I Dreamed Of A Ballroom of Fish

Xanadu Weyr - Caverns

A massive cavern in its own right, this one has been skillfully adapted for human habitation. The high ceilings have been painted a light, soft ivory, as have walls hung with numerous tapestries that provide brilliant color and insulation from the stone. The floor has been left in its natural state, pale pink granite speckled through with glittering mica and dark flecks of basalt. The stone is carefully leveled but kept sufficiently rough to avoid slips.

The cavern itself is loosely divided into areas, each one set up to be suitable for some segment of the Weyr's population. The most frequently occupied area is the one near the Kitchens, where tables of varying sizes provide a place to sit down and eat or chat and a buffet of consumables is almost always kept stocked. It's plain that on most days, this area wouldn't accommodate anywhere near the full population of the Weyr, instead feeding people in shifts as they come off duty. On occasions when a formal meal is laid out, tables are borrowed from all the other areas.

There's also a big fireplace set into the western wall, several comfortable chairs nearby providing haunts for elderly residents or riders who like a good view of all that happens. Rugs cover the floor in strategic spots, all of them abstract or geometric in design and most in the softly neutral colors of undyed wool.

Exits lead off in all directions, the largest an archway to the northeast that leads outside. Near it there's an alcove with hooks for coats and shelves for muddy boots. A tunnel to the east goes to the infirmary, and a set of stairs just a little south of that lead up to the offices and administration area. To the south, a long and sloping tunnel leads down to the hot springs. The kitchen is off to the southwest, while the residents' quarters are reached by tunnels going west, deeper into the cliff.

Having left the observation level before the hatching even ended, J'en made his way to the caverns, grabbing himself some ale and selecting the perfect wall in which to do what he does best, silently brood alone. This social butterfly has all the charm and welcoming presence of an electric eel from the looks of it, ignoring the feast preparers as they scurry about in a hurry to get the finally touches complete before the flood of lookie-loos, family, and perhaps even the newly impressed weyrlings arrive to partake of refreshment.

C'rus didn't know anyone on the sands, besides the weyrlingstaff, so the emotional attachment just isn't really there. He is of course pleased everyone is ok, dragons and people alike, but beyond that he is just tired. He makes his way to one of the tables where he will plunk himself and wait. At least wait for awhile to see if his weyrmate will show up with the weyrlings or if there will be some sort of party that comes together. J'en is paid little attention too.

Golden eyes flicker to C'rus as he appears, but the face is unfamiliar, and the bronzerider's attention doesn't linger. Instead it falls to the dark contents of his mug, lifting it to his pierced lips and taking a large enough mouthful to swallow, then back to looking inside. A leather clad shoulder lifts and drops, features never shifting from neutrality to indicate whether or not the taste was any good. J'en lets his gaze following a baker carrying a large tray of bubblies, too heavy really for her delicate frame, dark lashes lowering before he sets his beverage down and lifts it easily from her grasp. "Oh! Thank you!" There is no reply, as he follows her to the serving table and holds it at her level so that she can grasp every single one with tongs she's pulled from her apron pocket and place them down into a large lined basket.

It shouldn't be surprising that there are people in the cavern's he doesn't know. Hatchings bring in people from all sorts of places. Truly a planetwide event. He looks around the place which, aside from J'en and the serving staff, seems remarkably empty. Perhaps people are just being slow or else they are just too tired and slipped away to sleep. Either way he will stay put and wait.

Individually relocated and lovingly arranged, the baker girl doesn't rush simply because someone was kind enough to help her out, attributed no doubt by a dedication to her craft. J'en holds the tray without complaint throughout, finally lowering it once the last of the treats is nestled in place. More thanks are showered and the tray's burden alleviated from the bronzerider's hands before the baker hurries off to other tasks. Alone once more, Jae wanders back to his wall passing C'rus in silence, still thankfully vacant and his mug untouched. It honestly hadn't taken that long, a mere span of minutes, but it was like he'd never left at all as he goes back to closely examining the decreasing amount of ale as he takes the occasional sip.

Kera makes her way into the cavern's the awlm looking more than a little ragged at such an early hour, plus helping the new sand covered rider pairs didn't help her frazzled appearance. She helps herself to one of the snack from a passing tray before grabbing two mugs of klah and looking for a certain bluerider, she's sure he'll be in here somewhere considering all the egg rocking. Who can sleep with all those dragons humming.

C'rus still sits there in silence, even as the man passes by. He doesn't say a word to him. It isn't shyness or anything of the kind. If the drumming of his fingers on the table are any indication it is more along the lines of boredom. Parties should be more party like than this. He glances back over his shoulder just in time to see Kera make her way in. He'll lift his hand to wave to show where he is, though honestly the room isn't that full so he should be pretty easy to spot.

Another entry from beyond the caverns and Jae's eyes lift to find another unfamiliar face, this one belonging to Kera. Perhaps out of his own sense of boredom, the Half Moon Bay bronzerider continues to watch her progression and then that attention capturing movement of the finger tapping bluerider. Another feast preparer passes him by and when his bulk migrates on, J'en is already back to mug inspection. He was almost finished with it though and considering the lack of attendees he may very well decide one was enough and head off elsewhere.

Kera shuffles her feet to a quick stop as another server passes by. Scanning the tray, she worked her mug handles into one hand and reaches to grab a couple of the floating tasties. Stuffing one in her mouth and grabbing two more. Spotting J'en, she gives him a snack filled wave of her fingers "Hello. Welcome to Xanadu…so early in the morning! Did you see the fine group of new rider pairs we now have?" She's soon spotting C'rus waving nearby and plops down by her weyrmate. "Did you see that young queen bellyflop her chosen rider?" The greenrider gets a chuckle from that and reworks her mugs and snacks, mug in each hand now and starts to draining one of klah.

"I was mostly conscious through the whole thing." C'rus responds to Kera with a half awake smile, "It's a surprise to be sure. Haven't seen a gold hatch since the last time." he says, not really specifying when the 'last time' was. Probably because he isn't awake enough to have the brainpower to do it, "I suppose this means you are going to be busy now." He will also finally offer a wave to J'en, "Hello." he says tiredly.

Someone was talking to him weren't they? J'en looks up from his spot on the back wall of solitude and aloneness to Kera and indeed finds that she was looking directly at him. There was no one else around in his general area, "Half Moon Bay Weyr greetin's to Xanadu and 'er queens." comes out in a deep tenor that matched the bronzerider's expressionless features, rather flat and without inflection even with the thickness of his Istan accent. "I did, a fine group indeed." Golden eyes flicker to C'rus for his wave, inclining his head in a quiet but polite enough bow to not get him written up the second that he returned home.

Speaking of belly-flopping gold dragons and those they belly flopped upon, Risa is making her way into the Caverns with a look that can only be described as distracted. Brows are furrowed, those grey eyes are unfocused, and Risali is practically making a repeat performance of her dragon's hatching out on the sands: into a table she bumps, seeming startled as if she didn't see it, blinking at the offending FURNITURE as she goes sideways and — BAM. Right into a solid wall of Half Moonian bronzerider on the wall she goes, catching at his arm as she squints up at him through some kind of dragon-induced haze probably. "J'en? Why are you —" Risali inquires and then - yep! Her vision clears and grey eyes narrow, almost accusingly, right towards Kera. And C'rus because he's just lucky enough to be in her vicinity. "They dream?" NOBODY WARNED HER. And then Risali is staring off again, not letting go of J'en, as if following something in the distance with her eyes. Oh, this is going to be fun.

Kera grins to C'rus and plants a smooch on his cheek, "At least you didn't wake up with Polgara screeching in your ear to wake up NOW." then finishes the first mug. Rubbing her stomach a bit, she cranes her head around to wave over one of those floating trays of tasties. "Might was well grab food while I can." She nods to the bluerider "Yea, but you make it sound as if I don't stay busy unless eggs rocked." Kera flashes C'rus an amused wink and waves the visiting bronzer over "Plenty of room over here Half Moon." The crashing about gets her attention and the greenrider gives a gentle elbow nudge to C'rus "That's the poor girl there." Waving to the new goldling, , Kera blinks at the question and frowns. "Oh dear, did you bump your head when you both went down on the sands?"

Laughing as she enters the caverns, Kassala is hand in hand with Riohra, the red head glancing to the taller hunter at her side, "I'm sure they have plenty of food in here somewhere's. No need to gnaw on me!" A pause is made to allow Kass to look about for a moment, to see where food might be set up before heading in that direction. Curiously does she look about, the first time she's been here to Xanadu before. Riders and residents alike will gain a short bob of the dragonhealer's head should they look her direction. Reaching the food, a plate is picked up and handed to Riohra before another is taken for herself, "Let's seee…." Hmm… the selections!

C'rus could think of worse ways to awaken for sure, "Yeah. Good old Polgara can be noisy." The smooch to his cheek will wake him up slightly more than he was, "I know you stay busy, but you're usually extra special busy when there are weyrlings." The nudge causes him to look in the direction the newest goldrider and the gentleman from Half Moon. The glare from Risali is met with a smile on his part, "They sure do. And you are going to get used to it. But it will be strange for awhile. Or longer." Depends on the person after all.

Finally! The guest of honor! Well, at least the reason that J'en seems to have lingered because the moment that Risali strolls into the cavern she has his undivided attention. However, as she aimlessly wanders and begins crashing into things a single of his brows twitches upwards, now empty mug placed on a passing and equally empty tray as a server wanders by. About a second after that, he too is distracted, his features shifting at last as brows furrow and his chin lifts. A heartbeat later, he's shaking out the cobwebs, nearly missing the opportunity to hesitantly place a warm hand on the small of the weyrling's back as she catches his arm. No falling over! Not allowed. "For ya," he murmurs to the woman in response to her question, "Leketh and I see…fish?" A side-note really, then he's helping Risa to right herself before his hand falls away. He hasn't forgotten about Kera or her invitation to join her and the man she had cheek smooched, returning the gold of his gaze to her but seems reluctant to give up the secluded corner that he had selected for himself. He opens his mouth to say, something, but then suddenly he looks to Risali as if handling the decision off to her.

Bump her head? Risali seems to be having a bit of trouble focusing on the conversation at hand (it'll pass; she hasn't yet figured out how to separate Leirith's thoughts from her own, and the little queen is loud), evident when the woman's brows furrow and it takes one forever for her to finally focus back on Kera and give her a weak smile. "Ah - not hard enough to matter. But she's… you can't see that?" Grey eyes blink after something again, and then there's an utterly lacking in confidence question of, "This isn't normal? I can see her dreams. There are people dancing." A pause, and then a flicker of grey eyes up to J'en's face as she whispers, "Aren't there?" No? She knows they're not real, but surely somebody else is picking up on glances of a masked ball and outlandishly beautiful dress. AREN'T THEY? Staring at J'en seems to make Risali realize that he's looking at her for some kind of a solution, and she blinks from the bronzerider to the table with Kera and C'rus (whose smile earns him a distant one in response from the weyrling), and then she's saying. "Right. Let's join them." All the better to grill the more experienced riders with. As they walk, Risa leans into J'en and whispers, "Have you seen my Dad? Or Cita? Or R'hyn? I thought I heard his stupid voice cheering me on." But she doesn't see them. Perhaps she took too long. Still, once they've reached the table, grey eyes are back on C'rus. "Faranth, not what I wanted to hear. What do your dragons dream about?" This seems to be for everybody.

Kera shares a glance with C'rus after a few seconds of Risali's behavior, even more unusual than normal for newly impressed. Taking a moment to staff her face with a few nites of food, she finally pipes in to the goldling's last question. "Flying mostly, or swimming." With a shrug "Unless those are my dreams. Hard to tell sometimes." People going by get a wave as they search for food "Hello, welcome to Xanadu." is offered to a couple of visitors.

Hearing the greeting from behind, Kassala turns and offers a hearty, "Thank you!" Not quite sure who said it, she smiles to all nearby, though it is the stumbling steps of Risa that earns another look. Hearing bits of comments, she ohs as she learns the young woman is recently impressed. "Always a fun time, from what I've heard.." While Riohra is piling his plate high with food, taking a little bit of everything offered, she's a little more selective on her own choices. At the end, she looks to the choices of drinks, "You want water, wine, fruit juice, or klah?"

Were they fish? Maybe they were dancing fish? Dancing fish in ballgowns. The Half Moon bronzerider's face twists again in his disorientation, unaccustomed to any thoughts intruding on his own except for that of his lifemate. What the massive pale bronze was doing somewhere out in the meadow only he really knew for sure, but likely it entails trying to unravel this newest mystery as well. "Definitely ballgowns." Another murmur to Risali, but whether or not there were fish even involved anymore isn't mentioned. "Leketh dreams." Did he share them with J'en? Unknown, and would remain so unless he was prodded for a more definite answer. With a location determined by the tiny weyrling, he helps to keep her on her feet by offering her an arm and escorting the way towards the table wit Kera and C'rus. Risa's next question however, serves to smooth out his expression back to the purest of neutrality. "All of the above." Yep, saw them all, every single one. Where they are now, he won't even begin to venture a guess, making sure the woman has a seat before taking one of his own beside her with the proper amount of personal space between.

C'rus remembers have a very vivid experience when he impressed and Kera probably does as well since she was there to see it. He just smiles to Kera and shrugs, "I suppose lots of things really. He dreams of music, of flying and his friends, Moncerath, me, Kera. A lot of the things a person would dream about I suppose." Dreams are part of life after all, "Like Kera said. Her dreams will become yours and vice versa really. You are now sharing brainspace after all."

Citayzleat has a look — resigned, a little disgusted — but she also has a drink in both hands. So. Whatever the healer is shuffling top speed into the 'caverns to escape clears up into mild nausea quick enough. She misses Risa's questioning about their little party's whereabouts (it's for the best, honestly), so busy piling every meat option into a ring to hold in a small volcano of tubers and gravy is the journeyman. Got to have something to soak up all that alcohol? At least one of those drinks wasn't originally hers, but that creative doubling-up of them into one hand speaks of possessive fury, as the Half Moon healer makes a beeline for a table with a few fellow healers and other familiar faces. "Shards." Is Cita's greeting, into her tubers, but at least not around them? Beat. "Ma'am, sir," Kera and C'rus. The rest of the table gets a greeting-ly grin, J'en an amused look. "You're here!" She points out, maybe a little around the tubers now. She's hungry. Risa's smile is tinted with concern, hid behind a tipsy kind of leaaaan. "You! Your dads are real proud."

Riohra grins at Kassala and nods saying "Klah please". He finishes with his plate and then carries hers as well saying "You get the drinks, I dont want to spill on my new clothes." He turns and nods to J'en in greeting but the bronzerider my not see him as he seems busy with helping out the girl who impressed the gold.

"I think I can get it.." Well, Kassala's plate isn't piled nearly as high as his. Pouring two mugs of klah, she manages to carry them both and her plate, without spilling. "I think I'm glad I have practice carrying things back at the school.." Letting him lead the way towards a table, she will set the mugs down carefully before doing the same to her plate.

Kera nods as C'rus backs up what she said for the new weyrling. And just when more people are filtering in, Kera herself looks a little distracted just before she rises back to her feet, one mug still in hand. "Moncerath is calling me back." The greenrider gives her weyrmate a hug and smooth before waving to those around "Congrats little weyrling. Do go easy on the wine." Meaning one glass only. Then she's heading out, taking the long way by means of the food tables before finally finding the exit.

Almost as if Risali is only just catching up on the conversation, those grey eyes jump back up to J'en almost startled - and then inexplicably torn between some kind of incomprehensible emotion that she smothers with (very muted) fury. "Did you just say you came here for me?" Because what is this woman, if not the antithesis of affection? The bronzerider is getting a punch in the arm and she's hissing, "It is the middle of the night and you have duties and —" Eyes lose focus, and Risa's head goes to the side before grey eyes narrow accusingly at J'en. "That was definitely a fish." But when she comes to, she's blinking after both Kera and C'rus again, smile muted, nodding her understanding, breathing out, "It's amazing and not all at the same time." Grey eyes jump to Kass then, and Rio; the weyrling looks startled, as if she didn't see either of them before, and then she's all brilliant (this is not usual for her) smiles. "Are you a rider?" Fingers wiggle for Rio, and she's about to open her mouth when - WAUGH — CITA. Risali makes a face, reeling sideways as she side-eyes the healer with JUDGEMENT (is that BOOZE that she CANNOT ALSO DRUNK UPON) and then amusement - and then FURY. "Dads?" Risali stresses the 'S' for an obnoxious amount of time before sniping, "Dad, Risa. My Dad and that wherry-faced idiot are proud." SHE JUST HAS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD IS RIGHT. But there's a smile too, as she reaches out to YEP, TOUCHY-FEELY-HUG the healer, exhaling, "Please tell me I'm not crazy and you're seeing ballgowns and fish too." Because J'en on the crazy-train is not enough people on the crazy train. And Cita is a healer. Right? Right. "I won't!" is called after Kera, as if startled to see her go.

Oh look, it's Citazyleat there it is. As the healer woman approaches, J'en lifts his head from where he'd been closely memorizing every crack and indentation of the wooden surface of the table before him for some reason or another. Though the tension seeping into the broadness of his shoulders was a clear indication of his level of discomfort, especially for those that knew him well. "I am." Simple enough of a response, though as Cita turns to relay messages of pride, the bronzerider pointedly looks down and away finding Rioha and his redhaired companion. Stony-faced as ever, he inclines his head to him as he had for C'rus not so long ago. But J'en is getting punched in the arm by tiny ineffectual fists of fury and his attention is drawn back to Risali, lips turning downwards vaguely. "Stop 'ittin' meh. Ya, I came 'ere for ya. Relax." he growls softly, his tone shifting towards very slightly irritated. It doesn't linger long, not with mention of fish because he's nodding in confirmation, "We see fish." Oh so helpful, wasn't it? He falls back into silence as the topic shifts once again to fathers and wherries, not partaking of that part of the conversation apparently, though he murmurs. "I think it's jus' riders, Risa." He could be wrong, but he was throwing in his two marks worth in regardless before he's quiet once more, and a single fingertip is lifts to admire the depth of one crack on the tabletop.

It is not at all unusual that a weyrling would be overwhelmed. C'rus can only watch as the hug takes place. Oh boy this is going to be a really long night for Risali, though thankfully it seems that she has friends here to support her, "Fraid not. The good news is you probably aren't crazy. And you probably aren't hallucinating. Though since I've not met you before it's entirely possible you could be." Just gotta hedge your bets a little bit. When Kera wanders off he realizes he probably should to, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do." he says to Risali and offers a wave to Kassala, Rio, Jen and Cita.

Lacking the fanfare and trumpets he so richly deserves, Valerian arrives with hands shoved deep into trouser pockets, bopping along perhaps to a tune probably only he could hear. Let's hope, because there isn't any music. Right? There was a stunning absence of dark circles under those grey eyes of his given the hour, even if the starcrafter releases a rather impressive yawn that seamlessly blends back into a prominent grin the second its over. Wavering attention is given to the gathering of unfamiliar faces, well, except the second he spots Risali he stops and peers over there pointedly. If he catches her gaze, he'll toss her a wink along with that grin, maybe even a thumbs up with a fingergun and mouth click before he continues on his way towards the serving table. Food needed to be got as it wouldn't just leap into his mouth and chew itself. Grumble-bellies must be sated before sleep! Man, the starcraft kept some truly horrible hours.

"Of course." Cita hums, smirking only a little as she maybe-possibly returns that hug — and a good one, too, abandoning the fork for a briefly two-armed go of it. Look, she has feelings other than 'smug' and 'supremely irritated', too. "You're not crazy," The journeyman tells Risa with conviction, because that's what she needs to hear and not because she's sure of it. They're not exceedingly well-acquainted, and there was the Thing with the pies, after all. "I can see them. I thought it was Xermi, actually. Or that the liquor was stronger than I thought." He's not actually her dragon; the subtleties of draconic voice are a little bit lost in translation, there. A hitch of a shrug is offered for Jae, Cita raising both eyebrows a little. "What did that table do to you, J'en? Here. Try the wherry. Xanadu spices theirs different than Half Moon." It's a suggestion, mostly, but turns later, and Citayzleat's still a little possessive of 'her' group of assorted misfits. Enough to share her precious food, anyhow. The healer even shoves her plate over a little, glancing down the table Kassala and Riohra-wards. "Did you place any bets on the hatching? I missed out. Should have, though. Could have used the extra marks." She asks, only shoving more tubers in her mouth and waving the older healers off when she's done speaking. POLITE.

Riohra finds himself asking if he bet and grins over at Cita "I may have made a few extra marks this time yes" he moves to sit at a table near the others he waits for Kassala to sit down before whispering something to her and motioning over to J'en. Then grins at the talk from Risali about mixing the minds of her and her dragon, shaking his head saying "That has to be a trip" he is watching the others now. Getting a feel for the room and the people, new faces and new places really aren't his thing.

Kassala sighs when that question is asked, "Got here too late. Saw the last few dragonets heading off the sand and the Weyrwoman announcing the end of the hatching." Poor her! Once settled in a seat next to Riohra, she leans in as he does, listening to the quiet murmur of words given to her before glancing to J'en and nodding slightly. With food and klah before her, she seems quite happy, nibbling on a meat pie as she glances at those that come and go from the caverns, and the conversation had with the newly impressed.

"Folly! Please quiet down, you know you weren't allowed on the Sands, the queens would have eaten you." Well maybe not, but Zaria isn't going to tell her young green firelizard that, who is clutching onto Zar's shoulder and chittering into her ear her displeasure, quite loudly. The new bluerider makes a beeline for the buffet and grabs a couple slices of roast wherry and proceeds to stuff the little green maw to hopefully quiet it. When she spies Risali, well now Risa, she starts to head in that direction not really paying attention to who may be with her.

Don't do anything he wouldn't do? "But I don't know what you wouldn't do!" Risali calls after C'rus, only to have so-much-grey-eyed-fury drawn right back to J'en. The weyrling opens her mouth to say something, then seems to think better of it - maybe it's the fingers tracing cracks, or the neutral expression, or the fact that she knows J'en better than either of them would probably like to admit because NEMESIS; whatever it is, Risali opts for the much more gentle option: a wordless, sideways lean, head finding his shoulder as if to say, 'I'm here,' without having to vocalize the thought for mere seconds, and then she's drawing back to look back at Cita. There is the whole bubbly-pie incident, but also that silent moment of quiet understanding that was offered amid mutually ignored tears in the infirmary during a time that seems so very far away (and different) from now. This equates to the kind of kinship that transcends mere length of acquaintance - at least as far as Risali is concerned. "No, that's definitely Leirith." Risali's even about to say something else (about the wherry and it's flavoring and YEAH J'EN, LEAVE THE TABLE ALONE) when - WAUGH NUMBER TWO. Grey eyes narrow onto grey eyes, and finger guns, and Faranth but murder is illegal in EVERY SINGLE WEYR AND — "No." It comes so deadpan for the probably-sibling as grey eyes watch him and then, inexplicably, are distant, and far away, and probably watching fish as she reaches out to steady herself with an arm on Cita and J'en both. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four… "It's… a very interesting thing, you can't see it?" she says distantly, to Riohra, one hand coming up to wave away at something before her eyes snap back to Citayzleat. "And why do you need marks? Rob R'hyn dry." Evil maniacal laughter? Not quite - well, at least not vocally anyway. It's definitely in her eyes. Teehee. ELBOW NUDGE FOR J'EN. WE'RE HAVING FUN, RIGHT? Speaking of fun, here comes the epitome of it in the form of Zaria, who is getting an excited clap of hands from Risa as she motions for the woman to join her entourage. "Zaria! Come meet J'en, and Citayzleat." FAMBAM. "J'en, Cita, this is Zaria."

The table? J'en very nearly startles, but seems to catch himself before it becomes too noticeable, finding it all to easy to fall back into old habits when there was cause. Golden eyes lift to Citazyleat's appearing momentarily confused by her question, but there is a scowl all too quickly when she goes and uses his honorific. "Jae," he corrects, though this doesn't stop him from grumpily plucking a piece of wherry from her offered plate with his fingers and dropping it into his mouth. The tattooed and pierced bronzerider chews, frowning some but not answering the question as to why he may have been accosting the character of the table with that light brush of his fingertip. Perhaps he'd managed to dodge the bullet on this one. Well, at least he could be distracted himself with the arrival of Riohra and Kassala, noting their murmuring and gesturing which appeared to be centered on his exact person. No reaction though, the shell of his indifference bouncing whatever emotions their secrets might have instilled, allowing his attention to wander still. He notes the starcrafter with all the winking and the pulling of trigger, begins to lose interest, but before he can turn his head completely away it jerks back his direction in a double take. "He looks like Ila'den." breathed reluctantly more than spoken aloud, likely not carried beyond Risali and Citazyleat as they were the closest. He entirely misses Zaria's initial entrance, because now he was becoming visibly uncomfortable. Hands go to table, fingers pressing into the wood, muscles shift…and Risali leans on his shoulder. Gaze darting to the top of her dark head, in his very next exhale tension begins to ease like a too full glass gently being poured to a more manageable level. The woman's own reaction to grey-eyed teenager boy earns her the return of his warmth to the small of her back, resting one palm there, even as he leans into her as well. As she was there for him, he would be there for her. Though at mention of Xermiltoth's rider, his gaze drops, expression unreadable. That elbow nudge and introduction though, that at least draws him back to being vaguely social. He offers the newly impressed bluerider an inclination of his head only, looking to Risali again soon there after, blankly. Fun. It just might not be in this one's vocabulary, considering J'en looked like he was sitting front row at his own funeral.

Riohra lifts his mug to J'en giving him a salute with his mug, then watches the young man with the strange way to point fingers and leans over to says behind a hand "you think he has some kind of ailment, the way he winks and points like that? You remember my uncle Joncy had something like that too"

Risali might be narrowing her eyes at him, but Valerian just finger wiggles at her a hello there probably-my big sister with a chuckle before he goes about collecting foodstuffs on a plate, because manners. One does not simply take handfuls of feast goods and shove them into gaping gobs, twas uncivilized, even if it was tempting. As his plate goes heavy with variety, the starcrafter becomes more selective until there was actual risk the material bearing such weight could actually buckle and give way entirely. Satisfied with not one, but two mugs of klah, Vale makes for the gathering of people, happily munching away on all the stuff and the things that his poor over portioned plate had to offer. Thoroughly amused still, he specifically places one of the two mugs directly in front of Risali before dropping himself into a seat as close to across from her as he can manage. "I think I owe you that, right?" And he's grin away as he stuffs his face, regardless of any of her impending ire, because he seems to expect it and so he shall await with baited breath.

Citayzleat pauses snarfing down her food to grin at Riohra, toasting the stranger with one of her glasses. "Congratulations." The healer waggles her glass, then takes a deep draught, follows it with another massive bite. "They did pretty well, didn't they?" She adds, mostly empty-mouthed, sympathy evident as she winces for Kassala. "Healers of all sorts don't sleep a lot, I suppose." WOE. There's another Weyrling, though! Cita assesses quietly for an extended moment, eyes sweeping up and down, but apparetly Zaria passes? The journeyman even has the decency to leave her to her food, because food. She gets it. Unlike Risa, whose big ol' eyes and Feelings are NOT GOING TO CATCH HER. They won't. They — oh, shells. "Well, she seems nice. I like her." That's about as feels-y as Cita's going to get, but, voice quiet, smile gone soft around the edges; it's there. Somewhere. Somewhere in the abandoning her fork to reach and grasp the arm gently, maybe, and not commenting or chiding or even scolding a little. "Maybe it's easier for folks always around dragons?" The healer suggests, at length, snorting for the cleaning out of R'hyn. "He wouldn't notice." Not at first. Cita's maniacal laughter is in her eyes, too, but also in the smirk that comes back up, and stays as she warmly rolls her eyes Jae-wards. "Jae. This is Jae, Zaria. He's friendlier than he looks." She teases, gently, probably more to distract the guy than any intent on actually riling him up. He did, after all, actually eat the wherry. "Well met, Zaria." And as for Valerian? Cita's got eyebrows rising up into her messy-set bun, but she's silent, for now. Watching him approach with muted amusement. Shoving food into her mouth, but leaving the Jae-and-Risa-ward side of the plate alone. She does care.

Kassala blinks, only to bite off a soft laugh at Riohra's words. A nudge of her elbow into his side is given, no doubt the soft words offered then a bid for him to hush. Still, she glances to Cita, offering the other healer a wry grin, "That we do, be our charges human or dragon… or animal." She'll include those beast healers in there as well! Meat pie is eaten, carefully after the first bite is found to be a little hot within, mouth open a little as she tries to huff a breath over the food in her mouth. Hot. Hot.

Zaria blinks slowly as she sees Risali and J'en in a rather intimate embrace, what she would consider intimate anyway. Her face falls just a little bit before she catches herself and plasters a smile back on her lips. As the introductions are made, Zaria nods to each one, muttering "Well met." for each one. Folly seems to be somewhat placated now, her little round tummy lumpy with food as she roosts on Zar's shoulder and belches slightly before her eyes lid themselves. Zaria sighs and flops into a chair, rubbing her hands over her sleepless eyes, "I think I'm still in shock." she mutters to herself as she continues to scrub at her face.

Zaria jolts from the chair and looks as if her heart is breaking, "No Azrith, I will be there very soon, don't be worried. I'm coming." she exclaims, not remembering that she can think these things instead of speaking them a-loud. Well, so much for a nice relaxing meal.

No, see, Risali totally saw that look and the weyrling is looking from Zaria, to J'en, back to Zaria, back to J'en, and then making a face as she gives the bronzerider beside her a very gentle nudge (though not nearly enough to dislodge him; it's just enough to show that the bluerider is WRONG). "Zaria," Risali grits out, "no." And she leaves it at that, because HER AND J'EN? HA. HAHAHA. HA. HA. HA. That'd be an episode on As Pern Turns. It might even be punctuated by Risali reaching out to grab Zaria's hand and squeeze as she leans towards her. "I am too and -" A pause, as Risa blinks after what is probably another dancer or another fish, and then grey eyes are getting distracted by a MUG OF KLAH AND A STUPID GRIN AND — ugh. Risali glares down the mug before looking at Jae and giving him another (gentle) elbow in the side. "No. He. Doesn't." Because if she denies it hard enough, she will make it true. And for Vale? A WORDLESS GLARE. She's choosing that moment to turn her attention back onto Cita, squeezing the hand on her arm. "Nice? She calls me her seeing-eye minion." A pause, and then a hushed, "She can't see." Maybe things are about to get serious but NEVER FEAR, ILA'DEN IS HERE. The (drunk) bronzerider is shouldering his way into the caverns sans his weyrmate, dodging people and trays alike as grey eyes seek — and find. The man is ground-eating steps to his daughter, hauling her away from Zaria, and Cita, and J'en so that he can pull her into a crushing hug with one hand making its way into her hair, eyes closed and — oh. Oh, Risali says nothing, simply holding on until she's trembling with her own emotion and pointedly ignoring the tears that are starting in her eyes. There is a rule about your BIG, BROODY, SCARY DADS not being allowed to EMOTION AT YOU. Ila is breaking EVERY. SINGLE. RULE. So much so that the Big Bad Wolf is drawing back to cup Risa's face in his hands, and opening his mouth to say something that is abruptly terminated when his lips tremble and he's forced to kiss her brow, and tuck her back in against his body. "Daddy, you're embarrassing me," she says (thick with emotion and SNOT), because he's totally not, and then Ila'den is pulling back, hand still in her hair, forehead to hers, shaking his head as he waits for his voice not to betray him when he speaks. "You've made R'hyn the most miserable man alive, you clever girl, and I have to go save him before he drowns himself in the bar. Congratulations, baby." BECAUSE WHAT IS HE IF NOT REALLY BAD HUMOR? One more fierce hug, and the bronzer lets her go, placing one hand briefly to squeeze the back of Cita's neck, pointing at J'en, imploring them both to, "Take care of her," before he makes to walk away (BECAUSE EMOTIONS, MAN). During his exit, of course, eyes fall on Vale. One, two, three, and the bronzerider's face is suddenly muted, saying nothing as he steps around the entourage and departs once more - presumably to find R'hyn, or drink, or both. This leaves Risali standing behind J'en and Cita, dabbing at her eyes, and then nudging them both with a soft, "Shut up," because THIS IS HOW SHE KEEPS HERSELF FROM CRYING. AND THERE GOES ZARIA! "You scared her away," she sniffs, ALL ACCUSING. THIS IS CLEARLY THEIR FAULT.

Only those with his very special and exact permission get to use the unfortunate name his lifemate gave J'en turns ago upon Impression, even now. Course he really didn't have that choice with people who actually had authority over him, but he could piss and moan about it as much as he liked and they could suck it as far as he was concerned. A snort is given to Citazyleat when she rolls her eyes, but some subtle shift along the relatively seamless mask of his neutrality may very well signal that he was pleased with her correction. That and he nods and adjusts his shoulders in that way that said, 'damn straight woman, check yourself before you wreck yourself' rather effectively. Another snort though, as Cita informs Zaria that he is friendly. "Lies." Hmph. Certainly all those tattoos, piercings, and rapidly becoming grumpy exterior might indicate otherwise. Risali's need to define relationships has Jae simply muttering, "Be like fuckin' mah sister." as he weathers not one, but two pointed elbow jabs to his thankfully riding jacket covered side. Elbows be pointy, yo. HOWEVER, Valerian's delivery of klah and very pointed grins as he plops himself so very close to Risa that the bronzerider actually and rather protectively moves just a fraction closer to the goldling. "That passes." he says to Zaria, indicating this by sliding golden eyes to newly impressed bluerider's way, before they are slid right back to the Ila'den impersonator. A low growl was already starting to build deep within the bronzerider's chest, a sound of warning, if not an indication of what might possibly come next should the boy choose to remain. He might not ever have the chance to put a fist to the original as he's so dreamed, but this poor copy might very well do as a replacement. Unfortunately his sudden focus on Valerian means missing entirely the mugged of salute from Riohra, Zaria's departure, and perhaps even that Kassala exists here in the moment at all. Risali might want to give a tug on Jae's leash. Bad J'en! No bite! Baaaaaad! Risa doesn't get the chance though perhaps, because what was needed from her comes in the form of the drunk weyrmate seeking one-eyed bastard face that is the actual real deal (Read: Ila'den). While father and daughter might be all emotion as Risa is plucked up and hugged, distinctly J'en has absolutely none as the mere presence of the former Half Moon Weyrleader has instantly set the younger bronzerider's internal thermostat to absolute way below zero. It was as if those close by could practically feel the chill coming off him, but it at least stops him from being a self promoted guard-canine, jaw tightening to teeth grounding pressure when R'hyn's name is delivered with such utter fondness. As if just to make his distaste abundantly, thoroughly, and inappropriately clear, Jae snorts when he's told along with Citazyleat to take care of his baby girl, "Fuck ya." is hissed, mostly under his breath and clearly there was not enough alcohol right now for him to even remotely be able to handle what was happening around him. He's too involved in glaring at the table to even notice that Ila'den is leaving or that Risali was nudging at him. It all comes to a head though as he slams his fists suddenly into the table and thrusts himself up to his full height, breathing a little labored as he remains like this for a few moments. Then, gaze going distant, a beat later he's simply ruining all the good vibes by forcing himself past Risali and Citazyleat roughly and grabs poor Kielric as he just so happens to be wandering in himself. Whatever sounds the hunter makes, probably don't even register, as the bronzerider hauls him off to places unknown.

Kassala chuckles softly, though before she gets too far into drink or food, there appears a dragonhealer at the entrance that gains her attention. With a motion to her, she sighs, "Looks like I'm being called away for the moment. Meetcha outside in a few?" She'll leave Riohra there to finish eating before he too, heads out to the bowl.

Grey eyes drift towards Citazyleat, taking in all of her openly, before Valerian's smile impossibly deepens. A little wink for the healer, just as thoroughly amused with her food shoveling as she was for him being, well, him. The starcrafter gives it his best shot not to laugh when his probably-sister glares at him, but it sneaks out his nose about halfway before the rest is delivered in a chuckle, "Sorry, was picturing you getting stuck like that." Eh, sorry but not sorry. Y'know? Risa gains a reprieve as he turns his laughter upon Riohra, but with him…not at him, for the delightfully painful accusation. Course, then he's pantomiming an arrow to his heart, clutching at it and even falls back slightly. "Ouch!" Yes certainly something, somewhere, is damaged in the general vacinity of his dark-blonde covered dome. Another of those fingerguns for Kassala's laughter, "That's better, much less hurtful." Course, he's grinning, laughing, and apparently having far too good of a time at just about everyone's expense. Except maybe Cita, because kindred spirits and all. No, not even the bared teeth of Risali's bronzeriding bodyguard there was putting a damper on things, placing chin to hands and peering over at him with his silvered gaze, not the least bit put out that no one introduced him to Zaria. Probably because they had aleady met, "Bye Zaria! Nice to see you again!" He waves to her off to the side, while undividedly appraising the disgruntled J'en. He gives the older teen a look, one that might ask 'All those teeth and claws, but why?' without actually putting them to voice, bidding that all be revealed. Come, tell brother Valerian about all the hurts and the pains. Tell! Tell! Ah, but soon, he gets his answer though it is not from Risali, Citazyleat, J'en or anyone else. It comes from the man himself, the one that he's heard practically nothing about at all since mentioned in very short passing once, as Ila'den enters. Losing absolutely all interest in one Half Moon rider, the other gains it in full. "Well, shit." Slips free quietly, for once not grinning like an idiot as bronzerider and goldling tearfully embrace. Valerian's brows momentarily twitch downwards, hue-matched gazes meeting for a count of three, and Ila'den promptly turns and leaves without a word. Vale is up and following him out with quickened footsteps, barely a breathe later. He very nearly bowls over Kielric along the way, apologizing in haste without seeing him at all.

Cita doesn't have TIME for As Pern Turns. All she has time for is making loving eye contact with the pool of gravy and assorted remnants of her meat massacre. Valerian? Vale understands. She shoots him a snort and eyebrow-waggle, between bites, but no words are needed, are they. They have an understanding. Kassala does get a grin, too, sidelong and sheepish. "It's true. Animals, I imagine, would be the least tractable of all." Excepting stubborn-ass riders, maybe, if the squint for Jae and other riders around the room says anything. "Maybe hurt dragons." She adds, thoughtful. Washing down a giant bite with a gulp of her filched drink, the journeyman squints at Risa, chin tilting up in amusement. "Seeing-eye minion." She repeats, savoring the words, but not for long because that is a little concerning. "Has-" Ila, as ever, with the save! Except he doesn't save anything, because he's caught the emotions too, and Citayzleat is quite suddenly making a very good mimic of Jae. That table really is the most interesting thing in the whole entire world, and that strong jaw is clenched so tight her teeth might be squeaking. NOT THE EMOTIONS. It doesn't take long for Ila to shake 'em, though, and Cita doesn't look like she can decide between impish amusement and exasperation. The healer settles on kicking Ila in the shin as he swings back by, deadpan, once more setting into her meal to avoid any Feeling Moments to splash over. "Please don't let him drown himself before I get there. I reserve that honor." The that goes for you, too is mostly silent, but so is the what kind of healerfriend do you take me for. The belching? Not as silent, for all that the visiting healer looks slightly mortified as she primly removes a hurriedly-placed napkin from her mouth. Coughs, delicately. "I think that was Ila." Because blaming Ila is definitely usually the way to go, right? Plus, Jae is cuddly and Cita is friendly-ish, so it totally wasn't them. "I never lie, Jae." Cita doesn't snap, but she's serious here, warm — fond, even for all the snark and piss and vinegar. "Ew." She adds, just for good measure for that sisterly imagery, stoutly ignoring the tension in her friend's jaw. Sometimes ignoring things makes them go away, but this isn't one of those times, and Cita watches the rider, then the kid go with a sigh. "Well, that was nice. Shells." Puffing out an explosive sigh through her nose, Cita stands, examining Risa with narrowed eyes. "Kera said you could have a drink. I need a drink. Join me, before Leirith needs you." Because drinking definitely solves everything — up to and including Men, and maybe the dizziness associated with the fishies and dancers. Definitely. She's a healer, she knows these things.

LISTEN, here are ALL THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: A) Ila'den doesn't care. No, really; if the bronzerider hears J'en's mumblemumble words, then the bronzer doesn't even acknowledge him. B) He does acknowledge Valerian, but we already knew that. C) Kielric might look confused and raise brows in question at Risa (WHO RAISES BROWS BACK IN ANSWER), but he goes without a complaint. This leaves Risali PLEASANTLY VOID of having to process Jae's protectiveness over her person, or Cita's blatant blaming of THINGS on her father (HE WAS TOTALLY AT FAULT; SHE KNOWS). Oh, also A.1) Ila'den totally stumbles when he gets a kick in the shin, and gives Cita a feral grin that MIGHT say, 'YOU'LL HAVE TO GET TO HIM FIRST,' or might just be ILA'S NORMAL GRIN but whatever. Valerian? Risali raises an accusing finger and says, "Don't you look at Cita like that, she's -" Brow waggling back? Eugh. Risali rolls her eyes, nudging the healer because BAD LIFE CHOICES, THAT IS CLEARLY AN ALIEN SPAWN OUT TO EGG YOU IN THE FACE OR SOMEWHERE EQUALLY UNPLEASANT AND — WHELP. Thar he goes. He's off, chasing down Ila'den, running over her kid brother, leaving her in a silence that is punctuated in equal parts by TABLE BANGING FISTS and a fish or two and a ballgown. If Risa looks a little dizzy, it's probably because she is, and then she's blinking startled grey eyes onto Citayzleat as the healer tells her THAT DRINKS MUST BE HAD (because that's clearly what she said; Risa had no choice in the matter) and nodding her consent. "I need a lot more than a drink." She's got a relationship to figure out, and a SAD Dad, and a DROWNING QUASI-DAD, and a BRO-FRIEND who is PROTECTIVE OF HER and possibly DOING THINGS SHE DOESN'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT WITH HER ACTUAL BROTHER and clearly Citayzleat is the sanest of these choices because Risali is linking arms and pulling her out. "Come on. I need to get as close as I'm allowed to forgetting that I have a face." AND TEARS.

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