Casilyn

Who: Isolwyn, C’aol, Casi, Eosyth, Daeserath
Where: Infirmary, Fort Weyr
What: The baby arrives.


It starts in the early afternoon, and while Isolwyn endeavours to make a fuss or make it widely known, Eosyth, as ever, as other plans, and before she can think of when she might head to the infirmary, she’s summoned the infirmary to her and informed Daeserath, Hanath, Yedrith and Vesoviath, intending for Fort’s goldriders to look after the Weyr while her rider can’t. Truth be told, Isolwyn makes remarkably little of the whole thing to begin with, refusing even to cry out, until one of the Healers clocks just why she’s stubbornly not giving herself over to the process and informs the Weyrleader, in no uncertain terms, that he should depart. //That// finally earns some snarling from Isolwyn, which they ignore as much as any other response. Hours pass and darkness falls, and some way towards midnight Eosyth asks Daserath to, << Call C’aol home to meet them. >> In the short time that has passed since the new arrival made their appearance, the Healers have changed the bed sheets and helped Isolwyn into a clean nightdress, before finally letting her settle down with the baby, visible mostly as a white blanketed bundle that she holds close.

C’aol’s stony-face and stoicism as he stood beside Isolwyn’s bed did nothing for the Healers’ attendants nerves. When he was dismissed, rather than snarl or throw a fit, he turns and kisses Isolwyn’s forehead. “I’ll see you and the babe soon,” he whispers in her ear and then leaves. He has been awake and pacing in his office since being dismissed, unwilling and unable to go home without Isolwyn to greet him. Daeserath’s reach has him flying down the stairs and across the bowl at a sprint, unconcerned by any who might see him and judge his eagerness to be back in the infirmary. He strides in, cheeks flushed, eyes bright as he makes his way to Isolwyn’s side. He does not do more than glance at the babe as he moves to rest a hand on Isolwyn’s shoulder and confirm that she is well. “You’ve done well,” he tells her, voice grave as he struggles to find the words that should be said. “And the babe…?”

It doesn’t take more than the flick of Isolwyn’s gaze to dismiss the Healers and give both her and C’aol some privacy, the door to the room they’ve given over to her and the baby quietly swinging closed in their wake. She smiles wearily up at him, then carefully shuffles over a little on the wide bed to give him room to sit, should he wish to be closer than the chairs that stand nearby. “Just so you know, you’re going to have to carry me home,” she murmurs with more than a fair dose of dry humour, gently adjusting her hold on the child she looks down at with soft and open adoration. “She’s a girl,” she tells him, catching a tiny, flailing hand with one of her fingers. “Our daughter.” The way she shifts her in her arms offers her to him in a manner that doesn’t demand he reach for her.

C’aol waits until the door closes behind the Healers and they are afforded some privacy. He settles down carefully on the side of the bed and leans to give the baby a closer look. He notices her shifting arms and does not immediately reach to hold her. “She’s very small,” he observes, moving to gently brush a finger along her cheek in clear wonder over the little girl. He looks back to Isolwyn, trying to gauge her state of being. “I was not there to see most of the birth. Are you… in a lot of pain? I will carry you home, of course. If you’re not well enough, you should stay here with her.” He looks back to the baby once more. “What will you name her?”

“I… hurt,” Isolwyn admits, though there is little weight to the words, the confession offered as a truth she must believe insignificant, yet for honesty’s sake more than anything. “Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m told. It’s… a distant thing, with both of you here.” She can’t help but smile as the baby blinks open blue eyes. “The Healers said to remain here until midday tomorrow, just for the usual checks and peace of mind, then to go home. Rest for a week, then work back up to normal duties, depending on…” Glancing between C’aol and the baby, she murmurs, “I thought to name her Casilyn; that we might call her Casi. You can hear both our names in the shortening too.” Idly adjusting the blanket around their little girl, she says, “She’s yours to name too. I’d not give her a name you dislike.”

C’aol keeps his gaze upon Isolwyn and not the baby as he listens to her speak. His gaze briefly shifts the the baby at the name and then back to Isolwyn. “Casilyn is a strong name,” he offers, adding, “I would not know how to name the child. I’m glad you picked a name that will suit her.” He reaches to brush his fingers lightly through Isolwyn’s hair and then moves to press his forehead briefly against hers. “You are a wonder, Isolwyn. I do not know how I deserve you.” He closes his eyes and keeps his forehead pressed there against hers before he pulls back to press his lips to her hairline. “Casi,” he says, looking towards the bundle in Isolwyn’s arms. “Is a very lucky child to have you for a mother.”

Isolwyn tips her head towards the fingers that move through her hair, her eyes closing as C’aol’s forehead touches hers. “I think we deserve each other,” she says quietly. “We belong together.” She returns his kiss with the brush of her lips against his jaw, a quiet calm settling over her as she gently rocks Casi and coaxes her into drifting back off. “She’ll be proud to have you for a father. I know you’ll never let anything happen to either of us.” Momentarily, her gaze finds the door, prompting her to say, “The Healers said you could stay here tonight, if you want. They won’t disturb us, beyond checking on me and Casi every so often. I think they’re trying to make up for earlier.”

“They did what was best for you,” C’aol allows, though his usual flare of anger for being told what to do would usually solicit a far more angrier response from him. “I’ll stay with you,” he says as he moves to sit in the chair rather than crowd her and the baby further on the bed. He settles his long limbs, with his feet kicking out in front of him as his arms fold in front of him. “You should rest,” he tells her as he looks up at her, gauging her level of fatigue. “Should I go and get the Healers to take the baby? Or do you sleep with her in your arms?” he seems to genuinely not know what he should do.

“Maybe… But that doesn’t mean I liked it. Or feel very forgiving.” One corner of Isolwyn’s lips curves in a tiny smirk. “It won’t do them any harm to let them try and work themselves back into our good graces.” In silence, she watches Casi as long moments tick by, her reluctance to let her go all too obviously warring with the demands for rest that her body is making. “The Healers said they’d bring in a cradle later, but they should probably take care of her while I sleep,” she eventually concedes. That said, more than a few minutes pass while she makes idle conversation, trying to delay the inevitable, though better sense leads her to hand the baby over to the Healers monitoring her and let her eyes drift closed. Before sleep might claim her, she reaches a hand towards C’aol in silent supplication, shifting over to make more room.

C’aol watches as the Healers handle the transfer of his newborn daughter and remains in the chair as he observes Isolwyn finding sleep herself. He notices the silent invitation of her movement on the bed and quietly removes his shoes and prepares himself to rest in his clothes. In the quiet of the room, with no other awake to notice, he creeps over towards the cradle and kneels down before it. He does not hold his daughter for fear of waking her. His hand moves to settle on her small chest, comforted in the gentle up and down movements of her chest as she sleeps. He remains there, watching, his hand resting on her small form until his knees begin to protest. It is only then that he shifts upwards and moves to join Isolwlyn in the bed. He is careful in his movements as he settles his arm around her and holds her close against him. Sleep takes some hours to find him but he remains still, holding his Weyrwoman, and keeping his eyes on the small baby in the cradle.

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