Birthday Plans

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 mid-evening, now, and the barracks are relatively quiet: it's perhaps too early for weyrlings to be asleep, certainly, but some of the dragons are. Tavehtiath's dozing, her bulk curled up into the smallest ball she can manage, while her rider sits, cross-legged, upon her bed, writing furiously into the bound notebook that serves as her diary. Somewhere across the barracks, one of the blues is snoring gently, but no one seems to be paying it much attention. Since when are the barracks ever completely silent?

Kaiath has been restless all day, ever since the accident during training today that sent her rider off to the infirmary with a bloody nose. But now she's napping, just in time for Nae's return. The greenrider has a thick bandage across her nose and looks utterly mopey as she makes her way towards her bed, her usual good cheer nowhere to be seen.

That particular accident has resulted in more than a little upset in the barracks; it may even be one of the things Rhysanna is scribbling about so intensely in her diary. It's almost certainly the reason Tavehtiath circled over the Weyr for a very long time after they were supposed to land, just on the edge of panic. It's been a long day. The sound of Nae's footsteps has Rhysa's head lifting, her eyes widening as she catches sight of the bandage. "Nae?" And then, a moment later: "Nae, are you okay?"

"Aside from looking like an invalid, I'm fine." Nae says as she takes a seat upon the edge of her bed, resuming her pouting. "Ugggh. I'm gonna have to wear this terrible thing for, like, a sevenday. And it makes my voice sound all funny." It does. "And that cute vinter girl was at the infirmary, too. I could just die of embarassment." Nae, as always, has her priorities straight.

Rhysanna closes her diary, pressing it and her pen into the space between her legs and the bed, her teeth already coming to rest upon her lower lip, where they're liable to begin chewing off dead skin. "But your nose is going to heal straight?" she prompts, after a moment's hesitation. "I hope you encouraged her to, I don't know, hold your hand in sympathy, and admire your bravery. There are merits to injuries, sometimes."

"That's what the healer seemed to think. I don't know." Nae pouts a bit. "He was a real jerk. Didn't even seem like he was really paying attention… but I guess we'll see in a sevenday." She sighs heavily. There might just be a little bit of a smile after, though. "… I may've encouraged her to hold my hand. Maybe. But it was still embarassing! And, y'know, weyrlinghood."

That smile, however small, sets the corners of Rhysanna's mouth to twitching. "That healer sounds awful," she says, "but since hand-holding is about the best we can hope for right now…" It's clearly better than nothing. "I get you on the embarrassing, though. I'm glad it wasn't me, though I think I had enough to deal with." The glance she aims at her dragon is both affectionate and long-suffering. "This vintner, though. Was she eager to console?"

Nae gives Rhysanna a bit of a sympathetic smile, though her expressions are constrained by the pain her face is in. "Sorry. I heard you had it rough afterwards, too." The question about the vinter makes the greenrider absently twirl a bit of her hair around her finger. "… As eager as could be appropriate under the circumstances." She answers, vaguely. "… She's nice."

"She had to be talked down from the sky," says Rhysa, with a sigh. "And honestly, I'm terrified of going back up tomorrow. But - no, seriously, it's not your fault. Everyone knows she's had landing troubles." Really, though, the goldrider is far more interested in obtaining the gossip: she leans forward, just ever so slightly. "'Nice'. That's all you're going to give me?"

Nae does look a little reassured when Rhysanna promises Taveh's landing troubles are not her fault. She smiles as much as she can. "It'll get better with time. Always does, right?" The prodding for gossip has her laughing softly for a moment. "She's very pretty. Adventurous, too. If it weren't for these…" She taps the knot on her shoulder. "… I'dve made a move."

Rhysanna makes a face, but allows a nod of confirmation for what Nae's saying. "Right," she agrees. "She's so embarrassed about having been caught out like that, but… they forget, which helps. And it's not as though she can't land. I mean, she was doing just fine." She rolls her shoulders back, abruptly grinning again as Nae talks. "Not so many months to go, right? And then you can make your move. Just keep getting to know her, now. What's her name, again?"

"It's just nerves." Nae says, trying to be reassuring. It's hard when she can't smile all that much. "She's a gold. She'll grow into the confidence that they all have. Then it'll all be fine." Nae manages a tiny little smirk at the question. "Hotaru. Have you met her? She's really cute." Nae may've mentioned this already. "I guess you're right. Still, it's a little frustrating. But you know that."

Rhysanna's eyes roll, but she's smiling anyway: smiling, perhaps, enough for both of them. "She's usually got it in spades," she says. "She just hates making mistakes, probably because it ruins the illusion that she's got everything covered." It's probably a good thing Tavehtiath is sleeping, and doesn't hear that. "No, I've not met her. I feel like I ought to, now, though. Check her out for you." Her exhale certainly speaks to the frustration of it all, though. "Ten months. Weyrlinghood is a long time."

Nae lets out a sigh and slumps, eventually flopping down onto her back. "A long, long time." She commiserates. "… Kaiath is my life, and she'll always be the most important one in the world to me. But still, it gets harder and harder to ignore desires for a companion that is a little more…" She ponders the right word. "… Cuddly."

Rhysanna gets up, though it only seems to be so that she can tuck her diary back into her trunk, before she flops back onto her own bed. "Yes," she confirms. She's no longer looking at Nae, but the sound carries easily enough. "Cuddly. Exactly. It's not… we're not made to just have them. And nice, platonic hugs are… well, nice, but they're not…" The same.

"Believe me, I know exactly what you mean." Nae says with another sigh, staring up at the ceiling. She grabs a pillow and puts it under her head, breathing easier with a little elevation. "… My eighteenth birthday is going to pass without so much as a kiss. Hard to fathom."

Rhysanna's nose wrinkles, even if Nae can't see it to appreciate it. "It's cruel and unusual torture, really," she says. "To put teenagers through this. It's not like we can help having hormones, or whatever." She stretches out her toes, pointing them, flexing them, and then relaxing them. "There's got to be something we can do to celebrate your birthday, though, even if it can't be kissing." Beat. "Unless you can convince someone to break rules and give you that kiss when Kaiath's asleep."

"Extremely cruel." Nae agrees, sighing again. She's doing an awful lot of sighing today. "… I wouldn't risk breaking the rules for that. I mean, it'd be really nice, but… no. Can't risk putting Kaiath through something negative. Still, I /would/ like to celebrate somehow…"

Rhysanna, just across the way, flushes, going awkwardly silent for a few long moments. "No," she agrees, eventually. "No, you're right. We're just going to have to be patient. So… think of something else we can do. Dancing and non-alcoholic drinks? Or something. Because birthdays shouldn't go unmarked, even in weyrlinghood. I kind of forgot about mine, and… I regret that."

Nae frowns, sitting up suddenly. "We missed your birthday?" She seems quite saddened by this. There is a moment of thought. "… Well. Only one thing to do, then. We'll have to combine our birthdays and share one big celebration. Maybe at the Tiki Lounge. You can bring Zi, I can bring Hotaru. We'll party as much as we can. Sound good?"

"It was right after we Impressed," Rhysanna admits. "I didn't have the headspace to think about it. But— I'd like that." Now she's sitting up, too. "It sounds like fun. Yours is a couple of weeks away, isn't it? So we have some time to plan."

"Three weeks away." Nae confirms with a little grin. "So, yes. Plenty of time to prepare. We'll have to make it as wild as the circumstances allow." She giggles a bit. "Gives me time to figure out what to get you for a present, too. It just wouldn't do if I didn't get my best friend a brithday present this turn."

Rhysanna presses a pillow into her lap, abruptly grinning. "At least we'll have more freedom, these next few weeks - with the flying, and all. I'll search high and low for something perfect, I promise. And your nose will be back to normal, which is also good. We'll dress up. It'll be wonderful."

"I can wear jewelry. And that low cut blue dress I look so good in." This conversation has clearly lifted Nae's spirits a bit. She seems to have nearly forgotten about the terrible state of her nose. "We've really earned some fun, haven't we?"

"We really, really have," confirms Rhysanna, with conviction. "And since we won't be breaking any rules, or doing anything that could hurt our dragons, there's no reason why we shouldn't. Zi'on and I went dancing one night, so it's not like we can't." She exhales, clearly pleased. "There are so many things I haven't worn in months. It's about time, isn't it?"

"There is definitely no rule against dancing. I can't imagine how dancing could possibly harm Kaiath." Nae gives her dozing lifemate a fond little smile. "… Granted, I probably shouldn't dance like I might if there were no rules… but we could still have proper fun. Yeah, it'll be great!"

"In fact," says Rhysa, after a moment, "I'm pretty sure dancing is on the curriculum at some point. I'm sure I heard that, somewhere. So." Clearly, that makes this excursion mandated. "It means Tavehtiath definitely can't complain." She's grinning as she sets aside her pillow, and stands again. "I'm going to go take a walk before bed," she says. "But we'll make arrangements for this soon, okay?"

"Yeah. I mean, we have to represent the weyr at diplomatic functions and gathers, right? Be proper ladies and whatever?" Nae scratches herself in a rather undignified manner as she makes this claim. "It's definitely something we need to know how to do." SHe sits up enough to smile at Rhysanna. "Have a nice walk. We'll plan soon. Definitely."

It's the scratching, quite possibly, that makes Rhysanna giggle. Or perhaps she's just pleased with this idea. Either way, she grins at Nae, then gathers up her shoes and makes for the door. "Definitely."


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