Minding Screaming Babies

Ista Weyr - Living Caverns
Large enough to house the entirity of the weyr's population at one time, the cavern set aside to house the very heart of the weyr's life is a grandoise, somewhat circular affair, filled with rows of long tables. Bustling and busy, it is a rare moment indeed when there is not someone at work or leisure in here; the long trestle table by the kitchens is perpetually filled with plates and trays of food, a pot of something always bubbling upon the mahogany hearth, ready to fill the belly of any hungry resident or rider. Although a high table is set aside for seating respected dignitaries on formal occasions, most of the tables here are not designated to any particular group— rather, all levels of Ista's population eat together, intermingled across the broad cavern.
Great tapestries have been flung down the walls, orange and black borders remarking upon Ista's heritage, the age-faded hangings depicting scenes of importance to the Weyr— the erruption of the volcano; the first clutch; the view from the star stones, over forest, dark beach, and glistening waves of blue. Propellor-like fans have been affixed to the ceiling in more modern times, cooling the cavern on the hottest of days. Passageways lead up the stairs to the kitchens, down a second flight of stairs to the lower caverns, and out into the expanse of the broad weyr bowl.

Chaton steps into the Living Caverns, looking exausted. He grabs himself a mug of klah and sits down somewhere relativly quiet. He rests his head on the table, the klah untouched inches away.

The soft chittering of Queen and Tipsy precedes Shorynia's entrance. She glances around, then spots Chaton and would have waved happily… if he didn't look like someone had just stepped on his favorite dog. So instead she makes her way quietly towards him, "Chaton? Are you okay?"

Chaton perks up happily at the sound of his favourite girl, and pulls out a chair for her. "Exausted." he says, summing up how his body looks. His hair is all over, moreso than usual, his eyes red and lids puffy with exaustion. His eyes have dark circles underneath, but his smile was still as bright as ever. "Came in here for klah and a break from the craziness that is the infirmary. You know how it is. Kids scrape knees, then someone hammers their thumb instead of a nail, chisels slip, something falls, you get it." he shakes his head.

Shorynia frowns a tad, slipping in beside him and setting her paperwork aside and placing one hand on his shoulder, "Is it really so busy as to puff up your eyes like that?" She touches his face gently, just below his eyes, "These speak of more than just a normal construction workload, hon."

Chaton takes a sip of hot klah and waves off her concern. "It's nothing. Okay, maby I've been up for a couple of days to do my usual duties and to help rebuild some, but it's nothing. I used to stay up much longer as an apprentice. Say, how is your new job in the paperwork pavillion going?" he asks, shifting the attention from him.

Shorynia sighs and motions to the myriad carefully sorted stacks around the room, "Well enough. I've gotten through most of the stores, just some last bits." She gives him a slight glower, "And I did it while still managing to sleep. If you're not careful I'll insist upon moving into your room to make sure you take care of yourself." Queen gives a small imperative cheep, backing her up.

Chaton grins. "You say that as if I would be opposed." he laughs a little, lightly, and winks at her. "That, and I beleive that having you in my room would lessen my chances of sleeping." he laughs and nudges her lightly, and slips his arm around her. "And hello there, Queen. May I say you look very stunning this evening."

Queen gives a happy trill, preening herself. Shory smiles, "You might be surprised… After all, your health is important to me." She snuggles into his grasp, pointing at his klah mug, "Drink some of that before you fall over."

Chaton chuckles lightly, but follows her directive, and takes a long draught of the stimulating drink. "Mmm. I don't know which is more delicious, you or the klah." he wrinkles his nose and hmmms, as if thinking about it. "You, every time." he teases, giving her cheek a kiss. "What would I do if I didn't have you looking out for me?"

Shorynia giggles, a light fluting sound, "Wither up and die from not eating your vegitables?" This time it's Tipsy who gives a confirming cheep from her pocket, causing her to giggle more. It takes her a moment to calm before she says, "Though I'm glad to have you around, too."

Chaton smiles warmly at the cute sounds she makes, and he holds her tighter, in sembalance of a hug. "You, absolutely make my day perfect." he says, and he eyes her pocket and Queen. "You two'd better watch out, or I might monopolize your Shorynia here." he teases. As though Firelizards could be teased.

Queen gives another little cheep, maybe for a little while. Shory giggles again, "Must be a pretty bleak day." She waves down a lower caverns worker, one of the few still around, and a few moments later two plates are brought to the table, each heaped high with bovine and vegetables. A few moments later a bowl of sliced redfruit appears as well. Shory points at the food before him, "Eat."

Chaton shakes his head. "You could make any day perfect." he says truthfully, and he looks at the plate before him that he didn't expect. He sighs. "Yes madam." he picks the bovine out of the vegtables with a fork and chews it, savouring the juices. "mmm dehlicious."

Shorynia smiles softly, "I'll have to take your word on that one." Then she straightens up, taking several bites of her own food before giggling at his official tone and adding her own, "We're not going anywhere until you clear that plate so you might want to mix those veggies in or you'll be eating them all on their own."

Chaton sighs heavier this time, and reluctantly takes a forkfull of vegetables and adds it to the mix. "People are going to think you my weyrmate if you keep it up." he teases. "Ah, so, you're fully prepared to stay up with me all night?"

Shorynia nods, taking another mixed bite of her own mixed veggies and bovine, "I think only riders technically have Weyrmates. And yes, I'll stay up all night if I have to. Can't have the only journeyman healer in the Weyr collapsing from malnutrition on us."

Chaton bahs. "Sorry. Talking to dragonriders all day. I try to master the termonolgy so I'm not lost when they talk. You knew what I ment though." he laughs, taking another bite. "Malnutrition. Bah. I'm not going to collapse, so don't you worry yourself gorgeous."

Shorynia chuckles, "Yeah, I understand… And if we're lucky we *could* be weyrmates one day." She smiles gently, "Worrying happens. You might as well take care of the sources you can," she winks and nods to his plate before taking a few bites of her own food.

Chaton hms. "Lucky. If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have none at all." he shoves a few more reluctantly veggie-filled bites into his mouth, and chews on them. He wags his fork at her. "But… if we were to get lucky… I wouldn't mind."

Shorynia chuckles, "You're the only person I know who'd consider being searched bad luck." She takes a few more bites, then smiles, "Emphasis on the we?"

Chaton shrugs. "Opinions are like rear-ends. Everyone has one. Some more than others." he smiles, and shrugs again, though more exageratedly. "Perhaps. I don't think I would like comming into an empty weyr every night."

Shorynia giggles softly, taking another bite, "If only one of us impressed, I'd hope we wouldn't have an empty weyr." She rests her hand gently on his knee, "And certainly not if we both impressed."

Chaton puts his hand lightly over hers. "Ah, wouldn't that be something?" he asks, twining his fingers with hers. "Your dream come true, and mine."

Shorynia smiles, sighing contentedly, "That would be ideal, I'll admit."

Chaton nods. "You get your dragon, and I get my Shorynia. Ideal." he sighs too, and pushes a few more pieces of bovine into his mouth.

Shorynia takes another bite, "Can't deny I'd want you on a bronze, Chaton… then you wouldn't be completely shut out a few nights a year." Her fingers grip him gently on the knee, then release.

Chaton looks at her with a hint of a little suprize. "A bronze? Why?" he frowns. "I wouldn't make any sort of good leader. In fact, I'm the bane of anyone wanting an example of leadership qualities…"

Shorynia chuckles, "Not all bronzers are good leaders, love. But honestly, if you impressed a bronze then even if I impressed a queen you'd at least have a chance during a mating flight."

Chaton stares into his plate a moment as he works out what she just said, and hms. "Maby. Who says I wouldn't take the time to spend with you even if mine couldn't catch yours." he shrugs. "Though, it's all just speculation. I doubt I'd impress a firelizard. Much less a dragon."

Shorynia chuckles, then reaches her hand over to grip his chin, forcing him to meet her eyes, "Well, when queen clutches I guess we'll find out about one of those. Personally I think most anyone can impress a flit. And when it comes to time, I'm more worried about how you'd feel if you couldn't be with me than my own feelings."

Chaton his eyes have a shadow of doubt in them, marring the usual bright green. He puts his finger lightly on her nose. "I will be happy, so long as you are happy."

Shorynia smiles for him, but still looks unconvinced. She does release his chin, moving her hand to his cheek, "But will you be happy, or accepting?"

Chaton bites his lip. "I won't lie. I wouldn't be as joyful as I would be if you were mine and mine alone, but I would rather see you happy with someone else than miserable with me."

Shorynia giggles, stroking his jaw gently, "If it meant so much to you as to make you miserable, I think arrangements could be made… I don't know, though. But I could never be miserable with you." She smiles, then plants a kiss gently on his cheek.

Chaton grins, and gives her a return kiss and a hug. "My dear, let us not count our wherries before they hatch. We can work this out if and when the time comes." he winks at her, and sighs. "I, however, need sleep. I'm certian you were going to shoo me off to bed when I was finished, anyway. Perhaps you can come and make sure I sleep well?" he says, hopeful.

Shorynia smiles, "I suppose you're right about that." She chuckles at his advances, "I'll go home with you if you finish your vegetables, love."

Chaton grins and spends the next few minuets shoveling down veggies untill his plate is clean. He gets up and puts his plate with the other dirty things, and fills up his mug, before resuming his place with his hand on Shory's leg. "So, how is our dear Weyrwoman?"

Shorynia giggles, then separates to put her dishes away as well. She and Chaton are sitting at a table in the corner, Chaton looking quite exhausted and Shory looking worried about him. But hey, at least she got him to eat dinner. She slides back into her seat beside the mindhealer, "She seems okay. I'm just glad I could take the inventory off her to-do list."

Chaton nods. "That woman is going to drive me to an early grave. I swear, if she comes out of that reccords room carting around stacks of papers to work on while she eats, I'm going to personally lace her klah with a sleeping draught, and have her affixed to a soft chair." he shakes his head. "It's a wonder she doesn't strain her eyes clean out of her head, looking at that text for hours on end."

Ysa is carting out something worse than a stack of papers. /Babies/. Apparently she was on baby duty that day, which meant someone was always crying to her. "What, what now? I— I didn't even touch her!" she near-wails at the sobbing infant in her arms, a near five month old baby girl with dark skin and hair. Her exact double is strapped to the goldrider's back in a sling, but completely silent instead. Luckily, the Weyrwoman is saved, because she's heading right for Chaton and Shorynia with the sobbing baby.

Moyrel stops by the serving table and gets some fish and a blueberry pie before joining the others and taking a seat. "Hello, all," she says. "Sounds like some sort of conflict afoot?"

Chaton perks up his ears. "Sounds like someone is driving a thumbtack into a wherry…"

Shorynia glares lightly at Chaton, "You're a fine one to talk about over-working, baggy eyes." She winces, covering her ears when Ysa enters, but does her best to look happy as Ysa actually approaches, nodding a silent hello to Moyrel before saying, "Quite a set of lungs on that one, Ysa…"

Chaton rolls his eyes at the reprimand and sighs. No retort for that one. He looks at Ysa, and frowns. "What did you do to it? Is it teathing or something?"

"Masterharper," Ysa greets, though it sounds thick as if she were about to cry along with her young daughter. "C'mon, Ryssie, pleease." She gives the Mindhealer big eyes and then flops into a nearby seat, turning her head to Shorynia and shaking her head. "She's had 'em since she was born and… Can ya hold her?" She's already aiming to shove the baby into the girl's arms as she starts to unstrap the second one from her back since she was starting to fidget and whine at staring at the chair's back. "/She/ is called Rysilia. And this is Aysiria. And I didn't /do/ anything." Whine. "They're nothing like the boys were." And by her tone she means she liked the boys a lot better.

Moyrel starts into her meal, and goves a nod to the others as they speak. "Well she's right about the kid's lungs. That kid will make a good harper someday, maybe."

Surprisingly enough, Shory lets Ysa foist the baby off on her, turning Rysilia to face her, bouncing the girl gently on her knee, singing softly.

Chaton digs into his everpresent healer bag and pulls out some cotton bandages. He rips two pieces off of one, and stuffs the pieces in his ears. He kind of looks like he'd rather stuff the roll in the babe's mouth, but the look passes as he peers at the small child in Shory's arms. "Shhhh." he says, using the same voice he usues with patients. "Hey there. Lookie here. I'll give you this," he pulls a smooth, shiny domino out of his bag and waves it in front of her face, "if you'll be a good girl and stop crying." he coos. Failing that, well, he still has a whole roll of bandages…

"Wouldn't that make Mum happy as a shipfish," Ysa says to Moyrel's comment about the girl being a Harper, bouncing the second baby on her own lap. "'Course, she's yet to learn I had girls yet. If she wants to be a Harper when she's old 'nough, she can be." Aysiria burbles, bright blue eyes glued on her sobbing sister. Rysilia does start quieting down, tearful eyes focusing on the shiny thing. "Not fond of kids, Mindhealer Chaton?" she asks with amusement in her tired voice, her chin lifting up as a drudge passes by. "A glass of wine, please."

Moyrel nods. "Well, send her off to me, if that's her decision when she's old enough," she says to Ysa. "Or to Alisar if I've retired before then. We'll see about getting her into the craft."

Kadan comes in after being busy all day long, as he usually is. "Good evening," says almost out of habit, then smiles even broader. "Hey! Babies!" he almost chortles. "How are you doing, Ysa?" He looks around the room to give each person a smile and offers his hand in greeting to the MindHealer. "How's it going, Chaton? Were you able to talk to K'nan all right?" For Moyrel he gives a hug.

Chaton looks several years older. He does look exausted, his eyelids puffy, whites more red than white, and dark bags forming. He's droopy, like lettuce that's been left out too long, and his eyes are kind of glassy. "No, kids don't bother me that much. I just perfer them more like her." he points at Aysiria. He waggles the domino and gently pushes it into the little girl's hands. "Here you are…" Once the domino is in the girl's hands, he looks up at Kadan, and gives an exagerated "What?" and grins. "I spoke to her, yes. Then I was transfered here, and now I guess I'm taking extended care of her."

Shorynia chuckles, continuing to bounce the girl on her knee and make odd little cooing sounds between her adult words, "I wish that was all he was doing. Look at him, he's running himself ragged trying to fix everything." She rolls her eyes, then turns to Ysa, "What, no fantasies of your daughters following in your footsteps? Harpering's a good trade for anyone, though."

"Thank you, Masterharper. I'll definitely keep ya in mind. Because there's no way I'll be sending her to Mum." Ysa grins widely at Moyrel, even if it looks a little haggard and worn around the edges. She bounces the baby a little more on her lap, glancing up to the approaching Kadan. "I've done better, as always. But otherwise good. Yourself?" Rysilia takes the domino with a burble and then proceeds to stuff part of it into her mouth, drooling all over. "They take turns," she tells Chaton with a sigh. "Just ya wait. But honestly, I don't want to hear that my Mindhealer's gotten himself sick. I need ya as well." Which just might make his stress worse at the end. To Shorynia she gives a sheepish grin. "I never actually stayed in the craft, so it wouldn't be that far footsteps. Actually, I hope /none/ of these two follow my footsteps." And she gives her babies a fearful look.

Moyrel hugs Kadan. "How're you doing, Kadan? Keeping up with all the ruckus here?" To Ysa she says, "Whatever's best for her, but, y'know, she's in charge of her destiny. If she's to become a harper, then so be it." To Chaton: "You /are/ alright, aren't you?"

Kadan slides into a chair beside Moyrel. "Barely," he says casually to her. "Careful she doesn't get that domino caught in her throat. Babies learn through their mouths. Everything goes into it."

Chaton nudges Shorynia. "Now, what, exactly, is wrong with my looks?" he asks, sounding hurt, if only to tease her. He watches the baby drool on the domino. Lucky he'd wiped them all down with disinfectant earlier… he pulled his attention away from the babe, and to the weyrwoman. "Your Mindhealer is just fine. My fair skin shows sleeplessness before any other part of me does…" he says, but the end of his speech is cut off with a yawn. "No, Masterharper, I assure you, I'm perfectly fine." and to Kadan: "I've got an eye on her. She won't choke."

Kadan says to the little baby in a funny voice. "You hear that baby? Don't choke! Just be cute and cuddly!" He makes a few faces for the baby.

Moyrel finishes her meal and stands up. "Well, I hate to be so short, but I've got things to attend to." She curtseys quickly. "Be well and be safe, everyone."

Shorynia winces, "Nothin' wrong with your looks, love, except that you look like you got run over by a d-" she stops… whoops, bad choice of idiom, "like you've been up for three days straight of hard labor." She, too, keeps a careful eye on the drooling baby, even as she turns her attention briefly to Ysa, "Don't want 'em to ride at all? Or just not be stuck with the paperwork jungle?"

Ysa is probably the only one not watching her other baby, still trying to keep the one in her lap from going off on a wailing fit like her sister just did. "Good to know, Chaton. Though it looks like I really don't have to be worried about ya at all. Ya already have someone well suited to the task." She looks up first at one and then the other, ending with grinning widely at Shorynia and giving her a wink. And that's when she finally notices her baby with something stuffed in her mouth, and just rolls her eyes with a sigh. "Oh, shells no. I'd love for 'em to ride, really, but like Moyrel said. Whatever they want to do. Mum tried to force me into being a Harper, and that didn't work out so well. We don't really talk anymore. It's why I hope these two… don't turn out like that."

Chaton stands up. "Well, if it looks like I've been ran over by three days of hard labour, I'd best go recover." he bows to the Weyrwoman. "Plesant dreams, Ysa." and he smiles at the Harper. "Sleep well." he gives Shory a quick kiss, and a wink. "And you have plesant dreams too." he adds, before turning and going off to his quarters.

Kadan says "Chaton…I'd like to talk when you have a free moment in a few days, if you can hand;e it?"

Chaton looks back. "Sure, Kadan. You know where to find me." he says, and darts away before anyone else can stop him.

Shorynia returns Chaton's light kiss, blushing slightly, then turns to grin at Ysa, "I do seem to have become rather attached… didn't see that one coming." She sighs softly, then frowns slightly, "Yeah, wouldn't want to force 'em into anything… How long has it been since you talked to your mom? I don't want to pry, but it might do some good to mend those bridges."

Ysa lifts the baby a little as if a wave to Chaton as he heads out. "Night, Mindhealer," she calls after him, resting Aysiria back on her lap. Her eyes roam around for that drudge she called earlier, still lacking her wine. Likely done on purpose because of the babies. Shorynia's question seems to sober her up a little from whining about her daughters, frowning deeply. "Since a little after Illi was born… about three turns now? I've… tried," she says with a sigh. "But I don't think it'll work. I still talk to all my brothers and my father, of course. Yasan still informs me how Mum is doing, but he's got his own life now."

Kadan looks around for the drudges. "What kind of wine did you and, Ysa? I'll get it for you. Would you like some, Shorynia?"

Shorynia shakes her head, "No wine for me tonight, thanks." She bounces the girl on her lap a few more times, then, "That's sad. But some bridges remain burned, I guess."

"Jus' some red wine. Benden preferred, but I think we only have Tillek in store right now." She seems a little disappointed by that, but smiles at Kadan. "Thanks." And then she turns towards Shorynia with a pained expression that is quickly covered into a practiced expressionless mask. She shrugs and hugs Aysiria tightly to her. "Sad, but the truth in life. But ya don't have to worry 'bout that at all. It's in the past, and there's still plenty of people 'round ready to talk with instead."

Kadan stands and gives a bow to Ysa before heading off tot he kitchen to request a glass of wine for Ysa. He requests a glass of Benden, not stating who it is for. But all they have is the Tillek. He will have to request hat his father see if he can procure some. He shortly brings the wine out to Ysa. "Here you go, Ysa. Alas, it is Tillek."

K'nan has connected.

Shorynia chuckles, scanning her own paperwork quickly, managing to foist the baby girl off on Kadan in the process, "There's one crate of Benden, but it's only a few years old. Probably best to let it finish aging." She smiles at Ysa, "You just let me know if you decide you want to do something about it.." She scrapes her papers together and stands, "I really ought to get to bed myself, I need to double-check the inventory tomorrow."

Kadan takes the babky and makes faces at her sand says silly things aout how cute she is. "I'll see if my Father can get a few decent bottles of Benden for you, if you like," he manages to slip in beofr he goes back to hodling the bably and cooing to her.

Ysa's face lights up as Kadan returns with wine. They're all seated at a table, her second baby on her lap as she takes the glass with her free hand. "Thank ya again, Kadan. You're a lifesaver." She sips at it, sighs heavily, and then sets it down on the table as she watches her other daughter being trader, smiling at Shorynia as she stands. "I guess the staff is smart 'nough not to pull those bottles out yet, but we definitely need more than just a crate. Could ya, Kadan? That'd be great." All for her too, right? Maaybe. "Have a good night's rest and get to that work as soon as ya feel ready to tackle it, Shorynia!" she says, promoting some laziness is her job. Wait, what?

Shorynia smiles and gestures to the crates stacked around the room, "Mostly going over the numbers again to make sure I didn't miss anything, but thanks, Ysa." She yawns, then waves a quick goodbye, "G'night all. Sleep well," before retreating to the residents' quarters.

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