Leadership

Who: Priska and B’lian
Where: Priska’s Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: They try to work out what is or isn’t between them. There is some denial involved.


In the coming days after Yedrith’s trip Between, B’lian has given Priska space to deal with the aftermath of her gold’s actions. Imahdth has not changed his relationship with the young gold. Many have commented on the fact that the bronze has increased his visibility around Yedrith. He’s lounging beside her now down by the lake, content in watching the glimmer of the sun on her hide as the two of them idly talk about things of varying importance. B’lian comes out of the Weyrleader’s office and takes himself down the various steps and towards Priska’s weyr. He enters without asking Imahdth to announce him. “Priska?” he calls as he strides inside her home, “Are you home?”

While Yedrith lounges beside Imahdth, Priska has curled herself into the corner of the couch that sits before the hearth in the main room of her weyr, the now half-grown feline that Hanath gave to Yedrith tucked into her lap and purring away. She’s having to keep the tail of the ribbon that she carefully works a needle through well out of the cat’s reach, the length of it thrown over the arm of the couch so as not to trail and catch the attention of claws, thread and reel sat likewise behind her. B’lian’s voice makes her look up from her work, but it doesn’t halt the path of the needle and nor does the feline pay much attention to anything beyond the occasional pass of fingers through short, tortoiseshell fur. “For the moment,” she calls back.

B’lian pauses to take in the site of Priska and the feline, a moment of guilt for his interruption flashing across his face before he strides closer to stand near Priska. “I’ve come from a meeting with the Weyrleader,” he tells her, smiling as he notices the feline’s continued attention on Priska’s needlework. “We had… a very interesting conversation about the future of Honshu.” He looks to her then, hesitating on oversharing of information. “Have you had similar conversations with the Weyrleader or Weyrwoman?” He clasps his hands in front of him and rubs his palms together as he puffs out a breath and lifts his eyebrows up. “Apparently, Isolwyn saw us… cuddling in your bed the other day. It has prompted… some interesting feedback.”

Unrepentant, Priska declares, “I was comfortable,” of the matter of their having been seen together. “It wasn’t as if we were undressed or doing anything improper.” Though there she hesitates, her features colouring a little. “Isolwyn said that, if Yedrith is old enough to take herself Between and handle being that far from me, then it’s unlikely that anything else is going to unsettle her. I think, between them, she and C’aol have made some… assumptions.” She pauses in her stitching and gestures to the space on the couch. “You can sit down, you know.” Before she goes any further, she sticks the needle into the arm of the couch and sets the ribbon and thread aside. “She wanted to know if you had… pressured me. If I thought your sights were set on Honshu. That if I… cared for you, it was still no guarantee of anything. The Weyr can consume you, she said, and that she had only recently realised just how much.”

B’lian moves to the couch and settles himself down at an angle to allow his arm to toss on the top of his couch as he listens to Priska. He frowns in answer to Isolwyn’s words to Priska. “C’aol’s approach was not so considerate as respects my caring for you or not,” he shares plainly, “he told me he intends to begin training me and other bronzeriders of various levels, with the intent of making sure we are properly skilled to lead a Weyr were our dragons to catch a gold. Or if our knots ever require it, if we were a Weyrsecond.” He looks closely at Priska as he pauses to gauge her reaction. “He then went on to advise me to decide now if I have plans to go to Honshu with you. It seems as if he… encouraged me to do so. With the intentions of seeking that Weyrleaders knot.” He looks to her feline and then eases back against the couch as he clears his throat. “Before I intend to allow either of them to decide what is between us, I thought I’d come and we could talk plainly about it.” He turns his gaze back to her. “Whether you are seeking a fling, as you had said you did when you were Heir to Telgar; or if you want to pursue something more serious.” He takes a breath and adds, “Whether or not Honshu will consume you, you are not there yet.”

“He plainly believes in the power of a goldrider or a gold’s preference to sway things towards a particular bronzerider, or he wouldn’t have spoken specifically with you,” Priska says slowly, keeping her hands running over the purring feline. “Especially as you say that he wasn’t exactly concerned about my virtue being in danger.” Consciously or otherwise, she wedges herself a little more firmly into the corner of the couch. “…I had a fling at Telgar because it was going to be my only chance to and I wasn’t going to let the first thing my husband took from me be control on my wedding night. And I’ve never been in a situation where my feelings don’t stand to have wider reaching consequences than just me. That hasn’t changed.” She angles a critical look down at herself. “I don’t know what you think I am, B’lian. I know I look fragile, but I’m not. I like to fight; I like to drink, sometimes. I like to dance and play card games. I’d rather dress like a boy, but sometimes I want to dress like the Lady Holder I was sharding meant to be. If you think I might always be proper and do the right thing… I don’t think that’s me and I’ll inevitably disappoint you.”

“You’d have to do a lot more to disappointment me than drink, dance and dress like a boy,” B’lian tells her flatly, lifting a brow as he stares at her in an effort to try and gauge any hidden meanings in her words. “You once spoke of not necessarily having the choice of who will be your Weyrleader. It’s clear to me that C’aol believes there is a chance that your preference and maybe Yedrith’s could result in the knot landing in my hand.” He leans closer to her, moving to rest a hand on her thigh. “I am asking you, plainly, if you are aware of that and if it is something you’d want to have. We clearly are attracted to each other. If we act on those attractions… and it plays how C’aol is suggesting… would it disappoint //you//?” He keeps his hand warm on her thigh as he looks at her. “I am offering you the choice //now//. I don’t know if it will work out. It is clear to me that C’aol is meaning to send Fortian bronzeriders to Honshu to reach for that knot.” He moves his hand from her thigh and back towards his own. “You have the chance to tell me no. That is what I am offering you.”

Though the cat stares balefully at her for a moment, Priska is undeterred when she sets her gently on the floor and curls her legs beneath her as she turns to face B’lian. “It wouldn’t disappoint me,” she says slowly. “I only… When I knew I would have to lead Honshu, I was determined that I wouldn’t let my Weyrleader be any more than that. That way, he wouldn’t have any hold over me.” She stares down into her lap, twisting her fingers together. “That’s what I meant when I said I shouldn’t have feelings for anyone. It stands to make me less objective than maybe I should be. Everyone’s heard the rumours of how Honshu’s last Weyrlady let her feelings for her Weyrlord destroy their ability to lead.” Shrugging awkwardly, she adds, “We could end up just… perpetuating the cycle and leaving Honshu no better off.”

B’lian leans back against the couch and tucks his arms in front of his chest as he listens to Priska’s reasons. He glances at her a few times during her assessment of the future of her relationship with Honshu’s Weyrleader. He nods his head once and rises, smiling at her in a polite way. “I will tell C’aol that our relationship is nothing but platonic. I will take part in the training and because I know Imahdth’s feelings, I will let you know that we will be participating in Honshu’s leadership flight. It seems only fair that you know that. After Yedrith’s trip Between…,” he shrugs and looks towards the door, “I know where my bronze’s affections are. He comes ahead of everything else.” He looks back to Priska. “With that in mind, will you be opposed to our pursuing that leadership?”

Priska looks up as B’lian rises, nodding in a distracted manner to what he says he will tell C’aol, only to give a single shake of her head to confirm that she has no objection to his future plans. For a moment, it looks like she might argue about some feature of what he’s said, but exactly what or why isn’t permitted to surface and instead she looks back down at the couch. “Thank you,” is all she tells him, her voice theatrically steady. “You never know. Another gold might strike his fancy in the meantime.” The words don’t sound as nonchalant as she means them to, which hurries her into waving a hand towards the door. “I won’t keep you.” While she can’t control the rate at which he departs, she can remove herself from the room, which is what she does, heading further into the weyr and to her bedroom. It’s minutes later that the force of her inner turmoil draws Yedrith from Imahdth’s side and to hers.

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