Toxic

Toxic

Who: Jet and M’tan
When: Month 5, 204 AT
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: Jet and M’tan murder Telgar’s Weyrleader. Convenient it looks like an accident.


For the second time inside a fortnight, the dragons keen for the loss of a bronze, his rider’s body one that ended up decorating the ground at the edge of the dance square during a wedding Gather at High Reaches Hold, his skull conveniently caved in by the rocks he hit as he fell. That Telgar’s Weyrleader is known for enjoying a drink or two – or three, or more – makes the situation appear to be merely just an unfortunate incident of one too many and an ignoble stumble to his end. That it was not the drink, but the mixture of poison and sedatives in it that led to that stumble is known only to a few, the specifics only to the bronzerider and greenrider who watched events unfold across the square. That something so simple as a rock could ease all suspicion from the minds of onlookers is both pleasing and takes something of the accomplishment from it, which could be why, by the time they return to their Hold, still in their Gather finery, Jet seems faintly disgruntled about the whole thing. “It would have been more satisfying with blades,” she remarks as she closes the door to their quarters. “Obvious, but satisfying.”

Though their welcome is lukewarm at High Reaches Hold, M’tan does his part of being as charming as he ever is. He makes eye contact, shakes hands, talks and //dances//. After the Council meeting, it stood within reason that M’tan would not approach High Reaches nor Telgar’s Weyrleaders, but that did not leave him from politely introducing himself to their Weyrwomen with Jet on his arm. Those who //might// remember the dragonriding Holders at the event will not think of them as more than a handsome couple and an oddity to gossip about. That gossip is no sooner replaced than that of confused and distraught onlookers in the face of a body with a smashed-in head and another bronze gone Between. M’tan’s quick to remove his fine jacket, loosening the buttons on his shirt, and kicking off his well-shined shoes as he enters their quarters. “You barely even had to listen to the man,” he tells Jet as he wriggles his toes after flopping on the small couch near their hearth, “I wanted to punch him in the face. Repeatedly. For //hours// at that Council Meeting.” He pats the spot beside him, waiting to loop an arm about her shoulders. “You were absolutely ravishing tonight, darling,” he murmurs in her ear, kissing her cheek. “I would’ve loved to see you use your blades in this dress.”

“Looking at him was enough,” Jet mutters, shrugging out of her jacket so that she can more easily reach the dark ribbons that lace down the back of her dress and tug them free enough that she can breathe more easily and stop the tailoring from working quite so hard to conceal the growing bump of her stomach. “I don’t know how you managed to control yourself.” Crossing the room, she sits down next to M’tan and tucks herself against him, smirking as he mentions her blades and she remembers to remove one from her boot, the point examined with a critical eye. “Well, my handsome Lord, you could probably still ravish me in this dress, at least,” she drawls, nosing her way along his jaw as she reaches to set the blade down on the end table. Resting her head against his shoulder, she kicks her boots off and tucks her feet up onto the couch. “Do you think we need to get rid of the Weyrwomen too? Some of them had to have voted to enact that law, whether ‘Reaches or Telgar or otherwise.”

M’tan’s gaze grows appreciative as he takes in Jet as she loosens her corset and then settles herself against his side. His arm is warm and strong along her shoulders as he turns to press a kiss against her temple. “I managed to control myself knowing the long game we’ve set out to play. It’ll be the biggest one we’ve tried to handle, but what we have to lose is too much. We cannot allow for others to dictate our children’s future. Arlet didn’t deserve what was done to her, nor did Akanyth. We have a grandson to worry about and a little girl,” he rests his hand on Jet’s belly, “to come.” He ‘hmmms’ as Jet nuzzles along his jaw and chuckles, “In good time, woman. In good time I’ll ravish you from that dress and drink in the sight of my beautiful wife.” He settles his head back along the couch with a sigh as he considers what she’s proposed. “The fact that the Weyrwomen weren’t present at this latest Council is indicative to me that their Weyrleaders do not value their opinion – perhaps it means that they are not content with the loss of one of theirs? Do you want to see them all brought to ruin for what they did?”

“I want to bring all the Weyrs to ruin for being collectively idiotic, but I know that won’t actually do any good,” Jet murmurs, heat behind the thought no matter how quietly she speaks. “It’s entirely the wrong way around. When did Weyrwomen forget that they rule the Weyrs? Weyrleaders are dispensable and changeable; it’s the Weyrwoman who should set the tone and the law. Her queen’s command is law in her own Weyr. That their Weyrleaders have taken this much power suggests that something toxic has been going on for decades.” She bites down on her bottom lip for a second or so before suggesting, “…I had thought of getting Fort’s dragonless former Weyrwoman out of there, if only for Arlet’s sake. If she even wants to see her. I can’t see that staying at Fort will be good for her. She should have a second chance, with us or elsewhere, no matter her failings.”

“It’d feel good to do all the same,” M’tan drawls with a grin, “Just to have the satisfaction that they aren’t the only ones who can make decisions is enough for me. At least in this time, things are moving in the right direction. We have our Hold, there’s Lady Zinovia’s Silverfield Hold. In time, perhaps the Weyrs won’t be in need of a Council that holds rules over all the others.” He sighs and looks to Jet, watching her take her lip between her teeth. “Then let’s bring her here, or to one of our other establishments, to help her find purpose again,” he answers Jet with a nod. “I gather Arlet loved her?” he doesn’t know any details, so he looks to Jet to fill them. “And the one who was the father of our grandson was lost completely. She has much to heal from. Has she gone to visit him at all? Did she name him?”

“I don’t know how she felt… feels… about her,” Jet says slowly, turning to nudge herself closer to M’tan and unfold across the couch so that she lies curled up with her head in his lap. “As far as I’m aware, Arlet doesn’t like to visit him. The Healers tell me she’ll listen to the updates they give her, but refuses to see the boy or supply a name when they ask what she wants to call him. I’m tempted to say we should name him ourselves, but even that bit of obligation towards him might one day make her compelled to see him.” She curls a hand around one of his knees and closes her eyes, ducking her head down against his thigh. “I named her and Safiye,” she says quietly. “I felt I owed them that. Maybe she won’t feel the same, but I suppose she should have more time.” Her sigh is an audible one. “It seems that everything between her and Akanyth is okay. It’s just her and… people.”

M’tan settles his fingers against Jet’s head, carefully taking out the pins that were placed to style her hair and setting them on the table in front of them. “I don’t think there’d be any harm if we at least gave him a nickname? I don’t want to keep saying, ‘the baby’, ‘the boy’, or him. And I’m sure the nurses feel the same way. I’ll leave it up to you… but if Arlet refuses him completely, we should let him stay with us and our children. It’s not fair that he’ll spend his days growing up in the care of nannies. That’s not how we operate.” He finishes removing all of the pins and begins to idly stroke his fingers through her hair. “It’ll work out. She just needs time,” he decides, wanting to let the conversation go with Jet does. He bends forward to press a kiss to her forehead. “We’ve got two dead now. Are we decided whether or not we’ll take out Ista and Igen? O’rlen and C’aol had issue with Reaches and Telgar… but the other two have done nothing but nod heads and agree with what they’re told to agree with.”

“If Arlet doesn’t want him, he belongs with us,” Jet agrees, still as M’tan slides pins from her hair and sets them down. She makes a quiet, content sound as he begins to move his fingers through it, despite the less than easy or pleasant nature of their topics of conversation. “If Ista and Igen are so easily manipulated and ‘under control’, there’s no reason to cause them harm at the moment,” she considers. “Especially if their being under O’rlen and C’aol’s command means more votes for what we’d prefer. More new leaders could make matters more difficult to navigate, at least until we know for sure what’s going to happen to Fort, High Reaches and Telgar.” Wrinkling her nose, she adds, “Though there’s only a couple of months or so until I can’t go Between anymore. If there’s work that needs my… skills… it might be better to get it done before I’m forced to start prowling these halls like a madwoman.”

M’tan pokes his finger gently at her wrinkled nose, his smile broad, “I can’t wait to see you wandering the halls, scaring our staff, and making everyone wish you’d hurry up and give birth already.” He returns to idly finger-combing Jet’s hair as he considers the rest of the conversation. “Let’s see how it plays out with who is in play now. Fort, Telgar and Reaches had some real blows… and they’ll have to be replaced with people we want and approve of. Arlet’s healing might improve if we simply burned Fort to ashes but… I think C’aol’s more than capable of running that Weyr and changing those remaining riders who favored old ideals. If rumor has it right, C’aol isn’t above killing people in his way. He certainly helped sway O’rlen to it.” He contents himself with silence and contemplating his wife for some time before fatigue has him nudging her. “Let’s go to bed, my love. I’ve got my mind to bathe you and…,” he tickles his fingers along her neck, “other things before we claim sleep.”

“I’ll remind you of that when I’m throwing knives at the wall and we need new tapestries and furniture.” Jet rolls onto her back to look up at M’tan, her lips curved in the tiniest of smirks. She sobers for long enough to state, “I left him with a warning. If there are rumours out of that Weyr of C’aol hurting women or using his rank to get them to do as he bids, then no-one is going to stop me from paying him another visit to finish the job.” When he nudges her, she reaches to tug her husband down to her and kiss him in a frustratingly chaste manner, deliberately drawing away before it can become anything more. “Well, I do need your help to get out of this dress…” That said, as she gets to her feet and begins to head across to their bathing room, she manages to divest him of more clothing than she lets him unlace from her, keeping ties and buttons just out of his reach through the art of distraction. That she takes advantage of that fact to tease him all the more and put lips and hands to good use before she lets him help her drop her dress to the floor does perhaps mean that the bath is delayed, but it’s time well spent.

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