Beauty And the Beasts (Rosalyth's Maiden Flight)

Autumn - Month 4 of Turn 2717
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 rige 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.

Rosalyth may have been a loner in the early stages of weyrlinghood due to her self consciousness over her extreme awkwardness out of the shell, but as she grew into her skin and became less awkward and more elegent Rosalyth rejoined her fellow weyrlings in lessons and became quite sociable again. Well that is until the last few days. Graduation seemed to herald the appearance of that self conscious young green again. It started with those moments of lack of self esteem. Her always cheerful personality fading away to something more sullen and ultimately more reclusive. Even from her own rider. Even her rider has shown similar signs of reverting to those self conscious fearful days before she impressed. Hiding away instead of joining people in the caverns. The graduation party may have shown her out in her party dress, but wearing a shawl to cover up and dismissing compliments, fidgeting and the like. The pair have just landed from sweeps in the meadow and the green is stalking away from Lani who is left holding her straps looking at her dragon in much confusion. Rosalyth's tail twitching behind her as she stalks off towards the forest, at least to the eyes of any male present fair radiating with her proddiness and grumpiness.

And Aedeluth is definitely one of those males that is present, wedged head pointed at Rosalyth the moment she is within view. That he is here, now, when his rider was so adamant that he remain away during this particularly tumultuous time in Lani's life, may be a surprise unless one is to consider the role that S'van plays. Weyrsecond's simply cannot use the 'but my friend's dragon is proddy and I don't want my dragon to chase' excuse to get out of formal meetings. Lucky, lucky Aedeluth. (and poor, POOR Sev). A whisper of a connection drifts the green's direction, testing the waters as it were, though he needs no help in discerning the glow of that hide. Hmm. Yes. He'll just go ahead and keep tabs on the elegant, forest-dwelling Rosalyth.

With graduation gone and past, Niko and Tsarziath have all but disappeared from Xanadu and her envrions, diving immediately back into the craft from which the bluerider has been absent for far too long. It just happens to be luck that this day - of all days - finds the techcrafter at home. Might have something to do with those odd packages the rest of his clutchmates have been finding upon their doorsteps - might just be a brief visit to recharge before braving the wilds once more in search of the perfect shot. Whatever the reason, the blue can be found staking out the meadow, his lean, elegant frame coiled loosely upon itself as he drowses in the early autumn heat. Rosalyth's entrance earns barely a glance - and then a double-take, as instinct kicks in. Slowly, he lifts his chin from his paws, his orange-tinged gaze fixed on his clutchsister.

The distant attention of the males do nothing to help the green's mood. Rosalyth looks over her shoulder and just snarls before she approaches the treeline. That Tree? Its in her way and she lashes at it with her tail in quite a display of violence noone would have witnessed from Rosalyth before. Lani looks up from where she is rolling up the straps quite wideeyed at the display. "Rosa!" She calls out to her but it is clear the green wants nothing to do with her rider just now as she rends the fallen treetrunk with her claws. There is another growl of frustration as she she turns her head to the feeding pens and stalks over to look over the herdbeasts and picks out the one closest to the fence and just darts her head in to grab it. No quick kill for this poor beast like Rosalyth would normally do. She bites down on its flank and rips at its lower limbs with her claws. Lani drops the straps she was rolling in a bit of shock at the violence she is witnessing before starting to run over, "Kill it Rosalyth!" She yells out but it can be hardly heard over the screams of the beast.

And that decides him. The moment that Rosalyth makes for the feeding pens, Aedeluth is up and launching himself for them, downing his own beast with a swift kill. He has no need for undue violence; just the energy-rich blood the beast beneath his talons will provide. And yet, his gaze remains affixed to Rosalyth in her ferocity, having very little sympathy for the beast she rends but a whole heap of appreciation for the shape of her form while she does it. He's done with the first and reaching for the second when Sev comes tearing out of the caverns, swearing up a storm and issuing for a string of complaints in the form of, "No, no, NO, I said no!" that does absolutely nothing to deter the bronze in his pursuit of another kill, in preparation to pursue Rosalyth. But it's Lani that Sev heads for once he sees her, and not the paddock fence, accepting enough that his dragon will chase and now throwing his concern toward his friend instead.

The scent of blood, the shock of violence; Tsarziath recoils from Rosalyth's abrupt attack on the poor tree, moonlight-chased wings half-spreading as he rises gracelessly to his feet, barely catching himself before he stumbles. For a brief moment, the gentleman rules supreme, and the blue turns, distaste driving him halfway across the meadow before instinct - and the beast in the shadows - overcomes his reserve. The faint silver ruff down his spine gleams slightly as he turns back, his movements slow and deliberate, no longer the genteel gentleman's dance, but rather the lupine stalk that so often characterizes his hunt. Only this time, it's not meat he's stalking - it's blood. It's Rosalyth. As Aedeluth launches himself into the pens, the blue follows, a swift shadow flowing over the fence and onto the back of a buck, breaking its neck with no wasted movements. As he rips at the jugular and begins to bleed his prey, Niko appears; jaw set and expression resigned, he approaches Lani from the other side, storm-grey eyes flickering briefly over the visiting bronzerider before he offers a lopsided, apologetic smile to his clutchmate, but no words.

Rosalyth growls again but it seems at least some of Lani's feelings sink and she finally ends the screams by sinking teeth into its neck and draining that nutrient rich blood from the mangled beast. It really does look like a massacre. Lani had the lessons same as any weyrling but it is different when it happening to you. The warnings of proddiness and flights overwhelmed by the emotions flowing on a feedback loop between dragon and rider. But the arrival of the males finally does have Lani clicking. "I am not ready for this Rosa…" She mutters under her breath as hands clench at her sides. The arrival of the human males has Lani darting her gaze between them, eyes wide when she sees S'van, "She said you would stay away…" A hint of accusation in her voice to her Friend, no doubt fueled by the angst from her dragon and to N'kon she just glares, "They are siblings!" As if it matters to dragons, but that healer-biologist in her is recoiling. Alas as a couple more riders show up each get much the same treatment, some accusation or excuse why they shouldn't be here. Why would they bother with her? Don't you have work to do? You should be in bed healing! As these accusations get tossed Rosalyth growls low as the males start to join her near the pen. «Go Away!» She blasts out to them before she launches herself into the sky gracelessly. There is no longer the slow elegance in her movements but just a rush to get away as fast she can from these males.

"I tried," is the only argument S'van can make and, though it is the truth, it sounds hollow in the face of things. "It'll be alright, Lani…" because despite the flow of emotions from dragon to human, Sev's primary concern is going to be the emotional state of his friend. N'kon arrives, and is given a glance and brief assessment, and then an almost sympathetic sort of look before the bronzerider is back on Lani. A twitching of his fingers, the inclination of his body, the focus of his gaze… all of it speaks towards an intention to close that gap between them, to reach, to touch, to take, even if his primary purpose at this point is to protect and reassure rather than to claim and possess. "It'll be alrigh…" but his words fall away as Aedeluth steels his attention, grey eyes darting to the bronze a second before he launches into the air after Rosalyth, coiled muscles prepared for the spring and launching him up with very little stutter despite the mangled back leg that has always hindered him. « Not a chance, » is his answer, anticipation and desire clear enough in the wash of his mind. Sev, at least, has the benefit of experience even if Lani (and N'kon?) do not, and after a moment of tight-jawed, teeth-gritted, stiff-standing defense against the onslaught of his lifemate's emotions, he's clear-headed enough. For now, at least.

"Try telling them that," Niko murmurs, lips quirking wryly even as he comes to Lani's side, staying prudently just out of her reach. "I don't think either of them much cares right now." And from the way his stormy gaze remains latched on the greenrider, it doesn't much concern him, either. Briefly, blue-grey eyes flicker to S'van, and a nod is offered to the Monacoan bronzerider - acknowledgement, perhaps, of the competition. Or commiseration, when the greenrider's ire falls on him. In the pen, Tsarziath clearly has no concerns for his relationship to Rosalyth, long tail lashing as his tongue flicks out and over his muzzle, licking the last remaining drops of blood. As the green bursts skyward, he follows, leaping into the air with an economy of movement, wings snapping up and out and down to carry him upwards and onwards in her wake. An answering snarl echoes in the air behind him, ripped free from between clenched teeth as he bounds through the air, the wolf on the trail of the fleeing heart, blood and lust churning in his breast, forcing him on. Beside Lani and S'van, Niko's eyes widen in shock, fingers wrapping into fists as he maintains a tenuous grip on his calm. "I - woah." Yeah. First time for him.

Next time may well be easier. She can anticipate the signs and be ready for them, but this time? Well it all seemed perfectly reasonable. Graduation surely could bring up the old fears of being inadequate. A full rider now, no longer just a weyrling with all the responsibilities that heralds. Yep, next time will be easier. Lani wraps arms around herself trying to hold herself seperate from the men and women surrounding her. Rosalyth beats her wings against the air, focused on putting distance between her and those beasts that follow her. She will not give in to the beasts! Ugly things they are wanting to trap her when she should be free! There is nothing elegant in her flight through the sky higher and higher. Dodging attempts to grab at her, to get close. They ARE like wolves on her tail and she will do anything to avoid them! Lani's gaze is focused on her lifemate for a moment then on moving away from her own predators and suddenly starts to walk towards the treeline.

Aedeluth is, indeed, a beast. A beast of the sky, master of the environment in which they now soar; uncompromisingly graceful through the air when he could never be so on the ground. And doesn't she see that? Don't you see that, Rosalyth? « We are the same, you and I, » At once awkward and now graceful, power and beauty, strength and dignity. And Aedeluth means to prove as much by catching the fleeing green. He spares little thought for those that trail behind, beside, ahead… his eyes are for Rosalyth alone, projecting upon the path she takes and attempting to cut her off at it; calculated in this, as he is with all things, but with a sense of urgency that defies logic. He wants her. Her. And he's wanted her since he saw her moving through the fields at Monaco; graceful and elegant and everything on land that he is not, but that he can display adequately enough in the air. And S'van? Steeling himself valiantly against the rush of hormones, the lust that courses through him from Aedeluth to fill his head, and his body, with a desire he never had before. Not for her, not for Lani, and yet… There is nothing to be done for it except grit his teeth and ride it out; pursue her because Aedeluth pursues Rosalyth, and he means to catch her.

Lupine grace and savage ferocity collide within Tsarziath; no daring maneuvers or fancy trick-flying for him - he has no need or desire to impress Rosalyth, he wishes only to capture, to possess - to hunt. With careful economy, he wings through the air, each wingbeat precise and measured to carry him fast and far, allowing him to slip amidst the larger pursuers with ease. When a brown draws too close, moonstone flashes; silvery teeth and talons rending the air, tearing at a wing to drive him back. Ever his gaze, red-shot-orange and whirling madly, is locked upon the hindquarters of the fleeing Rosalyth, a lodestone to her iron, drawn on her tail. He does not waste time with conversation; not for him the wheedling of the other suitors, the begging and cajoling, even the threats - instead, he slips and slides, skims and stalks, striking through the air on moonshot wings in her wake. Below, Niko is forgotten, arms wrapped across his chest, hands clenched tight on elbows as he gazes hungrily at Lani, his own body tense and awkward as he follows her as hungrily as his blue does her green.

A race to get away, a race to get help. Help from the beasts that chase her! Higher and higher, darting left and right, evading every attempt to get near. She occasionally dives, then wings up again. All to shake loose the persuers on her tail. Some fall away from the flight injured, exhausted or just not fast enough to keep up leaving but the lone pursuers of Bronze and Blue. Rosalyth's strength is starting to flag at least, only the blood of one beast coursing through her and not used to flying so forcefully. She works on evading, her tail flicking back and forth before the two males. Lani for her part gives a look towards the the flight in the sky before disapearing in the treeline, just needing to get away from her own pursuers, hands clenching and unclenching at her side . No doubt if someone tries to touch her just now they may earn a punch.

Aedeluth was made for such things. It is built into every fiber of his being; in the power of his wings and the slide of his body through currents more familiar than the ought to be for a foreign creature. The thinning of the field is inconsequential. Until Rosalyth is within his grasp, the race is not yet won. It is a growl that rolls forth; deep and primal and full of a well-kept rage that is unleashed now upon the sky. He has no need of her tail when it is her neck he wants; such a pretty little neck to curl around his own; such a sinuous body be concealed within the cloak of his wings. HIS, and no one will tell him otherwise. It is her flagging strength that sparks him; a dart to intercept her; talons outstretched, not to rend or tear, but to catch. « You are mine, Rosalyth! » And whether it proves to be true or not, Aedeluth will maintain that claim indefinitely. And Sev is helpless to it; losing himself to the desires of his dragon, and chasing Lani with the same vehemence with which Aedeluth pursues her green in the sky. And oh, but he will definitely be reaching out in effort to touch her, to snag her, to grab her just as surely as Aedeluth is trying to catch Rosa. And lucky for Sev… he knows her moves better than anyone; can foretell the punch that might come his way, can anticipate the way in which she will launch herself, and move to appropriately intercept. Two turns is not enough time for him to forget how she fights, seeing as he's the one who taught her. At least, that is what he is banking on.

As one by one, the pack diminishes, Tsarziath's boldness grows. Rosalyth's juking movements begin bring answering echoes from him - a slip to the left, a glide to the right, as he seeks to follow without expending more of his blood-born energy than he absolutely must. Like her, his inexperience has cost him, and even Aedeluth's nearness brings only a token snarl, a brief clash of teeth before he drifts away, drawing further from the bronze even as he seeks to close the gap with the green. As she, too, flags beneath the weight of the chase, he draws one last time upon his lusting blood, angling upwards just slightly before abruptly folding his wings, diving down from above with talons and neck outstretched, attempting to foul her flight and take his prey. One with his lifemate, Niko reaches out before he can stop himself - not quite close enough to touch, but his intent clear in the motion, fingers straining for Lani's arm.

Rosalyth growls at her own growing weakness, of course her body would fail her now! She is weak and they will always be stronger. With graceless abandon she tries to put one last burst of energy into her flight away from these last two males. She does not deserve them, they do not deserve her. The thoughts chasing through her mind. As both reach out for her it is very close as blue and bronze talons reach for her it is older bronze's embrace she finds herself as tail and neck seak to intertwine. In that moment the flight is won and lost. As neck twines with her her body relaxes against his resigned to that which is follow, letting her own tail snake with his. Maybe he isn't such a beast after all, but a handsome prince. Down on the ground when Lani turns throwing the punch S'van taught her her gaze is unfocused, well lost to her dragon at that moment. Anger and frustration and doubt all mixing upon her features as the punch is thrown wildly at S'van and very nearly hitting N'kon with that swing. There is a growl that echoes her lifemate's in the sky as she is caught and Lani goes to throw another punch with her other hand, fighting like a corned cat. She will not go so easily as her dragon now she is caught, well lost in the anger of the fight.

Victory! Aedeluth does not crow it out for the world, because there is no need to do so. It is clear enough in the wrap of his neck, in his tail, in the fold of his wings that all but obscure Rosalyth from view. There had been very little consideration for the pursuing Tsarziath, until the snap of teeth drew attention but no reply. He does not fight; not unless it is required of him. And as he has his prize… now the blue is nothing more to him than dust. Aedeluth is still a bronze, is still a beast, and will never be a prince… but at least in this moment, he is Rosalyth's beast, and no one else's. On the ground, S'van has ducked and dodged and caught those flailing fists with his own; putting practice to good use to contain his cornered cat and wrest her away from the crowd and into seclusion. At least Lani can mend him up after she's torn him apart.

With one last snarl and a snap at Aedeluth's wing, Tsarziath veers off at the last minute, talons flashing above the bronze's back even as he slips around the pair and dives towards the ground, frustration radiating through his silvershot frame. Stumbling backwards as the blue's grip on his mind eases, N'kon barely avoids Lani's fist, throwing up his own arms to block his face as he falls back to sprawl on the ground, blinking. Shaking his head to clear the last vestiges of the mating haze, he gapes upwards at the pair for a moment, then gives them both a lazy, somewhat painful smile. "Well, that was new," he murmurs, before shoving rather awkwardly to his feet. Mincing away from them - because, you know, reasons - he angles his departure in the direction of one of the other disappointed suitors. Yeah, he'll be alright. Tsari? Well, there's always Iczy, right?

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