Re: Gather Dance: Garden Variety Homicide! ((Attn: T'quinn, Calyse))


At Calyse’s question, T’quinn nodded in confirmation even as he listened to the rest of her comments. He smiled back, reassuringly, at her smile but he could see she was struggling with the heat. Hoping to help, he offered “I’ll ask around a bit more, and if I find out more about who this tailor is and if they’ve actually done what I heard mentioned I’ll be sure to send a note with the info to the barracks for you. If...if you’re really struggling hard in the heat, I’m sure you can talk to Candidatemaster Nayari. She seemed very nice and understanding, so maybe she’ll make some accommodations for you, in regards to the physical lessons and least until you get a chance to get a bit more used to the heat here.” 


T’quinn was pleased when it seemed like she was coming a bit more out of her shell as she talked, and listened politely as she spoke, taking care to keep guiding her through the dance. As she talked about the unusualness of seeing whers all over the place, T’quinn nodded in agreement before responding with “They’ve actually...had great amounts of success in breeding whers for specific purposes and traits, to actually make them more easily trainable, for one thing. I looked into the different things that have been done with whers, when I first got to the Weyr and saw how numerous they were. And, studying them and the different types of whers that have been developed helped ease my concern over them greatly.”


As the talk moved onto having a dragon, T’quinn heard the longing tone in Calyse’s voice and hoped he hadn’t upset her with talking about Aeliseth...sometimes he could just gush and gush without realizing it, especially about his brown. As she said crowds make her uncomfortable, his eyebrows rose in surprise. When she finished her questions, T’quinn started with “Crowds make you uncomfortable? Well, I never would have known that with the way you walked up to me so boldly and asked me to dance. Thank you, by the way.” He said that last bit with a full smile down at her before continuing on with a softly spoken “I...always felt awkward before too at large gatherings, just never felt like I belonged there, and still do on occasion, but not so much with Aeliseth now because I’m never alone. It’s like..well, he feels like the best part of me, actually. Your parents were right. Anyone can be *talked* to by a dragon, but being able to feel them, and they you...for them to always just...know, unless you make the effort to shield them from something specific. Let me tell you, it makes it *so* hard to surprise your dragon when they can just pull it from your thoughts and know it.” 


He finished his explanation right as it was time to guide Calyse through a twirl in the dance, and it was just as he was twirling her that suddenly there was screaming from another part of the dancefloor, and this scream was clearly *not* from the excitement of the dance. Reacting on reflex, T’quinn spun to put himself between Calyse and whoever was screaming, his arms tightening around Calyse and pulling her suddenly close against his chest as if that would keep her out of whatever danger had caused someone to scream. 


Hardly more than a couple heartbeats after that initial scream, there were some more shouts, commands, and more screams as the music abruptly stopped. Suddenly there were shouts, clearly heard now with the music stopped, to clear the dancefloor. T’quinn, holding Calyse close against him still, felt the shift in the crowd as panic began to spread and his heart beat fast in his chest as he looked down at Calyse saying in a rush “I’ll help keep you safe, get you back to the Weyr. Aeliseth can take us. You trust me?” Even with the crowd beginning to shift and scream around them, T’quinn wanted to make sure and protect his dance partner but it would be easier to get them somewhere safe if he knew she was going to follow his lead.

((OOC: I hope the movements with Calyse that T'quinn does once the screaming starts are ok with you. If they are not, please let me know and I'll adjust what he does.))


On Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 6:04 PM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
"A lighter fabric?" Calyse wasn't entirely sure what that would entail, but the concept was intriguing - especially when even the candidate uniforms felt like blankets in the heat. A smile appeared fleetingly on her face, but the set of her brows made it clear she was still suffering. "I hope they hurry. I'll have to save up my marks to make sure I get some when it's made, n-not totally sure I'll survive the weather otherwise. Maybe they will let me commission a uniform out of it, if-if I'm lucky." 

Swaying with his lead, the longer the dance went on, the easier it became for her to follow. Turns past her lessons had been, but T'quinn was an excellent guide and the muscle memory was beginning to take over.  His eyes seemed kind by her measure, at least when hers weren't darting elsewhere. "That's the other thing," she agreed with a growing enthusiasm marking her words.  "Watchwhers everywhere. Folk treat them like pets, walking them around the bowl on leashes. I've seen them near dusk and dawn." Having revealed accidentally that she slept poorly by implication, she hurriedly went on. "Smaller ones, too. They're usually so big up North, and never do you see so many in one place. They're.. a little frightening, to be honest." 

Listening to him speak of his first Gather with a dragon in his mind evoked a nagging feeling of envy. Would she ever share that sensation? "That sounds lovely," she said at last, unable to hide the wistful tone of voice. "Crowded places make me a little.. uncomfortable, I think, but maybe with a dragon it wouldn't be so intolerable. ...What *is* it like?" The look she returned to him had become slightly sorrowful for her question. "My parents always said there was nothing like it, that it's more that just hearing them in your head. You.. you feel them, too. You know their thoughts and they know yours. Is it really that way?"

On Tue, Jun 23, 2020, 9:54 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:
T'quinn continued to smoothly lead Calyse through the steps of the dance, his movements more graceful than he believed them to be, and when he felt her following him easily T'quinn smiled down at her. Looking down at her, he noticed that the candidate's eyes darted toward their feet a few times but he didn't bring attention to it. Instead, he continued his careful, well-practiced steps through the dance as he kept his hand placed respectfully at her waist. At her reply, T'quinn's face showed surprise at just how much of a new arrival she was. Her comment, complaint, about the heat earned her a nod of understanding as he noticed that she was just a bit warm even now. 

As she began to talk about the Gather, T'quinn caught the flatness in her voice and a concerned look crossed his face at wondering if she'd not really enjoyed herself. He nodded silently at her comment, before smiling at her comment about the overabundance of flits and the Harpers' entertainment. At her comment about the Benden wine, he grinned understandingly. 

When she looked up and met his eyes at her return question, the brown weyrling didn't realize she'd been making a point not to meet his eyes whenever she glanced up at his face and he took a moment to lead them through a series of steps before he replied with "Just under a sevenday? And from the North too, quite a difference here. I grew up in the South, but spent 4 turns up North and when I returned it felt like I had to get used to the heat all over again. I believe I heard, however, from one of the weyrlings...that one of the tailors at the Weyr has been working toward a lighter more breathable fabric type and has had some success in that area for keeping people cooler. That doesn't, of course, help with the air being so humid, but it's something at least."

T'quinn took a moment to sway them through a couple more steps as he compared his turns in the North with the South on what Calyse might be going through with the adjustment living here. After a moment of consideration he continued with "It does seem like everyone has a flit, or three, hanging off them. And the popularity of whers has been increasing too, which I know is probably very different from what you're used to from the North. I agree though that nothing beats a Benden wine, although there's a couple here that come close." T'quinn said that last bit with a small smile down at her.

Returning to her question about his own Gather experience and if there's something she needed to make sure and see, T'quinn let out a small chuckle as he said "Yes, this Gather's been good for me. This Gather was my first with Aeliseth in the back of my head wanting to see everything with me...and with Aeliseth's unusual fondness toward runners I ended up spending more time than I have in the past at the runner pens...both before and after watching the Arolos Cup. And he was with me as I looked over the vendor stalls too, asking all kinds of questions and wanting to learn. So it was very much a different experience from past Gathers." 

Pausing a moment to consider, still leading them smoothly, T'quinn said "Well, with you having only just arrived you might not have discovered just how much better certain foods are here because of our crops. Fruits, pastries, and other sweets our cooks get to experiment with a bit more and so can develop new, delicious culinary creations a lot easier. And, with all the wild herds, various meats are more readily available too. And the South has developed several different wines that, I think, very nearly compare with Benden's wine...although beer and rum is still better from the North." 

T'quinn paused in his thoughts to step them around a couple who were dancing quite a bit closer and more intimately than he and Calyse were, before finishing with "Oh! We do also have some very fine woodcrafters, due to the South's overabundance of trees, but we have some surprisingly good glasscrafters too." 

On Sat, Jun 13, 2020 at 7:00 PM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Calyse would not have at the self-doubt at war with T'quinn's confidence, for his movements were sure and measured. His innuendo had inspired the quirk of one flaxen brow, but the severity of her face began to soften as the music started. It was a pleasant surprised to have no trouble keeping pace with him, his form practiced, his steps well-placed, his positioning carefully controlled. True to his word, her toes were mercifully stomp-free.  

Though her own movements began stiffly, she found the tempo and those dancing lessons her parents had insisted on finally paid off. They did love their fancy parties; couldn't stand to let their children *embarrass* them, and so Calyse did not embarrass her current partner either. She followed his lead with practiced motions, though her eyes did occasionally dart toward their feet as if unsure she remembered the steps herself. There was comfort in the familiar, at the very least. 

"Not long, little under a sevenday," she answered honestly, her gaze continuing to flitter between T'quinn's face and her own feet. "It's very hot here. I guess I should have known, and the humidity makes me feel like I'm swimming through the air." By the sound of it, she wasn't having a great time, and the thin sheen of sweat on her skin was proof. "The Gather has been... nice," her flat voice made the statement seem sarcastic, but the truth wasn't so simple. "Packed. Lots of people." She didn't seem to like that, but continued fondly. "More firelizards than I've seen in my life. You have good Harpers down here, decent music." She absently observed. "Better wine in back Benden, though.."

As if realizing belatedly that it was her turn to inquire about him, Calyse finally looked him in the eyes. "How about you? See anything I should be sure not to miss?"

On Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 6:18 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:

With her smaller hand in his, T’quinn grasped her hand gently in his as he led her smoothly onto the dance floor. As he walked, he self-consciously ran his other hand through his hair trying to smooth it back a bit out of the way. With her introduction, T’quinn turned his head to glance at her with a friendly smile, thinking he’d seen a hint of a smile on her own lips. At her other words, he did finally see a smile light up her eyes even though it was very brief on her face. Dipping his head a little he replied with “Likewise, Candidate Calyse.”


Stopping in a space between some other couples, when T’quinn turned to Calyse and she stepped up close to him confidently he had a moment where his brain went ‘What the shells do you think you’re doing? Trying to join in and dance like everyone else? You’re going to screw this up too!’. But then he felt the ever present love coming from Aeliseth and he quickly pulled himself out of those negative thoughts.


As she laid her hand on his shoulder, keeping her hand in his, T’quinn shifted his grip on her hand to get their arms into a slightly better position as he’d learned at the Harper Hall and then put his other palm lightly resting on her waist. He didn’t pull her closer, keeping them at the distance she’d set, her plain, conservative clothes and her body language as she settled into a dancing pose hinting that this girl had a bit of a conservative Holder attitude still. He wondered how long she’d been at the Weyr, but her blunt not at all playful question T’quinn bit back the joking comment he might have made. Instead he considered his reply before saying honestly “I’ve never had any complaints before.” Totally not even catching the innuendo in his previous words, T’quinn continued with “But I assure you, your toes will be safe.”


Just then the harpers on stage began the first notes of the song, not too fast a song but also not such a slow one they’d just be swaying along to. T’quinn took a moment to get the rhythm of the beat before giving her a small nod of ‘Are you ready?’ and then beginning to lead the candidate in the steps with only the slightest of pressure on her waist to direct her. He was considerate and careful of his movements, keeping that conventional distance between them instead of having her plastered against his front like some of the other couples around them just as he kept his hand light on her waist without moving it anywhere unexpected. And while he’d been humble in his statements, not believing himself to be much good at dancing, he was actually a pretty good dancer. It seemed all his clumsiness and awkwardness faded away on the dance floor, as if it had been surpassed by the dancing lessons he’d had at the Harper Hall, so that even though *he* still thought he was not a good dancer, his body moved them both smoothly through the steps with a grace he didn’t recognize he had. 


As he led her through the steps, he curiously asked what he believed to be an easy topic “So Calyse, have you been at the Weyr long? And have you enjoyed this Gather so far?”


On Tue, Jun 9, 2020 at 7:34 PM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Calyse place her smaller hand in his when offered, following obediently in his wake toward the dancefloor. His long fingers drew her eyes while thoughts turned inward. A shy man was not what she had expected, the stuttering reply rather disarming. Up close with that barely tamed haircut, there was a roguish quality to him that made his stumble seem all the more curious. Did he *not know* he cleaned up so nicely in that vest? Perhaps that was it, she reasoned. It made her wonder how he usually presented himself. 

He began introductions far more smoothly and the minor success made the edge of Calyse's lips twitch near a smile. "Calyse," she answered. "Just Calyse. Candidate," was added as an afterthought. "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Weyrling T'quinn of brown Aeliseth." The smile finally appeared on her face, lighting up her blue eyes before vanishing again as quickly as it arrived. 

As they came to a halt in the open space among the other dancers, Calyse stepped near him with more confidence than she felt. The hand he held remained in his grasp while her other settled on his opposing shoulder in a fairly conventional pose. "Are you any good at this?" She asked bluntly without the pretense of playfulness. 

On Tue, Jun 9, 2020, 1:33 AM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:

Looking out at the dancers while at the same time looking for Wycker, T’quinn didn’t notice he’d become someone’s focus until she was standing directly in front of him. Before she’d even greeted him, his startled brown eyes had focused on her. Her greeting earned her a dip of his head and smile, but as he lifted his head and her pretty blue eyes caught his gaze with an unusual intensity the greeting he’d have voiced didn’t make it past his lips. 


And then her very direct question, a request to dance from someone he’d never met before, caused his eyebrows to rise and his mouth to drop in surprise as he stuttered out sounding quite awkward “Um, me? Oh, um..sure. Of course.” Glancing around for a place to put his drink, still quite flabbergasted that *he’d* been asked, he put his mug of juice down with a slightly less than graceful ‘thunk’ before turning to the girl asking him to brave the dance floor with her. 


As he looked at her, this time he looked beyond those intense blue eyes to her, her so pale blond hair, the runner necklace, and the white blouse and deep red skirt that looked quite plain and conservative next to some of the more...daring outfits of the Weyr inhabitants. His eyes lingered on the runner necklace for a very brief moment, but it was long enough for his brown to catch and send him a pleased {{Ohh, I like her. Make sure not to step on her toes while dancing, Mine!}}. T’quinn sent back a feeling of exasperated love even as he held out his hand to her to lead her out onto the floor while he asked politely “I’m Weyrling T’quinn of brown Aeliseth. And who do I have the honor of dancing with this evening?” His earlier stutter and moment of surprise had cleared enough for this to sound just a bit less awkward.


On Tue, Jun 9, 2020 at 1:51 AM Ariel Rogers <> wrote:
Calyse stood on the sidelines among others milling about while they sought dance partners. Lady's choice, they'd said, and this put her in the unfortunate position of having to approach someone. Pull yourself together, she thought silently while her eyes swept the room. It was her first southern Gather and the event had not disappointed, though she found herself feeling guilty for enjoying the festivities. She wasn't here for fun, she was here to keep up appearances. She didn't even like parties on this scale and her discomfort showed in her guarded posture with arms folded beneath her bosom, in the way she fidgeted from foot to foot. 

She hadn't come south with many pretty dresses as they tended to remind her of her mother, and so she had dressed fairly plainly. In place of garish candidate yellows, Calyse wore a loose white silk blouse tucked into the waistband of her flowing floor-length skirt made of fine linen itself dyed a deep, dark red. There were no real accessories beyond a tiny, golden runner pendant that dangled from her neck on a chain, a gift from her brother she was rarely without. Candidate knots hung on her shoulder almost like an afterthought.  Her light blonde hair had been twisted into a bun at the base of her skull, but stray strands were already beginning to escape. Each she noticed was tucked carefully back into place, but not even Calyse could fend off the frizz of southern humidity. 

She caught sight of a young man with cup in hand lingering on the edge of the dancefloor, watching like herself while he tapped to the beat. Her first assessment of him at a distance was favorable, well-dressed and handsome in a sort of boyish way. Taller than she was, too, by the look of it, which never hurt. Calyse made the decision then and there, moving abruptly with strides full of purpose. She cut along the outer edge of the dancers, approaching T'quinn without a moment of hesitation. 

When she came to stop directly in front of him, there could be no doubt as to her target. "Fair skies," she greeted him flatly, but not unkindly. Blue eyes sought to capture his with what might have been an uncomfortable intensity, but she was simply direct. "Would you honor me with a dance?"

On Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 7:42 PM Rosiegirl <rosiegirl872@...> wrote:
T'quinn's first Aolos Gather experience had been amazing! Despite the restrictions placed on him as a weyrling, he'd had a wonderful time. It had started with getting very lucky with a Arolos Cup bet, on a runner that had clearly been the undercanine of the group of contestant runners. He'd spent that first day considering what to spend the marks he'd won on and examining the stalls and talking with a few merchants here and there. He splurged a little and bought Wycker a gift, and himself a nicer shirt for the Gather Dance. But he had taken a little more time to consider the gift he was wanting to get for his totally amazing brown lifemate. He knew what he *wanted* to get for Aeliseth, but had to find someone who could do it if it wasn't already available for sale. Thankfully, it had been available and T'quinn had been able to surprise his brown with a series of a half-dozen elegantly-made glass runner figurines in different poses that were about the size of two palms together (about twice the size of normal figurines that could fit in the center of a palm), packed nice and securely in a slightly large padded box for transport. He'd managed to keep his brown from realizing he'd gotten a gift for him, planning to surprise Aeliseth with this when they got to move into their own weyrs. 

And now it was the last day, he'd worn his nice new shirt and vest combo that the tailor had suggested would look the best on him when he'd purchased it, the white shirt left gabing a little at his throat with the heat and the vest a very nice looking brocade in a series of different shades of blue and trimmed in brown. with his weyrling knots hanging from his shoulder. The tailor had spoken true though and so with the fit of his new vest he looked quite good...not that he'd noticed the many admiring looks tossed his way, of course. 

He was standing at the edge of the dance floor, watching the dancers as well as keeping an eye out for Wycker, and sipping at the last of a cup of juice. His foot was tapping to the music being played, but he held himself back from joining in, used to and more than happy to continue to just watch from the outside.

((OOC: This is set *before* the stabbing, of course.))


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