Mutual Check-Ins

Xanadu Weyr - Dragons' Pool
Light filters in through a jagged crack in the wall, but while it's dark in here, it's certainly not cold. Water seeps through the walls, forming trickles and rivulets that run down to an enormous pool only to rise again as steam. There's enough room for a full-grown gold dragon - though she'd be curled nose over tail and likely displace half the water. Smaller dragons will find ample chance to bathe and play - which may splash just as much, all things considered. Glowbaskets hang from hooks drilled into the rock, casting their dim phosphorescence over stone shattered and blackened by smoke.

Navenath is still learning to be, let's say, "quiet" in not bespeaking the entire Weyr whenever she wants something or has to tell someone something, which means that it's an extreme victory that she manages to deliver her message directly to Neifeth. It's also a little bit of a disingenuous message, because what Navenath SAYS is, « Hey there, the queen of brains is wondering how Evi is doing so she should come see us at the pool, » and while that's technically true … Ajral had been wondering that. Before she fell asleep, which is what she is now doing, having leaned back against a wall while Navenath learned about the SPLENDORS OF WATER. So she isn't really wondering that … right now. Because she'd been awake for twenty hours straight and has passed out. Navenath doesn't think this is important to include.

The young greenrider is in Weyr after an ankle injury, cleared to walk around as long as she's wearing a brace she's not been out and about. Thus when Neifeth receives the message, she twists vines of shining emerald around each word and drags them into the dark pit where she keeps all messages that may or may not make it to Evi. The distinct idea that she is not secretary or a firelizard. No words, no response. Yet, half an hour later, the rustle of wings harkens the mousey woman. Limping her way in, carrying a GIANT tote bag full of who KNOWS what, Evi smiles at the weyrling green. Wearing at least 3 layers of clothes, she slowly strips off her skirt to reveal a shorter swim skirt made of stretchy material. Not bothering to wake Ajral, she instead scoots around to where the former mindhealer is, wielding a broad hairbrush like a weapon. "Shh, shh, alright.. Just, stay still." Without much warning, she settles next to her, preparing to… well who knows, maybe brush her hair. It's hard to tell with the way she's holding the thing. Touching sleeping people is weird, and she's building up her nerve.

Well, Navenath tried and she's going to give herself credit for that. Thirty minutes later she's still splashing and Ajral's still sleeping, because Nav is trying to be kinda … quiet … she's trying. She's bad at it, but Ajral is sleep deprived and so while she occasionally rouses partway to open an eye, it's just to make sure Nav is still there before she kind of dozes off again. She is trying to pay attention but it's not working because this dragon keeps her awake too much. So when Evi gets close, all Ajral does is open one eye and kind of register a familiar face and a hairbrush. "Don't smack me," she mumbles, which clearly means brushing her hair is fine, just not hitting her with it. Her hair is hair that has been tossed and turned on, so it's kind of tragic, but not the worst it's been. On the other hand, Nav: « Wait, hairbrushes are weapons TOO?! » Absolutely Evi can also hear her, because her filters, they don't really exist.

Neifeth will be handing out no credit, but she does register the pep in the new green and approves. Even if she won't be saying that. She doesn't disapprove, and that's basically the same thing. Remaining outside the pool, she guards the entrance with widespread wings, creating an eerie neon green glow as light filters through sails. Ajral's comment has Evi opening her mouth in protest, "Stay um, still." Inching forward, gentle hands reach out to a section of dark hair, carefully running her fingers through the larger tangles. Gingerly the brush is pulled through strands, pausing at even the slightest resistance to undo any knots presents. After several strokes, she begins humming a quiet song, the activity peaceful. Navenath gets a giggle, Neifeth answering in a rush of purple flowers that bloom into semi-circular plants with red fangs «Brushes, toothpicks, words, dreams. Anything can hurt if you know what you're doing.» Sassy, forward, her tone is nearly mocking while somehow maintaining a harsh push. SHe's simply not very nice and isn't going to try. It's possible she's not going to make babysitter of the turn.

Yawning is kinda the same as staying still, right? Ajral does that, and then laughs a little, soft and sleepy. "Oh, you don't have to — but honestly it's not like I don't appreciate," another yawn, "the help," someone has never had a baby. It's Ajral. Evi has a baby, and so is probably better on running on little sleep - Navenath is just a baby with LEGS who keeps escaping. "I'm sure you're well aware of how little self-care time weyrlinghood has, though I should really be paying attention to you and not the other way around." That doesn't mean she isn't going to allow hair-brushing, because seriously, weyrlinghood kind of sucks. Navenath is bored with the humans now that they're just being nice to each other, because she fights with her friends, so … whatever they're doing is dull and Evi isn't even trying to oil her. Neifeth is more interesting: the pointy plants get poked by a mental skeleton, and if it takes a finger bone off, COOL, that's fine, it grows back and also Navenath thinks bity plants are AMAZEBALLS. « I don't for sure want to hurt, just to harm — wait. Got that backward. It's the other way. »

Rarely is this side of Evi seen by others; it's the person who Neifeth know's intimately but is not overly willing to share. As Ajral yawns, she pauses, fingers running through her scalp with a sigh at the state of the new weyrling's ends. "In a Weyr, you, um, come to learn that raising a dragon requires all of us." Shying away, she tucks her head down and hisses out a long breath, overcoming that bubble of anxiety that exists inside. Inching her rear end around, she will attempt to get in behind Ajral, keeping the quiet hum of a silken song under her breath. "I am alright." A lie, and not even a good one, but she tells it because she had decided before making the trek that this might not be about her. Neifeth examines the skeleton's finger, the spined plant swallowing it with a satisfied slurp and baring it's red fangs menacingly. «Harming, hurting, it's all the same to me. I'm so good at it. I don't even try anymore. It's not even hard.» Gathering up her purple plants, they meld together until they form a thicket of snapping flora that's pressing into the young green's mind. «Telll mee, what's your name?» Each word brings the steady growth of wild vines and clacking teeth.

Oooo, yep, that is AWESOME, the plant just ate that finger. Of course the finger grows back because Navenath's mindspace is a bone adept if there ever was one, but that doesn't mean having it eaten wasn't SUPER NIFTY. « I'm Navenath, » cheerful but loud, the sound of swords clashing together accompanying her name. Then suddenly her name is in neon. Then it disappears and is replaced by a violin sonata. Ajral is waving a hand at her to stop with the mental pyrotechnics because she's going to give her a headache, but doesn't actually say that. "Are you?" she presses, instead: it's still gentle, because she's sleepy and Nav is being Nav and Evi is being nice, but, "I am actually interested in what's going on with you. I should have realized that the Hatching could impact my schedule, and I feel awful about that."

«Navenath, huh. Did you pick that yourself, or did a dimwitted candidate sneeze it onto your shell? » The plants multiple and meld into a wall, a maze of violet death constructing itself out of the ether of her thoughts. There's a change to this game, pressing in to see if this new green can play. Though it doesn't seem at all like play, the words cruel and cutting enough to have Evi huff a groan. "Nei, no." As the loudness sets in from Nav evi closes her eyes tightly, "When Nei was little, Insayth, Glorioth, and Kihatsyth gave me terrible headaches." Her class was particularly boisterous, as far as dragons go. Slipping a hand to the other side, the brush finds purchase in the straight brown locks, each movement deliberate, matching the melody of the unnamed lullaby. "Well, my um." She can't go on, she can't say it. Making it real. "I- hope he's happy. I, am fine. I only want him happy." Not her. Him. "Your schedule, Ajral, is gone. This is it." The harsh reality said with a quiet croon, as if she is somehow older than Aja in this realm. I hope your happy, now that you're choosing this. I hope it brings you bliss.

To Navenath, this is totally still a game! Life is a game. Life is a game where some people hate you, and you don't give a shit about them either, so it's fine. Ajral lets out a quiet sigh; in this area, Evi is older. Neifeth has a few turns on little Navenath. "She and Kovagath and Mirieth are a tiny army of terror, but in a way that's as endearing as it is disastrous," because the door thing hasn't happened yet in this scene, so … she does not yet want to actually shake her lifemate. Just scream at her because, "Though Nav also likes tresspassing. Be glad you haven't found her in your kitchen yet." There's no attempt to not make that a 'yet.' Absolutely none. "I will — get back to healing at least half-time in time. I have to make her functional first," comes with a soft laugh, "but I can still be of assistance as much as possible, and you … should be okay to say hello to him, I think," she suggests hesitantly. "If you want to. If you think for you that you can, I don't think Khoszeth will be irreparably damaged. Your happiness is important, too, whichever way you want it to go." Ly'iir HAS Impressed now, so they COULD repair that relationship, fi they WANTED to, but Ajral also doesn't want to push it, just - it's an option? Nav has rolled over and is lying on her side in the water's edge, barely not accidentally inhaling fluid, « I picked it myself. Don't think anyone sneezed on my shell, but Aja did LICK it and it was DIS-GUS-TING, » she confirms.

Games are fun, primarily when she controls every aspect of it and the rules are hers to manipulate. «Sounds like you picked a real winner there.» Neifeth's words roll off with sarcastic bitterness, biting in with several toothed plants to make her point. "Nei's never been a fan of other dragons. I mean, they have their uses, and she does like pushing buttons but, joining a group activity isn't for her." Curling fingers under, there's a warning, "Don't move." A gentle tug, and if there's no resistance, she will begin to french braid one side of the healer's head, tight enough to withstand a few days, to make her presentable if that's a thing. As she's offered this magical chance, there's a guttural whine, deep from the pit of her being that escapes in a squeak of sound. "He doesn't want me anymore. Aj. I, sent letters, he never responded- he can do better." Neifeth grumbles her opinion, «Do I not suffer enough with wing duties and those mindless formations where Eyelinth finds a way to fly in my way every time. Now you want me to travel, BACK IN TIME, and be better at silly baby nonsense? Do you not see how unfair you are being. THIS IS UNREASONABLE.» The whining, feet stomping, ridiculous anger that flows for everyone to hear from Neifeth is enough to have her rider squeaking. "Um, well, I don't really have a door her size, well, I have one, but only if she visits soon."

"… does your kitchen have a window," Ajral says lamely, because Navenath is soon to learn that she can also fit JUST HER HEAD through things and that thought also terrifies her just a little. She won't push about Ly'iir; that's Evi's territory to bring up or shut down for the most part, except for that one thing, "Don't put yourself down like that. Maybe he doesn't want to talk about it, or isn't ready, but it's not because he can do better." She won't be asking her clutchmate the reasons, but if he happens to volunteer them to her, that would be so convenient! « Actually, » says Nav, clawing a little at the water and splashing it in her face, WHICH IS GREAT, LOOK AT THIS, « I did. Inasyth's rider dared her to do the licking thing. It was okay though. I still knew which one she was, and I mean, she was better than the other options. Her brain's real big. She remembers stuff. » Better than Navenath. One of the things Ajral remembers is also that Evi's quite good at braiding, so she's gonna let her do that.

"My weyr is mostly windows, but it's also far from easy to find." Evi smiles at the idea that the green dragonet would have to make a TRUE effort to visit because the Seelie court is not a place you arrive at on purpose; it's a place you stumble upon when you've reached the end of a path that should not exist at all. No one finds the place. The place finds them. The mild rebuke does nothing except set the greenrider humming, offering herself comfort as the pain she's unable to rid herself off bubbles up. "Aj, I did this." She had said that before, and the splashing gets her to smile ever so slightly, "I did it, to us. i ruined everything. He deserves someone who won't do that." Neifeth allows her tail to snake in, splashing water with careless abandon at Navenath, whip-like forks splattering water at both riders as well. «I have met worse, like Eyelinth's, she's awful, loud, sloppy. I have never seen anyone pay so many marks to look like a dead wher stuffed inside last turns gather rejects.» Evi can't help but smile, nodding down at Ajral, as she finishes one side of her head with a tight strip of leather in a sturdy double knotted bow. Fingernails find scalp, gently massaging between sides, before starting again. "Are you eating?" She's such a mom.

WETNESS THAT IS NOT COMING FROM HER. Navenath yelps and jumps backward, which makes an even bigger splash, and then she jumps back forward again with a little playful growl sound like a canine. Ajral's trying to keep a straight face at these antics. "No, you did something sensible and said you couldn't be one hundred per cent of someone's tiny world, which is what you should have done, because that's too much of a burden for anyone." She may only have one side of the story, but that's the side she's going to believe because it was the one brought to her. « I like dead things, » says Navenath. "I'm eating more than I used to," says Ajral, who totally hasn't gained any weight despite that, because of the whole 'never getting enough sleep' thing. "I'm also a lot wetter than I used to be thank you both."

Press and turn, press, and turn, the braid comes together in a woven tapestry atop the new rider's head. "I hurt the only person who has ever loved me, completely, outside of Nei." Who is not technically a person, but she counts as one because Evi said so. Neifeth continues to splash with more vigor, the reaction egging her one to further torment the hatchling. «Dead food could be poisoned, you should never eat anything if you didn't see how it died. I mean, what if it's a trap. Wait, I change my mind. I don't really care if you are poisoned; carry on.» Nei has no issue sharing with both riders, her savage resolve admirable in its insistence and size. "I brought food, too, and towels, um, lotion, because even with the oil, it's not really good for your whole body." And all the extra water means dry skin. "Will this ever get better Aj?" Asking about the pain, she radiates, even as she picks back up her humming. "How often has anyone ever actually poisoned a dragon Nei Nei." Neifeth rumbles loudly, «WHY RISK IT?»

Ajral, expert of poisons — well, okay, no, she isn't the expert of poisons but botany was her sub-subfield, and she does have friends who are the absolute experts of poisons, says, "We could look that up," because of course that's the helpful data everyone needs right now. How many dragons have in fact been successfully poisoned. Navenath lampshades, even while she is FROLICKING in Neifeth's splashes, « You don't know how many dragons managed to FIGHT OFF poisons and the stuffy Hall, » Someone is not fond of Healer Hall already, « Isn't gonna be able to tell you EITHER. » So. There. Ajral isn't able to offer as much comfort as she'd like, though she does know that time always does help, so she can say confidently, "Yes," but not much more. "Feeding sad weyrlings and braiding their hair helps you with your karma points, too." The concept of karma is likely mostly not around on Pern, but something of it has been gleaned from AIVAS healing textbooks — there had to be some TCM in there — and the concept of good begetting good. "You're right that my skin's been drier than I was expecting, too, considering the oil baths." Nav is innocent! (Nav is lying.)

Revealing you're a poison expert around Nei simply makes you a SUSPECT and isn't a good move. At least until she forgets, but you have to watch her make sure she doesn't use her knowledge to poison someone she likes, like herself or Evi. Neifeth snorts mildly, «Don't you think it'd be easier bigbrain to simply not get poisoned in the first place?» Like DUH, she is willing to smack Navenath with her tail if the baby isn't fast enough because she's enjoying the game as well. As Navenath goes on about the stuffy hall, there's a parting of Evi's lips in glee, her voice muffled by the joy she's experiencing as she whispers, "You got a hard one tooo." OH YEAH, misery loves company, and she's enjoying this revelation as she combines the two braids at the bottom and pets down the center, "Mm, well, I hope I can build that up, I'm not totally sure what you mean. But, maybe it's a thing." Karma is a new concept for the wingrider, "I um, do have to go soon. Though, I can leave all the things in the bag. The bag is yours, with, things.. to.. share." The word cracks as it leaves her lips, she's made Ly'iir's favorite cakes and cookies made things gently coated in edible sugar glitter and cupcakes flavored with caramel and klah. Standing up, she winces, grabbing out and catching the forked tail, pulling the forks close to her body and hugging them tightly. Love. "Navenath, it was a pleasure." A tiny curtsy, tail still being held onto. With a final glance back, tears are starting to run down her cheeks as she makes her way into the neon winged embrace of her lifemate.

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