Star Clusters

Xanadu Weyr - Shores of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Early winter has finally settled upon the weyr. Though it isn't exactly cold, the temperatures have significantly dropped over the last couple of weeks, enough to warrant Esiae being fully dressed on a beach for the first time in ages. She doesn't seem terribly thrilled about it. "We should winter at Ista and come back in the summer," the goldrider is muttering to her dragon, hands jammed in the pockets of clingy black pants to keep them warm. One boot toes at a shell embedded in the sand before moving on. "Best of both worlds, really. Sunny all year round." Sonyxaeth, well, she finds the beauty in everything. Giving her rider a good-natured nuzzle, the gold darts on ahead, starry wings flapping as she executes neat little hops. They serve their purpose - Esiae grins at her silly dragon, good humor restored for now as she continues her walk along the beach.

Casting his shadow on the pale sand of the Xanadu beach, Saburath is perfectly still, even his breathing seems to be controlled at some point as the bronze’s powerful torso doesn’t move an inch. “Perfect, Sab. Perfect. Just a minute or two and I will be done…” comes an excited voice. By its sound, it’s obviously not the bronze’s one even though it really looks like it. It’s only when E’tan emerges from behind his bronze’s neck that the mystery is solved. The young Weyrleader is dressed rather warmly, a habit he kept from his long night studying stars. “Yes, yes….you can lower your head but please don’t move your shoulder!” Tani answers the bronze’s silent pleading just as he finally slides down to touch the ground, nearly stumbling over where the golden pair is arriving. Oooops…

Esiae's never met Saburath, at least not in person, so it's no surprise when she almost passes the dragon up. Almost. « What are you doing? » Sonyxaeth draws to an abrupt halt, swirling faceted eyes peering down at the bronze and his perfect, regimented posture. She'd only ever seen dragons stand so still when drills were being run, and even then… « Oh, look. Esiae! It is your funny friend!, » the gold says, distracted when E'tan slides from his dragon's shoulder, her mind rolling with amused thunder. "Who?" Esi, who had nearly collided with her dragon, peers around the gold's bulk. "Oh, it's you," she says with a sideways smirk, edging around Sonyxaeth's bulk towards E'tan. "This is the spoil-sport, then?" She nods towards Saburath before glancing back at the weyrleader, echoing her gold's earlier question. "What are you doing?"

« I am trying not to move too much? » Saburath’s wind whirls through the usual bamboo forest of his mind, the sound almost musical as he replies the not familiar queen. « Mine has done quite well lately so I’m inclined to indulge. » There is a pause here, the wind blow slowly growing strong and betraying the bronze’s exasperation. «I can’t do anything with him, when he is in that state anyway…» With that he lowers his triangular head to rest it on his forelegs and a metallic sparkle reflects on his shoulder briefly. Turns of training made Tani well aware of his gravity center and how to control his fall. Wiggling both arms frantically he does succeed in not totally end his course head first in the sands. No. But he’d have certainly prefered so, because now, he’s bent from his waist, legs parted comically. “Err? Oh, hey Zee! yeah…spoil-sport.” Tani chuckles, swiftly straightening to meet Esi’s eyes. Luckily Saburath didn’t hear that or at least he’s pretending not to. “I am….torturing him?” He chuckles, shaking his head. “Nah. Just taking advantage of this tme of the year to stare at my favorite part of the Xanadian’s sky.”

Sonyxaeth pushes back against the bronze's mind, dark stormy shores lighting up with flickers of heat lightning in the distance. « So I see, » the gold murmurs with an amused singing of violins, the stringed instruments humming along with the bronze's bamboo-song. « And what are we indulging in, exactly? » Leaving her rider behind, the gold prowls around Saburath, peering about his person for some indication of what's keeping him still. That metallic sparkle is eyed with curiosity, not understanding exactly what mental state the bronze's rider could be in. Esi, meanwhile, snorts for E'tan's awkward landing, hands going to her hips as she raises an eyebrow down at the half-sprawled rider. "Zee?," she asks, echoing the new nickname before glancing up at Saburath. "Nice to meet you, finally," Esi says with a grin and a nod for the dragon as she moves forwards to offer E'tan a hand standing up. "I'd say. I don't even make my wingleaders stand that still during inspection," the woman jokes right back before tilting her head skywards. "Hm. Yeah, does look like it'll be a nice, clear night, doesn't it?" Stars are already flecking the sky where the setting sun's rays can't quite keep them at bay anymore. With a thoughtful noise, she lowers her chin again, eyeing E'tan curiously. "What makes this time of year any more special than the rest?"

Tuning down his green and brown tainted furl to match Sonyxaeth’s violins, Saburath raises his head again to look up at the Gold. « He has been training hard and finally followed my advices so…» He pauses there, another strong gust causing his bamboo forest to carry a light and ironic melody. « I decided to forgive him for his recent acrobacy with you. So here I am, serving as a farviewer living stand. » The snort that follows clearly sounding like a draconic shrug. Stubborn. This young bronze is for sure. And ever since he cracked his eggshell. He’s been known for that and for his unusual long lasting memory when it comes to his rider and his behavior. Craning his neck, he points Sonyxaeth the portable telescope settled on his shoulder. “Ahaaa! Sab! Don’t move you’ll ruin my settings!” Tani almost yells as he grabs Esi’s offered hand. He does keep it more than necessary, his eyes locked on his telescope, holding his breath. Then, he realizes and releases her quickly, grinning toothily. “Zee, yes. My brother and I used to nickname people around a lot, I hope you don’t mind?” Saburath can be patient but not that much. Lowering his head again he, first, politely returns Esiae’s greeting, adding a soft croon, then, snorts again and blows some sands at E’tan, causing him to cough. Usually this would have ended up in some kind of fight but not tonight. E’tan is way too excited. “Yes! A nice clear and perfect night. Look…” And the bronzerider unconsciously leans closer, tilting his head and pointing a finger at the horizon. “It’s the only period when you can look at that nice group of stars. There….Can you see them?” And he leans even closer, bringing his cheek almost in contact to hers. It’s rather obvious that when it comes to stargazing, Tani is not in his normal state but then…the closeness finally reaches his full-of-stars brain and he winces, straightening to a more proper position. “Well…This spot on the beach and Saburath’s ideal height will make the observation optimal. You….can stay with us if you want?”

Sony's mind withdraws somewhat with that second gust of wind, a deep noise echoing across the space between their minds. It's too rhythmic to be thunder, but it might well be drums, or perhaps a heartbeat. « How… magnanimous, » the gold says, smug but cautious. « Of course, he would not have had to participate in my 'acrobacy' had you joined us, » she points out, not unkindly, but with a certain wry amusement for his stubbornness. Faceted eyes finally recognize the farviewer now that he points it out, Sonyxaeth making a soft noise of recognition before circling back around to lie closer to Esiae. "Nah, I don't mind," the goldrider says with an easy shrug of her shoulders, shoving her hand back into her pocket once E'tan lets it go. "I've had weirder nicknames. Just surprised me." Amused by the bronzer's excitement, Esi allows herself to be directed, eyes squinting until she determines which star cluster he's indicating. "Ah, that one," she says with a nod, either not noticing or not caring that he's invading her personal space. "I prefer the star cluster that looks like a feline rampant, but Sony likes that one, too," she says, shrugging towards the cluster. Indeed, now that E'tan's pointed it out, the gold is peering at the stars quite avidly, a low thrum echoing through her chest. Esiae contemplates the bronzerider's invitation for a moment before her eyes go distant, clearly speaking with Sonyxaeth for a long moment. "She's gonna want to stare at the stars whether I stay or go, now, so I may as well," she says with a good-natured sigh, head shaking up at the gold. Whirling eyes don't come down from the skies, but the gold rumbles with her version of laughter to show she's heard her rider.

“Feline rampant…” Tani echoes, his smile widening some. “I should have known better. It is so suiting you, Zee.” A hint of teasing edges his voice as he mouthes her nickname again. “But then, I only prepared enough for…” Taping his chin, he seems lost in his thoughts for a second, wondering. « Are you hungry? Cold? » Saburath’s mindtone changes just as he feels Sonyxiaeth withdrawing away. The wild wind turning quickly into a soft breeze that now carries a single clear tune of wooden flute. Reassuring. He may be stubborn and way too much exigeant with his rider, he lives but only to serve and protect every dragons in his Weyr. Alright, yes, this one is hopeless. « I would have joined if I wasn’t worried about Destroth… » “Usually I only bring a small snack and a blanket. Enough for me, but if you want we can share? Or I can quickly go grab something else…” With that he leaps on Saburath’s foreleg and up on his back, checking inside the bag attached to one neckridge. “Oh and yeah….You’ll have to join me up there…” He calls down, leaning to offer a hand in case she needs it to climb.

Esiae shrugs for that, features twitching up with a small smirk. "I'm pretty predictable, I guess," she jokes, rocking back on her heels as she waits patiently for E'tan to finish thinking. It would seem that she, too, is in a strange mood, but hers is much quieter and more reserved than usual. « Hmm? » Distant thunder edges a bit closer, Sonyxaeth's gold head swinging back down, Saburath's word dragging her mind back to the realm of the living. « No, thank you, I am well. Mine and I fed ourselves just before meeting you here. As for cold, well… after wintering at High Reaches, nothing will be cold ever again, » the dragon rumbles, the dark beach in her mind replaced with an image of white-capped mountains and many, many feet of snow. « Ah, Destroth. Say no more. » The image fades quickly, replaced with black clouds and a clap of thunder. Despite her general good attitude, it's clear the gold is not fond of the tumultuous bronze. "I'm fine, E'tan," Esi says with a quiet laugh, hands raising out of her pockets to pat the air reassuringly. "We just ate, and though I ain't fond of the cold, I'll be fine. 'Sides, my weyr's right up there," she says, jerking her chin up at the dark figure of the Dreamweaver up on the cliff. "I can go fetch myself a blanket if I get that cold." Following after him, Esi accepts the bronzerider's assistance in climbing upon his dragon's back. Once there, she glances around, clearly admiring Saburath's markings. "You're very pretty," she says, flicking a look towards the dragon. "Your markings remind me of Sony's," the woman adds, nodding from the bronze's cosmic hide to a similarly nebulous pattern on her own gold's wings.

Deep abyssal darkness now accompanies Saburath’s inner voice, the eternal glittering of stars quashed by the massive black hole of his own concern about that erratic bronze. It doesn’t last very long tho and the young bronze straightens his neck some more, displaying that bright red spot, as warm as a dying supernovae. « That must have been hard to endure. » he reacts now to the mountain image. “You can always borrow mine if you….” cutting himself short, Tani stays there, staring at the goldrider as she admires Saburath’s hide. “Don’t….say it….too often….” comes his voice muffled as he lowers it. A short rumble informs him that Saburath did hear. Of course. And now the bronze can’t help but show off as he spreads his wings, traces of comets shining with the last dying light of Rukbat. “Oh come on! You just ruined my settings….” « Thank you Esiae » Yes. He’s that stubborn to momentarily block his thoughts to his own rider to address another.

Sonyxaeth seems to enjoy the bronze's starry thoughts, for she takes a moment to reply. When she does, it's definitely with amusement that she says, « It was very difficult for mine. She preferred to remain inside as often as possible. I thought it was beautiful, though. Sometimes, if you made it outside before the weyr awoke, you could catch the moons glittering on the unbroken snow, or the sun just breaking across the mountaintops. There's little else like it, » the verbose gold murmurs, violins surging with a warm, inspiring song. Esi, meanwhile, hikes both eyebrows up at E'tan, a small smirk quirking up one corner of her mouth. "Why, does he have an ego?" There's a bit of challenge in her voice as she flops to a seat on the bronze's back, patting his star-struck hide as the dragon spreads his wings to show them off. "Poor Saburath. He can't help he's handsome. What harm can it do to let him know now and then, right?" Esi's little grin widens when the dragon bespeaks her directly, eyes lighting up with something akin to her normal humor. "You're very welcome," the woman trills, shooting a superior look over at E'tan before she settles down into a quiet mood again, head tilting towards the shiny instrument nearby. "Better fix your farviewer before it's too dark to see." As for her, she's content to recline against one of the bronze's 'ridges, eyes drifting skywards pensively. If they're observant, one or the other of them might notice that Sonyxaeth's gaze lifts skywards at the exact same time, the goldriding pair watching the stars slowly fade into view.

E’tan reacts quickly and throws Esiae the spared blanket he brought, hardly stifling a laughter. “Of course he has one. He won’t ever admit. As in EVER, but trust me, he has one.” The bronzerider clearly displaying all the devotion for his lifemate here with that teasing reply, patting the bronze’s hide affectionately. Said bronze slowly folds his wings, dipping his head once at the goldrider before snirting at his rider again. « I only know Xanadu sky and a bit of Half moon’s. I would be thrilled to see what you saw now. Maybe we could go there someday so you could show me? » Okay now he’s definitely ignoring E’tan. And yes, on purpose. After all, compliments don’t come in that often. “Now and then?” Tani almost strangles with these words, half chuckling again as he blinks at Esi. “Oh please, Zee, don’t make it worse will you?” The question purely rhetorical as he turns his back to fix the farviewer. Returning his gaze on the goldrider, his smile does fade out slightly, his expression resuming its serious self. “We’re ready M’lady.”

Esi catches that blanket with a low laugh, eyes rolling for his concern. She doesn't complain though, flicking it out before draping it over her legs, leaving plenty of extra in case he needs it later. "Thanks." Brown eyes sparkle with mirth as the bronzer talks about his lifemate, but for the moment she neglects to comment, mostly because her gaze goes distant, communicating with Sonyxaeth. « Mine says she would be pleased to have us show you sometime, » the gold churrs, gaze turning so she can peer over at the bronze. « That, and many other places. » Images flash - hot jungles, empty volcanoes, abandoned islands, quiet forest waterfalls, vast expanses of desert with absolutely awe-inspiring numbers of stars and cosmic shapes hanging overhead. « Yours only needs to ask mine, » she says kindly, images fading into the churning clouds of her mind. "Now and then," Esiae confirms as she returns to her own mind, flicking a teasing wink over at the bronzerider. "And why shouldn't I make it worse? He seems like a perfectly lovely dragon. I'm sure he won't make a big deal of it at all," she says, fluttering her lashes innocently. Poor Tani. He really shouldn't have said anything! Still, when the bronzerider sobers, she does too. Pulling the blanket along with her, the goldrider peers at the instrument before glancing over at E'tan, brow slightly furrowed. "I usually don't use one that has settings," she says, eyeing it. "I usually just use the simple ones like they have at the cafe." She looks to him for guidance before touching it, just in case she has to do something more complicated than looking through the eyepiece.

Saburath’s life has never been a calm one and that from the very beginning. Everything happened so fast he barely enjoyed post weyrlinghood’s freedom. So when Sonyxaeth starts to talk about all of these places and different sky patterns and stars, his usual stern and serious looking side gives up and he allows a wistful croon to echo in the relative silence of the early night. « I would be forever grateful… » “You’re welcome.” Tani first says, smiling as Esiae curls up with the blanket a bit. By the look in his dancing blue eyes, it’s now obvious that Saburath immediately shared his enthusiasm about Sonyxaeth’s offer and the bronzerider once again chuckles. “Perfectly lovely dragon, yes, if you do what he expects you to.” crossing his arms over his chest, he raises one eyebrow rather dramatically. Poor Harper imitation here. “At least he is with me.” His hand goes on scratching the dragon’s neckridge fondly. “But it seems that your Sony just made him speechless. I didn’t know you also like stargazing. You know, us silly Starcrafters, are used to be looked at rather…oddly. With our charts and odd language and all.” he points his chin at the telescope, grinning. “Go ahead, peer in it. I set it up at the rampant feline. The lion constellation. Tell me if you notice a brighter one…”

If there's one thing Sonyxaeth loves, it's sharing her wanderlust with others. « Of course. You've had to do much, for one so young. It's only fitting you get to have some enjoyable experiences, too. Mine says the snow has probably melted by now, but there are plenty of other summery places to visit… » the dragon says, eyes spinning faster with excitement. If it weren't nighttime, she would probably be suggesting a trip right now. Esiae returns Tani's amused look with a shrug of her shoulders, thoroughly unabashed by her dragon's behavior. "Ah, well, that's half the fun, isn't it? Doing things they don't want you to. Eventually they give up and sigh at you," she says, but she's clearly joking. "Sony's good at that, though. Making folk speechless. Inspiring people. She's…" The goldrider hesitates, then shrugs, as though she can't find the right words to say what she wants to say. Instead, she focuses on the stargazing conversation, head bobbing with a nod. "Shells, yeah. It's mostly her fault. I think I mentioned before that she thinks stars are linked to our destinies. You Starcrafters can't be much weirder than that," she says with a chuckle before leaning in to peer through the farviewer. "A brighter what? Star, or cluster?," she says distantly, mostly focused on looking at the collection of stars so much closer than usual.

Now that the veil of the night’s darkness is wrapped around them, the sky above starts to show all of its marvel. But on the ground level, Saburath’s twin blue gems sparkle as they whirl with the same excitement the queen is displaying. « I only do but my duty. But I thank you for caring. » Generally it’s him who is overprotective. He’s been known to be like that and he is still, digging his claws deep in the sands. His sands. But by the way he keeps crooning at Sonyxaeth, he’d certainly follow her anywhere. Eyeing his lifemate’s antic from a corner of one eye, Tani slowly shakes his head, genuinely amused. “Half the fun, yes. I just happen to realized that. Sab is always on a mission, you know. He keeps saying he has to expect and anticipate everything and so should I.” Here he lowers his voice again, covering his mouth with one hand. “I don’t want to frighten you but….it’s now certain that he just had his first crush…” And that’s maybe the very truth since the bronze dragon doesn’t even bother commenting nor snorting. “Oh my….” Tani is clearly chuckling now but it fades slightly as he follows. “I truly believe we make our own choices. Choices that lead us in our lives. But, yes, the stars do have a role as well.” Bringing his gaze down on Esi again, he quickly adds. “Follow that small cluster that looks like the foreleg of the feline, then up and you should see the brighter one : Cor leonis. The heart of the Lion….” He does keep silence, allowing her to focus, a smile appearing on his lips again. “Your Sony is…mesmerizing.” Is he really talking about the queen here?

« We all have duties, Saburath, » Sonyxaeth says gently, shifting somewhat so she can better face the bronze. « It's important to remember that some of those duties are to ourselves. There are times to give selflessly, but there are also times to be selfish and do some things for yourself. » She seems pleased by his crooning though, tail flicking with amusement. Esi pulls back from the farviewer to peer over at E'tan, eyes serious as she considers him, even though the corner of her mouth is tilted up with a small smile. "That sounds exhausting." She chuckles, though, when the bronzerider implies his dragon has a crush on hers, eyes glinting with amusement when she glances between the bronze and gold. "That ain't frightening. She does that, too," the goldrider says wryly. "She likes her bronzes." Rolling her eyes affectionately for her dragon, the goldrider hears E'tan out before snorting quietly. "Some of us make worse choices than others," she says with a self-deprecating chuckle, but she seems to agree with him otherwise. Peering back into the telescope, she follows his guidance and seeks out the feline's heart, making a quiet noise of acknowledgment. "Didn't know it had a name," she says before slowly shifting the viewer through the rest of the constellation. "She is something else, my Sony," the goldrider agrees of her lifemate. If E'tan was talking about her and not her dragon, she doesn't realize it - she's perhaps too busy feeding what she's seeing into her dragon's mind, judging by how the gold turns her head to face the star cluster with a low croon.

“Saburath can be very demanding at times but he’s also compulsively generous and so shares a lot of his energy and mental strength with me. See? Not that exhausting when you get used to it.” Tani doesn’t look at the sky at all, knowing every stars of that constellation by heart from his long cold and lonely nights of studies. He doesn’t comment on Sonyxaeth and her bronzes, eyes narrowing on Esi at the mention of worse choices. “Worse but choices anyway. It may looks like that at the beginning but after a while, it can lead to what’s best. One should never regret a choice. We /always/ have a choice.” And Saburath just made a big one : Allowing himself to be selfish from time to time. « You will have to teach me, Sonyxaeth. » The bronze’s tone ever so light not to disturb the queen’s gazing. Him always so confident and almost distant, apparently lowered his guard in favor of the cosmic Gold. “The second star is called Denebola or the Feline’s tail.” E’tan continues to indicate, his own thoughts oriented on a whole different matter. “Your Sony is what?”

"I suppose…," the goldrider murmurs, pulling back from the farviewer again to frown over at E'tan. "Perhaps 'exhausting' isn't the right word. It's just… how do you relax?," she asks with a raised brow and a small, sideways smile. Granted, the goldriding pair is more laissez-faire than the leaders of most weyrs, but she still finds the idea of constantly formulating outcomes and variables to be tiring. Shoulders rise and fall in a shrug when the bronzerider talks about choices, brown eyes going distant as she glances anywhere but at him. "I guess you're right. In the end, we get where we need to be," Esi says after a moment, lips twitching off to one side in a thoughtful gesture. Sonyxaeth, meanwhile, tilts her head at the bronze, draconic laughter rolling through his mind like thunder. « As you wish. Step one is deciding where you'd like to go, » the dragon murmurs in a tone that implies the whole world is open to them. With E'tan's returned guidance, Esiae presses her eye back to the farviewer, moving the lens to find Denebola. "Hmm? Oh, I dunno. I meant 'something else' as in she's… special, I guess? Met a lot of golds in my time, but there ain't one like her, and I'm not just saying that 'cause she's my lifemate. Sony's smart, and witty, and adores just about everything she sees and everyone she meets. She won't just stand up for folks from Xanadu - she'll stand up for folks anywhere, so long as they're right. Ain't many golds like that," the junior concludes. "And I ain't afraid of telling her so," she adds, definitely teasing E'tan for his earlier reluctance to have her fuel his dragon's ego.

“Okay, do I look that desperately tight or something?” The bronzerider blinks, slowly crossing his arms over his chest but visibly amused by the smirk on his lips. “On nights like this one, I am relaxing, I can assure you, Zee.” And indeed he seems to do so, laying on his back on Saburath, eyes lost in the dark blue coat of the starry night. With hands under his head, he seems comfortable enough which clearly indicates he’s done that many times before. The bronze dragon’s stillness is slightly perturbed by a soft quivering of his long tail as his mind is set on Sonyxaeth. « I would love to see those mountains you spoke about. I am not afraid of cold and mine keeps saying that cold skies are the best to witness the universe immensity. » And it’s clearly E’tan’s words that mix with Saburath here. “We get where we need to be and I also believe that we always get what we deserve.” Stretching his shoulders a bit more a light chuckle echoes and he turns his gaze on her again. “Sab seems to be like your Sony in some ways. He truly hates injustice but he’s also tied with strong bonds and he would prefer bite his tongue a thousand times than to break the chain of commands.” A light head scratching makes him think deeply again as he follows. “Though the situation never occurred yet so I can’t really tell. All I can be certain of is that he sometimes get carried away way too fast so, yeah, I tend to tune him down. But I know that he’s exceptional. Just like your Sonyxaeth is.” His head resting on his palm, elbow supporting the whole, Tani’s grin widens. “The more time passes the more grateful I am you chose to come back here…”

"Wellll…" Esiae drawls the word out while eyeing E'tan with mock-concern, pretending as though she did indeed find him that uptight, but she can't hold the expression for very long. It cracks under the pressure of a small grin, head shaking. "I guess I just meant, on your average day while the two of you are busy thinking about every outcome and variable of a situation. But if you assure me you make time for relaxing, I believe you. I just don't want you to work yourself to death over something that might not even happen." Sonyxaeth ruffles her wings in contemplation of the bronze's words. « They are lovely, and it would not be nearly so cold this time of year - the northern hemisphere is enjoying summer right now, mine says. The mountains would still have snow regardless, so if you wish to go, we may. » Abandoning the farviewer for now, Esi shifts to face E'tan, a small smirk hiking up one corner of her mouth. "I'm glad you and Saburath have a good dynamic. You seem to keep each other in check. Sony and I… we play off one another. I do hold her back sometimes - I swear she doesn't have that little voice that tells her to quit when she's ahead - but usually it's significantly more satisfying to let her cut loose and go along for the ride." She snickers, though, when Tani admits his dragon is exceptional, one hand reaching down to pat Saburath's side. "See, buddy? I got him to admit it for you." Well, that might not have been her goal exactly, but it seems to amuse her nonetheless. It takes her a moment to really think about what the bronzerider said, but when it sinks in her expression sobers somewhat, eyes flicking over his face before she issues a small snort. "Yeah, well, it was either here or Ista, and they've had about enough of my family over the turns," she quips before giving a little roll of her shoulders. "Nah, I missed this place. Don't recognize a lot of the faces anymore, but that ain't always a bad thing. Not sure I am something to be grateful over, but I'm glad to be back, too."

“Can’t really help it…” comes Tani’s answer, straightening to a sitting position again. “But it’s really nice from you to worry like that, Zee.” If she can’t hold her mock expression for very long, he, on his hand, can’t stop from displaying that mischievous smirk. “And if I die, it’ll certainly by following you in some kind of acrobatic games again.” Saburath’s warble does cover E’tan’s laughter at this point. « I am ready to follow you, Sonyxaeth. » And by that he did mean following the gold to ‘Reaches but also anywhere else, the bronze’s darkness slowly fought back by the glowing of a distant red supernovae. Yet another sound emerges from the young dragon’s throat as Esiae pats his hide. Something like….a purr? “You never give up don’t you? Sab is a true guidance for me and we learnt a lot together. I only wish I could show him how to let go….” He perks, raising a brow. “Yeah yeah, I know what you’re about to say. How weird to say that from someone as uptight as I can be.” Wrinkling his nose comically, he quickly notices her changing expression and can’t help but frowns a little. “Esiae…” using her full name isn’t a very good sign even though a small smile remains on his face, “…don’t stress over it. I am not planning to make you fall for me or anything. It’s just my awkward way to tell you I like you and truly think that you and Sony are very strong asset for the Weyr. Your energy, your kindness, your….weirdness.” Now he truly smiles as he adds in a more lower voice. “A wildfire I’d more than encourage to burn Xanadu down….Literally of course!” He concludes with a wiggling finger and a wink. “But then, I fear that….this buddy has fallen under Sony’s charm…”

"Mm, well, some people have to be serious, I guess. Can't have a whole weyr full of people like me, or things would never get done," Esiae concedes mirthfully, snorting just as mischievously when he implies that if he were to die, it'd be because of her antics. "Oh, whatever. If you play dead on me again, I'll kill you myself," the goldrider teases, arms crossing over her chest with an impish grin. Sonyxaeth, meanwhile, rumbles with something like draconic laughter, blue eyes whirling as though enjoying the bronze's enthusiasm. « Yours must take time from his busy schedule first. When you have a day that is free, let us know, » she says, meeting darkness with darkness, though her mind is laced with quiet violins and ocean spray. Esi grins for Saburath's purr, meanwhile, fingers switching from pats to scritches along the dragon's side. "Do I look like a person who gives up?," she asks, raising both brows over at E'tan. "As for showing people how to let go, sometimes you gotta lead by example." Seeming to realize he's being serious when he uses her full name, Esi drops the joking act, hearing him out before sighing quietly. "I… thanks, then," she says awkwardly, playing with a strand of her long, blonde hair. "Guess I'm just not used to that," she says, waving her fingers as though to indicate everything he just said about her. "Mostly people see me coming, and they say 'Hide the flammables!'" Lips quirk up in a smirk. "It's Sony they like," she says, nodding when he mentions his bronze has fallen under her gold's spell. "She has a knack for that, drawing folk in with her love for life, her wanderlust." It's said fondly, warm brown eyes peering over at the dark hulk of her gold on the sand. "She makes me a better person." Though she's smiling, there's gravity to her statement, as though the junior is as much indebted to her dragon as vice versa.

Tani decides to lay down again, somehow surrendering as she crosses her arms and playfully threatens him. “I guess a talentuous mix of strictness and weirdness would be the secret to run a Weyr the way it should be then.” Now on his back again, E’tan lets out another soft sigh. Not a pleased one nor a worried one but maybe something in between. “Example, yeah…Something I should be able to do, I mean, what good is a Weyrleader….” his eyes falling on Esiae again, he does cut himself short, noticing the discomfort in her seat. He stays silent for a moment, listening her mumbling first then trying to explain the way most people feel around her and her precious Sonyxaeth. “Look, Zee, I don’t know much. It’s a fact. I’m still on the younger side to many eyes, to run a Weyr properly - Bless Faranth, Innes is guiding me - but there is something I know. I know how to recognize a truly good person. Someone who, behind all of that frivolity and pretended carelessness, is genuinely caring for everyone without making any judgments whatsoever. You know, my brother was the Harper type, not me, but it’s a character trait we shared. And Sony is exceptional, that’s true and I’m sure, just like Sab does for me, that she’s enhancing what’s best in you….” And it apparently applies to Saburath as well since he suddenly decides to raise to a standing position, causing E’tan to swiftly hold onto a ‘ridges not to fall down. « Now. We need to go now! We have so many things to take care of here that I don’t know if we will have another occasion anytime soon. » The lead of a golden star, that’s just what this bronze needed and his stubbornness will do the rest. “Sab!? What’s with you now??”

"Yeah, well, that's why it's a collaborative effort, I guess," Esi says, lips still quirked up with dry humor. "Between the lot of us, we somehow make a cohesive, moderately functional team." The junior tries to keep up her facade of amusement, really she does, but the more Tani speaks, the more awkward she gets, thanking her lucky stars it's dark enough that it's difficult to tell she's pink under what's left of her tan. "You're doing fine," she mutters about him being a young weyrleader. "A sight better than a couple of 'em I saw roll through here. At least you ain't been fired yet," she adds with a small smirk before her head shakes and her hands come up to rub over her face with a sigh. "Shells, Tani. I ain't drunk enough for you to be complimentin' me. Can we please talk about something else?" And, well, ask and thou shalt receive, for suddenly she's flailing in order to keep her seat, one hand reaching out to keep the farviewer from taking a tumble while the other grabs on to a 'ridge of her own. Sonyxaeth blinks in mild alarm for the bronze's sudden spontaneity, eyes swirling quickly. « Now? But the hour is late, and there is more to see and explore there than simple stargazing, » Sonyxaeth replies, cool, calming clouds crossing the connection between their minds. They don't shed any rain, but bright, pleasant lightning flicks from one dark shape to another, meant to be a display of reassurance. « Do not worry. Esiae said if there is no time soon, we can… 'play hookie,' as she calls it, » the gold murmurs, soothing strings singing under her words. « There's no sense in wasting a lovely night on our own beach. »

E’tan bursts out laughing, a rather nervous kind of laughter considering his grimace. “Not yet fired, yeah. It’s the perfect description.” Holding tightly to steady himself he suddenly ‘ahaas’ rather loudly. “Finally you’re calling me Tani! And who’s uptight now?” Yes, it’s dark enough for him not to notice any change of color on her cheeks but her voice does betray her now and he tunes himself down. “Why not talking about that dinner I promised you then?” Too much for changing subject. A brief loss of focus and he’s back, eyes displaying a mischievous sparkle. “Seems like Saburath is more than eager to follow Sony anywhere an Pern. Maybe a bit too much, eh?” And he feels the low rumble his lifemate emits, his palm caressing the bronze’s hide. « You’re right. » The young dragon’s mind pattern switching to the persistent wind of impatience, making his intimate bamboo forest sing. « And I would hate to waste valuable time with you. » Oookay. This one has desperately fallen, his protective side being so nicely stroke. Our beach. Yes. Ours.

"I'm just teasing, ya know," Esiae drawls, settling the farviewer back on to Saburath's shoulders. "You'd have to be a right ass to get yourself fired, and a major screw-up besides," she adds with the confidence of experience. She snorts for his 'aha,' eyes rolling in his direction with a quiet huff of laughter. "I've called you that before, wherryhead," the woman chides, but there's no meanness to it. In fact, the goldrider seems to go entirely distant as her head and Sonyxaeth's turn as one to look up at the dark outline of their weyr against the night sky. The shape of a particularly small dragon can be seen coming to a landing, a high-pitched feminine croon echoing down from the cliff above. Esi's brown eyes squint warily, but within seconds, the suspicious look is gone, chased away by an enormous smile. "Shells. My sister had her baby!" Sonyxaeth is already standing, anticipating her rider's desires as the woman scrambles to her feet. "Yeah, dinner, definitely," Esi says in a rush, leaping onto Sony's forearm as the gold offers it. "And thanks, Tani. This was fun," she adds with a bright grin and a wave. « I am sorry to cut our time short, » the dragon croons as she lowers her forearm again, neck stretching out to bump her nose against the bronze's shoulder as her rider settles in on her neck. « We have been anticipating her arrival for days. » Backing away, the great golden beast takes a running leap for the sky, banking once over the bronzeriding pair. « Farewell, Saburath. Until next time. » And then they're off, arching up to the clifftop ship-shaped weyr and the waiting green dragon from Ista.

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