Visits and Weyrling Worries

Xanadu Weyr - Weyrling Grounds

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

A chill wind blows through the weyrling grounds, one that has kept many pairs in their couches rather than out and about. Of the few that are out and about, most seem to be older weyrlings using the day as an excuse to practice flying in adverse conditions. For R'owan, though, it's just a chance to get his bronze out of the barracks and stretch his legs. Nyunath takes exaggerated steps in the snow, making indvidual footprints that trail behind his rider. He no longer seems enthralled by the white stuff, but it still holds a certain fascination. "See them?" The boy says, pointing up at a blue pair spiraling above. "Someday we'll be up there." The bronze lifts his head, wings rustling slightly. « When? » "When you're bigger." « When will that be? » "Soon enough. Be patient." The dragon snorts once, and then lowers his head into the snow with a whuffle.

Along comes the Weyrleader, Inimeth too, D'son dressed against that chilly wind, hands in pockets, foot scuffing at the snow. As they approach, Dels lifts a hand to wave in R'owan's direction, his expression chipper enough and Inimeth picks up on Nynath's sending. « Flying? When you're nice and big! » The elder bronze's tone encouraging, friendly, outgoing.

Blowing into his own gloved hands, R'owan seems a bit surprised to see the larger form of the Weyrleader's dragon appearing in the weyrling training grounds. His hands hover at his mouth for a moment before slackening and he raises a hand to wave in return. "G'day. What brings you out into the cold, Weyrleader?" He's being more 'polite' in his tone, especially as some of the weyrlingmasters don't take kindly to not referring to riders by their official titles. Nyunath's eyes whirl, his mind a drumbeat of expectation and lingering curiousity. « I will be big. » Then, there is a roll of beats, as if hesitation. « Perhaps not as big. Will I? » R'owan looks down to his dragon and shrugs slightly. "Don't know, big guy. Maybe. But you'll be a fine bronze either way."

"Came by to see how everyone's doing," D'son says with a grin and tilts his head towards Inimeth. "He wanted to see his babies too," the Weyrleader notes. "His first clutch and all." One hand pulls out of his pocket, reaches over to thump at the big bronze dragon's side. « Sure you will! » Inimeth says confidently, green tendrils extending towards the younger bronze and testing out those drumbeats. « Big and strong and then you can zoom all around Pern. »

M'nol slowly exits the barracks, his own jacket pulled tight against the cold. Faraeth follows behind, his wing help up to deflect the worst of the wind from both dragon and rider. Though he and Nyunath had been staying steady for a while, Nynath had finally pulled noticeably ahead in length. M'nol waves as he approaches, "Weyrleader, R'owan. G'mornin'." Faraeth eyes the other dragons, then says « Will I be that big someday? »

R'owan's smile is easy enough, even though the chill marks his cheeks and nose with a bit of red. "Most of Inimeth's babies are still in the barracks. I think their group has lessons right now." He explains, tucking his hands back into the warmth of his jacket pockets. "Mornin' M'nol." He hesitates on the 'm' a bit, still not used to the rider honorifics. Nyunath raises his head a bit, letting it tilt curiously to the side as his mental drumbeats quicken slightly towards the advance of the green tendrils, then draw back in acceptance. « I will. » A flitter of flutish piping accompanies the beats, but then fades away as his head turns towards the arriving Faraeth. « Big. Not as big. »

"Thanks," D'son tells R'owan and Inimeth … well he promptly goes to stick his head in through the door to have a look. Those tendril's of Inimeth's linger for a minute or two then draw back politely as his attention shifts elsewhere. « We all get big! » he tells the two little ones out in the snow, though all that's visible of him right now is his hindquarters. "Morning," the Weyrleader says with a nod to M'nol. "You guys getting along okay with everything?"

Faraeth reaches out, the caress of silk and velvet, « But as big as you? As big as Seryth? Or as big as Dalraith? » M'nol shakes his head at his dragon, "Concentrate on bein' as big as Nyu, Farry." He grins at the Weyrleader with a nod, "Mos'ly… Any suggestions for gettin' this one t' socialize more?" Faraeth is standing away from Nynath, giving him an odd, distrustful look.

« Not as big as me. » Nyunath rhythmic voice seems to drum finality to that, certain that there is no way the brown could grow to be bigger than him. "Easy, Nyu." R'owan replies, reaching a hand out to settle on the dragon's shoulder. The small bronze just flicks his wings once, and then picks up a bit of snow on th end of his nose, holding it up towards Inimeth. "We're doing alright. I think. Most of us anyways." He glances slightly over his shoulder, but dosen't seem to be willing to address who might not be doing so well. « Bigger than Dalriath. Like Zerounth. » The bronze doesn't seem to care about the distrusting look, content to stand beside his rider.

« As big as you're supposed to be! » is Inimeth's response. D'son just ducks his head, grins. "Maybe concentrate on just eating and resting and you know, the rest'll come?" He blows out a breath and looks between the two young dragons. "Well he's talking just fine, Inimeth says, so … is it really a problem?" he asks M'nol. "Good to hear it R'owan. Nyunath looks like he's healthy and growing well."

Faraeth snorts, the velvet touch seeming somewhat tattered, a tidge threadbare, « I want to be as big as Seryth… » He inches away from Nyunath, as if mere proximity is leaching his growth into the bronze. M'nol grimmaces, gently stroking Farry's side, "Sometimes. I had t' make him go play with Alosynth in the snow yesterday, but when Vivian showed up with Kelioth he was glad to play with her while Vivian… I think she could use somethin'…"

« A very worthy goal, though even I'm not that big! » Inimeth claims. D'son looks a little more intently at M'nol at mention of Vivian. "Yeah?" casual that and he puffs out a breath. "Should see about saying hello, I —" he breaks off, head tilting and Inimeth pulls out of the Barracks, backing up carefully. "Erp, have to go see to something. Good luck you two!" With a wave, Dels heads over to the bronze and they move away enough to have a clear take off and head into the skies within moments.

« You are brown. Not gold. » Nyunath says this as if it were the most simple thing in the world, like the sky is blue or the wind blows. Again, the drumbeat of finality comes. He snorts the snow off of his nose and looks on as the wind blows white across the grounds. "He's a never ending bundle of questions, but healthy, sure." R'owan says with amusement, obviously having come to terms with his dragon's more curious side. The bronze settles his rump into the snow. "Why doesn't Faraeth come near the others, anyways?" Ro asks towards M'nol, lifting one eyebrow.

Faraeth lowers himself into the snow, flopping out to his full length, the threadbare velvet coninues, « I know, but I can dream. I'm gonna be as big as a bronze! » There's a certain finality in that. His eyes still following Nyunath's motions. M'nol himself waves goodbye to D'son, then turns to Ro, "He's said tha' he thinks they could hurt him or me." The boy shrugs, "I think he's being silly, but he thinks he's special. I try to make him play as much as possible, but… yeah." He looks at the brown, lost in thought for a moment, then says, "I think he's afraid of losing somethin'."

« Time will tell. » That flittering of flute notes follows the softer drumbeats of Nyunath's mind, the dragon making two big footprints into the snow and looking down at them curiously before stepping forward to look at the far larger ones left behind by Inimeth. R'owan lifts an arm to wave goodbye to the Weyrleader, but it all too quickly becomes a shielding arm as the snow whips around. When the view clears again, Ro' looks over to M'nol with some understanding in his eyes. "Nyunath…" The boy looks at his dragon and then thinks better of discussing certain things in front of him. "He needs a lot of reassurance sometimes. I'm guessing it's the same with Faraeth." He raises his jacket-covered shoulders. "Nyu wouldn't hurt a trundlebug. He's more interested in everything. Questions questions." A bark of laughter draws the bronze's eyes towards his rider, but then he's back to comparing footprint sizes.

« Yes, it will. » The deeper purple returns to the velvet touch, an air of competition in his tone. He stretches his nose out to touch the bronzes shoulder, claiming his partner in competition. M'nol snerks softly, "In some ways, yes, in some ways…" He trails off, looking for the right words, then finds them, "Farry's afraid of anyone or anything he thinks might hurt him or someone he cares about… So I want to get him to care about everyone." He giggles as the brown makes his statement, "And now I think he's going to compete with Nyu for everything. But when he relaxes, he has a lot of fun and is really curious." He shrugs, "So I just don' know."

The bronze lifts his head again, head tilting as he watches the brown who is far closer than usual. He seems to accept whatever silent claim or challenge is set there. « We will be this big. » He noses at the footprint, inviting the brown to look as well. "They're young yet." R'owan replies, shifting his feet so that the motion warms his legs a little bit. "I don't think Nyu would mind all that much, the competition that is." He chuckles, nudging at the snow with one toe. "Don't worry so much about it, Morl. Maybe he's worrying because you are?" He slips and uses the non-honorific, but doesn't seem to notice.

Faraeth steps closer to Nyunath and examines the footprint, « Yes. We will be at least this big! » He noses the footprint again, then glances up at the senior weyrlings flying through the sky, « And we will be the first to fly! » He does actually push off, flapping his wings furiously. He hovers for a moment, then lands back on the ground with an unhappy grumble, « Soon. » M'nol nods, either not minding or not noticing the slip, "I jus' want him t' have fun." There's a soft smile on the boy's face for his lifemate. "He did seem to like playing with Kelioth, though."

Nyunath seems more considering, looking at the pawprint from this way and that before shaking his head ever so slightly from side to side. However, his head does lift at the thought of flight. He watches the brown's attempt at hovering, but remains perfectly still rather than trying it himself. « First to fly. » He agrees with a rumble of beats that seems almost like distant thunder. His own wings simply flex, flapping once as if to test the motion. "I think they have fun in their own ways." R'owan bobs his head, looking at his bronze. "He's content just watching things sometimes." The thought of Kelioth brings him around though, and his brows tighten a bit. "You think Vivian will be okay? I mean, I can't imagine what it's like to have your entire life, all your dreams just swept out from under you."

Suddenly, Faraeth sweeps his tail, spraying Nyu with a tail-ful of snow and emits a draconic chuckle. This causes M'nol to grin, "Tha' they do, Ro." He thinks for a minute, his brows drawing together in thought, "I think she'll be okay. She has to be, for Keli's sake. How long, though. Tha' I don' know. She talked t' Thea an' I briefly after you left yesterday. She's so… empty… Thea said she might talk to Niva about it."

The bronze is a bit startled by the sudden snow being thrown at his face. He stands there, completely still, with snow clinging to his face, neck, ridges. It almost seems as if he has a bierd. Then, with a shake if his head, he lets the snow drop and looks towards Faraeth. Rearing just a bit, the dragon fans his wings, trying to blow snow at the brown. "Well… think about it this way." He pauses, and scratches at his cheek, trying to find the right words. "Imagine you lived in some cothold somewhere and never even heard of dragons. Imagine that you knew, not just thought, but knew that your life was going to always be about mining. No chance of anything else. Not even a glimmering dream of anything else. And then you were suddenly plucked up, and dropped into the harpercraft. It's got to re-arrange how you see yourself."

Faraeth rears in response, using his wings in a similar manner, and soon the two have a mini-blizzard between them, Faraeth's belly coated in snow. M'nol lets the dragons have their fun and nods to Ro, "Comin' down here was kinda like that. All m' siblin's had gone no further than Crom fer trainin' an' suddenly my pa wanted me to come down here. Alone. An' then bein' searched did it again. But none o' that was equal to Vivian's entire life plans fallin' down 'bout her ears."

Nyunath continues his barrage of wings, and seems almost content enough to continue indefinitely, but the swirling motion catches his curiousity and the bronze leans forward. As his feet touch the ground again, his face follows the swirling snow, taking a few steps to follow its path. "Right." R'owan replies, nudging the snow again with his toe. "Impressing may have changed my plans, but nothing like that." He shakes his head, and then smirks wryly. "Right now, the worst of my changing plans was Tali. Why couldn't she have impresed a green?" He laughs slightly, but it's a bittersweet sort of sound. "We're doomed, you realize that?" He's teasing, his face a small smirk. "You've got Cen, and I've got Tali, and we're both screwed."

Faraeth is happy to tap Nyu on the nose with his tail and crow, « I won! » before following the bronze's attention to the snow and following him and in a conspiritorial whisper asking, « D'you think there's something out there sucking the white stuff in? » M'nol snerks slightly at the dragon's comment, but nods solemnly to Ro, "Yeah, Tali 'pressin' a blue was… unexpected. I though' 'pressin' a dragon o' th' opp'site gender meant y' weren' quite normal… an' Tali seems normal 'nuff. Bu' yeah. Leas' Tali 'pressed. Las' I saw Cen she was so drunk I wonder if she'll ever look at me th' same again… I told her tha' she shoul' talk to X'hil abou' how she felt after th' hatchin'…"

Nyunath's nose twitches just once, and he nudges at the tail as it goes by. « I want to see where it comes from. » He looks skyward, his thoughts druming steadily as he eyes the weyrlings up in the clouds. « What is it like flying through it? » He seems to ponder these thoughts even as his rider is consumed with his own. "Who knows. She seemed to like me." R'owan's voice ends up sounding a little unsure, which is unusual for the boy. "Wouldn't that be my luck, though? Get my hopes up and end up falling for a girl who doesn't even like boys?" He laughs at himself, at the irony of that whole situation. "I should talk to Tali." He lets this part trail off, and latches on to conversation about Cenlia instead. "Cen's… well she's an unusual critter. Not a clue what's going on in her head."

Faraeth glances up when Nyunath does, « I want to fly, but I can't. But if we find where the snow comes from, we'll be heroes! We should look. » M'nol calls out to the two dragons, "Don' go too far, boys." then turns back to Ro, "Tali did seem t' like you. Maybe she jus' likes both?" He giggles a little, then nods, "Yeah, Cen's… special. Tha's part o' why I like her. She's so unique. But… she's… close t' destroyin' herself an' tha's a worry." He goes quiet for a moment, then grins, "Y' shoulda seen th' look on her face when I asked her to take care o' herself. If looks could kill… I didn't think it was unreasonable."

Nyunath's head tilts first up at the sky, and then back down to the brown. The drumbeats studder, confused. « It comes from there, right? » He looks to the sky, and then to his rider, who is oblivious and not paying attention. So, rather than pressing the issue, he takes a few steps in the direction of the wind, snuffling. "Maybe." R'ogan shrugs a little bit, not seeming too put out by it, more amused than anything else. "Dragon or no, I still like her." He takes a deep breath, and then sighs. "There's not much we can do for Cenlia stuck here. She's strong though, tough as nails. But… well the drinking has always been part of what she does. You can't expect her to change that much."

Faraeth glances up, then back down towards the ground, the velvet rippling rambunctiously, « Maybe… Or maybe that's what they want us to think! » There is a mischevious whirl in his eyes. M'nol shrugs as well, "I s'pose we can' change who we like, much as i' migh' make things easier." There's a sigh in his words, "I don' want her t' stop drinkin'. It's part o' who she is. Bu' sometimes she drinks so much tha' I'm s'prised she's still 'live. An' she go' so drunk she threw a bo'tle at Sigam an' broke his nose." There's a dark cloud of memory behind his eyes now, "I jus' wan' her t' be safe. Even if she doesn' like me back she's m' frien' an' I worry 'bout her."

R'owan reaches a hand out with the intent of clapping it on M'nol's shoulder, nodding a little bit. "I think Cenlia has more booze in her blood than blood." He jokes, obviously trying to lighten the mood a little bit. Still, his smile is drawn and it's clear that he isn't pleased with some recent turns of events. "Well, maybe once we can be a bit further away from these guys, we can go talk to her." He suggests. The thought of distance seems to bring Nyunath back around though. He stops in his tracks, and then trots back over to join his rider. « You can't go. » "It's okay, Nyu. Even if I go, I won't be far." The dragon doesn't seem to like this, and begins to butt Ro' towards the barracks.

Faraeth makes a disappointed rumble when Nyunath turns back, but does so as well when he catches why, « You no leave either! » M'nol chuckles, "O'course not, Farry. I won' leave y' 'lone 'til yer ready t' be." Faraeth levels an odd stare on the boy, who chuckles, "Let's get you oiled and to bed, Farry." The dragon yawns hugely, only just realizing how tired he is, and willingly follows M'nol and the others into the barracks.

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