Friendship Is A Fickle Thing

Xanadu Weyr - Candidate Barracks
A long, low ceilinged room opens off the entrance hall to the arena. One wall is slightly curved, set against the outer wall of the arena itself. Cots are set in two rows along the length of the room, each with its own small press at the foot for personal belongings. Wide windows are spaced along the outside wall, letting sunlight in, while other lights are available for the night time hours. It's always warm here when there are eggs on the sands, and candidates seldom need more than a light blanket.

Wherever did that sock go that Mathis had been wearing like a scarf for the last while? The tail end of it is sticking out between the seam of his press where the lid meets the base, if that's any help at all. It appears that the woodcrafter (currently sitting cross-legged on his cot this morning) has traded in his good buddy Mr. Flibble, his attention utterly devoted now to the tiny brown firelizard hatching before him. Ah, friendship was a fickle thing when you were his age. Giggling, mostly to himself, he wiggles the tip of his finger over the firelizard's head and watches him turn in rapid circles until he falls down - just to get back up and repeat the process. Was there something else that Mathis should be doing right now? Probably.

Meion comes wandering into the barracks a little bleary-eyed, somewhat past breakfast. On the way to her suspiciously-unslept-in cot, she passes Mathis and the little… brown… firelizard? She pauses, and crouches slightly. "Hello, Mathis." A little slowly, through the distance of being somewhat underslept and somewhat over-klahed. "Who's your friend, there?" She worked through the night, and missed out on the Great Surprise foisted upon the candidates - not to mention having not yet had her own surprise at being the only one left out.

Of course, it could just be that the sock is sulking in the press because it's jealous of that new winged friend Mathis has gained. Be that as it may, there's been rather a lot of chirps and squeaks throughout the barracks, and many new winged friends. D'lei arrives not long after Meion with a curious look already in place, like he's heard word of this event - or maybe just heard those firelizard hatchlings on his way back from a morning visit to the sands to duly appreciate and admire Leirith and Garouth's eggs - and now he wants to come and see for himself.

Truth be told, Mathis was a little distracted, and had been since he'd woken up to find an egg in his cot. That it hatched this perfect little creature not long afterwards? The boy couldn't have been more thrilled and had spent the next several hours tending to him, a mostly empty little bowl of meat scraps sitting off behind him a bit. He'd had neither time nor the inclination to be seeing who was or wasn't in their beds. Though when he's greeted by Meion, hazel eyes are lifted upwards, "Oh hi Mei…" and he blinks at her a few times as he tilts his head to one side, "Whoa, you don't look so good. Are you sick?" Ah, from the mouth of babes. The firelizard mouths his finger a bit, whirling eyes turning towards the computercrafter as well and yet this draw's the boy's attention back downwards, "This is Bocote, he was Leirith's reward for not killing Mr. Flibble." Motion out of the corner of his eye sees to it that he spots the Weyrleader, throwing up his nibbleless arm and widely waving towards him, "D'lei! Come meet Bocote!" If anyone one was still sleeping, that there was reason enough to be awake, a few slanty-eyed glares of death sent the enthusiastic woodcrafter's way as well as a few grumbles of his demise.

Questions of sickness are waved off with a wave of Meion's hand. "Mm. I'm fine, just need a bit more sleep." By which she means more than a few hours that her body decided to take while she was trying to work through the night again. She crouches to look at the nibbly little brown, curious. She's seen plenty of firelizards, but they were generally older - this new-hatched phase is so short, and it's fascinating to watch. She glances around the room, and notices eggs and notes by other slow-waking inhabitants. "I… should check on my cot, though." It would be a terrible thing to be an irresponsible lizardkeeper by letting an egg hatch with no one around!

D'lei grins as he's seen and summoned, because he at least woke up willingly today. He makes his way over to Mathis's cot, with a wiggle of his own fingers in greeting to him and Meion both. "Don't forget breakfast," he says to her in the offhanded way that implies that of course he didn't think she would but also that he's pretty certain she has, then returns his own attention to that firelizard as she slips off to check her cot. "Bocote, is it?" he asks Mathis with a glance up to the candiprentice, then a return of his gaze to the flit in question. "He's a striking fellow." D'lei lowers himself to one knee in order to present a hand to Bocote to be investigated and/or nommed and/or ignored, as the brown should see fit.

And why is Risali here? Because she wants to be, of course (don't, don't be suspicious). She's a little more slow moving, as if she doesn't really want to be seen, but had a curious that lured her here anyway. So here she is, watching Meion, and D'lei, and Mathis, grey eyes full of some anxious trepidation as she approaches UNINVITED and settles into a crouch near D'lei. She steadies herself with hands on the cot, tilting her head as she watches D'lei interact with the brown and then blinks her attention back up to Mathis. "So you're happy?" Because she knows not everybody is going to be. But then she's pitching herself forward just a bit, to see Meion from around D'lei and giving her a smile - even if it's a bit more than a grimace. "You… don't need to." Check your cot, she means. "Leirith, ah…" A hesitation, a glance towards D'lei like he can somehow save her because SHE IS REALLY BAD AT WORDS, and EVEN WORSE at people. "She didn't leave you a firelizard." Surprise…?

A look of ultimate dubiousness is leveled upon Meion, "You look like you could sleep a million turns and still not be okay," he notes, having seen the dark circles beneath the woman's eyes. Bocote does not find that his pet is delicious beyond the thin coating of meaty residual, spatting out the digit and sniffing at it incredulously. Where had all the nummers gone? Already rather portly, did he really need more food in him? Yes. Yes he did. All of the food, all of the time, inside his mouth hole. In this, the two had been perfectly matched. A glance towards Meion as she rises, Mathis nods his head and beams a blinding grin in her wake, "Yeah! Go check!" As far as he knew, all the candidates had gotten one, and so he calls over to D'lei and waits with excitement barely contained as he makes his way towards the back of the barracks where Mathis' cot can be found. Breakfast aside, while his stomach growling clearly indicates that he had skipped it himself in favor of his new friend, the boy nods most firmly. "Uh huh. It's nice isn't it? I was reading this whole database thing on the Yokohama that this other computercrafter not Meion was showing me and it had all these woods that don't grow on Pern and that was one of the types that really stuck out for me 'cause I was thinking about how much I'd like to try carving something from wood that didn't grow on Pern, but I can't so I named him after one of the woods that was listed. I wrote them all down, in case you ever wanted to see…" And it goes on from there, nearly all in one breath, the energy required to fuel all of that almost able to be felt. And that smile, man the kids's face looks like it was about to cleave in two. How can anyone be grumpy with all that going on? Oh, they manage. "Isn't he though?!" Striking, that is. Mathis watches in gleeful anticipation as Bocote begins to investigate the the newly extended appendage in his space. Sniffing it. Nosing at it. Giving it a taste. MISTAKE! ABORT! ABORT! Mouth removed immediately from the side of D'lei's palm and gives it a look that clearly indicates that he is fronted at the lack of edibles that had been presented to him. Mathis giggles without restraint, noticing that Risali was a sneaky sneaky ninja and had simply appeared beside her werymate. "Risali!" Leaning over, he throws too thin arms gently around her neck and squeezes her in a hug for the ages, "Faranth yes! Tell Leirith thank you for me! He's perfect!" HUUUUUUUUG. That Meion didn't get one? That sends stiffness down Mathis's body, leaning back a some and looking over towards Meion with enough hurt and sadness for the both of them, "Why didn't she get one?" Hazel eyes trace over the weyrleaders, brows starting to pinch down into a knotted furrow. Bocote? He was undaunted by the jostling the embrace had wrought, far too busy cllimbing Mt. D'lei as to reach it's summit, having deposited himself into his palm and now was making his way up the fabric covering his arm.

Too late for Risali to dissuade her in time, Meion makes it to her cot, calling back "Klah counts as breakfast, right?" - though as she arrives, she hears the reason from the Weyrwoman, so she's prepared to find nothing. Nothing is not what she finds, however. Something is sitting on her pillow, and closer inspection reveals it to be a note. Meion leans in to take it, and starts her walk back toward the weyrleaders and Mathis, looking somewhere between disappointed and amused at the note left there in purple crayon. She squints at it, putting her best deciphering skills to work. After accounting for shaky handwriting and spelling errors, she can makes out "LEIRITH SAYS YOU WERE BAD AT PETS", followed by a big frowny-face. The frown was drawn over five or six times for EMPHASIS. Then, down below in red, "CAN I COME PLAY AGAIN?" Suspicious. Meion lifts the note, sniffs it, then starts laughing quietly as she hands it to Risali. "I don't know. I think I did pretty good at pets." She smiles to Mathis. "It's okay, really." This way, she doesn't need to keep a firelizard from incinerating precious documents by accident.

D'lei is, in fact, not food… but he can make a decent claim toward being friend. He chuckles a bit, reaching up a finger to rub against the brown's side as Mathis explains at length and enthusiasm about the source of that name… then splaying those fingers in a cup to help catch the baby firelizard as he tumbles over as a result of the boy's enthusiasm in thanking Risali. Fortunately, firelizards are sturdy creatures, and as Bocote begins his epic climb, D'lei reaches his other hand over to give the brown some further pets to encourage him on his upward quest. (And maybe also to catch him should his talons fail him, but the adventuresome flit doesn't need to know he's got a safety-line.) D'lei's head turns back to see Risali as she makes her awkwards, with a slight wince-grimace as his gaze shifts first to indignation from Mathis and then to Meion, who… "I can keep an eye for eggs, if you'd like." Just because Leirith didn't see fit to grace her with a miniature flying stomach, that doesn't mean there aren't other sources of firelizards!

"Faranth, no. That will just encourage her, but you are welcome." That momentary surprise of having to catch a hug from Mathis doesn't last very long; Risali shifts forward on the tips of her toes, brings both arms around Matty's person and squeezes right up until he goes stiff and draws away. Risali settles back on the balls of her feet again, adopting another grimace for the question that she is - for the moment! - saved having to answer by Meion. Risali takes the note of whiche she probably already knew the contents of (or, at least, the gist), because grey eyes sweep without real focus and then Risali hands it sideways to D'lei with a quiet, 'save me,' kind of smile-frown that she hides by FEIGNING INTEREST IN BROWN FLITS. Still, even as she reaches out with one finger towards the D'lei-climbing baby to gauge his interest in her love, her attention is straying back to Meion. "I'm sorry." It's a genuine apology, and a nod to concede approval for D'lei's egg-scouting plots. Now she answers Mathis with, "Leirith's not exactly human, so her sense of humor is…" A beat, an exhale that might have been laughter had it harbored any humor, "… questionable."

Bocote had found out the hard way that D'lei wasn't food, the tiny wedge-shaped head at the end of his long neck following the journey of the man's finger before it finds his side and is rubbed along it. The smallest of rumbled chirps, the three lids of his facets close, rolling his body towards the touch that had brought such pleasure to his newly hatched nervous system and that's about when he's nearly toppled over by Mathis leaning over to claim Risali for a snug. Finding the tip over much shorter than he might have anticipated, Bocote squiggles himself along D'lei's palm in a full body rub down then begins his ascent the second that he finds that sleeve, encouraged by pets the brown firelizard hatchling sends out puffy soft clouds of passing thought into the air around the cot. Mostly, adoration. Up, up, up he goes and hauls his body up over the crest of the man's shoulder, soon snaking himself into the warmest place he can find by squiggling in between D'lei's neck and shoulder. "Awww, but she should know that I'm happy with her present though," the boy says muffled into the Weyrwoman's neck, relenting his hold of her as soon as she does hers, sitings back on the cot properly again in that crossed-leg position. Mathis is confused by the play of emotion upon Meion's face, how can someone look disappointed and amused at the same time? , staring with nothing less than surprise as the woman sniffs the note she found in place of a firelizard egg. "But…" Hazel eyes dart between all the adults, teeth catching the fleshy protuberance of his bottom lip. It wasn't fair, was what he was about to say, not understanding the situation which was responsible for this injustice. Bocote, nestled all nice and warm in the nice and warm place, sniffs some at Risali's offered fingertip if only to nuzzle at it with tiny headknobs and jaw. That there was the closest approximation of a purr that one could expect from a firelizard, about three seconds before he's got his mouth wrapped around it. D'lei's offer to find Meion an egg, somewhere, at least seems to relieve Mathis, nodding in silent acceptance of the goldrider's apology. It doesn't mean that he isn't still sad for his fellow candidate, she was nice, she deserved a new friend just as much as everyone else did. Despite Risali's explanation, he doesn't appear to be any less puzzled. "She thinks its funny not giving Meion a new friend?" Awww, are those tears building?

That offer from D'lei has the opposite of a reassuring effect on Meion. "No - no, that's fine, really." She looks to Mathis, who has taken it upon himself to be more put-out by the slight to Meion than she herself is. "I… don't know if Leirith meant it as a joke, but." She smiles a little. Shakes her head and looks to Risali. "I don't understand her. She's probably right, though. I think I'd be more worried having a little flit to take care of right now than anything, with all the stuff I've got going on." A little growing lizard might mean she'd need to remember things like real food. It might be good for her, but she's certainly not going to complain about being permitted to duck another piece of long-term responsibility. She sits on the edge of whoever's cot is across from Mathis', and reaches up to tentatively offer fingers to the little brown. "Mm. I'll just have to enjoy everyone else's new friends." Such a horrible fate. That note makes it back to her and she holds it one hand, gesturing with it meaningfully. "Besides, if I need a friend I'm sure I can go find Ibsy." A smile to Risali. "I'm sure Leirith knows how to find her."

Warm happy firelizard thoughts! And also cuddles, though D'lei is amused as he tells the brown, "Really, you should be doing that on Matty's shoulder, not mine." Not that he expects the little creature to understand, really. It's warm and nice, and that's what firelizards like! Then he's got the note from Risali, and she takes over the petting duties for a moment while he reads it. He hehs, because apparently he also finds something just a bit funny about this, and gives his head a bit of a shake. Dragons! (And Leirith in particular!) What're you gonna do? (You sure you want this, kids? It's not too late to run away screaming and never come back!) But D'lei smiles a bit more as Meion assures her way from okay-without to active-refusal, and nods as he hands that note back. "Be careful what you ask for," he says to Meion at her mention of Ibsy - and Leirith's ability to find her. "Next time, she might bring the whole family." Can't have Heribly or Ciardyn getting jealous, after all! That would be terrible.

Risali parts with another huff of breathy laughter, pulling her finger away from tiny mouths to pet along a tiny head. "I'm not food," she informs the brown on a whisper, even as she tilts her head, grey eyes following the line slowly away from Bocote back to Mathis who gets a smile - belatedly. "She knows." Because her rider knows! But it seems like, for now, the gold is more content to observe than to induce a wave of headaches. "And she says…" Risali holds her breath for a moment, as if listening, and then smiles again. "You're welcome." But probably in a ridiculous way that Risali is trimming down because Leirith. Now her attention is on Meion, and there's… another grimace because DOES SHE EVEN UNDERSTAND LEIRITH? Not in her entirety, but she does have a little more insight to that brilliantly bombastic mind. "It's kind of a rule of thumb with Leirith that if she is… shouting," because how else would you describe that amalgamation of feeling, and impressions, and thought, "she's being good natured about it." Even if it's in letters, written by the hands of pig-tailed terrors and bolded for emphatic effect. "But she's not always funny, even when she thinks she is." Which is, just for the record, always. Then she's laughing, bumping gently sideways into D'lei, holding out a hand to make sure the gentle jostling doesn't send little browns falling as she smiles back to Meion. "I'm sure Ibsy would love the company. She told me that you were her very favorite, and is apparently proposing adopting you." Because of course she is. But — oh no. Emotions. MATHIS NO. Risali goes impossibly awkward for a moment, looking at Matty as if she just might choose then to bolt, and instead makes a soft sound in her throat that's akin to a mother sympathizing with her child - somewhat amused, somewhat concerned, all comfort. "It's okay, Matty." And up she goes, back onto her feet, pulling Mathis into another hug, but with the bonus of being able to scratch his back now. "We'll make it up to Meion, I promise."

But is it Meion? IS IT OKAY? That must be Meion's brave face, Mathis tells himself, but underneath it all her heart must be breaking and his was too by the looks of it being a whole lot less subtle it. In fact, he feels for her so greatly, that he had all but forgotten about his own new friend. Wordlessly he sits there all droopy shouldered and sorrowful, knowing was it was like to be the only one without friends. Empathy! Solidarity! Not that Bocote cares, by the looks of him one warm body was just as good as the next, hardly feeling ignored given all the attention everyone else was lavishing upon him. Tiny chirp, so precious, for D'lei's chiding which, as predicted, means nothing to him at all. He's warm, he's got pettings, his belly was full, life was good. But heeeeeyyy now, what, gimme that back! Bocote churrs and goes right after that finger again. Not food? He'll be the judge of that. After more pets of course. Mouthing along the goldrider's extended digit, the brown latches onto Meion's in short order, giving it much the same treatment intermittently among some nudging and squirming of his head into her touch. Who needs Mathis? Screw that guy. And once again, friendship is revealed to be (as earlier stated), a fickle thing indeed. Mathis just sits there, quietly, watching riders and candidate loving on Bocote, while trying desperately to wrap his head around why everyone was so okay and understanding in the face of such travesty. Lips drawn into the slightness of a frown, with no answers to the question of everything he didn't get, "But if they don't want to share their friends with you?" he asks with a tone that suggests this was something he'd experienced, but without waiting for any response he's says musch more firmly, "Well, if that happens…you can always play with Bocote, promise." The firelizard apparently did not have a choice in the matter, but seeing how events were unfolding here, it was a safe bet that he'd be okay with it. And without skipping a beat, "Who's Ibsy?" Another friend to be shared? Do tell! A nod is bestowed upon Risali, just once. "Okay." It was good that Leirith knew he was happy and thankful for his present, even without her rattling around inside of his head to tell him so. He would take the woman's word at face value, because why would she lie about something so very important? However, when he's pulled back into a hug for that show of teary emotion, he wraps his arms around the goldrider and nods some more amongst much sniffling for the promises made. Back scritches were nice, it almost felt like home, and that was comforting to him. "Good." Hiccup.

That brave face is very convincing, really. It's convinced Meion herself that she's completely okay with this turn of events, even though Mathis can't see how. She pats Bocote lightly on the top of mouthing head, and turns her finger toward the young woodcrafter to try to divert the flit hatchling's attention. "I think you should spend some time with this little guy." Though, which of Bocote and Mathis is being addressed, and which referred to? She nods to Risali, quite certainly. "I'm sure. Everyone here's been so good about that." D'lei's family comments are heard, but unremarked upon. If she doesn't know about more siblings, maybe they can't be foisted on her! Not that it saved her last time.

Some pets for Bocote, from Meion. Some pets for Mathis, from Risali. Both brown firelizard and his human receive affections, and while one of them is rather more upset to start with, the loving does seem to have a positive effect on them both. "If I find a computerized firelizard, though?" he says to Meion, "I am definitely giving it to you." D'lei grins, even if that threat is unlikely to come to fruition, and gives Bocote another pet before nudging his fingers around to encourage the brown onto his fingers - and from there, back to Mathis, because adventuresome as the little flit may be, perhaps he can give some of his pleasure back to his upset person! And the rest, well, they can as easily give the brown attention there as on D'lei. "Ibsy is Risa's little sister," he answers Mathis absently as he makes that firelizard-relocation attempt. "She's five." And really, what more explanation does one need?

"One of them, anyway," Risali amends, as she withdraws from that hug with a gentle pat to Mathis' shoulders in a gesture meant to say it's okay and you've got this. She takes one step back, and then two, fingers brushing D'lei's shoulder as she goes until she's sitting down beside Meion on that cot, eyes still on Mathis. "I have a lot of younger siblings." Maybe she is just trying to distract him from his sads, as she takes to harassing D'lei by tapping the toes of her boots against his and bumps Meion gentle with her shoulder. A tilt of that head, and those grey eyes are back on the computercrafter. "They are." Good about it, she means. And then, a little more tentative: "Are you sure you're okay?" Because she will go hunt down a flitter for you RIGHT THIS SECOND.

When Elayne makes it back to the barracks for a spare few minutes, she has a tiny goat at her heels and firelizards vying for her attention, the half-grown green of the trio trying to claim the newly-hatched blue for her very own while a brown watches what's unfolding across the Harper's shoulders with something akin to amusement. She paces her way along the row of cots, the briefest of nods offered in various directions as she steps past people, until she reaches the bed she's claimed, where the goat hops up onto the mattress without a thought, earning a narrow-eyed stare until she bleats and Elayne (somewhat foolishly) relents, looping an arm over her to give pats as she goes rummaging for food best suited for distracting firelizards. A pouch of dried meat strips serves well enough, bites offered first to the blue, being the littlest.

The firelizard, unlike Matty, doesn't care if Meion doesn't have one of his clutchsiblings for her very own and while he follows the movement of her hand, he doesn't seem to understand what she's trying to say, bumping his tinier than tiny self against it. With Weyrleader fingers swept beneath his paws, he latches onto them automatically, though seems rather put out when he's moved away from what is warm into the cooler air of the room. No no, this wouldn't do. A fluttering of wings and he sails over to resume much the same position, but this time where he should have been in the first place. On Mathis, recently released from his second round of hugs, who returns to his own spot on his cot and wipes at his face. He seems, a little better than before, reassured that Meion would not be lonely and sad for very long as he peers over at D'lei and his slightly redder eyes widening, "They HAVE those?" Cue up greedy face, 2.0, immediately looking towards where Risali and Meion are seated with new hope. "Can I play with it when you get it?" All interest in Ibsy, vanishes when its mentioned that she was five. The thirteen turn old's hands flying to his hair as he pales considerably. "Oh, that's…nice…" For siblings, regardless of that glimpse of panic. A curious sweep of his gaze given to the kicking of Risali's boot to her mate's before he's once more distracted by the appearance of Elayne and Not-Fluffy-Clover-Daisy as well as her hoarde of firelizards. "Elayne! Meion's getting a robot firelizard!" See what you started, D'lei?

A laugh at D'lei's comment, and Meion nods. "If you manage that, I'll even accept." She nods to Risa, too. "It's fine. I'll just hold out for D'lei's offer." And then Mathis is actually believing them, and she just doesn't have the heart to tell the truth. "They're pretty rare. I think it'll take a long time to even find one." Like, a collaboration between the tech and computer craft masters. "But when I get one, I promise you can meet it too." An easy promise to keep, she expects, with a grin to the weyrleadership.

One of them, yes. D'lei's nod to Risali's addition acknowledges that she is well endowed in the sibling department. "She has enough to make up for my lack." Because that is definitely how it works. D'lei smiles as he sees the little brown take up his proper place on Matty's shoulder, then hehs with an edge of welp at the sudden interest in compuflits. This is why he should follow Risa's advice and shut up! But he doesn't, because of course not. Instead, he grins to Meion, with a nod to her - and then a laugh as he waves to Elayne and her crew. "If I can find one." Slash invent one. Close enough!

"Too many," Risali answers D'lei with dry humor. "They're cute, though." Don't worry, Mathis! That tap, tap, tap of Risa's toes against D'lei's boot is not SECRET CODE for anything other than Risali is a restless human who seems to have a need for perpetual motion, and D'lei just happens to be right where she can tap against him while she wiggles her foot to expel some of that need. "Okay," Risali answers Meion around a smile, because if she says it's okay, it's probably okay, and she is perfectly content to leave it at that. Mostly because SHE IS NOT GOOD WITH PEOPLE OR EMOTIONS. Not her own, anyway. Cue Elayne and her menagerie of pets and Risali zeros in on that goat with a wince. It's probably why she looks so awkward when she raises her hand in a wave. Because that was her dragon's fault. The goat and one flit, anyway.

Elayne leans to tie the lead that she's been walking the goat - Not-Fluffy-Clover-Daisy, now Heart - around with to the leg of her cot, firelizards abandoning her for her pillow as she looks up and brushes her hair back, peering over at Mathis with a curious, "They exist? Why haven't I seen that in the innovation hall?" Hard done by, she sounds it. She's glancing from Meion, to Risali, to D'lei for answers there, and staring at the Weyrwoman at just the right moment to notice her focus on Heart as she waves, her response to keep a protective arm around her. "I don't mind or really care how she got here or why she's here, but she's mine now," she says bluntly. "I'm keeping her. Her name is Heart and she's mine."

Hazel eyes round out ever wider than before as Meion speaks of the rarity of computerized firelizards, nodding his head slowly in dumbstruck amazement. Of course they'd be rare because he'd never seen one or even heard anyone talk about them before. They were probably expensive too, but that D'lei was willing to offer his very good friend and computercrafter one anyway? "Okay!" he gladly accepts of meeting the compuflit upon its acquirement and arrival. As it to prove it takes remarkably little to placate him, Mathis beams the brightness of his sun-shiniest smiles towards the Weyrleader with such happiness that he probably doesn't remember being sad in the first place. "I'm sure you'll do your very best D'lei! Thank you!" With that, he launches himself forward and throws his arms around him instead into the tightest of tight hugs. SQUEEZE! Decote does not like being squished, pointy claws making the boy wince and he withdraws after only a few moments to send a sharp look downwards towards what he couldn't see, "Decote, that hurts." The brown firelizard fuffs, as if to say so did having his insides in his throat, giving the woodcrafter a nip as a reminder. "Ow!" Frowning, he drops back into his own space and reaches for him, but a skittering scramble upwards (ignoring the fuss of 'Ow! Hey! Stop that!') sees to it that Decote perches atop that thick nest of short cropped hair. Ohh. Yeah. That's nice. Through clenched teeth, one eye clamped closed while the other is directed upwards, "I'm sure they are." is hissed out for Risali, leaving it unsaid that they could be cute elsewhere. Away from him and his hair, clothes, life. He almost too afraid to nod, looking towards Elayne stiffly, "D'lei said he was going to get one for Meion because Leirith wouldn't give her a firelizard for…sooooome reeeeeason…" A slow turn of his head towards Risali. As the goat's name is revealed, he turns back to the girl too quickly and Bocote rewards him by digging his claws in. "Ow! Faranth, stop." Breathing out unsteadily, "You named her Heart?" Awww, he was melting just then, and Bocote was trying to eat his hair.

Meion just smiles at the prospect of almost-certainly-not-imaginary computerized firelizards. Never mind that the real sort seem to be perfectly prolific enough for all reasonable purposes on Pern and then some. As she well knows, adding computers makes everything 273% cooler. So, she's quite happy to play along - especially if it decreases the odds that a well-meaning Mathis will manage to scrounge up a real flit egg for her. She smiles, only slightly unsteady on her feet. "I should… probably catch a nap, though." Never mind that is it still closer to dawn than dusk. "And… maybe I should eat something. To go with the klah, of course." Meion, running on little sleep and less food? Impossible. The healers would have her head if they found out. But they won't, will they?

D'lei laughs as Mathis launches into that hug, his arms lifting up to return it even as he gives Risali a look over the boy's shoulder, the sort that says he knows she will have absolutely zero sympathy for him - and may, in fact, laugh in his face - but he just needs her to know, okay? Just like Bocote needs his human to know that squishes are not for flits. D'lei has a half-amused wince as the flit clambers up the candidate. "I see you'll have some work to do teaching him manners," he says - but it's with a smile. "Seems like a clever enough fellow, though." Very proficient at getting his point across with pointy claws and teeth, for one thing. "So I'm sure the two of you will figure it out." Confidence! He has it. Just like Elayne has confidence around the fact that she's keeping Heart, and… D'lei nods. "If you impress, you may need to foster her… at least until the dragons learn she's not food." Because that would just be sad… but it's all the objection he's going to raise. He will, however, agree to Meion's plan with a firm nod. "I hear protein is nice. Carbohydrates, too! They buffer the caffeine, you see." Which will likely bring her back up from that nap just as soon as she's had enough of it to re-balance the relative exhaustion meters, but hey. At least time on her cot here will probably keep her off the infirmary ones!

Oh dear. Risali's awkward smile definitely lands in the realm of a grimace for the show and declaration of ownership. "Uhm," she says, intelligently. "Heart is a good name…?" There is only a lilt at the end of her words to denote a question mark because Risali is not 100% sure that this response will have the desired effect. BUT BAM. D'LEI WITH THE RESCUE. Risali maybe looks relieved when Dash tackles that particular point of goats and dragons and dinner, pulling her foot backward when Mathis comes forward, as if to avoid being jarred or somehow tripping up the candidate or the Weyrleader even though that would be quite the feat given current positions. One hand goes out toward Meion, a pull of concern knitting brows as if she means to steady the computercraft in the event that 'unsteady' attempts to become 'some form of temporary narcolepsy,' and, once sure she's going to stay upright, her attention goes back to D'lei. There is definitely humor in her expression, lips curling up in what promises to be the beginnings of laughter as — okay — she kicks his boot with hers again and settles before Mathis draws back. It's that look he gives her that has the Weyrwoman looking SUDDENLY AWKWARD AGAIN, a huff of laughter that ends when she clears her throat and issues a soft, "Right," into the air between them. AND TO HER FEET SHE GETS, leaning down to press a kiss against D'lei's temple, giving Mathis and Elayne both a quiet smile that's… more a press of lips into something almost apologetic, even as she issues, "Congratulations," to the both of them. For the flits, of course! One squeeze to D'lei's shoulder, and she's squaring her own, chin going up just a touch as she heads for the door. "Sleep well, Meion!" And right as she pushes out of the barracks, she's breaking into a jog. BE FREE!

Whether Elayne winces for the sight of overly enthusiastic hugging or the pain being inflicted by firelizard claws, she winces nonetheless and glances down, confirming, "Maybe it's fanciful, but she's a loyal little thing, even if she does like to snack on sheets." The words are more to herself than anyone else, at least while she speaks them, shared out when she looks up and gives a singular nod. "I'll find her some nice people," she promises D'lei. "With a nice field. Full of nice things." It may have been her intention to stay only long enough to find firelizard food, but sitting down on her cot was the biggest mistake she's made. Or perhaps she's inadvertently got into the cycle of sleeping when the baby sleeps. Or babies. With firelizards already fast asleep on her pillow and Heart folding down to nap, she doesn't quite make it to sitting upright again and instead drifts off half-sprawled across her cot as her efforts to keep constantly busy finally catch up with her.

It's good that Meion has decided she nip that in the bud, because otherwise she might have found several wild firelizard clutches waiting for her at some point. Mathis was nothing if not devoted to making those he counted as friends 'happy'. Having a whole barracks full of friends was tough sometimes, you know. Completely oblivious to any looks shot to Risali from D'lei while he hugged him, her breathy laughter is much more apparent, the kick to the back of the Weyrleader's boot more than enough that the boy retreats and makes a soft general apology. Wincing a few more times for those pin-prick little claws and the ease with which they dug into him, "Yeeeeah, but I can't be too mad at him. He's a baby and he doesn't know any better," he says with a nod towards D'lei. Rinian taught him that, admittedly about the eggs, but it was pretty much the same thing but the mini version, right? The boy coaxes Bocote down off the top of his head and offers the crook of his neck again, which is accepted after some hesitation and eyeballing, wrapping his tail around as much of the woodcrafter's neck as he could before snuggling in for a nice long nap. Being adorable was hard work and it had been such a busy first day and all. Another big grin and nod for D'lei, they (as Risali had but it) totally got this. Mathis doesn't say anything with it comes to goats being baby dragon food, but there was something about the word fostered that causes him to withdraw a little from the gathering of folks, stroking the tips of his fingers along Bocote's back ridges and earning him a soft proooling sound that upturns his lips somewhat. As Risali makes to leave, "Bye Risali, thank you." Turning back towards Elayne, he finds her asleep and Meion gone off to sleep and eat, perhaps even in that order. Looking to the Weyrleader, "Her lifemate wouldn't really eat Heart would it?"

D'lei smiles, nodding to Mathis. "He is. And he's your responsibility now." But hey, after a genuine sock puppet, how hard can a firelizard be? D'lei nods approval to Elayne's nice plan, then half-smiles to the question from Mathis. "Her lifemate, probably not," D'lei answers him. Empathic bonds are good for that much, at least! "One of the other young dragons in the clutch? Quite possibly." Mmmm, mutton! Which … maybe reminds him. "I should get myself some breakfast too," he says. "And some klah to go with it." He waves, and gives Bocote another pet. "Enjoy your new friend!" And then… he too departs!

Mathis nods his head, returning the smile, "I know, and I'll take really good care of him I promise." Totally going to be cake after keeping Mr. Flibble happy and fed. He appears satisfied with the answer to his question, but turns a little green around the gills despite himself. "Ooooh, maybe better that Heart doesn't stay then." He certainly didn't want to see or be responsible for goat carnage. As breakfast is brought up, his stomach rumbles again, holding a hand over it and sliding his gaze off and to one side. Ugh, food didn't sound like a bad idea either. Bocote nestles in closer to Mathis's neck as he is petted, a sound of contentment rising up if only to settle again into sleep. "I will! Have a nice breakfast D'lei, thanks for visiting and stuff." A wave is sent the man's way and then it becomes all about getting up and getting ready for the day and something to eat before he died.

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