makes her appear pained. “If Fort’s just playing with her, she could be in danger. Or they could get her caught up in whatever horrendous scheme they have planned next.” Or, worst of all: “…Or she could be just like the leaders they just got rid of.”

M’tan is silent as he takes in the information that Jet is supplying and when his reply comes, it’s rueful and followed by one of his dryer chuckles. “To be honest?” he tells Jet with a shake of his head, “I hadn’t thought ahead enough to wonder //when// she’d come.. More //if//.” He kisses Jet’s forehead and smoothes the hair back from her face. “She went ahead, but not far enough ahead? I’ll never understand the complexities of the time jumps. I’m thankful we made it alive. I don’t want to jump forward or back //ever// again.” He shudders at the memory of the fear that drove them to such a decision. His jaw tightens at the mention of Fort’s potential scheming. “We’ll have to meet her,” he decides for them both, “She’s come looking. You have to meet her. We need to get control of the Fort situation and make sure they don’t involve her in anything. We’ll protect her from that.” He won’t consider the possibility of her daughter being anything like the Fort leaders that had so recently been sent Between.

“…I asked the Starcraft to extrapolate two charts. One that we used and one another twenty years on. I must have got the various copies mixed up.” Whether that’s the truth of it or not, it seems that Jet is perfectly content to blame herself, one hand tightening against M’tan’s arm as he brushes her hair back. “I didn’t expect her to want to use it. I thought she’d be happy. And I didn’t think—“ She sighs and closes her eyes, moving to slide her arms around him and press herself close, trying to leave behind the past they’ve escaped. “…I didn’t think about a lot of things, I suppose,” she murmurs resignedly. Silent for a few moments, she lets her fingertips lightly wander their way along M’tan’s spine and presses her lips to his collarbone. “There’s no choice now. I have to wonder if she wanted to win the flight. Either way… we have to meet with her, no matter her reasons or what she wants,” she agrees. “We can’t let Fort get its claws into her.”

“Could they extrapolate differences of years like that? I figured it was larger amounts of time. I admittedly didn’t listen to anything you discussed when it came down to the charts. I assumed you’d handle it, and you did, and we’re here. Now she’s here,” M’tan takes a breath, letting his fingers drift from hairline to along Jet’s back, soothing feather-light touches given. “She could be how old, I wonder? Thirty? How funny would that be, if she’s the same age as us. Perhaps she took her brown ahead to advance. We know how old-fashioned our time could be. Here it’s clear that a more… liberal way of thinking had a better chance. Though, if we continue to fight the sorts that controlled Fort, it’ll see we came forward for a purpose.” He sighs and leans his head back against the wall, letting his gaze drift up to their ceiling. “It could serve us well that she’s at Fort. So we have //our// claws stretched and flexed still in the North.”

“Maybe that was the problem. No notable differences to distinguish one point from another.” Jet has to shrug, giving one slight twitch of a shoulder to convey her lack of understanding of precisely how the whole process of charting works. Further consideration of Arlet’s potential age makes her blink her eyes wider, startled, as she thinks, “What if it’s not just her? What if she has children?” aloud, then: “What if she makes us grandparents?” She may not be particularly vain, yet the thought of being made a grandmother so young plainly doesn’t sit all that easily with her. “…There are too many questions that only she can answer… and I suppose that only I can answer for her. If she wants to work with us…” She reaches up to scrub both hands through her hair in a fruitless gesture of frustration. “…If it’s really her… I don’t have anything she’ll want to hear… but I don’t know that I want to manipulate her to our benefit either…” With a huff, she draws the blankets higher and huddles down. “Guesswork, all of it.”

M’tan chuckles as Jet gathers the blankets up and he eases back down on the bed, drawing her to rest against his chest as he fluffs the pillow behind his head and lets a tired yawn escape. “Guesswork, projecting, fear. All of it. Let’s talk in the morning about what we’ll do with the information.” He kisses the top of Jet’s head and inhales deeply, settling the smell of her into his nostrils before he lets his eyes close. “It’s a good thing, Jet,” he tells her after quiet has settled into the bedroom. “Let’s focus on that. It’s why we left the option to her.” He turns then, curving his body about hers in a mirror of their dragon’s in their wallow. In the morning, he’ll wake ahead of Jet to settle their children to breakfast and have tea prepared for her when she makes her way into the kitchen. No other staff is present, the children are in good spirits, and they can have a sense of normalcy to the day before they tackle what reality faces them when they leave for their daily tasks.

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