Re: Shadow Search (attn: Yeha/Maemi)

Jerzy Tobin

This time it was Gayatri who stepped forward to answer, smiling at the look of confused joy on the girl's face. "You can stay here if you want to, or go with us. And you don't even need to make the decision today. There's actually no clutch at this time, but who knows when the next Goldflight will be. If you want, I'm sure you could always come back for a visit."

Gayatri thought the man she guessed to be the girl's father looked a lot happier about this than his daughter did. But most parents were proud if their child was chosen on a Search. Her own father had taken some persuading, but she imagined he was proud of her now.

Of course, this girl was a bit on the young side, but not anymore so than some other Candidates at the Weyr. "What's your name, hon?"
Maemi felt herself grow tongue-tied at the question and sudden
scrutiny. She pressed against her father's side, feeling very shy all
of a sudden. Jautil came to her rescue, wrapping a reassuring arm
around Maemi's shoulder, and answered for her.

"Her name is Maemi, ma'ams, and, if there is no immediate pressing
need, perhaps she and we could take a few days to think things over,
and send a message when ready?" Though from Jautil's tone, it was
pretty clear that the answer had a very strong probability of being a
'yes' once Maemi had a chance to calm down from the excitement and

Now Yeha stepped forward again, and fished something out of her
pocket. It was a candidate token, the one a candidate presented to
the Candidate Master or whatever assistant did their initial interview
when the candidate arrived, and handed it to Jautil, since Maemi was
still semi-hiding behind him.

"No need to send a message, good Sir. Just go to the Weyr and have
your daughter present this token at the Candidate Barracks, and the
Master or assistant there will take care of everything. I'll leave
word with them with your names and information, so they'll know the
token is legit."

Yeha stepped back with a broad smile, and clapped Gayatri on the back.
"We both hope that you'll strongly consider joining the Weyr as a
candidate, young Maemi."

"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146

Re: (Frost Fayre) What is that? {Xy'lan, M'nom}


[[Nope. Nope. We are not doing this right now!]] Xy'lan replied after
a short pause forcing herself to focus on M'nom and ignore the the
suddenly giggling green in her head. "Sorry Bandiuth is complaining."
she explained rolling her eyes at the green's antics "That sounds
great." she added mentaly bating away the giggling green.

Uooji ignored the antics of the riders instead setting the second bowl
down once it and pushing it and the one that been on his counter
towards the man "Enjoy and just remember to bring your bowls back for
partial refund." he offered.

M'nom grinned at the blush, assuming that Bandiuth must have actually said something “inappropriate”, and if the dragon was having such thoughts, then it meant the rider was, too. She could hardly help it.

"Thank you, sir," he said to the proprietor. He took his bowl and spooned a bit of it into his mouth. It really was lovely, apart from it being so cold outside. If they could keep them frozen, it would be much nicer to have the treats down South where it was hot.

"Let's stroll toward the fire, shall we?"

Re: A way to be useful (Attn: CM Nayari)

Amy Frazey

Zy'fen didn't mind the scrutiny in the least. He was focused on Nayari. He stretched his wooden leg out in front of him as he gave her question some serious thought. "I don't consider it signing my life away, so much as finding a way to be useful, and proving that my life as a dragonrider is still worth something. And I honestly want to help."

Re: A way to be useful (Attn: CM Nayari)


OoC: Apologies for the slow reply, been juggling a few things in RL. Feel free to hit me up on Discord to set up 'what he'd be doing' so you can get rolling with him as an ACM whilst we're doing this one :)

IC: Nayari had slid out of her seat with an easy, fluid grace and had busied herself at a small sideboard at the side of the room. Unfortunately for Zy'fen, he was under Vecna's scrutiny the entire time. The gold firelizard wasn't exactly the friendliest as it was and she fixed the Brownrider with her very best 'I see all your secrets' stare. Over her shoulder, Nayari continued talking.

"So, what inspired you to come to my door and sign your life away to me?" There was a hint of a note to suggest that she was possibly teasing a little. But then again, maybe she wasn't. It wasn't as though Nayari was known for her extra-friendliness herself and few would know the woman outside of her 'professional face'.

On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM Amy Frazey <amyfrazey9@...> wrote:
Zy'fen was wearing his riding leathers, in preparation for a short flight after his interview with the CandidateMaster. They still looked spotless and dust free, with no wrinkles or worn spots. When Nayari offered a seat, he took it with a nod of gratitude. "Some cool water or fruit juice would be nice, thank you."

Zy'fen spared a quick glance at the gold flit in the corner, and gave her a slight nod as well. He'd had to push Zynin to stay with Nerenth. The young bronze was still needy and very demanding, and Zy hadn't wanted this meeting to be interrupted.

Nutmeg on the Wizzy.
Recluso#6042 on Discord

I'm sometimes slow and have the memory of a sieve at times, so don't hesitate to poke me if you think you've been forgotten!

Re: Of warmth and tea (attn Valder/Zenise, any)


Valder shrugged and chuckled, "Well, I'll probably end up falling over and embarrass myself. I saw a few people do just that while I was watching. It could be fun though."
When asked if he was enjoying himself, Valder nodded. "For the most
part. I'm glad I got a warm coat and some gloves before heading up
here though. What did you have planned to do during the Fayre?" <<

"I guess that would probably be both of us since I've never been, but
at least we can be embarrassed together." Zenise offered "But yes
hopefully it will be fun."

Zenise scuffed her foot and couldn't help but to turn a bit red "I
didn't think about it honestly. Probably just a good thing Cl'rin gave
me a ride and knew I would forget so he brought me his old riding
jacket." she offered. Well she had been told it was an old one, but
well it was obvious to anyone with experience that looking at it that
it wasn't that old and looked a bit off for being just a basic riding
jacket, but well what she didn't know ... "I didn't really have any
plans though. It just sounded interesting and Cl'rin said Dollanth
loves the snow so I had to come see it." she explained.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: (Frost Fayre) What is that? {Xy'lan, M'nom}


"I'll have the same," said M'nom, and he handed over the marks to the booth proprietor. "And if we get too cold, I'm sure we could find a place to warm up."<<
Uooji nodded accepting the marks and setting to work on making a
second bowl of the requested peach.

{{At least /someone/ knows how to treat a lady.}} Bandiuth grumbled in
her head causing Xy'lan to blink before turning a bit red "Bandi" she
hissed not realizing she had spoken aloud too.

{{What? He's cute and he bought you something and he is being nice
even offering to help you warm up if you get cold.}} The green replied
practically purring like a feline.

[[Nope. Nope. We are not doing this right now!]] Xy'lan replied after
a short pause forcing herself to focus on M'nom and ignore the the
suddenly giggling green in her head. "Sorry Bandiuth is complaining."
she explained rolling her eyes at the green's antics "That sounds
great." she added mentaly bating away the giggling green.

Uooji ignored the antics of the riders instead setting the second bowl
down once it and pushing it and the one that been on his counter
towards the man "Enjoy and just remember to bring your bowls back for
partial refund." he offered.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: Dragons take lots of work {Rena, Zy'fen}


Zy'fen and Nerenth had also been assigned to the Queen's Wing, likely on a permanent basis, and he had been adjusting to the differences between that, and flying in a high level Wing. There was less for them to do, but in some ways, the golds were more demanding.
That particular day, Zy'fen and Nerenth had gone down to the lake for
their usual daily bath and oiling. They had both gotten back into the
habit of being very particular about their appearance.

Not too far away, Zy'fen spotted a semi-familiar dragon/rider pair,
though it took him a couple minutes to place the women's face. When he
finally recalled where they'd met, he wandered in her direction with a
smile and a wave. "Hello." <<

Rena wasn't afraid to admit she has jump at bit at the sudden
greeting, but she also wasn't afraid to admit she was a bit
disapointed with herself when she found the owner of the voice. It
wasn't often you met someone so "damaged" so she had recoganized him
from drills, but she hadn't had the chance to catch up with him and
after being in the same wing for any amoutn of time that felt somehow
wrong. Still it was good to see he was doing well and she could make
up for it now. "Hello Zy'fen. How are you and Nerenth doing today?"
she offered finally dropping her hands from her stomach.


Join the Aywas fun -

"My personality is 30% the last anime I watched." - Tumblr
"Remind me never to get out our bad side. It seems to be ...
unhealthy." - Varric
"Death By Apple Pie a lovely poem by our friend Cole" - Dorian

Re: Knock! Knock! Who's There? Att: Andronda/Sehrael


In the back of her mind, Andronda could feel Nykantiath's amusement.
Since Andronda wasn't in any actual danger, the gold was going to let
her get herself out of this mess without lifting a claw to help her,
Andronda *knew* it.  Shards, the gold would probably go hint to some
bronze rider that she needed "rescued" or something if Andronda did
press her to get help.  She wasn't in the mood to put up with any of
that kind of nonsense today, thank you very much.  So she resorted to
knocking on the cupboard door, calling out for help instead.  Her
voice may have been muffled, but it could be heard.  This wasn't an
out of the way spot, either, so there should be someone to hear her,
sooner rather than later.

Sehrael lifted an eyebrow. Was that–

Yeah. That was someone knocking on a cupboard door. From the inside. She grinned to herself and considered having a little fun with whoever it was, but _really_, the right thing to do would be to help without any theatrics.

After all, that was what would reflect best on Andronda. And Sehrael could hardly repay her kindness by attracting negative scrutiny. She stepped close to the door and tried the knob. Hm. Locked, it seemed.

"I hear you," she said. "I'll try to find a key, alright?"

Knock! Knock! Who's There? Att: Andronda/Sehrael

Jerzy Tobin

She'd been going over storeroom inventories, and had chosen a random
store cupboard at random to do a spot check audit, just to make sure
things were getting recorded properly. Mostly it was an excuse to get
out of her office, away from her desk and the stacks of paperwork
piled up on it. Andronda figured a good stretch of her legs would do
her some good, maybe help her regain her focus, since her mind had
taken a bit to wandering today. What she hadn't figured on was the
door swinging shut behind her, or the fact that it had seemed to jam
shut - or maybe it was locked - but either way she couldn't get the
door open at all! Thank Faranth she'd brought a glow basket with her,
or she'd really be in a lurch!

In the back of her mind, Andronda could feel Nykantiath's amusement.
Since Andronda wasn't in any actual danger, the gold was going to let
her get herself out of this mess without lifting a claw to help her,
Andronda *knew* it. Shards, the gold would probably go hint to some
bronze rider that she needed "rescued" or something if Andronda did
press her to get help. She wasn't in the mood to put up with any of
that kind of nonsense today, thank you very much. So she resorted to
knocking on the cupboard door, calling out for help instead. Her
voice may have been muffled, but it could be heard. This wasn't an
out of the way spot, either, so there should be someone to hear her,
sooner rather than later.

"Life is NOT a journey to the grave with the goal of arriving safely
in a prettily preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a
shower of gravel and party shards, thoroughly used, utterly exhausted,
and loudly proclaiming: "F*** ME, that Rocked!!" -unknown

Whizzy: Jerzy
Aim: Yue146

No Grit, Plenty of Determination (jp: Cuylar, I'des)


OOC: Set 3 days after the Frost Fayre

IC: Even nearly two days after his sight had returned, I’des and Sunstreath both were grateful for the return of the rider’s sight. Who knew snow could have been so dangerous?? 

At least Cuylar had been there, I’des mused, and felt rather than heard Sunstreath snort. ((You just want attention.)) “Don’t you?” I’des teased back, lightly. “You know we owe him for the save anyways. Mind asking Elphith if hers will be available tonight?” 

((Or you could go find him.)) Sunstreath huffed, but reached out anyways. ((Elphith, Mine would like to know if yours is available, tonight.)) 

((Cuylar would like to see your rider,)) Elphith answered simply. She did not talk to Sunstreath any more than she had to, but Cuylar liked that one. The scarred one. Perhaps he could be The Scarred One. Elphith had no particular qualm with the rider.

((Cuylar will see The Scarred One. Where shall he meet him?))

Sunstreath checked, again, and when he responded, it was with the air of someone passing on a message that they themselves were not truly invested in. ((Mine cordially invites Yours to a nice dinner and to watch the sunset. And you.)) he added, as a near afterthought. ((Mine says I am to share my ledge with you, as there are no stairs to Our new home. And he says to ask if Yours minds whers.)) 

((I will bring Cuylar, and then I will leave you to enjoy your ledge uncrowded. I will return when Cuylar is ready to leave.)) Knowing him, it could be in the morning.

((Cuylar has no objections to whers.)) Cuylar did not particularly understand the desire to keep whers, but they were not scary or offensive on their face.

((Mine says that Yours may come when he is off shift this evening, and that Mine will have things ready.)) Sunstreath returned, and then said no more. ((Let me know when you are coming and I will move over long enough for Yours to climb down and go in.)) 

((I will give you adequate notice.))

And when the time came, she did. Cuylar was rather excited for another meal with I'des – dinner this time! – and really could not care less how big of a show Elphith wanted to make about how much she and Sunstreath did not get along, as long as she was civil. And it seemed they had that down.

Cuylar had changed into clothing meant to show off his body, and he was wearing rings on all ten of his fingers – so cool! – when Elphith deposited him on I'des's ledge. The higher-up weyrs were not Cuylar's favorite, but they were what they were.

"Hey, I'des!" he called in. "Can I come in?"

Sunstreath kept his head up, proudly, and his chest puffed just a bit, shifted over on the ledge as if it had been his idea entirely and that Elphith was not even there, and when she took wing, he immediately sank back into a sprawl with a sigh that was obviously meant to conclude satisfaction. 

I’des, for his part, had spent his time first wheedling a large basket’s worth of picnic dinner out of the Kitchens, as well as several sweet bubbly pies, and then some time spent in the bathing pools, and then finally donning clothes that were one step down from Gather best, even going so far as to brush his usually windswept hair, and wearing the necklace that held a bit of Sunstreath’s shell. He’d given Nuffink a more thorough bathing and oiling as well, and put on the wher’s best collar, a dyed leather affair studded with shiny stones. 

One last glance to make sure the table in the main room of his quarters was properly set, the food and tableware laid out, and that Nuffink was laying in his place by I’des’ bed, and he gave a little nod of satisfaction. 

“Come on in!” he called. 

"Wow, look at you," Cuylar said with a whistle and a grin as he joined I'des inside the weyr. "I might be a little underdressed, eh?" 

"This all looks amazing. Thank you for having me over."

“No problem.” I’des assured, gave Cuylar a broad grin, eyes bright. “You, ah.. You look. Good. Too.” 

Nuffink lifted his head, sniffed the air, watching the stranger with slowly whirling blue eyes. {You. Who?} 

“Oh! Right. Cuylar, this is, ah, Nuffink. Nuff, this is Cuylar.” I’des elaborated, hastily. “You stay there, Nuffink. Stay. Good wher.”

"Well, hello, good boy!" Cuylar smiled at the wher. So this was the vicious monster who had sliced I'des to bits. Aw, he was precious.

((Whers are not precious.))

[[Well, not compared to you or Ric, maybe…]]

"Does he like scritchies?" Cuylar asked.

"We've worked really hard on training since I got well enough to take care of him." I'des agreed. "Classes and stuff. He's the goodest boy." A pause. "He'll let you pet him, if you want? I can call him over..." 

{I gud boy.} Nuffink assured.

"Sometimes I forget that other people have time for stuff like that when they don't work two jobs," Cuylar chuckled. "Or have kids. That's another job in itself."

"Come on, buddy," he said to the wher, holding his arms out.

"Here, Nuffink." I'des ordered, gestured to his feet, and the wher rose, stretching, before padding over to his human, though he gazed at the other human watchfully. {'Lar give treat?} He asked. 

"If you want, his treat jar is on the shelf there." I'des gestured. "Give him a command and you can toss him one. Then he should be good." 

A pause. "And who wants kids? I don't, not really."

"A kid found me, it seems," said Cuylar as he walked to fetch a treat for Nuffink. "It wasn't part of the plan."

"What's your favorite trick to do, buddy?" he asked Nuffink.

"You have a kid?" I'des frowned a little, confused, and shook his head. "What, do you… have a mate? Or…?" 

{Nuffink gud lissen.} The brown rumbled. {Des train, Nuff' train. Say good wher lots.}

"Hardly," Cuylar laughed. "Alright, Nuffink, can you touch my hand?" He held the empty hand up for a high five.

"No, I don't usually find myself in bed with women. But a while back, I was up North at a Gather with my parents, and a gold had the good manners to fly close enough for some of the more dragon sensitive folks to hear her… I was already a bit drunk… Anyway. Things happened."

He chuckled again and looked down at his hands.

"I wish I'd known sooner. That anyone had. She had already given birth before I found out. She saw me again last time I was up and remembered me. I barely remembered her, but… Well, when you end up with a woman for the first time, it does stick with you a bit, even through booze and goldlust."

"So. I brought her and the boy down here to live with me."

Nuffink sniffed the air, and then lifted one heavy, clawed, foot, placed it carefully into Cuylar's hand. {Gud?}

"When you give him the treat, just toss it." I'des cautioned. "Don't hand feed." A pause, and then he added, "So… not a mate, but lives with you? What's her name? What's the kid's name?"

"She has her own quarters with the boy," said Cuylar as he tossed the treat to Nuffink. "Her name is Darrica. And the boy is Ric," he said. Cuyric, if he had his way. But he was still leaving it up to Darrica to decide whether to keep his birth name – Ricard.

"My son." Cuylar smiled warmly, proudly.

Nuffink snapped it out of the air and then looked expectantly at Cuylar for more treats. 

"I don't know that I ever want kids." I'des admitted. "I mean I guess they're cute? But if I have any, I don't know about them. I'd rather have Nuffink. Maybe a flit someday."

A pause, moving to pull out Cuylar's chair. "Shall we?"

"Good boy, Nuffink," Cuylar praised. He smiled and reached out very slowly to offer additional pets and scritchies.

And then to I'des, he said,

"Yes, let's. It's most definitely a benefit of bedding men, you know. That we can't bear unexpected children."

Nuffink leaned into the petting hand.

"Good thing I'm seeing you then." I'des grinned. "Nuffink, go lay down. Go."

The wher huffed but ambled back to his spot obediently.

"Nuffink is a good boy," Cuylar said with a smile at the wher. "And yeah, it is a good thing," he added with a grin back at I'des when he took his seat.

“It took a bit to catch up with the rest of his class, but he’s pretty smart.” I’des admitted. “And he knows to behave.” 

He poured some juice for both of them, offered Cuylar his glass. “I hope you like dinner tonight- I grabbed a bit of everything, honestly. And some dessert.” 

"I love a bit of everything," said Cuylar as he took the juice and lifted the glass as a toast to I'des. "And some dessert." He grinned and winked as he took a drink. "I'm very much enjoying myself, I promise."

I’des lifted his own glass in a salute, tilted it toward Cuylar. “So… how’s Infirmary stuff going? I mean, in the day since I’ve been there.” he teased. “And of course the company right now’s excellent.”

"Oh, it's always a new adventure there. That's my real passion, but well, you know, Elphith decided she needed to take me to the sky at least half the time," Cuylar smiled, his eyes twinkling. There were some complicated things going on at work, but it was better to be happy and think of the exciting things when he had his time together with one of his wonderful lovers.

"Are you cleared to fly again after sunburning your eyeballs?" he asked, feeling sure enough that he was healed enough for a bit of a raz.

“Cleared up little bit under a day after I got back.” I’des admitted, sheepishly. “Thanks for the lift back, by the way. Rather be blind here than there.” A pause. “...Honestly, it’s kinda embarrassing. Spent my whole life without getting a scratch, move here, and then the next thing I know I’m spending more time in the Infirmary or on the ground than anywhere else.” 

"It's alright," said Cuylar. "I rather like taking care of people. And scars are sexy," he added with a wink.

"I don't mind being looked after. I mean… if you're offering." I'des admitted, flushed a little. 

"... Anyways. There's some sliced herdbeast here, with some warm bread in this basket. I've got some roasted tubers, too, or some salad with chopped redfruit…" 

"That sounds amazing," said Cuylar. "Shall I serve up some plates?" he offered with a smile as he reached to open the basket to dole out food for the both of them. 

"I'm the host, I should be serving you." I'des protested, though he grinned at Cuylar. "Here- at least serve yourself first?" He lifted one of the plates toward the Healer. 

"How's Elphith?"

"Oh, she's fine," Cuylar assured him. "And if you'd like to do the servicing, you're entirely welcome to." He grinned. "You'd just said you wanted to be cared for." Then he added a wink.

"How's Sunstreath?"

"Yeah but I still should be polite." I'des responded, winked back. "Manners, you know." He took a serving spoon, scooped some of the salad for Cuylar. 

"Sunstreath’s all right.” he added. “Glad to be back in the air, at least. This keeps up, he’ll be too fat to fly.” he added, with the ghost of a smile. “He’s been possessive lately.” 

"Because of the…?" Cuylar motioned around his midsection and then pointed to his eyes. It seemed a decent enough reason for it. Elphith would probably feel the same if Cuylar had been injured more than once like that.

"Is he really OK with me being here? Should I go say hi to him?" 

“...Yeah. He’s not been super happy about either.” I’des admitted, with a hint of a wry look. “Though at least he’s mostly forgotten about the… first thing. If not all the way.” 

A pause. “Nah, you’re okay. He knows I like you.” I’des added. “Besides, I can’t wait hand and foot on him, or I’ll never get a moment’s rest.” 

"That's the way with bronzes, isn't it?" Cuylar grinned. He had no idea what he would have done if he had gotten a high maintenance dragon.

"So, you liiiike me?" he asked in a silly singsong voice, even happier.

“Some of them, I guess.” I’des shrugged. “Be glad you didn’t know us in Weyrlinghood- you’d probably have hated us.” He gave another teasing grin. “And, yeah, actually. I like you. Why not? You’re handsome, you don’t mind my apparently frequent mishaps, and you’re even good with Nuffink- he likes you too, I think. You’re easy to get along with.” 

"I'm only teasing," Cuylar said. "I like you, too. You're pretty handsome yourself. And sweet. And you feed me." He took a bite of the dinner.

"I definitely want to keep you around." I'des responded, warm, took a bite of his own dinner, a mouthful of sandwich. "Even if I have to feed you." was added teasingly. "... I know we haven't known each other too long, but… I mean, would you maybe want… more? Than just occasional meals?"

"What kind of more did you have in mind?" Cuylar asked. It was an important question to ask. But perhaps best to figure that out sooner than later.

"I… don't want to be weyrmates, exactly. Not… yet, at least." I'des tried to find the right words. "But… we could… spend more time together? And.. Try and get our dragons around to be friendlier?"

A pause. "Would… you like any of that?"

"I don't know about weyrmates… Like you said, we've not really known each other for that long," said Cuylar. "But I would love to spend more time with you. As long as you understand that I do have two jobs. And a newborn son. And I have other lovers. Is all of that OK?"

"Yeah." I'des responded, and meant it. "I mean, I figured, at least the Healer And Rider part. I'm just the rider part. And we're in a Weyr- I figured we don't really do exclusivity anyways." A pause. "And we can both reserve the right to break it off whenever. Don't have to explain why."

"Well, I hope you're not looking for a way out already," chuckled Cuylar. He smiled and reached out to touch I'des's hand. "I like you a lot," he repeated.

"Just trying to think of contingency stuff. I'm not the best plan ahead type." I'des admitted, turned his hand over to close lightly around Cuylar's. "But I'm trying." A pause. "...I like you too. And so does Sunstreath."

"It's OK. We can just… see where things go," Cuylar answered. "I'm liking the way things are going. We don't have to get too… planny." Elphith liked I'des well enough to have given him his own name.

"Elphith has named you, you know." He smiled. "So that's a good sign."

“Agreed.” I’des responded, with a grin, and he relaxed. “I like it too.” he added. “And you.” 

A pause. “Sunstreath likes you too- he’s willing to talk to Elphith, if I need to get a message to you.”

"I'm glad – he's really fun. I know Elphith is a little prickly with him, but they do seem to like the two of us enough to pass things along for us." Cuylar chuckled. "I don't even think she remembers why she doesn't like him, but isn't that the way with dragons?"

“I know Sunny doesn’t.” I’des grinned. “Proud son of a wherry won’t admit it though. Pretends he’s all in a huff every time I ask him to pass a message to her.” A pause. “I think he’s taken it as a challenge, in all honesty.” He took another bite of food. “Question for you, actually. How does being a healer and rider at the same time work? I mean, do you only do some drills, and some healer stuff? Or…” 

"Well, drills don't last all day, of course… So I usually just do half-days in the Infirmary after I get Elphith washed and oiled. And I may rely on free Candidate labor for that more than your average greenrider," Cuylar explained. 

"On days when we don't have drills, I work the full day in the Infirmary. I tend to work until dinner, and then I go see Ric and Darrica for a little while every other day. Or every third day if I have a busy couple of days."

"And then on Threadfall days, I fly the first half every time, and then I do the second half in the Infirmary. Or longer than half if someone comes in eaten up or scorched."

"Then after all that, the rest of my time goes to having a lot of amazing sex with guys like you," he laughed. "A little bit of sleep if I can find the time."

Truth be told, he was actually sleeping more than he had at first, but that was only because Cremsden had had a chat with his Wingleader.

“That sounds… pretty busy.” I’des admitted. “I’ve been grounded for a long time, so it’s been mostly washing my big bossytail- which there’s more of him to wash than your Elphith- and lazing around. And at first I had to have Candidate help too.” 

A pause. 

“Hoping that I can at least start drills soon.” he added. “You know, if nothing else happens. We’re gonna get fat, just sitting around.”

"That's alright," Cuylar winked. "I don't mind a little bit of chub. What's the prognosis looking like on when you'll be back at drills?"

“Tell me that again once Sunny’s too fat to fly.” I’des joked, and felt rather than heard his bronze’s rumble of protest. He snorted. “Sunstreath says to tell you I’m joking.” he added, straight faced. 

He hummed, considering the next question. “Well, I just got cleared to fly and go between before I got blinded, so… not too long?” 

"I'd bet you're right around the corner. How are your eyes feeling, by the way?" Cuylar asked, leaning forward to look more closely. "Any more gritty feeling?"

“If I blink, sometimes I still get after images.” I’des admitted. “But my eyes otherwise feel okay. No more stinging or gritty, no.”

"Good." Cuylar smiled, trying not to shift too far into healer mode. "You'll be flying again and working off those love handles before you know it." He winked and took a big bite of dinner.

Skin and bones -or so he thinks- (attn: anyone with food)

Amy Frazey

Zynin landed on the long wooden surface with a small thump and a creel of extreme hunger. The small bronze flit was clearly still young, and in the ravenous stage. His tall giant of a human hadn't been nearby when he'd woken, so Zynin had followed some vaguely nebulous idea of food. The hands that fed were gone, but the young flit found a place where many people had food, and he proceeded to beg shamelessly.

Re: Is it ok to be happy and sad and mad? {Fellan, E'lis}


:I know PapaE'lis. I know you and PapaD'lan and all my Mamas would
let me be out there. I just don't understand why they won't. I can
hear Luna, Hobath, Ravid, and all the others just fine and they can
hear me if they want to. I can even talk to Sharp and Strom just fine
and I make sure they get lots of training. Why does it matter that I
can't hear you or use my voice to talk to you? I know it is harder,
but why does it matter that much?:: Fellan didn't actually expect an
answer, wasn't even sure he wanted one, more just it had been alot and
he was upset in way he couldn't even begin to explain or maybe even
understand. For now it had to be enough that E'lis said it was ok to
be feeling lots of things ::Can I have that hug now?:: he asked after
a pause.

E'lis's heart broke for his son. He wished he had the answers. If it were up to him, there could not possibly be any harm in letting Fellan try. Hearing was important in Fall, but dragons could hear, and Fellan could hear dragons.

He pulled Fellan into a hug until the boy was ready to let go and then signed,

::I don't think it matters. I think your heart is in the right place, and I think you can do anything you work at. Stay close to bottom of the Stands, OK? Maybe a dragon will decide they want you most. And maybe one won't. But you can try.::

ooc: I'm sorry for dropping this! I keep finding more and more things I lost as I've been working on clearing out my gigantic inbox backlog. I understand if you're done with this one, but we can keep going if you're not.

Re: Gather: Tailor Stall (Attn: Bronwynn, Z'rain)


As she pulled another shirt off the rack, so that she was holding 6 choices, Bronwynn asked "So, 2 riders and a master beastcrafter hmm? Sounds like a full weyr, at the very least. And you mentioned there is family as well, for them? What colors do B'nault and J'ril ride? You mentioned B'nault and J'ril are together, but then talked about Gabril separately. Is he not with the riders? does he feel about the whole arrangement? I mean, I'm assuming it works because you're happy, I was just curious...and you can tell me to butt out and stop asking questions if you need to. I won't be offended."

Heading over to one of her 'changing areas' that she'd set up, Bronwynn held out to Z'rain the shirts she'd picked, all in that nice, lighter, breathable fabric that didn't *look* light and breathable, being a bit deceptive in their looks. With a smile and a wave toward the privacy curtain she offered "Go ahead and try them on. Let me know what you think and which you like more, or even if none of those options work for you." 

Z'rain began to try on the suggested shirts, very impressed as always with Bronwynn's skill.

"It can get full," said Z'rain. "But, uh. Well, I have my own space. B'nault and J'ril live together, and Gabril has his own quarters. They're pretty nice. Master's quarters and all. I spend the night with them more often than they with me, but it does happen."

"B'nault is on blue and J'ril on green. Their eyes are striking, though, and backward." He chuckled. "B'nault has bright green eyes, and J'ril has the iciest blue eyes I've ever seen."

"Gabril isn't really the type to have more than one lover. He's just with me. But he doesn't mind me being with B'nault and J'ril, too. B'nault has two kids with his girlfriend, Remira. And J'ril has one from a flight. Gabril brought his son with him from the Hall. Liebril's actually a journeyman now."

"It's a lot of names to remember," he chuckled.

ooc: I'm sorry for dropping this. It wasn't intentional. I understand if you're done with it, but I'm happy to continue if you are.

Re: So This Happened... (Ay'shen/Ambrelli)


Ambrelli flung the door open at his knock, and gave Ay'shen a huge smile.  "Hello old friend!"  She motioned him inside.  "I cannot tell you how good it is to see you.  Or not to have to sulk and hide behind the door while you come inside," she added with a lighter smile.  "How is Ohselth?"  As soon as he got inside, a small, undersized dragonet, gray in color with green veining running just under the skin, giving it a pale green tone, and lacking the normal headknobs of a Pernese dragon stretched on the couch, flexing her talons before slinking off onto the ground and walking up to the rider.  She stopped just in front of him, cocking her head to regard him and then looking to Ambrelli.

"Ilexeth, meet my good friend Ay'shen of Blue Oshelth.  Ay'shen, this is Ilexeth the Unexpected."

Ilexeth turned back to the other.  ((Hello)) she said directly to him.  

"It's– oh. Wow, hello!" Ay'shen greeted Ilexeth with surprise at having been addressed. "It's very nice to see you! And to see you again, Ambrelli. Ohs is good," he remembered to add after the unexpected distraction. "But he almost always is." He smiled.

"This is... incredible," he said  "Congratulations!"

ooc: I am so sorry this has gone unanswered for so long. I got into an inbox clearing mode this morning and realized I had missed this so so long ago. You don't have to continue if you don't want to, but feel free if you do!

Re: Expedition: Klahfest (attn: Raobehr, Garrat/Attlin, any)


Diagir approached a rider and hailed them respectfully. After negotiating travel for himself and Ziya, he set up her riding harness and went with the other passengers to the area described. Ziya grunted at takeoff and landing but otherwise sat calmly in her leathers. Once there, they dismounted and the gold shook herself out to get the phantom feel of the harness off of her.

{Thank, big one,} she said to the dragon before going off to wait with Diagir.

"Hello!" Raobehr greeted the pair in their turn after they arrived at the base camp and set everything up. He had never been quite so close to a wher, as far as he remembered. "Thank you for coming. I hope the day's activities will be to your liking. Do you have any thoughts about what you'd like to find?"

The Find of the Pass (jp: Larissa, Raobehr)


ooc: This occurs the fourth day after Raobehr's expedition, which was concurrent with the Frost Fayre. We can absolutely still write anything fuzzy back into the three days of the expedition, but this is the main outcome. We can assume that whatever time gap between this and klah becoming available is due to the time it takes to establish the harvesting operation. Go ahead and wait until something comes out from the BoD or other IC posts before you write your characters drinking the new klah.

Raobehr had not anticipated finding anything of actual use. The expedition had been an exercise in recreation, not actual exploration. But fate seemed to have a way of stepping in on Raobehr's behalf. He would have liked to have waited to gather his thoughts, reproduce his sketches more cleanly, and do a proper written report. But word would get out quickly with as many people as had been on the excursion, and if the weyr was going to properly take advantage of the find, they had to move quickly and move first.

His immediate superiors among the Harpers in the archives might have wished to receive the report first, but time was of the essence, after all. So Raobehr went directly to the Headwoman Larissa.

"Ma'am, I have urgent news," he said as he greeted her.

Larissa looked up from the hidework she’d been going over, trying to figure out, somewhat ironically, how to best ration the quickly dwindling supplies of klah, and not having much success.  “Yes, what is it?” she said, the irritation at the situation coming out in her voice.  “Sorry, I apologize, I didn’t mean to snap at you.”

"No need to apologize, ma'am – I've just returned from the field, and," Raobehr opened his notebook onto the desk, which showed a map of a nearby area with an impressively accurate direction for how to reach where they had been from the Weyr, "and I found a respectably large stand of un-blighted klah trees."

"I think it would be prudent to establish a conspicuous claim to them before anyone else does."

The Headwoman looked over the map, quickly taking in the details noted on it.  “That’s excellent news, Raobehr!  And I agree, we absolutely must make a claim on it.”  It wasn’t terribly likely that somebody else would stumble upon it, but it wouldn’t pay to dilly-dally.  “I’ll admit, I haven’t the least idea how much klah a stand like this might produce, or how quickly we could grow others to replace the blighted trees, but it’s certainly a start, at the very least.  Good work,” Larissa said, looking up with a smile.

"Thank you, ma'am. If we need to, I think we could partner with the main Hold to send farmers to make sure we harvest sustainably." Raobehr had been a farmer once, a very, very long time ago. "If we're lucky, we could significantly boost the income for both the Hold and the Weyr. Of course, you must certainly know the best way to go about this, which is why I brought this directly to you."

“We’ll have to tell the Weyrwoman at the very least,” Larissa agreed.  “Ultimately it’s up to her whether we bring it to the Hold or the Farmcraft, or both.”  The Weyr obviously wouldn’t have the needed knowledgeable manpower for this; they just didn’t really grow enough of their own food.  She personally would be inclined to take it directly to the Farmcraft, but she also wasn’t the one who had to deal with politics all that much.  “Would you be available for a meeting with her, and possibly the Weyrleaders?”

"Of course," said Raobehr. "I'll be going directly to work to clean this all up and make a proper written report." He made a slight bow. "Unless you object."

“Not at all.  How long do you expect that to take?” Larissa asked.

"I only need a full workday at most to have it ready," said Raobehr. "I just wanted to make sure Arolos had the opportunity to start moving as soon as possible. I understand the global supply chain has been interrupted and that a discovery like this could potentially be a phenomenal windfall."

“Very well,” Larissa nodded.  “I’ll arrange a meeting for tomorrow with the Weyrwoman and some others.  Again, excellent work, Raobehr.  You may have just saved the Weyr from a klah-less R’tal,” she said dryly, with a smile.

"That's the real dilemma, isn't it?" Raobehr answered, smiling back. He felt he had learned enough of the present day sense of humor to appreciate it. "I'm glad to have been of help to the Weyr. And the protectorate."

“I imagine the meeting will be held in the Weyrwoman’s office, but I’ll inform you of the details once it’s set.  I assume leaving word at the Haven will get to you?” she asked.

"It should," said Raobehr. "But if I haven't heard from you in a day or two, I'll check back in." There were a few people among the Harpers who did not like Raobehr, and though he pretended not to notice, he noticed.

Re: Well Now, This Could be Awkward (Attn: Nadia/S'ryll))


S'ryll could still feel the claw marks on his back.  "I think I bedded a wild wher, not a greenrider," he teased, ruffling her hair.  He saw her look beyond him to the dragons, and he turned to watch them as well.  "Vastolth rarely chases, so when he wins, he's a little over possessive.  As if his ego is bolstered," it wasn't lost on him that the dragon and the man weren't far apart in that regard.  "And yes, we definitely have been..."

When she pulled him down to kiss him, S'ryll kissed her back, his mind racing.  Did this mean she wanted the flight to be something more?  Shards, the worst would be if she became much like Vastolth was right now with her green, clingy and possessive.  He was sure he'd already get lectured by the Weyrleader about chasing his wingrider's dragons... But he also had to make sure to handle letting her down gently, so as not to get embroiled in a messy jilted lover scenario.

"So what would you like to do now?" he asked cautiously.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2021 at 1:57 PM Yvonne <kaliangelkat@...> wrote:
Nadia smiled at him as she kept toying with S'ryll's hair. "No you didn't. I didn't hurt you?"

She recalled a bit with a fond smile. Her nails and his back. She swore she had been gentle, or had every intention of it, but Dragons will be dragons. 

She streched again and shifted so that she could get a look at their lifemates. A delicate brow shot up at the sight that greeted her. "Well that's something you don't see every day.

((You have fun?)) Nadia sent to her green amusement showing in her amber eyes.

Sel opened an eye and looked at her rider. Nadia blinked as she watched the green snuggle in even tighter against Vastolth.

Nadia shifted her gaze to Vastolth and almost laughed watching them. Two peas in one pod.

At his statement, Nadia looked back at S'ryll and pulled him down so she could drop a kiss on him.

"Selenyth is in the same mode. I think we've been conspired against." She said with a soft chuckle.

After a most peculiar night... (JP: Dytha/Cremsden)


IC Date Reference: Set approximately Minor content warning for vaguely sexual content.

Babies really had no idea of when someone might want a nice lie in.

Cremsden stirred at the familiar whimper that too often became a scream unless quickly soothed. His brain came slowly awake, logging the feeling of his hand resting on a soft breast and giving it a brief friendly squeeze before it caught up with the fact that no, this was not his weyrmate.

He should-- he should-- his brain was ticking through what he should actually do about that when Arden’s whimpers moved into the threatening hiccough stage and he rolled over and up instead, grabbing a dressing gown on the way. With any luck everyone else was still asleep anyway, though the first light of dawn was starting to trickle through the Weyr.

The baby was quickly soothed with a change into a fresh napkin though Cremsden grimaced at the number of pots and bowls in the kitchen. Well, get Arden settled and then he could deal with it. He set a pot to boil for tea and then settled back onto the couch with the baby, just for five more minutes.

Five more minutes and he was snoring quietly on the couch, Arden asleep on top of him and the lid rattling on the pot as the water boiled with no-one to see to it.

At some point when they had collapsed in a sated pile, the prospect of anyone going anywhere else hadn’t been a point of consideration. It was the first real night’s sleep that had followed in much too long, a comfortable blend of gentle inebriation and physical relief that had seen her sandwiched between them. Barely stirring at Arden began to fuss, the unexpected hand yielded little more than a happy sigh as Dytha curled up more sleepily into the warm back of Margana, clearly quite content to stay there.

What did pierce through the warm fuzziness of sleep was the sound of the kettle beginning to whistle angrily and as an eye peeled open and noticed precisely where she was, so too had the events of the previous evening cheerfully decided to stand up for attention to. Ah. Yes. So that had been a thing that happened and not some bafflingly graphic and slightly peculiar dream. And as the whistling continued, clearly not being interrupted, it began to prod at her all the more. Well, that was sleep gone then. Finding some form of clothing to fall into, she made her way carefully into the main weyr. She wouldn’t admit it but Cremsden’s fastidious attention to her feet had been helping and now she was awake and her thoughts starting to conspire, the sound of the kettle was really starting to get to her.

The gentle snoring had been heard and the sleeping figures noted even as the kettle was turned down, but no move was made to disturb either of them. Instead, it seemed peculiarly easier to begin running the water for the dishes she had thankfully thought to rinse the night before.

“Gnh.” He’d slept through the kettle whistling but the sudden absence of the noise made him stir, half-waking without really opening his eyes. “Sorry, love,” he mumbled to the couch. “Was going to get it in a minute.”

Carefully moving the plates quietly, she had found the concentrated soapsand that worked especially well for dirty dishes, wincing if one slid a little too noisily against another. Yawning widely, the sudden sound of a voice distracted her. “Oh… ah… Margana’s still sleeping?” she managed to say, suddenly having not the faintest clue whether she was meant to say anything at all.

Another grunt, still sounding more asleep than awake before there were sounds of movement over at the couch. Cremsden shifted to settle Arden where he had been sleeping -- not the safest but better than moving him and risk him waking again just yet -- and padded through to the kitchen in search of Dytha and tea.

It was something of an abrupt wake-up call to wander in and find Dytha washing pots while wearing his shirt. A shirt that covered nothing that her normal baggy clothes served to cover up. He stopped dead, hastily pulling the dressing gown tighter around himself as his body gave its own cheery good-morning response to that. “” And he clearly hadn’t used up his supply of blushes last night because he was flushing again.

Although there had been a definite and palpable shift of relief after R’tal’s reassurances, her senses were still running enough on alert that that sensation of someone approaching had made her stop what she was doing and turn carefully on a heel. Only to see Cremsden fidgeting with his dressing gown and burning a shade of crimson that Harpers probably only dreamed about being able to recreate. “... Tea?” She managed weakly after several seconds of doing little more than staring in an equally impressive shade of pink.

“...Tea.” Cremsden grasped that suggestion like a lifeline. “I’ll get the tea.” It was a relief to be able to turn around and clatter through getting mugs and tea ready. “You were meant to let me wash up,” he added, slightly accusingly, more at ease when he wasn’t looking at her. “You cooked!”

“Tea would be good,” she had managed to agree before somehow turning back to the dishes whilst her mind cheerfully reminded her exactly of the night before and its events. Plunging her hands into the hot water, it was a welcome distraction as well as pleasantly easing the ache she could get in her hands. Wait… why were her hands achi - oh... right. The blush deepened as she was casually reminded. “You can dry. Margana’s still sleeping. Figured I’d crack on.” And distract herself furiously.

He nodded agreement even if she couldn’t see, yawning still. “I try to make sure the person who could get eaten by Thread if she’s sleepy gets a decent amount of rest,” he admitted. “Really though, you can go sit on the couch with tea, I can do this.” He turned to give her the tea and-- no, the sight of her wearing his shirt still had the same effect even forewarned. He coughed, politeness telling him not to look even as his eyes couldn’t quite resist it.

“That’s reasonable,” she acknowledged as she grasped a hold of the entirely normal conversation. “Besides, I do like washing up. Just not drying.” Normal, entirely normal. “And besides, I’m not going near Arden if he’s not had breakfast.” The quip fell out without being assessed by her thoughts and her face fell over itself a little. It possibly wasn’t helped that it was entirely obvious where Cremsden’s own gaze was pointing and the last thing she had planned was to give the man anymore… reminders.

“I’ll just-- I’ll grab a towel.” Cremsden said hastily, reaching to do so before he realised that what he was doing was setting himself up to work next to her. When she was wearing only a relatively thin shirt. And the view from this direction was not.. Less than it had been when he had been looking at her back. 

All of the attempts to keep his mind on furiously drying in the world would not have stopped his eyes from flicking sideways to quietly check what exactly was visible.

The answer to that was not enough to be entirely indecent but enough to emphasise that Cremsden’s shirt had clearly not been designed to be worn by someone of Dytha’s particular shape. Unfortunately, for more than one reason, she was more or less entirely oblivious. Which meant she tackled the dishes voraciously before they were passed over. “So… ah… you slept… all right?” The conversation wasn’t any less awkward or stilted but the silence was killing her.

He nodded. “I uhm hope I didn’t wake you--” absent-mindedly groping you “--getting Arden. He doesn’t tend to be in favour of long lie-ins.” Oh Faranth, and now the shirt was getting wet and slowly becoming more transparent and he couldn’t quite seem to politely tear his eyes away. Automatically he reached to dry each dish as it came without really looking or thinking about what he was doing.

“Oh no it was the kettle…” The sentence however, ended a little weakly as her brain recollected the sensation that had occurred prior to it. So that was what… no, not what, who that was. The scrubbing resumed with a little more intensity, the momentum it caused travelling up her arms. “Clearly I needed tea…” The small laugh afterwards was more than a little strained.

“Thank you for stopping me from burning the weyr down.” No, this wasn’t right. A polite person wouldn’t just stand staring as she..jiggled. A polite person would say something. “Uhm.. Dytha?”

“I don’t think Margana would appreciate waking up to flames tickling her toes.” Just as the conversation felt like it might have a chance at normality, she caught the tone in his voice as he said her name and paused in her furious scrubbing. “Yes?”

“It’s-- not that I mind!” He was blushing again. “I mean I-- really really don’t mind but uh-- my shirt is uh-- wet. You ought to know.” Someone in Cremsden’s long-distant past had made sure that he knew very well that taking advantage of girls who might not realise what their clothing was doing to grab a quick eyeful without them knowing was not okay.

It took a minute for her to catch up and realise what he was saying. In some ways she was very ignorant of the fact that she looked very different from the pudgy Apprentice that had turned up in the Weyr turns before. Her eyes looked at Cremsden, looked down, looked and Cremsden and then the mark dropped. Loudly. “O-Oh…” And then his words sank in and she wasn’t sure if that made it better or worse. “What… uh… what would you like me to do?” Because what she wanted to do was hide in a cupboard.

He gestured helplessly with the fork he had been drying, trying to keep his eyes front now he had pointed the issue out. “I uh-- as I said I don’t mind but uh-- didn’t seem right not telling you.”

Now that was something of a dilemma, because she now didn’t know whether making a thing out of it by going off and changing made it even more of a situation than it should be. “Would… uh… you prefer if I… you know…” 

“It’s uh--” Cremsden cleared his throat. “I-- don’t think I can actually manage to..not look,” he admitted carefully. “If you don’t mind if I look then uh-- that’s.. Not a problem but uhm..” He trailed off, feeling ridiculously awkward with a girl who after all had been snuggled up against him for the night. “I just does this work now?”

For some reason, that last question seemed to make something in her face break and she managed to laugh weakly although there was a slightly strained note that said it wasn’t entirely from hilarity. “Oh shells…” she managed after several seconds, pinching her nose. “... This is so peculiar…” And that was an understatement and then some. “Outside of Flight manners I… I don’t think I could tell you... And even that’s not exactly expert advice…”

“I was hoping that maybe they delivered the knowledge into your brain when you Impressed,” Cremsden admitted. She knew and she hadn’t screamed or grabbed something to cover up with so it felt a little safer to turn his head rather than sneaking sidelong glances. “I uh-- you look very-- nice in it by the way.” Nice was definitely not the right word, but it was as good as he could do right now.

“The only thing I had delivered was denial and blind panic,” she acknowledged. It hadn’t been the easiest thing to come to terms with, that was for sure. Part of her brain seemed to take on board that it would also make things even more awkward than their already impressive levels if a big song and dance was made out of it. “I’m… not used to people looking.” Dytha managed eventually, being about the only thing she could think of at his compliment. Because it was a compliment. Just not one she knew how normal people responded to.

“Oh! Uhm. Sorry.” Cremsden’s cheeks flamed guiltily and he turned his gaze away again. “I didn’t mean to uh.. Make you uncomfortable” Hastily he grabbed at the closest bowl, drying it with energy borne of embarrassment. 

Well that hadn’t made things any better. “Oh… oh no!” she sputtered, “It’s.. it’s not that, it’s just…” Dytha flailed a little internally, frantically scrubbing a pan for a few seconds. “I’ve… I’ve not really… encountered people… wanting to look?” she finally managed a little helplessly. She could probably count them on one hand, well, one finger. Two if you counted Cremsden. For obvious reasons, she was not adding H’lan to that list.

That calmed the blushes a little. Cremsden turned his head again, just slightly, and a small smile appeared. “We’re.. Really not very good at being weyrfolk, are we?” he said after a moment, sounding more like himself.

It was enough to crack the tension just enough for a snort of explosive laughter to escape her. “Oh shells… we’re really not…” she agreed, passing over the now extremely well scrubbed pot. “Why do you think it was such a mess with Ponth’s flights before all this? I could probably identify and label all the… parts but I probably would choke on my breakfast if presented with it.”

“Ssh shh, Margana,” Cremsden warned hastily, glancing at the door. “And Arden for that matter.” It was his turn to try and muffle a snort of laughter. “He is not going to leave you alone in that shirt.”

The laughter was muffled, more at the mention of Arden than anything. “Oh don’t…” she sighed with the shaky note of someone trying to hold themselves together and not explode again. “Look I… I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want it to be weird… and now… well, we are so far beyond that… I’m terrified he’ll do it again because all I hear is my mother’s voice in my head lecturing me about how many grandchildren she wants…” Well, might as well cough it up in some form or another. “You have no idea how much my thoughts have cheerfully reminded me of how many children my mother had at my age… Why aren’t Weyrfolk as guilty as Crafters?!” It was a hushed exclamation, but an exclamation nonetheless.

“Creche raised maybe. No mothers rapping them over the knuckles when their attention strays the wrong way,” Cremsden suggested. “Look..” Cautiously he reached to take her shoulder -- just her shoulder, definitely, no other body parts -- and turn her away from the sink. “Leave these for now. They’ll do better for a soak anyway. Let’s go sit down with tea. I promise I’ll take the couch with Arden and you can have the chair.”

Tea suddenly sounded like the best idea of the morning and she nodded somewhat gratefully. Probably to both parts of his suggestion. And then paused, managing a small smile tinged with a little irony. “Is it going to be more or less helpful if I’m sat directly in your line of sight?” Because side by side was one thing, directly in front of was something else.

“It uh-- really depends where you want my eyes-- and my thoughts for that matter.” Cremsden’s laughter was still nervous but still the atmosphere was slipping into more relaxed. “You-- don’t look the same in what you usually wear.” Something of an understatement as he leaned to take the tea.

“I… uh…” Her thoughts tripped over themselves again as they tried to make a coherent sentence. “I… suppose it depends on whether Margana’s likely to be a bad influence again and you need to get used to it…” The other woman’s encouragement had certainly been, well, yes. Not that there had been any resounding complaints. Thank you wine and odd sensations of relief for the first time in months. “I still wear my old clothes normally, from before Ponth.” She had no idea why it was relevant but it was something to fill the expanse of awkwardness.

“That’s probably why my brain kept processing you as about sixteen,” Cremsden granted, leading the way to the couch. He settled cautiously at the edge of the couch, careful not to disturb the stretched out baby, and seemed to hesitate before asking cautiously, “Would you uh..want her to be a bad influence again?”

That induced another small chuckle as she followed, dropping into the spare chair. “Nope, been a good five turns since that was the case…” And somewhere she did know that her old clothes were much too big, much too unflattering. But it was easier to keep wearing them no doubt out of some odd conviction of some sort. “I… don’t know,” Dytha admitted as she took the mug and sipped it thoughtfully. “But… my first instinct isn’t no…” A pause and then a sheepish look. “It’s… very unusual territory… And it was nice being in a bed again…” 

“Don’t tease me just because my bed is comfier than the couch, woman.” And that was more like Cremsden, his tone dropping into something far closer to that in which they normally bantered. It felt more comfortable somehow. More.. them. Even if he was crossing his legs and tugging his dressing gown close enough to hide the very visible effect of that..teasing.

Part of the problem was, there was a very real part of Dytha’s head that still didn’t fathom how she had any effect, especially on the opposite sex. It was very likely to do with turns of quietly convincing herself that she wasn’t going to be married off and that the short, chubby Apprentice with ‘funny feet’ was going to end up manning the Healer Archives until the day she died. “It was a very comfortable bed,” she nodded sagely, even as her brain tried to process the visual evidence it was having waved about in front of it. She cleared her throat slightly, filling the space with more tea drinking. “It was… oddly enjoyable,” she admitted. “Although my head is still… tripping over it a bit. Because… you know. You. You and Margana. You and very happily mated, Margana.”

“I promised Vivaeldi I wasn’t going to.. Push you into anything.” Cremsden glanced at her over the top of his mug, serious a moment. “I..didn’t, did I?” As though there had been a point in anything the night before where he had been the one pushing.

“Oh shells, no!” That much she could say with conviction. No doubt helped a little by the alcohol but there certainly hadn’t been any… unwilling pushing. “I mean… Flights are… in a little box in my head. I can’t explain it but it’s a different… thing in my head because it’s not for me, it’s for Ponth…” More awkward tea drinking ensued. “And Margana is… really nice…” And there was definitely a bit of blushing there. “... But I’m… also aware that… you know… you two…” It fell out in the end, a blurted rush of words. “Is this going to make things weird for you two? What happened? Like… like cause… problems?”

“Oh, oh, sweetheart, no.” And he was just as quick to reassure her, shaking his head hastily at the thought. “I’d take this over..most of the flights anyday to be honest, and I cope with the idea of those well enough now.”

Well that was a relief. Sort of. Mostly. She thought. It was very much a testament to the strength of the idea of her roots as a Crafter versus the element of a Dragonrider that a form of ‘non-typical’ could be seen as problematic. For a minute she observed him a little carefully. “Not so much about the ‘other people’ but the… detached person?” she asked cautiously. Because she knew for one thing that it was the part that had been one of the hardest to work around herself. 

“Ugh. That too.” Cremsden made a face, and fidgeted a little with his mug for a minute. “Look-- you’re going to laugh..” he warned.

“Mhmm…” she answered, peering at him a little suspiciously from behind her own mug.

“There’s always-- I mean people who are always having their dragons rising and chasing and-- they’re going to have a lot more practice, aren’t they?” If Cremsden had been red before it was difficult to find a word for the shade he had gone now. “I mean.. You’re all right because.. It’s going to be different with you, isn’t it? But.. sometimes you just.. You don’t want comparisons..”

There was indeed a small laugh, but it wasn’t one of disdain or judgement. “Cremsden… that is positively quite possibly the most adorable thing I have heard.” It was accompanied with another soft chuckle as she shook her head. “If it’s any consolation, from my own rather limited experience… I can tell you that the blurred frenzy of flight doesn’t always… well lets just say that plenty of opportunity doesn’t necessitate… skill.” She offered a tiny smile from behind the mug, “It’s always better when both people are completely in the room. Regardless of opportunities to… practice.”

Cremsden was practically hiding behind his own mug, peering out from behind it as he blushed fiercely. “For what it’s worth, I wouldn’t mind if it was you she was chasing,” he offered. “I know she’s not entirely in control of when Zlorenth goes and.. It’s not fair to not expect it to happen anyway..”

It felt like it should be a compliment of some sort, but her brain wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it. “Is… is that for any reason?” she heard herself say, the tone curious but devoid of negative connotations.

He shrugged a little, eyes drifting despite his best intents downwards for a moment before he conscientiously snapped them back up. “...just feels different..”

“Well,” Dytha said after a moment’s quiet. “If Ponth is… anything to go by, that’s probably going to happen. She liked Zlorenth. And his attention since then… yeah, it’ll probably happen again.” And she… wasn’t complaining either. Margana had been one of few women she had woken up next to, for sure, but even so. “And it’ll be good for her to get her confidence back in blues.” The wandering eyes were noticed and she was fairly sure she could feel the tips of her ears burning. This was just so… peculiar. “And for the record, my shirt will be less see-through in the Infirmary.”

For a moment it had just been another professional conversation about how they were going to improve things and then there was.. That.. Caught looking Cremsden looked guilty a moment and then started to laugh quietly. “Oh.. Faranth I’m sorry,” he apologised. “I am trying, it’s just.. I feel like you in that sharding shirt would test anyone’s self control!”

Her own expression was one of bemusement but the underlying compliment was still a little flustering. “I promise not to walk around naked. Least of all in the Infirmary.” There was still a glimmer of humour there, perhaps a little more so and less awkwardness. The sheepishness still tinged the edges a bit however and her eyes skipped away. “Like I said,” she mumbled a little, cheeks still more than a little pink. “Really not used to… you know… people wanting to look… Even if you are getting an eyeful…”

“I feel like if you started wearing shirts like that they might,” Cremsden admitted and laughed again quietly into his tea. “Or at least like you’d get a lot more looks wearing it than I ever would. You should keep it.”

That prompted a giggle-snort into the tea and the mouthful was nearly spat out again. “Be useless for cleaning out the next thread scored dragon if the Rider is too busy trying to get a good view. I’ll get a write up for punching a patient.”

“Eh. Would keep them in one place rather than bobbing about trying to tell you how to do your job,” Cremsden pointed out, snickering himself. “Besides, you might as well. It’s not a good one. You can tell; I’ve worn it more than once and there are no bloodstains.”

“You might not be able to wear it with a straight face again anyway.” Not to mention whether it was already being pulled out of shape. “I’ll keep it in mind. Give ‘em a quick flash to shut them up.” Now the chuckle was a bit more mischievous and probably far more familiar.

Cremsden cleared his throat, tugging the dressing gown closer again. “Not exactly my face that’s likely to cause problems,” he admitted ruefully, gaze flickering to his lap a moment.

It took her a second and then she cottoned on. “Good point…” she acknowledged, fingers drumming a little nervously on the side of her mug. “I’m… really not helping here, am I?”

“I am very much not complaining,” Cremsden emphasised. “It is..uh.. A very nice view. I just probably shouldn’t be thinking of it in the Infirmary.”

“I don’t intend to give you any reason to,” Dytha remarked solemnly. “If nothing else because I… don’t advertise what happens behind weyr doors.” It was something she had never been entirely comfortable around, the ability of others to be so entirely casual in their… personal goings on. “And to be honest, I’d rather you weren’t thinking about… things if I come to you for advice.”

That was a more serious subject and he stopped laughing enough to address it. “Don’t worry on that front. Didn’t you hear Margana complaining I made her cover up last night? Infirmary is different.” He reached to pat her knee automatically, not thinking the movement through. “Once we’re in there you’re back to being the apprentice who needs her feet watching.”

“Hah, she did, didn’t she.” The memory flickered back in to confirm it. The knee pat was unexpected and thankfully she thought to move her eyes before she saw anything she shouldn’t. “And I’ll quite happily be the apprentice with the bad feet. They’ve already got enough gossip to chew on at the moment. I’d rather that particular strain wasn’t given more fodder.”

“So, we’ll use the cover story about sleeping together that no-one believes to cover the fact that we’re actually sleeping together?” Present tense, because he’d stopped over-analysing every word before he spoke it. “I mean, that’s one way to deal with gossip.”

“Shells, they probably really don’t believe it, do they?” It was followed by a small chuckle because the bizarreness of the entire thing was becoming even more apparent. “And another way?”

“Oh, no-one believes it. I’m far too boring.” He raised his eyebrows at her, his smile conspiratorial for a moment. “In fact I’ll wager the more I protest it happened the less people would believe it.”

“Hah, they probably think the same about me. Since I’m about as atypical your average greenrider as they come…” The shift in his smile earned him a suspicious glance, the same face she gave him when he usually teased her about having a file she would probably want. “What’re you thinking?”

“We could flirt,” Cremsden said reflectively. “Badly. Terribly badly.” It was his turn to look mischievous now. “Like people who are very very bad at being weyrfolk but trying to convince people we are not.”

For a second she stared as if she was waiting for the rest of the joke and when she realised it wasn’t coming, she stared a bit more. And then spluttered a bit with laughter. “Shells… have you any idea how badly I flirt?” And it was true, it wasn’t something she was exactly adept at. Not to mention, she wasn’t sure if her brain knew how to even try to flirt.

“And I’ll blush more every time, and we’ll let them all laugh about how bad we are at fooling anyone.” Cremsden was grinning now. “It’s like poker. The best way to cheat really really well is sometimes to get caught cheating terribly badly and look crestfallen about it.”

The mental image was positively hilarious. And either completely insane or completely genius. “But,” she said, raising a warning finger. “Only if Margana is okay with it.”

“I’m sorry, have you met my weyrmate?” Cremsden teased. “It’s not like we’re play-acting cheating on her. That would be different. I’m just..continuing to play someone so badly in love with my weyrmate I’d do just about anything just.. Slightly worse and more unbelievably than I have been.”

That was a good point. “So in the Infirmary we flirt terribly, then I come back here and make dinner.” She was still muffling her laughter but it was laughter all the same. The mental image was beyond baffling. And if nothing else, maybe it might fend off unwanted interest. At least for now. “And we’ll figure out where I end up every night, providing I’m not causing distractions.”

“I mean..” Cremsden said delicately, sternly controlling his eyes again. “If it wasn’t.. Uh.. making dinner… that would be okay too. Uhm. If it was okay with you ladies, obviously.” He almost tripped over his own tongue to add that disclaimer as though worried he had somehow been too forward.

“Well…” she said carefully, “... We can… play the day by how the mood… takes us.” Even if the thought of waking up in between warm bodies really wasn’t a terrible one. “I’m… happy to… help keep everyone happy.” It was said sheepishly as opposed to suggesting reluctance. But Dytha did better at being told what to do, rather than being the one making the proposals.

Cremsden nudged her foot lightly with his own, hesitating a moment as he tried to phrase his next question. “You’re..not wanting to head straight back home now H’lan’s.. Dealt with?” His tone suggested that this would very much not be a welcome occurrence. “Kind of got used to having you around.”

“At some point I… know I need to…” And the careful way she said ‘need’ suggested that it was a whole lot more about being able to without checking over her shoulder. “Weyrleader R’tal offered me another weyr. Been thinking about it.” Dytha offered a small shrug and an even smaller smile. “But it’s nice knowing there’s folks around. For me and Ponth.”

“Don’t feel like you have to rush to make a decision.” Cremsden was flushed again, but for once not because they were discussing sex. It was always slightly uncomfortable admitting that actually you’d somehow got a bit fond of someone. “Be a shame to have you rush off just as you got your prickle back. I could get used to you two teasing me.” He nudged her foot again, apparently having decided that this level of touch was “safe”. “Besides I’ve just discovered your cooking.”

“Now I… know what the plan is, with him. I finally feel like I can… breathe again a little bit.” Which was more than true. No, it wasn’t completely over, but it felt like an invisible band had been removed from her chest that had restricted her breathing without even knowing it. “So no, not in any rush. Plus I still have about a hundred more thank-you dinners to make.” The nudge to her foot was ironically probably more appreciated than a touch to the hand or shoulder might be. She knew only too well how ignorant people could be when it came to things they didn’t understand and cracked, bleeding skin that came out of nowhere was up there on the list of ‘avoid’. 

“Faranth woman, I’ll end up the size of Ponth.” For a moment his foot rested on top of hers, almost a caress in its own odd way. Cremsden smiled at her, genuinely smiled despite all the back and forth teasing, and then sighed as Arden stirred next to him. “On with the day I think. I’ll give Margana a nudge.”

= End =

Nutmeg on the Wizzy.
Recluso#6042 on Discord

I'm sometimes slow and have the memory of a sieve at times, so don't hesitate to poke me if you think you've been forgotten!

Ding dong, the Rider's dead. Well - not quite (JP Dytha/Margana/Cremsden)


IC Date Reference: Set after ‘Receiving A Summons’.

The meeting with R’tal had been… well it had been terrifying. Because how often was it you had the Weyrleader (well, one of them) specifically interested in you, of all people? Apparently Kassia wanted to attend but had been convinced to take care of herself following her recent labour. Dytha expected that at some point, the Weyrwoman would be turning up on the doorstep as well.

But that wasn’t the important part. What had been the important part was what R’tal had had to say. True, there were going to be some enquiries. They would have to talk to her some more. Apparently H’lan’s version had been a bit more… charming. But that aside, the Bluerider wasn’t going to be seeing anything other than the four walls of his weyr. His contact with Travath would be limited and supervised but right now, he was under lock and key and Travath had been grounded, forbidden from giving chase at all.

To hear that, in words, from someone who had the authority to put the weight of assurance behind it… it had been like a vice had been unclamped from around her chest. Ponth on the other hand had been beyond delighted. And it was the green’s insistence that a form of celebration was in order. Because, as Ponth insisted, they both deserved nice things. And so, Dytha did one of the few things she could. She made dinner. Cremsden had been roped in to play runner, sent back and forth to the kitchens with ever growing lists and enlisted in the assisting of cutting and preparing vegetables. The kitchen he and Margana had was small, meaning some things were requested pre-cooked and when Margana had appeared, both she and Cremsden had been ordered out of the weyr with surprising bossiness to go and clean up and tire out Arden whilst she laid the table and assembled the dishes.

It had taken a little ingenuity and rummaging in drawers but in the end, the table had been set with a clean sheet that for tonight, was a table-cloth, plates and glasses set out neatly and almost every countertop had been taken over by covered dishes. She had made an effort and it showed. 

Margana peeked around the corner. “You’ve been busy while we were gone,” she said. “Arden’s down--for the night, I hope--and this looks very nice. Something smells fantastic!” She entered, marveling how nice the table looked. It seemed that Dytha knew her way around a kitchen much better than she herself did. “It looks like you’ve found everything you needed?”

“Are you feeding the entire Weyr or only half of it?” Cremsden enquired, looking at the spread of what seemed like every dish they owned and maybe a few extra just to be sure. Privately he was feeling somewhat relieved; it looked like the girl was maybe getting a bit of her spark back already. “Can we help?”

Dishes were being moved around with all the swift surety of someone who knew their way around the kitchen. “No, you can sit. Both of you.” There was a clipped note that probably wasn’t dissimilar to a mother ordering errant children to behave themselves around the dinner table. “Margana, I’ve taken the liberty to ask for a very light wine as well as some juice. I wasn’t sure what you both would feel the most comfortable with. Cremsden, you’re over there.” A hand was pointed to a seat that was subtly but strategically the furthest away from the wine decanter.

After a few days of Dytha looking like she would cry if someone raised their voice, this kind of bossiness was both impressive and oddly hilarious and Cremsden was grinning as he moved to the seat she had indicated. “You sound like my mother,” he teased, sitting as he had been told. “Sure you don’t want to inspect our hands first to make sure they’re clean?”

“Dangerous words when I have a wooden spoon.” She was comfortable in kitchens and making food. “You’ll end up on dish duty.”

Margana had to laugh. “This isn’t the first time he’s been threatened with a wooden spoon,” she said, taking her seat. “It wouldn’t be the first time it’s been used on him, either.” Though only to thwap his knuckles, of course. 

“I don’t remember having half of these dishes,” she remarked. “Though it’s not like I cook a lot.”

“And I spent half my childhood on dish duty for a whole Hold. Dish duty holds no fears for me,” Cremsden said cheerfully. “Anyway, dish duty puts you right near leftovers.”

“I may have borrowed some from the kitchens,” she admitted. “I prefer having too many than not enough on hand. Besides, I wasn’t sure how many courses I was making.” It was said so nonchalantly, you’d think that meals consisting of more than a couple of courses were entirely a normal thing. Small dishes appeared, set in front of Cremsden and Margana and another for herself. It was a small, light starter - something fish related sitting on a salad. Of course it was a little more complicated than that, chunks of fish seared over a hot griddle and tossed lightly with a mixed leafy salad and small pieces of fruit. “No eating yet,” she instructed. “I… I want to say something first.”

Margana’s mouth watered as the aroma of the salad tickled her nose. There wasn’t much she wouldn’t eat, but this...this was a treat. She cocked her head at Dytha’s words though. “Oh?”

“Not going to get all emotional on us, are you?” Cremsden said with the gruffness that tended to appear when he sensed someone was about to get grateful and felt awkward about it. 

“Yes. So make yourself useful and pour the drinks. I… think I need wine though.” As she sat down, it was clear she was bolstering herself a bit, a couple of deep breaths audible as she twiddled with the edge of the cloth beneath the table. “Okay. Non-sappy stuff first. I… spoke to R’tal today. And... “ Another breath. It felt a little strange now she had stopped being busy. “And he said H’lan is… under Guard and confined to his weyr for the foreseeable future. His blue has been grounded. And any contact is supervised.” Okay. That part out of the way. Now for the really tough part. “I know… I know that having me thrust on you has been a huge inconvenience.” It came out quickly, as though she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to say it all if she slowed down. “And I know you’ve been left dealing with a mess. If Zlorenth… if Zlorenth hadn’t caught. Well. Who knows. I sure don’t. But I do appreciate what you’ve done. Both of you.” And she looked intently at the pair of them. “So that’s why I did this. Because it’s probably about all I can do for both of you. So… yes… Dinner. Because… you know…” It died out in her throat and she looked a little sheepish. “Just enjoy it, ‘kay?”

“If you keep being nice to me I’ll be forced to inspect your feet at the table or something just to make you stop,” Cremsden warned, though he looked touched. “Besides. You weren’t exactly forced on us. As I remember it I basically kidnapped you.” Not exactly the case, but between himself and Ambrelli there had certainly been a certain amount of pushing. “Reckon Margana gets all the credit for not even raising an eyebrow when I moved you in, mind.” He leaned to take the wine, covering awkwardness by filling their glasses.

“Probably,” Margana said with a good-natured laugh. “It’s not necessarily unusual for two people to move in together as the result of a flight--though it does not usually happen if one of the participants already has a weyrmate. The Weyr probably thinks you’re the luckiest man alive right now.” She giggled a little and took a sip of wine. 

Cremsden coughed and only turned a little pink. “Well, that, and I think I nearly got decked a couple of days ago for taking advantage of someone I knew to be vulnerable.” He raised his eyebrows slightly at Dytha. “Had to talk my way out of that one pretty fast. Journeywoman Vivaeldi says hi by the way.”

He wasn’t the only one looking a bit pink. Just mentioning the flight had made Dytha look a little flustered, her eyes jumping sheepishly to Margana. A little distractedly she gestured for them to begin eating their starter. “Viv? She approached you?” She looked genuinely surprised. And then not. “She… knew I was having flight problems. After I… did myself a mischief.” She didn’t entirely feel that discussing her ‘self affliction’ was the most polite dinner table discussion so was trying to be vague until the ‘tone’ was set.

“So I gathered,” Cremsden said wryly. “You have a stout defender there. Dragged me into a sideroom to ask what on Pern I thought I was playing at.” He gestured to Margana with his fork. “Blamed most of it on you by the way. Sorry about that.”

“Me?” Margana raised a brow, and then started laughing. “No wonder so many people have been giving me side-glances. One person muttered something in R’tal’s office about ‘Once a Fortian, always a Fortian’ and I had no idea what they were talking about.” She shook her head.

“You know, let them talk. We know the truth, and really, what the Weyr thinks we’re doing is tame compared to other debauchery that’s gone on here. At least we didn’t get drunk and naked in the Dining Hall.” She forked a bit of the salad into her mouth and sighed in bliss. “And if you keep feeding us like this, you’re welcome to all the rumour-mongering in the Weyr. I’d sleep with you, Flight or no Flight, if I would get another meal like this out of it.”

With a forkful of her own halfway to her mouth, the almost blush turned into a full faced crimson, complete with embarrassed snort of laughter. “True, it wasn’t the Dining Hall. But does this mean I have to ration my cooking so I don’t give you the wrong idea?” With the awkward part out of the way and food on the go, she felt herself slipping back into a little bit more comfort. This was nice. Food, company, laughter. It felt comfortingly normal.

“We’re going to get a meal like this more than once?” Cremsden asked, as hopeful as a child offered sweeties. “Shells. I don’t think you’re allowed to move back out.”

That earned a snort in between mouthfuls. “You’re not allowed to keep me. Even if I do cook. And this is only the first course. There’s three more to go.” 

“But how will I comfort Arden if you leave?” Cremsden demanded teasingly. “Imagine that little face..” With a few days distance, the incident in the bedroom had become more hilarious than mortifying.

“Comfort Arden?” Margana asked after swallowing. “Does Dytha have a way with him?” Of course, Arden was friendly enough that he’d probably go to M’ayen without a qualm. Not that she’d allow him anywhere near.

She had opened her mouth to respond to Cremsden, but Margana’s voice piped up and well, that stopped just about any coherent thought. Cremsden obviously hadn’t had chance to… yes. Well. “Cremsden?” she managed to squeak before a hastily grabbed mouthful of wine. “Maybe… maybe you should explain that one.”

Cremsden looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully a moment as though considering his response. “Arden doesn’t quite believe that Dytha shouldn’t be feeding him,” he said after a pause. “And-- let’s just say he took a rather direct route of making his desires clear.”

Dytha was quietly wishing a hole would appear under her chair and make her disappear. To say that her face was red enough to fry eggs on would be an understatement. “And he… well, he was very determined to inspect for himself…”

She had just put another bite in her mouth when Dytha spoke, and she choked on her food. She gulped down the greater part of her glass of wine to get her composure. “Very determined?” she said in a raspy voice. Her chest was hurting from holding back the laughter. “Yes, I guess you could call it that.”  Then she burst out laughing--she couldn’t help it. Arden looking for his dinner from someone who had no dinner to give him.

“I’m sorry--that’s just too funny.” She hoped her laughter hadn’t woken Arden up. “He is a very persistent child, though. And definitely knows what he wants.”

Dytha had felt as though she was waiting and eternity for Margana to respond. When it came, she didn't know whether to collapse in relief or start to overthink that Margana hadn't been given the entire picture. "He wouldn't let go!" she managed to squeak around a mouthful of food. "And Cremsden…"

But whatever she had been about to say dissolved behind her own laughter as the mental image of the gut-creasing laughter surfaced. A hand was flailed helplessly at the man as she fought to breathe. "Tell… tell her," Dytha wheezed, "About the… the other bit."

It was Cremsden’s turn to blush, even if he was laughing himself. “Cremsden suddenly discovered he was holding a handful of breast where a minute ago no breasts had been,” he admitted. “You’re not even meant to have breasts,” he added accusingly to Dytha. “You’re meant to be a.. A pair of feet with an apprentice attached.”

Still snorting with barely contained laughter, Dytha looked down at herself. She had never been the sort that could be described as "small handful". Thankfully she was able to use the distraction of food to inhibit the urge to laugh hysterically. "You do know they tend to be a thing that happen, right? The Healer Hall did mention that, didn't they?"

Margana laughed along with Dytha. “I always thought Healers were used to the human body. But when I was in the Infirmary for my leg, he was quite adamant that I don’t strip in front of him.” She shrugged. “I’d never known Healers could be that squeamish about the human body. And yet, my checkups for Arden required something that was not fun, though it should have been.” She reached over and patted Cremsden on the arm.

“It’s OK, love. We still love you.”

“And if I'd missed an infection in your leg because I was staring at your chest, then where would you have been?” Cremsden demanded, taking the teasing in good humour. “You, my love, are a sharding distraction.” And the look he directed at her as he captured her hand under his said that he didn't mind that at all.

It was nice he could still make her blush. She smiled the smile reserved for him--and Arden. She turned to Dytha. 

“I hope you don’t feel uncomfortable about that,” she said, twinkle still in her eyes. “Arden was being a baby and Cremsden was trying to defuse the situation. I don’t feel that there’s anything to feel uncomfortable about.”

The exchange was pleasant to observe, but didn't stop a sliver of guilt that felt as though she was intruding on something very private. Margana broke the awkwardness and Dytha shook her head, albeit still looking a little sheepish. "To be honest, I was just… a little mortified when I couldn't get him to let go… Arden, that is. Felt a bit like I'd crossed some bizarre and terrible boundary somehow." Reaching for her glass, Dytha managed to give both of them a wry smile. "Although at least now you're both on more equal footing of how much of me naked you've seen…" 

“I suppose it adds credibility next time someone interrogates me on what we’re really doing to you,” Cremsden said drily. “For some reason no one seems to believe I've moved you in to ravish.” 

“Shows you how well the Weyr knows you,” Margana said. “Even if something did happen between the three of us, they wouldn’t believe it.”

That brought an audible snort of laughter, getting to her feet to clear away the small plates of the first course. "You'd think they'd happily believe we were doing something as scandalous as that, I mean, they already have the fodder of Zlorenth catching Ponth to get their imaginations going." Stopping by Cremsden, she placed a sympathetic hand on his shoulder and shook her head in mock, dramatic sadness.

"Clearly you're just not the sort anyone imagines as being the most… adventurous." Feeling the pleasant tickle of wine behind her senses, a knowing look was thrown at Margana. "Or is this where you dramatically pull back the bookcase and reveal a dungeon?" 

Cremsden choked and spluttered on his wine most satisfactorily at that, pink to his ears.

Margana laughed. “That’s a great idea!” She pretended to write. “Note to self--build secret dungeon behind movable bookcase.”

The chortle seemed to make her shake from head to toe as she carefully moved away. Her feet weren't amazing, but with care, she could manage. "Now, stop choking and imagining terrible things and take this dish. Well, I suppose that might make this more convincing if you did that. But you might need to work on your blushing first so they believe it."

Bolstered by wine, laughter and the lighter sensation of knowing something now, it was far easier to let her guard slide a bit as she gestured to a clay, covered serving dish. "And if you drop it, I will make you clean up."

“Worse than that, if I drop it we don’t get to eat it.” Cremsden’s hands were steady even if he was flushed. “Why do I feel outnumbered suddenly?”

“Arden’s asleep, so you’re the only male here. The firelizards aren’t any help, and Zlorenth seems to be ob--infatuated with Ponth.” Margana made herself stop. ‘Obsessed’ wasn’t the right term to use these days. “Besides, he’d agree with everything I say.”

Said dish was handed over, its passage watched with scrutiny. More dishes started appearing as if out of nowhere, transporting to the table as steaming platters of herb roasted vegetables and buttery greens began to appear. "And as the only male, you're on carving duty. Because I still have a wooden spoon to smack you with if you say no."

Taking her seat and gesturing for the large dish to be uncovered, Dytha mentally noted and appreciated the subtle change of word. She couldn't avoid it forever, but tonight she could at least try. "Watch she doesn't convince him to start going on adventures with her. But it's… it's been really nice to see her coming out of her shell."

The "centrepiece" would reveal itself to be a large joint of meat on the bone, glazed with thick, sticky fruit glaze. The instructions had been sent to the kitchens and the handiwork, though inspected meticulously, had been given the seal of approval.

Margana had the healthy appetite of most dragonriders--even though she was also R’tal’s assistant, she still had a dragon to attend to, and the care and maintenance of a dragon could be grueling. Still, even she balked at the amount of food.

“As Cremsden said earlier--did you plan on feeding the whole Weyr? Though leftovers can be put on ice in our storage nook. Zlorenth and I can pop up North daily.” And the thought of leftovers was appealing, especially since she forgot to eat while working in the office. She gestured to the knife and looked at Cremsden. “You heard the lady, you’re carving.”

Meanwhile, she began to ladle out the side dishes amongst the three of them.

“Yes, yes, I’ll do as I’m told,” Cremsden acquiesced, standing to cut thick slices from the joint. “Though I really need to take that spoon off you before you go mad with power.” He hooked the slices neatly onto plates, though that still left over half of the joint behind. 

"I've made enough for you both to have packed lunches the next couple of days," she said as though it was entirely the most natural thing in the world. The dishes were moved around swiftly and glasses were topped up. Being in charge of food and feeding people pressed all of her happy buttons, bypassing the part of her brain that politely was trying to assert that maybe she shouldn't be bossing around the people who actually owned the weyr.

"So, Cremsden," she asked after the plates were full enough that starting to eat was mandatory before they started to spill over. "How are we going to get you to lie more convincingly? Margana? Any ideas?"

“Hey now, there’s nothing wrong with my lying,” Cremsden protested. “Don’t try to teach the poker player how to lie. People just don’t think it’s believable is all, that’s different.” He chewed a mouthful of meat thoughtfully and swallowed. “Your friend Vivaeldi seemed to believe the version I gave her anyway. Might stick with that.”

Margana wondered, though. The most successful lies were ones that had a tiny bit of truth to them. Though she had ended up with Dytha thanks to Zlorenth, and though Arden had gotten Cremsden to cop a feel, it still wasn’t quite the truth. She wasn’t a stranger to three-ways, after all, Zlorenth was a Fortian dragon. They weren’t really her favorite thing, but she didn’t hate them. And getting Cremsden out of his comfort zone could be mildly amusing.

“Right,” she said. “But I’d rather concentrate on this food rather than fill the Weyr’s rumour-mill with fodder.”

"Dare I ask what version that was?" With a plate of food to keep her distracted, it made it easier not imagining just what version of events the Weyr was running around with. Plus Vivaeldi was also anything but stupid. And was probably extremely suspicious.

“I told her that I adored my weyrmate and there was very little I wouldn’t agree to if it pleased her,” Cremsden said calmly, cutting up his meat and apparently not noticing the innuendo that could so easily be read into that explanation. “Apparently I was very believable.”

Margana choked. “You said what? Do you know how that--actually, no one’s going to think anything of it. This is a Weyr. I ride blue. People are going to think it’s pretty normal, especially for one who used to be at Fort Weyr.” And he was going to pay for that comment. Pay dearly.

Though he might enjoy it too.

Dytha also hadn't missed it but the fact it had clearly gone over his head somehow made it even more hilarious. Very pointedly, but with eyes twinkling with amusement, Dytha turned her attention on Margana. "You hear that, anything if it pleases you. I'm starting to wonder what else he's going to start promising if I offer to cook dinner more often."

“...What?” It still took Cremsden a moment to catch on, senses slightly dulled by good food and wine. He blinked at Margana, very clearly wondering for a moment what her being a bluerider had to do with anything before the mark dropped with Dytha’s comment. His eyes went wide, and probably the only thing that saved him from choking himself was that his mouth was empty. A heartbeat and then he started to laugh quietly. “I mean-- she didn’t think-- ?!”

“Of course she did,” Margana said. “And she’s probably worried about what horrible things we’re getting up to here and getting Dytha into, because Dytha’s such an innocent.” She rolled her eyes since she knew Dytha wasn’t as innocent as a lot of people thought. Just because she was short didn’t mean diddly.

“But, it doesn’t matter. What’s said is said, and if it helps people to cope, I don’t mind.” She waggled her brows at Dytha.

Dytha was trying very hard to focus on her very enjoyable dinner and not explode in laughter at Cremsden's expression. Maybe it was the wine, the food or maybe it was feeling a quiet sense of being able to actually relax a little for the first time in too long. Or maybe she just wanted to make Cremsden's head implode. Who knew.

Pausing to sip demurely at her wine, she puckered her lips at Margana, making a small smooching noise. "I can be plied with cake and bribed with the promise of back rubs," she said as though butter wouldn't melt.

Margana pursed her lips back. “Cremsden gives the best back rubs. Probably has something to do with being a Healer and knowing where all the sorest muscles are.”  She hesitated a moment. “And the most sensitive spots.”

Cremsden cleared his throat, clearly amused despite that flushed look. “Am I being traded off?”

"That's a good point," Dytha nodded sagely. "Healers do have excellent hands for these things. What do you say, Margana, trade a back rub for say… breakfast for a sevenday? I'm sure he'll come back in perfect order, unless of course you'd like to supervise. I mean, it's whatever you want, right?" If it wasn't for the twitching smile trying to fight around the deadpan, it could probably be taken the wrong way. But suddenly the idea of flustering Cremsden was very appealing. Maybe it was payback for insisting to check her feet every candlemark.

Margana cocked her head ever so slightly, as if considering. To make the tension even stronger, she forked up some tubers and slowly chewed them. Swallowing, she nodded. “Sounds like a plan to me,” she said, just as deadpan, just as playfully.

“I’m never giving you a wooden spoon ever again,” Cremsden threatened Dytha. “I knew it would go to your head.” He leaned over, reaching to top up his wine. Clearly another drink or two would help with this situation.

That Margana was playing along was making it far more amusing. "I mean, we would have to negotiate terms," Dytha said solemnly as she navigated her plate. "I tell you what, I'll even throw in organising laundry as well. But only if you let me smack him with the spoon. And yes, you can watch all you like." And it was said so calmly that the flagrant innuendo could have gone sailing over all of their heads.

Nodding solemnly, Margana took another bite. “I think we could arrange that,” she said. “We’ll need to determine how many smacks, and for what transgressions though.” To an outside observer, it sounded like any negotiation over a Trader’s stall.

“Margana!” Cremsden’s eyes were wide and his complexion could be compared unfavorably with that of a redfruit, though his shoulders were shaking with laughter. He set down his fork, resting his head against his hand for a moment, laughing too much to eat without risking choking again.

Leaning over, Dytha put her hand on Margana's wrist and gave the woman a look that was definitely a smoulder. "You know, I think I'd really feel more comfortable if you walked me through it. Personally. I mean, just so we can really keep this charade on the go. It's going to be up to the pair of us to keep Cremsden in line."

Margana giggled. “It would only be courteous to do this, after all you’re a guest and what the guest wants, the guest gets.”

The meal carried on and the teasing of poor Cremsden was almost relentless. By the time they had all reached a natural stage of comfortable, but not gorged satiation, the poor man was looking a little as though he might burst into flame. Dessert had indeed been planned but it was not something any of them were ready for. Instead, there had been a cheerful delay as the table was cleared away and leftovers scooped carefully into tubs and waiting cool boxes. Dytha had been happy to issue instructions from the table where she had been firmly, by Cremsden surprisingly enough, told she was staying put. Comfortably full and with the help of wine, put at ease, a bottle of non-alcoholic, ginger wine had been discovered with glee.

The mood was pleasant, relaxed and companionable in general. With a sigh of enjoyment, Dytha had dropped onto the couch as Cremsden did the honours of dishing out the spicy beverage. "Well," she had sighed happily. "I don't like to beat my own drum but I really enjoyed that. Especially the conversation." There had been a barely concealed smile as she made herself comfortable with a happy noise.

Cremsden snorted, and handed her a glass. “I think I’ll consider myself lucky you’re safely on the couch and well away from that wooden spoon,” he said sagely. “It’s now hidden somewhere in the sink beneath every single bowl we own and a few more for good measure.” Because clearly that was the cause of the teasing.

Margana snorted. “It’s not hidden if you tell us where it is,” she said, sipping the wine. The perfect topper to a perfect evening. “Between the two of us, Dytha and I would be able to hold you at bay while the other retrieved it.” She sat back, warm, fuzzy, feeling at one with the world. But she couldn’t help remembering Dytha’s comment about taking her through the motions. 

It may have been the wine. It may have been a random greenflight going on that Zlorenth was listening to, though not following. It could have been a lot of things, but that one offhand comment kept creeping into her brain.

The glass had been taken graciously and she had shifted to accommodate anyone who sat next to her. Although she had definitely taken over one small corner, she hadn’t annexed the entire thing. “It’s a gateway spoon,” Dytha said solemnly. “First a spoon, then it’ll be absolute power through an extensive cutlery collection.” With a deep breath, she let out an exhalation of contentment. 

“As most of the cutlery we own is currently covered in gravy I’m going to consider myself safe until I get around to cleaning up the kitchen,” Cremsden sat down next to her, relaxing back into the couch. Right up until that sigh of contentment and then he eyed her sharply. “Your feet bothering you? Were you on them too long?”

The look she gave him was one that threatened pure murder. So it was basically her usual face. Well, her usual face before a crazed Bluerider had tried to… do whatever he wanted to do. “I am sighing because I am pleasantly full after a good meal. I may have drunk wine and therefore I reserve the right to cut off your hand if you even try it.”

“Make sure you do it over the sink,” Margana said. “Blood is so hard to get out of the sofa.”

“I haven’t checked them in.. well. Since this morning!” Cremsden protested. “I’m just saying if you were on them a while cooking..” He noted the look on her face and, slightly belatedly, shut up.

“They are still attached. Therefore they are fine. You also obviously didn’t notice the stool in the corner by the cupboards. I’m not a fool, I’ve cooked myself enough meals to know when I need to pop onto a perch if I need to.” Dytha turned her eyes on Margana. “What do you think Margana, do we need to add ‘smacking Cremsden every night’ to the story? People might believe that part more than the rest!”

Margana nodded. “Yes, I believe so. Though this probably falls under the negotiations we’ve been going through.” She giggled and patted Cremsden’s knee. “Who knows? He might like it.”

“No-one would ever believe that anyone would ever want to smack me,” Cremsden informed them both loftily. “I’m far too nice and definitely not annoying in any way.”

The “hah!” came out a little more emphatically than she intended but it was rapidly smothered behind a mouthful of wine. “I think people would probably be more likely to believe you’re annoying than they would the idea that we’re sharing a bed. Even if we are blaming it on Margana.”

“Nonsense. I’m lovely. Everyone says so.” Cremsden reached out to prod Dytha lazily with a foot. “Ignore anything Bitey tells you to the contrary, he’s a liar.”

The blue firelizard, draped along the top of the couch, opened a questioning eye at his name.

“Pfft, only when you can hear them.” And there was an equally as lazy prod of her elbow to the man’s ribs. “Why do you think they wait until you’re out of earshot?” Dytha couldn’t keep the grin off her face, she felt saturated by the good food and the warm fuzziness of wine. “And I’ll have you know that Bitey is a very good source of information. When he’s not destroying the weyr.”

“Have you been telling tales on me, lizard?” Cremsden addressed Bitey, though even the firelizard had managed to consume enough scraps not to respond. “What did she bribe you with, cake?”

“No,” Dytha said as she burrowed a little further into the couch in comfort, “He responds well to polite requests and easy access to meat scraps.” The small laugh escaped her. “So lets see, we have moving in, likely indulging in all sorts of terribly naughty things, smacks and now I’m stealing your firelizard. Who shall we try to convince next?”

“As long as he bites you and not m--” Cremsden froze mid-sentence, head cocked to one side for a moment before he reluctantly prised himself up off the couch. “Small one is fussing. My turn I think,” he said, standing up. “Try to behave yourselves. I’ll be right back.” He reached over the back of the couch as he passed to rumple Dytha’s hair. “I’ll call if I need you but he’s already been fed..”

Margana slid over next to Dytha and put her arm around her. “Are you doing okay?” she asked solicitously. “We don’t have guests over that often, so when we do, it’s kind of a big deal. I just don’t want you feeling uncomfortable.” The girl hadn’t been acting uncomfortable, but months of being afraid to have a flight also proved how good of a liar she was.

If Cremsden had been close enough, he definitely would have been thwapped for that one. “So we add live in wet-nurse to the rumours, shall we?” she called out after him. As Margana settled next to her, it was actually quite easy for Dytha to sag against her slightly in slightly wine fuzzied companionship. More to the point, the way it had been asked was so genuine that it was impossible not to respond to it. “He’s been driving me shell-cracked,” she admitted through a half smile. “But… I guess I’m grateful I was kidnapped. Ponth has adored having company and Zlorenth has been so nice to her, she… she really needed that.” With a small smile, her free hand touched Margana’s knee. “Been meaning to say. You know… thank you. Not just for catching… just how you were. I know I sort of… ran off a bit not long after… You were… nice. You and Zlorenth both were.”

“I understand. It’s not easy the first few years of being a rider, and coming out of flight-lust with someone you’re not expecting.” She hugged Dytha comfortingly. “I’m somewhat used to it now. Zlorenth hasn’t made any long-term relationships, I think because of my relationship with Cremsden. I sometimes feel I’m doing him a disservice, but there are a lot of other dragons that aren’t in relationships either. So maybe it’s not as important to dragons as it is to us. 

“But he really likes Ponth. You and I may well be seeing each other again.”

“I still would have taken you over the alternative,” she said almost sheepishly. “But… but I know I won’t mind if you’re there again. Or if Zlorenth catches. And I know Ponth won’t either.” Somewhat impulsively, Dytha pushed her free arm behind Margana’s waist, giving a small if not slightly clumsy squeeze. “It’s… all been a lot to get used to. Healer, then Weyrling, then Healer Rider and now… all this. And now I know what’s happening with him finally, shells, it’s like I can breathe again. Even if it means convincing half the Weyr we’re having some illicit and slightly questionable living arrangements.” The giggle was genuine, her brain still boggling a little at the half-imagination of what some of the rumours might be. “How hard do you think it’ll be to make his head implode?” she asked, a slight nod of her head towards the door Cremsden had gone through. 

Margana considered. “You know, he’s stronger than you think. Yes, his face gets red, and he gets flustered, but he recovers easily.” The squeeze felt nice, and Margana felt a rush of warmth for the girl. 

“I’m glad you’re staying with us, the rest of the Weyr be sharded.” She bent down to kiss Dytha on the cheek.

“He does get so red, I had a bet with one of the other Apprentices to see if we could make him turn purple.” Another giggle, the sound thick and mischievous as it spilled out of her. The sudden sensation of the warm breath on her cheek had been unexpected, but the kiss that followed was… nice. Blinking in surprise, her cheek still tingling from the unexpected gesture, Dytha stared for a minute. And stared for a minute more. And then hurriedly, without thinking, pushed her lips gently against Margana’s own. 

A few minutes and there was a very gentle throat-clearing from the bedroom door. Cremsden had started to come out, then realised and stopped. Their distraction meant that he at least had a moment to think of a response rather than coming out completely flustered. 

“And here I thought it was me who had to watch how much he drank at dinner,” he commented mildly. “Couple of lightweights, the pair of you.” The tone was teasing, but there was still that slight hesitation about coming out further than the doorway, half-wondering if maybe he should have retreated back to Arden and pretended not to have seen. What, after all, was the etiquette in this situation?

It could have been the wine. It might have been the delicious dinner. It could have been the fact that she could tell she’d been the first woman Dytha had been with, and the greenrider had seemed--eager. Margana leaned into Dytha’s kiss with a low moan, not hearing Cremsden come into the room. She was more interested in helping Dytha feel more at ease with her sexuality. While there weren’t a lot of female blue-riders on Pern, Arolos seemed to have the largest percentage of them. Her hand crept up the greenrider’s side, hovering between moving to the front, or the back.

Margana had been astute in her observations and there had been very little opportunity for Dytha to test those waters. She was hardly the type to flirt her way into a random pickup in the Dining Hall. Feeling the other woman lean into her however, she had carefully let her fingers brush against Margana’s cheek, feeling the soft skin beneath her fingertips. Buoyed by alcohol and no doubt an element of Ponth’s quiet adoration of Zlorenth at the moment, Dytha had fallen all too willingly into the moment and then…

… Somewhere her thoughts registered the sound of a throat clearing and definitely registered the sound of words. Breaking the kiss as she moved back, her eyes opened to see… Cremsden. “Oh… I…” In the blink of an eye there was an obvious blush on her cheeks, one that darkened slightly when she realised that her fingers were still caressing the other woman’s cheek before managing to meet Margana’s eye with a shy smile. “The wine helped…” Dytha admitted. “I… didn’t mean…” And her eyes jumped between Cremsden and Margana, trying to find words to an apology that was also very hard to find in itself.

Margana started, but she’d enjoyed the kiss with Dytha. And it really wasn’t horrible if it was another woman, right? She looked over at her weyrmate and thought she saw a slight glint of interest in his eyes, though it could have been wishful thinking on her own part. 

She leaned back and smiled playfully at him. “But love, I thought you liked kisses?” She had to admit, her tone and demeanor would have won her a leading part in a Harper play, with its mix of innocence and wickedness.

He wasn’t looking shocked or annoyed at least. In fact.. his expression was one that Margana had seen before, one that usually meant he was working very hard to keep himself in check for the sake of company, even if what he wanted to do was get her alone as quickly as possible.

Margana was kissing Dytha. And..somewhere underneath Dytha’s loose clothing was a body which he had unexpectedly gotten a glimpse of, even if he had worked very hard to forget it. His imagination apparently had a better memory than he would give it credit for and for a moment provided a mental picture of a greenflight that made colour rise in his cheeks.

And, he reminded himself sternly, it was nothing to do with him. Even if they’d had a drink or two too many, Dytha was younger, and junior, and shells, who knows if she even liked men? Manners probably meant pretending you hadn’t seen, but shells, how did you..?

Margana’s comment broke the tension and he relaxed a little, reassured that at least in interrupting them he hadn’t somehow.. Done something wrong.. “You’re a tease, my love,” he accused without heat. “Dytha, don’t let my weyrmate be a terrible influence.” Still a little awkward, feeling slightly watched as though they could see how tight his pants felt he crossed to the chair but couldn’t quite resist pausing along the way to set a hand on Margana’s shoulder and lean to kiss the woman he was allowed to kiss.

Her hand had dropped from Margana’s cheek, but instead rested lightly on the other woman’s knee. The tease however, prompted a giggle that fell out of its own accord. “Yes Cremsden, from what I’ve seen, you don’t normally protest.” It was of course a light reference to the cheerful, but intimate way the pair would greet each other when the other returned home for their respective place of work. And on the plus side, he wasn’t frantically and somewhat angrily wanting to know what she was doing with his weyrmate.

Dytha’s eyes moved from both Margana and Cremsden as though she was assessing both a little carefully. The tone she heard wasn’t angry or outraged. There was nothing to suggest that anything was wrong, so to speak. So, she carefully ventured to follow suit. “From the look on your face, Cremsden, it looks a little more like you’ve walked into Turn’s End. And besides,” she paused, a mischievous expression flickering to Margana. “I think Margana’s influence is just fine.”

It wouldn’t be the first (or likely the last) time Cremsden made a rude gesture at Dytha, although not usually in this context. He didn’t pull himself from kissing his weyrmate to respond but without looking up raised his middle finger at Dytha over Margana’s shoulder, providing a quick and silent retort to that comment.

Margana leaned into his kiss, then giggled as she felt movement of his hand. She may not be able to see what he was doing, but she certainly knew well-enough. Giggling, she pulled back slightly. “Now, now, love, we mustn’t make our guest feel uncomfortable. I think she deserves a kiss too.”

The gesture brought a snort of laughter that was hastily muffled behind her hands. For his trouble however, Cremsden did receive a light, back-handed slap to the thigh nearest to her as he stood over Margana. The alcohol tickled her senses enough to provoke an enjoyable feeling of overall cheerful fuzziness where she thought absolutely nothing of cheerfully retorting, “Yes, Cremsden? Where’s mine, hmm?” There was enough laughter under her words to make it quite clear that she had no belief that there would be any follow through. And some people just might see that as a dare.

“Feeling left out?” Cremsden straightened up to wiggle his eyebrows at Dytha teasingly. He’d had a full evening of being teased, and while he was quite content with that it did occur to him as only fair if the girls got their own turn of being taken aback. “Well. I did say I’d do anything for my weyrmate, didn’t I?”

Well-aware it was the last thing they would expect he moved before he could think twice about it. The hand behind Dytha’s head was gentle, the kiss tentative rather than intrusive, ready for Dytha to push him away.

“I believe I’ve heard you say that at least tw--” The cheeky retort, because it clearly was about to be cheeky turned into a surprised squeak. But what would be apparent was the lack of pushing away, because despite Cremsden’s worryings, Dytha did enjoy the company of men who weren’t doing the things H’lan did. So when they moved away, it was a more natural parting as opposed to a deliberate pulling away by one party or the other. “So, wine makes you more daring,” she managed to offer sheepishly, the voice a little weak and definitely bewildered. 

Margana watched the interplay and giggled. Maybe she should have been jealous, but instead she was turned on. Prior to this it had been a fun interaction, but now she wanted it to be a really fun interaction.

 She wasn’t sure who to kiss first--Dytha or Cremsden. She glanced between them, eyes shining, lips slightly parted, breath coming a little more quickly than normal. “Oh. Wow,” she murmured.

Proximity won--she was still seated next to Dytha, while her weyrmate was probably less than six more inches away. She put her hands on Dytha’s face and gave her a good, long kiss. Then, she reached up to Cremsden, tugging him down with them and moved to kissing him long and hard.

“Steady, love.” It wasn't that Cremsden resisted the kiss or tried to pull her away from Dytha, but it was him who paused as Margana let him come up for air, a gentle restraining hand on her shoulder. “Dytha, uhm..” The question seemed extraordinarily difficult to put into words; you are young I am in a position of authority you are vulnerable, do you…

Actually no, there was the question really, wasn't it? “Do you want to stop?” An easy out, offered despite his usual fumbling, because this felt suddenly about to cross a boundary between teasing and play into something more.

Admittedly the kiss from Margana was a little more eagerly reciprocated. A piece of that was no doubt still fuelled by Ponth’s current mood towards Zlorenth and then there was the sudden sensation of another face nearby. A small voice in her head was quietly staring a little. Her fingers moved, squeezing the woman’s thigh gently and then with head reeling, she was looking up at Cremsden’s slightly worried face, blinking with some confusion.

“I…” Dytha paused, looking from him to Margana as she seemed to weigh something up. Eventually she shook her head with certainty. “No. I don’t think I do.” Carefully, watching both of them, she pulled Cremsden closer to them and whilst it was tentative and shy, it was definitely Dytha initiating the kiss this time. Whilst internally a part of her was staring and wondering what in the shells was happening, another piece of her was watching with far more glee than she quite understood. “I’m choosing,” she said firmly.

Margana honestly had had no doubts. Cremsden’s question puzzled her for a moment, but she realized that someone who’d had intimacy issues with her after they’d known each other for months would probably have questions. Or concerns. Dytha, on the other hand, she hadn’t doubted for a second. The way she’d accepted the kisses, the touches, and even the joking during dinner went a long way for Margana to know the girl. There had been no hesitation whatsoever.

She chuckled throatily. “Good. Because I think we’ve chosen you, too.”

For a minute after the second kiss Cremsden still studied Dytha, silently running through an internal checklist. Are you too drunk to know what you're doing, are you scared that saying no will do something bad, do you feel like this is an obligation for what we’ve done…

It didn't feel like they were pushing. Didn't feel like consent was being offered under duress, and Cremsden’s marker for that was high even on people without a H’lan in their past. Places like Fort and Bitra either made it high or left you someone maybe you hadn't wanted to be.

“If you change your mind..” The offer was there, though he followed it up with a half-teasing smile. “Even if Margana would be very very sad…”

Margana giggled. “Cremsden, love, Dytha’s not as fragile as you were. Shards, I had to treat you like spun glass and candyfloss for months after we started dating.” She kissed him, aware she could be making him feel bad. That wasn’t her intent. “I think our Dytha is stronger than you realize. And if I’m wrong,” she turned a mock-stern glare on the woman, “she’ll tell us, won’t you?”

Margana’s words were received with a small, but grateful smile, somehow finding fingers with the hand that had been almost absently caressing the woman’s thigh and squeezing them tightly. “Yes ma’am, you’ll be the first to know.” It was obvious that she was a little nervous, but the undercurrent with it felt more like someone never having been in this particular situation over someone who was too afraid to say no and really wanted to. She nodded firmly again at Cremsden, appreciative of his caution all the same. “Promise am here ‘cos I’m okay with it. Just…” And now she blushed fully, biting her lip as she did. “... I’m not sure what I should do… What the… manners are...” All it was, was now verbal confirmation that it was a new situation where the biggest dilemma was that there was more than one other person involved. Even if she hadn’t directly said it, it was something about the tone that made it obvious.

“Just because you were terrifying doesn’t mean I was fragile,” Cremsden protested, though there was far more fondness and amusement in that than true irritation. “You used to scare the life out of me, woman.” Not that far from the truth, he could remember still the first time she had lost a greenflight and his mild panic when she had turned up. It took time to get used to dragonriders and their behaviour. He grinned at Dytha, conspiratorial and mischievous. “I feel like it’s fairly obvious that its my weyrmate who knows what the rules are here. She usually does..”

Margana grinned, stood, and held out her hand. “Yes, I know the rules.” Though she’d make a lot of them up as they went along. “We’re going to have a lot of fun tonight.”

= End =

Nutmeg on the Wizzy.
Recluso#6042 on Discord

I'm sometimes slow and have the memory of a sieve at times, so don't hesitate to poke me if you think you've been forgotten!

Re: Well Now, This Could be Awkward (Attn: Nadia/S'ryll))


Nadia smiled at him as she kept toying with S'ryll's hair. "No you didn't. I didn't hurt you?"

She recalled a bit with a fond smile. Her nails and his back. She swore she had been gentle, or had every intention of it, but Dragons will be dragons. 

She streched again and shifted so that she could get a look at their lifemates. A delicate brow shot up at the sight that greeted her. "Well that's something you don't see every day.

((You have fun?)) Nadia sent to her green amusement showing in her amber eyes.

Sel opened an eye and looked at her rider. Nadia blinked as she watched the green snuggle in even tighter against Vastolth.

Nadia shifted her gaze to Vastolth and almost laughed watching them. Two peas in one pod.

At his statement, Nadia looked back at S'ryll and pulled him down so she could drop a kiss on him.

"Selenyth is in the same mode. I think we've been conspired against." She said with a soft chuckle.

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