A Rainbow of Colours

Xanadu Weyr – Meadow

A large, slightly rolling meadow is set high enough above the riverbank on both sides to avoid suffering from flooding, healthy ground cover and grass spreading out from either side of the dividing river. Scattered amongst the meadow are a variety of weyrs, each with a narrow path leading up to it from a main, winding road. Some are set under a few trees, while others sit by themselves.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing, while trees border the western edge of the meadow, and a faint outline of a stone wall and low rolling hills can be seen to the north. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests to the southwest or ore from the mountains to the southeast are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

Midmorning brings a break in duties that have occupied Marel since dawn, whether through choice or request, and so it's out to the meadow that she's traipsed, away from the sand of the beach and gentle crash of the waves, a measure of peace sought in the long grass that cannot be found at the shore. Lying lounged on her back, she might well be easy to miss, save for the book standing tall in the grass, supported by arms flung straight up. Atop the book, unsteady surface and all, sits a very young blue firelizard, no bigger than the cover of the book itself, its cries off-key compared to the whistling noise coming from elsewhere, voices seeming to be in competition or discussion.

It's with a yawn that Soriana makes her way across the meadow, for she didn't get nearly enough sleep last night. When she sees the floating book, she pauses, staring at it. Is she still asleep? Is this a dream? Because… she's pretty sure, out in the real world, baby blue firelizards don't levitate books for perches. She rubs her eyes, staring for a moment, then… "Oh!" There are arms there. Suddenly this all makes much more sense.

Distracted by Soriana's approach, the little blue breaks off his argument/discussion/calling, and instead studies her, declaring what he thinks one way or the other with a squeaky chirp that declares neither approval, nor disapproval. What it /does/ do is attract Marel's attention, and as the girl makes to sit up, she seems to forget that he's perched right there on her book, drawing it down and unbalancing him in the process. The fall too short to react and spread wings, he tumbles into her lap with an indignant squawk. A moment to check that he's still all in one piece, then Marel looks back up and blurts out an embarrassed, "Sorry!" Now sat in the grass, she looks up at her with a quirky sort of half-smile, blush giving her away anyway.

As the blue starts to tumble, Soriana takes a quick step forward, but there's only time for one step, even when it's a quick one, before the firelizard's already gone and crash-landed in Marel's lap. Sori takes another step closer, but it's the more casual sort, and she returns that smile with a flash of grin. "I see you've got yourself a watch-lizard," she says, with a little nod down toward the blue.

Mikal arrives at the tail end of that, bundled up in a light jacket that's zipped all the way up and his hands stuffed into his pockets as he walks across the meadow. Spying the two fellow candidates he veers there way with a called out hello. "Hello!" see? He just says hello. Nothing too terribly fancy today.

A watch-lizard who chitters the sheer indignity of his fall, especially when it's right in the line of vision of the young brown peering up at him from the grass. Ha ha! "I don't know about a watch-lizard," Marel admits with a rueful smile. "Especially if that was his version of a 'warning'." Twisting at the waist, she lifts a hand to wave over at Mikal once she figures out which direction his voice reaches her from. "What're you on today? I seem to wind up on dragon-bathing duty half the time. Just when I get dry, I end up back in the ocean." Amused, maybe a little, but not scornful. Frustrated? Perhaps.

"It worked, didn't it?" Soriana says of that warning with a crooked grin. "Admittedly, maybe not the most dignified, but…" She trails off with a shake of her head and another grin, then shrugs. Her own firelizards are off behaving themselves (hopefully) somewhere else today, so at least they weren't audience to the little blue's tumble. Mikal's greeting draws her attention, and she waves to him before turning back to Mrel. "Mostly I've been doing errands for the Annex… that and cleaning things less interesting than dragons. I think I'm supposed to be helping with water exercises for a strained muscle this afternoon, though. Maybe I'll see you down there."

At the question posed, he assumes to anyone, he pulls out his hands in answer. What a shocking color of blue they are. Not just one shade of blue either but several darker and lighter shades mingle from the tips of the fingers to the wrist. "Watching kid lets." he replies drolly. "I've not yet once gotten dragon bathing duty though I suspect Izzy to swoop down sometime and pick me up to drop me into the waters." perhaps he's hopeful for this? "I've also got to catch up on some studies for the healers /and/ work a shift in the infirmary." such a rough life he has!

"I guess…" Marel says slowly, aiming a quick look down at the blue, who has now decided to drift off to sleep in his discovered nest of skirts. "Though if he does that from a height, he's going to render people unconscious. Probably me!" She must be joking, for she doesn't seem so troubled by the thought, smile still lingering at one corner of her mouth. "I'll be the girl being drowned by a fidgety bronze," she anticipates dryly, though her green eyes widen at the sight of the state of Mikal's hands. "What did they do to you?" she asks, all but gawping at him. "Is it permanent?" Or near enough?

Soriana chuckles slightly to Marel. "Okay, so maybe he could do with a few refinements to his system," she acknowledges, then hehs. "I'll look for the flailing. He's probably too small yet to knock out a bronze, though." She gives a tilt of her head toward the little blue firelizard, then wrinkles her nose at Mikal's comment and the idea of watching small children. "So glad I haven't gotten that. I'd much rather run erra- whoa." That would be the moment where she sees Mikal's hands. She stares at them, but Marel gets to the questions first, and all that's left for her to do is wait for the answers.

Mikal has never had the best luck when it comes to tending to the littles and it seems today is no exception to this common occurrence. "Paints." he says simply as he takes a moment to really look at his hands. "It amused the littles to paint my hands. Which isn't what they were /suppose/ to be painting." he adds with an odd catch in his tone. It's hard to tell if he's annoyed or amused over this.

Idrissa is making her way on into the meadow, she is working on brushing off some dirt and hay that was clinging to her after her chores off in the stables for the morning. Upon her shoulder can be found Hidalgo, the little brown chittering and tilling out now and then, and seeming like a rather happy little fellow at the moment. Her gaze drifts around to the voices and she soon heads towards the three once she has caught sight of them and waves. "Hey guys."

"But I mean… Are you stuck like that?" Marel presses, still staring in quite the unladylike fashion. It's this stare that she lifts to Idrissa, only belatedly schooling her features back into something less worrying, or, well, rude. "Morning, Idrissa," she greets. She even (just) manages not to encourage her to gawk at Mikal's hands. "Okay, I take everything back," she declares, lifting palms in defeat to all. "Dragon-washing is /fine/. I love it. It's fantastic." Compared to blue hands. "I babysit my niece, but she hasn't tried to paint me with anything. …Yet."

"Ah," says Soriana, taking another look over Mikal's hands. "Hopefully they wash off. Otherwise you might need to get a scalpel and cut off the top layer or three of skin…" She mimes carving away at her own hand, then grins, glancing over to Idrissa and giving a wave. "What've you had for chores?" she asks cheerfully. "Mikal had to watch kids!" What? She's not pointing out his blue-painted hands. Not directly, anyhow. Just… setting the stage. As it were.

Mikal blinks a few times at Marel's queries. Huh. Clearly he never thought of that. "I..hope not?" he says with a shrug. He hold his pretty blue hands up to inspect closer. "I mean it's just paint." though he clearly has no idea if it's washable paint or what. A blue hand scratches his short red hair." he twists somewhat to spy another person headed their way. "Oh hey a Idrissa." with a glance back to Soriana he grins. "They are with the nannies. Evidently they thought I did enough for the day." which /could/ indicate that not just his hands are blue right now.

Idrissa wanders on over to where Soriana is and settles down next to her friend. "Chores Eh I've been in the kitchen a few times, have weeding the gardens today, also worked washing and mending laundry." She makes a slight face and shakes her head. "So much fun." No not really she looks over to Mikal and grins. "How was it with the kidlets?"

"I'll knit you some pretty gloves if it doesn't come off," Marel offers, perfectly seriously and so, so innocent. Until: "/Manly/ gloves," follows on the heels of that offer and she can't help but let a brief fit of the giggles consume her. Once she's fought her way back to sober, she adds, "But I /can/ knit," more lightly, like she could stress that the offer was genuine. Maybe she learned during her months away. "…Is it just me, or do our chores involve a lot of washing things?" she wonders.

"Yeah, uh… I agree, I think you've had enough done to you," Soriana says to Mikal, then grins to Marel. "Very manly, I'm sure. Like… black and, uh… blue." That's manly, right? Maybe. "Huh," she says after a moment. "You're right. Washing dragons, washing clothes, washing our hands…" Sori hmmms. "It's like they think that'll be important or something." Babies, dirty? Nahhhhh. Speaking of babies, "Oh! Has anyone told you yet about the surprise baby shower we're throwing for Briana?" Soriana asks Marel.

"Oh great fun. We bonded. I love kids." Mikal deadpans in a tone that clearly indicates all his words mean the opposite of what he says. This is one boy who isn't looking forward to having kids anytime soon. But then what boy does? "How's the kittens?" time to switch subjects and he picks this one as he turns his green eyed gaze to Marel. He does give her am unsure but i'll try look when it comes to the offer for the pretty gloves to be knit. "Can't wear gloves onto the Sands though." he says a tad glumly. Evidently he's thought of possibly having blue hands when the eggs hatch. "I assume washing chores is simply to get you used to washing if you Impress. The baby dragons /are/ washed a lot. Elsie is smaller and /she/ liked a lot of baths." Elsie upon hearing her name gives a sleepy chirp. "I like the color green and brown." he offers helpfully for the color selection on the gloves. "Why does it have to be a surprise?" he wonders of Soriana on the baby shower.

Idrissa rubs at her hands a few times to get some dirt off of them. "I also get to wash runners at times so that is extra washing for me." She glances to Marel at the talk of 'manly' gloves and just grins while looking to Mikal. "So, you need some manly gloves huh?" Then there is talk of Briana and the baby shower, a oh escapes her. "Did you ever pick a date for that Soriana?"

"No, nobody's said-" Marel begins to answer Soriana, but that mention of the kittens from Mikal makes her /stare/ wide-eyed up at her fellow Candidates. "There are /no kittens/," she insists in an over-the-top, hush-hush fashion. "Especially if my mother asks. There are /no kittens/." Except there are. "If she's looking for me and mentions kittens in the same sentence, there are /definitely/ no kittens." With that out of the way, she smiles brightly and admits, "They're so cute. And they're growing so fast! I thought firelizards and dragons grew quick, but—" She just about manages to stop herself kitten-babbling, rueful smile taking her over. "They're good," she settles for. "And I'll knit you green and brown gloves." Promise. Just in-case. "But no, nobody's said anything to me about a shower. And a…" she glances at Idrissa, "date?"

Kittens hmm? Soriana glances over curiously at the mention of that. No kittens? Huhwha… ahhhh. The mention of mother asking explains it all. "No kittens. Got it." She grins, then glances back to Mikal at the talk of dragon-baths. "Well, sure, but it's not like scrubbing floors is the same thing." As for the baby shower being a surprise, "Uh, because. Because surprises are fun!" See? She's thought this one through in depth. To Idrissa, she gives a little shake of her head. "I've still gotta see when some of it's gonna be ready." Question thus eloquently answered, "Well, I mean, you've seen Bri on the sands. S'gotta be hard for her, pregnant while Sahazyth's clutching. So I thought we, the candidates, could help out. Hotaru's getting Datsun to make a crib, and Kale's making spoons-probably," maybe, she hopes. Please, Kale, no throwing daggers or cages. "Maybe you could like… knit something? If you wanted? I mean, you don't have to, of course."

"Nooooo kittens. Right. Got it." Mikal repeats. He can do this. Especially if she's going to be nice enough to knit him some manly gloves to wear while his blue hands turn normal color again. "Well sure surprises are fun but what if she doesn't want a shower for the baby? OR what if she has that baby today." he tosses that thought out. Not that it is likely but he doesn't know. "How is it hard to be pregnant while the eggs are on the Sands?" he wonders. "It's not like she laid 'em! And they are pretty well just sitting there." everything is so simply in his life. He can only imagine it's the same for all. "Hey..maybe I could draw something for the baby." he offers.

Idrissa glances to Marel at the talk of no kittens, she soon smiles and nods. "Sure.. If it ever comes up just say there mine." She'll totally take the blame for kittens! At least she doesn't /actually/ have any kittens at the moment. A soft hum escapes her and she nods, pondering what to bring as a gift. "Maybe I could make a blanket or something; babies need things like that right? She smirks and peers over at Mikal. "Because being down on the sands is hard, and she wants to be there for Sahazyth?" An well others things too! "It's a stressful time and all.."

"I think it's more looking after Sahazyth and making sure everything's okay for her, right? And it's hot on the Sands. That doesn't sound comfortable," Marel considers in slightly more gentle, thoughtful tone, yet she shrugs one shoulder a little helplessly when she glances up at Mikal: she's not in any position to really be any the wiser. Sending a smile Idrissa's way, she says, "Thanks," sincerely, even if there's quieter protest to follow: "but I'm not sure I could let anyone else take the blame. If she catches me, she catches me. Until then… deny all!" Of knitting and baby showers, she slowly inclines her head, mulling over the idea. "I could try," she offers, doubt at holding any great skill writ large in her eyes. "Little boots and hats and… I could have a go at making a jacket. It'll all need to be in colours for a boy /or/ a girl, right? Maybe yellow? Or is that… too close to gold?"

"But… uh… baby showers are a thing people do. Of course she'd want one." Soriana is speaking from her vast wealth of experience here. So vast. "I mean, it's like a turnday, and who doesn't like turnday parties?" Well, old people, for one, but Briana's not ancient yet, and besides, it's for the baby, so it's for like… an aged-zero person. Makes it all better. "And if she has the baby today, then we'll just move up the party. You can have one after the baby's born, it's allowed." There's that vast store of knowledge again. If only she'd ever actually been to a baby shower! …ever. Minor details. They shall not stop her! "And, yeah!" she agrees with the other girls. "It's hot on the sands. Remember how Zah fainted? Well, so it's hard for Briana too. And she's there way more than any of us are." She smiles as Marel agrees to try, and nods. "Yeah! I'm sure you can do something with it." A grin there, and she nods. "Right. Yellow could work… it's not too close, because if it's a girl it's gold and if it's a boy it's bronze. Or green, maybe." It's manly enough for Mikal, yet girly enough for a green dragon. "Or… uh… like, fall colors. Orange and brown and those."

Mikal doesn't look like he believes that being down on the sands to be hard. "Hard?" his brow furrows in puzzlement. "Zahl fainted?" /that/ got his attention quickly then ohs. "Yeah but she's okay now,right? I mean she was at the beach and all. I snuck her one of Elsie's fire lizard eggs into the infirmary." he brags. "Hide it real good so she'd find it." which…isn't really hiding it good if it was found? WHo knows. "Eww, yellow is for girls. I'd stick with blues and greens. Maybe brown cause brown is a good strong color to go with everything."

"Orange or brown could work too. Would go nice with gold things." Idrissa agrees with that idea. She smiles to Marel and nods. "Good luck with that. I won't say anything though." A glance is sent to Soraina. "We could ask Lorelai about some things. She does have a kid after all." Maybe that would be a good start? Well it sort of made sense in her book. She peers over at Mikal and smirks. "Well what are 'boy' colors then as you are an expert in the color field." His said with an amused tone.

Gathering up her book, Marel coaxes the sleepy baby blue into the pocket of her dress, whilst the little brown scampers and crawls his way up her arm without leaving a scratch on her, such is the nature of his stubby non-claws. She shakes any stray strands of grass from her skirts and slowly pushes herself to her feet, mindful of Brier and Flynn's present dependence on her keeping her balance. "Orange. Maybe light-brown? Cream?" she ponders. "Or…" Too many colour choices! "I'd better get some more wool. There might be some in the storerooms." And she'll probably end up buying some anyway. "I'm going to go have a look. I'll see you all later!" Lifting the book, she waves, then turns to head back and seek out the caverns and any suitable wool, before she has to return to her chores.

Soriana rolls her eyes at Mikal's copious suggestions. "Yeah Zahl's okay now," she does say. "I saw her when they let her back out." She just shakes her head at the color-based ones. "Anyhow, I'm sure whatever you pick will be okay. It's not like the baby's gonna care, right?" Just the baby's mama. Details. Sori nods to Idrissa. "Yeah, I gotta talk to Lorelai, see if she's got any good ideas. And she's a baker, too, so maybe she'll be willing to help us with the food." Because it's just not a party without food! She nods to Marel, and waves. "Okay! See you later!"

"Bronze." Mikal replies quickly with that. "And of course dark blue and dark greens. Red too." he pauses. "All the darker colors, really." he simply shrugs at that, waving to Marel's back as she heads out. "Food?" he perks up at that. "Are guys invited to your shower thing?"

Idrissa chuckles and nods to Mikal, she grins before looking back to Soriana and smiles. "Alright. I bet she could make some food stuff. Maybe I can help with cookies or something. Remember Briana did that cookie class with us?" There's an idea. Little baby type cookies. Maybe little baby dragon cookies? She looks to Marel and waves after her. "See you later."

"Well, Marel will pick something good, I'm sure." With or without Mikal's input. As for the food.. "Oh yeah!" she says to Idrissa. "We've gotta do cookies, after she taught us the class and everything. That's a great idea!" Soriana grins, then looks back to Mikal. Ahhh, yes. Do boys get to come and eat food? "Boys are invited only if they bring a present for the baby," she says firmly, then looks back to Rissa. "Yeah, we can get a bunch of those cookie cutters… dragons, eggs, babies…" hurm. Maybe cannibalism is not the best choice here? "Or like… some frosted in pink and some in blue. So there's some the right color for the baby either way." Twice as many cookies? Well oh-kay!

Mikal thinks on that. "I'll draw something for the baby." he says decidedly. "I gotta go though, time to check in at the infirmary. See you guys later."

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