Long-Distance Friends

Fort Weyr - Northeast Bowl
The northern end of the bowl can be an intimidating area, being that Fort is the largest weyr. The far north wall contains the gigantic opening to the hatching caverns, and to the west of that can be seen the sprawling ledges and carved stair cases that mark the way to the administration complex and the training grounds were candidates and weyrlings can often be found. The west cliff wall towers up, dotted here and there by darker openings that mark individual weyrs before it tapers to a point at Tooth Crag.

With winter approaching, Fort is beginning to feel the chill. There is a promising bite in the air, an icy stillness to the breezes, and the scent of plants dying and beginning to hybernate for the winter. High clouds drift overhead, and the forest is just now ending its blaze of color with a final burst of oranges and reds. Mirrored in this is Kayeth, the fiery autumn hued queen in the bowl, standing in the mud that so often plagues Fort and its various seasons. Straps on, she gleams with health and excitement, her muzzle towards the sky as she waits eagerly for the arrival of another. Nyalle, though, looks more nervous. Dressed in her riding leathers (thick skirt, pants under that, long cloak, hood up, hair braided and wrapped in a bun, all in shades of black and cream), Nyalle also scans the sky, and fidgets.

Above, Tavehtiath appears amidst the clouds like a second, gleaming sun, announcing her arrival with a dignified rumble: not showy, but certainly sure of itself. The young queen circles, testing out the coolness of the air, the foreignness of these skies, and then dips down towards the bowl with carefully furled wings. That Rhysa, too, is far more apprehensive than her dragon is obvious, but as the younger pair seek out the elder, she manages to smile, lifting one hand cautiously towards them.

Kayeth welcomes Tavehtiath with a loud, echoing bugle which has many bronzes and browns answering her call. Arching her neck, Kayeth's thoughts wash out gently towards the younger queen's, eager but perhaps tempered by her rider's apprehension. « Welcome, » she says graciously, her mind the sea against the shore, grasses swaying in a warm wind, tone layered. Nyalle fidgets and then forces herself to stop, walking forward with hands outstretched, palms down as she smiles. "Rhysanna, welcome to Fort," she says, cheeks flushing a bit and being rather irritated at her apprehension. What's wrong with her? "Fort's duties to Western and her queens, are you both well?"

Tavehtiath is pleased with this welcome, though it shows only in the fact that her thoughts are cool and not outright cold, their pure whiteness soft rather than frosty. « We are pleased to be here, » she answers Kayeth. « Thank you, for your welcome. » Rhysanna's own hands drop to press upon her leather-covered knees, as if this might give her purchase against her own nervousness. "And Western's to Fort and her queens," she says, just a little hastily - a little stiltedly. "We're very well, thank you. I hope you and Kayeth are, as well?"

No, this isn't going that well, as Nyalle lets her hands drop to her sides. "We are very well, thank you for asking." Proper. Formal. Stiff. She bites her lower lip and then smiles, before turning to look back at Kayeth. Who…is laughing at her. Thanks a lot, lifemate. But to Tavehtiath, the other queen is warm and welcoming. « Are you and yours ready to depart? The beach awaits! » And she shares their between image with her. The southern continent, and the little hold is nestled in a wide reaching cove, the seas turquoise and clear. Buildings are built into the sandstone cliffs and beyond, driftwood and rough timber the primary building materials.

Rhysanna is very likely getting a tongue-lashing from her own dragon, though Tavehtiath shows no outward signs of it; she's perfectly composed. « We're ready, » she confirms, accepting the image with a rush of fresh, clear air. "I'm glad," says Rhysanna— no, blurts Rhysanna, pink suffusing her cheeks almost immediately afterwards. There's an apology written in her expression, and it's one that she half-refers to a moment later when she adds, "Tavehtiath says we should go before I make a fool of myself. I'm sorry. Shall we?" This could be a very long day.

Nyalle flushes as well, pressing fingers to her lips briefly. "I…Kayeth is saying the same. Yes. Let's." They can try to actually talk again once they get there. Mounting up, she buckles in and waits until Rhysanna is mounted before she urges Kayeth aloft. The queen crouches and springs into the air, her wings gleaming in the sunlight as she rises higher. Another visual is shared, cemented, and then they vanish between.

At least their dragons are in agreement! Rhysanna's flush darkens, but she simply nods. It doesn't take long before she and Tavehtiath are back in the air, the young queen luxuriating in the feeling of cold air beneath her wings— and they follow the other pair between, there one moment and gone the next. Tavehtiath is quieter, this time, as they reappear above the little hold, and there's less immediate satisfaction to her thoughts; these winds are not cold.

Crystal Cove Cothold - Southern Continent
This little cothold is nestled within the secure confines of a deep cove, the seas turquoise and the sands soft and golden. Buildings rest against tall sandstone cliffs, built of stone, brick, timber and driftwood. It is a serene place, made for fishing and also having a rather prosperous side-trade in dragonriders just wanting to get away and be elsewhere for a while. It offers comfortable, rustic rooms, fresh food, and plenty of beach activities.

Kayeth emerges as well, circling down to land on a wide stretch of beach clearly labeled for dragons to land upon. No, it is not cold here and the autumn hued queen soaks in the sun like a sponge, with a pleased rumble. Dismounting, Nyalle stores her riding gear, until she's down to a breeze white ankle skirt, sandals, and a violet tunic with brown belt. Kayeth's straps are removed, and handed over to an attentive worker, who will store them in a protected lean-to built against the cliff walls, before offering to take Tavehtiath's as well. "Welcome to Crystal Cove," Nyalle says with another smile, reaching hesitantly for Rhysanna's hand.

Following Kayeth's lead, Tavehtiath lands carefully upon the sand, controlling her landing so as to dislodge as little sand as possible in the process. Rhysanna shucks off her outer gear gratefully, tipping her head up towards the sun partway through, quite as if it's been just about forever since she enjoyed the warmth, instead of no time at all. Despite that, it doesn't take her long to get her clothing stowed away, and Tavehtiath's straps as well. Nyalle's smile draws one from the younger goldrider, and if her cheeks are still pink, that smile's no less genuine for it. Nyalle's hand is squeezed. "It's beautiful," she says. "Just perfect."

Nyalle looks relieved, squeezing her hand back and then letting it go so she can lift her skirt as she begins to move down a stone path along the beach. "I thought we could have a picnic, perhaps. See that side of the cove there?" She points, where the cove is in the shade. "It's still warm, but without the sun's glare." Meanwhile, Kayeth rumbles invitingly to Tavehtiath, and moves out into the dragon-area of the sea. « Would you like to relax in the water? » she offers.

"That— sounds good," says Rhysanna, quickly, as she smooths down the skirt of her knee-length sundress and then moves to follow the other goldrider. She draws her shoulders back as she walks, a gesture that perhaps ought to make her seem less relaxed, though for now it seems to be doing the opposite. "The sun is lovely, but it's probably too much to want to sit in for too long." « I would, » decides Tavehtiath, drawing herself up from the sand so that she can pad into the shallows - and then deeper. « It is pleasantly cool, is it not? And such interesting looking fish. » That dart away as soon as she gets anywhere near, of course.

Nyalle nods, "Yes, I'm afraid if I spent too much time in the actual sun, I'd burn rather quickly." She laughs softly, and then darts a glance at her friend, and smiles. "So how are you?" In the sea, Kayeth rumbles invitingly and swims out further, tilting her head down. « So there are! » Amused, she first-lids her eyes and lets her head snake down into the water, looking a bit like a duck as she snaps at a few of those fleeing fish. She doesn't get any of course, but her thoughts rumble with amusement, tickling those grasses and sending them waving once more. « It is cool. I like the… » she pauses, « contrast of the cool water and the warm sky. »

Rhysanna gives her own skin a glance, somewhat wry, and says, "I don't burn, luckily, but even so, there's the risk of heat stroke and… I'm good." It's an abrupt change of course, but at least she's smiling. "The other weyrlings have been learning how to flame, so I've been… in a way, it's a relief to start learning about all the administrative things, even if it's overwhelming." Tavehtiath makes no move to copy Kayeth's attempts, but there's a certain amount of cool amusement in her steady regard, like quiet laughter. « I let others catch them for me, at home, » she relates. « When I feel like them. I prefer the cool to the warm; it is much more comfortable. »

Nyalle nods, holding open the door as they approach the first of many buildings. The man behind the counter looks up and smiles - a warm one, but a professional one. They are as far as he's concerned, nothing more than paying customers, despite the report he just received about them both being queen riders. No one can miss Kayeth and Tavehtiath, after all, but the man behind the counter calls no attention to it. "Good afternoon ladies, how can I help you?" Glancing at Rhysanna with a smile, Nyalle moves forward. "Afternoon. We'd like a picnic for the beach, a blanket, two towels?" and she glances at her friend for that - does she wish to swim? - "and some drinks. I'll have a chilled white wine," and again, she looks to Rhysanna for her own order. "My treat," she adds.

Entering the building, Rhysanna's gaze sweeps over it, betraying casual interest - and an easy smile for the man behind the counter. If she's feared any particular deference, it doesn't show in her expression, not even in the form of relief. Her nod confirms the need for a towel and then, with a smile, "I'll have white wine, too. Thank you. And… perhaps there ought to be ice cream, later, which can be my treat." Her hands have slid behind her back, clasping each other loosely.

Nyalle's smile grows at that suggestion, and she nods. "Yes, indeed." The man behind the counter smiles and notes everything down, including their descriptions, before handing the paper to a runner. "Please go find a place to settle, ladies. Your things will be along shortly." With a nod and a smile, Nyalle turns and flashes a wide smile to Rhysanna, her demeanor relaxing as they walk outside once more. "Are you learning the flamethrower?" she asks quietly once they're alone again. In the water, Kayeth picks up the conversation again, now that she's done spying on her lifemate. « Are they good at catching them? I've never asked anyone to catch a fish for me. »

Rhysanna, clearly pleased with the response to that suggestion, all but grins - and it's a grin that gets delivered both to Nyalle and to the man behind the counter. Outside again, she shakes her head. "Perhaps I will at some point," she says, "but for now I'm focusing on things that have practical application. Besides," her gaze slides off towards the water, and their distant dragons, "I think I'm a little scared of them." « Some of them are, » answers Tavehtiath, sinking lower beneath the waves - or as low as she can, given her size. « Some… not so much. I rarely want the fish, of course, but it keeps them busy. » And away from her.

Nyalle winces. "Not because of me?" she asks, though she fears her anxiety over her own accident might have affected Rhysanna as well. In the water, Kayeth rumbles softly. « I will have to remember that. » Or have hers remember. « I like giving the bronzes tasks. » Quests to complete, for her. And yes, it keeps them busy too.

Exhaling, Rhysanna hesitates before answering. "A little," she says. "But— I think I would be regardless. I'm not very good with mechanical things, in general, and knowing that it can burn and hurt and… I'm very glad to live now and not back when thread still fell." « It's better than when they wish to talk all the time, or push in to my personal space, » agrees Tavehtiath, placidly. « Of course, I can always go to my wallow; they can't follow me there. »

Nyalle winces again. "I'm sorry. I'm sure they're very safe when used properly…" She leads the way along another stone path, towards where the cove curves and the cliffs rise high above. Trees grow here, but they are sparse and cling to the meager soil between beach and stone. "Wherever you'd like," Nyalle suggests, waving a hand. There are chairs and benches placed sporadically, and other spots that are just smooth sand beneath the bent trees. "I am glad not to be in threadfall either. I can't imagine the stress and the fear…" She shivers a bit, despite the warmth. In the water, Kayeth warbles a laugh. « You do not like them talking? I like to talk with them when it's intelligent conversation. But babbling on…that is not so entertaining. » Of personal space the young queen rumbles. « There are a few I let groom me, but not all. »

"I'm sure they are. I'm sure they wouldn't let goldriders use them, if they weren't," says Rhysanna, quickly. "But given we don't need to use them, and they're more a curiosity, now… I'm as glad not to." She hesitates over picking a place to sit, ultimately choosing to do so upon the ground at the base of one of the trees. She stretches out her legs, leaning forward to begin unlacing her sandals. "I'd far rather live in a world where our original purpose, as dragonriders, is… diminished. It's not as though we don't have a place. It's just different." « Some of them, » Tavehtiath relates, disapprovingly, « feel I ought to appreciate their company more. In many cases, I much prefer my own company. It isn't my job to be friendly. »

Nyalle sits down as well, smoothing out her skirts but leaving her sandals on. Shading her eyes, she watches their dragons in the water, with a smile. "That is true. The only reason I had one was for the Games. Though I'm afraid I /will/ have to use one when Fort hosts the Winter Games. You'll come, won't you?" she asks with a hint of eagerness in her eyes. "You don't have to compete, but, it's going to be lovely." Kayeth snorts, her thoughts drifting with images of a few choice dragons in Fort - all browns. « Ah, yes. I find a well placed snap of the teeth or a lash of the tail will discourage most. »

Rhysanna turns her head so that she can glance at Nyalle, and abruptly smiles. "Of course I will, if I can," she says. "I've certainly heard people talk about Ista's games, and it sounds like fun. A good way to get people to come together." Tavehtiath is apparently amused by Kayeth's answer, and says, « I find being unapproachable works for most. For now. Perhaps I shall try your method, if it becomes necessary. » But perhaps not: it's not terribly dignified.

Nyalle looks relieved, and rather excited. "Oh good, I'm so glad. It'll be a lot of fun to watch, and hopefully there won't be mudwrestling." Her nose wrinkles with the thought. It's gross and filthy and not appropriate or proper for anyone of rank, certainly! Like her weyrleader. Ahem. Kayeth rumbles, « If it becomes necessary. For some, that's the only answer they will accept. For some, they think your distance and firm 'no, go away' is a tease. » Snort.

Rhysanna's cheeks turn ever so faintly pink beneath their tan at the mention of mudwrestling, though she's quick to say, laughing, "I don't imagine such an activity would fit in a winter games, in any case. I suppose there will be more of the kinds of things I really don't know anything about— skating? I'd much rather watch most things, in any case." « A tease. » Tavehtiath is dismissive of this very idea. « A queen does not tease. She makes her wishes well known, and those wishes are naturally followed by those around her. It's quite simple. » Or ought to be.

Nyalle shakes her head and she casts a doubtful look at her friend. "I don't know. It's kind of a Fort…/thing/. I'm…I think they'd find a way to make it happen," she whispers. Imagine! "There will be skating, yes. And skiing, and snow sculpting, and a whole host of other events." Kayeth warbles, amused. « Indeed. Though sometimes a battle of wits is enjoyable, with the right bronze. Keeps the mind sharp. »

Rhysanna chews at her lip for a few moments before admitting, "I think it's a rather Western kind of thing to do, too. Perhaps that just makes it a Weyr kind of thing, I'm not sure. But at least there will be all those other things to consider, instead. I've never seen snow sculpting, but that sounds like it could be lovely. I don't generally like the cold, much, but for the right occasion…" Tavehtiath draws her head out from beneath the waves, and carefully re-mantles her wings. « Perhaps, » she allows, evenly. « Some of them deliberately seek to vex me, I think. It is a poor way to win my favor. »

Nyalle wrinkles her nose again. "I think it's rather unbecoming, personally, but Th'ero enjoys it. I don't think Ista had ever done it before." She smiles. "You just have to have the right clothing. Perhaps I can take you shopping beforehand so you'll have the right things. When you're properly dressed, you don't feel the cold and it's so /beautiful/." « Why on Pern would they do that? » Kayeth asks, a bit startled. « You are a queen, what would they gain from earning your ire? »

Perhaps deliberately, Rhysanna abandons the topic of mudwrestling, and focuses instead on: "Oh, see, now you're encouraging my interest. I wouldn't even know where to begin with choosing clothes for that kind of climate. Even with a jacket, I end up shivering. And," she smiles, unrepentantly cheerful, "I do enjoy new clothes." « I suspect they sought to manipulate me into doing things, » answers Tavehtiath, radiating disapproval in the form of an icy chill. « But I will not allow that. I will not be manipulated. »

Nyalle's smile widens. "We'll do that then! I know the best weavers in the Fort area, now." She flushes. "They all came to, ah…court me, when I first arrived. It's amazing the things people will give you if you'll only promise to tell others you are wearing their craft. It's a bit uncomfortable, but…" Free stuff? The spendthrift in her can't complain about that. « Manipulate? » Kayeth asks, startled. « Who would dare? » She scoffs, thunder rumbling in the distance of her mind, /things/ moving beneath the surface of her sea that betrays her irritation at the very thought.

Rhysanna's brows raise - and then she laughs. "It's terrible, but knowing that I will both need a proper wardrobe and have the marks to spend on it… it's one of the things I am pleased about." As a privilege/responsibility of rank, presumably. "I've always liked clothes, and Mother made sure I always knew to look my best, but… the prospect of proper shopping is an exciting one." In contrast to Kayeth's irritation, Tavehtiath remains calm and cool, though there are continued hints of her disapproval in that bitter breeze that curls and coils about her thoughts. « Now that I am grown, they will never dare again, » she decides.

Nyalle smiles, "It is…nice, isn't it? To have marks to spend on things?" She gazes thoughtfully into the sea. "My family won't accept any I try to send them though," she exhales. She shakes it off quickly enough, with another grin. "We will go shopping. It will be lovely." It's then that their items arrive, carried by two rather nice looking young men. "Your things, ladies," one says, spreading out their blanket and setting down a basket of snacks, while the other passes out glasses and sets a chilled bottle of wine down in a bucket of ice. "Thank you," Nyalle says, adding a tip. Kayeth firmly agrees with that. « Never. » Or else!

"I'm sorry," murmurs Rhysanna, the only comment she has time to get in before their picnic arrives. She's a little awkward, watching as they set things out, silent and observant, but it fades quickly. "Thank you very much," she agrees, echoing Nyalle's words, as she shifts to move herself onto the newly arrived blanket, glass in hand. It's after the two young men have retreated again that she adds, "It will be lovely. And so will this feast, I think."

Nyalle scoots over onto the blanket as well, offering to pour Rhysanna a glass before she fills her own, and she smiles. "A toast," she offers, "to friends, and finally getting to see each other." There's a soft giggle for that. "Months of letters…" How long has it been?

Rhysanna, having accepted the filling of her glass with a smile, laughs warmly. "To friends," she agrees, firmly. "After months and months and months of letters." More months than Rhysanna can keep up with certainly. It's after she's taken a sip from her glass that she adds, "I have all of yours, still. Bound up in ribbon, and tucked into one of the compartments of my desk."

Nyalle smiles, taking a sip and then she blushes. "I've yours too, in ribbon, in my desk." Isn't that funny? "I go back to them sometimes," she admits, "when I am feeling alone."

Rhysanna covers her mouth with her hand, and then laughs again. "I suppose it must be the obvious thing to do with them," she ventures. "Or perhaps we just think the same way. I tucked them all in my diary, at first, but then there were too many… I'm glad to have a proper place for them, now." She twists the stem of her glass in her hand, and then adds, "So do I. When I… feel the need for reassurance."

Nyalle smiles warmly at her friend, nodding. "Now, at least, we can visit. Though I think it'd be best if you came to Fort or we met elsewhere." She opens the basket after setting her glass aside, pulling out some fresh fish cakes, some bread and butter, a small selection of cheeses, and a bounty of fruits perfect to eat with the fingers. Two plates, and Nyalle arranges their meal neatly and with a born hostess' precision.

Rhysanna's cheeks turn pink again, and she nods. "I don't want to give anyone at Western the wrong impression," she agrees. "Perhaps that's over-thinking it, but…" Clearly, she'll feel more comfortable doing it that way regardless. As Nyalle arranges the plates, Rhysa watches, shifting her glass from one hand to the other before ultimately setting it down, carefully balanced upon the sand. "You do that so beautifully," she murmurs, impressed.

Nyalle nods, "I understand, it's okay. And I don't want to do that either." Enka's arrival at their last meeting spooked her a bit, let's be honest. In fact, she takes a quick scan of the skies before looking at the plates and blushing. "Thank you," she murmurs, offering her her plate. "My training at High Reaches was…extensive." And apparently included food arranging.

And Rhysanna… Rhysanna's still paranoid about how she's perceived. Frequently to her detriment. For a moment, she looks halfway to troubled, but then she's smiling again, accepting the plate she's offered gratefully. "I imagine," she says, sounding thoughtful, "you've considered how you would train a new goldrider, at Fort. Which of those skills you were taught you would be inclined to pass on."

Nyalle is as well, and more than that how /Fort/ is perceived. She pauses then, giving Rhysanna a curious look. "You know…I haven't thought about it." She frowns a bit, her expression darkening for a moment as she stares at the sea. "There are many things I would not include," she finally intones, softly. "How to be a hostess…that's harmless and a good skill for /any/ girl to learn…"

That darkening of Nyalle's expression has Rhysanna hastily turning her attention towards her plate, instead, fingers carefully selecting a piece of fruit to put in her mouth. Chewing, at least, keeps her mouth busy for a few moments. Then, "That seems reasonable, certainly. I suppose— well, it's not something you necessarily need to think about until the day comes when it's necessary. I was simply curious."

Nyalle blushes darkly when she sees Rhysanna look away. "Sorry," she murmurs, biting on her lower lip. "It was a good question. I should start thinking about it because you never know, and with three fertile queens right now…"

"It was a nosy question," corrects Rhysanna, but at least she's smiling as she says it. "With three fertile queens, it could be some time before you need to concern yourself with it. Or not. I suppose there's no way to know that for sure. I understand numbers vary from Weyr to Weyr."

Nyalle shakes her head again with a little smile. "But we're friends, we're supposed to ask those sorts of things. Like I could ask you how things are going with Zi'on." For example. She finally selects something to eat too, and nods. "Perhaps…it's hard to tell, though I don't think we'll get one for a while."

Mention of Zi'on has Rhysanna flushing again, though it's a happy flush - which probably provides an answer of a sort, though she otherwise seems to be considering it an example question only. "Without threadfall," she supposes, "there's no real need for Weyrs to have a lot of queens. Three seems to be roughly appropriate for most of them, as far as I can tell."

Nyalle smiles gently at the flush, taking it as answer to her question-that-wasn't. "True. And too many and the queens wouldn't like it. Wiyaneth would only allow four total. Kayeth…hasn't reached her limit yet. I'm not sure what her limit would be, as long as she got the bronze attention she wanted and the other queens listened to her."

"I hadn't thought of it quite like that," muses Rhysanna, reaching again for her glass, though she holds it rather than sips from it, for now. "I suspect Tavehtiath might begin to get competitive, were she senior, though that's difficult to know. She's ambitious— surprisingly so, for a dragon who seems to care so little about others. Perhaps she will have an opinion, even as a junior, once she's, well. Fully matured." The blush, at least, is fading.

Nyalle nods. "She probably will, but still defer to the Senior." Everyone defers to the Senior, after all, though Kayeth seems more of a playful and less of a domineering sort of Senior queen. Until someone encroaches upon her turf. Then it's on. "Does she want to be Senior someday?"

That question, certainly, is easy to answer: "She does. She sees it as her… birthright, and her duty, and mine too. She's as bad as my mother with the plotting and planning, sometimes." Abruptly, Rhysanna laughs. "It's probably a good thing the two of them can't easily communicate. She's not in a rush, because I think she sees me as needing more… finishing. But everything ought to be in preparation for it."

Nyalle nods. "It's good to be prepared, certainly, so if it ever does happen you're not utterly unprepared and taken by surprise like I was." There's another little frown, as she sips her wine. "That's something I'd teach my juniors. How to be senior. I think Inri already knows, but perhaps…and Jajen…" She shudders. "Hopefully that never comes to pass." Poor Jajen.

"I wish she were a little less… single-minded about it, but you're right, of course." Rhysanna makes a face. "Iris is certainly Enka's chosen successor, as she should be, but there are never guarantees, are there?" And then, "It's an important thing to teach, if you can, I'd think. Jajen…" she hesitates. "Wouldn't be a suitable senior? We had Liora, so I do understand that."

Nyalle shakes her head. "No, there are no guarantees. I'm proof of that. Brand new transfer from High Reaches. It should have gone to Ines but…Kayeth rose first, when Dtirae left." She shrugs with a small smile. "What can you do?" Nothing. "Jajen…" She has to be polite about it, she /is/ her Junior after all, "has her own talents, but being Senior is not among them. Ines would be quite good at it. She's proven herself more than capable, and very personable." A skill she herself still struggles with.

Rhysanna owns, hesitating with a piece of bread in hand, "I'm not sure how I'd manage, that. Difficult enough to be in a new place, a complete unknown, but then to…" Enka is never allowed to step down, Just In Case. "We all have our own talents," she concludes, the suggestion of further curiosity about Jajen obvious in her expression, but only for a moment before it's thrust away. The bread, finally, gets bitten in to.

Nyalle smiles faintly. "I didn't have a choice? I had to. I had a weyr to run, suddenly, and duties to tend to. Thankfully the Weyrleader didn't change, and Th'ero is a superb Weyrleader. Inri, too, helped a lot. I was the only change, so things didn't fall apart while I got my bearings."

"I suppose," allows Rhysanna, who makes a face, and then abruptly changes direction, and smiles, perhaps a little ruefully. "We do what we have to do, don't we? It just is what it is. I'm glad you had Th'ero and Inri, at least." She stretches, putting aside her plate so that she can focus on her glass, though she's very carefully not drinking too much or too fast. "How is everything at Fort? You asked me how I was going, earlier, and I never did ask you."

Nyalle nods, "I am very grateful for them. I needed a lot of help. Retraining." Then her smile widens as she sips her wine and enjoys nibbling on the food, relaxing in the warm shade. "Fort is lovely. Muddy, perhaps, but autumn is ending and winter approaches. We're all very excited for the Winter Games, and everything is great. Th'ero says it won't last, but…I think he's just being silly."

'Retraining' makes Rhysanna frown, but only for a moment: her smile returns, genuine and warm. "I'm very glad to hear it," she says, firmly. "I don't see why it shouldn't last. Why not? Things should be great. For everyone, or at least for as many people as they possibly can be." She stretches again, rolling back her shoulders in a contented, relaxed kind of way.

Nyalle nods, "Exactly. And it'll be winter soon, and winter in Fort is glorious." Smiling, she finishes her wine and pours herself a second glass. "Did you want to swim?"

"Snow and ice," concludes Rhysanna, thoughtfully, albeit with an exaggerated, teasing shudder - and a grin. "I'm not sure anyone will ever convince me that that is preferable to Western's continued balminess, though I own there may be benefits to proper seasons." Maybe. Her gaze slides off towards the inviting ocean, and she nods. "I think I will. A quick one. Otherwise, I'll be liable to fall asleep."

Nyalle laughs. "Perhaps a nap after the swim," she suggests with a warm smile. "It's certainly been an enjoyable day so far." It's an understatement. Nyalle might not be dancing, but she is relaxed and calm and that's really something she is around one other person ever. It's a relief.

Rhysanna's smile is beaming. "It has been," she agrees, firmly. "It's been just perfect." They've managed to get over their own awkwardness, hurray! And it turns out that long-distance friendships really can translate into in-person ones without too much effort. She picks herself up, stripping off her sun-dress to reveal the bathing suit she's wearing underneath. The water awaits… and so does the possibility of a nap, the rest of the wine, and the prospect of eventual ice cream.

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