OOC: Night of explosion
Are you on duty or are you available to meet? If you can meet, I’ll be at the dinner place in a quarter candlemark.
Without waiting for a reply, she snuck off to his weyr.
From the moment he’d heard the explosion, and shortly after when the keening began, Tiscarth having filled him in on the public details, and then Ko’ssen providing scant additional information, K’synn’s main thought had been for Kashara. Her mother had been hurt, gold Foreth possibly injured as well, and Kashara had been away on the Candidate trip. He considered asking Tiscarth to reach out to her, but realized that he had no idea if she knew or not. If she didn’t, then the news shouldn’t come from him. His calm demeanor was shaken by the events, even with the small details he had, but still, he ignored the part of him that wanted rash actions.
So he was relieved when her flit Melody appeared with a note from her. She was here at the Weyr. He couldn’t be sure, but he doubted the other Candidates had been recalled from their trip, and it was more likely that she was here because of her mother’s injuries.
Tiscarth was helping to calm a few of the younger dragons, but the weyrlings themselves had already been talked to, calmed, and the few that needed special attention had gone off with their mentors. But K’synn had no one in his office now, and so, with a quick notice on his board saying he’d be back soon, he snuck off to his weyr.
It felt strange to knock on his own door, but he did before he entered his weyr. “Kashara?” he called out as he entered, not sure what state he’d find her in.
Kashara had felt bad about sneaking into his apartment with him not there, but she hadn’t wanted to be caught. Once inside, she collapsed on the sofa and the tears came for the first time. And they didn’t stop coming. Tears for her mom. Tears for Foreth and what could only be dead dragonets still in their shell. Tears for a random kiss that had just happened and what K’ssyn would say. Tears for everything. She buried her face in one of the sofa pillows to try to stifle the noise, but the tactic helped only a little.
When K’ssyn came in, she turned away.
“Don’t look at me,” she said. “I’m ugly with tears.”
He said nothing as he closed the door behind him, taking in the muffled sounds of crying coming from the form on his couch. His mother had been attacked once, in a raid on the Caravan. She’d been injured, had been pregnant at the time, and lost the baby. The event had happened Turns ago, and he’d been still a young teenager at the time. The attack had been terrifying, but what he remembered most about that day was his fear for his mother. She’d ended up losing the baby, and the healers had warned her against having any others. So he had a reference point for what Kashara was going through.
He walked to the couch, sat down near her head, and pulled her head and the pillow onto his lap. He placed one of his hands on her shoulder gently but firmly. “Get it out, Kashara. It’s alright.”
She only cried harder, clutching at his legs. Soon she was crying so hard that she started to panic and had to use his touch to work herself back down. His touch was steadying and warm. Another time she might have considered differently about the fact that her face was in his lap, but for the moment she took comfort.
With time the crying slowed and then stopped. She pulled from his lap and sat up, instinctively pressing against him as she sat on the couch.
“I’m sorry about that, I just...there’s so much going on,” she said, hiccuping here and there.
He let her cry, not saying anything, just holding her. There was nothing he could say, nothing he could do to make the situation any better. There was only time for that. He didn’t have the verbal gift of eloquence his eldest brother did, and he didn’t bother to try. When she seemed to have cried herself out and sat up, he let her, removing his touch from her so that she was unencumbered. And yet, he was pleased when she sat leaning against him still. He placed an arm about her shoulder protectively.
“It’s alright. What did they tell you about what happened?” he asked. He had to be careful. He couldn’t be the one to give her more information than what those who had fetched her from the candidate trip had given her. And he didn’t want to force her to keep any secrets -- he was firmly not thinking about the already secretive nature of their meetings -- while she was already so emotionally burdened. That wasn’t fair to her.
“That there...there... was an accident at the Caverns and mom was...was... hur...hurt and some eggs...some of them... were broken,” she said and nearly started crying all over again. She looked away from him. “Meanwhile I ...I was drinking sommmething...something that was prob..probably full of alcohol and...and...” Shame flushed through her and she couldn’t finish the sentence.
K’synn misinterpreted her flush, thinking that she was telling an AWLM that she, a Candidate, had been drinking, which wasn’t allowed right now with eggs on the Sands. So he decided the best thing was to just ignore that bit and act as if it didn’t matter. “Have you gotten to see your mom yet?” he asked. Seeing a parent hurt was hard, but it was harder imagining the pain they might be in. At least getting to see them, or speak to a healer, could help to alleviate some anxiety.
She shook her head. “They’re keeping her quiet. They just brought us back from the trip and everyone’s so busy no one is noticing what we do. I just...I didn’t want to be alone or to have to answer questions.” She pushed away from him, not looking at him. “But I shouldn’t let you hug me. I don’t deserve it. I...I kissed a boy. I don’t know what to think.” And that was the closest she’d gotten to admitting that she might see their time together as more than just friendly.
He was so startled by her sudden movement that he almost missed what she said. It took a moment for the words to sink in, and when they did, he was surprised at the surge of emotions they invoked. He paused for a moment as he recognized the jealousy, disappointment, surprise and denial all rose up in him, for a moment equally warring with each other. He wasn’t unused to the first two. She wouldn’t be the first girl he’d lost to another suitor, but that didn’t stop his own surprise at finding the emotions there at all. They were just friends. She shouldn't feel bad, and he shouldn’t feel...well like this. It shouldn’t matter to him that she kissed someone else.
((I warned you that there was more to this than you wanted to admit.)) Tiscarth said, having tuned in when he felt K’synn’s emotional turmoil. The words were not unkindly said, but his dragon did tend to sound like he was saying “I told you so.”
K’synn took a deep breath, annoyed at Tiscarth now, that emotion adding to the stew. But he wasn’t the kind to act rashly, so he calmed himself steadily. “I don’t know what to say, Kashara. But that doesn’t change the fact that something tragic just happened. You certainly deserve my empathy right now.” Was that all this was? Empathy for a candidate? His gut-punched feeling told him this was significantly more than that. But he still had a hard time wrapping his head around it. They hadn’t spent a ton of time together, he barely knew her. Yet he was drawn to her in a way that he hadn’t been to anyone else in a very long time.
Kashara pressed against him, feeling more comfortable than she had in a long time even as her mind was in a roil. “But that’s...stupid to worry about. My mom...she’s hurt and they say not bad, but they like to hide things. And eggs broken.” The sad thing was they didn’t have the punch they might because she’d been through both before. With her missing the keening, it just didn’t seem as real or immediate as it might. Sure, she’d cried over it, but give her a little bit of time and she’d be on firmer ground.
“Your mother is the Weyrwoman. They have to reassure everyone that she’s ok and control information.” It wasn’t like he knew much more than that either, and he had no way to inquire for details that, if Kashara hadn’t been given them, he certainly would not be. “But she’s still your mom. And it’s ok to be worried about her. You wouldn’t have been crying if you weren’t worried.” He wiped some the still wet tears off of her cheek with his thumb. He gave her one of his soft smiles that barely qualified as a smile, and looked closer to a grimace. “And as to the eggs, at least it wasn’t dragon and rider both dying horribly in Fall. It’s still tragic, but I’m less worried about the eggs than I am about you and your mom.”
“You’ve never seen what losing eggs can do to a Queen and her rider,” Kashara said, concentrating on what she could to not think about her mom in a weird way. “And those eggs would have been dragons to riders that would have helped fight Thread. But at least it’s not the gold eggs. That...that would be terrible.”
He left his hand on her cheek for longer than he needed, but he was reluctant to remove it. “I’ve seen what losing children does to a mother,” he thought about his own mother’s grief over her lost child and those she had still wanted to bear (although you’d think she’d be satisfied with the lot of them. You’d think seven -- plus Rowaen -- was enough). “I can’t imagine it’s easy for Foreth. Have you been to see your mother yet? Or Foreth?” he asked her softly.
Kashara shook her head. “I was told that they wouldn’t let me in,” she said. “They have to get things sorted and secure and all.” She shrugged. “They’ll let me see her when things are better. I doubt I’ll get to see Foreth, but she won’t want to see me anyway. Mostly, I think they just want me to stay out of the way and not cause trouble right now.”
K’synn wished she’d been able to see her mom, to be able to get reassuring words from the Healers, but he had no sway or pull to help her. She probably had more than he did. There was nothing he could do for her there, and she also hadn’t asked him to do anything. But he wanted to fix things, however he could, to help her. “What can I do, Kashara?” he asked instead.
She shook her head. And just continued pressing against him. “Just don’t leave me. Don’t make me leave. I don’t want to...I don’t want to be around others.”
He couldn’t help the satisfied feeling that when she didn’t want to be around others, she still wanted to be around him. “Of course, Kashara. You can stay here as long as you want.” He put an arm about her protectively, drawing her close into his chest. He leaned his head down to kiss the top of her head.
Kashara blushed even as she pressed into him more. She felt safe where she was and comforted. Niggling at the back of her head was of how things would go if she Impressed. Part of her knew that it was a bad idea. The other part of her wanted him with her on that journey.
“Thank you,” was all she said and closed her eyes. Very soon she was asleep.
It was sometime later, after she fell asleep, K’synn gingerly picked her up, carried her to his bed, and tucked her in. He stroked her hair for a moment, before grabbing a spare blanket and heading to the couch. It was a long time before he fell asleep, the niggling doubts and whispers of things to come and forbidden possibilities dancing in his head.