Smells Like Honor

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. The meadow continues with gentle rolls and dips, grass tall and short waving in the slightest of breezes, and eventually those hills grow higher and steeper, ending in a large ridge that provides a fine view of that meadow and the rest of the Weyr, gazing out over the multicolored roofs of the houses and the cliff that holds the caverns.

Runner stables with the paddock beyond are to the south beyond the meadow weyrs, and a smithy and a woodcraft shop are settled closer in towards the path to the clearing. Trees border the northern side of the meadow, and more of those low, rolling hills can be seen to the northwest. A road passes through the meadow, coming from the east and used by traders and crafters alike. Wagons laden with felled trees from the forests or ore from the mountains are hauled by burden beast up the road through the meadow, over the bridge spanning the river to be processed in the appropriate workshops.

He is majestic, y'all. Glorioth has a preferred way of standing, when he must be still, with his wings mantled just so, his head at a certain angle. It's unconsciously done but the effect is the most HEROIC of all HEROIC POSES. The opportunity to be viewed at his best angle (all of them are the best, don't worry) and be admired as is only his due as the BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE is all that has Glorioth standing while his broad-shouldered blonde lifemate climbs all over the small-for-his-size-but-still-just-enormous-by-human-standards-but-smaller-than-Inasyth's neckridges, disconnecting the complex series of buckles that hold the riding straps onto that enormous beast. It's hard to miss his presence there because Glorioth's MUCH TOO HEROICALLY LOUD voice with the undercurrent of off-key theme music has been reaching many more people (basically everyone within a certain radius, honestly) than just his own lifemate. « THE SHIFTY-EYED FOE-VILLAIN THOUGHT HE COULD ESCAPE ME, MY F'YRSOME FRIEND, BUT IT NEVER COULD HAVE BEEN SO. THE RADIANCE OF MY VALOR PROVED MUCH TOO MUCH FOR THEM. THEY FELL AT MY FEET. » That's how he remembers whatever story he's telling about himself, anyway. F'yr's expression is engaged, both with the straps and the story. "I can't blame them," he might be heard to reply if one were near enough as he drops to the ground, arriving at the same time as the great lengths of leather that are the riding straps finally freed from around Glorioth's neckridges.

Kassander is lurking. It's basically what he does. Yesterday or the day before he completed his hunting duties well, brought home something big for the stewpot - an escaped wherry, which someone then accused him of shooting in the /pen/, god dammit - and today he's on light duty. Light duty means 'stay away from that guy and clean the kills' and he finished both of those early so he's retreated to 'stay away from that guy' over near where the dragons are, just so he can watch them and see if they're /all/ as big as Inasynth. They're not. But they're beautiful nonetheless. He's eyeing the nearby bronze so intently that he's oblivious to the blond guy talking to it. People can go hang. Animals - and dragons - are far better.

It so happens that some of F'yr's good friends are professional lurkers, self-employed. Frankly, with his frame, generally being watched by those who aren't even professional about the pastime is not unusual for him and largely if amicably ignored. Glorioth welcomes all positive attention as his due and really might not deign to notice an individual's attention on him, except … He's free of the straps now and striding his GREAT, MAJESTIC AF SELF right up to Kassander and swinging down his enormous head to inhale. It's not like a dog, no. It's just like inhaling one's favorite cologne or perfume… except, when one is a dragon. If he thought he wasn't seen, it's now obvious that he was. « YOU SMELL OF HONOR, MY MESMERIZED MONITOR. » Since in Glorioth's world, killing equals honor, he means dead animals. Kassander's work of the day must be clinging to him. It would follow that Glorioth should make more conversation with the crescendo of that off-key heroic theme and the now bright clash of weaponry and his own non-physical musky scent of blood and sweat and EVERYTHING MAN- - ER, DRAGONLY. But this is where Glorioth pauses so the one he's engaged can deal with their STAGGERING AWE (almost always entirely in his own head, it's fine - he's never noticed a difference). In that pause is when F'yr manages to catch up, now under the burden of those hastily gathered up riding straps, looped diagonally across his chest, though he doesn't see the person his dragon's body is blocking … yet.

Oh. Shards. Kass has been noticed. He needs to try harder at that whole lurking thing next time, be invisible. This big, brassy, /telepathic/ dragon is heading towards him, probably because it knows what a loser he is, has already read the bad things out of the back of his mind, and is coming to chase him out of the weyr for good — "Oof." Kass lands on his ass. Again. What is it about dragons knocking him down just by being in the area and leaning so close that he overbalances? From his position on the ground, he manages a strangled sort of, "What?" Yeah, he didn't quite get the whole 'honor' thing. His expression could probably be mistaken for staggering awe, yes - he looks like he's been poleaxed. He blinks, twice. And then he tries what worked before: "Hello." He'll just stay right here on the ground, all right? The dragon can sniff him. Common sense has returned and he knows he's not going to get eaten. Knocked down again though? Maybe.

GREAT NEWS, KASS. Even if Glorioth could read thoughts like that, he wouldn't, because yours aren't as interesting to him as his are. It's not even a contest. The lingering smell of blood, however, is of PLENTY OF INTEREST to the enormous (RUDE) bronze. It's probably an inadvertent clarification from the dragon that he goes on to say, « YOU'VE BEEN KILLING THINGS, » with a note of larger than life approval. The voice reverberates much too loud, but he has basically only one volume setting, so this is how it goes. « F'YROCIOUSLY SLOW ONE, » he addresses his lifemate without turning his head away from his observation of Kassander, « I HAVE FELLED ANOTHER WITH THE MIGHT OF MY MIGHTINESS. » It's just important that he make sure his rider has witnessed. He doesn't suggest F'yr come to help Kassander up, but the way F'yr's stride lengthens might indicate 'felled' could mean 'stopped the heart of' or something that requires quick action. It's the big blonde's turn to look a little pole-axed when he lays blue eyes on Kassander. F'yr, however, recovers quickly - he's seen weirder than ghosts from his past. The smile that comes is not that of the carefree boy from the farm, but something that covers the conflict in those blue eyes. It doesn't stop him from offering down his hand. "Kassander," is confirmed recognition. It's probably too obvious to say, "I didn't expect to see you here," but that's never stopped Stefyr before: the obvious is one of his specialties.

Kass just… doesn't move, and now blinks at F'yr. "Your dragon makes puns," he points out when he remembers how speech works - and actually smirks, just a little. That's a far cry from the stray kid F'yr would remember from the next farm over, who never smiled, rarely talked, worked without complaint and avoided people entirely when possible. His attention snakes back to the dragon. "I was skinning animals." Finally, without looking and with a trace of reluctance, he reaches up to take F'yr's offered hand and let the man haul him upright. "Thank you."

It might be a different answer from the big bronzerider if his dragon weren't right there, but as it is, F'yr's smile broadens into a grin and he shrugs. "Since the day he was shelled." It's an easy thing, for the bronzerider to pull and get Kass back on his feet. "That's probably what got his attention. Dead animals are one of his favorite things." He glances up to the bronze who's looking back down at them, probably only because they're talking about the right thing: him. "Kassander, Glorioth, Glorioth, Kassander." The man offers before shifting the coils of the leather straps for an easier time carrying the load. "What're you doing at the Weyr?" It's not accusatory, only curious and perhaps a little cautiously so for all that the blonde's expression seems open enough. (That's boring, by the way, F'yr, you can tell because Glorioth just snorted.) « THAT IS OF NO IMPORTANCE, MY F'YRFULLY DULL-WITTED COMPANION. » What is? « WERE THOSE YOU SKINNED EVIL? » That is. He says it all quite seriously, even if it's sort of hard to take him seriously.

There's so much to react to in this moment that Kass merely blinks, his gaze having fixed on Glorioth rather than F'yr. For some reason, looking at F'yr is not as easy as all that. Words take a moment to formulate. "Well. One of them was a wherry, and you know how those are." There, answering Glorioth is easier than answering F'yr, but that's done. His gaze flicks sideways to F'yr, then away again. "Had enough of farming." Surely F'yr understands. Surely. Since Glorioth is /right there/, Kass just… reaches out to offer the big dragon his hand for nose-petting. No actual contact, not unless the dragon goes for it.

« INDEED. WHERRIES ARE STRANGE FOES OFTEN SLIGHTLY LESS DEAD THAN I WAS EXPECTING. » Glorioth observes, booming that loudloudloud voice to everyone right here and farther afield. He says it with gravity, like this is a topic that matters. « I TRUST YOU ENSURED THE DEMISE OF THE SHIFTY-EYED FOE? » OR ARE HIS SERVICES NEEDED? HE'D BE MORE THAN THRILLED TO SQUASH IT INTO A BLOODY MESS. F'yr doesn't behave as if this is even entering his range of 'what's weird' in his life these days, so it's probably … normal? Well, normal for here. There's a simple nod from F'yr for the answer Kassander gives. "There are a lot of options here. Different than farming. It was a nice change for me. Once I got used to things." He shrugs his shoulders a little. There's a pause as he glances toward his lifemate and then the young man. Glorioth is staring at that hand. It doesn't have meat in it, as it happens, and it would seem that the bronze is not particularly used to this kind of invitation. "Put your head down," F'yr says, but it's probably to the bronze because after a moment, he does. « THIS IS BETTER THAN PEOPLE TOUCHING YOU, » the bronze observes, « BUT I STILL DON'T SEE THE POINT. IT'S NO SUNG PRAISES. » This would obviously be better reward in his mind, but F'yr's blue eyes flare wide and he makes a quick 'DON'T DO IT' shake of his head to Kassander, just in case he's feeling obliging. "Adjusting alright?" is a much more casual question, a kind of thing that only the human half of the pairing seems capable of doing.

So loud. Are they all this loud? No, Rhodey said… something about that, didn't she? Bad examples. Kass sighs and leans forward and, since it seems like permission has been granted, sets about finding The Spot on the dragon. Everybody's got one. Ina's eye ridges and jaw bones were hers. Now where on Glorioth is an enthusiastic scritching most necessary? "I don't sing," he says mildly. "You need Harpers for that." He shoots F'yr another look at the question, then shrugs. "As well as anywhere." Which is to say, not at all, but apparently the issue doesn't bother him. His dark eyes flick right back to Glorioth, thoughtful and all-encompassing… and as usual, Kass says not a single word of what he's thinking.

« AHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAH HAHAHA! » There is Glorioth's trademark laugh. F'yr is innured to the volume but his face suddenly pinches with his impending foreknowledge of what's about to be said by the bronze. « NOT SO, MY LIMITED LURKER, » the dragon informs Kassander, a clash of metal punctuating his certainty. « MY F'YRFULLY TALENTED, » notice how F'yr flip flops in favor in his dragon's mind with alarming speed, « LIFEMATE HAS COMPOSED MANY A BALLAD AND ANTHEM IN MY HONOR. » Not even this makes F'yr blush anymore, but it does make him take on an expression of pained acknowledgment. Stefyr probably never sang much in front of Kassander, but singing passed the time on F'yr's family farm during endless chores and repetitive work, so it's a believable story, even if all of those compositions are probably actually REALLY TERRIBLE. Since they're about the right topic, as so few (read: none) real songs are, Glorioth is inclined to view them in a favorable light. Maybe F'yr can just move on past this loud sharing his dragon is doing by clearing his throat and saying, "Fair enough," as an easy and meant response. "If I can help," he lets that hang without pressure, a resource only as one who's not been Kassander and been there, but as one who was Stefyr and was. Conspicuously absent from this conversation is any question about F'yr's family back on the farm, of Gaelis, the girl he loved who married his now deceased brother just before he came to the farm and any of the events there.

And Kass figures that's just fine - surely F'yr doesn't want to know more about the girl he used to be in love with. Is still? It's fine. "Mn." Well, perhaps not all dragons have The Spot. He draws back his hand from the attempts to scritch the dragon with, "I didn't know you could sing." No, he never paid attention. Never listened. Stayed at the edge of the field as far as he could get and wondered about the distant voices. Not at all. Kass keeps a perfectly straight face and folds his hands behind his back, dark brows arched and expression serene. "Maybe you'd like to sing us one?" Poor F'yr. If this doesn't scare the man off, nothing will. So long as Kass is looking straight at Glorioth, he can keep a straight face.

No, sadly, not all dragons can be as special as Inasyth. Although, to be fair, since Glorioth is leaving his hand there, it's probably good, it's just not as good as having sung praises in his hierarchy of how to please a hero. F'yr's gaze on Kassander's face gets heavy. DO YOU FEEL IT, KASS? It so happens that F'yr is masterful at his deadpan, too, so much so that as he slips into the expression that always means a very dry humor is about to manifest itself. "Oh, not really." He does, really, but not harper trained. "Just something to do while I work sometimes. But I have been learning the piano." That's not the humor. Here it is, Kassander, just for you: "I'm sure since Glorioth hears me sing all the time, he'd much prefer a duet. Surely, since you're here now," AND HE SEES WHAT KASS IS DOING THERE, YES, THANK YOU, "you can spend some time learning one for his pleasure." Nevermind that entertaining Glorioth isn't actually one of Kassander's duties in anyone's head but Glorioth's. This is the dragon who bursts out with an approving, « AHAHAHAA HAHAAHAHAHA! APPROPRIATELY GLORIOUS TO MY OVERWHELMING NOBILITY. YOU SHALL SEE TO IT, MY F'YRLESSLY IMAGININATIVE ONE. » And Glorioth understands there will be no argument (or none he has to hear) through the expedient of taking a handful of ground eating strides all of a sudden and launching himself quite spectacularly into the sky. « HO, HERE COMES THE HERDSLAYER. HIDE IF YOU DARE, » it will be more fun for him that way~~ But thankfully, he doesn't head for the feeding pens, but winging off across the forest to go hunting in the wild. F'yr just… watches him go, his arms moving to cross across his chest, holding all those straps there and then he tilts his head to look at Kassander with a very, very deadpan look, the humor dancing in his eyes and making the corners of his mouth twitch. He simply, eloquently, raises his brows at the younger man.

Wait. Duet? Kass flicks a startled, slightly alarmed look at F'yr. And then Glorioth is gone in a blast of wind and Kass nearly tumbles over again, catching at the nearest fence for balance - F'yr is not a fence, and he lets go like his hand has been burned. Shards. He fixes F'yr with a glare, not too serious. "I am /not/ serenading your dragon." And now would be a good time to march off in a huff like an angry feline, but Kass will settle for slouching backwards, out of reach, hands tucking into his pockets. For some reason the idea of turning his back on F'yr makes his spine itch, so he's not doing it.

F'yr is not a fence, but he sure is steady like one. One would have to learn to be in the past turn and change that he's been paired with the bizarre bronze. "Oh, aren't you?" The bronzerider returns with the kind of faux innocence one should be wary of in the youngest of twelve with a passel of cousins (fifteen or more) ready to hand for practice of pranks and general annoyances. His tone goes almost sweet with the words. Then he lets it hang a long moment, pointedly not laughing at Kassander in what's possibly a very irritating way. Then after it's hung to become even drier in humor he shrugs. "Ah, just as well. You don't know any of the tales of his daring quests, so you probably couldn't do his gloriousness justice." It's amazing he can say all that with a straight face, but he's had some practice. "So you're hunting then?" That's asked with an edge of seriousness and a touch of benign interest. Skinning could've meant working for the tanners, surely, and in some ways that's probably still true since they probably collect whatever hides can be used for their craft of things like, oh the million pounds of riding straps F'yr's still holding like it's no big deal. One does train for these things, though.

Kass /stares/ at F'yr like… like he wants to protest that, because machismo and bravado and… he lets out an irritated huff and stops retreating, just stands there, back stiff. "Hunting, yeah." And for the first time in his life (not really), Kass volunteers information, "Had a dispute with another hunter. Light duty today." Which is a nice way of saying 'we don't like you get out of our hair' but Kass shrugs off the implications like water off a duck's back. "Including skinning things." Good thing he's had a lot of practice with that. "And you. Dragon, huh." There's a certain amount of morbid curiosity in his tone. Fleeing is still an option.

"Dragons," F'yr tilts himself forward in a conspiratorial tone, "forget things about once every half week. Sometimes longer, I gather, but Glori? Day or three and he'll be onto other things." There, see? Kassander is off the hook! … or is he? F'yr leans back, assuming a thoughtful expression, "Of course, if I happen to keep thinking about how you're going to learn a duet with me…. that timeline can extend…. quite a long way." He cocks an eyebrow ast the younger man. Is it challenge? An invitation for a bribe? A welcome for a shove as he richly deserves? Maybe all at once or maybe none. "Some people can be jerks. Weyrfolk are usually sort of easy-going, but I had some problems when I was getting settled in with some of them just…" He makes a face to describe the behavior. "If it's a real problem, there are channels to go through later. That's his due diligence on the Weyr-Relations front, but then F'yr is glancing off the direction Glorioth flew. "Yeah. I got here a few months before Leirith rose the last time. Anyone warned you about that yet? It was a shock to the system for me. Makes you feel… well, not really yourself for a bit. Itchy under the skin and all that." Horny, he means horny. "Anyway, once the eggs were on the sands, they asked me to stand and I started learning about the life. Turned out to be everything I wanted, even though I didn't really understand that." Because of Glorioth? In spite of Glorioth? All of the above?

Kassander just eyes F'yr. Eyes him. Like… he could slow down, make sense. Not be confusing. Then again, everyone is confusing, so none of this is new. And asking questions makes you a target, a lesson Kass has long learned, but… this is at least someone he knows /of/, if not /knows/, and F'yr has older brothers so maybe he won't go picking on Kass… forlorn hope, but the hunter's shoulders tighten and his hands dig deeper into his pockets as he asks, "First, what do you want? And second… what do you mean?" Because that bit sounds like trouble. Of course, being inexperienced at actually asking questions, he's not going to clarify what he's asking /about/ because… he's got a hint that he really doesn't want to know the answer. Maybe next time that happens will be a good time to bolt out of the weyr on a hunt or something. The back of his neck feels like there are eyes on it and the urge to crawl out of his skin and flee is growing stronger.

Ah, sweet Kass. The thing is… F'yr does have older brothers, and F'yr isn't that kind of guy. The tightening of the shoulders gives the bronzerider pause, expression sliding away from all the drummed up humor into something simpler, something more authentic. So, it's not really a forlorn hope, simply a misjudgment on the big man's part… but Kass did start it by suggesting he sing for them, so can he really be blamed? "Grandly? Just what I have here. I like my life here." Mostly. "From you? Nothing?" It's a question because why would he? He's confused on that point, "For you… whatever you're looking for. Here, or wherever. It was hard, adjusting. I didn't really have anyone to talk to for a while. Until I made some friends. Thought about leaving. Didn't. Glad I didn't." It's pretty simple from this perspective. "I'm sorry if I came off wrong." A pause, "By the way, I'm F'yr now," it sounds similar to that old nickname F'yr could never get his brothers to favor instead of Steffie, but such is life. "Want to start over?" The offer seems entirely genuine, really, a hand being offered forward in friendly 'nice to meet you' style, for wrist clasp or handshake or none, as he likes.

None of his questions have been properly answered, and Kass eyes F'yr a little longer, studies him intently, and then… reluctantly reaches out and takes that hand. "Nice to see you again. F'yr." The corner of his mouth quirks up because, well, he remembers the nickname and its source. "It's good that you're doing well." That's about as diplomatic as Kass gets. He retrieves his hand as quickly as possible without snatching it away, and shoves it back into his pocket, spine still itching right in the center. "Glorioth is not as sweet as Inasyth." There. A new topic, something that ought to get things off this uncomfortable personal business Kass keeps twitching about.

There is an accepting nod that agrees he's glad to be doing well, more or less. Who wouldn't be grateful for that? "You too, Kassander. Or do you prefer Kass?" It's friendly, the tilt of the big blonde's easy smile, the timbre of his voice. He doesn't seek to keep the hand that was given, but the contact is likewise amicable, not with too firm a grip or too weak of one. "No," he can readily agree, "Inasyth is probably the friendliest of that clutch, I'd say. A few of the others," he lifts a hand to give it a so-so wiggle in the air. "But Ina takes after her mother and father that way, outgoing and personable. Glorioth's focus is…" HIMSELF, "…different." But he's all F'yr's, and Faranth help everyone, F'yr loves him; there's that brief look of a man thoroughly besotted for all that he must realize that his lifemate is not everyone's cup of tea. "You actually make a good impression on him. He doesn't usually notice the people he's giving headaches to." He flashes a smile for that, although it may be highly arguable whether or not attracting Glorioth's positive attention can be constituted as a good thing, at all. "Did you meet Rhodelia, too? Or just Ina?"

"I met Rhodey," Kass confirms. "She's…" A pause, judicious, then, because Kass never really says what he thinks, "Fine." Shards, now he's got to hold a conversation with someone and he'd rather look anywhere else. He settles for staring elsewhere, maybe off at the sky where a distant dragon is whirling. It makes talking easier. Despite that, the ability deserts him and he falls silent, his attention on the far blue sky, lips half parted as though to actually say something and then completely failing to do so.

F'yr's manner is quiet. One of the things that has always been true about F'yr (even when he was Stefyr) is his unnerving ability to really listen. It's listening to more than the face; it accounts for body language and expression. So there's silence for a stretch. "Rhody's nice. Bad puns, really bad puns, but nice." He glances in the direction Kassander is looking. "I've got to take these straps back home." Possibly, they're starting to get heavy. "But if you ever want to talk, or, you know, not talk, I'm around." Something about that seems to indicate that not talking is an option regularly exercised here. "There's a lot of good quiet spaces here." For some, this would all be some kind of double-speak, but for F'yr it seems to just be the truth. "Oh, I needed help with my reading and writing when I got here." And numbers and. "If you need any brushing up, the harpers here are pretty nice about tutoring and all that." Just in case.

"Mmn. Don't need to read to shoot a wherry," Kass murmurs, and then flicks over a glance, finally roused from that stillness. His eyes narrow and his lips flatten into a thin line as he considers the dragon-rider. Some thought or other passes behind those dark eyes, then… "I'll very likely see you around." His mouth quirks up slightly at the corners. "But don't make me sing."

"Nah, not to shoot a wherry," F'yr agrees, but that doesn't stop him from giving Kassander a very level look. "Do need to read to be a dragonrider. There's bound to be eggs wanting lifemates soon enough." Always soon enough at Xanadu where there are four golds to keep the hatching sands company more frequently than some places with fewer of the egg-layers. "Just something to think about," is added without any attempt at innocence, but no pressure on the idea. "Oh, I won't. But I never make promises about him." There's a low chuckle there that might be a little more amused than it strictly needs to be (maybe F'yr likes inflicting his dragon on peoples because if he has to deal with it all the time, they should experience the delight sometimes?). He doesn't wait for a response to any of it, saying simply, "See you, Kass." And then off he goes, heading in the general direction of the forest, where some of the dragonriders have homesteads down private paths a ways.

Kass stares after F'yr with narrowed eyes. There are likely several curses in his mind, none of them polite, and in a few moments, he turns abruptly to go stomping off towards… someplace that isn't here. Time to go get the stink of dressing animals off himself - and no, he'll not partake of those scandalous baths, he'll just find a good stream. In winter. Which honestly isn't that bad. It's fine.

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