Skipping Town

Xanadu Weyr - Dragon's Rest Farm
In contrast to the gigantic barn is the smaller homestead. The structure is a small two-level cottage, complete with a covered porch that sweeps around the exterior. The wooden slats of the house seem freshly painted, as if this old place has been brought back to life by careful hands. A chair-swing sways beneath the shade of the porch, moving with the slightest breeze off the sea. Inside, the quaint space has been decked out with the comforts one might expect. Fluffy rugs cover hardwood floors, and finely carved furniture dominates most of the spaces. A few things here and there seem older, heirlooms that now have a new place to call home.
Everything within the cottage is comfortable, rather than elaborate. Though it may have once been empty, there is now a warm, welcoming feel to the place. Many large windows and sliding doors look out upon both the training field and across the road, a view of the beach and the sea beyond. Even on the hottest days, these can be opened to let in air and leave the rooms cool and comfortable. Set back a ways from many of the other Weyrbarns along the roadway, there is plenty of room for those who need a bit of space and privacy. There is plenty of space, leaving room to grow, to learn, to expand, and most of all… it is a warm, safe place to come home to when the day's tasks are done.

It's a candlemark or so after dawn, still considered 'early' but not so obscene as to have things hurdled at your head if you go visiting someone. Hopefully, at least. Fresh from the rather confusing and confounding experience of his first flight win - to a male rider, no less - Mur'dah has finally sought out Soriana for a Serious Conversation. Which…well. His track record isn't so good at. Still, the young man was raised well and so he does not come empty handed. The tray he carries might be small, but it has a few goodies stacked on it just the same. Some klah, juice, a few meatrolls and a little covered plate of eggs and breakfast meats. As well as a small chipped porcelain bud vase, with a single flower in it. While Kalsuoth reaches out to Luraoth to share his rider's intent, Mur'dah quietly walks up the steps and tilts his head, listening to make sure he doesn't hear anything that'd make him turn around and scurry off.

Soriana's weyr is quiet. She's awake - more or less - but she's in that part of her morning where she's sitting on the couch with a mug of klah set on the arm (the table's too far away, it usually doesn't spill), and applying oil to the gold firelizard draped across her lap. The brown one's already gleaming and curled on a table near the window where the sunlight sets on a small cluster of white and yellow flowers set in an impromptu mug for a vase. It's a peaceful scene, and Luraoth's thoughts to Kalsuoth are warm, an expanse of summer grain with a golden breeze drifting through it as it ripens. Of course he and his are welcome. She'll tell hers. And so Soriana nudges the firelizard off her lap (to a squeak of complaint), and does one of those things that make holders wonder just what's up with dragonriders by coming to the door before there's a knock. She opens it. "Hey." There's a glance down to tray and back up to Mur'dah, and a strange sort of quirk to her lips. Maybe a smile? "You want to come in?" And not even any teasing about how she didn't know Comet did breakfasts.

Mur'dah looks a bit surprised when the door is opened before he's knocked. It's just odd, even after living in a weyr most of his life. "Hey," he returns with a little smile, glancing at her up and down before he makes that last step up. "Yeah. Thanks," he adds, waiting for her to go back in before he'll follow. "Your weyr is nice," he says, looking around. "Very comfortable." Though, compared to his weyr…their barren island is "comfortable". Setting the tray down, he looks over at her again, a bit awkward but determined. "How are you?" Lifting the bud vase, he sets it down beside the other yellow and white flowers - his is purple - and glances back at her. He brought her a single flower. Wondering if she remembers, he gestures to the tray. "Brought you some food." Obvious.

Soriana leads the way, going back toward the couch and then turning to watch Mur'dah enter. "Yeah," she says, and glances around the place as if seeing it for the first time. Maybe it's just a distraction, because it's not like she doesn't see it every day. And put the scuff marks on the furniture, too. "I like it that way." Soriana looks back to Mur'dah, and shrugs at the question. "I'm…" She trails off, watching the movement of the flower. One purple flower, next to the bouquet, and it makes her lips tug to the side, her eyes closing for just a moment as she makes a little exhalation that isn't a laugh and isn't quite a sigh. New answer. "I don't know." She looks to him, and half-smiles. Food? "Thanks." She comes closer, but doesn't reach for anything. Yet. "What about you?"

Mur'dah nods as he looks around again. "It's…" Comfortable. He already said that. "The orchard is nice. Get any fruit yet?" Next he'll talk about the weather. He's already decided. Lifting the plate, he steals one of the pieces of bacon before offering the whole plate to her with a little smile. "You don't know?" he asks with a bit of concern in his eyes. "I'm…okay. Kalsuoth won a flight yesterday. Male greenrider, in Western…" Gulp.

"Haven't seen any. Maybe the avians are getting it all." Or maybe it's just not the right season yet for those trees. Soriana's not a farmer. But she can speculate about the weather with the best of them! It'll be a good year for rain. Those wooly bugs say so. Mur'dah's concern is answered with a smile that's meant to be reassuring, and she takes the plate from him, reaching for a piece of the meat before his next words make her motion stop entirely. "Oh." The plate goes down again. Her arms extend, offering a hug.

Mur'dah looks rather surprised when she offers him that hug. Here he was, bound and determined to keep strict physical boundaries less he do anything wrong or make it seem like he was trying to take advantage of the situation, and here she is offering him a hug. Well, he'd /really/ like a hug so he hastily wipes bacon grease on his pants (charming) and steps forward to gently wrap his arms around her, resting his head on top of hers. And he takes a deep breath, letting it out in a low sigh. But this isn't supposed to be about /him/! "How are you really?" he whispers softly against her hair.

Sometimes you need a hug. Soriana knows; she did. Still kinda does, though her focus is on the one she gives to Mur'dah, arms around him and head turned and tucked just a little. (But hugs do go both ways.) At the question, she sighs in turn. "I… really don't know," she repeats softly, but this time… she keeps going. "It wasn't what I expected. It… wasn't like Ka'el. It wasn't like me." Flights are different. "I…" She tilts her head down a little more, her voice quiet. "I wasn't me anymore. Like… really not me." She swallows. "And I'm still scared." Even if she tries to hide it.

Mur'dah gently slides his hand up and down her back just a little, comfortingly so he's not standing there like a statue. "No," he agrees quietly, "you're not yourself during a flight…you're…your dragon." He gives her a gentle little squeeze. "Why are you scared?" he prompts, soft and gentle. Over doing the gentle perhaps, but he'd rather be overly gentle than anything else right now.

"It's stupid," Soriana says, with a little shake of her head, and lifts it. "I shouldn't be. It was a flight. But…" She swallows again. "I look at Ka'el. And I remember that. The flight. I wonder if…" She sighs. "You're right. It's Kanekith, not him." The Kanekith who's been a near-constant companion to Luraoth, ever since the flight. The one who's been faithful and gentle and… nothing at all like the roughness he brought out in his rider that morning. "I know that. But…"

Mur'dah shakes his head, lifting it to look down at her and meet her gaze. "It's not stupid," he says quietly. "Flights are…scary." /Really/ scary. "That wasn't Ka'el," he says quietly. "He can be an asshole but he's not abusive." His hand shifts a little bit, still against her back. "But? What do you wonder?"

Soriana nods slightly, meeting Mur'dah's gaze as she does. "I know. It's just…" Here's the but. "I'm still scared. Even though I know I shouldn't be. Even though I know Ka'el'd never mean to hurt me." Her arms tighten for a moment, pressing the hug closer… to Mur'dah. (At least she isn't generalizing?) She hasn't managed to touch Ka'el. Not that she doesn't want to, but… "I'm trying. I… we went for dinner last night. We talked." She glances away, and smiles, just a little. Just for a moment. "It's just… hard." To face him. To remind herself. To forget.

Mur'dah resumes rubbing her back again. "I don't blame you for being scared," he finally says quietly. "That had to be…traumatizing. It takes time to come back from something like that. Takes time to get to where your brain doesn't…remember the feelings every time you see whatever it is you're scared of. So take your time. Don't rush it…" When she presses closer he holds her comfortingly, giving her a squeeze and briefly running his hand against the back of her head. "When I was younger there was a fire in the forest around here. It was…shards. Turns before I could look at any kind of fire without feeling a stab of fear. It stays with you. But," he says, leaning back to smile gently down at her, "you can overcome it. If you want to. But it takes time."

Soriana listens, her gaze returning to Mur'dah, and she nods slowly as he speaks. "Yeah," she says, and her hand moves as well, trailing between his shoulders. "I do want to. And I'm trying." But it's hard. "I… Ka'el's not doing great, I don't think." She frowns, and then gives a little shrug. "I mean. I'm not surprised. But… I can't help him. Not this time." Because she's still dealing with her own trauma. Her own scared brain.

Mur'dah nods a bit, his shoulders shifting beneath her touch. So much touching in the last few days! Okay, one was a dude, but still. Happy Mur'dah. "Give it time," he says quietly. Then he sighs. "He's…beating himself up over it. Started drinking, but Marel got him out of that pretty quickly. We're…sensitive to drink, so…" She beat his ass, basically. "He'll be okay. We /all/ will," he says, quietly firm in that belief. Because he has to believe that their group is going to be okay.

Time. Soriana sighs, a moment of exasperation. "I'm always waiting." For hatching. For graduation. Now, for the clutching. After that… for a different hatching. When is she not waiting on a dragon's schedule, lately? Her fingers brush slowly, going down to rest against his mid-back. A change of position, and her expression turns more serious as she listens. A frown for the drink. A nod. Another one. "We will." She's said the same. It's half belief, half mantra. If she says it often enough, it'll be true… right?

Mur'dah chuckles quietly, in understanding, looking down at her again. "I know," he finally says, after a moment's thought. Then a little smile. "Well, is there something you'd like to do right now? No waiting, just…do something? Go somewhere, perhaps? Get out for a little while?" With another smile, he shifts his hand to splay long fingers against the middle of her back in return and gives her another little squeeze.

Soriana smiles back, but then… "I've got work to go to." In not so many hours. She sighs. "And Luraoth's got the eggs." Weighing her down. Keeping her here. She's not made of spun sugar, but. There's still reason to be careful. To be calm and sedate and change into nice work clothes and walk down the road and… "Oh, shardit, yes." Soriana grins, suddenly. Let work be the one that waits! And if everyone's so worried about Luraoth… well, mental health break for her rider should count. "Let's go out. Down to the water. And throw rocks in." Or something similarly irresponsible and messy. "We can take the breakfast." And eat it with bare hands. And MUD. And maybe she won't even bother changing before she goes to the office. Sothere.

Mur'dah frowns a little bit. "She can't fly? It hasn't been that long…" But he's not going to argue with the goldrider about it. To each their own, really, and then he's grinning widely when she accepts. And when /she/ smiles. That right there makes him happy. "Perfect. I know this quiet little cove where no one will bother us. Well, bother you. Today's my off day." So no one should be looking for him anyway. Giving her another squeeze he slowly detangles from the hug and turns to pick up the plate, putting it back on the tray and picking up the tray. The flower he leaves, beside the others.

Soriana makes a face. "She can fly just fine. But D'ren says she's not supposed to between or strain herself, and he's not happy about me taking her hunting…" And Soriana hasn't wanted to argue with the senior dragonhealer about it. Not when she has more important things to spend her effort on. Like not being scared. Like trying to be happy. The smile returns, though, and she returns the squeeze before getting arms back to her sides. A quiet cove where nobody's going to bother them? "Sounds good." Soriana glances ceiling-ward for a moment, thoughts reaching to Luraoth. Hey so, tell… oh, let's say Sonyxaeth… that we'll be late. Because Esiae is Soriana's mentor! And also likely to give a thumbs-up to the concept. That done, Soriana steps after Mur'dah, reaching out a hand for his arm. "Hey." One more thing, before they head out. "You're okay? From-" Kalsuoth's win "-last night?" Because he seems to be. More or less. But she has to make sure.

Mur'dah smiles at her, bright and happy, though he pauses when she puts her hand on his arm. And he takes a moment to think about his answer. "I'm okay," he finally says with a nod. "It's…confusing. To be attracted to a guy. And…I still don't know if I'm, uh," cough, "you know." A virgin. "But. It'll be okay." There's that mantra again. "It wasn't that bad, and the guy was kind of nice. And Kalsuoth was /so/ happy. So." Shrug. "I can't argue with that, can I?"

Soriana waits for Mur'dah to think it through. These things are… complicated. Sometimes very complicated. Her gaze is concerned, but it eases as he explains. She nods. "Okay. As long as you're okay. And Kalsuoth is happy." She smiles. And, hey. At least the guy was at Western? So Mur'dah won't have to see him every day. Besides, it sounds like it was… well, if not a perfect magic moment (is anything?) at least… okay. Not something he's going to have nightmares about. She smiles. "I think you get to pick whichever answer you'd rather have. But if you change it too often, people will get confused." Because 'I won a flight and am a virgin!' is so much less confusing? Soriana gives his arm a light squeeze. "C'mon then. Let's go." Hopefully the firelizards won't knock down her mug of klah while she's gone.

Mur'dah nods, with a reassuring smile. "I'm okay. And he's happy." Considering for a moment, he finally nods. "Then I'd like to say I still am. Until I have something not influenced by a flight." There's his decision. With a smile, he nudges open the door and walks down the steps, letting her close and lock however she sees fit. Then he takes a shortcut along a small game trail down towards the beach, veering left instead of right and going down a little used trail until they reach the small cove. A few lengths across, it's not /that/ small, though the beach is narrow enough that it's not a popular spot for most. It's good though in that there is shade almost right up to the low tide line, where the water is right now. "Does this work?" Mur'dah asks, nodding to the clear waters, calm and gleaming in the early morning sunlight.

Soriana nods to that reassurance, then nods again to the decision. "Okay." The door gets the latch thunked, though there's probably a back one open, or at the least a window. And then they're off! From infrequently to even-less-frequently, and Soriana takes note of the way for next time as she follows Mur'dah along. Once at the beach, she takes a deep breath, looking out along the shore… and grins, nodding firmly. "Yeah. This'll work just fine." Especially once she kicks her shoes off and pulls the socks down with her toes, stepping out with bare feet toward the water's edge.

Mur'dah sets the tray down in the shade and kicks off his boots and socks as well, rolling up his pant legs to above his still knobby knees. Walking down to the shore, he grins. "Oh, if I could only show you the hundreds of brilliant sand sculptures I've made on this beach," he says, bending down to find a flat stone among the sand, and offering it to her with a smile.

Soriana glances down to the sand, and laughs. "Works of art, I'm sure." She accepts the stone, hefting it in her hand. "At least, I'm imagining some. Like when we'd go to Ierne, and there'd be these giant sand sculptures, big as a dragon. Mine never turned out like that." She looks away, out over the water, and flicks her wrist to send the stone skimming over the calm surface. Skip- skip- plop.

Mur'dah shakes his head, "No, mine have never been /that/ big. But…" Well now he feels rather inadequate. "They were nice. You traveled a lot when you were a kid?" Younger. They're still kind of kids? Finding his own stone, he skips it twice before it sinks, and then he's moving forward to let the water run over his feet.

"I dunno how anyone makes 'em that big," Soriana says with a small smile and a glance back. "I mostly never got past the two-bump hold, myself." She shrugs, and goes back to the tray, leaning down to pick up a piece of bacon and have a bite. "It's Ierne. People… spend a lot of time on things like that, some of them." Another shrug. "I guess? We'd go visit other cotholds, trading runners. To Ierne, because it was the nearest place that wasn't the middle of nowhere." A crooked sort of grin. "And we'd go to Keroon to see my grandmother, but that was about it. Is that a lot?"

Mur'dah nods, turning his back to the sea so he can keep his feet in the water and still talk to her. "Yeah, that is a lot. I didn't even go between until we came back from Cold Stone when my uncle took back the heir title. I mean we traveled a bit around the islands and on boats, but…not /that/ much." Crouching down, he loosens the top few buttons of his tunic and digs his hand into the damp sand, watching the grains shift when the next gentle wave comes in.

"Huh," Soriana says, and nods. "I guess it was, then." She shrugs. "One cothold's a lot like another, when you're a kid. You get sent to play with the other kids, whether you like 'em or not." She smiles. "And if you don't, you figure out how to stick around and listen to the grownup conversation instead." She nibbles the rest of that bacon, and stretches slowly, picking up a meatroll and taking it with her as she comes down to the water's edge. "I don't remember my first time between. Not really."

Mur'dah chuckles. "Whenever we'd go to Cold Stone we'd always travel by boat and caravan. Not sure why Mom and Dad didn't want us going between…" He shrugs, pushing upright again and walking forward to sit on the warm sand beneath the tree, and get another bite of bacon. And a cup of klah. "Yeah, there was a lot of forced playing with other kids. Though quietly, because my grandfather wasn't a fan of fun of any kind." His nose wrinkles a bit. "The grownup stuff wasn't much fun either." Glancing at her, he smiles. "No? I remember mine. I nearly wet myself."

Soriana frowns a little at the description of Mur'dah's grandfather - not that she's ever met the man - and nods. "The talk about runners wasn't so bad. Usually." She half-grins, digging her toes into the wet sand. "Or I'd go hide out with Yumeth." Because dragons make fine babysitters. "S'where I met Idrissa, one of those cotholds." A shrug, and then Soriana looks back to Mur'dah and hehs. "Maybe that's why they didn't want to take you between." She smiles, the expression just a little teasing. "Gotta wait for the bladder control."

Mur'dah grins, "Runners are great. I loved it when they'd let us go for a ride. It was so much…freedom, I guess." Turning, he grins at her. "Really? I didn't know you'd known Idrissa for that long. That's really neat. How'd she wind up coming to the weyr?" Then he stares at her blinking, and then laughs, reaching over to give her a playful shove. Or he's about to, but then catches himself, and ends up just nudging her instead. "That was mean." But funny, since he's still laughing.

Soriana sways with the nudge as if it was more of a shove than it actually was. "Sorry," she says. Only she's grinning, so… not really. Or kind of sorry and kind of not. Also? Grinning. And he's laughing. And it's good. "Runners aren't nearly so much fun when it's lineages, though. Arguing about whether traits have bred true or what the line is from that race-winner or this or…" She shakes her head. "Mom's into them. It puts me to sleep… though I like riding." Just give her the fun parts! The grin's lingered through that part, but now it fades somewhat. "Idrissa… came with us." And a shipment of runners to replace ones lost to disease. "Because…" Soriana sighs. "She doesn't get on with her mom. Never did. Idrissa's mom… kinda reminds me of your grandfather." At least from what she's heard. "And Idrissa wanted to join beastcraft, and her mom didn't see the point. So… she left."

Very good. "Oh," Mur'dah says with a knowing nod. "Yeah, that's not nearly as fun as talking about which runner can beat which other runner, and trash talking about their riders. Or just riding them and enjoying yourself. I'd have a runner if I could," he admits. Then he quiets, expression sobering as he sips his klah and the story takes a different turn. "Oh," he says, brows furrowing. "I…feel bad for her then, if her mom is like my grandfather." At least he could get away from his grandfather. "Good for her, for doing what she wanted."

"I don't have enough time for one," Soriana says with a wistful sort of expression. "But I still go riding sometimes." Not often. She feels the wind in her hair from Luraoth's back instead. She sighs, and nods as she wanders up the shore again. Wet feet getting sandy. "They don't even write letters to her. Nobody there does. Not even her brother." Soriana shrugs, looking up to Mur'dah. "She doesn't talk about it much. But… yeah. Doing what she wanted." Only now she's in Comet. Deliveries. Not runners.

Mur'dah shakes his head a bit. "No, we sure don't," he agrees with a little shrug. "I'd go riding with you, if you ever wanted company," he offers, watching her walk off while he stays seated and steals more bacon. Endless supply of bacon. "They don't? That's awful," he says, finally pushing to his feet and walking to catch up with her. "Family is so important…" No wonder she's been grumpy.

"Yeah?" Soriana says, and smiles to Mur'dah. "We should, sometime. Pick a path, see where we end up." When they've got free time. Whenever that is. She nods to Mur'dah about Idrissa's family, looking out over the water instead of at him, and then glances back with a sigh. "We're lucky, you and me. We've got rider families." Even if hers is only in the last generation and his… has its own problems. "They understand this stuff. They're proud of us." Her mouth twists, unhappily. "Idrissa's mom doesn't talk to her. Ka'el's parents hate dragons. He probably still hasn't told them."

Mur'dah nods, "We should," he agrees quietly. "We will." Yeah, when they have free time and he's not on deliveries and she's not tied to her dragon or the sands or paperwork or…ugh, he's glad he's not a goldrider. "We are lucky," he agrees with a nod. "It's…I don't know if I could do this without my family's support…" Then he grimaces, shaking his head. "They should be proud of them. Both of them. They're great riders, with great dragons…" Stupid people frustrate him and he exhales heavily.

"Yeah." Soriana frowns, and looks away, out over the water. "They should." But stupid people are stupid. She shakes her head, and turns away, stepping up to the edge of the trees with quick steps and picking up a rock. It's not a very good one for skipping. Too squareish. Not quite flat. Soriana turns and sends it flying toward the water anyway. It sinks the first time it hits the surface. Splish.

Mur'dah watches her move around and throw the rock, and he presses his lips together a little bit. "Is this helping?" he finally asks, moving up a ways to find a palmful of smaller but flat stones, moving towards her and holding them out in an offering.

Soriana stares at Mur'dah for a moment, as if she doesn't get it. As if she doesn't understand the question. And then she laughs. "Maybe." She reaches for one of the smaller stones, just holding it for a moment. "It doesn't really help to throw rocks. But it feels good." She smiles a little. "And talking about it… heh. Everyone's been telling me to do that." From the mindhealer on! "So I guess that helps? Even if it doesn't feel good." She brings her hand back, as if to throw, then pauses, looking back to Mur'dah again and offering him a smile. "Thanks."

Mur'dah holds his hand still until she selects a stone, and then drops the rest into his pocket, pulling one out for himself. "If it feels good then it's helping," he says logically, with a little smile. "Have you talked about it at all? I mean, I'm no mindhealer but I'm always around to listen." He throws his rock, grinning when he gets five full skips out of it. "Talking doesn't feel good?" Then he returns her smile with a little nod. "You're welcome, Sori. You know I'm always, uh," cough, "here for you." Ugh, that sounded horribly mushy.

"I suppose," Soriana says to that logic. Her tone's maybe a little dubious, but it's with a smile… and then she shakes her head. "I don't want a mindhealer." Her mouth tugs to the side, frowning. "He wanted to keep me in the infirmary. Like I was… sick, somehow. Messed up in the head." Which, yes, admittedly, she kind of was/is, but that's not the point here. "I guess talking's good. It's just… complicated." Emotionally complex responses! Woo! The mushy-sounding stuff gets a smile and a nod, and then Soriana flicks her rock toward the water. Three skips. Not bad. "I've talked to my mom about it. And… shards, I probably made a mess of it, but to Idrissa." A sideways glance. "She thinks Tahryth's getting proddy."

Mur'dah grimaces, and then visibly shudders. "I /hate/ mindhealers. That new one? C…what's his name? He's /horrible/. I've avoided every appointment." As she well knows. "You're not sick," he says firmly, a hint of anger in his tone directed at the Healer who implied that. "Of course it's complicated. When are things /not/ complicated?" At least he grins a bit at that, offering her another stone. "Good. What did she say? Did it help?" That was about talking to her mom. Then he blanches. "Is she scared?" he asks quietly, taking a slow breath. "I…can't decide if I should try to be here for it, or try to stay away…" And he looks at her, waiting for her opinion on that touchy subject.

"Cyrus," Soriana says. "That's the one." Her tone's quiet, and she nods slowly at his assurance… but it's with eyes drifted away. But… heh. "I dunno. I never notice them, because they whizz right on by." Soriana smiles, and takes the offered stone with a look for Mur'dah before her gaze settles on the rock. "That every flight's different. Some are good. Some're bad. That… some guys learn control, and some never do. That it'll get better." She glances up to him again. "And yeah. It helped." A smile, and then her fingers curl around the stone. Idrissa. "I don't know. She… I tried to tell her what mine was like. What it could be. I don't think she got it." Soriana looks down. "I don't want to scare her. But… I don't want her to be surprised." Except in good ways. Please oh please let Idrissa wake up in the morning and wonder what Sori was even talking about. Soriana looks up again, watching Mur'dah for a long moment. "I… dunno. I guess…" She frowns. "If I were her… I'd want you here." Friends. Even at the worst of times. "But. I'm not."

Mur'dah nods firmly. "Cyrus." Mutter. "Good, I'm glad it helped," he says quietly, with a little smile. He even reaches out to try and give her arm a gentle squeeze. "I don't envy you at all. Riders of female dragons. Not one bit. I hope it does get better." Then he nods, clearing his throat. "Yesterday wasn't too bad. I…don't remember much but I wasn't really, uh. Rough." So that's a good thing, right? When he yanked the covers off the poor, startled greenrider he didn't see more than a few little scratches. Looking at the goldrider, he nods. "I guess I should just ask her then, and then…see if I can do what she wants me to do."

Soriana smiles at the squeeze, and the expression lingers as she listens, though it gains a bit of a rueful tinge. "Golds are only once every few turns." But then there's eggs. And greens are more frequent. But maybe they're less overpowering? "I'm getting better." She smiles. "I'll be okay." This time. And next time? …at least she'll already know the way. Her eyes rest on Mur'dah as he talks about yesterday, listening and nodding slowly… then more firmly. "Yeah. That's about all you can do, is… try. And maybe you can't." Because oh, Soriana remembers that dragonlust. "But you have to try." She tosses the stone. Skip-skip-skip-plonk.

Mur'dah nods, "Right, so at least you don't have to deal with it /that/ often. Good," he says, tossing his own stone. But he didn't set properly first, so it just plunks into the water, much to his surprise. Stupid rock. Thanks for making him look less awesome. "It'll be okay," he echoes with a grin. "We should get sharding shirts made…" He chuckles. "I, uh, thought about V'dim," he admits with a cough. "That kept part of my brain focused, at least, but…I still blacked out during the actual thing. I was Kalsuoth. I guess I'm just lucky he's a gentle, easy going dragon. I will try. Always. Always," he vows, offering her another stone on the flat of his palm.

It's okay. Soriana's the only one here to see the rock-skipping failure. She won't tell. Probably. "It'd save breath. Put 'I'll be okay' on one side and 'Just fine' on the other one." And then they can flip them, depending on how much in denial they are that day! Soriana laughs, and then it turns into a choke-cough as she looks at Mur'dah. "What?" Has Isobeth started glowing and she didn't know? "Uh…" Blink. Blink. "…oh." She gets it. Or at least, she thinks she does. That… "Yeah. I remember… parts of it. Not everything. But then… Luraoth's good at sharing." Maybe it'd be easier if she wasn't? If she pushed her rider away entirely during those moments… maybe. Maybe not. Soriana shrugs the thought away, and reaches for the offered stone. She nods. "Good." Her mouth curves, rueful. "Maybe you should try to be there for Idrissa." Never mind asking? Soriana glances to him. "Kalsuoth's gentle." Unlike some.

Mur'dah laughs, "Or just a card we can hold up." Then when she choke-coughs he blinks in alarm, patting her on the back. And then blushing crimson. "Not like /that/!" he hisses, mortified. "It helped keep me, like…you know. It killed the mood…" Shudder. When she's back to breathing normally, he lets his hand linger there for a moment before drawing it back. "I'll ask her," he says quietly, before he nods with a low sigh, watching her face and meeting her gaze. "He is." Unlike some.

Yes. Yes it would, and Soriana nods as she recovers her breath. And hopefully none of them will ever EVER find out what it's like for that to BE the mood. Because NO. Also? Moving on. Now. If the laugh wasn't gone from the coughing it would be now, her expression somber as she nods to Mur'dah. "Yeah. Kanekith…." Soriana's gaze flickers, but then she takes a breath and keeps it steady. "He wasn't… mean. He just didn't want to wait. For anything. And he didn't care if it hurt. So he'd grab. Or hold. Or push."

Faranth, let's hope not. Because that's the stuff of nightmares right there. Mur'dah frowns, reaching out to put his hand on her back and shoulders, rubbing gently as she begins to talk. He nods. "Impatient and demanding?" Gee, that doesn't /sound/ like the arrogant bronze. /sarcasm. "Hopefully he…learns…" the brownrider says with a frown. He's not angry with the bronze or with Ka'el. Just regretful. And he hopes beyond hope that they figure it out and this isn't the norm. He fears for Ka'el's sanity if it is.

Kanekith, in three words or less. Soriana nods, and the corner of her mouth twitches in what's almost a rueful smile. "Yeah." She sighs, and looks to the rock in her hand before giving it a toss. Only two skips, but she barely even watches them. "He's been… nicer, since. Spending time with Luraoth. Maybe some of it will stick?" But she's not all that confident. Luraoth will be back to normal afterward… right? So probably Kanekith will too, once there's not a broody queen around.

Mur'dah nods, keeping his hand moving unless she pulls away or gives him a weird 'what are you doing?' look. "Maybe," he says, though he doesn't sound too terribly convinced. "But I'm sure Ka'el will be working with him. Kanekith is a tough dragon…"

Soriana's shoulders shift slightly against the rubbing, but she doesn't lean away from it. It's nice. Unlike certain bronzes. She sighs, and nods. She's not very convinced either. "Yeah, I know. Ka'el'd almost got him having manners." Almost. Flight manners… well, those might be harder. "I wish they'd had a lesson on that. Not just that flights happen," she flicks one hand, dismissive, "-but how to work on that stuff. How to make it better."

Mur'dah nods, "Yeah, I agree," he says. Finding a tight spot on her shoulder he hesitates and then rubs it a little bit. "Maybe we can talk to V'dim about it. Or…offer to share our experiences to the next group. I…love my sister and I know what she was trying to do but in the end it wasn't that helpful. Nothing anyone said was helpful. Maybe that's just how it is, but…"

Soriana hesitates for a moment, then tries to relax into the rubbing. Tension from stress and sitting at a desk. Who knew? She nods. "The…" next group. Heh. "Luraoth's weyrlings." Because they will be, won't they? "They'll have a lesson in that if I have to give it myself." Her jaw sets briefly, and then she sighs, shaking her head. "I like Darsce, but… it really didn't help. We already knew flights sucked." Knew. Thought they knew. They're teens, there's hardly any difference. "What we needed was what to do about it besides just… finding someone and letting it happen." Because, as it turns out, the dragons can do that just fine without any lessons at all. "Maybe. But we won't know that if people don't talk about it."

Mur'dah blinks, and then he coughs a laugh. "Oh. Right." DUH. "We'll talk about it. I'll help with the lesson if you want." Even though it's mortifying. Shifting a bit, he puts his other hand on her shoulder and rubs her shoulders gently, and he's sure to keep a polite distance between her back and his front. This isn't that kind of massage. "Not sure what I'd tell myself though. My pre-flight self. That you become your dragon? I was Kalsuoth, before, during, and even after when he was cuddling with the green…"

Soriana grins crookedly at that blink and dawning comprehension. "Yeah, I know. It's weird." For her too, and she's the one with the pregnant dragon. The amused expression fades, and she sighs as she leans lightly into those hands. Mur'dah shoulder-rub yes. This is not that kind of massage, but when he does find a girl, he should remember this. Because yes. "That'd be good," she says to the offer, and glances back to give him a brief smile before her expression turns thoughtful. "That's part of it. And that… you might do things you don't want." She frowns. "Nobody ever talks about getting hurt during flights. They talk about how it breaks up relationships. About flight-babies. Nobody ever says, hey, it might be bad sex and hurt and if it does here's how to deal with it."

Mur'dah will remember, and her leaning back into his hands has him smiling. Finding another knot, he works away at it - but gently. "Mmm. Yes," he agrees with a little nod and a deep frown. "No, no one does. Maybe it's not…that common? But they should know it's possible." With a grimace, he gives her shoulders a comforting squeeze. "I'm sorry it hurt," he says, pained at knowing his friend was in pain. And is. And it was caused by another friend. Ugh, the complicated lives this group leads.

"Maybe it's not." Soriana laughs, briefly. "I hope it's not." Though she's not entirely sure. Her mother certainly seemed to understand… far too well. "But still. I'd rather the surprise be a pleasant one." Oh hey flights that are just awkward and not traumatic! Soriana reaches up, resting her fingers against Mur'dah's for a moment at that squeeze. "So'm I. But I'll deal." It'll be okay? "And at least maybe I can make it better for somone else." By making the mating flights lecture Even More Awkward.

Mur'dah nods, "Exactly," he agrees, pausing at her touch and then resuming, watching the ocean for a moment. Quiet and peaceful. "We will deal," he says with a smile. "And we'll make sure others know how it /can/ go. And I'm sure it'll get better from here." Looking at the back of her head, he smiles a bit. "Just let me know how I can help, okay? Any time…" Day or night.

Maybe the view will help Soriana with relaxing. The backrub certainly does. She nods her agreement, then… smiles. "I will. And…" The smile deepens. "It'll be okay." Cards. Banners. Shirts. All of the above? She's quiet for a moment, then hehs. Quietly, "Talking does help."

Mur'dah squeezes her shoulders again. "Good," he says softly. "Talk all you want. Or not, either way." Whatever she wants. Really, the brownrider is easy with things like this. He might not be the most deep thinking man out there, but he knows when to let the woman take control of the emotional discussions. He's here for the support.

And Soriana's grateful for it, though for the moment… she seems to have run out of things to say. But that's okay. (It'll all be okay.) She's said the things that need to be said, the ones that she hadn't had a chance to say, the ones where maybe having said them here will help her when the time comes to say version of them again to other people. (Or when it's late at night and she's trying to convince herself at them. Because, well, anytime day or night, yes, but she'd rather not go knocking on Mur'dah's lack-of-door just because she had another bad dream.) Not having anything left to say is peaceful, and so she relaxes until Luraoth's (peaceful) thoughts drift in and mention that Seryth's is wondering where she is, because there was that meeting scheduled… "Oops." Conversations out of nowhere; another of the things that make holders wonder about dragonriders. Soriana steps away, turning to give an apologetic smile to Mur'dah. "I've got to get to the office." Luraoth, tell her I'll be right there? Just as soon as Soriana puts on shoes and… uh, the socks can just go in her pocket for now… and… pause. Her eyes seek Mur'dah, and she smiles warmly. "Thanks. For everything. If you need an excuse for missing your appointments or… whatever. Just let me know."

Mur'dah grimaces a bit, but then he smiles just as warmly. "Alright. Hope you have easy meetings today." Keep up the relaxation! Then he opens his arms to offer her a hug, if she wants. "You're welcome, Sori. And I mean it, day or night, understand?" Does he actually look a little…stern? In a friendly sort of way? He'll even have Kalsuoth reiterate that to Luraoth as well. Bad dreams? Bring them. He's had his fair share, he knows what to do. "And I will certainly take you up on that, if what's his name Healer tries to pin me in his office again." Eyeroll, as he turns to look for his own socks and shoes and his feet are sandy but he was born and raised here so he doesn't mind some grit in his boots.

"So do I," Soriana says, with that extra bit of earnestness to her hope that comes when she suspects it may be in vain. Still! She'll hope, and also, step in to take advantage of that hug, wrapping her arms around Mur'dah and giving him a warm squeeze. The stern(ish) look makes her smile, and she ducks her head as she nods. "Okay. I will. But I'll be okay." She won't need him! But if she does, she'll wake him up in the middle of the night and demand warm milk and cookies. Luraoth agrees to Kalsuoth easily - if hers needs help and won't ask for it, she will - and Soriana holds the hug for a moment longer before stepping away with a laugh. "I've always got plenty of important papers." She lifts a hand in a wave, and then she's off, at a jog while she's on the back trails where nobody will see her and then a sedate-but-brisk walk once she gets back to the open spaces of the Weyr.

Mur'dah returns the hug with a friendly squeeze back, chuckling. "You'll be okay," he echoes. It's almost a joke, now, but none the less true. Warm milk and cookies? Has she /seen/ his weyr? She'll be lucky if he has a door at that point (but one is on order!). Gives new meaning to the phrase 'my door is always open'. But, he'd do his very best. As always. Watching her jog off the brownrider looks around and then decides to take advantage of the cove and his day off. So when he's sure she's gone, he strips down and dives into the sea for a little swim.

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