Tea and Knots

Xanadu Weyr - Shore of Lake Caspian
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

It's the beach! And it's Autumn time. That makes it the perfect weather for what Risali is doing right now: spreading out a blanket on the sand, setting out her tea-set that she won from F'inn and K'zre on the Yokohama, and bundled up in that gorgeous blanket that might as well be made of leaves for how it crinkles when she moves. And one might expect to find Risali there with a book in hand while she SIPS HOT TEA (with a little sugar, and a dash of cream), BUT NO. She's there with PAPERWORK. She's stolen a jacket from one of her menfolk as well, and is burrowed away from the more-chill of being by the water with her hair tied up in a messy bun because TODAY IS A DAY FOR WORKING. And puzzling over papers and doing math because WHAT IS HER LIFE, EVEN. So she does all the things. And she does it like this.

Nailii is totes not doing paperwork, and she is not at the annex ether which means she is here and there and around and he like. So what if it is autumn? It is still a nice day to go wandering. Right now she is making her way down the beach having been off collecting things as she has that basket of hers which is stuffed with a bit of this and a bit of that. She has on her flight jacket, what looks like cut off pants and no shoes, because who needs shoes? Talanoath is around, but not actually with her, the brown is floating in the water, rather enjoying it even if the lake is on the cold side. As of yet she's not noticed Risali in her little tea party with paperwork.

Paperwork is kinda sorta like a book. There are pieces of paper, with marks on them, and there's reading to be done. Kinda. Sorta. Not really at all. At least - even given that - D'lei was still helpful and DISTRACTED THE CHILDREN, with much splashing and running up and down the shore and screaming (of the good sort), but then… tired caught up, and he took them away back home to be changed out of sandy clothes and given goldfish crackers and settled in for naps and quiet time with K'vir. Who is ALSO tired, though for somewhat different reasons, and that's why he's the one staying there while D'lei comes back out again, making his way along the shore to the Mad Xanadian's Tea Party - though there's a grin and wave for Nailii along the way - to come up behind Risali where he can lean down and give the top of her head a kiss while also seeing just how far along she's managed to get in that paperwork.

The answer: NOT FAR. Half of her time was probably actually spent watching D'lei and their children run around and splash and okay, maybe once or twice she gave in to the urge to join them, but only once or twice. The rest of the time she was Pretty Good and did what she set out to do because Soriana's A HELP, but Risali is still taking on a fair amount of work while Bethari recovers - and that's not a complaint. So she doesn't notice Nailii right away either, not until D'lei leans down to press a kiss to her head and pull her from that intense concentration. Risali rubs away the hurt from her eyes, and then tilts her head up with a scrunch of her nose and a mischievous smile. "Here to distract me, are you?" Because she's pretty sure that's WHAT HE WAS BORN TO DO. DISRUPT HER LIFE, AND DISTRACT HER. It's in dropping her gaze that she spots Nailii, and that smile transforms - brightens into something less teasing, less playful, less heated while keeping that adoration in tact. "Nailii! Tea and a warm blanket!" COME JOIN. That blanket is big enough for the three of them and she totally brought more cups like she was expecting company for tea. It might also be why she's making room for Dash as well, because she HAS EXPECTS.

Nailii has picked up what looking like some rough sided rock from the ground and is looking over it before letting it rest in her basket. She catches sight of the movement and smiles while sending a wave back to D'lei and then Risali as it seems she has been found, caught, well one of them things at least. With a smile she nods and heads on towards where the two are. "Tea on a beach, who would have thunk it! How are you all doing?" She questions once there at the blanket and she glances back over the beach. "It's not that cold. Though maybe I've been out here a bit too long and I can't feel the cold anymore?" That's possible!

"It's like you know me," D'lei answers Risali, with a grin and another kiss - this one, for her forehead. Then he stands up again, stepping over to take that seat Risali meakes - before, yep, he is gonna crash this here tea party… impromptu as it is. He grins to Nailii as she comes over, and nods. "We thought we'd give a try at being civilized," he says, with a gesture to the tea set, "but we didn't want to take it too far, all at once." Hence, the beach! "I'm good, though. Just got the kids properly exhausted and settled, so now… here I am." The beach! With tea! And them! As for Nailii's opinion of the temperature… "It's probably the dragonhealing. See, you get used enough to thinking about between for them -" not that this is how it actually works, but shh "- something like this is pretty much nothing."

Listen, Risali is the type of person who runs cold all of the time. You could be dripping sweat, and her hands would still be ice. cold. So maybe that's why Risali awkwards for a moment about cold, and parts with a soft huff of laughter before rolling one shoulder. "Maybe," is her answer. Because she is definitely cold, but UNIMPORTANT. "Do you want some tea?" Though the Weyrwoman's attention is focused on her teapot and the pouring of that hot liquid into a new cup. She's not very good at it, as is the case with most things domestic, and it doesn't help that she's kind of nodding to agree with D'lei. Risali's tongue finds its way between her teeth, those brows knit in concentration, and then - VICTORY! There's a triumphant look on her face when the spout only drips a little bit. BUT SHE WILL GET IT DOWN OKAY. Usually she just makes it in a mug and goes on her way, and this is totally why she's looking a little proud of herself for the accomplishment. This fancy, civilized version of it is a totally new ballgame. Regardless, she passes it on a saucer over to D'lei, and sets tea and sugar by him as well just in case. Then she's tucking in against him because SHE'S COLD. ESTABLISHED. "What are you collecting?"

Nailii seems to ponder this answer from D'lei and hums while shifting to just sit down on a free spot setting her basket down and rubs her hands a bit while tucking her knees to her chest which allows her bare feet to be somewhat covered. So perhaps the cold IS getting to her to some degree. "That is an idea, I was just going to go with the fact that I grew up here and got use to the cold over the turns? Though dealing with between and wondering how dragons deal with it is an even BETTER idea for why I like it." She nods with a slight grin seen before glancing to her basket and pushes it over for Risali to dig around in. "A little hobby of mine now, I go find rocks and bits and carve them. Have to find softer stones or rocks to work with so sometimes I find some pretty ones on the beach." As for the tea set she is looking at it curiously and ohs softly. "So fancy! What sort of tea do you have in it?" When it comes to tea and things along with it she likes and knows a few things about it.

D'lei takes that tea, like some kind of polite and civilized person, and leans in to kiss Risali's cheek - wait, wait, holdon, he forgot. Civilized! Which means he also says the words, "Thank you," instead of just showing his gratitude with kisses… and also the heat of his body, which she is now stealing. "I mean, that's also plausible," he replies to Nailii, and grins. "We may never know the truth." D'lei has a sip of that tea, then sets is aside - for the moment - to lean in and pour another cup of that tea for Nailii. What kind of tea is it? The kind she's GONNA HAVE, that's what! Which is to say, Risali may have a better answer, but he doesn't. Though… his hands pause, just before the actual pour, as his eyes focus to Nailii. "You made that pendant yourself, then?"

"No, that makes sense," Risali chimes in about the cold. "I came from Half Moon where it was always warm, so…" The dip in weather? Totally cold. Maybe. WHO IS TO SAY? It's not really important anyway, just a point of conversation that Risali lets fall to the way-side as she presses into that kiss with a scrunch of nose and a smile, returns it by pressing a kiss to D'lei's jaw, and then busies herself with Nailii's basket of GOODIES. "It's black," she answers, distracted, because BLACK IS THE BEST KIND OF TEA COME AT ME. But she's just about to ask Nailii that same question when D'lei beats her too it, and so instead so looks up from that rock she's just captured and looks to Nailii, awaiting her answer (and totally letting D'lei pour the tea because, let's be real, he's probably a lot more coordinated than she is when it comes to that).

"Thanks." Nailii offers while taking hold of the cup for her, a bit of sugar added to it and she lets her hands rest around the cup, see there is another reason for tea keeps hands warm. As for the question on the pendant she nods. "Yeah I dd. Have to do something to fil in my time with classes done. Anyway, helps pass the time when 'm at the Annex in the middle of the night and it's actually quiet." As for the answer for what type of tea she nods. "Black is good, can add sugar and milk to it. I got some flavored ones at home I use now and then." She ponders a bit. "I should go back to High Reaches sometime and find this vendor that sells this black ice tea leaves, very good." She is then sipping from her cup.

Black Handwarmer, definitely a real kind of tea… that D'lei pours with… yep, he's better at this. Not because of practice with tea, exactly, but because it turns out technician training involves things like battery acid, and learning to pour things without spilling is a good plan. At least, if you like tables… or fingers. He grins to Nailii for her answer, pleased and… almost proud, in a way… and nods. "I like it." Which he already said, but, it bears repeating! "Where was the stone from? Along the beach here, or somewhere else?" He must plumb the mysteries! Or at least, be curious about it! D'lei has another sip of his own cup of tea, tucking his spare arm around Risali to help her steal that warm and nodding about those teas. "Meion gave me a bottle of extra-extra strength cold klah. It's…" He grins. "Interesting. Strong, for one, but… it doesn't quite taste like normal klah." Kinda same way as iced tea and regular tea end up doing different things, but… klahishly!

"You can always come help me stare at reports if you get bored enough," Risali offers with dry humor, because she would not actually wish that kind of torture on anybody. "Though we were trying to plan something fun to do with the children, and…" an exhale. "I wonder if Talanoath would be interested in telling some stories?" IT'S A BARELY FORMED PLAN, YOU GUYS. "But it is beautiful." The piece, she means. And for a moment she's quiet, looking from D'lei to Nailii while they talk, tucking one arm around D'lei's back and maybe up under his shirt in an attempt to steal even more heat, direct from the source. ENJOY THOSE COLD FINGERS while she sips from her tea and watches Nailii from around the rim of it. "Oh, that sounds fantastic. If you manage to get your hands on some, get a little extra? I'll give you the marks." And maybe next time, Nailii can be the one who dishes up the tea! INTRODUCE RISA TO ALL THE THINGS. Meion and her SPACE EDITION of klah? Well, that earns a huff of laughter right into her cup. "It works though." Puts all the pep in all those steps.

"Well I don't know if I should tell you, I mean it was a gift after all." Nailii points out on the stone that she happened to carve a dragon out of for D'lei. "Took me a while to find that one too, wasn't sure what I was going to do with it so I just held on to it until this little hobby of mine took shape." So to speak. She smiles and nods to D'lei. "I'm glad you like it. Took a while to make it look like a dragon." She sips at her cup once more and soon is settled more relaxed like there upon the blanket, legs still tucked close. "Oh really? I wonder what they do to make it extra-strong." Her gaze drifts to Risali and she chuckles. "Naw, you have way to much fun it seems to me." This said while she faintly points at all the papers. "Though I suppose I could help get them back in order…" An perhaps read through them, and WHO knows what else once she gets her fingers on those them papers. She blinks and chuckles. "Course he would like that. "He would be the center of attention so of course he would be ok with it." A slight wave of her hand is seen. "Don't have to give me anything. When I go I'll get extra."

D'lei tilts his head a bit for Nailii's answer, like he's going to hear if he just listens hard enough… then laughs. "A mystery as well as a wonder, then." He can let her keep her secrets! He grins, nodding to her, and then there's something a bit more contemplative as he adds, "Takes a while to make a dragon, too." But that thoughtful streak is a bit doomed, because, well… Risali finds just where to tuck her fingers in to get them against D'lei's skin. You can tell, because there's that momentary erk across his expression as he gets the ice cube treatment… not that he comments on it, but yeah. IT'S THERE. The tea may be a handwarmer special, but D'lei is an even larger handwarmer. Of which Risali will take FULL ADVANTAGES, he's sure. Just like they take full advantages of the power of coldbrew klah! "It does. And it's much harder to scald yourself because you're not awake enough to make klah yet." No names. "Apparently she makes it by letting the klah steep for days at a time." Getting strongerer and strongerer as it does! "She said this one was extra strong because she'd meant to stop it steeping after the ball at the Yokohama, but, well." He grins in that way that is assuredly not innocent. "It got some extra time."

SUFFER. TAKE ALL THE COLD. Or don't, because suddenly K'vir is in that doorway with all his tired, and Zyriden is in his arms wailing. THAT'S HER CUE. And Risali is pressing a kiss to D'lei's temple and then smiling for Nailii as she breathes, "I'll be right back." SOMEBODY IS HUNGRY, and she's gonna go tend those Mom-duties right quick. Tea and Talanoath story-times for kiddos will have to wait!

Nailii will not give away her secret when it comes to where she finds her rocks it seems, good luck! "Indeed, just go along with it and no one will get hurt." This said while she grins and nods. "Yeah it did, been practicing a long time until I got the shape I liked and wanted. Also depends on the rock, some are way easier to work with I've found." Oh sure she could go and ask for help but where is the fun in that? A soft oh is heard at the idea of letting it steep for a long time. "Well that is one way to do it. I actually make this bread with over steeped tea. Though you also put sugar in it and the sweetness helps with the slight bitterness and it works rather well." Looky there she can cook a bit, nothing crazy but it's still something. She glances to the sound of wailing and then Risali running away to tend to thins. "They keep you all busy huh?" Meaning the kids it seems.

"Makes sense," D'lei says to Nailii as he listens about those rocks. "I mean, there's none of them I'd want to stub my toes on, but some of them get cracks more than others, or they end up all rounded and smooth… or stabby." Sure, a minecrafter would probably know all about those things, but… they'd probably want her to leave it to the experts, and then what would she do during those night shifts? Besides drink more tea, that is! "See, that's the thing about this stuff… it isn't the sort of bitter I'd expect something that over-steeped to be. I mean, it's strong, but once you water it down it's not any more bitter than normal klah. Maybe a little bit less bitter, even." Though you can be assured that Risali still adds plenty of sugar to it! "I should ask her how she makes it." And he will. Probably. When he has time. "I feel like you should eat that bread with tea, too. Just… because." Why not have all the tea in all the things? The wailing makes him start too, looking around to… yeah, he sees you, K'vir. A shared wry smile, and then D'lei turns back to Nailii again. "Sure do," he says, and grins. "They're the most adorable little agents of pure chaos."

Nailii would be ever so bored in the middle of the night, or your know clean more but really she leaves that for others to do mostly now. Being a grade four dragonhealer does come with its perks at times. "An stabby they can get very easily. I managed to stab myself a few times on some super sharp shards. Still do, sort of like a needle I suppose it happens to everyone at some point. "She grins and nod to the rest. "Oh I do eat it with tea, sometimes with jam on it depending what I have at home. I have to hide it from Talanoath sometimes as he rather likes to chew n it if I've baked it too long." So if it is burnt it turns into a dragon chew-toy? Sure! A chuckle escapes her and she pushes some hair from her face. "I'll take your word for it. Last time I was kid sitting I got a bloody nose. I'm surprised the kids and ponies didn't both come after me the other night."

D'lei winces a little at the idea of stabby rocks, a sympathetic nod. "I've picked out enough gravel and splinters just from climbing up hills to imagine that one…" he says, then gives his head a bit of a shake before he grins. "I mean, you can do worse than pleasing a dragon." Maybe this is why Leirith sticks her nose into so many kinds of trouble. "Kinda makes me think about teething crackers, too…" Chew toys for dragons, teething for kids… CLOSE ENOUGH. "I bet it'd go great with marmalade, too, the sort of… sweet and just a little bitter thing that orangefruit has, with the bitter from the tea…" And the sweet from, well, the sugar! As for those children, well… D'lei hehs. "It can be dangerous," he admits, and gives a crooked smile. "But yu're probably more likely to get asked a thousand questions from ours. They're at that stage." Three between two and five! …and Zyriden, but… well. He only sometimes counts.

And anyway, Zyriden will be being brought up by a certain bronzeriding couple in Half Moon Bay before too long, so all of his curious questions will probably be directed towards Ila'den, or R'hyn, or Citayzleat. Still, that is the part of the conversation Risali returns to, and it's why she's smiling as she re-emerges adjusting jackets and breathing, "Daddy, what doing? Daddy, what doing?" as she makes her way back onto that blanket, back under that other blanket, and retrieves her now probably cold tea. She sips it, makes a little face at it, then decides it's good enough to keep drinking anyway. "Bloody noses seem pretty par for the course actually - and split lips. Nothing says I love you like your adoring two-year old's head right to your face." Because LITTLE KIDS MAN. They just DON'T PAY ATTENTION. Hey Mom look down at this thing with me - THWACK! It's more common than you probably think. And then they cry and you have to comfort them through all the blood. It's complicated. AND UNIMPORTANT. But Risali is content to just kind of… hang back; to put her VERY BARE FEET ON NAILII with a smile and a wiggle of her toes (and an adjustment of blanket) while she leans back against D'lei.

"I won't even comment on the sticks and other things I've come in contact with when I go rock searching. Oh and thorn bushes, which actually turned into abunch of berry bushes so I suppose it was a painful win in the end." Nailii offers with an amused tone at the idea while letting her fingers lightly tap upon her cup. "I learned how to dry the berries that day, after burning a good many of them sadly." Sad day for berries, and her fingers honestly in the end. "Oh I bet you could cut the pieces small enough to use them for teething crackers. Maybe even put some anise in? Oh now I'll have to try and get some and make it." She rather likes that idea it seems. "I don't mind the questions, anyway if it gets to be to many I can always sick Talanoath on them with stories." Totally win-win for her right? A glance is sent to Risali and she grins, not even minding the bare COLD WIGGLING TOES. "When I was a weyrling at Fort I had a kid headbutt me, bloody nose and bit me lip to boot. Needless to say I learned a few things that day."

"Some blood for them, some berries for you…" D'lei says to Nailii with an equivocating gesture of his hand. "Something for everyone!" He grins, and sips a bit more of his tea as he nods about those berries… then oohs at her ideas about how to mix up that bread to better suit small jaws and tiny incoming teeths. "That does sound good…" he says, nodding, then grins as he hears Risali on her triumphant return. "Why come?" he answers back, because sometimes their children are efficient and try to ask why and how at the same time. It… well, okay, it works out okay for them, generally, but that's because they're cute. Anyhow. He adjusts himself to better provide a loungeable surface for Risali as she settles on down, and nods… with another bit of a wince for Nailii. "There's a lot of accidents and bad ideas on the way to kids figuring out who they are… and who other people are, too." A crooked smile, and then it fades. "Course… some of the people walking around pretending to be adults, I'm not sure they wouldn't just go and headbutt someone." NO NAMES, but… D'lei sighs, and tucks his arms in around Risali's shoulders.

Risali's lips curl, teeth coming down on her bottom lip to keep her humor at bay, even if she can't diminish it in its entirety. "Like how not to commit a serious crime?" Because those are important life lessons, and sometimes kids test your patience in unimaginable ways. … Or adults do, which is why Risali's smile falters, and then fades altogether at D'lei's words. Risali catches the hand of one of those arms around her shoulders, and bring his knuckles to her lips, pressing a kiss, then two before squeezing. "They are easy to distract, though. People get frustrated with children, but most of parenting is just gentle reminders of what not to do and why, and then redirecting them." Because little kids don't get it. "The people parading as adults, well…" Here comes another smile, one that's more bitter and lacking any real humor. "Thank Faranth fostering exists." Because then the Weyr can just raise them! AND GIVE THEM MOST OF THE THINGS THEIR PARENTS CANNOT. "Maybe whoever raised them didn't have the time to sit down with them and teach them how to be decent human beings." Maybe.

D'lei laughs. "I can only imagine the scratches you'd get trying to carry a thornbush around." A beat. "And where." He grins, nodding to her replacement (and probably better) plan. "It's probably for the best we've got a beach weyr," he muses. "I don't know that any of us have the attention span to actually do gardening." He's got a smile for the method of teaching children how to behave - aka, telling them reasons about twice as often as they ask why, about sometimes the same but sometimes very different things - but… yeah. Adults. The corner of his mouth tugs in a faint grimace that attempts to be a smile, and he lowers his head to kiss the top of Risali's once more before looking up to Nailii again. "You seem to have figured it out, though." The smile shifting back onto his expression is a warm one, earnest and fond. "I mean, unless you've got a rogue side that you've been hiding all these turns. Strangling your enemies with thorn-vines, pushing firelizards off towers, that sort of thing." He arches his eyebrows to her, because now that the question has come up, he needs to know.

It's always the quiet ones! ALWAYS! DON'T, DON'T BE SUSPICIOUS. But the conversation turns to parents and… Risali's expression dims, goes distant, as if she is remembering scattered bits and pieces about her own childhood that don't make for fantastic retellings. "My Mother was a baker before she impressed. I could always tell she was upset because I'd come home to more pies than we could eat in a month." A beat, a soft laugh. "But I never picked up her craft - or her talent." Her food tends to be more weaponized than edible, but SHUT UP. Whatever else she is about to say is interrupted, her eyes losing their focus before she blinks and… rolls her eyes. Risali shifts onto her knees, presses a kiss to D'lei's lips and then shifts to hug Nailii SUPER TIGHT. "Leirith seems to think it's been too much time between the last time somebody touched her eggs and right this moment. So." Does she have to go? Probably. HAVE YOU MET LEIRITH? "Enjoy the tea." Another smile, and onto her feet Risali goes, slipping inside just long enough to grab her boots before doing that thing she hasn't really been able to do and probably still shouldn't be doing just yet: running. Faranth, but she missed it.

"Well a lot of the herbs I grew up learning about my mother grew so I suppose I picked that up from her as well. She was glad one of us did because I collected all her plants when she went back to Irene. Would have been too hard to move them and many are on the old side so might not have made the trip." Plants are well plants; they are hard to do things with at times. She looks amused hearing D'lei and can only grin. "It's always the quiet ones you know? Anyway I know plenty of herbs that I can make someone sick or numb and the life I don't have to get physical." Oh she doesn't seem to be joking about it either, though she looks TOTALLY innocent at the moment as she goes to pour more tea into her cup. She glances to Risali noting how the other's expression dims and she pause slightly before Risali is up and running off. "Do you need to go as well?" She questions with a curious look to D'lei.

D'lei listens to the talk of mothers, with a smile and a nod as he does. "Mine are tech and sea, so… I guess I took after one of them." He shrugs a bit, then tilts his head a bit as if to actually note the water right here where he lives, the waves and the ships out in it. "…suppose I got a sprinkling of the other one, too." He grins. "About all I can blame on my father is the dragon, though." D'lei shrugs a bit, and then he's looking down to Risali as she relays the DEMANDS made by Leirith. "I mean, I'm not exactly surprised," he says, and smiles wryly. "I think half of them skipped out on the one this morning, and the rest of them ran out as fast as they could think of reasons." But, nevertheless, he lets Risali go - in due consideration for that kiss - and then… settles back down again. He tilts his head to Nailii's question, then gives it a little shake. "They're grown enough now that Garouth's less worried." And thus, has less need of his rider there to be his anger interpreter.

Nailii smiles and nods slightly while glancing to her cup for a few moments lost in thought. "I didn't pick up much from my father, not that it matters. He left when I was five, I never found out why he didn't want to talk about it, or really ever want to talk to me." She shrugs and glances towards the waves and the soaking brown dragon that has drifted closer so he looks more like a rock in the shallows and Nailii smirks before looking back to D'lei. A soft chuckle escapes her and she nods. "Well that's good. I know Talanoath has been hanging around the sands whenever his allowed. His rather interested in meeting them when the eggs hatch, never heard him so interested. Though I suppose we wasn't really around for long with the other clutches were on the sands."

"Heh," D'lei says, though there's no particular humor to it, and nods. "Kinda the same as mine, though… without those first five." The same sort of semi-smile, and then he explains. "He was a bluerider. Lost a flight, slept with my mom while my ma was away at sea, and… that's about it." Herein ends the influence of D'lei's father on his life! But. He follows that gaze out to see that brown rock - except, it wasn't a rock - before returning it to Nailii. "Huh," he says, with a slow nod. "…yeah, I guess you two were in Ierne for most of that, weren't you?" A half-grin, and then a more thoughtful shift to it. "Though. It might also be, uh… this clutch…" He pauses, as he attempts to work out the wording, then hehs. "They seem to take after Garouth." That's a polite way to put it! "Never seen so many candidates leave the sands crying or screaming."

"Didn't you ever wonder why he didn't stick around, or attempt to ask?" Nailii questions after a moment. "I suppose I just wanted an answer, one moment he was there then the next he was gone. Being a dragonhealer himself I couldn't really escape him, nor did he want to teach me. He made a point that I was never in his lessons at Irene." Then he died, not that she adds that part. A slight shrug is seen before she chuckles. "What's wrong with that? Nothing's wrong with Garouth, and I didn't run screaming off the sands as I recall. Talanoath thinks he is going to teach the hatchlings all these col things. I have to keep reminding him that his not allowed to bother them."

"Course I did," D'lei says, with a sideways tug of mouth into a wry grimace. "Wanted to know why he'd left - why he'd done it in the first place, if he was just gonna. It's not like my moms didn't send a letter… though I dunno if 'D'ran at Monaco' ever made it. He sure didn't reply." A humourless heh. "Or to any of my letters, either." D'lei shrugs, a moment of wry smile before it shifts to frown. "I guess it's not that similar, though. Mine was just… gone, no idea where. Yours… sounds like he was going through effort to not see you." D'lei's frown deepens. "That sucks." Such a jerk, that guy. Dashiel Does Not Approve. But… well. He is gone from here (and from this world), and there are new lives to be considered. D'lei grins at Nailii's opinion of Garouth, and nods. "Well, I certainly agree!" That's his dragon, after all! "This clutch is just… demanding the best." Like Garouth. "And the most badassest." LEIRITH SAY WHAT. D'lei grins. "I mean. There's no reason we couldn't find some good chances for Talanoath to bother them." Uh oh. Now he's done it! Give a dragon an inch, and he'll make it seven miles. "Just as long as he steers them onto the right kinds of troubles."

Nailii lifts her hand to scratch slightly at her neck before setting her cup down. "I'm sorry he never answered you letters." She knows that feeling as well, actually he would get her letters back unopened. A faint smile is seen. "It is what it is I suppose. Could be better, could be worse too, just how it is right? Anyway? We've all moved on lota stuff has happened since then, more good I'd like to think as well." A grin is soon seen and she shakes her head. "You saying then the other clutch did not demand the best or the badassest? I think that is sort of a given between Leirith and Garouth at this point. " As for Talanoath bothering the hatchlings a slight rumble escapes the water from the brown. « I will teach them magical things, they will learn so much from /me/ don't you know? So I won't really be bothering them but TEACHING them to be more badasses like of course. » Nailii half points towards the water. "This is really what you want D'lei?"

D'lei shrugs a bit, with a gesture to Nailii as if to say, same to you. But… "Yeah. No point in feeling sorry about it, because… well." He grins. "We're both still pretty awesome people. Not our fault if some people don't have the sense to recognize it." Really, there's just no accounting for some people! Now, as for those eggs… and that previous clutch… "Hey now, I never said that!" D'lei says. "They're just refining the formula, that's all. Rank three badasses, and rising." He grins. "Probably inspired by Tala, let's be honest here." Because … honesty is such an applicable word, there. D'lei turns, looking out at the brown in the water, and grins before he looks back to Nailii. "I mean." He leans forward, putting a hand beneath his chin - the better to peer at her. "Would you say there's something wrong with Talanoath?" His grin is playful, eyes bright. "Something that I might not want in a whole clutch worth of dragons?" Hmmmm?

Nailii smiles and nods as she gets the gesture while letting her cup rest back upon the blanket. "Thanks, good to know I'm awesome as well. Always need another awesome person to tell someone else they are also awesome and then it is for sure truth." A faint grin is seen before she chuckles and is eyeing Talanoath whom has made his way up on shore and is slowly moving towards the pair still dripping water. "He snores." Nailii says with a slight nod and grin before looking back to D'lei. "He has his faults, but everyone does. His grown out of his boosting at least and isn't as bad as when he was a hatchling." Didn't he eat a wherry and burp in some poor candidate's face the other day? So doesn't count. "He would keep them amused at least with stories."

D'lei nods sagely, because it's not only important but awesome to confirm the awesomenss and importance of importantly awesome and awesomely important people! Awww… though with some flaws. Like the snoring Talanoath does! D'lei grins, glancing back to the brown, and nods. "Risali kicks." In her sleep, he means. "I think snoring is probably better, though…" Hmm. He's taking another look at Talanoath, and the size of that throat that would rumble its way through a snore. "Maybe it's a tie." Risa's got fierce legs, okay? She RUNS. D'lei nods to Nailii, though, with amusement and fondness in his smile. "There are most assuredly worst dragons to be." Such faint praise. "But… yeah." Another glance to Talanoath. "He could definitely keep them entertained… and for all he may cause mischief," why yes, he was there to see that wherry incident - and he has a memory longer than those birdbrains, too - "I don't think I've ever seen him be a real problem." His gaze returns to Nailii. "Not even as a hatchling."

"In all honest I don't have many faults with Talanoath in the last. We've come to a understanding that things could be worse and there are things that can and will be better. Though one has to try something and still sometimes fail before getting to the end they want." Nailii offers softly. "I'm rather sure it is a tie, next time his napping I'll invite you over. Even though he has his own barn he sometimes sneaks his head in the window and lays it on my pillow." Which honestly is CUTE, but not when the snoring starts and the whole cottage rattles. "I don't think he would be a problem towards any hatchling. In fact I think he would be able to teach them a few thongs, he can be rather what's the word childish at times and can connect to them on their levels at times." Talanoath snorts slightly. « Should I be offended over that? »

"This, I want to see," D'lei says. Because seriously, dragon-heads on pillows? ADORABLE. Even if they do sound like heavier construction equipment than Pern is capable of producing. STILL DORBS. …and, hey, maybe D'lei is a bit desensitized to noise, given that he does live with Leirith. Her version of it may be mostly mental, but… she certainly does crash into her share of things and provide the subwoofer for the treble of the kids. (How is he not deaf? We may never know.) D'lei nods, with a laugh as he tilts his head over to Talanoath. "Course not," he says, waving off any potential complaints. "It's about your curious spirit and willingness to face the world with an open heart." SO POSITIVE, even if D'lei does grin after he says it. "So," he continues, addressing dragon and not rider because he's like that. "What do you say, Talanoath? Are you up for tending a half-dozen troublesome little dragons? They'll bite your tail, and wake you up in the middle of night for stories, and ask you why a thousand time before they ignore what you tell them and get coated in glue because they didn't listen." Because children - of whatever species - are and will be children. "You still up for that?"

"Well next time it happens I'll send Robin over so you can come see." Nailii says with a laugh. "When he was a hatchling he wanted to sleep with me, so of course I let him. It was all well and fine until he got bigger then the cot, then the bed and then the couch, now his bigger then the cottage so there is only so much I can do. Next thing he'll want is me to have a bed in the barn I'm sure." Talanoath has settled down and is lowering his head to peer at the pair and soon turns his attention to D'lei only, his eyes a swirl of color before a soft rumble is heard. « Depends? Can I bite their tails back? » His voice soft, a light echo cool and calming almost. « Though I suppose that would be a problem in the end. Though I know a good healer that could fix them, perhaps attached ones tail to another and so forth. » His own tail slowly swaying at his side and soon curls to his side. « Of course I am up for such things. Do I get to tell them stories and teach them about the stars and wind? » Nailii just blinks while watching as she is in on the conversation as well. "First long conversation his had with anyone else in a while." She offers with an amused tone to D'lei. "Also? What might you be getting at D'lei?"

"Only if they're amused by it," is D'lei's considered opinion on tail-nips. Because really, isn't that what matters? He grins. "As long as that blue likes his green-tail - and vice versa - they can have whatever tails they want. Who am I to say?" …he's the Weyrleader, for one thing, but never mind that part. D'lei nods to Talanoath's questions, and smiles. "You do. You get to tell them stories of what it means to travel, and teach them until they can do it on their own." A whole fleet of dragons, to fly the currents of the sky and see the many islands of life throughout Pern! And… oh, right. There is a rider who D'lei should probably also be talking to, now isn't there? He turns his attention back to Nailii, complete with a grin. "I'm hardly going to just thrust a job at someone without asking!" he says, like this is some grand breach of civilization and politeness from her instead of him. There's mock-offense for a moment, wounded (lack-of-)innocence, and then… D'lei grins again, and this time he actually addresses Nailii. "You could teach them too. Assistant Weyrlingmasters, the both of you." His gesture incorporates both rider and dragon, the pair that's a single lifebond but two people, and his grin takes on something intent, earnest and hopeful. "Because you're right. You didn't run screaming."

Talanoath's mind is quiet, relaxed and there is a bit of curious nature if it was a feeling it is what is running through the brown's mind at the moment, along with a slight crackle and a bit of mist rolling in. « A blue dragon with a green's tail would be amusing. Along with a bit confusing if the blue started to take to the sky and the green was chasing the blue? » His talons lightly scrape a the sandy ground and he rumbles with amusement showing a few pictures of different weyrs, the sea, and of course the stars always there and always following him. « I think this would be amusing and good fun. We have so much to teach them. Lynn is working on my first book so all the new weyrlings will get one. » Nailii just eyes Talanoath a few moments. "As soon you learn how to write then we can get done with it." AS for D'lei she is looking back to him, blinking and pondering if he is joking, or perhaps the other shoe will drop now? "Me? Teach them like lessons and the like? I have no idea on the matter? Do you all have books on what is to be taught?" She didn't say no, but she didn't say yes either.

"Who'd be chasing who, really?" D'lei asks Talanoath, with a mental picture of an infinity loop made of those blue-green teals - overlaid with a wooden version made in the image of Garouth and Leirith that came amid the present-pile of his recent turnday. Maybe it's an intentional overlap, maybe he's just not quite as precise as dragons at projecting things like that. Either way! He nods to that flicker of images from Talanoath… and then he grins. Yay! Egg-shells explode into confetti! The dragon said yes! …now, to work on the rider. D'lei nods to Nailii, seeming… to still be earnest. There's a remarkable lack of shoes evident, and not just because the brownrider came out here barefoot. "Teach them how to be dragons," he answers her. "Teach them how to run, and fly, and catch their dinner and not eat themselves sick on it. Tell them about the whirl of emotions that is dragons, and listen to them when they tell you about what it's like for them." Amber eyes are steady, watching her response, and there's an intensity to his words. "You know more about dragons than most weyrlingmasters -" and she has the grade four certification to prove it "- and I don't care what they're traditionally supposed to learn. I don't need last Pass dragons. I need dragons that can live today… and tomorrow."

Of course Talanoath is on board, the idea that he gets to teach little dragons and tell them stories and show them all the fancy things of the world they live in? WHO could say NO to that? Not this brown! His mind is already filling with things, the first trip to High reaches and all the snow and ice! Then over to Irene which is SOOOO different, and the Landings and this and that. « Just say yes? It'll be another adventure and we will get to write it! » So they write all the other adventures but that isn't the point right now. Nailii seems unsure now while chewing on her lip a faint glance sent towards Talanoath before she looks back to D'lei. "Well? Yeah I know about all that stuff, but there is more than that. I know how to fix dragons, tend to wounds, pull thorns out, and take care of fat tail. But? I have no idea bout other things, legal stuffs, what if there is a gold or a bronze? How am I supposed to explain them about all that /stuff/ that I know nothing about?" She might be rambling at the moment.

Adventure and audience, all wrapped up in one! D'lei grins as Talanoath chimes in his encouragement, giving a nod of his own but keeping his gaze on Nailii as she considers. She does know all that stuff! His head tilts to the side a little, a questioning cant as she goes on, and he smiles. "Then you send them to us." D'lei shrugs, just a little. "You tell them that, yeah, you don't know that… and you have them come talk to us, to me or Risali or someone else who does know it." The corner of his mouth twitches, a faint grimace at a memory. "When Risali was a weyrling, she had books, and she had lessons taught by a weyrlingmaster who'd been teaching them for years, and you know? When she got out of that… she still didn't know how to be a Weyrwoman. Not really. She learned that from the other Weyrwomen, from Bethari and Soriana and the notes that Calisi left her. So…" He smiles, and shrugs, just a bit. "Why should you try? Leave that for the people who can do it better."

Talanoath keeps making his answer known to his dear rider, they need to do this look at all the Fun it will be. His dear rider will be able to attach a blue's tail to a green and so forth. "That isn't how it works Talanoath." Nailii finally offers on the bit of tail surgery. With those whisperings finally stopped she is left watching D'lei and she can't help but say he makes a rather good case for the matter at hand. "Well yes? I suppose that would be the best thing on the matter. But? If I mess up something it's just me messing up, if they mess up from something I taught them that's different." There is a reason she spent so much time studying, she is always worried about getting something wrong, talk about test anxiety she has it oh so badly. "Do? You think I'd be good at it D'lei?" Well he did sort of ask her, well wait he asked Talanoath first and then her but still.

D'lei nods to Nailii as she admits that one situational point… and then something softens up around his eyes as she continues with her worries, a certain gentling of his expression before his lips curve in a deeper smile. "Nailii," he says - and then he leans forward, catching her hands in his - and rising to her feet, drawing her up with him as amber eyes look to hers. "From the first time I met you - and long before that - you have always cared for dragons." Which makes sense, for a dragonhealer, but D'lei is earnest, firm about the words. "You have always spoken to them as people and done your best to listen to them and help them." His fingers squeeze at hers, holding them as he speaks. "You care for them like family - real family, not the one that abandoned you - and only want to see them happy." D'lei holds her hands, her eyes, his own bright and earnest and warm. "I want you to help raise Garouth and Leirith's children, because they are my family - and so is Talanoath, and so are you - and I want them to be happy."

Nailii is caught off guard as her hands are taken old of and then there is more movement and she is standing, because if not that would just be strange. Her bit of manic thinking there stops and she blinks while just watching D'lei listening to those words and slipping quiet at the main part that catches her attention, family. Even though she puts up that strong front and always looking on the bright side of things he has a point and it's all correct. "I never thought of it like that before." Is what finally escapes her. She takes in a soft breath and smiles while giving his hands a squeeze back. "Thank you D'lei?" « She thinks you make great sense of things, good word usage. She agrees with everything you said. » Talanoath offers as his rider wouldn't be filling in those blanks. Nailii won't be commenting on what her dragon said, so hey it's most likely true. "I'd be honored to do the job of keeping everyone happy as I can. Also includes you and Risali. Sort of a package deal at this point don't you think?"

D'lei smiles, warm and earnest and full of definitions and believing in those definitions! The dictionary-makers are probably jealous, but he doesn't care, because he has Talanoath on his side… and Nailii, too. That smile breaks out into a grin as she accepts, and he lets go of her hands in order to sweep the all of her into a squeeze instead, hugging her close to him. "I do," he says amidst that squeeze. "And I'm glad." Because, presumably, of all those reasons he said… and that Talanoath can write down for his book. The adventure of accepting an adventure! And… "Thank you," D'lei says, shifting his head back enough that he can meet her eyes again. "For saying yes, and… for being you."

Nailii actually squeaks at the hug, not that she is going to try and stop it and a laugh escapes her while she gives him a tight hug back for a moment or two. "You're welcome? Thank you for asking me honestly and not telling me talk my way out of it." Would he have really taken no for a answer though? That and Talanoath might have nagged her forever and a day until she changed her mind and agreed. "For being me?" She'll question and just peer at him curiously. "Neurotic and crazy?" Talanoath croons a bit with what could be amusement. « No one knows how crazy you are /yet/. We can keep that part out of the book if you want. » The brown is a amused and even holds his head up. Someone is going to demand extra oiling's now.

"If you're going to try to argue yourself out of things -" whiiich… Nailii kinda does, yes. "- the least I can do is argue back and make sure you're not just taking the easy way out." Because Talanoath isn't enough of a source for arguments, apparently! D'lei grins, and then… a laugh. "I prefer to think of it as caring and conscientious," he tells her, because of course he'd go and use words like that. Who even let him read the dictionary? There's a tilt of his head to Talanoath, and then it's like he remembers something, he turns his head back to Nailii - in his arms, because he hugged her there - with an expression that's earnest and serious. "…you know you can say no to me, right?" His words are a bit softer, quieted from that enthusiasm. "About the knot. About me touching you. I'm not… I don't want to let your worries be the thing that says no, but if you don't want it - and of it - I'll stop. You just have to tell me."

"I do that a lot, I sort of always have actually." Nailii offers. "I almost didn't stand for Talanoath's clutch." There was a lot going on during that time and she did say yes because obviously there Talanoath is in her head and never leaving her alone. Which could actually be a horror movie if one wants to get right down to it, a dragon talking into someone's mind best seller right there you know. Talanoath tilts his head to look right back at D'lei as if pondering that look before the question is set forth. « She doesn't mind it. » Escapes the brown before Nailii can even say a thing. Cute blushing and Nailii clears her throat a moment before offering D'lei a smile, she'll give him a slight squeeze of a hug before leaning back. "I over think a lot and if I didn't want to do something or if I wanted you to stop I'd tell you, promise. I do know how to say no I can assure you on that. Also have you met Talanoath? Is like a sounding board and will give me away even at the drop of a hat."

D'lei nods, and then… he smiles. "But you did." And, okay, maybe that's slightly horror movie tinged, because now she's got a wherry-chomping beast that's in her head and never going to leave, but it's a good horror movie. Lots of action, snappy dialogue, interesting side-plots… nothing to complain about, really! D'lei grins as Talanoath answers on behalf of his rider, but it doesn't draw his gaze away from Nailii. He may have the mind-twined answer, but he wants to hear it out of the rider's mouth instead of just the mount's! So he waits, and then he does, and the grin widens. He nods to her, enthusiasm returned now that he's made sure. "Good," he says, and grins. "I'll make sure to get some nice hats… just in case!" He might need to drop one!

Nailii nods and smiles. "Yeah I did, and I'm glad I didn't say no. One of the best decisions of my life actually." Talanoath looks a bit smug at the moment at this. « Of course it was. Once you go Talanoath there is no going back of course. » The brown turns his head slightly glancing back towards the weyr with a faint rumble escaping him. « We're needed at the Annex. More you then me, but package deal. » A soft chuckle escapes Nailii and she grins a bit to D'lei. "Suppose your next turnday I could get you a hat, you can start a collection of them, be the hippest Weyrleader around you know." She'll leans back letting her hand catch his to give it a squeeze. "Thank you D'lei, for everything. I need to go deal with something it seems." Talanoath is already moving off the beach and with basket in hand Nailii will be following after him. "Let me know about the story telling time with the kidlets and we're figure out a day for it."

D'lei would worry about Talanoath getting a swollen head with his rider talking like that, but let's be honest. He already has one! So instead, he just grins - at least, until there's actual seriousness around. Still, it's not screamingly urgent, so there's time for a laugh about those hats - "Not stone, please!" - and a curl of his hand to hers in order to squeeze back warmly. "Of course," he tells Nailii, because… well, because he means it… "And you're very welcome." D'lei smiles warmly, then nods. "We will!" he calls after her as she departs. "See you soon!"

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