Dinner is Served. And Stolen.

Western Weyr - Corrals
Enclosed by a high wooden fence on one side and the steep walls of the weyr on the other is a half acre of grass that holds the Weyr's herdbeasts and wherry flock. While this dragon feeding area is smaller than most of the Weyrs on Pern, there is still enough room for a large dragon to swoop down and grab his dinner with relative ease.


It's a fairly nice day at Western. Still summer, so still warm, but it's a bit overcast so it's not horribly hot like most afternoons are. Which makes it apparently a good day for hunting herdbeast. Out of… the feeding pens. Suldith has already nabbed his herdbeast. And then dragged it over to the side of the pens where Zi'on is perched on the fence. One can tell where the initial kill was made, due to the the trail of blood left behind. Zi'on is distracted, reading a small notepad, when Suldith offers the bronzer a leg of beast. "No thank you, Suldith." Zi'on says out loud, without looking up. "I'll get something to eat later."

It's taken weeks, now, but Tavehtiath's landing problems (and the pride-related problems that go with them) have finally been resolved enough that she's permitted proper flight: she glides, now, angling down towards the corrals from above. If she's not yet fully proficient, something about the tilt of her head and the so-deliberate way she carries her wings does not encourage commentary on the subject. For now? Herdbeast beware. Rhysa's here, too - or will be, her dark hair visible from partway across the bowl as she trudges after her dragon.

Suldith drops the leg at Zi'on's refusal, and instead pulls some meat off of it for himself. He looks up when he spots a rolling shadow above, and follows the young gold's movements. Zi'on also looks up, giving Suldith a stern look, probably to keep him from distracting the gold while she hunts. So instead the bronze just watches, chewing on his own kill. Zi'on meanwhile looks for Rhysa, and spotting her approaching, offers a wave. « Get that big one! » Finally slips out to the gold. Rude, Suldith, rude.

The concentration involved in not only doing this, but doing it right, is such that though Tavehtiath is about to launch herself at one of the animals, she immediately wheels around for another attempt when Suldith speaks. Her thoughts are cool, edging even towards cold, and clamped down hard: she disapproves. « Might I make my kill in peace, Suldith? » she wonders. « Or shall I come back later? » Across the bowl, Rhysa's arm lifts in answer, though it's a few paces more before she really seems to recognize the waver. Her pace picks up, though, even if - as can be more clearly seen as she gets closer - she's very deliberately not looking at her dragon.

There's no wrong way to kill a herdbeast! At least not in Suldith's estimation. He's bitten them, mauled them, even crushed a few to death. « Have it your way, Tavehtiath. » Suldith responds in an equally cool fashion. The bronze turns back to his dinner, looking more grumpy now. "Hey, Rhysa." Zi'on says on the goldrider's approach. "I was going to send you a note, to see if you wanted to come by later. But no need. We can chat now." There's no mention of the interaction between their dragons. Zi'on warned him not to interfere, so Suldith shouldn't have been surprised to get snapped at.

« I will, » answers Tavehtiath, showing no indication whatsoever of being apologetic for her terseness or disapproval. On the other hand, she is very definitely taking her time, now, circling over and over again as her rider gets closer and closer to the fence. Rhysa's got her hands dug into her pockets, and turns her back to the fence, leaning on it, once she's able to. Zi'on gets a side-long glance, as she says, "Multi-tasking. And saving you the trouble of a note; very efficient. Anything to keep me from having to watch. If she actually decides to try, anyway. But. Hey. Hi."

There's no answer from Suldith, who has gone back to eating and tuned out the gold. The bronze is tempted to stir the pot further, but has been warned off by his rider. Taveh seems much like Suldith, who will circle the pens for over an hour before picking one off. It's some sort of strategy. Or maybe it's just one of the few moments Suldith gets to stretch his wings? Zi'on spins around so he's facing outward on the fence. "A win-win. Plus I get to see you earlier in the day, and don't feel guilty for taking up some of your sleep time. Hey. Hi. No more chopping meat, I see. You must be excited about that at the very least."

For Tavehtiath, it seems to be much more about getting it right… though no doubt she'll pretend otherwise. In any case, she's probably relieved that no one is watching her, now… which means there's no one to watch as she swipes for, and then misses, her chosen beast. That was totally intentional, honest. "You don't need to feel guilty for taking up some my sleep time," answers Rhysa, smiling. "I have more of it, now. And it's worth it. Still, I'm not complaining about getting to see you now, instead. I'm relieved, yes. Sometimes it takes longer than the meat chopping did, but at least she's doing the work. She hates making mistakes, and her landings still… uh. Well." Is that shadow that crosses her expression the physical manifestation of a silent 'shut up, Rhysa' from Tavehtiath? It may well be.

Suldith didn't see that! Nope. He's looking amused at something else. Really. The beasts are stirred up, now! Especially that one that narrowly escaped death. "I might not need to, but I still do. Even if you have more of it now. I'll still feel bad. At least for a little while longer. As long as you're living in the barracks." He chuckles a bit. "Maybe, but hopefully she'll get quicker at it. And not make you watch, like Suldith does to me." The bronzer smiles a bit. "Well, I guess there's nothing wrong with wanting to get things right. But making mistakes is how we learn things." Zi'on blinks a bit, and then chuckles. "Landing is the toughest part… Or so they claim. That and taking off." The bronzer puts his notepad away, then leans back while grabbing the fence. "So what else has been going on?"

Excited beasts are not pleasing to Tavehtiath. Nor is Suldith, at this present moment, though she's determinedly ignoring him. She takes another pass, this time managing to rake her talons down the side of one of the poor herdbeasts… before felling it utterly when she tumbles into a landing half on top of it. No one saw that, either, honest. Rhysa must be aware of it, even if she hasn't seen it, because something tightens in her expression for a moment, a breath caught behind her teeth. It gets released, and then she smiles again. "I don't think she wants anyone watching, me included, which is something. She—" She hesitates. "She'd be better if she practiced more, but that would involve admitting she's not perfect. It's complicated. Even Kaiath can't always get her to do things if she's afraid it will injure her dignity. I'm getting better, maybe. It's one of the things we're being encouraged to practice: being the one in control. So that's pretty much my life at the moment, really."

Suldith will keep his comments to himself. But his feelings, well they were his to have as much as he wanted! If Taveh wants advice, or wants to practice, Suldith can be of use. But he'll have to trick her into thinking it was for his benefit, and that she didn't need the help. Hm. "Heh. Well, that's fine. We can pretend not to watch if that's what she wants. She'll have to eat a lot, so there's not too much worry about practice there. Not sure why she's so concerned about dignity. She's a young dragon, after all." Zi'on nods. "It's harder for you than for most, I would think. Golds have a way about them that helps them influence dragons. And people too, I think." Zi'on nods to her. "So have you thought about life after graduation at all?"

Why yes, Tavehtiath is a complicated puzzle of a dragon - but at least she's a complicated puzzle who now has a meal in front of her, which she eats with exaggerated dignity. "Hunger does rather force her into that one," agrees Rhysa, levelly. "Which is something." She lifts one hand to rub idly at her temples, her hand moving in time with her head as she offers a slow nod. "I'm not sure she sees herself as a young dragon; she sees herself as a queen. I've… noticed. I think she tries to manipulate me, sometimes, with varying results. She's pretty determined." It's that last question that has her glancing side-long at Zi'on again, her hand dropping back to her side. "Yes," she says. "Of course I have. I imagine the possibilities loom large for any weyrling."

Maybe she was just hangry before? Suldith is finishing off his meal, which is obvious since he's allowing the firelizards to come in and nibble at what's left of the carcass. Which is mostly just bones. "Mm. Well I'm sure you can manipulate her right back, if you so choose. Sometimes games can be fun. In your case, work might be more appropriate. Maybe we can get some big crates, and make her move them from one side of the bowl to the other. To help her practice a bit." Zi'on looks over at Rhysa and nods. "Well, your wing is pretty set, obviously. I was thinking more… living arrangements. If you've thought about that, at all."

Maybe she was! Tavehtiath may not initiate further communication, now, but there is something less defensive and closed-off about the way she eats (even if it's so very slow, and so very deliberate). "That could work," answers Rhysa, after a moment's consideration. "Work will definitely, uh, be more effective than play, for her." Zi'on's clarification as to the intent of his question has Rhysa's cheeks flushing, as she murmurs, "There is more to post graduation life than wings. But, as to that question… I don't know."

Suldith hops over to the other side of the fence and curls up to watch Taveh eat. He doesn't say anything, but sits there, lurking. "I'll have some of the transport riders set it up. It might be fun for all the weyrlings to get in on it. But we'll start with Taveh. Maybe Rorn has a bit of free time to direct it." The bronzer chuckles. "As weyrleader, to me there isn't much. The wings are my life. Except our wing, of course. We're Enka's problem." He nods to her, leaning waaaay back, but staying upright by holding the fence. "Well, I figured you'd want your own weyr at least at first. But I'm open either way. You'll only be right down the hall."

Suldith is a creeper. Tavehtiath ignores him… well, not quite true, given the way she abruptly adjusts her position to make sure that her back is turned towards him. So there. Rhysa's short, sharp nod answers the topic of the transport exercise, though it's obvious her thoughts are already elsewhere. "From a weyrling perspective," she muses, "the duties we'll end up doing are important, but probably not the first thing we tend to think about, when considering the future. Most of us." Sometimes. "I suppose it's a very different sort of wing. Atoll." She lets her gaze creep back up to Zi'on, now, the flush beginning to fade from her cheeks, and a more thoughtful expression replacing it. "That," she begins, carefully, "seems like a reasonable way to begin. I ought to try living on my own before I try… but you're right: we'll be close. We'll have to… see what works. It's all… new to me."

Suldith is creeping! Creeping toward Taveh, now that her back is turned. He slithers over the fence toward her slowly, then suddenly hops into the air. He wings over toward her… the intended target? Her herdbeast! He attempts to make a grab for it, and if successful, climbs into the air with it. He's got a lot of practice carrying heavy objects! "No? What's the first thing you think about?" Zi'on raises a brow, though he's grinning. He knows what -some- of them will be thinking about. "Mm. I suppose. I recommend doing drills with some of the other wings though. To help keep yourself in shape, and Taveh in shape, as well." Zi'on nods as Rhysa agrees with him. "There's more to consider than just us. Not to say it won't be in the cards later. Just because I've been weyrmated before doesn't make it any less new to me. Well, maybe slightly less. But we'll come back to it later." He smiles. "I'll help decorate your weyr, if you'd like." By that he means he'll buy whatever she'd like.

Tavehtiath apparently subscribes to 'out of sight and out of mind', and so is completely and utterly taken by surprise when her meal gets stolen away from her. Her upper body lifts, those rapidly whirling eyes watching as Suldith moves into the air; instead of following, she aims a blast of icy chill towards him. « Bring that back. » It's enough that it has Rhysa turning her head to look, brows knitting uncertainly; she hesitates, watching, then turns her attention back towards Zi'on. "I can think of one person who would not be willing to share," she comments, mildly. "He's not endearing himself to her at this moment. I— we'll just have to see. I won't even know where to start on the decorating; I'll take any help I can get." She's probably not thinking in terms of his buying her things. She'll learn.

Suldith sends Taveh a bouquet of bright flowers. « Come and take it from me. » Suldith hangs in the air, bobbing up and down, waiting for the gold to either chase him or get mad. But look, he's right there, out of reach. Zi'on looks out at the pair. Suldith can handle himself, since he seem hellbent on pissing the gold off. Or getting her to play with him. The bronzer chuckles. "No. He's not. Though she might warm to him. Eventually. If not…" Well, that would kill the weyrmating idea. At least until something else forced the issue. Like a baby. Zi'on grins. "Well, I can help with that. At least get the basics covered. Make it look nice."

A stinging wave of frost answers Suldith; that would be anger, then. « Bring it back, » she insists, with all the emphasis she can manage. As commands go, it would probably work better if she didn't immediately throw herself into the air after him. She's only barely smaller than he is, now, and all that bulk is now intent on her herdbeast. "If it helps, she doesn't especially seem to like any dragons, except maybe Kaiath. But Suldith… maybe it will change when she's grown." Her tone is hopeful; her expression perhaps less so. "That…" She smiles at the bronzerider. "Would be nice. Thank you."

Suldith looks like he might be complying, but when she launches herself into the air, the bronze takes off higher. Yes, he will force her to chase him. At least for a little while. If she doesn't want to practice, he'll trick her into it! Though he doesn't want her to strain herself, either. And he is carrying a lot of extra weight, so as soon as she gets close, he'll head back to the ground. And drop the beast in the same spot it was. And sit there next to it, looking happy and wagging his tail. "Heh… well that might just be the way of it. Maybe you and Nae should become weyrmates after graduation." He chuckles a bit. "I dunno. You could try to encourage her. Or let us know what we could do to help nudge her in the right direction." He smiles back and nods to Rhysa.

Tavehtiath's irritation makes her flight a little more erratic than it might otherwise be, and yet, surprising, as Suldith returns to the ground and she follows, her landing? Quite possibly her best one yet. This does not, sadly, improve her mood. « Leave my kill alone, » she instructs. « That was not fun. » Rhysa's laugh is wry. "Don't suggest that around Nae. I guess… I don't know. I'll try and encourage her. She doesn't get to decide everything, right? And she doesn't get all of me."

Taveh is a natural. And as long as she doesn't overthink it, instinct will help her. Suldith just sits there looking cute. And when Taveh settles back down, he'll even give her a neck rub. « I had fun. » Zi'on laughs. "I don't need to. She'll suggest that enough on her own I'm sure." The bronzer nods to her. "Be strong, Rhysa! Though I think the only real way we'll get her to consent is for you to be pregnant. And I doubt that is any time soon. Nae is the one who asked about our living arrangements afterward. She seemed surprised we weren't planning to be weyrmated right off."

It's hard to tell if it's politeness that has Tavehtiath allowing Suldith's neck rub, or some other internal reason of her own. In either case, she huffs something, primly, and bends back to eating. Rhysanna's cheeks go pink again at the mention of pregnancy, though her nod confirms that no, that's not something she's interested in any time soon. It's that reference to Nae that has her brows raising, though, and her teeth coming to rest upon her lower lip. "Was she? I suppose… I don't know. It will have been a long time, by the time it's even a possibility, but a long time of… it still feels like it would be rushing things, even ignoring any potential difficulties with Tavehtiath, given how our relationship has been conducted thus far." Candidacy. And weyrlinghood. Rhysa's gaze is thoughtful, though she glances up to meet Zi'on's gaze squarely.

Hopefully it's another internal reason. Come on! He's a bronze! Plus he really was trying to be friendly. Taveh is always so serious. And that is sad for Suldith. She should relax sometimes and have fun! She can't let Kaiath hog it all. No, babies were not in close range for Rhysa. Graduation had to happen before many other things can be thought about. "A long time of… sort of not a whole relationship. And even less now. So… we can hopefully catch up. Just it'll take some extra time." Zi'on looks back to Rhysa, his expression probably purposely neutral. "Hm?"

Tavehtiath doesn't know how to have fun, plainly, and Suldith's bronzeness has yet to have any particular impact upon her. Still, as she works her way through the internal organs of her poor, dead kill, she does glance up to consider him in a way not unlike the way Rhysa considers Zi'on. « Hmph, » is the queen's only comment, however. Rhysa's gaze drops again. "I was just… looking at you. Thinking. That's all. Weyrlinghood's nearly half over, and things can only get easier, right? From here? So."

If Suldith could sing, he might be tempted to right about now. But he can't, so instead he lays down where he is, and scares off some firelizards when they get close. He doesn't know what to make of the gold or her reaction. And neither does Zi'on, frankly. Zi'on smiles to her. "Well, I hope you see something you like." Thinking about babies maybe? Or that thing you do to make them? "True, it is. Most of it will be easier. You won't feel as tired anymore, that is for certain. You're conditioned for riding. Betweening is the last hard thing. But you can practice visualization now…" As Zi'on goes into this lengthy explanation, he feels suddenly like maybe he's missed the point.

Rhysanna, too, would probably flounder at least a little in attempting to explain her dragon; Tavehtiath is enigmatic, and apparently now finished with her meal. Whether or not Zi'on has missed the point, Rhysa's smile is undiminished. Perhaps her dragon is not the only one who is presently difficult to explain. "Good," is all she says. "Now: give me a quick hug while she's still distracted, and then I'd better take her to wash."

Suldith sits there and smacks his lips. Who knows why he is doing this. But he is doing this. Maybe Taveh has something stuck in her teeth? Or maybe that's just to distract her further. Zi'on ends up looking a little sheepish, with Rhysa just standing there smiling at him. He smiles back and rubs the back of his neck. "Okay." Is his response to her request. He moves in to give Rhysa a nice long, close hug. "Mmm… You smell good. Like usual." He always tries to hold onto that smell, but it's gone again as soon as they separate. Zi'on gives her a smile, it's a happy one. "We should get back to the sands. If you want to grab dinner tonight, let me know."

It's pretty distracting, and apparently gross, given the way Tavehtiath stares at Suldith, as if to say 'wtf'? Though she would, of course, be far too polite for that. Zi'on's sheepishness draws an apologetic glance from Rhysa, albeit one that is quickly abandoned: hugs are all-consuming, and take definite precedence. "So do you," is her answer, said quietly, and with the hint of a sigh. Tavehtiath's head turns, looking at them both now. Staring. Hastily, Rhysa straightens her posture, and her expression. "Dinner would be good. I'll see you then. Yes, yes - I'm coming, Tavehtiath. We'll get you all cleaned off, I promise."


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