Who: Jet, M’tan, Grayson
When: Month 2, 203 AT
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: Wedding planning and other legal matters.
Since the heist on Fort Weyr, M’tan has been laying low at home – giving everyone a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labors in the North and also to allow speculation and the hunt for the culprits to continue to be directed internally at Fort Weyr. From the last report received, it was starting to look like most of the blame was falling on Fort’s Senior Weyrwoman and her closest staff. This morning M’tan’s enjoying his breakfast in the company of their Harper. Grayson’s addition to the Court has been a subtle one, the older man’s attitude one of quiet observance as he settles in to his new home. His bitterness over never being allowed to achieve his mastery, despite his years to his craft, lines his face in severe lines. M’tan’s natural friendliness and charm has drawn Grayson’s smile forward as the two chat over tea and breakfast edibles. A set of notebooks are set out on the table. “Jet should be here shortly,” M’tan tells Grayson. “Then we can really begin the planning work.”
Khyrisan has reached an age where he’s most definitely able to articulate what he wants and what he doesn’t want, even if it mostly involves throwing a strop when he doesn’t get what he wishes. Though Jet may not be the sort of mother to pander to her child and let poor behaviour get him what he wants, there’s also a point where his cries are too plaintive for her to ignore, and so she’s spent the first hours since waking curled up with him, unable to hand him over to his nanny with him so determined that she shouldn’t leave him. It’s when he’s finally drifted back to sleep again that she deems it appropriate to pass him from her arms to his nanny’s, finish getting ready for the day and finally move downstairs to meet M’tan and Grayson. “I’d apologise, but it doesn’t look like you’ve done too badly without me,” is her wry greeting as she approaches the table and sits down.
Grayson rises upon Jet’s arrival, offering her a stiff bow before he settles back down at his seat and watches as M’tan rises to close the distance between himself and his lady. M’tan reaches for Jet to kiss her cheek and escort her to the chair beside him, his hand on the lower portion of her back. “We’ve done nothing but throw some books on the table and chat about our childhoods,” he tells Jet grandly, smiling his crooked smile, as he winks at Grayson. “I’ve recounted Grayson about all my troubled youth. Of course, he greatly admires my tenacity to learn how //best// to steal jewels from a Hold.” Part of him must be joking, but there’s enough truth to his tale that he must’ve disclosed something to their newest addition. Grayson smiles politely at Jet as he pushes a book towards her. “I’m sure neither of you want a traditional wedding, but should you want it, these are some ideas of what the Harper Hall has hosted in the past.”
“The Holder ceremonies I witnessed growing up generally involved the bride relinquishing agency, body and possessions to her new husband,” Jet dryly remarks, flipping open the book before her. “I think it’s safe to say that anything that requires me to promise to be silent and obey is something that neither of us wants. That’s not who we are and it’s not what I want our daughter to believe is how a marriage has to work.” She glances first at M’tan, then begins to skim some of the information on the page before her. “I’ve seen some beautiful weddings, but they were ultimately masking that the married parties hardly knew each other and were there out of obligation to one thing or another. We don’t have to please anyone else…” Lifting her gaze to M’tan once more, she asks, “Is there anything you don’t want?”
Grayson nods at Jet’s statements though he makes no comment outside of scribbling something on the smaller notepad he pulls from a pocket. He sets the pad down and looks to M’tan for the bronzeriders answer. “I honestly don’t know,” he admits with a rueful smile, “Can’t say I’ve ever been to a Holder wedding, or any wedding, actually. The people I grew up with..,” he shrugs and pulls one of the books closer to look at some of the writings and pictures present. “I figure we’d say what we wanted to say,” he tells Jet, “and define what our marriage is like. How it’s different. How this place,” he lifts his hand to gesture around their Hold at large. “Will be different from other places.” He reaches for his tea to sip. “I want it to be legally clear we are the owners here, we protect our family first, our people, and our home. Our union should symbolize this, I guess. Isn’t that what they do in the Holds?” he queries, looking to Grayson who shrugs. “Legally, people use weddings for all sorts of things. Alliances, heirs, money. It’s not often about love.” He looks to Jet, “Isn’t that so, my Lady?”
“I suppose… at their heart,” Jet has to briefly cast her eyes skywards at her choice of words, “weddings crafted for alliances and money are still ultimately about ensuring that a specifically created bloodline inherits. About what the next generation will have. About //things//, not people.” She sits back in her chair and twists her fingers together in her lap for a moment. “…It should be about everyone, not just us. We made our promises to each other long ago; maybe it’s time we made promises to our people here. Give this Hold a name. I know we call ourselves the Court, but that’s for… people we know.” People who know how they truly operate. “It’s listed under co-ordinates in the records of the Crafthalls who’ve permitted postings.” Her eyes narrow slightly, her dark eyes distant in thought. “As long as we can continue to be self-sustaining, there’s no need for a Weyr to offer any services and expect tithe in return. If we end up with children of age who wish to Stand, Impress and return here, then we broker deals with Honshu, as the nearest Weyr. But that… should be part of it. If you want to craft, you can. If you want to Stand, you can. Loyalty and security in return for the same.” Unknotting her fingers, she reaches across the table to pour herself a cup of tea. “I know this is for us,” she says more softly, meant for M’tan, yet not designed to exclude Grayson. “But you’re right. It’s a chance to legitimise the Hold.”
“The law is designed to protect things more than people, if you look at it closely. We punish thieves because it’s against the law to //steal// things that people claim ownership of. Anyway, I digress. Whether or not my Hall has always approved of my applications of the law, I still choose to focus on people first,” Grayson states with a matter-of-fact tone, his attention drawn to one book he pulls towards him. “We can leverage the laws in this case, I’m sure. There’ve been precedents where a smaller Hold has chosen not to have reliance on a Weyr or a larger Hold.” He looks to Jet and then to M’tan, “You’ve got yourself dragons, so could this not be a Weyrhold? Or are you wanting to remove yourselves from any declaration of… unity with that way of life?” M’tan takes another sip of his tea and considers his hand, where his rings rest, and then he smiles at Jet. “We have a better vision than the standard Weyr, or Weyrhold, don’t we love? We certainly don’t ascribe ourselves to the necessity of our leaders being chosen by a flight, nor the need for a gold or her suitors, to be our leadership core.” He looks to Grayson, “Our people will continue to understand that we offer people the opportunities to prove themselves to be trustworthy. We offer protection to any who need it. Those who… push us the wrong way? Will learn the swiftness of repercussions.”
“To call ourselves a Weyrhold would be to potentially suggest that we need a queen’s command,” Jet agrees, adding sweetener and cream to her tea in an effort to somehow get her body to recoup what energy has gone into tending to a fractious child. “Honshu is a Weyrhold, ruled by queens. Silverfield Hold happens to be a Hold that houses two dragons. People perceive the difference. Even if we should become a home for more dragonriders, it’s still safer to call ourselves a Hold.” She sits back, bringing her tea with her. “We should consider a name. Announce it at the wedding. Make our vows to each other, to our people, and make it clear that protection, support and opportunities are in exchange for co-operative living, not blind obedience – and not betrayal.” Reaching for M’tan’s left hand with one of hers, she says, “That we’re a family. Family protect each other. They don’t deceive.”
Grayson considers Jet and M’tan with a thoughtful, controlled, expression. “Sometimes I wonder about your motivations since I came here. Your… different than most people. I know that other places are seeking equality and progressive thoughts more and more each year. But your approach is like nothing I have seen before. Like lore of old, ‘take from the rich, give to the poor.’” The Harper actually chuckles, his Adam’s apple bobbing in mirth. “The Holds and Weyrs in the North won’t be prepared for you. But the South lends itself some more… autonomy. Sometimes I wonder if the North and South should agree to be seperate. Life might be easier.” He shakes his head and bends to penciling down a few notes. M’tan takes Jet’s hand while Grayson is busy with his task, his eyes bright with a glitter of tears. “Family,” he tells her, voice rough as he bends closer to kiss her. “Protection. We keep our people close because of trust, not fear.” He presses his forehead against hers and then kisses her cheek. “You’ve always been our leader. We should make that clear when we declare ourselves. I am your second, you are our leader.”
“The Holds and Weyrs in the North don’t need to be ready for us,” Jet states bluntly. “They need to learn that ‘that’s how it’s always been’ doesn’t make things right. The sooner that they address the misdeeds of their own – attacking others who endorse change – the better it will be for everyone.” It’s all too easy for her to agree, “And if that means separate continents governed by separate laws, then so be it. Several of the Halls have satellites in the South already.” She’s never been terribly good at displays of affection in-front of people, yet that Grayson looks away makes her comfortable enough to return M’tan’s kiss and linger with her forehead pressed against his for more than a moment. Her brows knit at what he says, her head shaking before she’s even really processed it. “No,” she declares. “We’re a team. Maybe we do some things differently, you and I, and maybe we have to take on different duties within the Court a lot of the time, but we do this together. I’m not going to stand up in-front of our people and undermine you. We protect each other. We keep each other safe.” Leaning a little closer, she lowers her voice so that only M’tan will hear her when she murmurs, “But if you want me to tell you what to do in private, that’s another matter.”
M’tan’s laugh is bright and clear in the silence as he settles an arm around Jet’s shoulders and beams at Grayson. “My future bride is the wisest person you’ll ever meet,” he brags, winking at Jet before he looks to their Harper. “Help us draft the legality of this. Help us announce our place in the South, our marriage, and we’ll announce you as our Master Harper. We’ll have to break from the Craftholds in the North eventually,” he’s looking at Jet now, in case his enthusiasm is unwarranted, “best we start knowing who we want our people to be here separate of Hold, Hall or Weyr.” Grayson levels a look at M’tan, considering him the affable fool, and then his eyes settle on Jet for her response. No matter how Jet may push that they are equals, almost always their members of the Court will acknowledge her will first.
With two sets of eyes on her, Jet slowly lifts her tea to her lips and takes a sip, letting seconds spool out until she gives a singular nod. “We’ll announce you as our Master Harper,” she agrees. “But I think there’s a way to do it that would cement our usefulness to the Hall and give you their legitimacy. We’re not yet in a position where we might not need access to the information they have, and should we defy them outright as soon as we use them to assert ourselves, they could well retaliate and revoke any legality.” She smirks before taking another slow drink from her cup. “We’ve information that should easily put the right knot into the right hands and right the wrongs Fort did you. Perhaps it’s time to leverage it.” Rising, and having consumed no more than that half a cup of tea, she gently touches a hand to M’tan’s shoulder and says, “I’m sure I can trust the two of you to handle the words we use deliver to everyone, but I think I’m within my rights to keep my dress a secret from even my husband to be. I’d best not keep our Weaver waiting.” Even if Khyrisan has made his mother progressively later and later for each meeting scheduled for the day, at least he’ll be forever blissfully ignorant of it.
Grayson rises when Jet does, bowing to her before she leaves. “You are wise, Lady. I hope to continue to serve you well.” He settles himself back in the chair and catches M’tan’s knowing smile. “I knew she’d be someone to follow when she first talked to me about my posting here. But I continue to find myself impressed with her ability to see the… bigger picture.” The older man leans over and gathers the books to him, drawing M’tan’s focus as he begins to sketch out the legal claims they’ll be making. M’tan manages to sneak in a few words that have nothing to do with the building of their new home, but of declaring his love for Jet. He can have a few surprises for the day of, as well. He’ll be there later in the day, his attention captured by Khyrisan, as he tries to keep his young son content, but once Jet appears it’s clear who is the favored parent at this time.