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A Full Day (2) - Every Little Bit of Progress

Writers: Eimi, Suzee
Date Posted: 28th July 2018

Characters: U'kaiah, Tavia, Kaiafel
Description: Tavia makes a sudden departure from Kaiafel's party...
Location: Dragonsfall Weyr
Date: month 6, day 17 of Turn 9
Notes: Second in a storyline covering the events surrounding Kaiafel's birthday


After leaving Dolphin Cove, U'kaiah found the time difference was such that it
was still early for his son's party to start, but not so early that
Felke had not been awake to start the preparations. Though the
bronzerider had offered his help, his son's mother took one look at
him and pushed him back towards her bed to get a bit of sleep,
claiming he'd be no use to any of them half dead on his feet. After
all, he had already put in a full day of responsibilities. He
gratefully accepted and didn't even bother taking off his Hatching
finery before planting face first down onto the soft mattress.

When his eyes opened, he could hear voices and laughter coming from
the main room. He stifled a groan as he pushed himself up off the
bed. It was awfully tempting to fall right back into it, but that was
his family out there, and he had been looking forward to time spent
with them for too sharding long!

Blinking against the light he emerged from the bedroom and walked straight
into a party at full swing. Combing his fingers through his hair in a
vain attempt to put it back into some semblance of order, he was
almost immediately accosted by the birthday boy.

"Da!" Kaiafel cried, throwing himself on the bronzerider.

"Happy birthday, son," he said, wrapping his arms around the boy.
Shells, when had he grown that tall? The boy still more than a foot
shorter than him, and barely reached his chest, but U'kaiah could
swear he had grown at least an inch since he had seen him on his
graduation day the month before.

As he raised his eyes to see who else had arrived, they met Tavia's
from across the room. He gave her a sleepy but warm smile and mouthed
the words, "Hi."

Ever imitating his big brother, another voice yelled "Da," and a small
body sucked to U'kaiah's leg.

Tavia giggled and nodded her own "hi" back. She doubted he realized he
had a pillow crease across his cheek. Of course she understood what
time of day it was for his body clock and she looked over his shoulder
to wink at Felke.

U'kaiah's heart leapt when he felt Kaiavin clamp onto his leg. Did he
finally recognize him? When Kaiafel finally pulled back, U'kaiah bent
down to look at his youngest. "Hi, Kaiavin! Look at you! You're
getting so big, aren't you?"

The little guy looked up and realized the man was unfamiliar. His eyes
widened and he backed up into Felke's skirts before he turned and
buried his face with a cry.

Tavia's eyes clouded for a moment. She could feel her son's confusion
when he didn't recognize his father but there wasn't a way for for her
to fix it for him. Only time could do that. "Sorry," she mouthed.

Kaiafel, ever the peacemaker, bent down to try to coax his little
brother out from his mother's skirts. "Kaiavin, look, it's Da. You
don't have to be scared..."

"It's all right son," U'kaiah said, laying a hand on the young man's
shoulder as he pushed down his disappointment. "He'll warm up to me
as the night goes on." At least he usually did. When his eyes met
Tavia's again, he gave her another smile, though this time it was more
forced.

He left Kaiavin to be comforted by his brother and foster mother.
Shrugging helplessly, he tried to put a brave face on it. "Well, it
was almost progress. That's good, right?"

"Every little bit of progress is good," she smiled. Then just a moment
later she felt the stirrings of a flight and her brows twitched. It
wasn't Sawauth, no... it was Glory. She took a deep breath and widened
her smile. She was just going to have to ride this one out.

"Well, if anything, it's good to see you smiling," he said softly as
he sat down next to her, their arms touching. It seemed their smiles
had been so forced around each other of late, to see a bit of warmth
in her expression was nice.

She patted his hand feeling a flush creeping up from the vicinity of
her belly. "Thanks," she said. "I'm so glad you came today. It means a
lot to all of us. But especially to Kaiafel." She felt herself start
to squirm on her chair so she stood. "I need to... " she pointed
toward the door. "erm... go"

U'kaiah rose to his feet, concern written on his furrowed brow. "Are
you all right?" he asked softly as he leaned down closer and lay a
gentle hand on the small of her back. "Are you feeling ill?"

"I'll be fine," she tried to reassure him as Glory's flight began in
earnest. "I'll be back in a bit," she said and fled the room with a
look back over her shoulder at U'kaiah just before she went out the
door.

Well, that was indeed strange. And what was that look for? Had he
done something? U'kaiah reached up and fingered the notch in his ear
a moment as he pondered what to do. Something just wasn't right. He
walked over to Felke and whispered his apologizes that he was going to
duck out on the party for a bit to check to be sure Tavia was all
right, and asked her not to open presents until he got back. Having
her assurances, he followed the greenrider out the door.

Last updated on the August 21st 2018


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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.