A Whole New Life

Xanadu Weyr - Training Grounds
This wide, grassy expanse is nestled into a vaguely bowl-shaped curve, granite walls jagged and misshapen as though something's taken a bite out of the mountain. It's high above the level of the beach, with a lovely easterly view of the sea and a long path leading down to sandy shores. Cliffs surround the training grounds on all other sides, excepting a small archway leading towards the hatching arena.

While much of the grounds are left in their natural state, one area has been trampled and trodden by enough feet that the grass struggles to grow. A running track circles a set of equipment - straw dummies with wooden frames, obstacles of various sizes and shapes, and targets for flaming, archery, and whatever else might be needed to train human and dragon bodies alike.

Candidate access to the combined barracks can obtained by way of a simple door embedded into the wooden half of the structure. Weyrlings are encouraged to make use of a short but massive tunnel that slopes gently upwards into the half of the barracks meant for dragon use. To the right of this opening, a jagged crack in the stone leads to a dim cave, alive with the sound of water.

Is it morning? What day is it anyway? Time has become somewhat meaningless; routine has gone out the window. Sh'y's life revolves around Kovagath and his needs. Awake when he's awake, feeding him, washing him, feeding himself when he's asleep, bathing himself when he has a spare five minutes. When the world revolves around a baby blue dragon, what difference does it make if he's asleep at three in the afternoon and awake at three in the morning? In point of face, it has been… three days. Three days since life went completely sideways in the best way possible. And three days since a certain conversation in the baths. Kovagath is stretched out in the sun, soaking up the rays and drifting into sleep while Sh'y works on oiling his itty, bitty but-definitely-growing body, stomach full of delicious raw meat that the human-half has only recently cleaned from his own hands.

Avi could not begin to say what day it is. Some day, after the first day. That much, at least, he is certain of. He's a mess, but he just doesn't care. In fact, barely a passing thought has gone into his appearance since Mirieth came into his life with a yelp and a stumble. His hair, normally neat and tidy, is fastened into a loose, haphazard knot on the back of his head and the heavy skirt he is wearing? Well, it's seen better days and is stained with things he's just not going to think about. And while it is three days after the conversation in question, it might as well be three sevendays. Fortunately, life goes on, at a HECTIC pace when it comes to dragons, and there has been very little time to dwell on anything but food, baths, oil, sleep, muck.. And, in Mirieth's case? Walking. Walking has become a very important part of what it is to be Mirieth and Avi. Or stumbling with intermittent walking, as the case may be. It is that that has the green pair moving toward the blue, thier presence loudly announced by Mirieth's mezzo, but very off-key singing « You put one foot… Isitafootthough? This is more of a paw, or a claw.. definitely not a very footy foot. » "It's a perfectly footy foot, Mirieth," Avi laughs as he paces alongside her, one hand on her 'shoulder'. «I suppose in the loosest definition of Foot, it is footsome enough.» Spotting the blue pair, the little green bugles happily, her walking turning to bounding in her excitement which promptly turns to stumbling, then tumbling, then sprawling on the ground in a tangle of tail, wing, limb. « I meant to do that.»

Kovagath cracks an eyelid as Sh'y freezes in his oiling. Both of them watch the tumbling of Mirieth with a mixture of wince and amusement (at least, Kovagath is amused). « It was a beautiful fall, » he drawls. « 10 out of 10. Just lovely. » Is he teasing? Maybe just a little, but even if the words are wry, there's a genuine note of truth as well, a warmth that reaches out and touches Mirieth. « Falling is nothing to be ashamed of, » he assures her. « That's how we learn to rise. » And Sh'y? Not nearly as eloquent as his dragon, even if he offers a hoarse, "You okay?" that could be for Miri or Avi, or both.

Sprawled on the groudn with Avi hovering over her, Mirieth cranes her neck to regard Kovagath amusement clear in the whirling of her eyes. « Less rising and more falling, but.. Who knew walking was so hard! » Huffing, she wiggles and squirms until she's back on her feet looking more then a little tousled as she shakes out her wings. « I'm fine,» she assures to the accompaniment of Avi's quick "She's fine," which is promptly followed with «We're fine… Okay, feet.. Iamstillnotsurethatisaccurate… onward!» When she starts to move forward again, Avi rests a hand on her shoulder, murmuring. "Why don't we take a break, Mirieth? You do have those itches.." Which immediately has Mirieth shimmysquirming on her feet, her wings flicktwitching at the mention of itches. « Making with the oil-i-ness sounds like a plan.» Which is promptly followed with « Hi. I mean, hello! Erm.» As she flops down next to Kovagath and Sh'y and stretches a wing out to Avi in a very, there, there, please, gesture.

« So long as you always get up one more time than you fall down, you're winning. » Kovagath is rather better on his feet than Mirieth might be, and in another time and place he'd rise up and demonstrate. But right now? Baby life means tired limbs and sleepies. He's conscious enough to converse but anything more will have to wait for another day. Sh'y watches the green pair for a moment or two longer before turning back to continue his own task of oiling that blue baby stretched out on the ground. Without a word he picks up the pot of oil and places it within easy reach of Avi before dipping his fingers back in to smooth some onto Kovagath's side. "Hey," says Sh'y. « Hello, again, » says Kovagath.

« Then I am definitely winning, » Mirieth admits in sunny tones. « Avi is very, very good at urging me to get back up.» Course, she is momentarily confused by a stray thought from Avi, her head swiveling around to look at him before twisting back around to nose curiously at Sh'y. « You win a lot too! » Which immediately has Avi flushing scarlet and ducking his head with an embarassed groan. "Miri! That was a private thought!" « Whoopsie. » Clearing his throat, Avi murmurs a hoarse, "Thank you," for the repositioning of the pot of oil and immediately turns his attention to rubbing it gently in to the spot where the wing meets the body. Mirieth, though, she is completely oblivious to anything being amiss and offers a sunny. « Hey! Hi. Hello! » to both Sh'y and Kovagath as they all settle in. « This is nice. In a cozy oily sorta way. »

Sh'y lofts an eyebrow as he slides a glance over to Mirieth, and then Avi. A stray thought has the corner of his mouth tugging into something like a grin before he's stoic and somber and focusing. Still, there is a moment where Kovagath's head is tipping, eyes whirling and both open as he regards his rider. « Hm. Is that so? » At least he's nice about keeping Shy's thoughts to himself? « Good to know. We need winners on our side. » IS HE BEING SERIOUS OR SARCASTIC?! It might be hard to tell, but at least he's not upset by whatever just traipsed through Shy's brains. "Welcome." All polite and stuff. « Well. This isn't awkward or anything, » says the blue, too amused to be upset by it all. « And you know what, Mirieth? It is nice. And oily. Which is definitely better than being itchy. » Even if bits of everything are going to be sticking to him if he rolls.

« We are definitely on your side, Kovagath, » Mirieth assures in those same happy, sunny tones. « We're a pack! A crew! The Fam-est Fam to every family! » A pause follows during which she swivels her head to Avi (SECRETS? WHAT ARE THOSE ANYWAY) « Oh. Back. Back? » Swiveling her head back around to Sh'y she nosebumps his hindend before noting gleefully. « It /is/ a very firm back! » "MIRI!" Avi's horrified gasp is accompanied with a darker flush and a quickly murmured. "Sorry. Sorry. She.. I.. " Words? Not his friend and really, with the BLUSH and his mortified look? « Oily /is/ better » Mirieth agrees readily. Thank Faranth she neglects to point out that Avi agrees with that assessment, as well.

Kovagath can handle a lot of things, perhaps more than most his age. But, he's still a baby and with that comes a certain inexperience about the world. And a certain insecurity about how it works. Namely, how these bonds work. There's a lift of his head at the nose-boops to Shy's backside, little eyes whirling just a hair faster than they had before. « Careful, little sister. » TECHNICALLY HE IS OLDER THAN HER BY ABOUT TWO MINUTES SO HE CAN DEFINITELY CALL HER THIS. « That back and everything attached to it is mine. » It's less possessive than it is dryly amused. It's only a little bit leaning toward a threat, only the barest hint of it in the touch of his mind and the curl of a paw into the soft ground beneath his talons. "S'okay," comes with a slide of Shy's fingers between the ridges of his be-masked blue, lulling Kovagath back into a drowsy drawl as he fights to stay awake when most of his baby-brain would like him to be asleep. « Mmhmm. » It might be for Miri. It might be for Shy. It might be for Avi. Kovagath isn't really clear about who, or what, he's responding to. "It's fine," comes in a low hum, dark eyes drifting toward Avi so that Sh'y at least, makes it clear to whom he's speaking.

Mirieth, to her credit is not at all trying to move in on Kovagath's territory, a fact made clear when she responds with a very sunny « You are so smart, Kovagath. You definitely chose the perfect one for you! And I chose the perfect one for me! » The last is coupled with her crooning at Avi, her considerably smaller frame streeeeeeeeeetching as his oiled fingers hit just the 'right' spot. « There.. Oh there…» For his part, Avi can't help smiling at Kovagath, his expression tender and warm as he watches the blue. "He is a very good choice, Kovagath, Mirieth is right on that score." As the blue settles, Avi's gaze drifts upward, pale blue-grey eyes lingering on Sh'y's face before Mirieth feels the need to press her head into his chest to get his attention back on her. "You are the whole wide world, darling," he whispers as his arms circle her head, his fingers drifting up to knead gently at ducky eyeridges.

« Of course he is, » agrees Kovagath, utterly certain of himself. « He's mine. » It is less a braggart's boast than simply the utter certainty of a choice made right. Kovagath does not need to flaunt his decision to know that it is the right one, the best one. What other choice was there? Sh'y was his from the moment those fingers brushed his shell, and there will be no convincing either of them otherwise. Shifting in his sprawl, those star-dusted wings stretch out, falling just short of crowding Mirieth, in an attempt to soak up the sunlight. Sh'y finishes up the oiling, wiping his hands on a rag before he takes to just… touching. Tracing the line of his muzzle and scritching gently at the darkened eyeridges. An altogether too tender regard is given the blue who is enjoying the affection, though Sh'y reins it in when he catches himself at it. It is only as Kovagath drifts into a doze that Sh'y stretches a hand out toward Avi; a brush of fingers along his arm and wrist, before retreating again. It's gentle. Fleeting. Meant to be reassuring, if nothing else. "You made a very good choice, too, Mirieth. The best."

Mirieth doesn't mind being crowded, although the spastic little shiver-twitch of her own wings is something she cannot control. Those parts? They haven't gotten to working on those parts, yet. They will! But right now, the feets have to come first. She's watching /everything/ though, despite the fact that her head remains pressed to Avi's chest, she's watching everything. « I did. » There is no doubt about the certainty of her own choice in her. Eventually, though, she settles, those twitchy wings going lax as she lets her head down to rest in Avi's lap. That simple act nearly has the greenrider in tears, his head lowering to press a kiss ot her brow as he takes to stroking a hand down the length of her neck. It is only the brief brush of fingers that brings his gaze back to Shiloh, his lips turning up in a quietly grateful smile.

A beat. Two. Three. And then Sh'y speaks. "I'm going to get something to eat." While Kovagath is snoozing. "Do you want anything?" He's not going far, given they're bringing the food to the weyrlings right now. Just to the barracks and back. "Or need anything?" He can grab other things, too; not just food. While waiting for the reply, there's a very gentle lifting of Kovagath's head so he can lay it on the ground and another rub of his fingers between those darkened 'ridges to soothe him back to sleep. And then Sh'y is rolling to his feet in preparation to leave.

"Please," Avi breaths in whispery tones. "Something… hot." He feels like he has been eating whatever he can grab on the go for forever. "And a waterskin?" Pausing a beat, he looks down at Mirieth's head in his lap, his expression turning impossibly tender as she gives a little twitch-snort-shiver in her sleep. "Thank you," is added as his gaze flicks back up to Sh'y's face. Now that he's looking at him, and Mirieth is asleep, he lets his gaze linger, pale eyes trailing down the familiar lines of the former beastcrafter's body.

The loft of an eyebrow, but more importantly the curl of his lip, is definitely wicked. "None of that," comes in a light reprimand, a gentle 'tsk' for the look that lingers on him in ways that are probably not appropriate for their newly-minted weyrling status. "I'll be quick," Sh'y promises, though whether it's for Avi's sake that he hustles, or Kovagath's, is ambiguous. But he does hustle, jogging back toward the barracks and disappearing inside, only to return a few minutes later with a plate of food and a skin of water. His return is a walk, if just to preserve the meal, and he sinks back down to reclaim his spot, checking on Kovagath first, before setting the plate on his knee. 'Something hot' turns out to be a berry bubbly with a sprinkling of granulated sugar on top, though there's plenty of healthier options on that plate as well. "And water," he adds, offering over the skin.

Avi can't help the quiet laugh that spills past his lips, or satisfaction that comes with the fact Sh'y knows what he is doing without having to look. "I don't know what you are talking about," he teases before letting his gaze drop back down to the sage colored head nestled in his lap. "Oh, thank you," he breaths as he takes the skin first and takes a long, long swallow. Setting it back on the ground within easy reach of the two of them, he reaches for the bubbly with an eagerness that he does not even try to hide, a low sound of pleasure humming in his throat at the first bite. "So good," he murmurs as he sets it back on the plate and scoops up a handful of veggies. "I feel like I'm hungry /all/ the time lately."

"Mm," comes in return for that gratitude as Sh'y helps himself to another bubbly. His is enjoyed with a little less enthusiasm, at least verbally, but eaten hastily enough that it's clear he was hungry. The fruit and veggies and meatrolls that comprise the rest of the meal are taken in turn, but consumed a little less hastily. "I think it's them," he says between bites, nodding toward the sleeping dragons. "When he's up… I feel everything. Keenly. Even now," he admits, pausing to watch the blue baby sleep. "I can see his dreams. I can feel him. Easier to know who's me, and who's him, though. When he's asleep."

Avi exhales a breath in response to Sh'y's words, his head giving a quick nod that makes it clear that he /gets it/. "It's.." Trailing off, he shakes his head, his expression softening as he trails his fingers over the area of Merieth's snout that is nearly white. "I could never have imagined anything like it," he admits. "But that's exactly it." Exactly. "I thought I would hate that.. Feeling like I was never alone? Never myself? But I feel like I am more myself then I have ever been before?" Looking up, his expression is wondering, the wonder touched with a hint of humor that makes it clear that he thinks he's probably not making a lot of sense. Still, he's just as sure that Sh'y will understanding what he is saying.

Sh'y knows exactly what Avi means. He doesn't need to explain it; he knows. "I didn't feel like I was missing anything before," says Sh'y. "But now I know that I'd never be whole without him." He might have been whole before. He might have lived his entire life without knowing Kovagath, and been fine with it. Happy. Balanced. Thriving. But now? The moment the blue touched his mind, the old Shiloh died. This new Shiloh, this Sh'y, is not whole without Kovagath. "I don't think there is any way to explain." To anyone. "That's why they didn't." Because, how could they? How could anything have prepared them for it? It is wholly a thing that must be experienced to be understood.

"Yes," Avi breaths as his gaze sweeps back down to Mirieth's head. "Like.. How did I not know that I was not whole before now?" It makes no sense to him. Not when the sheer amount of space she has filled is awe inspiring. Trailing off, he shakes his head, a low sound of comfort and reassurance humming in his throat when the tiny little green shifts in her sleep and makes a momentary sound of distress. That she settles as soon as that sound is uttered is enough to have him exhaling a shallow breath, the tip of his tongue brushing over his lips as he glances back at Sh'y and smiles softly. "I have no regrets." None. Not a single one.

Sh'y eats his meatroll in silence, squinting first toward the barracks and then glancing down at Kovagath sleeping. He's quiet for a long moment after, thoughts hidden away behind his stoic expression. A whisper of fingers along the baby blue's head and he adds, "Good," to punctuate Avi's lack of regrets. "I'm glad. I don't, either." No regrets. Not for anything between them; not for the decision made to stand; definitely not for the Impression of Kovagath.

The words from Sh'y inspire a smile to tracing over Avi's lips, strands of gold hair spilling from the knot at the back of his head to drift over his shoulders as he glances from Weyrling to the blue sleeping soundly in his lap. "Can you believe it's already been three days?" He's not sure where the time went, or what he was doing. He just knows that it flew past in a flurry of activity that has left him tired, breathless and more then a little confused. "I have had no time to run," he admits in quiet tones. "I'm scared to do it when she's awake. She's still getting used to walking without tripping over her own feet, or her tail, or a shadow on the ground…I know she'd try to run with me." And he can't risk that happening. "And I'm just to tired when she naps."

Sh'y takes a deep, steadying breath as he settles back into the field, half-eaten meatroll set aside for his firelizards to pick apart. "No," he decides. He can't believe it. It feels at once like he only just met Kovagath, and yet has known him forever. Three days, or three hundred days; they feel the same to Sh'y. A flick of his gaze toward Avi when he speaks of running and for a moment there is an unreadable expression flitting across his face. Maybe, just maybe, he forgot they were talking while he was absorbed in all things Kovagath. "Then don't," is what he finally says, pulling himself firmly into the present. "Don't run. We'll be doing that soon enough I think. Don't risk it."

Avi frowns faintly as he listens, his chin dipping in a slow nod. "Yeah, right now we need to focus on walking. We'll be fine, though. If it takes us a little longer then rest of you to graduate? That's okay, too. Mirieth will bloom when she's ready and not before." And he wouldn't have it any other way. "She's already talking about me painting her," he notes in quietly warm tones. "I never even mentioned I'm an artist, she just knew and she is constantly showing me my work through her eyes." Which amazes him, and scares him and thrills him all at the same time.

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