Run-Ins and Run-Outs

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

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

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

« I did it! » Mirieth's gleeful, strawberry tinted crow over walking without tripping ends with an equally loud yelp as she trips over her paws and ends up tumbling tail-over-teakettle. « I… didn't do it…» Sprawled on her back, wings spread wide and twitching, the twilight hued green stretches her neck toward Avi as he rushes over to her side while doing his best not to laugh. "You almost did it," he encourages as he presses a kiss to her near white muzzle. « My feet are too feety, » Mirieth laments. « And my tail is not cooperating with the rest of my body. » "You do have a lot of tail," Avi agrees as he does his level best to help her back onto all four paws. "I think it's probably a lot like walking in heels. We're just going to have to practice." A lot. They have to practice a lot. "Face it, Miri, we're Spazs." « Own it! » The triumphant accord is uttered as she's flipped back right side up, her wings twitching and shuddering as they flop on the ground before pulling in against her sides. « Maybe I need heels? » "Lets work on feet, first?"

Oh, walking, we're walking? Did you know Navenath LOVES walking? Maybe? Maybe not? Navenath actually just loves being outside and DOING THINGS so she comes barreling out of the weyrling barracks into the training grounds at high speed, Ajral actually running after her — no one has ever seen Ajral run before, because she never does things like that, but now she's running because she has to. Trailing peacefully after Navenath will not work. « Wheeeeeeeee-OW, » the larger green sing-songs, skeletal fingers snapping to some unknown rhythm in her mindvoice as she zooms past Mirieth and Avi and then lands in a heap of gangly dragon not far away. « OW NEVER MIND. » Ajral has slowed her pace and catches up to Nav with a long sigh. "I told you that was a bad idea." She runs her hand through her hair, pushing it out of her eyes, ignoring how tragic her braid is, and then gives Avi a long-suffering half smile.

For a long moment, both Mirieth and Avi are caught in watching Navenath running, granted, Avi's expression is amused, while Mirieth's is absolutely gleeful. « You are an AMAZING RUNNER!… Only, your not a runner, your a dragon, but you know what I mean. You're amazing in a dragonyrunning sorta way. » She's all about the pom poms for her clutchsister, the cheerful praise peppered with a liberal dose of strawberries. "You're definitely one up on us," Avi notes to Ajral with an easy smile. "We're still mastering the whole put one foot in front of the other times two." « Because I have four. » Mirieth adds with a helpful raise of one paw to demonstrate. « They don't quite work like they are supposed to. But hello! Hi! Welcome! »

« You're right, I am a spectacular runner, I'm just really not so great at stopping from high speed but I'm definitely going to get better, » insists the heap of Navenath, who has totally failed to untangle herself or sit up. She's thinking about her approach. She's considering her wrongdoings and how to fix this situation for next time, especially since people SAW her fall, and … that won't do. "I wish she had more trouble moving around, honestly," Ajral tells Avi tiredly. "She never holds still and is pretty much never quiet." At least Navenath's noise has turned from verbal noise into simple mental noise, which is being shared with Mirieth and Avi too: the tin-drum-playing skeletons and the psychedelic birds who turn into musical notes that turn into skulls that turn into simple explosions of color. Technicolor Musical Display. Her rhythm is pretty good. She stole that song from somewhere. "Whatever you do, once you've got it down," Ajral says this right to Mirieth, because look she's adorable holding up that paw, "Don't follow Navenath anywhere she tells you is a good idea." « HEY. »

« Stopping is hard, » Mirieth agrees. « I tend to stop by slamming myself into the ground as hard as possible. » She's a clutz, she will ALWAYS be a clutz, but she owns it. "Sometimes you stop by rolling onto your back," Avi points out in gentle tones. Mirieth may be clumsy and a little silly and awkward, but she is the best as far as he is concerned. Mirieth though is all about bounding over to her clutchsister, making up for what she lacks in grace with sheer enthusiasm. « You will master stopping in no time at all. And when you do, you can talk me through it. I fall, » She adds, her tones dropping to a low sotto mezzo voce. « A lot. » Which is apparently true since her method of stopping her forward momentum is to flop on the ground and roll half on to her back. « Upside down is a much more satisfying view of the world.» Watching Miri, Avi shakes his head, inhaling slowly as he steps closer to Ajral. "I miss running," he admits. "But we have a long way to go with walking as it is." Eventually, he will take to running when Mirieth is napping, but for right now the thought of leaving her, even for a moment, if painful. Unfortunately, Ajral's advice has the exact opposite effect on Mirieth. Without warning, the sage green dragon's head whips around to regard Navenath, her eyes whirling gleefully. « Do you have a mission? A plan? I'm totally down for missiony missions and patrols and.. Oh! We could find something fabulous interesting to do! » She's totally /THERE/ for that. "Oh shells…" Avi's sigh is long suffering, particularly when Mirieth turns all faithful side-kicky with Navenath. "…This won't be good."

"My running form is horrible," says Ajral blandly, because she honestly hates running, buuuut, "But Navenath thinks it's crucial to developing good leg muscles and that I have to get good at it. I think the weyrlingmasters will be making us do that kind of PT soon enough, so enjoy the working on walking while you can …" Ajral doesn't get to relax very long, as she's overhearing the dragons and actually covers her face with her hand, fingers splayed out over her eyes as Navenath goes from trying to turn her head upside down while still mostly sitting on her haunches to looking at Mirieth with bright-eyed delight. "No. I think this is not a fantastic development." Sorry humans, you are doomed: « Yes! Right now I have to find all the good sun spots, and after mapping those, then there's a door that has stuff behind it. And the plan is to get from THIS side of the door to the OTHER side. But you gotta work on those legs! And then, you're littler than me, so maybe you can get the door open! »

Avi sighs at the mention of muscles, pale grey eyes slanting a sideeye at Ajral. "I'm smaller then all the boys and most of the girls," he points out. "Muscles are not something I can do." He's trying, though. He's been working out hard since halfway through candidacy. Still. "I don't /want/ to be muscular," he admits. "I like my dresses." And he's /sure/ being muscle-y will destroy that. Unfortunately, the damage has been done, on the dragon-y front. A fact made clear when Mirieth scrambles up to sitting and bobs her head excitedly at Navenath. « I am /very/ small! I can fit behind doors! » Something she can absolutely /do/? There is nothing more exciting then that. « I thought I was too small, but if being small will help! I'm /in/. » Which may very well end up with Mirieth determinedly (is that a word) trying to wriggle through every door she can find. "You realize," Avi asides to Ajral. "That we are going to be in so much trouble if they get through doors?"

"You can be muscular and look amazing in a dress, still, you've just got to be sure to go for lean muscle development. If you avoid doing ridiculous numbers of press-ups or weight lifting, you won't have to worry about it too much." Ajral is still a Healer, even if most of her healing advice is being subsumed by basic tasks like staying alive. She coughs once, briefly, leading to a momentary change in Navenath's noise (softer) and eye color (a little more concerned and a little more guilty) before it lets up. « Badassery is not size specific, » she tells Mirieth like she's a master on the topic. Maybe she got notes from Leirith while she was in Drearshell. « You can get to all sorts of neat places the rest of us can't because you're little, but I mean, putting on more muscle will help everyone so we have to knock these weird humans into shape on that … » Ajral gives Navenath A Look. It's mildly disapproving, and comes with a nod. "I think even Mirieth is too big to get through doors, really. And it isn't as if they can work locks." As soon as that's out of her mouth, though …

[Dragon/Xanadu] Navenath is young and unsubtle, and so it's a loud smash of bright pinks and greens and is that a skeleton tap dancing? to go along with the VERY innocent question of, « Hey, does anyone know what 'locks' are and how they work? Just asking. »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Iczobyth gently swirls smoke through her mind, before the impression of a dark room materializes. « They are for secrets. Do you have secrets? »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Inasyth might not know what subtle is as her champagne bubbles pop over to help encourage those skeletons to dance more, popping under their little skeleton feet. « OHHH! OHHH! I KNOW THIS!!! LOCKS NEED A KEY! SOMETIMES THE KEY IS A MAGIC WORD, LIKE IF THEY'VE LOCKED THEIR HEART OFF BUT YOU SAY I LOVE YOU ENOUGH AND REALLY MEAN IT…. »

There is a long moment where Avi regards Ajral without speaking. When it passes, he smiles, his chin dipping as he momentarily looks away. "Thank you for that," he murmurs in quietly sincere tones. "A lot of women tend to avoid me cause I favor female clothing." Or at least, he thinks that is why. "I'm being very careful about not letting myself get masculine," he admits. "I just.. I don't want that." He'd do it, if it was the best thing for Miri, but she loves him the way he is right now. Fortunately, Mirieth is completely taken her with new best friend EVER, her eyes whirling a delighted green as she watches Navenath with open adoration. « I'm a total badass, » She decides in tones that could not be more agreeable. « There will not be a door in all the world that I do not conquer! » We all need goals, Mirieth has found hers. « Avi's perfect, » She croons as her head whips around to regard the tiny artist. « He says we're fun-sized. Which is much better then being un-fun-sized. » Naturally. Course, Ajral's words have Avi wincing openly, a quietly hysterical laugh spilling past his lips. "What are doing?" She's DOOMING them, CLEARLY.

[Dragon/Xanadu] Navenath and her skeletons are all over Inasyth's bubbles. This just makes it more fun. « I don't have secrets, » explains skelly-green, « But the doors do and I want them. »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Mirieth puffs up the scent of strawberries filling the air. « Beware Doors! We're coming through! »

[Dragon] Ilyscaeth is a fanciful cascade of bubbles and nebulae, sands-warmth and a flying dolphin. « Have you tried…pushing on them. » Not-ever-a-good-influence asks, contentment encapsulated in good cheer. « You are mighty! Don't let them stop you. » No, Ily. No.

[Dragon/Xanadu] Iczobyth's room fades and slowly a sandy beach fills her thoughts instead, voice much softer and less.. loud.. than that of the others. « They are hiding something from you, then. You must investigate. Find the secret. Share it with us. »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Inasyth considers for a moment as some of those bubbles burst into tiny, golden hearts all towards the inquisitive baby green's mindspace and a few for the secrety-secret older green as well. « Just because a place doesn't have a door, doesn't mean you should go there. So I'm told. Even if the living caverns do smell delicious. »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Neifeth is stuck in Weyr and is the optimal nanny, stop questioning this, her mind is disinterested with a shadow of crimson slithering forward «Locks are for older, fancier creatures. I have many locks. I won't share. Secrets are for your betters. Things behind doors want to meet you too, thank you victims.» SO HELPFUL

[Dragon/Xanadu] Mirieth couldn't be more delighted with the suggestions and it shows in the mezzo cackle coloring her tones. « Navenath is totally going to make with the pushing! I'm on wiggle duty! » Cause Small! All doors will fall before them.

"She's just going to go ahead and ask the entire weyr about how locks work, and then everyone will find out her secret mission to open doors," Ajral is getting more and more deadpan emotionless every time she opens her mouth, imagine that. It has nothing to do with Navenath, of course. Or everything. "But those other women are absurd," is her view on the part that doesn't have to do with Terrible Trash Dragon, "You're excellent as you are. Anyone judging you, it's their problem. I mean, I'm sure it's very hurtful. But it is still their problem." Navenath getting intel from other dragons is, as far as Navenath is concerned, sheer and total brilliance. Even if she usually isn't totally trusting of others, it is the best way. « These doors are going down, » she says triumphantly, flopping over on her side and trying to roll over on her back like Mirieth had done.

[Dragon/Xanadu] Dovirauth's sigh is sword sliding against sword, blocking a death blow, « Doors sound like too much work. »

"Yeah…" What can he say, really? Avi knows when he's defeated. "On the upside? They are small and cute and new, so more likely to get away with things?" The dragons? Absolutely. Thier humans? Probably not so much. It's the rest that has him tilting his head, his gaze slanting up to Ajral's face. "I agree with you," he decides. "I spent a lot of time avoiding people because of it. Well, except for Shiloh.. Sh'y.. But not any more. Take me or leave me, cause I'm perfect." And he's going to live his life regardless of the haters. Course, his attention is drawn right back to the dragons, particularly when Mirieth takes it upon herself to bound (read trip, stumble, sprawl) around her sister. « There is an art to falling, » Mirieth points out happily. « You have to breath into it and just let yourself /go/. » Which she does, spilling her twilight green self to the ground in a jumble of legs and neck and tail.

[Dragon/Xanadu] Navenath has been briefly distracted by SWORDS, look at those, those are so cool Dovirauth now all the dancing skeletons have swords … but she is creating an image of rainbow-pusling skeleton-dragons pushing against doors and knocking them over. « We have to find all the things, » she insists. Echoes of the happiest violin music are directed at Ilyscaeth for her suggestion, and if she's basking in Iczobyth's encouragement a little, don't judge her. Somewhere, her rider wants to throttle her.

[Dragon/Xanadu] Dovirauth yawns from behind a large round shield, « Still too much work. »

Ajral is not laughing. Not laughing at the tangle-of-greens happening, as Navenath seems to consider inching closer, decides against actual physical contact, and … does a somersault instead, by accident, but … « Whoah. What was THAT, » and then she does it again! « This is a totally wild kind of falling. » Ajral says absolutely nothing at all about how Navenath could injure her neck, here, because it will happen or it won't. She is all sighs. "They are going to make a full time job of making us look bad, and to some extent, we might have to lean into it. Hopefully our higher ups," she is not used to having those anymore, and winces a little, "will understand there's only so much we can do about it - Nav, please be careful - and I hope no one in this class, at least, gives you any shit. Because — " « Navenath will headbutt them into oblivion for being dicks, » " — um, no, that's not it, because you might damage your manicure if you have to punch them is what I was going for."

Avi is laughing. He can't help it. "She makes clumsy work for her," he notes in pleased tones. "And I love it." Watching Mirieth being playful and happy with her clutchsister is something that makes it impossible to contain his joy. "I was worried," he admits. "Watching you all impress and leave? I was sure I was going to be left behind." That? That would have killed him and is still distressing enough that Mirieth raises her head and cranes her neck in his direction. "I'm fine, darling," he promises in reassuring tones. It takes a moment, but eventually the little green relaxes, letting herself drape the ground in a pose that would look artful on ANY OTHER GREEN. « THAT WAS AMAZING! » Fortunately, while she considers trying it, she ends up not, more then happy to crow over Navenath's new found move. « The best kind of falling. » "We'll be fine," Avi laughs. "I mean, I think the only thing that they would really get on us about are things that could hurt them. Artful falling seems pretty safe." « I think that would hurt? It sounds like it would hurt… » Which of course, has Mirieth headbutting the ground experimentally. « Ow! Yes, it hurts. »

[Dragon/Xanadu] Inasyth's effervescent bubbles carry a myriad of wonders. Like flowers and puppies and even some cake! « If it's too much work for you, than that's one less way they'll have to share their treasures! » More loot for the ladies!

"It's not fun," Ajral agrees, memory touching upon being left standing repeatedly — seven times, in fact, seven — in a way that has Navenath puffing up, mentally and physically. « You had to wait for me, » she insists, « because you are mine and none of them were good enough, but, I mean, don't think that means I think you're all that great either, » is a quick indelicate cover for her deepest feelings, which Ajral is polite enough to not comment upon. "Being the one left behind. I got used to it, actually started really not caring just because of how often I did it, which doesn't mean it's an experience I recommend anyone else ever trying." Though for all that effort, she got this. The somersaulting green, who has now rolled onto her front and is trying to do a dragon version of press-ups, one of those things Ajral described as 'torture' but which she thinks is actually kinda fun. « I think pain is kinda part of headbutting. You only do it if you have to. Humans might be less painful than the ground though but thanks for doing that research! »

« You were not left behind! » Mirieth's strawberry scented tones are quick and tremulous and coupled with her scrambling around in a bid to get closer to Avi. « We found each other right away and you're never going to escape me, again. Muhahahahaha. » Okay, so. Her attempt at a cackle? Not so great, but she is still right there to push her snout into Avi's belly. "I know, darling," Avi croons as he wraps his arms around Miri and rests his brow against her own. "I cannot even imagine," he admits to Ajral. And while he remains hugging Miri's head, he does slant his gaze toward the taller weyrling. "For what it is worth? I'm glad you are here with us, now. You're a comforting presence and I don't think this would be as nice without you." « We're a family, » Mirieth interjects. « An awkward, door-hunty family, but a family all the same.» Drawing in a slow breath, Avi nods and straightens, his hand smoothing down Mirieth's neck. "And you need to eat and we need to walk. If you'll excuse us," he adds to Ajral and Navenath both.

« We're like, the best family and those other clutches weren't as good, » Navenath agrees, insistent, and rolls over again. Then rolls the other way. Then back the first way. Then in the other direction … Ajral has to cover her eyes to not get dizzier, since someone has forgotten she caused a head wound in her rider. « Go eat, like, ALL the food, » she adds in parting, before moving back to that press-up position. "I try very hard to be that," Ajral adds, as far as a calming influence is concerned. Right now she's frazzled by Navenath's … Navness, but she exudes as much colleced as she still can. "Have a good snack. I might be out here a while." Because Navenath has SUN SPOTS to find and claim for herself and her crew.

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