Stretching Wings

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
A long and roughly oblong cavern, about a third of the space is open, used for classes or chores as required. The rest of the space is filled with couches of varying sizes, all with plenty of space between them. Some couches are obviously intended for the very young weyrlings while the largest ones at the back are for the older weyrlings.

It's shortly before lunch, and so the barracks are mostly quiet with many pairs at lessons or eating, or simply outside for some fresh air while the weather holds. But a pair that's elected to remain inside for the moment is Mur'dah and his darkly hued brown. The teen is crouched beside Kalsuoth's right hind leg, while the brown balances on his other three. Carefully, Mur'dah is massaging the limb and pulling on it, stretching those muscles and tendons as directed. His head swung around, Kalsuoth watches with slowly spinning eyes of pale, icy green, which flicker with grey until Mur'dah makes the adjustment. Wings rustle slightly and the brown shifts his weight, almost hopping a bit, causing Mur'dah to make a soft, soothing sound in his throat which has the dragon settling once more.

Into those quiet barracks come another pair. Soriana has a napkin-wrapped bundle in one hand, and she glances back to Luraoth as the gold follows her into the barracks, then pauses at a sound from inside. She frowns slightly as she looks for the source, and then her eyes adjust enough to the shadows to see the brownish shadow that is Kalsuoth. "Oh." The frown fades, and she continues, more or less toward them. Soriana lifts a hand in a wave, and Luraoth chirps a cheerful greeting.

Kalsuoth swings his head around, the pale hues vanishing immediately and replaced by bright blue and green. His thoughts reach out, the depths of the ocean this time - or what he imagines them to look like. A place where time holds no meaning, and things float around in suspension in warm, dark waters. « Hello. » At his movement Mur'dah pauses, and then resumes stretching. He does look up though, with a little smile. "Hi there," he says, voice soft and calm. "Just doing some of those stretches. How are you both?" He continues to manipulate Kalsuoth's limb, pulling it and flexing the ankle and knee, and then the toes, and then back again as his hands slide over the brown's leg. At the same time, his own leg continues to flex, twinges causing him to grimace, but he keeps up with the therapy.

Luraoth floats a glow of light into those depths, like one of the strange deep-sea fishes that bring their own light into the darkness. Not that she's seen one, and nor has her rider, save in strange pictures, but such is her image. « Hello. » she says, and Soriana nods. "Hey. Uh… we're good." She pauses a moment, and glances back to Luraoth briefly. "Do you mind some company? Because… we should too." Sori's gaze returns to Mur'dah, and she lifts that napkin-wrapped bundle. "I brought food, if you want some."

Kalsuoth wraps that light in the watery depths of his thoughts, causing the light to shift and shimmer like he's seen it do on the sea outside. It glimmers and waves in ways it wouldn't in the physical world, but in the shared thoughts of their minds, it's beautiful. Then there's a flicker of red and both dragon and Mur'dah grunt softly in the same instant. "Sorry," Mur'dah mutters, as Kalsuoth's focus shifts back to his rider for a moment. "Huh? Oh, yeah, that's totally fine," he says, giving her a small smile. "Oh food? That's great. I'd love some, thanks."

In the dragons' minds, light bends and warps, one gleam breaking into a shimmer like a group of tiny fishes with bright scales. That moment of red brings a response of calm from Luraoth; the little fish broadening and flattening, the little silver flashes taking on a more golden and soothing glow. "Thanks," Soriana says, and her lips quirk as she sets the napkin down and unties it. Inside are meatrolls, buns and similar grab-and-go lunch items, and Soriana snags one and nibbles it as she turns to look at Luraoth, who steps in and lowers herself to her stomach, starting to lift her wing as Soriana slides her fingers into position on it. Her eyes are on the dragon as she says, "I just… don't like doing it when people are watching." Luraoth chirps softly, stretching her wing beneath Sori's fingers. « I do not mind. »

Kalsuoth watches those little fishes, fascinated, and then they begin to vanish. Nibbling away at the school, is he? Something is, as the light bends around a shadow that glides effortlessly through the waters. A distraction, perhaps, from the flexing and stretching that his leg is suffering at the moment. "Me neither," Mur'dah admits quietly. "Even though they all /know/. It's…private." Something only the four of them share, really. "How is she doing? Are things improving?"

"I know," Soriana replies to her dragon, and she frowns for a moment before the expression recedes more toward neutral, focused on the slow stretch of Luraoth's wing. It's so very slow - not that the golden dragon couldn't move it faster, but the slowness is the point of this one. Ease it into the motion, ease it to the limit, and then… ease it past the limit. That's the hard part, the (whisper it) painful part. Luraoth chirps again, and then her eyes half-close, focusing on the motion - and on those little fishes that play with Kalsuoth. She makes them respond to the nibbles, darting away, clustering closer… and then growing careless, and one or two leave the safety of the glimmering, confusing school to edge closer to that gliding darkness. A distraction. "They're just… I don't like being sorried at." Soriana is quiet for a moment, as she guides Luraoth's wing through the final bit of the extension, those silvery fish growing more vivid and their school deforming into the sweep of a dragon's wing until the pressure eases back. "…yeah. It's slow, though." Frustrating, sometimes, and Soriana frowns as she guides the wing back. One rep down. "How about him?"

Kalsuoth welcomes that distraction, the shadow swallowing the gleaming fish. But instead of them vanishing into the darkness, the darkness brightens and the little fish are visible swimming inside the shapeless shadow creature - presumably its stomach. This seems to amuse Kalsuoth, as distant flickers of lightning arc through the water at the edges of his thoughts. "Me neither," Mur'dah answers, hands moving carefully over the dark hide. "They're fine. They'll be fine," he says firmly. To that, Kalsuoth makes a low noise in his throat. "You're fine," Mur'dah says. "Just different. Not broken." Glancing up at Soriana, he takes a break (and gives Kalsuoth one) to snag a meatroll. "Very, very slow," he agrees with a deep breath. "He's…I can't really tell any difference yet. I think because he's used his leg…differently for that first month or so, it's strong in the wrong way."

Little fish, big shadow. The shimmering fish outside seem confused, starting to school with the ones inside, then startling and dancing away again, moving in a complex three-dimensional dance of lights. "Of course they are," Soriana agrees firmly. So firmly, to convince herself, to convince her dragon. She nods about Kalsuoth's leg. "That… makes sense." It's not encouraging, exactly, but it makes sense. "He'll be okay. So will Luraoth. Even if… even if she never flies," and Sori's voice is steady, in that way where she's spending an extraordinary amount of focus to be that steady, "-she can still help at the Annex." She won't be useless. Soriana's gaze doesn't lift from the dragon as she says it, just focusing ever so intently on the wing as she works it through those motions. Those exercises.

Mur'dah startles a little bit, turning his head to stare at Soriana. "She's going to fly," he says, so firm it's almost fierce. "You're working with it early, it'll stretch out, and they're still growing, so it'll grow too." He has a very basic understanding of healing. Very basic. Turning back to Kalsuoth, he takes the leg again to start the next repetition of the movement. In his mind, Kalsuoth sends the shadow dancing after the bright lights, attempting to swallow - and dim - them. But it's a fun game, as the fish inside the shadow seem to be just fine.

It's long moments before Soriana's gaze lifts from Luraoth, before she turns her head to look at Mur'dah. She can control her voice, or she can control her face, but as it turns out, she can't really control both at once… not completely, anyhow. Bedside manner is hard. It's even harder when you care about the patient. "That's the hope," she says, because that's the sort of thing you say, as a healer, in situations like this, only her voice cracks, just a little, on the last word, and she turns her gaze back to Luraoth. The gold's head turns, her eyes holding orange concern as the fish turn easy prey for a moment, swimming a holding-pattern as their light dims… and then Soriana takes a deep breath. Next exercise. Luraoth's head returns to resting, her eyes half-closing as the brightening fish dart away from a shadow that's oh-so-close.

Mur'dah watches Soriana with a pained expression, about to say more, but Kalsuoth's gentle nudge to his shoulder has him biting his tongue. What can one say? All he can do is help how he can. Solidarity. So he starts Kalsuoth's next round of exercises without comment. And the brown turns his attention back to Luraoth, and this time the shadow speaks with a voice. « Yours is worried. »

This exercise stretches a different way. Soriana focuses on guiding Luraoth through it, trying for a single-mindedness of attention… and meanwhile, the rippling fish reply to Kalsuoth with a myriad of little voices. « I know. » The words are soft, concerned. « We will be okay. » The little fish take on the auburn tint of sunlight on her rider's hair. « I will fly. » One little fish breaks from the rest, leaping up to the ever-so-distant surface.

Mur'dah does not press or pry as he moves Kalsuoth's limb. The brown is left to carry on the conversation on his own, which he does without trouble. « You will be better than okay, » he says with a quiet, timeless confidence. A voice rising from the depths of the sea itself, full of mystery and certainty. As for flying… he seems to struggle with that for a moment, his thoughts hazy as he tries to think into the future. « You will, » he finally says.

Up the little fish soars, a spark of bright in the ocean depths. Luraoth's body moves only slowly, stretching under Soriana's fingers, extending that wing and pushing against resistance… but for that tiny mote of a fish, there's hardly any resistance at all. « We will. » she agrees. « We will be wonderful. » The tiny fish breaks the surface, from deep blue oceans to clear blue sky. « We will fly. »

The shadow soars up after the fish suddenly, releasing the others as it puts its full focus into chasing after that fish. But rather than attacking it, there is joy in the chase and the shadow emerges from the sea, shape forming into that of a large black bird as it soars upwards. Shedding water from its black feathers, some of the blue clings, adding a subtle shimmer of color to the shadowy form. The bird rises with a happy cry, circling the fish. « We will all fly, » Kalsuoth's timeless voice intones.

And up, and up, and the sky is no limit at all to the bright and dancing mote that was a fish. Now it is shapeless, a soaring streak that rises up until wings, translucent light-filled wings, stretch out to make it hang in the sky. « We will. » The words are simple, but Luraoth's voice continues past them, calling out with the song of bells and singing the counter-harmony to the music of the spheres. At least… until the strained feeling of the stretch Soriana's fingers guide her to makes the glory of the song falter, tendrils of clouds reaching across golden wings. The song returns, but simpler now, with a tone of gentle and self-deprecating laughter. « …but first, we must work. »

The bird swings forward to support the creature of light, steadying the imagery while her thoughts falter and shift for a moment. And when she returns, the bird is there still, holding the light within his talons in a gentle embrace. His music is a steady beat of drums over the distant rumble of lightning. Of sticks and stones tumbling together in so many ways. The music of creation. « There is always work. »

Just as the light-fishes swam still inside the shadow, the light, as it returns, does not diminish the dark; not even where they touch. This is not physical light nor darkness, and these forces are not at all in opposition. Her luminous wings stretch once more, and the thought is the motion is the soaring, the two of them flying together. Luraoth's melody is simpler now, but no less joyous. « Always. That is why we are here to do it. »

Oh, the flying. Kalsuoth dreams of it, yearns for it, /burns/ with it, and he throws his all into the imagery that exists between his sister and himself, barely even aware of what his physical body is doing at the moment. Twisting through the air, flowing through it with a grace that it will take them turns to develop in reality, he is carefree and joyful alongside her, sharing the mental link and strengthening it. He laughs, flickers of lightning brightening his dark shadow form. « You are too right, sister. And we will do it well. Very well. »

So very well. « And we will soar! » Luraoth's body moves with the winds she's only barely begun to think about but will, in time, have to learn. For now, they are the winds that sent her sliding on the ice when Seryth's wings buffeted them - but this time, her glowing wings are even, and they send her where she chooses, where she desires - to rise up to the heavens, and spin about with Kalsuoth and spiral in a dance that has been happening since the most distant depths of time, since the first murmurings of thunder and the drum-beats that still echo in Kalsuoth's mind; since the first gleam of a distant star gave a nurturing golden light to oceanic depths; since the lightning that arced across the ancient jungles presaged the silver rain that gave them life. Now they are the dancers, and the dance - as it ever will - goes on.

Even. In their minds, there are no defects, no challenges. They are perfect when they imagine themselves. He twirls and spins with her in turn, blackness with light, balancing with flashes of red and blue and purple against the shadow creature's feathers. He soars ever higher into the heavens, and would have continued on as long as he could, if not for the call of his rider's voice. It tugs on the corner of his mind, another presence intruding, but welcomed, and Kalsuoth turns his attention to focus there. The shadow creature hangs motionless in the sky, hovering there and waiting. Back in reality, Mur'dah pats Kalsuoth's leg. "Where'd you go?" he asks, amused. "Put weight on it, it's time for your own stretches."

Where light and shadow touch, there is the pink of dawn and the purple of dusk, those moments that are caught between day and night - fleeting, yet ever-returning, always there if one but has the patience to wait for them. They are not so distant, after all. Neither are the dragons. They are near each other, their physical bodies still in the quiet barracks. Near enough that Soriana tilts her head slightly as Mur'dah breaks the silence, then returns her attention to Luraoth's stretches. So near, and yet their soaring spirit bodies are nearer still, reaching up into the sky as if they will discover what lies beyond the blue. Will it be the darkness of the night sky, or the brilliant light of the stars? Or perhaps … perhaps that journey must wait for another day. Luraoth's wings spread against the edge of space as Kalsuoth stops, hanging weightless. Waiting. If the dance is to go on, the dancers must learn their steps.

Kalsuoth rumbles softly to Mur'dah, which only causes the teen to look a little confused, glancing at Soriana. Then with a shrug he supervises as Kalsuoth does his own set of stretches, mind reaching for Luraoth's again, to take refuge from the pain and drudgery of therapy. Skyward his thoughts soar again, the shadow creature shimmering with a halo of light as he returns to it. Shaking its wings, it picks up where they left off, as if no time has passed. Time means nothing here. Cycles begin and end, but it is always a circle, so what use is time? The rising and setting of the sun matter more than what a clock says. Kalsuoth's mind opens a little more to his clutchsister's, offering more of himself through the link. Below, the sea stretches to eternity in one direction, but in another there is the ancient forest where the brown's thoughts usually roam. He offers these to her, if she wishes to explore.

Soriana's gaze meets Mur'dah's for a moment, but all she has to offer him is a shrug of her own. Luraoth's mind hides nothing from her rider, and yet everything can be as much a mystery as dark shadows. Which way to go? That question is for Luraoth as well, for the world stretches out beneath her golden wings of thought as Soriana stretches the physical one. Push against the resistance, two, three, four, and the few seconds of holding each stretch feel timeless in the effort of them… but the pain of it is pushed away, the eternal moments made instead to be those of this flight. That is what will last forever; that is why the pain, and so - they soar! Luraoth's companion in her soaring returns, and she greets him with a refrain of their song together. Her mental wings flex in an extension greater than the physical is capable of, and create a wind that carries her toward that ancient forest - but that wind holds the scent of thunderstorms, and once it is beneath her wings, she relinquishes her hold over it.

Kalsuoth hangs there in their shared thoughts, waiting for her to make her choice. And when she does, his lightning flickers in pleasure as his shadow form turns to join her and soar alongside her. Wings are strong, nimble and thin, and he plays the drafts with expert twists of pinions. The drum beats boom out a complicated pattern in reply, a compliment to her own melody, a steady undercurrent driving them onward. And as she lets her hold of the storm go, Kalsuoth does not take it. Instead, he lets it create itself, building and rumbling until the air around them is pelted with rain.

Luraoth's wings of light spread wide as the wind carries her - them - toward the shadows of the forest. The shapes of the trees grow nearer, and the storm-wind that carries them grows more powerful. She lets it grow, and does not move to calm it - though she listens for the rumble of thunder and the whistle of the wind as her eyes remain on the forest ahead; the one the storm still drives them toward. When the raindrops begin to drive through the air, they find that Luraoth's wings that are not so purely light that the rain does not spatter against them, a reminder of that ocean from which she rose.

Kalsuoth rides the currents of the storm, not controlling it but bending it slightly to his will so it carries them where they wish to go. Helping, instead of hindering. Winging down, he lands in one of the tallest trees, the thick boughs of evergreen sheltering them from the worst of the rain though it still drips down onto them. The sound of rain and thunder is soothing, the drum beats of his mind fading, dim now and more felt than heard. Shaking out his wings and rustling his feathers, the shadow creature with Kalsuoth's eyes turns to blink at Luraoth's light, waiting and watching.

The storm-laden wind feels different, under Luraoth's wings, and she gives herself to it until her wings bend to follow Kalsuoth down among the trees. She diminishes, though her light becomes no less bright. Here among the trees, there's no room for a dragon, and so Luraoth becomes something less. Her hearts follow the beating of Kalsuoth's drums, and she tries to adapt her body to one better suited. One with feathers, like the shadow she wings to join - but oh, what feathers. Her head has a golden crest, her body is splashed with tawny brown along the sides and white along her chest, her tail is an iridescent fan that catches the light and refracts it like the raindrops themselves, and her wings are long and pointed, seeking to fold against her body only to find their tips crossing at the base of that tail.

Shadow-Kalsuoth watches her transformation, something primal and ancient stirring deep within him. But he can only put words to some of it, young dragon that he is, and so his soft tenor offers, « That form suits you, sister. » Then he looks away, peering through the rain drenched trees, holding himself still. With a slight tilt to his head he listens, savoring the sound of the rain pattering down into the forest, bringing life to the creatures that dwell here and the plants that grow here. Soaking deep into the earth, nourishing and seeping down into a tangle of roots and below that, down to the water that lives beneath the ground. Water surrounds them, and Kalsuoth recognizes her as a part of that. She is life, and he looks back to her again.

Luraoth is a thing with feathers, and she rustles them softly. « It is… different. » Her voice is the soft, throaty sound of one of the ground-running avians chirping from her nest, and her feet flex, grasping at the branch with borrowed instincts as she tries to place herself within this offered place. Her head tilts one direction, then the other. The rain falls, and though it is steady, to try to make sense of the pattern would take an eternity. It simply is, catching on the branches but not stopping there, continuing to the ground. Some drops linger, and then others run after them and catch them, sending both to tumble down to… « How do you hear them all? »

Kalsuoth is the dark bird that brings change and omens, that is viewed with suspicion, fear, and reverence. A study in opposites and contrasts. He is in this form as naturally as he is in his own, shifting his wings to settle them against his back. At her question he is silent, and the silence stretches so long she might wonder if he's not going to answer. But he finally does, his voice seeming to blend with the sound of the rain itself. « I don't, » he finally answers. « I listen to everything, and some stand out and make themselves known to me. » He focuses for a moment, and the steady drip drip of a single drop off the end of a branch above them is heard. Then his focus shifts, and a slower drop sounds, plopping into a shallow pool. And then another, a small rivulet that rumbles down the trunk of a tree. « All together, they make their own music. »

Luraoth is the fire-brightness, who wears the feathers of many birds. None of them are hers, and yet she is not uneasy in this borrowed plumage: she has been invited. The silence from Kalsuoth brings with it the opportunity for her to listen to this forest, to the drumming of the rain and the rustle of the branches. There's a certain hypnotic nature to it; a dreamlike quality that invites the mind to roam. Into the dream of darkness and light comes the voice of answer, and Luraoth's thoughts hear it as a bright line through the forest shadows. « The music… yes. I hear the music. » Her head lifts, a chirped note rising through her throat as the rain falls down. « It… echoes. »

Kalsuoth tilts his head to listen, and he rumbles a soft reply. « It does. » Then, swift as a lightning strike, he grows restless. « Come, » he beckons, that lightning brightening up his thoughts. « Let us fly. » But it will be a different sort of flying as he launches himself off the branch and soars downwards, into the thicker part of the forest. This is tricky flying, focused flying requiring all of one's intent and skill. Weaving between branches, around trees, dodging and soaring, tucking wings to make it through a narrow gap, Kalsuoth does it effortlessly in his own mind, bird-like caws and dragonesque roars echoing together as he thrills in this imagined freedom, this mindscape of timeless play and challenge with his sister.

Luraoth could spend an age, listening to the sounds of the forest. They circle on themselves - not repeating, for each rendition is subtly different, but returning again to the same themes. The drip of the rain is balanced by the scuttling of a small creature, and that by the creak of a branch in the wind, and that - well, perhaps that wind is what draws Kalsuoth into flight. Luraoth's bird-feet grip the branch, and then she leaps after her brother, spreading birdlike wings to feel the air with her feathers. This is different flight indeed; closer, perhaps, to the mechanics of the actual flight that she believes will come, for all this body is different than hers. This body works by muscle and tendon, flesh and bone - for all that it is only imagined. The thoughts she has borrowed to have this avian shape come with their own memories of how flight works, of what the first fledging is as the chick launches from the nest to tumble or else to soar. Luraoth flies, but it takes effort. Her wings tremble as they spread wide, and clip the edges of branches to set pine-needles trembling as she darts through the narrow gaps, tumbling into dives that her elongated wings must strain to lift her from - but Luraoth. Will. Fly.

Kalsuoth looks over his shoulder and caw-roars his pleasure and approval and encouragement for her flying, circling around so he can take a position behind her. « Go, » he urges, tickles of the wildness emerging from his thoughts. Pushing. « Fly, sister. »

This is no easy flight, no carefree soaring. Luraoth has to work for every beat of her wings - but she does, as Soriana straddles her neck and holds up a pair of hands that the golden dragon is to press her wings into - that she is to touch, with good wing and bad. The goal is set on the edge of the impossible, and when it becomes the possible, it is moved - yet it only borders on what cannot be done. It is still possible, and in the physical world, Luraoth's wings touch to Soriana's palms, again and strainingly again, while in Kalsuoth's ancient forest of thoughts, her thoughts in the shape of a bird lift wings just as effortfully. « I fly! » she calls back to Kalsuoth, her voice the crow of a jungle fowl. Her wings gain strength to them, aided by her determination. « I fly! » In the weyrling barracks, her stunted wing stretches to the farthest it's done yet. Soriana's eyes widen with surprise as it pushes against her palm, though it's only by a fraction of an inch and there's still more work - so much more work - it's more than before. "Well done!"

Mur'dah looks like he's in a daze, in a dream world, crouched motionless by Kalsuoth's leg for the last…how long has it been? A hand on the brown's flexing leg, the teen shivers, shifting his weight ever so slightly and staring into nothing. Lost, it seems, in his dragon's mind. But where is he? It's hard to find him as Kalsuoth soars after Luraoth, roaring at her triumph in both the dream world and the physical one. « Onward. »

Onward, upward, forever soaring, and Luraoth's wings move again. Her motions in the physical world are slow and deliberate; the strain there is in keeping them so, and in stretching them further than the stunted one wishes to go. In the world of minds, that strain makes her feathers tremble as she finds her place in the air, a sense of rising exhilaration as her wingbeats grow stronger, as she gains once again that skill to soar, to flex her wings and dart through a narrow opening, to dive and rise over every obstacle set in her way by the forest - and to realize that the forest isn't blocking her at all. It's playing a game. They're playing a game. Onward! To fly past the next tree - or was that the next set of exercises?

Kalsuoth surges forward when she trembles, briefly flying beneath her - not touching, but steadying, encouraging with silent closeness. It is a game. Everything is a game, and Kalsuoth is thrilled that she has figured it out.

Luraoth plays this game - these games. She plays with the forest, with trees and tangled branches; she plays with Kalsuoth, calling him to chase after her, to catch her if he can (of course he can; his wings are the stronger, here. They already know this air, these feathers). Why should that make a difference? The point of the game is not to win or lose, the point is to play!

Kalsuoth is good at play. He soars after her, chases her, catches her in a way he never can in the real world. Tagging her tail feathers and darting away through the trees.

And Luraoth is caught by Kalsuoth, here in this shared dream. Her iridescent tail of flame showers bright and harmless sparks to show her clutchsibs's victory, and she laughs as she swoops around. She has been caught; in this game, that means it is her turn to chase, her turn to pursue and catch him.

Kalsuoth spins, turning on a wingtip to zoom off through the pine trees, weaving between their trunks. But his mind is changeable, and things are ever shifting. As she chases him the forest begins to turn from the young pines to the ancient old growth hardwoods, rising taller and thicker, with more space between them. The forest floor is lush and rich with vegetation, and the scent that rises is life itself. And then they break out of the forest to a clearing, and in the middle of the clearing is a pool. A little bit of the sea captured here just for her. Kalsuoth circles it, sending sunlight slanting down to glitter on the surface.

Luraoth chases on through the change in the forest, as the obstacles become easier to dodge, the sun brighter as it shines through the leaves. Her wings are tiring, though she tries not to admit it; an echo of what's happening in the physical world, as she works through those exercises. These worlds are not so far apart, after all. As the light sparkles against the surface of the water, Luraoth abandons her chase to fold her wings and dive for that pool, splashing into it with abandon and sending up a wave of spray like another glittering tail.
Kalsuoth laughs as she dives, circling the pool before he lands on a rock by its edge. When the water cascades down across his body he fluffs up and shakes it out, sending more droplets flying while more cling to his feathers and brighten his coloring. « Are you happy? »

Water soaks into feathers, and as the sun makes a dazzlement of it, Luraoth the bird once more becomes a creature of light. Her head tilts to Kalsuoth at his question, her body turning round to face him. « I am. » Her voice has the warmth of the hearth-fire, of summer's sunlight. « Thank you, Kalsuoth. »

Kalsuoth croons, both in mind and in body, extending warmth to his sister. « We can do this any time, Luraoth, » he assures her. « I am happy as well. » Despite the tiredness and soreness that's creeping up into his thoughts, a darkness gathering on the edge of his mind where he no longer has the energy to create and imagine that far out. Slowly creeping inward.

« I am glad, » Luraoth replies, for both Kalsuoth's happiness and the invitation. Her hold on her bird-shape begins to fade, receding toward a simple construct of light, but she reaches out with thoughts of warmth, offering to paint the sky with the deep purple of sunset as it fades to darkness. There's the chirping of crickets in this night she summons to enfold them, this time of rest that contains within it the promise of dawn and another day. In the physical world, her wings stretch a final time, the last of their exercises for today, and her croon is, if no longer quite so exuberant… satisfied.

Kalsuoth paints the sky with Luraoth, gathering the sun's light beneath his wings which expand to cover the sky. Stars sparkle from the droplets of water dripping from his wings, and then he settles. In the real world the brown does his last stretch and turns to face his sister, laying on the floor of the barracks with his muzzle in her direction. Rumbling softly, he takes a deep breath and lets it out. He seems content too. And that's when Mur'dah falls over. Crouched for so long, his legs finally cramp and he topples onto his side like a tipped chair. Uttering a soft curse, he blinks as if coming awake and rubs his face before slowly attempting to stretch his legs. "Sucked in…" he mutters.

Raven's wings have covered the sky, and the red bird is made of stars. Or was that the other way around? Luraoth croons contentment to her brother, and Soriana's just begun to catch up with the dreams her dragon has soared when the thump of Mur'dah against the ground catches her attention. She turns her head to him with a look of surprise that soon turns into a rueful grin. "Dragon dreams are like that." Soriana may have resisted this time - mostly - but… she pats Luraoth's shoulder, then goes and picks up another roll. "Better eat. We've got class soon."

Mur'dah shakes his head as he rubs his cramped legs. "He just sucks me in," he mutters, shaking his head to clear it, trying to get back into his /own/ thoughts. "Shards, you're right. Well…at least they'll sleep well?"

"Heh. Yeah," Soriana agrees, casting her gaze over sleepy dragons. There's a moment when she's just eating lunch, and then she looks back to Mur'dah. "Is it what you were worried about?" she asks softly, in this moment while the barracks is still quiet and empty. "The getting lost?"

Mur'dah pushes himself to his feet on unsteady legs, and grabs some food because he's suddenly ravenous. "A bit," he admits. "I don't even realize where I am when he does it. It's not…/bad/, but…if I'm supposed to be doing something else, it's weird. It's like I'm not even in my own body any more."

Soriana nods slowly, considering on what Mur'dah says as she eats. What was a fairly large meal for her will be a smallish one, split two ways, but at least it's something. "With Luraoth… I sort of get both at once. Like… on top of each other." She frowns a moment, trying to figure how to explain it, then shakes her head and settles for, "It's confusing. Especially when I try to think about it."

Mur'dah nods, "Like…one picture over another? Like looking at two papers held up to the light, both having different stuff? For me it's one or the other. I'm either totally sucked in or I don't know what he's up to."

"Yeah, kinda like that." Soriana frowns slightly. "Well… not pictures, so much. Those, it's one or the other… mostly." Except for glimpses at the corners of her vision. "But it's… the sounds, the scents, the… the feeling of moving." She laughs a little. "I sometimes feel like I should be sick to my stomach, except I'm not."

Mur'dah nods, giving her a glance and a little grin. "It's kind of like what we talked about. What we were nervous about, before. But now that it's here…not much we can do about it but accept it. I just wish I could get balance in it. Not really sure how to begin though. I should ask."

"It is and it isn't," Soriana says, and gives Mur'dah a crooked grin back. "Just being able to say it's not perfect… that kinda makes it better than what I worried about." She nods, then. "Y'should. I'm sure there's things you could do. The weyrlingmasters'd know. They're just mostly… well, it seems like mostly they're working on the other side of it. People who don't see enough." Before Soriana can say more, the doors open and people start to return, talking in voices loud enough for the outdoors and beginning to disrupt the quiet here. About those classes. So, Soriana just smiles, reaching out a hand to brush Mur'dah's shoulder. "We'll get there." Eventually.

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