Protect Our Own

Who: Jet and M’tan
Where: Hideaway Home, High Reaches Territory
What: After Kyramith’s flight, politics.

Glow though she may, in the end it takes days for Kyramith to decide to rise, the setting sun chosen as the best moment to fly high and tangle herself with Sirhyth. The first day away from the Court finds Jet agitated beneath the haze of her growing fixation on her husband, unable to shake the worries of what they’ve left behind, but, as the days draw on, she eventually relaxes and folds down into a lazy pattern of needing to be near M’tan and busying herself with a range of tasks, from weeding the patio on the roof to going over what of the Court’s records she’s brought with her. In the aftermath, she lies on her side, curled up with him, idly tracking her fingertips along his ribs. “…Do you think we can stay here forever?” she asks in a teasing murmur, her voice a little rough from having been so recently put to much louder use.

M’tan has been on edge since the hatching – his concern for having brought in an outsider to trust with their secrets, and their newest additions, making him tense with not knowing what the future may hold. He is not like Jet, having no interest in the tasks to reduce his anxiety. Instead, he’s spent the days they’ve been at their hideaway taking his frustrations out on a sandbag and letting his fists grow bloody with each punch. As Sirhyth’s triumph becomes his own, M’tan loses much of his built up frustrations. He smiles down at Jet as he kisses her forehead, his fingers making gentle circles down her back as they curl around each other. “We could,” he tells her, “we could move ourselves and our children here and become recluses.” He does not sound disdainful about that decision. “Though I believe they have a brighter future because of our Court.”

“I suppose settling for being recluses for only a handful of days per year is not so bad,” Jet considers, closing her eyes as she stops exploring the curves of M’tan’s ribs and places her palm down over his heart instead. “…Maybe it sounds selfish, but sometimes I wonder if we spend so much time handling the matters of the Court and everyone else’s problems that we don’t have the time to… be ourselves anymore.” She reaches for one of his hands to touch her lips to his grazed knuckles. “I wouldn’t change everything we’ve achieved or walk away from any of it, ever. But I wonder if what we think is doing the right thing for everyone else is always doing the right thing for us.” She shifts onto her back and props herself up on one elbow to look down at him and ask, “Are you happy?” It’s not a posture she can maintain for long, the bump of her stomach and her lower back disagreeing only moments after, but she still seeks an answer in looking up at him when she flops back down.

“You mean, being murderous thieves?” M’tan teases, kissing along Jet’s jaw with a huff of laughter. “I’d much rather send others out to do our bidding with a promise of a good home for them and their children than… being the one struggling with meeting a quota.” He sobers in the wake of memories he doesn’t mean to let hook into him. He looks at her with a cocked brow as she shifts against him. “I’m a simple creature my love. Of course, I’m happy.” He captures her lips and stalls further conversation with the exchange of tongue and lips before he pulls back and bumps his forehead against her own. He eases her gently to his side and spoons her, his hand moving to claim a portion of her bump as he nibbles at her ear. “It’s always us, love. Always. The rest… well, we are doing more for our kind than anyone else has ever done.” He quiets for a moment and then lets her know, “I believe we’ll have to do something about the dragonhealer. She’s sent word to O’rlen. I’m not opposed to the leak and yet…,” he lets that hang between them, with the peace of their love making a hope to quell Jet’s and Kyramith’s anger.

Jet places her hand down over M’tan’s and guides it to the solid thump of a jabbing elbow or kicking foot, only to pause when she learns of the dragonhealer’s actions. “…She’s risking Safiye and Vesoviath by passing information to her Weyrleader,” she says slowly, unable or unwilling to attempt concealing the quick transformation of fear to a low-simmering fury. “And that’s if she’s only discussing the dragons. If she’s heard and decided to reveal anything else, despite being warned, she deserves punishment. She deserves it just for contacting O’rlen when she was specifically warned against letting any information beyond the walls of the Court.” Kyramith sleeps on, the hold of her dreams heavy enough that Jet’s anger fails to wake her. “What if she tries to have them all extracted and taken to a Weyr? Vesoviath’s of no age to match wills with another queen.”

M’tan presses his lips to Jet’s neck as he rests his palm over the jabbing body part of their unborn child. His smile is a brush against her skin as he takes in the joy of the moment. He keeps his palm where it is, listening to Jet’s words with a stillness against her. “O’rlen is a fool,” M’tan tells Jet as he keeps her tucked against him. “I’m sure he only asked after the dragons, but if Leesa can know who we are, and what we are capable of, and still sent word to her idiot Weyrlord… I don’t know what to do about that. It’s not as if we make a secret of //how// we dispose of those who displease us, let alone betray us.” He sighs and lifts himself up, looking down at her with pinched brows. “We could hurt her as a warning,” he offers, “and I can visit O’rlen to make it clear… he is best not to test us further. From what I have gleaned from those in our employ, O’rlen and Aerishani are not on good terms any longer. That makes me nervous, with her gold’s power.”

“Or we could hurt her and dump her on his ledge and find ourselves a dragonhealer more suited to our way of life,” Jet proposes without a hint of shame. “If she’s already betrayed us, she has the capacity to so again, and not just concerning the dragons.” She twists a little to look up at M’tan and lifts a hand to let her fingertips wander idly along the edge of his jaw and down to his collarbone. “I would hope that the Weyrlady wouldn’t let her personal feelings hamper her ability to command her queen and lead her Weyrhold. If that’s not the case, she’s just as much of a fool as he is. But it means that it could be less than a year before Honshu has a new Weyrlord, if it’s her feelings that have kept him in power. If you want to use him for anything, now’s the time. I can keep from slicing up his little traitor of a healer for a little bit, I suppose.”

“I won’t have you doing it,” M’tan cautions Jet with a firm gaze. “If we go that route, and we likely will, it won’t be //you// doing the hurting and the dumping. I brought her to the Court, I will clean up the mess that it delivered.” He grabs for her hand and presses it against her cheek as he exhales slowly. “I know this is a part of it. I know we have to prove our points to people. The timing of this… I wish people for once could be trusted. It would have been so much more simple if she did her duty and kept her word.” He grows quiet as he looks to Jet and listens to her thoughts on Honshu’s Weyrlady. “I am more concerned about her gold’s reach when Sirhyth is near. I won’t have him face the wrath of a gold.” He shakes his head and offers Jet one of his crooked grins. “I don’t need anything further from him. We got the dragons. That they are not as expected is… the risk we took when we accepted the blue and gold’s eggs with the others.” He leans down to kiss her forehead. “I will handle it when we return. And I will begin to look for a more suitable fit for our purposes.”

“I am the Court’s blade,” Jet states, not outright arguing but low enough of voice to intend to make her point. “If it will weigh heavier on you to do it, I’ve no issue with doing so. I doubt she has the training to do me or the baby any damage before I could incapacitate her, if that worries you.” She turns in M’tan’s arms to face him and lifts a hand to thread her fingers through his hair. “Your heart is better than mine,” she murmurs. “Don’t darken it with this if there’s no need. Then Sirhyth won’t have to be any closer to Honshu too.” Ducking her head down, she presses her lips to his shoulder and looks back up at him, intending to hold his gaze. “I won’t fight you on this, but know that you don’t have to do it. I won’t think any less of you either way.”

M’tan does not reply immediately to Jet’s reminder of her position at the Court. He holds her against him and kisses her temple. “My heart is no different than yours,” he tells her softly, “and though my hands have less blood, they have been bloodied.” He sighs and then smiles as her lips find his shoulder and her gaze locks with his own again. “I will let you decide. If you would prefer to handle it, I will not become overbearing and protective. You are not weak because you are carrying our child. I would handle it if you’d rather rest and not exert yourself in the way it may take. Or we can ask some of our residents to do it as well. It was Hanov who told me that she sent the letter. He’s been working the closest with the weyrlings– do we want to call them that? I always hated that name… anyway, with the newly Impressed. Making sure they know how to cut up the meat and feed the dragons. He’s a former fighter, like me. He was very angry that she was so blatant about it. It was not as if she were behaving discreetly about informing O’rlen.”

“They’re not of a Weyr, so I suppose we ought to think of something else to call them. Maybe the best thing to do would be to call them riders from the start, since it’s what they are, regardless. It seems more respectful.” Tugging the covers a little higher, Jet turns her back to M’tan again and threads her fingers with his to encourage him to curl up around her again. “Let’s decide what to do with Leesa when we get back. We know her fate… It’s simply a matter of how and who. If she happens to recover and doesn’t understand that she was punished for a reason, then I imagine we’ll have to make sure that she doesn’t go telling any more tales for good.” She look back at him and lets a small smirk curve one corner of her lips. “Rest. I’ll have use for you later, before we have to go home and will be expected to do more than stay in bed.”

M’tan’s chuckle vibrates along Jet’s body as he kisses her neck. “I’ll rest as my Lady has encouraged me to do. //After// we’ve had a bath.” He eases himself from beneath her and kisses her lips gently. “Rest until I’ve drawn up the bath.” He curls his fingers along her cheek and smiles at her. “I love you. I’m proud of you. If we ever stop and think of what we were when //we// were weyrlings… we have come a long way, love. We will raise the next generation to know respect from the moment they have a dragon to care for.” He leaves her side then, making good on his promise of drawing a hot bath with oils and salts before he returns to encourage her into the warmth with him. Eventually, they’ll sleep – and likely spend more time in the bed once they’ve woken. The fate of Leesa will remain to be seen and the conversation will be simple when they get back to the Court. “We protect our own, always. And if that is done with blood, so be it.”

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