Another of Ista's more spacious caverns has been set aside for the infants and toddlers of the Weyr. The walls have patchwork quilts or bright primary colors on one end and the softer pastels of pink and blue on the other to offer a bit of separation between the two areas; but inevitably there are toys and items that get scattered on both sides that run the Nannies ragged. To further emphasize the distinction there are cradles and rocking chairs and rattles and teething rings beneath the pink and blue, while the brighter colors are accompanied by toddler sized bunk beds with rails and plenty of toys and activities to be played with. There is also a corner that seems to lead to another alcove, likely with a klah station and the living quarters for those who take turns staying overnight to watch the young.
It's not unusual to see many riders and residents here spending time with and helping to take care of their own kids, though there are always enough Nannies present to help or step in when needed.
Tiarla is here.
Since it's after dinner-time, the nursery isn't all that incredibly busy yet. There's still a few hours until people mill in and around to say goodnight to all the children here. And until then it's a matter of cleaning up from the supper mess, bathing kids, changing them into their pj's, and reading a book or two. Fortunately it's been one of her late afternoon chore shifts in the Creche, so Tia is wisely using that time to take care of her own twins with Q'luin while she's got the opportunity. If the names Qylia and Qisanti weren't clue enough for anyone visiting, then certainly the dusky skin tone of both might help. And the little boy is nearly the spitting image of his Dad, even at a mere 5 months old. The two babies and their mama are on a blanket spread out on the floor - the elder reading a story and the babies... uhm.. well, drooling and playing with rattles.
Quorra's never been to the nursery before. What brings her here now is, ostensibly, to find her newest niece and nephew and make their acquaintance. If she has other motives, she's not telling yet. She's dressed impeccably, a blue and green dress that would look more at home at an afternoon sewing circle than here in the messy nursery straight after dinner. She pauses in the doorway, eyes sweeping the chaos until they find a woman who matches the description she was given, made more certain by the twin babies, and moves smoothly towards them. She waits patiently, just to the side of the trio.
And meanwhile, Tia's got on the usual wherhide pants and a tunic on. She'd definitely not pass muster in any sewing circle. But never let it be said she lacks in observational skills, since when the impeccably dressed woman approaches, the doting mother looks up with a curious smile. "You must be Lady Quorra." And she had no idea the woman would be arriving, so a struck wherry expression takes over her face a moment before she pushes up to her feet. "I, ah... well I would guess you're here to see the twins. I'd have told Q'luin if I'd known. Please, sit. There's a rocking chair right by their crib."
"Oh, the floor is fine," Quorra says, with a tinkling little laugh. She can be gracious when she wants to be. She folds herself to an unused corner of their blanket, skirt smoothed perfectly while she offers one of the babies -- she can't tell which is which -- her finger. "You're Tiarla, then?" For all that her attention looks to be all on the babies, she's carefully examining the woman from beneath the fringe of her eyelashes.
One has to admire the way some women can appear unruffled no matter the circumstances. So, settling herself back down on the blanket she tried to compose a somewhat serene expression and nods an affirmative. "Yes, I'm Tiarla." Though she seems faintly surprised that her actual name has come up aside from being labeled as 'the twins mother' and that's that. "It's nice to meet you." The girl child happens to be closest to the roving finger so she latches on to it with a tiny fist and starts pulling towards her mouth. A mischief maker, surely. Babies don't give a whit about anyone's dignity! "That's Qylia, and this little troublemaker is Qisanti." The boy is picked up and sat on Tia's lap in an upright position. "My apologies, Lady Quorra, if I seem a bit awkward."
"Nonsense," Quorra dismisses the apology with a smile, a wave of her free hand. "And it's just plain Quorra. We're practically family, aren't we?" For all that she delivers this line without a blink, she doesn't really believe it. Qylia's tight grasp surprises an almost sad expression onto the woman's face, though she smoothes it quickly away. "They're both lovely." That she can say with sincerity. "If you ever want to foster them, we'd be more than happy to." Is that a royal we?
Practically family? Not even Tia believes that one - and the line is met with a derisive snort of laughter. "Let's be realistic. I'm from a trading family, was a mere messenger before arriving here. I've got no illusions about whether I'm considered family in any sense of the word." There, now that she's spit that out the young woman feels remarkably more confident. "She enjoys being held - your brother prefers to pay more attention to Qisanti." Because he's a boy too, of course. Men are such odd creatures. "And thank you. For the compliment as well as the offer. I'd like to remain close to them though. As I believe Q'luin would. But I'll be sure to mention your generosity." She's curious about the 'we', obviously, but there are some things she just knows better then to pry about.
Quorra raises one eyebrow in surprise, a gesture that says more clearly than words: well, what have we here? "We could find a place for you at the Hold as well, if you so chose. And if you Impress, you'll have little time for the babies. They would be well looked after." She jerks her chin towards Qylia, "may I?" As predictably as Q'luin pays more attention to the boy, Quorra will pay more attention to the girl.
"Please don't think me rude, Quorra. But getting knocked up by a bronzerider doesn't exactly make one looked upon in a favorable light by people who live in the Hold. Even if the bronzerider in question happens to be the Lord Holder's son. I wouldn't put up with that, no matter who gave me grief about it." Including being looked down on by the Lord Holder. But despite the hard words, she immediately gestures for Quorra to pick up Qylia. No hesitation there at all. "Please do. I think it's wonderful that she's meeting her Aunt." There are a few moments of silence while she contemplates further what Quorra has to say about fostering. "I'm sure they would be. As well as they are here. And that's a choice Q'luin and I would make together. You could say it's an agreement we made." Why, oh why, does she sense the inexorable tug of family politics coming in to play. "And impressing is a big If."
Tiarla's refusal to entertain the idea aggravates Quorra, but she hardly lets it show. She scoops the baby up in surprisingly adept arms, cradling Qylia's head in the crook of her elbow. Again, there's a flicker of something across her face, too quick to be identified. "Why, Q'luin and I have already spoken about this," she lies, one finger stroking the baby's cheek, "and he will be spending more time at the Hold in the coming days. His lov- He has many friends there." She tests to see how deep Tiarla's feelings really run.
"Q'luin knows better then to do anything regarding our children without talking to me." No, Tia doesn't believe that one for a moment. Though she fully intends to march right up to him and ask him about it later. "His lover? Nice one! Everyone knows Q'luin sleeps around. I doubt he'd develop enough feelings of attachment to one to spend enough time at the Hold that would warrant moving the children there." Her lips twitch slightly with humor, then. "You'll never get a sentiment of jealousy out of me, Quorra. Even if I felt it. I know him better then you think I do." And now, her gaze is almost a challenge. "You can visit them all you like. I would never stop you. But don't ever try and pull one over on me. I may be a simple trader girl, but I'm far from stupid."
Quorra doesn't even look fazed. "My dear girl," oh, so condescendingly, "I'm afraid you've misunderstood me entirely! I'm simply looking out for the best interests of the children. Your and Q'luin's relationship," or lack thereof, "is of no concern to me. It's a shame you've been told you're stupid so many times you're starting to think everyone is thinking it." She slowly shakes her head, as if mourning some great tragedy, then settles Qylia back onto the blanket. "Well, I can tell you, it's a relief to know the twins have such a - ah - /fierce/ protector. I simply must be going now. Running a Hold doesn't give one much time for lazing about." With that last dig, delivered all in a tone of friendly disinterest that is scathing nonetheless, Quorra stands and sweeps from the room quite as if she owned the entire Weyr.