Who: Priska, B’lian, Yedrith, Imahdth
Where: Honshu Weyrhold
What: Being proddy makes Priska morose and aggressive.
When Yedrith starts to glow, it can be no coincidence that bronze and brownriders from other Weyrs just happen to find reasons to visit Honshu and get a look at its soon to be Senior and her rider. The young queen herself makes little of it, simply mocking those males that stray too near her with a dry and scathing wit, the threat of what might happen to them if they wander //too// near lurking just beneath the surface of her words. As for Priska… being proddy, she handles less well, mood swings the first thing to set in, her temper past provocation and somewhere closer to sullen. That is, when she’s not a whirl of hyperactivity and determined to do anything she pleases, from dancing to singing. She’s swung back towards down this afternoon and lurks in her weyr, curled up on the couch with a blanket drawn right up over her head.
B’lian and Imahdth have not formally transferred to Honshu since Priska and Yedrith have moved to their new home, mostly due to S’ven and also to quell any rumors that might surface about favoritism amongst those who are anticipating the Weyrleader’s knot. Imahdth drops B’lian off at the entrance of Priska’s weyr before he takes to the skies once more to go and find Yedrith. B’lian enters Priska’s weyr more unaware of her proddy moodiness than he might have been had he lived within Honshu. “Priska,” he hails her as he moves through the weyr and towards the couch. “Are you ill?” he queries with a frown as he notes the blanket over her head.
An unintelligible sound rises from the huddled figure on the couch, yet Priska makes no immediate move to uncurl, nor to remove the blanket from over her head. She simply lies there for moments more, without providing any further response, until she sighs and drags the fabric from over her face to peer up at B’lian. “I want to go home,” she says miserably. “They all keep saying this is home, but it isn’t. This isn’t even the right continent to be home. Yedrith is going to make this hers and I’ll be stranded here forever, with S’ven if the universe hates me enough.”
B’lian’s brows shoot up at Priska’s statement and he moves to sit on the couch near feet. He doesn’t know what to say to her to ease her concerns immediately so he opts for silence as he tucks her feet on his lap and leans back against the back of the couch. “We will make it a home,” he decides is a safe enough response. “I’ll be transferred as soon as the new Weyrleader is in place,” that it might be him is not commented upon, “and if it is S’ven we’ll have to placate him in some way to allow it.” He gazes around the weyr. “Once she’s risen, I can take you to a place I know in Southern that makes the nicest hardwood furniture. Maybe new things will cheer you up.”
Priska is both unhelpful in not moving any further of her own accord, and accommodating in not making it difficult for B’lian to claim a spot on the couch. “If it’s S’ven, the Harpers will probably be locking me up for murder before Yedrith has even clutched,” she mutters, turning over so that she faces the couch cushions rather than the weyr itself. “He’s tried it on with Rori, the bastard. I should tell her wife.” She closes her eyes and curls up a little bit smaller. “…Will you… want to live in this weyr, with me?”
B’lian’s hand tightens on her ankle at Priska’s admittance that S’ven’s tried something with Rori. “He has done more than what he did with us?” he demands, his tone going steely at the reality of the nature of the man. “He needs to be transferred,” he’s never shown any tendency to violence of the level but he adds, “or be made very aware physically how intolerable his behavior is.” He can’t quite settle himself after that remark but his fingers ease as he gentles at her and moves to tuck the blanket about her as she curls smaller. “I will live with you, if you’ll have me,” his tone is gentle. “I love you.”
“…She implied that he had pressured her in a way that her wife wouldn’t like and shouldn’t know about,” Priska says slowly, ducking her head down and tucking her hands beneath her chin. “We agreed that he has to leave Honshu. Only, we’ll only be able to do that if he doesn’t find some way of ensuring that he becomes Weyrleader by right.” She stays just as she is as B’lian tucks the blanket around her and speaks as he does, unable to immediately look up at him, almost too still until she takes a deep breath. “If Imahdth wins…” she starts to murmur. “…If Imahdth wins… I swore I wouldn’t feel anything for my Weyrleader, B’lian. I swore. I can’t let him hold any sway over me. And if it’s you… then I’ve already lost. I’ve already gone back on what I said.”
“What is so wrong with being in love with the person who is equal to you in responsibility?” B’lian asks quietly, letting his gaze track across the weyr as he settles a hand lightly on her thigh. “C’aol and Isolwyn work well. They don’t seem to be… impacted by caring for each other.” He doesn’t say more than that, not wanting to pressure her unduly. “It has been a long time since I’ve thought about having a home with someone I love. If you want to do it, I would gladly do it. If Imahdth was to win… we can work out the rules on how to separate one from the other. I’m willing to find ways to make it work, if you are.” He rubs his hand briefly along her thigh. “The future is bright, Priska.”
“You might make the right decision for them and for you, and the wrong decision for everyone else. You might let them convince you to act in ways you otherwise wouldn’t. To care for someone is to give them power, which is dangerous when you have the power to impact the lives of hundreds of other people.” Priska presses her face into the back of the couch, as if she’d burrow into it. “People you love and trust will still take things away from you when a better option comes along.” Slowly, she rolls onto her back, staring up at the ceiling before she lets her gaze stray to B’lian. “I want a home and you in it, but I can’t lead with my heart. And you might not love the Weyrwoman.”
B’lian stays silent as he listens to Priska’s answer, his face thoughtful as he allows her words to process. He nods in understanding at the first half, but it’s the second half of her statement that draws his brows up in realization of why her words are being said. “Your parents were wrong. You have faced that treatment and you wouldn’t do it to another.” To her last statement he smiles at her and gives her a small shrug. “We won’t know if I will even be the Weyrleader. Let’s plan for our futur together without the knots. I don’t have to love my Weyrwoman. I have to respect her. I respect you very much.”
“Maybe I wouldn’t do it, but I’m not so foolish as to think there’s no possibility that no-one would do it to me again,” Priska utters, reaching for one of B’lian’s hands so that she can watch her fingers twine with his rather than look up at him again. “Honshu’s Weyrwomen seem to historically be dispensable. Getting too comfortable would be foolish. If we’d stayed at Fort…” She closes her eyes. “I was happy at Fort. I thought this was the right thing… It //is// the right thing, for Yedrith.” Tightening her hold on his hand, she murmurs a wry, “If I feel like this every time she’s about to rise, I’m going to be poor company indeed.” She casts the blanket aside and moves to scramble into his lap. “If you love me, does this mean I get to keep you?”
“Honshu has been broken. You are here to fix it. You will build a place where no Weyrwoman – or anyone – is dispensable. I have trust in that,” B’lian’s voice is strong and firm as he shares that thought with Priska. “We can be happy here.” He seems prepared to say something else more severe but then Priska is climbing into his lap and he laughs. “Yes, it means you can keep me.” He tells her as he wraps his arms about her to hug her against his chest. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Priska tilts her head a little and looks down at B’lian through a gaze that quite plainly signals how she watches him, her hands lifting to lie over his collarbone. “I also swore that my Weyrleader would have no place in my bed… but if Imahdth is successful in his pursuit of Yedrith, I might have to take back my word on that, at least.” She lowers her head a touch, just as if she might lean in to kiss him, only the fingers of one hand find themselves tangled in his hair and she abruptly makes to yank his head back, her posture taking on a predatory edge. “Do you want to be Weyrleader?” she demands in a near growl. “The truth of it. Now.”
Though B’lian has behaved in a far less reserved manner with her since sharing her bed, he still tends towards holding back his true feelings. His eyes widen in surprise at her treatment of him and then they tighten as a frown surfaces. He gives her no answer for an uncomfortable stretch of silence. His first approach is to sidestep some of her direct questions. “I feel as if you are trying to set me up for a trap and my answer isn’t satisfactory for you.” He then sighs and lifts his hand up to wrap around her wrist and tug her fingers free of his hair. “I will be a Weyrleader someday. Want is part of it. Unlike some who want the knot, I want it because I know I can be a fair leader and Imahdth is strong-willed and is a good leader himself.” He stares at her, trying to gauge how much of this may be from the glow of Yedrith’s hide. “Do you want me to be your Weyrleader?”
“No answer will be satisfactory to me right now,” Priska says bluntly. “Nothing and no-one and nobody, so you might as well tell me whatever you want.” Though she resists when he grasps her wrist, there’s not enough fight in her to maintain her hold, and she lets him guide her hand away from his hair, despite remaining raised up on her knees. “I won’t be loved and praised and thought well of, then stabbed in the back, ever again,” is what she gives him in response to his own question. “A Weyrleader who knows me too well is tantamount to having a knife to my throat morning, noon and night.” Her head tilts again, her eyes narrowing. “I want you. But then maybe I’ve been taken in by kindness again… Even a Weyrleader I despise and can’t trust would be better than one I might love and trust too much.”
B’lian keeps hold of Priska’s wrist as she speaks and his face falls into sad lines as he listens to the extent of her hurt. “I cannot repair what your parents have broken. All I can do is be who I am,” he tells her as he reaches his other hand out to press his thumb to her chin. “I would take you over the knot here, Priska. If it takes you having a man you despise as your Weyrleader to feel at peace… I will hold Imahdth back from Yedrith’s flight.” He stares into her eyes and then removes his hands from her body. “You’re too conflicted about all of this,” he amends, his voice roughening. “It’s the first time I feel the decade between us.” He wraps his arms about her and hugs her then, his arms warm and tight around her. “You decide your own fate now, Priska. The sooner you find that inside of you, the easier navigating this world will be.”
“Well, you’ve spent that decade in this world…!” is meant to sound indignant, yet the words come out as more of a wail that Priska abruptly smothers against his shoulder, embittered by the rise of the doubts that possess her as Yedrith’s hide glows. “You can be certain about things that I can’t be,” she murmurs without lifting her head. With the fight gone out of her, she makes to extract herself from B’lian’s lap and flop back down onto the couch. “If Yedrith and Imahdth are meant to be together, then they will be. Isolwyn told me that Eosyth chose Daeserath when she was tiny and before she understood he was her mate. Maybe Yedrith has done the same. Maybe she hasn’t.” She shrugs one shoulder. “Maybe I chose my mate, not knowing he and my Weyrleader were one and the same. Maybe I haven’t.”
“That’s a lot of maybes,” B’lian drawls as he extracts himself from the couch. He moves to gather the blanket she discarded earlier and bends over her to tuck it snugly around her. He lets his fingers brush against her forehead and smooth her hair from her face. “I’m going to go and fetch you some tea and something to eat. I know it’s hard when she glows to be in control of your emotions. If you catch yourself stuck in the maybes and what ifs, try and think of something else.” He presses his lips to hers in a gentle kiss before he gives her blanket one more tuck. He turns and leaves before she can hold him with more conversation. Outside of her weyr, he sets his back against the wall and folds his arms in front of him as he stares out at the activity going on around Honshu. He stays like that for some time before he finally moves on to go and find the kitchens to find the items he promised Priska. When he returns, he won’t linger too long, finding reason to make himself scarce from her until sleep might have claimed her. He returns to her bed in the end and wraps his arms firmly about her as she sleeps. Sleep does not find him.