Just Emotional

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 be 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.

Tesko is the most reliable, so it is he who shows up some hours after the hatching, after Mirieth is likely to be sleeping but before Avi might begin to worry for not seeing Tej at the Hatching Feast. The note he brings reads:

Darling, I'm so ecstatic for you and I can't wait to meet her. I had to run away for a day. Or two. But I'll be back, I promise.

Love, T

P.s. She's perfect.

P.p.s. I told you so.

P.p.p.s. Forgive me my weakness?


Her name is Mirieth and she is very excited to meet you when you are ready. My stories about you are her very favorites to go sleep to. Mind you, I may made you into a grand and fiercesome woman warrior beating back the things that go bump in the night. (There is *alot* of bumping in the night in the barracks.) She is perfect. She's clumsy and sweet and everything I.. She's everything. You DID tell me so. But I've gotten used to being always right. There is nothing to forgive, you have always been the hero in my tale, that will never change. I love you. I miss you. I will always be looking out the window to see you come home.

P.S. Don't you dare think we don't need you. We do.

P.P.S. I miss you.

P.P.P.S Bring home stories. We need stories.

Love, A

Tesko, the reliable blue, arrives with the note attached two days prior to the planned visit, the firelizard obligingly there whenever Avi is awake enough to take receipt on it. The message reads:


Since she's in your head, I'm glad she already knows how much better you imagine me to be than I am. Your artistic license will no doubt lead to her discovering the disappointing truth of my humanity, and a not very good facade of that, I'm afraid. I'm coming the day after tomorrow to visit. I'll linger by the training grounds until I see you.


P.S. You're stronger than you think. But I know I'm loved and missed.

P.P.S. See (with an arrow drawn to the signature lines)

P.P.P.S. I have stories. Only one is appropriate for baby dragons.

P.P.P.P.S. No, really, if it's me saying so, you know it's true.

On the afternoon in question, there is a familiar figure lingering at the edge of the Training Grounds. Recognizable at a distance not for her red locks, currently rather ensconced, but for the plum-colored cloak, many times mended and acquired some turns before in a tale she never did get around to telling Avi for one reason or another, she waits. Surely, she's left at intervals to step into the hatching arena for a little warming up, given Xanadu's winter that isn't exactly the most human-friendly of seasons, even here. When the sought after pair appear, though, she's leaving her post near the ready resource for heat and ghosting feet across the ground in the direction of the green pair, not at a run, but seeming to move slightly faster than a casual walk.

Avi couldn't be more delighted with the news of Tejra's impending visit. Right now, he needs her more than he is willing to admit. At least enough that Mirieth is curious and concerned and, for a little bit, emotionally uncertain. Still, while she is not immune to the mineminemine of baby dragons, she is far more relaxed and happy to let things just be as they are. For Mirieth, Avi's hers, that is never going to change, and as long as he's happy and relaxed, she's happy and relaxed. What she knows RIGHT NOW is that Avi is both happy and excited, a fact that has her happy and excited as she paces (Very, very carefully) at his side toward the approaching figure. « Is that her? Are you sure? I think it is her. » The strawberry scented inquiries are made as the little twilight dusted green gives a visible shiver, her wings twitching wildly as she whips her head around toward Avi even as he steps in closer to her side as they walk. « What if she doesn't like me » "It is definitely her," Avi assures as he raises a hand in greeting, a smile tracing over his lips at the sight of Tejra moving toward them. "She is going to love you, darling," he promises in tones that make it clear that he has absolutely no doubt of that, at all. Course, Avi looks a little different than his normal fare. There are no dresses with the cold, and the pants he's wearing are obviously borrowed and too large for him by far. He's bundled up though, in a sturdy warm jacket and there is just no mistaking that face, or that shock of golden hair. "Tejra!" The call is coupled as he starts to pick up his own pace but immediately slows back down when Mirieth gets a little stumbly.

Only the letter from Avi and the fact that this is Avi and his lifemate lets Tej chance the introduction she makes of herself. With them conveniently side by side, and the redhead likewise conveniently being possessed of two arms, she doesn't stop at casual distance but rather sweeps herself on nimble feet (probably prepared to yank herself back should the gamble be a poor one), with every intention of wrapping one arm around each of them to group hug soundly. Only then does she breathe a soft, "Hello, my darlings." And, listen, she'd not crying, because she's Tej, but the long-familiar ear of one of her oldest friends is sure to pick up just how deeply laced those three words are with a whole slew of complicated emotions (not the least of which, surely, must be love). She holds them a beat, two, three, maybe more if they need it, but then she'll roll back on her feet, so she can look at each in turn, maybe reassuring herself of the answer before she asks, "You're well? You're both well?"

The greeting is /exactly/ what Avi /needs/ more than anything and it shows in the sound that escapes his lips and the tightness of the arm that wraps around Tejra's waist in response. And while there is a moment where Mirieth tenses, it is gone in an instant, replaced with a mezzo croon and a wiggle of delight as she does her level best to return the hug without arms « HI! HELLO! » Volume control? They're still working on that, but the tones are excited and just as quivery as the delighted little wiggle shivering along the entirety of her frame. Avi NEEDs that hug. He needs it more then he'd realized and the impact of that contact has tears immediately springing to his eyes. It is the happy-sad-happy-sad swirl of emotions that has Mirieth exhaling another strawberry scented croon, her head lowering to bumpbump her Avi back into Tejra's space the moment the woman steps back. « More hugging, less crying » The urging, though is gentle and just a little bit quavery/uncertain at having to share her space. "We're… We're good," Avi assures Tejra as he's nose-bumped back into her space. "I'm alright, sweetheart," he assures Mirieth in gentle tones. "Just emotional." Course, he's looking back at Tejra almost immediately, pale eyes searching her face. "You're alright? You're not upset with me?" He's pretty sure he couldn't take that, but he'd try to understand.

It's Tejra's long-toiling training of every muscle that lets her suppress the twitch of too loud. Babies being babies, she would not wish to impart the wrong idea here, and so she smiles with real warmth that needs no adjustment from the authentic whole. Tej would be hard-pressed to refuse a request from a baby dragon that was far less reasonable than the one being asked of her, so she's enfolding the smaller man into her arms cheek pressing to his head. It saves her having to have her face searched like that for more moments. "How could I be anything but ecstatic for you, for you both." It's not intentional evasion, simply the habitual sort. She solves that by saying plainly, "I am overjoyed for you, just selfishly sad for myself." She's loosening her embrace so she can lean back enough to reach a hand out toward Mirieth's brume-kissed nose, to caress the underside of her jaw because that joy is for both of them. "I just needed to run away for a while." She's done it before; it never turns out however she imagines and she always comes back. "And it turns out it may be a while longer because I lack anything resembling sense." That is self-deprecating and comes with an expression that shows it.

Avi understands, even if he doesn't, he understands that it is just the way things are. He understands it enough that, while he does cling for a moment, he is quick to release her the moment that he wants to move away. Tejra always comes back and that is what is important in this moment. "Alright. But I will be watching for letters." He doesn't ask where she is going, nor does he ask why. If she wants him to know, she'll tell him and that is just something that he accepts without question. For her part, Mirieth is content to nuzzle into the hand her nose, crooning softly to someone she can feel her lifemate loves intently. And while there is a little jealousy there, it is soothed with soft touches, gentle words and the reassurance of Avi's arm reaching out to wrap around her neck. « We will take care of each other, » She promises in tones that are pitched to something less ear-shattering. "Yes, we will, Miri. Oh…" Flushing, Avi looks immediately mortified before adding. "Mirieth, this is Tejra, she's… She's the closest my heart has to a clutchsister. Tejra, this is Mirieth she's.. /Everything/." And while he cannot paint the pictures with his mind that Mirieth can, there is no missing the depth of all that that word encompasses for him.

"I will send letters." Tej assures. She does. Often. Not always, but often. It depends on the work. This time, it's, "Raaneth has eggs on the sands at Fort." Maybe that hurts a little since Tej had said she wouldn't accept a knot here at home, were it offered, but the reason is still the same: it would hurt too much to fail here and stay on. "It will give me a chance to meet with Farzi," her master, at the Hall, "a little more often than I normally manage, for a few months." These probably sound like excuses because they are. Whatever the underlying reason for her acceptance, she doesn't choose to share just now. She looks to Mirieth smiling, "So I'll be counting on you. Always, but especially now. And you." She reaches out to fondly poke Avi's chest. "Nothing beyond the usual mischief." The usual is encouraged, of course, just see how Tej's smile stretches to something slightly feral, a touch wild, as she adds, "Nothing I wouldn't do." Probably also not several things she would do, but she's never been famous for having a good influence on either people or dragons. They still let her come strolling around like the wildcat she occasionally resembles in demeanor and grace if not looks. And if she has to wipe away one tear, or two, at what's shared by Mirieth's beautiful artistry, so be it. She's allowed to have a heart even if it literally always is more trouble to her than good.

« We have a mission, » Mirieth informs as she flops on the ground and half coils around the two of them. « Navenath, Kovagath and I. There are doors in the weyr where humans hide /treasures/ and I am small enough to fit behind the doors. Teimyrth's says we will find lots of papers and should make them disappear! » Not exactly what he said, but it's what she -heard-. « But to avoid the little desk. » Which would be fine if any of them had notion of what a desk was. Alas, they do not. "I," Avi laughs. "Am going to end up grounded for the forseeable future, I just know it." But really? If it makes Mirieth happy and, it clearly does, he's fine with that. "Fort… I did a commission for a greenrider there. He writes romance novels… Um.. K'zre, rider of Green Yasminath." Which, hey, if he can provide her with more fodder to use in the tormenting of a certain bronzerider? So be it. "We'll be safe though," he promises. "And careful." Barring the raiding of whatever rooms the dragons can shove Mirieth in to. "Navenath is Ajral's lifemate and Kovagath is Sh'y's." Course, he looks a way at that, lightly clear his throat to banish an emotional reaction. When it's passed, he's turning a smile back on Tejra, his expression quietly confident. "The weyrlingmaster won't let anything happen to us," he promises.

"Oh?" Tej's syllable of inquiry in answer to the dragonet with a single glance askance at her lifemate is entirely too innocent. The quirk of her lips is hardly more reassuring once Mirieth has finished revealing the broad strokes of the plan. "Well, you know, the trick is to not get caught." That avoids the issue of consequences altogether. Of course, she doesn't elaborate on how this might be managed, but then when this mission is being undertaken by dragons days out of the shell with such a grand design, is there really much likelihood of avoiding discovery? "Did you now?" is bemused inquiry for Avi about the writer for whom he's commissioned. It doesn't sound like she has nefarious plans in particular, but Tejra is never one to turn down information; one never knows when it will come in handy. The information about which dragon is paired with whom is also taken and filed away, though she refrains from commenting about the one of the two she's met, as often she does because too often she probably says the wrong thing in regard to Avi's particular person. She just gives him the close-lipped smile that says, 'I love you and support you,' without tying strings onto the sentiment or tripping into some unhappy exchange they might both regret if this is the last face-to-face for a time. "No doubt," seems to cover all the rest. Tej even makes it sound entirely genuine, and either it is or there is no hint that it's not. "But safety is boring," she helpfully declares, though not loud enough to announce it to the world, simply shifting to link an arm through Avi's, "Mirieth is not boring." She beams down at the dragon, "So, tell me everything." This would seem to be an invitation to talk, if Avi wishes to talk, and share about the first four days with his lovely lady lifemate.

Mirieth is not boring, not under any circumstances and that much is clear at the starry eyed look Avi turns on the little green. There is no doubt, seeing that look, that she is absolutely the most wonderful thing that could ever have happened to him. "She's perfect," he whispers as he leans comfortably against Tejra. "Even when she's tripping over her tail and looking impossibly confused over someone wanting to talk to her." « Surprised, » Mirieth corrects with an adoring croon. « Why would anyone want to talk to me when they can talk to you? » Snorting at the comment, Avi all but rolls his eyes, pulling her head into his lap and wrapping his arms around her. "She's so calm," he adds as he trails his finger tips over brume gracing her nose. "Well, until she gets excited, then she's VERY excited." Which, of course, her tail and wings giving a twitching shiver, her eyes whirling a merry green/blue. "We're working on our coordination at the moment," he admits with a quiet laugh. "But we're doing well. We talk ALOT. A lot lot. Mostly late at night when everyone is else is asleep. I think we were both surprised when we found each other. Both of us where like.. Wait! What? Me?" It was an unbelievable moment, a perfect moment. "And then we just clicked and it feels like we've been together forever. But she /loves/ everyone," he adds with a wry smile. "So far there hasn't been a single dragon or person she hasn't adored immediately." Which is, admittedly, a little scary for him, but still nice. Realizing he's been taking up all the air, he blushes and lightly clears his throat, pale blue grey eyes sweeping up to Tejra's face. "So Fort Weyr? Do you like it?"

Indulgent isn't the right word for the look on Tejra's face as she listens, but her smile is deeply affectionate throughout. Any other feelings she might have are subsumed beneath the mask of the moment. This is why she came, after all, to meet Mirieth and hear all about her from her starry-eyed lifemate; she knew what she was getting into, she asked. "Practice makes perfect," is an approving murmur after the note regarding coordination; Tej, of all people, can thoroughly attest to this remedy for control of motion. Perhaps because she's already committed to Fort is a lack of offer to help, then again, perhaps Tej trusts to those various helpful lessons in movement she's given to Avi over time to be all the help Mirieth needs. The smile broadens for his description of the moment of finding one another and there's a little laugh for Miri loving everyone, pale eyes moving from new rider to dragon. Rather than immediately answer Avi's question, Tej is giving him a little pat that dismisses any need for that blush, "Sounds like you're both off to a wonderful start. Lots of chances to make friends and try new things." Like figuring out how to vanish papers, she doesn't say, but it's there in the way her lips hold a laugh not allowed to pass through them. "It's summer in Fort," which might explain why Tej has declined to sit on the wintery ground, probably having had to balance her wardrobe beneath the thick traveling cloak that serves her well here today. "There's a lot that's familiar there. Some places, some faces." With Harper being there in the valley, so close to the Weyr, doubtless it's thought of as some extension of her old stomping grounds. "And there's Alexa. And Raaneth. And eggs." In essence, this is Tej-ese for 'what's not to love?' "I'm sure it won't be anything near as exciting as everything you two will be doing here, but I'm sure I'll keep myself entertained." She always does~ If not necessarily out of trouble. There might be more there, but she doesn't linger, turning the conversation back to the newly joined pairing. "So tell me more." There will be letters, of course, here and there as time allows, but, "I've got to get my fill. No saying how often I'll be back before the clutch hatches." But Avi knows all about needing willing escort as a candidate and all that, so it needs no explanation. Though Tej will linger to hear all Avi and Miri want to tell her, until her designated escort appears on the horizon to indicate it's time to be gone, or until they get too cold, or until Mirieth needs something that can't be found here in the snow, the time will come when its time for more hugs, promises to see one another again and to write when they can. The usual, plus one new lifemate in the mix, and perhaps a little more emotion given that one small significant change.

Avi understands completely. Or, if he doesn't? He's at least willing to be as understanding as Tejra needs him to be. And while he is more then happy to blather away about himself and Mirieth (particularly about Mirieth), there are definitely questions peppering the field of verbal play. He's quick to dip away from them if need be, though. Eventually he gets around to Sh'y and the thought that they are not they any longer. Dwelling though, even lingering for a moment, on those thoughts have Mirieth whining and Avi steering conversation another way. Until she yawns and declares herself sleepy. Then it is hugs and kisses and baby dragon chuffs, possibly a lick, or two, before Avi and Mirieth are heading off, promising to write and glancing back the redhead in the plum colored cloaked repeatedly as they head back toward the barracks.

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