Ever since her return, Carrot remained aloof to most of her concerned family and friends, as well as many others throughout the Weyr. Miraculously, however, K'din managed to retain somewhat of her trust, for he proved himself to be one of the few in her life whom held absolutely no sort of expectation of her aside from being herself, whatever that might be. Yet who was the soul who inhabited this body titled "Carrot." What had she become over her months hidden away in Walled at the mercy of her captors? Carrot did all she could to forget the events, but they became as much apart of her, defining her very being and purpose almost as much as her boys Onnen and Adrune.
Adrune... Addie... She wept when she saw her son, and he wept in turn. Sweeping the lad into her arms, she held him for hours with Onnen, the three of them knit closely together in a stitch that would never break against the onslaughts of the world. "I'mma protect ya. Ain't nothin' e'er gonna happen t'ya... not e'er..." Purpose proclaimed itself in her children, Adrune and Onnen curled in her arms, succumbing to the calls of sleep while Carrot remained awake and vigilant against any who might threaten the sanctity of their lives.
Not even Locke could harm them now.
But what of her? Late into the night Carrot stared off into the darkness, watching jewelled eyes of Ginger staring right back at her in worry. In a new room in a new wing of the creche, Carrot could no familiarity in her quarters, no warmth of home. Though Unna managed to keep the worker's precious belongings, and even her feline, pictures covered meaningless walls, and sheets tucked against a cold and unused bed. Perhaps she could look at it as a blessing, for no memories of Locke or the kidnapping assaulted her, no memories tucked themselves away in every little crevice of the room. She had a kitchen, she had her rocking chair to knit in, and she now had Murr's forgotten gift from Micah worn around her neck. Her sister forgot her good life before the new one destroyed her. Wearing that necklace remained Carrot never to allow the same to ever happen to her. For all the bad that happened in the last Turn, much good needed to be recalled. She still had Adrune and her sister, she found a needed friend in K'din, those who loved her still cared for her after her months of absence, and now... she had Onnen...
Meow'lek called to her from her feet, the feline pawing at her toes for attention before he leapt onto her lap and found a place snug between the warm bodies of her boys. "Ya miss me too, Meow?" Curling paws and rumbling purrs answered the woman. He gave her kisses with half closed eyes before a mighty yawn escaped the small beast. Carrot answered with one of her own, finally aware of her need for rest. Dawn had not yet crept into the sky when she finally found her own peace of repose.
Though reluctant to let her children go the next day, Livia pressed Carrot nonetheless to leave her children in the fellow creche mother's care for a time while Carrot took some time to herself to go ride on Snow-Beauty.
"You haven't ridden in weeks, Carrot. Not since you've gotten back. You need to get out for a bit, live again. Please... for us? We've been worried about you. And don't worry about the boys. They will have a good time with Graveal and Sunnita like they always do." The persistent pressings broke the will of the wary woman, and finally Carrot gave in, leaving the creche in her riding gear.
It smells all musty, Ginger, Carrot thought to her long missed ruby firelizard as they made their way out to the stables. She would make sure to give all unused close a good scrubbing before she wore them again.
The little beast whined to her in turn, eager for the long awaited ride, drawing a chuckle from the woman.
Yeah... I miss her too. Reaching the stables, Carrot heard the eager whinnies of her runner calling for her. It seemed Snow-Beauty missed her as well, and yearned for a ride far away from the stables that confined her. Carrot could understand those sentiments and took out the runner to check her hooves and tack her up. Home greeted her in the saddle, and for the first time in weeks since her return, Carrot felt a sense of home. Riding out on the runner, she easily found her pace in her mare's heavy trot, though liberation was found in the canter that carried them across the bowl for the Weyr lakes.
Upon their arrival, Carrot dismounted and removed the saddle, saddle blanket and bridle, giving the runner sometime to enjoy her own freedom. The runner galloped about her before she finally settled upon a patch of grass to worry her teeth into. Lips sorted through the shoots, and Carrot watched her all the while, appreciating the simple life her runner led.
Could her life be so simple?
Carrot supposed it could. She just needed to let go. With Snow-Beauty safe in the fields, Carrot found her reprieve upon the weyr lake shores that she began to comb for water beaten stones. All the while, she remained unaware of her brother's meddling from down in the dungeons...
... she really needed to visit D'ran... but she banished the thought before it might take root and corrupt her good mood.