Coercing the Cowardly

Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl
The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.

See, for those in Fort who DO NOT SLACK OFF IN BED GOSSIPING, the day is well under way. Underway enough that there are more then a few people moving around the bowl on their way to lunch, or whatever strikes their fancy for the middle of the afternoon. Fortunately, while this end of the bowl does see traffic, it's relatively sparse, most of the visitors venturing out this way heading for the hatching caverns in the hopes of a little afternoon egg peepage. F'inn, however, is not down with the egg peeping. He's peeped enough eggs in his day and, in the wake of a comment regarding Dad Sweaters over the winter, he's taken to running the stairs to the adminstration complex with an an intensity that screams 'I AM NOT OLD DAMMIT'. Nymionth? Nymionth has long since given up trying to explain all the ways in which F'inn is being ridiculous and is lounging at the bottom of the stairs, his head massive bronze head tilted to the side as he observes his lifemate's attempts to fight time. He's amused. Amused enough that his eyes are whirling as just waits for F'inn to tire himself out. Kinda like dealing with a very large child with entirely too much energy and stubbornness.

BECAUSE RUNNING UP AND DOWN STAIRS IS SUPER IMPORTANT WEYRSECOND WORK?! HMMMM?? WHAT ABOUT ALL THEM SKI-TRIPS YOU BEEN TAKING, F'INN?! AT LEAST ALEXA CAN CLAIM TO BE DOING HER JOB AS A CONSIDERATE WEYRWOMAN — SHE'S JUST MAKING HER GUEST FEEL WELCOME! Enough of that capslock though. Alexa might be nursing a headache, but it's probably because of F'inn and not because she stayed up way too late or something, nope. But the outside world must eventually be braved regardless. At least it's summer, and so somewhat pleasant outside. And visiting Raaneth totally counts as work, which is probably where they are headed. But finding a weyrsecond on the stairs (exercising. EW. Just think of all the gross sweat he's probably dripping all over those stairs) is not what Alexa is expecting. Sigh. "Don't break your neck," she calls, oh, so helpfully. "Cause I really don't wanna do the paperwork for that."

And listen, TEJRA IS FEELING EXTREMELY WELCOMED, TO THE MANNER IN WHICH SHE'S BECOME ACCUSTOMED, which is to say warmly and with a shoulder for all her I'm-not-upset-but-let's-pretend-I-might-be-a-little-because-then-we-can-justify-an-evening-of-distraction-and-a-sleepover woes. Doubtless, the redhead found Alexa's willingness to be accomplice to aims that included drinking, dancing and a stop off at Weaver to borrow clothes from an acquaintance there all very obliging and welcoming behaviors. SOME WEYRSECONDS COULD STAND TO LEARN A THING OR TWO, but do they? EVER? Welp, not if they're going to open with that kind of barrage, it seems, or demonstrate this sort of commitment to proof of things that are all perspective or the merciless march of time. HONESTLY, taking notice of the bronzerider's efforts in any but the routinely observant but not seen to be so way that Tej has toward her situational awareness is not really on her agenda. Her klah cup is getting more attention with the way she's nursing it. Still, she is probably doing slightly better than Alexa because late nights with drink and exertions and getting up and carrying on might be more of a routine, even if the details vary quite a bit. It's really only Alexa's stop that makes Tejra give F'inn a second glance. "Do we know him?" is an aside to Alexa after the moment's pause has been taken advantage of to take a deeper drink than just a sip.

"That would mean actually doing paperwork," F'inn calls back in jovial tones. Yes, there is sweat. Sweat is the point of running up and down those blasted stairs. Still, he's slowing his pace to a halt, snagging a towel off Nymionth's leg as grins at the approaching pair. For his part, Nymionth offers a familiar rose-scented croon in greeting to Alexa, and by sheer proximity, her companion, the bronze's low, mellow tones quietly welcoming. "Everyone's at lunch," F'inn provides in less teasing tones, the towel draped over his shoulders as he leans back against one massive bronzed paw. It's the fact that he does not know the person she is with that has him dipping his chin in a polite nod of greeting. "Afternoon." Which is followed with a glance back at Alexa as he notes. "We'd like to take the kids to visit the dads in the next sevenday, or so. N'sir gets fussy when he doesn't see them and R'sner threatens my life." Pause. "F'inn," he adds to the redhaired woman. "Rider of bronze Nymionth." To which Nymionth dips his head and adds a flourishing gesture of one cloak-like wing. "Who says well met."

There's a shark-like smile with too many teeth and very little warmth aimed at F'inn for his ribbing, but Alexa is just going to let that comment go. "Unfortunately," answers Tej's question about knowing him and, after a moment there's a sigh and a scrunch of her nose and probably a roll of her eyes for having to be all polite and stuff before a hand gets flicked toward F'inn to add, "The Weyrsecond of Fort," to his introduction. "Hello Nymionth," is far more warmly given because the bronze has not inspired Alexa's ire. The mention of the kids gets a briefly blank look (blame the potential lingering hangover) before it seems to click in Alexa's head that he's waiting for permission. "Oh. Right. Sure. Yeah. They love going."

Well, one male here can garner a distinctly positive response, and that's Nymionth. He gets a flash of a genuinely bright smile from Tej though it's interrupted by her apparently unfeigned, "Really?" The word has all the credible incredulity a person could want of a truly genuine response of surprise. Pale eyes transfer away from the bronze back to the man, slightly widened and then squinting ever so slightly. There is nothing in her figurative hand that's overplayed, nothing that gives away any hint that this may be some fascet of one of her endless options for the masks that fit her like a second skin. In the next moment, she's subtly straightening, a blandly polite smile hitting her lips, "Of course, sir. I'm sorry, I didn't-" she vaguely gestures at— well, all of him, which might mean his current state of exercise or— well, let the imagination just run with that, "-recognize you. I stood for Nymionth and Raaneth's clutch at Igen some turns back." Not that they ever really met then, so certainly F'inn's lack of recognition is understandable, but wouldn't a candidate for a clutch recognize a clutchsire's face, even three or four turns later? Maybe they begin to blur. Or maybe Alexa should never have mentioned how she enjoys needling F'inn. The point is, here we are. "Tejra, Journeyman Harper, visiting from Xanadu." It's really few who get the formal introduction, marked by not nickname, rank and posting. She extends a hand, all good manners and innocence. "It's a pleasure to meet you properly." Of course it is. She doesn't, of course, comment on the family visitation planning, but does murmur in what might be an aside to Alexa, "I have been meaning to go speak to R'sner one of these days." Turns. Whatever. It's fine. "Maybe that's what I should do with myself for a seven or so. I'm sure I can come up with an excuse." This sounds like it's part of an on-going discussion between the women (which it is, since some people stay in bed gossiping until lunchtime).

Nymionth adores Alexa, she's the mother of the human hatchlings that mean the world to him and that? That has him showering her with rose petals in response to her greeting. Mind you, Nymionth is nothing if not a gentleman and makes sure that there is an equal measure of floral finery showering down upon the weyrwoman's companion, as well. The accord, though, meets with an immediate "Great," from F'inn. "Might want to prep space for the haul they are sure to return with." Because there is no chance that those kids are not coming back with a mountain of toys and clothes. Course, he's immediately slanting a lopesided smirk toward Tejra at her 'Really'. "Mmhmm." And yes, yes, there is a look slanted at Alexa that is coupled with a shake of his head before he's looking back at her guest. "Tejra.. Is it? Welcome to Fort." Nice to make formal introduction. Never mind that he is in shorts and drenched in sweat. Course, Nymionth is much more polite, lowering his head to get a closer look at the visiting Harper while chuffing at her hair. Course, a moment later, he's getting right up close and personal, or as up close and personal as he can while still maintaining a gentlemanly distance. "Nym." F'inn's interjection on his lifemate's investigation of the pair of women is coupled with one hand raising to rest against the bronze's neck. "Give them some space. We'll be happy to tender your regards to R'sner if you like," he adds as he glances between the two females.

The squint of Alexa's eyes is probably impeding her vision. But it's fine. She's going for aesthetic; seeing is overrated. Her "mmhmm," mirrors F'inn's, though Alexa's is somewhat more sarcastic; a little more dry. A little more 'I'm as shocked as you are' which is probably meant to be, just a little, insulting. Probably because Alexa is of the opinion that F'inn's ego needs to be knocked down a peg or two. The utter formality of the introduction might draw a look from Alexa, one pale brow raised, though she won't comment beyond a pointed sip of her Klah. "Oh Faranth, don't call him sir. He's head's big enough as it is." She'll even roll her eyes for the idea, even if that's not the best idea given her situation (ow. Her head). But the suggestion that Tej might go visit Weyrlingmasters in sandy climes that has her expression falling a little, even if she'll be a good supportive friend and— yeah no. Scratch that. "You really want to hang out with him?" She probably means F'inn. "And the babies? There are gonna be babies, Tej. Like. At least three of them. Probably four." Beat. Two. "And they're messy. Like. Really messy." LOOK. Listen. Alexa loves her kids. She does. But she also does not live with them, and that is by intention. It is by choice. They live with nannies and foster parents because Alexa is many things but an awesome mom is not one of them. "You could stay here. Keep me company while I'm stuck on the sands. Raaneth would let you touch the eggs, if you wanted. I mean, you could even be a candidate, if you want to make it official."

It's possible Tej has not rubbed elbows with many gentlemen in her life (ALL OF YOU ARE ON NOTICE: rose petals, yes), and maybe she just is a little easily made putty in the hand by dragons of all shapes and sizes, but Nymionth gets another vivacious smile from the redhead in appreciation of his courtesy. She doesn't even seem to mind having her hair chuffed at. If nothing else, she certainly has her priorities straight in this exchange, asking first, "Does he enjoy being touched?" Her hands are offered up willingly to the task if so, with skill that means she's done this a time or two or twelve thousand. "It is," is the perky reassurance one might offer the old forgetful when F'inn happens to choose that particular mode of reply. But she's not sassing him, to be sure, she looks entirely too guileless. Besides, there's distraction close at hand. Her nose wrinkles distinctly at babies. It's definitely not for the idea of spending time with F'inn, right? Probably right. "Well, maybe I can visit him another seven." She concedes this far before she has to face that last thing Alexa said. It's not the first time it's been mentioned between them and Tej had to know she could ask her friend for a knot when she fled decided to come visit. Her pale eyes flick in the direction of the stranger (well, relative stranger), before managing a wry smile. "Some might frown upon taking up a candidate's knot just to have an excuse not to be a home for a month or two." Although it's not as though Tej hasn't been actively standing for clutches in other places since Igen, which Alexa certainly knows. It might be simply that the Harper hasn't made up her mind yet. It's probably because she hasn't seen the eggs in person yet. That's always her downfall.

F'inn slants a lopesided grin at Alexa when his ego is mentioned, his shoulders rising and falling in an easy shrug. "It's not ego if it's true," he points out with a pointed twinkle in pale blue eyes. "Nymionth would be more then happy to be touched," he assures Tejra. Mind you, it was an unnecessary assurance, since the bronze is more then happy to lower his head within easy touching range. No stretching or reaching when it comes to the ladies, not with Nym. Course, he is not a stupid man and he is well aware of where the chips are going to fall in a choice between himself and Alexa. "I doubt K'zre would be thrilled with my bringing a redhaired harper along with us," he points out. As for the kids? He'd LOVE to have them live him and K'zre, it is exactly what he wants the most, even if he knows that it is impractical and unworkable. He deals with the situation as it is with as many trips, both long and short, as he can possibly manage. It is the invitation (bribe?) to stand that has him twisting around and slipping a white knot out of his saddlebags, the knot tossed to Alexa to gift to her companion. "Nym agrees wholeheartedly with the suggestion." Pause. "Of you staying here and being a candidate." Not coming with them. Nym? Nym prefers his lifemate with life. "But I will happily pass along regards." That Nym most assuredly agrees is clear in the slow whirling of his eyes and the croon of encouragement he offers the Harper.

"And it's not true if it's only in your head," counters Alexa. She doesn't go so far as to stick her tongue out at him (because that would be just a little too childish. At least today). She'll just nurse her Klah and watch as Nymionth makes with the woo-ing and F'inn makes with the ego-ing, and Tej makes with the deciding (and probably the dragon-loving). "Some might," agrees Alexa with a little, one-shoulder shrug. "Those people can jump off a cliff. Besides," she argues. "It's not like you haven't stood before. And for Raaneth, even. She likes the idea." DOES SHE THO? To be fair, Raaneth probably would like the idea, if she was privy to the decision. And clearly, Alexa isn't above trying to be a little sneaky with a casual, "You don't have to decide now. Wait until you see the clutch…" because //maybe she knows that will clinch it? But hey! Then there's Nym (or F'inn?) with the win. And the knot. And while Alexa bother to actually thank him for it, there's at least a lessening of that 'ugh' face she usually has when he says things (really, today at least, it's probably the headache and F'inn's shirtlessness that inspires that face more than anything else. Ugh.). "See?" is added as she fumble-catches the knot (at least it didn't land in the klah!). "Nym agrees. And Nym is usually a great judge of character."

Tej wouldn't think twice about Nymionth's head becoming the centerpiece of this conversation, of course, but it happens that she's situated such that it's not necessary and she shifts a little more to let the riders with the baby connection have their conversation, though not going so far as to excuse herself. She might have really been content to have her moment giving some adoring attention to the bronze with one hand, while the other keeps a steady supply of klah coming to her mouth, while the riders worked out all the details of the visit and all, but then… ganged up on. See, it's one thing to be asked by your friend who happens to be a goldrider with a gold with eggs on the sands somewhere, to keep her company, to stand because it gives one a valid excuse to be not at home when one would rather not be at home, and another thing to be invited by a dragon. True, Tej, after her eyes widen in some surprise that really does resemble the initial show of it for F'inn, is casting a suspicious look toward the bronzerider because maybe he's only saying that so that she doesn't end up trying to hitch that ride to Igen and have to bring the whole 'redheaded harper tagalong' to the attention of his weyrmate. Possibly, this is a hint that she did recognize F'inn from the start, or maybe since his identity was pointed out, the rest is easy enough to remember. The look doubles in suspicion as she shifts it to Alexa, who is definitely not above all this skulduggery. Tej's lips twitch as she lets the moment exist where everyone can see Tej is not stooping to the low of questioning poor, innocent Nymionth, who is such a gentleman, by taking the obvious shot at F'inn. And thus, with an elegant exhale, she gracefully folds. "Fine. Give me the sharding knot." Because they ganged up on her. While she's hungover. She's entitled to a grumble, even if she's taking the knot without a qualm when it's given to her and getting it settled on her until-then knotless shoulder. "Happy now?" She rather demands but in the next moment she's moving to hook her arm around Alexa's waist. "Now, can we go see the eggs?" She's not whining. (Okay, she's whining a little, but only because she's just been piteously bullied and only eggs can console her; that's her incredibly inaccurate story and she's sticking to it.)

"Sure it is," F'inn laughs as he grins at Alexa. And hey, she might not stick out her tongue, but he's all to happy to toss her a wink. "Ask me, I'll tell you all about it." F'inn's work here is done and it shows in the smug satisfaction that shines in pale blue eyes as he steps back to Nymionth and scales the bronze's side. "I'll let you know when we're taking the kids," he assures Alexa. Because while he knows he's welcome to take them? He would never do that without clearing it with her, first. Course, Nymionth? Well, he's fine with his lifemate being poked at, it's good for F'inn, builds character, a fact made clear when he exhales an approving chuff toward Alexa. "Traitor," F'inn laughs with a shake of his head. Nym? Nym would roll his eyes if that was even remotely possible for him to do. Course, the moment she takes the knot, Nymionth is exhaling a pleased a croon, adding another shower of rose petals to the equation for good measure. "Well done," F'inn notes with a laugh. "Enjoy your egg viewing, Ladies. We are going to shower." He is, however, enough of a gentleman (Really it's Nym) that the bronze backs away slowly, getting more then enough distance to not blow them both over before launching into the air. For now, his work is done. It's shower time. Then baby time!

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