Asheran sat there like a herdbeast frozen by the glint of a dragon's claws, and furiously considered his options.
He discarded this idea almost immediately. He wasn't sure the ground was stable enough for that, and he'd have to leave Alyx behind - which he gallantly refused to do. If there was punishment afoot, he'd try to shoulder all of the blame and leave her blameless. Not that he thought they were in trouble. Were they in trouble?
2. Pretend to be somebody else.
Cremsden had given him an out. He could just pretend to be a menial servant, or a craftsman, or a - well, no, not a rider. But then he'd be lying, and if it was revealed later (in better lighting) that he was a candidate, then he was certain lying as a candidate would actually get him in the trouble he was pretty sure he wasn't yet already in. And then, also, Alyx would be in trouble by proxy, which he couldn't abide. A small part of him preened at being mistaken (potentially) for a rider, though. It was the beard. Definitely the beard.
3. Tell the truth.
Which, he reckoned, he had started off the conversation with anyway. It was a solid option, though it didn't protect Alyx's honour. And her honour needed protecting now more than ever.
Though Asheran was the youngest in his family, and couldn't lay claim to raising any of his siblings, he had recently bonded with a little firelizard, and he had been there for his sister's firstborn's baby days. He figured that gave him some insight into the fussing baby before him, and that that baby provided him with an out.
"...have you tried... moving his legs?"
He made a vague cycling gesture in the air with his hands.
He hadn't yet noticed Alyx crying in her sleep.