Secrets

Who: Isolwyn, J’kson, Eosyth, Malynth
When: Month 5, 204 AT
Where: Isolwyn and J’kson’s Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: They’ve moved themselves out of the barracks.


It turns out that Isolwyn wasn’t joking when she thought to commandeer one of the empty junior queen weyrs and establish herself, J’kson and their lifemates at a distance from the younger members of the class and their less troublesome dragons. Whether she’s leveraged her Blood or the Weyrwoman is too focused on the glowing gold of her lifemate’s hide to worry about what the rider of the youngest queen is doing, she’s managed to secure enough furniture and other comforts to turn the ground weyr into a comfortable home, for all that they still have weyrlingmasters checking on them outside of lessons, presumably to ensure that they aren’t doing anything like sleeping together. More and more of late, Eosyth seems to feel a pull towards Ierne, something or someone there keeping her preoccupied at inopportune moments, and while she’s out on the ledge with her focus distant as evening falls, Isolwyn is within, sewing up a rip in one of the rugs that she’s ‘procured’ from the storerooms.

J’kson has not complained about moving out of the barracks and into a larger, less crowded living space. He’s never really slept in a room to himself, so the novelty of having his own space has not worn off on him. There hasn’t been any sleeping together – J’kson’s hardly slept at all since he’s given up falling into a bottle most nights. Even with his lack of sleep, his grouchiness is never directed at Isolwyn or Malynth. He’s been sharper tongued with the weyrling staff and far less patient of the youthful pursuits of their classmates. J’kson comes into their home with his own piece of furniture to contribute – only //his// will not require any fixing. He’s got a rather large and beautiful painting in his grasp, a picture of rolling hills, blue sky, and a hint of a gold flying in the distance. He sets it down in the room that Isolwyn’s sewing has taken up and looks to her with a proud grin. “What do you think?” he asks of her, “I thought it’d serve,” he blinks and rubs at his neck – looking entirely too uncomfortable, “as a proper gift. For giving us a sane place to live. For helping me not be a drunk.” Malynth nudges at Eosyth, feeling her drifting towards that distance again. << Where do you go? >> he asks, the hint of a faint piano key giving a note of question.

Footsteps draw Isolwyn’s attention upwards, the heavy needle that she’s selected for the purpose of sewing up the rug’s robust embroidery pausing as she looks up from J’kson’s feet to what it is that he carries, her features softening from their near scowl of concentration. “Oh, it’s beautiful,” she breathes out, scrubbing her hands against her skirts just as she rises, declaring, “I love it, but you didn’t have to…” Gently, she reaches out a careful hand to ghost her fingertips over gold and sky. “Did you paint this?” she murmurs, tilting her head to look up at him. << There is someone there. >> Just where Eosyth means has to wait a moment, a glimmer of black and delicate spinner webs meeting the light as she draws herself back from where she’s gone. << Ierne. I should like to go there. >> Her focus is there and gone, midnight in her voice as she admits, << I should like to go a great many places. >>

“What?” J’kson outright bursts into laughter. “You should know me well enough now to know I have no talent like this. I, hm, paid for it?” The lilt to his voice may hint at alterior ways of having procured the painting, yet it’s handed over with the pride of someone’s hard work having gone into earning it “Of course I didn’t have to. Just like you didn’t have to give me a place… to settle and not feel so overwhelmed to constantly, y’know?” He shrugs, uncomfortable, and all but shoves the painting into her hands. “Dunno where you want to hang it, but I’ll put it up if you show me where.” Malyth’s thoughts are softened and thoughtful as he draws in the knowledge from Eosyth. << Someone >> his thoughts are swirling, piano-keys tapping a tempo he can’t quite figure out. << When shall we go? >> he asks, the enthusiasm he always shows a beat up in his song, the twang of joy for adventure there, << I will accompany you. Make sure you are safe when you get there. >> His limitations on executing such a feat are not something he even remotely considers. J’kson tilts his head and looks at Isolwyn. “‘Wyn, who do you know in Ierne?”

Isolwyn makes to grip the edges of the painting and get a good hold on it as J’kson shoves it at her, her smile a slyly affectionate show of amusement at his reaction. “Let’s put it up in the main room, shall we? We can all see it then.” She goes to settle it safely on the couch, looking back at him as he asks about Ierne, the enquiry one that gives her pause. “Some of the Bloods at the Hold, I suppose? Not very well. Mostly acquaintances that you smile politely at when you find yourselves at the same party or other function. Why?” A blink of time and Eosyth is back at Fort and grounded again, her presence feline in its soft winding through Malynth’s notes. << Soon, >> is both desire and promise, whether they can or should things that don’t occur to her to ponder. << I will protect you too. We will always be safe, wherever we go. >>

“Um,” J’kson hesitates, conflicted as Malnyth and he have a brief debate about something. “Nevermind. I just figured it was an interesting place.” He strides forward, moving to look at the painting on the couch. “Figure we’d need one of you and Eosyth in the main room,” he teases, nudging at her side playfully. “You tell me where you want it, and I’ll hang it.” Malynth is uncertain in the wake of his rider’s deflection and Eosyth’s winding around his notes. He bangs his keys in a moment of frustration, a mental huff given. << Who is it? Is it secret? J’kson does not want to tell on you. He’s a keeper of too many secrets. >> He calms at her reminder of safety and leans into her mental embrace, << We will be with you, always. You are our sister. Once we can Between, life will open up for us. >> He still gives no weight to his lack of a wing that may help him in such pursuits, despite the consistent focus on it by weyrlingmasters and healers.

“You have a sudden longing for Ierne, of all places?” Isolwyn queries with the arch of a brow. “It’s not terribly entertaining, I have to say. Then, proper ladies never get to do anything terribly entertaining, so I could have missed it all.” She watches the painting, her focus drifting in and out in a manner not so different to Eosyth, only her attention finally fixes on J’kson for a moment or two before she darts a look towards the ledge. “She’s doing it again, isn’t she? Willing herself somewhere else.” Her lifemate is nonchalant in her admittance, whether it’s because she’s been caught or not. << There is one there who is mine, >> Eosyth declares, certain through and through, that same midnight in her voice now. << He belongs with me. >> Even if she doesn’t quite know or understand exactly how yet. << His potential is unrealised. >>

“Never been,” J’kson tells Isolwyn easily, shrugging his shoulder, “Just heard it might be a place to visit someday. Never had a dragon before, so travel was not… easily had. If my own boots didn’t take me, I didn’t go.” He watches as Isolwyn drifts, patient as he waits her to return, used to her lapses now – as she has likely grown used to his. “She’s going somewhere,” he tells Isolwyn, “Do we need to be concerned? Malynth is too easily… calmed by her. He doesn’t push, and I don’t want to force him to push either. I don’t want to try and pry your secrets out of her… they are yours to keep.” He shrugs, looking entirely uncomfortable as his fingers flick at his side. He blinks a few times and exhales, willing himself to not feel the compulsion of a drink to smooth his way. << If you know his potential, he will be all that you wish of it. You are a leader, someone to follow. He is lucky to have you. >> Malynth’s adoration of his clutch-sibling is a patient tapping of lower piano keys. Beat, beat, beat, thrum, thrum, thrum.

“I don’t have any secrets!” Isolwyn blurts out, despairing laughter edging her voice. “I don’t know anyone at Ierne – not anyone that I’ve exchanged more than vapid pleasantries with, anyway.” Sighing, she runs a hand through her hair and looks back to J’kson, raking her gaze over him in a manner that’s not critical, but a study of signals and ticks that she’s beginning to compile a catalogue of. Her journey takes her to the kitchen area, where she pours a glass of cold tea and slips in some ice from the refrigerator unit before holding it out to him. “It’s a poor substitute, but at least it’s the right colour,” she tells him dryly. “…She talks to dragons at other Weyrs all the time,” comes a moment later. “She’ll only share who some of them are. I mean it when I say I have no secrets, but she has secrets from me.” And Eosyth is now silent in her secret keeping, absorbed with Malynth and his adoration, which she returns with that same protective, possessive edge that was reaching across oceans such a short time ago.

J’kson considers the tea offered him and glances up at Isolwyn. “I’ve secrets,” he tells her, wanting to bridge some lapse he must sense in their communication. “I can’t share them with you yet because I’m not certain of them anymore, but I will. I promise. You deserve it.” He takes a sip of the tea and shudders, “Never tastes right,” he grouses, as he always does. He moves to loop an arm about Isolwyn’s shoulders, giving her a playful shake in the gesture. “Maybe we should find out who it is at Ierne? She seems… quite determined about this one. Are you certain she converses with, ah, other golds?” He blinks and sighs, tilting his head as he leads them both to the ancient and well worn couch they have in the main room to flop in. “Malnyth will share no more.” He sighs and kicks his booted feet out to settle on the small table in front of the couch. “I’m not sure Malynth will be able to go Between. He certainly won’t fly. But… his desire is strong.” He inhales sharply and lets it out in a wave. “He may try, if they don’t try and figure out a way to teach us.”

Isolwyn slumps down onto the couch, slouching to the extent that she almost slides off it, but tucks herself against J’kson’s side, her head nudged into his ribs. “You don’t have to tell me anything that puts you and Malynth at risk. No-one deserves that, especially if you’re worried that Malynth might not be able to get you Between, if needed.” Her eyes narrow a little as, thinking aloud, she utters, “…If Eosyth figures it out, she might take him with her. Or they might figure it out together. We’ll have to keep an eye on that, if nothing else. I’m not frightened of her getting lost Between… I’m just frightened of her ending up so far away.” She turns a little, securing herself against him. “She has friends all over the planet. I don’t know if they’re gold. Or even good friends. I guess I hope they care about her enough to stop her from doing anything silly if I can’t.” Yawning, she closes her eyes, meaning to do so only for a moment, but with maintaining enough of a barrier to keep all from hearing Eosyth while getting beneath the queen’s own walls, exhaustion creeps up on her and she does nothing more than yawn again and curl up half on J’kson like a feline.

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