Dance Off

Xanadu Weyr - Harpers' Workshop
Through the labeled double doors is this spacious cavern set aside for the Harper craft. It's been completely sound proofed inside and out, but even after hours sometimes you can just pick up muffled voices in song, or instruments being practiced of someone burning the midnight oil. Inside, the large area has been divided up into several smaller places, also behind doors and have been sound proofed. A library of books and records stand upon the many shelves to the left, containing such content as music and Pernese history, law, and even sheet music. There are several access points at the long tables here for laptops to connect to data bases all over Pern, as well as to plug them in for a recharge. Long rows of chairs are pushed up against them. Silence here, is required.
Along the back wall is yet another space, and behind the double doors is a classroom for the practice of Storytelling. The chairs here are comfortable and upholstered, pillows are available as well for sitting on the floor. A projector is available for visual aid, with a white screen that pulls down should anyone need it.
The final space to the right of the entrance is likely the largest. All along the longest wall instruments hang free or on shelves for anyone of the craft to use. Guitars (both acoustic and base), flutes (including recorder and reed), violins, and lap harps. There is a few drum sets, and some standing harps as well. There are stands for music, benches for sitting, and even a corner where repair and maintenance supplies can be found.


The weather at Xanadu has turned cold, the air crisp and the leaves bright colors where they still hang on the trees and leaving some of the branches bare. Here in the harper practice hall, it's warm - at least compared to outside, but they don't want anyone to overheat from the dancing. There's a table set up with refreshments to help with that, a bowl of punch and some bite-size nibblements (at least there's no question of what fork to use?), and while there are a few chairs around the edges, most of the floor has been cleared for dancing. There's music coming from the harpers set up at one end of the room, there's bright streamers in those fall colors of orange and red set on the walls, and all in all, things seem ready.

Soriana's probably not here as a decorator, but she is here. She's… mingling. That's what you call it when someone's hanging out and talking to people, right? Which she is, dressed in a simple blue A-line dress and with her hair in one of those tossed-up clips, bronzed metal that looks fancier than it is.

Mur'dah is here because he was told to be here. Plus, parties are usually a bit of fun. He even dressed up and brushed his hair, wearing a nice, clean cut black and grey outfit with details of silver, a subtle feather sewn into the cuffs. He stands off to the side, near the punch. Sampling it to make sure no one has spiked it, or lingering nearby to wait for people to turn their backs so /he/ can spike it…time will tell on that one.

Zi'on arrives in style. Well, at least on dragon-back. Like everyone else from Western is likely to arrive. He's got Rhysanna with him of course. All the candidates have to be chaperoned in case of an early hatching. Though it wasn't likely to happen. The bronzer is dressed nicely, in a dark green button up tunic and dark pants. The knot at his shoulder makes it easy to tell who he is, even if one doesn't recognize the tall bronzer. "Ooh, they have snacks!" He says as they enter. He moves towards the refreshment tables, likely dragging Rhysa along and nodding to Mur'dah on his way. "I like these." Zi'on says, holding up a mini-sausage.

It's true that autumn is beautiful for it's colours (not so much the cold) and on a day such as this, usually one bluerider would be making the most of being outside rather than inside. Not today, it seems. For this occasion, Kiena is present either due to the rank she holds as Weyrsecond or her curiosity and sense of fun (yes, she has that) or it could be all of the above and then some. Wearing an off-white dress with a subtle curved neckline with long sleeves that split at the elbows and a flax corset belt dyed in dark red, and embroidered in autumn yellows, burnt orange and gold. Her hair has been half tamed back into a twist and bun at the nape of her neck, a few strands even braided in an effort to keep it contained. She too is like a few others, choosing to mingle along the edges as she surveys the scene and the gathering numbers.

Rhysanna is shivering, despite the jacket she's wearing over her red, cocktail-length dress, as she enters - and though it certainly is far warmer indoors than it is out, she doesn't make an immediate move to remove said jacket. Of course, that may also have something to do with the way she's dragged (not unwillingly, mind) after Zi'on. "I didn't think you liked things other than pastries," she teases, though it's said idly: she's scoping out the room, gaze sliding from decorations to harpers to people, and then back around again, her expression suggesting genuine interest in what she sees.

Kera arrives with several other weyrlings, the group seems to have raided the storage caverns for gather clothes. It must have been last minute since a couple of tugging at ill fitting collars or sleeves. Kera's aquired dress is a simple pale green with darker green embroidary across along the hemlines. Flashing a smile and polite headnod to those nearest as she enters the harpers area, Kera sends salutes to everyone she's supposed to, then starts meandering around, towards the food.

Mur'dah lifts his hand as Zi'on approaches, giving the Western Weyrleader a proper salute. "Sir. Welcome to Xanadu. Our duties to Western, her queens, her clutch and candidates." Too long winded? Better safe than sorry. As Zi'on professes his enjoyment of small sausages, Mur'dah bites down on his lower lip, eyes gleaming. Wrestling with himself before he just…says something that'll either be amusing, or stupid. "You are what you eat. Me, I prefer these," and he picks up a sweet pastry with a creamy center. Wink. And he bites it.

V'dim is here to…loom. And assure himself that the Weyrlings are having fun whether they want to or not. And sidle towards the ones not dancing, which might find them scattering for any partner rather than chance having to be stuck dancing with the creaky, ancient WeyrlingMaster. Something like that! He's dressed all in black, the simple cotton shirt all but hanging on his lean frame, his black pants pressed, shined shoes rather than boots. He enters and, since it's a social situation, does not salute as he approaches Soriana, rather giving her a courtly bow. "Thank you for hosting," he says, the words rustily-spoken, and few are sincere. And then of course he's sizing up the Weyrlings with his eagle eye. Just checkin' them out, it's habit!

Zi'on gives a grin and a wave to Kiena. "It's been quite a while since I've seen you in a dress." He grins to Rhysa then, after popping a mini-sausage in his mouth. "I'm sure they've got pastries someplace here. But I eat other stuff. Just… not a lot." He blinks a bit at Mur'dah's greeting. "Hello, rider. Duties to you as well. I'm Zi'on, and this is Rhysanna." He motions to the lady in red that he's been dragging around. Zi'on laughs a bit. "Then I am probably about ninety-percent pastry and five percent mini-sausage. Sausage is good for you though. Sort of. It puts hair on your chest. At least that's what I blame the hair on." Zi'on oo's a bit at the pastry. "Mm. I'll have to have some of those, too." The bronzer will be bouncing off the walls in about ten minutes.

Maybe someone from Western will arrive on a boat! Or carried by a team of very well trained firelizards. But Soriana expects most of them will be a-dragonback, candidates and their designated chaperones. Xanadu's weyrlings will, however, not be chaperoned by their dragons. If anything, they'll be the ones keeping their young lifemates out of trouble… which might be why some of them are running late, and is certainly part of the etiquette they're being observed on tonight. But hey, they're here to relax and enjoy the party, right? Soriana nods to something from the person she's talking to, then drifts on, smiling and nodding to people as she encounters them. She pauses by Kiena. "Good evening," she says, and smiles. "Things going well?" Then she's looking to V'dim as he approaches, answering his bow with a curtsy (see! She did learn how to do those) and smiling. "I hope you'll enjoy the evening." …eyeing the weyrlings is probably close enough to enjoyment. This is V'dim we're talking about.

Sundari has visited other Weyr's before, and perhaps has even wandered over to Xanadu once or twice, though she can't recall being in this part of the weyr before. She arrives with a few other Western Riders, one being S'rorn. The bluerider has on a dark blue of the shoulder dress, the sleeves are short resting a bit above her elbows, a white shawl rests around her shoulders, slightly tucked into place with the ends wrapped around her arms slightly, shoes are white strap on flats that have a bit of silver trim. Her hair is pulled back in a set of hair clips that have small blue and green looking gems upon them, while her hair is left in lose bouncy curls save for a few slender strands that rest at either side of her face. A bracelet rests around her left wrist in the same colors found within her hair clips. "Pretty neat looking huh?" This is sent to S'rorn while she casts him a smile. It's not like she often goes to such things, so hey, it's a first for her and she plans on enjoying it!

Rhysanna's gaze angles back towards Zi'on and Mur'dah as the two riders converse, one of her hands lifting towards her mouth to cover the laughter that threatens to escape over the brownrider's implied innuendo. Her cheeks are pink, but it's entirely possible that that has more to do with the cold air outside, and the sudden warmth of in here; or perhaps both. "Western's duties to Xanadu," she says, quickly, allowing her words to follow Zi'on's, and accompanying them with a smile. Her hair's been pinned up in loops and curls, with a few curls left to bob around her face as she moves - she tugs at one of them, now, a gesture she may not even be aware she's performing.

Kiena slips free to wander again after exchanging a few greetings, her steps circling her back around again and towards the group now mingling by the food. As she passes by, she'll linger long enough to give Soriana and V'dim a polite dip and nod of her head, an amused smile, though faint, soon following. "Looks like things are picking up," she muses, and then to an aside to Soriana: "Good evening! So far, so good. We'll see as the event progresses, hmm? Excuse me a moment…" Maybe she should sample some of the food before the best of the best is gone. There's a low snicker, threatening to be full laughter, for Mur'dah's comment to Zi'on, something she walks in on at the last moment. "Xanadu's duties to Western and her queens," Kiena drawls politely enough to the Western Weyrleader, her smile now a touch more crooked and edging towards a smirk. Her nod to Rhysanna, however, yields a softer smile. "Hello again. First visit to Xanadu?" As for the dress, Kiena looks a touch sheepish but bobs her head. "I've found they're not so bad…" To wear. In fact, she seems to fidget a bit with it, or mostly the sleeves.

Mur'dah inclines his head. "Assistant Weyrlingmaster Mur'dah, sir. But don't you remember? We've met before." Once upon a dream? His gaze shifts to Rhysanna and he gives her a small bow from the waist, inclining his head. "Well met, Rhysanna. Welcome to Xanadu. First time visiting?" Clearing his throat, he looks back at Zi'on, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips. "Is sausage good for you? I'd heard too much can be…detrimental. Everything in moderation I suppose." Turning, he smiles warmly as Kiena approaches, reaching out to offer her his arm because…he doesn't even know why. This is a formal occasion? "Hello, Kiena. You look lovely." His eyes dart around the room again, about at hip-height, and then return to those he's speaking with currently.

Kera circles around a portion of the food table, but settles on a glass of punch, pre-spiked. With drink in hand, the greenling edges around the dancefloor, intent on working her way closer to where the harpers are set up. V'dim is spotted among the faces and she sends a salute to the Weyrlingmaster before a tap on her shoulder gets her attention. Another weyrling points her attention towards a pretty dress a visitor is wearing.

"It is, I haven't been to an event for a while. It's odd having down time, I'm still getting used to the notion." S'rorn is wearing tan leather pants with a pale blue tunic and his usual jingly belt. Those silly trader types and their jingly things. At least Sunny won't have any issue trying to locate him in the mess. The brownrider looks around, spotting a few familiar faces to which he offers a nod and smile if he manages to catch their gaze. Finally, he glances back towards the bluerider with a smile of admiration. "Can I get you something to drink?"

"So we will," Soriana agrees to Kiena, then nods as the bluerider excuses herself and slips away. Soriana herself… oh, she glances at the food, sure, but she doesn't actually head that way. Not even with the lure of meetings and greetings and sausage and… pastries. Nope. She'd rather stay and chat with V'dim, apparently. Maybe they'll share some juicy gossip about the weyrlings! …maybe. Probably not.

Zi'on looks around to all the snickering ladies. "That's right. I am all sausage ladies. Take that however you will. Kiena will back me up." There, if they wanted to be lewd, fine! The bronzer is busy stuffing his face anyways. Zi'on rests a hand on Rhysa's lower back. Hopefully to calm the hair pulling. He rolls his eyes at Kiena. "Don't greet me like you're selling me furniture, Kiena. This is a social gathering." Zi'on studies Mur'dah's face a bit. "Hm. You name is familiar. You and Kiena are friends, but I can't place you." He frowns. "A side effect of getting old." At the ripe old age of twenty-seven. "I suppose I ought to track down Soriana…" Zi'on stands on his tip-toes. Being tall has its advantages, and he manages to spot Soriana. Rhysa is free to follow him, but he's not dragging her along this time, as he makes his way toward the goldrider. "Hello, Soriana. Western's duties to you. Is there something you had in mind to kick things off?"

"Hello," says Rhysanna in answer to Kiena, her own smile echoing the bluerider's - quietly genuine. "You look lovely." Zi'on's hand does seem to still her own hands from their hair pulling; she also seems to have stopped shivering, though for now, the coat remains where it is. As the bronzerider makes his move, she takes half a step to follow - and then stops, glancing back at Mur'dah and Kiena. Perhaps she'll just stay here. And anyway, she still needs to answer their shared query: "First time, yes. Is it so obvious? I'm afraid I'm not used to places with real seasons, or cold weather."

Sundari doesn't mind the jingly things, she will be able to find S'rorn for certain! "I think the last one I went too was then Irke and I graduated I think." She ponders that for a moment before shrugging a touch at the thought. Hearing S'rorn a nod is seen and she smiles warming back to him. "Sure, I'd love one." Other then the Western peeps she really doesn't know anyone here, not that it would stop her from jumping in on a conversation /if/ given the chance.

Kiena can't help it and bursts out into laughter for the continued banter between Mur'dah and Zi'on concerning… 'food'. Quite unladylike gruff laughter until she abruptly catches herself and coughs. Ahem! Faranth, where'd that come from? Blinking, she'll glance to Mur'dah's outstretched arm and straightening her posture a bit in almost mocking-fun, she'll slip hers through his. Formal enough? "Evening, Mur'dah." Kiena replies, only to chuckle. "Flatterer. But thank you. Looking good yourself." And attempt at "proper" behaviour goes right out the window, however, as she stares at Zi'on and then snorts, chin lifted up just-so as she shifts by Mur'dah's side. "Uh… no? I will not vouch for that! You should know better, Zi'on! Tsk." she clucks her tongue, smirking. Sarcasm follows, "I'll greet you as is fitting to rank. Sir." Ooh, she's prickly! And possibly just joking around too, as she grins… toothily, but a grin is a grin, right? To Rhysanna, Kiena's behaviour softens. "As do you, Rhysanna. And… it was maybe just a bit obvious?" she teases gently. "But you adjust pretty fast to the cold. How is Candidacy going?"

Mur'dah didn't want to be lewd. The key there was subtle, as his brows lift a tad at Zi'on's words. Cough. He's about to speak, but then the Western Weyrleader is moving off and Mur'dah takes another bite of pastry, finishing it off and licking his fingers before wiping them on his pants. Boys will always be boys. When Rhysanna stays, Mur'dah smiles. "Not obvious, no," he's quick to reassure, "just a conversation starter. Born and raised in Western, then?" He takes Kiena's arm, watching the exchange between her and Zi'on, and not saying a word. Nope. Not one word. "Oh, you're a Candidate?" He looks at her, to Zi'on, then back again, and smiles. "Congratulations."

Soriana's just over here, in the ebb and flow of the crowd. The ebb makes her easier to spot, and spot her Zi'on does! Also come over to see her, and him being tall also makes it easier for her to notice him instead of just having him appear out of nowhere. It's a Zi'on! To whom she says, "Hello." There's a smile on her face, the polite sort. "Xanadu's duties to Western. I hope the queen and clutch doing well?" And there's a bit more genuine of an interest and less just being polite, for this part. "Shadhavarth, was it?" Unless she misremembered the name of the reason for these candidates who're here to dance. At his question about the proceedings, she laughs. "No, not really. The harpers should know what to play." Like the tune they're starting on now! "It's going to be rather on the formal side." Her lips twitch wryly. "More chances for the candidates and weyrlings to pick each other's brains, I suppose."

It's likely that Rhysanna is deliberately ignoring the innuendo— and the 'banter' between Kiena and Zi'on. She's clearly much happier to grin, ruefully, and allow, "Perhaps I'll learn to blend in a little better, in time, though I'm not convinced I'll ever like the cold." She fingers the cuffs of her jacket, and then, abruptly, begins to peel it off to show off more of the red dress beneath. "Yes, I'm a candidate," she confirms, for Mur'dah. No comment on the glance at Zi'on, no. "It's… I'll be glad for it to be over, I think. Stressful and intense. But… worthwhile, even if I don't Impress? I don't know. I'd just like to know, one way or the other."

Kera grins at the whispered comment from her fellow weyrling and nods, canting her head to murmur a response. Scanning her gaze around the floor, she spots V'dim approaching. His question gets an agreeable smile "I'ld like that sir." Taking his hand, she's surprised by his further actions but recovers quickly enough chuckles. "I'll try to stay off your toes." She follows the black dressed man's lead onto the floor.

It's hard to be fashionably late when you're being chaperoned by riders from another weyr. But Naeda manages all the same. Who knows where she's been all this time. Perhaps fitting herself into her ridiculous dress? It's a sort of blue-green color, about as tight, revealing, and shimmery as a candidate can get away with, despite the chilly weather. Or that the chaperones would let her get away with. Makeup and a mischievious smile adorn her face as she strides into the crowd, making her way sort of near her fellow Westerners. "Party time!" She declares, seizing on the very obvious.

Subtly has nothing to do with lewdness. Not that there's ever been anything subtle about the Western weyrleader. He chuckles at Kiena. "No? You don't remember my eating habits? Well if that's how we're to do this, excuse me, ma'am. But I must attend to my duties." Zi'on gives Rhysanna's hand a squeeze before he fully excuses himself. The point was to mingle, right? Zi'on returns the smile to Soriana. "Mm. Quite. Shadhavarth, correct. Miraneith is also due a clutching, actually. Very soon." Zi'on chuckles. "I wasn't suggesting we pick up instruments. But someone will have to start the dancing, no?" He grins a bit. Then he coughs and frowns. "I mean, to be formal about things and all. I thought you and I would share the first dance. As a symbol of the two weyrs coming together."

How to arrive late to a party. Yeah, that's what Ka'el is modeling as he enters the harper's workshop, likely having to take care of something or another before being free to join in on the festivities. A Weyr doesn't run itself! Even on days set aside for small gathers. He enters without fanfare, his smile slight and soft to those eyes that do note his arrival. He's dressed appropriately. A casual yet well-tailored suit of all black with a light blue undershirt for a bit of eye-catching color that brings out the eyes. Hair is combed back away from his eyes that now glance around the area at faces both familiar and not. Xanadu faces. Western faces. And food! Oh he sees that snack table, but instead of making a beeline, he meanders in further to do the mingle thing, scoping out the crowd.

S'rorn returns with drink in hand after examining the table thoroughly. Only the best for his partner on this night. He strides tall across the room, offering Sundari her drink before slowly making his way in the direction of the weyrleader before the 'second shows up and takes over. As he turns to step sway, he holds out a hand in offering to the bluerider with a soft smile on his face. "Would you care to join me? It'll give us a good opportunity to take in the sights." Truthfully, the brownrider just wants to see what's the 'in' thing here at this weyr, traders never stop working.

"No one says you ever have to like the cold," Kiena chuckles and briefly her gaze slides to Mur'dah and she nods subtly before glancing back to Rhysanna. Taking a steadying and calming breath, the Weyrsecond's easy going attitude takes precedent again though she'll still be prone to a few wary glances as the crowds swell. As for Candidacy, Kiena's eyes flicker with a certain understanding. "It is, isn't it? Stressful and intense. Two good words… among many to describe it. Worthwhile, no matter the outcome. The big day will sneak up fast enough, even if it doesn't seem so now. And the Hatching! … I'm sure you've heard enough tales of that?" she muses to Rhysanna. As music begins to play, Kiena lifts her head to stare out among the crowds and the dancing floor and now she looks… nervous. One thing to wear a dress, another to dance in it! "Looks like they're about to start…" she says, stating the obvious.

Mur'dah nods, understanding in his gaze for Rhysanna. "It's very stressful, yes. Intense too, and doubly so come hatching day. I remember being so sick of /waiting/. Not knowing. But. Try to enjoy it. Do you enjoy the other Candidates?" There's a small smile on his lips. "Can I get either of you a drink?" he offers then. "The punch is nice. And then, perhaps a dance?" And he's offering that to both of them. "I'm not awful, I promise I won't step on your toes."

Sundari would honestly be happy with whatever S'rorn would bring her back, she is peering at something or another that is all decorated up, she even goes so far to poke at it. A slight err escapes her as the item wobbles and she is quick to steady it before S'rorn is back with the drink. "Thank you S'rorn." This said with a warm smile seen and she goes about taking a sip from it. Whatever it is the drink is good! "Nice choice!" She'll take hold of S'rorn's hand with a nod, smile still seen. "Sure thing, wandering is always good at times like this." Off they go to take in the sights, exploring? Yes please.

"Just… endure it with grace," concludes Rhysanna, with a laugh of her own, perhaps exaggerated over the fact that it could answer several comments. "I'll keep that in mind. It's…" Her nod confirms the words of both of the riders, her sigh far less dramatic than it probably could be. "I'm sure it will. I've watched plenty, certainly, but it's a whole different thing, being there. But I will - try to enjoy it, I mean. I like a lot of the candidates." Not all, her expression acknowledges, but since when does that ever happen? "No drink, but I'd love a dance. Perhaps we could all three go onto the floor together?" Her smile is obviously intended to be inclusive, aimed warmly at both of the Xanadu riders.

"/I/ would certainly like to dance." Naeda declares as she slides up beside Rhysanna, giving her fellow candidate a mischievious wink before her gaze slides across all those gathered around her, candidate, weyrling, and miscellaneous alike. "But who here is bold enough to keep up with me, mmm? Does anyone dare dance with Western's fairest candidate?" Someone's gone into high gear early today.

V'dim's motives are misinterpreted. It's a crowd and things are loud. It happens. He recovers without missing a beat and escorts Kera to the dance floor. Poor Kera. The WLM is stiffly formal, his expression almost grim save for the twinkle in his pale blue eyes. He's ancient, he's proper and he… doesn't converse. Poor Kera. He's not fun and dashing and he towers above her. At least he doesn't step on her feet?

So it's a party! Fun, dancing, excitement, possibly one of their last nights of freedom(or the closest you can get to it during candidacy) before the hatching came around. Plenty of people seemed to be having fun and enjoying themselves. Or at least she assumed they were. But Naris? Well, she wasn't necessarily not enjoying herself but she also wasn't throwing herself out there and mingling wildly. Instead she lurked about the edges of the event while sipping at a glass of punch. She didn't intend on doing this the /whole/ time of course. Eventually she'd get out and do something with someone. But for now… for now she was content just to observe.

"I hope it goes well," Soriana says of that upcoming clutching of Miraneith's, nodding about it. She laughs. "Someone will, yes. A dance without dancing would be rather strange, even if the mingling's… also a part." She arches an eyebrow slightly, and then her lips quirk. "Really, if we want it to be symbolic, we should get one of our weyrlings with one of your candidates. Make the weyrling lead, as a sign of the… mmh, knowledge and experience they're passing along." She glances in the crowd… maybe to see if anyone's going to dare the dance floor? It certainly seems there are pockets of dance-shaped murmurings here and there… then, after her look… returns her attention to Zi'on. "The first dance, then." She offers him her hand.

Ka'el spies Kera and V'dim. Now there's the pair of the century … one, Ka'el would guess, is just abouta century in age! He grins, barely stifling a chuckle. Manners and etiquette! That's the goal of this gathering, right? To teach a Candidate a thing or two? Ka'el himself is not immediately drawn to the dance floor just yet. He flashes grins though. To Kera, who may or may not be so wooed by V'dim's dance moves that she may not see it. To Kiena amongst her group. He roams the perimeter, heading towards…wait a second. Who is that off by themselves? Well this certainly won't do. Steps bring him closer to the unfamiliar face of Naris, whose side he pauses at with hands clasped loosely behind his back. "I know Xanadu's punch is grand," he says, giving her a sidelong look, "though I hope it doesn't keep you from everything else we've to offer." A grin curves his mouth now. "Candidate?" he assumes.

Kiena quirks a brow for Rhysanna's concluding statement but nods in agreement all the same. "Exactly. And… I don't think I've ever known of a Candidate group to completely mesh. There's always some friction… of personalities." she murmurs and then laughs softly. "All three of us? Your too kind, though that offer is tempting! Not sure if our Harpers are playing the music for that style of dance, but perhaps they'll get to one and we'll see then? For now though," Kiena's grinning again as she slips her arm free from Mur'dah's, but not before whispering something to him. It's clear, however, that she is indicating for the AWLM to take Rhysanna first to the floor. "I'll take the next dance," The Weyrsecond explains, gesturing for them to go on before her attention is absorbed by the arrival of Naeda. She's given a full once over and a bemused expression, brows lifting high for the daring claims. "Tempting!" Kiena admits, grin still in place. "And bold! From Western and a Candidate, too? Welcome to Xanadu." she greets, shedding some of her formality now.

Mur'dah is a bit startled by Naeda's rather abrupt arrival, and it takes him a second to regain his bearings. "Ah," cough, "I would be pleased to offer you another dance, young…?" Whoareyou? "But I had just offered Rhysanna one, and then Kiena. So perhaps I'm not the one to dare." He smiles then. "Third?" Harsh, perhaps, for the self-proclaimed fairest Candidate of Western, but his dance card is filling up. Letting Kiena's arm go, he tilts his head to listen to her whisper and then he grins, nodding before he's offering Rhysanna his arm, courteous, and nodding to the floor. "Shall we? Though it looks as if Soriana and Zi'on are starting things off, so we should probably wait a few measures before stepping in ourselves."

Zi'on nods. "I'd like to see a gold come from it. But beggars can't be choosers." He winks to her. "Sometimes it's best to lead by example. We can force the weyrlings and candidates to pair up momentarily. For now though, let's show them what full riders can do." When Soriana agrees, the bronzer leads her out to the dance floor. Despite being rather tall, the bronzer can dance. He had to learn young, as attending gathers was part of the punishment of having a weyrsecond and wingleader of a father. So off they go! "Do you dance much? Or should I keep the steps on the… simpler side?" Then he starts making small talk. Otherwise he'll feel awkward. "So… are you weyrmated?"

"Naeda," says Rhysanna, who clearly isn't surprised by the boldness of her fellow candidate, but clearly feels obligated to put some emphasis in her tone anyway. "Clearly, then," she adds, "the two of you should dance." She indicates Naeda and Kiena, smiling in an easy, warm kind of way. To Mur'dah: "Let me just put down my jacket, and then I'm all yours— once they've had their few measures of glory." The jacket gets set down somewhere that's at least a little out of the way, and then she returns to accept the brownrider's arm. "Shall we?"

Naeda grins brightly and wickedly at the once over and the response she gets from Kiena. She returns the once-over, drifting a little closer to her. "Tempting is something I hear a lot. I'm Naeda. Western candidate." She offers her hand. "Thank you for the welcome. Your weyr is lovely. As are your weyrfolk. So, do you dare to have my first dance?" She asks, lashes fluttering. She glances back over her shoulder at Rhysanna, smile unfaltering. "My fellow candidate makes a good point." She declares, looking back to Kiena, eyes dancing with mirth.

Naris looks up at the sound of someone talking to her, surprise spreading across her face for a moment. However, as she listened to Ka'el the surprise fades away to a polite smiles. She gives a formal-looking dip of her head before responding, "grand it is. I'm having a little trouble picking up the exact flavor though… redfruit? Although it seems like it might be more of a mix." A frown begins to tug at the corners of her lips then as she realizes that she's rambling. "Sorry," Naris murmurs. "And yeah, I'm a candidate. Western's duties to Xanadu and her queens." This is followed by a curtsy, although one hand still clapses her punch.

Mur'dah waits while Rhysanna sets down her coat, and then he takes her arm again, watching the dance until others begin to move in. "Let's," he agrees with a smile, sweeping her into the dance with a steady hand and a polite distance between them. "Have you traveled much around Pern?" he asks once they've found their place in the dance, and settled into their steps.

Zi'on? Dancing? S'rorn pauses, offering a raised brow towards Sundari before returning his gaze to the bronzerider on the dance floor. Sure, he's seen him dance before, it's it's always an interesting sight to see how he moves on the floor. The type of dancing the brownrider is accustomed to is for a different atmosphere altogether, usually requiring stronger drinks so the change of pace is most welcome. He takes a drink from his own glass, before clearing his throat as he spots Naris. Well, he caught sight of her. Now there's just that… other special candidate. Every weyr, hold, craft and hall has one. Even the caravans. "I thought the dress looked lovely when I saw it but now that I've had the pleasure of seeing your graceful movements while you wear it, I'm speechless. You're simply beautiful tonight, Sundari, if I'm not too bold to say so."

It's just as well V'dim isn't doing much conversing It gives Kera the chance to concentrate on the dance steps and look she knows what she's doin. Or give it a good try at least. Her steps stutter a couple of times when she misteps and needs to catch up. But V'dim's toes remain safe, for the monent since she hasn't stomped them yet. Smiling and glancing around as she moves around the floor with her towering dance partner, Ka'el is spotted, among the many faces, and a quick wave is sent towards the home-court Weyrleader before her attention goes back to not humiliating herself trying to dance.

"Oh, they can, but it's not much likely to help them," Soriana replies with a lightly teasing tone. "No telling what's there until they hatch, and then you're stuck with it." Her smile's a crooked one, and then she goes to lead by example and prove that dancing is a thing that can be done! By… well, anyone who knows how, which includes both her and Zi'on. "Some. More of the line dances, but… tonight we show our formal paces." She laughs. Don't do any of the truly fancy things, and she should be okay? Besides, hopefully before long the rest of the crowd will join them on the floor and hide any flubs from view. So! Dancing. And… small talk. Soriana's brows lift slightly at Zi'on's choice of starter, but they settle back again as she step-two-threes, and also nods. "I am, actually."

Rhysanna abandons Naeda and Kiena with a quick smile, then turns her attention towards Mur'dah, and getting herself in position for the dance. She's obviously an experienced dancer, and moves with careful, practiced grace: she knows these steps back to front, and seems to enjoy them. "Not much," she admits, with a laugh. "I am weyrbred - I'm sorry, you asked that earlier and I failed to answer - but Mother's an assistant headwoman, so there weren't a lot of natural opportunities. Which isn't to say that I never left, of course. What about you? Before you Impressed, I suppose I mean. I imagine it's easy, now."

Kiena doesn't drift back or balk by Naeda's unusual and rather brash approach. To say the Weyrsecond is intrigued is an understatement, she's both amused and shocked by the Candidate's behaviour but she is not one to step down from a challenge either. "Is it now?" she drawls, only to dip her head in greeting and taking that offered hand in hers. "Well met. I'm Kiena, Xanadu's Weyrsecond and rider of blue Ujinath. And thank you. Enjoying your time as a Candidate? How're things in Western?" A dash of politeness, followed by laughter and a crooked grin. Challenge accepted! "It'd be impolite of me to refuse, I think, so I will take you up on your offer! Once it's our turn, that is." Kiena muses, holding her arm out now for Naeda and will lead on closer to the dance floor, likely following in Mur'dah and Rhysanna's wake.

Zi'on chuckles a bit. "It's never worked for me. No matter how many dragon gods I pray to. Faranth. Ramoth. Even Ruth. I'm convinced the dragons know. But refuse to tell us. It's a conspiracy they all participate in." The bronzer gives her an easy smile and nods to her. He doesn't attempt anything complicated. At least until the dance floor is a bit more packed. Then he might try some of the dips and spins. "Kids?" What else does one ask about, if you know the other's job already? The weather? "These weyrlings are from your clutch, correct?" There's a bit of a hesitation when Zi'on spots Kiena heading to the dance floor with Naeda. Hoo boy.

Mur'dah smiles at his dance partner, pleased at her grace and poise. It makes dancing that much easier! He makes a few mis-steps, but thankfully nothing jarring. "I'm weyrbred as well, but I didn't travel all that much as a child. To the High Reaches area, but we always went by boat. I didn't travel between until right before I was Searched. Lots of sailing though. Now, yes, I've traveled quite a bit. Was a delivery rider for a while and that was wonderful."

Naeda can be described as 'brash' in just about any circumstance. She even sleeps brashly. So at a dance, this is par for the course. "So nice to meet you, Kiena." She replies, linking her arm with the Weyrsecond's. She clings close, decidedly on the flirtatious and perhaps overly familiar side, her grin unfading. "Thank you. It'd be so sad if I was left all alone without a dance partner… and lucky me, I find such an intriguing dance partner." Yeah, she lays it on thick.

Sundari has seen plenty of people dancing, though normally not like this in the least. Leave it to a seacrafter to know the more wild dances then the formal one that is happening now. There is a pause while her gaze drifts over the ones here, anyone new she might know? Well there is Naeda, who gets a slight wave, and Naris Though Naris is given a slight look and she blinks a moment. Her attention it turns towards S'rorn though after another sip from her drink. The comments from the other rider make her blink, a slight flush of her cheeks caught for certain and she is soon clearing her throat. "Thank you S'rorn.. That is so nice of you to say. It's a lovely dress, and I'm thankful for being able to borrow it." A soft smile is seen and she glances to the dress a moment, the bluerider is not use to such things, she isn't a tomboy but still this is a bit out of her league. Still she does look rather nice in it even if she doesn't think so.

Ka'el raises his brows as he shakes his head in answer to Naris' query regarding the flavor of the punch. "I've no idea. And I'm afraid if ever I ask I'll be pulled into a mixology lesson in the kitchens," he says in a stage-whisper, his grin friendly and jestful. "And unfortunately for me, I've never found much luck in the kitchens. In fact, I think 'catastrophe' is the proper term to describe what I do find if ever I try my hand at making anything." He leans back then, eyes still twinkling. "Might I ask your name, Candidate from Western? And also.." a glance to the dance floor where dancing is starting, led by Soriana and Western's Weyrleader. A faint smirk there, then his attention returns to Naris, "a dance, when you're finished with your drink whose recipe I'll never know? I'm Ka'el," he offers as introduction. "Weyrleader of Xanadu, rider of Kanekith, the bronzest of bronzes." A glance left, then right…then.. "That last part were his words, not mine." Grin.

S'rorn holds out his hand, palm up in offering to the bluerider. He bows, slightly, with his other arm across his chest. Hazel eyes peer up at the young woman, hopefully, she'll join him out on the dance floor. The rest of the world seems to slow down, the music softer and quieter as he patiently waits. He isn't as brazen as Zi'on, he can wait all night if need be. Now, only the beating of his heart is the only thing pounding in his ears. If she doesn't answer him soon, he's likely to break out in furious blushes and clumsy awkwardness. You wouldn't do that to the man, would you? It's been a rough turn.

If Rhysanna notices Mur'dah's missteps, she doesn't comment on them: honestly, she seems terribly focused on meeting his gaze and talking, the dancing something of an unconscious afterthought. "High Reaches," she says. "Brrr. That must have been cold. A delivery rider. I can see the appeal in that. And now… now you teach weyrlings, I think Kiena said? That must be an interesting job. A difficult one, too." Her interest seems to be genuine - certainly, her smile remains bright and eager.

"I don't think the dragons care," Soriana says with a laugh. "Luraoth, at least… she doesn't seem to think of them as any different until they're at least a few sevens out of the egg." She considers a moment, for the next figure, then shrugs. "Though she's only had two clutches, so… who knows?" Not Soriana, that's for sure. "These weyrlings are from her second, yeah." Weather, now, that's a traditional form of small talk. Xanadu is cold! Western isn't. And… "No," Soriana says firmly. "No kids." And she probably shouldn't, but she just has to ask, "How many are you up to?" Weyrlings… this is your lesson in thinking critically about social skills.

Mur'dah nods, chuckling. "Freezing. You wouldn't like it," he says with a crooked grin. He then offers her a twirl if she'd like to take it, lifting his arm up in the offering. "And yes, now I teach weyrlings. Just for this group though, I'll be back to transport soon enough. If you impressed," he asks, turning the questions back to her, "which sort of job would you be most interested in?"

Psh! V'dim's a hale and hearty 76 - he's got nearly a quarter of a century to go before becoming a centenarian! Plenty of turns to terror- ahhh teach young Weyrlings. the interesting thin isn't really watching him dance - he moves with a grace despite his age - it's listening to him. He…creaks. In pretty much every joint. He guides Kera expertly, if not fluidly, with light hands. He's had plenty of turns to practice, after all. And when the music changes he is at the edge of the floor where he slows and releases her with a bow, a twitch of his wrinkled cheek and a dry-voiced compliment for her efforts. She's free to have real fun now - he's going to stalk and loom and be V'dim-ish over by the punchbowl.

"And you," Kiena replies to Naeda and when the Candidate chooses to cling close, she doesn't falter in her steps. For all her nervousness, once the Weyrsecond remembers to relax, she's not bad at all. In fact, she does have some experience under her belt or at least enough of a sense of rhythm to save herself from floundering too badly. It's the flirtatious edge that Naeda goes with that sets Kiena towards awkwardness, though her grin remains in place there is a questioning look to her eyes. "I'll try not to disappoint?" she drawls with a faint chuckle. "And with this crowd? I doubt you'd be without a partner for long." Around the dance floor they move and curiosity works through her focus on the beat of the music. "So has Western always been your home, Naeda?"

Sundari has her gaze drawn back towards S'rorn, there is a blink and then another before the drink she has hold of is set down on a table and her hand moves to lightly take hold of the his. The flush still rests across her cheeks, hopefully she won't go stepping on the poor brownrider's toes at this rate. She gives his hand the faintest of squeeze while she smiles to show she is ready to follow him out onto the dance floor. Now she just has to remember to breath, now step on toes, and not run into someone else on the dance floor. Easy pease! As if she would have actually said no to a dance with S'rorn.

Rhysanna would very much like a twirl, yes! She takes it, letting her skirt swirl out around her legs, her laughter merrily unrestrained. "I'll stay away," she agrees, no longer laughing but still clearly heartily amused. "I have seen snow, but it's not an experience I'm in any hurry to repeat." As her head tilts, her expression turns thoughtful: she's studying Mur'dah, though not in a way that is necessarily intended to be invasive or calculating. "Just for this group. You like it? I - don't know, really, what I'd like to do. Is it terrible, that I haven't thought that far? I want to think of the possibility of Impression as giving me direction, but it's not as concrete as that, is it? Did you pick transport, or did it pick you?" She must be conscious of how full of questions she is; she wrinkles her nose, apologetic.

Zi'on would be almost certain Naeda was the female reincarnation of his father, if his father wasn't still alive. It's actually a tad frightening. And a bit disturbing on a few levels. He grins to Soriana. "You think? Or is that part of their clever ploy?" He narrows his eyes, not necessarily at Soriana. "She'll have plenty more. Though golds rarely change their egg-sitting habits, at least in my experience." The bronzer nods about the kids. Was this a touchy subject for Soriana? It seemed that way. Talking about his own might be safer. Though he raises a brown and chuckles at the way she asks. "Six now. I didn't think my reputation proceeded me that much. I'll have you know I was weyrmated for three. Granted I've been weyrmated twice now. And the others were flight babies. I won't reach my father's numbers. Though I still do have nightmares about swarms of babies…"

Naeda is a regular feature at any Western Weyr event with dancing. So she can at least make it seem like she knows how to dance. She twirls and whirls, making her dress spin just enough to keep it interesting. Her grin and gaze stay on Kiena whenever she's pointed the right direction. "Mmmm. Flatterer. Not that I mind…" A little giggle escapes her as she continues trying to make a spectacle of herself, dancing suspiciously close to the Weyrsecond. "I was born at Western. Grew up there. Went away a little while early in my apprenticeship, but now I'm back. What about you? Are you a native Xanaduian? Or Xanaduite? Whichever?"

Naris catches sight of S'rorn and Sundari for a moment and raises an eyebrow in their direction. It's only a brief movement though and she doesn't wave or anything, instead switching her gaze back over to Ka'el. His words about the punch make her shoulders shake in quiet chuckle. "I can see that," she admits. "Some of the more enthusiastic bakers that I've met could talk about their work for ages. I mean, not that I don't talk quite a bit myself but… cooking isn't so much my thing either." A small shrug before she continues, "not that I'm /bad/ at it, I don't start horrible fires whenever I try to cook or anything, but I'm not the best in the Weyr and it isn't too fun." Not that something not being /fun/ hasn't stopped her in the past. There's a frown before she says, "I'm rambling again, sorry." It seems that tonight Naris is a little less on the formal workaholic side and more on the awkward side of things. With that she takes a sip from her punch, leaving just a little bit in the glass before she sets it down on a nearby table. "Naris," she answers, "I'm called Naris." There's a momentary look of surprise at the man turning out to be the Weyrleader although it fades as soon as she glances at his knots. Amusement crosses her face at Kanekith's apparant message. "Pride can be a good thing in certain amounts," she points out. With that she offers her arm before adding, "and I would be honored to have a dance with you, Weyrleader Ka'el, lord of the bronzes."

Mur'dah tilts his head, considering as they continue to move about the floor. How deep does one get at this sort of a dance? And without booze to loosen the tongue? "I like it," he admits, "But…have you ever just /known/ something wasn't right for you? I know AWLM isn't right for me. Transport is where I belong." Then he smiles reassuringly, shaking his head. "No, of course that's not terrible. Your lifemate will likely play into that decision too, quite a bit. And it's not concrete at all. For me…it was both? I chose it and it chose me? It suits us. The freedom, the travel, the exploration. Staying home teaching…is not for us. Not in the long run at any rate."

"It likely depends on the dragon," Soriana acknowledges with a bit of a shrug. "Some… well. Some are more likely to ploy than others." She could name a schemer or three! …but doesn't. "Luraoth's good on the sands. A bit fussy sometimes, but…" She shrugs. Better that than careless! Soriana nods about Zi'on's children. "I've met two." So that might explain something about how she asked? Or, well, the bits of reputation that she heard. But she's a junior weyrwoman! She's supposed to know things in mysterious ways, with or without finger-wiggling to emphasize the mystery.

Kiena will indulge Naeda in a few twirls and maybe a few twists, taking most of the lead but also leaving it open for the Candidate to take should she choose. The Weyrsecond has relaxed again, her focus on the Western Candidate (and that dress, though more for the clothing than the one wearing it) and the music and dancing. Not to the crowds. If she thinks too much on that, she'll likely stumble and retreat back to her awkward self. "Flatterer? Me?" she scoffs with a dry laugh. "Now that's new." Kiena's mind is too absorbed into other things to realize how close Naeda is or she'll simply incorporate it into the dance without thought. "Apprenticeship? To which Craft?" Let the questions begin! "Ahh, no. Not a native Xanadian. I transferred here, a few Turns ago. Was born on the Emerald Isles, Impressed in Western. Ujinath was clutched by Shadhavarth and Teimyrth, actually."

Rhysanna's cheeks have gone pink, though it's difficult to tell what, exactly, is prompting it this time. Her understanding is obvious and immediate: "Of course," she agrees. "You have to do what works for you. I'm glad you've worked out where it is you're supposed to be." She bites at her lip, gaze dropping down towards their feet, hers still carefully marking out each step. "I suspect, if it happens, I'll need to get used to the whole idea of having a lifemate, before I can really think about the future. And it's a long way off, even if it does happen." She sounds (and looks), just for a moment, utterly wistful.

Kera manages to not trample poor V'dim's feet, even when she stumbles. Around the floor they go, any popping or creaking from the aged weyrlingmaster could very well be blamed on the Harper's instruments. When the dance ends, she offers a quick, if awkward looking little curtsey. Thanking him for the dance, Kera turns her gaze around, not seeing the weyrling who has her glass, she steps off to get another, maybe she'll get a sip this time. A couple of visitors at the table get a friendly smile as she takes a glass. "Hello, welcome to Xanadu." is offered with a nod before she takes a quick sip.

Mur'dah smiles at her, warm and understanding. "Took some time to work it out, but once you get there, there's so much relief. The knowing." He offers her another spin then, and another smile. "That's part of what Weyrlinghood is for. Not /just/ learning about the care of a dragon, but getting your brain wrapped around /having/ one. Don't rush yourself. Take your time and enjoy it, whatever may come." He gives her hand a reassuring squeeze. "Good luck to you though," he adds, noticing that wistful look.

Naeda is fine with leading! Of course, dancing becomes tricky when both people are trying to lead. But either way, she's happy as long as she's dancing semi-scandalously and staying flirtatiously close to the bluerider. She grins terribly all the while. "I'm a dolphineer." She answers Kiena. "What about you? What'd you do, before you impressed?" Her eyes widen a little. "Ahhh. I thought you looked familiar. I must've seen you while you were in Western… how could I forget a face like that, mmm?" More gratuitous winking.

S'rorn guides Sundari out onto the dance floor, keeping his hands at the appropriate locations and his feet well out of her way. A bundle of nerves himself, the brownrider swallows hard and hopes he doesn't stumble, taking out half of the dance floor. "Please be gentle with me, it's been a long while since I've been able to dance with a beautiful woman. I might pay more attention to your smile moreso than your feet." The wingleader offers a nervous grin, offering to take the lead as they sway with the others on the floor. The bells hanging from his belt tinkle quietly with his movements, swingly slowly with his hips as he guides them both into half turns to the music. When it abruptly ends, he pauses, refraining from letting her go. "I guess we're already here, we'll just move into the next one when it starts."

Zi'on nods, as he realizes why Soriana is asking about his brood. She's met part of it. "Ah. You've met the twins then. I suppose Western's left bits and pieces around at the other weyrs." And that was how gossip spread. Other than the magical junior weyrwoman powers. Zi'on takes the liberty of spinning Soriana out, then back in. "I hate to dance and run, but I am in need of some refreshment. I'm going to be a wallflower a bit, and get some punch. You're free to join me of course. Also feel free to intrude on me later, for another dance. Since I've already intruded on you." He smiles to Soriana, then moves off the dance floor.

Rhysanna spins, though this time she's biting her lip rather than laughing, even if her expression remains bright. "Thank you," she says, after the spin ends, and she's back on two feet again. "Enjoy it. I'll have to work on that. People keeping saying that candidacy is such an incredible time, and that you really have to make the most of it, and I just… I'm ready for it to be over, now. But it's been interesting, whatever happens. And," she's quick to add, "Miraneith will have a clutch on the sands, too, so I could have a second chance, if I need it… it's just that that would mean more waiting. I really can't seem to stop talking, can I?"

Ka'el laughs at the apology given by Naris, dismissing it with a shake of his head. "Sorry for what? The alternative would be standing here staring at one another without saying a single word. In fact, if I had to score you on ability to converse with an unfamiliar face, I'd give you high marks! Friendliness and the ability to keep a conversation up further than the 'smile and nod' route that's often taken. I'll pass the word along to your assistant weyrlingmasters." Score one for Naris! Her comment regarding pride brings forth another laugh from the Weyrleader. "And I needn't worry of ever lacking it, as Kanekith keeps us both well-supplied." With his offer to dance accepted, he guides the tall candidate towards the edges of the dance floor, pausing there to take her hand and bend at the waist to properly bow and brush his lips lightly tothe back of her hand. "Well met, Naris," he says as he rises, smile crooked. And, oh! An opening! He aims to claim it with her, joining the others on the dance floor to dance with one hand on waist and the other in hers. "Nervous about hatching?"

Mur'dah chuckles, smiling once more. "I was ready for it to be over too," he whispers, as if confiding in her. "All of it. So, so, /SO/ ready for it to be over. Forget what other people say. You feel how you feel, in the end, and that's all you have to be aware of. You." Then he laughs. "I am enjoying the talking! Talk away."

Soriana at no point falls down, either on the spin out or the spin back. These are important accomplishments! The spins are paired, just like those twins. "Yeah," she acknowledges. "…so does every weyr, I suppose." Dragons go between and take their riders with them, and those riders… get things all tangled up in their wake. She laughs at Zi'on's plan, and nods. "Wallflowers are the most decorative ones, sometimes. Like sunflowers that need to be staked because their heads are so heavy." Or elegant vines, but… nah. She'll follow him at least long enough to pick up some punch, though. Having a glass in hand makes it easier to mingle.

Kiena will allow Naeda to take control and may soon wonder if that was a wise idea once she begins to clue in to how close the Candidate is and the flirtatious edge to it all. Hello, awkward? "Ahh, don't think I've ever met a dolphineer before! Do you enjoy it?" she asks, only to blink and clear her throat. "I… ah. I am? I've not been in Western for awhile now. I'd have though…" That'd she'd have faded from most memories. Her cheeks darken with a hint of a blush and her grin falters. Just a little bit! "Uh… thanks, I guess? Now who's become the flatterer?" she drawls, recovering enough to tease before leading Naeda into one last twirl. A distraction! For in the next instance she's slowing and motioning to Mur'dah. Catching his attention? Or is it a hint? "I'm a Smithcrafter. I still work at my Craft, when time allows. Before that I was a girl from a fishing cothold. Not much special there. Thanks for the dance, Naeda!" And her grin will broaden again for the brief moment that she jokingly drops a bit of a curtsey.

Sundari finds herself a bit quiet, and maybe even a bit unsure of this turn of events. She's going to stumble and make a big deal out of a simple dance now won't she? At least that is what she is thinking as she follows S'rorn out onto the dance floor. She shakes her head, a soft chuckle escapes her. The beautiful woman get's her attention more than the rest honestly and she looks to the brownrider a few moments. "That's alright I'd just figure I'd be the one stepping on your feet in all honesty." She pauses a moment and follows along with the movements of the dance, and does surprisingly well. Her hand rests within S'rorn's while hter other hand is settled upon his shoulder lightly while she follow along with the music, up until the music stops. As for him letting her go? Oh she is just fine, and happy to stay right there. "That's alright I don't mind waiting for the next one if your alright with that." As for smiling? Best believe she is giving him a warm one.

It's the whispering that makes Rhysanna grin so abruptly; she seems relieved, and pleasantly so. "I'm glad it's not just me," she tells Mur'dah, brightly. "Which… it's not that I thought it was. But it's encouraging to be reassured on that front. I'll just… take it one day at a time, right? And wait and see." The way her nose twitches suggests she's more than aware of the triteness of those sentiments, but… well, the shoe fits. "I feel like I'm doing all of the talking, though. Tell me about yourself? It's not //all/ about me." She's facing the wrong way to see Kiena's hint to her dance partner… or Naeda's activities in general.

Kera hovers by the food with her glass a few moments before her feet start off to wander around. Drifting about, the greenling listens while watching the movements of the dancers, each more graceful than she managed herself. New tidbits of info are tucked away to consider later. When she's been still for a couple of minutes, brownling Ja'ken appears and is not quite dragging her to the dance floor, but he's not giving her the option of refusing either. The greenling doesn't seem to mind though, chuckling and waving with a polite nod to the other dancers.

V'dim is there to ladle punch into glasses, first to Kera as she is right behind him and then Zi'on and Soriana. He's deft and gracious and… silent. That's our V'dim. Not much of a conversationalist unless dragons and the care of them. He doesn't nibble the edibles but he does settle with a glass of punch somewhere amongst the wallflowers, fitting in like… a vulture or something.

"It's not flattery if it's true." Naeda says with a little wink as she finally disentangles herself from her dance partner, dropping to match the curtsey. "The pleasure was all mine. I'll save a spot on my dance card for you again later, if you find yourself wanting more." More wicked grinning. "But now, I need refreshment. And to see who will next be as brave as you!" Off she twirls to the refreshment table to get herself some of that punch.

Mur'dah grins, shaking his head. "You're not doing all the talking. But, ah…alright. Born and raised here in Xanadu, rider parents…always dreamed of being a bluerider. Broke my arm falling out of a tree…" What else, what else? "I have a twin sister, and my last dance has been promised to a pair of five turn old twin girls who were sad they couldn't come tonight because their mom said no." Grin.

Naris can't help the way her lips twitch up in a smile regarding the scores for friendliness and staring. "That sounds like it could be rather awkward, doing nothing but staring," she muses. The grin widens as she adds, "high marks, eh? Is that you speaking or is it Kanekith trying to add more people to his pride club?" Her tone of voice says that she's joking, although as always she sounds just a tad awkward when she makes the attempt. Chances are jokes will never be anything she can really get a handle on. But hey, attempting is better than nothing! She follows his lead out onto and into the open space, a faint blush crossing her cheeks at the gentlemanly kiss to her hand. Her steps as she dances might appear to hold elegance and some grace, even if she is a tad slow. Those that have seen her dance before might notice that she seems to have been practicing. His question makes the candidate give a nervous half-smile. "Quite," she admits. "What about you? Were you nervous when you stood?"

Zi'on is relieved that Soriana doesn't fall when he spins her! Not that he was expecting her to, or that he'd let her, of course. He chuckles at her suggestion. "I don't think anyone would call me decorative. You maybe, with your graceful beauty." He pours himself a glass of punch, and also one for the junior weyrwoman. "I might need to be stalked, though." He chuckles. "I've already outgrown myself." He looks around, then stands up straight with his arms folded. "I'm going to stand here and look menacing, like I'm your bodyguard. And only someone with enough courage to move past me gets to have a dance with you. How about that?" He's turned playing wallflower into a game, apparently.

"That's adorable," declares Rhysanna as Mur'dah finishes: she presumably means the twin girls and their required dance, and not the twin sister, rider parents, or broken arm. Presumably. "I always wished I had siblings. Or cousins, or… anything, really. But it's just been Mother and I. I—" This time, she's actually seen Naeda, as the other candidate moves off towards the refreshment. "I think it's time for your next dance partner," she tells him, glancing around in search of Kiena. "Go claim her before someone else does. Naeda can be…" Her shrug is not terribly explanatory. "But thank you for the dance."

Kiena clears her throat again and smirks. "Flattery is flattery," she counters back to Naeda and then leaves it at that. Blinking, her brows lift and then hastily her eyes dart about the mingling crowds and dancers. Cough. "Ahh… we'll see?" She's going to pretend to be oblivious to the wicked grinning. Shaking out her skirts, the Weyrsecond recovers. Somewhat. "Refreshments sound… good. Or a break, at least…" Off she wanders too, but not before stepping close to murmur something privately to Naeda and then truly breaking away to mingle. There's a wave to Kera as she passes the Weyrling, an encouraging hand gesture following as the greenling is dragged out by Ja'ken.

The curl of Soriana's lips is not exactly a smirk for Zi'on's flattery, but it's not exactly not one, either. "That's why there's ribbons up," she says with a gesture to the walls. To remove the burden of decoration from the people here! The refreshment table seems a popular place for wallflowers, and she waves to Kera and Ja'ken on their way to the floor, then takes a glass of punch. "You'll want to talk to a farmer about that," she says. "Or maybe a florist. Depends what kind of plant you are." She gives him a look up and down, then looks aside to Naeda as the candidate approaches them, stepping to the side out of the way of the punchbowl. Naeda looks to be on a mission! To Zi'on, she laughs. "Is menace a usual part of your dances at Western? I mean, I've only been to the one…"

S'rorn doesn't know when the music started up again, all he knows is he's still holding Sundari and they're both still gently swayin on the dance floor. He glances around for a moment, peering over to the band. Thankfully they haven't done anything too fast, otherwise this night would end in catastrophe while he's out on the dance floor. The music comes to a halt and he exhales. "Shall I get us something to drink? I think I worked up a decent sweat trying to stay on my feet." He grins nervously, offering a brief peek in his weyrleader's direction. Maybe it's good the brownrider isn't /that/ confident.

Mur'dah clears his throat, his cheeks darkening a bit. Blushing? Who knows. "Family is important. But sometimes you get to choose your family, and that can be just as good." As the dance ends he nods, letting her go and giving her a proper bow. "Thank you for the dance, Rhysanna, and the conversation. I enjoyed both immensely." His eyes scan the crowd and he nods slightly. "Right."

Naeda gives Kiena a quick little pout as she murmurs something back, but her grin is quick to pop back with another wink. She then parts from the Weyrsecond to get herself a nice tall glass of that punch, having a sip as her eyes scan the crowd. They linger on Mur'dah and Rhysanna for a moment, but mostly she's just looking. And trying to look both alluring and nonchalant all at once. It's harder than it seems!

Rhysanna is not the only person in the world who blushes! It's possible she's relieved by that, but mostly, she's just smiling brilliantly. Mur'dah's bow earns a careful curtsey in answer, and, sounding pleased, "So did I. Best of luck in getting back to your transport work, Mur'dah. And with your later dances." Probably especially the last one. It's as she turns to go that her gaze catches upon Naeda again, the other candidate's attempted look given a dubious one in return. She crosses towards her, though the punch-bowl waylays her, first.

"Mmm, maybe a bit of both," answers Ka'el with an amused grin to Naris. "Kanekith is always looking for new followers, though demanding it is more his style. I provide the sensible touch of humility to his approach." He grins, leading, for now, their dance in time to the harper's music. The rhythm is easy to follow, and Ka'el a dance partner who is obviously well-practiced at dancing. (He'd better be, else V'dim would snatch him by the ear, Weyrleader or not!) "Nervousness is to be expected. Anyone who claims they aren't or weren't is lying through their teeth," he says as they glide along the dance floor. "I stood twice. Nervous as could be both times, yes. Though…I think 'scared' is the better word. Scared that I would impress. Scared that I wouldn't. It's definitely something you won't ever forget no matter if you walk off the sands with or without your lifemate. Is this your first time? And are you from Western, or there because you were Searched?" he asks while pulling just slightly on her, steering her away from one of the younger, more exuberantly dancing candidates. Flailing off-beat arms and legs! Just what song is he listening to?

Sundari honestly thought the music would start up by now.. maybe now? Or /now/? Doesn't seem that way. She chuckles a bit and is looking to S'rorn seeming a bit amused. "Maybe there not about to play any more music for a bit?" Not that she is complaining it seems. Then there is a bit of music and onwards goes the dancing, yay for dancing which is is rather happy with at the moment. A soft breath escapes her once the music has stopped once more, at the talk of a drink she nods. "Sure, let's go on together?" This questions softly with a slight glance around the room to see who else is around, and the like. Seems like everything is alright! Though she is soon looking back to S'rorn. "Hey Why you so nervous right now?" This is questioned with a softer tone though, just loud enough for the brownrider to hear.

Mur'dah moves through the crowd towards the food and drink tables as well, giving Soriana a smile as he passes her, and Zi'on a polite nod. Searching, searching…where did Kiena go?

Zi'on smiles to Soriana. "Are we to swoon at the ribbons?" Yes, he's comically misinterpreted her statement. Or at least purposely misinterpreted. "Hm. What do you think? Florist or farmer? For some reason I'm not thinking I'm a flower. Flowers are usually prettier. With less hair." He blinks, then chuckles. "Ah yes. Well, we haven't had too many since then. Generally it's not. Though sometimes I get stabbed. And a lot of the rest of the time I'm worried about being stabbed, so I drink too much." Zi'on just stands there and gives disapproving looks to anyone headed for the punch bowl.

S'rorn grins, "I'm just not used to these enclosed parties, I'm used to the stuff we did back home with the caravans. We've had plenty in Western but I've managed to avoid all of them since I impressed." He sighs, letting his shoulders slump but his smile manages to stay the same. Patiently they wait for the crowding to settle down near the drinks so they can get some while it's still available.

The punchbowl's a popular place, apparently. Even with Zi'on there glaring. But hey, Rhysanna and Naeda are both candidates as his Weyr, so maybe they're used to him. Soriana nods to Rhysanna as the candidate passes near, offering her a smile before she looks back to Zi'on. "You can swoon if you want to." She's not going to stop him! "Farmer's probably better, yeah." No comments about wild oats. "Can't say I see any of them here, though." Not that she knows about, anyway. "So you might have to wait." Or go out looking, but then he can't guard the punchbowl again… people who want a drink. Soriana nods about the parties at Western. And observes the menace. Also the dancers.

Naeda's 'alluring' posing is not getting the kinds of results she'd hoped for. She was imagining that possible dance partners would flock around her, desperate for her attention. Instead she's getting disapproving looks from Zi'on and dubious ones from Rhysanna. She pouts and drinks her punch, then looks back to Rhysanna. "You seem to be having fun."

A 'hmm' sound leaves her throat as she tilts her head to the side and makes to look like she is pondering his words. "I don't know," Naris says, "I may have to find out more about what he stands for before I agree to become any sort of follower. Find out what the Kanekith manefesto is all about." More attempts at joking! It is without even thinking about it that she nods. Although she listens and clearly paya attention to what he says Naris does not answer his questions right away. Instead she bites at the corner of her lower lip as if pondering what to say. "I'm from Western," she finally answers, "I was born there and served as an assistant headwoman for a time. This is my second time standing." When he moves her away from the oddly flailing candidates that are attempting to dance she follows willingly. There's no need to risk the clumbsiness being contagious and ending up tripping all over the place! It took her quite a bit of practice to geet her to this point in the first place. As a matter of fact they might be some of the better dancers on the floor right now.

Sundari smiles to S'rorn and shakes her head slightly. "Well I think you're doing fine. How's that?" She questions softly while giving his arm a light pat. Her gaze drifts around the room slightly. "Though I can understand how you feel on the matter truthfully." Bit more of a group then she is use too for certain. She looks back to the brownrider near her. "Thanks for the dance S'rorn, it was nice."

Kiena is busy sneaking up on Mur'dah while he searches and will wait until his back is turned just enough so as to slip up to his side unnoticed. "Enjoying yourself?" she drawls with a grin. Touching his arm, the Weyrsecond will try to subtly guide him with her. "Hope you don't mind if I delay our turn at dancing?" she asks. What is she up to? "There's someone who'd like to dance with you first, I think. Another Western Candidate!" And there's a grin sent to Naeda, as Kiena steps back and may almost bump into Rhysanna in the process. "…sorry!" she mumbles hurriedly, only to smile crookedly while giving her a look that could almost be considering… "Having fun?" Kiena will ask politely. In a good mood, her smile will go on to include Soriana as well and even Zi'on, when she spies the two lingering nearby.

Mur'dah jumps when Kiena sneaks up on him, giving her a /look/ for that little tactic. "I am! Ah…well no…who?" Oh. He darts a glance at Kiena, then to Rhysanna. Hello again. And then to Naeda, to whom he offers a slight bow. "How about being second?" he asks, offering her his arm and tilting his head towards the dance floor.

"Am I allowed punch," wonders Rhysanna, having returned Soriana's smile, though she's now regarding Zi'on with some amusement, her brows raised. "Or should I just keep walking and try my luck elsewhere? Maybe I should be afraid, and run away." This time, when she glances back at Naeda, she's smiling, though before she can actually answer the other candidate, she's quickly ducking out of the way of Kiena: a near miss! "I'm having a wonderful time," she's quick to say, which answers both Naeda and Kiena, conveniently at once.

Kera grins up to the brownling, rolling her eyes and shaking her head in amusement an amusing comment from Ja'ken. A few comments are passed back and forth as the pair drift around the floor. They avoid colliding with other dances, murmuring appologies, then the song ends and off the floor they go. Where to next, food obviously. Grabbing a little finger snack, she waves to Ja'ken when he goes to do whatever it is brownlings do. Thus she drifts closer to a group by the tables and dips a polite greeting of her head "Fun evening, yes?" Then more nods to the huge knotsthat are near and murmured ma'am's and such.

Unfortunately this isn't that sort of party, Nae. If it were, Zi'on's shirt would be off and flung someplace across the room and he'd be twerking with Soriana right now. "I think the farming talk can probably wait until later. It's difficult, but I'm trying not to swoon." He gives her a rakish grin. Then he looks to Naeda. "Dancing with my ex, eh? Should I be worried?" There's a grin to Kiena. That one he puts on when he's being perverted. She'd better not get close, or he'll make a crack about her tendency to end up flight bound with other girls. Zi'on gives Rhysa that disapproving, unamused look. He raises a brow at her. "I don't know. Are you -allowed-? If I let you by, what's in it for me?" He's cracking a grin at the last bit, so he's obviously putting her on.

S'rorn smiles, blushing just a little bit. "It was an honor, Sunny. I'm having a good time." The brownrider's eyes twitch ever so slightly and he silently /hopes/ Irk isn't a part of the draconic conversation he's hearing. Nyzieroth is up to no good! As usual, perhaps he's been hanging around Zi'on too long. Either that, or Zi'on has been taking in his lifemates antics too much. No way in telling, unless it's the punch which is entirely possible. Rorn takes a sip from his claimed drink and he relaxes in his seat just a little bit, content to people watch for now.

Why can't they all be that sort of party? At least Naeda wore a dress, which is much harder to nonchalantly fling across the room. "Oh, good." Naeda replies to Rhysanna, grinning a little. "You always do, though." Zi'on is also grinned at. "That was your ex? You have good taste. But I doubt you have anything to worry about. I think she's trying to pawn me off on…" And right on cue, there's Mur'dah. She smiles as winningly as she can at him as she scoots over to link arms. "Well, hello. Shall we?" That was easy.

Mur'dah smiles at Kera when she approaches. "Like to dance later?" he offers. "I remember you're a good dancer." Looking at Zi'on then, Mur'dah frowns slightly - just a tad. "She's more than your ex you know," he says quietly, just a touch miffed that Zi'on chose not to use Kiena's name. "She does have a name, a rank, and friends," he says, before he's leading Naeda to the dance floor. "Enjoying yourself?" he asks, and /he/ will lead - assuming she lets him! - as the music begins.

Ka'el has no problem laughing with Naris. Her attempts at joking apparently are successful! That coupled with his usual good-humor makes this easy. As is dancing with her. Luckily Naris is not the type that's tripping all over him, or herself for that matter, and thus dancing while chatting is another easy success. He waits for her answer, nodding when its given. Second time standing. And the assistant headwoman? His brows raise gently. "Maybe you'll follow in the footsteps of a Fortian friend of mine who was an assistant Headwoman as well … until she impressed." And maybe she still is the assistant headwoman, he's notsure. "I haven't spend much time at Western, admittedly, but if Candidacy there is anything like ours, I can assume you've been kept busy!" A grin. "Tell me the best parts so far." After a twirl, of course. This part of a song calls for a single twirl! And so he does so, playfully.

"Good!" Kiena remarks to Rhysanna and genuinely so. Zi'on, however, earns a scoff and while her grin only widens, there is a certain look to her eyes. A flicker of warning, perhaps? The Western Weyrleader should know better than to grin that grin and unless he wishes to purposely spark Kiena's temper, he'll hold his tongue on those flight-related remarks too! "Nothing at all to worry about," she mutters, startled when Mur'dah steps in. The look she gives the brownrider is difficult to read, guarded as it is, but there is definitely some appreciation there before her head turns to flash a welcoming smile to Kera. "There you are! So who was that lucky fellow? Have you been on the dance floor this entire time?" she muses, before glancing between both the green weyrling and Rhysanna. She'll catch a glimpse of Mur'dah moving out again with Naeda to the dance floor and there's a mischievous note to her chuckle. "Ah… so anyone up for a dance?" Kiena asks, even though Mur'dah has already offered prior to hers — at least to Kera.

"I might agree to dance with you later," offers up Rhysanna, blithely, as punch-bowl tithe. Something in her posture stiffens as Mur'dah, behind her, makes his point regarding Kiena, though she keeps her smile carefully in place. Her gaze slides momentarily towards the bluerider again, but she's quick to say, "I need a drink before I do any more dancing, I think. If I'm allowed."

Sundari smiles and nods while she shifts to glancing back towards the ones going back to the dance floor. Luckily no Irkevalath is not in on the conversation that is going on, the blue is happily asleep back at Western so is clueless of any conversations. Looky there the music is going again. There is a moment of thinking before she glances to S'rorn once more, a warm mile seen. "Want to go again, or did I wind you too much on the last dance?" This questioned with a teasing tone. She could perhaps go and find someone else to dance with if he would rather watch. Conversation are picked up here and there from the others, questions for laters perhaps

…Zi'on certainly might be trying, yes. If he did, he might need a bodyguard of his own. But! He's not, so instead they're talking about swoons and blooms. "You do that," Soriana tells him, then nods to Kera. "Good evening," she says to the weyrling with a smile, then frowns a little as she listens to the discussion about… exes. With axes to grind? Maybe. But she doesn't jump in, at least not yet. Her gaze falls on Rhysanna, and she says, "Xanadu's punch is here for whoever wants some." A glance to Zi'on, briefly. "That's hospitality for a party, after all."

Zi'on nods to Naeda. "It sure was." There's a brow raised to Mur'dah then. "I'm sorry, was I talking to you, rider?" He says in a rather patronizing fashion. Why would he restate Kiena's name, rank or oddly give a list of her friends when she had done that herself earlier? At any rate, it wasn't meant to be condescending. Thankfully for Kiena, Zi'on keeps his mouth shut. Apparently he's not in the mood to spark up Kiena's ire tonight. He sighs and steps to the side for Rhysanna. "I suppose you can have some punch. For the promise of a dance later. Or half-promise. Or whatever you call that." He winks to her. "Here, let me." The bronzer even pours for Rhysanna. "You're quite the dancer."

Naeda gives Mur'dah's arm a little tug, along with a little bit of a mildly reproachful look. "Hey. It's dancing time. Not hassling bronzeriders time." She tries to follow that up by hurrying the progress to the dance floor, clinging close to her new partner just as she did with her last one.

S'rorn offers a wink and smile to the bluerider, "I think I'm going to sit this one out, Sundari. On that dancefloor, you simply took my breath away." He takes another sip from his drink, delighting in the rare chance to be a gentleman instead of a business man. "While I might be a little jealous of another man taking your attention away for a little bit, I could bear it, so long as I can watch you dance."

Kera looks behind her briefly, to see who the brownrider is speaking to, then back to Mur'dah when she doesn't see anyone. Oh! He's talking to her? Since there is absolutely no chance he'll get handsy with her, no matter how much he drinks, she nods with a chuckle "If you're able to stand later, sure." Wiggling fingers to him and his dance partner as they head to the floor, and looks to the Weyrsecond when questioned. "Huh?" Lucky fellow? Wha? Confusion covers her face for a few seconds before she giggles and shakes her head "Oh no. A quick dance with Weyrlingmaster V'dim." She blushes a bit and shrugs with a grin. "And Ja'ken moves nicely on the floor." The greenling seems to be trying to ignore the tension lingering about.

Oh, no worries, Mur'dah's attention is on Naeda and not on Zi'on. He gives the Candidate a little smile. "I'm here, yes, dancing." My, but she dances close. Well. When in Xanadu, do as the…Westerners do? Wait. Eh, who cares, he'll go with it. Taking her hand in his, his other hand on her waist, he sets them off on this dance, which is faster than the last.

There is far too much tension, and Rhysanna, whose shoulders have loosened only minutely, seems otherwise determined to try and ignore it. Certainly, the grateful smile she gives Soriana holds no sign that she's paying any of it any mind. "Thank you," she says, firmly. "I'm glad hospitality outweighs—" She breaks off as Zi'on accepts her 'promise', and he, too, earns a smile. "Call it an inducement to play nice," she suggests. "Thank you. Mur'dah — I think that's what his name was? — is a good dance partner. I hope he'll," she glances over her shoulder, seeking out the pair on the floor, "manage well with Naeda."

There's something of a height difference here, so Naeda loops her arms around Mur'dah's neck as they dance, save for a few more energetic moments when she spins and twirls. "Good. First rule of dancing with a girl is to pay attention." If there's anything this Westerner likes, it's attention.

Her apparant success in the realm of joking makes a look of joy blossom across Naris' face for a moment. It would seem that she's in a good mood tonight. Certainly better than her last party, where she went and scolded Naeda for stripping! Although that could very will happen again if she does indeed fling her dress to the side. Some places are just /not/ places for nudity! Naris herself is dressed, although a bit more skin may be showing than what normally does. Which really isn't that much skin either way, definitely not enough to be inappropriate. The assistant headwoman turned candidate wears a sky blue dress that is silky to the touch with a shiny black belt around her waist. It goes down just past her knees and has thin straps around her shoulders. Her hair is pulled back, although it's in a loose runner's tail rather than something more tight or serious looking. Naris speaks in a light voice as she murmurs, "good for her." The request to hear about her candidacy makes her pause again as she ponders. She tries to keep the frown from creeping across her face when she responds, "there's been a decent amount of drama in candidacy so far, personal and due to being dropped on an island filled with gerbils." There's a pause before she adds in a slightly happier tone, "there were some good parts though. I mean, I think one of the other candidates can be counted as a friend. Plus there have been some good days." Naris doesn't elaborate there, although she may if prompted.

Mur'dah chuckles a bit, both hands now moving to her waist - but high on her waist. Below the breasts, above the waist…her ribs. He puts his hands on her ribs. Sexy. "I am paying attention, yes. Your name is Gertrude, right?" His voice is even but his eyes betray his teasing. "So. Naeda, tell me. What's the first rule of dancing with a guy?" He will oblige her in the twirls as well, a little smile playing on his lips.

Kiena chuckles to Kera's answer to Mur'dah and for her credit, she doesn't burst out laughing or even wrinkle her nose when the green weyrling admits to dancing with V'dim. "Ahh, so I've missed the Weyrlingmaster, then? Or is he still lurking about? Seems like I hear more of the man than I ever see of him." Seeing as she never was under his wing for training. Except for that one incident… But that is the past. "So you've been having fun then, in other words?" she muses to Kera, giving her another grin and her eyes drift to the tables laden with refreshments. "Maybe I'll see if there's something good to snack on, now that I've the chance." Or before she forgets to eat! Again. Kiena will drift away a bit then, sampling a few of the finger foods before her attention drifts back to the dance floor.

It seems Rhysanna's scheme of ignoring the tension is working - this time. Naeda's off with Mur'dah, Kiena's talking to Kera, and so there's just Soriana and Zi'on left here. Xanadu's Junior smiles to Rhysanna, though there's a slightly arched brow for the question of just what's being outweighed here. Should she ask? Maybe not. "That's Mur'dah, yeah," she confirms after a glance, and spends a few minutes watching the crowd and the various couples spinning and moving together. There's the brownrider and candidate, and… aha, there's Ka'el and… another candidate, looks like? Not someone she recognizes, anyway.

Naeda gives Mur'dah a little more of a pleased sort of grin, though it's just as wicked as her prior looks. Attention on her. As it should be. "You've done this before." She remarks, nearly purring, arms still looped around his neck as she spins about, lingering close. "First rule of dancing?" She raises an eyebrow. "Why don't you tell me?"

Zi'on lifts both eyebrows at Rhysa, but doesn't response to her comment about playing nice. "Mm. I'm sure he'll be fine. I think Kiena had more to worry about, there." Speaking of Kiena, Zi'on nearly bumps into her as he moves around the snack table to get some of those bite-sized pastries. He just gives her an apologetic smile. Just in case she was offended by him filling in Naeda about who she was. Past that, the bronzer seems rather pensive.

Mur'dah has to give /some/ attention to the dance and the other dancers, otherwise they'd end up plowing into the food tables or the instrument stands. "Danced? Uh, yeah. I just…you just saw me dance…" So yes, obviously, he's done this before. Then he grins, shaking his head. "No, you said the first rule of dancing with a girl was to pay attention. So I asked /you/ what the first rule of dancing with a guy was? Is it flirt? Press close? Do…that…voice thing?" The purring. He means the purring as he sends her out for another spin.

"Probably," confirms Rhysa, as regards Kiena versus Naeda. But the bluerider successfully escaped, and the brownrider— the dark-haired candidate hesitates, gaze following Zi'on for a few seconds, her expression unreadable, and then turning away again. "Mur'dah," she repeats, confirmation for Soriana's confirmation. "Thank you." Perhaps she hasn't noticed that arched brow. Perhaps she's ignoring it. Certainly, she's eyeing her drink with more intensity than it probably deserves.

Naeda smirks up at Mur'dah. "I meant before that." The nice part about not leading is that she doesn't have to pay attention to anything but her partner. If they veer off and crash horribly into some other dancers, she can just put all the blame on the rider. It works well. "Mmmm. Those things are all important… but I can't give away all my secrets, can I?" More winking.

Drama in candidacy? Ka'el nearly smirks. Nearly. But he doesn't because such an act could be interpreted as condescending or rude, and he certainly doesn't mean to come off in that way. But it's … ironic. "I think…the two go hand in hand. Candidacy and a certain amount of … mmm, drama. That's a good word. Better than the one I'd use, which in truth isn't a decent word to use in pleasant company." The music changes to a faster paced song, and instead of following the upped tempo, Ka'el slows to a stop. "Would you like a drink?" he asks with a faint gesture with his head to the refreshments table. "Or a rest at least? I'd like to hear about your good days and your friend you've made." He smiles, already beginning to guide her off of the dance floor even before her answer, perhaps accustomed to doing things his way (Weyrleader mentality?) or merely making the executive decision that break time is now and talking can happen more easily off of the dance floor, where the chances of being bumped into lessen greatly. Now, onwards towards the refreshments and the people who linger near them! "I think people who've never been through Candidacy before have the wrong impression of it. They believe it's like … this tight-knit group of people that have everything in common, when sometimes it's the opposite. You learn a lot about people during Candidacy, yourself included. Even more during Weyrlinghood, if it happens."

Mur'dah looks down at Naeda, giving her another twirl. "So…what was your question? And do you have something in your eye?" Then he grins. "No, no one should ever give away /all/ their secrets. I wasn't going for secrets though, just conversation. You clearly enjoy dancing, have you danced your whole life?"

Kera grins and nods as she points off somewhere "Yea, he's right over….well, he was over that way." Shifting her gaze this way and that, she finally shrugs her gaze back to Kiena "Now sure where he went. But he /was/ here a short time ago." Another scan around before she gives up the search and another quick nod tips her head a time or two "Yes ma'am." She winks and lowers her voice a bit "Praela came down with a cough, so the evening is much more enjoyable." Without 'her' here isn't voiced, but the sentiment is there just the same. Peering around the hall, just in case the mentioned blueling appears out of no where. "How are the…twins" She finishes when she realizes Kiena is heading towards the food. So she follows along "How are the twins doing?" More greeting are offered to new faces at the food table she doesn't recognize "Hello, Enjoying the party?"

Kiena starts when Zi'on almost bumps into her. Her focus had been on the dance floor and on the crowds while she nibbled on some food. Maybe on a certain pair, maybe not. Could be she is trying to catch up and see who is in attendance, both Xanadian and Westerner. "…sorry." she mumbles to Zi'on, peering up at him in a sidelong way. An apology for the near collision or earlier or both? Who knows. The Weyrsecond is drifting back to Kera when the weyrling follows, at least close enough to make conversation a touch easier. "Praela? Who is she?" she asks and tries not to grimace. So her memory fails from time to time! Happens to everyone, right? "They wanted to come tonight but I told them no." Which probably got her a good temper-fest of a meltdown. Kiena's wrinkled nose says it all. Maybe her ears are still ringing? "Too much going on. I promised to make it up to them later. How're you, Kera? And Moncerath?"

Soriana nods slightly to confirm Rhysanna's confirmation of her confirmation. Quick, talk about something else, or they'll get stuck in an endless cycle! …okay, so staring at a drink is sort of like talking about something else, but only sort of. It's sort of like ignoring things, too… but only sort of. "So," Soriana says after a moment or three. "How has candidacy been going? I know each Weyr does things a little differently…" She smiles, though sooner or later she's bound to notice Ka'el's approach. For the moment, though, there's enough people between her and the food (funny how the crowd nudges into place) that she doesn't yet note him.

"Since I was old enough to get into the bar by the beach." Is Naeda's answer to Mur'dah, once she completes her latest twirl. "Though I can dance a little more… wildly there." Sadly, it's true. Just ask the people who were there last time. "So! Tell me more about yourself. All I know so far is that you're named Mur'dah and a decent dancer. And I only know the first bit because your Weyrsecond told me."

Mur'dah lifts his brows a bit, before chuckling. "Well yes, this /is/ a more formal occasion. Not even sure the tables would hold up to dancing on them…" Though he does give them a thoughtful look as they pass around on the floor again. "Brownrider, AWLM, let's see. I recently - fairly recently - reached up a camilid's…private parts to help birth her baby. That was interesting." And he moves his right arm up to flex his fingers, showing her THE arm that was…where now? "I've washed since then." And back his hand goes to her ribs. "Your turn." Grin.

Zi'on gives Kera a friendly smile and nod. "Hello. Yes, it's not often I get to dance in a setting like this. How about yourself?" The bronzer smiles to Kiena. "No. My fault." There's a chuckle at the mention of the twins wanting to come. "Good call." He says to Kiena. They're a bit young. And Zi'on isn't yet prepared to see his babies out dancing. He dips back around to the other side of the table where Rhysa has fallen in to talking with the weyrwoman. Zi'on stands behind the candidate with his hands on her shoulders. He'll stay out of the conversation. There's a nod for the approaching weyrleader, and Naris, assuming she's with him.

Naris nods at what Ka'el says about candidacy, although her lips purse slightly as if she just bit into something sour. "Tell me about it," she mutters. "This drama started before candidacy for the most part, although it seems to have died down a bit. Well, that or we've been avoiding each other quite a bit. Either way I'm glad for it." She can't help but give a small shrug at this. "And at least it's not Liora drama," she adds in a quiet and musing tone that sounds almost like she's talking to herself. By now she knows that the rumors of that little explosion have spread. Chances are mentioning it won't do any harm at this point. His question gets a nod before she clarifies, "a drink would be nice, yes." Talking and drinks, more things that seem to go hand in hand. Naris follows the Weyrleader without complaint. Despite not exactly having the personality of a follower she's fine with doing so physically, when she tries to weave her own path through crowds it seems to end in her bumping into someone more often than not. That faint frown returns at the mention of people's beliefs about candidacy. "Naeda is really the only one I get along with," she admits in a voice low enough that only Ka'el should be able to hear. By 'get along with' she might just mean 'is able to stand'. One interaction with Therynn was enough, she doesn't even want to begin with Rhysanna, and Sorel… well her last encounter with him had looked like it may add in a fight at one point. But with Naeda she might even be able to consider the girl a friend. Albeit one with very different tastes and beliefs than her. Zi'on gets a brief nod in return from Naris, although she maintains her attention on Ka'el for the most part.

Rhysanna's flush, and the way she so abruptly glances across at Soriana, seems to make her appear absurdly grateful to the other woman, as though she's been saved from a fate worse than death. Drink staring. Shudder. "Oh," she says, quickly. "It's been… intense. Long. I feel like I've been anticipating the end for at least a turn or two. Aside from the awful camping trip we had, it feels a little monotonous." Zi'on's return, and the hands he puts on her shoulders, has her turning her head to glance at him— she smiles, just for a moment, then turns her attention back to Soriana. "Tonight is lovely, though. All of this. A nice change of space." She's not looking at the approaching Ka'el and Naris. It's probably deliberate.

Naeda eyes the hand with the flexing fingers, her smirk showing that she's more amused than grossed out by the whole thing. "Well, let's see. For starters, I'm a dolphincrafter. So it'll take more than a story like that to gross me out, if that's what you were going for. Ocean births are plenty messy in their own ways." Such fantastic flirtatious dance banter. "I'm a candidate over at Western right now. Though you probably guessed that already."

Mur'dah gives her an odd look. "Why would I be trying to gross you out? We're dancing." So no, that isn't what he was going for. It was the most interesting personal factoid he could come up with. "Are they? I've never seen one, how are they messy? Do you ever have to help? How would that even work…?" And his dance steps slow and fumble a bit as he *gasp* stops paying attention to her to think about what she's said. "Candidate, right. That I knew. Good luck."

Kera nods to Zi'on and chuckles. "You like making snowangels here more right?" He probably doesn't recall that however. She gives a very undiplomatic snort at Kiena's Praela inquiry and lowers her voice so it doesn't carry too far. "The laziest and whiniest person ever." Canting her head up in surprise and a sudden grin to the Weyrsecond "You told her she couldn't come?" A moment passes, then the greenling is hugging Kiena's arm and leaning into the other woman. Her eyes fluttering as she joking flirts "I'm not into women, but right now I think I love you." More playful eye fluttering before she seperates from the bluerider, her mood much chipper now for some reason. Nodding over the twins, Kera smiles Moncerath's doing great. Her landings are solid now. We'll be going up together soon I think."

Ka'el faintly cants his head at the mentioning of an unfamiliar name, but considering the volume of Naris's voice, it's possible they weren't meant for him. Liora? A questioning look is given to the Candidate, but he doesn't verbalize his wonderings. Social cues are cluing him into the fact that his probably is … a sore subject for some reason or anothre, and thus he doesn't press. Instead, he listens! Listens to her account of candidacy so far. The one she considers a friend. The nameless others that she doesn't. "Friends during candidacy helps a lot," he admits. "I personally don't think it's necessary to have a ton. Some do. To each their own. In the end, it'll be more about your lifemate and less about the people you may or may not get along with." They're closing in on the others around the refreshments now, and Ka'el offers a welcoming smile to the Western faces he doesn't know, and a grin to the Xanadu faces he does, his smile broadening a little as he (finally) spies Soriana there. "Evening," he offers to the congregated group, pausing by the punch bowl, pouring out a cup to hand to Naris. Then, to her, "Have you met our Junior Weyrwoman?" he asks.

If you're going to stare at a drink, it should at least be an interesting drink. Not just… punch. Soriana smiles to Rhysanna, and nods. "In some ways, it's all just to keep you busy and distracted," she confides. "The dragons set their own timetable for these things." Obviously. Soriana glances back up to Zi'on as he makes his appearance again - yep, that's certainly him - then returns her gaze to Rhysanna. "I'm glad you're enjoying it. I know… when I was a candidate, it was nice to get out." She laughs. "To someplace that wasn't a pile of rocks in the middle of the ocean, mind you." As Ka'el and Naris get closer, they come into Soriana's actual field of view, and she smiles to the Weyrleader from Xanadu's shores (he's still on them, in fact!) and nods to the unknown Naris with him.

Naeda arches one eyebrow slightly at Mur'dah. "So, talking about shoving your arm into beast genitals is part of your normal flirty dance banter? That's… eye-opening." She's teasing, hopefully. The stumble in the dance is noted, and the eyebrow arc persists. "You see? All this messy birth talk is throwing us off. And killing the mood a bit, frankly. Go back to talking about how you like my voice or whatever."

Zi'on chuckles. "One day I'll find out what happened during survival camp." And how no one ended up dying. He smiles to Rhysanna. Then he turns back to Kera, letting go of Rhysa's shoulders, but still lingering close to her. He chuckles. "It's hard to make snowangels in Western. I don't think we've ever seen a flake of snow. Maybe sandangels, though…" Punch is interesting! Though it tends to be more interesting in verb-form than in drink-form. There's a hand extended to Ka'el, once the Xanadu Weyrleader has one free. "Hello." Surely the two have met before. At least in passing. Either way, it seems like introductions between the two of them are superfluous.

Mur'dah smirks a bit at his partner. "Flirty dance banter? See, this is what you should have told me when I /asked/ you what the rule was for dancing. Here I was having a nice conversation, and you want flirty dance banter, even though you're a Candidate from Western and there's no way anything is going to come of it. But very well then. If flirty dance banter is what you desire…" And here he tries to /dip/ her. Hope that doesn't backfire. "Then may I just say how stunning you look this evening, m'lady?" See? He can purr too.

"Thanks. Wasn't easy to convince them," Kiena tells Zi'on and for once her smile, even if small, is a genuine one. Nothing hidden there! There will be other Gathers and gatherings and times to dance for Ezsrisa and Eliana later. MUCH later. The Weyrsecond is probably not ready for them to grow up so fast either. Kiena tilts her head down a bit to Kera, only to grunt (nope, not a lady!) in complete surprise when the green weyrling is hugging her arm and leaning in close. Too close. She's eyeing her almost warily, still grinning. It makes for an interesting expression, honest! If Moncerath wasn't too young, she'd be fearing her rider was proddy… or close to it. "…what? You mean Praela? Ah, no… not me personally! I uh… meant my twins. But if she's sick," And trouble! "Then it's best she stay away and rest." The flirting has her flushing and clearing her throat, awkward but also trying not to laugh. She fails. The laughter comes brokenly and then a little more certain. "Kera, you surprise me!" Kiena drawls and smirks. "Hate to break it to you though that I'm not the one you want to shower your 'love' on. Probably one of the Healers!" Shaking her head, she's in for another small surprise. "So you're on to unmanned flight then? That's great! Shells. Time is slipping by so fast…"

Rhysanna's attention slides off of Soriana long enough for her to be able to smile - warmly polite - at Ka'el, and give him a quick bob of her head in greeting. She's still not really acknowledging Naris, though it's at least not done in an obvious way. "A pile of rocks in the middle of the ocean," she repeats, and then laughs. "Survival camp was terrible," is clearly in answer to both Zi'on and the goldrider, though she also doesn't specify further. "It's— very nice to get out, yes. Especially knowing that there won't be many more chances, and that if we Impress… Well. Busy and distracted is a plus, at the moment. Otherwise, I'm sure we'd all be at each other's throats."

If Naris notices Rhysanna failing to look at her she doesn't do anything about it and ignores the other candidate in turn. It's probably best not to break out into some sort of fight at the party. Not that she /expects/ that to happen, but… it's always a risk. What he says makes a light and soft smile return to her face. "Wise words," she comments. "Are you sure you aren't an elder who found some sort of magical youth plant? Because you sounded wise beyond your turns just now." Although he looks to be around the same age of Naris. Not that she's exactly considered a fountain of eternal wisdom. To his question she shakes her head before responding, "I don't believe I have." With that she extends a hand to Sorianna in an offer to shake before saying, "candidate Naris, Western's duty to Xanadu and her queens." Formal and polite, yes, but at least not as stiff and stuffy as she can be. Although that might be beginning to fade. Although she does not say anything to Zi'on just yet, she's seen him enough that she doesn't feel like she really needs to greet him right now, her gaze does flicker to Rhysanna and her eyes narrow at her words. The frown on her face returns at the mention of being at each other's throats. "Not exactly positive thinking there," she mutters under her breath.

Naeda is a little startled by the dipping, but thankfully not so startled that this ends in disaster. She tries to morph her startled look into a smirk, though she's not entirely successful in hiding the surprise. "That's better." She murmurs as she gets back fully upright. "Anyways, who says flirty dance banter can't be enjoyable just in and of itself? I'm a candidate. I have to get my thrills where I can. Do you even remember how frustrating that is?"

Mur'dah smirks back at his dance partner, grin briefly…almost wicked. But with a different sort of an edge to it. "Believe me," twirl, "I know." Alas, the dance is ending and Mur'dah steps back to bow, catching his breath. "That was a quick one. Save me another dance later, perhaps?" he suggests, gesturing towards the tables. "Right now though, I need a drink."

"I'm still not sure if the survival camp as a candidate was worse than the weyrling one," Soriana muses. So that's something to look forward to, right? If Rhysanna impresses. Which… "If you do impress, you won't have time to miss it. Or sleep." She grins. "At least for the first few sevens." It does get easier! But baby dragons can be very demanding. For that matter, so can other people. Soriana looks at Naris as Ka'el mentions her, offering her hand in return and giving a shake to accompany her polite smile. "I'm Soriana. It's nice to meet you," she says. "Xanadu's best to Western." And she's making it less formal. She's the (Junior) Weyrwoman, she can do that. Seeing Naris's reaction to Rhysanna's words makes Soriana frown slightly, but she just glances to Zi'on. They're his candidates. She's not going to say anything.

Kera smirks at Kiena's reaction, looking marginally disappointed that it wasn't the Weyrsecond that restricted the blueling. "Then I think I'll need to send my fellow healers some special treats. They've made the evening more enjoyable for everyone." Canting her head up to the bluerider "Why are you surprised? 'Some' people can be toooooo annoying, even for someone that tries to get on with everyone." A shrug lifts her shoulder before she's nodding and a grin is flashed over her dragonmate's progress. Grinning "I think so, we had exams recently. hopefully I did well enough so that I won't hold Mon back."

"… I think that could be arranged." Naeda says with a parting wink towards Mur'dah. "Enjoy your drink. And thank you for a lovely dance and lovely words." Aside from the words about messy births. Anywho, she drifts back towards her fellow candidates, at which point she overhears the phrase 'survival camp'. Her face twitches briefly in a worrying way. Deep trauma.

Mur'dah moves deftly and carefully through the crowd at the table, nodding at everyone there with a smile, and he even returns Naeda's wink! Punch cup is lifted, drained, set down with a decisive thunk, as one might slam down a shot glass. MMM, PUNCH. That's got…no kick to it at all. "Next dance?" he asks the group at large with a wide smile, offering anyone an escape from conversation to take a turn around the floor. Subtle and alluring? Nope. Maybe he just wants to avoid the conversation of Candidacy, Weyrlinghood, and survival camps. Trauma indeed. /Why/ do weyrs do that again?

"Funny what Weyrlinghood does to you. Accidental wisdom," remarks Ka'el to Naris. "Or maybe 'forced' wisdom is the better way to put it…. Or, I'm truly eighty-five turns old and am harvesting magical plants of youth for myself. Always a possibility, that." He grins, beginning to step back to pour his own drink but pausing as he's met with the extended hand of Zi'on. The Western weyrleader is briefly considered before a light smile curves his mouth and he takes his hand to shake. "Hello," he says in return, releasing his hand afterwards. Yes, likely they've met before. Ka'el certainly knows of the Western rider, at least. Now, he does turn to pour himself a drink, rejoining Naris and the others after. His poured cup, instead of beingsucked down, is offered to Soriana in quiet question. Need a drink?

Zi'on gives Kiena a smile as well. "Sorry. I'm sure they get that from me." Zi'on will try not to think about his daughters out dancing with men. Men that could be like him. The bronzer just chuckles about survival camp. "Surely it wasn't -that- bad." Zi'on is snubbed by Naris, so he'll just leave her be. There wasn't much the bronzer could do about the candidate drama. He can't make them like each other, after all. "Thankfully for these guys we don't do a weyrling survival camp." He turns his attention to Rhysa. "I think I may slip out, if you don't mind. I'm sure one of the other riders can take you home."

Rhysanna looks abruptly horrified: weyrling survival camp? Luckily, it's short-lived; Zi'on's words release the tension in her shoulders, though she blushes, perhaps embarrassed at the intensity of her reaction. Her head turns so that she can meet the bronzerider's gaze and she nods, quickly. "Of course. We'll just have to get that dance another time." She doesn't, at least, seem too bothered; she's still smiling, anyway. She adds, turning her attention back to Soriana, "So I've heard. I feel the need to get as much sleep as I possibly can, leading up to the hatching. Not, I guess, that I think it'll really help." Positive thinking or no, she merely gives Naris a bland smile.

Kiena grins. "Now that sounds like a nice gesture! Though honestly, is this… Praela? Is that her name? Is she truly so awful?" she asks Kera, careful to lower her voice to a level suitable for one-on-one conversation with another. Then there's a little more elaboration and the Weyrsecond is laughing. "Okay, good point. Well… shame she is missing it and I hope she recovers but in the same vein, glad you can relax too, Kera." Smiling, she'll try to rest her hand on the weyrling's shoulder. It's a reassuring gesture and nothing more and soon her hand is falling back to her side. "I'm sure you did just fine, Kera. Have confidence in yourself!" Glancing back to Zi'on, Kiena chuckles dryly. "You sure about that? I'm the one with the fiery temper and stubbornness." she teases gently. Looking back to the dance floor, she'll see that Mur'dah and Naeda are drifting back for refreshments. "I'll dance." Kiena speaks up, grinning to Mur'dah though as she takes the first step, she'll glance back over her shoulder. "Unless… you'd like to go first, Kera?"

Naeda breathes a sigh of relief at the revelation that weyrling survival camp isn't something she'll be subjected to. "Thank Farnath…" The punch may not be alcoholic, but she needs a drink anyways. She pours more and downs it while eyeing the rest of the group assembled around the punch bowl. "I think I need a little air." Perhaps to recover from the traumatic flashback to the survival camp? Either way, out she goes for a bit.

There's a nod given to Rhysa. "I'll take my leave, then. Thank you, Soriana, for putting this all together. It's been fun." The others get a nod, and Kiena gets a wave. "But I highly doubt you'd ever beg to go to a dance party." Then the bronzer is slipping out.

Kera nods "Worse. But while she's annoying, it's Prylith I feel bad for." None of the weyrlings will voice it, but they all think it. The blue chose…poorly. Glad to leave the topic of Praela behind, she smiles and thinks about her words briefly before speaking "I have confidence during the tests. It's afterwards that I start second guessing my answers. Maybe I should have explained my answers in more detail…or something like that." Glancing towards the food, she reaches over for something that looks tasty as Mur'dah slam a glass down on the table. Gesturing towards the Weyrsecond "Go ahead Kiena. There's enough here to keep my entertained." She gestures towards all the food with a chuckle.

Does Soriana need a drink? …maybe. Will the punch prepared for weyrling and candidate consumption do the job? Probably not. Any drinks she needs aren't for the purposes of hydration, so she gives her head a little shake for Ka'el's offer, accompanying it with a smile. She's had her punch. She's good for now. She survived survival camp - V'dim could probably give good reasons why to do it, but he's drifted off somewhere to gimlet-eye someone and isn't here to join (er, lurk at) the conversation. Soriana hehs and nods to Zi'on about the lack of weyrling survival at Western - or at least, survival camp. "Like I said, every Weyr does things differently," she says, then tilts her head slightly at Zi'on's intents for departure. Curiosity's there, but… no, politeness wins. "Have a good night," she offers the Western Weyrleader, then looks back to Rhysanna and laughs cheerfully at the excess sleep. "It probably can't hurt." Even if it doesn't actually help.

Mur'dah waits for Kera's reply before he smiles. "Soon," he promises, "before the evening is over." Then with another glance around the group, smiles, nods, he's offering Kiena his arm to lead her onto the floor. "Enjoying yourself? How'd Candidacy? Have you been in Western long?" he asks teasingly, rattling off his previous conversation starters. "I'm having a good time. Fun meeting folks."

Naris will linger for just a tad longer in a formal, cool politeness, possibly brought along by the presence of a certain candidate. But she will eventually notice the time and excuse herself, thanking Ka'el for the dance and saying her goodbyes before she gets a ride back to Western.

Kiena frowns a little, not for Kera offering her the dance but for the green weyrlings comments on Praela and Prylith. "I'll catch up with you later, alright? You'll have to let me know which of the sweets or pastries are the best!" she muses, but there's a little hidden note there too. Maybe the Weyrsecond wants another 'talk' for later. Girl talk? You betcha! Rank need not apply. Grinning, she'll turn away and step towards Mur'dah, where she promptly curtsies and a little overdone in a teasing manner. "I'm all yours." she murmurs and takes Mur'dah's arm in hers. She laughs and before slipping her hand to his side he may receive a playful nudge to the ribs. "I am. Stressful but memorable. Not in Western anymore. Did I get everything?" Kiena fires back with a crooked grin and then settles into the rhythm he sets for the dance. "Good and so am I. Isn't it? Wish there was more time to mingle with everyone. And I could tell you enjoyed your previous dances… Didn't surprise you too much there with Naeda?" Smirk.

Ka'el consumes the punch himself. He hasn't had a thing to drink since he arrived! And although he'd probably like something a little stronger than punch, punch is what he gets. He watches as Zi'on and others head off, speaks with a candidate or two more before bidding Naris goodbye. He enjoyed her company! As for tensions between her and any other candidate? Well … he can play oblivious. They aren't Xanadu candidates, so he needn't worry of it unless trouble starts here. Which is hasn't. He navigates himself nearer to Soriana until he's next to her. "Hi," he greets because in all this time he hasn't spoken a word to her! How rude, right? And Rhysanna too, who he greets with a nod. "And hello to you too. Enjoying your visit here, I hope?"

Rhysanna largely seems to have forgotten the drink in her hands, the one she was so intent upon not that long ago. It's after her gaze tracks Zi'on towards the door that she actually remembers it, taking a careful sip, and then a second one. "But," she allows, after she's swallowed, "it won't help me any more than it helps pregnant women before having their babies. I know, I know. It may just be an excuse for laziness while I can still make excuses… I mean, if and all." She abruptly stops talking, licking her lips in a way that suggests awkwardness (as does her blush); then, hurriedly, "Western's duties to Xanadu." Hi, Ka'el. "I am, yes. Very much. Thank you."

Mur'dah smiles as they settle into the dance, which thank Faranth is an easy one. "I did! Rhysanna is a delight to dance with and to talk to. I enjoyed that and hopefully I can grab another dance with her before the night is out. And no, Naeda was fine. A bit odd, but…she was fun. Never did answer my question about underwater births though…oh well. Maybe next time." There's another grin. "Yeah, I'm enjoying myself." In a nutshell. "Don't have much occasion to dance these days. Good to do it again." He's rambling, but he doesn't really care, as he flashes his friend a warm smile and offers her a twirl.

"Oh, no. Not in the slightest. If anything, it'll mean you're even more dazed when a hatchling wakes you in the middle of the night, because you're used to getting more sleep." Soriana sounds so cheerful about it. "If you impress, of course. There's nothing wrong with not. I know a great many fine people without dragons, because they didn't suit the dragons or the dragons didn't suit them." She smiles. "What are your plans, if you don't?" Because yes, there's life outside of dragons, even if Weyr people seem to forget about it sometimes. Oh hey! And here's Ka'el, who finally makes his way back to her side for the first time tonight. Soriana smiles to him, a tilt of her head toward him and a very much not formal, "Hey." Or maybe she's just losing formality over the course of the night. The weyrlings might need to find a different example. Ohwell. The smile lingers as she listens to those formalish greetings between Weyrleader and Candidate.

Kera plucks a few tasties from the table, enjoying the treats while observing those either dancing or mingling. Smiling at some of the more energetic antics from some of the dancers, Kera tilts her head a bit trying to follow the dance moves. She's distracted from her observing when Ja'ken and more weyrlings appear. The brownling offers the extra glass he has, which she takes and sips from after a quick sniff and smirk of the contents.

Wait…what? What was that about pregnant women and babies? It gives Ka'el pause, because the word 'pregnant' as the same effect on him as the word 'shards' might have on a eight-turn-old. Gasp! Shock! Run and hide! He glances from Weyrwoman to Candidate, listening…and coming to the conclusion that they're not talking about pregnant people and baby having after all. That's good! Cuz that's a scary topic, even for a Weyrleader. Soooo..exhale! "I'm glad to hear it," he speaks to Rhysanna. "And I'm glad to have met so many new faces! I was just saying that I hardly ever have purpose to visit Western, and now that I've met so many fine people tonight, I need to find more reason to." Having heard Soriana's question to her, he quiets to give room for her answer, curious himself.

Kiena proves to be a decent dance partner and she chuckles. "Rhysanna… She seems nice and is nice, from the few times I've spoken to her." So very, very few. Yet the bluerider holds a good opinion of the Candidate. All of Western's candidates! Even the flirtatious Naeda. "Fine? That's all you have to say?" Kiena laughs. "She didn't try to flir… what? Uh. Shells. Do I want to know how you lead up to a conversation topic like THAT?" she says between chuckling breaths. She's still snickering when she just shakes her head. "You can be so strange sometimes Mur'dah!" And she'll take up that offer of a twirl, skirts swirling along her ankles and then following him along the dance floor. When the music ebbs, Kiena's steps slow and she will gesture with a nod of her head back to the tables. "Glad I could snare one dance from you then. And remember what you owe, hmm? Or I'll make sure the twins drop by to personally voice their disappointment in YOUR weyr." Grin. "I need a drink. And more food. Been… neglecting both and starting to feel it." Silly habits!

Rhysanna makes a face. "I hadn't thought of that," she admits, with a wry laugh. "No, no. It's fine, if I don't. I'll go back to my old job - just caverns work, nothing special - and… rethink things, I suppose. Impression hasn't been my life's ambition, so…" She breaks off from that, and gives Soriana a wry little smile. "You'll have to come for the hatching," she suggests to Ka'el, sounding a little more confident, this time. "Hatchings, I guess, even if Miraneith's eggs aren't on the sands, yet. I'm hoping the first one, at least, won't be too long away." Her glass gets shifted from one hand to the other, and then glanced at. Some of the condensation gets wiped onto her palms.

Mur'dah shrugs with a grin. "Yes, I can be." Hey, he won't argue that. "Of course I remember what I owe. I've already told Rhysanna that my last dance is promised to the girls. I'm looking forward to it." It'll be adorable. "To the food and drink tables then," he proclaims, taking her arm and walking that way, back to what remains of the thinngin crowd. Seeing Kera sniff that glass, he just has to walk over and boldly sniff it too. "No booze in there, right?" he asks the Weyrling with a crooked grin and a wink before he takes more punch and looks at the others. "Are there bets being laid as to how long the first clutch might be until it hatches?" A smile for Soriana, "Sori," and a nod for Ka'el, "sir," as he leans a hip against the table.

The only babies under discussion here are the dragon ones. (Thank Faranth.) The world is still safe. "The time difference always gets me, when I go to Western," Soriana notes. "I mean, any other Weyr and it's just an hour or five, but Western's half the day away." She gives her head a little shake, and grins. Whether that's a reason for or against visiting, well, that depends on the occasion. She nods to Rhysanna's future non-dragonless plans. "Good. The people who think they need a dragon… well, they're neither the best riders nor the ones who make something of themselves without one. I'd much rather see someone who's just… willing." She smiles at the mention of those hatchings. "It'll probably come just when you'd rather it waited one more day." There's a glance to Ka'el for that, a wry smile of amusement, and then she's looking up at Mur'dah as the brownrider arrives. "Hey, Mur'dah." She smiles. "Enjoying the evening?"

Kera sips her drink, pacing herself, til Mur'dah is suddenly leaning in to sniff questioning if there is booze in her glass or not. Rather than lie, she quickly drains the spiked punch and shakes her head "Not anymore, noPe" She pops the p and slips the empty glass behind her, hopefully one of her fellow weyrlings will make it disappear. Letting out the breath she didn't realize she was holding when the brownrider turns his attention elsewhere, she flickers a narrowed look to Ja'ken "I'll get you back for that." She threatens her fellow weyrling with a mock scowl before giggling.

Good answer Rhysanna! "Caverns work is definitely special. Without caverns folk, I'd definitely starve." They keep him nourished during the day! And hydrated. And all that necessary stuff. Ka'el grins, setting his mostly-empty cup aside for now and nodding his agreement with visiting for hatching. "Most definitely now that I've names and faces to go with them. Watching a hatching is always more fun when you know some of the Candidates. And the feast afterwards is always special. Seeing the Weyrlings for the first time as Weyrlings .. if they show." Which sometimes they opt not to! He looks to Soriana at her comment, chuckling and nodding again. "Usually how it works.." he confirms with a half smirk just as Mur'dah and Kiena approach. He nods to the brownrider in answer. "Mur'dah," he greets. A light grin to Kiena. "Have you been here this entire time?"

That she's managed to make appropriate answers seems to please Rhysanna, whose smile broadens as her cheeks pinken. "Good," she says, in answer to the possibility of Ka'el's attendance at the hatching. "I don't suppose I'll notice, but…" For Mur'dah, she has another smile, familiar in that I've-spoken-to-you-for-a-while-so-we-sort-of-know-each-other kind of way. "Not that I know of, but… No doubt. If you'll all excuse me? I need to, uh… powder my nose."


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