Location - Outskirts of Atricis, East of the Main Weyr near the old Campsite
In the months to follow, they hired a journeyman smith, bought the resources, and gathered together their friends and family to assemble the plans of the architect. Even Inez got her hands dirty with the work, from digging out the earth, to planting the foundations. Beam by beam, and stone by stone, Inez worked with her sisters, her father, and their friends to piece together the home of the once bluerider. Unfortunately, it took time, but with the diligence and dedication of the workers who volunteered themselves for a man they cared for, they managed to piece together the journeyman's vision, and created a home for Ambrosius.
All the while, Ambrosius, lost to his grief over the death of Bowith, remained oblivious to the work being done for him. For the duration of the construction, the dragonless man continued to reside with his friend Devyn. The stay was only to last during his healing period, yet when the time came when Ambrosius realised he could fully support himself, he was not cast away. Instead, Ambrosius continued to live with Devyn, keeping to the man's couch as a respectful housemate, all the while trying to build his life back together until the moment when he figured out where he needed to go.
At Inez's insistence, he bought himself a runner, a lovely dark bay mare he named Deliqua. Nearly every day, Ambrosius spent training the beast, turning his loneliness and energy towards something more constructive to rebuild his sense of self again. It pleased Inez to watch him with the mare every day in the arena. She would watch as he brought the lovely mare out, and train her to run around him. As she did so, Ambrosius stood at the centre of her long circles, encouraging her to trot around him. The man would click his tongue and spin the rope as he danced in place, exciting her to pick her pace into a lovely canter. She flew with finesse about her rider, her tail propped, the hairs streaming. Once she was ready, Inez felt confident Ambrosius would ride Deliqua just as gracefully as he had ridden Bowith.
Until that moment came, however, Inez and the others continued to work, gathering nearly every weekend and several days during the week to put together a home for her old friend. Once they finished, they proceeded to move his belongings. By then end, the home finished, Inez looked upon their work and smiled to her companions.
"Think he'll like it?" Evora asked.
Inez gave a nod. "Yes, I think he will."
"How long has it been since you've ridden a runner?" he asked of Inez as she tacked up her own runner for the ride.
"Not long enough to forget, if that is what you're wondering," she answered honestly.
Ambrosius gave a nod, and realised it was best not to press her any further about her abilities on a runner. To do so would have been to insult the noble woman, one who had ridden on runners nearly her entire life. "So where did you want to ride?" he asked as he slipped the bridle between Purefoy's teeth. The runner gnawed upon the bit and pawed at the ground, clearly not enjoying the feel of it for all he tolerated it. When his ears folded back, but Ambrosius brushed his neck in assurance. It was just enough to mollify the gelding's displeasure and perk his ears up once more.
"I was thinking of taking a ride to the lake east of here. It shouldn't be a long ride."
"But there might be felines," Ambrosius warned her.
"Not with the day whers out."
For the first time since their get together, Ambrosius eyed his old friend. Her excitement for the mundane, her dismissal of the danger, both actions were telling, warning the man that Inez was up to something. He would have asked, but he knew better than to do so, for she would outright refuse him an answer. Therefore, with a wary eye, he watched her mount onto her runner, and then proceeded to do so himself. Once situated, he motioned for her to proceed. "I'll let you lead then."
"Naturally," she concurred, only to narrow her eyes on him. "And don't look at me like that. You know better than that."
Ambrosius gave a nod towards her. "My apologise, my Lady." Though an odd way to address her after all this time, the very term 'my Lady' comforted Ambrosius, helping to root him once more into familiar and comforting habits, ones established even long before he ever Impressed to Bowith. It was a bitter sweet reminder to Ambrosius that he had once lived a life without Bowith, but it was also a reminder that he could do it once again.
The runners rode along the path, following it down to the lake, but before they could arrive to shores, Inez made a turn north up a path that Ambrosius nearly missed.
"Where are you going?" he asked he urged Purefoy with the shut of his leg against the gelding's side to follow after Inez. "I thought we were going to shore."
"Don't worry and just follow me," Inez assured him as her runner cantered along the narrow trail.
Ambrosius did the same, though he worried now about what Inez planned for him. Whatever it was, it would never change the dragonless man, reverting him to the man he once was. Yet ride he did, ducking his head around the brush, and peering through the foliage to note the terrain. He had never been here before. What could be here that brought such hope to Inez, to lead him along the bending path?
The brownrider brought her runner into a gentle trot, passing through the last of the brush. It became evident there was a clearing up ahead. Ambrious attempted to see beyond the brush, but he could not truly see what lay in the clearing until his runner marched through the vegetation and into the clearing. Immediately, he spotted the cothold. "What's going on, Inez? Why are we here?"
"I'm bringing you home," Inez answered with a glance to the man.
"What?" Home? he regarded the cothold once more, the fenced off arena, the stables, the barn.
"You've made it clear you can't live in the weyr, but that you can't live away from it either, so... all of us got together to build you a home, Ambr."
Her confess left the dragonless man stunned for a long moment. He simply could not find the words for such a grand gesture. All he could do was marvel at the two story structure. Though small, it did seem suitable size for himself, slightly bigger than his old apartment back at Atricis. "Who is 'all of us'?" He had to know who he would be indebted to before he were to accept such a shocking gift. It did not seem right to him.
"Myself, Rhianwen, Devyn, my sisters, some of our old wingriders, family... the people who care about you, Ambr."
Though she did not utter the name, Mul'rec, Ambrosius suspected he had a hand in this too. It made him reluctant, but Inez had dismounted and set her runner lose in the arena as a form of affirmation. "You aren't allowed to say 'no', Ambr. Just go inside, and look."
For a moment, the dragonless man hesitated, and then he too dismounted his runner and led himinto the pens. He looked about the fenced off expanse, onto to open the latch and set foot into the stables... there was even a barn attached, one that would allow for bovines and sheep if he so desired.
A door opened from the stables into the house itself, and there in the doorway stood Inez. "Come in. Come look at your new home."
With a final glance to the runners in the pen, Ambrosius set foot into his new home, and marvelled at the work they had done. All his belongs decked his surroundings, from his varnished skybroom table and shelves, to the Neratan silk rug stretched across the floor. Every book, ever item, ever curtain decorated this new home, items of a familiarity in place formally unknown to him. But this was his home. The living room stretched before him with a fireplace for those cool winter nights. A kitchen was attached to it, as well as a small dining room. A set of stairs led to the second floor where he found a large open room with his bed, dresser, and even a closet.
But where was he to gather water?
There was a pump outside, where he might fetch water. And on the other side of the house, an outhouse. Though not nearly as clean as he would have liked, it was still a home to him, one he could call his own.
"Thank you," he finally managed to say to Inez after giving himself some time to take it all in.
"You're welcome" she assured him. "After all these turns and everything you've done, it was the least I could do."
He would make her tea, and with the supply she had given him, he made her a meal as well. Before sun down, the brownrider rode off, and left Ambrosius to his new home. He stood there on the porch with Duesso on his shoulder, and as he marvelled at the sunset, for the first time in months, Ambrosius felt the inklings of home.