Green Envy of a Gold Lizard

Xanadu Weyr - Clearing
A wide clearing stretches from east to west, the ground packed hard although grass grows across most of it. Trees are strictly forbidden in this space, their danger to the constant draconic traffic reason enough to banish them to the forest that creates a border to the north. Where the ground is less trampled, tiny flowers poke their delicate heads out from their shaded hiding places.

The cliff looms imposingly on three sides, stretching upwards all the way up the side of the rock edifice where, high above on Xanadu's Star Stones, the ever-present watchdragon sits on the lonely peak. Directly south is the hatching arena, the large round complex taking up a large portion of the perimeter, a line of trees visible beyond it. Southeast are wide steps leading up to the caverns and eastwards is the large entrance to the Infirmary. Somewhat north of the infirmary is a human-sized archway that has a frequent quantity of traffic — it leads to the Wandering Wherry Tavern. Tucked neatly under the arch, to one side is a tiny wood-frame shop bearing the name 'Petals and Pots Garden Shop'. Southwest lies cliffs where windows for the administrative offices have been cut. Underneath them are the entrances to the crafters complex while north and west along the cliff's base, a broad path leads to the feeding grounds. Due north is the spacious trail that leads to the rest of the Weyr - the meadow, the forest beyond. At the far edge of the clearing, beside the trail leading to the forest sits a clocktower.

The sun has set on Xanadu, leaving a clear, summer night. Above, there is nothing to obstruct the view of the heavens, glittered with stars and high moons, both fat with fullness which leaves the night less dark than usual. If riders are overhead, the shadow of their hulking dragons would be seen, but for now no one comes or goes in the sky, and the only sound are those of crickets and other evening insects. Kale has not had the day to himself. Like every other apprentice, he's been here and there, completing task after task, attending lessons, socializing and working and sweating. He's done showing Shahani the ropes, though oftentimes they're still seen together. Not now though. Now, Kale has laid himself on his back upon the grass, arms crossed behind his head and eyes staring up. Fresh from the baths, he smells of .. well, the soaps and things one uses to wash oneself, and his hair is still flat from wetness. Alloy is settled at his side, curled up with eyes closed in rest. A glow orb is nearby, casting most of the teen in a soft orange light. A sign enough, hopefully, for any incoming rider to not squish him dead.

Any incoming riders - like the green that just appeared in the sky. She glides in for a landing, but her rider stays mounted. Another figure hops off from behind, and steps aside as the green flaps her wings and launches once more into the air, leaving Soriana behind. Sori waves to the departing dragon one-handed, the other one holding Haruhi against her, then looks around. Hey, what's that glowy thing? Is that… hmm. She wanders over in that direction.

Alloy is good for a lot of things. Dragon Alertness is one of them. He's aware of the incoming dragon before a very distracted Kale is, and he seems to awaken almost automatically. Head up and a sound of warning. Kale's head turns to watch the dragon land, though beyond landing, he can't see much. It's dark. And he's feeling faaar too lazy to get up to investigate something so common. And so, after that initial look, his eyes return to the sky. Alloy has other ideas. He knows who’s out there! Haruhi! He's on his claws feet in now time, and after a shake, flies off to give a proper greeting. A chirrup and trill announces him as he circles around Soriana in a playful fashion. Hello hello!

Haruhi lifts her wings, fluttering them. Chirpcrooon! she goes to Alloy, all sweetness and light. Soriana glances down at her and gives the gold firelizard a stern look, which Haruhi pretends doesn't exist. After a moment, Sori sighs and releases her grip on the gold, giving her a little boost in the air and letting her fly up to dance around with Alloy. She projects images of darting gold and bronze shapes in the air as she does much the same. Soriana watches them a moment, then shakes her head and continues on toward that shape in the glow. Hah. It is Kale. She drops herself down next to him with a thump. "Hey."

Hooray! She is free from the confines of the arms of a human girl! Alloy chirps his enjoyment, his already happy mood boosted by those playful images that are sent his way. And off he goes in a sky game of tag and chase. Meanwhile, Kale idly wonders what's gotten his firelizard so riled up and noisy. He has his suspicions. Maybe he found a nest of bugs. Or Willow is about. Or Haru- plop! It is Soriana. He turns his head upon her arrival, cheek resting lightly upon his arm. "Hey," he answers back, smirking. "Where'd you come from? Fall out of the sky?"

Oh, yes! Haruhi most certainly is up for playing tag, and she trills as she darts and twirls with Alloy. Such joy! Soriana lets her go. "Hah. No, well, sort of. We call it gliding in for a landing, not falling out of the sky." She grins briefly. "Just got back from Eastern." She stretches out her hands… oh, hey, there's a red mark on one of them. Where'd that come from?… then leans back.

"There was a something happenin' in Eastern…wasn't there?" Kale comments, sounding thoughtful. "I heard…or thought I heard…something about a something…" Such details he picks up, doesn't he? Oh yes, he's a man of many details! At least, the ones important or pertinent to him. Like that mark on her hand. He lifts his head marginally enough to slide one of his arms out from beneath it, reaching over to try to catch at her wrist before she gets too comfortable leaning. "What happened? You get in a fight with a whip?"

"I dunno what you heard," says Soriana with a laugh. "Wasn't supposed to be anything. I was just there 'cause I had evening rounds with Fallian, and she had a meeting with the dragonhealers there, so I was going to practice my observations." She frowns as he catches for her hand, but she doesn't pull it back. There's a series of red marks, really. One set arranged in a wedge shape, little prickly points like… teeth. And a few scratches. "Nah," says Sori, then changes the subject. "There was a gold flight at Eastern. Tzavayth."

A gold flight? "No. That's not what I heard…" muses Kale. He would've remembered that. Possibly. It must have been something else entirely! Her brief answer has him lifting a brow though, fixing her with a dubious look. "What'd you observe?" he pries. And, just because she's not going to get off so easy about the mystery of her hand. "Was it somethin' that did this?" He gestures to her hand by raising it up a bit. Dragons are big thing, even when they're young. He doubts it was one of them that manage to leave their mark upon her, but now, thanks to her dodginess, he wants to know.

If a dragon bit Soriana's hand… she'd be missing the entire hand, not just have some marks on it. She hmphs, and tugs her hand away from Kale's grasp. "Dragons. I observed dragons. I'm supposed to be working on getting lengths and ages by observation. …and then there was the flight. Not that I got to see all of it, because Haruhi was a complete brat." She leans back to glare up at the happily frolicking gold.

As her hand is pulled from him, Kale gradually sits up and fixes her with a curious look. A curious look that, after a moment, looks vaguely amused as she speaks so lovingly of her firelizard. He follows her gaze up, seeing flashes of gold and bronze as the two skylizards continue their play. "Haruhi? Nah….couldn't be. She's such a model firelizard citizen," he says, gaze dropping back to her, brow faintly raised. "Don't tell me she did that to you?" is asked, though still with a sound of humor detected in his voice.

"She," says Soriana, "-did not see why Tzavayth should get all the attention, despite her being a dragon and glowing fit to be a third moon. She was ready to fly up and challenge the queen for her suitors right then and there." Sori snorts disdainfully, while Haruhi blithely ignores this. She's got a bronze to play with! Just like earlier, and never mind she's only half grown. That's just a minor detail for the little queen of the universe.

Kale nods his agreement to poor Soriana's complaints. He's nodding alright, but he's also biting back a grin in the process as the picture paints itself in his mind. A majestically glowing gold rising up for all to see. A tiny (in comparison) gold firelizard, green with envy! Kale can feel the grin starting to show, and he struggles to keep his expression something close to sympathetic. "It must've been awful for you. Is she the one that did that to your hand then? In her fight to fight off that gold and claim all the bronze an' brown dragons to herself?" Now he can't help but to smirk as he glances up, brows lifting at the lizards above them. "You should've let her. Bet she would've learned something."

Soriana snorts, though it's in amusement more than any actual offense at Kale - because, oh yeah, she can see that bit of a grin creeping through. "Yeah." Sori glances at her hand again, then puts it down behind her. "I had to hold her back." She follows his gaze up to the firelizards, then smirks. "For one brief moment. Before she turned into shredded hide and giblets." She shakes her head. "She can be so stubborn sometimes."

"Huh. Wonder where she gets /that/ from?" remarks Kale, looking incredibly thoughtful for a moment. "Huh. Can't think of anyone she could have picked that up from. Stubbornness…someone that never takes no…somebody who usually gets what she wants when she puts her mind to something…and puts up a fight if she doesn't?" He quirks a brow at her, then leans to press his shoulder to hers, pushing her a little. "Can't think of a single person. She must just be a bad egg, huh?"

Soriana gives Kale a look. Oh, such a look. … okay, so it only lasts for a few moments, because then she bursts into a laugh as she reaches over and pushes at his side. "Yeah, well. I did win, in the end." Is that a smug look on her face? Maaaaaybe. "She's just really weird around flights. Doesn't matter if it's firelizards or dragons, but when one rises… it's just golds, too. The greens she's fine with." Which is probably for the best, given how many green dragons are in a weyr… and how often they take to the skies. Sori frowns for a moment, shaking her head at the mystery.

"Ow ow, heeey.." he protests as he's shoved, pressing a hand to his poor abused side. "Be careful. I'm sensitive there, you know? Old, old smithing injury from when I was young…" he exaggerates, holding that "poor abused side" of his tenderly, rubbing now. Kale's act is finished with a grin as his hand falls away. "That's not how gold firelizards normally act?" he asks. "I mean … she's gold. Maybe she sort of…feels what gold dragons feel? I dunno. I'm not the dragon or firelizard master. That's your territory, but I'm just hypothesizin'." He lifts a hand to rub at his chin. Deep thinker, here! "How did you feel when Haruhi saw the gold rise and started actin' up? Dragon riders feel what their dragons feel, right? So did you feel ready to pounce? Hot and bothered? Pretty much the way you feel when you're with me?" Beam.

"Well," says Soriana. Now she's in thoughtful mode! "That's how gold firelizards would be in the wild. They claim territories. The ones with people aren't, though. Not unless they like… didn't bond right or something." Sori frowns at that thought. What if she's a horrid firelizard-keeper? Mentally defective or something. "The gold dragons are, if two rise close. They'll fight, maybe even kill each other. That's why goldriders keep such careful track, to make sure that doesn't happen. But…" she frowns, and gives her head a little shake. "That's kind of the weird thing. I… felt the gold flight. I mean, I've felt that before, I know what it's like. Dragons broadcast." There's the matter-of-fact of a weyrbrat for that. And she's not even rising to the bait! "But Haruhi wasn't feeling that. I don't think she's old enough yet. She was just… jealous."

Not even a nibble? Nope! Kale does a mental hrmph as his joke goes unappreciated, but he's still listening to her valid claims and worries of her firelizard. Plus, in a roundabout way, she's teaching him some stuff. Like about gold rising cycles! And firelizard bonding. "C'mon. You can't really think that Haruhi and you didn't…impress right," he says, fixing her with a doubtful look. "You were the only one that handled her egg. Plus, it wasn't like she could've been confused about who she wanted. You, me, Idrissa, and Mikal were the only ones around when she hatched." He leans back some, propping himself up on the palms of his hands, giving up attempts at flirting. While she's in dragon-worry mode, a strip tease by him would probably go unnoticed! "Why's it a big deal if she's jealous? Firelizards have feelings. People get jealous. They probably get jealous too. Alloy probably wouldn't like it much if my attention was on some other dragon or firelizard. I bet you were really impressed with the gold, an' she didn't like it."

…well, if Kale wanted to try a strip tease, he certainly could. Y'know. As an experiment. For science. Definitely for science. "Yeah, I guess," says Soriana, and looks to Kale with a smile. "She's a good lizard. She just needs to learn to behave." She leans back to fix Haruhi with a look through the darkness. "Right?" There's a chirp, louder than the rest. Presumably, that's either Haruhi agreeing or giving Sori sass, but either way, she turns her attention back to Kale, nodding slightly. "I guess. Flights are sort of when golds are at their most intense." She grins a little, then her eyes widen. "Shards, I can only imagine what Haruhi'll be like when she rises."

"It took a while for me to get Alloy to behave himself," Kale points out helpfully. "But he's a male, and males are probably…easier." Less difficult and complex and confusing like females of any species generally tend to be. Especially those pesky human types! The fingers of one hand plucks at the grass as he watches in amusement as the look of horror crosses over her face. "Oh, it'll be chaos, won't it? The jealous queen on the war path an' obliterating anything that gets in her way." He pauses, thinking it over. "Maybe that'll be a good time for Alloy and I to take any assignment off the weyr that we can find." The best fix. Run away! "But that won't be for…a while, right? We've time to prepare ourselves?"

Soriana shudders. Oh, yes, that'll be… interesting. Hah. A grin reasserts itself on Soriana's face, and she waves a hand back at where Haruhi and Alloy have been cavorting. "Oh, like you could make him stay away." Really now, let's stick with the possible. "Yeah, that's right. She's got a while yet. Takes about… two turns, for a firelizard. Well, for a gold, anyhow. Greens are sooner, sometimes."

Kale raises a brow. "You think I couldn't? Alloy isn't …" a glance to his firelizard. He isn't what? Not wholly infatuated by the gold? Willing to od anything she told him to do? Heck, if she wanted the juiciest beetle he ever hunted down, he'd likely cough it up just for her! Well, she is a gold. Kale knows that if and when Haruhi rose, Alloy'd be fighting to be the first one closest to her. But…well, he's not going to say all that now. "I can make him stay away if I wanted. At the moment, I just haven't had reason to, is all," he says in a matter of fact way, shrugging a shoulder dismissively. See how nonchalant he is? This totally isn't an issue. "Two turns from now, it'll be even easier. He'll be older. More mature. He'll probably have chased dozens of other golds an' greens by then." Totally.

Soriana just grins. Knowingly! With that pesky knowledge that comes from the lectures on the psychology of flights from a dragonhealer's perspective. That's okay. When Haruhi rises - for there's unlikely to be an if about it; infertile gold dragons there may be, but infertile firelizards are few and far between - that will be the time for proving such things. Or… disproving them. "Sure he will." In fact, speaking of greens… "I mean, Willow's older than Haruhi, for one thing." Soriana settles herself down against the grass, pretending to watch the sky.

Willow? Kale glances over at her as she mentions the familiar green, brow arching. "Yeah, she is.." he agrees. "But they're…clutchmates. Isn't that the same as brother and sister? He couldn't chase after her … could he?" He asks, genuinely curious. "Willow's eggs would probably hatch two headed dragonlizards or somethin' odd like that." He wrinkles his nose at the thought, then shakes his head. "Nah, when he goes after greens, he wouldn't go for Willow."

"Dragons do, sometimes," says Soriana. "S'one of the things they're careful about when riders get assigned to weyrs, making sure golds and bronzes get spread around." She shrugs a little, leaving the particular subject of Willow behind. "He'll probably start by going after wild ones, anyhow. That's what Toral did." So, when Alloy's old enough to be interested? Total wingman. Er. Wingfirelizard?

"Really?" Clutchmates mating? … Gross! He has no sister to compare that to, of course, but he can imagine! Now he does look contemplative. Willow? He'll have time to worry about that later … right? He may have to really take a trip away, or at least put some distance between himself and Idrissa when that happens. Xanadu, after all, hasn't had much luck when it comes to eggs. "What's it like then?" he asks. "Get me prepared. If Toral's gone off and found wild firelizards to…" he pauses, lifting a brow, "what's it called with them? Mate? Whatever. What's it gonna be like with me? I gotta lock myself up in a room like dragonriders do?" He smirks.

Really. Soriana just nods. This is one of those places where the closer to animal side of dragons - and firelizards - comes through. They just don't think about these things - not the way humans do, anyhow. Humans do a great deal of thinking. "Well. It's like…" Ahhh, how to explain it? "You know how it feels when you see someone really hot? It's… like that, only it's not you seeing someone, it's him. And then… uh. Well, you sort of feel the rest of things, too. If he catches… it's like being really turned on, without quite knowing why." Soooo… kind of like just being a teenage boy in general.

Kale knows how it feels when he seems someone really hot. Quite well, yes. He and that feeling are not strangers. Especially lately. And as she continues to describe this phenomenon of firelizard catching and the resulting actions of their linked person, Kale is beginning to realize that … hey. This isn't really too difficult a concept to grap. He feels like this, all the time. Well, most of the time. Many times. More often than not. "That's it?" he says, realizing that he likely sounds a bit too unimpressed only after the phrase has been spoken. "..I thought…heh, well it's nice knowin' that I'm not going to be out humpin' trees or something," he snickers. "Doesn't sound too bad, really."

Soriana laughs. Really, it's rather on the unimpressive side. Nothing like the scandal Kale's mother would probably make it out to be. "Yeah, that's it," she says. "What'd you think? Wild and crazy times?" She grins, shaking her head. "It's not like dragons. I mean, it's distracting sometimes, but… y'can learn to block it out, mostly. If, y'know, it's a bad time." And if it's a good time? Well then. Soriana leans over with a kiss for Kale's cheek. "You'll be fine."

"Wild and crazy times," he agrees with a sage nod. Yup. To a lesser degree of dragon wildness, yet still…wild. If that's all he has to worry about, then he has nothing at all to worry about! "Well if that's it, then I'm ready. Turnin' off on on the feeling of being turned on? I'm a master," he says confidently, head tilting up slightly. Professional lust controller, here! The given kiss is received with a grin, and he nods in response. "I know. Dragonlizards have been easy so far. And I don't have a dragon to worry about, so life's good." He smirks a little, glancing to the glow orb a moment. "Were you going home? Just now, I mean, before you came over?"

Soriana stretches, and glances over toward the caverns. "Yeah, I guess I was. I dunno, mostly I hadn't thought that far ahead." She grins, then shrugs. "I guess I probably should. Morning classes and all." Not that she actually gets up and starts moving, but then, that's another essential part of being a teen: knowing you should do something responsible and choosing instead to do something fun.

He had hoped that her answer would be something along the lines of ‘Home? Of course not, Kale! Why would I be going home when I could go sneaking off with you?’Yeah. Wistful thinking. Classes in the morning. He has the same and, like her, his responsible side is there telling him to bid her adieu. Quietly. It’s a quiet voice, because he’s four months away from being sixteen, and that side of him is a louder tone. “Guess maybe you should,” he agrees, nodding a single time. “Or.. y’know, maybe you shouldn’t. Cuz we can sleep anytime. And instead we could like, hang out more. Take this,” a gesture to the glow orb, “and see what the woods are like at this time of night.” What’s there to see? Darkness and more darkness. The eyes of nocturnal animals. What’s not there? Eyes of mothers and journeymen and passers-by. Unnecessary interruptions. Possibly privacy. The implication is there. Two mid teens out alone in the woods at night? What else could they possibly be up to? … Studying for tomorrow’s lessons, of course. … Duh.

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