Who: Isolwyn and C’aol
Where: Isolwyn’s Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: Despite Isolwyn’s efforts to control it, fate has other ideas.

That Eosyth and Daeserath’s new daughter has not only chosen a girl of high-ranking Blood, but one who has been instructed from the moment of being able to walk in how to run a Hold, must surely be a relief to Fort’s Weyrleaders, and particularly to its Weyrwoman, tasked with training her, so say those Bloods who have visited for the Hatching and know of the girl enough to comment. And yet, though Isolwyn has made all the right comments and provided the right smiles at the right times, nothing much actually seems to have been of comfort to her for the majority of the day, and after enduring a dance with the new goldrider’s father – who appears nothing but intensely grateful that the daughter he betrayed now has a bright future – she slips away from the celebrations sooner than might be polite. Inside her weyr, she crouches before the hearth and starts to build up the fire from lingering embers with hands that tremble, cursing as fumbles with kindling.

C’aol has never been one to linger long into the night to entertain guests after a Hatching. Once he has made his rounds and allowed some conversations to happen between himself and those interested in earning his favor, he moves off to check on the newly Impressed and set clear expectations that their Weyrleader has for them now that they are truly of Fort. It has become a habit for him to spend his nights in Isolwyn’s weyr and so that is where he goes once he has shaken off the last person who stopped him to comment on the successful hatching. He strides into Isolwyn’s weyr and immediately moves past her towards the bedroom to change into more comfortable clothes. Once he’s changed, he moves to the hearth to settle into a chair. “What were your thoughts on the Hatching?” he inquiries of Isolwyn, not catching on to any signs that something may not exactly be right with her.

“What Hatching?” falls out of Isolwyn’s mouth before she realises what she’s saying, just as she pokes a slim twist of paper into the embers and catches her fingers at the same time, prompting another curse and the waving of her singed hand. She colours and rocks back and off her heels to sit on the floor, her skirts pooled around her. “Lord Telgar was nearly in tears,” she utters lowly, her brow furrowed. “Not that I saw Priska speak with him at all. You would have thought that I arranged the entire thing and told the hatchling who to pick, the number of times he thanked me.” She props an elbow on one of her knees and plants her chin in her hand to blink over at C’aol, her focus a little too sharp.

C’aol’s brows furrow as a frown crosses his features as Isolwyn seems to have already forgotten the Hatching only hours after it has completed. His frown deepens as she fusses at the fire and singes herself. He makes no comment on the behavior other than a note of disapproval in his eyes as he watches her until she finds herself sitting on the floor. “If he wanted to cry over his decision he shouldn’t have made it. Behaving in the manner that he did after all these years was nonsensical. I’m not so conservative that I’d believe he should’ve chosen a baby, who will be no where near of age to train for many years, to be his successor.” He answers her sharp focus with a lifted brow. “I didn’t see you drinking,” he comments dryly, “but perhaps Lord Telgar was able to get you drunk?”

“I haven’t been drinking at all,” Isolwyn replies more snappishly than she must mean to, for she seems to shrink into herself the very instant that the words are out, scrubbing that hand over her face and through her hair. She straightens, easing her shoulders back, though keeps her head ducked for a few moments in a silence that finds her doing nothing but breathing steadily in and out. If she meant to look up, she doesn’t manage it, her courage failing her. “…I’m pregnant, C’aol,” she tells him, her voice a little ragged. “…And I can’t… Knowing for sure, I can’t… do it again. I can’t go Between. I didn’t plan it any more than the other time, but it’s happened, and if twice in six months isn’t some sort of sign… And it isn’t as if I did this on my own… You were there too…” She stops just as it must register that she’s rambling and sounding quite ridiculous, but still she doesn’t look up. Only then her nerves coalesce into something close to the darker side of upset and she mutters a heated, “If I didn’t love you, it would be an easy thing and I probably wouldn’t care, and if you’re going to be angry, I think, this once, I need you to go and be angry somewhere else.”

C’aol does not move from the chair – nor does he move any muscle in his body as he finds himself immobilized by the news Isolwyn has shared. “Alright,” he replies to her request to leave if he were to be angry. He must not be angry as he doesn’t immediately rise and leave the weyr. He watches her with that cold mask he often uses when they’re in Council meetings or he has to handle some situation with a Lord he does not care for. Closed off from reacting, he continues to watch her and then finally he finds the ability to rise to his feet and walk towards her. He does not often hug her so when his arms move around her he seems a little awkward by it. He draws her against his chest and smooths a hand down her back. He does not try to fill the silence with any other words and instead opts to simply hold her.

Isolwyn keeps her head ducked and her gaze fixed on a crease that’s fallen into the fabric of her skirt, her study of it no more intense than when C’aol rises, her shoulders hunching the most minute amount in anticipation of him leaving her where she sits. When he doesn’t, she doesn’t seem to know what to do and stays as still as he was until she remembers how to breathe and relaxes against him little by little, her eyes falling heavily closed. “…If you want to… leave me to… get on with it,” she can’t find any better phrasing, for once, “for the next months, I won’t be… offended,” she says slowly. “I know I’m bound to end up doing or saying things that will aggravate you and Faranth knows how many others.” With that offer presented, she settles enough to concentrate on her own reaction instead of what she predicts of his, murmuring, “I can’t regret a child with someone I chose when I never expected to have the choice.”

Kneeling on the ground beside her, C’aol keeps Isolwyn tucked against him as she speaks. As she speaks of his leaving, he pulls back from her and moves to grip her chin firmly between his forefinger and thumb. He tilts her head up to force eye contact with her, his gaze hard and the lines of his mouth cut thin. “I will not leave you Isolwyn,” he tells her firmly, “not because of a child. Not because you’ll ‘aggravate me’,” he presses the point by giving her chin a squeeze. “You are mine,” he reminds her and then presses his forehead against hers, taking a deep breath as he lets his fingers leave her chin. “I will not be a good father,” this he knows beyond anything she might say to make him reconsider that truth, “but I know you will make a good mother. I see how you were with Zaimika. I see how she adores you.” He pulls back from her so he can once more look fully at her face. “I will not enjoy sharing you,” he tells her, “but I will do my best to do so if it will make you happy. To have the choice to have a child with me.” He looks almost… whimsical as he adds, “I never thought any woman would choose me to sire a child with. That it’s the woman I love,” he shares that word he so often keeps tucked away, “will be a good thing.”

No resistance is offered to C’aol’s efforts to make Isolwyn look at him, but the tension claiming her is too great for her to do anything but listen as he speaks, her gaze wide and staring until he presses his forehead to hers. Her shoulders ease themselves from their hunch as he does so, a soft note of relief loosing with a sigh, her eyes falling closed as she instinctively angles her head to nuzzle her nose against his cheek. “You know what you don’t want to see in a father,” she says softly, the only truth she knows offered as her only argument. “Maybe that will be enough.” As he draws back, she’s far less guarded in meeting his eyes, matter of fact in how she states, “The Weyr will have much of the raising of them, but I cannot think it will be unpleasant to have our child in my arms for a time of an evening.” She ducks her head again when he uses that word he so often doesn’t, only to shift up onto her knees so that she can rest her hands on his shoulders and kiss him, letting her gathered anxiety and worry transform into something else entirely.

C’aol draws his arms around Isolwyn, strong and firm reminders of his strength, to settle her closer to him as they kiss. He lets them ease in their hold as the kisses become more heated, his hands moving from holding to removing laces. He lets his lips move along her cheek, her neck, and down to claim a breast. He moves from holding her against him to easing her back against the carpet before the hearth. He lets his lips continue to claim a breast as his hand moves lower to claim another part of Isolwyn with knowing fingers. In no rush to claim her fast, C’aol takes his time with easing pleasure from her before he finds time to remove his own clothing. When he takes her, his movements are claiming and not at all gentle. “Mine,” he reminds her in a whisper before he nips her ear and finds his release.

Any who might foolishly think to bother the Weyrleaders while the celebrations across the Weyr continue will at least very swiftly realise that they are otherwise occupied, for Isolwyn is nothing if not gratifyingly loud in response to C’aol’s attentions, any thought of attempting to be otherwise lost along with the better part of sense, much of it unrecognisable as actual words. She keeps her palms settled over his shoulder blades as she noses along his jaw, sliding a hand up into his hair to demand a kiss that eases into something softer than how it began as she lifts her gaze to his. “Yours,” she confirms in a murmur. “Always.” She brushes the backs of her fingers against his cheek. “Nothing and no-one will change that.”

C’aol lingers against Isolwyn until his heart returns to a normal rhythm and his breathing has calmed. He rises then, leaving discarded clothes on the floor, to offer his hand to hers. “Life can change us even when we don’t want it to,” he observes, leaning towards the negative of the future, only to add, “and sometimes for the better.” He guides her then towards the bathing chamber, where he once more demonstrates consideration of her being tended to. He gently shampoos her hair, washes her back, and pampers her in ways that shows he pays attention to her. He waits until she’s fully clean before he settles to the task of cleaning himself up. He lingers in the warmth of the bathing pool, letting his eyes close as his thoughts drift. “Your uncle will not be pleased,” he breaks the silence as he opens his gaze to level a smirk at Isolwyn, “To know that you’ll have an heir far sooner than he likely hoped for.”

Isolwyn quietly submits to being looked after in such a way, lazily stealing kisses in moments where she can, too content with continued physical contact to do more than breathe out a quiet hiss when soap might sting the grazes the carpet has rubbed along her back. She drifts closer again as C’aol lingers in the water, answering his smirk with one of her own, hers a little too soft to be truly predatory. “I think I would find it especially pleasing if we were to seek an audience with him once it’s obvious enough that we needn’t inform him directly,” she replies all too evenly, only for her expression to shutter not a moment later as she goes still with mere inches between them. “…He will inevitably find something unpleasant to say to make himself feel better.” Her features briefly twist into something wry before smoothing out again. “Funny how I wouldn’t mind if it were directed at me, but at the prospect of it being at the child…”

C’aol draws his arm along her back, moving to tuck Isolwyn against him as they continue to linger in the hot waters. “He will learn not to say things out of turn in regards to our child at that very meeting. I am not above placing sanctions on Fort Hold. He will learn quickly or him and his people will suffer for it. There’s been more than one Lord Holder who has faced… unintended ends when their people were forced to make hard decisions when it came to livelihood.” He kisses her temple and rises out of the pool, moving to gather her a towel to hold out her way before he wraps one about himself. “Enough talk of the future,” he tells her, waiting until she’s dried off. “Let’s go and find clean clothes and your bed. We have the important work of running our Weyr to face tomorrow.” He guides her out of the bathing chamber and into the bedroom where he does not allow more discussion to happen. He does make sure she’s tucked into bed and covered by blankets before he eases in behind her to hold her the rest of the night, one hand, whether consciously or not, resting on her abdomen.

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