Monaco Bay Weyr - Treetop Pathway
Pathways and platforms run between the tops of the larger trees that border on Monaco's caverns, creating an above ground network. Working within the natural beauty of this unique landscaping, the huts have been created to fit in with the surroundings. Many of them are constructed to catch as much of the canopy breezes as possible.

The pathways and rope bridges are lit by breaks in the canopy, allowing sunlight and shade to spatter through. Springtime has arrived on Monaco Bay Weyr, the flowers budding with wild abandon and all about new growth of the jungle seems to be the theme both in the animal and plant kingdoms.

It’s not actually springtime. In fact, it’s a crisp autumn day in the treetops, which are turning a riotous symphony of red, orange, and brown as the trees begin to prepare for their winter sleep. It’s a lovely, if visually confusing scene, in which Br’aby sits like a particularly jewel-toned bird who forgot to migrate south for the winter. His chosen perch is one of the higher rope bridges, where he stands out due to a pure white outfit that must be incredibly difficult to keep clean. The white is off-set by a purple cravat tied at his throat and a matching belt cinching his tunic. He doesn’t seem to be doing anything in particular. Just sitting on the bridge and watching the leaves.

These bridges are designed to be walked upon. They're probably not designed to have the ropes that make hand-holds used as the footpath, and yet, there is one redhead nimbly doing so where the paths are narrow enough to allow it. Her feet test each length for strength before she places weight onto the next section over the wooden posts (or whatever) that provide more structure to the complex system. She stands out, too, for the light blue pantaloons snug at the angle and hip and flowing everywhere else, shot through with sunny yellow threads and deep red shirt more the sanguine color of blood than the russet and amber hues of the leaves. As Tejra reaches the section where Br'aby is perched, she bends at the waist, despite the wide-enough-for-two-width of the bridge in question, to put her hands just next to her feet and peer down at him as if he were the one being strange here. A Cheshire smile spreads across her lips, before she invites, "Give a girl a hand?" Though where exactly Br'aby is expected to put that hand to presumably help her back to the more traditional place for feet is not entirely obvious given her absurd loom over him.

Br’aby looks up from his trance to stare up at Tejra with a look that can only be described as “doe eyed.” Something about the slightly vacant, puzzled look combines with the dark-rimmed eyes and long face to create the effect, which is only enhanced by a slow blink. “A hand with what?” he asks. Whether he’s being intentionally dense or literally can’t quite put two and two together, he doubles down in the next moment by asking, “Which girl?” Then his train of thought crashes into the glacier that is his senses, and he seems to realize that she’s actually standing on the ropes. His face lights up with pleasure and curiosity, and he asks, “Oh, are you an aerialist? I’ve never met one in person. That is, not face-to-face.”

Tejra's Cheshire smile shifts to something bemused as she watches Br'aby, taking in the look, the questions, and it's the sort of look a tolerant nanny might give a puppy staring at stairs for the first time. She gives him a moment, two, to see if he'll catch up to himself before she smirks and sighs, "Oh well, you can play hero another day. Heads up," and woe to him if he doesn't catch that one because she's lifting her feet off and performing a controlled drop down to the planks. "Not officially. I just couldn't resist." The way she handled the ropes, though, she's certainly not foreign to something similar, if not these in particular. "I'm glad they're kept in repair." If he hasn't risen, then she'll sinuously settle beside him, to give a look out over the changing colors. Then back to the man, and his outfit. That private look of amusement only grows and she looks back out to the trees. "You from here or from farther?"

Br’aby looks more puzzled than anything, but he certainly doesn’t seem to mind her joining. If anything, he scoots over a bit to make sure she has room to sit. It’s certainly a lovely view from this high up. “Well, they would need to be. It would be very dangerous if they weren’t…” His gaze wanders back to the view for a moment, lost in thought until she asks for his origins, and he looks back to her with another of his slightly-dopey smiles. “Oh, farther. And nearer, too, I suppose. A little of everywhere, really. My family are traders. We went all over. And you?”

"How practical," Tej's melodic purr of a voice holds amusement and perhaps a subtle something darker. Her pale gaze lifts to follow the ropes of the bridge, considering them for a long moment before she turns her eyes back to the man in white, her look equally assessing. "Traders. Fascinating." The tone of her voice doesn't match up with her words, but it's not scorn, it's just far less investment in that particular adjective than it probably should have were it being delivered by another. "Went, past tense," trust a Harper to notice. "Do you not travel with them any longer?" It's probably wildly inappropriate for the redhead to pinch the side seam of his pants and draw it a little away from Br'aby's knee and definitely not appropriate when she leans down to peer at the fabric. "How are you keeping this clean?" It's actual interest, her eyes narrowing as she looks to his face, from down there, her brows drawing down as though he's some sort of laundry wizard. "Some kind of special starch?" As to Tej's origins, answers are presently conspicuously absent.

That puzzled, politely amused look remains firmly in place. It might just be part of Br’aby’s face. “Of course not. I have a dragon, now.” He leaves it at that, but then she’s asking about how he keeps the clothes clean, and his head tilts with just half a grin. “Well, how should I know? I don’t clean them. But I can introduce you to the laundresses, if you’re interested in a career change.” He doesn’t pursue the question he asked, but he also doesn’t ask any more.

"Do you now." It's not really a question, more of a thoughtful remark as Tej internalizes the man's words. That braid swings again, this time the other way as she tilts her head to look at him again, releasing her pinch on his pants, her hand returning to a place high on her thigh, thumb just brushing her hip where the two join. "And you don't keep them clean. Curiouser and curiouser." She regards him as if he's some new puzzle for her to turn over. "So, then, once-trader-now-rider, tell me about your dragon, will you?" She straightens and shifts a little so her body is angled more toward him, her attention more focused on not just his face, but the whole of his physicality as if she might draw more insight into whatever he has to say by taking it all in, rather than whatever the verbal component of the story might be.

Br’aby rolls his eyes a little. His ruler-straight, perfect posture manages to be retained in spite of the gesture, combined with an only /slightly/ effeminate wave of his hand. “Now, don’t judge. It’s not my fault whites are impossible to keep clean. Laundry is a magic beyond my ken, anyway.” That not-quite-jest melts into an affable grin when she asks about his dragon. “His name is Yevith. You’ll know if you see him. He’s… Well, he’s very large. But he’s a very friendly sort, so don’t let that put you off. Actually, he’s rather difficult to describe, if I’m being honest.” He looks down off the edge of the bridge, then back to Tej with a speculative raised brow. “You could meet him, if you like.”

"Oh, but, darling, judging is half the fun," Tej's melodic purr of a voice colors that with enough humor that despite the sentiment expressed, she does manage to make it sound like some mischievous delight that one could sample if only one had the whim and wit. Still, she doesn't seem to be judging him for his lack of laundry magic, at least not now, that would be too predictable. Her pale gaze follows his when it roams and her brow mimics his as if he were looking in some bizarrely incorrect mirror in every facet save for gesture. "Why not. I learned long ago not to judge any male by size. It's too oft misleading or exaggerated," there's something teasing to those words though whether the joke is of men or their dragons or both at once, it's anyone's guess. "I'd like to meet this Yevith, if he's of a mind to be met." She'll even float to her feet, ready now apparently; no time like the present and all that rot. "Besides, a dragon is always a dragon and no dragon is the same as any other." And something about that, despite all being true and yet somehow a contradiction in the extreme sprouts a winsome smile as if it's the best thing she's thought of all day - and maybe it is.

Br’aby rolls his eyes at her ‘judging’ but there’s a grin to suggest he’s really not put off. “I’m sure he… Oh, right now?” Yes, it took him a minute to catch on. There’s a moment of glazed-eye thought as he presumably checks in with said dragon, but soon enough he’s popping to his feet, sending the sky bridge wobbling precariously as he does so. “He says he would be pleased to meet you, but we must go to him. He’s found a very nice sunny spot, and he doesn’t wish to give it up just yet.” He gestures down the bridge with an only-slightly-ironic half bow. “After you.”

Queue Tej reaching to wrap her arm around Br'aby's elbow in a companionable gesture. "I'm still learning my way about. I'd have no notion of where the very nice sunny spots that would appeal to very large dragons are." There's a little something teasing to her tone, but it's well into the friendly range now. So long as Br'aby will consent to her escort, the graceful dancer will float along at his side until they reach that point; she'll even refrain from walking on any more ropes for the time being.

There’s certainly surprise from Br’aby at the arm-wrapping, but he smiles and accepts the gesture, as any gentleman ought. “There really aren’t very many,” he confides, as he guides her along the pathways and platforms until they reach a convenient spot to climb down. “Generally they get taken over by the smaller ones before he shows up.” Eventually something about that does switch on a lightbulb, and he glances aside at her with sudden curiosity. “Oh, so you aren’t from here, then?”

"No. I've visited a time or two, but I visit a lot of places when there's a convenient ride," Tej replies with another of her prettier, carefree smiles. "It must be a challenge to be so large, to require so much space in the world." This could be mockery, but this time it really isn't. The woman's face is thoughtful, as if she's really rolling that idea around in her mind as something she's never had cause to think on before. But then, she's shorter than Br'aby and fairly slender for all that her muscles are doubtless impressive given her ability to perform the feats she was on the ropes. "Should I know anything else about him before I meet him? Does he enjoy being touched by people other than yourself?"

“Did you come from very far away?” Br’aby wonders, in his usual friendly way. As they come to a ladder down, he steps to the side to clear the way, and offers a hand out to help Tej down. Not that she probably needs it, after the walking-on-ropes trick earlier. “He’s really pretty tolerant,” he explains, as they go. “Mostly he thinks it tickles, but he really won’t mind if you touch him.”

Red-topped head bobbles back and forth in a very controlled gesture of yes-and-no. "It depends on how you define far, I suppose. For a dragonrider, is anywhere terribly far if you're not flying straight?" Tej's pale gaze turns to examine the rider's face, reaching to take his hand for help even though, no, doesn't need it. But this is one expectation she chooses not to disappoint. She looks to catch up his elbow again for the next part of the trip, despite the fact that she surely could simply keep up at his side. "I don't need to touch him if he doesn't prefer it. It makes little difference to me. Some people like to be touched, some don't." She glances sidelong at the rider and quirks a brow. It's without any particular apparent design that she inquires, "What about you?"

“Of course places are far for dragonriders. You have to imagine it in your head, you know. Otherwise you end up in exactly the wrong place, and that’s against the rules.” Whatever that means. Once Br’aby reaches the bottom of the climb, he seems happy enough to resume his job as elbow-offerer. And if there is any non-apparent design to the final question, he doesn’t seem to notice. His answer takes the question entirely at face value, after only a moment of thought. “Well, I don’t dislike it. I think most everyone likes hugs, for example. And it would be rather inconvenient to avoid any kind of touching altogether.”

"Is that so?" Tejra seems genuinely curious. "I always thought being able to blink and hold your breath and be half the world away would make things seem much closer. They do as a passenger, but then I don't have to do any of that work to get it right. But they still seem far to you? You who went all over with your trading family and know the distances by… was it wheel or boat?" The rest gets another one of those yes and no gestures. "I've known a few who went to lengths not to be touched or to do any touching. Hugs included." She shrugs. "But I appreciate your lead," she lifts her arm just slightly, not letting go of his to indicate her meaning. "How do you like living in Monaco after your life before?"
“Oh yes,” Br’aby confirms. “You have to picture everything exactly. I mean, it still seems like an instant, but it feels far.” He smiles apologetically, probably because he knows it makes no sense. But he moves on easily from that to his own past, easily glossing over that she still hasn’t answered his question. “Both, actually. We went all over. Wheels, boats, whatever was appropriate for the terrain.” He looks aside at her, thoughtfully. “Did you travel much as a child?”
Tejra is really quite bad at sharing personal details even if she makes it look entirely effortless to do so or not at any given moment. There's a moment that holds weight as she considers Br'aby, her pale gaze catching his when he looks aside to ask that question. This is the moment that doesn't come up every conversation with a new person but is routine enough that she has to make this judgment call frequently: to lie or not to lie. Which would be more fun? More convenient? More — something? She could evade, again, but at some point that becomes quite obvious and where's the fun in being consistent? This time he gets an answer, if not an especially illuminating one. "Not until I apprenticed, and even then it wasn't until the last few turns when I was a senior and more directly under my particular master's purview. She likes to travel and often took me with her. Now I travel on my own. Although all of that is mostly by dragon. Sometimes by boat. Sometimes by runner. It depends on where I'm needed or where I wish to be." It all just depends. She does make it all sound rather fantastic for being so mundane. It's the catching energy she infuses her melodic purr with, the rhythm picking up into something closer to a jig than a waltz. "Did you trade in anything particular or just… everything?"

There’s something about Br’aby’s expression as Tejra describes her travelling experience… Something that hints at a certain wistful nostalgia, confirmed by his response when she’s finished. “That sounds just lovely. I very much appreciate having Yevith as a partner, but sometimes I do miss the slow route. There’s something very nice about having nothing to do but sit and watch the scenery slowly change. No one really expects you to think if you’re riding a wagon all day.” He waves off the moment with a sudden grin. “Well, we were largely serving the smallest holds. The ones where the dragons never go, so they have to travel a long distance for anything they can’t make themselves. We’d buy some things from them, sell other things to them… To be honest, I never totally understood how father decided these things. But he is very good at it. He always seemed to know exactly what someone was going to need down the road, and what wasn’t worth his time to take on board.” And then, they come out into a clearing, where Yevith’s bulk is sprawled out in the sun, all massive nonchalance. As Br’aby and Tejra exit the tree line, he looks over, blinks slowly, and gives a low thunder-like rumble.

"Do you not get to now that you're a rider? I've noticed many riders avoid the stables but not all. I do suppose you all smell a bit like dragon which mightn't be the most soothing of smells for mounts, even those living in proximity to many dragons." Tej's pale gaze travels around and her expression only holds a touch of thoughtfulness, but the tone in her melodic purr doesn't make these questions seem like castoffs to fill the time, but rather things she's genuinely examining. It doesn't stop her smile from becoming wry as she glances askance at the rider. "Do people expect you to think now that you're a rider?" One might suppose Tej expects anything sentient to take advantage of that ability, but to each their own. Her brows go up at the sight of immense Yevith. It's probably a compliment. It can't be that the woman has never seen a bronze, what with having traveled as extensively as she claims, so it might just be him. "My, but you are a handsome one, aren't you?" It's not really a question as she studies the sprawled hide, her pale gaze going from head to tail and back again. "Well met, Yevith. I'm called Tej." She purrs that 'j' as the '-ge' in beige, a sound that is all the more a purr for what naturally exists in her melodic voice. That's more of an introduction than Br'aby has gotten, but maybe that's because Br'aby is unremarkable looking, or perhaps just because he hasn't asked. She will, now, "What does he call you?" That's to Br'aby, and she looks at him to be sure there's less chance of misunderstanding, since she's just use Yevith's name and all.

“Well, it would be rather silly,” Br’aby claims. As for thinking, that seems to be his only answer. Yevith is a bit of a distraction, of course, rolling over to snake his head over and get a closer look at this new friend. He studies Tejra with one slowly whirling blue eye, then snorts a friendly puff of air at her. “He says likewise,” Br’aby explains, with obvious amusement. “He calls me Brrr’aby,” he explains. There’s an odd emphasis on the ‘Brr’ that makes it a clear lisp of his birth name, but he grins and adds, “Most of the humans find Br’aby easier. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Tej. From both of us.”

Tejra's expression registers disagreement with Br'aby's claim but she doesn't force her opinion on him this time. There is Yevith, to distract both of them. Wisps of red flutter during that puff of air and she settles herself onto the ground just there, conversationally close with the bronze, not heeding her colorful garments or the damage the ground might possibly be doing to them. "Brrr'aby," the woman mimics, her expression briefly thoughtful. "The pleasure may be mine as well," she returns gamely, though the jury might not be unanimous as yet. There's a pause and then, "What were you called before him?" It might be simple curiosity, but briefly there's something in the depths of those pale eyes that might hint at something else.

Those hints are totally lost on Br’aby. He’s not exactly the ‘taking hints’ kind of guy. He smiles gamely and takes a seat of his own, leaning his back against the bronze’s considerable bulk. “Barnaby,” he supplies, easily. “I liked it just fine, but Yevith thinks Br’aby is better, so here we are.” That might be a complaint coming from another person, but the fondness in his eyes as he looks over at his dragon makes it clear that he’s content enough. “He likes your clothes,” he adds, almost as an afterthought. “And your hair.”

"Barnaby," Tej's tongue rolls that name across it, her expression frozen briefly in its wake. She blinks at the young man, squints, and then re-examines his unremarkable face all over again (maybe even for the first time). "Br'aby is good," she agrees, "Sometimes we need different names to be more ourselves, or maybe just more who we're meant to be." Whatever that means, the man who takes no hints can thank the cryptic lady if he catches any of it but she probably won't weep if all of this particular revelation goes right over his head. There's something a little wild around her eyes, and her fingers twitch in an uncontrolled response that makes a blush come to her cheeks. It might be easy to mistake the blush for answer to Yevith's remarks though. "Thank you kindly, Yevith. I do what I can with what I can get. I do have a clever weaver friend still studying at the Hall but taking side commissions for the fabric and another who does the fabrication. I don't always have the marks I'd wish, but I do well enough." And she takes care of what's hers, usually, ground-sitting not withstanding. "I like your Br'aby's clothes as well. They're quite the bold statement, but they suit him." She cants her head to the dragon, but turns it so that she can see the man, too, "Do you like clothes?" is really for Yevith, but since Br'aby is her translator, it might be for him too. By this point, whatever unsteadied her is fading enough to carry on as if it hadn't happened.

It's too cryptic for Br'aby, that's for sure. There's not even a flicker of that simple smile. "I guess? That sounds very wise…." The dragon rumbles, a deep bass that is as much vibration as sound. He seems to be just taking Tejra in. Br'aby, meanwhile, gives a rueful little grin. "Oh… Well, he doesn't really understand the appeal, but he doesn't mind if I do. And I do rather like clothes. They're fun, and as long as you're covered, you really can't get it wrong." There are some who would probably argue that point, but Br'aby seems pretty convinced.

The redhead is one to argue the point, but only in that she quirks an amused eyebrow at the bronzerider to say, "Well, I think there are times being covered is wrong, but we can agree to disagree." Tej doesn't need to convince him, or even try. It was humor with the ring of truth. Still, somehow, it's not flirtation, simply observation. "Are there any interest that the two of you share? Or are you more different? I've heard some pairings are quite alike while others… differ, somewhat." She makes the understatement with all the aplomb of her as yet unmentioned craft.

Br'aby tilts his head. It's clearly a characteristic expression, somewhat like a puzzled kitten. Then the lightbulb comes on and he smiles. "Oh, well… I mean, obviously you don't want to be overdressed while swimming. Most people don't, anyway." The question triggers Br'aby to look to the bronze with some obvious fondness. "Oh, I suppose we're not too alike. For one thing, he's a giant dragon." His smile widens to a grin. Yukyuk.

"Yes, while swimming," Tej agrees with too much gravity, but she doesn't seem to be laughing at Br'aby. It's not the instance she was likely thinking of, but it is also vaild. The smile she flashes at him is actually a touch fond, like perhaps she finds his simplicity somewhat endearing. Her bell-like laugh comes briefly, her head throwing back, braid swinging. It's not even faked. She grins in answer to Br'aby, "I do see how that would be different," she agrees. She glances from man to dragon and back and then is fluidly rising as though a cloud were lifting her back to her feet. "I suspect I ought to go find my ride lest they leave without me, Brrr'aby. It was lovely to meet you both." And it was, much to her surprised bemusement.

Br'aby's eyebrows fly up, but he has a pleasant smile for her. "Oh! Well, I wouldn't want to make you late. I was very much a pleasure to meet you. Yevith agrees. Do have a safe flight?" He sticks out his hand for a handshake, then belatedly adds, "And if you should miss your ride, come find us. We would be happy to make sure you get home safely."

"The safety is in the hands of the rider, but it's a good one, I think." Tej replies to the Monacoan bronzerider, meeting his hand easily. "They got me safely here, in any case. I'll chance them back, but should I miss them, I'll come look you up. If you're ever out Xanadu way, feel free to find me. Just ask around for Tejra. Someone usually knows where I'm to be found if I'm in the Weyr." So at least now the woman has a location to go with the name. "Clear skies to you both." She offers, looking from man to dragon before she's heading off back the general direction they came to seek that ride.

"Perhaps I will!" Br'aby agrees, and waves as she starts off. As she goes, he leans against the bronze's shoulder, and scratches a bit just at the base of the dragon's neck. When Tej is out of earshot, he glances aside. "Does she remind you of someone?" For a moment, there's a puzzled look between dragon and rider… Then he shrugs, lets it go, and starts back the way he came. Possibly to return to his original perch!

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