Who: Echo, Emily, Melody, Kahotaith, Hanath
Where: Echo’s Weyr, Southern Weyr
What: Melody tests abilities no-one has yet properly noticed, sharing news her mother hasn’t spoken of yet.
It can’t be said that Melody knows exactly what she’s doing, or whether it will work, or really how to go about any of it, but for the past half an hour or so, Hanath may well have felt something niggling at the edge of her mind. When frustration and the fear that she’s doing something bad finally takes over, volume is not something that Melody understands how to moderate, and it’s an uncontrolled yell of, << HANATH! >> that gets blasted across continents. Not knowing whether she’s been successful, she simply lets a stream of consciousness follow after. << Mum’s too tired to play because of my baby brother or sister… AmISupposedToSayThat? DoesEmilyKnowThat? And Kahotaith won’t budge from the front of our weyr because he’s guarding her and I want to PLAY! >> Silence, then, << MaybeEmilyWouldBeMadIfICalledHerMama. But I get to keep her, right? And Hanath? >> Minutes pass before the connection drops just as suddenly as it was made, Melody unaware of much of what she’s shared.
Hanath is startled into action at the shout of Melody’s and has already roused and demanded Emily to take her to the Southern Weyr when Melody continues to speak in a rush. Hanath “pushes” gently at Melody like she does many excited young things, << We come. Do not speak so fast or loudly. You may keep Emily. What you call her is not a concern to me but might be to the humans. >> It is not long after that Emily and Hanath appear over Southern skies and the golden Hanath settles close to Echos home. Kahotaith earns a snap and a snarl from Hanath as she rounds on him. << You have distressed Melody enough she has called me from across Pern! You are not helping her if you’re being this difficult! >> Emily is oblivious for her queens reprimand as she hops off of her golden shoulder and rushes inside, looking harried and completely flustered. “You’re sick? What’s wrong?” she calls as she searches for Echo.
Kahotaith is unfazed by Hanath’s reprimand, and regards her coolly from his wallow, unmoving. << She called you because, with you, she will get her way, >> he informs her with the slow drag of steel over stone. << Not being allowed to go out and play is not ‘distress’, it is irritation at not getting to do as she wants, when she wants. I am charged with the protection of the both of them. She is too little to be allowed to roam as she wishes. Be calm. >> For her part, Melody lets Emily pass her on the steps and stares up at Hanath, a little wide-eyed. “I… didn’t think you’d hear all that…” she admits. Emily’s voice stirs Echo from her sleep on the couch, leaving her blinking bleary-eyed at her. “I’m not sick,” she protests around a yawn she covers with one hand. “How’re you here? I just needed a nap.”
Hanath huffs in the face of Kahotaith’s words and shakes her wings out before she snaps them firmly against her back. She angles her head to glower at him for a moment before she calms herself enough to allow, << You are correct if it was her way around getting her way. I will not let her come and play. >> She reaches towards Melody, letting the brown hear her as she says, << Melody you must not call me when Kahotaith tells you no. It is not fit for a young lady. >> Emily paused on the steps long enough to offer Melody a smile before she went inside. She looks at Echo a little more shrewdly as she wakes from her nap. “Surely Melody has seen you nap before? She reached all the way to the North for Hanath.” She frowns and folds her arms in front of her only to remember she’s still in her flight gear. She shucks it all off and tucks it away neatly while she waits for Echo to answer.
Tilting his head, Kahotaith regards Melody without adding to Hanath’s commentary, though from the way he watches her he quite plainly expects a response. The young girl sighs and sits down on the top step, propping her elbows on her knees before dropping her chin into her palms. “…I just wanted to play,” she mumbles, not looking at either dragon. “I was bored.” She scowls down at her knees for another few moments, until she mutters, “Sorry.” Echo narrows her eyes, confused, and smothers another yawn. “I told her I was tired, and I’ve told her why. I didn’t give her any reason to panic or go calling anyone. She was fine – she even brought me juice and a cookie.” Pushing herself up, she sits back against the couch. “She caught me throwing up yesterday morning, so I had to tell her, and I meant to tell you in a better way than this, but she’ll have a sibling soon.”
Hanath’s head takes up a good bit of room when she extends it towards Melody to offer her a puff of draconic breath her way. << It is okay to know you should have chosen another way, I still love you. >> she keeps her face there, blocking the exit of Melody, as she offers her muzzle for scratching. << Kahotaith, is she properly reprimanded? >> she asks him on a private channel. << I could allow her to play with me while you watch. >> Emily stays just at the edge of the couch as Echo rides and explains herself. She blinks in surprise at the announcement and blurts, “It seems so soon!” then she hops forward in one rush and hugs Echo fiercely. “Oh! Congratulations!” and then she pulls back, distressed, “I’m squishing you! I’m so sorry!” she fusses at arranging the blanket about Echo.
Kahotaith’s sigh is all too audible, whether for dramatic effect or otherwise. << It feels very much as if the both of you are getting your way now, >> he claims, dropping his head down onto his paws. << If you wish it, I will not stand against you. >> He includes both Hanath and Melody in his response, yet he watches the latter more closely. << Do not worry others by trying to get around the rules again. >> Pointedly, he closes his eyes. Melody lifts her hands to Hanath’s nose and looks from gold, to brown, and back again, only to give a single nod and rise to her feet. “We can to go the beach?” she suggests. Echo catches at Emily’s hands as she fusses with the blanket. “I’m not fragile,” she says gently. “Just a bit more likely to fall asleep on you than usual.” She makes to tug her down next to her. “And I’m glad it didn’t take any longer. I’m not sure even Kahotaith will want to chase anyone in a good while. Melody said she wants a sister, but I’ve had to tell her I don’t get to choose what she gets.”
Hanath mentally nudges at Kahotaith, a brush of her mind along his body much like a feline rubbing against legs. << Thank you. >>. She moves back from the porch and turns, ambling towards the beach as her answer to Melody. Emily looks towards the door and then to Echo with a bright smile as she’s all too easily tugged down. “Hanath is taking Melody to the beach. We can join them once I’m sure you’re up for it.” She kisses Echo’s cheek shyly as she curls herself about her. “It is a beautiful thing to have the hope of a baby. Boy or girl. I’m happy for you both.” She sighs and tucks her chin down as she says, “I hope I am settled at Telgar before the baby comes. So I can have a stable home to offer you all when you visit.”
“I keep telling you that you should focus more on yourself and Telgar for your own sake, rather than for mine,” Echo replies, pressing a kiss to Emily’s cheek. “It’ll be another month before I can go Between safely, so I’m afraid I’m stuck here for a while. Part of me thinks I ought to march into your Weyrleader’s office and put any rumours about me and you to rest sooner rather than later, though, as regards political concerns. Not that I figure any of it will be any of his business when you’re at Telgar.” She ducks her head a little and takes a deep breath. “…You know… You know it’s your baby too, right?” Sneaking a glance at her, she darts her focus away again. “I mean… as long as you still want to be its mother. You don’t have to, if it’s too much.”
Emily shakes her head and pats Echo’s arm. “No one has said anything to me regarding my coming to visit you. C’aol does not need to be promised anything. It is not his place, and it certainly won’t be, when I’m at Telgar. Isolwyn trusts me. He should too.” She grows quiet as she considers matters about her move to Telgar and is surprised by Echo’s other words. She wraps her arms about her and hugs her tightly. “Yes, my baby too. Our family. I want it very much.” She smiles as she pulls back from her hug. “Hanath too. She’s determined to mother our baby like any other she finds. She’ll be wanting a cradle in her wallow before you know it.”
“Well… If not C’aol, is there anyone in your family that I ought to assure of honourable intentions?” Echo enquires, resting her forehead against Emily’s temple. “I haven’t told my mother about the baby yet. She adores Melody, though, so I doubt she’ll be unhappy about it. I haven’t confirmed anything between us to anyone here, including her, in-case you’d rather it stayed like that: between us.” She touches a kiss there and makes to snuggle herself down into Emily’s arms. “Well… We could have something like a cradle bolted to the wall next to Hanath’s wallow. On ground level, so she could look down at the baby. She might have to fight Kahotaith for them, though.”
“I don’t speak to my parents or family all that regularly… but yes, you should meet them. I’m not sure how they feel about people, non-traditional— but, I’m a dragonrider now. And a Weyrwoman. They can’t fuss at me. I don’t think they would, anyway. My fathers got a big heart,” Emily muses aloud and then smiles at Echo. “I believe our dragons are already practising parenting on Melody. Hanath is clearly a push over..,” she laughs softly and then hugs Echo once more. “You’ve brought a lot of joy into our life. Thank you. I love you so much.”
“If your parents would disapprove of me, there’s no need for them to know we’re anything more than friends. There are people here who are friends who share a weyr without being a couple.” Echo gives a shrug, apparently unconcerned about anyone’s judgement in that respect. “My mother knows I like women and men. She’d be more interested simply in the fact that I let someone into our lives.” She deliberately leans her weight into Emily enough that she can flatten out the both of them all but drape herself over her. “Kahotaith is anything but a pushover, so hopefully they’ll balance each other out. And while they’re occupying her, I have every intention of using you as a pillow before you have to go back to Fort.” Her fingers hook at the edge of the blanket, hauling it up over them. “I love you too,” she murmurs, settling back down. “You’re all sorts of wonderful.”
Emily laughs softly and then snuggles in with Echo on the bed. She toys with ends of the brownrider’s hair. “Nap, love.” She kisses her and then settles back to stillness so Echo can resume her nap. When everyone is rested enough, she finds plenty to do with Melody – organizing a scavenger hunt, working at fishing for their dinner, and collecting shells to decorate their table. She makes no rush to leave until the early part of the next day, her heart full. Hanath brushes her mind against Kahotaith’s before she departs, << A family is an important thing to guard. Keep doing that, Kahotaith. >> And then – to Fort.