Friends

Western Weyr - Freshwater Pool's Edge
A freshwater pool wells up from underground springs and provides the Weyr with its water supply. A low stone wall rings the water's edge and an odd looking device sits off to one side, a safe distance from the water, with pipes running over into the water and other pipes vanishing into the cliff walls. The solar powered device pumps water to various part of the Weyr.


Despite being visible from the bowl, the freshwater pool is - apparently - a pretty good place to go when one wants to be alone; or perhaps it's just that the low gurgle of water, and the quiet noise of the pump is soothing, in a way. Rhysanna's perched up on the low stone wall around the pool, her feet propped up carefully in front of her in a way that allows her to wrap her arms around her knees. She's staring off into space, at the moment, obvious - it seems - to everyone, even the perfectness of this lovely, sunny afternoon.

Zi'on is passing through the bowl on the way back to his office. Which means walking past the freshwater pool. Which means walking past a lone figure sitting on the pool's edge, one that he recognizes, but isn't expecting to see there. He moves over toward Rhysanna, offering her a wave, though she's not likely to see it. "Rhysa?" He asks, once he's close. "What are you doing out here?" Also where was her gold? Zi'on looks around to see if he can spot the gold hiding someplace. Or getting a drink around the pool.

"Z'ion!" Rhysa's surprised out of her reverie by the bronzerider's words, her head lifting abruptly as her gaze seeks him out. There's nothing in her expression to suggest that her presence out here is due to any particular moodiness, and what was thoughtful is now, abruptly, verging on cheerful. There's no sign of Tavehtiath, and the weyrling, correctly identifying the purpose of his glance, explains: "She's napping. Indoors, out of the sun. And I'm… thinking. Why is it that the barracks, with only nine times two, seem so much more… full, I guess, somehow, than the dorms ever were?"

Zi'on blinks and then smiles as Rhysa's cheerful greeting. "Hello." He moves to take a seat next to her. Close, but not too close. There's a nod about her lifemate. "Too much sun for her, hm? How's she doing? No cracks in the hide, or upset tummy or anything?" To say that Zi'on is interested in the little gold's progress is an understatement. Besides the fact that she's lifemated to his main squeeze, and a gold dragon, she's also Western's first gold since Liora impressed. And her dragon has always been a little… off. So to see a healthy, normal gold pop loose and impress to a decent weyrbred gal is a relief. "Seems crowded?" He chuckles. "Probably because you're so much more tired than you were as a candidate. But don't worry, it'll get easier as Taveh gets older. By the end of it all, you'll feel strange when you get your weyr. It will feel empty."

That Rhysa is pleased by Zi'on's decision to join her is obvious, her smile broadening as she adjusts her position so as better to be able to look at him. "She's doing well," she confirms. "No cracks, no issues, and growing, growing, growing. We're doing our best with each other." A slower nod confirms the rest of his words, issued as she stretches, rolling her shoulders back. "Probably. I know people said we'd be tired, but… I'm not sure it was possible to understand exactly how tired, in advance. I've never had a room of my own, or anything, so that'll be… I mean, I suppose it still won't be mine alone. But she's…" Failing to come up with an appropriate word, Rhysa shakes her head, changing the subject: "How are you, anyway?"

Zi'on spares Rhysa an adoring look as she turns toward him. It sinks back into his usual grin though. "That's good. She'll grow and grow and grow." He chuckles. "Lots of meat cutting for you, I suppose. Maybe she'll learn to hunt early?" He stretches his own legs out in front of him as he watches her stretch out. "Heh. It's hard to describe anything that you go through in your first few weeks of candidacy. They seem to have flown by afterward, though I imagine your days feel fairly long." He nods to her. "I hadn't either. You'll have one of the ground weyrs." He grins to her. "Near mine. So it will look similar. But no one will judge if you sleep in her couch instead of the bed the first few nights." Wink wink. "Ah… I'm hanging in there. Still waiting on the next set of eggs to drop."

That look encourages a faint pinkness in Rhysa's cheeks, though far from the kind that suggests embarrassment: no, she's just pleased, even if 'pleased' turns to a wrinkled nose soon after. "As long as I don't have to watch that. At least the meat is… pre-killed. Mm. I can't tell whether time is going horrifically fast, or just… dragging on. Both, but at different times, I guess." She presses her lips together, tightly, for some seconds before she releases them to laugh. "Taveh might judge. Would judge. Will judge? I don't know. Miraneith's taking her time, I suppose. I don't know that I'd be that eager, either, unless it's frightfully uncomfortable being that egg heavy?" She frowns, considering it.

Zi'on blinks, then laughs. "The hunting? I dunno. Suldith likes me to be there while he eats. I have to plan it into my weekly schedule. Though they normally don't hunt every day." Mm, the sound of bones cracking and flesh tearing! Yum! He chuckles and nods. "It's going slow by my estimation. But I'm stuck on the outside looking in. Waiting like it's some book or something about to come out." He blinks and laughs. "She would? Why is that? Aren't you sleeping with her, now?" Zi'on shrugs. "I dunno. She seems pretty uncomfortable. Of course I might be projecting a human at the end of pregnancy on her. I know for women it's pretty uncomfortable at the end. And there's not much you can do for them." And he always feels badly for them, judging by the look on his face.

"Ew," is Rhysa's answer to that, though she's nodding, too. "I hope she's not like that. She… she thinks it's undignified for me to curl up with her. I'd swear she's embarrassed by it, if I believed she had it in her to be embarrassed about something. Half the time she's a closed book, even to me. And then she's suddenly dropping all dignity to play with Kaiath." If her gaze drops towards her feet as she says that, and if it seems to make her uncomfortable, it does, at least, only last a few seconds. Then she's glancing up again, and saying, "Poor Miraneith. It's not even as though she only has one or two in there, like in a human pregnancy. It all sounds unpleasant, really."

Zi'on laughs a bit. "What? We've all got to eat." Zi'on seems confused by the notion of a dragon not wanting its rider to curl up with them. He scratches his head. "Well… all dragons have their quirks? Golds more than normal dragons, I suppose. They're pretty independent thinkers. She seems to be pretty attached to Kaiath though, which is interesting, but not terribly unexpected. Miraneith gathers greens around her when she's proddy. So it runs in the family, I guess. Mir isn't without her quirks either. She's more or less nocturnal. If you see her awake in the daytime and she's not tending clutch, she's about to be." Hopefully something in there will make Rhysa feel a bit better. He chuckles. "Mm. At least her babies are encased in eggs? Still though. Yeah."

Rhysanna sucks in a breath in a way that suggests she's not altogether delighted to have a 'strange' dragon: isn't enough that she has to have a gold one? But she exhales, and seems somehow relieved by what Zi'on has to say about Miraneith. "She and Kaiath are so different, but… I don't know what is. More than any of the others, Kaiath's the one she likes best. I suppose… they're all unique, right? They just are who they are. And we just have to…" She hesitates over finishing that sentence for several seconds, thinking. "Accept it. And them. She's just not really what I expected. I can admit that, while she's sleeping. Which doesn't mean I don't love her, of course."

Someone had to have the gold one! Why not Rhysa? Zi'on smiles to her. "Ah, they all are different. I wouldn't worry too much. I mean, look at Suldith. He's just silly sometimes." He shrugs. "It might be rider influence. Who knows. Or it might just be instinct. Who can tell? Kaiath is pretty cute. It's hard to -not- like her." Zi'on grins. "Don't worry, Rhysa. I grew up with Dhonzayth as what I thought a bronze dragon should be. Big, strong. You know, very masculine. So… Suldith wasn't what I expected, either. Sure he's got some protective tendencies, but he's not like my father's bronze in the slightest. It may seem strange now, but in a turn or so you won't be able to imagine life without her. Or with some other dragon." That would be weird. If Zi'on had ended up a greenrider or something.

"I can't imagine life with any other dragon, now," allows Rhysa, abruptly smiling. Her shoulders have dropped just fractionally, suggesting that she is, quietly, comforted by what Zi'on has to say. "I'm just still getting my head around what that means, and how she and I are going to… fit, I guess? I guess that's half of what weyrlinghood is all about. Anyway. Kaiath is adorable, and Nae's so obviously besotted with her; she seems so much happier." She squeezes her knees, gaze sliding towards her hands, and then back up towards the bronzerider. "It's nice to get to talk to you, properly. I miss that. Even if I can't seem to talk about anything but Taveh and weyrlinghood, at the moment. How's the…" she hesitates, awkwardly. "drinking going?"

Zi'on grins to Rhysa and chuckles a bit. "I bet you can't. Anyways, the weyrlingmasters here know what they're doing. So just… take things one day at a time. Enjoy getting to know each other. Take in new experiences, find out what she likes. Golds are more complex than other dragons, so I'm not sure I can give you more advice than that. Enka can though, probably. Greens are… simpler, I guess. I'll have Enka swing by so you two can chat. You'll need to get to know each other eventually anyway." What a strange date to set up. Zi'on chuckles. "I miss it, too. You don't have to be a stranger, you know. I like talking about the new dragons. Suldith is interested. Especially in Taveh, for obvious reasons that go beyond you and I." Zi'on rubs the back of his neck. "Ah.. I cheated and had a glass of wine the other night. I forgot, actually. But other than that… pretty well. I've been happy, so it's been easy."

Rhysanna's nod comes accompanied by a laughing breath, though inclined more towards ruefulness than genuine humor. "I'll do my best," she says. "I've only really met Enka once, properly, and that was just after the hatching so I'm not sure it really counts on my part… I don't know. I feel a little intimidated, even though… I mean, she doesn't seem naturally intimidating? But." The corners of her mouth draw into a smile, as she tightens the way her arms hug at her knees. "I don't intend to be a stranger. I don't want to be. It's always just a matter of time, and space." There's pink in her cheeks, arriving in response to that mention of Suldith, and his interest, though it's the last comment she answers, instead. "Good. I don't think one glass of wine will hurt anything. I'm not… asking to nag, or anything. I'm glad, though."

Zi'on grins. "Ah, Enka isn't scary. She's still a weyrbrat, just like me. She'd like having a casual chat with you I think. It'd be good for you guys to be friends." If a little awkward, given Zi'on and Enka's past relationship and Rhysa and Zi'on's current relationship." He smiles to her, trying to be comforting. "I know. You do what you're comfortable with. But if you need someone to talk to, I'm here. Someone that's been through it before. That's not one of the weyrlingmasters." He chuckles a bit at the pink in her cheeks. "I hope not. I got rid of all the other bottles of things I had laying around. Hopefully my mother hasn't turned into a heavy drinker in the turns I've been away from home, because that's where I sent everything." He laughs. It was hard to imagine Sris as a heavy drinker though. "I know. I'm glad you're keeping tabs on me. It's good for me."

"Logically, I know that, but in my head… she's the Weyrwoman, and that's terrifying. Though," Rhysa pauses, and then abruptly grins, "you're the Weyrleader, and I guess I got over that. I'm sure we just need to get to know each other." She sucks in a breath, and then exhales, giving Zi'on a genuinely warm smile. "I will. Even just talking now… it's helped. Helping. I guess it's good that we can both help each other, even now when… things are as they are." Her nod is approving. "I hope your mother can find some way to use it all. Better than throwing it away, though. Good."

Zi'on chuckles. "Try to just think of her as another rider. -You- could be the weyrwoman someday. Then you can boss us all around." He winks at her. He's half-kidding about her being the weyrwoman, but it could happen! He laughs. "I am the weyrleader. And I'm not that scary. I can be scary, if you want me to. We can practice. I can pretend to be Enka." He does his best Enka-voice. Which is, of course, terrible. "Oh hello there, Rhysanna. How is your weyrling training going? My dragon is about to drop her eggs on the sands…" He laughs a bit at himself then. He nods to Rhysa. "Mm. That we can. It'll be good. We can get to know each other without anything else getting in the way." He laughs. "I'll get it back from her a little bit at a time."

Rhysanna bites her lip, but whatever consternation she's feeling is abruptly lost to the utter hilarity that is Zi'on-as-Enka: she covers her face with her hands, rocking with unrestrained laughter. "Now," she says, once she's got the breath to do it, "I'm just going to think of that when I talk to her, and I'll probably disgrace myself laughing." Her hands, slowly, return towards her legs, arms crossed so that each hand rests upon the opposite knee. "Are you saying that because you want to try and frame this in a positive way, or because you genuinely think it's a good thing?" she wonders.

At least Zi'on is good for a laugh, right? He's looking to lighten the mood anyways, it seems like it may have been a while since Rhysa had a good laugh. He grins. "Nah. You can just blame me. Trust me, Enka will understand." Very little tact, Zi'on has. He ponders her question. "Um… a little bit of both? I mean, getting to know you better is always a good thing. And we could do that in the context of other stuff. Or we can do it this way. Either way, I like to start as friends. So this is sort of like that. With the awkward part of getting together already taken care of." He grins. "So.. it's nice and stress-free. And… yeah. I dunno. Did any of that make any sense?"

Rhysanna certainly seems more relaxed, now, as though that laugh has done her some undefined (and undefinable) good. "You're right, I suppose she will. If she's not used to you by now…" The answer to her question seems to satisfy the weyrling; she considers it for several moments, and then gives a firm nod. "All of it, I think. Yes. All right: we'll use this time to get to know each other. Properly. I promise I won't only angst. I am… happy, really. Even if I seem worried about everything. And talking to you really has helped." There's a pause, the kind that suggests she wants to say something, but is holding back.

Zi'on grins. "Trust me, she's used to me. And all my antics." The bronzer leans back a bit to stretch. He nods back to her, glad that she is satisfied by his answer. "Mm. I think it's a good idea. I've enjoyed our talk today." He smiles to her. "Don't worry. I'm here for you to vent to, or to be a shoulder for you to cry on. That's part of my job. So don't sweat it. There's a lot of pressure on you that your weyrlings won't understand. Some of which I won't even understand." He tilts his head at the pause. "Hm?"

"It sometimes seems like I can't go a whole conversation with anyone without it coming up again. I get it: she's gold, I'm going to have responsibilities, people are going to notice me, all of it. I can't even introduce myself without being… different." Rhysa's quiet again as she says that, but though she makes a face, it doesn't linger. Instead, she's blushing. "I need to get back to Taveh, soon. But… before I go…? Could I… have a hug? Just," she's quick to add, "a friendly one. Platonic."

Zi'on frowns and nods. "It will be that way. You will get used to it though. You'll figure out the best way for you to handle it. Don't worry about the extra responsibilities now. Those are far off in the future. We'll train you. You won't be alone to flap in the wind. Just focus on Taveh growing up strong and healthy for now. And taking care of yourself. Getting sleep when you can find it. Eating… all those things." Zi'on grins as she admits to wanting a hug. He looks maybe a little too excited, even for a Platonic hug. He gets to his feet though and opens his arms out to her. "I think we can manage this."

Rhysanna's nod is a quick one. "I know. I… really, that's all I want to do: focus on her. That's what's important right now. But…" Easier said than done, especially given the input of others. She exhales, seemingly relieved, at his grin; her own smile is smaller, but still genuine. "Oh good," she says, as she drops her hands, swivelling so that she can put both feet back upon the ground, and then step her way into Zi'on's embrace, arms wrapping around him. "Because I miss that, too," is muffled, probably, but quietly genuine.

Zi'on nods. "If there's ever anything I can do to help… just come find me. Or send a note. Or when Taveh is better at bespeaking only those she wants to, have her talk to Suldith. It won't be long, I'm sure. Golds are much better at things of that nature." Zi'on pulls Rhysa in for the hug. It's not romantic really, though it does linger on for some time. At least the bronzer seems reluctant to let it end. He kisses the top of her hair. "Me too." He says quietly. Then he lets go. Before all the feels are felt. Already some of the feels are felt.

A nod answers all those words, in lieu of a verbal answer. During the hug, she buries her face in the bronzerider, quite possibly breathing in the smell of him, though mostly it seems to just be what she says: a friendly hug, nothing more. As he lets go, she steps back, taking a long, deep breath. That breath gets held for a few seconds, and then released with a 'whoosh'. Too many feels. "Thank you," she murmurs. "I needed that. I should…" Go.

The smell of her hair. The feel of her pressed against him. Yes, the feels come flooding in for the bronzer. But it's too important for them to keep their relationship to the friendship level for now. But that hug has Zi'on smiling softly at Rhysa, and will keep the bronzer elated for weeks, even if it doesn't get repeated. "Thank -you-, Rhysa." He nods to her, still smiling. "I have a date with a hungry bronze, anyway. Let Taveh know we said hello." The bronzer heads off, turning back after a bit to give her a wave.

"I will," promises Rhysa, before she turns to head off in the other direction. There's very nearly a skip to her step. No doubt Tavehtiath will be horrified, if it's still there by the time she wakes.


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