Who: Arlet, Rori, Akanyth, Inaskashath, Malynth
When: Month 12, 203 AT
Where: Weyrleader’s Office, Fort Weyr
What: After months apart… it doesn’t go well.
Inaskashath has not taken the news well that one of her offspring that was sent to Fort was born unable to fly. There has been speculation the cause of it came to Jynth, something that rankled the gold and her rider immensely. There were notes in Records about transfers of eggs Between were causes of defects, though none quite as dramatic as Malynth’s. It is the first time that the scarred queen has come to Fort to visit, her attention focused on the young blue and the others she claims hatched from her eggs. Rori has finished the tour of the weyrling facility with Fort’s Weyrlingstaff and waits in Weyrleader’s office for Arlet to come.
Akanyth has watched Inaskashath from his mate’s ledge, keeping firm tabs on the visiting queen without actually making contact with her, as if those hatchlings that were hers are now //his// to protect and defend – from anyone at all. They are Fort now. Upon discovering the presence of Honshu’s junior, Arlet has made herself scarce, ensuring that she is nowhere near the weyrlings or her lifemate, summoned finally by protocol and duty. Unfortunately for her, what is perhaps the reason for her avoidance is no longer something that can be easily masked beneath long blouses and oversized shirts, the bump of the baby she carries a stark contrast to what of her that remains angular and a little too slender. “Weyrwoman,” she greets, closing the door behind her. “I can promise you that Malynth isn’t being mistreated. Even if he never sees the skies, he is no less a dragon.” She rounds her desk and sits, no further remark made.
Inaskashath notices Akanyth watching and shrouds herself in a glimmer of golden thread – she cannot be bothered to argue with him, not when //hers// and //Jynth’s// young are subject to his rule without their influence day to day. She’s settled down in the middle of the bowl, entertained by the vibrance that is Malynth, her patience for the playful blues bumps and nudges clear as she sprawls in a semi-circle around him. Rori has not visited, she has not sent word, she has let the distance and silence stretch between her and Arlet for a long time. Her surprise at Arlet’s bump flashes across her face, all of the pretense of coming on business gone in a flash of confusion. “What?” she asks, struggling to keep her surprise from being hurtful. “Congratulations,” she breathes out, calm blanketing her shoulders as she sits up straighter in her chair. “I know that Malynth is not being mistreated here. Inaskashath needed to come and see him. To know him. She’s still attached, you realize, despite them being Hatched on Fort’s sands.” She pauses, blinking a few times, “You didn’t want to tell me?”
“I didn’t think it mattered whether you knew or not,” Arlet says calmly, anything she might feel carefully concealed behind the mask she has had to thread together to retain her knot and her Weyr’s place in the world. “Especially since it’s evident that I was just the training ground. I was the tool employed to make sure you knew something of what you were facing in Inaskashath’s flight. I understand that now. So, no. I don’t think that it’s any of your concern.” She crosses her legs and leans back in her chair. “The new queen, Eosyth, seems quite attached to Malynth. I wouldn’t put it past her to conceive of a way for him to fly, even if only briefly. There’ll never be any true way to know for sure why he is as he is. There are too many factors involved. What’s important is that he and J’kson know that they have a place here. Or wherever they want to be.”
Rori’s already pale features ghosts as the color drains from her face in the wake of Arlet’s words. Her lips part in surprise as her breath escapes her like she was punched. She nods her head numbly as Arlet continues to talk and doesn’t manage to find any words to form. Minutes pass as she blinks and stares at the Weyrleader’s desk, her hands gripped tightly in her lap as she wills herself to find something – anything – to say. “Amorenth’s line is strong. If Eosyth is determined to see Malynth find a way for flight then it’ll happen.” She takes a steadying breath, avoiding the obvious tension between them as she nods her head again. “Alright,” she manages, “I came to check on them. Inaskashath will want to visit them again. Will it,” she pauses, knowing that now it looks like the only thing driving her here are the weyrlings, “be a burden to you and your Weyrwoman?”
Perhaps Arlet takes that nodding as confirmation that she is correct in her assumptions, her only reaction the tightening of her jaw before she takes a deep breath and forces herself to relax – if not entirely for her own sake. “Provided Inaskashath announces her presence to Akanyth and our queens and doesn’t disrupt the weyrlings’ lessons, I don’t see that it should be a problem. At the moment, it seems they see themselves as one unit, both Amorenth and Inaskashath’s weyrlings. It would be… nice… if she could not only shower attention on her own offspring. She’s related to all of them, after all.” She glances down at her desk for a moment, only to make herself look up and straight at Rori as she enquires, “Will that be all?”
“With how much Akanyth does not enjoy her company would he truly want her to be here that often?” Rori asks, bitterness lacing the end of her words as she shakes her head and rises. She flicks her skirts in place, smoothing their pleats carefully. She turns and is heading towards the door without thought before she pauses, her hand catching on the back of the chair. “You weren’t practice,” she tells her lowly, her fingers tightening on the chair as she keeps her gaze steadily on the door. “But you came here,” her breath hitches as she fights her emotions to stay down, her gaze turning back to hold Arlet’s so the tears can show even if they glimmer and are kept back from falling. “And you had a life here. We had duties. Inaskashath flew and… Akanyth wasn’t there. You could’ve been there, but we’d decided.” A breath, a pause. “You never wrote or came. You found someone to love you enough to make a child. I feel like,” she shakes her head, wiping at her cheeks as tears trickle down, “I’m being punished but you didn’t try either.”
“Akanyth leads. His feelings about Inaskashath come secondary to what is best for others.” And it doesn’t sound like Arlet means to say so only of her brown, but she focuses on the far wall for a moment or two to regroup. “I had no choice,” she says flatly. “I couldn’t leave this mess for someone to sort out on their own. Fort needed a Weyrleader. It wasn’t a matter of not feeling like it and saying I don’t fancy being Weyrleader, find someone else.” For just an instant, anger heats her words, the last of them snapped out. “I said I would have been there for you. You decided. It was your choice. I told you time and again that I didn’t want to be the choice you made in error or because it had to be //someone//.” Before that frustration can leak into her voice again, she takes another deep breath to calm herself. “I found someone to distract me well enough that it didn’t hurt for a while that you so quickly and easily gave yourself to someone else after the disappointment of me.” Her smirk is a bitter one. “People talk. So, no, I didn’t try. How could I compete with that?”
Anger shoots up Rori’s spine giving her the strength to stand up straighter and glare at Arlet. “People talk? People do talk, Arlet. They talk of you and your Weyrwoman and her male weyrmate spending time together, alone, and often. After Akanyth caught, I never //once// questioned whether or not you were seeing her or, for that matter, him!” She lets heat enter her voice as she glares at Arlet. “I didn’t give myself to Nala out of disappoint of //you// Arlet. I thought more highly of you than you ever did of yourself. “Nala makes me feel wanted and loved. Where the disappointment in our relationship never drove me into her arms because she is a person and not a distraction. She was never a replacement of you, Arlet.” She shakes her head, letting a shuddering breath out. “I had room in my heart for you, Arlet. Always. It was never about replacing.” She stares at Arlet, “I hope that he is kind to you and your child. I hope that your weyrwoman warms your sheets. I hope you don’t forget it was //me// who was beside you for all those years as our dragons grew. It was //my// hands that made you dinner every night and wanted you to be happy.”
“I never spent time in their bed until you were in hers. Or she was in yours. However you’re working that out.” It’s something Arlet plainly doesn’t want to linger on. “I’m glad that she makes you feel that way. I’m glad that you love her.” Except she can’t quite manage to make it sound anything close to genuine, unable to keep that bitter taint from her words. “Akanyth has always been right. It was a ridiculous notion to think we could have been right for you. Borrowed time, all of it.” She stands, the motion slower than it might be, simply to avoid her body betraying her in one way or another. “Kindly leave my Weyr. I don’t think there’s anything else we can possibly hope to discuss. You’ll have to forgive me if I do want to //forget//.”
“You can’t wipe people out of your lives in anger, Arlet. You may have come from another time, but were your mother here to bear witness to this, I’m sure she’d be extremely disappointed in how cruel you’ve become,” Rori does not hold back her words as she throws her hands up in the air. “I’ll leave //your// Weyr but I’ll be back to check on //my// weyrlings.” She stalks out then, slamming the door hard enough behind her to send the pictures on the wall askew. Whether or not Inaskashath will return to Fort as promised will have to be determined in the coming days.