Lesson 1: Drowning Practice!

DolphinCraft Hall - Training Beach
The training beach has been set into a secluded ocean cove well away from the shipping lanes running to and from Rubicon River Hold. The beachfront is long with shaggy softwoods and waving palms scattered over the outskirts, gradually giving way to a pristine expanse of white sands. Several small wooden open air classrooms are built on the inland side of the beach. A single long pier reaches into the depths with a large dolphin bell set prominently at the end. Most of the cove has been dredged deep to allow plenty of room for the pods coming in and out, but a section has been left shallow for swimming and teaching. A well-worn path of beach sand leads to the courtyard in the southeast.

Winter has come to the southern continent, but after the frigidity of between, the air into which Garouth and the other dragons arrive is… remarkably temperate. It's warm enough that one might be willing to forego a jacket - at least, once of the winds that being a-dragonback entails. A nice change, perhaps, for those candidates who were gathered up for today's lesson in Keeping Yourselves (And Others) Safe. (The name of this class series is… kind of a work in progress.) The ocean's endless sweep lies off to one side as the dragons come down for a landing on the beach. There's some people clustered in one of the classroom structures, along with a few large trunks of supplies, while out in the waves at least a pod's worth of dolphins lift their melons from the water to chatter excited greetings to the arriving dragons.

Meion looks around her as she descends from dragon-vantage into the somewhat-warmer air of the training beach. She heads toward the classroom where she sees some activity, assuming someone will stop her if that's not the class she's been brought for. She's carrying nothing, and looks uncharacteristically awake - perhaps someone convinced her that sleep is, in fact, in her best interests before these classes!

Shivering minutely in residual from the winter wonderlands and the nothingness of between, Mathis is probably helped down from the back of some dragon or another, it taking all but a moment of him to start stripping down layers. "Oof…" is his only commentary. It was a lot warmer than it had been all of a sudden. Setting his things aside, layers and heavily laden satchel too, he stops and just sort of looks around via eyes alight with curiosity. He lingers there rather than following anyone anywhere just yet, fingers wiggled and smiling bright for the dolphins he can see from the shore.

With her feet firmly on the ground, Elayne unbuttons her pastel pink jacket and shrugs out of it, hooking fingers into its collar to secure a hold on it and cast it over one shoulder. Her gaze skims the shoreline before she looks beyond and in to deeper water, able to vaguely make out the shapes of dolphins, the lot of them focused on for about half a minute before she must assume that they are not destined to cross paths, and so she starts to follow after Meion, the long braid of her hair bumping against her back as she runs a couple of paces to catch up. "I have a feeling this is going to go badly if it's discovered someone can't swim," she utters dryly.

Kera helps a couple of candidates down from Moncerath's back, which mainly involves pointing out where to place their feet before hopping down to the sandy beach. An amused chuckle when she overhears a few of the victims' murmured worries. "I think you may be safe on that for today. Wouldn't be a bad idea to start learning to swim though. Could save your life one day." And others perhaps. Turning back to loosen her dragonmate's straps.

And there is Risali, who is not quite qualified to be an instructor on these endeavors, and may, in fact, be here to learn. Or to observe. She's got A SUSPICIOUSLY SMUG looking brownrider keeping stride with her (along with straying hands, that she DOESN'T EVEN LOOK AT TO SMACK AWAY). BUT THE POINT IS THAT she smiles and waves and somehow manages to keep D'merial in check all at the same time. There's a clap to Kera's shoulder as she passes her, a brush of fingers to Meion's hair, a smile for Elayne and a wiggling of fingers for Mathis around that same smile. AND THEN DOLPHINS. SUCH MAJESTY. SHE JUST STARES AT THEM.

"Hi! Hi! Hello!" So say the dolphins, leaping through the air above each other in their own form of waving back. They're closer to shore than might be expected, part of this cove dug out to accomodate delphine curiosity and reduce the chance of over-enthusiastic beachings. D'lei takes a few moments to make sure folks have got their feet properly on the ground, pointing a few stragglers in… yep, the direction of that classroom. Assumption: validated! Once he's assured that Kera's got the rest, he makes with the long strides to catch up to the classroom, where he has a brief conversation in quiet tones - and a handshake to go with it - with a grey-haired woman there, then turns his attention back to the candidates. "So!" D'lei grins. "Anyone got an idea where we are? Or why we're here?" He'll even gesture encouragingly to anyone who seems to have a thought but be too shy to speak up!

Meion doesn't hesitate to answer. "This is the Dolphincraft hall, isn't it?" The dolphins were something of a giveaway - and besides, there's small bits of signage around for the observant to confirm it with. "And we're here to learn something about safety." That's a bit less precise - in fact, it's almost exactly what the instructions that all the candidates recieved said, and not a bit more. She settles back, and lets any expanding on that answer come from someone different.

Mathis, is absolutely delighted by the dolphins, watching their leapt greeting with barely contained energy as he interlaces his fingers together over his nose and simply radiates his joy from his standing place. As if wanting to share that overpowering feeling coursing through his too-thin body he excitedly looks around in time to see Risali's fingerwiggle his directly and so he waves big back, "I got to go, it was really nice meeting you!" he tell the shipfish and off he does to catch up with everyone else headed for the classroom, beaming up at D'lei as he passes and takes his place among the candidates. Clasping his hands behind his back, hazel eyes dart to Meion as she speaks and then return to the Weyrleader, brows lifting.

Elayne does her very best not to seem offended, yet there's no denying that when she states, "I can swim, thank you," in a manner that might have meant to be mere assurance, the words are delivered in a fashion a little too clipped to be truly polite. That she catches Risali's gaze in the next moment prompts a flash of guilt or some internal reprimand, though she does not apologise and only twitches one corner of her lips in response, trying for and not quite getting to a smile of her own. Upon reaching the classroom, she knots her arms over her jacket instead and hugs it to her, the angling of her focus towards her feet something that suggests an unwillingness to hazard an incorrect answer.

Kera finishes tending to her green's needs, glancing around at the shoulder clap and flashing an easy smile to the weyrwoman. A brief look to the water, and the melons drifting along the surface. The pod greets everyone with enthusiastic squees and clicks, a few dolphins jumping up and doing flips before diving below the surface. As the Weyrleader starts urging the group to the buildings, Kera nods to D'lei. "I'll round up the stragglers." She does take a moment to shrug out of her riding gear, peeling down to a tshirt and shorts, and stores the leathers in Mon's satchels.

Them dolphins are so many excites, though! LOOK AT THEIR CUTE BEEB FACES. WHO SENT YOU. Risali is quiet during D'lei's questions, silent during the answers that come from candidates and then… stepping away from D'merial to stand a bit closer to the Weyrleader. A UNIFIED FRONT, PERHAPS? That smile that comes chasing on the heels of Meion's answer is directed toward the computercrafter, then swept out across the rest of those gathered. LOOK CLOSER. She's holding a box of SOMETHING in her arms, but it seems she's leaving the instructing up to the professionals today. Because listen, Dash knows more. And he done it.

"Such craft!" exclaims one of those dolphins, and another nods vigorously. "Very dolphins!" It's true - just look at them go! "Hall! Hall!" …yep. They're excited, they are! D'lei has a grin of his own - though not nearly as enthusiastic, because he's a reasonably-adult human - as he nods to Mathis in greeting, then nods to Meion in confirmation of their location. "That we are." The goal she gives, well… he smiles for it, but even as he does he's already looking to see if someone else has any further clarification. Anyone? No? "Well. You may have noticed that Xanadu's on the coast," and if they haven't, they should probably have their eyes re-checked. "So, today's safety is… water safety!" Modifier acquired! "For any of you who don't know how to swim, Kera -" he points back to the greenrider as she gathers up those strays "- and Luwin -" he indicates one of the dolphineers "- will be helping you learn. For the rest of you…" He grins. "We have something else planned."

Meion looks out at the water, trying to guess what that "something else" might be, and whether it's going to be a problem that she didn't bring gear she planned to swim in. Since nobody mentioned swimming in the planning, she's sure the weyrleadership accounted for it - and if they didn't, that it will probably make an excellent story later.

It may come as surprise that Mathis is quiet for once in his life, but that doesn't stop his lips from being pressed together into a tight thin white line. No it does not. He has all the questions, all the excitement, and he's doing it utmost not to do that thing that he do. Glancing quickly to Kera and Luwin as they are mentioned, back to D'lei those sparkling eyes of his go, not in the least but put out by the fact that there would be swimming possibly without swim suits. It's not because he's weyrbred, because he was hold raised, and hasn't put one and one together to make two yet. He just knows that there will be swimming, maybe with dolphins. Yes, at this point he was practically dancing in place. Just little booted happy feets, and brimming as he looks around at everyone else. Swimming you guys! Swimming! Maybe with DOLPHINS!

Elayne hugs her jacket more tightly, for all that it has become apparent that there's not much use in doing so - and nor is it really going to come in useful as garment or shield. "Does that mean rescuing each other or is that what the dolphins are here to do?" she finally pipes up, sliding a longer look at them now, quite plainly sizing up whether the ocean creatures can be trusted or not. "Rescue us, I mean. If things go wrong." She glances back at D'lei, unable to entirely conceal her apprehension, but then the dolphins require further study and she starts looking from one to the next in quick succession, perhaps trying to discern which is the least likely to decide to let her - or anyone - drown.

Kera cracks a smile as the candidates seem totally entralled by the pod. She glances among the group before turning her attention back to the bronzer. A quick nod to the Weyrleader and she steps over to the dolphineer, canting her head and having a few quiet words among themselves a moment while D'lei and Risali start getting the group organized. Just what IS in the mystery box anyway. Curious Candipeeps want to know!

"The dolphineers have agreed to lend us wetsuits," D'lei says, going over to that box Risali holds and opening the lid to reveal that mass of rubbery material. "They're one of the newer things the plasticcraft and weavers have produced, and they'll help insulate you against the water…" A grin. "…as well as just being an interesting experience!" At least the number of apprentices passing through this crafthall means that there are a wide variety of sizes, and the dolphincraft helpers are familiar with helping get people fitted. "There's some changing rooms along there." They're basically just wooden stalls with rough-weave curtains, but at least they offer privacy from curious eyes - as opposed to the open classroom where D'lei is currently addressing the candidates, while dolphins frolic in the waves. "They'll certainly be keeping an eye on you," he assures Elayne. "But your goal will be to rescue one of the training dummies. They're less likely to kick you on accident." Or on purpose, for that matter. "Any other questions, before you get suited up?"

Meion looks ready to get suited up from the moment that the suits appear. She has plenty of questions, but none that she's going to ask if it means delaying the chance to answer some of them through direct experience! So she waits in her best facsimile of patience, only slightly bouncing on her heels as she stands in place.

Curiously, Mathis does inspect Elayne as she hugs her jacket so close like that, reminding him of that really fluffy plush firelizard he had when he was waaaay younger (it might be in with his stuff back in barracks), most of the excitement draining out of him and replaced with a measurement of concern. Moving in a bit closer, the boy puts a very light hand to the center of her back and gives it a bit of a rub. It's brief, but he sticks close even as the arm drops away and he stills into relative silence. That's not to say that he isn't going to every so subtly start rising up onto his tiptoes to try and discern what it might be inside of that box that the weyrwoman was presenting to them all. Taking in a great breath the second that D'lei mentions a wet suit, it's restrained with puffed cheeks as the man goes on, blown out slowly and carefully as not to be disruptive. He might have had a question, it may have been answered, teeth toying with the flesh of his lower lip. Especially with all that whispering Kera and her little posse were up to back there. Curiouser and curiouser. A glance is spared the excited computercrafter, and then hazel eyes track back towards the Weyrleader. Did anyone have questions? Oh, Mathis sure did, about a million of them but he leans a little more into Elayne instead.

If Elayne has any other questions, she keeps them firmly under wraps, the touch of Mathis' hand to her back jolting her from her thoughts and earning him a flinch from her for his trouble, until she zones back in enough to realise what he's doing. Given a few moments and deep breaths, she appears to relax, certainly enough that she can turn a decent and grateful smile to him for dragging her back from wherever she was going. "Thanks," she murmurs, turning a little with the intention of throwing an arm across his shoulders and hugging him to her for a second or so. "I'm sorry," is just as quiet. "They're just… Dolphins, they're unpredictable. More unpredictable than people." In her opinion, anyhow, with her limited knowledge and need to know what people expect and want from her. "I'm okay," she promises. "You should go out there and make a dolphin friend. No-one's said we can't." Yet. "Let me know what they're like?" For she may well be avoiding them. For now, however, she listens and waits and looks to obey - to the extent that she can, anyhow.

Sylvarin is here and eyeing both the water and the suits /quite/ skeptically, but the suits are the only thing saving him from /water/ germs. Because surely there are water-bugs and such things that exist, right? The sides of his lips pull downward juuuust the slightest, but apparently the baker isn't going to be asking questions just yet! He'll just quietly go and change into one of the suits with only some minor grumbling about how he likes his clothes better. They're more stylish after all!

Kera and her posse, consisting of a lone dolphineer, come to some quick agreements over the coming swimming lesson. When D'lei and Risali send the candidates to the chnging rooms with the wetsuits "And don't forget the wetboots too!" The swim instructors of the day head over to the Weyrleaders, Kera leaning against one of the desks. "Going with the dummies this time?" She nods after a moment "Good. Give them time to learn how to….diorient a panicked and thrashing swimmer."

D'lei nods to that distinct lack of questions, then grins. "Well then! Get changed -" after finding the appropriate wetsuits with the help of the various dolphineers who've brought them out "- and then come join me or Kera to get started." He reaches behind a table for his own wetsuit, because he got to plan ahead and have his own that actually fits him. "Have at!" he says to those candidates, then hehs to Kera. "Or just to make sure nobody drowns while waiting to be rescued," he suggests, then ducks over to take one of those changing stalls and swap into it. Once he's done, he tucks his clothes into one of a set of cubbyholes on the classroom wall, and heads out to the end of the pier to await those candidates who'll be joining him!

When Elayne flinches, Mathis sure as dragons fly does too, shinking back just a little even as makes a mental note to himself to just stop touching people, or trying to comfort them, or make gifts for them, or try to be their friends…oh. There is a gratitude, a smile, and an arm thrown about his shoulders in which a hug is procured. "Dolphins are nice though," he whispers back after he's started to relax again, eyes darting over her face before he points his chin back towards the water where the water bound mammals awaited them. He tries not to look too elated at the prospect of making a dolphin friend, because how could something so happy be bad? Lookit them out there, being adorable and splashing around. Still, he gives the girl a quick arm around her waist hug, "Okay. I'll see you later!" With that he was off, to grab himself a wetsuit and boots (once everything that would fit his…stature…was presented to him) all but tripping over his own feet in order to get into one of the changing rooms and get the thing on. The heroic struggle, was mighty. Lots of grunting, some thunking around, a crash, the smallest growl ever heard ever and he tumbles out into the open with the thing on but not zipped up the back. Just, not that coordinated, okay? "Um, help?"

Sylvarin's suit is certainly the right /height/, but not actually the right fit. When he emerges from the fitting rooms and finds his way to the docks it's clear to see that the piece of clothing is meant for a large man…someone with more muscles. There's looseness about his middle and his arms, but doesn't appear in any danger of actually falling off of him! Even as he arrives at the edge of the dock and peers over the baker's demeanor hasn't changed. He is /quite/ wary of the water and the things in the water. "How far out exactly are we swimming?" It's frankly a miracle that Sylv even knows how to swim!

Meion heads straight up for the wetsuits, working quickly through a few of them until she's got one that looks to be a reasonable fit, and boots to match. When there's a brief delay while all the changing rooms are occupied, she briefly considers just stripping down and changing right there - but luckily, a room opens up before she actually manages to find the courage - or the impatience - to just change in front of everyone. A few moments later, she's done, and her clothes are shoved in a compact wad into one of the cubbyholes. Off to find where D'lei is for lessons!

Rinian has been there, really, quietly behaving herself. She joins the others in trying to find something that fits, but her small size makes that a challenge. When she comes out, the legs and arms are bunched up a bit, but it could be worse. She's just in time to hear Mathis' please, "Hold still a moment please.." And she pulls the tab with a satisfiying zzzzziiiip sound as she gets it closed for him.

Kera nods with a smirk to D'lei "Yea, there is that." Since she didn't bring her own wetgear, the Awlm rifles through what's left in the box, chooses a likely fit and heads off to change. It's not a perfect fit, loose here, too snug there. But she manages to squeeze into the suit with a few hops, tugs and minimal cursing. At least it didn't sound like two people brawling in her changing room. Same can't be said for a couple of the canidates. She's probably one of the last ones out, and makes her way to the dock, grinning at the dolphins playing at the end of the walkway. Trying to surpress a grin from some of the ill-fitting suits the group squeezed into. "Changing rooms all clear Weyrleader."

Candidates come and go and Mathis is still there with the majority of one very white back exposed to the elements, brows knotting before he huffs out a soft sound and then starts to struggle with the zipper again. More grunting, spinning around, stretching and arching and probably looking downright silly before Rinian steps forward to save him. FRIEND! The boy looks overwhelmed by his affection for her in that moment, nodding eagerly, then turning his back to her so that she could grab a hold of that elusive tab and seal him up against the slight chill hanging in the air. A sigh of relief comes as he's sealed in and he hugs her very tight, every fast, before releasing her again. "You're the best!" he beams and takes her hand to lead her down towards where everyone else was gathering.

Some of the dolphins cluster in closer to the end of the pier as D'lei waits. There's a wooden dummy sitting against one of the posts, also awaiting the fun with him. He - D'lei, not the dummy - grins to Sylvarin and Meion as they arrive. "That depends!" he answers the baker, then turns his gaze to the less-dubious of the two candidates. "You ready to give this a try?" he asks, to a chorus of excited squeaks from the dolphins. One of them noses up, trying to tug the training dummy down - which makes D'lei laugh, and reach for it to give it the limbs-flailing heave-ho into the water before turning back to give Meion an inviting gesture. "Seems like trouble!" Poor dummy. It's got slightly weighted feet, so it's bobbing more or less upright in the water… though the motion's not quite right for just the waves, as dolphins under the surface tug and nudge it to make this 'game' more interesting.

Meion looks out at it. "Okay. So, what do I need to do?" She crouches a little at the edge of the water, looking down at how the dummy is bobbing and moving. The dummy isn't going to get any more dead than it already is, so she can afford a moment to figure ouy what's going on.

Rinian smiles at Mathis and doesn't seem to mind the younger boy tugging her along down to the others. The dolphins get a little wave, and its obvious she's happy about getting to see them, and then of course the dummy itself gets a look over as it goes into the water. Other than that, she's just quiet, waiting for instructions.

Kera says, "Getting in the water is a good start. Unless you can't swim." Kera looks from one face to another then. "Is there anyone who doesn't know how? If so, slide to the back of the group here with Luwin and I so we can start getting you on your way to swimming like a dolphin." The wooden dummy bobs along the surface as the dolphins nudge it a little further away from the dock."

"So. We've spotted someone struggling," D'lei says. "Your first choice is whether you go out there, or throw them a line." He grins. "If you aren't suited up, you should probably start with the line. As it is…" Since they are here at the water's edge and suited up - "Swim out for the dummy, get his head above the water, and bring him back." Simple, right? …maybe not.

Mathis releases Rinian's hand as they join the others, having found a spot where they could see despite everyone else in the way. Being short, you learn to adapt. Up onto his tiptoes to peer over his fellow woodcrafter candidate's shoulder, he watches D'lei with Sylvarin and Meion, sees the dummy lowered into the water and again his lips are pursed. It's like that, all quiet like, until he whispers much louder than a whisper should be, "Good luck Meion." With instructions at the ready, the Weyrleader gains his full attention once again, but shortly after he finds out what to do, he glances back towards Kera and Luwin, "I can canine paddle?" That's still swimming right?

Meion nods sharply. She takes two steps back, then propels herself forward to jump into the water feet-first, as close to the dummy as she can manage. Which, once she's actually in the water, is not as close as she had planned to be, in her mind. She starts pulling herself through the water with swimming technique that could best be described as "adequate", until she's close enough to try to catch hold of the dummy. Which means she needs to use an arm for that, which she can't use for swimming. She ends up with an arm around the dummy's back, its head sort of propped against hers, as she keeps herself upright and tries to figure out how to actually swim back toward shore without abandoning her quarry.

Kera looks to Mathis, a quick glance to Luwin before she focuses back on the young candidate with a little nod "Yes, Canine paddle does count as swimming. It will get you by as long as the water is nice and calm." Splashing draws her attention to the water as Meion loops an arm around the dummy's wooden head. When the she seems at a loss for what to do next "Kick your feet girl."

Those distances seem so much smaller when you're looking at them instead of leaping and swimming them! The dolphins chatter their glee to Meion, those sleek bodies giving her enough room to swim while never actually being far enough that they couldn't swoop under and lift her if she starts to be the one struggling in addition to the dummy. D'lei's also paying attention to her, though… Mathis gets a glance for his comment, and an arched brow goes to Kera - he seems a bit more dubious that it counts, but he returns his gaze to the candidate in the water before saying anything… "Good!" he says. At least this dummy is floaty enough to help a bit, though the waves keep joggling around. "Now…" Kera's in with the suggestion to kick, but D'lei clarifies with, "Angle your body!" One of the dolphins helpfully demonstrates with a jump and tail-wiggle. "Someone else want to try throwing them a line?" D'lei asks to the rest on the dock as he watches.

The great thing about having family in a seacraft hold, is that when you get to visit them you are pretty much required to learn how to swim well. Rinian watches as Meion fetches the dummy, because while she can swim, she's never had to actually rescue anyone and isn't entirely sure how to go about it. At D'lei's request she grabs a line, and keeping a good hold of it, gives the other end a good toss in Meion's direction.

Meion is kicking! At least, she thinks she is! She looks up at Kera with a stubborn glare, and tries a stupidly exaggerated kick just to show the AWLM that she's already doing that! And she starts moving forward, dummy and all, as those big, tiring kicks are actually exactly what she ought to be doing. She's still not making great progress toward shore, but when she combines that with a bit more of an angle, she's at least steadily moving in a direction, albeit slowly. And then the line hits the water just a few feet ahead of her, and she angles toward it, until she can take hold with her non-dummy-grasping hand, and kick a little less while she waits for a pull toward shore.

Notably, Mathis brightens when Kera confirms for him that canine paddle counts as swimming, missing the dubious look that D'lei tosses back their way considering his head was turned at the time. Everything was just hunky-dory-peachy-keen as far as he knew and looking to Rinian he beams that too full grin of teeth and then looks back towards the water as Meion jumps in and does her best to rescue that 'drowning' victim with her entourage of dolphins, practically chomping at the bit to either help or be the one who goes next. What? It looked like fun!

There's certainly no leaping of any kind into the water from Sylvarin. Instead the baker is quite carefully sitting on the edge of the docks. He puts one booted-foot in to test the water and immediately frowns. "Not warm enough…" But honestly, he's the type that enjoys scorching hot water. This is apparently the moment he chooses to stand back up as if that whole thing didn't happen and glances out over towards the swimming Meion. "Nice…" A slight grin on his face because hey, she's doing it!

Kera doesn't miss the Weyrleader's dubious look, and gives the man a thumbs up and encouraging nod "I promise we won't let anyone drown today sir." Tomorrow, well, that's a differant day. "Luwin and I will pull some aside in a few moments." Once they get a gauge of each candidates swimming skill. And she wouldn't want to deprive them of getting up close with the shipfish. As the requested rope is tossed "Be sure to brace your feet, wouldn't want to get pulled into the water during a rescue." attention goes back to Meion. "Keep it up, you're doing great!"

Rinian may be stronger than she looks, thanks to her craft, but she still isn't all that big. She braces her feet as directed, but calls over, "Matty, could you help me out here?" She steadily keeps pulling on the line as best she can.

D'lei grins as he sees Meion start to make actual progress, with an approving nod for her - and another one for Rinian. "Good throw," he tells her, though his attention remains on the candidate currently doing the more exhausting part of this. "Getting there…" he encourages, reaching for the rope to help take up the slack - and nodding with further approval as she calls to Mathis. "Let's get them in…" Heave! Ho! "Today is not a good day to drown!" …but never mind that tomorrow.

Mathis is impressed with the line toss that Rinian provides, giving her a quiet round of applause and plenty of encouragement. If he didn't know how good she was at her craft, he might have recommended tossing lines out to people as her profession because of what a good job she'd done. With Rinian calling for help, he scrambles forward and takes up a portion of line. He was, a lot stronger than he looked, giving a decent yank along with the others. Out of the corner of one eye he spots Sylvarin's one footed experimentation with the water, his gaze following the man's discreet escape backwards with a questioning expression. He might be about to ask about it but for some reason he buttons his lips and returns his attention to the water. He can hear Kera back there, reassuring the Weyrleader, but he could swim so she couldn't possibly be talking about him.

A moment of respite from the kicking - and then Meion looks up, and realizes that she's got one of her smaller fellow candidates on the line. She hears that encouragement, and she sets back in kicking, trying to close that distance, just focusing on propelling herself and trusting the folks on the other side of the line to keep her going in the right direction. Kick by kick, she closes the distance toward shore.

Sylvarin doesn't immediately join in and grab the rope, but instead kind of hangs towards back just within reach of it. What a team player! He's horrible really. But, if things /do/ end up going sideways the baker will likely grab a hold and also give it a tug. But for now he's just kind of watching…"Almost there!" See how helpful he is? (Again, not!)

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, and pulling. Rinian smiles her thanks to Matty and D'lei as they lend a hand. "Meion, can you touch bottom yet?"

So clooose! D'lei tucks his bit of the rope around one of the pillars, then leans down and, reaches out his other hand for… the dummy. He's so helpful. Which, well. It certainly is helpful to have another arm free and not have the clumsy wood and weight of that thing hanging around, but still. Candidates, save your companion! IT'S UP TO YOU.

Mathis smiles back a you're welcome to Rinian, continuing to pull along with D'lei and anyone else on the tail end of that line. He falls right into that rhythm of heave-ho, heave-ho, heave-ho, teeth a little gritted and grunting just there beneath his breath. Stronger than he looked, yes, but not so used to pulling heavy things out of the water. "Go Meion! Gooooooooo!" he all but breathlessly calls over, happy when the Weyrleader ties off the end and he can let go. No gloves means his hands were looking a bit raw at this point, but that doesn't stop him from stepping forward and offering a hand down to the computercrafter to help pull her up.

Kera claps encouraginly as the 'rescue' proceeds. "Good teamwork people." The Weyrleader is soo helpful, plucking treehead from the water. Big Bronze Hero D'lei is!

Meion feels the weight of that dummy rising off her - and she's surprised when she tries to touch the bottom and discovers she still can't, due to the way the bay has been deepened for dolphin-convenience. She reaches her own hand up, catching the offered hand from Mathis and waiting for extra support before she pulls too hard. He may be strong, but she outmasses him before adding the leverage she has in her position.

Rinian lets go of the line once the dummy is saved and Matty has a hand on Meion, and then she reaches down as well to help pull her up. "You ok? That looked tireing."

Now the real question - are Rinian and Mathis going to help Meion up, or is she going to pull them down into the water? D'lei just waits to see which happens, because that's exactly the sort of helper he is - him and his dummy friend! (Also because, well. There are few safer places to be in the water than surrounded by dolphins with a few dolphineers loitering nearby to watch.)

You know who isn't helpful? Sylvarin, who is TOTALLY coming up behind Mathis and Rinian and giving them both just a TEENSY push forward because he is rude like that. Also he's a bit mischievous if all the food poisoning didn't make that apparent. They could probably still keep their balance and stay dry on the docks if they tried hard enough and if Meion isn't pulling too hard!

Meion gets a hand for each of Rinian and Mathis, and she braces her feet on the seawall to start pulling herself up with the pair for support - and then there's a slight shift in the balance, and suddenly she's not pulling herself up so much as pulling both of them down. She lets go when she realizes what's happening, and tucks her body as tight as she can to avoid being an obstacle as they hit the water.

B-A-L-A-N-C-E, that spells the word that Mathis does not have, all of his efforts put into pulling Meion out of the water and not paying attention to where anyone else might be. Rinian was there, helping, and D'lei observing to see how things panned out. Sylvarin, he assumed, was still hiding out on the fringe trying to avoid the water. He does not expect that someone would push them from behind, and so he lurches forward and of course careens headfirst into that icy water while trying with unknown success to avoid bodily contact with Meion. Would not be great if she made it all the way back to the dock with the dummy, just to be knocked unconscious by a flailing and alarmed teenager. Finding which way is up, his little head pops up from beneath the surface with a gasp, eyes wide and clearly startled. "Wh-what happened? Who?" Damn, that water be cold though even with that wet suit. Canine paddle, HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Peering back upwards, does he spy himself a germaphobe? Yes, yes he does. "Sylvarin!" You jerk.

Rinian lets out a sort of 'meep' sound as she tumbles over as well, tucking in her limbs so as to hopefully not hit either Meion or Matty. When she surfaces, though, she's laughing, and really isn't mad at Sylvarin for it. But she asks of the other waterlogged candidates, "Are you two ok?"

Sylvarin is /far/ too amuse by all of this. It's one of those /very/ rare instances during which he's letting out a genuine laugh. Satisfaction reigns supreme on the baker's features as he clutches at his stomach, a stitch beginning to form from all that laughing. It's sort of an evil glee, but a much more sincere smile eventually seems to replace it when Rinian seems just as amused. "I couldn't help myself really. I'd apologize but…." Well, he's really /not/ sorry, it was far too fun!

From one dummy needing a rescue, to three candidates in the water! D'lei turns in surprise as he sees that motion behind the two with lowered hands, and his expression shifts to a frown as he sees Sylvarin… one that deepens as the baker-candidate speaks. "Well," he says, and his own smile is not at all amused. He lifts poor waterlogged-head dummy, eyes steady at Sylvarin as he does, then… tosses him out into the water, past the three candidates still bobbing in the waves. "Your turn, Candidate Sylvarin." Rescue. That. Dummy!

It takes a few moments before Meion realizes that she has managed to rest with both the other candidates in the water and not sustain a concussion, or give one out. She looks at that line hanging along the shore, and seems about to pull it when she realizes that the other end is just hanging loose. She catches herself, and just paddles in place. "Someone secure the line?"

Spending a few moments longer glaring rather ineffectually up at the belly laughing baker as Mathis paddle-paddles to keep his head above the water, because how intimidating was a wet puppy anyhow, he shares the look with Rinian as she comes up laughing. Except there's a bit of confusion mixed in there, keeping his reservations to himself in favor of checking on Meion. Relief washes over him and he loses most of the irritation their plunge had caused, having been worried about safety more than being wet. He hears D'lei up there and a self-satisfied smirk yanks his tipped down lips right fast. Serves him right. "All good here," he tells the younger girl, before casting his eyes back up towards the line.

Rinian likes nice logical things. And a nice logical thing would be a ladder. Not seeing one at the front she swims easily around to the side and…tah dah! "Over here!" She waits in the water yet, keeping an eye on Matty for his amazing canine-paddle abilities.

"Man, where's Ness when you need her…." Sylvarin murmurs quietly under his breathe, a touch of amusement in still in his features even as he meets D'lei's gaze. He tracks the dummy as it flies through the air and lands in the water once more, and that at least earns a slight grimace from the baker. He doesn't protest though! Once again he's carefully seating himself on the edge of the dock before geeeeeently sliding into the water. Is that an expletive at the chill of the water? Most definitely. He's certainly not the best swimmer, but Sylv /is/ slowly making his way out into the deeper waters!

D'lei is, at the moment, no help to the ones in the water - though Kera's here, and she's surely got an eye on things to make sure nobody actually drowns… though Rinian's got a good eye there, finding the ladder! Convenient, that. D'lei keeps that borderline-glare on Sylvarin until he starts into the water, with a small and satisfied nod as he does. Still no smile from the Weyrleader, but… at least the dolphins are still enthusiastic about having company swimming with them! You can tell, by the chitters and blowhole-sprays.

Meion follows Rinian's call, swimming out with a much-improved stroke, after that in-the-moment lesson on how to kick. "Oh! This is great!" She grins to Rinian at finding the sensible way out of the water, while the computercrafter had been focused on the most direct route to shore - even if it meant climbing up a nearly-straight section of seawall.

Mathis perks up as Rinian begins to swim off, following her with his ever faithful paddle-paddle, not so much kicking his feet above the water than below it so there is relatively little noise. He could have kissed her just then as she finds a ladder, unable to help it as he glances back towards the chittering that goes along with all of that dolphinspray. Siiiiiigh. Expletives aside, Sylvarin still got to swim with the dolphins, not much of a punishment in his book. He'll get him back later, when he least expected it. This thought in mind, he smiles softly at the other woodcrafter candidate and makes for the ladder with only the best gold-metal awarded canine paddling. "Good eye, Rin!"

Rinian waits in the water, wanting to be sure the other two get up safe and sound before she does. Besides she doesnt mind being in the water..with dolphins. And eventually…a Sylvarin. "You can do it, Sylvarin!"

It's slow progress but Sylv /does/ eventually make his way out to the dummy and kind of drapes himself across it….which certainly isn't the proper way to rescue anything. It disappears underwater for a brief few seconds before he adjusts himself and allows it to 'breathe' once more. There's a glance upwards when he hears his name and a wide grin is shot towards Rinian. She surely can't see how red his face is and that stuff on his head is /totally/ water and not sweat. Everything's going fiiiiiine, he'll just start making his way back!

Meion might be more excited to swim with dolphins if she were less tired from the part where she hauled a bobbing dummy back to shore. This rescue work is challenging! She hauls herself out of the water and sits on the edge of the pier - then considers who might pass behind her, and hauls herself a little further from that edge.

D'lei spares a glance for the candidates coming up the ladder, with a nod that's approving for that at least before he looks back to the water where Sylvarin has… achieved the dummy! Which is the journey halfway done, even if it is the easier half of it. One of the dolphins nudges over to Mathis as he swims, with a chitter and a bump of rostrom to the candidate. "Swim, swim!" That's right, Mathis. You got a dolphin cheerleader.

Paddle-paddle. Was there a point in hauling himself up that ladder if Mathis would eventually have to just get right back in there? Probably not. Paddle-paddle. He isn't going especially fast to start with, letting and watching as Meion takes the lead as to haul herself up that ladder and up back towards the dock. She'd earned it! Paddle-paddle. He was almost there! He's just a little surprised when he's bumped by something, nearly forgetting to swim at all when he has his very own personal cheering section, his face transformed into an expression of just how thrilled he now was. DOLPHIN! "Okay, okay! Swim." Paddle-paddle-paddle, still slow going, but now elated slow going.

Rinian places a hand on the ladder to just make it less work for herself to wait on Matty, but now that he has a dolphin friend that wait might be awhile. But no way is she going up before he is, as she does worry a bit about his level of swimming. She sends another encouragement Sylvarin's way, though he could probably use a thrown line more.

Sylvarin is slowly but surely making his way back to shore. If this thing were alive when it got in the water it would surely be dead by now. Still, the baker has it with him. Maybe he'd be good at retrieving any goods lost at sea during a shipwreck? After a fair amount of struggling with the dummy he finds himself fairly close to the docks! And then there's a glance towards Rinian that's not quite pleading but certainly something similar. "Can you give me a hand?"

It's a good thing for everyone that ol' Treehead is just an object, because otherwise he'd probably be pretty upset at how he keeps being treated. Flung in, dragged around… life's hard for a dummy! That dolphin helping Mathis gives a celebratory blowhole spout and a corkscrew in the water before looking back to him. Up on the pier, D'lei … well, he doesn't toss out a line himself, but he does glance to Rinian, with a faint nod just in case she's looking for permission. Though of course, it might be another trick from Sylvarin…

Rinian gets the nod, and a dolphin will keep her friend safe, so she swims out to Sylvarin. "Almost there." She helps take some of the weight of the dummy so its easier for Syl to finish that last bit to where D'lei is waiting up top, and helps him heave it up to hopefully be in range of D'lei's grasp.

It does in fact, take a little while for Mathis is catch up to the ladder, but how much of that is intentional lingering because of his new friend and his already rather feeble version of swimming is difficult to say. He gets there eventually, reaching out through the water to try and touch the friendly dolphin (just once to say he had) before he grins all huge and toothily at Rinian, "Dolphin! Did you see?!" he whispers, practically vibrating with his excitement before he too hauls himself up and out of the water to the dock above. The second he's up, "Did you see D'lei?" Breathless. All the exite. The head-splitting grin on his face wavers as he gives a slightly shivered glance is give the baker who was looking for a hand up, hanging back a bit to see if he was really needed before actively offering aid.

Meion stretches out on her back on the pier, catching her breath while she listens to the splashing and calling-out, all with the insistent background-noise of the eager dolphins assisting-by-not-assisting. After a few minutes she's ready to sit up again, and then to stand, looking to her weyrleadership to see if there's anything she should be helping with now.

The man who cried help! Sylvarin does seem to actually need a hand, though he /could/ do it by himself if he tried REALLY really hard! Somehow or another he'll make his way out of the water and the dummy too. Aaaand then he is /totally/ going to bail if possible. And if not he'll just try and brush up on his swimming skills and attempt not to look completely unhappy with that weird clump of floating kelp over there!

Aww yeah. Dolphin likes the petting! There are many chitters and joyous splashes, but then the creature swims off with a flourish or three and leaves Mathis to be a land-creature once more. "I did," D'lei answers Mathis, though he probably didn't pay nearly as much attention and appreciation as might have been wanted. Buuut… "Let Sylvarin have the ladder," he says, then glances to the baker-candidate and makes a gesture of how to go around toward it. Admittedly, it's probably kinda gross, but at least it gets him out of the water… and D'lei, at least, does not stop his flight away from here. Maybe a lesson has been learned! (But probably not.) D'lei takes a glance at that retreating back, then… breathes in. "Okay!" He's got a smile again. "Meion, what did you figure out on your attempt?"

Rinian follows Sylvarin around to the side and clambers on up in her best squirrel style, to stand up top dripping. She listens closely, wanting a better idea of how to do it when it is her turn.

Meion pauses a moment and thinks about that seriously before answering. "I'm not as good a swimmer as I thought I was." She starts ticking off lessons on her fingers. "It was really hard to not have the extra weight push me off-course, or even under the water." A pause. "Some of the other candidates -" a pointed look to Sylvarin as he retreats "- are not familiar with good water safety." Which is said with slightly clenched jaw; apparently she was rather less amused by having Rin and Mathis tumbling onto her than some folks would have been.

Dolphin gets all the petting once Mathis sees that she likes it, giggling all the way, and waving happily when she goes. After that, he'll just drift on a hazy cloud of 'that was amazing' for a while. The Weyrleader's 'I did'? Perfectly acceptable answer as far as the boy was concerned without thinking deeper on it. There is no smirk or approval to be found upon his face when Sylvarin is told to go around, he just huddles in a bit against Rinian now that she was on the dock with him and listens to D'eli and Meion. He does, however, mouth a silent apology for the part that he and Rin played in making matter not safe.

D'lei nods to each of Meion's points as she enumerates them, seeming to take them all with approximately equal weight. "And even a good swimmer can be fatigued. If trying to help -" or causing trouble "- puts you at risk of being another victim… don't." He looks between each of them, expression serious. "Find another way to help - whether that's throwing a line, or getting someone else who's more capable. If you go out and start drowning too, now the other rescuers have to choose who to help." So, save people, unless you can't! "A real person would be even harder than the dummy - they're heavier, for one thing, and they might be panicked and struggling."

Rinian doesn't mind the snuggling Matty. "D'lei..how do you deal with someone a lot bigger than you are?" Which is almost everyone for her and certain other height challenged people around here.

Meion nods along with the answers from D'lei, listening carefully. After that hard work in the water, she's feeling prepared to take this search-and-rescue stuff seriously. She gives a little smile to Mathis when she notices him making apologetic expressions - she's got no complaints for him or Rin; they're just not big enough to be super-effective counterweights yet. "We'll get to practice more before we try with real people?" Right now, the prospect of being unprepared is actually more of a worry than even the prospect of additional physical labor!

That smile, accepted from the computer crafter. It didn't matter if no one else blamed Mathis for being an insufficient counterweight, he was blaming himself before losing his balance. She could have been seriously hurt, they all could have, which is why he had reacted so strongly rather than laughed it off like Rinian had. The woodcrafter lad looks back to D'lei as he says a lot of things that seem like good common sense to him, cringing a little at mention of attempting to rescue someone who was flailing around and all he could picture was that person trying to use him as a life raft. Self-preservation, intact, he looks at the line as it's mentioned, out towards where that dummy kept getting tossed, and then at the dummy. Being one of those height challenged individuals, he has to nod and agree with Rinian's question and joins her in baited anticipation for the answer. The only thing that came to his mind, was that it was probably safer to go get help than to jump in and risk becoming drowning victim number two. "Is there like…a special hooky thing or something we could use for someone who's not moving and stuff?"

"It's difficult," D'lei answers Rinian's question, his expression serious. If there's one easy trick… well, he doesn't know it. He does nod to Meion, though, before he brings his attention back to Rinian. "The right holds will help - they give you the leverage to take advantage of every bit of strength you do have… but if you still don't have enough, the next best thing is working with someone else." He makes a gesture to Mathis and Rinian both, and grins. "Which I think the two of you have already figured out." His head tilts to Mathis then, and smiles for the question. "Well, sort of. The challenge with someone unconscious is in keeping them from breathing water - but if you can get them in a harness, or on a hook or ring, one person in with them can keep their head up while a larger team draws them in."

Rinian nods, looking to Matty and then back between Meion and D'lei. They maybe could have getting Meion up and out of the water, but finding out whether that was true or not might have to wait for another day. Everyone was looking rather tried and waterlogged already. "Thank you," she says and falls back into quiet observation.

Meion considers on that all, nodding. "Then - should we do it again?" She's still looking tired from last time, but coming face-to-face with how much more she could learn has her eager to prove herself - to herself, if nobody else. Still, she's not just going to throw the dummy in the water and jump after it; that might put everything off-plan.

It didn't look especially very easy, no. Difficult, might have to be bolded, italicized and starred with a foot note that read: Not for you paddle-boy. Raising his hand, "Are you going to be teaching us that?" Mathis asks, curious as to what holds might work best for getting bigger, heavier adults out of the water. Who would stand by and just watch someone drown? Horrible, horrible people, that's who. He didn't want to be one of those or helpless either, but with limitations beyond his control such as height and weight? Nope, he doesn't want to think about that, so he doesn't. Instead, he'd focus on the positive things like actually being useful. Hazel eyes find Meion as she asks her question, his mouth opening just to close again to stifle his protest. She looked pretty beat still in his opinion, but back to D'lei his attention goes, brows lifting. Were they going to do it again?

D'lei nods to Rinian. "You're welcome," he says to her, then smiles to Mathis. "I intend to!" It's not all letting them jump in the deep end and figure it out, apparently… even if that is what he did to Meion. "Well, that's a good question," he says, tone mild and thoughtful. "How do you feel? Do you think you're in good condition to go again, or are you going to get exhausted and become a risk to yourself - or to Rinian and Mathis when they go after you?" So many questions. Where's Socrates when you need him?

Meion gives that question from D'lei a very serious consideration, which includes stretching each leg and both arms over her head and evaluating how they respond. "I think I could practice swimming with something, but the dummy is probably more than I can handle." And even that admission of limited inability is a challenge for her - she still looks like she wants to go jump in and try again, exhaustion be damned.

"What about," Risali chimes in from WHEREVER SHE WENT (Does it matter? She's here now, moving to where she can smile MUCH TOO BIG at D'lei (probably to cause despair within the candidates)), "if you're the one drowning? Or did you already cover that?" Listen, she had Weyr business to see to, and it pulled her away from… well. ALL OF IT.

Rinian smiles at Meion as she gives an honest answer that means it is safer for everyone. She absently squeezes some water out of her still-dripping hair as she quietly listens. Risali gets a really big smile, but no hug. No need to get her wet.

Owlishly, Mathis blinks and then grins huge as it's confirmed they would be taught holds. Anything was better than being told to just run for help or stand there and wait for help while the person drowned. His adventure into the water had taught him that he was not as good of a swimmer as he had thought, his canine-paddle probably ill advised for the pulling of people through the water. As Risali arrives, she's extended that same toothy smile but this one in greeting, which falls as she goes on to offer someone up as the victim. "Who? Meion?" At this, he pales some, and side-eyes to Rinian who was the much stronger swimmer. To the computercrafter he looks next and the concern grows. What if she was too tired to swim but didn't know it yet?

D'lei nods to Meion, his smile warm and approving for that admission of weakness. "Good assessment." Failure is … a better option when it's exercised early enough that nobody dies or ends up in the infirmary again! "Let's get some extra dummies to practice holds," because, hey, it's an important part of today's lesson in water safety - as hosted by the dolphin crafthall, a short between-hop (but aren't they all?) from Xanadu. And this is where D'lei starts toward the shore… but wait, what's this? A Risali! Who may have missed a total of two successful rescues of the wooden dummy, and four candidates in the water, but hey. She's here now, and some of the frolicking dolphins pause to greet her with cheerful chitters and words. D'lei grins - both at Risa, and at her question. "We haven't," he answers her. "Could be a good time for it." A gracious gesture of his spare hand. Drown away, Weyrwoman! You have the narrow wooden floor.

Meion pauses in following D'lei toward the shore, to give a slightly-exhausted grin to Risali. She hauled a practice dummy in to shore. She's feeling pretty good about herself right now; good enough that she's even willing to admit that she has limits.

Rinian's smile is returned, a knowing something in the crinkle of nose and eyes before her attention lands on Mathis. That smile stays in tact while she listens, shoulders shrugging up as grey eyes dart towards Meion and her exhaustion, fingers waggling in hello, and then jump back to Matty. "No, not Meion. All of you. What would you do if you were drowning and nobody was there to save you? No search and rescue, no conveniently floating debris, no land in sight, no help. How do you keep yourself from drowning?" But now the Weyrwoman is tilting her head, watching D'lei approach, maybe appreciating MUCH MORE THAN IS NECESSARY FOR THIS SCENE, RISA NO!!! and then blinking grey eyes back towards the water. "Your instinct will be to swim, right? To fight to stay above the surface." And now she STRIDES INTO THE WATER sans all the proper gear, maybe realizing too late that it's pretty cold and regretting her life choices but SHUT UP, HOW BOUT THAT. "But that's the m-most dangerous thing you can - Faranth, that's unexpectedly cold - do. So you take a deep breath." Which Risali imitated as she goes further out, annnnd then she flops onto her back. And just… floats there. One, two, three, "And you float!" Another breath, more floating. A beat. "Oh no, I'm drowning~ Somebody help me~" Ignore her sing-song voice. She's cold. And it helps hide the fact that she's shivering (not even a little bit). But then she's upright. "See? Easy! But I believe your highly esteemed instructor had other plans, so…" FOLLOW HIS LEAD. She's just going to make her way back to shore. And find towels, probably.

Rinian nods as Risali goes all floaty. Floaty is good. And of course the Weyrwoman was just showing them what to do while in normal clothes, because it is likely that's what they would have on in an emergency. So she is clever and self sacrificing. Right? That's what Rin will go with instead of a mental face-palm.

Mathis seems torn as D'lei makes for the shore and the pile o' dummies and Risali's knowing nose crinkling. W-what? Eyes round out a bit, following wherever her gaze goes, and then blinks once? What would he do? "Uh, I…?" As she lists off the list of things that would, in this scenario, not be included. He has not a clue what he would do, no, but fortunately for him the goldrider is conveniently there to demonstrate such a technique for them all. There is a wrinkle in his brow as Risali gets sidetracked and looks between gold and bronzerider, turning a little pink himself around the edges before she snaps back to it and gets on with the explaining or rather demonstrating. Paying close attention, looking as if he was about to say something about a wetsuit but she's in there real quicklike and he simply drops his hand back to his side. Even with the right gear it was cold, he couldn't imagine how it was in normal clothes. Watching, he nods as she tells them how not to drown, something very important to know! Float, breathe, float. Got it. Eyebrows work themselves into knot for the sing-song shiver help, glancing towards D'lei, but by the time he's turned back Risali was well on her way to reemerging for a towel and maybe a hot beverage. THERMOS, STAT. "Thank you for the demonstration, Risali!" he calls over, heading now to the shoreline so that he could learn holds with D'lei and the other candidates.

Drowning: so easy, even a baby could do it! D'lei smiles as he watches Risali demonstrate - or maybe just use an alternate sort of cold shower on herself - and he nods. Though there's maybe also some concern as he observes, but hey. "You have two enemies, in the water," D'lei says as he looks back to the candidates. "One of them is exhaustion. The other is hypothermia." He half-smiles. "Floating like that will help you save energy and stave off exhaustion… which helps you last until help arrives." Or doesn't, but hey. Let's be optimistic! "Keeping your body tucked close is also the second best thing you can do to stay warm. The best… is getting out of the water." Which Risali also demonstrated, and now she's going to wrap herself in all the towels, which is also a good idea. "We can practice that in a few." Everyone will drown, before the day is out! But first… there's a somewhat tumbled heap of wooden dummies, all sprawled over each other. "Go ahead," D'lei tells the candidates. "Find your new friend for today."

We're using the crafthall definition of making friends today, where the emphasis is much more on the "making," and can be a little more open about what constitutes a friend. Meion sorts through the pile somewhat intentionally, looking for a dummy that's about the same height as her. When she finds it, she pulls it aside, and takes a few steps toward the shore for instructions.

Cielo arrives from… goodness knows what predisposes the healer. He looks quietly chuffed about it, as usual, but brushes it off as easily as lingering in sea wind. From the sidelines he listens, follows, nods and finally appears almost ghost-like to sift through the dummies and find one that looks sufficiently weathered and worn. "… I probably do not spend enough time in the water." He ponders this while joining the others, all smiles.

Rinian should get her new friend, but first she runs after Risali. Once she catches up she points out where her clothes are. "They aren't nice, but they are dry and should fit, if you like." She doesn't wait though, and runs back to follow D'lei's instructions.

Pulling up into the grouping of candidates, Mathis pulls at his wetsuit a bit because it was not the most comfortable of clothing selections, but at least with his shorter hair he didn't have to worry too much about being sopping wet and uncomfortable. As he's been really good with so far, he listens as D'lei supplies more valuable information, slowly nodding his head as each point is reached. No, being too tired to swim or freezing to death (possibly both at the same time) did not seem like fun at all. There's a look on his face when he finds out that they would be practicing not drowning, one difficult to describe, before he steps in and selects a dummy that seems about his size, dragging it over with him towards the shoreline to stand a little bit of a space from Meion, noting Rinian running after Risali which beings a smile to his face. Just another reason why she was his best friend in the whole world, her kindness. Cielo, well, hazel eyes dart his way as he speaks but they're off and away a second later as he ducks his head to hide the arrival of all that profound pinkness. Focus. Focus.

Given how closely those pairs of dummies and humans are going to be in contact, D'lei certainly hopes they're friends! Otherwise, there are going to be some pretty major boundary issues going on, and he might need to have a serious talk about what constitutes appropriate touch. He hefts his own, weighing it in his hand as he waits for the others to pick out theirs. Everyone good? Nobody's found a corpse among the training dummies? Good! He grins. "Okay. So, there's two things you want to remember for a water rescue. One is that you both need to breathe." Important details. "The other is that one of you needs to be able to swim - or to hold on to something." If you're lucky enough to have a line, that is! "So, given that…" D'lei demonstrates! With some modeling of poses, and ways to hold the dummy, that would (in principle, if he was in the water) help accomplish those things!

Without the weight-cancelling effect of water, it's harder to heft the dummy Meion chose into the positions D'lei is demonstrating, but that won't stop her from trying. While working on a shoulder-supporting grip, her wooden practice dummy comes clattering to the ground with a sudden noise. Did Meion pass out from exhaustion again? A moment later, it's clear she didn't, as she stands back up, just a little off-balanced by the way she was trying to hold it.

"I'm okay, thanks," Risali whispers to Rinian from underneath her increasing mountain of towels. She does move her shivering-self closer to where all the fun and action is, close enough to the candidates to watch without interfering - at least until Meion GOES DOWN, and Risali is instinctively reaching out as if she might catch her but… too late. The computercrafter is already back on her feet. It doesn't stop Risali from hovering just a little. But at least she doesn't interrupt.

Cielo sees Mathis and smiles bright! Maybe even waves. Though he shouldn't distract his friends during these sessions if he can help it. They can catch up later. He feels a little awkward in his wetsuit, but there are worse things to be caught in. He keeps scuffing his feet in the sand, looking up around as if searching for something—and then sheepishly snapping back to stare at either the dummy or D'lei. Given he's probably handled dummies and some more… awkward individuals for a little while in his own craft, he at least manages to keep his partner aloft. If with a bit of armstrain. "Not… the best dance partners, they aren't," he half-whispers to Meion.

That dummy was on the heftier side and Mathis has a bit of trouble trying to copy the hold that D'lei was showing them how to do, nearly dropping the thing a few times before he gets to something even slightly close. Admittedly, it would be easier with the buoyancy provided by the water, but he's not all that eager to get back in there and freeze himself into a Matty-Pop. At the sudden sound of a clattering noise that far off, his head snaps towards Meion and alarm shoots through all his limbs. "Are you…?" he begins to ask, having witnessed something similar on the hatching sands that one day, but she'd only dropped her dummy! She's okay! Breathing out a sigh, and his own wooden friend slowly begins to slip from his grasp, forcing him to reposition it with a thrust of his legs and slide-tuck of his hands back under it in support, at least till he can gain some sort of balance ratio again. This, a lot harder than it looked when D'lei did it. Risali's wandering approach is noted out of his periphery, a smile tugging at his lips for the care in which she showed the candidates, and perhaps feeling a little guilty over the thoughts he'd had when they'd all been left on the Yokohama. Drawn towards the motion, Mathis catches Ceilo's bright smile and wave, which does not help him look any less red, and quite suddenly the boy looks as if he'd gained a nice sunburn in a matter of seconds. His return smile is quick and faint, and then he's ducking his head a bit behind his dummy. Yes, yes, talk to Meion. Go over there. Excellent. His mind-control powers were obviously working.

One potential hypothermia - RISALI - another who might be at the edge of exhaustion - MEION - and D'lei looks from the one to the other as he holds that dummy up, then… "Right." He grins. "I think you've all got the basic idea," or at least, all the humans do, "- so let's take a break for lunch before we get back to practicing." Sorry, Mathis, D'lei is going to interrupt the work for social time. Cielo's urge to distract will soon be fulfilled. "I'll just show you one more thing on the way there," D'lei adds, and then… he sets the dummy down on the ground, hooking his arms around its shoulders to drag it backwards across the sand - with hopefully enough glances back to not collide with anything (or one) on his way back to that classroom. And if he's really lucky, Kera's gotten the mental message Garouth passed along, and is bothering the dolphineers to bring out some warm food and hot drinks in time to meet them.

Meion watches that carry with a curious expression. She looks about to try duplicating it, when she notices the number of concerned looks she's been getting. Maybe it's better to wait until after lunch. That dummy is lowered gently to the ground, with a clatter that's much more controlled, and she waits for her fellow candidates before she sets off with them for lunch.

Cielo drags the dummy through the sand a foot or two. Scoot-scoot, leaving a nice divot. Then, seeing Meion put hers down, he blinks a couple times and lays the dummy in the concave he just made. "I'll bring you back something," he says, patting the silly thing on the blank face before hopping up. He scans over back to Mathis andhuh. Is he hiding again? What did he do this time? He'll have to get to the bottom of this, when it's not quite so public. "Mmm, seems we will keep in good spirits as long as you feed us…" And for Meion, he opens his mouthno, she's probably sick of hearing 'are you okay?' "What's new?" That works. Yes.

Following the Weyrleader's line of sight, Mathis glances between Risali and Meion, before inquisitively looking back to their demonstrator. Wait. What? D'lei! Noooooooo! Why?! Working is better. Busier. With no time for stolen glances or awkward small talk. Shoulders sinking, he too lowers his wooden compatriot downwards as the other do and stands there with his head tilted. Were they supposed to copy that too? Ah well, it was better than the alternative. Pointedly not looking at Cielo, he does his best to mimic that under the shoulders drag towards the classroom with considerable more attention on where he was going than as to what rocks and things might be on the ground to knock and scrap the underside of the training dummy. Once he reaches his destination, he sits and arranges Charl (yes, he now has a name, thought up along the way to distract himself) into a somewhat comfortable position before he leaves him there to scrounge up something to eat.

When it comes to the challenges of awkward teens with awkward feelings, D'lei is just plain heartless! Not only does he impose that break in work-time for silly things like food, they even have to wait for it to arrive. His own dummy is left along a wall, the better to not be a tripping hazard, and then he looks back to watch the progression of candidates. "It's a lot easier to drag than lift, isn't it?" he says to Mathis and Rinian as they arrive, and smiles. "Good when you're the small one." Which, well. Rinian did ask about that, before! There's chairs around in that classroom, though the food… well… it'll be here soon, right? Before Cielo leads a non-fed revolt? "Simple terms," D'lei replies, and grins. "I like it." And the food… hey! Here we go. There's some dolphineer apprentices bringing out a tray of tuna-fish sandwiches, some miso-like soup, and some carafes of klah and tea. Calories and caffeine, the essentials of candidate contentment! …hopefully. With all those dummies as new allies, D'lei and Risali are getting pretty outnumbered.

Rinian had looked like she was either dancing with, or having a wrestling match with her dummy, and as such is quite glad to take a break from it. She settles it safely, then joins the others to wait for the food. Though her suit seems to be drying decently, her thick mass of hair is still very wet indeed, if not dripping.

Meion keeps up easily with the rest of the group after making her decision to not bother bringing her dummy along. She walks alongside Cielo, answering his question with a brief, enthusiastic description of the morning's water-rescue activities before he arrived. When she reaches the classroom, she drops into a chair with a sigh of relief, awkward wetsuit and all. As the meal comes out, she's quickly got a sandwich - and then, just as quickly, it's gone, and she's getting a second to eat more slowly.

Nope, this Cielo looks too in-his-thoughts to lead a rebellion! This time. He chatters offhand with Meion, recounting whatever voluntold chore kept him from being front and center for the first half of lessons. And then he watches with wide-eyes as that sandwich vanishes before he even has hands on a bowl of soup. "So who's this?" He wonders, peeking at Mathis and in turn Charl while waiting for the broth to cool a bit. It seems like the introductions never end.~

Honestly, the audacity D'lei. Thinking about grumbly tummies and exhausted limbs. Bastard. That when the woodcrafter boy arrives and goes in search of food that he finds that he has to wait, there is no obvious show of disappointment. Just a sort of peering around, taking note of the lack of nourishment, and then looks back to the Weyrleader. Nodding to the question posed to himself and Rinian, "Easier, but…" Mathis supplies, stretching his body out with a firm press of his hand to his own lower back. Murder on the spine. "Probably would've been harder if I had to swim all the way out and then with him all the way back, though. Or, if it was someone bigger." If he'd learned nothing else today, he'd leave Dolphincraft Hall with a healthy respect for those in the Search and Rescue wing. As the food comes out, he selects a bowl of soup, sandwich and a cup of tea, carrying his tray back to Charl, with a pause to stare at Meion and the magic of her ability to inhale consumables. Blinking several times, he murmurs a soft 'please don't choke' to her and settling down beside his wooden friend back there toward the back. Somewhere out and the way and free of foot traffic, signally to Rinian so that she knew where to go once she had something to eat for herself. Cielo's voice draws his attention upwards from the sandwich in his hands, hazel eyes widening. Who? Him? What? Even as he starts to pink up a bit, his chin tucks in and he murmurs, "Charl." How did he know he'd name him?

D'lei nods to Mathis, with an amused smile. "Easier and easy are far from the same thing." There's a reason why S&R has a tendency to invade the hot springs and refuse to leave, and… this is part of it! "The adrenaline can help a bit, in a real emergency… but it can also make you hurt yourself without realizing it." Is that a glance to Meion? Yes, yes it is. But after that, well, D'lei proceeds to once more be terrible at this job of being a distraction so the candidates don't have to talk each other. He at least enters that classroom for long enough to get a cup of klah, but then - instead of engaging any of them - he goes back out to catch Risali, and he talks to her. Like, not even loud enough to be heard, more like he's just putting that tea into her hands and putting his arms around the pile of towels that she's assuredly hiding inside, and saying some quiet words and hearing some back. Worst. Distraction. …and now he's laughing, which is probably something Risali said, but maybe he's just enjoying the awkward. (Spoilers: it was something Risa said.)

Rinian agrees with Matty, "Easier to drag, but..easier to drag while swimming than lift on land?" That she doesn't know yet. She gets food and joins Matty, content to quietly nibble away at the offerings. She smiles to Cielo and Meion but doesn't butt into the conversation.

Meion laughs off the concern about her eating pace. It's like they've never seen someone who regularly forgets to eat! (Which, to be fair, they probably haven't.) "I'm fine, really. It's just tasty." After a workout like the morning's traning, anything with a good number of calories would probably get that approval, though!

Cielo is just that good! No, he's making assumptions, like that could be answered one way or the other. "It's a good name! I'll have to introduce him to Opera. Make sure the little bugger knows how to actually socialize…" And now, nooow that wonderful warming soup is to the point he can take long drafts of it without burning himself. He sighs, wiggles a bit in place, and scans over the group. This calls for some sort of ice breaker that doesn't involve wincing conversation and worries… let's see…

Does the towel-monster look grateful? DO TOWEL MONSTERS HAVE EMOTIONS? Yes! …And probably no. Considering they don't exist, we will never know. But this pile of towels that is actually Risali manages to look grateful and have emotions - one of which is a slow smile from around that rim of steaming tea as grey eyes take in D'lei laughing, the Weyrwoman content to merely watch D'lei enjoy whatever funny thing she just said. And then that tiny body is tucking in against D'lei's side, towels and all, so that she can start him back towards the classroom with more quiet words, words that are interrupted by what looks like almost choking on warm-tea-goodness in tandem with wide-eyes and… SCANDALIZED INDIGNATION. Is she blushing? She is, she totally is, and one hand comes out from beneath that haven of exactly one billion towels so that she can clamp it over D'lei's mouth to deflect WHATEVER IT IS HE JUST SAID TO HER. You probably don't have to read lips to know she probably just said, "Shut up, D'lei," but just in case you weren't sure: she DID. But then she's laughing too, ducking back into her mug and, for once, not running away from D'lei but bumping her shoulder into him as she starts forward again. DON'T WORRY, CIELO. SHE'S GOT YOUR ICE BREAKER RIGHT HERE. "How's the food, everybody?" SMILE.

To that, D'lei's wise words about easier and easy being two different animals, the boy can only nod in agreement with a heft of a sigh. Sure, he couldn't know for absolute certainty without trying everything and all of the above, but this is one of those occasions in which he was more than happy to take the man at his word. There is some concern over being hurt while trying to help, its plain to see there in his face, but there's another nod regardless. "I think though that hurting yourself a little while saving someone's life, would kinda be worth the price," Mathis murmurs back thoughtfully, chewing gently on his bottom lip as he considers their exchange of ideas. Sucking in a breath, he suddenly shines a too-many teeths grin back at the man, "Okay! Thank you, D'lei." Because even scary knowledge was power. He leaves the man to go and share warm drinks and laughter with his towel absconding weyrmate, nodding to Meion as she reassures that she is not about to die by tuna fish, and is soon tucking himself in between Charl and Rinian. There was nothing for his new wooden-friend to eat, but that's okay because he got the distinct impression that the dummy wasn't hungry. Something about being dragged and banged around, no doubt. A patpat to Rinian's arm, yes hi there, and he bites into his sandwich. Cielo is peeked up at past the thickness of long tawny lashes as he begins to reply, the compliments turn him redder and redder because that's what nice things said to him does okay? Although as the dragonhealer goes on, the boy lifts his chin to peer over at him unabashed, despite his magnificent color changing ability. "Who's Opera?" It's quiet, not a lot of force behind it, but curiosity wins out over his embarrassment. Eye-cut away towards his savior, Mathis smiles warmly (yet pinkly) towards the Weyrwoman, "It's really good!" Sure, he's only had one bite thus far, but it was a really, really, really good bite.

Rinian simply nods to the question from Risa, either too busy nibbling away or just choosing to be sparing with her words. For Matty's impersonation of a color changing octopus she also says nothing, but supports him with her closeness.

And back into the fray D'lei comes! With Risali, that is, and a momentary shutting up that is rather undercut by the grin he has in response to those words from her. "One of the journeyman told me that the dolphins insist their humans get fish with at least every other meal," he observes. "Otherwise, they might not be healthy enough to keep up in the water." D'lei grins. "Now, I don't know if that's true or not, but… I certainly can't deny it from today's menu."

Meion gives Risali an enthusiastic thumbs-up gesture when she asks about the food. The truest praise of food, after all, is being too busy eating it to comment on it. She notes the way Mathis is getting flustered around Cielo, and makes facial expressions she thinks are meaningful at Cielo when he looks her way. But… what do they mean?

"Don't… be too eager." Cielo says in soft response to Mathis, then flusters when he realizes how bad that sounds and waves a free hand. "I mean, just don't try to focus on the idea of self-sacrifice. Worry about helping others without hurting yourself. Especially in the water." Their beloved teachers would probably have more to say about that, sooner or later. He becomes entranced with SCANDAL and the break of adulty grace, which is clearly there in plethora. Then he looks politely into the murky surface of his soup. Opera, Opera… "A wonderful little blue friend," he says mysteriously and notices Meion giving him inquisitive looks. Whatever he interprets, he manages a half-crease smile before looking down so fast someone might hear a whiplash. Oh hey. Sandwich and soup is perfect for dipping! "It's goooood. I don't get enough fish!"

"I'm glad," seems to be Risali's all-around conclusion to how people feel about their food. Matty's smile is returned, Mei's thumbs up returned, Rinian's nod met with yet another smile as she… shivers beneath her mountain of towels and takes another sip of tea. "You can have my sandwich if you want, Cielo," she offers. Because… MORE FISH! And she just wants more hot liquid.

There a glance towards Rinian for being so quiet over there, softly inquiring "You okay?" in such a way as it doesn't carry too far. There was no discomfort being smooshed up between living and wooden friend, if anything it was comforting to Mathis. As D'lei begins to enlighten them all as to the meaning behind their lunch menu, his attention shifts his way, taking another series of bites with plenty of chewing as he listens. Only once he was finished with that one half, does he pick his bowl up and start in on the soup, now cool enough to sip at. He seems, surprised by that information, looking at the other candidates to see if they believe what the dolphins say and that's when he catches the strange faces that Meion was making towards Cielo. Blink-blink. Yeah, he doesn't know what that means, which is probably for the best but still, "You feeling all right, Meion?" Maybe she was feeling sick? Maybe she had to sneeze? Mysterious. A quick flash of hazel back to the dragonhealer, then down to his soup, giving it a swirl inside its container. "I'm not," is answered back softly, on being eager. If only Ceilo knew how true those words really were. Because he's looking down, he misses how flustered he gets over something he probably wouldn't have understood anyway. There's a bobbing of his head for self-sacrifice verses personal safety, daring another peek and then down those eyes go, making them quite the lump of candidates being all quiet and contemplative. "Firelizard?" he asks, this time not looking up even as the tips of his ears shift towards a healthy shade of rose. Risali is safe enough to watch in favor of the swirled contents of his bowl, glancing over towards her and every towel ever made that she was wearing. Lips might just quirk upwards for that, scrunching down into his own shoulders.

Rinian loves fish, so no problem with her enjoying the meal. She nods to Matty's question, giving him a smile for the asking of it, "I'm fine." She casts another glance to the cold Weyrwoman. "I do wish you'd change, even if you'd rather not wear my things I'm sure they have something dry you can use…"

"Cielo's right," D'lei adds with a half-smile for the candidate that shifts back to serious as he looks over to Mathis and continues. "Remember… try not to become someone else who needs rescuing. That just means there's more chance someone - whether it's you, or the original victim - ends up hurt or dead." And that's definitely not a funny thing. Neither are shivers, for that matter, and as the candidates continue their conversation, D'lei looks down to Risali again, observing her. "I think," he says, in words that hold a heavier weight than would seem otherwise indicated, "we should head into the caverns and discuss the rest of the afternoon." Meaningful. Look. …let's see if it's any more effective than Meion's attempts to explain that Timmy is down the well! D'lei will at least assist it with a curl of a hand to Risali's toweled shoulder, as if to steer her inside to where - in addition to meeting-rooms - there are warm fires, blankets, and real clothes to replace that towel-monster finery. But, before he abandons the candidates entirely - "After you've finished eating, Luwin will tell you a bit more about the dolphincraft, and…" A glance to Risali. "…then you can have some free practice time with the dolphins until we get back." Ooooor, if Risa proves to be pretending to be fine even more than it seems like, until the AWLMs round them up to be taken home. One way or another!

SHE GETS THE HINTS, and she gets the suggestions - both tone, and hands on her shoulders. Risali blinks grey eyes from Matty who has found sanctuary in her safeness (AND HUMOR IN HER TOWEL-NESS; ARE YOU LAUGHING AT HER MATTY?) to D'lei, that smile meant for the woodcarver still in tact even if it quiets into something else. "Okay," she tells D'lei, and there's a wave for all of the candidates, a soft-but-loud-enough-to-be- heard, "You all did fantastic today!" even if she DIDN'T GET TO SEE IT. BUT SHE KNOWS, OKAY. And then she's letting D'lei herd her out of the door, shivering, and wet, but about to be a whole lot less of both! That gentle smack to D'lei's side while she sips her tea probably means don't worry, I'm okay, and she's tucking her head in close to him again to talk quietly as they head for warmer places! Onward!

The smile and nod from Rinian is reassuring, but the boy beside her watches her a moment or too longer just to make sure. She'd said that she was fine the other day too when she was clearly not. After an indeterminate amount of time, he nods and gives her arm a squeeze, then picks up what's left of his tuna fish. It was that 'Cielo's right' that draws Mathis's gaze to the Weyrleader, starting in on the second half of his sandwich, if only to drop his eyes when he's looked over at. He wasn't going to do anything stupid, he swears, at least that's what his body language was trying to say. Who knows if it'll get lost in translation. Perhaps thinking it wiser if he does less speaking and more eating, the boy nods a few times to show that he is listening (because he is) and the bronzerider might not know it for certain but he was taking everything that was being told to them as seriously as it was meant. At mention of impending departure, Matty looks up and his brows knit. Sanctuary! No! Why must D'eli take all the safeness awaaaaaay? Not that he doesn't understand or that he was some heartless unfeeling creature of some kind. Risali was cold and wet and needed to be neither of those things for her health. That doesn't stop his shoulders from taking on a droopier appearance, resigned to the fact that they were all soon to be left alone for the remainder of lunch until the dolphineers came to take them to practice. WITH DOLPHINS! Okay so, maybe looking less like a too wet blanket over there now, some light working itself back into his eyes. But yes, Risali, inside Matty was laughing at the thick layer of all the towels that she wore and probably coming up with a thousand stories inside his head about towel-monsters. Where they slept (a laundry basket or a shelf). What they eat (he's decided on lint). What their mating rituals might be (dryer set on tumble dry). It was all there, bringing mirth to his pinked-up features.

Rinian finishes her nibbling and is just happy Risa is going to go get properly warmed up and dry. She's become very fond of the Weyrwoman and doesn't want her to get sick. At D'lei's announcement she grins at Matty, just knowing what his response is going to be for that part of it. Its a good thing she has no idea what's going on in his head though, because if she did she might collapse into an undignified giggle-fit.
"Feesh," says Cielo. He holds a hand up for a moment. How could he deprive anyone of their precious fish? But, no doubt they had some secret way to acquire it later. "Thank you." Like he'll treasure this gift of spare seafood. He is left with it to look at in a moment of quietude to follow and dragon-sized-bites becoming absent nibbles. Hopefully they've got a bit more swim in them, all of them. "… maybe that's what the fish is for," he completes the thought out loud.

Having successfully tucked away the remainder of his sandwich into his stomach for safe keeping, Mathis finishes up his soup in relatively short order before setting his tray aside and concentrating on his tea. With one sip, a nose crinkle. Cold. Rinian receives an odd look for all that grinning his way, shifting a bit where he sits. "What? I got something on my face?" Oh just every shade of red ever imagined or dreamed of, nothing special really. As he stretches out his legs it's almost a reminder that he probably should get up and walk around or else he'd end up stiffer than when he'd sat down. A quiet glance towards Cielo and his discussion WITH his lunch and that's all it takes to convince him (he was totally NOT staring by the way (yes he was)). Up he goes with tray and cup in hand, tiptoeing off to get himself some more tea but with a bit more warmth to it.

Rinian smiles at Mathis, "Dolphins…more swimming with dolphins!" Well, she's excited about it anyway. Who knew that being a Candidate would lead to so many adventures! Even if there is no impression at the end, the rest of if sure has been worth it. Even…space.

The adventures certainly wouldn't stop! Cielo finishes his own meal and stands with a long, high-armed streeeeeetch. It is good that Mathis made his escape, because his first instinct upon hearing 'something on my face' is to reach for a napkin or handkerchief and take charge. "I certainly ~hope~ none of us will be needing rescued anytime soon…" Putting it out in the air, because he can.

Yeah, Mathis can accept Rinian's reason for grinning at him if it's about swimming with dolphins, because who DOESN'T want to swim with dolphins? Well, Elayne for one, but besides that? Suffice to say that he returns her smile and pets the top of her head before escaping to the other side of the room to freshen up his cup with some of that sweet warm deliciousness. Hip leaning against whatever passes for a serving table in the classroom, the woodcrafter wraps his hands around his cup and sips contentedly. Ahhhhh. That's the stuff. Hazel eyes slide back Cielo's way as he speaks, likely unaware of just how close he came to either the greatest moment of his life thus far or the most embarrassing. The jury was still out. "I don't think D'lei or Risali would put us in danger on purpose," he returns, finding so much better to talk to the dragonhealer when there was this much space between them. Fancy that. "But, there's no reason not to be prepared for….stuff." Yes, that should cover the all of everything. Good job, Mathis. A wince, a new flush of pink, and he tries to bury himself behind his tea cup.

Rinian goes back to being little Miss Quiet as they discuss the merits of being prepared and danger and such things. She does get up to find a place to put her dirty dishes so its a bit less work for someone else. By this point her suit is nice and dry, but that hair? Not even close.
Cielo is good at space for a while, since he seems to be craving it a bit. Waits a pace before putting his own dishes away. "Danger? No, they're not the sort. And it's not like we go around finding trouble, it's just…" Can he even put it politely? Probably not. It's less that they look for trouble and more that it seems to just conjure itself up whenever they're around. "We're about to get wet again, buuut it is so worth it."

Finishing up with his cup o' yum (minus the fish heads okay Rin?), Mathis sets it aside and finds that he is feeling much better. Warmer at least, then he had been when he'd been in the water far cooler than he would have liked. Longing for a hot springs regardless, a long look is bestowed upon the water and the dolphins out there clicking, whistling, and splashing about. "Yeah, I get what you mean," he says to the dragonhealer, sounding about a million miles away. Dolphins. So carefree, so cute, what would it like to be among them? One of them? He'll just stand there and let his mind wander a bit on that thought, returning to reality with slight jump as dishes are set down not that far away. Cielo had obviously transported himself across the room, because when did he go from being there to here? The muscles of his back tensing, the woodcrafter reclaims distance merely by coincidence, sending a long look back towards Rinian. He has to go. Eye dart towards the beach. Over there. Eye dart. Over there. Follow when ready. It wasn't a secret language or anything, easy enough to figure out with all that ducking and chameleon on opposite day impression. Stretching his arms above his head all casual like, legs carry him back out the door to where his jacket and satchel still sat from when they arrived. Someone had gathered, folded, and placed his clothing there as well. Wasn't that nice of them? They might have tried to put his things inside his bag, but it was as always, already overly full. Parking himself on a rock, he picks the satchel up and pokes around inside of there for a bit, the sound of wood knocking against wood plainly heard.

Rinian looks between the two and steps outside to leave them to whatever conversation they can manage before lessons resume. For her part? She wanders back to the water to sit on the edge of the wall and dangle feet where she can watch the dolphins.

Cielo tries not to be too wolfy in his circling. How does one circle in a way that doesn't feel somehow ominous or predatory? Even if they are quiet and awkward. "I feel like… I barely know anyone yet," he admits. "I'd call you all friends easily." He's just not sure how this is fitting together, how it's settling into place, how to make SENSE of it. Just sit on the sidelines and fix things, that would have been nice. But her he is. Looking for a vantage spot to look at the dolphins too. … even they're all social and chipper, mm.

Was Mathis being an elusive prey? Sorry about that, in that he wasn't sorry at all and had totally made a decently paced walk for the exit. Ah, breathing room, how he'd missed you. It was hard to think when his face was all hot and his heart was racing like that you know. Eyes lift from his rummaging when Rinian breezes past in favor of the docks, brows twitched into a faint expression of confusion. Either his invitation to join him was missed or she'd chose to ignore it for whatever reason. Maybe he's a little hurt either way, but he doesn't linger on the unpleasantness of that sensation, getting back to looking at the contents of his bag. Cielo was saying something, he should pay attention, at least that's what the nagging feeling at the back of his mind seems to tell him. Coming up with what he was looking for, he closes his satchel back up and sets it back down gently, "It helps if you talk." With that, he offers up the thing in his hand to the older teen, but he is unable to look at him as he does this. It's a small but ornately carved wooden dragon wrapped round a highly polished riverstone coincidently the same color of the recipient's eyes, but overall has a sense of masculinity and power about it. The pendent has been strung through a string of deep brown leather, meaning for it to be worn as a necklace. That done, he was making right fast for Rinian, plopping himself down beside her even as he does to a alarmingly deep shade of red from the tips of his ears to down his neck. Embarrassed to heck and back, but he totally pulled that off all smooth and stuff. Be proud of him Rin!

Rinian peers at her friend turned tomato when he takes a seat beside her. Veggie Tales! If you like to talk with tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile… So far as the not-so-subtle messages he gave her earlier? She totally missed them. How? Who knows. But she did. She watches him a long moment, then rests her damp head against his shoulder, where she can still watch the dolphins play.

Oh, how they all scamper and play. What would Garouth even think of all this. Cielo can't help but wonder as it is still the account of the creature who with one whisk and whisper threw him HERE. Less dizzy now, at least. "I talk," Cielo says. "Just… sometimes more to my sandwiches than people." It's not defensive, more than it is… guilty. HIs hands might be hard to find for a little while, given his habit of knitting, preening, and otherwise fidgeting but—ahh, there is a moment, an opening, and he feels something slip into his fingers and clutches it. He looks down, and up, and there's a look of curious, wide-eyed stare at the precious thing in his hand. "…" Oh, say something. "T-thanks?" Like he expects it to be taken back. He asks, "Did you make this?" With wonder as he turns it over, looks at it, forgetting all else for a while as his face darkens and flushes. "… wow, I…"

Garouth would think that if he sneaks in very carefully, he might manage to get a dolphin balanced on his nose, and that would be epic and also amusing.

Yes. Dolphins were amazing and had the woodcrafter boy been more gifted towards swimming and less timid of a person, he might have ended up a dolphineer. His earlier close encounter would fuel plenty of dolphin inspired pieces of woodcrafty goodness though, so it all works out in the end. Mathis nods once to Cielo, understanding of that at least. He too talked to things that couldn't think or talk back, maybe not his food but it was very similar. Somehow he finds an opening in all that hand-wringing and nervousness, getting the pendent into the dragonhealer's grasp, letting the wave of success wash over him and give him some relief from his own overly flooded system. "You're welcome." With that, he turns on his heel and makes for Rinian, decidedly not taking the pendent back. "Yep!" He'd made it alright, tirelessly and with painstaking detail, right down to what sort of stone to use. With that, Matty becomes busy being a redfruit and sat beside his friend. Reminding himself to breathe, he drapes a still trembling arm around Rinian's middle and rests his head atop hers, drawing from her calm and serenity as well of that of the chittering shipfish. Mistakenly, he does peek just a bit towards Cielo and what he sees makes his chest feel tight and his stomach flutter. Breathing in sharply, he abruptly returns his eyes forward facing, "I'm pleased you like it," he rattles off, not sounding at all unnaturally stiff and oddly formal. With a wince and a soft breathy groan, he closes his eyes. He's the worst.

Rinian feels for her poor young friend, but at least he tries. She gives him an encouraging smile, then slips into the water when one of the Dolphineers calls her over. She doesn't seem to mind the chill at least. She gives Matty a little wave, then swims off for her lesson.

"It's lovely." Cielo squeezes the carving in his palm, tight, but careful, and presses it against his forehead. Eyes squeeze shut and he tries not to let any waterworks show. People keep GIVING him things. Starting with the knot. The firelizard. Even the sandwich. Now this. It's just so much. He always knew the Weyr had such kindness in it but to feel the aimed end of it is just so overwhelming. A bit formal, maybe, but Cielo doesn't blink at that response. "Of course I like it. I can't really… make things. Teacakes. The odd stitch." He opens it again, to look at it, and look over with a red-eyed smile. "This is a gift."

That much is true, Mathis does try, it's just that he's so profoundly bad at it. It's nice that Rinian feels for him though, smiling back down at her in a strained and too nervous way. Man, this sucked so bad. He wished he had half of confidence that others so easily displayed, as if it were akin to breathing. Of course, that smile rapidly vanishes as she ABANDONS HIM ENTIRELY. What? It's true. His fellow woodcrafter slips into the water at the siren song of dolphineers as if that was way more important than being his security blanket and squishy. Come here squishy. Alas, she swims away and keeps on swimming, swimming, swimming with the shipfishes. When pleading eyes yield no results, ever so slowly does Mathis turn his head towards Cielo again, admittedly with eyes downcast, "I didn't give that to you because I wanted anything." That is a lie, he wanted things, but sure as Leirith had eggs on them there sands he wasn't going to put a voice to it unless he had an arrow or something like it pointed his direction. A peek, drop of hazel eyes to the worn and weathered surface of the dock upon which he was parked, and a bob of his head, "It is, I made it for you." You know, specifically. "It's a dragon 'cause you're a dragonhealer and that stone reminded me of…like…your eyes and stuff so…" Was he the one fidgeting now. Yes, yes he was. Clearing his throat, he chews in earnest on his bottom lip, finding that he was scritch-scratching at one the planks he resided upon with the blunt end of his fingernail.

Cielo races down a train of thought and then promptly abandons it. There will be time to sort that out later when he wasn't managing to have a conversation with Mathis that lasted more than a few moments. Now if only they could maintain eye contact. "Giving things is… the best though. Giving and getting. All in little turns." He turns the dragon over and runs his finger over the stone. "I'll take good care of it. And I'll make sure my silly firelizard doesn't try to eat it." There will be time later to try and make and curse and poke his fingers a thousand times with sharp tools but now it's just for two things. Swimming, which will come later. And hugs. Well, if he's not paying attention and not running Cielo might just get to awkwardly wrap around his shoulders and squeeze. "Thank you. Again."

No promises on eye contact anytime soon Cielo, or conversations lasting longer than a handful of minutes. Maybe, but the magic eight ball says outcome unlikely, and the magic eight ball knows all, it seeeee all. Mathis nods in agreement that giving gifts was the best, because personally he loved seeing the look on their face when the gift is revealed. It makes all the long hours toiling over his creations worth every second. This far though, the dragonhealer's had been right up with along with Rinian's, though admittedly she was crying over something else entirely but it still counts. Taking good care of it, good. Not letting it get eaten by Opera, probably for the best. "Okay," he breathes out, still scratching something into the dock, just absent circles and things to keep him occupied and situated rather than fleeing. This turns out to be perfect timing for Cielo to sneak up on him and get those awkward arms around awkward shoulder for the most awkward of squeezes meant to be hugs. So much awkward. So very. "UH!" Panic. Mathis ceases to breath just then and hugging him was probably most closely related to embracing a marble statue left to bake too long in the afternoon sun. Translation, very stiff, very warm. It's all the blood in his face, "YOU'RE WELCOME!" It's crisp, it's robotic, it's all very Mathis as he swallows hard and half turns his head toward the draonhealer and then loses his nerve. Nope. Can't do it. Wriggle, wriggle. SPLOOSH! Into the water he goes to canine-paddle awwwwwway. Wait for him Rinian!

Cielo can't help a soft little laugh as his fidgety friend escapes and squirms, swims away. He looks like he might make after for a moment before staring down at the little treasure again and—he has no idea if this is waterproof. He's not going to risk it, so he's going to have to go back and stow it in his bag… which will undoubtedly give the pair a good, solid head start on him. Sooner than not, though, he'll be in with the other candidates, and the 'phins.

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