Surreal

Who: The Court of Shadows + Isolwyn
Where: Undisclosed location.
What: Arlet and J’kson get married.


J’kson has taken Isolwyn’s offer of representing his side of the family to heart and Malynth has enjoyed a few visits to Eosyth and Fort since Arlet accepted his proposal. He’s never been a man to wait and so, with Arlet’s approval, a date has been set and the momentum is in place to pick a location and hire Harpers for entertaining and for the ceremony. Apparently, J’kson’s inheritance was sizable enough to host a wedding that would be fit for a Lord Holder //and// purchase their establishment in Bitra. The day before the wedding, J’kson’s at the Weavercraft Hall for a final fitting on his suit. He groans as another pin gets stuck against his skin. “I said don’t //move//, sir,” the journeyman tells him. J’kson gives Isolwyn a //look//. “Did I have to get it fitted properly? It fit me //fine//.”

“Do you want to look back at your wedding and think that everything was lovely, but the suit only fit you ‘fine’?” Isolwyn questions dryly, shooting the Journeyman a look that more than gives him permission to stab J’kson again if he moves. “Besides, I think it’s only fair that, if Arlet suffered through dress fittings, you endure the same. Everything being supposed to be equal in a marriage and all.” That gives her pause, a moment’s low laughter slipping free. “Well, a dragonrider one anyway, which I don’t think that we can dispute you both are.” She looks up again from the catalogue of fabrics that she’s been idly leafing through. “Hopefully this wedding will be enough to prove to her mother that you’re going to look after her. You know… She’s the one who warned me off C’aol in the first place. Turned up in my weyr.”

“I didn’t know that,” J’kson answers as he steps off of the platform and gives a glower down at the journeyman who is //finally// satisfied with the adjustments that need to be made. “If you go and change, sir, I’ll have this finished for you within the hour,” the older man says with a placating smile. J’kson gives Isolwyn a pointed look before he disappears behind a curtain to change back into his more simpler clothes. He strides forward, reaching for Isolwyn’s hand to tug her out of the room. “Let’s go and check on your gown,” he tells her as he brushes past the journeyman without another glance. “Do you think she’ll gut him if she finds out how he’s turned out to be treating you?” J’kson asks, once they are out of direct earshot of another person. “I wouldn’t put it past her. He must’ve done something serious to make her take a risk of a personal visit to you. To my knowledge, she doesn’t do that often.”

“She’d thought that… When that other bronzerider attacked me, that //that// was C’aol,” Isolwyn murmurs as they make their way down the corridor. “And honestly? She has no reason to gut him now. Not loving me in a way it turns out I want to be? She’d have to gut half the men on the planet for half the women if that was viable. He’s never physically hurt me except in any manner I consented to. And he is a good leader. I’d not lead Fort with a fool.” She shrugs and pauses outside a room labelled with a female Journeyman’s name. “Enough of him, anyway. They won’t meet at your wedding, so it’s of no concern.” Knocking on the door, she asks J’kson, “Have you seen Arlet’s gown? Or is that bad luck?”

“I haven’t seen it, isn’t that supposed to be for the day of? Should I see it? What if my suit doesn’t match?” J’kson wonders in a series of questions, uncertainty flickering across his brow. “I’ll be glad when all of this is over,” he mutters to Isolwyn as the journeywoman opens her door. “I can’t handle the stress of it.” The blonde in front of them brightens at the appearance of Isolwyn and J’kson. “Ah! Weyrwoman. So good to see you. Bluerider,” she dips her head towards J’kson, holding the door open to usher them both inside. “I’ve just finished the final touches to your gown, Weyrwoman. I’m sure it will look positively striking,” he draws Isolwyn into her workroom and indicates the dress draped on the mannequin. “Is it to your liking? Shall we try it on?” J’kson considers the dress, Isolwyn, and the journeywoman. “She’ll be the best dressed there, I’m sure of it.”

“I think it’s a little bit odd when couple’s outfits match,” Isolwyn replies, resting what’s meant to be a soothing hand between J’kson’s shoulder blades. “You’re still individuals, even if you’re together. It’ll all be done soon and all that’ll matter is that you have Arlet and she has you. That’s what it’s all about.” The dress, she takes in with a small, appreciative, smile and the taking of the Journeyman’s hand to hold with both of hers for a moment. “It’s beautiful. Thank you. I’m sure it will fit just fine, if you could have it parcelled up, please? You’ve never let me down before and I’ve got to keep this one,” she nudges J’kson, “calm and organised.” In saying so, she grabs for his hand now, to tug him after her. “Come on. We should go check on the Harpers. I hope someone is keeping Arlet occupied or you’ll both be in a state by tomorrow.”

The day of J’kson and Arlet’s wedding has dawned with the perfect weather – the location of the ceremony being the beach where J’kson first tested to see if Arlet might want to marry him. The beach has a variety of tents popped up to offer shade. A tent for dancing, a tent for refreshments, and the tent where chairs and a small awning of southern flowers have been created for the ceremony. Those in attendance move inside the ceremony tent at the announcement of the Harpers. O’rlen’s got Aerishani’s hand tucked in his arm and his smile is bright as he moves to seat her near the front of the aisles. M’tan is already seated with Jet on the side of the bride, their children each dressed in the colors Arlet has chosen for them. J’kson’s brother, in a rare show of solidarity with his brother, is seated on his side of the aisle with his wife. Those in attendance have been chosen for their connection to the bride or groom and none are here for a political reasons. Aside from Bitra’s Lord and Lady Holder, guests of J’kson and Arlet to continue warm feelings between their newest business partners.

Isolwyn has gone and sat herself down with J’kson’s brother and his wife and introduced herself without a moment’s hesitation, talking enough to deliberately fill any awkward pauses that might arise, while Eosyth has found a spot of sand and sunshine to sit and just as deliberately maintain a soothing touch against Akanyth’s mind, just in-case he should get it into his head that Arlet is being stolen away from him. Arlet herself has shucked the tradition of a red dress for her wedding and chosen a pale pink instead, only some of the stitching at the bottom of its skirts picked out in a deeper scarlet, the rest of its embroidery in white and gold. The only company she keeps for her journey down the aisle is Safiye, dressed in a pastel blue, who helps Aadi along beside her in a gesture that seems more likely to have been the girl’s idea than Arlet’s own. Though the breeze over the waves is determined to play with it, the brownrider has left her hair down, forming waves of its own down to her waist, and she self-consciously tucks a strand of it behind her ear as she reaches J’kson, a shy smile lifted to only him.

Tefan’s wife seems more at ease with Isolwyn than J’kson’s brother himself, easily maintaining the flow of conversation with Fort’s Weyrwoman. Discussions don’t need to take long as Arlet makes her way down the aisle, earning a hush to the crowd as she makes her way towards J’kson. J’kson’s got eyes only for Arlet – and his mind wanders as the Harper goes through the traditional vows to be shared. When it comes time to kiss her, J’kson steps forward and pulls her tight against him as his mouth finds hers. “Forever,” he murmurs in her ear before he releases his hold on her. With the sound of applause following them, J’kson escorts Arlet out of the tent and towards the one where dinner and refreshements will be served. He takes her to their table, chosen for the pair of them alone, and talks quietly with her as the rest filter in to begin eating. It’s near the end of the meal that M’tan approaches with Jet at his side. He offers a hand to J’kson. “Welcome to the family,” he tells the bluerider, looking to Arlet and offering her a smile. “You’re absolutely stunning tonight, Arlet.”

Arlet hesitates for half a moment, but tells M’tan, “Thank you,” and gets to her feet to embrace her mother, who only murmurs something to her that makes her smile and give a shallow nod in answer. Whatever her feelings on the matter, Jet turns to J’kson and tells him, “My daughter chose you and that is enough.” Rather than offer a similar embrace or shake of a hand, she reaches to absently adjust his collar before moving on with M’tan, to herd Khyrisan away from attempting to secure another pastry. Taking a moment while they’re alone before any others should approach them, Arlet leans in to claim a kiss from her new husband, her lips curved in a smile as her lips touch his. Her, “I do love you, know you,” is plainly overheard by Safiye, who tells them both, “Good, because I’m marrying Malynth next!” as she passes by at a trot that looks set to take her on out to spend her time with the visiting dragon population, greetings called ahead to the queens and others she’s not as familiar with.

J’kson looks after Safiye and glances down at Arlet with a lifted brow. “She has to know she can’t truly marry a dragon? Is she teasing me? I feel like she’s too old for make-believe he trails off then as more guests arrive to wish them well. He stands to receive them, keeping one arm looped around Arlet’s waist as he smiles and nods as those who have come to shake hands and congratulate. When O’rlen and Aerishani approach, J’kson’s smile is dimmed as he takes in the Honshu leaders. He offers a firm shake to O’rlen, waiting as the Weyrlord turns to Arlet and tells her, “Congratulations. It’s wonderful to see more dragonriders wedding,” he moves to loop an arm around Aerishani’s shoulders with a bright smile. “Isn’t that right dear?” M’tan’s hand is around Jet’s as he leads her out of the tent towards the fresher air offered outside. “I don’t know what to make of the Honshu people being here. And since when is J’kson’s family include Fort’s Weyrwoman? I hadn’t realized how many secrets he might’ve been holding,” he mutters as he guides her towards the open air of the dancing tent. “Can I get you anything? How’s your nausea?”

“I think she’s winding you right up and getting away with it,” Arlet declares, which is the last Jet hears of her as she and M’tan leave the tent, though she manages to catch Aerishani hesitating to respond to O’rlen’s bright demeanour, only to eventually supply a response at the last possible moment to save either herself or her Weyrlord – or both. “Maybe Arlet felt obligated, since she did find Akanyth at Honshu,” Jet supposes, moving close enough that she might lean against him a little as they walk. “I’m just glad that they chose not to have the wedding at home, or we’d really have had to put our foot down about the queens not being in attendance too. The Weyrwoman… I don’t know what to make of. Half the time I think she’s an idiot and the other half that she’s got everyone dancing to her tune.” She stops between one tent and the next to rest her head against M’tan’s shoulder for a moment. “…This all feels… surreal,” she quietly admits. “Arlet… She’d not even be ten yet and here she is getting married. I keep thinking of her as the little girl we left behind. Not even five. And now she’s…”

“I can’t quite place her in the same way,” M’tan muses as he finds a quiet spot near the back of the tent and one of the few available chairs and tiny tables for those who might need to refresh themselves between dances. He settles Jet down and then eases beside her. When a staff member comes to request after drink orders, he quietly places one for each of them. “I can’t quite get over her choice. J’kson. Never thought that drunk would accomplish much and now he’s married Fort’s former Weyrleader and is bumping elbows with Lord and Lady Bitra.” He smirks at Jet. J’kson eases Arlet out of the food tent and towards the dancing one, smiling and waving at those who might still angle for their attention. Their entrance draws the rest of the guests and the Harper’s start a familiar chord of a song. He takes Arlet towards the center of the dance floor and smiles brightly at her. “May I have this dance?” he winks and bows, waiting for her answer.

“…It isn’t that I don’t like him,” Jet says softly and only so that M’tan might hear her. “I’m just always going to be waiting for the day that he hurts her, meaning to or not. It’ll only take one drink becoming another, then another…” She holds her breath for a moment before admitting, “…And I don’t know what I’ll do when it happens.” Oblivious to her mother’s worries, Arlet follows J’kson out onto the dance floor and dips into a curtsey to answer his bow, then steps into his arms, her eyes only on him. “And every one after,” she murmurs, pressing a kiss to his cheek as they fall into the slow steps of the dance. “When all these nice people have gone home, I’m keeping you to myself for a long, long time,” is meant for his ears alone, the smile she gives him as she draws back a little to look up at him only an bright and innocent thing that anyone watching would believe is nothing but simple affection. While they dance, Safiye eventually claims a corner to encourage Khyrisan to dance too, Aadi in her arms, and Jet draws M’tan further down the beach to dance among the dragons and leave Arlet and J’kson to themselves and their other guests. “Though I do hope they live happily ever after,” she eventually confesses, their family’s laughter lifted on the breeze long into the evening.

The next morning finds J’kson stirring in the luxurious sheets of the guest accommodations of a nearby beach resort. He stretches and yawns, wriggling closer to Arlet to tuck her against him and burrow his face against her ear. “I don’t want to wake up.” Malynth is dozing near to the bungalow they’ll call home for the next week, his snout tucked beneath his wing as he sleeps in the late morning sun. The day is dawning bright across Pern and M’tan’s been up for some hours, already tucked inside his office as he goes over the last pieces of the agreement to sign with Arlet and J’kson. He doesn’t immediately notice the humming that draws his attention away from his thoughts but soon the vibration of Sirhyth and Kyramith’s thrum of welcome is enough to stir the bronzerider into action. The call goes up around the Court and those who have been selected are ushered towards the Sands to see what fate awaits them. M’tan grabs for Jet’s hand and grins, “They couldn’t have waited at all, could they?” he teases as he looks towards what awaits them.

Having spent so long in the vicinity of the clutch, it may be that even Malynth and Akanyth feel it when it happens and the egg that’s presently resting between Kyramith’s front paws cracks neatly down the middle to free not a green, a blue, a brown, or even a bronze, but an impossibly tiny and yet still very obviously //gold// dragon, all soft curves and compact, stocky build. Her arrival is met with the wild stares of the Court’s Candidates, who look to M’tan and Jet in a moment of panic, unsure what to do about the unexpected creature on their Sands, and that instant is all it takes. The choice is made and one paying attention is claimed, leaving Jet to do nothing more than watch in horror and tighten her hold on her husband’s hand.

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