An Invitation

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.

Late afternoon brings one Weyrling who is, for once, resting. Having spent most of the day in lessons she'd probably call stupid and drills she would, at this point, do naked, backwards, and upside down if it would get her out of them, Tali now sprawls next to her dragon on the beach. Heedless of future woes, the girl is currently sprawled against her dragon happily, a hand thrown over one of his forelegs while the other manipulates a book of some sort. "No, you great Wherry. We're not going to go hunting for felines right now. Maybe tomorrow." Today is, indeed, a little bit late — and boy, is it getting hot! Cidheoth, at least, is enjoying it, wings outspread, head nestled into the sand of the beach contentedly while Tali sits in the shade of a wing. "What? Oh, shut up!" She laughs, rolling her eyes. "Wherrybrain."

For once, R'owan is without the constant companionship of his dragon, although the bronze is probably not too far off. Fidgety would be the best way to describe the normally calm bronzerider. He kicks at a rock, sending it across the sand and skittering to the edge of the water. "Shells. Thought I'd have more time to do this right." He mutters to himself, and then pulls the braid that used to hang from his neck out, looking at the blue ribbon he'd placed on it, sighing to himself. Then, Tali's voice reaches his ears and he shoves it quickly back into his pocket while turning a quick shade of red. "Stop it." He tells himself, and then takes a few quick breaths before trying to put on his best mask of self-assuredness. He starts to walk, with a practiced casual gait. "Uh. Hey Tali." He tries to greet her calmly, but it catches a little. Uh oh. Something's on his mind, that much is certain.

Ontali continues to talk animatedly to her dragon, heedless of anything else and not spotting anybody approaching. "Oh yeah, good plan, wherry. We'll just jump on one and wait for it to kill us, right?" Faranth — a few months ago, Tali would have been on the idea of chasing Felines without a thought! "Good plan." Cid rumbles plaintively, and she laughs, shaking her head and rolling her eyes; then blinking. A voice? Thankfully, it quickly dissolves into Ro' and not somebody else, and her face brightens considerably. "Ro!" The girl smiles brightly and waves, standing. "Hey." She leans on the dragon's wing and lifts an eyebrow a little. "What's wrong?" Her tone is curious as she peers at the young bronzer, smiling still. Cid grumbles as his rider abandons him, then stands, bounding off for the water after a moment's thought. The girl stares after him balefully for a moment, then turns her attention back to R'owan with a little roll of her eyes. Dragons!

"Up to trouble again, is he?" R'owan asks, eyeing the blue with an almost affectionate sort of look in his eyes. "Did Nyunath ever tell him that he soared over a pod of shipfish not long after we started mounted flight?" He asks, as if trying not to broach the subject that has him fidgeting with something in his pocket. Too bad he's not that hard to read, and he raises his eyebrows a little. "That obvious?" With a small laugh, he steps forward towards her, running a hand through his now-far-shorter hair. The weyrlingmasters had chopped it recently enough. "Listen. I want to give you something okay? Don't think it's stupid or anything, or at least laugh when I'm not around." He takes a breath, and then sighs, taking out the thin braid that used to hang from his neck. "They were going to chop it anyways so… figured I'd give it to you. So no matter what happens, at least you'd remember me." So, carefully, he offers the braid of hair out to her, eyes searching, almost longing.

Ontali rolls her eyes. "Isn't he always?" The girl laughs, and offers a longsuffering sigh. "So did we! I swear, he didn't shut up about them for a day and a half. I'm surprised they didn't go off and find them by theirselves. Or maybe they did." Her eyes follow the blue warily, then flick back to Ro. "Dunno. Maybe I just know how you look when you're being silly?" She counters primly with a little grin for the boy. The grin doesn't faulter, but does take on a tinge of disbelief when he asks her not to laugh. "I'm not going to laugh at you." The blueriding Weyrling flaps a hand imperiously and chuckles. She quiets after a moment, though, blinking at the braid. Her expression remainds unreadable for a long moment, after dread flashes briefly — then she takes the braid and nods. "Thank you, Ro." Quietly, seriously. "But you're not goin' sharding anywhere, alright?" It's not a request, or idle command. This one's quite sure of herself. "Least not anywhere I can't see you still. You been listening to them muttering about us going *between*?" She frowns worriedly.

R'owan's eyes look away with an almost shy expression as she takes the braid, and then back again just in time to see that flash of dread across her face. "No no… That's not it it's just…." He tries to start, and ends up stammering a little bit. "Shard-it." He curses himself again with a low breath and rubs at the back of his neck as he often does when nervous. "Okay, screw it. I'm no good with words. So I'm just going to say it." He straitens again, and then takes a deep breath. "Tali… V'dim was saying it's almost time for the greens to start flying. He was giving us the whole mating flight lecture thing. You know… flights and chasing and… what happens to the riders?" He lifts his eyebrows a little, hoping she understands what he means. "And he suggested that if we hadn't… you know… done that already. That we should with someone before our dragons fly. Less traumatic. Or something." He pauses, clears his throat, and then takes a step forward. "I was… just wondering if you'd. Well… if you'd want to… erf."

Ontali's relief is almost palpable. "Oh. Good." The smile creeps back up, tentatively, even in face of the stammering. "Heeey, shells, Ro, don't worry! What'n the name of Faranth's wrong with you?" The girl murmurs in a pause, but then is listening quietly again. When he's finished talking — if you can call it that! — she's sporting cheeks about as red as they can get, and a comical expression. "Oh." Eloquently, herself, the girl squeaks. Oh yes, she does indeed squeak. "Right." There is a vague nod, before she shifts a hand up in an unconscious mirroring of the nervous neck-rubbing, seeking hair that isn't there any longer. Cursed Weyrlingmaster! The shock and embarrassment wears off after a moment, though, and she clears her throat faintly. "S'smart." The girl admits with a little, worried grin. "I don't wanna. Um. Yeah. No. If Cid's gonna go and chase some stupid green." Here, she shoots a withering glance at the dragon. "Well." Grumble. Then, she's peering back at Ro with an almost painfully shy expression. "'course, Ro. We should. Ummm." The last, meditively, with a slow, wary glance around. "Maybe not here?" At least she /sounds/ like she's kidding?

Suave bronzerider, R'owan certainly is not, at least not at this point in his life. The stammering in his voice cuts off finally, and he just stands there like someone awaiting the executioner's axe. If it had been one of the other girls, they'd probably have laughed their heads off by now. His eyes sweep towards the blue dragon, and there is a faintly pained look that passes his face. While they may have had to be more discrete about their relationship due to the dragons, it doesn't change the fact that Ro' was very much in love with the bluerider and the thought of her off with someone else still didn't quite sit well with him. Her agreement only causes the smallest of shy smiles to find a way onto his face, reaching a hand forward as he extends his fingers to touch very lightly along her cheek. "Right, not here. V'dim said… he'd skin us alive in the barracks. Maybe an empty weyr somewhere?" Yeah, he's not exactly thought this out.

Ontali sure isn't anything close to suave, herself — but the look that she shoots the bronzerider is nothing short of loving. She's certainly not cheerful about the prospect of flights, herself; but they can't change the past, and she wouldn't if she could. The present, however…is looking up! Ignoring the weight of future worries, the girl takes a step forward and flashes a grin that's almost mischievous. "Well," It seems she's caught her wits, again! "I'd probably die before I went there anyways." There's a placid smile as she tries to catch his hand with hers. "Hmmm. Gotta be one somewhere close. You…you wanna now?" Embarrassment, again, with a sheepish grin for the boy. "Um." Oh look, you /can/ blush more than she was earlier! Fascinating.

"Hmm." R'owan's previous nervousness seems to have faded a little, but he's no better off in the blushing department. With a low, soft sort of laugh, he shakes his head from side to side and then leans in to whisper softly against her ear. "You know, I love it when you blush like that. And… I love you." This last part is said with a bit more feeling, something he's kept bottled up for a long time without putting to words. Somewhere, in the distance, there is a triumphant bugle of a bronze dragon. Apparently Nyunath approves. Letting his hand trail away from her cheek, Ro' reaches for one of Tali's hands. "Mmm. Only if you're ready, though." Although it seems that by the look in his eyes, he's more than ready, and not about to let this particular first be left to chance.

Ontali looks for a moment like she might make a smart remark at him laughing, but the whisper shuts her up right quick. If anything, the blush deepens, and she's quiet for a long moment, expression caught in something that's almost wonder. "Your fault." She finally mutters, but then flashes a radiant grin. "Love you." Slightly gruffer from the young bluerider. "That's all your fault too." From the water, Cid watches shamelessly, floating not far offshore, eyes whirring a jaunty green. The bronzer's hand is taken, and her expression goes slightly less sheepish, more…content? "I'm ready." Offered simply, with a happy grin, then a quick glance around. "Shall…shall we?"

One eyebrow lifts up subtlely, and R'owan's smile becomes a flat out grin. "Mmm. I'll gladly take responsibility for that." With his nervous moments asside, he is trying awefully hard to be charming. Giving her hand a gentle squeeze, he nods just once and begins to walk towards the weyr, lightly pulling her along behind. He does pause for one quick moment, "And not a word about this, either of you." Obviously he's be-speaking Nyunath, and talking loud enough to be heard by Cidheoth. With that much taken care of, he leans in and places a very gentle kiss to Tali's cheek. "Come on." He invites, giving his best eyebrow waggle, which comes off more as silly than seductive.

Ontali manages a laugh for the boy, eyes dancing impishly. "Good." She says, hand firmly gripping his as she allows herself to be led. "Don't worry. I told Cid I'd stop oiling him for a month." But the blue has a cheerful, ever-so-innocent warble for Ro, before he lowers his head into the water and blows bubbles. Oh look, an innocent dragon! The kiss on the cheek elicits a giggle from Tali, who promptly will throw an arm around Ro's shoulders if he doesn't duck out of the way. "Lead on!" She laughs, and doesn't at all tease the poor thing with an attempt at weaving all around on their march back into the weyr. She'd never do that!

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