A Black Eye and Birthday Plans

Ista Weyr - Stables

With a pitchfork in hand Zipalla stands at the end of a stall, pitching hay into the freshly cleaned space. Her hair is tied back in a loose ponytail and she's wearing her normal work attire, leather riding skirt, vest, shirt and boots, all showing signs of her having been working since the early morning. A swathe of dirt across one cheek gives her a sort of cute look though the red that shows through and around it draws attention to the slight swelling as well, hrmm.

While its been nearly a turn since L'ton got Zipalla the runner for her turnday, he did promise Pi that he'd check up on her on a regular basis, to ensure that its still being properly cared for. And so, he's strolling into the stables, tilting his head as he watches Zipalla working on the stall, meandering to lean against the next door before offering her a grin, even if its too her back. "Ah told Pi that she didn't have ta worry about ya taking care of him.. Ah mean, look at ya." He smiles, still leaning as he waves his other hand at the hay.

The sound of L'ton's voice makes Zipalla's head snap up and she turns, grinning at him. The fork is stabbed down into the hay and she leans on it a little then glances to the hay and nods. "I try to help take care of all of them.." she says with a smile, though it's sorta crooked, the split in the corner of her mouth making it hard to smile fully. "Checkin up on me, Ton?" she asks, keeping her head turned just a little.

"O'course. Gotta check up on my lil'girl. Ah only have a few more days before ya ain't really my lil'girl no more. Yer gonna practically be a grownup." He smiles at her, waggling a finger at her, before he blinks, takig a closer look at her, quickly moving to her side and reaching to brush his thumb lighlty over first her cheek, and then her eye. "Shards, Zip.. What happened ta ya?" His smile has fallen to a look of concern, unable to pull his gaze away from the split and the reddness.

Something about the comment makes her smile more and she winces a little, then nods, "Almost, da, hard to believe.." Zipalla gets a sheepish look on her face and keens her eyes downward a little then lifts them but looks away from L'ton for the moment, come on courage. "Well.. I ah.. see.." and then the ramble starts, words spoken quickly in explanation. "Zorya's been gone a few days and I got worried cause I don't think she'd just up and leave without telling me so I asked Zh'ae if he'd seen her and he hadn't either so we got worried that that man from Shipton came and took her back so we went to Shipton to look and the man was there but Zorya wasn't and he got in a fight with Zh'ae and I got hit by accident but then Zhilinith grabbed Zh'ae and we left and.." she stops, cringing, stealing a glance up at her father.

L'ton turns her chin a bit to get her to look at him, trying to meet her gaze. As she rambles, he squeezes his eyes shut, taking a few slow breaths, before opening his eyes to look at her, giving her a half smile. "Shards, why didn't you guys tell me that Zorya's been gone?" And then the rest of her story is sinking in, and his jaw is dropping. "Zip.. That ain't good… That…" And then he's taking another deep breath, trying to collect himself. "He didn't do anything else ta ya, did he? And.. Zh'ae's okay? And Zhilinith ta?" He shakes his head hurriedly, pulling her into a tight hug as she cringes. "Ah.. Ah ain't mad at ya."

Zipalla blushes some and stands there, letting him draw her eyes upward, the one just a little swollen, he clouted her pretty good but she's had some first aid for it. "Well.. I didn't know how worried to be cause well.. she's got her own things to do and I sent Luna but she couldn't find her.. so I was asking around, Zh'ae seemed sorta sweet on her or something..he's been to Shipton once already..so I thought he might know..so when I told him I hadn't seen her he got worried and we were off pretty quick.." She sighs and shakes her head, "He said some mean things but he didn't touch me or anything, Zhilinith is fine, Zh'ae is fine by now I'm sure, he was good and beat up." She curls into his arms and lays her head against his chest. "I'm sorry, Ton, it wasn't a smart thing, it just happened so fast, it felt smart and brave right up til I got hit and Zhil was scooping Zh'ae up so we could leave.."

"Ah'll talk ta Pi.. if'n she got a ride anywhere, it prolly came from one of her wingriders, when they were running stuff. Dun worry, we'll find her.. If'n someone came and took her, Ah'm sure that we'd have heard 'bout it. Ah mean, Ah'm sure she'd not go quietly, ya know her." And then he's gently rubbing her back, shushing her softly, resting his chin on her head as he keeps his arms around her. "Shhh.. Its okay. Ya dun need ta be sorry.. We all do stuff that dun seem so smart afterwards, it happens. Ah mean, Zh'ae shoulda known better ta duck, but." He shakes his head again, before gives her a squeeze.

Zipalla lids her eyes and exhales, relieved and soothed. "I know, that's what K'ael said too, that if something bad happened we'd know.. I shoulda listened to him.." and she mutters to herself a little, lips persed. "I just wanted to help her.. she seems to afraid sometimes… well not afraid.. worried.. anyway.. yeah, looking back, shoulda known not to do that.." She blushes again but it's hidden with her tucked into L'ton so snugly, and she hugs him tight. "I was going to get a new dress for my turnday..K'ael said we could have a party but now I have this ugly thing on my face!" she sorta yelps, annoyed with herself. "Figures huh," she says, laughing a little.

"K'ael talks a big game, lil bit. Dun… Dun get ta attached ta him. Ah realize.. Ah've heard how much time yer spending with him. But, he's hurt some people real bad, and Ah.. Ah dun want ya ta get hurt ta." L'ton blurts out suddenly, before shaking his head, and stepping back to give her a smile. "Zorya'll be okay, and maybe she'll even be back in time.. And, we can still have a party - the Healers, they mights even have something ya can put on that, so that its all covered up, and ya can't see it." Then he's grinning, tilting his head. "Do ya know what type of dress ya'd like, hm?" Best to focus on the happy, right?

Hazel eyes upturn again to look at Ton when he's talking about K'ael and she listens though like most teenage girls, she can't imagine Ton would be right. "We're just friends, Ton," she says softly then smiles at him. "I want something girly..I mean I know I'm not a woman and all but.. something different.. I usually just wear riding gear.. I just wanna look pretty for a change."

"Ah know, Ah know, but.. Ah.. Ah just don't trust him." He mutters under his breath before taking half a step back and grinning at her. "Well, if'n yer willing ta let meh, Ah'll talk ta Niah, and see what her suggestion is, cause well, Ah think she generally looks good. Maybe we can have her and Mai get ya some nice things fer yer birthday, since yer gonna be all grown up." He smiles at her, before reaching to tap her nose. "Ah dun blame ya, fer wanting ta look pretty. And, even after yer birthday, if'n ya want something, all ya gotta do is ask."

Zipalla nods softly and then her brows furrow some but she lifts her shoulders, "If you want.." she says, thoughtfully. "Alright.." she answers then looks up at her father, studying him a moment. "So is Niah going to stay with you and Mai then?" she asks, folding her arms over her middle.

"Nah, she dun wanna stay. She likes her space, and well, Ah dunno how well it'd go." Then he's ducking to whisper in her ear, quite amused. "She dun like girls around… like that, ya know?" And then he's straightening again, though finding his nails interesting for a moment, as he buffs them against his shirt. "But, Ah think they get 'long well 'nuff fer me not ta have ta worry. Ah mean, they're in the same wing, ta."

Zipalla nods her head lightly then blushes some and nods again, giving him an odd look. "I'm sure you have it all worked out.." she says a little less than happily. "How many you got on the way this year?" she asks, raising a brow. "Four? Five?"

"Ah ain't real sure, ta be honest. Ah.. Ah mean Ah enjoy spending time with her, but.." He shrugs a bit, before reaching ta touch her nose again. "Ah think 3, though Ah ain't sure. Ah mean, could be more, if'n they ain't telling meh. With'n flights, Ah dun always know, if'n they dun wanna tell me." He shakes his head a bit, before pouting a bit. "But, ya know yer always my favorite, right? Ah mean, ya.. Ya ain't the same as them." And then he's reaching fer her hands to give her a quick squeeze.

Her brows furrow and she nods a little, "I see…right.." she murmurs listening then at that last she peers up at him. "I'm happy you think I'm your favorite, Ton, how could I not but but… I'm not any different than any other Shipton.." She squeezes his hands in return then looks down some, "I'm just a face in your army of faces.. the only difference is that my younger siblings may find it increasingly hard to meet people they aren't related to.." and she glances upward. "It's none of my business anyway, I just don't understand.. other riders don't have thirty children."

L'ton reaches to try and smooth the furrows out of her brow, shaking his head. "Ya are different. Ya're my first.. And Ah mean, Ah adore Zsrist and Zvelton and Zerissa ta, but yer even different form them. Ah mean.. Ah loved yer mother.. It wasn't just a flight, like most the others." He shrugs a bit, before shaking his head. "Ah mean, Ah'm sure a lot of riders do have a ton of kids, they just dunno about 'em. But, Ah mean.. Ah dunno why they always chose ta keep 'em. Shards, if'n it weren't fer their noses," And he taps her nose again, "Ah'd question if'n they were really mine. Ah guess.. Dhon's just good."

Zipalla nods her head softly and sighs, "Seems selfish to want to be different.. but I'm glad just the same.. you're really all I have.. family-wise.." and her voice shakes a little til she clears it. "I guess I'm just thinking about things, Ton, I'm gonna stand first chance I get, I'm gonna be a rider.. sometimes that's all I know that's right.. it's all I know for sure. "You loved Sris..You love Mai.. you certainly care for Niah.." her mind wanders back to that for a moment, "I took one look at those people in Shipton and was afraid for a moment I'd be stuck there too.. was never so happy to see the weyr.. just looking for my place I guess.."

L'ton quickly shakes his head, with a bit of a smile. "It ain't so bad ta want ta be different… why do ya think Pi and Ah were so happy ta Impress, sweets? Ah mean, they couldn't make us go back anymore, even if'n they wanted ta make us leave, and leave Dhon and Psy alone." He shakes his head again, before he smiles at her. "Ah'm glad, Ah really am. Ah.. Ah've always hoped that since ya were here with meh, ya'd want ta be a rider too." He gently gives her another hug, stroking her hair. "Ya dun have ta worry about being stuck there, Ah'll never let ya be stuck."

A little smile and she nods her head, "I was at the hatching the other night.. Ton I want to stand so bad I can't hardly wait.." and she inhales, eyes alight. "I know it's what you wanted and for a time I didn't want to want it cause..well.. I guess kids are rebellious like that.." she says in that tone of I'm-not-a-kid-anymore. She snuggles up to him and smiles, closing her eyes to just enjoy the embrace, "I'll always be your girl, da, no matter how old.. don't forget that, right?" she says, squeezing him.

"Ah thought Ah saw ya… Ah'm sorry Ah wasn't able ta sit with y'all, Ah got there late and was stuck up on the ledges with the Istan Lord Holders. And they weren't so happy with being late." He rolls his eyes slightly, shaking his head. Oh, Lord Holders. "Ah realize, its okay. Ah mean, if'n ya wanted ta.. be a Harper, Ah'd have been a bit sad, but Ah'd have gotten over it, if'n it made ya happy." And then he's pulling her into another hug. "Ah know, Ah know. Ah just can't believe yer getting all grown up."

Zipalla wrinkles her nose at his comments about the Lord Holders then she smiles at him, a sweet, adoring smile. She does adore him, even if she doesn't understand him. "I am, Ton.. sometimes I feel more grown up than others.. I miss Sris.." she says with a sort of sad downward cast of her eyes then she lifts her shoulders, "But, it's time I stop thinkin on that and work on my own path.." She pauses and looks around the stables, smiling, then back up at L'ton, "I'm so glad you came to check on me.. I know how busy you are.. I like being out on my own a little but it's sure nice to visit with you.. been missing you." She tilts her head up and gingerly touches her cheek, "I look like a right tough Shipton gal huh," she says playfully.

"Ya dun have to not go talk ta her, sweets. She's still Sris, just the same as she always was. Ah mean, we ain't together no more, but that dun mean ya can't.." And it seems that L'ton's words have failed him, for he's stumbling a bit over his words, and the he's shaking his head. "Ah think yer doing great fer yerself, though. And, Ah really am gonna try and come ta check on ya more often. Ah mean, things are starting ta get easier, since Ch'tra's finally pulling his weight as Weyrleader, and yah." And then he's touching her cheek, with a grin. "Only a lil Shipton would manage ta get that, and not go running ta da cause of it."

Zipalla nods her head a little then gives her dad a gentle smile, curling her fingers at his back. She leans up and kisses his cheek, "I'm tryin, Ton, I want you to be proud of me.." She smiles brightly at his comment about visiting more often and nods her head again, "I'd like that.. I'll need help.. when it comes time to stand and all.. I mean.. advice." She nuzzles his hand and quirks a grin up at him, "I was gonna learn to fight, in case they came for Zorya but then we went to them first..before I learned anything.. guess it shows.." and she blushes some. "But no I didn't run, I was about to give him whatfor, when he fell and hit my by accident, he was aiming for Zh'ae." She laughs a little and sighs a soft little content sigh, "Zhil is kinda protective with me.. he was none too happy."

"Ah bet he ain't. And, Ah'll have ta check up on Zh'ae, ta make sure he's okay ta. Though, Ah just have ta hope that they dun send a group with torches and pitchforks after us, fer stealing all their people, and attacking someone." L'ton widens his gaze slightly, seeming to make a mental note before he's grinning back down at her. "Ah know, Ah know. And, they are plenty of us here ta ask, if'n ya ever do have any questions. Though, before ya are Searched, maybe Ah should see if'n Ah can get ya in with the guards fer some basic training."

Zipalla smiles almost proudly up at L'ton and giggles, then holds his hands with hers and sways a bit, almost dance-like, "I'm near to fourteen turns, Ton.." she says in a teasing voice. "You're getting to be an old man with a grown daughter.." she teases yet more. Her eyes sparkle and the gold flecks in them seem especially vivid in the morning light that sneaks through cracks and crevices in the stable, also pouring in through the stable doors. The lighter streaks in her hair too, catch the light and standing straight with a delighted smile on her face and the look of Shipton confidence billowing her sails she looks for that moment every bit the woman she will someday be. "I want to be strong.. and able to handle myself," she says with a nod.

"Then lessons with the guards it is." L'ton agrees whole-heartedly as she looks up at him, eyes sparkling and hair gleaming. "Ah.. Ah think it'd be best fer all of us, if'n ya were able ta take care of yerself some, ta." And then he's spinning her once, shaking his head. "Ah know, though… Soon Ah'm gonna have ta get a real big stick ta beat off all them boys who actually are coming fer ya.. Ah mean, Dhon'll help but." He winks at her, teasing her right back.

The delicate mix of a woman and a child has its challenges but for the moment Zipalla is free of those and spins with L'ton, head tossing back some as she giggles and moves. "Best for all of us?" she asks with a grin. The comment about the boys makes her blush and that's cute in its own way too, she wants to deny the prospect but knows she wouldn't do so convincingly so she just mulls that thought over. "I love you, Ton, I know you know it but… I think it's good to say things that need said when you have the chance before your chances pass you by," she says with a firm nod. A blush follows and she lifts Ton's arm to spin beneath it, tucking her head down some.

"Best fer all of us." He agrees even as he spins her. "Then Ah know if'n some jerk tries anything, he's gonna regret it, and he's gonna regret it bad." L'ton says firmly, even as he's smiling. He chuckles a bit as she blushes, before nodding his head. "Ah love ya ta, mah lil'Zip. Ah always will, no matter what." And then he's tilting his head at her, slightly confused, before lifting his hand up a bit more. "So, if'n we have a birthday party fer ya, were do ya want it ta be? The beach? Up at the weyr? What would make my not-so-lil girl happy?"

Zipalla thinks for a moment and then taps her chin, "The beach.. at dusk…with a fire.. and dancing.." she grins up at him, twirling once more. "And I wanna wear a pretty dress that looks like a scarf, tied up on the shoulder you know? With flowers in my hair and barefooted..so I can feel the sand on my feet.." She giggles delightedly and nods her head, "Do you think that'd be good?" she asks then she smiles softly at Ton. "And I know you don't much trust him but I want Mike to be there.. well everyone really..Oh I sure hope we can find Zorya.."

"Oh, Zip, Ah make not trust him much, but Ah ain't gonna say ya can't have yer friend there. Ah'll just beat 'im if'n he tries anything." Considering the amused look on his face, there is a good possibility that he's joking, though it is L'ton, so you never know. "But, Ah think that sounds wonderful. Ah'll see what Ah can arrange, and Ah'll make sure ya have a real good turnday. And we'll get ya that pretty dress ya want, and yeah." And then he's ruffling her hair a bit. "We'll find Zorya, we will, Ah promise."

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