Who: Isolwyn and C’aol
When: Month 6, 205 AT
Where: Records Room/Weyrwoman’s Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: The night is longer still after Eosyth and Daeserath’s clutch hatches.

The eggs have hatched, the weyrlings are asleep, yet still Fort’s caverns host guests determined to celebrate long into the early hours of the morning. Isolwyn has done her duty so far as delivering the requisite speeches and dancing with the right people (including her uncle) go, but midnight finds her making her retreat back to her weyr, or, more accurately, the council room, via the records room. Eosyth is all too glad to finally be out of the spotlight and free of the Sands, and has curled up in her wallow amidst soft blankets and pillows after mentally checking in with each of the new weyrlings. In the council room, Isolwyn sits with the latest volume of the Weyr’s hatching records open before her, her pen moving over paper as she lists the names of Eosyth and Daeserath’s offspring, along with the old and new names of their chosen riders.

C’aol spent most of the celebrations at Isolwyn’s side, keeping watch over her in the presence of her uncle and around others who he has little reason to trust – such as the new leadership of Telgar and High Reaches. Those two new Weyrleaders spent far too long trying to speak to C’aol for his taste, though he steered them towards his Weyrsecond often to have the drunken conversations of “alliances”. The discussion of the “hand-picked” candidates was also had, and C’aol did nothing but smile in the face of the accusations of unfairness. He notes Isolwyn’s absence and uses it as a reason to excuse himself to follow after his Weyrwoman. Daeserath has not left the fire heights, where he has stood watch over the visiting foreign dragons. His red-hued gaze still bobs in the night’s darkness as he snarls unwelcomingly as two of the Weyrleader’s and their dragons finally leave the Weyr. C’aol enters the records room and shuts the door behind him. “We could have done that in the morning,” he tells her as he walks over and rests a hand on her shoulder to peer at the volumes.

“We could have, but then they would feel like… an afterthought,” Isolwyn says slowly, finishing off the tail of a letter and lifting her pen to let the name of the dragon dry. She tips her head back to look up at C’aol, a small, weary smile curving her lips. “They’re the first of Eosyth and Daeserath’s bloodline. They’re important.” She sets the pen down and sits back in her chair. “Though I’ll be happier when we have another queen, whether from Eosyth or her new daughter. Having two is better than one, but it still doesn’t feel quite secure. And I know how Eosyth arrived here, but I don’t want other Weyrs thinking that they can blind us with gold eggs in return for various favours. This Weyr will stay ours by blood and without interference.”

C’aol’s smile is pleased and goes so far as to light his eyes with the emotion as he settles in a chair beside Isolwyn. “And that is why you are Fort’s Weyrwoman,” he tells her, “for you know how to manage the Weyr with these nuances that do matter.” He takes the volumes from her to look over the names that fall on the page. “A gold, three bronzes, two browns, one blue and three greens. A sturdy lot of weyrlings to care for them and grow under our ways.” His smile has turned sharp as his eyes look up at Isolwyn’s. “The other Weyrs will be begging //us// for gold eggs and dragons. They will be asking //us// how we have such disciplined ranks within this Weyr. They will want to emulate us. They will not interfere with us.” Daeserath watches as the last of the foreign riders leave his skies and finally leaves the heights to descend towards the wallow that he shares with his mate. “They have all gone,” he tells Isolwyn, “I’m amazed Telgar’s new Weyrleader didn’t beg to spend the night. He was… annoying in his enthusiasm to be liked by me.”

“I think it’s interesting that their clutch is slanted towards the larger colours. Then, the one clutch isn’t an entire dataset to base much on. Maybe it’s only me who finds that interesting.” Isolwyn gives a rueful twitch of one shoulder. “We should visit them all tomorrow morning. Make sure that they know that we’re observing them and are invested in their futures.” She glances towards the door as, beyond it, Eosyth lifts her head to nuzzle her mate, folding herself small enough that she can curl in at Daeserath’s side and feel snug and secure. It makes Isolwyn’s smile a soft and romantic thing before it sharpens and she declares, “If he’s too obviously willing to please, Telgar’s Weyrleader could be useful. It could be like having your own trained hunting canine.” Pressing her lips together in an effort not to laugh, she regards C’aol with a wicked look that conveys it nevertheless. “Though he did more disturbingly resemble a lapdog.”

“If you would like us to visit them, we will. I want to see how the Weyrlingmaster fairs with them. We didn’t replace him and I’m hopeful he’s capable of doing what we want him to do with our newest additions,” C’aol answers Isolwyn as he closes the volume and pushes it back towards her. He smirks at Isolwyn’s look, his brow lifting as he states, “He very much resembled a lapdog. I am sure Nalmi is not all too pleased about his… rather daft approach to leading.” He shrugs his shoulders and rises. “Come on, darling. It is late and if we want to look presentable at a normal hour tomorrow we should catch some sleep.” He waits, offering her his hand, to tuck it against his arm after she rises. “Are you pleased with the outcome? Is the girl the one you had hopes for?”

“Maybe I should make an effort to befriend her,” Isolwyn supposes, unable to make ‘befriend’ sound like anything but a calculated business transaction. “Once it’s clear whether her Weyrleader will suit us or not. If another might serve better, it could be a simple thing to listen to her woes and… advise her.” Carefully, she stacks the books in the middle of the table, lining up all their corners before she gets to her feet and surrenders her hand to C’aol’s. “I’m pleased that Eosyth is pleased. The girl will do. There were two or three I would have settled for and she was among them. Whether she lives up to her promise will be up to her.” She pauses, steps slowing, and tightens her hand against his arm, giving a gentle tug as she looks up at him. “Thank you for staying close tonight. I didn’t want to dance with any of them, but I knew I had to. Knowing you were watching made it easier.”

“Nalmi?” C’aol’s tone shows his dislike of that proposal, “is not someone you would want to be friendly with. She is dense and vapid, from my dealings with her.” He grows quiet as she lists how one might manipulate a situation and shrugs. “If you can stand those levels of intrigue, I will not tell you not to pursue it. I do not have the desire to do the same.” He waits until her arm is tucked with his and they are moving towards the doors from the records room before he answers her thank-you’s. “Isolwyn,” he tells her, looking down at her as he pauses in the threshold. “You are not an object to be passed around by them any longer. They need to realize that. Your uncle…,” his smile is predatory, “will learn it sooner rather than later. He has yet to go toe-to-toe with me. However ‘Southern’ born I may be, I was raised in the same confines as //you//.” He walks her towards their bedroom. “And you would’ve handled it were I not there or not. That is the reason why I am fond of you.” He can’t say love – no, not that word. “And am glad to have you at my side.”

“If that’s so, it won’t take much to be her clever and understanding friend,” Isolwyn remarks in a manner as if she’s already half-bored by the lack of challenge the prospect presents. All she manages to provide by way of answer to what C’aol declares she is and is not is a single nod, his features watched carefully, her steps drawing to a stop again in the doorway to their bedroom. “It would have been a poor show from a new Weyrwoman not to do it,” she murmurs. “And I didn’t want anyone to assume that what that… bronzerider attempted to do had any power over me.” She doesn’t quite look at him as she admits that, her gaze a little distant and needlessly fixed on a point past his shoulder before she blinks back her focus and tilts her head a little. He can’t say it and she refuses to, but she lifts up onto her toes to kiss him far more sweetly than she usually does and reaches for his hand to draw him after her and down into bed. She might not be able to say it, but she can show him better in the soft light and under the cover of sheets and risk far less of herself in the doing so.

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