The Situation

Who: Jet and M’tan
When: Month 13, 204 AT
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: M’tan informs Jet of the nature of J’kson’s relationship with Arlet.

It’s the morning after J’kson and Malynth’s coming to the Court and the halls are still bursting with conversations centered around the blue’s descent from their skies. Sirhyth has made it very clear that he does not know what to make of the blue – other than he wants the foreigner to keep his distance from his mate. Akanyth has equally been kept at bay – so the bronze’s behavior can’t be due to the deformity the blue hosts. M’tan’s made himself available to questions for the majority of the morning, but he doesn’t have any real answers to provide other than J’kson was an agent of his from Fort. With the healer’s keeping J’kson in the infirmary to monitor, the bluerider has stayed a mystery to most. M’tan’s still in his office without anyone else within to bother him. He’s settled himself to drink some klah while he considers the nearest window and the bright sunlight from outside.

To say that Jet has been in a less than pleasant mood since witnessing her daughter demonstrate what she has deemed to be rather too much concern for the bluerider she only knows as a drunken agent of her husband is an understatement. She’s tried to busy herself by focusing on her sons and Arlet’s while Safiye spends time in Harper lessons, pointedly avoiding the woman who was her youngest daughter and is now her eldest, while also keeping clear of the infirmary, not trusting herself to know what she might offer either of them – only that it’s unlikely to be kindness. By the time the morning has drifted on enough that she really can’t excuse staying in the nursery any longer, she heads to M’tan’s office to seek shelter there instead, entering and closing the door behind her without knocking. “If he brings Fort’s leaders to our doorstep, I will throw him out myself,” she states.

“They would have to know where we are first,” M’tan reminds Jet, easing back in his chair as he swivels it to look at Jet. “Though, if Malynth remembers enough of it… their queen might be able to locate us.” He kicks his feet up on his desk and reclines his chair back with a heavy sigh. He scrubs both his hands over his face and slicks them back through his hair before he rests them on the chair’s armrest. “I shoul’ve caught on to J’kson’s drinking problem long before I placed him at Fort. I wonder if he were to have Impressed a functioning blue that he wouldn’t have kept it up as much as he has. It’s clear that Malynth’s inability to fly and properly Between weighs on him.” He shakes his head and indicates the chair across from him. “Come and sit my love. I’ll send a note for someone to deliver anything you may want. Food? Tea?”

“That’s what I’m worried about. The rumours of what that queen can do to others is enough for me; I’ll not have her near Kyramith now she’s grown.” For her part, Kyramith seems not the least bit perturbed by Malynth’s presence, just as Akanyth has only become some vague source of amusement for her, so secure is she in her ability to keep the both of them at bay if necessary. Jet settles herself in that chair, supposing, “Tea and something sweet might be nice. I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast.” She folds her arms and slouches as she might only in the presence of her husband. “If he’s a chatty drunk and he learns too much of us, then he’s a security risk and a danger to us all. He and his blue might be better off here than anywhere else, but if any support or further training we offer him is going to spectacularly backfire on us, then…”

M’tan drops his feet from his desk and reaches for a piece of paper and a pen. He scribbles on it, rolls it up and ties it. He whistles and waits as Fleet descends from the rafters overhead. The bronze settles comfortable on the table and tolerates his owner tying the note to his leg before he heaves himself back up into the air and blinks Between. “He’s been an agent of ours since before the blue hatched. He knows what most of them know. I’ve allowed him to come here and give reports in the past. I think he’s genuinely trustworthy. He’s just a stupid, idiotic, drunk.” He sighs and reaches to take a sip of his klah. “What would you assume could happen? If we were to train them to be more? I imagine it’d be nice if we could somehow figure out a way for the blue to fly. That alone… to never chase, to never properly go Between. It’s a wonder the blue seems so… sweet-natured.” He sets his mug down and reaches across the distance to place a hand out to hold hers. “He’s kind, Jet. He’s an idiot, but I don’t have worries about our safety when it comes to him. And if at any moment that changes… you know how we handle those situations.”

“He could not handle the pressure of doing work other than informing and get himself so drunk that he puts himself and those working with him in danger,” Jet replies, sinking down further in her chair. She stares down at her knees, unwilling to commit or seem too interested in the prospect of doing anything for Malynth beyond remarking, “Basic flight could be possible if his blue is willing to put his mind to it. Between is a matter of the mind… Flight could be too. Chasing. But catching? Improbable.” Closing her eyes, she lets out a measured sigh, then opens them again and pushes herself to her feet, rounding the desk to reach for M’tan to better steady herself, hands settling on his shoulders. “…I don’t like how worried Arlet was for him,” she says quietly. “She’s been through enough. She doesn’t need to be worrying about whether a rider she feels responsible for is going to do something stupid.”

M’tan draws his arms around Jet’s waist and tugs her down into his lap where he can more comfortably hug her. He settles her first, hugging and then kissing her, before he presses his forehead against hers and makes a soft ‘hmm’ sound. “You realize it’s more than feeling responsible for him because she was his Weyrleader, right?” He waits, opening his eyes and pulling back to gauge Jet’s reaction. “My Weyrleader never crawled into my cot in an Infirmary,” he drawls, offering her a tentative, (and as-ever) crooked smile. “Knowing you, that won’t make you feel any better. Maybe she sees past the drunkenness. That’s fine if she does. I can’t say we can tolerate it as much. The healer’s have told me he’s likely been so drunk for so long that it’ll be hard on his body to simply quit cold turkey. So I don’t think we can demand that as his conditions to stay. What conditions would you require? Clearly he can’t spy for me any longer. He’s not where I need him and whether or not Malynth can apply himself to learning Between, I will not have him risk it.”

What relaxation Jet has managed to achieve promptly vanishes when M’tan informs her of what he’s seen of Arlet and J’kson, something downright murderous glowing in the depths of her dark eyes when that information is finally processed and conclusions are reached. “She… What?” It may not be a demand that he can answer, yet it demands freedom anyway. “First there’s that goldrider, then //another// goldrider and a bronzerider who look to more have been using her for their own purposes than anything else, and now //him//? Has she not been hurt enough? Is she incapable of making sensible decisions? She needs someone she can trust to be there when she needs them, not someone who’s just as apt to hurt her and disappoint her as those others!” Her jaw clenched, she grits out, “I require him not to touch our daughter, but it sounds like it’s too late for that.” Another deep breath taken does little to calm her. “He’ll have to assist with the labour of the Hold until his body is in a fit enough state for anything else. I can’t train him to anything if it will break him first. And if he’s drunk, his aim will be no good for blades or arrows.”

“Perhaps I shouldn’t have told you,” M’tan drawls, unphased by her glint and rise to anger. “But if you were to find out on your own I imagine you //would// knife the man in the back. It seems to me that Arlet does not pick perfect partners,” a shrug is offered, “and hopefully she’ll figure it out as we have sooner rather than later.” He settles both calloused palms around her face and tilts her to look at him, giving steady enough pressure to be soothing and also to prevent her from moving out of his grasp. “Hold your opinions of him to yourself, Jet. If you let on to Arlet you disapprove, it may push her in a direction we don’t want her to go. She showed //concern// for him. She took care of Malynth. It’s the most action I’ve seen from her outside of training with you in some time. It may be a good distraction to help ease her hurts.” He leans forward and kisses Jet before he releases her face. “I don’t think it’s his body so much as his mind, love. I don’t really know. All I know is he had a fairly stable upbringing compared to most and he has a talent for gambling and winning. Maybe I’ll plant him in some of our taverns and have him win us money.”

A low sound from the back of Jet’s throat signals her displeasure about having to listen to suggestions that she shouldn’t get Arlet away from J’kson, yet she doesn’t fight M’tan and only glowers at him instead, muttering, “A distraction until he hurts her too and she’s right back where she started,” just before he kisses her, which she returns with the heated edge of her irritation. “If it’ll keep him occupied and out of my sight for a while, send him to the taverns,” she agrees. “I’m not quite sure what I’d do if I set eyes on him right now. If you can keep him busy, I’ll see what I could do for his blue. If there’s enough shoulder there to work with, something could be made to help him.” Her temper won’t let her resist remarking, “So they can fly out of our lives and away from Arlet.” Fingers curling into M’tan’s shoulders, she swears, “If his stupidity gets you hurt, or her, I //will// make him pay.”

“You know I’m right,” M’tan tells Jet with a smirk, “if you deny Arlet her choice she’ll resent you and act out. Like any child would to their meddling parents.” He nips after her lips before he gives her another kiss. “I’ll send him to the taverns to gamble and spread rumors. I wish we could employ other rider’s here at the Court. You’d probably hit me if I suggest Arlet and Akanyth take him to the destinations I have in mind…,” he pulls his head back and lifts a hand to mockingly “hold back” a blow he may receive. “There should be eggs at a Weyr by now. Do you think any of our refugees may be suitable to Standing? Though,” he muses, rubbing at his lower jaw. “If we keep planting future riders and they come running home to the Court we won’t be kept a secret for long. I’d rather not have the Council breathing down our necks. We could seek payment from Honshu, for our hand in organizing some deaths, in the way of dragon eggs?”

Jet darts an open palm around her husband’s hand to land a solid – if mock – shove to just below his shoulder, applying only enough force for it to make a good enough noise to please her. “Arlet might as well do it,” she grouses. “She and Akanyth have been leaving more often, of late. Better with a purpose than whatever it is they’ve been doing.” She settles herself closer to M’tan and closes her eyes, ducking her head to rest it against his shoulder, just over where she planted that shove. “…One of the Honshu queens should rise soon, if not both, though I don’t know that we’d want to risk another dragon who might struggle like Malynth,” she murmurs. “Honshu’s senior queen hardly watches her eggs. If they gave some to Fort, they ought to be willing to surrender some to us, if we can prove we can look after them properly.” Smirking, she utters, “Kyramith could watch them.”

M’tan only laughs in the wake of the well-aimed shove. He hugs her closer around her middle and burrows his head against her. “Don’t beat me, my Lady! I’ll behave!” He continues to chuckle until he has to settle himself and go back to practical ideas. Something sparks in his gaze as he latches further onto the idea of them raising their own dragons. “If Kyramith would agree, I say we pay a visit to Honshu. Sooner rather than later, to guarantee we receive some of what their queens will hatch. If they do not immediately agree to our demands, we should think of something worthwhile to hold over their heads. Do you have any suggestions on how to compel them to do what we ask?” He smirks as he reaches up to brush a strand of Jet’s hair back behind her ear. “You are a fitting Lady of this Court, Jet. I hope we’re able to get J’kson in line… and help Arlet heal. Having more diversity in our rider’s ranks would serve a purpose. And our people can blossom from their ability to pay for travel to wherever their devious little minds take them.”

“If they want Fort as an ally and for C’aol to keep breathing, I suggest they do as we ask,” Jet drawls, bumping her nose against the hand that tucks her hair back. “Especially if they don’t wish for the rest of the Council to know that they were complicit in our removal of Telgar’s Weyrleader. If O’rlen knew, it’s enough to bloody the hands of the whole place.” Slowly, she eases herself from M’tan’s lap, stealing a kiss along the way. “It would be wiser for them to agree, in any case. Another place holding their queen’s blood. Perhaps flattery would be the way to encourage it.” She reaches for his hands to tug him after her. “Come and see our sons,” she coaxes. “They might let me back in the nursery if you’re with me, besides.”

“I imagine the flattery will have to be up to me and you’ll provide the threat of steel?” M’tan asks with a contented smile. He doesn’t complain when he’s drawn up by his wife, though he tugs in turn to draw her back into his arms. “Our sons,” he drawls, kissing her as he holds her body against his. “I like the sound of that.” He kisses her a few more times before he lets her free. He keeps his arm about Jet’s middle as they stroll through the halls towards the nursery that is designated for their children. As they pass their staff, M’tan offers finger waves and good-natured winks as he’s “contained” the Lady of the Court and no one will feel the lash of her tongue – for now. As to plans for their future, he’ll work on arranging their next meeting with Honshu in the morning. For now, his only focus is on his family. As it should be.

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