Friends, Foes, Fun and Feelings!

Weyrling Beach
The cliffs that run along the shore come and go, various weyrs nestled along the tops of them or dug into the walls, but eventually they recede enough to expose a beach. The white sand echoes the rise and fall of the cliffs with a multitude of sandy dunes, endlessly creating tiny valleys that are constantly demolished and rebuilt by the frequent arrival or departure of dragons. The dunes smooth out as the gentle slope approaches the edge of the deep blue water. The sand darkens, and a shell here and there stands out for children to collect.
The beach narrows to the southwest, leaving a path barely wide enough for dragons in single file before cutting in to a smaller, more sheltered cove. The sands are the same white, the waters the same blue, but they're calmer and more tranquil, more protected from the winds that ruffle Lake Caspian and the currents that tug beneath the surface.
Rough, wide stairs lead up to the meadow above and the road that runs along the top of the cliffs, passing through the fields and heading for the river mouth that can be just barely seen from here. The largest of the staircases up the cliff is located near the docks that jut out onto the peaceful blue waters.

Winter really isn't the best time for visiting the beach, unless it so happens that you have hide thick enough to withstand the chill of the waters. That probably explains why F'yr is standing at water's edge while Glorioth stalks the shallows, his eyes searching for something in the shadows the clouds are casting down onto the undulating surface. Now, we all know that those are just the shadows of clouds, but Glori is certain there are FOES lurking just beneath the surface. This explains the POUNCE and SPLASH, and why F'yr is a slight distance down from where the bronze is hunting. His grey sweater has seen better days, but it looks warm and suitable defense against the breeze that tugs at his were-short-and-are-now-slightly-floppy blond locks. "But it's important, Glori," says the young man who either hasn't mastered silent communication with his dragon yet, or simply finds that Glorioth feels greater freedom to completely ignore him (which he does anyway) when he doesn't speak aloud. "Friendships are…" What are they, F'yr? "They're what ends up mattering most. More than foes." That gets a look from the bronze before he goes back to his task. His tail twitches. « You just want to convince me that touching everyone has nothing to do with your perversions. » He sounds cranky today, but probably that's because F'yr is attempting to talk to him about something that involves complex feelings. "Friends can help with your quests, you know." F'yr tries a different tact, one that garners a slight tilt of the bronze's head. HE'S LISTENING, GO ON.

Does anybody here that? Da-nuh. Da-Nuh. DA-NUH. DANUH DANUHDANUHDANUHDANUH SPLASH!!!! Not jaws, although Inasyth certainly has her jaws open as she bursts out from underneath the water, charging towards the shore with a loud « HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! DID YOU SEE ME? I WAS HIDING!!! » And even only a couple of months old, the growing gold is rapidly running out of spaces that she can possibly hide. « And ooohhhh. Do you have another quest? I can totally help with quests! » Rhodelia is wrapped up in an oversized sweater as she trails along the beach. She pauses briefly as she catches a bit of what F'yr is calling out just a few meters ahead and she clears her throat. "That doesn't sound like just an attempt at bathtime?"

You know what hiding and charging Glorioth in water gets you, Ina? It gets you a face full of water. There's a flash of helmed head as the bronze maw dips into the water and comes up squirting a stream of water right at the oncoming gold's face. (You can thank Dear Ol' Dad for that neat trick.) It makes F'yr grin but also rub across his face because he's probably not supposed to encourage this kind of behavior, "That's not the way to make friends." And since Rhody is here, F'yr leeeeans and reaches with one long arm and wraps it around her shoulders, aiming to draw her into a one-armed demonstration. "See? I'm nice to Rhody. Rhody is my friend." See? It's easy, Glori. Easy. Ignore that inevitable look on Rhodelia's face.
A face full of water never killed anybody, at least to Inasyth's knowledge, and the gold's eyes are still happily whirling blue as she shakes it off and slams her forelegs into the water to send a wave towards her brother. TSUNAMI! Or maybe just a baby wave. It doesn't matter because either way, Inasyth follows quickly after the wave to affectionately butt her head into Glorioth's chest like he didn't just possibly try to drown her. Rhodelia is caught by that arm and gives a suspicious side-eye that was definitely the inevitable look. "Nice… yeah. Like leaving unexpected presents in the most awkward of places…" She'll need a little bit more detail if he's going to want this to be an easy conversation.

That's a very clear invitation. Splash goes the wave onto Glorioth. FOOM goes Glorioth's whole Glorioth onto the larger gold. She wanted to wrestle, right? She might not be as shifty-eyed or as consistently betraying as he seems to recall the rest of his sisters to be, but anything is better than listening to his rider's drivel about friendship and feelings. Euch. The launch of the bronze onto gold must not be so uncommon that it worries the bronze's rider because F'yr only raises his free hand to pinch the bridge of his nose. He doesn't let Rhodelia go, but instead lets a few fake-but-so-real tearless sobs lift and drop that so very nearly totally healed set of ribs of his. His head falls to the side and rests on top of her head. Poor F'yr. "I was trying to explain to him about friendship and why he should talk with other dragons about things other than killing and honor." What else is there, F'yr? At least the bronze weyrling doesn't linger over-long being enormous and loom-y over the smaller Rhodelia. He lifts his head and lets his arm drop, sighing before his hands find the pockets of his pants. "Maybe I'd have more luck if Ina explained it to him?" He tilts his head, giving the gold a speculative look and then slides that askance gaze to the gold's lifemate.

Inasyth almost always has an invitation open. Glorioth launching himself at her isn't completely unexpected, but it is kind of hard to brace oneself in sand. Bigger though she may be, the gold goes tumbling, but she'll use her larger mass to try and continue this into a roll, taking Glori with her. « BARREL ROLL!!!! » Rhodelia also seems equally unphased by the dragon rough-housing. There would probably be some yelping if there was actually anything to be concerned about. As F'yr lets out those fake sobs worthy of the Best Actor Award, she reaches up to give a few pats at his back. "If it makes you feel any better, I'm pretty sure he isn't the worst dragon in the class with talking skills?" Honor and killing is definitely better than constant yelling about twigs for brains or how they're uglier than a watchwher. As for Ina explaining, she shrugs. "I'm not sure she knows how to explain friends? To her, they just are. Kind of like trying to get Glorioth to explain honor?"

Yes, yes, Ina. Your barrel roll shenanigans are very droll, but what's important here is that Glorioth will end up on top! …Momentarily. And then be rolled again, to the bottom. "Oh, he can explain honor." Cue another award-worthy moment of F'yr's face taking on a very serious mien as he shouts, "KILLING EQUALS HONOR," in that overly loud always-with-the-shouting verbal approximation of his lifemate's heroically loud and dramatic cadences. He's just missing the theme song. This, however, distracts Glorioth from the fight at hand, pushing with hind and forelimbs together to try to buffet Ina off him and into the water so he can rise up and beam (it has to be mental because dragon faces just aren't that expressive) approval at his lifemate. « NOW YOU'RE FOLLOWING. WELL DONE, F'YRLESS FRIEND. AHAHAHAHAHA! » Seizing the moment of his dragon's limited attention span he says, "Friends can admire you." They don't always. But they can. Maybe F'yr is bringing up memories of times his friends admired him because Glorioth stares, and stares. « Why do your examples of friendship always end with touching? » Of course. Of course, that would be what Glorioth took away from it all. "Because touching can be a way of expressing friendly affection or support or—" « Euch. SAVE YOUR EFFEMINATE SENTIMENTALITIES FOR THOSE THAT WANT THEM. » He flicks a glance toward Rhodelia, « SHE DOESN'T, BUT SURELY YOU CAN FIND SOMEONE- » There is a heavily implied, 'don't you always?' « -WHO WISHES TO SHARE YOUR PERVERSIONS. » "Friendship isn't the same thing as perversions," F'yr tries weekly, even with his face turning pretty colors and not looking at Rhodelia. ISN'T IT? ISN'T IT, F'YRFULLY FLUSH WITH CONFUSIONS?

Never fear. Inasyth ain't greedy and won't maintain a monopoly on the being on top, allowing herself to be rolled over as much as she rolls him. When he buffets him away, she wiggles her way into the water deep enough that just her head is above the surface. LURKING. Rhodelia's eyes twinkle with just a hint of mischief. "But what does honor equal besides killing?" Because they could get stuck in a circle, but where's the fun in that? She blinks as Glorioth so rudely singles her out there. and Inasyth emerges from the water with a trumpet. « BUT RHODY IS HIS FRIEND! LIKE I'M YOUR FRIEND. Except she's not also his sister. Humans think that's weird sometimes for some reason. And perversions can be half the fun in life! »

« You're a more useful friend than she is, » Glorioth grumbles. We're back to being baby cranky pants. He thumps down onto the sandy bottom to look for those shadow foes again. « You wrestle and train with me and go on GLORIOUS, HEROIC ADVENTURES, AHAHAHAHAAH! » If only he would just get distracted by that and not go on. RIP F'yr. « She only confuses him, even if she's not his sister, and I don't want to talk about those. I like talking about my sisters better than I like talking about his sisters. » And that is saying so much because Glorioth does not like talking about any sisters, when he could be adventuring instead. Splash goes a forepaw onto the shadow that just keeps moving as the cloud moves above. Sisters are even a fine direction as far as F'yr is concerned, but there's a tension easing into his body, like he might be poised to go tackle the bronze as if that would do any good. « Yours just draws invisible lines that don't mean anything, and she flinches when she wants to be touched and when she doesn't want to be touched, and she teaches him systems that aren't real, and gives him books that have no point except perversions that she's not even interested in with him, and then he thinks about it all and it's so boring, but I cannot seem to get him to think about the important things in life. » Namely killing and honor. Mostly honor. And killing. Possibly also glory. « It's worse than when he stars thinking about those greenriders. Euch. » Yuck. "Glorioth, I think we've gotten away from the point," F'y is trying for calm. He opens his mouth and closes it and Glori snaps his attention to F'yr, eyes whirling fast and annoyed. « Do you really want me to start talking about them? » It's a distinctly different them than the greenriders and it makes F'yr's face red, red, red. Whatever answer must be silent. Glorioth looks back to the shadow foes and the man is a statue.

That's a very decided snort from Inasyth, although since her snout is currently under water it's less sound and more just bubbles. « Bah. What does it matter if he's confused? He can still do things even if he's confused. And mine flinches from a lot of things. Probably from things she cares about more often than she flinches from anything else. She thinks the lines help, but they don't. » There she goes just casually dropping Rhody's secrets even as she moves to flank those shadows with Glorioth. « But what's more important than friends? » Rhodelia's hand goes to massage her temple as the gold goes on and on and on. "We can just go, if that would help?" The offer to leave has the gold's head whipping around. « Why would we leave??? Things are just getting FUN!!! » Right, fun.

F'yr chances one, just one, over at Rhodelia and he mutters, "I'm sorry." Obviously he feels like this is all his fault. This unintentional over-sharing that doesn't seem to be over yet. « It matters, » Glorioth replies, lashing his tail harder into the water, eyes whirling all the faster, « because he doesn't stop thinking about it all. He should be thinking about me and what we need to be doing to best the FOE VILLAINS, to gain GLORY and HONOR, and instead, he's thinking about his organ, » There is so much annoyance in the eyes on the bronzerider. « and all the people— » "Glori, please." It's hoarse, it's so painfully real. « Why? » The bronze rises out of the water, wings unfurling and stalks toward the shore. « You make me talk and think about things I don't want to talk about or think about all the time. Why shouldn't I get to do the same to you? » He looms, drippingly over his rider (and consequently also Rhodelia). « Different, pah. » The bronze snorts his disgust in answer to a silent response. "This isn't how we treat our friends," F'yr's voice cracks. « Then maybe you need to get different friends, » The bronze hisses. « Or have none but me. » That sounds better. « COME, F'YRFULLY LACKING. WE WILL GO FIGHT THE BELLY FOE. IT HAS RISEN AGAIN. » Because let it not be forgotten that even if Glorioth is having the terrible-two(-month)s, he's still just a baby with a baby's appetite and understanding of the world. « CEASE YOUR EFFEMINATE LEAKAGE. » It probably means that F'yr who's turned to follow his lifemate with hands shoved deep in pockets and shoulders hunched is probably crying for reasons he can no longer pass off as cracked ribs.

"It's not…" Rhodelia doesn't really know what it's not, but felt like she should try and say something. The look she shoots him is definitely one full of NON-JUDGEMENTAL AT ALL Looks. Inasyth will shove a bit of sand towards her brother, giving him more sand to possibly attack. « Men are known for thinking with their organs. And eventually you'll think with your tail too, at least for a time. » Her own tail flicks impatiently with this whole conversation. « But that's not for now. For now, we eat and we play and we sleep and we grow. » The gold whines as her brother hisses. It might have been expected by some, but not by her. She starts to paddle her way after F'yr and Glorioth until Rhodelia gives a quick headshake and a whisper. "Not yet… sometimes people need their space, Ina…" Although she'll watch carefully as F'yr retreats, even if she isn't following after.

Later in the Weyrling barracks…

In every life a little fuck-up must fall. Many days, F'yr comes off as steady. Today is not that day. After leaving the beach, the rest of the day was executed mechanically, although he and Glorioth disappeared for some hours before returning just in time for the bronze to straggle into his wallow, insist he was wide awake, bobble his head and snore. Thankfully, he doesn't keep snoring. F'yr finishes the task of oiling the dragon (again) before settling on his cot like most of the rest of the slumbering barracks. He should sleep, but the fidgety shifts every few moments indicate he's awake, and after a few minutes, he gets up to pace the length of the wallow and back, agitation writ in the tension held in his shoulders.

Inasyth can do a good job at pretending her world is always bubbly and bright, but for anybody that's been around her frequently might have noticed her mental champagne stream was a bit flat this afternoon and the music would every so often hit a jarringly sharp note. Rhodelia had her hands full trying to feed, scrub and then oil her lifemate who thankfully passed out in her wallow almost as soon as that was done. She tried to turn her attention onto a textbook, but the page hasn't been turned in a LOOOONG while as she keeps eyeing F'yr and his pacing a few wallows away. Before too long, she sets the book to the side and tries her best to ghost over, waiting right outside the private area and more in the public aisle for now. "Mind some company?"

It might not be a good sign that F'yr flushes as soon as he catches sight of Rhodelia on his route back. He stops mid stride, too, stuttering to a stop. Glorioth shifts just slightly, but only to nuzzle deeper into the wallow. Blue eyes flick toward the dragon and then back to the gold weyrling. "No." He holds out a hand in invitation to take a seat on his no longer meticulously made cot (those days were left behind with candidacy). He does reach down to flick the blanket up though, to make an effort for his company before he thumps down onto the pillow end of the cot, forearms bracing on thighs and hands folded between his knees. "Are you alright?" He asks (FIRST). "I'm sorry about this afternoon, Rhody. Really." Really.

Rhodelia catches sight of the flushing and gulps. "Or I can leave. I'll just leave…" She almost turns tail to run, but then there's the invitation. And for real invitation as he even arranges the blanket. "Are you sure?" But the question makes it seem like he's pretty sure and so she'll settle down on the foot of the cot, hands holding onto to the edge of the mattress. "I'm fine. Really…" Even if she doesn't sound particularly fine, she wasn't the one that ran away crying. "And they always told us this wouldn't be easy, right?"

It might help, too, that F'yr shakes his head to her offer to go. "I'm not sure I really listened." A pause. "Or that it would have mattered if I had. But just because I never would've… could've made another choice but him," not that that part was really his choice, "doesn't make some things less hard. He doesn't understand why I have to feel anything for anyone else. If he had it his way, right now, he'd have it just himself, me and Roderick. He doesn't feel like he needs anyone else. He forgets too fast that he does enjoy other dragons, even some other people." He shakes his head. "I reminded him, but he doesn't… he doesn't always get it." If he doesn't remember, it could be anyone's memory F'yr is sharing with him. HOW WOULD HE EVEN KNOW? "I… …" He almost says nothing as he stares at the bronze and then in a rush he does, "I'm sorry about all that…. organ stuff. And the … confusion stuff." He closes his eyes briefly but still doesn't look at her when he does open them again.

Either way, Rhodelia is staying and not running, at least for the moment. "It really wouldn't. Cause how could they have explained it…" She waves at Glorioth and over to where Inasyth is soundly sleeping in her own wallow and all the little dragons in between. If F'yr's hand is readily available, she'll lean over to pat it. "Don't give yourself too hard a time. This is all new. You'll get a hang of it eventually. Besides… could you imagine how Glorioth might be if he'd ended up with someone who didn't enjoy other people as much as you do? You're there to balance him out or something." As for the organ stuff and apologies, she gives a dismissive wave. "You're just lucky Inasyth didn't somehow manage to pull out a lecture on the avians and the vtols somehow." Where she would have gotten it, Rhody has no idea cause she's been solidly trying to avoid the topic even if the little gold keeps trying to poke her nose near the hatching grounds and the hardening eggs she knows are out there.

"I can. I have," imagined his lifemate without him. F'yr's shoulders shrug. "I need to get a better handle on my thoughts, or learn to block him out better. I used to think that we kept very different minds and we would need to learn to think together, and then I realized that it's me, not him. He can hear me whenever he wishes to. It's me that's deaf." That might be Glorioth's fault, really, if you think about it. "I'll figure it out. Maybe I'm just not listening right." And for someone who always listened with his whole self to those he spoke with, this sounds like a conundrum and frustration of the greatest sort. "He likes Inasyth. They get along. I'd call them friends. He just doesn't think in those terms." He sighs softly, shaking his head, turning his hands to see - if Rhody's hand is still near - if he can briefly hold her hand, squeezing and releasing. "I wish my ribs were all the way better. I'm dying to lift something heavier than the meat for my dragon. Dying to just be active again." It's hard on him, as hard as it is for Glorioth to display restraint, perhaps. Perhaps they'll both be happier in a couple of sevens when F'yr is pronounced 'well' and the restrictions are removed at long last.

On the other end of the weyrling spectrum is Rhodelia who had plenty of practice trying to compartmentalize her thoughts even from herself, so hiding from lifemate isn't that new. Good thing Inasyth is so dang loud or that might have been a problem. "Or… maybe you're exhausted? Healing takes time." She gives a nod towards those much abused ribs, but thankfully doesn't poke them this time. "And Inasyth likes him. Even if that sometimes ends up with them getting in trouble. Weren't you the one who said you didn't need labels for things not too long ago? There's not really much she can do about the whole healer's restrictions, but she gnaws on her lower lip anyways as she ponders it. "If it weren't so cold, I'd say maybe you could try swimming. Maybe you could pick up some sort of game or something to kill any free time? Something that requires a bunch of thinking but not thinking about anything like feelings?"

"Maybe," he'll grant Rhody at least the possibility that exhaustion might be playing a role in all his present complications. It doesn't stop F'yr from worrying his teeth on his lower lip though, "I've never been this lazy in my life," he sighs. "I think I'm making it worse for him, really. sitting and thinking and thinking. I'm learning new words, I'm learning new signs, I'm studying weyrling material when he lets me sit still. I don't want games, Rhody, I want work. Hard work. Good work. Work that makes you feel good to have done, where you can see the evidence of your progress. This is all so nebulous and it doesn't even," yet, "come with exams that measure just how well or how poorly you're doing." And he's pretty sure they're doing poorly. "I swim in the dragon pool, but that's not the same." It's not laps like he was swimming in the ocean months ago. It's more floating and stretching and some light swimming. It's not the work-to-exhaustion from the days of his first arrival at the Weyr. "Hunting. I think that'll help. We just have to survive that long. It doesn't help that Neith is getting to kill live prey. He doesn't understand why she can and he can't. Explaining that he's not a brat and that people don't pity me the way they pity Evi doesn't really help him." He looks to Rhody with that puppy dog look, "Why don't people pity me the way they do Evi? Am I not as helpless and adorable?" He puts on his best expression, trying to turn the mood of the discussion to something lighter. "Do you think they might let us organize some kind of competition once we start with the obstacle course?" They probably already have those things planned, F'yr, but F'yr Snow knows nothing, so he speaks the thought aloud.

Rhody curls up, knees to chest. Don't worry, F'yr, those are new slippers that still haven't ever stepped foot outside so they're probably clean. "F'yyyyyyrrrr… She drawls it out. "You have work." Her head tilts towards Glorioth who miraculously hasn't destroyed anything she can see in the past five minutes. "You're keeping him fed and healthy and mostly happy and for now, that's what matters. There'll be plenty of time for actual paperwork and other work later." There's a nod as he brings up hunting. "Yes. That will help! And we'll get so much more time back not having to butcher everything ourselves!" Says the woman that has no idea how cute her lifemate is going to find all the food she's supposed to eat. That's another Future Problem TM. Rhodelia snickers as he turns on those puppy dog eyes, and nudges his arm with her elbow (still careful of the ribs!). "You're a big boy. You can fend for yourself." Inasyth seems to stir a little bit at the mention of COMPETITION, but she lets out a deep breath that turns back into a little snore. "I'd like to see them stop us." And yes, there will be PRIZES.

"It's not the same thing," the former farmer informs the actual-work-allergic woman who 'trained him' for paperwork. He glances longingly toward the exit, possibly toward that very obstacle course that is as much lure for this man as for his dragon. F'yr looks then to that dragon, to his lifemate and he reaches up to rub his face. "I should try to sleep while he's out. Who knows how long he'll be awake for once he wakes up." He who does not take traditional naps. He who just GOES AND GOES AND GOES. And eventually doesn't anymore, like now. "Are we good?" He asks her softly, tilting his head to regard the older woman. A pause, and then he has to say, "I respect your boundaries, you know." Even if Ina and Glori don't think much of them.

Rhodelia did actually work once upon a time, although that time also happened to be well before a certain former farmer thought about coming to Xanadu. And sometimes even when it really needed to happen as an assistant as well. "Nothing is the same," Rhody shrugs as she uncoils and stands up. "I'll let you get to sleep then." Before she goes though, she gives a nod to the last question. "We are. And boundaries can be redrawn, at some point, you know." Muddying things too much further would probably mean the man would never get to sleep, so Rhody just reaches out to ruffle his hair before she slips away back to her own cot and sleep.

As if he'll sleep now. Just you wait, Rhody. See how cranky Glorioth is tomorrow because of all the things F'yr can't stop over-thinking. RIP peace for the day. Maybe Glorioth will forgive them all next seven when he's finally forgotten The Dark Days of YesterSeven.

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