Being Exceptional

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds
Cradled in a cup shaped bite out of the mountain, this wide, grassy flat has become home for Xanadu's weyrling dragons. It's set surprisingly high above the level of the beach, visible from the eastern side of the grounds where a long path snakes its way down the hill to the sand dunes below. All other sides to the grounds are bordered by the hard granite cliffs, two entrances clearly visible. One is merely human sized and leads deep into the mountain, to the Caverns. The other is broad and high, the entrance to the Weyrling Barracks.

Winter is gradually losing its grip upon Xanadu, but it's not giving up overly easily. Snow still remains dominant, but here and there are patches of brown earth and fewer sprouts of tentative green that push up from within. It's a cloudless sky above, allowing Rukbat's rays to glisten upon the snowy ground and urge those sprouts of green to grow taller and reach for it. Jnelle is out in the sun, glad to be away from the couped up barracks and free of the smell of meat and blood. She should be chopping this afternoon, getting a meal ready for her green. But, why put forth such effort when there's usually someone willing to do such tedious (and not to mention..gross) work for her? And so, while another weyrling takes care of that, she's taking care of other necessities. Her emerald green is lounging upon a semi grassy area, wings splayed out and eyes swirling a color of comfort as Jnelle uses a soft cloth to oil her. Only she could manage to make this what would be messy task look downright luxurious. Her hair is pulled up and away from her face and neck in a bun that would look messy on anyone else, and her form fitting uniform seems not to have a speck of oil on it. Or dirt, for that matter. Or mud. Only her boots are soiled.

Truly, Jnelle is a marvel of elegance. Refined and suited for disply. The finest possible representative for, well, anything. Aaaand then… there's Soriana. She's got mud on her clothing, which isn't even an aesthetic and attractive uniform - more like a pair of well-worn trousers and a sweater. Her short-cropped hair is uneven, on account of how she cut it herself to keep it out of the way. She's coming up from the beach with Luraoth, the gold dragon's wings fluttering in time with each step. They're still visibly uneven, one larger than the other, though Soriana's not seeming to pay any attention to that. "I'll take a look," she says quietly to Luraoth, who chirps agreeably before lifting her head and sending a bright jingle of bells to Kanyeth. « Hello! »

Kanyeth lifts a translucent wing lazily in order for Jnelle to reach beneath and to its joint. She is a small green, and thus tasks like oiling are not difficult for the young rider. She's happy for her dragon's size. The less of her there is means the less work to do, after all! "That's good, lovely," purrs the weyrling as she takes a step back to examine her work. Kanyeth is happy to oblige. Like her rider, she seeks attention and she croons happily as she is inspected. The jingling of bells draws her attention away though to the approaching gold. Her head turns to gaze upon her, and she cranes her neck without rising. « Hello. » Her response is like a flute. Soft tones, for now. Flirty and playful. « Are you alright? » Jnelle's attention turns as her dragon's does, and her hazel eyes narrow fractionally before softening around the edges. "Oh, Soriana, is that you? Perfect timing!" She waves her over.

« I am good, » Luraoth replies, and her bells chime a percussion against the flautist's tones of Kanyeth's mind. « We played the jump-game. » Her mental image is of lines drawn in the sand, a weyrling-dragonlength apart, and attempts to leap within those boundaries without smudging the lines. « Cayceth won. » Of course, her blue clutchsib is also far smaller than her, which may have given him somewhat of an advantage. That doesn't seem to concern the gold, though, her thoughts on the matter cheery. « How are you? » Luraoth meanders toward the green, her wings folding in against her back so as to not create a breeze, and Soriana glances to Jnelle as she does the same. "Seems to be," she replies with a brief grin. "Hey. What's up?"

« Jump game? » Kanyeth's phrase ends with a trilling sound of question, and she gradually folds her wings against her back while sitting up, the movement just as slow and methodical. « Oh. I see » And indeed she does as the play by play is given to her, showing Cayceth as the blue victor. « Perhaps you did not win because you are unwell? You feel not unwell..» That same curious tone. « But you look unwell. You are larger on one side of you. » What she sees, a grossly exaggeration of the truth with one wing perhaps half the size of the other, is shared with her larger clutchsister. Jnelle's grin stays in place, giving a flicker of a glance to her green before looking to Soriana again. "Oh, I'm looking for opinions! What do you think?" She gestures a hand to the emerald dragon, as if she were on display. "My father sent me a bottle of oil from home. He says not only does it last a bit longer on them than the stuff we're given here," the word 'here' spoken as if she were speaking of a mudpit, "but it also brings out their natural luster. Is she not lovely? Moreso than before?"

« I am well, » Luraoth replies, the tone of her bells accompanied now by the soft scent of surf and smoke; a beachside bonfire. « My wing is not-right, but it will be better. » Her thoughts take that image of lopsided Luraoth, and stretch the squished wing until the two are matching. Soriana glances briefly to Luraoth, and her lips twitch to a thoughtful almost-frown before she returns her gaze to Jnelle. "Huh? Oh. Uh… she looks good." The emerald Kanyeth does, of course. It's a wonder Jnelle hasn't found a way to deck her out in ribbons. "The stuff here's fine, though. I mean, it does the job." And really, isn't that enough?

"It does the job?" Jnelle blinks once, an owlish look settling on Soriana before a light chuckle rises. "I suppose it does, now doesn't it? But why be…mediocre when the option of being exceptional is there? I'd choose exceptional, wouldn't you?" she asks with a very faint lift of a single brow, her green rimmed eyes flitting to Sori's clothes, then to the uneven cut of her hair. The look on her face borderlines amusement as her eyes dance back to hers. "I know I would. Stay mediocre for too long and you'll risk having interest lost in you and turned to the extraordinary." .. A pause, then laughter. "And I mean 'you' in general. Not you, personally," she says airily, waving it off with a manicured hand. Kanyeth's head bobs, her fluted voice lifting in pitch. « I hope it shall! How awful if it were to not and to be that terrible way forever. But I trust you know best. »

"Because," Soriana says with a smirk, "Exceptional doesn't come for free. Sometimes it's not worth the price." Her hand reaches up to settle against Luraoth's muzzle briefly, her gaze lifting to regard the gold. Some of Sori's smile slips away, for Luraoth's thoughts have a tinge of the food-on-sticks having fallen into that bonfire. The bad sort of charcoal. « It will. » Her voice is quiet, and its tone lower in contrast to the rise of Kanyeth's. Soriana returns her gaze to Jnelle. "Oh, but that's right. You said the oil was a gift. From your father, was it? Back on… where, again?" She smiles. "I'm sorry I don't remember. There's just so much to learn these days, you know? My head's stuffed full. I guess it's true that nobody can do everything."

Kanyeth gently croons, the gentle sound meant for Luraoth. « I believe you. » And she does. She has no reason to be spiteful, although her rider thinks the very opposite of the girl in front of her. But oh, like her rider Kanyeth is a bit self-absorbed, and after offering what she believes to be enough consoling, she stretches her wings again and turns her head, trying to get a look. « She used something different on me. Felt the same, but she says it is not. I am much better now than I was without it. Perhaps yours should use it on you? » "Ista," Jnelle supplies without missing a beat. "And yes, my father sent it to me. I'm fortunate, I know, though I'm willing to share if you'd like?" she offers. "At least, with this I am. And, on the topic of sharing.." Her grin becomes conspiring as she moves closer to the goldrider, apparently disregarding personal space as her eyes narrow. "Tell me, is it true? You, Ka'el, and the beastcrafter. You're trying to keep it up through all of this?"

The salty winds blow away that unpleasant smoke and set the bells of Luraoth's thoughts to chiming once more. The gold believes in Kanyeth's good intentions, and her mood is quick to rise again. « You look the same, » she offers with simple honesty, going on to say, « I am glad you are better now. » She's entirely earnest about it, crooning warmly to the smaller green. « I will ask mine. » And she does, for Soriana glances up to Luraoth again and her lips quirk in a resumed smile. "Maybe." She looks back to Jnelle, and the smile lingers. "Ista, right. Nice place." Not that she's been more than the once, but hey. It was a good once! And then Jnelle is apparently moving in for the attack, and Soriana responds by standing up straighter and lifting one brow in question. Retreat? Nah. She's got no need for that. Jnelle wouldn't dare risk her manicure. The question makes Soriana frown slightly. "Her name's Idrissa." Because that's the important part, right? "And weyrlings aren't allowed to have relationships." Not physical ones, anyway… or ones that trouble the young dragons, physical or not. "Why?"

Idrissa? "Yes, I'm sure it is," Jnelle replies vaguely. Not important. Not at all, in fact, from her hawklike observations. That in itself is curious to her, for of the two, Idrissa is the fairer choice. But still, unimportant, so although she smiles kindly at the offer of the name, it's not one that she intends to put forth effort into remembering. (Though likely, through weyrlinghood, she will). "Come on," she laughs dismissively. "Aren't allowed? When has that ever stopped anyone? Are you a stickler for rules?" is asked with a note of skepticism in her girlish tone, her arched brows angling up. "I'm only asking for your benefit, believe me. He is … not entirely difficult to look at, is he?" A smile pulls at her lips after her words. "And, for a bronzer, he isn't exactly what you'd expect. I guess that could develop with time. You know the type I mean. I'm sure your mother has been chased by a few. Over bearing, full of himself, a gift to women?" Sound familiar? "Anyhow, I ask because … ah, between you and me, as I don't wish to start trouble… I've been hearing … things." She looks at her meaningfully. "But if you two aren't an item, I suppose it wouldn't make much of a difference to you." Kanyeth's eyes swirl as she looks to her rider, the tones of her flutesong softening to lower notes.

So many things to learn. Jnelle's looks may be exceptional, but her memory for names… well, that might be closer to mediocre. At least, when it comes to certain names. As for the rules and Soriana… "No, that'd be V'dim." There's a brief smirk, but only some of it lingers as Jnelle continues. Sori's benefit? Color her skeptical. The twitch of her eyebrows certainly does, though she gives a fractional nod of agreement to Ka'el's attractiveness. As for bronzers? "Dragons of a color aren't all the same. Neither are their riders." Why, by that measure, all greenriders would be vapid, flirty, snipingly- uhhhh, what were you saying, Jnelle? Something about rumors and gossip? "Things?" Soriana asks, with an arch of an eyebrow. "What sort of things?" Her lips curve briefly in a frown, and as Luraoth glances back to her rider and gives an inquisitive chirp, Sori says, "Just because Ka'el and I aren't having certain parts of our relationship right now doesn't mean I don't care."

"Oh, that's cute," smiles Jnelle, almost succeeding in masking the condescending tone from her voice. Almost. "Sticking up for your man like that. Or … your not man. Whichever is it that you are now, or claim to be." She moves now, her steps leading her away from Soriana, but not by much. She approaches her dragon to lean against her cleaned hide, lifting a hand to undo her bun and allow her hair to cascade down. It's obvious no clippers have touched her raven locks, considering their length, and fingers are combed idly through as she watches the golden weyrling consideringly. "Certain parts? Oh you mean, the important parts. The parts he wants? That's likely the problem…" She frowns, brows furrowing a tad, looking thoroughly conflicted. "I hate sticking my nose where it doesn't belong … but…Kanyeth is a light sleeper. Any little thing wakes her in the middle of the night. Makes my nights horrible, as you can imagine. It's a miracle I don't have bags." She touches her face, as if to confirm this. "Well, it was one early morning she woke, which made me wake as well. It was just before dawn, I believe. I could hardly see, but Kanyeth could. She saw them, the two of them, sneaking off together before anyone was awake, leaving their dragons behind, asleep. Ka'el and.. another."

Oh, but then Soriana smiles. "Hah. Ka'el can take care of himself," she says, with a dismissive wave of her hand. Her fingers reach up, brushing gently against Luraoth's muzzle. « What are - » The dragon's question fades into the echoes of a gong at Soriana's mental promise of 'Later.' The weyrling goldrider stays where she is, petting Luraoth with distracted affection as her gaze rests on Jnelle. Her own expression has become a somewhat distant one. "The rules are the rules," she says. And she may or may not be a stickler for them (hint: not), but some of them have reasons behind them. Doesn't mean she has to like them. "Well," she says, keeping that distant face. "I'm sorry Kanyeth is such a light sleeper, but I really don't think there's much that can be done about it." She smirks. Weyrlinghood really has been quite useful for gaining control (or apparent control) over emotions. "At least they were trying to be quiet about it, hmm? Considerate of them."

"Oh you are a saint, aren't you?" remarks Jnelle with a grin that's not as bright as it is sly. "What I've heard is true. You really … don't care. Beastcrafter. Starcrafter. Weyrbrat. You don't bat an eye." She leans away from her green now, who is keeping a close eye on her rider. Words have gone silent, as has the flutelike swirling sound of notes, which is noted by Jnelle. She turns, eyes lifting to meet those of her green. "It's alright, love. I'm nearly done here, and then we'll find you something to eat. Surely by now they're done with the meat." Which earns a trill of a noise. Jnelle turns again, her attention swooping back to Soriana. "You do share well. Far better than myself. I'm sorry I spoke of anything, as I obviously wasted my breath on something that doesn't concern you at all!" A laugh follows, light and airy. "But really, that's all you have to say? You're happy they were considerate? That they didn't rouse you?" Another chuckle lifts and her green dragon rises to her feet. "This has been enlightening, Soriana. Thank you." She gives a little curtsey, shifting the hem of an imaginary skirt. "I misspoke, then. Maybe Ka'el is exactly like the bronzer we expect. You give him every chance to be." She lifts a hand, wiggling a few fingers. "Your gold is lovely, by the way. I hardly noticed the wing." Thanks for that, Kanyeth. "Ta." She moves then, intending to depart without further word.

A saint? "Hardly." Soriana's smirk deepens, and she shakes her head. "I wouldn't listen to rumors, if I were you." Yeah, but will Sori be able to not listen to this one? It's definitely quite the rumor. Tailored nicely to the situation. Just like Jnelle's uniform. But Soriana's pretending not to care - oh, but she can't hide her feelings from everyone. « Mine wonders who Ka'el was with. » Luraoth's question holds simple curiosity on the part of the gold dragon. Her rider wants to know. Her rider, for some reason, doesn't want to ask Jnelle. That's okay, it was Kanyeth who actually saw them, so Luraoth will just ask Kanyeth. Simple. …maybe. "What Ka'el does is his concern. What I do with him… well, that's mine." Soriana's lips twitch, and the smile becomes a thing no longer kept up. Her head tilts at the implication about Kanyeth's meat, and then Soriana's gaze drifts back toward Luraoth - then stops, darting back to Jnelle. "Oh, no. I'm glad they tried to be considerate for your sake. You do need your beauty sleep, after all." Soriana's found another store of smile. "Exceptional isn't easy." Her hand lifts, touching her forehead in a salute - though, really, goldrider weyrling to greenrider weyrling? That hardly even makes sense. The smile, at the end, becomes somewhat more of a gritted-teeth affair, but it stays in place. "Luraoth is, yes. As is Kanyeth."

Kanyeth moves after Jnelle, her gait not exactly lumbering. She's fair too nimble and lithe for such a word. In fact, if a dragon's walk could be considered quiet, that'd be the most acceptable term to describe hers. Jnelle is through communicating, only tossing up a hand in a wave to Soriana as she goes, dismissing the rest of what she says and ignoring the salute. Kanyeth though.. Distance is nothing when it comes to communication between dragons, and he arcs her head in Luraoth's direction. She is a simple dragon. Ask a question, an one will get an answer unless her rider has qualms against her saying anything. And, with Jnelle making no indication that communcation should cease (if she's even aware communication is happening in the draconic minds), she easily answers. « The one that belongs to Isyriath. Kanekith was asleep. He would not have liked it. He does not enjoy being left behind. » Much like her rider, Kanyeth is a nosy one! Prone to prying, slithering her way into the thoughts of others to glean information. Why? Just to know. There are so many things to know! And with the rise of a flute, she heads after Jnelle, thoughts turning to food.

Soriana stays where she is, watching Jnelle and Kanyeth depart. Her head tilts up at Luraoth as the golden dragon conveys that information, and she blinks. Marel? …nah, surely not. There's no way Marel would… nope. This is an impossibility. The innocent explanation she wants to think exists must certainly be the right one. Therefore, Soriana has nothing at all to worry about… not that she was worried. Not her. « Kanekith does not like anything that takes Ka'el from him. » Luraoth's agreement to Kanyeth has the warm scent of oil on hide, that comforting bonding ritual of humans and dragons. Soriana stays where she is for a moment, then sighs and looks up at Luraoth. "C'mon, then. Let me see if I can explain…" and they turn toward a quiet part of the grounds, where Soriana trims Luraoth's talons and they talk.

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