Follow The Signs

Half Moon Bay 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.

Although Zhelinath and N'on sequestered themselves in the barracks during the early days after hatching, Zhe quickly developed a preference for the outdoors. As a result, much of their time is spent out in the training field… Whether it's for exercises, or just dozing post-meal. But speaking of meals, there are still a /lot/ of those, which ensures that the pair do show their face in the barracks on a fairly regular basis. It's just about that time, it seems, as they saunter in from the training grounds and head toward the meat bins. Well, Zhe saunters. N'on walks like he always has: at a fastish clip and as though he has something to apologize for.

You see… Seyunestudath had that exact same idea so she decided to get a head start. Unfortunately for Suriya, the gold isn't a polite and dainty eater in the slightest. Even though her maw is full, the growing gold is just covered in chew up meat with various gore just dangling from her jaws. Cue Suri giving N'on a tired 'here we go again' eyeroll as she has the next large handful ready for loading into her lifemates gaping maw. « C'mon now, if it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face. Don't insult my face with those baby sized bites, Suriya. I need bigger babies to eat. »

Zhelinath is perhaps a /bit/ fussy, but she's also impeccably polite! At least in the sense that she would /never/ comment on her sister's lack of table manners. Instead, she settles far enough away to make sure that she's clear of the splash zone, then waits patiently while N'on begins sorting through the meat bin. It might seem at first that he's trying to pick out the 'best' bits for his green, but anyone who paid attention to what he actually chose would see that he's taking care to select pieces that represent roughly the 'whole' animal. /This/ much organ meat, /this/ much bone, and so forth. When he's convinced that what he has is a healthy meal, he starts to feed Zhe, who picks each bit from N'on's hands with a lady-like nip. At the eyeroll from Suriya, N'on offers a commiserating grin, without missing a beat in his work.
After a few bites in companionable silence with her partner, Zhelinath gives a huff that is almost annoyed, and then arches her neck to give Suriya a /look/. « This is ridiculous, » she declares. « I can't /always/ be expected to carry the conversation. You should be learning the dance language. » She turns a whirling yellowish eye on her sparkly sister. « Tell yours that she should learn the dance language. Mine will teach her. » N'on has at least grown /somewhat/ used to Zhe's outbursts, but he still turns a nice shade of pink and shoots Suriya a crooked grin and apologetic, one-shouldered shrug.

« Hey Suri, Zel's rider wants to throw up some mad gang signs to you and you better recognize~ » "What?" Suriya glances over to N'on for a moment and then the little lightbulb upstairs finally does the the 'ooooh' thing when Seyu offers a litany of mental pictures of the greenrider in those hot 80's colors, flailing his hands around in organized patterns. "Ah, gotcha. Sure. Anything for you, N'on." Suri only tolerates certain humans and when she finds one she likes, she's pretty cooperative. Tanit? Well, that human only gets respect because Suri has to give it. She's not at the point where she wants to give it just yet.

N'on keeps the dinner coming. Zhe might be mostly reasonable, but she's still a growing baby with an appetite to match. But Suriya's agreement earns her a broader grin from the greenrider. He looks up toward the green, as though expecting something… But she just nips another piece of meat out of his hands. « Nope. Nuh-uh. /You/ talk; I'll translate. For now. » This must be something new, since it throws N'on a little off guard. He delivers another round of meat before he wraps his head around it… But once Zhe is busy crunching away on some variety of bony material, he tentatively makes a gesture toward Suri, accompanied by an emphatically grateful smile. It's /awful/ tame to be considered a 'dance' but there it is. « That one is 'thank you.' »

« He said 'Thanks, bitch.' » Suriya knows that's not what he said with such a small movement, but she tries to imitate it it anyway. Seyu is given a dubious look since it's a well known fact that Tei is a gentleman and stuff. "Thank you?" she clarifies, at least this one can be answered with a yes or a no head movement from Tei. "That one is easy," she says with a smile, and tries the motion again a few times. Even mouthing the words as she does the motions to make sure she gets it down. Soon, she'll be able to gossip with N'on out in public! It will be awesome cause there's so much seedy underground life stuff in the weyr that she could share about!

N'on's eyes brighten in a way that they seldom have since he arrived at Half Moon, and he gives an enthusiastic nod, along with a thumbs up gesture. Then it's time to deliver another dragon-sized bite of bloody meat, so he pauses to do that. Then pauses longer to think hard about something… probably composing what he wants to say, knowing him. Finally, he starts signing again, with Zhe offering her translation as filtered by Seyu. Poor Suriya. « Do you think the others will learn? He means our sibling-riders. »

Suriya offers another dual-hand full of large cuts into the gaping maw once more and when Seyu gets to work on her meal, Suri keeps her eyes on N'on for further instruction. He's one of her important peoples so he gets all the attention! A'she's beard is second, then A'she himself. « He said, Do you think those other lazy fuckers will catch on to these fire beats? » Do you think… catch on… these beats… She copies the movements provided by N'on, doing it a few times to make sure she gets it just right. "I think they'll catch on and learn?," she responds in a hopeful tone.

N'on glances to Zhe, who is /utterly ignoring/ that implied cry for help. But N'on does eventually look back to Suriya with a little hopeful expression and a nod. Another bloody double-handful goes to the dragon before N'on gets back to the topic at hand. He holds up an index finger, eyebrows lifted. « He's just making sure you're listening. He's about to show the alphabet. » Zhe tosses out, now more than half-distracted by her meal. But since Suriya seems to be doing a good job of the 'paying attention' part, N'on starts systematically going through a series of simple one-hand gestures.

The gold continues to make an absolute mess out of her meal, snarfing and snorting throughout each mouthful. « Just do what he does. » Okay, that was too tame, even for Seyunestudath. Suriya eyes her lifemate for a moment, giving her another handful of meat and then she glances back over to N'on, nodding her understanding. Hands are raised, and one by one, she slowly begins to copy what he does, watching both his hands and his face for any signs of her doing it wrong. Seems easy peasy. Suriya grins, continuing on. « Suri, some of these gang signs might get us killed. Make sure you learn the right ones. » wut.

N'on makes a correction now and then, most particularly when a mistake would lead to some confusion with a different letter. When he gets to the end, he has a questioning expression, then glances to Zhe again. She /sighs/ dramatically, then translates without making him go through all the signing. « She is going to need to see those again, isn't she? She needs to learn /all/ of them. So he can spell things to her. »

« He said, 'Hey cunt, the eyes need to feast on these hands before you catch them. » "Okay, we'll do it again. I'll pay better attention this time. « Don't make him slap a ho. His voice his quiet but those hands are savage. » Suriya gives Seyu a sour look but holds her hands up and glances over to N'on again. She'll get it right! Might take some repetition, but if she doesn't learn the greenrider's secret language, she can't use him as a SPY. Some secret squirrel stuff. The gold finishes her last mouthful and swallows it down. Naturally, she doesn't settle until a loud and foul smelling draconic belch is projectiled into the room. « Man, that tastes good the second time around, too! »

N'on glances between Suriya and Seyu, his expression growing quizzical and curious. Teacher, he is not, that's for sure. He starts the alphabet over from the beginning, only to be interrupted by an affectionate nudge from the green. « You need a better tactic. » He holds up one index finger to Suri in a 'wait' expression, then feeds Zhe the last of her meal. She swallows it down, yawns enormously, then curls up right where she is to sleep. N'on takes the time to clean the blood off his hands (because gross), then gestures Suri closer. He traces the letter 'A' with an index finger on the nearest flat surface, the makes the sign for that letter, and glances over to see if she got it.

With Seyu settling down for some self grooming « You're on your own, sweet checks. » Suriya grabs the nearest hand towel and begins to work on cleaning her filthy mitts off as she waddles over on her knees. The movement is uncomfortable, but so would standing after being on the floor for so long. Once she's close enough, the held up finger gets her attention and she follows his gaze. It takes her a minute to translate the shape and then she facepalms and holds her hand up in the appropriate position. "A?" « What is this, Canadian Kama Sutra? You better take notes, Suri. »

N'on beams at Suriya as she catches on to what he's trying to do. Then, he gets a sort of glint in his eye, as though he's just had an idea. He points to himself, brows raised, then spells something with three signs, two of which are identical: N-O-N. Then he smiles quizzically, waiting to see if she gets it. He'll repeat the letters several times, if needed.

Suriya watches N'on's hands intently, watching him point to himself and then he does… a pattern. She sees it, and when he does it again, she copies each one by one. N-O-N. Did she get it right? "N'on?" BEAM. She did get it right, didn't she? « No, you're supposed to yell YES! YES! Otherwise he's gonna stop and you'll be shit out of luck. If he stops, he's a pussy. » Seyu is given a shake of the head, but Suri can't help but feel affection to her chonky golden terror.

N'on beams back at Suriya and nods. Then he closes one eye in a solemn, ironic wink, and signs N-O-N again. /Then/… He signs just the 'N' part, and taps the sign against his throat. Once again, he tilts his head and waits to see if she figures it out.

She copies him, and then pauses, eyes narrowing while she thinks. "Nnn?" « That's a good start but you're making us look bad, Suriya. » Suri schools her features and locks her eyes on N'on, looking to see if she's getting any hotter or colder? He just did the one sign, and the throat so noise, right?

N'on shakes his head and waves his hand to make it clear that 'Nnn?' is not in any way correct. He even wrinkles his nose and sticks out his tongue, though there's still a spark of humor in his eyes. Apparently she's /way/ off! He holds up his index finger again in that 'are you listening?' pose, then points to himself. Then he signs 'N-O-N.' Then repeats the gesture with the 'N' tapped against his throat.

« Alright, she's as lost as a man dodging child support. » Dudebro. Inappropes. Suriya is copying all of the hand motions, and she's watching intently but alas, her brain isn't getting the connection enough to translate it. "N?" she hazards, she knows it's N but the significance of the throat movement is lost on her.

N'on seems a bit lost himself. He starts to reach for his chest pocket, then remembers that he's…kinda sorta stopped obsessively carrying paper everywhere. Zhelinath might have a point! Luckily, she gives a draconic sigh, shifting in her sleep, and sends just the barest tendril of half-awake thought to explain. « It's how he signs his name. » A beat, then she turns over to present her backside to the room with a noisy rattling of wingspars. « /Duh/. »

« That's his name, Dingdong. He's throwing mad signs like his business card, tell you who he is, like that one Harper. Formerly Known As whatever. Except his music sucked balls, too. » OOOHHHH. "Oh, that's you!" she says, pointing to N'on, hoping Seyu isn't tricking her for kicks. That… is you, right? Seyunestudath is still working on cleaning herself up, because she gets more sweet snacks this way. Fourths! If Suriya cleans her, it all gets thrown out. Can't let a gristly gibblet go to waste.

N'on absolutely beams. He nods to emphasize the point, then repeats the sign. It's not as though it gets used much, since there's little need for anyone else to be signing to each other /about/ him… but it does quite conveniently bridge the gap between finger-spelling and actual signs. He holds up an index finger, then starts slowly spelling through a series of letters. He points emphatically to Suriya, then spells it again. S-U-R-I-Y-A.

« Oooh, look at you, you're gangsta now! » Suriya sticks her tongue out in concentration and she copies his hand movements as precisely as she can. She counts the symbols as she goes. S-U-R-I-Y-A. Light green eyes glance from his hands to his face, looking for any indication that she's doing it wrong. "Ooh, what's this one?" The A is all she recognizes. She could guess, but would rather not. It'll make her remember the wrong things… unless he wants her to try.

N'on grins points to Suriya. He spells it again, then points to her again, this time more emphatically. His brows lift, waiting to see if there's a spark of understanding.

Suriya looks and follows suit again, thinking about pointing to her. Could he be saying her name? "S-u-r-i-y-a? Are you spelling my name out?" She recognizes the A and it's the same amount of letters.

N'on nods emphatically and claps her on the shoulder, beaming brightly. He repeats the signs, keeping it slow so that she can start memorizing them. Another rattling of wingspars, and Zhelinath volunteers another tidbit of information. « She can pick her own sign, if she wants. » That… might have been a dangerous opening to present Seyu, but what's done is done!

Pick her own sign? Now you got the golds attention! Seyunestudath raises her big head, jaw working on a little tidbit she found in her wingsails and she's doing that mental 'one sec' image in her head. Suriya dares glance at her lifemate for a moment, then returns her gaze to N'on to continue memorizing what he's trying to teach her. She's doing good, right?! She can say her name now! Kind of. SOON! « Just give him the bird! He'll either think you're fucking with him or asking to fuck him. It's a win-win! »

N'on is luckily oblivious to the chatter Seyu is sending to Suriya. Which is probably good, because they might find out if it were /actually/ possible to die of embarrassment. Instead, N'on continues repeating the signs, ensuring that Suriya will be able to memorize all those letters. Suddenly, in the midst of all that, Zhelinath stirs, stretches luxuriously in a catlike pose, then gives an all over shiver. « I believe it is oil time, » she announces. N'on glances that direction, suddenly distracted, then shoots Suriya an apologetic smile. He repeats the Suriya's name one more time, then climbs to his feet. Just before he trots off to catch up with his green, he signs, "Thank you." Then he's off!

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