Cracking Time

Western Weyr - Living Caverns
Here is the center of Weyr life, the living caverns. These two main rooms were man-shaped from smaller caves, and are joined by a carved arch with depictions of dragons in flight and dolphins leaping in swirling waves. One room has many round stone and wooden tables and a stone fire-pit instead of a hearth. Over the round-walled, gas fired pit is a large conical hood made of polished bronze, with reliefs of dragons with their riders flying over ships guided by dolphins. This hood and chimney keeps the room smoke-free. Through the archway is an enormous hall, with long tables and benches, some carved from the rock floor, many crafted of wood. This room is a combination dining and meeting hall, and can seat over 300 comfortably. Above both rooms, angled shafts lined with polished metal bring in sunlight during the day. Electric lights also burn, day and night.

Autumn has just begun to settle over Western, though it would be hard to tell from the day's clear skies, cool breeze and warm temperature. It's likely to be one of the few nice days left before the cold settles in - or cold for Western's standards. The dinner hour has just gone by, with most folk having already wandered into the living caverns for their meal and then shuffled off to enjoy what daylight hours remain. Kaliena makes her escape from the lower caverns below, having returned first to the dorms to change and is now sneaking a late supper. The young girl is dressed in her usual short-sleeved tunic and a full-length skirt dyed a light shade of bluish-green. Her hair is still damp from the baths and tied back into a loose runner-tail. Not lingering long by the serving tables, Kaliena gathers what food remains that interest her and then she's bringing food and all towards a small table not far from the hearths and where there seem to be fewer folk lingering about.

The down side to working in the kitchens is that you eat last. The up side is that if you're sneaky about it, you can set aside some of the choicest bits for yourself. Keelyra has clearly done the latter as she ducks out of the kitchens with tray in hand. A mug of klah is retrieved as she passes the serving tables and soon the teen finds herself settled in at a table. She hasn't had time to change, so her clothing is covered in bits of food; flour here, meat drippings there…

It has been so long since Kayse acquired a clutch of firelizard eggs that she had begun to think the things must be duds. But since it hasn't been a problem to leave Nala cuddling them happily beside the hearth, as it keeps the firelizard out of Kayse's hair when she is trying to study, the basket has remained and none of the eggs have been pitched out. So when Kayse joins the flow of people collecting dinner in the caverns, she almost passes the basket without a glance, just another standard evening. Except that today, unlike every other day, Nala is not /in/ the basket; the firelizard is standing beside it, front paws clasping the edge as she peers at the eggs intently, a soft thrum beginning to emanate from her throat. This behavior causes Kayses to pause, regarding the arrangement with disbelief. "Oh, so they aren't duds after all," is all the girl can think to say.

Charsian peers up from his small platter, blinking at the sudden sound of firelizard humming. He doesn't think anything of it at first until his own flit joins in quietly, then glides off the back of his chair to the rafters above, gaining a better view. The young man raises a questioning brow and shrugs, continuing his task of shredding his meat into smaller pieces. It fits better in the rolls this way and he might as well take advantage of having the platter to himself, with his uncles feasting elsewhere and the lizard already tended to. Still, curious green eyes peer up and watch intently at what might emerge from the little basket.

Kaliena is completely distracted in consuming her dinner and at a record-breaking speed. It's a wonder the young girl doesn't choke or something. Despite her pace, it'll be awhile before she'll finish off the plate she heaped with food, the odds and ends of various dishes as if she's trying to sample all and everything at once. Keelyra's arrival is noted with just a passing glance, as is Kayse's as well, until the girl speaks and Kaliena pauses long enough to swallow the mouthful of food. "What aren't duds?" she asks, frowning a little as she gives the girl a curious look. It's not until the thrumming starts that the girl glances towards the hearth and likely puts two and two together then. "Oh. The eggs?"

Everlasting Enchantment Egg wobbles energetically with the first escape efforts of its occupant.

Humming is of little consequence when you're well-used to it. In a Weyr, one tends to be. Still, Keelyra does cast a glance over towards Kayse, one eyebrow quirking slightly. The expression fades into a lop-sided smirk. "It's always better when they're duds, ain't it? Less mouths to feed and yer 'lizard is kept busy a while longer." At least for her ditzy little green it's useful. The young woman has a fair collection of food. Meats, breads, desserts. Small portions, all, just a good variety.

"Yeah, the eggs," is Kayse's reply to Kaliena, and that seems to jar her into comprehension. "Oh, right, I need to get the meat bowl from the kitchens. Uhm, like I've been saying, anyone is welcome to try and lure one of the hatchlings when they make it out. I don't want them," the apprentice says, the last sentences in a louder voice to carry to everyone nearby. While Nala backs away from the now-twitching eggs, Kayse hurries to get into the kitchens to retrieve the scrap bowl waiting there.

Protector of Fate Egg jumps right to it, skittering loose of its sandy wallow and toppling over, still safely within the basket, before stilling again.

The little bronze in the rafters begins to readjust his perching, turning around in a slow circle to watch the movement of the eggs with eyes whirling. His human, on the other hand, is quickly stuffing a roll while eyes dart back and forth between the plate in front of him and the eggs not too far. Charsian never had time to watch a hatching take place, it was always the aftermath he cleaned up after or heard about in the late hours.

Kaliena returns to her meal, but now her movements have slowed as her interest and curiosity divides itself and distracts her. Keelyra's remark is overheard, but since the young girl knows little in the ways of eggs and firelizards besides the basics and often conflicting tidbits of gossip she hears, she keeps quiet, though she does quirk a half smile at the other girl. Maybe she agrees? Then she's blinking at Kayse's offer and Kaliena frowns again, considering and then shrugging her shoulders. "Eh, why not. Does it have to be raw meat…" But she trails the question off as Kayse is suddenly hurrying off. Blue eyes then dart to Keelyra, perhaps hopeful the girl overheard and the answer will come from her instead.

Sticky Delight Egg is slow to start moving, and when it does the wiggles are small and brief.

Everlasting Enchantment Egg rocks and wiggles, constantly in motion.

"It doesn't have to be," Keelyra says with a brief shrug of her shoulders. "Depends on the 'lizard, really. They come out starving and will eat just 'bout anything, but meat is best." She prods through her tray and surfaces with some jerky. She nudges that little platter towards Kaliena. "If you don't wanna touch raw meat, try jerky. It sometimes works just as well."

Kayse returns in short order, a modest bowl of meat scraps carried in her arms. "I have meat for anyone who needs some," she says as she walks around the tables to approach the hearth. "The cook asks that we not use too much of the food from the serving tables, since there are still some people who haven't eaten yet," she adds, wrinkling her nose at the strong scent of blood the bowl emits. Meanwhile, Nala is slowly backing away from the basket, her pose uncertain as the eggs continue to wriggle and shake.

Protector of Fate Egg gives it another try, wriggling and wobbling along the sand until it bumps into Magical Transportation Egg.

He didn't remember when he rose from his seat, nor when his footsteps brought him a little closer, but the young man does slowly pull up a chair before turning his eyes on Kayse. "Will they really eat anything? Warden does," he says softly as he peers up at the bronze, "but he was picky when he was smaller." Or spoiled rotten, but no one would be here to point that out from the outer cotholds. Charsian settles down in the empty chair and watches the little basket along with the others. Warden glides down and lands on the back of the chair, tail wrapping lightly around his human as he spectates.

Kaliena tilts her head a little when Keelyra explains, eyeing the platter of jerky and then looking down at her own plate. "Suppose it can't hurt," she says, before smirking a little. "I don't mind the raw meat," The girl drawls a little, hastily taking a few more bites of her meal before abandoning the plate in favor for a chair closer to the hearth and closer to Keelyra's offered jerky. "Thanks." A few pieces are gathered by the time Kayse returns and Kaliena watches silently for a moment as she walks closer with the raw meat. "Guess I'll take a bit of both." She murmurs towards Kayse, with a half crooked smile and her gaze wanders to the basket where the eggs are rocking away. Then her attention is half turning towards Charsian, having not spotted him approaching until he spoke up as well.

Sticky Delight Egg wobbles forward slightly before violently rocking back, as though the occupant recoiled from the tipping motion.

Everlasting Enchantment Egg fades away, crumbling under the desperate efforts of the Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling.

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling
If ever a firelizard were to look more furred than suede, this brown is the one. His damp-earth colored hide is subtly patterned with lighter and darker shades, creating an incredible illusion of fur across his stocky form. Only his paws and wings are free of this coloring, leaving the former simply brown while the latter are darkened with a faintly rosy hue. When extended his wings tend to cup forward, mantling like a cloak around him.

Blue eyes drift suddenly to Charsian and Keelyra blinks as she takes him in. "Most I've encountered will eat anything.. and everything. They're bottomless pits, I swear." That doesn't mean she likes them any less. They're much cooler as pets than felines and the like. The teen snatches up some of the raw meat herself, going for the bits that obviously have more fat to them than not. Another perk of working in the kitchens. She fusses slightly with a piece or two, breaking them down into smaller bits.

"I don't know," Kayse replies to Charsian, setting the bowl down on the nearest table. "Nala eats most anything, though she doesn't like eggs. She'll eat bread, meat, vegetables, and fish, and I haven't noticed her changing her mind about anything now that she is a bit older." Hearing her name spoken, Nala trots over and neatly climbs up onto the table, disdaining flight in the crowded space. The gold happily buries her head in the bowl, snapping up a few pieces of meat before Kayse notices and shoos her away. "That's for the babies, Nala. You'll get your own dinner in a little bit. Now, who all is going to help me get rid of these?" She looks beseechingly from person to person, smiling briefly when she notices that Kali certainly seems ready to try for one.

Protector of Fate Egg won't give up! With a final effort it rolls clear of its clutchmates and neatly fractures in two, revealing the surprised form of Be a Man! Green Hatchling.

Be a Man! Green Hatchling
/Looks can be deceiving./ That adage sums up the appearance of this firelizard, for few would think her a green at first glance. Teal is the primary shade of her hide, dark and vibrant with such a perfect balance of green and blue hues as to be impossible to name as either color. Persian and pine greens, shades that are also saturated with blue, are present as highlights and lowlights across her form. Only her structure makes it clear she is female, for she has a finely feminine shape; yet even this is hidden beneath layers of muscle.

Charsian glances down at his hands and remembers he still has the stuffed roll in one. The bread roll is gently eased open with fingertips and the still warm shreds are spread out. If the little ones aren't interested, he'll eat it. If they are… "I've almost forgotten how tiny they can be right out of the shell." The young man smiles, holding a strip between his fingertips while he watches the little ones take in the sights and smells around him.

Sticky Delight Egg tests the waters once more and decides that maybe out is better than in. With a soft *crack* the top pops off, revealings the gooey form of the Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling.

Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling
Honeyed bronze is the color of this firelizard's skin, so yellowed as to be almost gold. A deeper shade of tarnished bronze rims his muzzle and stains his paws, looking almost as if he has allowed some food to settle in and stain those points. Honey transitions to reddened highlights across chest and flanks, especially thick around his shoulders and belly, while wings are picked out in spatters of the same tarnished shade that mars his face. Stocky and solid he stands firmly against all comers, determination clear in every inch of his bearing at all times.

Kaliena's eyes dart between Keelyra and Kayse, perhaps even towards Charisan at times as the conversation goes on between them. The young girl has nothing to add though it seems, but she's taking notes mentally. She gives a bit of a sheepish grin when Kayse smiles briefly her way with her hand reaching half way to the bowl holding the raw meat. Snatching a few pieces, she quickly retreats to her seat. The jerky she had gathered goes into her lap, while the raw meat is held awkwardly in her hand. Now what? For a moment she watches Keelyra, then begins to pick idly at her own handful, nose wrinkling slightly. "This seems all so overly complicated," the young girl grumbles, not seeming ready at all for trying though she seems quite prepared to make a mess. "I suppose if they do like to eat everything, it makes feeding a bit easier?" she finally chimes in, though it seems to no one in particular. By then, two of the eggs hatch and the girl blinks as her attention is drawn away from conversation. "That was fast." There's a dry chuckle for Charisan's comment and Kaliena nods her head a little in agreement. "Bet they grow fast though."

"The 'lizards do mean that we rarely have anything go to rot in the kitchens. Any leftovers and the like that can't be put out any longer, /someone/ will eat. Whether it's these buggers or the lot in the feeding pens." Rotted food? Unthinkable! Especially with the advancements in cold storage. Keelyra manages to pick off some bits of fat edging the meat she retrieved and drops some of it to the floor near her boot. More is held just a bit above there. She glances at those hatched, eyes widening a bit at the bronze. "He's a solid one. Not duds in the slightest."

Be a Man! Green Hatchling shakes herself free of the vestiges of her egg, sending goo flying all across her siblings before she struts forward. Firm strides carry her to the edge of the basket, then the masculine-appearing green is not-so-steadily clambering down to seek the source of one of those tantalizing scents filling the air. Thus far no sound escapes her, stalking silently forth to find her first meal.

Kayse gathers Nala to her as the hatchlings pop out, one after another in rapid succesion. The apprentice eases backward, making sure she and her firelizard are out of the immediate 'danger' zone around the basket. Let those who actually /want/ the firelizards try for them; Kayse would watch from the relative safety of the other side of the table. "Good luck," she offers as she firmly grasps Nala, keeping the gold from getting at the meat bowl again.

"In size, yes. Yes, they do grow quickly. In stomach, however, it never seems to stop growing." Warden is given an affectionate pat, but the bronze /leans/ out of the hand's path and lowers his head, watching the young ones on the table. Silly human blocking his view! Charsian chuckles softly and quietly, he says to the littles, "There's plenty of food out here for those hungry little bottomless bits of yours. Come on, babies." He readjusts his holding of the meat shred, so there's a little bit less access to his fingertips and more to the morsel. Hopefully.

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling emerges with a high creel, voice trembling between bass and tenor registers through his despairing cry against the cold air that he is greeted by. Distressed by the combination of ravenous hunger and unfamiliar surroundings the brown mantles his wings, pulling them forward to protect his sensitive eyes from his sister's careless goo-shedding.

Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling takes in the behavior of his clutchmates without complaint, suffering himself to be splattered and screeched at in turn. Once the green has departed the basket he trundles forward, giving his brown brother a reassuring croon as he passes. His compact shape makes descending from the basket more awkward than not, but he makes short work of the task. Once firmly on the ground he sits, looking around to figure out what would be a good next move.

"That works out well enough then," Kaliena remarks distractedly in reply to Keelyra's comment on leftovers while her gaze seems focused downwards at the raw meat still in her hand and trying to work out. Eventually, she just gives up and holds it awkwardly, while her other hand she keeps free. The girl hasn't clued in yet to actually try dangling a piece or two. Her gaze darts up only when Keelyra mentions the bronze and also to Charisan's reply to her earlier comment. There's a long, perhaps hesitant look given to the hatchlings, especially as one begins to move free of the basket and then her eyes dart over to Charisan. "So I hear," Kaliena muses, smirking and then noticing most are trying to bribe the hatchlings over, the girl plucks a small, thin shred of raw meat and leans forwards, letting it dangle enticingly from her fingertips. She pulls a bit of a face for the brown's creeling, "Shards, they can be vocal too." Obviously. Has the girl never really paid attention before?

"Shards you haven't been around a weyr long, have you?" Keelyra says, shifting her fingers to let the meat dangle more. It does help protect fingers /and/ makes it more tantalizing for those new eyes. Movement, yay! "Some peoples' 'lizards never shut up. Gotta train 'em, else they think they run the place." She glances back, stifling a chuckle at the awkward antics of the hatchlings getting out of the basket. It shapes into a smirk as she scoots forward to sit more upon the edge of the bench she's perched at, giving her a better angle to offer the dripping morsels.

Be a Man! Green Hatchling is determined to sate the rumbling in her belly. Perhaps she feels the bronze is competition, or maybe she just is that hungry and wants to eat /now/, but whatever the reason, as soon as Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling drops out of the basket she starts hurrying. A cautious chirp, followed by a deeper-voiced croak, escapes her, and she pounces on the first bit of food she can reach - a little strip of roll held out by Charsian.

"See that, Nala? What a mess. I'm glad you were all by yourself when you hatched," Kayse murmurs to her firelizard as the hatchlings begin to wander around. She winces when the brown voices his plaintive cry and Nala croons toward him reassuringly, placing her front paws on the table to get a better view of the occasion. "That's right, you get him headed in the right direction - away from us," she says with a smile.

As soon as she takes the little strip, Charsian is quick to offer another piece to the hungry little green. Warden slips his tail free from his human's shoulder and winds it around the chair he sits in, instead, so he can watch without being jerked about! "Here you go, little one. Eat up, there's plenty of meat here." Or so he hopes. Char still has a decent amount in the roll, perhaps she'll get her fill without having to sample a bit of the broth soaked bread, itself.

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling pulls away from the bronze's reassurance, ducking his head low and creeping along toward the edge of the basket with his wings still half open and tilted forward. Halting steps lead him to the ground, and that is when Nala's cry catches his attention. The earth-toned brown hesitantly edges in that direction, moving slowly toward the cluster of youths rather than scampering away.

"Nope," Kaliena drawls in a gruff sort of way, side glancing to the other girl with a slightly narrowed look. "Hold-bred and still questioning if I lost my senses on leaving my backwater cothold." Now she just sounds sarcastic, which she tries to edge off by grinning crookedly towards Keelyra. "Still learning stuff. Odds and ends. Even if it's been some time now." How long exactly, the girl doesn't seem to know, isn't sharing or is completely distracted as the green all but pounces for Charisan's offering of food. "Huh. Well, would you look at that." Kaliena mutters through what seems to be a chuckle. Shifting a bit on her chair, she rests her elbows on top of her knees as she leans forwards just a tad bit more and the offered meat still dangling between her fingers at a reasonable height.

Be a Man! Green Hatchling is perfectly content to have Charsian provide a second morsel, then a third, and it doesn't take long at all for her to demolish every scrap of the roll. Without any sign of being full she continues forward, determined to find the source of these tasty bits that the young man has been feeding her. It is a matter of moments before she is investigating the edges of his plate, intent on getting ahold of more food.

Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling takes the longest to decide what to do, waiting for both of his siblings to make progress toward the watchers before he stirs himself back into motion. The stocky bronze lumbers upright, shaking himself to work out the stiffness from his still wobbly limbs, then continues forward to approach the gathered people. He meanders into the fray, trundling past his sister and skirting nearly around his brother as he searches for the food that is just right for him.

"Ah! There ya go," Keelyra says with mild bemusement as Charsian captures the green's attention. "Just keep stuffin' her 'til she falls asleep. It's the best way, for the first while." The teen looks back to the bronze and brown, head cocked to one side as she considers. "Sure ya don't want more?" she inquires of Kayse, glancing up to the keeper of the mother of the trio running about. "There's enough meat to go around."

Kayse is quick to pull Nala back when the green is finding her way onto the table to get at Charsian's plate. She smiles, amused by the green's determination, before Keelyra's question draws her. "Hmm? Oh, goodness no. I'm just starting to get a handle on keeping Nala in check. Three months of chaos is plenty for me, thank you. I'd rather not start over again with a second one." There's a pause while she scowls at the basket, which still contains several unhatched eggs. "Though I might end up with another anyway if those others are not duds, either. I still don't know why I let that merchant talk me into buying the clutch."

Charsian laughs, placing the shell of the roll onto the plate and then he takes up what's left of the untended wherry. Quicky, he pulls of a still warm morsel from the larger piece and offers it to the little stomach with wings. The young man smiles, remembering his time with Warden when he was a little stomach with wings, too. Hopefully this one will not try to reguritate some later to share. That was not a pleasant sight the next morning. "He probably has a dozen, himself."

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling is the last to really reach the people holding out meat, and if anything he seems happy to be on the outskirts of the event. If he could he would probably head off to be by himself, but there is this insistent rumbling in his belly that demands to be attended to. So slowly, cautiously, he eases closer, looking for the first unoccupied bit of meat to sink his teeth in to. A scrap of meat dangled nearby and, throwing caution to the wind, he pounces forward, head snapping forward as he latches on to Kaliena's offering.

Be a Man! Green Hatchling lets herself be distracted from the plate by the presented bits of wherry, stalking forward to claim it and doing her best to wrap her paws around the hand that feeds her. Once the morsel is devoured she stills, cocking her head to one side to regard Warden for a moment, then she gives the nearest juice-coated finger a contented lick and flops down, instantly asleep.//
Be a Man! Green Hatchling looks into Charsian's eyes. Impression!

"You can buy whole clutches?" Kaliena darts into the conversation with her slightly surprised question, distracted again from the hatchling firelizards by Kayse's remark. Her nose wrinkles a bit at Charsian's comment on the merchant. "Could you imagine? Sounds like one is plenty, from what I'm gathering now. Do folk really have a dozen or close to?" The girl is rambling, but she lets out a startled grunt-like curse when the brown is suddenly snapping at her offering. Thankfully she's fast enough to pull her fingers back in time. "Wary one, aren't you? And shardin' quick." This is said as she shakes her fingers out slightly, but she's pulling another piece of meat out from the fistful she still holds in her other hand and offers it to the lonely looking brown.

Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling finally finds something that interests him in the form of the dripping from the meat Keely is holding. He pauses at the first drop, sniffing it curiously, then licks it up with a delighted croon. Once that one is gone he looks around, seeking the next spattering of meat drippings and licking it up, too. Step by step he moves closer to Keely's juicy morsel, and once he recognizes it as the source he darts at it, tounge flicking out to sweep across its length.

"He may have, but they certainly weren't around when he was selling these. Ah, well. He was truly desperate to get his stock unloaded and get shipped out that I couldn't really say no," Kayse admits, as much to herself as the other youths. Kali's question has her shrugging, an awkward motion when she's still holding Nala close. "I don't know anyone with that many, but most people in the coastal areas tend to have at least one. They are awfully useful once you get them trained up."

"I imagine you could," Keelyra says, thoughtful. "Dunno why, but I guess some folks want 'lizards of heir own so bad they'd buy up eggs… duds or not. Guess yer gettin' yer money's worth." She glances down as a tongue goes across the meat and partly gets her hand. There's a brief giggle and she drops the meat. With a slight splat, it lands near the bits of fat she'd peeled off other scraps of meat. A whole smorgasboard for such a critter! More raw meats are held out though near to the bronze. "That's right, eat up. Then you'll sleep."

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling is fast when it comes to food, at least, for as soon as the next offering comes into range he pounces on it as well, aggressively tugging it free of Kaliena's grip and tearing into the piece. It takes him mere moments to devour it and then he is looking for more, snuffling the floor nearby and looking up at the young woman with a clearly hopeful expression. A tenative creel emits from his throat and he creeps closer one slow step at a time.

Charsian carefully takes up the small green in his fingertips and he carefully places the sleeping stomach with wings into a pocket of his tunic. As soon as she's settled, he takes up a handkerchief and begins to dry what's left of the grease and broth from his fingertips. Warden leans down and peers towards the lump in his humans pocket and then he begins to preen. That one is his, the human doesn't know it yet.

Kaliena wrinkles her nose a bit and nods her head to the replies from both Kayse and Keelyra, frowning distractedly for a moment. "I suppose. A whole clutch though… shells that'd be too much. Maybe some folk just buy 'em all then sell off the eggs, keeping which ever ones they please?" she says, seemingly speaking her thoughts out loud. When the brown snaps at her offering again, she doesn't curse this time, though she gives him a narrowed look. "Easy, there. I like my fingers intact, thank you." Kaliena grumbles, but there's a ghost of a smile and a hint of amusement to her tone as she offers more meat to the hatchling. One piece, then another, especially when he begins to creel again, "S'alright. Got plenty here." To prove her point, she lowers the other hand holding the whole bounty of food. "See?"

Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling chows down on the dropped bit, then is perfectly content to eat the fatty scraps that Keely had peeled loose. He dives into the mess cheerfully, stuffing himself silly on the rich clumps. Whenever she offers out a more solid piece of meat he takes that, too, but there is no doubt that he is awfully fond of the fatty bits. Once he has cleaned up the scraps he ignores any further offerings, clambering up the side of the bench to claim Keely's lap and, like his sister, drops off into sated slumber.
Genial Companion Bronze Hatchling looks into Keelyra's eyes. Impression!

Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling accepts each piece that he is offered, slowly becoming more sure of himself as the food supply remains steady. When he has eaten his fill he looks up at Kaliena, inner eyelids already halfway closed and the outer trembling with fatigue as well. He gives a soft little huff of acceptance, butting his head against her hand before he surrenders to exhaustion-enduced slumber.
Cursed and Lonely Brown Hatchling looks into Kaliena's eyes. Impression!

Keelyra eyes the plump little bronze as he falls to sleep. Her lips quirk in another of those smirks, but somewhat a fond smile also. She pokes at his belly, taut like a drum. "Well, 'least he chose /after/ the meal was done. I'd hate to go through a kitchen shift with one of these creeling at me."

Kayse watches the firelizards find themselves willing partners and, once it is clear that they have all eaten their fill, finally releases Nala. The gold bounds over to the meat bowl, resuming her interrupted feeding by burying her head fully in the pile of bloody meat and sucking up the juices from the bottom of the bowl. "Ugh, you're going to be a mess, Nala," Kayse complains half-heartedly before she looks at the basket. "Well, either the rest are duds or they are from different clutches, which wouldn't surprise me. Maybe they'll hatch later. Either way, I'm not going to worry about it right now. Congratulations to you all on your new bottomless pits of hunger," she offers cheerfully.

Charsian carefully rises from his seat when he hears a familiar voice, once the excitement passed. "I best be going," he says, offering a polite bow to the ladies before he pushes his chair back to where he collected it. "Thank you for allowing me a chance, I promise this little one won't reappear in the basket now that it's empty." With that, the young man offers one last smile before turning on heel and quickly steps off to meet with his companions.

Kaliena watches the brown hatchling almost as warily as he approached her, but once he looks up and seems to be surrendering to sleep, the young girl relaxes with a bit of a heavy exhale. "Well now," she remarks distractedly, blinking as she reaches with her now empty hands to gather the exhausted firelizard up to the safety of her lap, figuring it safe to do so when he butts against her. Glancing up over to Kayse, Kaliena manages a brief grin towards the other girl. "Maybe," she chimes in, and then gives a brisk nod to the congratulations. "Looks like I've some work cut out for me," the girl muses with slightest of smirks and chuckles. To Charsian's bow, she dips her head politely enough in response. "Good luck," she murmurs to him and then turns her attentions to the brown now sleeping in her lap.

With the bronze sleeping soundly in her lap, Keelyra carefully shifts to return to her food. Her klah is cold, but that doesn't seem to stop the teen. She digs in with nearly as much of an appetite as the hatchlings themselves had. She atches Charsian go, giving him a nod as he does… mouth too full to utter any kind of greeting.

Kayse waves to the departing young man, calling, "Have a good evening, uhm…." That's when she realizes that she doesn't remember his name, or if he even gave it. Oops. Shrugging, she turns her attention back to the other young women at the table. "He's your first, so I'm going to give you the same advice I got when Nala hatched. Make sure you keep his hide well oiled so it doesn't crack. You'll want to get your shirts padded on the shoulders if he takes to perching there, and you'll probably not sleep a night through for the first week because he'll wake up hungry every few hours. It won't last long, but it will be a pain while it does."

Kaliena blinks, drawing her thoughts together long enough to glance up and over to Kayse as she offers her advice. There's an actual and genuine smile given in thanks, even if brief, before the girl is frowning again. "Got it. Thanks for the heads up." She does grimace over the loss of sleep and the possibility of having to mend her clothing, but then the girl keeps odd hours anyways. There's a brief pause as she thinks some more, chewing slightly at her bottom lip before a question finally pops to mind. "Where'd I get the oil for him?"

"The healers have some basic stuff with no scent, and there are merchants at the market with scented oils that you can buy instead," Kayse replies as she rises and scoops up Nala. The gold accepts being collected without complaint, though Kayse is careful to hold her well clear of the white fabric of her nice blouse. "You are getting a bath, little one," she tells the gold before offering Kali another brief smile. "If you need help with him let me know. I'll be around. Have a good evening." And off she goes to wash up her own firelizard.

Kaliena nods her head again, already glancing towards the vague direction of the infirmary before side glancing back to Kayse. "Thanks. I'll remember that, if he starts to get out of hand." Seeing that most have already begun to wander away, the girl is carefully gathering up the sleeping bronze, pausing only when he stirs and growls a bit in protest. Hmm. "You too," she call back almost absentmindedly. She'll eventually manage to settle the brown awkwardly in the crook of one arm as she rises to her feet. Then it's the slow walk to hunt down some oil and then back to the dorms for her. Might as well try to rest now, if it's going to be a long night.

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