Snatching a Star

Xanadu Weyr - Training Grounds
A wide, grassy expanse, nestled into the gentle bowl shape where something's taken a bite out of the mountain. It's high above the level of the beach, and there's a good eastern view of the lake and a long path leading down to that sandy shore. Granite cliffs surround it on the other sides.

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

There's a dragon-sized opening to the south that leads to the cavernous weyrling barracks, and a smaller tunnel to the northeast - large enough for dragons newly emerged from the sands, but quickly outgrown by hatchlings who are then forced to take the long way around - at least, until they learn to spread their wings and fly. Between them in both position and size, a jagged crack in the stone leads to a dim cave with the sound of water.

Winter nights (even early winter) are not the best of times to be out and about, especially when it's late, especially when suspicious persons around the weyrling barracks are taking their lives in their hands lest they be confused for evil doers doing evil as they pass by. And yet, on this late night with the moons risen above the sky spattered with stars, a slender figure ghosts her way across the training grounds, taking the path that leads eventually toward the beach. It's probably not the most popular route for such a journey if anyone cares to take it at this time of night and that might be just why it's the one Tejra has picked. Her white garments stream behind her in the chill breeze, paneled skirt split around her long white clad legs, sleeves billowing in that same gust that comes and goes. It's the kind of night that begins to show winter's claws, that nips at the nose, the toes, the ears and any other unfortunately wee and exposed body part. It probably explains why red locks are wrapped in a white knit slouchy hat, tendrils of red peeking out against her cold-paled already-pale skin. She's naturally graceful in her movements and while she's not trying to be sneaky, it could easily appear that sort of a movement, so fluid is her travel across the wide space.

Tejra’s unlikely trek would’ve gone unremarked at any other time! Except for this night, with such clear skies despite the bite of early winter. Most of the weyrlings have settled into routine by now but there are still times when there are hiccups to said routines. Tonight, it’s Ru’ien’s turn, which finds him out here, instead of INSIDE where it is warmer and sleeping would be occurring. No, he’s out here, bundled haphazardly against the chill wintry air, trying in vain to get Kihatsuth to quit her obsessive gazing on the moons and stars. Something about being unable to reach them? Who knows, as he’s learned now not to mutter a good portion of their conversations out loud. Perhaps that’s why Tejra makes it so far (but not too far). It’s not the human counterpart who spies her first, but the dragon! And all that white she wears? Oh, OH it’s such poor timing. Because to a young, chaotic born green, that white looks awfully close to the white of the moons and the all-distant white of the stars and… YES. She MUST have this one! SO MUCH DELIGHT, as Kiha goes lumbering after her. SO MUCH TERROR on both Ru’ien and, perhaps, Tejra’s end because who wants to witness that coming for them out of the night!?

What's a girl to do when chased by a chaotic baby dragon in the midst of a night chilly enough to see the puff of breath on the air? If that girl is Tej, laugh when she sees the biiig baby coming, and dart off as the sought after prize in a game of tag. Nevermind that this is a high stakes game, given all the claws and teeth involved. Maybe Holdbred, Hall-dwelling Tej doesn't know any better; maybe she likes the excitement. She makes for the obstacle course immediately, a place where she will have a slight advantage for her size and ability to climb, duck, roll and otherwise perform feats of aerial acrobatics unavailable to many, many other possible playmates. If Kihatsuth wanted a moon, or a star, Tej will give her a show worthy of one. Who's to say that Tej isn't Kihatsuth's wish, granted.

Laughing is definitely preferable than screaming! Screaming brings BAD THINGS, though if Kihatsuth had her say, she’d prefer BOTH. Still, there is that instinctual chase drive that has the green keeping Tejra in her sight, as the woman takes to flight. DO RUN! RUN FASTER! Make it all the more appealing! Ru’ien is not having as much fun in this, as he’s expecting the worst, knowing how the green hasn’t yet mastered her talons; it’s come a long way but in this unexpected excitement? Accidents can happen. He DOES NOT want that explanation on his plate, facing C’con or worse Ila’den! IT’S THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES! Luck will favour him, as Tejra will have the advantage of dodging at the right time and even climbing to a point not so easily accessible by Kiha — at least, not immediately. It gives just enough pause that the green has to stop, though it won’t keep her from reaching out with a forepaw to smack-swipe at some of that billowing white fabric! Tejra isn’t too sentimental, hopefully? “Kihatsuth! Leave her alone!” Ru’ien calls out, only slightly out of breath as he comes up along side the green in an attempt to block further shenanigans.

"Why?" is the word slap from Tejra to the weyrling. Okay, not a slap, but she makes her tone sharp enough to demand answer even as she twists away from Kihatsuth and steps one hay bale higher still. "You're not going to hurt me, are you, poppet?" That's not quite a coo, but it is in a delighted tone of voice that says the Harper is having just as much fun with this unexpected game as the dragon is. With another twist, Tej is leaping and catching on a bar probably intended for pull-ups or other suspended training. Instead of dropping though she executes a series of complex swings that ends with the redhead on top of the bar, sitting and looking down at the dragon. "And what is your name, darling?" She doesn't bother glancing past the dragon to the rider yet, right now Kihatsuth claims all the redhead's attention.

Why are you making it WORSE Tejra!? That’s exactly what Ru’ien’s panicked look is sending her! He’s too focused on mentally trying to coax Kihatsuth down, as the green has attempted to scale those hay bales after the woman. Her talons make… quite the disaster of them, really. There’s probably a groan from him, a sort of ‘oh shit’ moment, that’s all but lost under Kiha’s chuffs and guttural vocalizations. She’s too big now, to reach where Tejra has gone, but that doesn’t keep her from dead-eye staring at her! Somehow, even without her broaching the non-rider to dragon barrier, there’s an air of wicked amusement coming from her. Like she has greatly enjoyed this game and is waiting on more! Even if Ru’ien is being such a spoil sport right now (can they just both keep ignoring him? Yes? Excellent.). “Her name is Kihatsuth.” he’ll have to speak the answer at least, while the green just swells up with pride and adopts a rather bird-of-prey stance. Head up and tucked in, wings tight, tail coiled just-so. Yes, yes! Isn’t she a wonderful specimen?

"I can see you're a fine hunter already," Tej's melodic voice purrs to the dragon, only paying Ru'ien enough attention to take the thing she wants from him: the answer. "Just think what fun we could have once you're big enough for me to climb over, if you like that sort of thing." The dancer shifts, careful on her perch but not overly cautious. She flicks her pale gaze about the space, perhaps calculating just what she has to work with and where the pitfalls are in the moonlit night for what she might try as continued game for the dragon. She looks to the rider now, canting her head. "Ru'ien, I think I heard?" She quirks a brow at him. "Is all your sense of adventure gone so soon? Do you know, huntress," she addresses the man's lifemate, "that your Ru'ien once denied me the pleasure of a race to the top of a tree?" She makes her eyes wide, wide to go with the enormity of the injustice. "All because he was needed elsewhere." Adult responsibility. Who needs that? Not Tej. She flicks a briefly amused glance toward the weyrling; has she vexed him yet?

Kihatsuth makes a strange chuffing noise that, even to a non-rider, might sound suspiciously close to chuckled laughter. She's also becoming bolder, now that she's gained (precarious) footing on the hay bales! Her wings flare for extra balance, but she's reaching again with a forepaw to set it on the edge of the structure with the bars; safely on the other end from where Tejra is perched. Just ignore the ominous groan of wood and the way those too-long, wickedly curved talons click against it and the metal as she experiments with the grip. All this while Ru'ien is making frantic slicing motions with his hands, along with a few obvious STOP TALKING ones. It only ends with him facepalming, because the damage is done and he won't ever forget this! Does he exact revenge? Maybe she'll be his first case of it. Because Kihatsuth is swiveling her head now to HIM and he is audibly groaning as his fingers drag across his face. "Wellll… it wasn't quite like that?" he tries to explain, nervous laughter and all. "It's NOT that I didn't want to! NO, we're not going to climb trees now!" That is an aside specifically for the dragon, with a firm glare that might be for both of them, until he's gesturing dismissively again. "AND I made up for it by helping you out!" J'ACCUSE, Tejra! He'll even point, for emphasis, which draws the green's attention back to her.

Now, now, Ru'ien. Does Tej really seem the sort to be deterred short of physical restraint? And she's too far away for you to grab and muffle, nyah nyah. Although, really, when there's that ominous objection from the structure, she does shift to swing back upside down and then do a graceful drop to the ground below. She even dares to stride toward the one who may eventually be her doom. She flashes Ru'ien a very convincing look of wide-eyed innocence as she comes to stand next to him. "You know, that reminds me," she drawls in her melodic purr, "Didn't you also promise to show me something you thought I hadn't seen? I believe we made a deal." She might not even have heard the part about having made up for the tree abandonment, or at least she's pretending with great commitment that that's the case. "Do you know what he meant to show me?" This is directed back to Kihatsuth, lest she feel left out of the exchange: spoiler alert, it's all for her really. The one boon she'll grant the greenrider in all this is her support that, "Tree climbing really is better in the daylight. You wouldn't want to break your new lifemate. You only just got him," months ago, but still. He's probably still got that new greenrider smell. She might sway slightly closer to him as though she might sniff him to find out, or just to offer him another one of those sunny carefree smiles. When you're paid in your own coin, it stings the most, doesn't it, Ru'ien?

Oh, just you wait, Tejra! Ru'ien might be envisioning a few things RIGHT NOW (and yes, Kihatsuth saw it all and is IN APPROVAL because why not?)! Even if his expression is a mixture of dread, bewilderment and, yes, even laughter of his own. Only his laughter is nigh on hysterics rather than 'ha ha, friend, you got me!'. "I've kind of been busy here?" he exclaims, rather lamely, while making broad gestures towards the green. Kihatsuth only tilts her head, so very avian-like, to peer all the more at the woman. No? DO TELL. Her wings, massive even now at her size, flare again to rise and fall in the echo of a shrug. She could also be rebalancing herself, as the hay bales are proving to be less than satisfactory for footing. Once Tejra is down from the bars, Kihatsuth huffs, almost disappointed. With a low, almost purred rumble of her own, she'll remove herself from the obstacle course and come around again to investigate closer! Which is made difficult by the fact that Ru'ien keeps moving to try and intercept her AND Tejra — at this rate, they're going to start a rather unusual dance. "Apparently she agrees with you," he explains, when he has a moment to FOCUS! Does it sting? Maybe it does, but hey, Ru'ien is Ru'ien and is gonna mirror that smile RIGHT ON BACK. You wanna play, Tej? Give him a moment.

Tejra might make Ru'ien's job easier by staying completely still while she watches the dance between dragon and man. She asks the rider, finally, "Are you concerned she'll hurt me?" It's an unusually straightforward question for one who is usually so fond of obfuscation and games. It might be sudden, but in the next blink there are two young firelizards appearing in the air above Tejra's head, a blue and green of similar ages, who hove a moment before alighting on each of the Harper's shoulders, tails twining around the collar of her shirt, little heads moving to nuzzle right into each cheek. Ah, love. Tej reaches up a hand to touch first one, then the other as she watches the weyrlings thoughtfully.

"Yeah, actually! She wouldn't intentionally…" Kihatsuth snorts as if to dispute that claim, though from Ru'ien rolling his eyes, it's probably NOT the case! Eventually though, she'll give a disgusted huff and back off, wings flicking irritably before tucking tightly to her sides. She looks affronted, but it's all a show! Mostly. It doesn't last either, with her soon eyeing those firelizards. It does, however, give her poor weyrling a chance to breathe and breathe he does! In a very exasperated, tired sigh. "There's the issue too that we'd wake everyone up or half the Weyr! I'm more concerned about THAT and since it'll come on MY head if you get roughed up?" No, really. He DOES care, Tejra! It's just that he's not paying attention to how cold that might've come across. Now that he can gather himself together, he'll peer at her with a crooked half smirk. "Just out for a casual stroll or were you intentionally looking to set yourself up as weyrling bait?"

Tejra considers the weyrling, considers his lifemate and sighs. Game over, Kihatsuth. SORRY. "I'm not risk adverse, but I'm not stupid either." So she'll stop provoking the baby. "As long as it's all for fun, I'd play," she tells the green, regret in her tone. She glances the way she was going toward the beach. "I couldn't sleep," she flicks her gaze back to the smith, "so I was going to dance on the sand. It's a challenge to the balance and challenges muscular control," just as it does when one runs on it. "It's usually quiet, even here, at this time of night." She glances to the green and then her rider. "She's keeping you awake or are you tiring her out?" She tilts her head in inquiry, her arms moving to fold across her chest, sticking close to Ru'ien but not in his personal space. The firelizards, meanwhile, eye the green, chirruping to one another, and possibly occasionally to Kihatsuth herself, though there's no real indication of what they mean, only that they're plainly discussing her, or the situation of her near their human, or … something. Whatever would interest not-so-baby-anymore-but-still-young firelizards.

Yes, please stop provoking the baby green dragon! Ru'ien would greatly appreciate it, though he's looking less like he's about to claw his face off in exasperation and more RELIEVED (and back to himself, kind of). Kihatsuth might've shrugged her shoulders then to Tejra, but it could very well be that she's repositioning her wings too! Who knows. She's moved away a bit though, content now to preen a little — especially along those wicked talons of hers. "That," Ru'ien begins and finally he smiles in that old, familiar and crooked way of his. "Sounds like a lot of fun, actually. You might want to avoid a shortcut through here though, for future… reasons." He tries to make is sound ominous and dangerous but falls very short of the mark. It's that smile, after all. "It's a little of both, but mostly her keeping me awake." he admits with a small shrug of his shoulders. THIS IS HIS LIFE NOW! … at least for a few more weeks, maybe one more month. He'll watch the firelizards for a moment and so will Kihatsuth, who is likely making her own unheard summons towards these not-quite hatchlings. Come here, little darlings~ After a moment, Ru'ien glances sidelong to Tejra again, smile still there if just slightly faded at the edges. "So, were you that put out that I couldn't show you what I'd promised? It's not even the right season anymore. Even if I could, it wouldn't work."

"Why? Some of them like me, you know." Tejra flips back at Ru'ien, doing a touch of preening of her own, one hand going to her hat to make sure it's pins are still in place, pausing to stroke the small firelizards as she retucks a few red wisps that have snuck out through all the exertion. As she tugs up the white material of her skirt to examine the tear caused by an eager claw, the firelizards seem to come to some agreement between their chirruping selves and both press off her shoulders to flutter over to Kihatsuth. The blue briefly circles the dragon's head before looking to land between her headknobs while the green is looking to land on her forelimb. Perhaps of interest to the larger green, this smaller one shares her shape - a sturdy build, though her coloring is quite different, being something that practically glows (but not glows, okay? Too young for sexy times) in the moonlight. Maybe the tiny, luminous green can be better than the start Kihatsuth was wishing for, at least for as long as she's content to stay. The Harper seems unbothered by this abandonment as she adds a cheeky, "Sometimes you're even inclined to do so." The tch that's clicked with her tongue after might be dismissive, or it might be a subtle chastisement. Whatever it is, the redhead rolls her shoulders as she drops her skirt. "Well, considering that the deal was made to make up for your tree abandonment and then you never did satisfy your end, it's a terrible start to our track record for adventures, wouldn't you say?" She lifts her brows and then a small smile plays across her otherwise serene features. "How ever will you make up both to me now?" Not that he has to, but Tej's playful tone certainly encourages him to try.

"That's exactly why! Kihatsuth likes you too." And that is apparently a problem? Ru'ien isn't making much sense but he's not lingering on that fact for long. While she's busy adjusting and checking her clothing, he'll be eyeing the young green and the firelizards now perched on her. Kihatsuth, unsurprisingly, is DELIGHTED by this development and is now encouraging them to find different spots on her to land — all while striking different poses. With her now preoccupied with something more tangible than 'moons and stars', he can give a little more focus to Tejra herself. "Inclined to do what?" She's lost him (it's not that hard, honestly)! He gives her a brief quizzical look before moving on. "What? How's that terrible! I never said I COULDN'T!" he quips back in playful challenge, some of that old fox-like grin returning. "And, again, it's the wrong season! It only works best in summer, trust me. So our adventures are merely on hold… but," And he feigns a resigned sigh. "If you want me to sweeten the pot, I suppose once Kihatsuth and I are cleared for it, we can take you up." He points skywards. "Aerial dance, maybe?" Oh sure, Kiha will be doing the work but hey. Experiences! Ru'ien is probably too tired to realize just what he's offering or that that sort of thing wouldn't appeal to everyone! At least he tried?

"Inclined to like me," the redhead swats Ru'ien with a hand to his shoulder in impulsive rebuke for his lack of mental swiftness: keep up! "Not to like me, obviously." She got that one loud and clear the day of the partner stretches. "But we were going to be friends, and generally, when one is going to be friends with someone, one generally likes that person, wants to spend time with them." Harper Tejra is on call to explain these important concepts to the kiddies. (Now, if Ru'ien was an actual child, there may have been more cringing and less false solemnity that is a mask for unborn laughter, but he's not a child so we don't need to go there; dragons are different.) "Maybe I'll let you down again and again and see how you like it." Since tonight is a night for false expressions, she'll make this one a pout, but it melts as she glances toward Kihatsuth and friends. Friends they undoubtedly are, unless Kihatsuth prefers to think of them differently (pawns?) because they're indulging this game whole-heartedly: firelizard dress-up with actual firelizards as decoration. She might have had more to say about friendship or the previous unfulfilled promises except… Did Ru'ien realize he'd set such effective bait for the Tej? There is no such thing as 'maybe,' not anymore. The wild look in Tej's expression as her smile spreads wide, wider, widest and she looks at the weyrling when he makes his sweeter offer is terrifying really (well, maybe not to one who shares Kihatsuth's head). But when she exhales it's sudden and heavy because she caught her breath and hadn't apparently realized it. Her cheeks flush a shade brighter, though still far shy of her hair. "I will hold you to this one, Rider Ru'ien." What are the chances that Ru'ien could find the ONE PERSON on the face of Pern with not only the interest but the skill set to make a real attempt of it? Hopefully no one will live to regret this moment.

Hey, he's had a ROUGH couple of months, Tej! Ru'ien does laugh at that swat, though it's quickly tempered when Kihatsuth eyes them both suspiciously. There's a sheepish (and nervous) smile to the green, along with a sidelong look to Tej — it's a warning, maybe, no matter how subtle. No touchy touchy! At least until the green is more preoccupied. "Well, I'd really like that! Just… it's hard to hang out when you've got a completely dependent dragon. Give it a few more months and we'll be good! Y'know, to do more than just shoot the breeze here." What is he suggesting? There's A LOT that could be taken with that statement! He smirks at her 'threat' and rolls his eyes. "It's not like you'd be the first, so that won't work on me!" Sweetheart. He doesn't say it, but it's there and implied heavily in his tone. So is a childish nyah-nyah! All that is erased, however, when Tej adopts that wild look in her eyes. Ru'ien visibly swallows and probably hints to a look with a dash of regret. Oh no. OH NO… what did he get himself into? Except it's too late now, so he'll just buckle up, straightened his shoulders and posture and grin at her. "I'll let you know when the time comes then, Harper Tejra." Ooh, she wants to play the title game? FINE.

Listen, Ru'ien, Tej's pair of firelizards are doing their best. LOOK, Kihatsuth, Pirouette can do tricks! Tesko, with her, makes an elaborate dance to entertain the tiny green, or possibly just for their own enjoyment, but they do it in her vicinity, zipping here and there in funny mimicry of their human's more elaborate capabilities. The warning is borne with little more than lifted brows from the Harper. Some day, the cat will get her comeuppance for her curiosity and willingness to brave such dangers, but today is not that day. Instead she needs (needs) to wrinkle her nose at him. "At least yours sounds good. Harper. Pah. They'll give that to any child with half an ounce of talent or enough marks." She sniffs, a haughty disdain for titles given too freely. "But, darling, you must make time for our inestimable friendship as soon as you may." Tejra won't stop shy of terms of endearment, though she will take a preemptive step away from Ru'ien, lest Kihatsuth think she means something by it. "If we're going to do an aerial dance together," now just how involved she thinks Ru'ien's going to be in the movement section is anyone's guess, "I'll need to get to know you and your lovely lady better. Partners in dance need a certain sense of one another." She raises a challenging eyebrow at the slightly older greenrider. "But I'm sure there's plenty we can do to get a sense of one another." She purrs it on purpose. Her voice would do it for her anyway, but she adds something extra, but the slight smirk and brightness of her pale gaze, the amusement readily read there. She doesn't actually mean what's apparent. Where would be the fun in being so obvious? Even if it's definitely part of the joke.

Kihatsuth does enjoy the 'distractions' offered by both firelizards, humming and warbling her encouragement as she attempts to extend some level of 'control' over them. Should they oblige, she'll be further engrossed in their antics, when she has a small talon dipped in the overall design. She's ever creative, this one! Even in her more mischievous nature. "So then, what are you?" Ru'ien is quick to toss back at her, bemused. With some of his focus easing back from his bonded, he can focus more steadily on Tejra — and be more himself. "Would you prefer Dancer? It doesn't have the same ring. Journeyman Dancer…" He scoffs, pulling a bit of a face for the strangeness for it. "Though now you have me wondering if I shouldn't be Jeweler or Blacksmith, because that's technically what I was… am… will be!" Ignore that stumbling! He hasn't given too much thought on the whole future, but there are expectations lurking! "Weaponsmith though… Now THAT's intimidating!" A low chuckle follows, but he's moving on with the conversation. Namely because Tej brings up a very good point, even in purred tones. "Well," he admits hesitantly, but not without a hint of that trickster-smirk of his and a narrowing of his eyes. "You do have a good point. Guess you'll just have to visit more often, won't you? At least, until I've got more freedoms alloted to me — unless you want to meet up over food?" Brows waggle, a playful grin on his expression because HE KNOWS that the Weyr will talk, if they're seen routinely together. Especially over mealtimes, because isn't that the ultimate CLASSIC courting move in such environments?

They're trying, Kihatsuth, they really are. Control, or the perception of it, can be had but perhaps not as smoothly as would be ideal. They are all still babies after all, even if the firelizards are somewhat older babies. So it works… sort of. Keep trying though, maybe she nearly has it! The blue and green pair haven't lost interest in the new game at any rate. Tejra's pale gaze wanders toward the winged performers, studying Kihatsuth's involvement with an artist's eye. The Journeywoman simply wrinkles her nose at the titles he offers her. "Maybe I just haven't sorted what title it is I'd really like." Maybe if she knew, she'd be working toward something more than just broadening her horizons right now. "Tej suits. I don't need titles unless they're for someone else." She gives him a sidelong look, a sharp humor in her smile again. "I suppose now that you've a chance to decide all over again just how to approach the use of your craft with your expanded lifestyle," a gesture includes his lifemate, "you could rethink the whole thing. Have you ever longed to be… a screw master? A hair-pin specialist? A hinge-maker?" The woman affects a drawn out ruse of sincerity, coloring her voice with all the appropriate gravity for these very serious thoughts. She sways toward the greenrider as if she might bump his arm with her shoulder, but stops shy of actually touching. "I'd ask you if you think she'll like being in the craftriding wing," of which Tejra herself is technically a member, "But I ought to vanish while she's distracted if I don't want any other holes in my wardrobe." She doesn't sound mad, but she does briefly flash him a look of vexation: who likes more mending? Not Tej. "We can talk about it over a meal," and that vexed look shifts into a sweetly perplexed expression as she tilts her head to look up at Ru'ien. For one horrible moment as she convincingly flutters her lashes, it might seem that Tejra missed all the very obvious lack of signs that he might have any interest in what she could offer the right person. But when she speaks up through those lashes, what she says is, "Should I write my mother to tell her I've lost my heart at last to the man who really knows his way around a sword?" Maybe Ru'ien should rethink Weaponsmith as a title, or not. Before he can answer, Tej lifts her hand in dismissal, "No, you're right," as if he'd answered her at all, "I'm sure I should tell her how much you know about virgin material." That's Smith lingo, right? Tej certainly seems to think so, and she waggles her eyebrows at Ru'ien provocatively. It's all very over done, of course, and she grins cheekily at him to perhaps reassure him that it's all done in playful jest. His heart hasn't stopped yet, has it? "I will want to get to know Kihatsuth, too, you know," the Harper slips in something serious there at the end, perhaps hoping he might be too off balance to do naught but agree. "After all, she'll be part of the dance, too. But a meal would be a good start." If that and the feral smile she gives him by way of parting hasn't scared him off. "Good evening, Rock." If she's not slipping away with Kihatsuth unaware, she'll offer the green a polite goodnight as well, though the firelizards will linger with their new playmate until Tej is safely out of the sights of the green with the star envy before they chirrup their goodbyes and pop between.

“Alright! Tej it is, then.” Ru’ien doesn’t reflect further on the fact that she carries an obvious aversion to rank titles towards herself. He picks up on her humor instead, reflecting some of it back in the form of a crooked smirk. It broadens to a mischievous grin, furthered more through laughter at her “sincerity” over his future choices as a Smith. Though she hasn’t broached the line of personal space, he’ll shrink it a teeny bit further by leaning in, devilish grin in swing as he plays along. “Screw master, eh? You have faith that I’d be able to deliver that with a straight face, each time.” But, oh, how he’d LOVE the reactions people would offer! He’s almost tempted… ALMOST. Thankfully, distractions come in all form, including conversation and with a regretful sigh, he’ll playfully grimace. “Try to move slowly this time? Less running? I can distract her.” When the time comes, as that time is not quite now but soon! Kihatsuth is still among the firelizards, but her interest in them is waning the less and less the creatures wish to follow her whims. Then they’re back to not-flirting but playing at it and Ru’ien acts his part well, by shifting his features to an appropriate amount of smug confidence and curved smiles; all threatened by suggestions of writing to her mother. He stifles a laugh just in time, clearing his throat, though it remains tense with his effort not to crack further under such rich humor. “Nothing like virgin material! Scoundrel that I am, perhaps it’s best we keep it secret, our little… affair! Less we break your poor mother’s heart?” Cue him resting the flat of his palm over his chest, while feigning distress. No, his heart hasn’t stopped yet! Tej will have to play lower and harder to get him to truly break, as Ru’ien’s humor clearly runs well into the gutters among the right company. “So that’s two dates then!” he teases one last time, before stepping back and even so brazen as to wink. Which is also an agreement that, SOMEDAY, she’ll meet with Kihatsuth too. “Good evening, Tej.” Ru’ien’s farewell is sincere and Kihatsuth is only marginally aware of the Harper’s departure, though appreciative of the attention in passing. Her attention has been successfully gained by some private offer from her weyrling and so the two will head down their own path back to the barracks — without further chaotic intervention.

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