Dinner and Dancing

Western Weyr - Tiki Lounge
The room seems far bigger inside than outside, even when full of relaxing weyrfolk and travelers. Towards the front, in the western corner, is a small stage, providing the intoxicated or just plain brave a chance to display their talents. Several tables with chairs decorate the floor and a small area is open for dancing. The bar is rather long and well stocked, glasses of different shapes and sizes hanging suspended from a rack above the bar. Behind the bar is another open window that gives one a view of the forest behind the tavern. Turning around, one is greeted by a lovely view of the lagoon. A decent breeze helps to cool the room. Up above, rafters provide a perch for fire lizards and local avians. The thatch roof, made of straw, rarely lets in any rain.

It's a beautiful night out at Western. Clear skies, lots of stars. And it's not too hot, it's actually about comfortable. The Tiki Lounge is a-buzz with activity, the harpers are going full swing and the dance floor is bustling. Zi'on has dropped Rhysa a note, asking her to meet him here once her lifemate has been tucked in. For dinner, and dancing! But no drinking. The bronzer has claimed them a cozy booth and waits patiently, sipping on a fruity drink that's missing the usual alcoholic content. He's in a short-sleeved button up tunic tonight and good pants. Not too dressy, but not quite casual either.

Tavehtiath is usually one of those 'good' (not quite so) little dragons who falls asleep easily; not so, tonight, which may well have something to do with Rhysa's quiet-but-still-obvious anticipation. Finally, however, the young queen is asleep, and Rhysa is free to change into one of her light summer dresses, and escape to the tiki bar. As she arrives, she hovers in the entrance for a moment, looking impatient and also anticipatory; her dark eyes sweep the room in search of the bronzerider, and as they finally find him, she hurries on, sliding into the booth opposite him. "She refused to sleep," she says, apologetically. "For a while. Hello." At least she's smiling.

Zi'on is not so vain that he thinks he comes before Rhysa's dragon. But he is vain enough to know that Rhysa will come when he calls. Or sets something up, as the case may be. He figures the goldrider could use a break from the monotony of weyrlinghood. At least for a night, to get a dinner that is delicious but also probably unhealthy and to relax and have some fun. He chuckles when Rhysanna sits down, smiling at her. "Hello. It's alright, I don't mind waiting. I figured we'd get something to eat first. I'm assuming you haven't yet? And then I think I owe you a dance or three." Zi'on waves over a waitress. "So how's things going?"

And, clearly, his vanity is not in… vain. Rhysa exhales, not quite relieved that she's not been keeping Zi'on waiting too much, though perhaps relieved that she's here - escaping from weyrlinghood - nonetheless. "I haven't," she confirmed. "And that sounds good. Things are…" She puts both hands down upon the top of the table, shrugging as she does so. "They're good. I'm good. I never know what to say to that, these days. Like… there's a new kind of normal, on a regular basis. Always changing."

Zi'on expected to wait. That doesn't mean he hasn't been kept wanting. On the contrary. He wants. He wants muchly. But he cannot has. So he has to make do with the little dates he -can- plan for them. When the waitress comes over, Zi'on orders a refill and a drink for Rhysa. Then he orders a Torpedo burger and lets Rhysa order whatever it is she wants. He chuckles. "Well, maybe I can ask an easier question. Unmanned flight will start soon. Are you all ready for it?" He grins. "I bet you're ready for her to be hunting, no? Be all done cutting meat once she can get into the air. She'll be happier, too."

There is… a lot of wanting at this table. Some of it, at least, can be assuaged by the ordering of food - for Rhysa, this also involves a burger, with emphasis on fries - but the rest… Well. "Yes," she says, with almost desperate eagerness. "I think we'll both be a hundred times happier. She's far too big to be easily fed like this, and she might not be eager to be in the air in the same way as some of the others, but… I think it'll help, even so. Besides, it feels like concrete progress, somehow. I'm not sure why it's more so than everything else, thus far."

A little bit of satisfaction at a time! Food first. Other stuff… later on. In eight months or so. Still too far away to think about, really. Zi'on laughs and nods. "Suldith is a small bronze, but I remember just being so tired of cutting meat. I couldn't understand why we just didn't give them the whole beast and let them go to town. At least she doesn't need it in little chunks anymore, right? Well, dragons are supposed to fly. I guess it's one of the big milestones. Hatching, flight, betweening, first flight, and for you, first clutch. I mean, everything else has just been baby steps up to getting her in the air." Drinks are brought over, first.

"Yes, exactly," agrees Rhysa, with a smile, as she reaches to claim her drink - though she plays with the straw rather than actually drinking as yet. "She's bigger than a full grown green; surely she could manage that much. But…" She chews at her lip, considering. "I suppose you're right. Milestones and all, I mean. It's a good reminder that we won't be on the ground, forever. That… all of this is just a stage. I suppose it'll be better still once we're up there with them. Eventually." For that, her tone is wistful. "Everything takes so long. Though, of course… it's been months, now, and it both feels like it, and doesn't."

Zi'on chuckles. "Still got to de-bone it, I guess. Though the bigger dragons just normally crunch through most of that, too. It's easier for the weyrlingmasters I suppose. If you're all on the same schedule. Plus it makes for camaraderie amongst the weyrlings." Which probably was more important back in the day than it was right now. The bronzer watches Rhysa play with her straw. "Nope, she won't. And you won't be, either. Though she'll still be spending a good portion of her time on the ground." Zi'on chuckles. "It's somewhere between eternity and half a second, I know." Though there's a sigh from the bronzer as well. He knew what it felt like to him. Burgers are brought over, and Zi'on is quick to dig in.

Rhysanna makes a face and admits, "I'd probably hate it if we were off doing things ahead of some of the others. We stand out more than enough already, in some people's minds." Zi'on's sigh makes her smile, at least, as she adds, shifting her drink to one side to make room for her food, "At least all of you fully qualified riders are a reminder that it ends, eventually." She, too, is quick to eat; weyrlinghood is hungry word. Around it, she says, "Anyway, what's going on in your life?"

Zi'on nods to Rhysa. "I don't think anyone would much like to be on their own. Even if it happens sometimes." Sometimes weyrlings fell behind. Other times they needed special attention from the dragonhealers or the like. It happened. He smiles at Rhysa. "I know you stick out in my mind. Probably not for the same reasons though." He chuckles and nods around his own food. "Ah… Not too much really, since our unfortunate rendezvous in the baths. Still haven't caught the little 'brats. The clutch makes things more hectic for me, of course. Since Suldith is an attentive sire. Heh… I'm boring. Maybe I should get out more."

Rhysanna's blush, following Zi'on's comment on her standing out, is probably predictable, but it's a pleased kind of blush; not the embarrassed kind. "Well, I rather hope it's not for the same reasons," she says, smiling brightly. Her burger gets set down so that she can eat a handful of fries, and take a sip from her drink. "It was pretty cheeky of them, wasn't it?" And yet, she's still definitely amused by the memory. "Mm. I suppose that takes up most of his attention. I take it not all bronzes are that attentive. It must be nice for Miraneith, to have the company."

Zi'on hasn't much been able to make Rhysa blush lately, so he seems pretty pleased with himself. The bronzer has a focus on his burger. And he doesn't set it down at all. Instead he finishes it off. The tuber fries are mostly ignored, though he'll probably pick at them as they talk. Zi'on doesn't look quite so amused by it. "Cheeky. That's one way to describe it. Still, punishment must be dolled out. Otherwise I'll be labeled as 'prankable'. And I don't really care for that." There's a nod about Suldith. "Not all are. But Suldith is. Him and Miraneith have been close since, well… always. Heh… It's a little awkward to think about, really. Dragon relationships."

"Because you delivered so many pranks in your youth, you don't want anyone doing the same to you?" Rhysa's smiling, teasing, as she says that, though she follows it up with, "It only makes sense, though. To punish them, I mean. So I wish you luck with that." She tilts her head to the side, considering Zi'on for a long moment, straw still close to her mouth. "Is it? The fact that they're mother and son, you mean?"

Zi'on pouts at Rhysa. "Exactly. I'll lose my reputation if I become the prank-ee instead of the prank-er. Now I feel like I need to prank someone. Just to keep things going." Or it just sounds like Zi'on is whining about his luck. Thought he did fall asleep in the baths, so he was inviting trouble. "I have to track them down, first." Zi'on wipes his mouth and any sauce still clinging to his re-growing beard. "Well, yes. Isn't it?" He laughs. "Imagine if people behaved like that." He shudders. Then he relaxes back against the booth. "So what's the first thing you're going to do once you're done with weyrlinghood?" Sort of a loaded question, but there is it!

The pout just makes Rhysa's lips twitch with barely-suppressed amusement. "Poor Zi'on," she teases. "You'll just have to stop falling asleep in public places." Her own nose wrinkles for the idea of human relationships being like dragon ones, though she abandons answering that in order to grin at the bronzerider. She hasn't finished her burger, though she seems to be finished with it; still, she eats another few fries before answering. "Oh, I can think of one or two things," she says, airily, amusement glinting in her gaze. "Cocktails would be a good start."

Zi'on chuckles a bit. "I suppose so. I'll have to do my napping in my own bath. Or better yet, in bed." The topic of dragon relationships is quickly dropped. The bronzer has finished with his own plate, it would seem. Zi'on grins to her. "Cocktails, eh?" There's a bit of an emphasis on the first bit of that. "I think that can be handled. And what would be a good finish?" He grins at her, a bit mischievously. "We can go up dancing whenever you're ready, Rhysa. No rush though, if you want to take some time to digest."

"Much safer," Rhysa agrees, firmly. The emphasis he puts on her suggestion has the corners of her mouth twitching, though she manages not to blush - this time. "Well," she says, "I suppose there will have to be dancing then, too. Of some variety or another, anyway." Her expression aims for innocent, though even now she can't help that smile from becoming increasingly visible. "One has to celebrate these things one way or another, right? I suppose I may even need to let someone take me home, at the end of it all." She wipes her hands on a napkin, then gestures towards the floor: "Let's dance."

Zi'on chuckles. At least Rhysa was getting used to his antics. Juvenile as they are. "True. There usually is a party at graduation. I hope someone lets me take them home. At the end of it all." Otherwise Zi'on is going to be a very sad panda indeed. "Need to find a way to celebrate correctly, after all." When Rhysa indicates she's ready for dancing, Zi'on gets up and offers Rhysa a hand up. Then he leads her out to the floor. There's a lively song playing. "Well, let's see how light on your feet you are." The bronzer doesn't waste any time, either. He just pulls Rhysa right out into the bustling crowd. There's a lot of movement in this jig-type dance. And twirling and the like.

Suppressing a laugh, Rhysa says, "In that case, I wish both of us the very best of luck. In… you know, however many months it is, now." Sigh. She accepts that hand graciously, and from there is easily drawn in to the crowd, and in to the dance itself. "Practice, right?" she says, as she lets her feet take over, twirling with abandon. There's not been much dancing in her life these most recent months, but her feet are fleet enough - and from her grin, she's been missing it.

Zi'on laughs along with Rhysa. "Here here." He says in agreement. Of course there was the other little detail that they would have to make it to graduation. Together, of course. That would be the assumption. "Practice. Since you're riding gold, you'll need to be a good dancer. Lots of gathers than have to be attended. You'll have to dance." Zi'on learned to dance at a young age, and feel comfortable out on the floor. But he normally has trouble finding a partner. So Rhysa's enthusiasm and skill is most appreciated by the bronzer. They fall into step with the rest of the crowd easily. Step step step twirl, step step step and he holds Rhysa's hips to lift her. Then they step to the side and start again, Zi'on looking pleased and his his element.

One does have to hope that things don't entirely explode right before graduation, yes. Which would be… Well. Gloriously tragic. Clearly, however, Rhysa is not presently concerning herself with //that/ possibility. Instead: dancing. "That's probably the first thing about all of this I've felt perfectly comfortable with," she answers, clearly pleased not only by the opportunity to dance, but by the skill of her partner. "It was one of the things mother insisted I learn, and luckily, something I actually love." Her hair, worn loose, whirls about her shoulders. "You're good."

Gloriously tragic was a good way to put it. All that time waiting… Zi'on will be worshiping the ground Rhysa walks on by the time graduation rolled around. Or at least mating flights. Just to make sure they didn't get into a fight and break up after all of this. He smiles to her. "I can see why. Are you sure you're not a harper in disguise?" He says about her level of comfort with the dancing. "My parents, as well. I was dragged to a lot of gathers as a kid, when my father was weyrsecond. Ma insisted I learn, so I would have fun and not complain." He smiles at her when she says he's good. The exuberant song ends, moving into an easier mid-tempo waltz. "How is your mother? I'm sure she was gloating after the hatching."

Hopefully the anticipation won't kill them, either. Also tragic. "This is about as musical as I get, alas," answers Rhysa. "Don't ask why I can keep time with my feet, but nothing else. Did you mind the lessons, early on?" The waltz has her slowing her feet, adjusting without faltering. The question about her mother makes her roll her eyes, groaning good naturedly. "I'm surprised no one has murdered her, yet. I'm surprised I haven't, come to think of it. She has… big plans. Still."

They've lasted this long. And besides, Zi'on was growing used to his current position in life. The added stress of a physical relationship might actually make him a little nervous. A little. Very little, compared to the benefits. He chuckles to her. "Mm. I can sing a little. But I don't play any instruments. Early on… I'm sure I hated them. I was only maybe six or so when I started. And there are plenty of other things a six turn old boy would rather be doing. I am grateful now though, obviously." The bronzer smiles to her as they whisk across the floor. "Bigger than a gold dragon?" He asks, laughing a bit. "I hope she doesn't plan to murder Enka. That would be awkward."

There is certainly something 'safe' about the present situation. And yet… Rhysa laughs. "I can't imagine many six turn old boys being interested in dance lessons," she agrees. "But definitely worth it in retrospect." Her nose wrinkles again as she adds, "No murder plans, I hope. I think she's just preparing for the eventuality. Because of course I will end up leading this Weyr, and she will be— I'm not sure if it's power behind the throne, or just my right-hand woman. Either way." The fervent shake of her head is enough to illustrate just what she thinks about that idea.

One eventually grows tired of 'safe' though. Still, the safety was comforting. And there was light at the end of the tunnel. Everyday it becomes a little brighter. "Mm. I'll be sure to write my mother and thank her." He chuckles a bit. "I hope, as well. We'll be sure to break her, and you, of any notions of anything silly like that, before you take the throne." He winks to her. "I'm the only right-hand around here." Which could so easily be misconstrued. The music picks up again, and suddenly they're being pulled apart into two lines. One for the men, one for the women. The people at the front of the two lines of course have to dance down the middle. The rest of everyone else gets to clap and stomp. Everything seems fine, until Zi'on realizes the lines aren't evenly matched. Pairing him with the plump (and somewhat drunk) old auntie two patrons down from Rhysa.

"Better still: no thrones at all," suggests Rhysa, whose cheeks have flushed ever so slightly. Perhaps she would say more, but then there's that change in music, and she's joining that line, and— oh. Her amusement falters, somewhat, as she works out what Zi'on has; she seeks his gaze from across the way, giving him something of a rueful glance, and a shrug: what can they do?

Zi'on grins to Rhysa, though it's a silly sort of grin to let her know she's being teased. There's not too much that they can do, as the line is moving fast and stepping out of it would be rude at this point. Zi'on and the plump old auntie, who on inspection isn't really -that- old, are first to the front. She's quite a bit shorter than Zi'on, maybe just over five feet, though that doesn't quell her enthusiasm. She grabs hold of the bronzer, who is too shocked to protest, and leads him down the line. Including at one point lifting him up like he was doing to Rhysa earlier. There's chortles of laughter all around, but at the end Zi'on is able to slip out from getting back into the line. He waits for Rhysa to come down, so he can grab her and make a run for it.

The giggles that promptly overtake Rhysa as Zi'on is thus escorted by his new partner make her own trip down the middle - with a partner whose grabby hands she fends off with a scathing glance - rather less graceful than it might otherwise be. That young man takes one look at the awaiting Zi'on and scatters, leaving Rhysa free to be grabbed and run with. "You're sure you don't want to stick it out with your new friend there?" she teases.

Zi'on can at least do his job as scary boyfriend when Rhysa gets to the end of the line with a young man who would rather not let go. Even if he's probably mostly frightened off by the fact that Zi'on is the weyrleader, he's also a big man. "Well that all depends… Are you up for sticking it out with… whoever that was?" He chuckles a bit, heading back to their booth so they can rest a bit and take a sip of drink. "Those sorts of things are more fun when you're with a group." Not when you're on a date. Thankfully the music slows afterwards, and it's more of a couples sort of thing. Once Rhysa is refreshed, Zi'on will lead them back to the dance floor. This time he pulls her in close, both hands at her hips.

"Ew," says Rhysa of her erstwhile partner, grinning. "I'll pass. Mmm. Not my favorite kind of dancing, that's for sure." Though she's clearly glad for an opportunity to have a drink, it doesn't take long before she's ready to be back out there. As Zi'on pulls her in, she reaches up to twine her arms about his neck, head tipped back so that she can try and meet his gaze, smiling. "This," she murmurs, "is distinctly better."

Zi'on laughs a bit. "Not your type? I get the feeling you go more for the tall, dark handsome types." He winks to her. "It's fun, if you're not already attached. Or looking for a switch for a moment." Neither of which Zi'on is looking for currently. As is obvious by the way he's in a hurry to get out there and dance with his proper partner. Once they've settled in, Zi'on looks down and smiles to Rhysa. "I agree." The bronzer is quiet for a while, just enjoying the music and the dancing and the company. "You look beautiful tonight, Rhysa. I'm glad we could spend tonight together."

"I wonder where you get that idea," answers Rhysa, breezily, answering Zi'on's wink with a grin. She, too, is silent as they dance, able - for once - to simply look up at him without the need to turn her attention elsewhere. His eventual words make her smile, though, and return that faint pink blush to her cheeks. "Thank you," she says, obviously pleased. "Me, too. Thank you for inviting me. And… for all of it, really. Everything. For… waiting, too."

The silence is comfortable. It's not that neither of them have anything to say. Zi'on always seems to have plenty to say. But he just doesn't want to say anything. He scores another blush. He'll have to take that, instead of the kiss that he really wants. His smiles softens as she goes on thanking him for… everything. "Please. You're worth all of it, and more. I know this isn't making weyrlinghood any easier on you, either. We're over the hump now though… Just stick it out with me a little longer. Has Taveh suspected anything, yet?"

He'll get another blush, too: a darker one, this time, though no less pleased. "I can do that," Rhysa promises. "It's not so bad. It's giving me more to look forward to, at the end, instead of just be… nervous of." That thought is pushed aside, though, so that she can continue: "She knows I care about you. She doesn't like it much… the fact that I think about you at all, I think, though it's not so much you as anyone, if that makes sense. At least she doesn't know about anything…" Still blushing, "ah, inappropriate."

Zi'on isn't sure why he feels the need to give Rhysa these little pep-talks. Only that he feels compelled. It's not that he views her as weak, or their relationship as weak, just more so that he wants her to know she can always fall back on it if she needs to. And that he'd be here waiting to help her back up again. He smiles to her. "Don't be nervous of any of that, either." Though that fight seemed to be an ongoing battle that wouldn't be solved here. He nods to her. "It's not an uncommon thought, her not liking me. Or the idea of someone like me. I was hoping she might warm to Suldith, and I could sneak in that route." He blinks, then chuckles. "Well, it would be hard for her to know about things we haven't engaged in." At least it makes it a bit easier on Rhysa that way?

Rhysanna does seem to appreciate them, however subtly - and his continued efforts in that battle, too, even if, yes, it may take a while yet before that is actually won. "I don't know that she's warmed to anyone at all, really, except Kaiath. But… she'll be fine. She'll just need to get used to the two of you being around, right?" Of that last comment, she simply looks rueful. "Well, true. But that doesn't mean I don't have to keep myself from thinking things."

Zi'on is well aware he won't be winning the battle of Rhysa being comfortable in her assigned career for a long while. He figures about a turn into the actual job she'll feel comfortable enough to stop worrying most of the time. He nods to her. "At least she's warmed to Kaiath. She'll adjust once she realizes that Suldith and I aren't going away." He chuckles. "True enough. I'll try not to show up naked in your thoughts, in that case." The bronzer teases her. He'll stay and lead her in dancing until it's about curfew, and even drop her off or walk her back, whichever she'd like. No crazy drunken debauchery or even nakedness this time. See? He can be normal!

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