Duty

Who: Priska, B’lian, C’aol, S’ven
Where: Council Room, Fort Weyr
What: S’ven attempts to force Priska to transfer to Honshu ahead of schedule.


Little notice has been given for Honshu’s Acting Weyrleader to request a meeting with Priska after his meeting with C’aol did not have the outcome he had desired. That he has included B’lian in the request may seem strange as he has not solicited any other of C’aol’s leadership group to join. He waits in the council chambers with a tenseness that does not do much to put B’lian at ease as he enters. “S’ven,” he offers by way of greeting with a two-fingered salute before he takes himself to sit at the table. S’ven does little but nod acknowledgement to B’lian.

How Priska chooses to attire herself on particular days and for particular instances can no longer be seen as merely whimsy, and between learning S’ven wishes to meet with her and actually arriving, she’s slipped from leathers and into a fluffy, pastel dress that makes her look far more innocent and fragile than she truly is. That she is still a weyrling demands an answering to protocol, though a curtsey is all she offers Honshu’s Acting Weyrling, no verbal acknowledgement made until she claims a seat opposite B’lian. “It will be another two months before we might consider Yedrith to be grown, Weyrleader,” she tells him.

S’ven takes note of Priska’s attire and the innocence it shades her in does little to tamper his rising ire. “Two months is not that far off. I had come to have a meeting with C’aol regarding your transfer to Honshu. Perhaps we might consider having you join Honshu sooner than at Yedrith’s full maturity.” He looks at B’lian and his words are pointed as he states, “Where influence of Fort’s more arrogant and ambitious riders may not try to sway your favor.” He looks back to Priska. “Is your Weyrwoman aware of the impertinence of your relationship with this man? B’lian, you are no young rider. You know better than to behave in the fashion you have. I am proposing to you, Priska,” he drawls as he looks back to her, “that you come home to Honshu this month. I will begin the paperwork for your transfer when I return.” B’lian does not flinch at the thrown accusations and simply sits back in his chair as he folds his arms in front of him. He keeps his silence as he allows Priska to answer.

Priska ducks her head, quite as if S’ven’s works cause her shame and regret, and while she blushes too, it soon becomes evident that the whole affair is only from trying to withhold laughter. “My Weyrwoman has seen us in bed together,” she utters, deadpan, as she lifts her head and eases her shoulders back, looking right at the more senior bronzerider. “You ‘will’ do nothing, Weyrleader, for you are //not// my Weyrleader, nor my Weyrwoman, and hold no power over me. You’re simply worried that Yedrith’s rising will reduce you to insignificance. I can’t say that this is a terribly wise move on your part, for any hope you had of retaining your Weyrsecond role, should you not become my Weyrleader, is now gone. If you think I’ll tolerate a Weyrsecond who attempts to manipulate a weyrling and thinks to chastise a bronzerider not of his own Weyr, you’re very much mistaken.” She smiles ever so pleasantly. “Did you forget my Blood, S’ven? I’ve been playing this game since I could talk and I play it //much// better than you, don’t you think?”

S’ven’s face goes scarlet with rage as he takes in Priska’s rebuttal. That he is so thoroughly tongue-lashed leaves him speechless for a matter of minutes as he struggles to keep his composure. “There was no manipulation and as Weyrleader rank, I can chastise whatever rider I choose!” he splutters as his fingers curl into claws at his side. Daeserath’s roar is a boom of sound and the redness leeches slowly from S’ven’s face as his dragon relays a message to him. C’aol is a step into the room with a door slam as he takes in Priska, B’lian and finally S’ven. Where S’ven’s rage and emotional outburst is still on full display, C’aol is full of icy coldness. “S’ven,” he does not bother with titles. “As an //Acting// Weyrleader you should have realized you are out of line in //far// more ways than simply coercing this meeting. That I heard of it from my //bronze// and not from you as a //request//,” his words are firm and the rage in his gaze further pales S’ven’s face. “Rescinds your right to be here. Leave now before I allow Eosyth to ground your bronze and worse action taken against you.” S’ven does nothing but shoulder his way past C’aol and leaves. C’aol looks to Priska, ignoring the still silent B’lian, “He will be a problem.”

Priska continues to smile sweetly as S’ven departs, offering him a flutter of fingers in a tiny wave by way of acknowledgement of his departure. The layers of artificial playfulness are stripped away as C’aol addresses her, her usual composure resumed with a roll of her shoulders. “Yedrith is her mother’s daughter. He might as well have rushed in and handed you or I his knot; his bronze won’t be permitted to chase her. To walk in and attempt to command a weyrling of another Weyr was lapse enough… The rest and the why of it… I wonder at how he treats his Weyrwoman.” Her gaze darts to B’lian, then back to their Weyrleader. “I know my duty, C’aol. Perhaps scrubbing that sense of entitlement without merit from Honshu is the first thing to do.”

C’aol tips his head towards Priska and offers her the faintest of smirks. “I look forward to seeing the sweeping reforms you bring to that place. In my experience with Rori, it is likely he has gotten used to overpowering her. She is not incompetent at her role… only, she would not push back overly much.” He shrugs once and then nods to B’lian. “I assume you handled yourself well?” B’lian steeples his fingers in front of his lips and nods once at C’aol. “There was nothing for me to do but watch Priska handle him. He might have expected a fight. Some men are prone to fists.” C’aol shakes his head and turns to leave. “I’ll go inform Isolwyn of this latest development. The Council may have to meet. At this rate, what other Weyrs are going to come in here and posture? Benden and Honshu are no on the watch list.” He leaves the room without further comment. B’lian looks to Priska and reaches over to press his fingers against the fabric of her dress. “Nice touch, wearing this. He really thought he’d have you when he saw you.”

Priska takes a breath as though to speak, yet ultimately holds her tongue and inclines her head a little instead as C’aol departs. With no-one else to see, Priska rounds the table to sit herself down next to B’lian, capturing her fingers with his. “I didn’t mean for it to look like I was running right over you,” she murmurs. “I just couldn’t let anyone speak for me or it’d have set the precedent he could when I have to go to Honshu.” Her eyes narrow a little as she looks up at him. “Is that… I mean, how old I am and how old you are… Are people thinking that you’re running off with a young girl? I’ve never thought about how old either of us is. And there’s got be at least a decade between C’aol and Isolwyn.”

“You weren’t running right over me,” B’lian replies easily with a bemused smile. “It wasn’t my place to say anything as I shouldn’t have been included in the meeting in the first place.” He thinks about her question with a slightly furrowed brow. “I’m thirty-two… how old are you?” He considers her for a moment, as if he could derive her age by simply gazing at her. “You never carry yourself as someone young, Priska. It never even came into my mind that you might be… far younger than me.” He seems momentarily uncomfortable about the potential, larger, age gap and then decides to let it go with a shake of his head. “C’aol’s got to be in his forties… and I’m not sure about Isolwyn. Regardless, what is age in the Weyr? Unless you’re Safiye’s age… and risk a far too older man..,” he closes his lips and presses them together as he looks away from Priska in discomfort.

“I’m twenty-three,” Priska replies, running her thumb over the back of his hand. “…Just. I near enough forgot my own birthday, so it’s just as well no-one else knew. It’s in the records Isolwyn took of all Candidates… and she’s thankfully been too busy with the baby and the Weyr. She’s not yet thirty, though she’s the closest to it of Fort’s goldriders.” She stares down at her knees, idly adjusting her skirts with her free hand. “Does it bother you? That there’s a decade between us.” Her gaze doesn’t lift as she murmurs, “I should look for someone for Safiye too, for when it’s… time. I think she likes boys. Just… someone young enough to be close to her age, but old enough to not… get carried away.” Her eyes narrow a little. “There was a boy, a bronzerider, from the same group as Vesoviath, I’m told…”

“You are forever trying to match your friends with partners,” B’lian answers her with a small laugh as the discomfort of the conversation slips away in his amusement of her actions. “It is possible they find their own partners, you realize. You did, after all.” He moves to capture her hand between both of his, waiting until Priska makes eye contact with him. “The decade between us does not bother me, if it does not bother you. I’m happy with how we are together. I wouldn’t change anything.” He leans forward to kiss her cheek and then rises. “There’s no sense in us staying holed up in here. I don’t want a rumor to be started that S’ven left you crying and my hand was broken from throwing a punch or something to occur.”

“I think it’s more that you found me, but I’ll let you have that one,” Priska says softly, unable to keep the hint of wryness from her voice. “Dragonriders live for so long that I figure age ceases to matter at some point. I could’ve ended up matched with someone several decades older than me, if I’d remained Telgar’s heir. And I never…” She twitches a shoulder. “I guess I never thought about how old either of us is. I just knew I liked you… even when everything with Honshu suggested it would be better for you if I didn’t.” She follows after when B’lian rises, pausing only to tuck her chair back beneath the table. “Anyone who suggests that S’ven left me crying, //I’ll// leave crying,” she swears. “My weyr? I’m happy to let people believe I put this dress on solely to lure you there.”

B’lian shakes his head at her boldness and gives her an amused grin. “I’d love to see you have more bronzeriders crying simply for daring to suggest you’d be weak enough to be brought to tears by a bully,” he tells her as he moves to close the distance between them. He takes her hand and tucks it into the crook of his arm. “I’ll escort you to your weyr in this dress with the sole intention of removing it once we’re inside,” he promises her as he opens the door and leads her outside. And no matter the glances that come their way, B’lian seems entirely focused on Priska and getting her inside her weyr as fast as possible. When he returns to his duties later in the day, no one dares to comment on the smile he can’t quite keep from his features.

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