Warmest Congratulations

Western Weyr - Weyrling Barracks
Inside the wooden building fresh air circulates from the many open windows lining the two longest walls. Outside, you can see many tropical trees and shrubs. The walls and ceiling of the barracks are made of slats that have been pegged together tightly. Overhead are beams from which electric lights have been strung. The floor is of black volcanic stone, rubbed to a smoothness that will not hurt the tender claws of young dragons.
Along each of the two longer walls are cots set up next to rounded depressions in the stone. There are enough areas available for all of the young dragons and their new riders with room to spare. At the back of the barracks are trunks with oiling supplies and bins where fresh meat is delivered until the dragonets learn to hunt for themselves.


It's been long enough since the hatching for the new weyrlings to begin settling themselves; increasingly, the little dragons are asleep, and that leaves some of their new riders enough headspace to take a step back, at least temporarily. Rhysanna's been off in her own world since her Impression - or in Tavehtiath's, at least - barely registering anyone around her as she fed and oiled her dragon, and then helped her to her couch. Now, though, the little queen is sleeping, and though Rhysa has been staring at her, blankly, for at least a few minutes now, that's about to change; she stirs, standing up to stretch stiff muscles, and glances around.

Nae is almost sprawled across Kaiath as the little green slumbers. Naeda's overwhelming affection for her new lifemate is obvious in the beaming smile on her face. She might be mistaken for being asleep herself, but the stirring from Rhysa gets her attention. She looks over, smiling that incredibly happy smile. "Hey, Rhysa." She says quietly, as if afraid to wake the slumbering hatchlings. "… I'm so glad you made it, too."

"Naeda," says Rhysanna, turning around so that she can seek out the sound of the other weyrling's voice, a smile abruptly blossoming upon her face at the sight of girl and green. Her formerly pristine white robe is mottled with egg-goo and dried blood, and her hair has almost entirely escaped from its braid; even so, she's wide-eyed and happy. "I'm so glad… she's beautiful, your green."

Nae is a pretty horrible mess herself. Blood, goo, other substances that are probably best left undescribed. It's all over her robe, skin, and hair. But her smile shows that she doesn't mind at all. "As is yours." She says with a little glance to the gold. "… I knew you'd get picked. Never doubted it, really. And… I'm glad we'll go through the rest of this together."

Visitors aren't normally permitted to the barracks, particularly directly after a Hatching when dozing dragonets might be so easily startled, but when one is basically the keeper of the keys, so to speak, well, visitation limits be damned. And it's not like she's sneaking in either, although there's a certain degree of quietness to Enka's entry to the weyrling barracks, the goldrider slipping in through the doors, pausing a moment to survey the cots and couches before she begins to circulate through the newly impressed pairings, pausing here and there to chat and offer her own personal congratulations. Naturally, it's not long before she's right there, near Rhysanna and Nae. "Why hello there."

Rhysanna flushes abruptly, her dark gaze follow Nae's towards her sleeping dragon. "She's not what I…" And then, "Mother's going to…" Still smiling, though. She lifts her foot from the ground, shaking it in a way that suggests it has more or less gone to sleep in the time she's been sitting. "I'm so glad, I didn't want to do it without you and—" Enka's arrival has that flush darkening, her arms crossing over her mid-section as she turns her head to regard the Weyrwoman. Her attempt at a curtsey is a flustered one. "Weyrwoman."

"You're your own person." Naeda replies to Rhysanna, beaming proudly. "You always were. But now, more than ever, your mother doesn't control you. I'm very proud of you, Rhysa." And then, there's a visitor. A very unexpected one. She blinks and stumbles to curtsey, awkwardly copying Rhysanna. "Weyrwoman."

Enka has that affect on people? That ability to make them blush — who knew! Coming to a stop by the two younger women, Enka plunks herself down onto a vacant cot, smoothing a hand over the linen as she regards green and gold weyrling alike with a thoughtful expression before she inclines her head graciously. "Well," she remarks, "a most fortuitous Hatching indeed, Shadhavarth outdid herself producin' such fine young dragons, but then, she's Mir's daughter and I'm proud of what we have done for the Weyr. Oh, please." she waves them down. "No need bein' on ceremony for my part, you two must be exhausted after everythin' that's happened. Have they settled?" she nods towards the green, "your Kaiath?" and then at her dragon's golden granddaughter, "and Tavehtiath?" She was listening up there on the platform, she knew.

"No," agrees Rhysa, in a cautious, but not displeased undertone. "She does." Her gaze is turning over her shoulder towards her sleeping dragon all over again, though it lingers for only a few seconds before she's dropping back to a seated position, evidently taking Enka's words at face value. From here, at least, she can reach out once more to rest her hand upon the sleeping gold's tail. "She's settled," she confirms. "They're all— that is, I haven't really seen all of them, but they seem like wonderful dragons."

Nae strokes the top of her slumbering lifemate's head, smiling affectionately. "She has. She was so hungry. But once she was finished eating, she dozed right off. She's… she's perfect." She continues to grin. "I guess everyone feels like that, huh? Right after impression?"

"Yes," Enka answers Nae's question first, leaning back slightly, arms propped out behind her to support her. "Right after impression, it's an euphoria, a feelin' like nothin' else in the world — just you, and your dragon, and … together, thinkin' as one." Reminiscence seems possible for the goldrider, that faintly misty look of memory crossing her face before she chuckles, winking at the two. "It's only a few days later that it seems to wear off, especially when you're havin' to chase your lifemate down in the dead of night, and pull her out by the tail from some hidin' hole. But hopefully neither of your dragons will act like that." Yes, that was Miraneith, way back when. It's almost a wonder Enka's survived past weyrlinghood, it seems.

Rhysanna looks down at blood-stained hands and admits, after a moment, "I'm pretty sure there are things I'm not going to be as pleased about even sooner than that. But…" Her eyes are still shining: for Tavehtiath, clearly, it's all worth it. "It really isn't at all like I imagined. But I don't think I could describe it, either. Did you…" Rhysa's head turns, gaze hunting down the rows of couches and cots as she attempts to identify their clutchmates. "I didn't see who else made it. But… Miraneith will clutch soon, won't she? So there will be another chance for everyone who didn't."

"Eh. They're no stinkier and messy than human babies." A ringing endorsement from the still-beaming Nae. "… She's a talkative one. Or, uh… thinkative one? What's the word when it's all mental?" She asks with a little laugh. "… Going to be trouble, I can tell. But she'd have to be, to pick me."

Enka understands, oh, she does, she does. "Tell you the truth, Impressin' Mir wasn't anythin' like I thought was goin' to happen, even though I'm weyrbred," — just like them — "and have seen plenty of Hatchings in my life. But it's so …" words might well fail her at describing the sensation, unique as it is to each and every one. "Amazin'" is probably the best she can do. "At least with babies," she answers Nae, "you can put them in a crib, baby dragons … not so much." There's a nod for Rhysanna as well. "Won't be more than a few days, can't see the sands stayin' very empty for long. Mir's so fat she can hardly waddle. So there will be other chances for those that didn't Impress with you today."

"They eat meat," points out Rhysanna, wrinkling her nose, though she's clearly in too good a mood to actually let that bother her right now… even if she is surreptitiously attempting to wipe her hands on the fabric of her robe (without success). "I can't wait to 'meet' her," she adds to Nae, smiling again. "It's… yes, it was amazing. It still is. I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight, let alone…" She breaks off, smiling ruefully, and concludes, instead, "I'm glad. That they'll get that chance. Even if it means waiting."

Nae is silent for a moment, thinking as she strokes her lifemate, sinking back to her side. "… I hope that means Therynn gets another chance. I… I didn't see her." Her smile wavers briefly, but she can't suppress it for long. "… The dragons don't always make sense to me, but… I'm just so grateful she chose me."

"Yes," Enka agrees. "They do eat meat, which is not somethin' that any newborn human babies do." At least not right away, thank goodness because oh my god, can anyone even fathom the carnage if newborn human babies had teeth and ate meat. No nursing mother would ever be safe. "And they'll eat a lot of it, and wake up wantin' more and more and at all sorts of times during the day or night. It gets better though," the weyrwoman gives a rueful smile. "But they'll keep you hoppin' for a while before they're really able to go and feed for themselves." Enka gives the younger gold-not-quite-rider-yet a long look, and a soft smile. "You'll sleep, trust me. After a while it'll catch up to you. And you'll want it too, because they'll grow, and they'll put you to the test for sleepin'. Or the lack thereof." Nae gets a smile as well. "And I'm glad they made good choices in the both of you."

The look Rhysanna gives her dragon, this time, as she smooths her hand over those smokey-gold headknobs, is both beatific and wary, if that's even possible (it must be; she manages it). "So am I," she says, echoing Nae's words, though there's another pink flush to her cheeks when she turns her gaze back up and towards Enka. "Everyone did say we'd be short on sleep; I remember that. I just…" She bites at her lip, apparently unable to actually express whatever it is that's on her mind; she nods, just once, instead. "I'm sure we'll do our best. Thank you, Weyrwoman."

"We'll find a way to make it work." Naeda says, full of perky optimism. Whatever melancholy was plaguing her in the days leading up to the hatching seems to have washed away completely in the aftermath. "We won't be alone, after all. We'll have our lifemates. And we'll have each other." She shoots Rhysanna a grin. "When you have friends, who needs sleep?"

Enka can only incline her head, a gracious nod towards the two newest of her Weyr's riders. What more can be said, really? That they've been weighed, measured and not found wanting, that the next generation marches onwards and the Weyr will carry on? No, there's only pride and satisfaction in the goldrider's expression as she comments then. "You are welcome," those words meant for Rhysanna in particular, "You'll do the best you can, and it will be enough. If you have any questions of me…"she leans forward, spreading her hands wide. "You have only but to ask." Nae's words earn a chuckle from her. "Yes," she agrees, "when one has friends, who needs sleep indeed."

"We'll never be alone again," murmurs Rhysanna, marvelling at the very idea of it - the novelty. For Nae, her smile is brilliant and utterly sure: "Always," she agrees. "We'll always have each other." That grin doesn't disappear as she turns her gaze back towards Enka, though there's a certain solemnity around her eyes, a mismatch in expression. "Thank you," she says, still quiet. "I'm sure we'll keep that in mind. I'm sure… there will be more to think about once we've, uh, gotten over these first few days."

Nae turns her beaming grin on the Weyrwoman when she voices her agreement with her sentiment. "Thank you, Weyrwoman. Western has been my home ever since I was born… I'll work hard to make it proud. And I know she will too." She returns Rhysanna's brilliant smile, giving her a decisive nod of agreement.

"Well, splendid!" Enka's voice, cheerful enough, is certainly hushed to a level where slumbering dragonets would be startled so easily into wakefulness. "Take the time to settle in over the next few days, and get plenty of rest when you can grab it. It's going to be a lot of work for the next few turns, but as long as all of you are together, and get along swimmingly as best you can," — because not everyone is going to be best friends forever after all — "you'll do well. And Rhysanna," Enka starts to stand, flapping her hand at both the girls in case they got it into their heads to bob to their feet as well, "we'll be seeing plenty of each other in the future. I must say, I am very glad that Shadhavarth's daughter chose someone sensible, and that we won't have another … incident on our hands." In other words, another Liora. And the pressure builds, expectations already, ph noes. "I'd better go and make sure Mir isn't tryin' to sneak onto the sands without tellin' me, she can do that sometimes. But my warmest congratulations to you both."

Rhysanna's blush returns, and with it, a distinctly uncertain expression. Her hands tighten in her lap, squeezing themselves flat and flatter upon her thighs; it's a quiet tension, but present. "I— uh, hope I can live up to that," she says, gaze lowered towards her feet. "I'll try. Thank you, Weyrwoman. Best of luck with the clutching, whenever it happens." It's only once Enka has taken her leave that she'll glance back at Naeda, mouth twisted uncomfortably.

"Yes, thank you again." Nae says with a smile to the departing Weyrwoman. "Please pass our best wishes along to your lifemate." She lifts a hand to offer a little parting salute before she notices that uncomfortable look from Rhysanna. A little worry enters her expression.

Enka nods slightly again. "I shall." And there's really nothing more than can be said. Because off she goes, departing the barracks as quietly as she came in.

Rhysanna exhales, lengthily, and then abruptly straightens, drawing herself back to a standing position. "Pressure," she says. "Just what I need." The words are perhaps over-light, given what her expression was like a few moments ago; she's aiming for levity, whether or not she feels it. "Do you suppose we have time to go and feed ourselves, before they wake up again?"

"You don't need to be worrying about that right now." Nae assures with a quick smile. "That'll come later. The responsibility and all that. Now's really not the time to dwell on it." The question is pondered. "Probably. It's probably a good idea… I haven't eaten much today. Too much going on. Maybe if we're lucky, there'll be time for a scrub, too?" She's at least cognizant of her disheveled state.

"This is why I wanted a green," moans Rhysanna, but still, she's smiling rather than crying, despite her hormonal state. Which is something. "I don't know that I've eaten anything of substance at all. And a bath would be amazing, right about now. I feel disgusting, and I know I'll probably be disgusting again in five seconds flat, but…" Her sleeping dragon is given another glance, and then she turns away, as if forcing herself, bodily, to do so. "Can you… warn me if you see my mother coming? Tall, blonde woman?"

"At least we'll only have the blood to contend with in the future, rather than the blood /and/ egg goo." Nae seems to feel this makes a difference somehow. She's likewise reluctant to leave her lifemate, seemingly requiring willpower just to stop touching her for a moment. "… But yeah. A bath might be good. Do they have anything nearby, so we don't have to go all the way to the springs?" Given how Nae loves the springs, the request shows just how reluctant she is to put any distance between herself and Kaiath. The request earns a smile. "Of course. I'll find a way to distract her and give you a heads up." She grins impishly. "… Not as /fun/ a distraction as I might've a few months ago, but such is life." There's the Nae we all know and love. Or at least tolerate.

Love. Let's go with love. "Thank you. I look forward to the day when… it's going to be forever before that kind of distraction, isn't it? But it'll be worth it. Seriously: thank you. I don't know if I can deal with her, yet, and I have a feeling she's probably lurking around, waiting for me." Of baths, Rhysanna shrugs her shoulders, gesturing towards the door. "I've honestly no idea. I've never really been down this part of the bowl before, you know? I've never needed to. Let's go find out."

"At least a turn." Naeda sounds remarkably chipper about that. She's clearly still in a haze. "A turn and a couple months is typical, I think. I'll probably be nineteen by then." Remarkably, that just has the tone of a simple observation rather than anything else. "Yes. Let's go. Washtubs and food time."

"I'll be nineteen next seven," recalls Rhysanna, as though she's managed to forget all about that amidst the emotion of the day. "So I'll be… over twenty. Shells." But that's a thought to worry about another time: for now, there's a bath and some food with her name on it, hopefully all completed before Tavehtiath wakes up and needs feeding again. Eventually there will be sleep. But then… sleep is overrated, right?


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