Who: Isolwyn, C’aol, Eosyth, Daeserath
Where: Council Room, Fort Weyr
What: Something is bothering Eosyth.

For a few weeks now, Eosyth has seemed restless and distant, much as she was in her early months when she was mentally travelling the world that was as yet unobtainable but for the control of Isolwyn to keep her from leaping Between. It’s got some riders and caverns staff alike murmuring that she may well be soon to rise, even as others refute it and claim that it’s far too soon, while yet more insist that her status as the only adult queen must biologically demand it of her. And yet there is no glow to her hide and no obvious change in Isolwyn’s behaviour, only a weariness that seems to weigh heavily on her as Eosyth continues to be distracted and on the edge of temperamental. Mid-afternoon finds Isolwyn in the council room, or, more accurately, asleep in the council room, her head pillowed on one arm and a letter ruined with pooled ink.

Daeserath has been watching Eosyth closely, his presence never being far from his mate’s when she wanders the Weyr. He’s settled himself on the fireheights today, dismissing the watchrider and dragon as he chooses to keep watch himself. C’aol enters the council chamber and removes his jacket to hang on a nearby hook. He closes the distance between himself and Isolwyn, concern etching his brow as he sees her slumped over the table. He checks her pulse and then, assured she is not dead, cleans up the pooled ink. He turns and leaves quietly, allowing Isolwyn to doze on for some time as he disappears back into the inner caverns. He returns shortly, carrying a tray prepared for Isolwyn. He’s got hot tea, klah, and tiny sandwiches which he settles on the table. He clears his throat and considers Isolwyn’s form.

As Isolwyn stirs, Eosyth lifts to her delicate paws and eases her wings wide as she launches herself from her ledge and into the air, drifting for a handful of moments before she lands beside Daeserath and folds herself back down to curl against him, her physical form some reassurance of her presence despite the wandering of her mind. Her rider blinks her eyes open, her surroundings not immediately recognised in the seconds between asleep and awake, though she instinctively reaches for one of C’aol’s hands as the world begins to filter in. “Did I fall asleep?” is a needless question, her eyes narrowing as she registers her own foolishness and lifts her head, giving it a little shake. “Eosyth… She used to be this way when she was little, when she was talking to dragons far away. Like Daeserath. She wouldn’t tell me who then and she won’t now.”

Daeserath welcomes Eosyth against him, lifting his wing out and draping it about her as he tucks her neatly against his side. His mind is cool against her own, the tang of metal in the mental mindscape he shares with hers. << Must it be kept a secret? >> he asks of her, keeping his physical gaze on the sky above them. C’aol frowns as he takes Isolwyn’s hand and then removes it to show her the tray of food and drink. “I’ve asked Daeserath to see what he can glean from her. I’m not entirely sure she’ll be forthcoming with him. And even then,” he adds dryly as he settles into the seat beside Isolwyn. “He’s agreed to do it because of his own interest.” He looks to the papers Isolwyn was working on and then back to her. “Is it time that Emily begins to help you more?” he wonders, then adds with a touch of disdain, “or should I ask our Headwoman to do more?”

<< Must it? >> It’s not truly a question, Eosyth’s echo a cryptic thing that she turns this way and that, a flash of distant lightning sparking in the dark depths of her mind. << It seems so. >> Frustration sends her claws raking across the rock beneath her, yet she keeps that anger from touching Daeserath. Isolwyn blinks again and slides her focus to the tray, the klah reached for a little inelegantly to slosh a decent amount into a mug that she brings to her lips. “Thank you,” she murmurs, once she’s taken a few sips to try and clear her head. “It wouldn’t be right for Emily to take on proper duties as one might expect of a junior until she actually is one,” she says slowly. “Her training has a way to go yet. And a Headwoman is not a queenrider. She may do good work, but I don’t want her getting any ideas about who it is that runs this Weyr. She has a voice, but it’s never to be as loud as ours.” She reaches for a sandwich, nibbling at its edge a touch mechanically. “I can manage,” she promises. “I’m only tired. I know they’re muttering in the caverns about her rising, but it’s far too soon for that.”

<< That it vexes C’aol is of no importance to me. Yet the concern seems to be with your rider. Do your wanderings always make her ill? >> Daeserath wonders, watching those claws with a fondness that ripples out across the Weyr. He is proud of his queen. C’aol watches Isolwyn with a closed expression. His hands move to the table to hold his steepled fingers. “We will wait for Emily to be ready, though from what I have seen of her, she seems competent and quiet. She’s old enough were you to ask her to do more she’d likely handle it well. I agree with you on the Headwoman. She does her job well but we do not need to encourage her getting… further ideas about her station.” He lifts a hand to rub at his jaw, leaving the forefinger tucked against his lip as he considers their options. “I could request Rori to come back while we wait for Emily to become junior. It is possible we sent her off too soon. Of the other juniors, I have no opinion. Do you know of any you wouldn’t mind having while we figure out what Eosyth is up to?”

<< If she monitored me less, perhaps she would sleep better, >> is Eosyth’s opinion on her rider’s current state, matter of fact in her judgement without descending to unkindness or displeasure. << I found you when I was small. I will find what is causing this disturbance. >> Isolwyn shakes her head again, more firmly now, the rest of the sandwich shoved down and followed by a gulp of klah that’s still a bit too hot to do such a thing with comfortably. “I’m fine,” she insists, the words coming out in a growl. “I am Weyrwoman. Not Rori. Not Emily. I won’t have Rori come back here and suggest to everyone that I’m incapable and need her support just because I took a nap on this table.” Fixing her attention on C’aol, she states, “I am not weak.” Jaw set, she lets silence claim her for a moment, only to declare, “Of anyone, you should understand what it is to have a force like her with you all the time. Maybe you’re the //only// one who might understand.”

<< She shouldn’t monitor you at all. What is the concern? That you are far-reaching? You will be as you will be >> Daeserath observes and then lets the conversation drop between them as he considers the sky. C’aol watches Isolwyn’s consumption of food and drink with a droll smile. “You seem half-starved and I found you asleep at your work. Knowing you are not an individual who tends to fall asleep, I have reason to worry about what is going on.” His smile hikes its way to a half-smirk as he delights in Isolwyn’s reaction. “You’re Weyrwoman. I would consider Rori as your second, but not wanting her here at all is fine by me.” His amusement increases as he watches her jaw set and he remains quiet for a moment before he replies. “I wasn’t implying you were weak, Weyrwoman. I was offering you support so you could focus on Eosyth if you needed to. That you can do both without aide I am assured of.” He tilts his head and then angles his gaze towards the ceiling in thought. “There is no stopping minds as strong as theirs. It’s only survival at times.” He drops his gaze back to hers. “What is your concern for her reaching this time? She is not young any longer.”

Isolwyn’s eyes narrow as she takes in C’aol’s smirk, a flicker of some dangerous intent lighting her dark gaze when she reaches across the distance between them and wraps her delicate fingers around his wrist only to hold and tether, knowing full well physical strength is not in her favour. “//You// can offer me support,” she iterates, low-voiced. “You. Not an interfering queenrider. Only you.” Too much Eosyth or too little sleep, the words weigh heavily on her as seconds tick by and she finally uncurls her fingers and lets go, letting her hands fall into her lap. “…When she was young, she could find whatever she wished and simply wouldn’t clarify to me who, where or why. In this instance, she cannot clarify… because she doesn’t //know// who or where or why. Only that someone is out there doing as she does.”

C’aol’s smirk disappears as Isolwyn’s fingers claim his wrist, her dark gaze matched with his cold one. He does not move and listens with narrowed eyes as she speaks her needs. “I hear you,” he tells Isolwyn instead of arguing who is right or wrong – or being defensive to her demands. “That is disturbing,” he decides as he leans back in his chair, drawing his wrist from any reach of Isolwyn’s as he folds his arms in front of his chest. “Who could have a reach like hers? When she reached to Daeserath…,” he grows thoughtful as his face smoothes into calmer lines. “I suppose I didn’t know the bulk of what they did. Only he wasn’t… as angry… when her mind touched his.” He looks to Isolwyn then. “How concerned should we be by this? I do not want her to try and go find it. Is that your concern as well? Daeserath will guard her.”

Isolwyn closes her fingers around her mug and holds on for a white-knuckled and unsteady moment before she drinks again, then sets it down with a faint rattle. “…I thought, perhaps, her dam or one of her gold sisters,” she hazards. “But she would know them and find it easy to identify them. She spent time with Amorenth at J’kson’s wedding: she would know by now if it was her.” She passes a hand over her face and lets her shoulders slump for a breath or two until habitually straightening them again. “When she was young, I knew full well that she knew how to go Between before she would be permitted to. It was my fear of losing her that kept her from doing it as much as anything else. Things aren’t the same anymore. …If she wants to, she will find it.” Ducking her head, she sighs out, “We can’t all monitor her, or we’ll all end up in this wretched state,” contrary to being fine. “It could be nothing. It could be a queen still in the shell for all we know.” She plants her hands down on the table and pushes herself to her feet, then offers both of her hands to C’aol, palms up, instead of closing any distance herself. “…I will guard her… if you will guard me and Daeserath guard Fort.”

C’aol is observant of all of Isolwyn’s mannerisms – her slouch and then recorrection noted more than anything else. “She should find it,” he decides, tapping his fingers briefly on the table. “With Daeserath with her. We should go and find this thing she has located and decide what threat it may be to us. Eosyth is not a fickle queen. I imagine she will work out what it is – either the gold has hatched or she has discovered it’s location. We should be prepared to go with her when she wants to meet it.” He reaches across the short distance between them, drawing her hands into his so he might navigate her to sit in his lap. It is not a position he often seeks her to be in for the simple comfort of his arms around her. He holds her against his chest, his grasp warm and strong. Daeserath’s roar reaches them in the council chambers. “He will always guard her and Fort,” he drawls against Isolwyn’s ear, his smile a brush against her cheek. “And now he will guard you with me.”

Her hands surrendered, Isolwyn lets C’aol guide her down into his lap, where she settles with her head resting against his shoulder and almost immediately closes her eyes and gives a quiet, content sigh, relaxing into his embrace before she even realises it. “I feel as if I ought to argue about something, but I’m too comfortable to contemplate it,” she murmurs, letting the fingers of one hand curve to his other shoulder. “If anyone asks, I was displeased and we had words and one of us stormed off. Try to alternate who stormed off so that we seem equally obstinate.” Nosing against his neck, she curls the slightest bit closer and hides a tiny smile that’s soon lost to a soft yawn and the sleep that she so recently surfaced from and can’t mean to let claim her again.

“If I can learn to temper my need to argue with you, I am sure you can do the same,” C’aol says with a lilt of laughter rarely heard in his voice. “I do not doubt our Weyr will shortly come up with the rumor that we have split off, yet again, due to my temper and your tenacity to overcome it will mark you as the perfect Weyrwoman. I hear what they say, you realize. The Weyr tolerates me and adores you. I will keep it that way.” He grows quiet after that, content to hold her and contemplate the state of his life in comfortable silence. As she drifts asleep, he remains where he is, unwilling to wake her to so much as shift his body to gain more comfort in the chair. He waits until she is fully asleep to carry her from the room and to her own bed where he will tuck her in with quiet consideration and leave so she might receive as much sleep as she can. Daeserath does not move from the fireheights until Eosyth does and then only to rejoin her wherever she may settle. The dragon population has been informed of their leader’s temperaments and are more subdued than normal to keep from becoming victim to Daeserath’s short temper. It is as it always is at Fort.

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