A Hybrid?

Who: Arlet, J’kson, Safiye
Where: Court of Shadows, Honshu Territory
What: Worry about the baby dragons.

Though she may have tried to keep her little (older) sister at arms’ length initially, what efforts Arlet continued to make have slowly evaporated since Safiye’s Impression to Vesoviath, to the extent that the girl has fallen asleep slumped against her shoulder while the tiny gold takes a nap of her own in the sunshine of the courtyard. Akanyth may not be terribly good with the antics of the baby dragons and has a tendency to keep watch instead, but it hasn’t stopped Arlet from spending time with them and trying to impart what she learned during her own weyrlinghood. Of the four, it’s Safiye who still struggles the most with the sleep-wake schedule of a rapidly growing – or not so rapidly, in Vesoviath’s case – dragon, seemingly always exhausted no matter what.

Malynth is far more invested in the baby dragons than his rider is comfortable being. He’s lounging in the courtyard as three gnaw and wrestle with his tail. It’s been his self-appointed duty to mind them when their riders have been tasked with chores or studies that are better focused on without a baby tripping them or distracting them. J’kson exits the courtyard with the other three newly-Impressed, leaving them to escort their dragons off for a meal and oiling. Even the injured girl seems to have more mobility now that she’s moved to navigating on crutches. J’kson heads towards Arlet and glances down at the slumbering Safiye with a concerned frown. “She fell asleep again?” He questions as he hunkers down in front of them.

“She’s just a kid,” Arlet murmurs, glancing down at the girl resting against her. “I know Vesoviath had to choose who was right for her, but I don’t think she realises what she’s done. She doesn’t show any indication that she understands that Safiye is different from the others.” She reaches for one of J’kson’s hands solely to make contact and hold on. “I know some Weyrs let boys Stand young, not that I’ve agreed with it, but this is…” Shaking her head, she goes on, “Maybe it’s the bond taking its toll. If Vesoviath turns out to be anything like the other queens of her blood, she’ll be expending energy just to keep her in check.” That makes her wrinkle her nose, a guilty hand finding its way into her pocket to produce a crumpled piece of paper that she proffers to J’kson. “…I took it from Leesa’s room after… You know. What she writes about Vesoviath…” On the paper lies a sketch of the little gold, features such as her green claws and the undersides of her wings annotated with the word ‘hybrid?’.

“You would know more of them than me. Malynth says that Eosyth used to ‘mind travel’ and visit other dragons, I guess?” J’kson answers as he settles his arms akimbo on his knees, his attention focused on Safiye and Arlet. “I wonder..,” he glances to Vesoviath, “if we should be worried about Eosyth’s mind wandering here? Isolwyn is family, she was allowed at our wedding. And yet… I worry about M’tan and Jet’s ability to make rash decisions now.” He grows quiet, thinking of Leesa, before he reaches for the sketch to consider. “Malynth has one wing from his birth defect. I am thankful Vesoviath’s only birth defect may be her size and coloring alone. If the Council knows about her… we may have to fight them.” He looks at Arlet blankly. “To keep her safe.”

“…If Eosyth tries to interfere here, I wouldn’t put anything past my mother or M’tan,” Arlet utters darkly, lifting a hand to gently run her fingers over Safiye’s hair without seeming to notice doing so. “But that… The Council. The thought of it. Of anyone. It would explain their reaction to Leesa not… keeping as quiet as she should have. The Council didn’t care that stripping me of the right to keep my knot put my life in danger. I’m surprised they’ve not gone after that bluerider again – and if Vesoviath truly was sired by that blue…” She gives an uneasy shrug. “It’s—“ Before she can say any more, Safiye stirs and blinks blearily up at her, leaning into her for a moment in a semblance of a hug before she gets to her feet and crosses the courtyard to wake Vesoviath and follow the others. “If Honshu is going to keep letting him fly that queen, then they ought to challenge the Council and stop subverting it.”

J’kson looks after Safiye as she goes to join the others. “I can’t let Jet or M’tan do what they would do to Isolwyn,” he says flatly, looking back to Arlet with a grimness to his features. “Either I get ahead of it by //asking// Isolwyn if Eosyth is capable of knowing – or I tell her myself.” He shakes his head. “Then I’d be on the chopping block, wouldn’t I? Your mother and step-father can make living very difficult.” He moves to settle down beside her, pressing his shoulder against hers as he reaches for her hand to hold. “I don’t care what Honshu does and I don’t care what the Council does, so long as they leave ours alone.” He’s quiet for some time, holding her hand. “Jet and M’tan do know that once the dragons and their new riders are situated we’ll leave? I guess after Leesa they’ll be less inclined to find someone else to train them…,” he trails off and sighs, looking towards the sky. “I wanted to have our fresh start.”

“I don’t think that they could find a reason to harm you for telling Isolwyn to get Eosyth to keep away,” Arlet says slowly, watching Safiye’s steps weave a little as she catches up to the others. “If anything, that’s protecting us. Them included. If you were to tell her where we are, that’s a different matter, but we may need a queen to help train Vesoviath. If she is a queen. Akanyth hasn’t felt any… pull or need to revere her as a gold, but then he doesn’t really with any of them.” She rests her head against J’kson’s shoulder in unconscious mirroring of her sister’s recent posture. “…We won’t stay here forever. We can’t. To have a home here is a decent option for all of us, but it won’t be //home//. Aadi… can stay. I thought, when I was ready, I’d not leave him behind, but he’s not… He doesn’t know me.” Her hold on his hand tightens. “If you want children, I’ll try to be a better mother, I swear.”

“You think I can tell Isolwyn we have… what did that woman call her? A hybrid? And to keep Eosyth out of the way? If Vesoviath requires a gold to train her… it can’t be from Honshu. I think Jet nearly killing, or maybe she’s dead, makes it clear we aren’t on good terms with them.” He leans his cheek against Arlet’s head as she tips against him. “We have our place. We need to work on it, maybe we can take some time to do so soon? And get it ready to open.” He grows quiet as Arlet mentions her son. “I’m not sure I want children,” he tells her, “I’ve never thought about it. I don’t want to father a child and be… like my dad. I haven’t been drinking but— I wouldn’t want to do that to a kid.” He squeezes her hand. “Only if you’d be ready to be a mother, or want to be, would I say yes. Otherwise, I am fine with not having any. And Aadi will know you as his mother someday.”

“I think the only way to keep Vesoviath safe from Eosyth – maybe from the Council, if they fear Fort – is to have her feel obligated. As if it’s her duty. And it //is//, if you think about it. If Isolwyn is your family, then she’s mine too and that means Safiye is hers as well.” Arlet closes her eyes and gives a quiet sigh. “Revealing anything that Leesa might have suggested… Well, surely it’ll all become clear soon enough. Either Vesoviath will grow into a queen’s stature or she won’t. She’ll command others or she won’t.” It’s an easier subject than children or her son, which she only manages to address with a murmured, “…I don’t know if I want children. Maybe I’d feel differently about them if they were yours.” She takes a breath and holds it for a little while, steadying herself before she can continue, and not on that topic at all. “We should take a couple of days. Malynth could stay with the babies if he wanted. Akanyth too – he could drop us off and return here. He and I could manage a few days apart.”

“I’ll talk to Isolwyn. I’m going to keep it to us, though. I don’t want Jet and M’tan getting it into their heads that it means more than it does,” J’kson answers, moving to stand with a grunt as he turns to offer her a hand up. He lets the subject of having (or not having) children go as he dusts Arlet’s rear off with a playful swat and draws her against him in a rough hug. “Malynth says he can stay and watch them. That way, if they need us back, he can reach us. If Akanyth wants to come with us, I’m sure Malynth can handle himself with Sirhyth and Kyramith.” He smiles down at Arlet. “Shall we go and make sure these minions of ours are fed before they move on to the next task of the day?”

Before they can rush off after the young dragons and their riders, Arlet latches onto J’kson’s collar and tugs him down to her to demand a kiss of the exact variety that they’ve been sure to warn those in their temporary charge off. “I love you,” she says softly. “We’ll work it out. All of it.” Threading her fingers through his, she starts off across the courtyard, a glance spared for Akanyth and his relocation to a new spot from which to survey the surrounding area. For his own purposes, of course. Certainly not to protect any babies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *