It was the second day of the Gather, and Bl’by was still getting ready when he realised who he hadn’t seen on the first day. It was a big Gather so there was plenty of scope for missing people who were there but.. Still. Still.
Traynth’s mindtouch was a gentle one, never particularly loud. ((Muikoth, did you go to the Gather yesterday?))
Muikoth yawned, sleepy but awake, the blue responding after a moment. ((Mine says he wants a Callamere, but that we will get one after all the people have gone away.)) he answered.
((Mine says you should both come out and play.)) Despite Traynth’s usual shyness there was a coax in that, like a puppy trying to initiate a game.
((Mine doesn’t like crowds.)) But there was an uncertainty in that, as if Muikoth was, indeed, attempting to get his rider to go. ((Will there be lots of sun there?))
((Mine hid under trees a lot. And there were lots of drinks,)) Traynth admitted. ((But! We can watch people.))
((If there are places for Mine to hide, and I can watch people, I think I can get him to go.)) Muikoth answered. A pause. ((He says that people wear Nice Things there.))
((They can buy them there if he hasn’t got any. Mine is only wearing the shirts from Stores for now anyway because it’s all he’s got,)) Traynth reassured.
A moment longer, and then Muikoth responded. ((Mine says that Yours is not going to give up, is he? He says that he will come, but only if the rankers leave him alone.))
There was a laugh in Traynth’s mental voice now. ((He probably would if yours asked, but he does like yours,)) he admitted. ((And we don’t particularly like being looked at either, so.))
((Mine likes Yours too.)) Muikoth admitted. ((We come.))
((Here? Or there?)) Traynth checked hastily, already making room on his ledge.
((I’ll bring Mine to you now, so that he cannot change his mind.)) Muikoth answered, amused himself, and only a few moments later, the blue was arriving, touching down neatly on the ledge and V’rex dismounting.
“Come in! Nearly ready!” Bl’by’s voice yelled from inside the weyr as Traynth greeted Muikoth with both a mental and physical friendly nudge.
It was clear that unpacking was a thing that hadn’t really happened here yet. Most of the stuff - cushions, rug, so forth - were standard issue which made sense because most of the stuff Bl’by had brought was still safely stored in boxes either next to or under his bed for the nebulous day in the future when he might or might not decide to unpack. He was digging through a bag on the table, hunting for a handkerchief when V’rex arrived.
“Hello.” V’rex greeted, quiet, as he entered. “I hope you weren’t waiting- long?” the last word came out a question as he saw what Bl’by was doing. “Do you need help?”
“No. I know what I’m looking for it’s just-- aha.” He retrieved a small stack of neatly folded handkerchiefs, then looked ruefully at the piles of thick shirts he’d pulled out while hunting. “And back away these go, can’t see them ever getting much use here.”
“They’re definitely too hot for here.” V’rex agreed. “...You really think I should go to the Gather?”
“Well. It’s fun,” Bl’by observed, resignedly starting to repack the shirts into his bag. “And there’s dancing tomorrow. You’re going to come for that as well, right?”
“I… wasn’t planning on going at all.” V’rex admitted. “Except… maybe once. For a- for a flit from Callamere.” And then leave again immediately after.
“Come on, V’rex, you remember ‘fun’?” It was the same coaxing tone Traynth had used on Muikoth; playful with a slight tease behind it. “I know you do.”
“I… suppose it wouldn’t hurt… to get a bubblie pie.” V’rex admitted.
“And you can help me find some shirts that are actually suitable?” Bl’by suggested. “Genuinely, I do need help finding clothes here.”
“...Here? Or.. there?” V’rex gestured, vaguely, in the direction of the Gather.
“There. Right now I have five shirts which sounds great except after about four hours at most I sweat through them,” Bl’by said. “Which means they’re all being cleaned right now. And the rest from Stores which are… fine, but..not for dancing.” Sometimes you did actually want to look nice. “So, this needs to happen.”
“...All right.” V’rex conceded. “I- I can go. H-help you look, too.” he added. “If- if we can go to Callamere.” That was one thing he *did* want to do.
“Right. And eh, I have a fellow to introduce you to. Come here a moment?” Which could mean all kinds of things, particularly when he was gesturing through to an apparently empty bedroom, though he didn’t seem in a particularly flirty mood.
Confused but willing, V'rex complied. “What is it?” He asked uncertainly.
“New friend.” All was explained once they were close enough to see the small grey puppy curled up on the pillow. “He’ll have to come with us. Can’t leave him alone at this size.”
“Oh! You have a canine?” V'rex brightened at the sight of the small gray pup. “What's his name?” He wanted to know. “He's cute!”
“Thinking we’re going with Tiddler.” Bl’by said, dropping his voice so as not to wake the sleeping animal. “Trader reckoned he’ll grow big but traders’ll say anything for a sale. I can’t see it, poor runt was getting picked on by the other pups.”
“Poor thing.” V'rex's tone was genuinely sympathetic. He knew how it could feel. “Tiddler is a fine name.”
“I’ll have to see if anyone’s selling anything to make riding with him safer as well. Can’t have him wriggling off mid-flight.” Bl’by regarded the dog, considering. “Didn’t think of that until I came to bring him home yesterday.”
“Surely you could make a riding harness for him?” V’rex asked, with another glance at the pup. “Or put him in a bag?”
“Harness seems workable,” Bl’by conceded. “Bag seems like he might panic. Regardless I need to either buy something or buy the materials to make something.”
The puppy opened its eyes, tail already starting to thump in response to friendly voices and he whistled softly. “Come on then. Another exciting day of making sure no one treads on you.”
“Hey pup.” V'rex greeted softly, before refocusing on Bl’by. “You seem like you've got company enough..” he started, attempting to back out of going.
“Yeah, because he’s going to have a really important opinion on what shirts work in the South,” Bl’by said. “C’mon. Please? I really do need the help of someone who’s been here more than five minutes.” And if he could have other help for the asking he wasn’t admitting that just now.
Tiddler sat up, scratched his ear vigorously for a minute or two, then came to sniff with interest at the new person.
“I don't know, he seems to have a fine sense of style.” V'rex responded, though he conceded to Bl'by a moment later. “I said I'd go. I won't back out.”
He petted the pup gently.
Bl’by reached to rest a light hand on his back. “If you get worried, you can leave,” he said, relenting a little at exerting so much pressure. “Any time. But-- it’ll be fine.”
“I- I may as well.” V’rex admitted. “Go, I mean. I- I do want to try and get a Callamere…” He leaned back a bit, accepting the touch, before straightening, giving the pup one last pet. “Should we go?”
“We should go,” Bl’by confirmed. “Well, I’m going regardless, but you should definitely come too. There’s dancing tomorrow.” His tone made it clear he considered that to be equivalent to all his birthdays arriving in one go.
“After you.” V’rex stood to the side, motioned to where their blues waited. “A-and we- we’ll see.”
It took a little longer than usual to come to a strap arrangement that felt secure and accounted for a wriggling puppy who desperately wanted to investigate everything. Getting ready involved one full unstrap-and-dismount at the point where Tiddler managed to escape and jump down.
“Sorry!” Bl’by called finally. “I think we’re safe now.”
“Fly straight?” V’rex called back, even as Muikoth unfurled his wings, muscles bunching for that first leap upward.
“Shells, yes, I’m not trying between with this guy!” Bl’by was glad that he was experienced enough that taking off with his arms full didn’t feel particularly odd or unbalanced, even if the pup panicked at the first jolt and tried to hide its face in his chest. “Easy there, lad. You’ll get used to it.”
((Mine says that is wise, to not scare the little one.)) Muikoth relayed to Traynth, once both blues were airborne. ((Between is not for pups.))
((We’re going down gently. Mine thinks he might get sick,)) Traynth said. It wasn’t more than a few minutes by wing anyway, and easy enough to do a gentle glide down that stopped the jolting.
((We will see you on the ground.)) Muikoth responded.
Despite Bl’by’s best efforts, it was incredibly difficult to hold on to a wriggly puppy while also unstrapping yourself. Tiddler escaped within minutes of landing and was already racing to greet V’rex with a lot of jumping and licking before Bl’by was even down.
“Hey. Down, pup. Down, Tiddler.” V’rex bent to scoop the puppy up before he could dart off somewhere else, and Muikoth rumbled amusement.
The puppy promptly put his paws on V’rex’s shoulder and set about thoroughly washing his face.
“Sorry,” Bl’by apologised, catching up. “We’ll work on training after the Gather I think.”
V’rex offered a faint smile, offered the pup back. “It’s all right. I just didnt want him to go darting off.”
“I think he likes you.” Bl’by took him back, getting his own face washed as he fiddled with attaching a lead to a collar. “Though to be fair he seems to like anyone he can reach.”
“I like him too.” V’rex offered, wiping his face off with his sleeve. “...Shall we begin?”
He’d managed to get as far as coaxing V’rex there. Having done that, Bl’by was quite happy to go wherever the younger rider led. “Lead the way,” he agreed cheerfully, setting Tiddler back down.